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Each month we feature a small selection of books that are due to be published officially in the coming months. You can download and print off an opening extract of these 'not even on the presses' books and decide whether your children will like it enough to pre-order it and be sent it the minute it’s published.
This wonderful picture book explores themes of empathy, mindfulness and personal growth through the eyes of a child. Beautifully written and illustrated by the aw ard-winning artist Emma Carlisle, What Do You See When You Look At a Tree? urges readers to reconnect with nature by asking questions that encourage critical thinking and reflection on their own development, as well as helping to establish a deeper appreciation for the environment and their place within it. Stunning watercolour and hand-finished artw ork draws parallels to the bestselling The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, and evokes the classic nostalgia of E. H. Shephard's much-loved Winnie-the-Pooh.
June 2022 Debut of the Month | Chester Chestnut is a happy little chap, but sometimes even the happiest of chaps get worried or nervous and when this happens Chester’s tummy starts to hurt. Follow the journey of Chester Chestnut as he learns about his anxious thoughts and feelings, where they come from and how to control them. A great tool to use at home and in classrooms to discuss feelings of worry and anxiety.
Rediscover the worlds of Emberfall and Syhl Shallow in this irresistible return to Brigid Kemmerer's New York Times bestselling Cursebreaker series. Tycho of Rillisk has been a lot of things: son and brother, stablehand, prisoner, soldier and friend to the king. Now, four years after Grey took the throne of Emberfall, Tycho has taken on a new role: courier and spy. As the only person the king can trust, Tycho carries secret messages back and forth between the kingdoms of Emberfall and Syhl Shallow. But even though the war is over, peace still seems far away. A dangerous anti-magical faction is rising, and when Tycho discovers a plot to assassinate Grey and Queen Lia Mara, ruler of Syhl Shallow, he must fight for everything he believes in. Nothing here is as it seems, and after a devastating betrayal, it becomes clear that the danger is only just beginning ...
This is adventure number six for the Bolds, a family of hyenas living happily in Teddington disguised as humans. Let’s hope there will be more too, because there are very few stories more joyful, cheering and entertaining than these and only Paddington to compare for characters as lovable and inspirational. If you’ve read previous Bolds books, you’ll know that they’re always ready to help other animals and to open their doors to those in need. Of course therefore they give homeless aardvark Annika a warm welcome and set out to track down her missing friends, escapees from the same zoo, Charlie the skunk and Fergie the fruit bat. The latter, we discover, have been camping out in Parliament Square with friendly eco-warriors. Can the Bolds find them somewhere permanent (and quieter) to live? This is the Bolds, so of course the answer is yes. Gloriously silly, genuinely heart-warming and beautifully plotted, it all ends with a special party for twins Betty and Bobby Bold, and an ‘au revoir’ to another friend, Fifi, the singing poodle superstar. She promises to return, ‘Wherever life might take me, my heart belongs with the Bolds.’ That will be true for all the dear readers too, this one included.
Caribbean folklore meets futuristic fantasy in Alake Pilgrim’s Zo and the Forest of Secrets, an exhilarating Middle Grade adventure driven by the determination of its endearing heroine and the shocking secrets she finds in the forest. This is heartily recommended for readers who are into adventure, fantasy and ecological issues – it’s an an absolute page-turner with real-life resonance. Zo is staying in Samaan Bay on Trinidad’s northeast coast with her mum, baby brother and stepdad, and she’s not happy. Missing her dad and friends, she decides to run away. What could go wrong? Zo’s dad has taught her everything about the forest. At least, that’s what she thinks until it takes a strange and sinister turn, and Zo must summon all her courage to find a way home, save a lost boy and navigate the unsettling truths of an abandoned research facility. The landscapes of the author’s beloved Trinidad are brilliantly evoked — rushing rivers and tangled mangroves, mountainous rainforests teeming with plants and creatures of both the familiar and fantastical variety, among them a talking pirate spider (Cap’n Peg), robotic gnats, and the fearsome Flesh-skinner. The novel also interweaves ecological topics, with Zo mentioning the devastating effects of large-scale logging and mining, and lamenting how companies have “destroyed the rich plant and animal life of the forest”. As Zo faces a thrillingly relentless succession of challenges, she makes a shocking discovery that splendidly sets the scene for the second book in this duology.
Romantic love, family love, friend love, and selflove — Ebony LaDelle’s Love Radio debut is an uplifting joy, with two adorable teen characters teetering on the cusp of adulthood while dealing with big problems from the past, and questions about the future. Dani definitely isn’t looking for love. Not after what happened when her former friend left her alone with that college boy. And not when she’s so set on going to college and becoming a writer. A writer with the impact of her heroines, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and bell hooks. Meanwhile, Prince (AKA DJ LoveJones), is obsessed with music, and offers love advice on his hugely popular radio show around caring for his sick mom and adorable little brother Mook. When they meet, the fiery sparks can’t be ignored, so Dani agrees to giving Prince three dates to convince her not to swear off love. Cue a stack of sweetness from Prince (the dates he comes up with are so, so thoughtful), and Dani doing a whole lot of soul-searching. Alongside delivering a beautiful, exhilarating love story, the author weaves in Black history, and shows the power of kids seeing themselves represented in books. It also offers gorgeous representations of family love, support, respect and fun gatherings that allow everyone to thrive. All of which means Love Radio is inspirational, empowering, and super-sweet — what’s not to love?
Discover the gripping sequel to Namina Forna's New York Times bestselling YA fantasy, The Gilded Ones. Set in an ancient West African-inspired world, this series is perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and Black Panther. It's been six months since Deka freed the goddesses in the ancient kingdom of Otera, and discovered who she really is. But war is waging across the kingdom, and the real battle has only just begun. For there is a dark force growing in Otera - a merciless power that Deka and her army must stop. Yet hidden secrets threaten to destroy everything Deka has known. And with her own gifts changing, Deka must discover if she holds the key to saving Otera or if she might be its greatest threat.
Blaze the Phoenix is the third in a series of books set in a magical world of unicorns and dragons, running parallel with a normal world of family life and friendship. It follows the adventures of Rosie and Kat as they attempt to solve the mystery of a time turning phoenix in Starfall forest. The characters and creatures are imaginatively described, though if you have not read the previous books, you need a glossary to keep up with the fast developing plot! There is somewhat of an overload of creatures, magic crystals and flutterpuffs, all introduced quite quickly and a lot to absorb. The book is beautifully illustrated by Morgan Huff. What is clever is how Lockhart writes about the magical world seamlessly with the more mundane world of school, friendship, and the village fundraiser. The two worlds appear to blend quite effortlessly. Amidst the magic and adventure, there is also a more serious message, one of friendship, loyalty and growing up. As the two girls try to solve the mystery, they are learning valuable lessons in life skills and family life. Rosie is thought of as responsible and mature by the Magical Vet team but regarded by her parents and teachers as just a child. A feeling many young people feel as they are growing up. A fun, fast paced adventure story for all those animal lovers.
Meet Luis. He's out, he's proud ... and, although he doesn't know it yet, he's about to travel back in time to save a closeted student called Chaz from a tragic end. All Luis Gonzalez really wants is to go to prom with his boyfriend. But when a hit on the head knocks him back in time to 1985, he finds himself in high school with his own parents and a whole lot of homophobia. It turns out a Christian school in the 1980s probably isn't the safest place to be a gay kid. Soon, Luis is in over his head trying to untangle the mess he's in, figure how to save Chaz ... and somehow get home to his own time. Get ready for an irresistible YA novel that puts an Own Voices twist on Back to the Future. Perfect for fans of Adam Silvera, Becky Albertalli and Casey McQuiston, this hilarious, intersectional time-slip adventure will make you laugh, cry and think.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2022 | The magic which fuels this thrilling adventure will keep readers spell bound from start to finish! Set in a far off time and in a far off land the story tells of two children, Tempest and Peter. Both have one green eye and one blue eye. Both have lost their parents. And both are in great danger because they are MagicBorn which means that the Royal Sorcerer is determined to track them down…There is much wickedness in this world which Tempest and Peter must survive but also much kindness which helps to keep them safe. And throughout it all there’s thrumming magic which means that anything can happen.
June 2022 Debut of the Month | Propa Happy sees pillars of primetime TV, Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, deliver a lively, inclusive guide to emotional health and happiness. Written with guidance from the NSPCC, and in consultation with a child psychology expert, this smartly-designed, visually engaging handbook is packed with jokes, challenges and quizzes, with activities designed to help kids find their way to happiness alongside tonnes of invaluable advice. Lending itself nicely to being used at home and in the classroom, Propa Happy kicks off in exuberant style by inviting readers to “Be PROUD to let others see how AMAZING you are!” before explaining that happiness comes from within, and means something different to us all. The first chapter focuses on the individual, and includes exercises to help readers explore who they are, and what makes them happy The book goes on to explore everything from friendship, the power of kindness, and how to be a good friend, to how to boost your mood. Practical and inspirational, with the authors’ proceeds going to the NSPCC, it’s a terrific toolkit for mindfulness and positive thinking.
One of the real treats of working in the book world is being one of the few who get to read books before they are officially published.
Uncorrected proofs, as they are termed, are the editions of the books produced in small numbers and sent to book reviewers and the book buyers of large book chains. Well through Lovereading4kids you can now get on the inside track with our ‘Exclusive Pre-publication’ genre.
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.