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In a nutshell: inventive | readable | hilarious | This collection of 14 rip-roaringly funny stories is a great way to introduce children to Terry Pratchett – indeed, each story is just the right length for bedtime reading – but will have appeal to his existing fans too or, as he wrote in the introduction, to anyone with an imagination. The stories were written when he was a young man working as a junior reporter on a local paper, but the hallmarks of the style that make him one of the most-enjoyed authors of our times are already clear, notably sublimely fantastic and funny set ups, that familiar author voice commenting via footnotes, and some canny, underplayed moral commentary. Highlights include an unusual afternoon in Blackbury, and repeat visits to the town of Llandanffwnfafegettupagogo! Illustrations by Mark Beech capture the silliness and fun. ~ Andrea Reece
August 2016 Book of the Month This powerful collection of stories commissioned by Amnesty International features contributions from a stellar line up of authors, including Sarah Crossan, Matt Haig, Frances Hardinge, Kevin Brooks and Neil Gaiman. Human rights abuses of many different kinds provide the starting point for the stories, but despite the discrimination and cruelty described, the tone is mostly one of hope. These are stories that will do more than make readers think, they will make them recognise and acknowledge the responsibility we all share to stand up for human rights, and may even prompt readers to take action, whether locally or for a global issue. A book that speaks directly to us all, and one that has a real power to inspire. ~ Andrea Reece
If there’s any likelihood of rainy days on your holiday, be sure to pack a copy of this sparkling collection of stories written by some of our wittiest and most inventive authors, as it’s certain to brighten the mood until the sun is shining again. There are eight different stories by stars including David Solomons, Joanna Nadin, Jonathan Meres and Steve Cole. Subjects are varied and while each story is funny, they’re differently funny – you’ll find sitcom, comedy of manners, the absurd, farce and a bit of black humour too – and each one is good enough to stand repeated reading. Summer holidays were made for books like this! ~ Andrea Reece
Internationally acclaimed storyteller Bob Hartman brings us a captivating compilation of his best-loved collections of classic stories from around the world. The stories he has chosen are ones that he hopes will encourage children to be more kind, gentle and compassionate. This is a book to celebrate the wonder and magic of storytelling and will provide you with a wealth of short stories to pick and choose for story time morning, noon and night. There is also a section at the back with some helpful tips and advice on sharing stories with crowds. Each story is accompanied by bright, colourful illustrations and this book is sure to be returned to again and again and again.
In a Nutshell: Summer love | Short stories | Poolside pick-me-up Perfect for dipping into between dips in the pool, this varied seasonal anthology features twelve scorching stories by twelve top YA authors. Following last Christmas’s My True Love Gave to Me collection, this is a stunning summer-themed showcase of the dazzling breadth of current YA authors, including Cassandra Clare, Leigh Bardugo and Veronica Roth. Personal favourites include the beautifully bittersweet trapped-in-time tearjerker, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (Lev Grossman), and the satisfyingly sardonic Love is the Last Resort (Jon Skovron), but the joy of this collection is its variety. It’s a fabulous feast of mix-and-pick treats, from soft-centered romance, to hardboiled thrillers. And the pretty package - a chunky sky-blue hardback resplendent with sunburst yellow edges and pink silk bookmark – makes it an ideal end-of-exam gift to chill-out with. ~ Joanne Owen
Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month June 2016 Ten wickedly funny and wonderfully surreal stories of truly terrible children show best-selling David Walliams’s amazing gift for spinning entertaining stories. Contained in a handsome edition and illustrated in colour throughout by Tony Ross, the worst children who are featured include Dribbling Drew, Peter Picker, Miss Petula Perpetual-Motion, Grubby Gertrude and Nigel Nit-Boy. Each child has an obvious revolting characteristic and each of their stories is hugely disgusting, richly inventive and cheeringly anarchic. Walliams has created a unique take on the classic cautionary tale. ~ Julia Eccleshare A message from David - “I loved writing this collection of stories, as I let my imagination run completely wild. There is a huge emphasis on surreal humour in this book. I hope children around the world will enjoy it, even the most reluctant reader.” A Piece of Passion from Ann-Janine Murtagh, HarperCollins Children’s Books Executive Publisher, “Children love surprises, and what a brilliant surprise to have a new and unexpected book from their hero: author David Walliams! A wonderfully Walliams twist on the classic cautionary tale, this is David’s very first short story collection and demonstrates just what a genius storyteller he is, with every story fizzing with the power of his unique and incredible imagination. And, for the first time, we will publish Walliams’ fiction in glorious colour with illustrations blazing throughout by Tony Ross. These stories are a joy and will have children everywhere reading all summer long. Only David Walliams could deliver such a wonderful book as such a terrific surprise.” Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for June 2016 The World's Worst Children by David Walliams Seacrow Island by Astrid Lindgren The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively Street Child by Berlie Doherty Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero by Francesca Armour-Chelu The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster
Twelve mysteries. Twelve authors. One challenge: can YOU solve the crimes before the heroes of the stories? These are twelve brand-new short stories from twelve of the best children's crime writers writing today. These creepy, hilarious, brain-boggling, heart-pounding mysteries feature daring, brilliant young detectives, and this anthology is a must for fans of crime fiction and detection, especially the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries, The Roman Mysteries and The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow.
An anthology of dark, powerful and moving short stories from master storyteller and author of the internationally award-winning Skellig, David Almond, inspired by his childhood in the North-East of England. It features coming of age stories on the theme of closeness to home, deftly interwoven with illuminating autobiographical pieces on the inspirations behind the fiction. It is a beautifully produced jacketed hardback edition with black and white vignette illustrations. David Almond says of this unique collection, “Stories on the page are so beautifully neat. All that lovely black print; those lovely straight lines and paragraphs and pages. But stories are living things, creatures that move and grow in the imaginations of writer and reader. They must be solid and touchable, like the land, and must have fluid half-known depths, like the sea. These stories take place in a real world – but in fiction, real worlds merge with dreamed worlds. Real people walk with ghosts and figments. Earthly truth goes hand-in-hand with watery lies.”
Reading the three stories in this excellent collection reminds one again of what an extremely fine author Eva Ibbotson was, how beautifully she wrote, and how bold she was in her storytelling. All three stories are set in Vienna, where Ibbotson grew up, as preparations for Christmas take place. Christmas in Vienna sounds wonderful, but these preparations are not without tension and even trauma for the principal characters involved. Fortunately, each Christmas, when it finally arrives, is happy and joyful, if in a totally unexpected way. Vicky, whose story comes first, is described as one ‘in whom the flame of imagination burnt with an almost dangerous brightness’ and the same can surely be said of Eva Ibbotson. Funny, surprising, and serious too, these are very special stories indeed. ~ Andrea Reece
Contributors include: Eoin Colfer, Roddy Doyle, Derek Landy, Siobhan Parkinson, Paula Leyden, John Connolly, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick, Oisin McGann, Jane Mitchell, Sarah Webb, Jim Sheridan, Enda Wyley, Pat Boran, Seamus Cashman, Mark Granier, Geraldine Mills and Kate Newmann.
There’s a wonderfully varied set of stories in this jolly-looking collection, by some of our very best authors for children. Pirates make an appearance in Adele Geras’s contribution, while a boy has an unusual and rather magical encounter with Father Christmas in Malorie Blackman’s story. Also included is a favourite Just William episode by Richmal Crompton in which William is forced to celebrate with one of his worst enemies, but triumphs over the boy in spectacular fashion! There’s also a typically fine cat story by the master of the genre Robert Westall, and more treats from Julia Donaldson, Philip Ardagh, Rumer Godden and others - indeed, storytelling this good is for life, not just for Christmas! ~ Andrea Reece
This a lovely hardback with ten of Shakespeare's more well known plays retold especially for younger children to enjoy. Each page is illustrated in Usborne's trademark style, with Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and Midsummer Night's Dream all brought to life in fun and lively drawings with extra things to spot on every page.
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