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New from the creators of The Giant of Jum is another warm-hearted fairy-tale adventure brimming with joy and excitement. The Dragons of Dread are a terrible bunch, who love to snack on ‘dribblesome, nibblesome, knobble-kneed knights’. When little Dram turns four, he’s sent out alone to bite a knight, but soon runs into trouble, crash-landing in a lake. Fortunately there’s a young human there to help. Sharp-eyed readers will immediately spot that this little boy is a knight-in-training and anticipation builds for the moment these new friends realise they’re supposed to be sworn enemies. The rhyming text is great fun and lovely to read aloud. Benji Davies’s illustrations take us swooping through the air then provide close-ups of a growing friendship. This author-illustrator team give Donaldson and Scheffler a run for their money! ~ Andrea Reece
The fabulous Percy Jackson himself takes the reader back, to roughly 4,000 years ago and tells the stories of twelve Greek Heroes. This isn't about Percy, however his unique voice shines through as he tells the tales in his own audacious way. This is funny and witty and mixes modern day with ancient times in a way that shouldn't work, but oh how it does, brilliantly. The tales include Jason and the Golden Fleece, Hercules and his tasks and Otrera’s Amazons (they don't all end happily). Percy helpfully tells you how to pronounce some of the more difficult names and gives his own sage advice along the way. By the end of ‘Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes’, after the chuckles and cackles have stopped, it’s worth celebrating Rick Riordan for the magician wordsmith, and cloaked ninja of an educator that he truly is. ~ Liz Robinson Like Percy Jackson?...They'll love Fenn Halflin and Monster Hunter.
Share the joy of The Jungle Book with your young book lovers in this gentle retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s classic story of man-cub Mowgli and his friends Baloo and Bagheera. Explore the bright, colourful illustrations that accompany Mowgli’s adventures as he learns the ways of the Jungle and discovers where he truly belongs. This beautiful picture book will give your own cubs plenty to talk about and is the perfect introduction to Kipling’s original story that will continue to be shared throughout the generations.
In a tradition of stories going right back to Beowulf, referenced in the book, this is a tale of stolen treasure, trickery and courage. Aidan is struggling to keep things together at home: his mother has been sectioned and his father seems almost paralysed with despair. It falls to Aidan to deliver the sacks of mail his postman father is hiding in their garden shed. So when thieves steal his bike Aidan has to go after them. It’s here that magic – old magic – intrudes into the contemporary setting. There are no portals suddenly opening, it’s not the sort of magic to bring special powers; hard to define, harder to pin down – ‘a sort of stillness that moved’ says Aidan – human lives are of no consequence to it and if Aidan emerges a hero it’s due to his own strengths. Gripping, compulsive reading, an exceptional book. Authors Sara Crowe (Bone Jack), Rupert Wallis (All Sorts of Possible) and Natasha Carthew (The Light that Gets Lost) all understand old magic and have written similarly powerful and enthralling stories. ~ Andrea Reece
The Double Axe is the first instalment in Philip Womack's Blood and Fire series, which reimagines classical myths from the point of view of teenage protagonists. It's a thrilling tale of adventure, and an opportunity for young readers to engage with and learn more about classical mythology. Dark forces are at work in the House of the Double Axe. Stephan, the thirteen-year-old son of King Minos of Crete, stumbles across a terrifying conspiracy. Is the Minotaur, a half man half bull who eats human flesh, real? Or is something even more dangerous threatening to engulf both the palace and the world? Stephan must race to save his family from a terrible fate and find out what really lurks inside the labyrinth...You think you know the story? Think again.
Five well-known fairy tales retold for young children and presented in a boxed set: 'Little Red Riding Hood', 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs', 'Puss in Boots', 'Jack and the Beanstalk' and 'Cinderella'. Each book is designed and illustrated in a traditional style, bound as a cloth-covered hardback and finished with a ribbon page marker.
Marcia Williams’s charming retellings of Shakespeare’s best-loved plays are made even more accessible and entertaining by her own distinctive and detailed illustrations. She features fourteen of the plays, a mix of comedy, tragedy and history, telling them with wit and insight, and often using direct quotation. Each page features three or more colour illustrations of characters and scenes, and even, for the introduction, the audience. Jewel-bright there are dramatic scenes - Hamlet confronting the ghost of his father for example, or the shipwreck that strands Viola and Sebastian at the beginning of Twelfth Night – as well as close-ups on characters, both heroes and attendant lords. It all makes this one of the most inviting and attractive introductions to Shakespeare’s plays for young children. ~ Andrea Reece
Who hasn’t wondered what it would be like to be an animal? No wonder that shape-shifter stories are so fascinating to us, or that they feature in so many different cultures. Storyteller Lari Don has gathered together a spellbinding collection of shape-shifter tales from across the globe, and retold them with wonderful brevity and zest, making this perfect both for dipping into, and a collection that readers will want to return to again and again. In the same voice she’s included notes on the different stories, and why in particular they caught her imagination, and these add to the appeal. A collection as good and well-told as this will bring out the storyteller in everyone! ~ Andrea Reece
One of our Books of the Year 2015 Discover eleven wonderful tales in this, ‘An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Mythical Creatures’. The combination of author Theresa Breslin and illustrator Kate Leiper works beautifully. As an avid collector of fantastical treasuries, I have to admit to an immediate Gollum-esque grab, the moment this appeared on my desk. The gorgeous cover is of the Island Beast, the star of one of the tales, however most of the illustrations aren't quite as menacing as this particular creature. The illustrations reach out to you, with hidden glimpses of creatures as well as the obvious, make sure you don't slide over them as you read, as I loved the “ahah’ moment of the landscape in the Nessie tale. This book is an absolute treat for children as it’s not too frightening. Actually it’s a treat for any age, whether you are new to some of these tales, (as I was), or have grown up with story of the Nuckalavee or the Wulver, it’s quite simply fabulous. ~ Liz Robinson
July 2015 Book of the Month From the remarkable imaginations of bestselling authors Cassandra Clare and Holly Black comes a heart-stopping, mind-blowing, pulse-pounding plunge into the magical unknown. Magisterium has already been optioned for film and fans of Philip Pullman, Rick Riordan and JK Rowling will devour this in a sitting as will existing fans of Holly Black's Spiderwick and Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments sequence. The Iron Trial is the first in a planned series.
Percy Jackson, hero and demi-god, is the best guide you could have to the Greek gods and goddesses. As he is half-god - his father is Poseidon - and half-mortal – he is also a schoolboy in Manhattan - Percy is perfectly placed to give the inside stories! Percy’s account of the lives of the gods is chatty and informal. They are near to humans as you’ll ever find them – but they still have some awesome powers! A fun and fantastic introduction to an extraordinary world. ~ Julia Eccleshare Like Percy Jackson?...They'll love Fenn Halflin and Monster Hunter.
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