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Yanka is that much-loved staple of the fairy tale: an orphan. She’s grown up with her foster-mother Mamochka who found her in the wild as a baby, and mostly feels at home and happy in their village, though she’s conscious that she’s much bigger and stronger than the other children. All that changes after an accident when Yanka wakes up to find she has the legs of a bear. She also has, less alarmingly, the ability to understand animals, including her pet weasel the charismatic Mousetrap. Remembering a story about a family turned into bears, she sets off with Mousetrap to find out who she really is. Yanka’s adventures are full of danger, enchantment and stories within stories. Perhaps best of all is her meeting with the extraordinary House with Chicken Legs, which becomes a friend and helps in her quest. Like the best fairy stories, her tale takes readers into a fantastical world while at the same time telling them truths about the characters and themselves, in this case the importance of love, loyalty and learning to accept who you are. It’s beautifully told, feels both original and traditional, and sparkles with its magic. One to recommend to fans of Catherine Doyle’s equally magical and captivating Storm Keeper books.
Interest Age 9-12 Reading Age 7+. The boy wizard, learning his destiny in this exciting story, is none other than Merlin, the most powerful wizard in the history of England...and the man behind the success of the legendary King Arthur. Tony Bradman weaves a spell binding story of power and magic mingled in a mythical past filled with dragons, danger and destiny. Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
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
Longlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | February 2017 Debut of the Month Oh my goodness, this is a rollicking good debut from Maz Evans. Who Let The Gods Out is a super, funny adventure story that will have kids reading long past their bedtime. Poor Elliot is having a very tough time. His mum is poorly, they have serious money problems, a devilishly devious interfering neighbour and school is quite simply a complete nightmare! So the last thing Elliot needs is for a conceited constellation to crash land smack, bang in the middle of his cow shed. Suddenly feisty, fearless Virgo enters his life with ‘a damp, loud splat.’ Together they manage to set free a dangerous and incredibly evil Daemon of Death and before long it is down to Elliot to save the world. As if he didn’t have enough on his plate! This book is laugh out loud hilarious and I just adored each and every character. Elliot is brave and good hearted and going through such a hard time. The Gods were hilarious and I love how Maz has made them so quirky, fallible and bang up to date. There is also a rather special appearance from her Majesty the Queen that was quite simply magnificent. Who Let The Gods Out is the first in a four part series and I for one am very excited to see what happens next for Elliot and his new friends. ~ Shelley Fallows A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher ‘What I like about the classical gods is that they are so true to life. Wild, naughty, emotional and unpredictable, they carry on a bit like us humans – but with superpowers! Of course, in this story our hero Elliot has some serious real life problems to deal with too, and so Maz Evans takes us on a funny yet thoughtful romp. Hold on to your pants because you are likely to lose everything else!’
Book and CD. Exquisite and fascinating illustrations beautifully capture the hopeful mood of this story about the power of dreaming. Living in a miserable grey world, an old man repeatedly dreams of colour and growth. Gradually his world begins to full up with colour, change and therefore hope. Why this book is the choice of Simon Bartram, September 2010 Guest Editor: "In this wonderfully illustrated picture book an old man lives in the dark, grim middle of nowhere. He dreams of being surrounded by a beautiful forest and so, using bits and bobs of old scrap and rubbish, he begins to construct a makeshift tin forest of his very own. It isn't perfect but it's his. Then one day a small bird flies in and lands on one of the tin trees. This triggers a magical transformation of his world as his dreams slowly come true. This is a book in which the words and pictures compliment each other perfectly. Wayne Anderson's detailed illustrations jump off the page and the more you look, the more you see. Fantastic!"
First Reading: Level One. This is a wonderful retelling of an old folk tale. Titles within this first level are designed to be the first real books a beginner reader will tackle and are designed to foster a lasting enthusiasm for books and reading. They are 32 pages in length, comprising the main story (up to 150 words), from classic tales to folk tales, delightful illustrations and 6 pages of fun, reading-related puzzles. Will be enjoyed with equal enthusiasm if read alone or together with a parent.Other First Reading Level 1 titles include The Fox and The Stork, The Sun and the Wind and the Fox and The Crow.
Magic and love propel this engaging revision of a familiar story. After the curse of what will happen if she pricks her finger has befallen their eldest daughter, the king and queen protect their second daughter with the gift of no magic. But little do they know how lucky it is that they do! When Sleeping Beauty falls asleep for 100 years, the whole castle falls asleep too. All except Princess Annabelle, the Wide Awake princess who finds a way of freeing the castle from its spell – and of finding true love for herself! A deliciously frothy story richly woven around a familiar theme.
A delightfully entertaining story from the hugely popular write, comedian and broadcaster, Sandi Toksvig about a little girl and a trainee tooth fairy who just might take more than just your tooth when she pays a visit. Full of humour, it's perfect bedtime reading anytime but certainly when that first tooth is getting wobbly. You can't fail to laugh out loud when reading this book.
Perfect for reading aloud and sharing with children, these Early Reader chapter books are punctuated by catchy rhymes and speech bubbles, and with their bright, funny pictures and lively design they are hugely appealing. They’re perfect for children from 5-7. Others in the series include The Three Little Princesses and The Three Little Pirates among others. There are lots of Early Reader titles to choose from that are great for sharing with your youngsters and for kids just starting out on the reading journey to read alone. Check out the extracts on the site as some of the titles are slightly more advanced than others - for example the Francesca Simon animal story titles set at Potters Barn are great to get started on whereas the Sally Gardner, Georgie Adams and Vivian French titles have a bit more text to each page. Each and every one of them though has full colour illustrations on every page.
A Christmas wish on St Nicholas’s Day brings excitement to a family in the thirteen days of Christmas that follow soon after. When a father wishes for a husband for his daughter he little knows what an exciting reaction he will set in train. Annaple keeps house for her father and her brothers and sisters and she does it well – except that she can’t cook! Annaple has a suitor and dreams of romance so how can her siblings persuade her suitor Francis to propose and carry her off? Luckily, Christmas – or her father’s Christmas wish – seems to bring exactly what is wanted. On each of the twelve days of Christmas, starting with a partridge in a pear tree, Francis brings the appropriate gift. And what will happen on the thirteenth day? A beautiful story with a strong and convincing historical setting.
This powerful and chilling Hans Christian Andersen story is retold in a clear style and with a carefully chosen accelerated vocabulary to make it suitable for newly confident readers. Set out in a beautifully produced book, it has been divided into chapters through which the classic story of how Gerda sets out to rescue her brother Kay from the grip of the wicked Snow Queen unfolds.
In a nutshell: Immerse yourself in brilliantly described medieval adventure | In 100 short, beautifully written chapters Kevin Crossley-Holland tells the story of young page Arthur de Caldicott, interspersing descriptions of Arthur’s life in his father’s manor house, its domestic and family dramas, with stories from the saga of the legendary King Arthur. There are parallels between the lives of these two Arthurs, each has a friend in the mysterious Merlin, both are truly chivalrous, keen to do the right thing for those around them. The story-telling is superb, characters, landscape, history brought equally vividly to life, and this is spellbinding fiction. The first in a trilogy this is highly recommended for readers of all ages. King Arthur provides the inspiration for Philip Reeve’s book Here Lies Arthur, also full of action, adventure but much more than a ripping yarn, while Philip Womack’s Darkening Path series is likewise inspired by T H White’s classic The Sword in the Stone. ~ Andrea Reece **** Charlie Hunnam stars in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, directed by Guy Ritchie - in cinemas May 12, 2017.
Exquisitely gorgeous illustrations accompany a well known fairy tale with a difference, an edge. Tiny Owl Publishing have a series of books called ‘One Story, Many Voices’, where authors and illustrators explore well known fairy tales from different perspectives. Here, the Twelve Dancing Princesses from the Brothers Grimm are transformed into The Secret of the Tattered Shoes by Jackie Morris. I opened the package containing the book and exclaimed in delight. The illustrations by Ehsan Abdollahi carry the story perfectly, the gold glistens, the pears call to be picked, the background as stunning as the puppet-like characters. The story by award-winning Jackie Morris sits boldly on the page, simple, evocative, familiar yet different. The love that Jackie Morris holds for nature shines through, while the ending made me smile, it suits, it feels, well, just so right. The Secret of the Tattered Shoes conjures the traditional fairy tale yet awakens new feelings and thoughts. I absolutely adored this rich and vibrant tale, both for the new interpretation, and the illustrations which adorn it.