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Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month
Each month Julia Eccleshare, a leading authority in children's literature, chooses a small selection of her favourites from the month. They will be generally new releases but occasionally she may select a new edition of a firm favourite and we will list them here. All are highly recommended with Julia's seal of approval.
A crumbling stone soldier sits on a bench in the park. Only Owen understands how important he is. At home, Owen and his mum are struggling and there's nobody he can talk to. Hidden away in the park, Owen feels free to be himself. When the war-weary soldier is listening, his worries slip away. But nobody else cares about the soldier, and the town council want to tear him down. Owen's the only one who can save him but can he find the courage to speak up before it's too late? A touching story of loss and remembrance from Lisa Thompson, the award-winning author of The Goldfish Boy. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+
Join this small guinea pig on his very BIG adventures in a brand-new illustrated fiction series from author and illustrator Ali Pye A sweet, funny book that really made me want to eat dandelions - Holly Webb Meet Harry Stevenson. He doesn't live in a castle, or a witch's cottage, or anywhere exciting like that. His home is in a flat with seven-year-old Billy and his mum and dad. And at first glance, Harry doesn't seem any different from your average guinea pig. He has ginger fur and sparkly black eyes and likes nothing more than snacking on a piece of broccoli. But don't be fooled! Harry may just want to sleep and eat (and then eat some more) but somehow he always manages to get swept up in adventures: whether it's surfing the Pacific on a picnic plate or accidentally attaching himself to a helium balloon.
Hilarious, touching and thought-provoking, Hoot is a modern classic, now celebrating its fifteenth anniversary. Winner of the Newbery Honor award and a New York Times bestseller, Carl Hiaasen's first novel celebrates the natural world with his trademark wit and warmth. Roy Eberhardt never wanted to move to Florida. In his opinion, Disney World is an armpit. Roy's family moves around a lot so he's used to the new-kid drill - he's also used to bullies like Dana Matherson. And anyway, it's because of Dana that Roy gets to see the mysterious running boy who runs away from the school bus and who has no books, no backpack and, most bizarrely, no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy starts to trail the mystery runner - a chase that will introduce him to many weird Floridian creatures: potty-trained alligators, cute burrowing owls, a fake-fart champion, a shoeless eco-warrior, a sinister pancake PR man, new friends and some snakes with sparkly tails. As the plot thickens, Roy and his friends realise it's up to them to save the endangered owls from the evil Mother Paula's pancake company who are planning to build a new restaurant on their home . . .
Daisy's hero is Florence Nightingale, and she hopes to one day become a nurse just like her. But as a girl growing up in the East End of London in 1912, it seems like all her future holds is dropping out of school to work a tough job in a factory for very little money. Then Daisy meets the suffragettes, who are fighting for the rights of women and the poor. They show her that she might be able to achieve her dreams after all. But being a suffragette is dangerous, and Daisy must risk getting in trouble with her dad, neighbours and even the police if she wants to do her bit. Perfect for fans of Opal Plumstead and Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
Betty and Maud are the best of friends, and so surely their stuffed toys are too! But despite what Betty and Maud might think, Duck and Penguin are definitely NOT friends. They do not want to swing together, they do not want to cook together, and they certainly DO NOT want to play baby dolls together... A side-splitting insight into the secret world of toys, from former Dreamworks animator and illustrator Julia Woolf.
Cyril and Pat is a very funny, rhyming romp through the park from the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Emily Gravett, author of Tidy and Meerkat Mail. 'Enormous fun to read aloud.' - Guardian Cyril is the only squirrel in Lake Park, and he's very lonely. Until one day he meets Pat - Pat the big, grey . . . other squirrel. Cyril and Pat have lots of adventures and fun together and Cyril is so pleased he's made a friend. But everyone says that Cyril and Pat simply cannot be friends, and they soon reveal why: Pat, as the reader has known all along, is actually a RAT! But Cyril's life turns out to be a lot duller and quite a bit scarier without Pat by his side, and in the end the two friends learn that some things are more important than being the same, or listening to others.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2019 | A witty and clever story about a little mouse with very big ideas - she believes she is a tiger! She manages to convince a raccoon, a fox, a snake and a bird that she is a tiger, and that they are not what they think they are! But when a real tiger turns up, can the persuasive little rodent manage to persuade the tiger that he is a mouse!
May 2019 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2019 | Join these two unlikely heroes on the most amazing of adventures and discover the impact of hundreds of men and women that helped Hillary and Tenzing achieve their goal. But triumphs can be marred with tragedy as not everyone who climbs Everest survives ... In the late morning of May 29th 1953, the sun was shining brightly on the roof of the world, a gentle breeze was blowing and two men were there to witness it for the first time ever ... Their names were Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and the roof of the world was Everest. This is the breathtaking story of how two very different yet equally determined men battled frost-biting temperatures, tumbling ice rocks, powerful winds and death-defying ridges to climb the world's highest mountain. With a beautiful foreword by the greatest living explorer of our time, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, this brilliant book combines fresh and contemporary illustrations by Joe Todd-Stanton with Alexandra Stewart's captivating writing and publishes in time to celebrate the centenary of Edmund Hillary's birth. This unique narrative tells the story of how Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay made their mark on the world from birth right up to their final days and the impact they've had on Nepal today.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month May 2019 | The wolf star, brightest of all in the summer sky, shines over my home ground. I know every hidden lake and rocky ridge, but if my pack is not in the mountains, then it is no home to me. I feel a howl deep inside, but dare not let it out. Swift lives with his pack in the mountains, until one day his home and family are lost. Alone and starving, Swift must make a choice: stay and try to eke out a desperate life on the borders of his old hunting grounds, or strike out and find a new place to call home. The journey Swift must go on is long and full of peril for a lone wolf, and he'll need to take every chance he can. Will he find the courage to survive all by himself? Inspired by a true story, A Wolf Called Wander is about family, courage and survival. With beautiful illustrations from artist Monica Armino and an extra factual section about wolves and their environment, this book is perfect for animal lovers.
April 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | The inspiring story of Mary Anning who, born at the end of the eighteenth century, fought against all the odds to become a pioneering scientist and fossil hunter. Inspired by her father who took her out on fossil hunting expeditions on the cliffs and beaches around Lyme Regis, Mary was fascinated by the beauty of the finds and by what they said about the past. Her exceptional curiosity was matched by incredible courage which led her to take dare-devil risks as she searched for rare examples. She also knew their worth and was never shy in selling them well to the many visitors to the area who came to wonder. Anthea Simmons tells Mary’s story as an exciting adventure and also as a rousing story of what an intelligent and brave woman can do.
April 2019 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | Take an inspiring journey into sixteen very special and important landscapes each of which is brought to life in glorious large-scale illustrations. These set the scene for amazing dramas of nature that are taking place within them. From tropical rainforest to scorching deserts, these protected environments are home to rare and beautiful animals and plants which are shown here in glorious illustrations that display their finest details. While the illustrations will draw the readers in, there is also a wealth of information included in the fact file at the end making this a book that is full of value as well as beauty.
Julia Eccleshare has spent her working life to date within children’s books as a critic, an editor, an author and a commentator. Apart from her current role with Lovereading4kids as Editor-at-Large and as one of our editorial expert reviewers, she is the children’s editor of the Guardian and Head of Policy at the Public Lending Right.
She has co-edited and is the author of a number of books including the Rough Guide to Teenage Literature, the fascinating and insightful Beatrix Potter to Harry Potter: Portraits of Children’s Writers, which is a celebration of a century of children’s literature, as well as Treasure Islands: the Woman’s Hour Guide to Children’s Books. She also spent some considerable time as a children’s fiction editor in UK publishing.
She has been a selector to the Children’s Books of the Year, a guide to the best books published annually, a member of the advisory board of a children’s book club and for some while was children’s books editor of The Bookseller. In addition, she regularly appears as a judge or Chair of judges on some of the major children’s book prizes.
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