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Tom McLaughlin has illustrated several books for Bloomsbury, including The Cloudspotter (as read by Tom Hardy on CBeebies Bedtime Stories) and The Story Machine, which has received wonderfully positive reviews and has sparked a number of thought-provoking articles on dyslexia (which Tom understands well, being dyslexic himself). Tom loves drinking tea, eating lunch and drawing (in no particular order). He lives in Devon.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month February 2019 | A fun way of looking at prejudice that quickly makes it clear that even if someone is different to you the two of you can still be friends. Here, the Reds, who are round and eat red apples, are happy to be red. And the Yellows, who are square and eat bananas, love being yellow. How can the two groups ever get to like each other? And then there are the Blues who wear blue bow ties and are shaped like triangles and love being blue. They are different again and no one likes them at all. The arguments between the groups get sillier and sillier as they squabble over everything and make a lot of daft rules. Will they ever get to like one another? Then A Different comes along. Where will he fit in? Suddenly difference seems fine and what colour you are doesn’t seem to matter so much. Lots to think about as the expressive colour block characters work out how to live together.
October 2017 Book of the Month In a nutshell: original madcap adventure with a seasonal feel All Ben wants is for his dad to spend more time at home, surely that’s not too much to ask from Father Christmas? But when his letters are ignored, he begins to doubt Father Christmas and sets up a trap to find out if he’s real. This in turn triggers an extraordinary series of events involving a confused Santa trying to break into Buckingham Palace, a wild ride across the world’s skies, multiple UFO sightings and much, much more. McLaughlin has a brilliant line in madcap adventure but no matter how daft things get (very), his central characters always feel like real kids. This has laughs a-plenty, but a warm heart too. McLaughlin’s own illustrations add to the fun. ~ Andrea Reece
Inventive Orson builds his own planet with a cupful of rocks, a dash of water, a sprinkling of metal and a lot of nothingness. He loves his planet and is proud of all he has achieved. Orson’s planet becomes so successful that soon everything wants to live on it and Orson knows that he must let it go and find begin a new life of its own. Tom McLaughin’s story is a delightful celebration of imagination and creativity as well as a useful lesson about letting go of things that you love. ~ Julia Eccleshare
July 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: action-packed, laugh-out-loud inventor adventure Tom McLaughlin had readers in stitches with The Accidental Prime Minister and The Accidental Secret Agent, but The Accidental Billionaire is possibly his funniest yet. Jasper is a regular kid, though one given to staging ambitious, mostly (highly) unsuccessful experiments. Attempting to split the atom one afternoon, he accidentally gives his cat the power to speak. In no time at all, talking cats are the in thing with people queuing up to pay Jasper to make their cats speak too. Jasper and his nan are rich beyond their wildest dreams but there’s a price to pay: Jasper realises he’s not just made some cats talk, he’s created a feline army! Can he reverse the process before cats take over the world? A brilliantly funny what-if adventure and enormous fun. ~ Andrea Reece
Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month July 2016 Inventive Orson builds his own planet with a cupful of rocks, a dash of water, a sprinkling of metal and a lot of nothingness. He loves his planet and is proud of all he has achieved. Orson’s planet becomes so successful that soon everything wants to live on it and Orson knows that he must let it go and find begin a new life of its own. Tom McLaughin’s story is a delightful celebration of imagination and creativity as well as a useful lesson about letting go of things that you love. ~ Julia Eccleshare Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for July 2016 Melric and the Crown by David McKee The Hunting of the Snark by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Chris Riddell Up, Up and Away by Tom McLaughlin Strange Star by Emma Carroll Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell Such Stuff: A Story-Maker's Inspiration by Michael Morpurgo
Shortlisted for Best Crime Novel for Children aged 8-12, CrimeFest Gala Awards 2017 | June 2016 Book of the Month | In a Nutshell: espionage – laughs – fake moustaches. The story of a boy who accidentally becomes a secret agent, Tom McLaughlin’s new book is laugh-out-loud funny, particularly if, like its hero, you daydream of being James Bond. An ambitious money-raising stunt involving a zip-wire and an ornamental fountain brings schoolboy Kevin Twigg to the attention of Jake Pond, a diminutive spy looking to take unofficial time off. Before you can say shaken not stirred the two have swapped places, and Kevin finds himself on a dangerous mission for MI7. He might be geeky in real life, but Kevin turns out to be a surprisingly effective secret agent, managing to infiltrate a gangster party, blag his way into a bank vault and fly a helicopter before unmasking his headmaster as the arch villain. Extremely silly, but exciting too, this spy spoof is licensed to thrill! ~ Andrea ReeceReaders could go on to Anthony Horowitz’s cracking spoofs such as The Falcon’s Malteser, and they’ll also enjoy David Solomon’s award-winning My Brother is a Superhero. ~ Andrea Reece
For those who love the anarchic humour of Roald Dahl’s The Twits, this second book in The Odds series is a mucky, messy, marvellous read! The Odds are a family of Meddlers, otherwise known as Professional Pranksters and here they are faced with their greatest pranking challenge so far…an inspection by Mr Odd’s arch-enemy Mr Nobody. With the help of Dr Klampit and Granny Snott the Odds set out to out-prank the Inspector with outrageous and putrid results.
September 2012 Book of the Month. The Odd family delight in making mischief, and playing tricks on each other, or on the unsuspecting residents of the town of Trott. But they meet their match in the Plopwells - a seemingly unflappable couple whose dastardly plans make the Odds look like a bunch of goody-goodies. Can the Odds work together to defeat the fiendish pair?
Unlucky Bertie has only gone and gambled away the entire family fortune. It's the last in a long line of disasters, and nobody is going to save the Montgomery family this time. But this is no ordinary family - this is the royal family, and Bertie is the Queen's brother. So it's goodbye to the palace and hello to a little house on King Street for these royals. Who knew getting jobs and fitting in with the neighbours could be so hard? It's time to sink or swim! A hilarious Barrington Stoke debut from Tom McLaughlin, author of The Accidental Prime Minister. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+
A nine-year-old inventor is about to have her worst day ever in this laugh-a-minute mega-robot adventure! Molly should be doing her homework, but instead, she builds a robot to do it for her. The robot is pretty clever ... so clever that it decides to make another robot. Then that robot makes another one. Before long, an army of slightly-too-clever-for-their-own-good robots are running around town causing chaos. But when robot number one gets wind of Molly's plan to shut them down, the mechanical army set out to get rid of the humanoid once and for all. Now, Molly must race against time to stop the mega-robot invasion ... and hand in her homework!
Nine-year-old Billy is digging for buried treasure when he finds a wormhole in the garden! And to make matters worse, all sorts of people from the past begin to clamber through it. Now Billy - aided by his pet dog, Shakespeare - is in a race against time to close the wormhole and round up all the people who have slipped through it, before history is changed for ever! No pressure then...
Reds love being red. Yellows love being yellow. And Blues love being blue. The problem is that they just don't like each other. But one day, along comes a different colour who likes Reds, Yellows and Blues, and suddenly everything starts to change. Maybe being different doesn't mean you can't be friends ... A very special picture book that supports the adage that there is more that unites us than divides us. Along Came a Different just goes to show how much better we can all be when we come together to find common ground as friends. Every bookshelf should have a copy.
My name is Nugget. Chicken Nugget . . . It's not easy being the smallest chick in the family, but Nugget has had some good news: he's going to be a big brother! Little baby Benedict is still an egg at the moment and it's Nugget's job to look after him. What could possibly go wrong? Another cracking story from bestselling duo Michelle Robinson and Tom McLaughlin.
His real name was Franklin. But everyone called him The Cloudspotter ... Have you ever looked up at the sky to see a whole new world developing in the clouds? You have? Then you'll love this book about Franklin. There isn't a single cloud that Franklin can't spot - big ones, small ones, silly ones, sneaky pretend-they-can't-see-you ones. But when Scruffy Dog comes along, things begin to change for Franklin. How can he concentrate on cloudspotting when Scruffy is such a distraction? And what's more important - his hobby or his friend? A beautifully realised picture book, celebrating the power of the imagination and the importance of friendship, from the creator of The Story Machine.
A hilarious new picture book by Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner Peter Bently and bestselling illustrator Tom McLaughlin. Sausage dog Hal loves his trusty old blanket and takes it everywhere, even though his friends all say that it makes him look like a sausage covered in mustard. From the beach to the zoo, wherever Hal goes his blanket goes with him. Little do Hal's friends know just how useful it might turn out to be when a thunderstorm strikes and Hal manages to rescue his canine chums using that scruffy old blanket!
From Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Tom McLaughlin, the creator of The Accidental Prime Minister, comes My Alien and Me. Children will laugh out loud at this funny and touching picture book that presents humans as aliens and delivers important messages about seeing past differences.
I went out this morning, and what did I see? A white, whiskered rat, looking straight back at me! With scratchy pink claws and a pink pointy nose it was dressed in some raggedy baggy old clothes. Then suddenly, SQUEAK! It jumped over my toes! QUICK! CATCH THAT RAT! The chase to catch the cheeky little jumper-wearing rat who is the star of this story leads a little girl, her granny, the postman and some builders on a crazy race through the house, all over town, on a plane... ending up in space! It takes a bright red alien with twenty-six eyes to explain the best way to catch that rat...