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A World Book Day Illustrator 2019
Jason Cockcroft was born in New Zealand, and raised in Leeds, West Yorkshire. He graduated from Falmouth School of Art in 1994 and has been working as an illustrator of children/s books ever since. Jason has been nominated for the Kate Greenaway award and he won the inaugural Blue Peter Book Award in 2000 for his work on Geraldine McCaughrean’s A Pilgrim's Progress and was the illustrator on the original covers of the final three Harry Potter novels. He is also an accomplished watercolour artist and portrait painter. When he's not drawing and painting, he's usually drinking tea and staring out of the window at nothing in particular. He's very happy to live in a beautiful city that sounds like church bells, smells like chocolate and is invaded by Vikings all year round.
Once every one hundred years, the mermaids of the Hidden Lagoon and the witches of Sinkville get together for a party! The Top Witch greets the Mermaid Queen, who is wheeled through the streets of Sinkville in a bathtub. Mermaids Beattie, Mimi and Zelda can't wait to meet a real witch, but when Tiga is unexpectedly sucked down the plughole into the Hidden Lagoon before the celebrations even start, things start to go magically, marvellously, megalodon-sharkally WRONG. Sibeal Pounder brings together the characters from her brilliant, bonkers, bestselling Bad Mermaids and Witch Wars series for a once-in-a-lifetime World Book Day adventure.
June 2017 Book of the Month Sibéal Pounder has won herself a band of dedicated young followers for her series Witch Wars, a mix of junior witch adventures, magic and fashion, and they’ll find just as much to like in her brand new Bad Mermaids. This takes readers under the sea in the company of three of young mermaids, Beattie, Mimi and Zelda. They are enjoying life on land when they are suddenly summoned back home only to discover that Lagoon Queen Arabella Cod has been fishnapped, and a strange new queen, called The Swan, has taken her place. The adventure that follows bubbles with fun from start to finish; three funnier, feistier or more fashion-conscious friends would be hard to find, fishtails or not, and their story is told with huge amounts of flair. ~ Andrea Reece For more stylish reading for this age group see Chris Riddell’s Ottoline series.
Stevie is having an unhappy break with his father and his father's girlfriend. In a rage he storms off and eventually finds himself at dusk in a quiet courtyard where a strange old man is washing in an old well. Repulsed by the figure, Stevie nonetheless takes the broken bell the man leaves behind. but that night he wakes to find ghostly figures in his room. They too are disfigured like the old man and Stevie finds himself drawn into their medieval world. Outcasts, excluded from the town, they tell Stevie that the old man, their grandfather, is bent on risking everything to enter the town one last time. Stevie joins in following the old man to try to protect him from the pitiless mob of townsfolk. In a dramatic climax Stevie faces the fury of the crowd and in doing so begins to understand what it is to be an object of hate. This deeply felt story is a gripping read, powerfully told and illustrated by a leading author and illustrator. Sure to appeal to all readers of 11 - 14, its relatively short text broken into digestible chapters and high level of illustration make it accessible to less able and reluctant readers as well.
In a fast-moving plot, 14-year-old Will terrifyingly experiences a voice from the past when visiting the Norman remains of Totnes Castle in Devon. He comes to realise that a boy took revenge on the Normans for the murder of his father and was himself killed in 1067 when local Saxons were brutally enslaved to build the Castle. But the boy's spirit cannot rest until the knife he used is returned to the River Dart to complete Saxon tradition. Will breaks into the castle at night to dig up the knife, but then the nightmare begins as he relives his Saxon forebear's horrific ordeal. A gripping story with sympathetic characters. Part of a unique range of books aimed at 11+s that through integration of text and illustration are also accessible to those with reading abilities of as young as 8. Produced in consultation with literacy consultant Wendy Cooling,
Award-winning children's author James Riordan boldly retells this story from Greek mythology, introducing readers to the first great European hero to undertake a grand journey. Accompanied by some of ancient Greece's bravest heroes, Jason leads an expedition to retrieve the Golden Fleece, the property of a king in a far-off land. Traveling by sea, they encounter trial after trial along their route - shrieking Harpies, deadly clashing rocks, and fierce Amazon warrior women - and yet more challenges await them at their destination. For before he will give up the fleece, the king devises a test for Jason that will certainly be the death of him - unless the king's daughter, Medea, agrees out of love for Jason to lend him her magical powers. This is a classic tale of high adventure that holds appeal for boys and girls alike.
Blue Rabbit slept in a very big bed with a very big pillow. But Blue Rabbit didn't feel lost in his very big bed because every night he had his Boy to cuddle. Blue Rabbit loves his Boy, and his Boy loves him! But one day Boy disappears and Blue Rabbit spends all of his time looking for Boy everywhere. His friends help him, but Boy is nowhere to be found. Gradually Blue Rabbit's eyes lose their sparkle, and his whiskers droop. Where on earth can Boy be? But finally Boy appears - sunburnt and happy, and the two friends are reunited.
A wonderful retelling of the story of Odysseus, from Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Jason Cockcroft. Geraldine McCaughrean is one of the most highly-acclaimed living children's writers, and is particularly renowned for her masterly retellings of traditional tales. She is the winner of the Carnegie Medal, Guardian Children's Fiction Award, Whitbread Award (twice) and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. This book is perfect for fans of adult authors such as Mary Renault, or for readers of Adele Geras's Troy .
'I had a dream last night... large enough to fill the rest of my life.' This retelling of John Bunyan's classic story is filled with drama, excitement and adventure. On his journey of a life-time to the City of Gold, Christian meets an extraordinary cast of characters, such as the terrible Giant Despair and the monster Apollyon. Together with Hopeful, his steadfast companion, he survives the snipers and mantraps, the Great Bog, Vanity Fair, Lucre Hill and Castle Doubting. But will he find the courage to cross the final river to the City of Gold and his salvation?
A brilliant collection of three short stories from a master story-teller, who will keep you turning the pages until the very end. The chilling title story tells of a young apprentice who makes a pact with a strange old man one New Year's Eve to rid the world of Mr Corbett, his cruel employer. Sure enough Mr Corbett meets an untimely death, but the tables turn on the terrified apprentice who finds himself cursed with the ghost of the man he hated most in the world...
A book about real dilemmas that children face every day - full of warmth and by an award-winning author. It's crazy, starting at a new school. For days you feel so new and lost it's as if you've wandered into a foreign country where you can't speak the language. This haunting story about Rafaella, the new girl at school who finds making friends hard, is a stunning piece of writing. With her strange name and sticking out ears she's different from the rest. Lucy is the first to tease, the first to call her 'Earwig'. Until a secret friendship starts, full of warmth and mystery. Beautifully illustrated throughout by Jason Cockcroft, this is a modern classic by the winner of the Children's Book Award. 'A humane and honest story. It conveys so much, so simply and so well.' The Scotsman '... a fine weepy with a moral, about the dangers of playground cliquishness and cruelty.' The Sunday Times
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