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'Characterful, page-turning drama and a vivid mixture of research and imagination' - The Sunday Times A gripping tale of a group of larger-than-life con artists who roam the streets of eighteenth-century London. Cato Hopkins is the youngest member of Mother Hopkins's 'family' - a group of skilled fraudsters and pickpockets. There's Addy, who can become a very convincing boy when she needs to; the beautiful Bella, who can charm any rich young man out of his fortune; Sam, an escaped slave and Cato himself, a young boy, who Mother Hopkins has taught everything she knows. But old age is slowing Mother Hopkins down, and she wants to carry out one last con, a con to outdo all the cons that have gone before. And so the gang set about bringing ruin upon Captain Walker, a proud and cruel slave captain, who deserves to be taught a lesson or two .
Soar into this modern Japanese classic about a young witch and her clever cat with this new translation by Emily Balistrieri which will delight fans of the beloved Studio Ghibli animated movie as well as new readers. 'A magical, joyous read, brought to life by the most beautiful illustrations' - Harriet Muncaster, author of Isadora Moon 'A charming and beautifully written story' - Laura Ellen Anderson, author of Amelia Fang Kiki is a trainee witch. On her thirteenth birthday she must follow tradition and leave home to find a new village. She knows she has to use only her powers to make a living, but Kiki's no good at potions or spells...can she use her flying abilities to make her own way in the world? She sets out with her beloved black cat Jiji on an exciting journey, making new friends along the way.
A perfect companion to Ballet Shoes, Circus Shoes, Theatre Shoes and Tennis Shoes, this family war-time story was first published in 1946, reissued now in A Puffin Book. There's great excitement when an unexpected parcel arrives for Selina. A beautiful long evening-dress and shiny satin party shoes - the best present a girl could ever wish for! She can hardly wait for a special occasion to wear them, but there's still a war on and all the grown-ups are far too busy to arrange a party. So Selina and her cousins decide to organize a pageant with acting, singing, dancing and dressing-up. Will Selina find the perfect role in which to put on her amazing new clothes?
A beautiful jacketed hardback with a lovely new introduction and extra material by the author to celebrate the 40th anniversary of bestselling GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM. Young Willie Beech is evacuated to the countryside as Britain stands on the brink of the Second World War. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley - but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London. 'Everyone's idea of a smash-hit first novel: full-blown characters to love and hate, moments of grief and joy, and a marvellous story that knows just how to grab the emotions' - Guardian
Inspired by Hugh Lofting's classic tales of Doctor Dolittle, his son Christopher Lofting has updated his father's story for today's readers- still with all the charm of the original. Nine-and-a-half year old Tommy Stubbins is about to go on an adventure of a lifetime! Being assistant to the genius (and eccentric) Doctor Dolittle means no day is quite the same, especially when they set sail on the high seas. After a hair-raising shipwreck lands them on the floating Spidermonkey Island, they meet the mysterious Great Glass Sea Snail who could change their lives forever... The new movie Dolittle is coming February 2020, starring Robert Downey Jr.
Following a serious illness, Will is sent to stay with his uncle in the wild, bleak mountains of Tywyd. He is troubled by vague memories until he meets the mysterious Bran - and suddenly Will knows the task that lies ahead. With Bran's help, Will set outs to find the golden harp and awaken the six sleepers who must join the final battle between the Dark and the Light. But Will is about to encounter his most terrifying opponent yet: the Grey King.
The Dark is Rising Sequence | This is part of a brilliant and award-winning fantasy sequence. It's a book that grips you from the start and will transport you from your earth world to a world of fantasy. The characters are brilliantly imagined and the fantasy world so realistically described that you feel you're there. It's midwinter and Will Stanton, the seventh son of a seventh son, discovers his destiny on the eve of his birthday. Will must learn to harness the powers of the Old Ones and embark on a quest to vanquish the terrifyingly evil magic of the Dark, an evil entity that threatens the world's very existence. The Dark is Rising won the author numerous international awards, including the Newbery Medal. Whether you're 11 or 111 you'll love it. It's a novel that stands alone; however there are four books to complete the series, all reissued this month.
The Dark is Rising sequence | On holiday in Cornwall, Simon, Jane and Barney Drew discover an ancient map in the attic of the Grey House, where they are staying with their mysterious Great-Uncle Merry. They know immediately that it is special. But it is much more than just a map. It is the start of a quest to find a grail, a source of great power that could contain - or resurrect - the powerful, age-old forces of evil in the world. And the Drews are not the only ones searching for it.
The six servants of the Light - the Drew children, Will, Bran and the mysterious Merriman - have reached their last, desperate fight against the forces of the Dark. They face one final, daunting task: to find the crystal sword. Their search will lead them from their own world to the haunting, magical Lost Land between sea and shore - and they will each stare death in the face before the battle's final moments. The fifth and final spellbinding book in the highly acclaimed Dark is Rising sequence.
In their desperate quest to find the grail, stolen by the forces of the Dark, the Drew children have returned to Trewissick. One night, in a strange ceremony, Jane watches the village women construct the Greenwitch: an ancient offering to the sea. Overcome by the Greenwitch's power, Jane makes a perilous wish - one that will tip the balance in the ongoing struggle between good and evil. The third haunting, magical book in the highly acclaimed Dark is Rising sequence.
Arabel and her notorious pet raven Mortimer make a welcome return to Penguin Random House Children's Books When Arabel's father, Ebenezer Jones, drives his taxi home late one night he comes across 'a large black bird, with a hairy fringe around its beak.' He takes it home and, from that moment on, life is never the same again for the Jones family. Arabel's raven is called Mortimer - and he's one in a million. 'Nevermore!' he cries when astonished or upset, 'Down the hatch' he thinks before gobbling bowler hats, stairs, telephones. He dislikes flying except in emergencies, and with disaster-prone Mortimer around there are plenty of those. There are 7 hilarious escapades in this collection, brought to life by Quentin Blake's wonderfully animated illustrations: THE MYSTERY OF MR JONES'S DISAPPEARING TAXI; MORTIMER'S PORTRAIT ON GLASS; MORTIMER'S CROSS; MORTIMER SAYS NOTHING; A CALL FROM THE JONESES; MR JONES'S REST CURE and ARABEL'S BIRTHDAY.
The classic award winning story from Anne Fine. Kitty Killin is not just a brilliant story-teller, but also the World's Great Expert when it comes to mothers having new and unwelcome boyfriends. So it's no surprise that she's the one chosen to sort out classmate Helly, who's gone into meltdown. Kitty decides to share her story about old Goggle-eyes - possibly one of the worst episodes in her life...
It is Charlotte's first night at boarding school, and as she's settling down to sleep, she sees the corner of the new building from her window. But when she wakes up, instead of the building there is a huge, dark cedar tree, and the girl in the next bed is not the girl who slept there last night. Somehow, Charlotte has slipped back forty years to 1918 and has swapped places with a girl called Clare. Charlotte and Clare swap places ever night until one day Charlotte becomes trapped in 1918 and must find a way to return to her own time before the end of term.
A heart-warming, funny and fast-moving story set in 1930s America - past winner of the highly prestigious Newbery Medal. Bud is on a journey. He has hit the road with one idea in mind - he wants to discover his father. He's not got a lot to go on - just a flyer for a jazz band and his very own Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. Despite encounters with a car-driving vampire, a monster-infested woodshed and even a real live girl, Bud presses on towards a surprising discovery ...
Arabel and her notorious raven Mortimer make a welcome return to the Puffin nest! When Arabel's father, Ebenezer Jones, drives his taxi home late one night he comes across 'a large black bird, with a hairy fringe around its beak.' He takes it home and from that moment on, life is never the same again for the Jones family. Arabel's raven is called Mortimer - and he's one in a million. 'Nevermore!' he cries when astonished or upset, 'Down the hatch' he thinks before gobbling bowler hats, stairs, telephones. He dislikes flying except in emergencies, and with disaster-prone Mortimer around there are plenty of those. There are six hilarious stories in this classic collection by the much-loved storyteller Joan Aiken and renowned illustrator Quentin Blake. Including: ARABEL'S RAVEN; THE ESCAPED BLACK MAMBA; THE BREAD BIN; MORTIMER'S TIE; MORTIMER AND THE SWORD EXCALILBUR and THE SPIRAL STAIR.
Soon to be MOOMINVALLEY, a MAJOR ANIMATED SERIES on SKY ONE starring Taron Egerton and Rosamund Pike! 'They seem to grow in wisdom and delight every time I read them' - Philip Pullman Poor little chap! He had been turned into a very strange animal indeed . . . Although they're small, fat and shy creatures, Moomins have the most amazing adventures. It all begins when Moominpappa tries on a magic hat that makes exciting and funny things happen . . . Finn Family Moomintroll is the best-loved book in the cult classic Moomin series by Tove Jansson. A must-read for both children and adults. 'A beautifully strange world, excquisitely illustrated' - Lauren Child Tove Jansson was born in Finland in 1914. She began her career as a cartoonist and went on to write and illustrate many books for adults and children. She drew her first Moomin in the 1930s, just for fun, and in 1945 he became a character in a children's story. Tove became world-famous for her Moomin books, which began with The Moomins and the Great Flood, closely followed by Comet in Moominland and Finn Family Moomintroll. Tove Jansson received many prestigious awards during her lifetime, including the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal. She died in 2001, aged 87.
Soon to be MOOMINVALLEY, a MAJOR ANIMATED SERIES on SKY ONE starring Taron Egerton and Rosamund Pike! If you found a tiny golden dragon with green paws, would you know what to do with it? Moomintroll thinks he does, but when he takes his new-found pet home, things don't quite work out as planned. And suppose Too-ticky brought you an invisible child, would you know how to make her visible again? Meet new and delightful characters and re-encounter old friends, such as Snufkin and Little My in this entertaining collection of nine stories about the trials and tribulations of the inhabitants of Moominvalley. There are some new characters to meet, such as the Fillyjonk and the Hattifatteners, as well as old friends, namely Snufkin and Little My - and not to mention dear Moominpappa, Moominmamma and Moomintroll of course!
Soon to be MOOMINVALLEY, a MAJOR ANIMATED SERIES on SKY ONE starring Taron Egerton and Rosamund Pike! It all began with a hot day in June, and a volcano dropping black ash on Moominmamma's washing. Then a crack appeared in the ground, and Moomintroll's toothbrush slipped straight down into the dark and yawning earth. Then a great flood wave came crashing through Moomin Valley. And that was why the Moomins found themselves a new home, and why they all had so many strange adventures, ones that were odd even by Moomin standards. . .
One of the best-loved children's classics of all time, this is the complete, original story of Watership Down. Something terrible is about to happen to the warren - Fiver feels sure of it. And Fiver's sixth sense is never wrong, according to his brother Hazel. They had to leave immediately, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them. And so begins a long and perilous journey of a small band of rabbits in search of a safe home. Fiver's vision finally leads them to Watership Down, but here they face their most difficult challenge of all . . . This much-loved tale of courage and survival is now a beautiful new animated series for television, full of excitement and adventure - perfect for all the family to enjoy.
'A delightful story for those who like impossible things to happen in a humdrum world...The children are lively, the grown-ups (including the witch) colourful and the mingling of magic and reality is most effective' New York Times A perfect blend of magic and everyday life, this delightful sequel to Carbonel has delighted children for generations. Rosemary and John are proud to be entrusted with Carbonel's royal kittens while he is away from his kingdom, but it is a task that leads them into all sorts of unexpected and exciting magical adventures.
The classic story of the extraordinary animal doctor from Puddleby-on-the-Marsh - Doctor Dolittle. Once upon a time, many years ago - when our grandfathers were little children - there was a doctor, and his name was Dolittle - John Dolittle M.D. Doctor Dolittle likes animals. In fact, he likes them so much he fills his house with every kind of creature imaginable and even learns to talk their language. And when the Doctor hears of a terrible sickness among the monkeys in Africa, soon he and his animal friends are setting off on the most unforgettable adventure . . .
A collection of fourteen short stories featuring the amazing Mrs Pepperpot. Mrs Pepperpot can't choose when she will shrink to the size of a pepperpot - it just happens. But whatever she does, whether it's swimming with a frog, rescuing a baby bird, or seeing off an unwelcome visitor, Mrs Pepperpot will always save the day.
A lonely boy haunted by an ancient family curse, The Shadow Guests is a classic supernatural mystery from the master-storyteller, Joan Aiken. After the strange disappearance of his mother and older brother, Cosmo is sent from Australia to live with his cousin in England. Lost and lonely at his new school, Cosmo escapes at weekends to the peace of his cousin's ancient mill house, and the shadowy companions only he can see. When he learns about the family curse, he realises his ghostly visitors from the past have a message for him - but are these new companions friends or enemies? 'What a marvellous writer Joan Aiken is!' - Leon Garfield
The complete collection of the classic Borrowers stories by Mary Norton. Arietty Clock isn't your typical little girl. Although she is little. Very little, in fact. She's a Borrower. She lives with her family in a large house that isn't technically theirs- it belongs to the 'human beans'. Arietty and her father, Pod, spend their days borrowing the human beans' possessions- her father is very good at borrowing. He can scale curtains using a hatpin and bring back a doll's teacup without breaking it! The Borrowers are very happy with their life and borrowing ways. Until Arietty makes friends with a boy. A human bean boy. And from that moment, danger is never far away. Can they avoid the great disaster of 'being seen'? In this complete collection, you can join Arietty on all of her adventures! The Borrowers Afield: The Clock family escape to the fields where their cousins live, but it's a long and dangerous journey. At last they find a new home and adapt to country life. The Borrowers Afloat: Homeless again, Arrietty looks forward to a life away from the dark country cottage, to one full of sunshine. The Borrowers Aloft: The family are now living in the model village of Little Fordham - a complete village tailored to their size. All they have to do is avoid being seen by the visitors, but one night the owner of a rival village comes with a cardboard box ready to catch them . . . The Borrowers Avenged: Pod, Homily and Arrietty have managed to escape with the help of Spiller. They move into the old rectory where they live happily until the Potters come looking for them. After a horrifying encounter in the church, the Potters get their just desserts and the Borrowers can live peacefully once and for all. Poor Stainless: Young Stainless, a Borrower boy, goes missing on a mission to borrow some parsley and an enormous search ensues.
Emily and Jess Volnik have returned for another Scottish adventure, joining their old friend Tommy and Mr Maconochie, the new owner of Castle Keep, on a trip to Loch Ness, where a new expedition is determined to find the fabled monster. The fun-loving Boggart - a mischievous shape-shifting spirit who has lived in the castle for centuries -comes along for the ride, but this time the Boggart has a serious mission. His cousin Nessie is trapped in the monster shape he took on long ago, and it's up to the Boggart to keep Nessie from being discovered by the expedition's high-tech equipment. Is modern science any match for the Boggart's ancient magic?
Accidentally transported from his remote Scottish castle to the bright, fast-moving, hi-tech city of Toronto, the highly mischievous Boggart simply can't resist the opportunity for pranks, and wreaks havoc for the Volnik family, inheritors of his distant castle home. But the Boggart doesn't mean any real harm, and when he begins to pine for the rolling Scottish mists and the sound of bagpipes, he turns to his two young friends, Emily and Jessup Volnik, for help.
Disney takes the classic sci-fi adventure, A Wrinkle in Time to the silver screen! With an all-star cast that includes Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, and newcomer Storm Reid, the major motion picture brings the world of Wrinkle to life for a new generation of fans. Meg always felt she was different and when she and her little brother Charles Murry go searching for their lost father, they find themselves travelling on a dangerous journey through a 'wrinkle in time'. As the cosmic evil forces of darkness threaten to swallow the universe, Meg must overcome her insecurities and channel all her inner strengths - her stubbornness, anger and ultimately her love - to save her family. An exciting mixture of fantasy and science fiction, which all the way through is dominated by the funny and mysterious trio of guardian angels known as Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which, A Wrinkle in Time is an empowering story about the battle between good and evil and the power of love. This movie tie-in edition of the timeless novel features the complete, unabridged original text, and an introduction by the film's director, Ava DuVernay.
Penguin presents for the first time the complete, unabridged audio CD of Mary Norton's The Borrowers, read by Christopher Eccleston. The Borrowers live in the secret places of quiet old houses; behind the mantelpiece, inside the harpsichord, under the kitchen clock. They own nothing, borrow everything, and think that human beings were invented just to do the dirty work. Arrietty's father, Pod, was an expert Borrower. He could scale curtains using a hatpin, and bring back a doll's teacup without breaking it. Girls weren't supposed to go borrowing but as Arrietty was an only child her father broke the rule, and then something happened which changed their lives. She made friends with the human boy living in the house...
Penguin presents the audio CD edition of Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild, read by Janet Streatfeild. 'I wonder . . . if other girls had to be one of us, which of us they'd choose to be?' Pauline longs to be an actress. Petrova is happiest playing with cars and engines. And if she could . . . Posy would dance all day! But when their benefactor Great-Uncle Matthew disappears, the Fossil girls share a future of a dazzling life on stage, where their dreams and fears will soon come true . . .
Penguin presents the audio CD edition of Annie, read by Annie Potts 'Annie' began in 1924 as the heroine of a comic strip cartoon called LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE. Her adventures ran in newspapers in America for over 40 years before it was turned into a Broadway musical. It's 1933 and for as long as she can remember, 11 year old Annie has believed that her mother and father would come back to her New York City orphanage to get her. But mean Miss Hannigan the headmistress is making Annie's life a misery. So she runs away to find her parents - and along the way she rescues a friendly dog, meets millionaire Oliver Warbucks, and has a many scary and exciting adventures. Will kind-hearted Annie find a way to escape her hard-knock life? The author THOMAS MEEHAN is the playwright of the original Broadway play and he has expanded the story of the plucky little orphan in this classic American tale.
The wonderfully eccentric adventures of a kind-hearted elephant, hugely enjoyed by children and adults alike, by J. P. Martin and illustrated by Quentin Blake. Uncle is a millionaire elephant who has a B.A. and wears a purple dressing gown. He lives in a labyrinth of skyscrapers connected by water chutes, lifts and railways, and littered with oil lakes, walls of sweets and towers of treacle. He and his followers amuse themselves by exploring his home and falling into adventures with its inhabitants, a collection of lunatics, dwarfs and ghosts. Uncle also frequently fights with the inhabitants of neighbouring Badfort, among them the repulsive Jellytussles (a quivering blob) and the cowardly Hitmouse.
THE PERFECT HAMBURGER by the bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith is a wonderfully entertaining story, ideal for young readers. Joe has just created the yummiest, juiciest, most delicious hamburger ever - and his friend Mr Borthwick wants to sell it in his hamburger shop to try and win back customers from the new fast-food place across the road. But there's a problem - Joe has completely forgotten the recipe... A pinch of this, a touch of that and a spoonful of something else...the race is on for Joe to remember!
A reissue of a much-loved adventure which has stood the test of time and is as exciting today as when it was first published nearly 70 years ago. It all begins when Nick breaks the classroom window with his football, and the Headmaster says Nick has to pay for the damage. Nick has no more hope of raising the money than of going to the Moon, so that's when rivalling Ted's and Toppy's gangs decide to sign a truce and plan Operation Glazier to get the money for Nick. The plan goes smoothly and soon the money has been collected, but when it goes missing the boys turn detective to try and find the culprit.
Anne Fine, prize-winning author and former Children’s Laureate makes her deadly serious and emotionally powerful points about the responsibilities of having a baby lightly within this hugely entertaining story. When the teenagers in 4C are given the Flour Babies project they little know how it will change their lives. To keep a six-pound sack of flour clean, dry and within sight because it represents a baby is a challenge none of them is eager to take on. And they are right to be scared. It proves that having a baby is a responsibility they do not want. And for Simon, it leads to a painful but thoughtful reconsideration of the story of his own father’s departure. ~ Julia Eccleshare Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
A reissue of a beautiful story for older readers in which bestselling author Dick King-Smith creates a fascinating picture of rural life at the time of the Second World War. Discovered as a foundling in a lambing pen, Spider Sparrow grows up surrounded by animals. From sheep and horses to wild otters and foxes, Spider loves them all, even the crows he must scare away from the newly sown wheat. Crowstarving was the idea job for Spider - he was on his own, yet never alone for all around him were animals of one sort or another. Amazingly, every animal who meets Spider implicitly trusts the young boy. This magical rapport is Spider's unique gift, but nothing else in his tough life is so easy.
Class 3 of Hampstead Primary School are off on a school trip to Paris! Morgan is the first to spot the bearded man in the black Citroen car, cruising behind their school bus, and feels sure he is following them. The plot thickens when a second mysterious bearded man appears on the ferry boat, Soon Class 3 find themselves entangled with a group of art thieves intent upon stealing the Mona Lisa...!
This is the story of 12 year-old Sade and her brother Femi who flee to Britain from Nigeria. Their father is a political journalist who refuses to stop criticising the military rulers in Nigeria. Their mother is killed and they are sent to London, with their father promising to follow.Abandoned at Victoria Station by the woman paid to bring them to England as her children, Sade and Femi find themselves alone in a new, often hostile, environment. Seen through the eyes of Sade, the novel explores what it means to be classified as 'illegal' and the difficulties which come with being a refugee.
All four Clever Polly books in one volume including Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf, Polly and the Wolf Again, Tales of Polly and the Hungry Wolf and More Stories of Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf. Drawing occasionally on well-known fairy tales, and skilfully blending fantasy and reality, these stories are bursting with humour, originality and charm. And Polly, not scared at all, outwits the wolf on each and every occasion!
Christmas with the Chrystals is a gorgeous short story about how an influx of cheery young cousins at Christmas warms the heart of a haughty grandmother and lights up her chilly home. This very special Yuletide story is accompanied by several Streatfeild Christmas extracts from her many children's novels, including an (almost) never-before-seen sequel chapter to her bestseller Ballet Shoes. There are also recollections of the author's own childhood Christmases (taken from the Noel Streatfeild Christmas Holiday Book).
In a nutshell: Iconic | Outspoken | Big Issues | Difficult Truths The moving and very real story of two teenagers and an unplanned pregnancy. It is told from two viewpoints - that of Helen as she writes her thoughts in a series of letters to the unborn baby, the Dear Nobody of the title, and of Chris as he reads the letters and relives events as Helen is in labour. It is one of The Originals from Penguin - iconic, outspoken, first. The Originals are the pioneers of fiction for young adults. From political awakening, war and unrequited love to addiction, teenage pregnancy and nuclear holocaust, The Originals confront big issues and articulate difficult truths. The collection includes: The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton, I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith, Postcards from No Man's Land - Aidan Chambers, After the First Death - Robert Cormier, Dear Nobody - Berlie Doherty, The Endless Steppe - Esther Hautzig, Buddy - Nigel Hinton, Across the Barricades - Joan Lingard, The Twelfth Day of July - Joan Lingard, No Turning Back - Beverley Naidoo, Z for Zachariah - Richard C. O'Brien, The Wave - Morton Rhue, The Red Pony - John Steinbeck, The Pearl - John Steinbeck, Stone Cold - Robert Swindells.
A bunch of scruffy urchin kids in the backstreets of Paris outwit thieves to uncover the whereabouts of millions of francs stolen from the Paris-Ventimiglia express. Gaby is the leader, but it is super-cool Marion with her collection of stray dogs who is the heart of the gang. It all begins when a local villain offers the children a fortune for their 'horse' - a headless rocking horse, given old tricycle wheels that they 'ride' down the steep cobbled street, but they don't want to part with it. Then, a few days later, the horse is stolen, and so begins an adventure that is full of twists and turns, leading to a satisfying conclusion when the villains receive their comeuppance.
Gustas is nearly killed in the hurricane, trying to save his banana tree; Nenna and her brother Man-Man patrol the cocnut plantation in the dead of night, ready to catch interlopers; Becky longs for a bicycle and Fanso longs to find his father who walked out thirteen years ago. This is a wonderfully atmospheric collection of contemporary short stories that bring James Berry's Caribbean childhood vividly to life.
India is particularly rich in colourful folkore. These stories, told by parents to their children for many generations, make a rich and dazzling collection of mythological tales drawn from a great heritage of Hindu epics - from the life of the great god Krishna to how the monkey god Hanuman helped defeat the Demon King Ravan and a host of other magical and spectacular creatures. The stories are arranged according to the sequence of the Hindu year and each is prefaced with a short personal anecdote from the author's childhood. Beautifully illustrated throughout in black line and tone by Michael Foreman.
Twelve-year-old Karana escapes death at the hands of treacherous hunters, only to find herself totally alone on a harsh desolate island. How she survives in the face of all sorts of dangers makes gripping and inspiring reading. Based on a true story.
In this thrilling re-telling of the Anglo-Saxon legend, Beowulf, the renowned children's historical fiction writer Rosemary Sutcliff recounts Beowulf's most terrifying quests: against Grendel the man-wolf, against the hideous sea-hag and, most courageous of all - his fight to the death with the monstrous fire-drake.
Three brothers run away from home to live like Robin Hood and his merry men, deep in the forest of Brendon Chase. They make their camp in an ancient oak tree and live like outlaws, loving the dangers and excitements of their wild surroundings. Their aim is never to be caught - but how can they avoid all the people who are searching for them, including the police?
Ten-year-old orphan Maria lives in her ancestors' crumbling mansion. Exploring the grounds one day, Maria discovers a wild, half-forgotten island in the middle of a neglected lake - and an extraordinary secret. For the island is home to a community of tiny people - the Lilliputians that Gulliver first met on his famous travels. But as Maria grows closer to her new friends, her own life is in grave danger. Her wicked governess and the cruel vicar are plotting to steal her rightful inheritance - and they will stop at nothing. How can Maria keep the Lilliputians safe, while protecting herself? Cover illustration by Jill Murphy, creator of The Worst Witch series.
A Vicarage Family is the first part in a fictionalized autobiography in which Noel Streatfeild tells the story of her own childhood, painting a poignant and vivid picture of daily life in an impoverished, genteel family in the years leading up to the First World War. In the story there are three little girls - Isobel, the eldest, is pretty, gentle and artistic; Louise the youngest, is sweet and talented - and then there is Vicky, 'the plain one', the awkward and rebellious child who doesn't fit in at school or at home. Growing up in a big family Vicky feels overlooked but gradually begins to realize that she might not be quite as untalented as she feels. The Vicky of this story is, of course, the much-loved Noel Streatfeild who went on to write so many wonderful family stories, the most famous being Ballet Shoes.
Into this breathtaking trilogy is woven the true spirit of the Vikings, who great thirst for travelling the seas took them on incredible voyages in defiance of icy waters, terrible hardships and bloodthirsty resistance. It is AD 780. Viking's Dawn sees a young Norse boy, Harald Sigurdson, set sail for the Hebrides in the longship 'Nameless'. The goal: to plunder the helpless coastal villages of Britain. Just five years later, undeterred by his first desperate journey, the dauntless warrior puts to sea once again, in The Road to Miklagard - this time lured by the news of a fabulous hoard of treasure. After a lifetime struggling with the bitter waves, Harald embarks on his last voyage in Viking's Sunset, this time not for gain but to seek vengeance on a blood enemy.
Ursula Le Guin’s creation of Earthsea, an ancient world of wizards, magic, darkness and light and an ever-shifting balance of power is an acknowledged masterpiece. It’s undoubtedly one of the major works of fantasy from the 20th century. With wonderful cross-over appeal it is sure to enchant adults and children alike.
Prize winning WOLVES CHRONICLES PREQUEL reissued in A Puffin Book - All 12 Wolves books now in print for the first time ever. In THE WHISPERING MOUNTAIN by Joan Aiken, the small town of Pennygaff, the legendary Harp of Teirtu is found - and lost again. For young Owen Hughes and his friend Arabis, it is the start of a hair-raising race to save the harp from sinister Lord Malyn. As they struggle to keep it out of his hands, they are plunged into a wild adventure involving murder, kidnapping, underground worlds, savage beasts, floods, avalanche, the mysterious children of the Pit - and above all, a man who will stop at nothing to get the harp back again. Winner of the 1969 Guardian Fiction Award.
This tale of wizards and dragons features the character of Sparrowhawk. Tempted by pride to try spells beyond his powers, Sparrowhawk lets loose an evil shadow-beast. Only he can destroy it and so he begins a quest which leads him to all corners of Earthsea. This is the first book in a quartet. November 2010 Guest Editor Jonathan Stroud: I think this is one of the greatest of fantasies, with a very different flavour to Tolkien or C S Lewis. Ursula Le Guin is a master at world-making: from the moment I opened the book as a boy, and saw the map of Earthsea, with its thousands of little islands, each with its own name and character, I was hooked. We follow Ged, a young and ambitious wizard, who finds his route to power is not at all straightforward. He must journey across the oceans, contending with dragons, witches, sinister shadows, speaking stones and (most dangerously of all) with himself. The magic in this book (and the rules that govern it) seem utterly real. The writing is beautiful, austere and restrained, and everything feels drenched with the salt-spray of the endless sea.
No.40 Norham Gardens, Oxford, is the home of Clare Mayfield, her two aged aunts and two lodgers. The house is a huge Victorian monstrosity, with rooms all full of old furniture, old papers, old clothes, memorabilia - it is like a living museum. Clare discovers in a junk room the vividly painted shield which her great-grandfather, an eminent anthropologist, had brought back from New Guinea. She becomes obsessed with its past and determined to find out more about its strange tribal origins. Dreams begin to haunt her - dreams of another country, another culture, another time, and of shadowy people whom she feels are watching her. Who are they, and what do they want?
Little Bunchy lives all alone with her grandmother in a cottage in the country. It's quite a long walk to the village and Bunchy is too young for school yet so she has no one to play with. But Bunchy is never lonely because she has her own very special friends - the pastry girl, the Scribbles family, the naughty clothes-peg people and the little wooden sailor-doll. Set in a by-gone era, here are ten stories written with warmth and affection, by the author of Milly-Molly-Mandy.
'Philippa Pearce's books are outstanding' - Guardian Sid, Peggy and Amy adore the two gerbils, Bubble and Squeak, but their mother detests them. A major family battle results, and it's clear life is never going to be quite the same again. But after a near fatal encounter between Bubble and Ginger the cat, Mrs Sparrow begins to see that life with a pair of gerbils might not be so bad after all.
Every night when the children were tucked up in bed, the Old Nurse would pull out a pair of stockings from the mending-basket and while she threaded her needle she would look in her memory for a story that fitted the size of the hole. The children always stopped their bickering at once, for none of them wanted to miss her extraordinary stories of princes and princesses, Greek gods, sea captains and other wonderful characters she had come across in her hundreds of years as a children's nurse. All the tales were so entrancing that the boys could hardly be blamed for sometimes making large holes on purpose, so that they'd have a long story to match! This is a charming collection of bedtime fairytale stories, with evocative line drawings by Edward Ardizzone.
When Andrew's family moves house, he strikes up an unexpected friendship with his neighbour Victor. There isn't a thing Victor doesn't know about the RAF planes flying overhead and the two boys are soon busy tracking their movements. Then Andrew discovers that Victor's beloved Lightnings are due to be scrapped... Thunder and Lightnings won the Carnegie Medal in 1976.
There had always been otters in the stream running through Farthing Wood - and that had never been a problem for the other animals before but when there is a shortage of fish in the stream, the otters are forced to hunt on land.The otters are taking valuable prey and the foxes and other Farthing Wood animals have to compete for food. Lean Vixen is determined to protect her family from starvation, and that means deciding on a plan to drive the otters out once and for all.
THE COUNTRY CHILD is a semi-autobiographical story about a girl growing up in the country. Alison Uttley has drawn on her own youth to produce memories so vivid and nostalgic that you can almost smell the honeysuckle and hear the owls calling at dusk. She writes about the small intense joys and sorrows of life on a small farm: the fun of haymaking, the sadness of favourite animals being slaughtered, and the close sweetness of Christmas celebrations in the farmhouse kitchen. Also in A Puffin Book: A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley
Ten-year-old Gerald doesn't know why his older brothers and sisters complain so much. With snakes in the bath and scorpions on the lunch table, the family home on the Greek island of Corfu is a bit like a zoo so they should feel right at home...Gerald joyfully pursues his interest in natural history in the midsts of an unconventional and chaotic family life - all brilliantly retold in this very funny book.
Originally published as Last Stories of Polly and the Wolf, the wolf is back again and determined to eat Polly. He set up all kinds of traps to try and get her into his clutches, but Polly is just too clever for him - until one day when things take a very unexpected turn - perhaps the stupid wolf is not quite so stupid after all...!
In TALES OF POLLY AND THE HUNGRY WOLF, the wolf is up to his old tricks again. He's trying to fool Polly so that he can gobble her up. He has thought of several new ways of getting her into his clutches, but the stupid wolf is no match for clever Polly.
POETRY PIE is a brilliant collection of poems for children by Roger McGough.There are over 50 poems in this hugely enjoyable poetry collection with themes ranging from food and animals to school and ghouls. As always, Roger McGough's poems are full of wit and wisdom, with word play, puns and sharp observations on all aspects of life. Illustrated throughout with his own unique line drawings which are full of humour and pathos. Roger McGough is one of the UK's most celebrated and distinctive poets. He is the author of more than fifty books and has written numerous scripts, including the script for the Beatles' film Yellow Submarine. He is an international ambassador for poetry and in 1997 was awarded an OBE.
Gargling with Jelly by Brian Patten, one of our best-loved poets. Hilarious, lyrical, outrageous and serious poems all rub shoulders in this collection. Naughty children with nasty habits, cartoon heroes that come to life, lonely caretakers, unhappy ghosts, fantastical creatures with crazy names, giants, goblins, vampires, mermaids ... there's never a dull moment in this marvellously quirky and refreshing jelly pot!
A reissue of TALKING TURKEYS by street poet Benjamin Zephaniah. Talking Turkeys is an unconventional collection of straight-talking poems about heroes, revolutions, racism, love and animal rights, among other subjects, that will entice many new readers to poetry. It is his very first ground-breaking children's poetry collection - playful, clever and provocative - this is performance poetry on the page at its very best. Benjamin Zephaniah was born in Birmingham and then spent some of his early years in Jamaica. He came to London when he was 22 and his first book of poetry for adults was published soon after. He appears regularly on radio and TV including a Desert Island Discs appearance, literary festivals, and has also taken part in plays and films. He is most well-known for his performance poetry with a political edge for both children and adults and gritty teenage fiction. His collections Talking Turkeys, Wicked World and Funky Chickens broke new ground in children's poetry. He is the only Rastafarian poet to be short-listed for the Chairs of Poetry for both Oxford and Cambridge University and has been listed in The Times' list of 50 greatest postwar writers. Benjamin now lives in Lincolnshire.
Kings and Queens by Eleanor and Herbert Farjeon is a highly entertaining collection of poems about all forty-one English Kings and Queens since William I. Reissued in Puffin Poetry Kings and Queens is an authentic classic that has delighted young readers and adults alike. With wonderfully witty illustrations by Robin Jacques, history has never been so much fun! Eleanor and Herbert Farjeon were born in the 1880s into a highly literary family. Eleanor published nearly 70 books, mostly for children. Together with Herbert, her younger brother, she also wrote a children's panto, two operettas and a musical fairy story.
The yucky things your brother does, the annoying things your parents say, the funny things you feel. Michael Rosen knows all about YOU! A much-loved classic of family life from the brilliant Michael Rosen & Quentin Blake.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE SAVAGES by Mary Clive is based on real events and people. It is the story of a small girl's Christmas holiday in a large Edwardian country house is effortlessly funny. At Tamerlane Hall, Evelyn finds a horde of children: the gentle Glens, the plaintive Howliboos, and above all, the uninhibited Savages. They are controlled - or not - by a host of parents, supernumerary Uncles and Aunts, Nannies and nurserymaids. Evelyn survives the Christmas festivities - just - returning home none too soon! Seen through the eyes of a prim little eight-year-old, this is an amusing and touching account of a childhood a hundred years ago.
Once upon a time, there was the most beautiful, extraordinary princess. At least, until the day of her christening, when a grumpy fairy placed a spell to make her ORDINARY! Princess Amethyst Alexandra Araminta Adelaide Aurelia Anne (also known as Princess Amy) doesn't mind being ordinary- she gets to play in the woods, and run about to her heart's content! But when she realises that her parents intend for her to marry a dreary prince, she must take matters into her own hands. She may have been born ordinary, but Princess Amy's adventures are nothing but! Is Princess Amy your #GirlHero? Check out the other stories in our #GirlHero collection- which character is your favourite? A Wrinkle in Time Pollyanna Pride and Prejudice Annie Ballet Shoes Chinese Cinderella The Borrowers A Little Princess Anne of the Green Gables Little Women The Secret Garden
Best known for Gobbolino and The Adventures of The Little Wooden Horse, Ursula Moray Williams also wrote this funny, inventive story of fantasy, suspense and magic, now reissued as A Puffin Book. Orphan Samantha sets off in high spirits to live with her aunt, Lady Clandorris. Unfortunately Lady Clandorris is hostile towards humankind in general, and to children in particular. Their relationship deteriorates with the unexpected arrival of a strange wide-eyed creature with a long furry tale, feathered wings and two webbed feet. Samantha discovers it is a bogwoppit, and that it’s come through the drains from the outside pond. Samantha of course wants to care for it but Lady Clandorris has other plans for the little thing, and for her niece, too. This lovely little book thoroughly deserves its status as a modern classic. ~ Andrea Reece
Geoffrey Trease is the master of historical fiction for children, and for many this is his best book. Set in Elizabethan England at the end of the 15th century it tells the story of fourteen year old Peter Brownrigg who, running from his home to escape his wicked lord, winds up working with a theatre company and apprenticed to William Shakespeare himself. There is treason afoot, and treachery and the story is full of drama, and a little romance too. It’s great to see this handsome new edition of this modern classic. ~ Andrea Reece
SOUNDER by William H. Armstrong is set in the 19th-century American South. It is the story a poor African-American sharecropping family, their faithful dog, Sounder, and the eldest boy's efforts to learn how to read and help his mother to support the family after his father is arrested for stealing a ham. When Sounder chases after the Sheriff's deputies he is shot and he crawls away, seemingly to die. For weeks the boy thinks that he has lost both his father and his dog, but then Sounder comes back, lame and missing an ear. The boy continues to search for his father, until a few years later the father returns home, disabled from a quarry accident. Reunited at last, the father and Sounder go on one final hunting trip together...
Bridge to Terabithia is an unforgettable story of friendship and loss by award-winning author Katherine Paterson. Jess Aarons wants to be the fastest boy in the class, but when a girl named Leslie Burke moves into the neighbouring farm his life changes forever. Even though she runs faster than him, Jess begins to think Leslie might be okay - she's clever and funny and not a bit soppy. And it is Leslie who invents Terabithia, the secret country on an island across the creek where he can escape his troublesome family.The only way to reach Terabithia is by rope-swing where Jess and Leslie become King and Queen, defeating giants, sharing stories and dreams, and plotting against their enemies. They are invincible - until tragedy strikes. It is more dreadful than anything Jess had ever dreamed of, but as he struggles to cope with his grief and anger, he finds that his family value him more than he'd thought and that, still King, he could even save Terabithia for the future. Reissued in 'A Pufifn Book' series of Puffin modern classics, Bridge to Terabithia is a Newbery Medal winner.
The first in a collection of stories for young children in which the resourceful and kind Polly outwits the enthusiastic but dim wolf over a number of encounters which are close enough to be alarming while funny enough to be reassuringly safe.~ Julia Eccleshare
Tennis Shoes is one of the wonderful 'Shoes' collection of adventures for children by Noel Streatfeild. There is no doubt about it - the Heath children have tennis in their blood. Their grandfather and father before them had been top players, and the twins are champion material. Then Nicky - cheeky, rebellious Nicky - starts to practise in secret, but talented at tennis as she is, the ambitious Nicky first has battles to win with herself - on and off the tennis court. Reissued in 'A Puffin Book' series of Puffin modern classics, this is a sharp and funny story that follows in the footsteps of Ballet Shoes, Theatre Shoes and Circus Shoes by the popular children's author Noel Streatfeild.
Chosen by Sally Nicholls, March 2012 Guest Editor: "All of my novels are about families, and Ballet Shoes is at its heart a family story. I loved this book as a child, and it was the family I loved most; the Fossil sisters, growing up in a tall house in Cromwell Road filled with an odd collection of people who love them." Also chosen by February 2012 Guest Editor, Jacqueline Wilson: "This was one of my childhood favourites - and although it's dated in many ways I think many girls will still love this story of three orphans brought up together and sent to stage school so they can earn their own livings. I could never make up my mind which sister I liked the best - pretty blonde Pauline who's a brilliant actress, dark tomboy Petrova who hates performing on the stage and wants to fly aeroplanes, or red-haired Posy who's a wonderful ballet dancer. Noel Streatfeild sucks you into the story and makes you care passionately about all three sisters." The Lovereading comment: A timeless and magical read that celebrates the 75th anniversary of its first publication. It's also one of Jacqueline Wilson's all time favourite reads. Definitely a masterpiece in our opinion so make sure this 75th anniversary edition of one of the classics of all time is introduced to a new generation of readers and dance lovers.
Winner of the Guardian Fiction Award, this story of life in village India, where children are forced so young to be adult, will appeal to a wide range of ages. Hari and Lila are the eldest of a poor family and life is very hard indeed: their father is often drunk, their mother sick, and there seems no way out of the debt that the family is in. Even growing industrialisation seems to offer a new threat to them. Despite the hardships they face, their tenacity and spirit stays strong and there is a happy ending. A very powerful story that fully deserves its place as a modern classic. ~ Andrea Reece
The roots of this wonderful retelling of the story of Arthur and his knights can be found mostly in Sir Thomas Malory, but also in sources as rich as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Mabinogion and old Irish tragedies. It’s irresistible stuff that calls to the romantic in all of us and Rosemary Sutcliff infuses her version of the legend with a spine-tingling sense of poetry and mystery, while telling the story simply and with a driving narrative. It reads aloud brilliantly, and makes a superb book for sharing at bedtime. ~ Andrea Reece
A classic story from World War Two, this tells how three children, Ruth, Edek and Bronia are helped by the young orphan Jan to escape from the horrors of Warsaw after the arrest of their parents. How the children travel across war torn Europe surviving every kind of danger and privation is thrilling and deeply moving. It is the story of a terrible time made bearable by the strong streak of humanity at its heart and by the unusual acts of kindness the children experience on their travels.
Theatre Shoes is part of the wonderful 'Shoes' series of adventures for children by Noel Streatfeild. Every family has its secrets, but it was a huge surprise to the three young Forbeses, fresh from a country vicarage, to discover that their grandmother was a famous actress. Sent to live with her in bombed-out, wartime London, they soon discovered that they were expected to follow in the family footsteps - to the footlights -! As an actress herself, Noel Streatfeild was familiar with all the details of the backstage world of the theatre. She has created an authentic, perceptive and vivid picture of theatrical life - from stage school to auditions to performances. Reissued in 'A Puffin Book' series of Puffin modern classics, along with Ballet Shoes, Circus Shoes and Tennis Shoes, all by Noel Streatfeild.
Polly and the Wolf Again by Catherine Storr is a second book of stories written for the author's daughter, who was scared of the wolf under the bed. The blundering, endearing wolf is still determined to prove himself cleverer than Polly - but the resolute and affectionate Polly outwits him every time! Skilfully blending fantasy and reality, these stories are bursting with humour and are accompanied by the original charming original black and white line drawings by Marjorie-Ann Watts. Reissued in 'A Puffin Book' series of Puffin modern classics, this is a sequel to Clever Polly and the Stupid Wolf - a much-loved classic for young children.
A TRAVELLER IN TIME by Alison Uttley is a much-loved time-slip novel which vividly captures life at the time of Mary, Queen of Scots. Penelope lives in the 20th Century, and it is only when she visits Thackers, a remote, ancient farmhouse, that she finds herself travelling back in time to join the lives of the Babington family, and watching helplessly as tragic events bring danger to her friends and the downfall of their heroine Mary, Queen of Scots, whom they are seeking to rescue.
The book that Chris Riddell has described as the one that made him a reader, The Incredible Adventures of Professor Branestawm deserves a place on every child’s bookcase. The archetypal absent-minded professor, Branestawm spends his time happily creating bizarre inventions, which then lead him into even bizarrer adventures. Hunter’s sense of fun is timeless and he had a wonderful eye for the humour that lies in the incongruous. Zany plots and characters, action and word-play ensure that the stories feel as fresh today as when they were first published. This edition features Heath Robinson’s illustrations – the one of the professor in his magnetic suspenders is particularly delightful. ~ Andrea Reece Our Guest Editor Charlie Higson: "These stories are about a mad inventor and are madly inventive as well as very funny. I had forgotten all about the absent-minded Professor Branestawm until I rediscovered one of the stories in an anthology of kids fiction I was reading to one of my boys. We both found it absolutely hilarious – no mean feat for a book written in 1933 (let’s face it, most ‘classic’ children’s books are utterly mystifying to modern kids). As a result I tracked down this book and shared it with my son. I remembered how much I’d loved these books as a boy, particularly the first two with their lovely Heath Robinson illustrations." April 2012
A classic detective story told at a cracking pace, this features one of the first fictional child detectives. When Emil is robbed of his mother’s hard earned savings from right out of his pocket as he is asleep on a train, he takes swift action. Emil has no confidence in the police and so recruits his own assistant, Gustav. The two boys round up a group of friends and catch the thief. Emil is handsomely rewarded and all ends happily. Emil is charming and clever, the ideal hero of this terrific adventure.
A tiny doll, unloved by her owner, is accidentally dropped into a freezer in a shop. There she stays, bored and lonely, until another little girl spots her. This one is kind, and immediately goes home to make the doll some new clothes. Even though the little doll is now beautifully dressed, still no one notices her until at last the little girl asks if she can take her home. It’s a short, very simple story, perfect for bedtime and little girls will love the idea of the tiny doll hidden in the freezer. Edward Ardizzone’s illustrations capture a kinder, slower time, but are full of live and action nonetheless. ~ Andrea Reece
Madame Doubtfire by bestselling author Anne Fine is a wonderfully funny, punchy story about family life. Lydia, Christopher and Natalie are used to domestic turmoil. Their parents' divorce has not made family life any easier in either home. The children bounce to and from their volatile mother, Miranda, and their out-of-work actor father, Daniel. Then Miranda advertises for a cleaning lady who will look mind the children after work - and Daniel gets the job, disguised as Madame Doubtfire. This bittersweet, touching and extremely funny book inspired the highly successful film Mrs Doubtfire, starring the late Robin Williams. Madame Doubtfire is reissued in 'A Puffin Book' series of Puffin modern classics.
Walkabout is a survival story for children written by James Vance Marshall. Mary and her young brother Peter are the only survivors of an aircrash in the middle of the Australian outback. Facing death from exhaustion and starvation, they meet an aboriginal boy who helps them to survive, and guides them along their long journey. But a terrible misunderstanding results in a tragedy that neither Mary nor Peter will ever forget . . . Reissued in the 'A Puffin Book' series of Puffin modern classics for children, Walkabout has been continuously in print since its first publication over 50 years ago.
Magic and everyday life blend smoothly in this highly enjoyable fantasy, perfect for reading aloud - The Horn Book 'You may call me Carbonel. That is my name.' This is the story of a cat, a broomstick and an ordinary schoolgirl called Rosemary. She bought them both in the market, quite cheaply. Of course, neither the cat nor the broomstick were just what they seemed, and they turned up just when Rosemary badly needed something nice to happen to her. A good cat is apt to be independent, so she did not have things all her own way, and as Carbonel proved to be a Royal cat in a very special sense, that was understandable. Between the cat and the broomstick, Rosemary picked up some useful spells and magic, and the adventures they brought about turned a dull-looking holiday into one long to be remembered for its unexpected excitements and rewards. Carbonel's adventures continue in The Kingdom of Carbonel.
This is a unique story of triumph over adversity, told against the background of the Nationalist/Communist struggle for control of China. Adeline Yen Mah’s family considered her to be bad luck because her mother died shortly after giving birth to her. They discriminated against her and singled her out for cruel treatment, eventually abandoning her in a convent school. Yen Mah tells her story with extraordinary honesty and without bitterness, making this an absorbing read for young people. Eventually she proved her worth at school earning the respect of her teachers and friends. ~ Andrea Reece
In CIRCUS SHOES by Noel Streatfeild Gus the clown is Peter and Santa's only living relative and escape to the circus seems a better idea to them than an orphanage. But Gus will keep the children only if they make themselves useful - and they have to fight hard to become a genuine part of the circus. Published under the 'A Puffin Book' series of children's modern classics, along with BALLET SHOES, THEATRE SHOES and TENNIS SHOES. Noel Streatfeild was born in Sussex in 1895 and was one of three sisters. Although she was considered the plain one she ended up leading the most glamorous and exciting life! After working in munitions factories and canteens for the armed forces when WWI broke out, Noel followed her dream of being on stage and went to RADA where she became a professional actress. She began writing children's books in 1931 and Ballet Shoes was published in 1936. She quickly became one of the most popular authors of her day. When she visited Puffin exhibitions, there were queues right out of the building and all the way down The Mall. She was one of the first winners of the Carnegie Medal and was awarded an OBE in 1983. Noel Streatfeild lived in London. She died in 1986.
A heart breaking and heart warming story of a special friendship that grows between Willie Beech, evacuated to the country to avoid the Blitz on London, and Tom Oakley, the reserved old man who takes him in. Willie has been lonely and neglected all his life as his mother lacks the ability to care for him. Under Mister Tom’s patient and kind guidance Willie grows emotionally and physically to become the boy he should have been. But then his mother wants him back home in London. Must Willie loose everything that has made him happy? Be sure to check out other books by this author. Just Henry, A Spoonful of Jam, A little Love Song, Cuckoo In The Nest. Puffin Fact! The beech tree’s slim trunk gave Michelle Magorian the idea for her skinny evacuee’s name – William Beech. Download more Puffin Facts here! _____________ Dear readers, dreamers and adventurers, Ever wanted a friend who could take you to magical realms, talk to animals or help you survive a shipwreck? Well, you'll find them all in the PUFFIN BOOK collection. A PUFFIN BOOK will stay with you forever. Maybe you'll read it again and again, or perhaps years from now you'll suddenly remember the moment it made you laugh or cry or simply see things differently. Adventurers big and small, rebels out to change their world, even a mouse with a dream and a spider who can spell - these are the characters who make stories that last a lifetime. Whether you love animal tales, war stories or want to know what it was like growing up in a different time and place, the A PUFFIN BOOK collection has a story for you - you just need to decide where you want to go next... We want to know which is your favourite. Tell us or tweet a photo of your old beloved copy - and we might just send you a new A PUFFIN BOOK so you can pass the story on. Love - PUFFIN @puffinbooks #shareapuffinbook
The international bestselling fantasy adventure of a lonely boy's quest to save a magical land from evil. Puffin Fact! The first word in each chapter following the Prologue is in alphabetical order. Download more Puffin Facts here! _____________ Dear readers, dreamers and adventurers, Ever wanted a friend who could take you to magical realms, talk to animals or help you survive a shipwreck? Well, you'll find them all in the PUFFIN BOOK collection. A PUFFIN BOOK will stay with you forever. Maybe you'll read it again and again, or perhaps years from now you'll suddenly remember the moment it made you laugh or cry or simply see things differently. Adventurers big and small, rebels out to change their world, even a mouse with a dream and a spider who can spell - these are the characters who make stories that last a lifetime. Whether you love animal tales, war stories or want to know what it was like growing up in a different time and place, the A PUFFIN BOOK collection has a story for you - you just need to decide where you want to go next... We want to know which is your favourite. Tell us or tweet a photo of your old beloved copy - and we might just send you a new A PUFFIN BOOK so you can pass the story on. Love - PUFFIN @puffinbooks #shareapuffinbook
A timeless tale that despite its 1933 setting resonates so brilliantly with kids reading it today. Not only beautifully written but the characters are handled with great sensitivity and aplomb. _____________ Puffin Fact! The iconic character Annie first appeared as the eleven-year-old heroine of a comic strip called ‘Little Orphan Annie’. Download more Puffin Facts here! _____________ Dear readers, dreamers and adventurers, Ever wanted a friend who could take you to magical realms, talk to animals or help you survive a shipwreck? Well, you'll find them all in the PUFFIN BOOK collection. A PUFFIN BOOK will stay with you forever. Maybe you'll read it again and again, or perhaps years from now you'll suddenly remember the moment it made you laugh or cry or simply see things differently. Adventurers big and small, rebels out to change their world, even a mouse with a dream and a spider who can spell - these are the characters who make stories that last a lifetime. Whether you love animal tales, war stories or want to know what it was like growing up in a different time and place, the A PUFFIN BOOK collection has a story for you - you just need to decide where you want to go next... We want to know which is your favourite. Tell us or tweet a photo of your old beloved copy - and we might just send you a new A PUFFIN BOOK so you can pass the story on. Love - PUFFIN @puffinbooks #shareapuffinbook
Published in the early 1960s and yet as relevant today as it was then, this is a book that will captivate the imagination of a 7 or 8 year old – in fact even the most reluctant reader will be hooked. When Barney falls into a disused quarry he’s confronted by Stig, a caveman but none of Barney’s friends believe the story of Stig. So Barney has the time of his life and the two of them get up to a whole heap of adventures. Just read it – we guarantee you’ll enjoy it.
Francesca Simon, February 2021 Guest Editor: "This famous US classic is, bizarrely, almost unknown here. One of my all-time favourite books, it’s about Meg, a clever, weird, lonely girl, who goes on a quest across space to find her missing father, with only her “faults” to help her." Caroline Lawrence, July 2012 Guest Editor: "When I was in fourth grade, (Year 4), our teacher Mrs. Eckhardt would give us each a eucalyptus drop (hard candy) and read us this existential sci-fi classic out loud for the last fifteen minutes of the day. This is a story where the fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of a few geeky kids. I remember being enthralled, terrified, amazed and transported. What a teacher! What a book!" Also chosen by November 2011 Guest Editor Steve Cole: "A year before 'Doctor Who' first aired on our screens this lively and satisfying fantasy gave us Mrs Who, the original mysterious alien to travel the universe with a clutch of humans. She's one of three immortal entities (together with Mrs Which and Mrs Whatsit) embroiled in a long struggle against the evil Black Thing, a cosmic cloud of darkness. Three human children are recruited to join the battle, traversing the universe via wrinkles in space-time. Compelling and profound, the aliens and strange worlds they encounter still evoke awe and wonder in this reader."
For months, Ben had been thinking about dogs. He had picked the biggest and the best from the dog-books in the library. So imagine his disappointment when, for his birthday, he received a picture of a dog. Ben's imagination soon got to work, though, and that's when his adventures began.
Louis the cygnet may be unable to utter a sound unlike her siblings and his parents but Louis is determined to overcome this impediment by learning to read and write. If at first you don't succeed then try again and so Louis does in this incredibly moving, uplifting and powerful story from the author of Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web, two books you may well have heard of but this one may well be new to you. Here at Lovereading4kids we urge you to read Louis's tender, humorous and unforgettable animal tale too. _____________ Puffin Fact! Male swans are cobs, female swans are pens and baby swans are cygnets. Download more Puffin Facts here! _____________ Dear readers, dreamers and adventurers, Ever wanted a friend who could take you to magical realms, talk to animals or help you survive a shipwreck? Well, you'll find them all in the PUFFIN BOOK collection. A PUFFIN BOOK will stay with you forever. Maybe you'll read it again and again, or perhaps years from now you'll suddenly remember the moment it made you laugh or cry or simply see things differently. Adventurers big and small, rebels out to change their world, even a mouse with a dream and a spider who can spell - these are the characters who make stories that last a lifetime. Whether you love animal tales, war stories or want to know what it was like growing up in a different time and place, the A PUFFIN BOOK collection has a story for you - you just need to decide where you want to go next... We want to know which is your favourite. Tell us or tweet a photo of your old beloved copy - and we might just send you a new A PUFFIN BOOK so you can pass the story on. Love - PUFFIN @puffinbooks #shareapuffinbook
This is the enchanting tale of no ordinary mouse, Stuart Little, who is small in size but enormous in spirit. Funny and touching, it is a story that can be read on many levels - aloud to a very small child, or alone by an older child. It covers themes from adventure, courage and reliability, independence, and first love, to acceptance of differences, family crisis, and the importance of education. No child's bookshelf is complete without it. Born to a family of humans Stuart Little lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George and Snowball the cat. Though he's shy and thoughtful, he's an adventurous and heroic little mouse. A delightful book but not one to compare to the Stuart Little films which may have been inspired by this delightful mouse but are shallow by comparison.
A recommendation from our Guest Editor, September 2020, Michael Morpurgo, MBE | A extraordinary story, exquisitely written, with unforgettable passages of dialogue and description, that confronts the dilemma of our relationship with farm animals. Witty, and in places, desperately sad this is a book where animals talk yet remain who they are, themselves. A book to make you cry. - Michael Morpurgo Magical, this timeless farmyard story tells of the power of friendship. When the runty little piglet is saved from an early death, he grows into a fine and handsome pig. And the farmer wants to kill him. Can Charlotte, the spider who has grown to love him, save his life?
It's 1945. World War II has just ended and twelve-year-old Rusty comes back home to Britain after being evacuated to the US. The greyness and bleakness of life in England is a shock, but even worse is adapting to the strict discipline of her family, including a brother she's never met, after the warmth and openness of her adopted American family. Rusty is sent to a horrific boarding school, before finally running away as her search for happiness becomes more and more desperate.
Beautifully written, this novel won every award imaginable in the USA when it was published. It is a tense, dramatic and compulsive survival adventure that rivals Robinson Crusoe. This though also touches heavily on prejudice and how the young white boy, reliant for his survival on an elderly black man following a shipwreck, begins to trust someone who through his upbringing by his mother had instilled on him not to trust. The boy discovers a true friend, overcomes his prejudices of ageism and racism, this is their story and is a truly inspiring read and as relevant to read now as it was when it was first published. _____________ Puffin Fact! The Cay is based on a true story. While researching another book, Theodore read about an incident that happened in 1942. The Germans had torpedoed a Dutch ship, slicing it in half. Those who survived the attack crawled into a lifeboat, looked back and saw an eleven-year-old Dutch boy. Download more Puffin Facts here! _____________ Dear readers, dreamers and adventurers, Ever wanted a friend who could take you to magical realms, talk to animals or help you survive a shipwreck? Well, you'll find them all in the PUFFIN BOOK collection. A PUFFIN BOOK will stay with you forever. Maybe you'll read it again and again, or perhaps years from now you'll suddenly remember the moment it made you laugh or cry or simply see things differently. Adventurers big and small, rebels out to change their world, even a mouse with a dream and a spider who can spell - these are the characters who make stories that last a lifetime. Whether you love animal tales, war stories or want to know what it was like growing up in a different time and place, the A PUFFIN BOOK collection has a story for you - you just need to decide where you want to go next... We want to know which is your favourite. Tell us or tweet a photo of your old beloved copy - and we might just send you a new A PUFFIN BOOK so you can pass the story on. Love - PUFFIN @puffinbooks #shareapuffinbook
With his bright blue eyes and sparky magical whiskers, no one could mistake Gobbolino for a kitchen cat, but that's exactly what he longs to be. So, while his sister Sootica learns to turn mice into toads, Gobbolino sets off on a grand adventure to find a nice warm fire and a family to care for him.
Stunning and compulsive are two words that best describe the story of Fiver, of Hazel and the rabbit warren full of family and friends. Rejected by most publishers before eventually being snapped up by Rex Collings in 1972, it was an instant hit and has since sold millions of copies the world over. Beautifully written with some of the best characterisation you'll come across in children’s literature, it tells the story of a group of rabbits and their will to survive despite human attempts to do otherwise. Full of adventure, humour, excitement and sadness it will enthral as much now as it did when it was first published.
Time is running out for Mrs Frisby, who must move her family of mice before the farmer destroys their home. But her son is so ill she is convinced he won't survive the move. Help comes in the unexpected form of super-intelligent rats, and little by little Mrs Frisby learns the rats' secret.
Chosen by Jacqueline Wilson, February 2012 Guest Editor: "This is a very touching utterly convincing book about three wartime evacuees billeted to Wales. It's very much a children's story, with a mystery to be solved, but Nina Bawden is very subtle with her characterisation - even hateful Mr Evans with his cruel bullying is seen as sadly pathetic too. Carrie and her little brother Nick are a delight, but my favourite character is their friend Albert Sandwich. He might sport steel spectacles and have a few spots on his chin, but he's one of the most charming boys in all children's fiction." ............................................................................ I loved Carrie’s War from the moment I read it and have enjoyed it more and more with each rereading. At first, I appreciated Nina Bawden’s descriptions of the place and the people: the way she created the stifling atmosphere of the shop and how it contrasted with the freedom of everything that happened at Druid’s Bottom. I read it as the story of a girl being brave when she was away from home. Later, I came to realise that I and all other readers learned tolerance and understanding just like Carrie does. When Carrie is evacuated to Wales with her brother, Nick, she is removed from everything she knows. In a new home and without her parents to advise her Carrie has to work out for herself how she feels about the places around her and how to respond to the unusual circumstances in which she finds herself. While Nick’s emotions are always open, both as he grieves for his missing parents and in how he throws himself without restraint into the new way of life, both embracing Auntie Lou and challenging the bullying councillor Evans, Carrie is more reserved. Carrie waits and watches: she accepts the new situations and considers them coolly. She takes time to adjust to living apart from her parents and to find that she can make decisions for herself. But it’s only when she and Nick are sent to Druid’s Bottom, the strange spooky house set down in the bottom of the valley, that she can really let herself go, having at last found people she can trust. Carrie’s personal journey of discovery is a rich and marvellous one. It’s at Druid’s Bottom that Carrie meets Mrs Gotobed and discovers that growing old is not as terrible as it seems. Here to she meets Mr Johnny with his strange gobbling speech and learns that differences need not be frightening, while from her fellow evacuee Albert sandwich she learns to value her own intelligence. Above all it’s at Druids bottom that she meets the kindly and wise Hepzibah Green whose all-enveloping love and common sense keep Carrie going in difficult times. Despite these themes of separation and the very real dangers posed by the background of the war, Carrie’s War is an upbeat lyrical story containing moments of emotional truth. It is also universal story about growing up, making choices and learning who you can trust. Above all, it’s a story of enormous warmth and understanding, capturing that all-important transition from childhood to adolescence as Carrie grows in her understanding and finds out what really matters to her. One of the most heart-warming and unforgettable stories of the war tells the story of the evacuation of two children to Wales and about growing up amongst strangers and without family. It’s a wonderful evocation of times past and beautifully written. ~ Julia Eccleshare Perfect for Reluctant Readers as well as keen readers. To view other titles we think are suitable for reluctant readers please click here.
An enchanting classic that will fire up a child’s imagination as the storyline unfolds of little creatures living under the floorboards and borrowing everything they need from the humans above the boards. The author describes quite brilliantly what it would be like to be as small as a borrower and to go off on frightening and exciting adventures to borrow what they need. I’m ashamed to say I never read it as a child but have now and it’s equally perfect for parent and child to read together as it is for a child to gain a great deal of enjoyment alone.(7-9) Carnegie Winner in 1952. Books in The Borrowers Series: 1. The Borrowers 2. The Borrowers Afield 3. The Borrowers Afloat 4. The Borrowers Aloft 5. The Borrowers Avenged
This is the classic story of an otter living in the Devonshire countryside which captures the feel of life in the wild as seen through the otter's own eyes. It is full of joy and wonder, as well as death, sadness and brutality and yet it is an inspirational portrait of a vanished time, seen from Tarka's viewpoint. Often harrowing, the story details Tarka's constant battle with the otter hounds, and in particular their fearsome leader Deadlock. Most of us will have never seen an otter in the wild or be likely to see one and yet once you've read the story of Tarka the Otter you will not only know exactly what they look like, you will also know their mannerisms and crucially having read the novel, you will also realise how man's impact almost drove them to extinction. A message from Michael Morpurgo about Henry Williamson and his writing: 'It is a rare gift indeed for a storyteller to be a poet as much as a storymaker, to tell a tale so deeply engaging that the reader wants to know what will happen and never wants it to end, and yet at the same tells it in such a way as to leave a reader wide-eyed with amazement at the sheer intensity of feeling that can be induced by the word-magic of a poet. Henry Williamson is just such a story-maker poet.'_____________ Puffin Fact! The iconic character Annie first appeared as the eleven-year-old heroine of a comic strip called ‘Little Orphan Annie’. Download more Puffin Facts here! _____________ Dear readers, dreamers and adventurers, Ever wanted a friend who could take you to magical realms, talk to animals or help you survive a shipwreck? Well, you'll find them all in the PUFFIN BOOK collection. A PUFFIN BOOK will stay with you forever. Maybe you'll read it again and again, or perhaps years from now you'll suddenly remember the moment it made you laugh or cry or simply see things differently. Adventurers big and small, rebels out to change their world, even a mouse with a dream and a spider who can spell - these are the characters who make stories that last a lifetime. Whether you love animal tales, war stories or want to know what it was like growing up in a different time and place, the A PUFFIN BOOK collection has a story for you - you just need to decide where you want to go next... We want to know which is your favourite. Tell us or tweet a photo of your old beloved copy - and we might just send you a new A PUFFIN BOOK so you can pass the story on. Love - PUFFIN @puffinbooks #shareapuffinbook
A heart breaking and heart warming story of a special friendship that grows between Willie Beech, evacuated to the country to avoid the Blitz on London, and Tom Oakley, the reserved old man who takes him in. Willie has been lonely and neglected all his life as his mother lacks the ability to care for him. Under Mister Tom’s patient and kind guidance Willie grows emotionally and physically to become the boy he should have been. But then his mother wants him back home in London. Must Willie loose everything that has made him happy?
Chosen by Jacqueline Wilson. Carnegie winner in 1937. When I re-read this down-to-earth, charming adventure that’s full of humour I felt more than a little sad for although the 1930s was a decade of hardship for most people in England, this family of 7 children had immense freedom and a fun-filled action-packed time despite being very poor; in fact, almost certainly a much more fun and enjoyable time than children of today. It was a time of innocence and trust but nowadays we deny our children freedom and protect our children because sadly that trust in other people and innocence has gone. This is a wonderful evocation of a now vanished world that all children should read and will thoroughly enjoy, not just because of the great adventures but also the heart-warming characters. It has been beautifully published by Puffin with original illustrations. A timeless classic that may be from a different era but it’s a book to cherish. (7-9) To find out more about this book CLICK HERE to visit the Carnegie Greenaway site
Smith, though only 12, is an accomplished pickpocket, saved from the gallows by his own stealth and speed. One dark evening he witnesses a murder, a stabbing, and finds a document belonging to the dead man, which he feels must be valuable. The only problem is, Smith can't read.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is the classic story of a girl growing up in the deep South. _____________ Puffin Fact! After graduating from the University of Toledo, Mildred D. Taylor spent two years in Ethiopia with the Peace Corps, which she described as ‘the happiest years’ in her adult life. Download more Puffin Facts here! _____________ Dear readers, dreamers and adventurers, Ever wanted a friend who could take you to magical realms, talk to animals or help you survive a shipwreck? Well, you'll find them all in the PUFFIN BOOK collection. A PUFFIN BOOK will stay with you forever. Maybe you'll read it again and again, or perhaps years from now you'll suddenly remember the moment it made you laugh or cry or simply see things differently. Adventurers big and small, rebels out to change their world, even a mouse with a dream and a spider who can spell - these are the characters who make stories that last a lifetime. Whether you love animal tales, war stories or want to know what it was like growing up in a different time and place, the A PUFFIN BOOK collection has a story for you - you just need to decide where you want to go next... We want to know which is your favourite. Tell us or tweet a photo of your old beloved copy - and we might just send you a new A PUFFIN BOOK so you can pass the story on. Love - PUFFIN @puffinbooks #shareapuffinbook
A classic animal story set in the harsh and desolate wastelands of the north where the only rule is kill for survival or be killed and eaten yourself. Here White Fang, half-dog, half-wolf is born – the only cub of the litter to survive. The wolf pack are starving and so too are the humans who live alongside them. White Fang has to learn the brutal laws of nature and whether he can trust humans – or not. As the author of another great animal classic, Watership Down, Richard Adams explains the influence White Fang had on him.
This is a classic of all classics. Melvin Burgess has written an Introduction that will make the reader realise if they haven’t already that we, the human race, are on the cusp of changing nature and therefore the planet forever. The magical quality in The Call of the Wild lays in the story of Buck the ever-loyal dog to his master, who together lived a comfortable existence until Buck is kidnapped and forced to become a sledge dog in the frozen north. Experiencing violence and brutality, Buck’s natural wolf instincts begin to take over in the wilderness between man and beast. In this terrific pocket size Puffin edition there’s lots of additional material at the end of the book including an author profile, a guide to who’s who in The Call of the Wild plus many related activities to do beyond the book.
Young Willie Beech is evacuated to the country as Britain stands on the brink of WW2. A sad, deprived child, he slowly begins to flourish under the care of old Tom Oakley - but his new-found happiness is shattered by a summons from his mother back in London... Winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award.
Barney has found a wonderful place to play - the chalk-pit or rubbish dump near his granny's home. One day the ground gives way and Barney finds himself in a cave in the middle of the dump, and that's where he meets Stig. Stig is living wild and has a lot to learn from Barney, but equally he has a lot to teach him. They soon become friends, discover each other's ways and embark on a series of extraordinary adventures.
Penguin presents the ABRIDGED audiobook edition of The Borrowers by Mary Norton, read by Samantha Bond. Pod, Homily and Arrietty are a family of tiny people who live beneath the floor, behind the grandfather clock in the old rectory. They own nothing - everything they have is borrowed from the 'human beans' who don't even know they exist. Arrietty's father, Pod, is an expert borrower. He can scale curtains using a hatpin and bring back a doll's teacup without breaking it. Girl's aren't supposed to go borrowing, but as Arrietty is an only child, Pod breaks the rules. But when she is in the house borrowing, something happens which changes their lives. Arrietty makes friends with 'the boy upstairs'.
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