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Described as Metamorphosis for young readers, this story by Ted Hughes is indeed filled with a sense of transformation, visceral and almost terrifying in its vitality. There's nothing out of the ordinary about Fred, except that he seems to have a particularly acute relationship with the universe, super-aware of himself as a living being. While his ability to think himself into other heads helps at school, a tiger prowls through his dreams which become ever more real and frightening. Inventive, spare, tough and beautifully told, this demands to be read aloud. Striking illustrations by Joe McLaren add to its special appeal. ~ Andrea Reece
Funny, thought-provoking and moving, this much loved story is a true classic. 'What are we, Papa?' the toy mouse child asked his father. 'I don't know,' the father answered. 'We must wait and see.' So begins the story of a tin father and son who dance under a Christmas tree until they break the ancient clockwork rules and are themselves broken. Thrown away, then rescued from a dustbin and repaired by a tramp, they set out on a dangerous quest for a family and a place of their own - the magnificent doll's house, the plush elephant and the tin seal they had once know in the toy shop. 'Hugely funny, provocative, pathetic and heroic.' TLS 'Brilliantly plotted . . . a spellbinder . . . it has a style that glows and crackles.' Spectator
A new edition of the much-loved classic story of time travel, ghosts and friendship. Even before she came to Belton, Minty Cane had known that she was a witch, or something very like it . . . Minty is the kind of girl who notices things. Pockets of cold air on a stairway. Cries on the wind. Ghosts. On night-time jaunts from the house where she's staying while her mother recovers from an accident, Minty stumbles upon a moondial which takes her back in time. She finds Tom, a sickly kitchen boy, and Sarah, a girl with a birthmark who is only allowed out at night because her family think she has the mark of the devil . . . Can Minty save her friends, or will she get stuck in the past . . .? 'Fresh and entertaining.' Publishers Weekly 'Carefully wrought and evanescent as a ghost story should be, this will be enjoyed by any admirer of Tom's Midnight Garden.' Kirkus
A welcome reissue of a classic title that is perfect for reading aloud to all those who enjoy magical adventure laced with knockabout humour. Aladdin, hero of the story of the magic lamp, has a son Abu Ali who is born with remarkable abilities. Not only is he delightfully well-mannered and well-behaved but he is also able to speak from birth! When Aladdin summons up the genie to find out why Abu Ali is so gifted he discovers that the boy has a great destiny ahead of him. He is charged with finding the enchanted Land of Green Ginger and releasing the enchanted wizard from the spell that has turned him into a button-nosed tortoise. Magic and mayhem follow as Abu Ali sets out to fulfil his destiny in a wonderfully old-fashioned Arabia.
The poems that make up this collection were first published in 1913 but it was not until 1946 that it was published, as it is in this new edition, with Edward Ardizzone’s illustrations. Though de la Mare’s poems describe a variety of subjects, there’s a unity to the collection that makes it read almost like a song-cycle. Ardizzone’s drawings enhance that, making Peacock Pie, in the view of children’s literature expert Brian Alderson, ‘one of the most satisfying children’s books of the twentieth century’. Certainly the poems deserve to be lived with whole, and the drawings – in choice of subject and viewpoint, response to character and setting – are simply perfect. There should be a place for this on every child’s bookshelf. ~ Andrea Reece
An attractive volume of Edward Lear’s best-loved and timeless limericks all of which are brilliantly realised in Arthur Robins witty illustrations. The collection opens with: “There was an Old Man with a beard,/ Who said, “It is just as I feared!-/ Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,/ Have built their nests in my beard!”. It also includes a wonderful array of other equally inventive, witty and barmy verses to tickle the senses and inspire a love of this kind of verse.
Cats! Some are sane, and some are mad. Some are good, and some are bad . . . The original Old Possum's illustrations have been lovingly restored and are showcased in this beautiful new hardback edition, perfect for children and Eliot aficionados alike. These lovable cat poems were written by T. S. Eliot for his godchildren and continue to delight children and grown-ups. The collection inspired the musical Cats!, and features Macavity, Mr Mistofelees and Growltiger!
Deliciously funny and touching, Sylvia Plath’s three wonderfully fresh and original stories were originally written for her own children but remain as delightful as ever. The title story, in which Max gets the very special suit he has always craved, and also Mrs Cherry’s Kitchen and The Bed Book all have a timeless appeal. The addition of David Roberts’s witty and tender illustrations adds a delightful sparkle.
Magic and adventure are beautifully combined in this wonderful story about wishes and what ifs? Arriving at the White House for their holiday, Cyril, Anthea, Robert, Jane and their baby brother set about looking for adventure by digging in the gravel pit. Unearthing a strange creature who tells them it is a Psammead who is able to give them one wish a day, the children find themselves in for some very exciting and magical surprises.
Mankind for has polluted the seas, lakes and rivers. The Iron Woman has come to take revenge. Lucy understands the Iron Woman's rage and she too wants to save the water creatures from their painful deaths. But she also wants to save her town from total destruction. She needs help. Who better to call on but Hogarth and the Iron Man . . .? A sequel and companion volume to Ted Hughes' The Iron Man, this new, child-friendly setting will be treasured by a new generation of readers.
A welcome reissue of an original and highly imaginative classic. Marianne is stuck in bed for six weeks following an illness. Seemingly with nothing to do, she is sure she’ll be terribly bored. But then she finds a special pencil in an old workbox she is sorting through and begins to draw. Soon Marianne finds that whatever she draws appears in her dreams and, excitingly if slightly frighteningly, the people and places begin to come alive. Soon Marianne has a whole new world and Mark, a special friend to play with.
This classic title by award-winning Betsy Byars richly deserves its attractive reissue. Capturing a boy’s fascination with a fox he befriends when he is sent away to stay on his aunt’s farm, it sensitively depicts a journey of discovery for a lonely boy. Tom is sure he will hate everything about being on the farm but from the moment he first sees the beautiful black fox he is captivated by her. Finding out about the fox brings him to take a greater interest in the farm. Suddenly he sees that it is a place full of excitement and opportunities. When his uncle goes after the fox, Tom knows he has to get involved. Can he save his new friend?
'The cat himself knows and will never confess...' To celebrate Old Possum's 75th anniversary we have commissioned lively new illustrations from Rebecca Ashdown for T. S. Eliot's original book of Practical Cats. Featuring Macavity, the Mystery Cat; Mr Mistofelees, the Original Conjuring Cat; Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer and all the gang, this is a must for every child's bookshelf and is a great companion to the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage show.
A beautiful new edition of The Iron Man, the bestselling classic by Ted Hughes, with the stunning original wood engravings from Andrew Davidson. The Iron Man came to the top of the cliff. Where had he come from? Nobody knows. How was he made? Nobody knows. Mankind must put a stop to the dreadful destruction by the Iron Man and set a trap for him, but he cannot be kept down. Then, when a terrible monster from outer space threatens to lay waste to the planet, it is the Iron Man who finds a way to save the world. 'Gripping . . a classic.' Phillip Pullman 'A visionary tale.' Michael Morpurgo 'One of the greatest of modern fairy tales.' Observer
Set in a beautiful and magical place, this is an award-winning classic story of a friendship that stretches across centuries as Tolly, newly arrived at Green Knowe, his great grandmother’s old wonderfully atmospheric house, makes friends with Alexander, Toby and Linnet, his long distant relatives who lived in the house centuries before. Although from another time, Tolly’s relatives are not ghosts; they and Tolly share a home and, through the stories of long-ago that Tolly’s grandmother tells him, Tolly knows all about their lives while they can visit him in his. Together the children have wonderful adventures in the surrounding countryside. Further adventures set in the same wonderful house but now occupied by other children follow in The River at Greene Knowe.
A welcome return for a collection of all kinds of stories which will make perfect bedtime reading. Originally published in the 1960s, the collection includes traditional favourites such as Thumbelina and The Ugly Duckling and modern classics such as Ted Hughes’s How the Polar Bear Became. In addition there are extracts from books that were popular at the time of its original publications such as Leila Berg’s Little Pete stories and Joyce Lankaster Brisley’s Milly-Molly-Mandy stories. Shirley Hughes original illustrations add to the period charm.
These classic cat poems which sum up all the different kinds of cats there can be are given a delightful new look by bestselling Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler. Scheffler’s cats are cuddly creatures with expressive eyes through which the cats convey the hilarity and nonsense of T S Eliot’s verses.
Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo’s love of poetry shines through this wonderfully wide ranging and personal anthology which is packed-full of gems. Many are poems Michael Morpurgo has cherished since his own childhood such as Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Windy Nights’, Lewis Carroll’s magnificent ‘Jabberwocky’ and Alfred Lord Tennyson’s ‘Break, break, break.’ Others, including Brian Patten’s ‘A Small Dragon’ and James Berry’s ‘One’ are poems he’s come to love more recently. Throughout the anthology shines Morpurgo’s close identification with the countryside and his love and respect of it.
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