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New children’s books for August 2014

Written by · Published Jul 31, 2014

Cheesemares by Ross Collins

Picture books

Sir Scallywag and the dreadful dragon poo by Giles Andreae & Korky Paul

The consequences of a cabbage diet, have been written about elsewhere, so I won’t bore you with the details. If you’d rather, try Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants.

I dare you not to yawn by Helene Boudreau

In effect, it’s an instruction manual for toddlers on how to avoid being put to bed. And a very funny instruction manual it is too.

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

If you like pictures of the sea, boats and fishermen’s huts this melancholic picture book is for you. The illustrations in soft blue-greys are atmospheric and the story heart-warming. After a huge storm which washes a baby whale onto the shore, little Noi keeps it in the bath till his fisherman father comes home. Together they return the whale to the sea.

Five minutes to bed by Richard Dungworthy

There’s a catchy refrain in this rhyming countdown to bedtime, with pirates swabbing decks, checking the rigging, coiling ropes and mending nets. Eventually there are no minutes more.

The Scarecrow’s wedding by Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

Planning a wedding? Want some tips? Look no further. There’s a list and everything:

  • A dress of white feathers
  • A necklace of shells
  • Lots of pink flowers
  • Two rings
  • And some bells

What more could you need? (Apart from the Gruffalo hiding on the back cover.)

There’s a Lion in my cornflakes by Michelle Robinson & Jim Field

Two little boys collect 100 free lion coupons, wait aaaaages for it to turn up, and then …it’s a bear. And that’s just the start of it. Hilarious riot of a book, with an unexpected ending, which I won’t spoil by telling you. Oh and the pictures are just right too.

Beginner reads and short chapter books

Cheesemares by Ross Collins

Hal has nightmares after eating cheese (hence the tile), pork pies with teeth after Edam, 16 eyed kittens after Cheddar. It can’t go on, so Hal sets out to investigate. Published by Barrington Stoke who specialise in books for dyslexic children, the book is printed on creamy yellow paper with double spacing between the lines.

The moonshine dragon by Cornelia Funke

Aimed at children of 6–8 years old, this is a fantasy about what happens when stories escape from books, from the writer of Inkspell.

Junior novels

Petals in the ashes by Mary Hooper

It can be hard to find a book for avid 10–14 year olds to really get their teeth into so we’ve bought more copies of this super novel about the Great Fire of London. First published ten years ago, it continues the tale of the sisters who owned The Sugared Plum sweetshop in the City at the time the plague was sweeping through London. It’s packed full of historical detail including recipes for rose water and pomanders. As a family read for the summer, you can’t go wrong.

The Lost gods by Francesca Simon

Freya, was an ordinary schoolgirl then some Norse Gods arrived on a mission to save the world. Pity they got tempted by fame, fortune and celebrity.

The Sign of the Black Dagger by Joan Lingard (eBook)

One day, Will and Lucy’s dad just… vanishes: they have no idea why he’s disappeared until a creepy stranger reveals their dad was keeping a BIG secret.

Then there’s the second clue: an old diary they find hidden in the walls of their Royal Mile house, with a sinister black dagger on it.

Will and Lucy must solve a mystery that’s over two hundred years old if they want to find their dad and bring him home. But can they find the answers in time to rescue him?

Young teen

Flora in love by Natasha Farrant

The second of the Diaries of Bluebell Gadsby reminds me of Dodie Smith’s I Capture the castle. Not in the setting, so utterly metropolitan, but in the dynamics of family relationships on which the diaries are based, and the age and personality of the central character. Another good read for the summer.

Loyal Creatures by Morris Gleitzman

Due out later this month, Loyal Creatures tells the story of a war horse, Daisy sent from the Australian outback to the campaign in the Middle East along with 16 year old Will. Together they search the desert for the water that will keep their colleagues alive.

Junior non-fiction

Only Remembered by Michael Morpurgo

Morpurgo has edited this diverse anthology of memories about the Great War from contributors as diverse as Simon Mayo and the Duchess of Cornwall. It is beautifully produced and includes facsimiles of primary source materials; letters, postcards, photos newspaper articles and more.

Can You Survive an Earthquake? by Rachael Teresa Hanel (eBook)

You’re in the middle of one of the most unpredictable natural disasters – an earthquake. No place is safe as the ground shudders, shakes, and splits. How will you survive as the world crashes around you? Will you: experience an earthquake far from civilization in rural Alaska? Be trapped in a large city during an earthquake? Fight to survive during an earthquake in Japan and the tsunami that follows it?

YOU CHOOSE what you’ll do next. The choices you make will either lead you to safety – or to doom.

Jo Dixon

I work for Suffolk Libraries Stock Team.