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New children’s books for June 2014

Written by · Published May 29, 2014

Paradise Barn by Victor Watson

Picture books

Baby’s Got the Blues by Carol Diggory Shields

You might think a baby’s life is one long round of cuddles, eating and sleep, but the baby in this beautiful rhyming picture book knows different. He moans about soggy nappies, and cries because he can’t talk or walk.

A Day with the Animal Mechanics by Sharon Rentta

Dylan the Dog learns so much when he spends the day at work in his father’s garage; that it’s a good idea to close a sports car roof before taking it through a car wash, that fat-cat-bank-managers don’t like painty paw prints on their flashy motors, that Tyson the Bison is good with spanners and that when an ice cream truck gets stuck in a traffic jam, the only thing to do is eat up the cornets, wafers, lollies.

The mechanics in this wonderful picture book are reminiscent of Speedy Motors. With illustrations packed full of cars and vans and tyres and tools and humour, this one is destined to become a favourite.

Sharon Rentta’s Sidney the Blue Elephant even makes a guest appearance without his bicycle. What could be better?

If you like it, why not try maybe Sharon Rentta’s A Day with the Animal Doctors, A Day with the Animal Builders or A Day with the Animal Firefighters, all new in stock this month too.

Jack and the Jelly Bean Stalk by Rachael Mortimer and Liz Pichon

In a twist on the traditional tale, the cow is sold for a bag of gold coins which buys a huge bag of jelly beans.

The beans get thrown through the window by an angry mother, as per, but the beanstalk grows jelly beans smelling of orange, pear, mint, choc-chip, oh and socks.

Now if the young children in your care must learn and recite verse, try the giant’s refrain “Goose is good but boy’s so tasty, Served with chips and wrapped in pastry”. Simple, I’ve learned it already.

Short chapter books

Ghosts on the Loose by Tim Healey

St Trinian’s meets Heath Robinson in this school story with a difference, about madcap inventor, Mortimer Keene.

Chris Mould’s Searle-esque illustrations work in perfect combination with Tim Healey’s rhyming text. Just begs to be read aloud.

Queen Sardine by Kate Willis–Crowley

In which 8 year old Ivy’s life is invaded then dominated by a talking cat with a hearty appetite and illusions of grandeur.

Junior novels

Paradise Barn by Victor Watson

Oh joy, a whole new series of pacy adventures for children of 9–12.

Evacuated from London to escape the blitz, Adam arrives in a small Norfolk town where he makes friends with two local girls. Together the three children solve a crime which has befuddled the police.

The 4 books in the series by debut author Victor Watson have been published simultaneously, so if you’re left wanting more, all you have to do is check our catalogue for the next, and the next and the next.

Like Blyton but so much better.

The Girl from Hard Times Hill by Emma Barnes

When Megan’s father finally returns from occupied Germany in the years following World War II, she should be pleased – shouldn’t she?

But she hardly knows her father, and his arrival means moving out of Nana’s house into the city. Megan hates the changes to her life, yet when she has the opportunity to be the first member of her working class family to go to Grammar School, it is her dad who is behind her all the way.

Can Megan adapt to her new life, and take advantage of a changing Britain?

Young teen

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Set in the US, the central character of this absorbing novel is a child genius referred to an inept school counsellor following a family tragedy.

Difficult themes are well-handled and the cast of unconventional outsiders is intriguing, amusing and endearing. An inspiring read with feisty female characters. It would make a great film.

Back to Blackbrick by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

A young boy’s desperate fight to prevent his grandfather Kevin’s decline into dementia slips him back in time to meet Kevin as a young man working as a stable-boy during WWI.

Much of the action takes place in Blackbrick, the big house in Ireland where his grandparents met. The haunting sense of place and moving undercurrent of impending loss make this an unputdownable read from a debut author.

Older teen

The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

15 year old Pearl’s shock following the death of her mum in childbirth is heart-breaking. She blames baby Rose, or “The Rat” for the death, and it takes a whole year before Pearl really accepts her mum has died. Another astonishing debut novel from a talented new writer.

Jo Dixon

I work for Suffolk Libraries Stock Team.