This lovely new Julia Donaldson board book has good sturdy flaps for little fingers, a visiting menagerie of creatures and the sweet bright illustrations by Rebecca Cobb. And to increase your sensory experience, scan the QR code on the back of the book to hear an accompanying song.
A well laid out counting book, full of child-friendly illustrations of vehicles is as rare as hen’s teeth. We’ve bought loads of copies because we’re expecting a rush.
It’s great to find a book which rejects gender stereotyping for young children. Jessica Spanyol’s Clive has a lovely busy day taking his babies to the park, paying them along with his friends then putting them to bed. If you’re looking for positive role models for little boys who sometimes like to do things other than climb, race around furiously and kick balls, there are two other Clive books you may want to look at; Clive and his bags and Clive and his hats.
Just in time for father’s day comes this story about a young father looking back wistfully to his youth spent playing in a band, motorcycling, and getting tattoos. His young son still thinks he's the tops and we think this picture book is all set to become the present to buy for all new dads. Keith Negley’s Tough guys have feelings too was published last year, and uses the same playful style of illustration to disguise the softer side of being a boy and a man.
This classic rhyming picture book was first published back in the 1990s, but it has been re-issued for a new generation of young children and it looks even better than the day it first came out. The art work has been re-scanned and the text is bold, clean and easy to read. If you haven’t come across it before, then you’re in for a treat!
Three big cheers for Willis and Ross who have created another picture book that reads like a dream, with illustrations guaranteed to raise a laugh at every glance. Imagine Bossy little girl meets Hairy McClary, and you get a flavour of what to expect. It’s sure to entertain the adult reader as well as the listening child. “Lucinda Belinda got hold of the cat. 'No kitten of mine goes out looking like that!' ” - Love it!
Short chapter books
Copiously illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson, this rhyming tale would be great for feisty girls and boys who have recently gained independence in reading, and who enjoy stories about children getting into scrapes. The corny rhymes make it easy to read aloud. Like a Pam Ayres for 7 and 8 year olds?
Alfie, least favourite child of Aggie Onion, nee Lumpett, sets off on an adventure as baggage carrier to his brother Magnifico, the apple of Aggie’s eye. But Magnifico is blessed with neither courage nor intelligence, whereas Alfie, with trusty dog Bowser at his side, is truly a hero. It’s full of great characters, it’s funny, Marta Kissi’s illustrations perfectly capture the mood, and Alfie wins fair maid.
Third in the Time Traveller series, about school-fiends Saul and Robbie who keep getting caught in time travelling situations, this story can be read on its own. But for the whole caboodle, why not start with The accidental time traveller, then you too can meet the weird girl from 1812 whom the boys find standing in the middle of the road. Janis MacKay is a brilliant writer, though not well publicised in England.
Black arts by Andrew Prentice (eBook)
The streets of Elizabethan London hide many secrets. Without any family or friends, Jack is cast loose into the seething heart of a shadowy world of criminals, spies and magicians. He begins to uncover secret truths long-hidden. And he starts to see London for what it truly is... a city of devils. A bold, vibrant story that gets its hooks into you and doesn’t let go.
A new book by the author of the totally brilliant Stonebird. Something strange is happening to Owen. One minute, he's living a perfectly ordinary life: school, football, video games, hanging out with best friend Danny. The next, he finds himself sucked into a terrifying dream world, a wasteland where a terrible Darkness plagues his hometown, threatening the lives of everyone in it. Owen can't control when he enters this world, or when he gets to leave. All he knows is that he has to help fight this terrible Darkness. But what is this world? Why is he here? And what if he never gets to go back home?
This is the first title in the new The trials of Apollo series, featuring, but not starring, Percy Jackson. Apollo, son of Zeus, is the hero this time, falling into the story from out of the clouds and straight into a pile of New York rubbish sacks. I can’t wait to read it! “MY NAME IS APOLLO. I used to be a god.” What a start to a story!
Denizen Hardwick doesn't believe in magic - until he's ambushed by a monster created from shadows and sees it destroyed by a word made of sunlight. That kind of thing can really change your perspective. Now Denizen is about to discover that there's a world beyond the one he knows. A world of living darkness where an unseen enemy awaits. Fortunately for humanity, between us and the shadows stand the Knights of the Borrowed Dark. Unfortunately for Denizen, he's one of them. This book has landed on my desk today. I’ve read a chapter and I’m hooked. It’s seriously good.
This is the third title in the Circus of thieves series, about Armitage Shanks and his wacky circus crew. David Tazzyman’s fun illustrations are a good match for the zany stories.
Stick cat by Tom Watson (eBook)
There’s a new pet in town: Stick Cat! Perfect for fans of Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the Stick Dog books, Stick Cat features Tom Watson’s trademark combination of laughs, adventure, and hilarious stick-figure drawings. Stick Cat’s high-wire act is sure to please cat lovers and Stick Dog fans everywhere.
Tilly can’t believe it when her best friend Matty is asked to be a bridesmaid. In Tilly’s favourite daydream, she’s kitted out in the most beautiful bridesmaid dress, walking down the aisle behind a beautiful bride. The one wedding she’d really like to attend is her own mum and dad’s. But as that’s never going to happen, it’s time for Tilly to make her own dream come true – and put her bridesmaid services up for hire.
This second title in Steve Cole’s take on the Young Bond series is prefaced by that famous quotation, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" (Edmund Burke). But we’ve no need to worry on that front, because Steve Cole like Charlie Higson before him, would never allow our hero “to do nothing” and he’s courageous from the start. James’ holiday in Cuba has become a nightmare mission to save an old friend from a ruthless killer as he rushes through Havana pursued by corrupt cops and hired assassins.
11 year old Joe, confined to life in an isolation unit, meets a sympathetic nurse who plans with him how he can “escape” for an adventure on the outside.
Sheila O’Flanagan is a very successful author of books for adults, but this is her first book aimed at the teenage market. It’s in a totally different genre from her usual and it looks brilliant. It’s all about a boy, chased by bullies through a portal into another world. Can’t wait to read it!
Hel, goddess of the underworld and the daughter of a giantess and a god, is a teenager too and she didn’t always hate everything. Why is her life so unfair? Drawing on Viking myths and legends, The Monstrous Child is Francesca Simon's first book for teens and is already getting a lot of press attention.
Whisper to me by Nick Lake (eBook)
A brilliant tour de force romance which introduces readers to Cassie, a New Jersey Shore teen who, over the course of one summer, experiences the exhilarating highs of new love, the frightening free falls of personal demons and family tragedy, and the bumps along the way to forgiveness, acceptance, and self-discovery. Told entirely through flashbacks, readers will savour every moment of Cassie's relationship with a boardwalk boy and race to the last page to discover how it all ends.
Even though she knows it's impossible, Seren longs to have the sunshine on her skin. It's something she feels she needs to stay sane. But when you're hurtling through space at thousands of kilometres an hour, sometimes you have to accept there are things you cannot change. Except that the arrival of Dom in her life changes everything in ways she can barely comprehend. He becomes the sun for her, and she can't help but stay in his orbit. To lose him would be like losing herself.
A compulsive black comedy about fandom. "Fangirls get a bad rap all the time - people say we're weird, hysterical, obsessed, certifiable. But those people don't understand. Just because we're fangirls, doesn't mean we're crazy.”
Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she'll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy. But then, with only 95 days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable!
This is a great book for all our young petrol heads. It’s got full colour photos and with short punchy blocks of text. Just in time for the new look Top Gear?
A picture book that takes abstract concepts, really big ideas, and illustrates them with understandable imagery. For instance, “if all the water on earth was represented by 100 glasses… 97 glasses would be filled with salt water" etc. It’s clever stuff and absolutely fascinating.