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New children’s books for September 2016

Written by · Published Aug 31, 2016

Captain Firebeard’s School for Pirates

Picture Books

Kate Baker & Hui Skipp – A Pandemonium of Parrots and Other Animals

Published by the Big Picture Press, this beautifully produced alphabetical sequence of birds and animals will repay close attention. Each double page spread is filled with beautiful illustrations and suggestions of things to spot. Not a book to be rushed

Helen and Thomas Docherty – The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight

The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight

“Leo was a gentle knight, in thought and word and deed. While other knights liked fighting, Leo liked to sit and read”. Here’s a warm cosy message about the seductive power of reading on dragons, griffins and trolls, and a town littered with vast quantities of dragon poo to glory at. Using books as inducement to stop fighting and as enticement to tidy up? It’s all in rhyme and filled with deliciously detailed illustrations.

David Melling – D is for Duck

David Melling has conjured up a jem. He takes an alphabetic approach in this bright funny story about a magician duck who struts his stuff from a to z. It is a joy to read and to look at from the abracadabra flourish of the start through to the zappy ending.

David Melling – Hugless Douglas and the Great Cake Bake

Just in time for the GBBO, this paperback edition has Hugless Douglas as endearingly dopey as ever plus a great number of woolly sheep all sticky with great dollops of honey. There is a recipe for honey cake at the end … Or if you’re in a more poetic baking mood, you could try 9781406365801 Pat-a-Cake baby by Joyce and Polly Dunbar. The baby-soft illustrations and the lilting lyrics combine to create a beautiful book with a dreamy feel. It puts me in mind of Maurice Sendak’s In the night kitchen, but prettier.

Short Chapter books

Chae Strathie – Captain Firebeard’s School for Pirates

“Welcome to Cap’n Firebeard’s School for Pirates - the fiercest, baddest school on all the Seven Seas. Here, students are taught to be fierce and brave, and lessons include ‘walking the plank’, ‘pirate speak’ and ‘crow’s nest climbing’. Each book will see the class putting these new-found skills to the test in a real pirating adventure!”

Junior novels

Paul Gamble – The Ministry of Strange, Unusual and Impossible Things

The Ministry of Strange, Unusual and Impossible Things

It all begins with a shoe. Just one. In the middle of the road. Who loses one shoe? A one-legged person obviously. And who has only one leg? A pirate, of course. So that’s how Jack gets an inkling that there are pirates about. Then there’s this bear. It appears on the roadway and halts the traffic, including the school bus. All the drivers are cowering in their cars, but Jack gets out to investigate and manages to overcome the bear by brandishing a chair at it.

There’s a good reason why bears are afraid of chairs, but there’s no time to explain right now. Because the next thing is that Jack gets recruited into the Ministry of SUITs - Strange, Unusual and Impossible Things. Before long, he’s on a mission - to save his best friend David. Jack knowns David is going to need saving because all the odd kids are going missing, and David is the oddest kid in the class.

Fleur Hitchcock – Bus Stop Baby

Amy is on her way home from school when she finds a newborn baby left alone at the village bus stop. She’s shaken by the experience and also by the discovery that another baby was abandoned in their small rural village 49 years ago. It’s wrong, just like when Mum walked out on their family ten years ago. After accusing her best friend of theft and falling out, Amy spends more and more time with her grandmother, hoping to find the baby’s mother and reunite them. But it’s hard work. What happened to the baby from 49 years ago? As Amy researches the local history, she traces a secret very close to home.

Tom Nicoll – There’s a Dragon in my Toilet

Actually it’s not a dragon in Eric’s toilet, it’s 2 mini-dragons, who have travelled the ocean and through the sewer system to rescue capture Pan from the house of the humans. This third story is a silly as the first two, and a great choice for children who are reading well on their own, but prefer slap-stick to serious. Sarah Horne’s black “inky” illustrations are a perfect accompaniment.

Rebecca Stevens – Rose in the Blitz

Rose follows her old and muddled Great-Aunt Cosy into the London Underground and finds herself travelling back in time to war-torn London. Here, she witnesses the impact of the impending Blitz on Cosy’s life. Tragedy will follow - unless Rose can figure out how to protect the future.

Junior non-fiction

John Agard – My Name is Book

My Name is Book

Shortlisted for the Carnegie Prize 2016, “Quirky and humorous, part poetry, part reflection, this is the story of the book told by none other than Book himself! This extraordinary character begins by reminding us of his origins in oral story and clay tablets, then ponders on papyrus, parchment and paper, and on being a scroll who finally gets a spine. We see him lovingly illuminated by monks in medieval monasteries, then witness the massive changes brought about by the invention of the printing press, and the coming of paperbacks and e-books in the 20th century.”

Kate Baker & Hui Skipp – A Pandemonium of Parrots

What a gloriously illustrated “collective” of animals! Each animal group has a full colour double-page spread, for instance a “sloth of bears” or a “conspiracy of lemurs”, it’s a book to pore over and enjoy together.

Anna Claybourne – 100 Most Feared Creatures

With such sensational photography, this book should be very popular with our younger customers, whereas I can barely bring myself to touch the cover ….

Angela Herlihy – My First Cat Book

“Even though cats are independent creatures, they still need a certain level of everyday care, attention and understanding. This practical guide, complete with informative illustrations, helps children to care for and get to know their cat.” The purrfect manual for pet owners aged 7 to 10 years.

Megan Cullis – The Usborne Big Book of Trucks

Huge pictures, giant fold-out pages and snippets of fascinating information to engage all machine-mad youngsters. “Bold and cheery” – what more could you want for your little truckers?

Paul Rockett & Mark Ruffle - Ten Thousand Poisonous Plants in the World

Re-published in the Big Countdown series, this book does more than help you count plants. It includes information about species, photosynthesis, flowers, pollination and seeds, how plants grow, and how we depend on plants for food and other products. If you enjoy this, you may also like their “100 trillion good bacteria living on the human body”

Jo Dixon

I work for Suffolk Libraries Stock Team.