Archive for November, 2012

December Children’s Christmas Books

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

A book as a gift for a child is thoughtful and magical and can leave a lasting impression. More than that… it’s a neat rectangle that’s REALLY easy to wrap! See our ”age ranged’ Christmas Gifts category and Great Reads of 2012 You May Have Missed section for lots of ideas! And remember all UK orders over £15 qualify for free postage.

The Book of the Month

Ally Condie Reached. After much pre-publication word-of-mouth buzz the finale of the bestselling trilogy Matched series, which began with Matched and continued with Crossed, is now available. Find out the fates of Cassia, Xander and Ky in their fight to live the life they choose. A perfect gift for one of her growing legion of fans.

Get into the Christmas Spirit

Fantastic Christmas Stable written by Juliet David and illustrated by Steve Smallman. Learn and play with this unique colourful nativity book. Complete with opening flaps, amazing pop up visuals and additional press out figures to add to the scene; perfect for 5+ readers.

Read and Review books BEFORE they are published!

2013 is going to be a cracking year for children’s fiction if the pre-publication books we have seen in the office are anything to go by. See below for the best ones we have seen so far.

We are also looking for teenage book reviewers for two amazing titles. Ferryman by Claire McFall is is brooding love story with a hero who’s as wild as Heathcliff, as aloof as Mr Darcy and as desirable as Edward! Dead Romantic by C.J. Skuse shows us how finding the best bits of a boy is surprisingly difficult – especially when it’s a heart of gold that you truly, deeply want! Just visit the book pages to find out how to register your interest in reviewing one or both of these titles ahead of publication.

See the bookshelf below for more Pre-Publication exclusives with reviews by members of our Lovereading Reading Panel

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Second books due in the series – time to get reading!

January 2013 sees the release of the second novel in two exciting series’. Why not read an extract right here on Lovereading4kids to see if one or both of them are for you? Firstly, bestselling author Cornelia Funke, whose Inkheart was a world-wide phenomenon, has created a wonderful imaginary world peopled with a gigantic cast of original and outlandish characters for 11+ readers. The first in the series was Reckless the second is Fearless.

And, from Christopher Edge, a Victorian thriller for 9+ readers with a fast-paced cinematic style featuring a feisty 13 year old heroine. Twelve Minutes to Midnight was the first and the second is Shadows of the Silver Screen.

Go ‘beyond the page’ with Quentin Blake

Possibly best known as the illustrator of Roald Dahl’s children’s books titles in addition to his own sumptuous picture books, Quentin Blake’s Beyond the Page is a stunning, richly illustrated first-hand account of his life and work. Both a memoir and a treasury, celebrating his life and work, this is the perfect book for adults this Christmas, particularly those who have an interest in children’s illustration and those who have or are still sharing Quentin Blake picture books with their children or grandchildren.

Children’s Book Awards

This time of year there are two big Children’s Book Awards and we have all the details. The winner of the Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year will be announced on 4December; we are rooting for The Wolf Princess by Cathryn Constable. In addition there is the prestigious Costa Children’s Book Award, with winners due in January. Our favourite on the shortlist is Maggot Moon from Sally Gardner. Good luck to all the authors and see our Book Awards Category for all the shortlisted titles.

P.S. We are also looking for 10+ readers to review the book Sword of Light, the first in the magical Pendragon Legacy series, which is out in paperback in early 2013. Visit the book page to find out more.

Children’s Christmas Books November 20

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The Christmas lights are up, adverts are everywhere and the shops are playing the same old Christmas tunes. It’s time to start thinking about Christmas presents. What can you put in their stockings? Where do you start? Well, why not make us your ‘Bookshelf-Elf’? Yes. Elf is on its way! And spend more than £15 and we will give you free 2nd class UK postage. What are you waiting for?

Pre-Publication Exclusives for November

This category is getting increasingly popular and we love sharing news of upcoming books with you. See the shelf below for this month’s books. We are also looking for ten teen readers to review a stunning debut Infinite Sky by C. J. Flood before it’s published in February 2013. We love it – but we want to know what you think!

But be quick you only have until 30 November!


Beautiful Poetry Book and App!

Poetry for a younger audience is often ‘shunted in the realm of schoolwork’ but IF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility by Allie Esiri reminds us of the resonance that particular poems can have throughout our life. A perfect collection of poetry for the whole family to share.

And to make it even more relevant and immediate the poems are available in a wonderful ‘App’ where you can hear some of the poems read by Helena Bonham Carter and Bill Nighy.

Free Prize Draws not to miss

Our Free Prize Draws category is bursting with book goodies up for grabs. From Hogwarts Box sets, and Heritage Classics from Egmont to Beautiful slipcase edition’s of Clarice Bean and exclusive Mr Gum books. Click here to find out more and enter them all!

Win a signed copy of our Mega Book of the Month

From Lemony Snicket comes – All The Wrong Questions – Who Could that be at this Hour? Is a wise-cracking detective story in a topsy turvy world packed with brilliantly weird characters is perfect for 7-11 year olds. As well as reading an exclusive free Opening Extract you can WIN a signed first edition!

Reader reviews of Annabel Pitcher’s novels

Annabel Pitcher’s multi-award winning debut novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece was one of our favourites last year and her latest, Ketchup Clouds, is out shortly.

Check out what a number of 11+ year olds thought who were lucky enough to be selected to receive review copies of these books. There’s time to read My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece before Ketchup Clouds is published at the end of December and you can read an exclusive extract of both of them here right now.

Which is your favourite Children’s Book of 2012?

The shortlist of the final children’s book award of the year, sponsored by National Book Tokens, has just been announced – there’s some pirate fun for toddlers and young children right up to 9-12 year olds who will love BBC Presenter Simon Mayo’s all-action adventure that’s perfect for fans of Alex Rider and Young Bond.


The One Stop Shop for Children’s Classics

Is it time you started collecting a library of children’s classics for your children or grandchildren? Christmas is the perfect time to give them as gifts. If so, you’ve come to the right place. Hardback or paperback, large or small format we have something to suit your needs, and budget, from the best names in Children’s Publishing – Walker, Templar, Puffin, Oxford, Vintage and Egmont. Visit our Children’s Classics category today.

Finally, scroll down to see a taster of our Christmas book for all age ranges or visit the site to see the whole glorious selection.

P.S. With the first Hobbit film, An Unexpected Journey, soon to be in cinemas why not build up the excitement with The Hobbit Companion. Intriguing to the uninitiated, enchanting to the Tolkien enthusiast, The Hobbit Companion can only enhance our enjoyment of this dark, mysterious world created by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Lovereading4kids most popular books by age range 4 – 11 November 2012

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Books for Babies and Toddlers

Matilda's Cat Matilda’s Cat
Emily Gravett
Award-winning Emily Gravett has come up with another witty gem. Specialising in simplicity and relying on readers taking their cues from her characters, here Matilda’s cat makes it plain that she does NOT like all the things Matilda wants her …
Download free opening extract
Pip and Posy: The Snowy Day Pip and Posy: The Snowy Day
Axel Scheffler
Best-selling Axel Scheffler’s delightful characters Pip and Posy are back for a new adventure. The two friends love playing in the snow together until a difference of opinion causes them to start to quarrel. How will they get back to …
Download free opening extract
Oh No, George! Oh No, George!
Chris Haughton
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012. Chris Haughton’s distinctive artwork perfectly accompanies the innocent charm of affable George, a dog trying to be good – with hilarious results! This is the second picture book from rapidly rising star …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

Arlo Needs Glasses Arlo Needs Glasses
Barney Saltzberg
This inventive, interactive picture book will charm young readers and their parents with a perfect light touch and joyful spirit as the reader gets to do just what Arlo does to solve his problem of not being able to see …
Download free opening extract
The Jolly Christmas Postman The Jolly Christmas Postman
Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg
First groundbreaking and now classic, this Twentieth Birthday celebratory edition of the Ahlbergs’ second interactive book about The Jolly Postman will be a treat for a new generation of families. With Christmas coming, the Jolly Postman is off on his …
Download free opening extract
The Velveteen Rabbit The Velveteen Rabbit
Margery Williams
One of the best-loved stories about what makes a child’s toy ‘real’ and how becoming real is the dearest wish of all toys in the nursery. When the handsome Velveteen Rabbit, with his spotted brown and white coat and ears …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

The Snake Who Came To Stay The Snake Who Came To Stay
Julia Donaldson
Interest Age 5-8 Reading Age 6+. When Polly sets up an animal home for

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pets, she doesn’t anticipate quite how many problems she may face! But then, she doesn’t know she is going to be asked to look after a …
Download free opening extract

Look at Me Look at Me
Francesca Simon
Honey needs to gather all her courage to try skating on the slippery, slidy ice. All the other animals in Buffin Street get the hang of it. Can Honey? A perfect beginning read for all those who like to test …
Download free opening extract
Wonderful Earth! Wonderful Earth!
Nick Butterworth
Wonderful Earth is the story of the creation of this wonderful world in which we live. Terrifically interactive with pop-ups, split pages and peep holes it will give the reader aged 5 and above hours of entertainment on their own …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

The Monster Snowman The Monster Snowman
Gillian Cross
Jack and his friends build the greatest, scariest snowman in the whole world – until it comes alive! An entertaining and clever story by an award- winning author and illustator, Ross Collins. Also suitable for reluctant, struggling and dyslexic readers. …
Download free opening extract
Fox Friend Fox Friend
Michael Morpurgo
From the multi award-winning and bestselling author, a beautifully re-packaged, 4u2read version, of this moving story of a girl and an injured fox cub. …
Download free opening extract
Bob and the Moon Tree Mystery Bob and the Moon Tree Mystery
Simon Bartram
A must-have for all fans of Bob, the very much loved man in the moon, who is back for a brilliantly entertaining new adventure. Bob knows every inch of the moon which he looks after so carefully. Imagine his surprise …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

Who Could That be at This Hour? Who Could That be at This Hour?
Lemony Snicket
Bestselling Lemony Snicket’s fast-talking writing is brilliantly on display in this wise cracking detective story which is full of references to the great detective writers of the past. Thirteen year Snicket is apprenticed to S. Theodora Markson, a second rate …
Download free opening extract
Alien Schoolboy's Z-A Guide to Earthlings Alien Schoolboy’s Z-A Guide to Earthlings
Ros Asquith
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, this hilarious series goes from strength to strength.
In this forth title, The Aliens exploration of earthlings’ speech reveals the foibles of the English language – capturing the ridiculous things that are said…and revealing …
Download free opening extract
Ghost Knight Ghost Knight
Cornelia Funke
A thrilling ghost story set in a boarding school situated right in the heart of Salisbury Cathedral. Eleven year old Jon Whitcroft doesn’t want to be packed off to boarding school and is sure that he won’t like it because …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

The Great Unexpected The Great Unexpected
Sharon Creech
Prize-winning Sharon Creech tells a heart warming and delicate story of unexpected connections that lead to great happiness when they are unravelled. Friends Lizzie and Naomi, both of whom are orphans, meet Finn, a mysterious boy who seems to come …
Download free opening extract
Socks Are Not Enough Socks Are Not Enough
Mark Lowery
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012.
A piece of Passion from the Publisher: We at Scholastic Children’s Books are very proud to be publishing Socks Are Not Enough by Mark Lowery. It genuinely takes a lot to make me …
Download free opening extract
Hero on a Bicycle Hero on a Bicycle
Shirley Hughes
Best-selling illustrator Shirley Hughes writes beautifully in this gripping story set during World War Two. Living in Italy during the occupation by the Germans, Paolo and his sister Constanza long to do something for the fight to keep Italy free. …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 14+ readers

The Cloud Hunters The Cloud Hunters
Alex Shearer
In this thrilling and thought provoking adventure fantasy set in a world without water, the Cloud Hunters are vital for the community’s survival. Setting out on their missions, they track down the clouds and bring the water home. It’s a …
Download free opening extract
Ketchup Clouds Ketchup Clouds
Annabel Pitcher
Award-winning author Annabel Pitcher’s new teen novel is a taut and dramatic adventure with a deep yearning at its heart. Ketchup Clouds

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vividly captures the terrifying roller coaster of emotion that envelopes Zoe when she gets caught in a tragic …
Download free opening extract

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece
Annabel Pitcher
Winner of the 2012 Branford Boase Award for an outstanding debut novel.
The Branford Boase judges said: A very accomplished piece of writing by an author with a clear talent. The descriptions of the way the father handled his daughter’s death …
Download free opening extract


November email newsletter

Friday, November 9th, 2012

It’s November and as Christmas looms large over a frosty horizon, let us warm your cockles and please your bank manager with some great-value gift ideas for little Christmas Elves of all ages! And don’t miss all the other exciting features on the website.

It’s not just Snicket! November Books of the Month

A bulging bag of brilliant books is fit to burst on our bookshelf this month. All great reads and some even greater gift ideas. Our MEGA Book of the Month and one that we have added to all our Christmas wish-lists is the first book in the new and long-awaited Lemony Snicket series: All The Wrong Questions – Who Could that be at this Hour?

This wise-cracking detective story in a topsy turvy world packed with brilliantly weird characters is perfect for 7-11 year olds. As well as reading an exclusive free Opening Extract you can WIN a signed first edition!

You can see all of our Books of the Month in the shelf below. For even more unmissable titles have a look at our section dedicated to Great Reads You May Have Missed in 2012.


Gruffalo-ad of this! November’s Guest Editor, Axel Scheffler

This month our guest editor is illustrious illustrator-turned-author, Axel Scheffler. Illustrator to the gruffly, global favourite The Gruffalo, Axel has turned his talented hand to writing, creating a stunning new series of books starring Pip and Posy.

Find out more about all Axel’s titles and some of his own personal childhood favourites in our special section.

More New Free Prize Draws

There’s EVEN more reason to try your luck at the competitions on Lovereading4kids this month!

As well as our other great competitions, you could be the lucky winner of:

The Hogwarts Library Boxed set (worth £25)

A Copy of the Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg (5+, 3+) – the ‘Present full of presents’ for kids everywhere!

A selection of books from the new Egmont Heritage Classics series worth over £40.

And don’t miss our Christmas competitions where you can win beautiful first edition gift books – a few even signed to make them even rarer

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Award Winning Children’s Books

Lovereading4kids’ editorial expert and Guardian children’s books editor Julia Eccleshare was chair of this year’s judging panel for the Guardian Children’s Fiction award and said of the winner, Frank Cottrell Boyce’s The Unforgotten Coat, the book’s ‘great immediacy and humour really set it apart. Frank writes with such credibility and warmth that his readers will be left wiser when they have finished the story.’ Visit the Book Awards Section of the website to find out more.

Just announced the Roald Dahl Funny Prize winners

As the giggles die down the cheers start up for two fabulously funny books. The 6 and under award went to the hilarious My Big Shouting Day by Rebecca Patterson. It’s a picture book that every parent will relate to. And the 7 to 14 award went to the wonderfully original, completely mad Dark Lord : The Teenage Years by Jamie Thomson.

Find out more about the winners and shortlisted titles in our special section.

Loved the Hunger Games time to discover Matched…

Fans of The Hunger Games may already have found Ally Condie’s Matched trilogy for 14+ readers but if you haven’t you’re in for a treat! With film rights having been snapped up, these wonderfully rich and dark novels form a highly addictive, multi-layered dystopian trilogy. The first, Matched, has a page-turning plot and a devastating romance leaving you desperate to learn the fate of the star-crossed lovers and the second Crossed is an even more edge-of-your-seat adventure exploring the basic freedom to choose and what happens when it’s taken from you.

Finally Reached …poetic, page-turning and gripping is published 30 November so there’s plenty of time for teenagers new to Ally Condie to read the first two. We will have an extract as soon as the publisher lifts the embargo on it!!!

En Pointe – A Perfect Gift for Little Ballerinas Everywhere …

7 – 9 year old girl – looking for a book that she’ll love? Well, we have a series of three! Look no further than Cloudberry Castle by Janey

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Louise Jones. Follow the adventures of Katie in her parents’ ballet boarding school, set in a wonderful, remote Scottish castle.


Cloudberry Castle

1st in series. Ghosts and dreams of ballet-school in this charming story.

Download Extract

More info


Ballet School Secrets

2nd in series, hidden secrets and fierce rivalries in a new school year.

Download Extract

More info


Cloudberry Castle: 

Ballerina Dreams

Just out!! Ballet AND horses, what more could a little girl want?

Download Extract

More info

And on that Note – November noteworthy …

Catching our eagle eye this month is the brilliant:

Banana Buncha book published in aid of two charities by Dawn Carroll & Linden Hare (5+, 7+) – Loved by kids and adults alike, this is a family favourite and a fabulously characterful, tummy-tickling adventure!

And finally – Answers to all those tricky questions…

Why is the sea salty? How far away is space? What is global warming? Why do children have a knack of asking great questions which we as parents often can’t answer? Well here is a book that can help, as these and many other fascinating questions are answered by experts including Sir David Attenborough, Bear Grylls, and Jessica Ennis. Part of the proceeds from the sale of each book will be donated to the NSPCC, helping to fund its projects and services to help vulnerable children and young people across the UK and Channel Islands, including ChildLine. Perfect. Visit the website to find out more.

P.S. We are looking for children to review for us and for their reviews to feature on Lovereading4kids. This month we are giving readers the chance to review one of two sensational debuts? Into That Forest (perfect for 10+ year olds) by Louis Nowra; described by Julia Eccleshare, our editorial expert, as ‘A touching and inspiring story is told with striking originality’ and Sorrowline (perfect for 9-12 year olds) by Niel Bushnell described, by the Editor who discovered it, as ‘full of originality… This book will blow your mind. It’s a time-travel book like no other.’ Just click on the book title to find out how to get involved. But be quick, we’ll be selecting reviewers in the w/c 12th November. Privacy Policy Disclaimer