Archive for October, 2016

Lovereading4kids. Most popular children’s books, by age range, 23 – 30 October 2016

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Gordon's Great Escape Gordon’s Great Escape
Sue Hendra
November 2016 Book of the Month  Hurrah for Gordon the Balloon! Gordon’s life story, including time at balloon-school learning just what a balloon does, his first true love whose pets are porcupines and his important role in rescuing his friends …
Download free opening extract
2
Wow! Said the Owl Wow! Said the Owl
Tim Hopgood
Owl decides to wake up during the day and sleep at night.  A very odd thing for an owl to do.  But he discovers the world of colour and he’s in awe.  A really lovely and original picture book.
Shortlisted …
Download free opening extract
3
The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water
Gemma Merino
Longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014  Could it be that this little crocodile isn’t a crocodile at all? He might just be a DRAGON! A funny, unique and uplifting story from a debut author-illustrator and perfect for giving a …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
Lie Kill Walk Away Lie Kill Walk Away
Matt Dickinson
A non-stop, action packed, thrilling tale of a race to save humanity from a deadly virus. 15 year old Rebecca Eden and 16 year old Joe Fontana tell their own tales in alternate very short punchy chapters. Each has suffered …
Download free opening extract
2
The Deviants The Deviants
C. J. Skuse
October 2016 Book of the Month |  In a Nutshell: Revelations | Revenge | Rebuilding relationships
Masterfully suspenseful rollercoaster of a read, with a genuinely jaw-dropping finale.
Once thick as thieves and known as “The Fearless Friends”, the light of Ella, Max, …
Download free opening extract
3
As I Descended As I Descended
Robin Talley
September 2016 Book of the Month
In a Nutshell: Deadly Ambition |  Scheming with Spirits |  Descent into Darkness
Thrilling, chilling, supernaturally-charged retelling of Macbeth set in a prestigious southern state high school.
While Lily can’t wait to try out her antique Ouija …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
There's a Snake in My School! There’s a Snake in My School!
David Walliams
October 2016 Book of the Month    David Walliams has his finger firmly on the funny bone of the nation’s youth, and little children will love this story of school turned upside-down by an unexpected visitor. It’s bring-your-pet-to-school day, and a …
Download free opening extract
2
We Found a Hat We Found a Hat
Jon Klassen
A Julia Eccleshare Book of the Month October 2016   Award-winning Jon Klassen is as witty, engaging and subtle as ever in this delightful story with a very big theme but told in only a very few words. Two Turtles find …
Download free opening extract
3
Time Now to Dream Time Now to Dream
Timothy Knapman
There’s a dreamlike quality to this beautiful picture book. Two young children, painted by Helen Oxenbury with typical sensitivity, leave the safety of their garden to explore the forest when they hear a mysterious noise coming from the trees. Taking …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
Queen Munch and Queen Nibble Queen Munch and Queen Nibble
Carol Ann Duffy
Queen Munch has cheeks as red as tomato ketchup, eyes the colour of chutney and a laugh as loud and deep as the moo of a cow on its way to be milked; Queen Nibble on the contrary, is as …
Download free opening extract
2
They All Saw a Cat They All Saw a Cat
Brendan Wenzel
October 2016 Book of the Month A stylized, colourful picture book that highlights the power of perception and will gently introduce young readers to the concept that we all see the world a little differently. It harnesses not only the visual …
Download free opening extract
3
Motor Miles Motor Miles
John Burningham
October 2016 Book of the Month  There’s a perfect simplicity to this book, the work of a picture book genius. Miles is a difficult dog, won’t come when called, doesn’t like walks or other dogs, barks too much. The only …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Fox and the Ghost King The Fox and the Ghost King
Michael Morpurgo
A Julia Eccleshare Book of the Month October 2016  Award-winning Michael Morpurgo weaves a charming and witty story around sport and history as they have come together in the recent twin triumphs of the City of Leicester with the discovery …
Download free opening extract
2
The Witch's Vacuum Cleaner The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner
Terry Pratchett
Special Slipcased Edition | In a nutshell: inventive | readable | hilarious   |  This collection of 14 rip-roaringly funny stories is a great way to introduce children to Terry Pratchett – indeed, each story is just the right length for bedtime reading – …
Download free opening extract
3
The Pumpkin Project The Pumpkin Project
Katie Smith
Winner of ITV Lorraine’s Top Tales 2016 | In a nutshell: growing vegetables grows confidence and puts nasty Penelope in the shade
Katie Smith’s story beat 3000 others in Lorraine’s Top Tales competition on ITV, winning the approval of Lorraine …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
The War Next Door The War Next Door
Phil Earle
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2016  A pacey new story set in Storey Street featuring a cast of outrageous characters doing a host of amazing and extraordinary things. Masher’s dad is determined to get his greedy hands …
Download free opening extract
2
The Secret of Nightingale Wood The Secret of Nightingale Wood
Lucy Strange
October 2016 Debut of the Month    Debut author Lucy Strange tells a touching story, rich in atmosphere and with a strong historical background capturing a young girl’s need for courage and her way of finding it. Henry’s (short for …
Download free opening extract
3
The Christmasaurus The Christmasaurus
Tom Fletcher
Get into the Spirit of Christmas! A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2016   Celebrity Dad of the Year 2016, Tom Fletcher brings Christmas and Dinosaurs together in a warm hearted, rollickingly magical story inspired by his love of …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Clover Moon Clover Moon
Jacqueline Wilson
October 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: gripping historical drama with an irresistible heroine |       Clover Moon is a typical Jacqueline Wilson heroine: she’s bright, more than able to think for herself and stands up to the …
Download free opening extract
2
Spirit of the Jungle Spirit of the Jungle
Bear Grylls
October 2016 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: jungle survival in the footsteps of Mowgli  |  More than 120 years after publication of The Jungle Book, and following the new live action film version, Bear Gryll’s adventure story …
Download free opening extract
3
Blink and You Die Blink and You Die
Lauren Child
October 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: Nobody beats Ruby Redfort! |      Blink and You Die is the very last book in Lauren Child’s superb Ruby Redfort girl detective series, and what a finale it is! Someone, someone …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
The Wrong Train The Wrong Train
Jeremy De Quidt
In a Nutshell: Sinister short stories
Sublimely spine-tingling, this evokes all the dread of an ominous tap-tap-tapping on your door in the dead of night.
Picture this. You rush to catch your usual train but your relief at making it in time …
Download free opening extract
2
One One
Sarah Crossan
Winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. Joint Winner of the CLiPPA 2016 (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award). Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Awards. Shortlisted for the Children’s category of the Books are My Bag Readers Awards 2016.
Award-winning Sarah Crossan …
Download free opening extract
3
Reckless I: The Petrified Flesh Reckless I: The Petrified Flesh
Cornelia Funke
Best-selling 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. Searching for his missing father, Jacob Reckless steps through the mirror into a strange, …
Download free opening extract

Issue Two of SCOOP a new magazine for children aged 8 – 12 out this month

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Serving a feast of thought-fizzling fiction, features, creative competitions and awesome activities in every collectible forty-page launched with a big fanfare in September 2016 and Issue 2 is out this month .
scoop2
What?

Scoop is an exciting new monthly print magazine for children aged 8–12. Perfect for collecting, sharing and inspiring discussion and creativity, Scoop will publish ten times a year and feature:

★ Spellbinding stories, poetry and graphic fiction from top children’s writers and illustrators. Confirmed contributors include:
Neil Gaiman Eoin Colfer Laura Dockrill Abi Elphinstone
Emerald Fennell
David Roberts John Agard Catherine Johnson Gareth P. Jones Lucy Coats Chris Priestley A. F. Harrold Philip Womack
★Brain-boggling non-fiction covering current affairs, science, sport and MORE! ★Inspiring illustrations by leading artists
★Cool comic strips and cartoons
★Entertaining activities, puzzles and jokes
★Rousing reviews and recommendations
★Engaging reader contributions and competitions
★Kids book reviews from Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel

scoopreviews

Why?

The seeds of Scoop were sown when founder and publisher Clementine Macmillan-Scott discovered the Children’s Newspaper while researching a book for her mother, Juliet Nicolson. Inspired by its thought-provoking content and popularity (it sold 500,000 copies a week in its heyday), and by her own literary background, Clementine began to explore the possibility of creating a child-focused print platform for the twenty-first century – a collectible, gorgeously designed magazine that celebrates the creative spirit in this Golden Age of children’s literature and illustration. After months of planning and fundraising, Clementine assembled a small team of respected publishing and design professionals and formed Curious Publishing Ltd as a platform through which to publish Scoop.

How? 

Scoop will be available in print editions and primarily sold through subscription, but also available in selected independent bookshops from October. The digital strategy is also being developed to create a online platform. Subscriptions can be purchased from www.scoopthemag.co.uk from September. Scoop costs £40 for an annual family subscription for ten issues, and £160 for an annual school subscription (five copies of ten issues). Trial offers are also available to early subscribers.

Who? 

Founder and Publisher: Clementine Macmillan-Scott. Clementine was Coordinator of the Galle Literary Festival and the Galle Children’s Festival. She has worked in books all her life, except for a brief stint as a costume designer.
Editor-in-Chief: Sarah Odedina. Formerly Editor-in-Chief for Bloomsbury Children’s, where she oversaw Harry Potter, Sarah launched Hot Key Books and is now Editor-at-Large for Pushkin Press. ★Marketing and Publicity Direction: Joanne Owen. Joanne is a writer and reviewer who has previously held marketing roles at Bloomsbury, Macmillan, Walker and Nosy Crow.

Art Direction: LOVERS Agency (Alex Ostrowski and Arthur Carey). ★Original Co-founders: Anna Baddeley and Philip Womack.

For further information, please sign up at scoopthemag.co.uk ★Email: joanne@scoopthemag.co.uk Follow us on Twitter: @scoop_the_mag ★ Instagram: @scoopmag 

Most popular books on Lovereading4kids, by age range, 16 – 23 October 2016

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

1
Wow! Said the Owl Wow! Said the Owl
Tim Hopgood
Owl decides to wake up during the day and sleep at night.  A very odd thing for an owl to do.  But he discovers the world of colour and he’s in awe.  A really lovely and original picture book.
Shortlisted …
Download free opening extract
2
The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water
Gemma Merino
Longlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014  Could it be that this little crocodile isn’t a crocodile at all? He might just be a DRAGON! A funny, unique and uplifting story from a debut author-illustrator and perfect for giving a …
Download free opening extract
3
Gordon's Great Escape Gordon’s Great Escape
Sue Hendra
Hurrah for Gordon the Balloon! Gordon’s life story, including time at balloon-school learning just what a balloon does, his first true love whose pets are porcupines and his important role in rescuing his friends from an island is a roller-coaster …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for Young Adults

1
The Deviants The Deviants
C. J. Skuse
October 2016 Book of the Month |  In a Nutshell: Revelations | Revenge | Rebuilding relationships
Masterfully suspenseful rollercoaster of a read, with a genuinely jaw-dropping finale.
Once thick as thieves and known as “The Fearless Friends”, the light of Ella, Max, …
Download free opening extract
2
Flawed Flawed
Cecelia Ahern
Set in a society in which those deemed ‘flawed’ are branded and ostracised, Celia Ahern’s debut YA novel will talk directly to its readers. Every teenager wants to be perfect, to fit in and look like they know what they’re …
Download free opening extract
3
Darkness Follows Darkness Follows
L. A. Weatherly
October 2016 Book of the Month  Absolutely thrilling! This is the second in the truly wonderful ‘Broken Trilogy’ and is just as captivating and if possible, even more gripping than the first. This world must be entered through Broken Sky, …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

1
There's a Snake in My School! There’s a Snake in My School!
David Walliams
October 2016 Book of the Month    David Walliams has his finger firmly on the funny bone of the nation’s youth, and little children will love this story of school turned upside-down by an unexpected visitor. It’s bring-your-pet-to-school day, and a …
Download free opening extract
2
We Found a Hat We Found a Hat
Jon Klassen
A Julia Eccleshare Book of the Month October 2016   Award-winning Jon Klassen is as witty, engaging and subtle as ever in this delightful story with a very big theme but told in only a very few words. Two Turtles find …
Download free opening extract
3
Time Now to Dream Time Now to Dream
Timothy Knapman
There’s a dreamlike quality to this beautiful picture book. Two young children, painted by Helen Oxenbury with typical sensitivity, leave the safety of their garden to explore the forest when they hear a mysterious noise coming from the trees. Taking …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 5+ readers

1
They All Saw a Cat They All Saw a Cat
Brendan Wenzel
October 2016 Book of the Month A stylized, colourful picture book that highlights the power of perception and will gently introduce young readers to the concept that we all see the world a little differently. It harnesses not only the visual …
Download free opening extract
2
Queen Munch and Queen Nibble Queen Munch and Queen Nibble
Carol Ann Duffy
Queen Munch has cheeks as red as tomato ketchup, eyes the colour of chutney and a laugh as loud and deep as the moo of a cow on its way to be milked; Queen Nibble on the contrary, is as …
Download free opening extract
3
Motor Miles Motor Miles
John Burningham
October 2016 Book of the Month  There’s a perfect simplicity to this book, the work of a picture book genius. Miles is a difficult dog, won’t come when called, doesn’t like walks or other dogs, barks too much. The only …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 7+ readers

1
The Fox and the Ghost King The Fox and the Ghost King
Michael Morpurgo
A Julia Eccleshare Book of the Month October 2016  Award-winning Michael Morpurgo weaves a charming and witty story around sport and history as they have come together in the recent twin triumphs of the City of Leicester with the discovery …
Download free opening extract
2
The Christmasaurus The Christmasaurus
Tom Fletcher
Get into the Spirit of Christmas! A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2016   Celebrity Dad of the Year 2016, Tom Fletcher brings Christmas and Dinosaurs together in a warm hearted, rollickingly magical story inspired by his love of …
Download free opening extract
3
The Racehorse Who Wouldn't Gallop The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop
Clare Balding
October 2016 MEGA Debut of the Month |  In a nutshell: follow your dreams  |  Young readers will gallop through Clare Balding’s utterly delightful book – in fact, they’ll be smiling from the very first sentence. Steeped in farm and …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 9+ readers

1
Clover Moon Clover Moon
Jacqueline Wilson
October 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: gripping historical drama with an irresistible heroine |       Clover Moon is a typical Jacqueline Wilson heroine: she’s bright, more than able to think for herself and stands up to the …
Download free opening extract
2
The War Next Door The War Next Door
Phil Earle
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2016  A pacey new story set in Storey Street featuring a cast of outrageous characters doing a host of amazing and extraordinary things. Masher’s dad is determined to get his greedy hands …
Download free opening extract
3
The Secret of Nightingale Wood The Secret of Nightingale Wood
Lucy Strange
October 2016 Debut of the Month    Debut author Lucy Strange tells a touching story, rich in atmosphere and with a strong historical background capturing a young girl’s need for courage and her way of finding it. Henry’s (short for …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 11+ readers

1
Spirit of the Jungle Spirit of the Jungle
Bear Grylls
October 2016 Book of the Month  | In a nutshell: jungle survival in the footsteps of Mowgli  |  More than 120 years after publication of The Jungle Book, and following the new live action film version, Bear Gryll’s adventure story …
Download free opening extract
2
Blink and You Die Blink and You Die
Lauren Child
October 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: Nobody beats Ruby Redfort! |      Blink and You Die is the very last book in Lauren Child’s superb Ruby Redfort girl detective series, and what a finale it is! Someone, someone …
Download free opening extract
3
Time After Time Time After Time
Judi Curtin
September 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: touching, gentle timeslip adventure |   Judi Curtin has been described as the Irish Jacqueline Wilson and it’s easy to see why: she writes warm, convincing contemporary stories about girls, friendships …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 13+ readers

1
The Wrong Train The Wrong Train
Jeremy De Quidt
In a Nutshell: Sinister short stories
Sublimely spine-tingling, this evokes all the dread of an ominous tap-tap-tapping on your door in the dead of night.
Picture this. You rush to catch your usual train but your relief at making it in time …
Download free opening extract
2
Reckless II: Living Shadows Reckless II: Living Shadows
Cornelia Funke
Best-selling Cornelia Funke has an exceptional gift for creating gloriously gothic otherworlds in which the unusual and seemingly impossible can – and does- happen. Part two of the Mirrrorworld series, Living Shadows, follows The Petrified Flesh and catches up with …
Download free opening extract
3
Reckless I: The Petrified Flesh Reckless I: The Petrified Flesh
Cornelia Funke
Best-selling 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. Searching for his missing father, Jacob Reckless steps through the mirror into a strange, …
Download free opening extract

Meet the Illustrator – In conversation with Helen Oxenbury

Friday, October 21st, 2016

Helen Oxenbury chats to Shelley Fallows from Lovereading4kids.

I (Shelley) have a nine year old son.  Those nine years have flown by in a flash as I was warned they would and yet one of the most endearing memories I have of his younger years is reading We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, over and over.  The book had been a gift from a friend who also had wonderful memories of reading it to her by then teenage children.  This is the beauty of a great picture book, quiet moments shared with you and the child in your life that become special.  So it was an absolute delight for me when I was asked to interview author and Illustrator Helen Oxenbury on behalf of Lovereading4kids to celebrate the publication of Time Now to Dream written by Timothy Knapman which is packed full of Helen’s beautiful, illustrations.

Time Now to Dream is a beautifully atmospheric story about two young children confronting their fears and supporting each other as they explore a mysterious noise in the woods close to where they live.  Timothy’s prose is perfect for sharing with young ones as it gently explores the fear of the unknown and inspired the illustrations Helen has created.  Her instantly recognisable style fits perfectly with the story.  I wanted to gain a better insight into this mother and grandmother who has made such a great contribution to children’s books – she is even the creator of the iconic bear symbol that graces all of Walker’s Books. She has been drawing since she was a child, discovering her love for it when she was forced to often stay home from school due to asthma.

Where did you take your inspiration from as a child?

I remember drawing endless bunches of flowers.  We had a lovely garden with a pond which I spent most of my time with my hands in.  I had no fear of frogs or toads.  That’s what I remember mostly of my childhood.  We often had friends over who all fell in but my brother and I never did because we grew up around it and knew not to.

What was you earliest book related memory?

You have to remember it was during the war and you couldn’t get books, you couldn’t buy your own books.  My father worked for the East Suffolk County Council and they had a library.  There was a shelf full of children’s books.  It was just awful but these were the only books I had really.  The one I can remember, that I just loved was quite a big book of photographs of Shirley Temple in different outfits, such as red wellies, a yellow raincoat and big yellow hat.  The book was in lovely, bright colour.  All the other books were just black and white.  We were quite starved of books really.  We had comics such as the Beano which was printed in black, red and white but if you had one with colour it was just wonderful.

Can you explain a little about your creative process? For example which medium do you like to work with?

time-to-dream-3It depends on the story, depends on the text.  If it is something like ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ or ‘Time Now to Dream’ that involves a rather English landscape then I’ll use watercolour.  However when I did the illustrations for ‘So Much’ which is about a West Indian family, well it just didn’t seem right in watercolour because they wear these wonderful, vibrant colours, so I used gouache.  It’s usually the text itself that will suggest to one which medium to use.

 

Do you have a specific routine you follow when working and do you tend to draw every day?

I take a flexible approach depending on what I’m working on.  I don’t always draw everyday though.  There’s not always enough time.

 

Do you usually meet the author before you begin work on the illustrations for a project?

No never. I receive just the manuscript to work from and then meet the authors once it is done.

 

Where did you take your inspiration for the illustrations in Time Now to Dream?

I took a lot of walks on Hampstead Heath but not with a notebook, but I wouldn’t do any drawing at this stage.  I would then draw the pictures from memory.

 

Your drawings are wonderfully expressive, are the children based on anyone in particular?

They are a culmination of children based on the age of those who will be reading it.  It helps the children to be able to identify with the characters.  I love to try and put over the emotions the text invokes.  We have to enhance the text but not slavishly illustrate every word.  I also like to add a little something that features throughout the book.  In ‘Time Now to Dream’ for example there is a bird who appears all the way through.  At times you are unsure what his purpose is.  Is he a little sinister or is he watching over them?  It’s another element to talk about when you’re reading the book.

 

How closely do you work with the publisher on the finished book?

I work very closely with the art director on the book itself.  For example with ‘Time Now to Dream’ I didn’t want the foliage and text etc. to be on a white background so we chose a softer colour that supported the illustrations better and provided a softer, more comforting feel to the book.  I also like to include a mix of coloured illustrations with black and white images to also enhance the visual aspect.  Walker Books are particularly good at getting it right.  There is definitely a Walker look.

 

How important do you feel illustrations are to building a child’s love of books and reading?

time-to-dream-4Terribly important and not only for the reading but looking at things, giving them a sense of colour and form.  For example when they see a wolf they’ll recognise it for what it is.  I see them also as a stepping stone to reading.  Illustrations also make a book so much more interesting.

 

How vital do you feel the role of Children’s Laureate is to Children’s literature today?

Well, it certainly can’t do any harm especially if it gets more children reading!

 

Do you have any advice for parents who want to encourage their children to read?

They’re never too young to start.  It’s amazing how much they can absorb right away.  Holding books, looking at pictures, hearing the words and of course having that precious time with mum and dad.  Always make time to read.

 

What are you reading at the moment?

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens, it has the most wonderful illustrations!

 

Are you working on any other projects at the moment?

I am but I’m afraid I can’t say too much about them at the moment.  I still love what I do and will keep on doing it until I fall off my perch.

Make your child part of a beautifully illustrated story… the perfect Christmas Gift

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

We have come across a beautiful ‘bookie’ idea that we think is a brilliant Christmas gift, so we wanted to share it with you.

miab1It’s called Message in a Bottle and your personal message (the actual message in a bottle) including date, text and an optional picture seamlessly becomes part of the story. Educational, enchanting and full of adventure we can see it being read many many times.

With words by Tom Percival and illustrations by Tuire Siiriainen each book is digitally printed and is unique and the feedback from readers is lovely…

miab2‘Read mine to the kids today and had to stop self from crying – it really did make me very emotional! Very special book indeed.’Kelly Allen

‘Oh my goodness!! Our book just arrived!! It’s incredible!! The quality is superb. The story and illustrations… Ah. It really is amazing. To think what I’ve paid for personalised books in the past that don’t even come close. This really is something special.’Rebecca Taylor

miab3‘Message in a Bottle would make a wonderful gift for any young child.  It’s particularly special for those you don’t see quite as often as you’d like.  The online ordering process is very simple and the book was delivered quickly, it even came with a sheet of beautiful wrapping paper so I could gift wrap it myself.  This really is a lovely way for a child in your life to become part of a delightful story and receive a rather special gift from you.’ Shelley

Find out more at messageinabottlebook.co.uk. Softcover books are £19.95 and Hardcover £29.95 and to get one in time for Christmas order by 16 December.

Also we have just heard that the lovely people at Message in a Bottle have added some ‘Christmas Templates’ – find out more on their blog

miab_christmas_post_feat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a video that explains a bit more

Find out more on their facebook page facebook.com/messageinabottlechildrensbook/

 

See below for an article on the book written by the author Tom Percival.

Words (and Pictures)

I’ve always loved stories—reading them, making them, hearing them, illustrating them… you get where I’m going with this, right? I love stories. And I’m not alone, our whole lives are built around stories. We listen to stories in songs, read them in books, share them when we talk with our friends. Even a simple question like,

‘How was your day at school today?’ is an invitation to tell a story (one that my children usually decline by just saying, ‘Yeah… good.’

We build up our personalities from the continually evolving stories that we pull from our different memories and experiences. Rolling it all up into a big ball of story dough that we can mould into whatever shape we like and then bake into, err… story bread? Story cakes? Hmm, I don’t know, I think I might have pushed the whole story-baking thing a bit too far there.  Let’s move on…

It was my love of stories that led me into the career that I now have as a children’s author and illustrator. I believe that stories have the power to communicate a truth, to help you form a better picture of the world. Although the actual events in a book of fiction are made up (you could even say a sort of lie), what they actually do is communicate a truth about the world. Truth out of lies—I like that idea. And that’s not to mention the sheer fun involved in making up characters and worlds that you can explore and introduce other people to as well.

Initially I started out illustrating other people’s stories. I spent most of my time drawing as a child, (lots of pictures of He-Man, Transformers and skeletons since you asked) and so it was drawing that I first became good at. Just as a quick note to all you aspiring writers, illustrators, musicians, footballers, astronauts, or anything else, if you want to get good at doing something, just do it a lot – you get there the end, I promise!

I was lucky enough to create the cover art for the Skulduggery Pleasant series (I knew all those skeleton pictures were a good idea!), which gave me a kick-start to my illustration career and meant that I got to illustrate books for lots of other fantastic authors.

After a couple of years of illustrating I also started writing my own stories and I’ve now had lots of picture books out, including Herman’s Letter, Jack’s Amazing Shadow and most recently, By the Light of the Moon

2016 then saw the launch of the Little Legends series of illustrated chapter books for newly independent readers. It’s been great to have a few more words to play with, and to be able to explore a world and the characters within it in a bit more detail. Not only that, 2016 also saw the arrival of an email from Tuire Siiriainen, with an invitation to collaborate on a personalized picture book that she was developing with her company Blueberry and Pie. Now, this was all very exciting because Tuire was asking me to write a story that she would be illustrating. I was so used to writing and illustrating my own work that at first I wasn’t sure how it would all pan out. When I usually write a picture book, I have in mind what will happen in the illustrations, right from the start, but that wasn’t going to be possible with this book. Any concerns I had about how the interpretation of the text would work were washed away when Tuire sent over the character designs and sample spreads she had already worked up—they were absolutely fantastic, and I knew straight away that it was going to be a great partnership.

After I’d written the story, Tuire would send through each one of her bright, fun-packed illustrations as she finished them. It was so exciting to see the book come together in that way. Ordinarily, the illustrating phase of a picture book is something of a blur for me as it’s a really intensive period of work, so it was great to be able to sit back and see it all just ‘happen’ in front of me without having to pick up a single pencil! We also had a great team working with us, helping with the design, editing and packaging of the book. It felt as though everyone realized it was a really special project to work on.

Working on a personalized book held a few new challenges for me, mainly creating a story with all the required personalization details that still felt engaging in it’s own right. In this case, the story is about the discovery of a message in a bottle that is found floating halfway around the world and is addressed to the reader. So the child’s name and address features throughout the story and then at the end, the message that was in the bottle is revealed to be whatever you chose to write to the person you are giving the book to. It’s a great way of personalizing a book and will make all young readers excited to feature so prominently in a book.

My most important contribution to the project was the creation of Kiki, a lively and irrepressible young bird who has never seen much of the world before she sets off on an epic journey to deliver the message she has found to the reader’s home.  So as far as I was concerned, the story is about Kiki’s journey of discovery as she tries to do something that she has never done before. New challenges are always daunting and Kiki has moments of over-confidence and also self-doubt, which I’m sure anyone who has ever tried to do anything new can relate too! Eventually she manages to overcome all the obstacles and meets lots of different and exciting characters, some of which are more helpful than others. I would tell you more, but I think you should read the book for yourself—it’s far more fun like that!

I really enjoyed writing Kiki’s story and I hope that you and your children enjoy reading it and being part of the adventure too.

Mid-October eNewsletter

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

With Half term and Hallowe’en coming up and yes, even Christmas fast advancing, Lovereading4kids is here to help you choose the most brilliant books for any child that you know, from baby to teenager. Read on for more…

Boo! – Hello Hallowe’en!

It doesn’t have to be all costumes, face paints, tricks and treats this Hallowe’en. There are also several ‘enchanting’ books to get kids in the ‘spirit’ of things in our special Hallowe’en category. Get out from behind the sofa and check them out!

Drawn Together! – Picture Book Party

There are few greater joys than sharing wonderful picture books with kids. This is our category which brings you together and gets them loving reading from an early age. With new titles for Autumn, there’s no better time to join the party! Click here for more.

One Stop Shop – Our Autumn Highlights

Lovereading4kids staff have come up with some of their favourites out this autumn – every one a winner we think:

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Give us the Willis! – The Books of Jeanne Willis

With over 80 titles under her belt and no more space on the mantelpiece for awards, Jeanne Willis is one of our most prolific children’s authors. It’s impossible to choose favourites among her fabulously enjoyable and accessible books for very young readers. But, Who’s in The Loo? (3+) is celebrating its tenth anniversary this month and is a raucous, rhyming romp that will resonate with anyone who’s endured the ‘loo queue’ first thing!

Riddell me This! – Ottoline Series by Chris Riddell

Amateur roving collector and wearer of odd shoes, Ottoline lives with her best friend, a Norwegian bog-person who hates having his hair brushed and being mistaken for a dog. Children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell’s beautifully illustrated and quirky adventures are unique, imaginative and elegant. 7+ readers will love to explore every page and younger ones will relish hearing them out loud. Find out more about the latest title; Ottoline and the Purple Fox and what our Reader Reviewers thought of it…

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What Now? – “If They Like, They’ll Love”. That’s What!

You’ve devoured a whole series by a favourite author and you’re hungry for more. But where do you turn to find your next great read? Our If They Like, They’ll Love section introduces you to authors who are right up your street. Click here to get started.

If they like Roald Dahl they’ll love the outrageous War Next Door; A Storey Street book from Phil Earle. If they like Dick King-Smith’s animal stories they’ll love the warm-hearted A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters.
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New Addictive Reading for older children

Robert Muchamore, the author of the global Cherub series, has created a new hard-hitting battle of the bands series called Rock War that our older reader reviewers just loved calling it ‘funny‘ ‘brilliant‘ ‘witty‘ ‘ingenious‘ and ‘gripping.’

With its heady mix of glamour and grit, and a cast of characters who run the gamut from smart, self-aware cynics to easily led-astrays, this is a seriously addictive read. The third in the series Gone Wild (13+) is just out.

Kids-mas Presents!

We know, we know! It’s early. The fake cobwebs are barely up yet and the last thing you want to be thinking about is Christmas. Or is it? Come on, you just had a vision of mince pies and candle-lit choirs, didn’t you? Well, no harm in looking at the bookshelf below and having the briefest of browses to get ahead of the seasonal rush for presents. After all, a book lasts forever and can influence someone for the rest of their life! Go on. Take a look. Just there. Below this or visit our new Christmas 2016 category on the website with even more recommendations.

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Original storytelling to capture children’s hearts and minds

Best-selling author Cornelia Funke, whose Inkheart was a world-wide phenomenon, has created another wonderful imaginary world peopled with a gigantic cast of original and outlandish characters who live in Mirrorworld which Jacob Reckless stumbles upon while searching for his missing father.

Full of mortal danger thrills, excitement and adventures there are three books, the first two are out this month and the third, The Golden Yarn is out in early November but we have an exclusive pre-publication extract for you to read.

Kids October Book Festival Round-up

Looking for indoor fun to entertain the kids this autumn? Look no further than the Loogabarooga Festival (19-24 October), win tickets to a Storyteller event at Petworth Literary Weekend (5 November) and enjoy creative fun at Bridlitkids (12 November).

And that is October just about ‘wrapped up’, book-fans! Talking of ‘wrapping’, we’ll be back next month with more top tips and maybe just a few suggestions in case you’re thinking ahead for Christmas. Oh no. we said the ‘c’-word.

P.S. We have some lovely Roald Dahl hardback, full-colour edition paperbacks and some phizzwhizzing postcards which are perfect for gifts this autumn.

October eNewsletter

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

October is a great month for kids. There are muddy puddles to jump in, leaves to kick, conkers to conquer and Hallowe’en costumes to make. But that’s not all! It’s a bumper month for Children’s literature and we’ve been busy compiling the very best in recommended reads for kids of all ages, tastes and abilities. Read on for more.

The Hunt for Read October! – Books of the Month

Lovingly hand-picked and guaranteed to float a multitude of book-thirsty boats, these are the top titles for kids this month. We love:

Darkness Follows (YA) by L.A. Weatherly – The 2nd in The Broken Trilogy and even more gripping than the brilliant Broken Sky: an expertly-crafted blend of dystopian adventure and historical reflection, crammed with suspense, espionage, courage and romance.

Blink and You Die (11+) by Lauren Child – All good things come to an end in this series finale…Ruby Redfort is running scared, a whole bunch of people want her dead and worst of all one of them is on her team!

Clover Moon (9+) by Jacqueline Wilson – Sad, touching and exciting story… introducing the brilliant and brave new heroine from the wonderful world of the bestselling and award-winning author.

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Feeling First-y? – October Debuts of the Month

Quench your longing for top new titles from fresh-faced talent with our top tips for the hottest debuts! Our MEGA Debut this month is:

The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop (7+) – Join award-winning broadcaster, journalist and author Clare Balding with her debut children’s novel, a heart-warming horsey have-a-go adventure about following your dreams.

The Fox and the Star (5+) – This charming and gloriously delightful picture book, about friendship, facing your fears and looking beyond the obvious we think is one for your forever shelf.

The Royal Rabbits of London (7+) – Within a few paragraphs readers will be immersed in a world in which rabbits wear clothes, read stories of heroes and boldly take on rats that dare threaten her Majesty ‘the Queen.’ With shades of Watership Down, this is the first in a new series, from bestselling authors Santa and Sebag Montefiore.

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Read the Best – Before the Rest!

Your monthly chance to take a sneak peak at brilliant books, via exclusive extracts, for boys and girls, before they hit the shelves! Books like:

Dear Charlie by N. D. Gomes (YA) – A thoroughly thought-provoking and beautifully honest story of survival after the most destructive of personal tragedies. Mistletoe and Murder by Robin Stevens (9+) – Seasonal sleuthing amid the spires. Two heroines face dark danger, meddling grown-ups and rival detectives! The Road to Ever After by Moira Young (9+) – Death, life – and everything that happens in between. Beautifully written prose and unforgettable characters.

New Leaves on the Poetree!

There’s a landslide of new words joining the well-versed Poetry category this month to coincide with National Poetry Day on 6 October. Poetry is at the heart of everything, from the first picture books to literary greats. There’s something to inspire every child of every age.

Check them all out here and also don’t miss this stunning award-winning novel that’s told entirely in verse!: One by Sarah Crossan (13+) – Winner of the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016, an astonishing and difficult story that is ultimately funny and uplifting.




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The No.1 (Young) Ladies’ Detective Agency!

Alexander McCall Smith has created some of our favourite characters. One of them is, of course, the much-loved Precious, founder of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, solving crimes in her idiosyncratic way in the heat of Botswana.

But did you know that the agency began when Precious was but a young girl? Well, it did. And there’s a whole series of books including 2015 Book of the Year; Precious and the Zebra Necklace (9+) just out in paperback to prove it!

Ideas for Half-Term Outdoor Heroes!

Half term can loom like a shadow over you. What do we do to get the kids enjoying themselves that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Lonely Planet for Kids has the perfect answer! City Trails books, like City Trails: London take you off the tourist trail and blow your mind with fun facts: it’s a seriously street-wise way to get kids enthused. And, if you are going further afield to New York or Paris perhaps there’s a City Trail for those cities too.

Also, check out our newly refreshed Out and About section crammed with books that inspire children to have fun outside.

Food for Thought! Life-Stories for Teens

Multi-award winning pen-smith, Susin Nielsen writes engaging, character-led stories about young people in difficult situations. While catering on a TV show, she ended up writing it. Her food, apparently, was not as good as her writing! Nielsen’s first two novels, We are all Made of Molecules received critical acclaim and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen won the prestigious Governor General’s Literary Award. Her latest release,Word Nerd is a gripping, funny and touching tale of family upheaval and daring to be different. Find them all here.

Join the Chase!

Rick Riordan’s unerring ability to reach readers, including those described as reluctant, is in full evidence in the Magnus Chase (11+) series. The second, Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor, is just out and once again, he takes ancient myths as inspiration and with its flawed gods, epic battles and larger than life stories, Norse mythology provides brilliant source material and Fans of Percy Jackson will recognise Riordan’s signature punchy, witty style and unbeatable adventure! Action-packed and bang up to date! Find them both here.

“If no-one notices you, are you there at all?”

The 2012 Carnegie Book Award-winning magical reality novel, A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness is a beautifully imagined, searing tale of the haunting effect of a parent’s looming death on a young boy. An extraordinary book that is set to make the big screen this month in the U.S. and in January over here. The film is directed by J. A. Bayona (The Orphanage) and stars Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson. The collector’s edition, comprising the award-winning illustrated novel and the story behind the book and the film is out now as is the paperback movie tie-in.

Too Ghoul for School! – Hallowe’en Category

Not necessarily books for bedtime! October is a month to get spooky with our blood-curdling Hallowe’en section, dripping with frights and delights for all ages!

Out of the Mouths! – Books Reviewed by Kids

The Kids are all write in our book! That’s why we have invited young reviewers to give us the low down on current books for young people. Opinion from the horse’s mouth! For instance:

Podkin One-Ear (9+) by Kieran Larwood –  ‘Sublime, Splendid, Superb! It’s an adventure that keeps you wanting to read on and on into the night’ (Alex 10). The Christmasaurus (7+) by Tom Fletcher – ‘I love this book! It is Christmassy, amazing and crumpety, all at once! it’s a bit silly, and a lot funny.’ (Toby 8). Timmy Failure: The Book You’re not Supposed to Have (9+) by Stephan Pastis – ‘This book is 100% funny, makes you laugh out loud’ (Alice 11). The Secret Horses of Briar Hill (11+) by Megan Shepherd – ‘A stunningly illustrated and powerful story about imagination, adventure, bravery and hope.’ (Sidney 12).

October and November Children’s Book Festivals. Loogabarooga Festival, Petworth Liteary Festival and BridLit Kids

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

 Michael Rosen, Julian Clary and Harry Potter exhibition coming to Loughborough for Loogabarooga Festival 2016.

loogabarooga-logoThe programme of events for this year’s Loogabarooga Festival of children’s illustrated literature includes many new highlights for families and children who love reading to see and hear from 19-24 October 2016 at venues across Loughborough.

Performers, workshops and exhibitions at Loogabarooga Festival 2016 include Michael Rosen, best-selling children’s author and poet, and former Children’s Laureate; comedian, entertainer and writer, Julian Clary reading from his latest book, The Bolds To The Rescue; and the Illustrating Harry Potter exhibition at Charnwood Museum, an illustrated reimagining of the blockbuster classic, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Tickets for all of the free and paid events can be booked online at loogabarooga.com. Copies of the free programme will be available to collect from Loughborough Town Hall, Charnwood Borough Council offices, Charnwood Museum and venues across Loughborough and Charnwood.

Following the success of the inaugural Festival in 2015, this year’s programme will also include free creative drop-in workshops, storytelling sessions, advice on how to write and illustrate your own book, with appearances from some of the nation’s favourite children’s authors and illustrators.

Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough said: “This year’s Loogabarooga Festival promises to be better than ever. The programme is packed full of exciting events and Loughborough is looking forward to welcoming some very special guests. There is a real buzz around the 2016 festival and I am looking forward to taking part in what promises to be a thrilling line-up.”

For all of the latest information, follow the Festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loogabarooga or on Twitter @loogabarooga16

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petworth-lit-logoAward-winning family theatre company Story Pocket Theatre is performing at Petworth Festival’s 6th annual Literary Weekend on Saturday 5 November at 10.30am in the Leconfield Hall, Petworth.

The written and spoken word are celebrated in an enchanting performance of Storyteller Storyteller; genuine family fun that culminates in a feast of clowning, physical silliness and magical storytelling without words. Tickets cost £8 for adults and £6 for young people and children aged 18 years and under.

Stewart Collins, Artistic Director of Petworth Festival commented, “The addition of Story Pocket Theatre to our literary repertoire is a brand new take on our policy of engaging with all age groups and the family audience. Suitable for all ages from 3 to 103, Storyteller Storyteller underlines the Festival’s commitment to engaging young people in an educational, inspiring and highly entertaining way.

Established just three years ago in 2013, Story Pocket Theatre was set up from a passion to produce beautiful, wonderful and magical theatre for families and to keep the classic stories alive in an inventive and exciting way. The company has received various accolades. They were winners of the Primary Times Children’s Choice Award, 2014 and the ThreeWeeks Editor’s Choice Award at the Edinburgh Fringe 2015.

Petworth Festival Literary Weekend is a unique opportunity to see and meet a wealth of literary greats, up and coming authors as well as high-profile luminaries with fascinating life stories to share.

For more information call 01798 343055 or email info@petworthfestival.org.uk. Tickets on sale by telephone 01798 344576 or on-line at petworthfestival.org.uk.

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BridLit Kids at the Lyric Theatre, Bridport – Saturday 12 November

Following the success of last year’s event, BridLit Kids returns to the Lyric Theatre with an extended programme to appeal to a wide age range, where we hope there will be something for everyone:

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10 – 11am (3 – 7 yrs) –  The boundless creative energy and fun from storyteller Martin Maudesely and musician and songster Declan Duffy will entertain the youngest among us (and the young at heart!). Children £3/ Adults Free

 

12 – 1pm (8 yrs and upwards) – Charlie Fuge will lead an illustration workshop (booking recommended) bringing a wealth of talent and experience from his own wide ranging work to guide young hands. Pencil and sketchpad included. Supported by Bridport Arts and Crafts. £5

 

2 – 3pm (8 yrs and upwards) – Best-selling author Angie Sage of the popular Septimus Heap series, will introduce the latest addition to TodHunter Moon books. A fantastic opportunity to meet a world class author with time for questions and answers after. Children £3/Adults Free

 

We want to put children’s literature firmly on the Bridport map so come along and celebrate the world of magic and the imagination in this fabulous day of words, pictures, stories and song.

 

Full programme information Bridlit.com Tickets: Bridport Tourist Information Centre 01308 424901

 

Lovereading4kids most popular children’s books, by age range, 25 September – 2 October 2016

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Books for Babies and Toddlers

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Tabby McTat Picturebook and CD Tabby McTat Picturebook and CD
Julia Donaldson
A Lovereading4kids ‘Great Read’ you may have missed 2011 selection.
The best-selling author and illustrator team of the Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have created a heart-warming story about loyalty and friendship. When Tabby McTat the busker’s cat gets separated …
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Again! Again!
Emily Gravett
Prize-winning Emily Gravett has hit the jackpot again with a brilliant and original picture book that will delight adults as much as children. Everyone knows that the best bedtime stories can be read again and again and again… But sometimes, …
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A Great Big Cuddle A Great Big Cuddle
Michael Rosen
Joint Winner of the CLiPPA 2016 (CLPE Children’s Poetry Award).
Children’s Laureates Chris Riddell and Michael Rosen combine here to create a beautiful collection of ebullient poems for the very young.  Michael Rosen’s close and affectionate observation of small children and …
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Featured Books for Young Adults

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As I Descended As I Descended
Robin Talley
September 2016 Book of the Month
In a Nutshell: Deadly Ambition |  Scheming with Spirits |  Descent into Darkness
Thrilling, chilling, supernaturally-charged retelling of Macbeth set in a prestigious southern state high school.
While Lily can’t wait to try out her antique Ouija …
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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Ransom Riggs
The movie tie-in version of the bestselling Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home …
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A Monster Calls: Special Collector's Edition A Monster Calls: Special Collector’s Edition
Patrick Ness
A special collector’s edition of Patrick Ness’s original prize-winning illustrated novel and the remarkable story behind the book and film. Patrick Ness displays brilliant new skills of sensitivity in this hauntingly touching story of how a boy deals with the …
Download free opening extract

Featured Books for 3+ readers

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The Tiger Who Came to Tea The Tiger Who Came to Tea
Judith Kerr
A wonderful story, about believing in the unexpected and magical. When a tiger turns up on the doorstep one day, the little girl and her mother just welcome him right in and offer him tea. He sits neatly at the …
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Tabby McTat Tabby McTat
Julia Donaldson
Best-selling author and illustrator Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler have teamed up again to create a heart-warming story about loyalty and friendship. When Tabby McTat the busker’s cat gets separated from the busker he begins a new life on his …
Download free opening extract
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We Found a Hat We Found a Hat
Jon Klassen
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month October 2016   Award-winning Jon Klassen is as witty, engaging and subtle as ever in this delightful story with a very big theme but told in only a very few words. Two Turtles find a …
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Featured Books for 5+ readers

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Grandpa Was an Astronaut Grandpa Was an Astronaut
Jonathan Meres
September 2016 Book of the Month |  In a Nutshell: Grandparents | Fun | Poignant |
Interest Age 5-8  Best known for his hilarious World of Norm books, Jonathan Meres has here written a very different sort of book. Grandpa was an …
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The Diary of a Killer Cat The Diary of a Killer Cat
Anne Fine
A cat’s eye view of the world is not exactly the same as a humans! Tuffy’s got no problems with the trail of delicious victims he brings into the house. A bird, a mouse – they are both delicious. In …
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A Child of Books A Child of Books
Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month September 2016   Award-winning storyteller and artist Oliver Jeffers and typographic fine artist Sam Winston have created an extraordinarily adventurous and original picture book which, through words and pictures, takes children on a journey of …
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Featured Books for 7+ readers

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My Mum's Going To Explode! My Mum’s Going To Explode!
Jeremy Strong
Pure, unadulterated entertainment but beware, you may laugh so much that you can’t stop!!  Young readers with a sense of humour will devour it in a sitting and those without a sense of humour at the beginning will be filled …
Download free opening extract
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The Fox and the Ghost King The Fox and the Ghost King
Michael Morpurgo
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month October 2016  Award-winning Michael Morpurgo weaves a charming and witty story around sport and history as they have come together in the recent twin triumphs of the City of Leicester with the discovery of …
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The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow
Jackie Morris
Gosh, this is absolutely and completely enchanting. The moment I laid eyes on ‘The Quiet Music of Gently Falling Snow’ I knew I had fallen in love, I hugged the book before even opening the pages. I felt like a …
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Featured Books for 9+ readers

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Eye of the Wolf Eye of the Wolf
Daniel Pennac
Born worlds apart – a wolf from the North and a boy from Africa. The wolf has lost nearly everything on his way to the zoo, including his eye and his pack. The boy too has lost much and seen …
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Kensuke's Kingdom Kensuke’s Kingdom
Michael Morpurgo
Michael’s parents buy a yacht, and take him off to sail round the world. Washed overboard in a fierce storm, Michael finds himself on the shore of a remote island – and soon discovers he’s not alone. Kensuke, a former …
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The Wolf Wilder The Wolf Wilder
Katherine Rundell
Longlisted for the UKLA 2017 Book Award and September 2016 Book of the Month  Wolves, wildness and freedom are at the heart of this thrilling story. Wolf wilders are employed to reintroduce wolves unfortunate enough to be brought up as pets …
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Featured Books for 11+ readers

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Shadowsmith Shadowsmith
Ross MacKenzie
September 2016 Book of the Month
In a nutshell: good versus evil, spiders, finding courage
Ross MacKenzie won the Blue Peter Best Story Award for The Nowhere Emporium and Shadowsmith is another heart-racing adventure. Kirby’s mum was hurt when a freak storm …
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Blink and You Die Blink and You Die
Lauren Child
Ruby Redfort: undercover agent, code-cracker and thirteen-year-old genius – you can count on her when the ice starts to crack. All good things come to an end…Ruby Redfort is running scared, a whole bunch of people want her dead and …
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Amazing Abby: Drama Queen Amazing Abby: Drama Queen
Emma Moss
In a nutshell: friendship | fun | growing up in the 21st century  |   Bubbly Abby takes centre stage in the second book in this new series for young girls. Abby has a starring role in the school’s production of …
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Featured Books for 13+ readers

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The Wrong Train The Wrong Train
Jeremy De Quidt
In a Nutshell: Sinister short stories
Sublimely spine-tingling, this evokes all the dread of an ominous tap-tap-tapping on your door in the dead of night.
Picture this. You rush to catch your usual train but your relief at making it in time …
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The Haunting of Jessop Rise The Haunting of Jessop Rise
Danny Weston
September 2016 Book of the Month
In a Nutshell: Historical haunting | Eerie intrigue | Sinister secrets
Chilling historical novel in which an orphan becomes entangled in a web of supernatural goings-on and family secrets.
It’s 1853 and, following the death of his …
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Such Stuff A Story-Maker's Inspiration Such Stuff A Story-Maker’s Inspiration
Michael Morpurgo
Julia Eccleshare’s Book of the Month July 2016  Award-winning former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo gives all those who love his books a fascinating behind-the-scenes introduction to how he came to write twenty of them. While each story and the inspiration …
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