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Wendy Quill is a Crocodile’s Bottom

Wendy Quill wants to be famous, but it’s not easy to become a star when you are cast as a crocodile’s bottom in the school play. This book contains not just one, but three Wendy adventures which feature her best friend Florence, the girly gang, the school rat Kevin and many more colourful characters. From…

What Do Animals Do All Day?

A beautifully colourful and engaging book full of wonder and adventure! A particular treat for animal-lovers and explorers of the wild outdoors, this book will take the reader on an adventure through jungles, forests, oceans, the magical coral reef and many other uniquely mesmerising habitats. The illustrations are particularly beautiful, so it is a great…

What is Poetry? The Essential Guide to Reading and Writing Poems

This is an invaluable handbook for readers, writers and teachers of poetry. Its unintimidating cover, large print, and sparse, jokey illustrations belie the well-devised content, which supports UK National Curriculum English at Key Stages 2 and 3 (children aged 7-14). The title poses an impossible question – to answer it Rosen examines all the things…

What Manor of Murder?

On Michaelmas Eve, twin brothers and amateur sleuths Horatio and Eustace Bleakley leave school to stay with Aunt Maude in her rambling manor, Old Bramble Head, along with all their odd relatives. The mansion is situated in a marsh and comes with the curse that Old Bramble Head will rise from the swamp once a…

What’s the Difference? 40+ Pairs of the Seemingly Similar

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a bacteria and a virus? Or a tornado and a hurricane? As this highly inventive book sets out to prove, the difference lies very much in the detail. Each double-page spread features a pairing that young (and grown-up) readers may struggle to identify the difference between;…

Wheels

‘The crash. My dad, gone forever. Me in a wheelchair’: this is James’s nightmare – but of course it isn’t a nightmare, it’s a memory. A memory of the terrible rainy night a van ploughed into the family car, leaving James paralysed, unhappy and despairing. Months later, he is jolted out of his sullen bitterness…

Where the Stones Sing

In the fourteenth century, as Kai and older brother Edward are singing on the filthy Dublin streets for a few meagre coins, Kai is chosen to sing in the prestigious choir of Christ Church Cathedral. But Kai is concealing a secret, and it has to stay hidden. This story of life in Dublin in the…

Who Stole the Hamster?

Smashie McPepper and her best friend Dontel make a great team, especially when it comes to solving mysteries – like who stole Patches, the Room 11 hamster? This is a soap-opera of a book with a large cast of characters, a fast-paced main story, several sub-plots and a few red herrings. The book opens at…

Why Are Castles Castle-Shaped?

In an apparently random series of one hundred and a half questions Ardagh reveals not only why castles are castle-shaped but also the whole social world of feudalism centred on the castle. The questions deal with the physical structure of the castle, how it was built and how the building evolved. Interwoven with these are…

Why is art full of naked people?

This is a book about questions, most of which are explored as comprehensively as one would expect in a primer. The question in the title, however, is more or less dismissed. Hodge introduces a huge variety of artistic styles and concepts, skilfully and engagingly. There is a diverse cast of artists and critical thinking is…

Why Space Matters To Me

Although space may seem to be a distant place full of moons, planets, stars and galaxies, it influences many aspects of life on Earth. The impact of space ranges from the profound to the mundane. For example, while stardust is relevant to the origins of life, the International Space Station assisted in the development of…

Why Spacemen Can’t Burp

For those of us who have stood gob-smacked by a child’s question, this tome is a godsend. A mini encyclopedic work, Why Spacemen Can’t Burp offers custodians of childhood questions researched and multi-referenced answers.  Unlike most reference works, the writer teaches the arts and the sciences without condescension. The author speaks directly to his young audience in…

Wild Swans

Wild Swans is Xanthe Gresham Knight’s retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale, in which the King’s eleven sons are transformed into swans by their step-mother, and his one daughter must save them by knitting shirts for them out of nettles that cruelly sting her hands. This version crucially changes the figure of the…

Wildspark

When you die, would you want to be reborn into a new body with no memory of your past life, not even your name? Would it make a difference if the body was that of a bear? Or a rat-like creature with extra-long legs and protruding yellow eyes? All these are possibilities for citizens of…

Will Gallows & The Wolfer’s Deadly Magic

The young elfling, Will Gallows, made his first appearance in 2011’s Will Gallows and the Snake- Bellied Troll, and the series has continued with three further books of high octane adventure, the latest of which involves the return of a fearsome enemy (Imelda, the savage wolfer) intent on revenge, just as Will is about to…

Will Gallows and the Rock Demon’s Blood

Will Gallows, the young sky cowboy with elfling blood and a do-or-die attitude to righting wrongs, must face new and terrifying dangers as he once again sets out to save the citizens of the Great West Rock from an evil influence. With his best friend Jez newly signed up to join the Sky Cavalry, his chores…

Will Gallows and the Thunder Dragon’s Roar

Fantasy collides with the western in the second volume of the Will Gallows series. The title character, half-human and half-elf, inhabits
a world of cowboys – albeit sky cowboys – and sheriffs, as well as Native American- inspired elves and mages. As tensions grow between cowboys and elves, Will uncovers
a sinister plot and things get worse when
his…

Will You Be My Friend?

How do you celebrate Ireland’s best-selling children’s poet Gabriel Fitzmaurice? Will you be my friend? is an extraordinary anthology of over one hundred of Fitzmaurice’s poems from thirteen collections, and includes another twenty-six new poems for his well versed fans. The richness of language, while still being accessible to a child reader, is perhaps Fitzmaurice’s…

Wizard vs. Lizard

Wizard vs. Lizard is the first book in the Fred, Wizard in Training series, and it’s an enjoyable romp for 8- to 10-year-olds. In a family of talented wizards, Fred is an underdog in every way – his magic is so tragically lame, that the best he can do with it is wash dishes and…

Wonder Goal!

This story signals that it has a highly significant personal meaning by making the end papers a collection of the author’s sketches of football games from troubled parts of the world from 1970 to 1999. It begins with a Lowry-like depiction of the nameless hero’s first game with his team on a cold grey-green pitch…

Worry Angels

There have been so many changes in Amy-May’s young life. The family has separated from her wonderful, yet troubled artist Dad; they’ve moved house far from her lovely cottage with a garden and fresh sea air; and now, she is so filled with anxiety, she can’t go to school. It’s just too much for her.…

You’ve Been Werewolfed

Join us in this hilarious mystery series of the highly lively heroic nerd’s new conundrum! When Tyler is shipped off to summer camp, she can’t wait to pack up her newest invention – the Hologramaphone 3000. There’s only a small catch: some of the phone’s new functions have some enormous side-effects; the kind that can…

Young Houdini: The Magician’s Fire

‘Fiendishly fast paced’ says the press release, and this new book from Simon Nicholson does not disappoint. His television writing credentials (from ‘Tracy Beaker’ to ‘Timmy Time’, ‘Bob the Builder’ to ‘Tickety Toc’) stand to him as the action explodes from the very first chapter, where an imagined young Harry Houdini lies tied to a…

Your Mind is Like the Sky

This book introduces children to the concept that their minds are like the sky – sometimes clear and blue, sometimes dark and stormy. Their thoughts can be like white, fluffy clouds (happy), or dark rainclouds (sad and negative). It is a simple but powerful message. Everyone has unhappy thoughts but remember that they pass, just…

You’re Thinking about Tomatoes

School tours around museums and stately houses can be particularly boring, especially if they involve filling out a copious worksheet in a short space of time. History, itself, however, need not be a dry series of facts, as Frank, the hero of You’re Thinking about Tomatoes, discovers when the objects on display in Chiltern House…

Zig Zag Series

‘Zig Zag’ is Evans’s new series for ‘beginning and emergent readers’ and is especially appealing for younger ‘reluctant readers’. The stories never have more than 150 words and, while they have been written in consultation with literacy specialists, it is claimed that they have a ‘proper’ beginning, middle and end. I found Tall Tilly immediately…

‘Key Readers’ Series

In fairness, these books really do set out their stall from the start: books for the 6–11 age range written to set specifications of ‘high interest, low vocabulary’ in order to produce ‘a varied range of meaningful reading experiences within a phonetically controlled setting’. And this, I fear is their limitation – such a specific…

‘The Emperor’s Gruckle Hand,’ ‘Henry Hobbs and the Lost Planet.’ and ‘William and the Wolves’

This is an interesting collection of books under the banner ‘short accessible novels for more confident readers’ – a definite niche in a crowded children’s book market. The books are all written and illustrated by the ‘award winning team’ of Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell. William and the Wolves is the most interesting of the…

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