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All reviews tagged with Walker Books

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Juvie

Sadie has always been the responsible sister, the one who had a plan and was going to make something of her life. But when her older sister, Carla, puts them in a situation where they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time – Sadie takes the fall. What should have been community service turns…

Kiki and Bobo’s Sunny Day

It is a bright, sunny day and Kiki has an idea for an exciting way to spend it with her best friend Bobo. She wants to go to the seaside and swim in the ocean! But Bobo is quite nervous about the ocean and thinks up all kinds of other things to do… anything but…

Kiki and Bobo’s Super Surprise

Meet Kiki and Bobo, two friends who are getting ready for a very special day. Both are planning a surprise secret party, but who is it for? The personalities of this lively pair are different with Kiki being bouncy and Bobo tending to be the shy one of the duo. This is a lift-the-flap story…

King Baby

Kate Beaton’s latest picturebook is a humourous treatment of the constant attention newborn babies need from their caretakers, told from the point of view of the exalted King Baby himself. King Baby has many demands, offering his adult subjects ‘smiles and laughs and kisses’ as a reward for carrying out his orders (‘FEED ME! BURP…

King of the Sky

A boy moves from Italy to another country. The weather, the landscape and the smell of the new place constantly remind him that this is not where he belongs. Yet, only the racing pigeons kept by Mr. Evans, an old man living in the neighborhood, awake his memory of home in Rome. Narrated by the…

Knuffle Bunny

At first glance I wasn’t sure if this book would appeal to me. The format is landscape in the style of a light coffee-table book. The illustrations are bright verging on garish and set on a background of black and white photographs with a matt olive-green border. But after a quick flick through the pages,…

Ladder to the Moon

Ladder to the Moonevokes the qualities of a ‘comfort blanket’ in a familiar enveloping hug. Yuyi Morales’ illustrations convey the tactile security of a solid, warm lap and strong embracing arms. Containing subtle intercultural references, the text is fluid and graceful. The brush-strokes provide a dreamlike texture with colours that are comforting and calming. The…

Life: An Exploded Diagram

This is a new historical novel for young adults from the award-winning writer of Keeper and Exposure. A coming-of-age story set in rural Norfolk, England in 1962, the central plot focuses on the growing romance between 16-year-old Clem Ackroyd, a working-class boy with a talent for drawing, and Frankie, the rebellious daughter of a rich…

Lottery Boy

Is there a more popular daydream than winning the lottery? It seems to promise not just money but a whole new life. And when your old life has crumbled underneath you, with the loss of your mother and your home, how much harder would you fight to keep that dream alive?    As this book…

Love and Other F**R Letter Words

Being 16 years old and having a best friend who is taller, thinner and prettier is hard enough. But when Sammie’s parents decide to separate, she really finds life tough. The family had planned to leave upstate New York and move to California for a year, but now Sammie’s father goes alone, while she and…

Lucky Lazlo

Steve Light has illustrated this book beautifully. The cover draws you in with its intimate detail and sharp contrast of colours. The first page introduces us to Lazlo who is on a quest to give a rose to his love. However, a mischievous cat intervenes and so the story begins to unfold. We are taken…

Magrit

Magrit lives in a tiny, abandoned graveyard, lost, forgotten and overgrown amongst the tall buildings and busy outside world that surround it. But she is not alone. She has her friend and advisor, Master Puppet that she built from old bones and bits of graveyard stuff. Magrit and Master Puppet are sitting atop their crumbling…

Maisy Goes to the Library

`It was the sort of day when Maisy wanted a book about fish’. Maisy began her visit to the library determined to find a nice quiet place there to look at a book about fish. And despite many distractions she eventually finds a book about fish and settles down to read it. But her peace…

Mango & Bambang: The Not-A-Pig

The Not-a-Pig is Book One in a new series from author Polly Faber and illustrator Clara Vulliamy. Featuring a wonderful new heroine called Mango Allsorts, who by her own admission is good at all sorts of things, and indeed she is, as the stories collected here go on to prove.    When Mango finds a…

Max

Konrad Von Kebnersol aka Max is the first product of a secret Lebensborn programme, a Nazi breeding plan dedicated to producing specimens of the purest Aryan perfection. Separated from his mother soon after his birth, baptised by Hitler himself and touted as the programme’s finest, he is enrolled in a Napola – a Nazi military…

Maya & Cat

This picturebook by Caroline Magerl is a beautiful object and both an aural and visual treat. Having the illustrations carry much of the story has allowed Magerl to pare back the text, which has a wonderfully spare, poetic flow to it, enhanced by the generous design and placing of the words on the page. The…

Migloo’s Day

It says it all on the cover: Migloo’s Day is ‘a search-and-find story book’. The story itself is a very simple one: a dog goes into town where he is given food and lifts all day until he has to find a way to help the school children stranded on their broken-down bus.  So far,…

Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats

When Miss Hazeltine opened a home for shy and fearful cats, she had concerns as to whether anyone would come, but she need not have worried. Cats of all kinds and of all nervous dispositions arrive to see if she can help them to become ‘normal’ cats. Each day she lovingly encourages them to try…

More Than This

From its cinematic opening scene right through to the final pages, Patrick Ness’ eagerly awaited follow up to A Monster Calls pulls no punches in absolutely immersing the reader in a world unlike any other we have confronted in a YA novel. Ness’ stark and beautiful prose introduces us to Seth, a boy who doesn’t know what…

Mum Goes to Work

This picturebook is sure to be a favourite with small children, whether read to them at their daycare or at home, focussing as it does on mums and the lives that they lead when they are apart from their children.  The fact that some among the young audience may not have articulated this question to…

My Brigadista Year

It’s 1961 in Cuba. Fidel Castro has been in power for two years. Posters appear in schools asking for an army of voluntary teachers aged 10-19 to spread literacy countrywide within twelve months. Idealistic and bookish 13-year-old Lora, who feels restricted by her mother’s expectations to do with gender and circumstance, is determined to go.…

My Dog Is A Carrot

The production values of this book are excellent. Zany full-page colour – lime green, black, turquoise with contrasting offbeat print shades – and excellent layout. In fact, this is the textual equivalent of performance poetry, in that the colour is a dimension essential to the success of the book. This is Hegley’s sixth book and…

My Grandma and Me

How refreshing to come across a book set in Iran, filled with the minutiae of daily life there, that shows us how children everywhere want the same things: safety and unconditional love. This is a beautiful autobiographical account by the author of when her beloved Grandma lived with her family. And what a lovely grandmother…

Mysterious Traveller

Five riders and their precious cargo vanish in the desert during a sudden sandstorm. When Issa, a well-respected desert guide, finds a baby girl safely strapped to the back of a camel sheltering in the crevice of a rock wall after the event, he decides to raise her as his granddaughter. So begins Mal Peet…

Near, Far

Near, Far is a deceptively simple picturebook. Done in vivid block colours throughout, it is as much a mystery narrative as an essay on perspective for very young children. There are seven creatures portrayed one at a time, beginning with a close-up view and gradually retreating far enough for the viewer to be able to…

Nine Worlds in Nine Nights: A Journey Through Imaginary Lands

What would you do if everything you knew was turned upside down? If fantasy suddenly became reality? That’s the question explored in this curious, genre-defying picturebook, presented as the diary entries, sketches, and notes of famed (and fictional) theoretical physicist Dawn Gable. The publisher plays along, informing the reader that the following pages were collected…

Northwood

Despite her name, Cecilia Undergarment is not a girl to be taken lightly. She has a very clear idea of what is right and wrong. Her determination to rescue a neglected dog from her mean neighbour lands her in serious trouble, and she and Rocky the dog find themselves lost in the dark forest of…

Nurse Clementine

Doctor and nurse games are a firm favourite with young children, and the little girl in this book is determined to care for her family whether they need it or not! Equipped with bandages, a thermometer and a stethoscope, she sets about bandaging her entire family, something which only her little brother, Tommy, appears to…

Oh No, George

Oh, the drama of temptation! When George the dog is briefly left home alone and promises to be good, he really means it – until a very tempting cake enters the scene. And a very tempting cat. And some very tempting soil… What will George do? As with his previous work, A Bit Lost, Chris Haughton knows…

Oliver

Birgitta Sif's debut is everything a picturebook should be. The illustrations, whilst very reminiscent of the South African author/illustrator Niki Daly, are well executed, consistent and make excellent use of either a single page for more intimate moments or double pages to convey the feeling of movement and space. The palette choice is muted, complementing…

Oscar’s Half Birthday

Oscar’s Half Birthday is a charming book. When one tries to analyse the elusive quality of charm, either in person or in book, it is always down to a winning combination of factors. This illustrated story wins on several fronts. Simply put, it is the story of a young and very appealing family’s inability to…

Picken: Mix and Match the Farm Animals

If Ireland has a queen of board books for babies, Mary Murphy wears the crown. Her latest offering is a companion volume to the very popular Crocopotamus: Mix and Match the Wild Animals, also in the Baby Walker series. This time we are introduced to a set of animals we might find in a typical…

Pizza Kittens

Mealtime in the cat family is chaotic, thanks to the antics of the three kittens Lucy, Joe and Bert. Unhappy with the food served by mother and father they manage to create a mess, even when under strict instructions to improve their behaviour. All they really want is pizza and when it’s on the menu…

Pony on the Twelfth Floor

Polly has dreamed of every possible way to get a pony. She’s pony-mad and wants nothing more than to prove herself showjumping at Olympia. She can almost hear the crowds go wild! So, imagine her delight when she finds a plump, friendly pony munching his way through the flapjacks at the local supermarket. Polly really…

Poo

Many children enjoy mentioning the unmentionable. This inventive picture information book will allow them to do so legitimately, learning many useful things in the process. (Readers who are faint of heart may like to discontinue reading now!) This is non-fiction with a non-formal style, which will appeal to children. The cover introduces the topic with…

Pride and Premiership

Pride and Premiership: from WAGs to Richesis the first book from actress and singer Michelle Gayle. Telling the story of Remy, a 17-year-old who has taken on the goal of becoming a WAG so that she can give up work. She and her sister Malibu follow a ‘WAG charter’ to snag themselves a footballer. The…

Raymie Nightingale

Much loved storyteller Kate DiCamillo’s latest novel Raymie Nightingale is a profound, insightful and impressive tale of an extraordinary friendship between three diverse but equally determined girls. Through the eyes of Raymie Clarke, the reader is introduced to the fragile fabric of a world where good deeds and brave deeds aren’t always the ‘right’ deeds,…

Read My Lips

This is a wonderful story of courage and survival. Set in a residential school for the deaf, it tells of the trials and tribulations of deaf children as they split into two distinctly hostile camps, the signers and the speakers. The result is a deaf city war, which becomes increasingly volatile, with those on either…

Red Ted and the Lost Things

Red Ted is left on the train one day and ends up in the lost and found at the train station where he meets Crocodile. Red Ted is certain that Stevie will come and find him, but when Crocodile tells him he’s been in the Place for Lost Things for a very long time, Red…

Return

A young, lonely girl fails to get the attention of her busy father yet again. So she returns to the world she created in the previous instalments, Journey and Quest, where she has found friendship and adventure. This time, the father notices his daughter’s absence. He and follows her into the magical realm – populated…

Russian Roulette (Alex Rider series)

Fans of Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series will need little introduction to this much-awaited novel. Published 2 years after the final novel in the series, Russian Roulette is not really a prequel, but rather a sort of spin-off into the origin of one of the series’ best villains – Yassen Gregorovich. Horowitz examines the events, experiences and…

Sam and Jump

Sam and his stuffed bunny, Jump, are best friends and they do everything together. After a trip to the beach they make a new friend, but Jump is accidentally left behind. Will Sam ever see Jump again? What could have happened to him? Author-illustrator Jennifer K. Mann takes a heart-warming approach to friendship in Sam…

Santa’s Beard

Beards are all the rage, don’t you know. And so is Santa and all things Christmassy, as it is ‘that time of year again’. Pirates seem to never go out of fashion, much like princesses. So what would happen if one were to mix all these staples of popular culture and picturebooks? A triumph? Or…

Say it!

Say it! is a charming book that follows a mother and daughter as they take a blustery autumnal stroll through the countryside. Along the way they see all sorts of beautiful things in nature, but Mum repeatedly refuses to ‘say it!’ as her daughter requests. Finally, after lots of lovely alternatives, Mum gives in and…

Scream Street: Hunger of the Yeti

Heard the one about the vampire, the mummy and the zombie’s tongue? No? Then you obviously haven’t visited Scream Street recently. In this, the eleventh book in the series, Luke and the first two of the aforementioned creatures, Resus Negative (puns ahoy!) and Cleo Farr, undertake a trip to Tibet as part of their continuing…

Scream Street: Terror of the Nightwatchman (Scream Street 9)

Cleo Farr, the mummified former handmaiden to Queen Nefertari of Egypt and self-proclaimed tomboy, has disappeared from the G.H.O.U.L. community of Scream Street. Her friends Luke Watson, a werewolf, and Resus Negative, the son of vampire parents, follow the trail from her smashed bedroom door into the realm of the Nightwatchman. The Nightwatchman feeds on…

Secret Tree Fort

Imagine a magical tree fort. Now imagine a magical tree fort wilder than your wildest dreams and then imagine you’re not invited. That’s precisely what happens in this beautifully observed story. With her head firmly buried in a book, a young reader stubbornly ignores her rambunctious little sister as they are forced to play in…

Send for a Superhero!

Michael Rosen’s Send for a Superhero! is a story within a story, or, rather, a comic book within a book. It’s a pleasing frame that children will enjoy, especially seeing the smaller version of the book within the story itself. A father is reading Emily and Elmer a bedtime story called Send for a Superhero! about a nasty crime…

Shake the Tree!

A hungry little mouse spies a tasty-looking nut hanging from the top of a too-tall tree. How will he reach it? A thought suddenly strikes – why not shake, shake, shake the tree until it falls into his waiting hands? But unfortunately all that shaking loosens something (or is it someone?) else from the tree,…

Shapes At Play

One shape on its own might be lonely, but joined with other shapes there are infinite possibilities for building and play. As the name suggests, Shapes at Play takes a whimsical look at shapes and the ways they can combine to create more shapes, objects and scenes. But there is more to this book than…

Sir Gawain & The Green Knight

The calibre of both the author and illustrator is such that it ensures that this book is of a high quality. This legendary tale of King Arthur’s nephew’s adventures on taking up the Green Knight’s challenge has been skillfully retold. The narrative is lively, clear and direct yet, at the same time, Morpurgo manages to…

Skeleton Key

An eye-catching cover draws us into this excellent adventure story. Our hero, Alex Rider, is a 14-year-old secret agent with MI6, a junior James Bond, though it would be better to compare Horowitz with the great le Carré, rather than that sexist reactionary Fleming. All the clichés of the genre are employed – mad villain…

Sleep Tight, Little Bear

From the award-winning author Martin Waddell, this is a book to treasure. Here, once again are the delightful bears that we first met in Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? Again, as in that first story, Waddell shows his wonderfully assured ear for story that is rooted in the special relationship that develops when a caring…

Snow Bears

Mummy Bear can’t find her three babies, who are having great fun snowballing and sliding down snowy slopes because they are covered in snow and camouflaged against the snowy forest. But back inside their cosy cabin, she is surprised when the snowy covering melts and her babies reappear and happily eat their toast by the…

Some Dinosaurs Are Small

Some dinosaurs are small with tiny teeth for eating fruits and vegetables. Some dinosaurs are big with huge, pointy teeth. And they are always hungry. They take food from small dinosaurs and when they finish eating it, they are still hungry. They go looking for more to eat.  Watch out, small dinosaur! Some dinosaurs are…

Soonchild

Russell Hoban’s latest offering is unconventional, unusual and innovative, as is to be expected from a man used to collaborating with illustrators like Quentin Blake and having writers like Will Self pen introductions to new editions of his work. Soonchild is one of those rare finds, a book so hard to classify or pigeonhole for…

Square

Just like the story itself, Square is a book that holds a lot of beauty and depth within its simple exterior. When Circle asks Square to make a sculpture of her, based on her confusion about his hobby of moving blocks, Square wants everything to be perfect, just like Circle is. But will it be?…

Stick and Fetch Investigate: Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Stick and Fetch are a new dynamic duo in the detecting game, one girl and her dog out hunting for clues, and also hunting for mysteries to go with the clues. They’re enthusiastic and energetic and they follow their cases through, all the way to the very, very end until the mysteries are completely and…

Stick!

Everyone knows that the best way to make friends with a dog is to throw it a stick, but what if  no-one wants to join in? Can perseverance yield rewards? The author of this picturebook clearly thinks so, and the simplicity of the text and illustrations underlines the understated way in which many good friendships…

Stoner and Spaz

What would happen if a boy with cerebral palsy and a great sense of humour became friends with a girl with a drug addiction? When this question occurred to Ron Koertge, it became the inspiration for his novel Stoner and Spaz. Ben Bancroft loves the cinema. What begins as enjoyment of the escapism offered by…

Tall

This is picturebook making at its best. Tall is a sequel to the much- loved and deservedly successful Hug and again Jez Alborough has managed to convey a story that is funny, exciting, scary, subtle and witty in pictures and using only five words. Bobo the little chimp is on his own in the forest…

That Is Not a Good Idea!

Willems has done it again, this is another winner – a handsome, clever picturebook with a fiendish twist. The story begins when a dapperly-dressed wolf meets an innocent-looking duck on the street. ‘What luck’ says one. ‘Dinner!’ says the other. The wolf invites the duck for a stroll to his nearby kitchen to boil up some…

The Adventures of Alfie Onion

When you’re the Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, you have some high expectations to live up to. But when you’re the eighth son, you may have to work a bit harder to get noticed. Alfie Onion is not afraid of hard work, nor of trolls, ogres, a talking horse, mischievous mice or even meddling…

The Big Princess

Once upon a time there was a king and queen. Their most precious possession was their beautiful garden. The king had a dream in which a white bird tells him that among his flowers he will find a tiny princess. The princess is under a spell and if the king can break the spell the princess will become…

The Book of Lies

The Book of Lies is a novel which I cannot praise highly enough. Strange, dark and riveting, this story is gripping from beginning to end. Taking the form of diary entries, written transcripts and letters, the story jumps from the period of the German occupation in Guernsey throughout WW2, to 1985, the period of main character…

The Book of Pearl

This beautifully written fantasy novel begins where many supernatural romances end: with a fairy renouncing her powers to be with her human lover. Ironically, just as Olia becomes human, her human lover Ilian is exiled to 1930s Paris where he adopts the pseudonym Joshua Pearl. From there the nonlinear narrative jumps backwards and forwards in…

The Bugliest Bug

Damselfly Dilly thinks she is too plain to win the ‘Bugliest Bug’ contest but she goes along to watch it anyway. While there she becomes suspicious of the judges when she notices their fake wings. She exposes their true identity, spurs the other bugs into action and saves the day. This humorous story is full…

The Butterfly Heart

The Butterfly Hearttakes place in Zambia, the beautiful ‘butterfly heart’ of Africa. The story is told through two voices: Bul-Boo, a young girl who lives with her family and twin sister Madillo, and Ifwafwa, the Snake Man. He is old and wise and has the unique ability to communicate with snakes. The twins’ lovely and…

The Children Who Smelled a Rat

Allan Ahlberg’s The Children Who Smelled a Rat is a sheer delight for the young reader. This pacy narrative deals with a number of concurrent plots, including baby Gary Gaskitt ‘rolling away’ in a shopping trolley, a teacher who seems to be an imposter and the hilarious tale of Hector the cat being hypnotised by…

The Christmas Eve Ghost

Somewhat misleadingly titled (possibly with an eye for the Christmas market), this new offering from the inimitable Shirley Hughes is a hugely informative story bringing alive the everyday experiences of children in 1930’s Liverpool. Hughes has drawn on her own experiences as a child of that era to vividly recall such things as wash day…

The Day War Came

Simple yet highly charged, this is one of the big stories of our time told in a form accessible to young children. More than ever in a post-truth world, art, here in the hands of masterful picturebook makers Nicola Davies and Rebecca Cobb, gets closer to the truth about the world we live in than…

The Dog Who Lost His Bark

Oz is the sweet, thoughtful puppy that has had a rough start to life. After living with families who cannot care for him properly, he struggles to trust people and is careful not to bark because it only causes trouble. He soon meets Patrick who teaches him to find his voice again, and Oz teaches…

The Fly

I have to admit what I love mostly about this book is the strikingly beautiful and well-designed cover. Type and colour occupy most of it, with a frightened little fly peeping out at the bottom. The bold clear print on interior pages, is a great plus for preschoolers. Overall I liked this book’s simple, witty…

The Girl with the Parrot on her Head

In Daisy Hirst’s beautifully kooky book The Girl With the Parrot on her Head, the girl of the title is called Isabel and she has a friend called Simon (as well as the aforementioned parrot). When Simon suddenly moves away, the loss is felt keenly and after a period of hating ‘everything’, Isabel’s coping mechanisms…

The Great Space Race

Eric ‘Ace’ Crankshaw’s family are swindled out of millions by evil businessman Zac Zircon. With bankruptcy looming and the unpleasant and showstealing bailiff, Danny Thumper, along with his two savage dogs Love and Hate, on their trail, the Crankshaws try to win $10 million by entering the Zircon-sponsored Great Space Race and be the first…

The Hamster Book

Every child wants a pet and with The Hamster Book, children get the chance to feel like they have one of their very own. The reader journeys through the book by first naming their new hamster and then by looking after it – first they must gently wake it, brush its fur, feed it, watch…

The Jungle Book

Rudyard Kipling’s three tales of the man-cub Mowgli are attractively presented in this elaborate new edition. Although over a hundred years old, these stories have lost none of their appeal, containing as they do all of the classic ingredients of exciting narrative. From the cover and opening pages it is abundantly clear that this is…

The King of Quizzical Island Digs Through the World

The King of Quizzical Island is back for another adventure. In this delightfully nonsensical tale the curious king sets out to prove that the world is round by digging through it. His quest brings him deep into the underworld where he meets a cast of fantastical creatures. Gordon Snell tells the king's story in rhyming…

The Midnight Zoo

This novel, powerfully underpinned by Jonathan McNaught’s haunting and often disturbing illustrations, is set in wartime in an unspecified time and place, giving it relevance and added universality, if such were needed. It follows the journey to the zoo of young Romani siblings Andrej, Tomas and baby Wilma, as, in keeping with their mother’s last injunction…

The Most Impossible Parents

The Norm family is far from normal, but each of the three episodes in this engaging little book is instantly recognisable. Mr and Mrs Norm are clearly well into their mid-thirties, but he’s still a ponytailed, nose-ring-wearing anarchist, and she sees no reason to give up belly-dancing, or to change out of her fishnet bodystocking…

The Most Wonderful Thing in the World

The basic premise of this charming picturebook is a familiar one from the world of fairy tales, that a young princess needs to find a husband and her parents must choose the suitor, with one caveat – he must be able to source the most wonderful thing in the world. Prospective grooms arrive laden with…

The Night Itself (The Name of the Blade, Book One)

What could possibly go wrong when Mio ‘borrows’ her grandfather’s antique katana for a fancy dress party? Even though she knows she’s not supposed to touch the heirloom sword until she turns sixteen? As it turns out, quite a lot. For starters she exits the party in spectacular style – mysterious beings that only she…

The Only Child Club

Ryan, a normal happy child who has no sisters or brothers, is curious to find out what kinds of things only children never get to do. He recruits two like-minded only children from his class to join his ‘Only Child Club’.  They discover that only children in fact do most things that other children do…

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The town of Hamelin is overrun with rats and no one can figure out how to get rid of them. That is until a mysterious (and snappily dressed) piper arrives to lure them away with his music and ends up teaching the townspeople a valuable lesson. Michael Morpurgo and Emma Chichester Clark have teamed up…

The Price Guide to the Occult

In the Blackburn family of witches, Nor, the novel’s teenage protagonist, is the first in seven generations to possess the full panoply of powers, which unfold and strengthen throughout the narrative. She lives on an island peopled by deftly created eccentrics with a caring and protective ‘mountainous…giantess’ of a grandmother and her loving partner. Nor’s…

The Princess and the Pony

Kate Beaton has created rather a neat twist on the princess story. Our heroine Pinecone belongs to a warrior tribe and longs to get her own battle gear and a horse fit for a warrior, but instead keeps being given lots of cosy sweaters. For her birthday it looks as if Pinecone will get her…

The Quiet at the End of the World

Lowrie and Shen are two teenagers living in London. They are the only two teenagers living in London – the only two in the whole world. Lowrie and Shen are the two youngest members of the human race left on Earth. After a virus caused worldwide infertility generations ago, Lowrie and Shen, along with their…

The Radleys

Peter and Helen Radley have two teenage children, Rowan and Clara, and are trying to live a healthy, normal suburban life, but they have been keeping a dark secret about who and what they are from everyone, including their children. That is until a series of events force the secret out and the family’s true…

The Romans: Gods, Emperors and Dormice

‘What have dormice got to do with the Romans?’ you might well ask. Not a whole lot but on the first end page we are greeted by Dormeo Augustus, a gladiator dormouse, who will become our guide to the history of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Dormeo acts as a link between…

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill

What do you see when you look in the mirror? This story’s narrator Emmaline sees herself, a small girl without a family during wartime Britain. She sees her surroundings in Briar Hill, a stately home that’s been turned into a tuberculosis sanatorium for children like her. But more importantly she sees something that no-one else…

The Seeds of Friendship

Michael Foreman’s picture book is a fable for the multicultural times we live in. Adam is a newly arrived immigrant from Africa struggling to adapt to living in a big city which he sees as grey and drab compared to the vibrant colours of his native land. The gift of a few seeds from his…

The Seeds of Friendship

Michael Foreman’s picture book is a fable for the multicultural times we live in. Adam is a newly arrived immigrant from Africa struggling to adapt to living in a big city which he sees as grey and drab compared to the vibrant colours of his native land. The gift of a few seeds from his…

The Sleeping Baobab Tree

Bul-boo and Madillo, twin sisters, live with their parents in Zambia. Fred is their next-door neighbour and friend who lives with his great-granny Nokokulu whom they suspect of being a witch. One day, Nokokulu asks Fred to accompany her to Ng’ombe Ilde, The Place of Death, near the confluence of the Zambezi and Kafue rivers…

The Sleepwalkers

In contrast to Viviane Schwarz's other book published this year (Welcome to Your Awesome Robot, from Flying Eye Books), The Sleepwalkers is much of a linear comic book story. It is beautifully illustrated with line work done in pencil and coloured digitally which creates a very warm and dreamy effect. There are some spooky sequences which some younger…

The Songbird Café Girls – Aurora and the Popcorn Dolphin

Animals can be very supportive to humans in times of grief, as discovered by Aurora, or Rory, a twelve-year-old girl who is heartbroken after her mother has died. Aurora struggles to care about anything until, on a trip back to Ireland (she’s American), she meets the dolphins of Little Bird Island. And when she discovers…

The Story of Britain

I was never any good at history in school. I wasn’t much good at geography, French, science or maths for that matter, but when it came to history, I was somewhere around the bottom of the class. It’s not that I couldn’t follow along with the class, it’s just that the way it was taught…

The Tale of Angelino Brown

The Tale of Angelino Brown strikes an intriguing balance between the familiar and comforting day-to-day and the suggestion of something magical. The eponymous angel protagonist appears quite suddenly in the pocket of bus driver Bert, who is feeling a little worn down by his years of service. The narrative deliberately makes this miraculous appearance both…

The Teenage Guide to Stress

Wow, why was this book not around for my children – not to mention myself? This is the follow up to Blame My Brain, a guide to the biology behind teenage behaviour. On this occasion Nicola Morgan tackles the more external sources of stress that modern teenagers often deal with: relationships, social media and cyber-bullying,…

The Terrible Tales of the Teenytinysaurs!

The Teenytinysaurs are a madcap gang of five tiny dinosaur friends, who dash about exploring their world and having adventures. This book is laid out in a comic strip format that will appeal to both boys and girls. In a series of cheerfully hilarious stories we enter the world of the Teentinysaurs – will they…

The Tiny King

Taro Miura uses a combination of vivid colours, geometric shapes, and collage to tell the story of the Tiny King, who is lonely and living in a castle that is too big for him, until he marries the Big Princess and fills his castle with children. Miura’s deceptively simple illustrations are what make this book…

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