Reviewer:

Juliette Saumande

Book Cover - 100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Cafe

100 Tales from the Tokyo Ghost Cafe

The second collaboration between writer Julian Sedgwick and manga artist Chie Kutsuwada will grow on you. The deeper you wade into this collection of tales of kami gods and yokai spirits, the more attached you will grow to its characters, its décors, its language.

Book Cover - Holey Moley

Holey Moley

Gus the Goat has never met Mavis Mole, but that’s not going to stop Gus making conversation … and absurd assumptions. If Gus is an alliterative goat, then of course she must be an alliterative mole (he’s not wrong) and obviously, she must live in a hole, or a bowl, or at the very least in a sausage roll. Gus is determined to guess which rhyming abode is Mavis’, piling on the ridiculous suggestions. Mole is unimpressed, but readers will delight in the heady nonsense of Clarke’s text, made even more playful by Frang’s illustrations.

Book Cover - Boy Like Me

Boy Like Me

Rural England, 1994. Anti-gay sentiment isn’t just in the air, it’s in the law, with Section 28 of the Local Government Act stating that ‘a local authority shall not intentionally promote homosexuality (…) or promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.’

Book Cover - Human 2.0

Human 2.0

Human 2.0 is, as its subtitle promises, a ‘celebration of human bionics’ encompassing millennia of the ingenuity, innovation and resilience deployed by our species to assist, replace or even surpass human biology.

Book Cover - A Passing On of Shells

A Passing On of Shells

Playful, outrageous, deep, restrained, heartbreaking, thoughtful, downright silly … the range of tones and emotions that just fifty words on a page can elicit is amazing. Poet, performer and storyteller Simon Lamb’s first published collection follows this word-count rule to great effect, bringing to life a whirlwind of vignettes about grannies and baby brothers, wet weekends and Monday-morning dread, childhood hotels and slug-infested compost bins, pets and friends, growing up and grief, writing and creating, and more.

Unraveller Cover Image

Unraveller

It feels wrong to play favourites, but of all the many skills Frances Hardinge displays in each of her novels, world-building ranks very high indeed in this reviewer’s list. From underground cities to gods-infested islands, Hardinge’s settings always come with wonderful depth and detail, making them much more than just a background to a character’s progression.

Lionel Poops - book cover

Lionel Poops

An energetic, cheerful lion takes his love of trampolining to new heights when ‘all of a sudden he needs to poop.’ Lionel feels no misplaced embarrassment about his unclothed body or his natural bodily functions, and just gets ready to do what needs to be done, wherever he happens to be. This is not to the taste of the poor bystanders that find themselves in the potential line of fire: the cows, the wild cats, even the Eiffel tower!

Book Cover - Frindleswylde

Frindleswylde

Cora and her grandmother live in a house in the woods. The rule is clear: when the first snow falls, never let the light out, never let winter in. Winter, in this tale steeped in magic, folklore and literary references, takes the form of a selfish, lazy, cunning boy: Frindleswylde. When the rule is broken, Cora must rescue Granny and the light from the frozen underworld that Frindleswylde calls his kingdom.

Book Cover - Frindleswylde

Frindleswylde

Cora and her grandmother live in a house in the woods. The rule is clear: when the first snow falls, never let the light out, never let winter in. Winter, in this tale steeped in magic, folklore and literary references, takes the form of a selfish, lazy, cunning boy: Frindleswylde.

Book Cover - Ergo

Ergo

Do you find yourself in the position of the grown-up that kids go to with their deep and philosophical questions? Then Ergo, by Alexis Deacon and Viviane Schwarz, will help! Not by supplying any answers, but by lightly and magisterially illustrating a method for thinking big thoughts and breaking down big questions. It’s also bound to cause a good bit of a giggle!