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The Secret Railway

The Secret Railway

Wendy Meddour
Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192745545

The Secret Railway

When siblings Leo and Ella move house, the last thing they expect to find at the back of their new home is a secret railway station. It gets more peculiar when they get on board the magnificent steam train passing through and on board discover a prince under a curse, a table that can stop time and strange mechanical birds. They soon learn that the prince has been forced to drive the train by his wicked stepmother, Griselda, and the only way to free him is to return some magical objects to their rightful owners. The story moves at a gallop and each page brings a strange new creature or thing, so will keep young readers entranced. The relationship between Leo, the older brother, and Ella is also solidly drawn; he patiently extracts Ella from trouble each time she jumps into it head first. The story is peppered with energetic black and white drawings and the text is nicely paced. In all, there's lots to appeal to young readers.

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Alexander McCall Smith, illus Kate Hindley

ISBN: 9781408865859

Freddie Mole is an ordinary boy until the day he finds a job with the circus. But instead of the 'odd jobs' he's expecting to do, Freddie finds he is an extra in the trapeze act - and a replacement lion tamer! Expect lots of fun and adventure in this warm story by bestselling author Alexander McCall Smith.

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Claude Going for Gold!

Claude Going for Gold!

Alex T. Smith
Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 9781444926484

Claude Going for Gold!

This story follows Claude as he competes in a 'Stonking Big Sports Day' after tripping over his laces and landing in a parade! It's got all the usual humourous parts of a Claude book, the hilariously named characters (including, of course, Claude's best friend Sir Bobblysock), big blunders and a pair of baddies who try to steal the trophy! It's an action-packed story and this makes it very entertaining. Alex T Smith's illustrations really bring the story alive. They're dynamically detailed and support the story wonderfully. This is a great story for reluctant readers - none of the pages has a vast amount of text, but it still feels like a 'proper' story book... hugely entertaining.

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Penguin Pandemonium - Christmas Crackers (Awesome Animals)

Penguin Pandemonium - Christmas Crackers (Awesome Animals)

Jeanne Willis
HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780007521944

Penguin Pandemonium - Christmas Crackers (Awesome Animals)

When Santa pays of visit to City Zoo, a group of irrepressible penguins decide that they also want to celebrate Christmas so, when no one is looking, Rory and his penguin pals decide to have some Christmassy fun.

They secretly build a snow penguin, decorate a tree and explore the presents on Santa's sleigh. But when Santa returns to his sleigh unexpectedly, they have to hide - and the only place to hide is on the sleigh....

When the sleigh sets off, so begins the penguin's first ever visit into town and to a school where they discover snowball fights, making Christmas cards, eating Christmas pudding and giving out presents. They also discover what Christmas is really all about - not just the presents, but sharing Christmas with the penguins they love!

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Pinocchio

Pinocchio

Michael Morpurgo
HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780007339693

Pinocchio

This is a beautifully-presented retelling of the story of Pinocchio, told by Michael Morpurgo, the bestselling author of War Horse, and illustrated by Emma Chichester-Clark.

The story is delivered ‘by Pinocchio’ so, for the first time, we can see what happens to him through his own eyes.

“Now – there’s no point in pretending here – I was, and still am deep down, a puppet. Everyone knows Pinocchio is a puppet. I reckon I must be just about the most famous puppet the world has ever known. But the truth is I’m not just a puppet, I’m more than just bits of wood and string. I’m me. So I thought it was about time that I, Pinocchio, told you my story…”

Making Pinocchio the cheeky, mischievous narrator means the story is immediately much more accessible for younger children aged six or seven plus than many other retellings.

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Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane

Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane

Shirley Hughes
The Bodley Head Ltd
ISBN: 9781782300120

Dixie O'Day: In The Fast Lane

A beautifully presented story from one of our best loved authors, Shirley Hughes, who has worked with her daughter Clara Vulliamy to create this new series about a dog called Dixie O'Day. He and his friend Percy decide to enter the All-Day Car Race, but they are up against their arch enemy Lou Ella and there will be plenty of dangers facing them on the way...

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Agatha Parrot and the Thirteenth Chicken

Agatha Parrot and the Thirteenth Chicken

Kjartan Poskitt
Egmont Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781405265744

Agatha Parrot and the Thirteenth Chicken

Agatha Parrot doesn't go looking for trouble, but it does seem to find her and in this story, Agatha and her friends have managed to lose one of the 13 little chicks that they were looking after for school - but they don't know which one of the friends actually had the chick in the first place!

Author Kjartan Poskitt, who credits himself with 'writing down Agatha's adventures', is probably better known as a maths whiz and the name behind the Murderous Maths series but Agatha Parrot is his latest foray into fiction for children and the series is attracting many young fans.

Agatha Parrot's adventures are many and varied, and take place in the small world of Odd Street where she and her three best friends live, and their local primary school. Like the latest story, they tend to revolve around Agatha's penchant for attracting trouble, and trying to get out of it again....

The stories are written as if she has told the author about her adventures, so they have an immediacy and character that is very engaging. They are also brilliantly illustrated by Dave Tazzyman, the Mr Gum illustrator.

Ages 7/8+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone

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Stan Stinky

Stan Stinky

Hannah Shaw
Scholastic
ISBN: 9781407136240

Stan Stinky

Hannah Shaw, who has already built a loyal following for her picture books, has turned to fiction with this adventure-filled story about rats, sewers and not to forget the poo - which young readers will love. She also puts her considerable illustrative talents to use with incident-filled black and white drawings on every page.

The story is about a sewer rat called Stan Stinky, who is distraught to be sent to stay with his Uncle Captain Ratts (and side-kick Roachy the cockroach) during the summer holidays while all the other rats have stowed away on cruise ships to the Bahamas. However, Stan is soon caught up in an adventure of his own, to discover what is causing the terrible smells in Slime-on-the-Sewer.

Run-ins with humans, old socks and pants follow as Captain Ratts and 'sewer hero' Stan set off to save Slime-on-the-Sewer. The story is actually Stan's summer holiday diary and it's packed with pages of his hand-written accounts, postcards home, treasure maps and diagrams, which could entice young readers and writers to begin their own summer diaries.

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Arthur and the Mystery of the Egg

Arthur and the Mystery of the Egg

Johanne Mercier
Phoenix Yard Books
ISBN: 9781907912160

Arthur and the Mystery of the Egg

This series from publisher Phoenix Yard introduces Arthur, who is seven, and the slightly madcap schemes he finds himself involved with. They are entertaining, family-based stories for early readers.

In this story, Arthur finds an egg which his family is convinced solves the problem of 'which came first, the chicken or the egg'? Before he knows it, Arthur is surrounded by a media circus and a world-renowned scientist.

Naturally, it all goes wrong but Arthur remains the most sensible one of them all. Arthur and the Earthworms - when Arthur decides to take on a new job selling earthworms - has also just been published.

Ages 7+ / 48 pages / Reviewed by ReadingZone

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Monster and Chips (Monster and Chips, Book 1)

Monster and Chips (Monster and Chips, Book 1)

David O'Connell
HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780007497133

Monster and Chips (Monster and Chips, Book 1)

Readers growing in confidence will enjoy this story of monsters, bullies and monster recipes - ever tried 'flattened frog fritters, sea snail in snotted cream sauce or slug and chips'?

Joe accidentally lands himself a job in a 'monster cafe' - which is run by monsters and where the clients are monsters. So follows a series of adventures involving food inspectors, a milkshake beast and a tree with eyes.

The story is inventive and funny with a range of appealing characters (and monsters).

Ages 7+ / 192 pages / Reviewed by ReadingZone

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ISBN: 9781444004793

Move over Pippi Longstocking, Ruby Rogers and Clarice Bean; meet Opal Moonbaby. Opal is in fact an alien from the planet, Carnelia, who has arrived on earth with her special companion Widget on a mission.

Part of this mission is to make a friend. Martha is hurting; her best friend has abandoned her for the new girl, Colette. Colette is a bully. These are all conventional tropes within stories aimed at this age group. However, Maudie Smith has created a character with sufficient originality to stand out; Opal is a lively character whose eccentricities will endear her to readers as will Widget, her alien companion.

The good news is that Opal will be appearing in future adventures. Ages 8-10 years / 202 pages / Reviewed by Ferelith Hordon.

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Elf Girl and Raven Boy: Monster Mountains: Book 2

Elf Girl and Raven Boy: Monster Mountains: Book 2

Marcus Sedgwick
Orion Children's Books
ISBN: 9781444004861

Elf Girl and Raven Boy: Monster Mountains: Book 2

Award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick is writing for younger readers with this series, Elf Girl and Raven Boy.

The heroic (but small) Raven Boy and Elf Girl are on their way to face the Goblin King, who is threatening to destroy their home. They have been chased by a giant, nearly eaten by trolls and biffed by a goat, but now they face their biggest challenge yet. Simon, a wizard, wants to turn them into stone.

Will they manage to outwit Simon? Will they escape the trolls, who still want to eat them? Will they ever stop squabbling long enough to try...?

This story has loads of monsters, a giant rat, lots of magic and some great climbing tricks! Look out for the earlier title, Fright Forest.

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ISBN: 9780857560117

If you have accident-prone children then wait till they read about Archie, an accident waiting to happen. He can't help it.

He arrives at school to find the dinner lady with her arm stuck in a drain but after a series of accidents, he becomes the one who is in deep trouble….

In just one week at school, he is accused of murder (wrongly, of course), gets trapped in the staff cloakroom without any clothes, gets mistaken for a dog and somehow manages to turn himself into a dog.

Not to mention the poisonous spider and the Health and Safety Inspector who gets a toilet stuck on his head . . .

Lucky for Archie, his best friend Cyd is always there to sort out the mess. And somehow, almost by accident, everything turns out all right in the end.

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Marcus Sedgwick

ISBN: 9781444005578

Trolls, ogres, fairies, goblins and witches abound in this delightful new series from Marcus Sedgwick, author of the Raven Mysteries books.

Elf Girl and Raven Boy (we don't find out their real names) live in the forest, which is being torn down by a giant ogre and no one knows why.

The two embark on a mission to find out why, but it means entering the terrifying Fright Forest and finding the wise witch, who also happens to have a terrible reputation for being very bad. On the way, they pick up a friendly rat and get chased by three trolls who want them for dinner.

Fright Forest is an adventurous and satisfying read with plenty of twists, turns and funny moments to keep readers aged eight years plus fully engaged. We also love the brilliant illustrations by Pete Williamson.

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Shrek!

Shrek!

William Steig
Particular Books
ISBN: 9781846146466

Shrek!

Is Shrek one of your favourite films? Then you might want to take a look at this story which was the inspiration for the film.

This original Shrek is a lot uglier, scarier, more powerful and far more unpleasant than the one most of us recognize from the cinema.

This Shrek can cook food by glaring at it, spit flames and blow smoke from his ears. If a snake were foolish enough to bite him, it would die, and even the trees get out of the way to let Shrek by.

Yup, he's one repulsive ogre. Like the original story, he finds a maiden he wants to marry, although this one is even uglier than he is. And they both lived horribly ever after!

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Me, the Queen and Christopher

Me, the Queen and Christopher

Giles Andreae
Orchard Books
ISBN: 9781408320051

Me, the Queen and Christopher

The Queen's Jubilee is just around the corner and this story tells us what life might really be like behind the doors of Buckingham Palace!

Freya is the luckiest girl alive - she's been picked to spend a day with the Queen! But she soon finds out that life as a queen is not all tiaras and lobster. In fact the queen eats baked beans, likes dancing around in her tracksuit, and LOVES cupcakes! (and her favourite pair of knickers have dogs on them!)

She and Freya make loads of cakes for Freya to take home to her disabled younger brother, Christopher. But it's Christopher's turn to have a treat when the queen spots them both during her royal parade two weeks later - and Christopher gets to ride in her carriage.

Look out for posh butlers, lots of corgies, soldiers with furry hats - and The Queen!!

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Bugville: 1

Bugville: 1

Paul Howard
Egmont Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781405249256

Bugville: 1

Think mean-looking slimy slugs, wrestling stag beetles, nasty gnats and creepy caterpillars and you've got Bugville, home to bugs, mini-beasts and small creatures. Some of them are nice, but many of them are nasty and it's the job of Superfly and his side-kick, Midge, to sort the good from the bad, and to give the bad a good licking!

In this adventure, Superfly finds himself tied up and slowly being lowered into a barrel full of hungry baby spiders - and that's just the start of big baddie Electro Slug's plans to ruin Bugville!

Can Superfly escape the spiders, rescue his true love Freya the housefly, be nice to the Grand Master grasshopper AND get home in time for dinner and his favourite programme, Bugville?! (Of course he can!)

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ISBN: 9781405258753

PJ Petulant is a spoiled and rather bored princess who wants 'fun and games and jokes and tricks and lots of fantastic stuff'! She also wants to get her own way, most of the time, and when she demands the Moon Hare (who lives in the moon) she expects to get him, too.

When Moon Hare does appear one night in her room, PJ Petulant soon realises that she has got rather more than she bargained for as Moon Hare is just as adept at getting his own way as she is. Throw in a dragon called Sandra (who is actually a boy dragon) into the mix, and sure enough, chaos follows.

This is a lively, irreverent story full of humour, inventiveness and petulant adults. It’s great fun.

The author of the series, Sue Monroe, has worked as a television and radio presenter but is best known as the programme links presenter on BBC’s CBeebies.

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Jeanne Willis

ISBN: 9781848122406

Two dinosaur teams squaring up for the newly-launched Dinosaur Olympics are, naturally, the herbivores versus the carnivores, who make for very challenging opposition (especially as they like to eat their opponents...)

Throw in a bumptious mayor called Boris, a gangsta T-Rex called Flint Beastwood and one of the new human characters - a very hairy one called Ozzie - and you have a complete disaster waiting to happen, which duly unfolds as cheating, eating and sleeping dino's bash their way through each Olympic-style event.

Hilarious - and just as funny for the adult sharing the book as for the child listening.

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ISBN: 9781408309834

Beautiful princesses, handsome princes, wicked witches and enchanted animals abound in this gorgeous gift book that includes retellings of ten of the most loved Grimm’s fairy tales, including Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Rose Red, Rapunzel and the Frog Prince, among others.

The stories are simply told but retain the classic qualities of the original stories and can be either shared with children or read by a child who is a confident reader.

Emma Chichester Clark’s gorgeous illustrations will help sustain interest in the stories and children will enjoy looking for the details she includes such as the flower motifs on each page, while the occasional double page spread of illustrations are a real treat.

This is a book to treasure and one that is bound to become a real family favourite.

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The Giant Book of Giants

The Giant Book of Giants


Egmont Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781405260084

The Giant Book of Giants

On the cover of this book, is a big eye staring out at you, waiting to climb out of the pages of the book. Could it be a real giant...?

You might have guessed that this book is all about giants and there are amazing stories about legendary giants from around the world - Jack and the Beanstalk, the Curious Giantess, Coyote Tricks the Giant and Sinbad's Third Voyage.

Best of all is a huge poster - bigger than you - of a giant. This amazing, 3D giant uses a lighthouse for a torch and his handkerchief is the sail from Sinbad's ship. Each of the coins in his pouch weighs the same as a wild boar and there are toadstools growing in his armpits!

Incredible stories, fabulous giants and great heroes. All in all, it's a giant amount of fun!

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ISBN: 9780857560100

Archie is an ordinary boy to whom extraordinary things happen. Every day, something odd occurs to him.

With runaway pianos, leopards on the loose, dead dogs, mistaken identities, stolen handbags and a robbery, Archie has more packed into a shopping trip for a pint of milk than most people would see in a month.

Luckily, through all the mishaps and chaos, Archie generally manages to come through, leaving good deeds rather than devastation in his wake - but will accidentally confronting bank robbers be an escapade too far...?

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ISBN: 9781407111018

Ever wondered what a chicken looks like when it's struck by lightning? Or a cactus-eating elephant? Or whether elephant poo looks like cow poo?

Tony De Saulles, illustrator of the Horrible Science books, shares his illustration tips with you in this funny book about illustration.

There are a range of things to try out, from the pages on Deadly Dinosaurs and Bugs and Slugs to Body Bits and Making Faces. Best of all, he makes drawing looks brilliantly easy!

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BAD CAT, GOOD CAT

BAD CAT, GOOD CAT

Lynne Reid Banks
HarperCollins
ISBN: 9780007419043

BAD CAT, GOOD CAT

David and Paloma are neighbours who have one thing in common - they both love cats. So when David gets a handsome white cat (which is rather badly behaved) and Paloma gets a gorgeous black cat (which behaves very well), everything seems to be perfect. Except that the cats don't like each other at all.

When the family sets off on holiday leaving the cats behind, good cat and bad cat suddenly have to fend for themselves; being friends now seems like a really good idea and the two of them have some great adventures before their families come home again.

This story, told by the bestselling Lynn Reid Banks, has some laugh-aloud moments as it explores this very real family and household.

It also tells you an awful lot about cats and be warned, some of it involves toilet habits and eating dead animals = as well as how clever cats really are.

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ISBN: 9780007416851

Earwig loves living at St Morwald's Home for Children with her friend Custard, who always does exactly what she wants him to do.

So when a strange-looking couple take her away to live with them, she’s not exactly pleased.

When she discovers that the woman is a witch and wants Earwig to help her make magical potions, Earwig is thrilled - how fantastic to be able to make spells!

All is not as it seems, however, and Earwig soon finds herself more of a slave than a witch in training. But the witch hasn't realised just how resourceful Earwig can be and she is soon hatching her own cunning plan...

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ISBN: 9780571272396

Next-door neighbours Ruby and Jackson take an instant dislike to each other until they discover Thing, a small creature, a bit like a cat with wings, lots of attitude, and some handy magic tricks.

Thing lives at the bottom of their gardens because its own home in the woods was destroyed by developers.

When Thing decides to get its own back on the development, Ruby and Jackson find themselves up to their eyeballs in jelly babies, magic and TROUBLE (big trouble).

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The Clan of the Scorpion

The Clan of the Scorpion

Gareth P. Jones
Stripes Publishing
ISBN: 9781847151926

The Clan of the Scorpion

Meerkats have always been popular with children and now they have arrived in their own exclusive adventure series - the Ninja Meerkats! Think Ninja meets animal safari and you won't be far off the mark – except that this brood of meerkats isn't confined to their burrows in the bush.

With an airport a hop and a skip away from their homes, they also get to travel to where the action is and in this adventure, they are off to Hong Kong to thwart the plans of the evil Ringmaster who has stolen a tiger with special powers from Hong Kong Zoo.

Expect lots of inventiveness, much wacky humour and plenty of adventure in this great new series for younger readers.

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Euuugh! Eyeball Stew!: Iggy the Urk: Book 3

Euuugh! Eyeball Stew!: Iggy the Urk: Book 3

Alan MacDonald
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781408803363

Euuugh! Eyeball Stew!: Iggy the Urk: Book 3

This is a hilarious Stone Age caper featuring a woolly rhino, skulls, lots of gems and, of course, eyeball stew.

When a stranger from a different tribe wanders into the Urk's village and starts handing out rubies and other gems for free, no one suspects a thing.

The girl, called Oosha,seems to be lost and so our hero Iggy offers to take her home. However, when they get to Oosha's village and Iggy and his friends are invited to stay for supper, they soon realise that they ARE supper....

Lots of mud, a strange disguise and Iggy's invention of a 'Boo and Arrow' help the Urks to plan their escape - but will they make it?

This is a laugh-aloud caper that is ideal for boys as well as girls. If they enjoy this story, there are others available in the fabulous Iggy the Urk series, too.

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ISBN: 9780857630018

If Romans, Dinosaurs and doodling are among your child's interests, then try out the Mega Mash-Up books. These provide a great adventure story in which the reader can take part by doodling some of the story.
In this book, we visit Romasauria, the land where Romans and Dinosaurs live cheek by jowl, but an approaching asteroid threatens to destroy them all.

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ISBN: 9780571260041

This story has aliens in spades including three-legged alien pets, a UFO and a really evil guy called Zolborg Naphax from the planet Quorkidellian.
Have you ever wondered if there are aliens living next door to you?
Oli thinks the new family across the road, the Kuznets, are aliens and it's about to land him and his mate Skipjack in a whole lot of trouble!
For the Kuznets aren't from Kalamistan at all, they really are aliens, and they need help to get home - and to escape the clutches of that evil guy from the planet Quorkidellian.

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The Great Cat Conspiracy

The Great Cat Conspiracy

Davies
Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
ISBN: 9781847385970

The Great Cat Conspiracy

Tom is thrilled with the new family pet, a cat, but less than thrilled with all the dead animals it brings home. When the cat disappears after killing the neighbour's fish, Tom, Anna and Suzanne draw up a list of suspects and an investigation gets underway. Funny, warm and honest.

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Cartoon Kid

Cartoon Kid

Jeremy Strong
Puffin
ISBN: 9780141334769

Cartoon Kid

Classmates Casper and his best mate Pete are not very good at anything - until their new teachers tells the whole class that they are all superheroes!
Casper rises to the challenge, becoming Cartoon Kid, while Pete becomes Big Feet Pete. Together, they take on a series of challenges, confronting bullies, school tests and competitions to prove their superhero credentials.

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Fantastic Frankie and the Brain-Drain Machine

Fantastic Frankie and the Brain-Drain Machine

Anna Kemp
Simon & Schuster Childrens Books
ISBN: 9781847389367

Fantastic Frankie and the Brain-Drain Machine

Frankie Blewitt is in trouble - he's brought home another bad report and is being sent to Crammar Grammar to improve his performance. But Frankie soon realises that there are some sinister goings-on at Crammar Grammar and that the headmaster, Dr Gore, is behind it all.
This is a lively story for confident readers aged 7+, and will also appeal to children aged up to nine years.

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ISBN: 9781408312612

If your child is a Beast Quest fan (and many readers aged seven plus are) then they might not want to wait until Christmas for this treat - the first Beast Quest Annual.

The Beast Quest books are a series of fantasy titles in which Tom, the boy warrior, gets to confront and fight a variety of different and terrifying kinds of beasts. Each book comes with collector cards to encourage children to read more in the series.

The stories are fast-paced, full of action and monsters - ideal material for young boys and there are also many girl fans of the series.

The annual is packed with games, activities, Beast profiles, stories, puzzles and more. It features all the favourite characters from the series, as well as exclusive facts and info!

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ISBN: 9781406326048

The Dunderheads are a group of enterprising pupils who have one of the scariest teachers you'll come across, reminiscent of the cruel principle in Roald Dahl's Matilda.

When Miss Breakbone pushes her class too far by confiscating something precious, they vow to get it back.

The story focuses on the individual talents of each child - spitting, locksmithing, biking and drawing - that each come to play in the daring rescue of the confiscated objects.

The narrator of the story is 'Einstein' who plans the rescue and has an authorial role; how will this story work out.

A great introduction to plotting and storytelling with superb illustrations by David Roberts that also give it plenty of boy appeal. Ages 6+.

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ISBN: 9781741145243

This is the third adventure in the Boy Bear series, which began with the well-received title, The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard.

Here, the boy escaping from a gang of bullies slips into London's National Gallery and ventures into a Vermeer painting and thus into seventeenth century Holland.

Like the previous books, this time-slip adventure story takes Boy into the past with the stories told in images in graphic novel-style layout; there is no text.

The humour and detail in the story reward exploration. It is also provides a good introduction to Vermeer's art and world and to story-telling based on art images. Ages 6/7+

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Monstroso (Pocket Money Puffin)

Monstroso (Pocket Money Puffin)

Charlie Higson
Puffin
ISBN: 9780141328454

Monstroso (Pocket Money Puffin)

This is one of a series of 'pocket money books' that Puffin published this summer to enable children to afford to buy their own books by popular authors like Charlie Higson.

Oscar's grandfather is on babysitting duty one evening, giving Oscar the perfect opportunity to go and play on his father's work computer - something that is strictly forbidden.

To his surprise, Oscar discovers that his father has a great computer game but he is even more surprised (and not a little worried) when the character he creates steps out of the computer and starts destroying his bedroom. It soon gets a lot worse...

This is a funny and inventive story, a cross between a computer game spoof and clever adventure story. Perfect for airport waiting rooms or to keep young people engrossed for a morning or afternoon. Just don't let them near your work computer once they've read it...

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Aunt Severe and the Dragons

Aunt Severe and the Dragons

Nick Garlick
Andersen Press Ltd
ISBN: 9781849390552

Aunt Severe and the Dragons

Daniel's parents are explorers but when they mysteriously disappear, he is sent to live with his Aunt Severe in her crumbling house where he's forced to work all day and eat spinach sandwiches. Then the dragons arrive....

The arrival of four friendly dragons, who are hunting for The Spelldocious book, brings adventure and excitement into Daniel’s life but they also help reveal the mystery of Aunt Severe’s life and her strange forgetfulness.

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ISBN: 1847385958

A young girl sets out to resolve the mystery of who or what killed her hamster. Told through her perspective, the story is warm, funny and touching and it is supported with great illustrations.

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ISBN: 1405248246

Mr Gum has discovered that he loves rancid kebabs for dinner and can't get enough of them. But soon he has the town of Lamonic Bibber up in arms.... The Mr Gum books are ideal for Horrid Henry fans who are ready to move on, and for children who are beginning on Roald Dahl.

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ISBN: 0141328606

The ever-popular Moomintrolls are back in this gift edition hardback title. Wonderful stories for young and old and perfect for developing confidence in young readers.

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ISBN: 1405091886

This book talks about Nelson Mandela, who spent a lifetime fighting apartheid in South Africa. It is an abridged and illustrated version of his autobiography including the years he spent in prison, his eventual freedom and election to President of South Africa.

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ISBN: 1405243945

All aboard the wardrobe! Them Monkey Pirates are back - and this time they've promised to find Emily Jane's uncle. But they end up in the future instead.

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ISBN: 1405238968

An adventure story for younger readers that has the feel of a classic in the making. The Great Escape follows the fortunes of two mice who secretly look after the two children who share the house they live in.

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ISBN: 1405241799

Mr Gum & the Dancing Bear has just won the Roald Dahl Funniest Book Award (seven plus). The earlier Mr Gum books are every bit as funny and a treat for young readers aged seven plus, and older 'reluctant' readers. It's also a great book to share with children.

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ISBN: 0746084390

With the Olympics having taken place this year, Usborne has created a book for younger readers explaining the history of the Olympics and including information about a number of modern Olympic heroes. See More to download an extract.

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ISBN: 0746087543

This book helps to explain Earth's ecosystems in a series of easy-to-understand spreads covering issues like global warming and the ozone layer. See More to download an extract.

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ISBN: 1846470668

Everything a young dragon-enthusiast will need to know about looking after these special creatures, whether or not they have one as a pet.

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Book of the week

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Missing Masterpiece

Tracey Corderoy

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Missing Masterpiece

~ Babies & Toddlers
~ Pre School
~ Early Readers
~ Confident Readers
~ Young Adult

Meet the Author


Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, the duo behind hilarious picture books Supertato and Barry the Fish with Fingers, tell us about their latest creation, CAKE!

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