NEW TITLES

As well as some great illustrated fiction for children of 7+, this selection includes strong fiction and exciting, contemporary adventures for older children of 10+.

Rabbit and Bear: Attack of the Snack: Book 3
Julian Gough

Hodder Children's Books

ISBN 9781444938173

I loved this book! Sadly I've never read any of the other Rabbit and Bear stories but I certainly will now. This beautifully illustrated book tells a very funny story of the unlikely friendship between a rabbit and a bear. It's an ideal choice for early readers ready for a 'step-up' from picture books. One summer's day, Rabbit and Bear are enjoying a cool dip in the lake when suddenly something whizzes through the air and lands with a splash in the middle of the lake. What could it be? This hideous creature, is it a Trumpwig? A Taxbill? A Wetfart?& The story follows the two friends as they work together to try to find out what the 'thing' is that has spoilt their day. Is it a tiny fluffy owl, or a huge hungry monster? This is a tale of friendship, acceptance, and finding out just what you can do with blueberry poo! Now as someone who usually detests the use of 'toilet humour' as a way to get children reading, this laugh-out-loud story is a real winner for me! I couldn't wait to get it into school and share it with my current Year 3 children. 112 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Sam Phillips, teacher.

Rabbit and Bear: Attack of the Snack: Book 3
The Birthday Surprise (Dotty Detective, Book 5)
Clara Vulliamy

HarperCollins

ISBN 9780008248413

Dot is a stationery-mad girl with a fondness for coding and detective stories and each of the brilliant Dotty Detective books shows her solving a mystery at school or at home, with the help of her best friend Beans - and of course McClusky the dog. In this latest story (the fifth in the series), however, Dot's friendship with Beans is threatened by the arrival of a new boy in their class - so who will help Dot solve the mystery of the teacher's missing present? And how will Dot find out what her mother has planned for her birthday? Each of the mysteries Dot needs to solve are close to home and carry plenty of appeal for younger readers aged 7+. These stories are an artful, simple introduction to the detecting genre as well as managing to explore a child's everyday life including issues around friendship, siblings and school life. The text is delivered in very manageable chunks and each page is laid out as if it's Dot's journal - so lots of snapshots, doodles, codes etc. These stories are great fun, perfectly pitched for the younger reader, and full of warmth. Do check them out for your class library! 176 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Elsa Woods.

The Birthday Surprise (Dotty Detective, Book 5)
Pirate Blunderbeard: Worst. Mission. Ever.
Amy Sparkes

ISBN 9780008201906

Poor Pirate Blunderbeard - he really is the Worst. Pirate. Ever. And things don't get any better for him in this story, when Grandad Greybeard decides to take Pirate Blunderbeard with him across 'the seven seas'. Unfortunately for Pirate Blunderbeard, his annoying cousin Redruth comes too, and even more unfortunately, Grandad Greybeard has a dastardly pirate deed in mind... Naturally, Pirate Blunderbeard manages to get them all into some dreadful scrapes before things just about come right at the end... These are wonderfully funny books for children aged 7+ and their easy to read text and great illustrations should be enough to entice more reluctant readers, too. The books are written in a diary style - so are immediate and engaging - with lots of maps and diagrams breaking up the text. A great collection for libraries, they'll have plenty of takers among your young readers still growing in confidence. 160 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Lucy Allen.

Pirate Blunderbeard: Worst. Mission. Ever.

ISBN 9781783708246

Publishers Big Picture Press do not disappoint: they produce very big books full of wonderful pictures and this one by Vicky Woodgate is no exception. Urban Jungle is an oversized non-fiction book which explores the fauna of the world's major cities. Did you know that Spinybacked orbweavers can be found in Lima, Peru? Or that Milk sharks patrol the waters around Mumbai? Or that Vancouver is home to Bobcats, Coyotes, seals, bears, skunks, turtles and Rufous hummingbirds? With each turn of a page the reader encounters the surprising inhabitants of some of the world's busiest cities and surrounding urban areas. Each page begins with a clear geographical summary of each city, a map of where in the country or continent it can be found, and a plethora of stylistic animal illustrations. A particularly nice touch is the 'Animal Stories' box that can be found on each page where a particular animal is highlighted, sometimes with a funny story that made the news and often with tales of historical significance or surprising facts about the creatures. The book is split into sections based on continent and each part opens with a double page map - it doesn't skimp the geography side of things. Urban Jungle definitely isn't just a book about animals; it's a brand new beast combining an Atlas with a natural history book, although it perhaps couldn't be used as either - it must be treated as something different. With publishers pushing he boundaries of what non-fiction books look like this is an exciting time to be a child who loves to gather facts. With maps and animals being popular obsessions for primary aged children, this book is sure to be a hit both at home and in the classroom and will hold up to repeat reads, such is the wealth of information contained. 112 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Aidan Severs, teacher.

The Royal Rabbits of London: Escape From the Tower
Santa Montefiore

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471157899

Escape from the Tower is the second book in the Royal Rabbits series. Having not read the first book, I wondered how the authors would introduce the characters and whether the plot would work as a standalone. The book very easily introduces us to Shylo, a small timid rabbit who has been accepted into the prestigious Royal Rabbits to protect the Queen and Buckingham Palace. Out of his comfort zone and away from his family and friends in the country, he is amazed to be introduced to the Backstreet Bushes who protect the Prime Minister at the Fox Club and also ROTUS, the jack rabbits from America, who protect the President. Discovering the Ratzis have a new plot to cause chaos between America and England, Shylo is trapped at their headquarters at the top of the Shard. How will he warn his colleagues and save the World? I absolutely love the animal world the authors have created, using London and its landmarks as the backdrop. The book works very well on its own and has enough references to the first that the reader understands the set up without long drawn out explanations. Children will love the fast paced adventure and comedy within the book but I think it would also amuse and entertain parents reading aloud. The chapters are well spaced without being too long and there are enough characters to appeal to boys and girls. The book is beautifullly illustrated throughout and this adds to this overall feel and understanding of the action. What a lovely book and series to collect, a real winner. Highly recommended. 195 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Lorraine Ansell, school librarian.

The Royal Rabbits of London: Escape From the Tower
Wed Wabbit
Lissa Evans

David Fickling Books

ISBN 9781910989432

After an accident involving her younger sister, Minerva (known as Minnie), Iphigenia (also known as Fidge) finds herself plunged into the land of the Wimbley Woos accompanied by her annoying cousin, Graham, Dr Carrot (a human-sized plastic carrot mounted on small orange wheels) and Eleanor, a purple cloth elephant in a pink skirt. A dangerous dictator - Wed Wabbit - has taken over the land and is draining it of all colour and hope. Fidge must solve a series of almost impossible clues to make her way home and put everything right again. Will she be able to work things out in time? This is a story about the importance of family and friendship. Although Minnie only features in a small part of the book, it is her favourite book - The Land of the Wimbley Woos - and her favourite toys - Eleanor Elephant and Wed Wabbit - which are at the heart of the story. Her love for and understanding of her little sister makes Fidge able to achieve her quest and solve the problems facing the Wimbley Woos. In the process, she learns more about the importance of understanding others and playing to people's strengths. Lissa Evans is a great story teller and the book is very funny as well as reminding us of the importance of celebrating and valuing the differences which make us all special and unique. Full of humour, Wed Wabbit would also make a wonderful read aloud story for enjoying and sharing. Now available in paperback. 250 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher.

Wed Wabbit
Sky Song
Abi Elphinstone

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471146077

Erkenwald is in the grip of an evil Ice Queen who has created Winterfang Palace, 'a shimmering fortress carved entirely from ice'. Determined to control all the tribes of the land, she sets them one against the other and then imprisons them in her palace, consuming their voices in a bid for immortality. Their children, however, remain hidden - beyond her grasp- except one. Eska, frozen inside a cursed music box, has no memories of where she has come from, who she is or why the Ice Queen so desperately wants her voice. Flint, a young member of the Fur tribe, is on a mission to rescue his mother from the Ice Queen's palace. When he finds Eska and saves her, together they begin an amazing journey to find an ancient song with the power to defeat the Ice Queen. From the first page, this is a magical story. The prologue sets the scene perfectly, relating Erkenwald's history and grabbing the reader from the first line and the adventure builds page by page to the story's climax. Eska and Flint are engaging, lively characters, easy to empathise with. Flint struggles with feeling like an outsider as he is a user of magic, which is not valued by his tribe. He is forced to re-evaluate beliefs that he has grown up with in the face of things that he learns. His devotion to his little sister, Blu, is heart-warming - and she is an absolute joy. Stubborn, sweet and loyal, Blu often offers words of wisdom and guidance without realising, offering a very positive portrayal of a child with Down's syndrome. Eska is brave and determined, trying to make sense of a challenge she does not fully understand, yet never faltering. Even the children's animal companions are full of personality - Pebble, the ever-hungry fox cub and Balapan, the eagle. This is an enchanting, beautifully written story. 288 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher.

Sky Song
Winter Magic
Abi Elphinstone

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471159824

Winter Magic is a collection of stories with a decidedly wintry theme - perfect for when you want to snuggle up with a mug of cocoa, a couple of blankets and a good book. I don't normally read short stories, and I don't normally judge a book by just its cover. But this cover was so beautiful and it was so wintry outside, that I was immediately intrigued by what might be inside. I was not disappointed. The tales within really conjured up a wintry atmosphere and drew me in to different worlds and points of view. It's hard to choose what the 'best' stories are, as they are all wonderful. But here is the one which stood out for me - The Frost Fair. Although this is the first story in the book, it's the one that stayed with me the most. It is a time-travelling tale with a feisty young lady, a neat twist, and gingerbread. It's very cleverly written and the ending is a brilliant surprise. It also made me think about how we all too easily dismiss people based upon our perception of them and their experience. Oh and did I mention it has gingerbread? Very wintry! Because this is a book of short stories, it's ideal for if you only have half an hour or so - just the amount of time it takes to finish your cocoa and feel all warm and snuggly inside! 400 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Rachael Salmon, school librarian.

Winter Magic
Astrid the Unstoppable
Maria Parr

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406366853

Halfway through this story I thought that it reminded me so much of Heidi, being about a girl's friendship with in this case her godfather, who lives up the mountain. Then the girl, Astrid, finds a green covered book which is of course the story of Heidi! Astrid is quite irrepressible, roaming freely about the Norwegian valley where she lives with her father and mother, the latter being away a great deal with her work. Astrid's friendship with Gunnvald, who is grumpy but plays the violin to her and with whom she is trying to find the best sledge design, is the heart of her life. But she finds he has a secret which everyone seems to know but her and understandably she finds this upsetting. But after some heartache all ends well. Astrid is a real character, a mixture of Pippi Longstocking and Heidi herself, of whom many children will be very envious. She has so much freedom and gets away with a great deal, even at one point getting her friend Peter to stop the traffic so that she and Gunnvald can try out their new design of sledge! But even Astrid who loves Gunnvald so much, is unable to deal with what she sees as his betrayal in not telling her his secret, and thus the adult world impinges on her life, and that of the reader too. The similarity with the story of Heidi is no coincidence, and thus neatly ties this story with that heroine, whose name is born by the daughter who returns with her own baggage. This is an enchanting read and will I am sure delight many girls of 9+ with its depiction of a girl with so many freedoms, loved by all, and who has such fun! 320 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Janet Fisher, librarian.

Astrid the Unstoppable
The 1,000-year-old Boy
Ross Welford

HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks

ISBN 9780008256944

Alfie wants to be like any other 11 year old, which is a bit tricky when he's actually over a thousand years old. He longs for a friend, but knows the only way he and his mother can stay where they are is to keep themselves to themselves. When Roxy and Aidan come crashing into their lives, and a fire destroys their home, Alfie knows the time has come to live a different life. But, there is only one way to do that, and for all his years on earth, time is now running out. Bittersweet, heartwarming and life affirming, Ross Welford has created a wonderful story celebrating friendship, trust and hope, while blending modern living with history. Told from two different perspectives, Alfie and Aidan's stories are woven together seamlessly and it's clear to see how the three main characters use their different strengths to cement their friendship and support each other. Thank you Ross for yet another thoughtful, compelling, moving read - that made me both laugh and cry - especially the moment in the story when the cinema in my head started playing Queen, Who Wants To Live Forever. Great for fans of Charlie & Me, The Ethan I Could Have Been and Fishboy. And, if you haven't read Ross Welford's other books, they are well worth it too. 400 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Nicki Cleveland, school librarian.

The 1,000-year-old Boy
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole
Michelle Cuevas

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471170188

On her way home from NASA where she hoped to meet Carl Segan, Stella Rodriguez finds a black hole which follows her home. Although it absorbs everything it touches, Stella takes looking after her new 'pet' seriously, naming him Larry (short for singularity - a place of infinite gravity at the heart of a black hole). Larry seems to be a convenient way for Stella to get rid of all the things which remind her of her recently deceased father until Larry swallows something too precious to lose. Then Stella has to venture deep inside the black hole on a surreal adventure... Both humorous and touching, The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole is a quirky story about confronting loss and grief. The death of her father (who Stella addresses as 'you' throughout the narrative) has left a 'black hole' in Stella's life which she is struggling at cope with. A lonely, science-obsessed child, Stella has to recognise many things about herself and her own actions before she can start to see a way forward; if you can keep on and face the darkness, it will, in the end, take you where you need to go. It will take you back to yourself. The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole is a brilliant story full of love and humour which does not shy away from the pain and confusion left by the death of a loved one. It is beautifully written, balancing comedy with poignancy. The illustrations and the black pages at the centre of the book add to the originality and uniqueness of the story, making it an excellent read for everyone! Ages 9+ / 202 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher.

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole
Sky Chasers
Emma Carroll

Chicken House Ltd

ISBN 9781910655535

Sky Chasers is a wonderful adventure story, set against the backdrop of France at the time of Louis XVI. A colourful cast of characters - human and animal - tell the story of the Montgolfier family and their race to be the first to fly a hot air balloon. Magpie - a pickpocket - and her rooster find themselves caught up in their world, all the way to Versailles and the King and Queen of France. Magpie is a delightful, lively, brave and intelligent character who, despite all the circumstances stacked against her, is determined to do the 'right thing' and shows great loyalty to those around her. Her enquiring mind and determination to help allow the reader to see the development of the invention through its successes and set backs through her eyes. Each character, from the family to the servants and even the King and Queen of France, is well developed and engaging, such is Emma Carroll's skill. The story is quite beautifully told and moves along at a pleasing pace, full of excitement and action. There is something for everyone to enjoy in these pages as the complexities of family relationships sit amid the historical details and scientific discoveries. Adventure and excitement make this a rich tale based on a true story. 336 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher.

Sky Chasers
Tin
Padraig Kenny

Chicken House Ltd

ISBN 9781911077657

Christopher is a 'proper' boy, a real boy, orphaned in a fire. He works with an engineer who creates mechanicals. These mechanicals are Christopher's best friends. Then there is a devastating accident and Christopher's world is turned upside down; life will never be the same again. Set in an alternative 1930s and filled with richly drawn characters, this book explores what it means to be human and themes of love and friendship. With faint echoes of the Wizard of Oz and Northern Lights, this is a fast-paced adventure for children aged 9 and up. Every so often you read a book that is so wonderful you wish you had written it - this book is one of those. This is Kenny's debut novel and it seems destined to be a classic - certainly if there is any justice it should be. It is original and exciting and full of the most marvellous characters and terrifying villains. AI is very much in the news at present and some of the mechanicals show more humanity than the 'proper' people. Exploring concepts that are quite tricky, like the nature of the soul, in a very accessible and sympathetic way, this book explains what it means to be a true friend and touches upon the idea of the ultimate weapon to end war. With such depth you might imagine this is a difficult read, but far from it. I admit there was a tear in my eye at some points and my son did warn me it gets sad in parts (he loved the book too) but this story ought to be part of every child's reading menu. I can imagine a Year 5 or 6 class lapping the story up and it would make an excellent whole class text. I can hear the groans of disappointment when you have to stop reading it and the opportunities for class discussion and really in-depth thinking are boundless. I've been lucky enough to read some great children's books this year, but this is by far and away the best. 352 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Jacqueline Harris, teacher.

Tin
The Light Jar
Lisa Thompson

Scholastic

ISBN 9781407171289

2017 was a superb year for children's literature. One of the outstanding breakthroughs of 2017 was Lisa Thompson's Goldfish Boy, a whodunnit seen through the eyes of a teenager with OCD. Now as 2018 begins, the year of books has begun with a bang. One of the standout books of January is Lisa Thompson's next offering - The Light Jar. This book begins with Nate and his mum leaving home in the middle of the night. Eventually, they arrive in a run-down cottage. It is damp, dirty and is their new home. As Nate begins to adapt to his new surroundings, mum pops out to the shop for supplies. She never returns, leaving Nate to fend for himself. Soon Nate rediscovers his childhood imaginary friend, Sam. Together they reminisce about the good (and bad) times from the past. Slowly but surely, Nate's troubled past is revealed to the reader. This is where Lisa Thompson's skill shines through. There's a divorce, family feuds and a controlling step-father. In each case, Thompson presents these in an accessible way which will strike a chord with children. At the same time, Nate meets the mysterious Kitty. She lives nearby and is determined to solve a decades-old treasure hunt. Together they set about solving the mystery. This intriguing mystery is the perfect counter-balance to Nate's history. Thompson keeps a rapid pace which keeps the reader guessing and wanting to find out more. If Goldfish Boy was Thompson's breakthrough, The Light Jar cements her place as one of the most innovative writers currently around. Once again, deep issues are dealt with sensitively, while the main plot keeps the reader hooked. Ultimately, it is a book about hope, about succeeding against the odds and about never giving up. A great start to my 2018 reading! 416 pages / Ages 9+ / Reviewed by Matt Davies, teacher.

The Light Jar
Make Me Awesome
Ben Davis

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780192747969

In this hilarious send up of self-help guides and larger-than-life celebrity life coaches Ben Davis introduces Freddie, gamer and son of a failed antiques dealer, and Chuck Willard, 'inspirer and giver of dreams'. Things aren't going too well for Freddie Smallhouse. His dad left his successful job to set up his own business which failed and now they're living at Uncle Barry's but he's about to kick them out. Freddie enrols on 'Chuck's Complete Road To Awesomeness' programme and sets about trying to make the family's fortune. One failure after another doesn't perturb our hero, not when he's got Chuck's AWESOME tips and advice to hand. In this laugh-out-loud tall tale Freddie learns about friendship, integrity and true success as he muddles his way through his response to his dad's despondency. Amongst the hilarity (the headteacher is called Mr. B*mfac - pronounced 'Boomfachay'), there's a really touching story of how a not-quite-yet teenager might try crazy things in an attempt to deal with a difficult home situation. Make Me Awesome is an easy read yet the age of the protagonist (he's at secondary school), and a couple of the jokes (reference to the rude channels on TV and perverts, for example), mean that this would be really suitable for reluctant KS3 readers as well as KS2 children. With better, slightly more sophisticated jokes than a David Walliams and more plausibility than a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, Make Me Awesome will go down very well with those children looking for a funny, quick read. 272 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Aidan Severs, teacher

Make Me Awesome
Libby in the Middle
Gwyneth Rees

Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN 9781408852774

A brilliant book. It's well-written and totally believable. The author manages to portray teenagers both accurately and sensitively without being disparaging. (Perhaps she has studied child psychology?) I was gripped right from the start, not least because we're kept guessing at the truth behind Libby's family and close friends. Is there more to Aunt Thecla than meets the eye? Was she really in love with Michael who lived next door to Libby's dad when he was a boy? Why was her dad expelled from school? What other family secrets might there be (including ones Libby and her older sister would rather keep to themselves)? A thoroughly enjoyable read which could be used with Year 6 upwards to spark discussion about relationships, honesty and ethics. 272 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Jane Rew, school librarian.

Libby in the Middle
The Ice Garden
Guy Jones

Chicken House Ltd

ISBN 9781911490043

Jess has a serious allergy to the sun which means she cannot go out during the day without all-encompassing protective clothing (which she and her mother refer to as 'full hat'). This restriction means that she does not attend school and consequently has few opportunities to make friends. Most of her outings involve trips to the hospital and, on one of these occasions, she comes across a boy in a coma, seemingly unresponsive to everything around him. On future visits to the hospital, she reads him stories she has written, not knowing whether he can hear them or not. At about the same time, Jess, whose frustration with the restrictions that her allergy places on her life sometimes boils over, leaves her home after dark without telling her mother, just to experience a little bit of freedom. It is then she comes across the Ice Garden and eventually meets its only inhabitant, just before things start to get really strange. The relationship between Jess and her mother is central to this story. Her mother is trying to keep her safe, which Jess understands, but all Jess wants is a normal life with school and friends. When it looks like Jess's allergy is mysteriously getting better, allowing the prospect of a normal life to enter both their thinking, her mother clearly finds difficulty in viewing Jess as anyone other than a sickly child and the changes in their relationship that would follow. Does the strange inhabitant of the Ice Garden have anything to do with the improvement in her allergy? Is he connected to the comatose boy in the hospital bed? What happens to the Ice Garden when its magic is taken outside? All these questions and more are answered in the final few breath-taking chapters of this intriguing book that will keep the reader hooked until the very end. 224 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by June Hughes, school librarian.

The Ice Garden
The Ice Sea Pirates
Frida Nilsson

Gecko Press

ISBN 9781776572007

Frida Nilsson's dark and twisted tale is a brilliant slice of Nordic adventure. Her clear, readable style belies a frightening tale of terrifying pirates and dangerous icy seas. Siri and her sister Miki live with their elderly father on Little Bluesay, a small island in the vast Ice Sea. They live a harsh life in an unrelenting landscape and eek out an existence foraging food from the surrounding skerries. But their simple existence is shattered when Miki is kidnapped by Captain Whitehead and the dreaded Ice Pirates. The fearsome captain has a brutal reputation for taking children and using them to work in diamond mines and Siri knows fragile Miki is unlikely to survive. With formidable courage Siri sets out on a perilous mission to find and rescue her sister, ridiculed by locals who fear she is no match for the cold-blooded Whitehead. A series of bleak and harrowing episodes follow but when Siri herself is rescued and shown kindness and then is unexpectedly reunited with a friend, she begins to believe that Miki can truly be saved. This book was an unexpected joy. The heroine Siri is brave but vulnerable and the challenges she faces are harsh. The competing beauty and danger of the environment provide a beguiling backdrop and there are some truly heart-wrenching moments. I would thoroughly recommend this captivating book but with a note of caution for younger or more sensitive readers. 359 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Clare Wilkins, school librarian.

The Ice Sea Pirates
The Dollmaker of Krakow
R. M. Romero

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406375633

Set in Poland in 1939 as the evil of the Nazi occupation becomes a daily reality for the divided citizens of Krakow, this is the spellbinding tale of the doll, Karolina, and the toymaker who brings her to life. Karolina has been carried by the good wind from the rat-occupied Land of the Dolls. Leaving behind her war-ravaged homeland, Karolina befriends the Toymaker and his Jewish clients, the Trzmiels. But life soon changes and the Trzmiels are dragged from their home to another part of the city and forced into labour. With the use of a doll's house and no small amount of magic. Karolina and the toymaker hatch an audacious plan to free their friends. When fellow magician and Nazi officer, Brandt, becomes aware of their plans and unwittingly reveals his links to Karolina's homeland, the friends realise they are in a desperate battle for survival. This is a stunning book. The beginning has a fairytale feel and the illustrations match this but as the story unravels, the true evil of the Nazi regime emerges. The Toymaker and Karolina are perfect as two lost souls who find a home together and the mirror storylines of the Land of the Dolls and occupied Krakow are brilliantly-spun together. However, a warning for more sensitive readers - this book contains strong themes and some harrowing scenes, particularly towards the end. My overall impression remains, though, that is an important story re-told in an entirely original and quietly compelling way. 281 pages / Ages 10+ / Reviewed by Clare Wilkins, school librarian.

The Dollmaker of Krakow