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Cornelia Funke’s bestselling Inkheart trilogy has been a huge hit and been made into a major motion picture. She has won the Book Sense Children’s Literature Award twice and the Roswitha Prize. She was voted into Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in 2005.
Photo credit: Gillian Crane
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month August 2019 | Interest Age 5-8 | Pirates ahoy! This is a lively, swashbuckling story with great characters and a pacey story – all vibrantly illustrated in an attractive and easy-to-read, small size book. Barbarous Bertha is a fearsome pirate as well as the guardian of a wide stretch of emerald green sea and the Purple Shell Islands which are home to both people and special animals and birds. It is no surprise therefore that her daughter Molly Rogers is never going to stand for anyone who threatens to invade the islands or destroy their inhabitants. When reports come of Captain Firebird doing damage to Monkey Skull Island, Molly Rogers enlists all of her best animal and bird friends – including Kracken the octopus – to chase down Captain Firebird and to make sure he never does anything so dastardly again.
Molly Rogers is one tough little girl. Kidnapped by pirates she stands up to Captain Firebeard and refuses to tell him her parents’ names, even when the pirates set her to work cleaning and scrubbing their boat (and boots). But instead of laughing they should have listened to her when she warned them about not making her mum angry, and the tables are thoroughly turned by the end. This jolly story of girl-pirate power will have everyone laughing, the text is full of gusto and bravado, great fun for reading aloud, and the scribbly illustrations are brim-full of life and detail. Oooh-arrrrs all round!
A terrific magical adventure that will set your imagination off on a rollercoaster of emotions and ideas. We were captivated and spellbound by the power of the story and the quality of the narrative and I’m confident that children from 8 upwards and adults too, will devour it. You don’t have to be a fan of fantasy or of stories with dragons in it to love it. A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher To dream of flying is one thing, but to fly on the back of a dragon is a dream really worth having! Believe me, you'll have the journey of a lifetime with the marvellous characters on board, sharing what will seem like a thousand adventures, all rolled into one. Brilliant!
A Piece of Passion from Barry Cunningham, Publisher ‘When I first started flying on a dragon’s back in Cornelia Funke’s amazing Dragon Rider, I couldn’t catch my breath. Now, I’m ready to embark on new adventures: extraordinary animals and devious foes await. Luckily, I’ve already made some brilliant friends. Come with us – there’s plenty of room on my dragon! But be sure to look carefully at the map at the front for the book, and the really useful WHO’S WHO on page 343 . . . oh, and try not to fall off!’ The comment from Lovereading will follow.
November 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: mesmerising tale of love and adventure set in a dark fairy tale world | Cornelia Funke has an extraordinarily fertile imagination, which is fed and inspired by the old fairy tales and in this the third episode of the Reckless series, she draws on stories from Eastern Europe in another distinctive, thrilling and complex novel. Once again, she sends her hero Jacob Reckless and his brother through the magical mirror into another world. The book opens with a bloody labour and the birth of a baby, a scene her original editors felt would upset readers, causing Funke to find a new way to publish. The scene however sets the tone for the book, which examines love, its power as much a threat to protagonists as a strength. As ever, she weaves together the different plotlines brilliantly, maintaining character development and sustaining the excitement to keep readers breathlessly turning the pages. It’s recommended that readers start with books one and two, The Petrified Flesh and Living Shadows. They will also enjoy Francesca Simon’s The Monstrous Child or Margo Lanagan’s The Brides of Rollrock Island. ~ Andrea Reece
Best-selling Cornelia Funke has an exceptional gift for creating gloriously gothic otherworlds in which the unusual and seemingly impossible can – and does- happen. Part two of the Mirrrorworld series, Living Shadows, follows The Petrified Flesh and catches up with Jacob who desperately seeks a cure to overcome the curse imposed on him by the fairies. Jacob’s cure is such a dark magic that it must be deeply hidden; the search for it takes him where no one should tread. That would be dangerous enough but, worse still, someone else is desperate for the cure too. Luckily, Fox, a shape shifting girl is willing to help in the quest. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Best-selling author Cornelia Funke, whose Inkheart was a world-wide phenomenon, has created a wonderful imaginary world peopled with a gigantic cast of original and outlandish characters. Searching for his missing father, Jacob Reckless steps through the mirror into a strange, story-filled world in which danger is never very far away. When Jacob mistakenly allows his brother to follow him through the mirror he discovers the awesome powers he is working against and needs to use all his skill and cunning to save his brother from a horrible death as he is gradually turned to stone. Cornelia Funke’s original storytelling captures the hearts and minds of all young readers. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Interest Age 5-8 | When a tiny dragon escapes from the pages of the story he has been reading, Patrick can hardly believe his eyes. But when a White Knight on a charger follows, Patrick soon finds himself playing a very big part in the story! Award-winning Cornelia Funke brilliantly lifts a story off the page and turns it into a ‘real’ adventure.
A Dyslexia Friendly Picture Book for Parent and Child | There’s a definite air of chivalry to this new picture book from the bestselling author of the Inkheart books. Raven Castle is overrun with mice, so the lord does the logical thing and gets in a cat, a champion mouser at that. Now things look bad for the mice of the castle, at least until the famous mouse knight, Gawain Greytail, comes to their rescue. With little suits of armour welded from cutlery and forks, the mice are able to drive the cat away. It’s a classic underdog (undermice?) story, and very satisfying. Special Barrington Stoke features, including dyslexia-friendly font, slightly increased character spacing to make letters easier to read and a clean syntax to minimise potential obstacles to comprehension make this particularly good for dyslexic readers.
A Dyslexia Friendly Picture Book for Parent and Child There’s a definite air of chivalry to this new picture book from the bestselling author of the Inkheart books. Raven Castle is overrun with mice, so the lord does the logical thing and gets in a cat, a champion mouser at that. Now things look bad for the mice of the castle, at least until the famous mouse knight, Gawain Greytail, comes to their rescue. With little suits of armour welded from cutlery and forks, the mice are able to drive the cat away. It’s a classic underdog (undermice?) story, and very satisfying. Special Barrington Stoke features, including dyslexia-friendly font, slightly increased character spacing to make letters easier to read and a clean syntax to minimise potential obstacles to comprehension make this particularly good for dyslexic readers. ~ Andrea Reece Publisher Barrington Stoke was inspired to create the Picture Squirrel Books titles after meeting a man with dyslexia at a book event. “We were approached by a gentleman who told us that it broke his heart that he couldn’t read to his child because of his dyslexia,” M.D. Mairi Kidd told The Bookseller. “So we talked to Michael Morpurgo, who we were already working with on low text books [textbooks that use a limited number of words]." The layout of picture books can be difficult for adults with dyslexia as the language and typeface are often very varied, the text can be cut into small chunks or is sometimes spun around a picture, which can make a book tricky if you don’t have good reading skills. Barrington Stoke worked with the authors and illustrators to ensure that the books are suitable for dyslexic readers and thereby helping more families grow a love of reading. On the Picture Squirrels...Michael Morpurgo says: “I was immediately taken with the idea of the Picture Squirrel books, a picture book list that dyslexic parents and less confident readers can read with theirchildren too.”
Interest Age 5-8 Rosa and her friend Ivan have three monster escapades in this short but satisfying little collection. There’s an encounter with a real life monster in a ghost train for Rosa – Ivan comes to the rescue; high jinks at school when new teacher Mr Troll turns out to be just that; and a narrow escape for their school party when the school–bus accidentally drives down the throat of a Grubbybats! Cornelia Funke’s deadpan telling gives each story a true fairy tale feel while Gladys Ambrus’s lovely illustrations match the text perfectly. Each story is a model of invention, short but really satisfying. One of Barrington Stoke’s Little Gems series the book is accessible to all children, including those with dyslexia. About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.
Interest Age 5-8 Zaleb lives on the planet Balbaz. She’s fascinated with stories of the little blue planet called Earth and the monsters that live there and goes there to find herself a pet. Izzy, the little girl she captures, is not happy to find herself on a spaceship, but Balbaz sounds so exciting that she agrees to stay for three weeks. She has wonderful adventures there, including a ride on the back of a wishing moon dragon, and a less pleasant encounter with a fridge monster. By the time she goes home, Izzy and Zaleb are friends. There’s a lovely matter-of-factness to these stories that gives them a proper fairy-tale feel. Elys Dolan’s two-tone illustrations add to the fun. Written in Barrington Stoke style to be short and accessible, on cream paper and in a special easy-to-read font, these satisfying stories will have children dreaming of adventures in space. ~ Andrea Reece About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.