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Holly Webb was born and grew up in south-east London, but spent a lot of time on the Suffolk coast. As a child, she had two dogs, a cat, and at one point, nine gerbils (an accident). At about ten, Holly fell in love with stories from Ancient Greek myths, which led to studying Latin and Greek, and eventually to reading Classics at university. She worked for five years as a children's fiction editor, before deciding that writing was more fun, and easier to do from a sofa. She started writing several years ago while working as a children’s books editor. She has written over ninety books including the Animal Stories, My Naughty Little Puppy and Maisie Hitchins series for Stripes Publishing. Holly has also written In The Clever Little Kitten for World Book Day and a sequel to The Secret Garden. Holly Webb lives in Berkshire with her husband, children and three cats.
Author photo credit: Nigel Bird
Part of Holly Webb’s much-loved, longstanding Animal Stories series (there are whopping 50 of them for young readers to be delighted by), Puppy's First Christmas tells the heart-warming, true-to-life tale of a little girl whose adorable puppy eases her anxiety, yet creates some problems on Christmas Day. Packed with empathy and issues to talk about in a gentle, compassionate way, this will be adored by animal lovers who understand the value of loveable, long-giving pets. Aria “couldn’t deal with noise and big groups sometimes. Things like that could make her feel weird and shaky”, but her puppy Jackson is a huge help: “when Aria was feeling like things were too much, Jackson seemed to know…Aria would hug him back and all the buzzy worry in her head would drain away.” Good news, given that Aria is feeling nervous about her house being so noisy and busy over Christmas. Come the big day, though, the tables are turned when Aria’s little cousin is frightened of Jackson, which sees him banished from the living room. In a spirit of seasonal cheer, the whole family learns to see things from different points of view, and Aria enjoys the Christmas she’s been dreaming of.
When she was younger, Ellie used to love watching the hares leap and play on the common with her mum. But with every year that goes by since she lost her mum, it's getting harder for Ellie to remember her and those happy memories. Until one day on the way home from school, Ellie finds an injured hare on the path. The poor animal looks so scared, she has to do something to help. Nursing the hare back to health will be a big responsibility, but it might just be Ellie's chance to feel close to her mum again...
Interest Age 5-8 | From worldwide bestseller Holly Webb comes The Beach Puppy – the adorable story of a puppy’s exciting first trip to the seaside. Well-known for her heart-warming animal stories, Holly’s Barrington Stoke debut is no exception. Featuring gorgeous full-colour illustrations from Ellie Snowdon, The Beach Puppy is a sweet, summery delight for all animal lovers.
Young readers will very much enjoy Holly Webb’s typically touching new story, in which a mischievous cat works magic across the generations. Bel is staying with her grandma in her new home, an old house converted into flats for the elderly. Sneaking out early to enjoy an unexpected snowfall, she befriends a cheeky white cat but is surprised when she meets his owner, a young girl the same age as herself, but very different. In fact Bel has travelled back in time and because of her magical meeting with Snow and Charlotte, a young girl’s life is saved. Filled with warmth and love and with a neat balance between jeopardy and security, this is rounded off in the most satisfying way possible. A snowy treat!
In a nutshell: warm, inspiring animal story When Isabelle comes face to face with a beautiful snow leopard in her local zoo an amazing adventure begins. She goes to bed tucked up with her snow leopard toy but wakes up in a ger, a Mongolian yurt. Only the little girl of the family can see her and they quickly become friends. Odval takes Isabelle up into the mountains and shows her a family of snow leopards. Odval loves them but her family want them gone because they are preying on their sheep. Can the girls protect the leopards? This is a lovely story of friendship starring some of the most beautiful animals on the planet; readers will be inspired to find out more about snow leopards and how they can help them survive in the wild. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: gentle but exciting time slip evacuee story In Holly Webb’s careful hands this time-slip evacuee story is filled with excitement, adventure and warmth. Travelling by train to see her grandma and great-grandma, Tilly falls asleep and dreams herself into the past. She experiences the same journey as taken by her great-gran as an evacuee over 70 years ago, and lives through the weeks that followed as her great-gran settled into life on a remote farm house on the Welsh borders. Young readers will be fascinated, and entranced by Tilly’s special friendship with the farm’s collie Tarran, who turns out to be a hero. A warm-hearted story that will live on in its readers’ imaginations. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: gentle, heart-warming story of friendship and ghost animals The second book in this charming new series takes us back to Penhallow Hall in Cornwall. It’s the new home of ten year old Polly, who is now friends with some of the Hall’s unusual ghosts, including two wolfhounds, Rex and Magnus. They’re not the only ghost animals at Penhallow, and together they meet the spirit of a feisty little Pekingese called Li-Mei, who has a secret and quite sad history to share. Holly Webb tells the story with just the right mixture of adventure and wistfulness, and this will be a very satisfying story for young readers. Jason Cockroft’s beautiful and atmospheric illustrations make this even more appealing. There are more ghost animals in Claire Barker’s Knitbone Pepper series, and readers would also enjoy The Snow Sister by Emma Carroll. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: lonely little girl makes friends with ghostly animals Polly and her mum are leaving London for Cornwall. Their old home has very sad associations after Polly’s father died in an accident. Mum has a new job as house manager at a stately home, Penhallow Hall. They both love it from the start, and the house seems to take to Polly – magically the statue of a huge wolfhound at the hall’s entrance comes to life for her, and becomes her friend. There are more ghosts at Penhallow, including a boy Polly’s age with a tragedy of his own to deal with. Despite themes of loss and loneliness this gentle story will leave readers happy and hopeful. Polly’s ghostly friends are a comforting, reassuring presence, linking past and present, proof that time heals. Jason Cockcroft’s atmospheric illustrations are simply gorgeous. There are echoes of Tom’s Midnight Garden in Polly’s story and readers could move on to Penelope Lively’s A Stitch in Time or Emma Carroll’s The Snow Sister. ~ Andrea Reece
Best-selling Holly Webb tells a touching time-slip story set against an evocative wintery background. It’s Christmas and Amelia’s family are staying in an old house with lots of unused rooms. When Amelia goes exploring in the attic she finds a hidden dairy and is transported back to meet the boy who wrote it. He is desperately trying to save an abandoned wolf cub. Travelling through time to do so, Amelia does all she can to help him. Holly Wells captures the children’s affection and intensity for the young cub they are so keen to see thrive. ~ Julia Eccleshare
In a nutshell: a seasonal story of snow, cats and happy endings! Young readers will very much enjoy Holly Webb’s typically touching new story, in which a mischievous cat works magic across the generations. Bel is staying with her grandma in her new home, an old house converted into flats for the elderly. Sneaking out early to enjoy an unexpected snowfall, she befriends a cheeky white cat but is surprised when she meets his owner, a young girl the same age as herself, but very different. In fact Bel has travelled back in time and because of her magical meeting with Snow and Charlotte, a young girl’s life is saved. Filled with warmth and love and with a neat balance between jeopardy and security, this is rounded off in the most satisfying way possible. A snowy treat! ~ Andrea Reece
With delightful illustrations throughout, this is a lovely tale about a young girl coping with change and discovering that friends can be found in the most unlikely of places. Sophie has just moved to Paris and although it’s a beautiful and exciting place to live she misses her old house, her friends and her cat called Oscar. Struggling to make friends at her new school she is finding it hard to settle in to her new life, until that is, she meets Josephine. Josephine who wears a pink tutu, adores Lavender Macaroons and just happens to be a Guinea Pig. Soon Sophie discovers that there is far more than meets the eye to Paris and beneath the grassy slopes leading to the Sacré Coeur. With Josephine’s help Sophie begins to enjoy her new home and also discovers the courage to stand up to mean girl Adrienne, who bullies her once too often at school. Sophie's Squeaky Surprise is a wonderful start to Holly Webb's heart-warming, humorous series. ~ Shelley Fallows