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March 2018 Debut of the Month A huge story is packed into this striking and thoroughly involving picture book. Erik is one of the youngest members of his wolf pack and definitely the most reckless. He thinks his family’s rules are silly and one day, when no-one’s looking, stomps off to be a real lone wolf. He climbs higher, wobbles further and skies faster – right into disaster. Stuck at the bottom of an icy crevasse, Erik wishes for his wolf pack. Fortunately for him, they arrive to save him but Sara Finan’s painterly illustrations show readers just how dangerous and scary the snow and ice are, as well as how much safer and happier Erik is back with his loving family. ~ Andrea Reece
Dave Pigeon and his best friend Skipper were living happily in the Human Lady's house, but now they're travelling in a box to Pawsville Vets ... maybe Dave will finally get his broken wing fixed. The pet shop is full of new friends... Jet the dog, Cricket Ball Face the hamster... and with friendship comes a bit of healthy competition, and what could be better that a race for a racing pigeon? But the only animal who thinks Dave is capable of going up against the infamous Mickey Lightning is Dave himself.
A timeless storybook classic full of bright colourful pictures that accompany a simple, repetitive text. Children will delight in all the wonderful sound effects and Mr Bear's reaction to the noises that stop him going to sleep until...you'll find out when you read it to your toddler. The familiar noises, repetition and beautiful illustrations make this delightful picture book an all-time favourite with children and adults everywhere. Click here for an activity sheet related to this book !
Prize winning illustrator Emily Gravett triumphs again in her witty story of how a lonely chameleon does what he does best in a desperate attempt to make a new friend. Changing colour comes naturally to the blue chameleon so he tries yellow and says hi to a banana, pink to greet a cockatoo, brown to say Howdy to a handsome cowboy boot… Nothing seems to work until the triumphant and delightful final spread when the chameleon finds another chameleon – just like him! ~ Julia Eccleshare
Apparently a celebration of dogs of all kind, this is also a book with a witty twist at the end. Gorgeous pictures of big dogs and small dogs, hairy dogs and bald dogs, stroppy dogs and soppy dogs delight in themselves but the best is kept to the end when the reader finds out exactly who the narrator is! Prize-winning illustrator Emily Gravett delights with Dogs, now happily available as a chunky board book. ~ Julia Eccleshare
Emily Gravett was selected as one of The Big Picture campaign's Best New Illustrators in 2008 And since her launch onto the children’s book scene she has made a considerable name for herself with children with her stunning and clever but simple picture books. Young children will love guessing what animal they are pretending to be, before shouting out the answers as the pages are turned to reveal the real creatures. Click here for an activity sheet related to this book !
January 2018 Book of the Month A prizewinning story idea from Neal Jackson gave birth to this wonderful tale of adventure, spies and man’s attempt to be the first aeronaut. Emma Carroll has a wonderful ability to capture a particular time in history and make it accessible to her young readers. Beautifully written and perfectly capturing 18th century France Sky Chasers, follows Magpie, a young girl destined to stand out. Her dark skin sets her apart but Magpie is an expert at performing the unseen as she excels as a petty criminal. She steals from those who can afford to lose a little to feed herself and her cockeral Coco. Set during the reign of King Louis and Marie Antoinette, when France is racing against its enemy England, to be the first to fly in a hot air balloon. This wonderful reimagining of real life events is full of adventure, peril and excitement. Emma has created a daring, courageous character in Magpie, a girl who doesn’t quite fit but despite her differences has a strong sense of loyalty and a desire (despite her criminal background) to do what’s right. She is a fantastic character and one that stands out as a strong willed, intelligent girl with a fierce determination to follow her own heart to achieve her dreams no matter what conventions try to hold her back. She proves to be a fierce and brave friend. Sky Chasers is dedicated to "all those names that don’t make the history books", and testament to all the unsung heroes out there and is yet another fantastic offering from this superb children’s author. ~ Shelley Fallows - You can also find Shelley here. From a prize-winning idea by Neal Jackson, Winner of the Big Idea Competition, chosen as unanimouswinner by the judges: Tess Daly, Neil Blair, Barry Cunningham, Philip Ardagh and theatre producer Sonia Friedman.
In a nutshell: computer game style animal adventure guaranteed to spark the imagination A whole new world is waiting for Will, one where he has a special role to play, new friends to make, and some bullying creatures to confront! It’s hidden next to Will’s painting of an elephant, and seems to be populated entirely by animals. Will quickly makes friends with a giraffe called Sam who explains that, as the Zoo Keeper of the Night Zoo, Will’s role is to protect it from the scary Voids – environmentally destructive robotic spiders. With help from Sam and his friend Riya, Will rises to the challenge. Short enough to suit even reluctant readers and packed with illustrations this lively, satisfying adventure has lots of appeal. It’s written by the creators of NightZookeeper.com, a great site which inspires many thousands of young people to invent and write their own Night Zoo stories. ~ Andrea Reece
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month January 2018 Award- winning Megan Rix has a rare gift for putting dogs at the centre of important moments in history. Here, in a story set in 1910, Alfie and his dog Rascal play a leading role in the battle to get women the vote. Alfie is the ward of Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the Suffragettes. When he rescues the cute little puppy Rascal after he has been abandoned on the street, the two of them take on the dangerous and exciting job of delivering messages for the suffragettes. It’s a roller-coaster adventure told with warmth and a true understanding of the special role a dog can play. ~ Julia Eccleshare Download an Emmeline Activity Pack here! Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for January 2018 Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by by Mem Fox Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal Emmeline and the Plucky Pup by Megan Rix Whatever Next! by Jill Murphy The Girl Who Saw Lions by Berlie Doherty The Poesy Ring by Bob Graham
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2018 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award March 2017 Debut of the Month In a sparely written but richly imaginative story, Chloe Daykin sensitively explores what it feels like to see the world just a bit differently. Billy loves the sea and uses swimming as a way of escaping the difficulties of his unwell mother. But his love of the sea also makes him the butt of his class mates’ jokes as it marks him out as different. Billy increasingly creates an alternative world for himself inspired in part by the lessons about animals that he has learnt from David Attenborough’s programmes. But when a new boy arrives in the class Billy finds someone who understands him. Fish Boy is a debut novel to savour. ~ Julia Eccleshare The Branford Boase Judges said : 'the friendship between two outsiders is very touching indeed’; ‘a unique internal voice beautifully described’; ‘interesting and surprising'.
In a nutshell: stoat-ally wonderful story; friendship, fun, upsets Young readers will love Ermine, star of this new series by Atticus Claw author Jennifer Gray. Ermine is a stoat which, in fictional terms, gives her carte blanche to behave as both adult and child: she’s independent enough to travel around solo but, like a child, ignorant of how the adult world works. As guest of Michael S Megabucks and his young son, Ermine is looking forward to exploring New York but a mix up at the airport means that she accidentally leaves with a priceless stolen diamond. Crooks Harry and Barry Spudd are no match for Ermine and the lively, fast-moving adventure that follows is full of slapstick humour, while giving readers a real sense of New York too. At the end Ermine is packing her bags for Sydney and it will be well worth tagging along for more fun and adventure. Highly illustrated by Elisa Paganelli this is great for newly independent readers, who will also enjoy the equally cosmopolitan Violet stories by Harriet Whitehorn and Alex T. Smith’s new series Mr Penguin. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: Scottish island set animal story with a hint of myth and magic Kerr Thomson follows up his well-received debut The Sound of Whales with a new story set on the same remote Scottish island. It’s home to Innis who loves its wild emptiness and particularly ‘the Barrens’, home to thousands of birds. The story weaves a 21st century threat to the island’s tranquillity – planning permission for a massive wind farm – with much older myths: could there be wolves again on Nin, or could a centuries old legend offer a chance of a different future? It makes for thrilling reading, island life vividly described as is Innis’s friendship with his neighbour Kat and rivalry with new arrival Lachlan. ~ Andrea Reece This is a story to recommend to fans of Gill Lewis’s novels particularly Sky Dancer.