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We have a wide and varied selection of books for children who enjoy graphic novels, comics and cartoons.
The absolutely brilliant, extra special NUMBER ONE bestseller from multi-million copy selling author and illustrator Liz Pichon - now available in an epic paperback edition. A laugh-out-loud, fully illustrated collection of stories starring Tom Gates and his friends, family and foes! Featuring: A delicious chicken pie Getting stuck in a lift with Delia A teacher swap at school Some tiny ants in tiny pants and the adventures of Wafer Boy...
A November 2021 Star Book! | Jason Reynolds has a golden touch when it comes to creating thought-provoking fiction that will enthral even the most reluctant of readers. In Stuntboy In the Meantime readers will feel well and truly understood by two golden touches, with Raul the Third’s energetic illustrations ingeniously interwoven to the entertaining, empathetic tale. Portico Reeves is a one of a kind boy, with a one of a kind best friend in Zola. After a tough day dealing with the local bully, Herbert Singletary the Worst, followed by a bad case of The Frets (his evocative term for anxiety), with Zola’s guidance Portico finds his superpower and Stuntboy is born, a superhero whose job it is to keep other superheroes safe, so they can get on with saving the world. But while Stuntboy performs several acts of superhero-dom around his Skylight Gardens apartment block (never blowing his own calamity-averting trumpet), he has to fend off further attacks of The Frets and figure out how to stop his parent’s constant arguments (aka “the mean time”). Driven by first-rate, funny dialogue and fast-paced action, and suffused in understanding, Stuntboy will speak to young readers dealing with anxiety, bullies and separating parents while keeping them upbeat and engaged.
November 2021 Graphic Novel of the Month | Even young readers who haven’t heard of Dolly Parton can’t fail to be excited and inspired by her rags to riches story. In full colour, graphic novel style format, this describes her life from her early days, growing up in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, in a house with no electricity or running water, to her eventual world superstardom as a singer, film star and literacy campaigner. It gives a real sense of the struggles she had to face, and how she overcame them through talent, hard work and determination – never losing hope or good humour. Parton’s personality shines out as brightly as her costumes, the final pages describing her charity work, and her special ability to connect with people and help them make their dreams come true.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month September 2021 | September 2021 Book of the Month | Billy is desperate to make things change at home. Her father disappeared before he was born: he and mum had been ok when they had been alone together but now his mother’s new partner has spoilt everything. Billy is frightened for himself and he is frighted for his mum. To make a point he runs away for a few days hiding in a semi-ruined pill-box in a local graveyard. Cleverly telling the story in two narratives, from Billy’s perspective and his mum’s and interweaving other characters and their experience from whom they can learn, Pam Smy explores a range of complex emotions thrown up by a difficult situation.
September 2021 Book of the Month | It’s a space adventure, Jim, but not as we know it! Climb aboard the Star Cat, half-spaceship, half-cat, as it travels the infinite void of space. There you’ll meet its well-meaning if frequently malfunctioning crew: Captain Spaceington, Science Officer PLIXX, Pilot and Robot One. They patrol the galaxy fuelled by ice-cream and ever-ready (almost anyway) to save the universe, especially from arch enemy, the four-cornered fiend Dark Rectangle. This chunky collection brings together six of these brilliant stories, first published in the Phoenix Comic, and each one is guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat one minute, rolling on the floor laughing the next. Space adventures don’t come more comic than this, and comic strip adventures don’t come better than Star Cat.
August 2021 Graphic Novel of the Month | Alex and Freddy are brothers – constantly bickering, often fighting, but thick as thieves. Perfectly normal except for one thing: adopted by a normal family, Alex and Freddy are robots, the most powerful robots on earth in fact, at least when their mum and dad let them. You might have come across them in the Phoenix comic, this book presents one complete adventure – and what an adventure it is! Robot attacks are taking place and Alex is recruited to join the RAID task force (that’s Robotics Analysis, Intelligence and Defence). Freddy is furious that he’s not allowed to join too, but as the younger brother he’s deemed too immature. It all finishes with a terrific showdown against the brothers’ arch-enemy robot, when Freddy finally gets to play his part. Really exciting, really funny, really well drawn, this is mega-good reading.
September 2021 Graphic Novel of the Month | A smart, satisfying re-formatting and expansion of Mega Robo Rumble, Mega Robo Bros Double Threat will have comic fans on the edge of their seats while nodding with knowing grins on their faces. Award-winning Neill Cameron has an undeniable abundance of talent for creating rambunctious, reader-centred super hero adventures that grip, engage and entertain reluctant readers as much as committed fans of standard form novels and committed comic book lovers. Take two brothers, Alex and Freddy - superhero robot brothers, no less, who work as secret agents for a government operation that seeks to protect the world from attacks at the hands of alien robots. As Alex experiences something of an identity crisis (“Everyone always just sort of assumed I was a boy, but am I? Can Robots have babies? And if so, how?”), London is besieged by a new threat in the form of a massive drill-bot. Alongside reeling with high-stakes adventure, Double Threat is also fabulously inclusive, with messages of empathy, fabulous female characters, and incisive, witty deconstructions of gender stereotypes. If that’s not enough, it also boasts a whole lot of hilarious one-liners (“I can see your butt”) and relatable homelife scenarios - even superhero Mega Robo Bros have trouble finding their shoes from time to time.
July 2021 Graphic Novel of the Month | Shortlisted for the Excelsior Award White 9+ KS2 | Seaerra Miller’s Mason Mooney Paranormal Investigator sets out its witty, spooky stall in the amusing introduction: “what you are about to read is a tale so twisted, it’ll knock you out of your socks and on to your bum. It’s got a bloody heart, a haunted house, D-list celebs and it all takes place in the terrifying town of Grimbrook.” And what follows is exactly that - a rollercoaster romp of supernatural adventure and struggles to overcome sceptics, witches, ghosts and grumps as Mason Mooney, Paranormal Investigator, attempts to uncover the secrets of Grimbrook’s most haunted house. With a glorious colour palette that put me in mind of Scooby Doo and Hanna Barbera classics, this is at once smart and wacky, spooky and silly - an immersive joy for 7+ year-olds seeking laughs and scares of the quirkier variety.
July 2021 Book of the Month | Readers of the Phoenix Comic love Jamie Smart’s Bunny vs Monkey adventures, and no wonder. They are totally brilliant, inventive, original and hilarious comic strips. If you’re not in the know, the chief characters are Bunny and his gang Squirrel, Pip and Skunky, and their adversary, causer of mayhem, Monkey. From the opening wintery story, “Gross!” in which Monkey uses smelly mud on a stick to try and advance his plans for world domination, the pace is frenetic, silly and very funny. Story titles such as “The Embiggening!”, “The Destroy-O-Torium” and “Monkey with a Flame Thrower” give you an idea of what else is in store. It’s a comic comic extravaganza and as an added treat, Smart shows readers how to draw Action Beaver and Le Fox. Irresistible!
This is the second illustrated novel about Phoenix Comic robot star Freddy and is every bit as funny as the first. There’s a new girl at school and she’s super-competitive. Before you know it, Freddy and Aoife are in a competition to determine who’s best, humans or robots. After near disaster in the swimming pool – not the best place to use his rocket boosters – Freddy is determined to win, whatever it takes. His big brother, robot Alex, advises him that no-one wins in an Us vs Them contest but it takes Freddy a bit longer to understand exactly why. Freddy is a terrific character, full of human frailties for all his robot awesomeness, and this is so much fun to read while also delivering an important message about difference, bias and how to counter it. Great stuff, Freddy rules!
As its excellent title and cover suggests, Isabel Roxas’s The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens is a quirky comic-style book for 7+ year-olds. Resplendent with the most gorgeous mid-century colour scheme, it boasts endearing oddball characters readers will root for and adore, and an off-the-wall story underpinned by a luminous message of teamwork. When Ruby (“resident genius, armchair philosopher, and aspiring naturalist”), Agnes (“amateur pigeon keeper, lover of potato chips, animals, and shiny objects”), and Roberta (“little boss, idea generator, pork bun aficionado, and list fanatic”) discover a passion for synchronised swimming, they form Team Pom. Fed-up of their team-loser status, and the insults (“what a bunch of nerds”), the trio set-up their own club, but their plans are sent awry when a giant squid appears in their pool. Reckoning that “now that we have a giant squid on our team, the possibilities are endless,” the girls sense hope for their synchronised swimming futures. But not if the conniving Diving Divas have anything to do with it. I loved the New York setting, the madcap plot, and the girls’ spirit of determination - what a wonderfully engaging, energetic book.
As we know, Marie Curie was a trail blazer in so many ways – a woman in science, the first woman to win Nobel Prizes, a major protagonist in the discovery of radiation and x-rays. We may know much less about her background and her family history. This graphic novel shows us just some of the many problems Marie Curie had to rise above in her native Poland - where women were not allowed at the Universities. Told through a series of panels this biography includes all the scientific discoveries in a simple, easily accessible format that exposes the dangers, as well as the advantages of radiation. The illustrations are clear with plenty of room given to the text so that is easy to read and follow. A good addition to classroom collections – and will have special appeal for those pupils who may prefer a graphic approach or be less enthusiastic readers.
Graphic novels offer action-packed stories, stunning visuals and are fun! Graphic novels might well appeal to reluctant readers, but the assumption that it's not 'real reading' is far from true. Literacy experts, including our own professional librians at LoveReading4Schools, champion the graphic novel as an excellent way improve your child's reading and to encourage a familiarity and love of books. Graphic novels have plenty of text and often complex plots to follow, characters grow and develop - and the artwork is absolutely stunning adding to the allure and entertainment value of a graphic novel.
With a foundation in Japan (manga) and France (bandes dessinées) the genre is incredibly popular, the characters often entwined in gaming and movies to create a wonderfully imaginative fantasy world into which children can immerse themselves.