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This follow up to the hugely popular Official Handbook of the Magical Unicorn Society will entrance fans of the original and new readers alike. It is again written by the mysterious Selwyn E Phipps, president of the Magical Unicorn Society, and tells eight separate stories, each one featuring a different unicorn. There are Water Moon Unicorns, Storm Chasers, Ice Wanderers and of course the Golden Unicorn. Each story is full of magic and mystery and is preceded by a short profile of the unicorn it features while the pages are full of delicate, atmospheric colour illustrations. It all makes for a beautiful book which really will send shivers of delight through anyone who dreams of one day, somewhere, somehow, seeing a unicorn.
Bursting with brilliant characters, heart-stopping adventure and tons of laughs, this magical tale is perfect for fans of Nevermoor, Frozen and How to Train Your Dragon! Way out in the furthest part of the known world, a tiny stronghold exists all on its own, cut off from the rest of human-kin by monsters that lurk beneath the Snow Sea. There, a boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them... and doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu. But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash. When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he's whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family . . . ?
We all love strange stories and bizarre, unexplained events: do aliens exist? Are ghosts real? Is the Bermuda Triangle really a thing? Was there actually a curse on Tutankhamun’s tomb? This book examines these four questions, plus another six equally mesmerising, but challenges readers to use logic, intelligence and the facts to determine the truth. Author Kathryn Hulick presents thoroughly researched accounts, packed with information because, as she empahises, evidence is the most important thing. She ensures that the sources are reliable and then encourages readers while keeping an open mind to consider everything really carefully. It makes for a great read, especially when some of those mysteries – the Kraken – turn out to be strange but true. A book that glories in mystery, but also the power of science and human intelligence.
November 2019 Book of the Month | Prepare to explore ten of the most haunted places on Earth in this striking book, and then to learn their secrets ingeniously with the help of coloured lenses. With the naked eye, the huge colour illustrations are just a jumble of lines; enticing, but baffling. View the same pages through one of three different coloured lenses, and suddenly a whole new vista springs into life. The red lens shows the people who inhabited these special places (ranging from Bran Castle, Romania to San Juan Chamula Cemetery, Mexico), the green lens shows us the place and its surroundings in detail, while best of all the blue lens magics up the ghostly and supernatural beings that haunt it. Short, sharp snippets of information accompanying vignettes on the following page tell us more about our discoveries. It’s a treat to explore, deliciously spooky and the illustrations are super stylish.
April 2019 Book of the Month | Lauren St John knows just how to create the perfect children’s adventure stories. Her junior detectives Kat Wolfe and Harper Lamb return for a second outing in this new book, another enthralling adventure that combines crumbling cliff edges, dinosaur bones, an A list celebrity who isn’t what she seems and, of course, lots of glorious animals. As they investigate a suspicious death, Kat and Harper face real dangers, but quick-thinking and teamwork, not to mention a bit of luck, see them through. There’s an important eco-message contained in the adventure too and this is exactly the kind of book to encourage children’s interest in the environment and their world as the pages keep turning. Thoroughly recommended.
Scottish islands have provided the background for some great adventures recently, from Geraldine McCaughrean's Carnegie winner Where the World Ends to Julia Green's To the Edge of the World and Kerr Thomson's The Sound of Whales. Barbara Henderson takes readers to just such a remote island and stages a tense and exciting confrontation between humanity - represented by the narrator, Em, her family and others involved in the creation of a new luxury hotel - and nature, represented by the island's furred and feathered inhabitants. There's a very good sense of the wild and scary power of the natural world, and it puts human behaviour in the spotlight too. Em is a strong central character, a good companion for readers throughout her intriguing, often scary adventure.
Stylish and artfully designed, this book is jam-packed with enough information on the Greek gods and heroes to satisfy even the most inquisitive reader. Forty different characters, from Gaia, Cronus and Zeus to Electra, Achilles and Odysseus, are featured on double page spreads; boxes of text tell their stories with impressive brevity, while extra gobbets of information are conveyed via shorter text boxes or in captions that accompany the stylised, colour illustrations. It’s a book that encourages browsing, while simultaneously making clear the timeline and interconnectedness of the various gods and heroes. This is the latest in an eye-catching and effect series.
March 2018 Book of the Month | Myth Match is more than a wonderful guide to mythical creatures, because there are different ways to read this handsomely illustrated book. You can carefully flip up the divided pages to study the array of fantastic beasts presented: a dragon, the aboriginal Goorialla, the Manx Arkan Sonney, all are depicted in fascinating full-colour detail and in close-up. But flip the pages again – left hand and right hand sides – to create your own army of extraordinary creatures: the half page format allows you to mix the creatures together, e.g. giving heads that breathe fire chicken’s feet and the tail of a squirrel. The mind-boggling permutations are almost endless. Each new creation is guaranteed to look strange but beautiful thanks to the gorgeous artwork. A great way to learn about mythical creatures, from all cultures, and fun too. ~ Andrea Reece
In a Nutshell: Spine-tinglingly timeless fairy tale A deliciously dark tale of soul eating sisters, and a girl who dares venture into the eerie unknown. Best devoured by the light of the moon (if you dare…) In the beginning, there were two sisters, born minutes apart. Two more female mouths to feed in hard times, when it might have been better to have the strong hands of sons. But not only that; different from others their age, the sisters were abandoned by their parents, and turned out to be soul eaters… Alys was only a child when the soul eaters came to her village and claimed all the adults. In their new home, the surviving children are ruled by a superstitious fear of the soul eaters, and they adhere to the counsel of their creepy nursery rhymes. But Alys is preoccupied by something more. She senses that she’s not like the other survivors, and wonders why she feels connected to the creatures that killed their parents, and to The Beast. As in all the best fairy tales, a creeping sense of fear and curiosity is evoked as Alys is drawn into the fforest to discover the truth for herself, where she wrestles the very concepts of good and evil. From the atmospheric opening, to Alys’s ordeals in the depths of the fforest as she journeys from childhood to womanhood, this is an exquisitely eerie reading experience. If you enjoyed the timeless tale-ness of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, or The Sleeper and the Spindle, or the otherworldly edge of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, this is well worth venturing into. ~ Joanne Owen
Winner of the 2018 Blue Peter Awards - Best Book with Facts Have you ever wondered what exactly does go bump in the night? From mysteries like Shackleton's ghostly companion to the Loch Ness Monster and friends, read the amazing evidence about these mysterious cases and make up your own mind. Things are not always what they seem - until they are, then you might wish you had never asked!
December 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: beasts, magical beasts, in words and pictures | This very handsome book, wonderfully illustrated by some of the top artists of today, is a must-have for anyone fascinated by the magical creatures that appear in so many favourite children’s stories. It features a host of exotic beasts, from giants and centaurs to harpies, werewolves and the basilisk, each one gloriously illustrated in full colour over double pages. Award-winners Helen Ward and Gary Blythe make merpeople and unicorns truly magical, while David Wyatt’s dragon – in a stunning gatefold – is a masterpiece of fiery menace. The text that accompanies each image tells legends and stories about the creatures, and includes quotes from authors such as Dante and Homer. Part information-book, part story collection, it’s a book to treasure. ~ Andrea Reece
With superhero films filling the cinema there has never been more interest in mythology and the Norse gods are certainly stranger than most. But although this comic style retelling looks like pure Marvel and DC and the exciting illustrations are indeed from the pen of a renowned comic artist, this is actually a very true representation of the mythology. The story of Baldur is enormously significant since his death marks the first event of Ragnarök and the beginning of the end for the gods. We learn that this has been prophesised and of the lengths that Odin and Frigg go in order to prevent his death and how Loki outwits them at every turn, but in the end his punishment is so severe the world shakes with his pain. With glossary, character profiles, writing prompts and discussion questions this is a useful classroom resource for any study of Norse Mythology. Highly attractive and engaging, it will also appeal to comic fans and reluctant readers.