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march 2018 - children's books

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Sue Hendra & Paul Linnett: Cake

Published by Macmillan Children's Books 8th March 2018


Cake has been invited to a party. He's very excited! He's never been to a birthday party before and he doesn't know what to expect. But as the candles on his party hat begin to burn and the other guests start to sing, Cake starts to think that this is one party he'd rather not be at . . . Introducing an irresistibly loveable character, CAKE is a brilliantly funny story from the award-winning creators of Supertato, I Need A Wee and Barry the Fish With Fingers . Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet fans will be roaring their support for this delightful picture book hero!


Brilliantly funny but just a little disturbing...


Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks: What The Ladybird Heard on Holiday

Published by Macmillan Children's Books 22nd March 2018


Those two bad men, Lanky Len and Hefty Hugh, are back! They may be in the city instead of the farm, but they haven't changed their thieving ways. In fact, they've got even more ambitious. They're planning to steal a monkey from the zoo and use it to pinch the Queen's crown. It's a pity for them that a certain crime-busting ladybird is holidaying in the very same city . . . and she's got a good idea that will ensure the dastardly pair won't get away with it! With a whole host of noisy new zoo-animal characters to meet and even a cameo from the Queen, What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday, from stellar picture book partnership Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks, is a sure-fire hit. Featuring glitter on every page and a gorgeously glittery cover.


You can't really beat Julia Donaldson when it comes to bedtime stories...


Lucy Rowland & Anna Chernyshova: Catch That Egg!

Published by Macmillan Children's Books 22nd February 2018


Floppit's farmyard friends have had enough of his enormous bunny feet. "Stop that, Floppit!" they sigh, every time he comes bouncing by. But his big clumsy feet might just save the day when Chicken's egg runs away . . . Help Floppit the big-footed bunny "stop that egg" in this fun farmyard egg chase. Perfect for fans of Rabbits Don't Lay Eggs! and Peppa Pig: Peppa's Easter Egg Hunt. 

Catch That Egg! is written by Lucy Rowland, the brilliantly talented author of Little Red Reading Hood, Jake Bakes a Monster Cake and Pirate Pete and His Smelly Feet, and Anna Chernyshova, the fantastic illustrator of Santa Selfie.


The perfect antidote to all that chocolate...




James Nicol: A Witch Alone

Published by Chicken House 5th April 2018


During an eventful holiday in Kingsport, Arianwyn is recruited for an important mission: to retrieve the Book of Quiet Glyphs from its hiding place in the Great Wood. But as she returns home to Lull, feyling refugees gather outside the town walls and hex plagues the forest. As tensions lead to fall-outs with her friends, town squabbles and magical mishaps, Arianwyn faces a sobering truth: she alone can find the Book, and wield its secrets ...


Stunning children's fantasy that will whet the appetite for full-blown adult fantasy. Amazingly good!








Gwen Lowe: Alice Dent and the Incredible Germs

Published by Chicken House 1st March 2018


When Alice Dent gets a cold, she has no idea how much trouble it's about to cause. Because this is no ordinary cold: it comes with some seriously weird sideeffects. For a start, Alice can't stop giggling and every animal she meets sticks to her like glue! But when the mysterious Best Minister for Everything Nicely Perfect and his scary masked henchmen come to take her away, Alice realizes her troubles are only just beginning ...


...Brilliantly funny, laugh out loud story that will really delight!








Faiz Kermani: The Toad Who Loved Tea

Published by Matador 28th January 2018


“The crowd clapped as Tungtang sipped the tea elegantly from a tiny porcelain cup. They sighed as she gently swirled the tea in her mouth. They applauded as she rolled her eyes, and they cheered as she rocked from side to side, trilling “Why, this is toad-ily tea-licious!” What happens when you brew together a toad who likes tea, a cruel crow, snobby customers and an ancient prediction? A strong, fragrant story full of unexpected adventures that will take you and Tungtang, the tea-loving toad, from a muddy pond to Queen Catherine’s Olde English Tea Shoppe for a real clash of cultures. Tungtang’s story of her discovery of tea and humanity will change her (and the way you look at tea) forever. The Toad Who Loved Tea is the hilarious tale of a tea-loving toad’s unconventional journey from a muddy pond to an elegant tea shop. It will appeal to children aged 7-11, and fans of Faiz’s former books.






Barry Cole: The Conquistador's Horse

Published by Matador 28th January 2018


Historical fiction for young readers aged 10-14 years. Unique narrative featuring a horse and including a bonus story. For fans of Michael Morpurgo and Michelle Paver. When Tall Bull and the Cheyenne hunting party crossed the Arkansas river, and entered their enemies hunting ground in search of buffalo, little did they know that others were also crossing the same river. Fierce looking men armed with bows, spears, and war-clubs, their upper bodies and faces daubed with paint. They were a Pawnee war-party returning to their village after a raid against their sworn enemies the Sioux. Last to cross the river were men on horseback. Pale skinned men armed with swords, and muskets. They were Spanish Conquistadors, and they had come in search of Quivira, the city of gold. Soon the paths of all three would cross, and when they did, Tall Bull would discover a creature that he had never seen before, an animal which would haunt his dreams, and one day change the lives of his people forever.




Sara Barnard: Goodbye, Perfect

Published by Pan Macmillan 8th February 2018


Goodbye, Perfect is a beautiful and emotional contemporary YA novel, with a powerful friendship at its heart, by bestselling author Sara Barnard. When I was wild, you were steady . . . Now you are wild - what am I? Eden McKinley knows she can’t count on much in this world, but she can depend on Bonnie, her solid, steady, straight-A best friend. So it’s a bit of a surprise when Bonnie runs away with a guy Eden knows nothing about five days before the start of their GCSEs. And it's the last person she would have expected. Sworn to secrecy and bound by loyalty, only Eden knows Bonnie’s location, and that’s the way it has to stay. There’s no way she’s betraying her best friend. Not even when she’s faced with police questioning, suspicious parents and her own growing doubts. As the days pass and things begin to unravel, Eden is forced to question everything she thought she knew about the world, her best friend and herself.


Perfect YA novel about friendship and the strains caused by something going awry.


Amy Wilson: A Far Away Magic

Published by Macmillan Children's Books 25th January 2018


When Angel moves to a new school after the death of her parents, she isn’t interested in making friends. Until she meets Bavar - a strange boy, tall, awkward and desperate to remain unseen, but who seems to have a kind of magic about him. Everyone and everything within Bavar's enchanted house is urging him to step up and protect the world from a magical rift through which monsters are travelling, the same monsters that killed Angel's parents. But Bavar doesn’t want to follow the path that's been chosen for him - he wants to be normal; to disappear. Fighting one another as well as their fears, Angel and Bavar must find a way to repair the rift between the worlds, and themselves, before it's too late . . .


Another superb fantasy that's knocking at the heels of Harry Potter. Brilliant characters and plot.



Laura Powell: The Lost Island

Published by Macmillan Children's Books 8th February 2018


After saving the Grand Duchy of Elffinberg from the jaws of a dragon in The Last Duchess, Pattern has been recruited by The Silver Service Agency to help solve supernatural mysteries. Pattern is dispatched undercover to the Island of Cull as a housemaid to the mysterious Lady Hawk, to investigate the disappearance of a young man called Henry. She quickly discovers that the Isle of Cull has some strange and magical properties, including an unseasonably tropical climate and a party of house guests who seem entirely in thrall to Lady Hawk and her beautiful daughter. Pattern and her new friend Nate are the only ones immune to the spell Lady Hawk has cast, but as the male house guests begin to disappear one by one, they find themselves in a race against time to solve the mystery of the island’s magic. Join Pattern on another dangerous and spellbinding adventure in The Lost Island, the second Silver-Service Mystery from Laura Powell, illustrated by Sarah Gibb.


An exceptional adventure story that owes something to Enid Blyton and Peter Pan.



Tomi Adeyemi: Children of Blood and Bone

Published by Macmillan Children's Books 8th March 2018


Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut Children of Blood and Bone.

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us. 
Now we rise.

Zélie remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden. Zélie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good. Danger lurks in Orïsha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy. The movie of Children of Blood and Bone is in development at Fox 2000/Temple Hill Productions with the incredible Karen Rosenfelt and Wyck Godfrey (Twilight, Maze Runner, The Fault In Our Stars) producing it.


Another YA novel that deals with the kinds of things that normally occur only in adult fiction. Once again, this will certainly whet the appetite...


Jill Murphy: Whatever Next!

Published by Macmillan Children's Books 11th January 2018


The moon and back before bath time? Whatever next! Join Baby Bear as he finds a rocket, makes friends with an owl and has a picnic on the moon. Celebrate thirty-five years of the bear family with this very special edition of the classic bedtime story, Whatever Next!, a beautiful story of innocence and imagination, full of the characteristic warmth and humour of Jill Murphy, author of The Worst Witch.


Jill's exquisite illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to a charming, beautiful story!





Jill Murphy: Peace At Last

Published by Macmillan Children's Books 11th January 2018


The hour was late and Mr Bear was tired. But he could not sleep - however he tried and wherever he tried. Snore, snore went Mrs Bear. Tick-tock, tick-tock went the clock. Would he never get to sleep? The familiar noises, repetition and beautiful illustrations make Jill Murphy's delightful Peace at Last an all-time favourite bedtime story with children and adults everywhere. This edition comes in a handy board book format, so even the youngest children can enjoy this classic story.


Superb story, beautifully illustrated - these two books from Jill are the perfect winding down tales for youngsters at bedtime!


The small print: Books Monthly, now well into its twentieth year on the web, is published on or slightly before the first day of each month by Paul Norman. You can contact me here. If you wish to submit something for publication in the magazine, let me remind you there is no payment as I don't make any money from this publication. If you want to send me something to review, contact me via email and I'll let you know where to send it.