Picturebooks are a handy way to explain your bump to the rest of the family. Quirky imagination and wry humour make this a wonderful book for fussy eaters. Disgruntled Barry Bennett wishes he had better parents fun ones who let him do what he wants. Funny, smart and unpredictable. This ability proves invaluable as he befriends a team of lions in his search for his parents, who discovered a cure for asthma and have mysteriously gone missing. This is the first book in a well-crafted, thrilling trilogy.
Meet three friendly and just slightly feisty cats in this sweet and simple lift-the-flap book by author and illustrator Viviane Schwarz. Clever and funny, the pages talk directly to the reader as we go on a mild feline adventure before bedtime. Even very young babies can enjoy the illustrations and lilting narrative of a really good picturebook like this one. A colourful and comforting read. This fantasy adventure is a s classic in which modern and medieval worlds collide. Colin and Susan encounter a wizard who shows them an underground cave where knights lay in enchanted sleep.
They must help the wizard find the lost, magic Weirdstone that keeps the knights safe. A mysterious giant terrorises the land but the people cannot destroy it. However, when the world is threatened by a terrible monster, the metal beast becomes their saviour. Did you forget that the film franchise was originally a series of novels? The trilogy follows the fate of year-old Katniss Everdeen as she is forced to enter a TV game show in which competitors fight to the death.
Smartly written, this futuristic thriller is great for luring teens back to the printed page. Certainly not Charlie, even if he has to suffer his smarty-pants cousin. However, when Charlie finds himself caught up in a missing jewellery mystery, his cousin might prove to be a useful ally.
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At any time of the day, sharing a book is one of the best ways to bring calm to wild family life. No wonder then, that this classic with its simple, reassuring conversation between a parent and child rabbit and its soothing watercolor illustrations has sold over 28 million copies. First published over years ago, they were populated with fabulously named wildlife and Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves, and were adopted by the Scout movement long before Disney. Silly and smart.
Dahl paints a joyously grisly portrait of a married couple who play nasty tricks on each other, enslave monkeys and trap birds for pies by gluing tree branches. Gruesome, yes, but perfectly pitched at under-eights with a robust sense of humour. And of course, The Twits get their just desserts in the end.
Other Asterix adventures were nominated, but this got most votes. Here, plucky Gauls Asterix and Obelix join forces with Britons in the fight against the Roman baddies.
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Child has such a dry sense of humour and a knack for talking intelligently to young readers. Plus of course, her mix of collage and illustration is colourful, funky and stylish. As a result, this post-modern retelling of a classic fairytale is essential reading for girls and boys who prize quirkiness over convention. Picturebooks like this are brilliant for exploring concepts like friendship. Adapted for TV by Charlie Higson, this was the first in a series about an absent-minded boffin and his bumbling friend Colonel Dedshott. Still funny and fresh, despite references to housekeepers and library cards from the period in which it was written.
Get them learning science early, with playful picturebooks like this romp through the world of micro-organisms. Explore how we catch a cold, what bacteria go into yoghurt and all kinds of other fascinating facts, simply and entertainingly explained. After his family is murdered, a toddler wanders into a cemetery where he finds himself adopted and raised by its inhabitants yes, the dead ones and a guardian who seems to hover between the living world and the afterlife. Children learn so much from listening to us talk, long before they can express themselves in words. A stranger in a foreign world is always a good vehicle for comedy and a chance to explore acceptance and understanding.
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Especially when the hero of this odyssey is a charming, accident-prone bear. Rosoff has an easy, flowing narrative style and an eye for the remarkable in the everyday, which makes her books crackle with tension and detail. A deservedly acclaimed read. Can he, his sister Meg and his friend Calvin free his dad in this sci-fi caper? This pacey spy thriller follows the fortunes of undercover agents, all aged between 10 and 17, who work for an organization called Cherub. The fantasy was concocted by Carroll on a riverboat trip as a way of amusing the three young daughters of a friend.
The rest is history.
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While reading bedtime stories, Herb accidentally falls into a book and finds himself in a perilous adventure where he encounters all the characters from classic fairy tales. Although you can enjoy the stories of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad in cartoons with young children, the novel is a more densely woven and evocative tale celebrating the countryside and companionship, better suited to older readers. President Roosevelt was a huge fan.
Find out in a series of rhyming challenges. Funny, smart female-role-model stuff. Sophie and Mummy are having tea in the kitchen when a tiger arrives and decides to hang around a while, eating them out of house and home. Family, school, everyday events and language itself are explored in these magical verses.
This bright and breezy picturebook stands squarely with the dreamers. Mishaps abound as the book reveals Strong as a master of quirky stories for young readers. As silly as it sounds. Allan Ahlberg and his wife met at teacher training college and created many quietly funny storybooks together before her death in The classics continue to enchant, including this detailed little book throughout which young readers are encouraged to find fairy tale and nursery characters on each page.
In his letters home he tells his family all about his adventures. Great fun. This was the first full-length novel in a series about a brother and sister and their crime-busting friends. Mr Big is strong and tough, but also a bit of a softy. However, everyone is too scared to come near him to discover this, so how can he show them his nice side? Fern has a pet pig named Wilbur and as he grows fatter, he eventually faces the destiny of all the pigs on the farm.
However, with the help of a talking spider called Charlotte, Wilbur might be saved. This modern jewel follows an ordinary chap who finds his house demolished and the Earth destroyed in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass. The original radio comedy format ensures a tight, pacy read as Dent is bounced around the universe.
The relationship between the parent dogs and their puppies is lovingly explored and the search unfolds as a thrilling adventure. The author of the Mr Benn series has a talent for playful picturebooks that concisely express something of the quirks and contradictions of the human condition. Here, a powerful General is furious when his invading troops meet no resistance in the last unconquered territory and instead befriend its people. Three children who live in an orphanage under the uncaring custody of social workers and therapists decide to run away.
Their escape is perilous, but when they meet a girl named Heaven Eyes, there seems to be some small hope in their otherwise bleak world. Almond at his thought-provoking best. In a community dominated by power and battles, a misfit Viking teenager rescues and befriends an injured dragon. Can the two outsiders unite to be accepted and live happily? But one night, Star is not there and Fox must venture into the world alone and make new friends.
A funny picturebook fable about two hapless amphibians. Not all picturebooks are for toddlers. Scottish poet and playwright Carol Ann Duffy created this darkly beautiful story for older children.
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A witch steals all the happy endings to bedtime stories and one brave girl must save them. Magical reading for any child with a restless spirit and a creative imagination. Nine-year-old Pippi lives all by herself with a horse, a monkey and a suitcase of gold coins. As a result, she confounds the village grown-ups and spends her days on wild and wacky adventures.
When a pilot is forced to land his plane in the desert, he meets a mysterious little boy who tells him a series of fascinating and wise stories. This simple fable of imagination and compassion has been a treasure handed from parent to child for generations ever since it was first published 70 years ago. Many authors address themes like the stresses of peer pressure and the threat of violence through fantasy writing.
McGowan tackles these head-on in an account of a boy who unwillingly becomes ensnared in a local gang war. Intelligent and honest without being sensational, this is a serious work of bold fiction. Here, a young girl must follow her strong-headed brother down a dark tunnel, but when she emerges into a dark forest, she finds that Jack has been turned to stone…. This is a beautiful picturebook celebration of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in which each declaration is illustrated by a different artist or illustrator. Ahlberg is a master of playful, smart stories for picturebook and storybook readers and this adventure is one of his more recent gems.
This is the second in a series of fantasy thrillers published between and The adventures draw on Arthurian legends, and Celtic and Norse mythologies. A breathless yarn. However, during lessons at school, he realises that poetry could be the perfect channel for his feelings. The rich and colourful illustrations in this book add to its nostalgic feel. A little tin mouse and his son are accidentally broken and thrown away.
Jim Hawkins finds a map and sets off on the Hispaniola on a dangerous quest with his friends.