The Wizard of Oz is surely the most famous of American fairy tales. L. Frank Baum’s band of merry characters and their epic journey of discovery, is now enshrined in our popular culture. In this quirky re-telling, we examine eventsfrom the perspective of Toto, the dog. What is his uniquely canine take on this world of Munchkins, witchery, and magical shoes?
BANG! WALLOP! CRUNCH! Bad Dad greets the reader with noisy fanfare. The hotly anticipated new book from David Walliams tells the story of a father and son’s struggle to escape the clutches of a local crime lord, and right ashameful wrong. A riot of car chases and madcap schemes, does it deserve its runaway success at the top of the bestseller charts?
First published in the 1840’s, The Snow Queen has come to be known as one of our best loved fairytales, and its author Hans Christian Anderson as a master of the genre. The story of young Kay and Gerda, their friendship torn asunder as Kay is kidnapped by Her Icy Highness, and Gerda’s subsequent long journey to rescue him, has spawned many versions and translations over the decades. This particular edition is one of the loveliest I’ve ever seen.
Once upon a time in Victorian London, very few children believed in magic. As we all know, magic blossoms from hope, and there was very little of that in those bleak times. Little Amelia Wishart is the exception. Plucky and spirited, with hope in her heart, Amelia is called upon to save the very magic of Christmas. She rises to the challenge, along with a stellar cast, comprised of Father Christmas, Queen Victoria, and the very embodiment of Victorian Yuletide himself, Mr Charles Dickens.
The upcoming cinema release of Wonder, provides an ideal opportunity to consider the charms of its literary predecessor. We meet Auggie, who’s living with Mandibulofacial Dysostosis, a rare and severe cranio-facial abnormality. ‘I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse’. Previously home-educated, Auggie’s parents have decided it’s time he went to school. At the tender age of 10, he must learn to confront the prejudices of an often hostile world.
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Claudia Kincaid is 12-years-old, and a bit disgruntled. Bored with the ‘…sameness of each and every week’, she feels it’s time for a grand adventure. Something bold, original, and instructive (she is, after all, a Grade A student). How about running away to New York, to live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art? With the Met offering celebratory tours to mark 50 years since publication, E.L Konigsburg’s American Classic deserves to be better known on this side of the Atlantic.
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En route to the Brazilian city of Manaus, a tiny passenger plane crash-lands in the Amazon jungle. Four children walk away from the smoking wreckage, and into the greatest adventure of their lives. In their bid to reach civilisation, the terrified children need to dig deep, to fight their personal demons, and find courage in a terrain where only the strong survive.
A self-proclaimed outsider, Anna’s days are spent quietly dreaming. Her imagination is rich but her days are lonely. Until that is, the bewitching Marnie appears, and over the course of one long hot summer, opens Anna’s timid heart to friendship. But Marnie’s enigmatic aura is unsettling. Who is she really, and what is her mysterious behaviour concealing?
There is something rotten at the core of top spy agency Spectrum. One of it’s agents appears to want Ruby dead. Who? Why? Will they rue the day they crossed Ruby Redfort, the smartest, bravest secret agent ever? Congratulations to Lauren Child, who’s just been appointed our new Children’s Laureate. The hugely successful creator of Charlie & Lola, and the irrepressible Clarice Bean, now turns her versatile talents to 9+ adventure-crazy girls.
It is 1940. 10-year-old Barney and his mum are on the 11.50 train to London, all their worldly possessions contained in a suitcase on the overhead luggage rack. Bombed out of their home by the Luftwaffe, they are moving in with Barney’s aunty Mavis. But events on this journey will haunt them forever, as a mysterious travelling companion shares some chilling revelations. The Children’s Book Award is voted for entirely by children. This makes it an especially lovely accolade, and one that this year has been awarded to Michael Morpurgo, for An Eagle in the Snow.
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