With characteristic good humour and seeming irreverence, Jeremy Strong’s latest novel, ‘Beware! Killer tomatoes’ introduces Jack, a hapless individual whose catalogue of disasters include sitting upon the prongs of a fork ‘ ouch! ‘ swallowing a coin ‘ dangerous! ‘ and, most recently, crashing his bike into a parked car. These mishaps are affectionately termed by his family, Jackcidents.
The prolific and diverse author-illustrator Chris Wormell adopts the feel and form of the fairytale in his latest picture book, ‘The Saddest King’. Readers are introduced to a country whose populace are always happy, who smile through sun shine, rain and snowfall alike, who are happy with flowers whether alive or dead are equally pleased with gifts whether they be boxes of chocolates or bad apples. Happiness is compulsory, decreed by the King himself.
Continuing their series of alphabetical introductions to countries and cultures other than our own, ‘P is for Pakistan’ is Frances Lincoln’s A ‘ Asslam-U-Alaikum (hello) to Z Zeewar (jewellery) of the country founded in 1947.
Twice winner of the Bisto award, author-illustrator Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick’s latest picture book tells the story of the seemingly belligerent Beth. It is Beth’s first day at school, however, she is reluctant to exchange the cosy environs of her bed for school when mum awakes her.
Being attune to our emotions, to the influences that exert themselves upon us and to beliefs and faith ‘ regardless of empirical evidence ‘ form a key part of the understanding and self-awareness that course through ‘After the death of Alice Bennett’.
Macmillan Children’s Books
Struggling to find a way to make sense of events that seem senseless, the novel opens with incredible pace and drama as ten-year-old Danny relates how he has thrown a brick through Grundy’s window, flattening his stuffed otter.
Nonchalant Tuffy the cat makes his triumphant third outing in this latest tale by Anne Fine. Tuffy is fast becoming an archetype in children’s literature. In him, Fine has perfectly captured the nuances of cattish behaviour. Just as it is now almost impossible to speak of bear stories, without Pooh or his alliterative counterpart Paddington coming to mind, Tuffy is the forerunner in feline fiction.
Taking a trip to Cold Tarn, Charlotte and her friend Pip discover for the first time a regular concrete base. It is whilst exploring this that the narrative splits, torn in half, as Charlie is transported from the present into the 1950s.
If I were still a teacher, this book would be a tempting choice to get my class engaged in a whole number of fields. Geography, history, current affairs and politics, evolving use of English language’ any of these might be approached through DOWN TO THE WIRE.