The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson
The latest quirky, imaginative offering from the author of The Gruffalo and beautifully illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, is about a little girl who makes a string of paper dolls with her mother, then takes them on a fantastical adventure. The dolls jump, dance and sing, escape the clutches of a toy dinosaur and the crocodile oven glove, until they meet a pair of snipping scissors. Conjuring up a sense of childhood loss, as well as the power of memory and imagination, this gentle story will inspire creative kids to make their own paper characters just like ‘Ticky and Tacky, Jackie the Backie and Jim with two noses and Jo with the bow.’ Perfect for creative, crafty kids.
Aaaarrgghh, Spider! By Lydia Monks
This witty ‘tickly brushy-scratchy spidery extravaganza’ comes with a CD containing 20 minutes of fun read-along audio entertainment, a musical soundtrack, and spidery facts, all voiced by the comedienne Dawn French. Poor lonely spider just wants to be a pet and belong to a family, but when she tries to impress them with her dancing, eating and washing skills she ends up scaring them instead. Finally they see how a spider can be special as she weaves her silvery webs and they welcome her into their lives, but she has a surprise for her family one day, and one that will make readers laugh and scream ‘Aaaarrgghh Spider!
Five to eight-year-olds
The Original Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
First published in 1922 and illustrated with the original art work of William Nicholson, this timeless classic tells the tale of a poor neglected toy rabbit. Shunned by the expensive, mechanical toys he encounters, he is befriended by the Skin Horse who teaches him that ‘Nursery magic is very strange and wonderful’ and how toys can become real if they are loved enough. If being loved a lot means that fur is rubbed off, eyes drop out and whiskers fall off, then it doesn’t matter, as ‘you can’t be ugly, only to those who don’t understand’. The rabbit becomes a little boy’s favourite toy, but will it be enough to make him real and save him from destruction? Don’t worry; there is a happy ending.
A Street Through Time (A 12,000 Year Walk Through History) illustrated by Steve Noon
Revised and updated, this fascinating and intricately illustrated history book tells the story of human development by visiting a particular area every few centauries as it evolves from 10,000 BC to a street in the present day. Beginning with a Stone Age riverside settlement, we see the landscape, scenery and people change as the settlement grows, into the Iron Age, through Roman and Medieval times, through wars and the plague, into the Victorian era before finally emerging into a twentieth centaury city street.
Nine and up
Spy School by Stuart Gibbs
Ben Ripley is not the sort of middle school kid anyone would expect to become a secret agent. He is extraordinarily good at maths, however, so it comes as no surprise to him that he is recruited into the junior C.I.A., but he soon realises that he is rubbish at this espionage lark and Spy School is far more difficult than he expected. What’s worse is he finds out he has been drafted in as bait to catch a devious double agent. So all Ben needs to do is become an expert spy, catch the mole, win the girl and gain the respect of his peers. Not an easy ride but definitely an action packed, funny and thrilling one.
Northwood by Brian Falkner
Cecilia Undergarment is a heroine with a difference, and not because she lives in a house shaped like a bunch of balloons, although this is a little strange. She is different because she can understand animals, and they can understand her. When she sees a sad, neglected dog, she is determined to rescue him, as she is not one to shy away from a challenge. But, her courageous canine rescue lands her in deep trouble and she finds herself dangerously lost in Northwood, a place where ferocious black lions roam and all who enter never return. Cecilia is determined to rescue Rocky and return home no matter what.
All books are wavailable at Bookworm, Al Safa, (04 394 5770)