Archive for November, 2013

By Sally Gardner

Tinder is inspired by the classic fairy tale, THE TINDERBOX written by Hans Christian Andersen . It involves a young soldier and of course a captive princess, 2 witches, 3 wolves and Death.
It is on my list to find a copy this week. It has amazing dark and emotive illustrations from the very talented David Roberts.(I love his illustrations in the retro fairy tales, Rapunzel, Cinderella and Little Red written by Lynn Roberts). The illustrations in Tinder tie in well with the dark themes of the story, of love and loss. Add in magic and mystery and you have the makings of a great young adult novel. Bother having to work – just let me loose in a bookshop!
I thoroughly enjoyed her novel I, Coriander and Red necklace so I am looking forward to this new one.

The Legion series
By Kami Garcia

Yes! Another ghost story I need to add to my collection. Murder, ghost-hunters and a fast-paced young adult novel.

Kennedy Waters doesn’t believe in ghosts but that all changes when one tries to kill her. The recent death of her mother turns out to be no accident but the result of paranormal forces. Forces which turn out to be everywhere.
Identical twins, Jared and Lukas Lockhart break in to Kennedy’s house destroying a dangerous spirit and telling Kennedy that her mother was a member of a secret society responsible for protecting the world. Kennedy is now forced to join the society and try and find out the truth but just staying alive could be much harder than anything she could ever imagine. Can she do it – I will be getting this book to find out. Ghosts are one of my fave topics.

What if…?
By Anthony Browne

Antony Browne is another of my favourite illustrators so I had no hesitation buying his latest book for school.
Some of us have been reading it again and again this Monday lunch time. Every time we do, we find something new in the pictures. Browne deliberately plays with the reader throwing in pictures within pictures and adding strange things and ideas. My student librarian pointed out, for example, that the elderly man’s cup of tea was actually floating. I’d missed that on my first reading.
In What if…? Joe makes lots of excuses for not going to a party. “What if he doesn’t like the food, or the games, or the people?”
Many children struggle to make new friends and I think this will be a great book to read to those children and open up discussion.
This is a great picture book for children who worry, which seems to be a theme in many of Browne’s books and one he does well.

And here is Anthony Browne talking about his book.

Everything I need to know I learned from a Little Golden Book
By Diane Muldrow


I bought this delightful book yesterday for the school library and even though I haven’t even processed it yet I have children and teachers begging to be first to read it. (Teachers mostly!)
We have all grown up with Little Golden Books. They were everywhere – they still are but this one is a treasure to keep.
It is simply a “guide-to-life” seen through the pages of Little Golden Books. It really is aimed at adults who will be transported back in time to their own childhood and their own memories of these wonderful books. The size and format is exactly the same with its iconic golden spine. The end pages are gorgeous.
I wish I could show you the inside of this book and all the hilarious retro illustrations. There is mother in her perfection wearing the full apron while hoovering the house and father in his suit.
My favourite was and still is The Poky little puppy who here tells us to “remember to stop and smell the strawberries”.
It is a look back at some of some of best illustrators, including Richard Scarry and Eloise Wilkin and the Poky Little Puppy illustrator, Gustaf Tenggren, whom I admit I have never heard of – but know his little puppy anywhere!
The book is full of little quips to lead us to a better life. It is great for children but equally great for the child in us all. This really is a beautiful book and would make the most wonderful gift to give this Christmas.

The shock of the fall
By Nathan Filer

The US edition just released is titled Where the moon isn’t

Wow! This two minute movie was inspired by the book and has heaps of impact. It has me so intrigued that I just have to find a copy as soon as I get off my computer.

Within the first few pages we are let into a secret;
“‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that”
On vacation, Matthew and his older brother sneak out to create a bit of fun and mischief but only Matthew returns. The journey to the truth is complicated and heartbreaking. I really can not wait to read this one.

Michael Morpurgo
For the month of November schools and libraries in the UK are celebrating Michael Morpurgo’s 70th birthday. Oh How I would love to be in the UK right now!
He writes the most wonderful stories for children and often pulls no punches when it comes to hitting us with raw emotion. I have cried over so many of his books but am in awe of his ability to take me places and leave me right in the middle of it all.
There are far too many books to mention but some of my favourites are:
Running wild
War horse
I believe in unicorns (all time fave)

In my day job as school librarian he is always at the top of books being issued. In this video he talks about how and why so many of his books have animals in them and not for the reasons you might think!

Michael Morpurgo talks about war in his novels and why it is a common thread in his books.