NEW TITLES

The following books range from picture books to illustrated fiction, helping to guide young readers through the transition from picture books to chapter books. Fairy tale themes feature strongly in this round-up - so do dinosaurs!

ISBN 9780857550170

Dog Loves Fairy Tales sees the lovable Dog character return, having already inspired us to count, draw and read (all part of the 'Dog Loves' series of picture books). Now we explore fairy tales with Dog, who has dusted down an old copy of 'Fairy Tales from Long Ago' - 'He opened it up and his adventure began'. First, he comes across an imp in a glass jar; Dog frees him but the imp is convinced he is 'bad luck' and should stay put. So Dog takes the imp by the hand and sets off on a quest to 'break the curse'. Along the way, they come across a number of fairy tale characters and imp inadvertently delivers several helpings of good luck to them, and gets himself and Dog out of one or two scrapes. As the witch eventually reminds the imp, how lucky he must be to have a found a friend like Dog to travel on his quest with him ('all the way to... The End') - so was he ever really bad luck? Children will enjoy spotting the fairy tale characters who wend their way through this story, and the alternative endings that the imp's actions cause. Perhaps after sharing it, the class could devise their own quest for a fairy tale character that could encompass other fairy tales and characters. 32 pages / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Sue Hill, librarian

Use Your Imagination
Nicola O'Byrne

Nosy Crow Ltd

ISBN 9780857633354

Nicola O'Byrne has taken the very well-known fairy story of Little Red Riding Hood and woven it through her exquisite tale of bored rabbit. The opening picture of the two characters reveals the innocence of the rabbit against the threat of the hungry wolf. Nicola uses the double page to take your eye across from wolf's predatory stare to rabbitís naÔve delight that something interesting is about to happen. Using the familiar 'What big ears/eyes you have' she reminds her reader that the wolf is a danger to rabbit. The innocent rabbit continues with wolf's 'game' of writing a story, thinking it's his ideas that are driving the plot. Finally rabbit wakes up to wolf's threat and takes control using his imagination; as wolf has encouraged him to do all along. A clever fold out page reveals rabbit as the hero and fully in charge of the story. Funny and wonderful to read aloud. I think children (3-8) will enjoy this book again and again; lots of opportunity for prediction and participation. Picture book / Reviewed by Sue Gilham, librarian

Use Your Imagination
The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf and Grandma's Wardrobe
Christyan Fox

words & pictures

ISBN 9781910277003

This text-heavy picture book also explores the tale of Little Red Riding Hood, so it could be usefully paired with the above to show how different retellings can change a story. In this version, long-suffering Cat trying to tell the tale to Dog, who is very inquisitive and has endless questions about the story. It takes Dog a while to realise that the main character in this story doesn't have a super-power and that Wolf isn't going to be a super-villain. But children may agree he does also ask some pertinent questions - for example, why doesn't Wolf just eat the little girl when he first comes across her in the wood?. The format of the story is also unusual and more like a comic as each page has cat and dog 'in conversation', with Cat reading and Dog asking more questions, so even though it's a picture book it is more suited to children aged 5+. Children will also enjoy Dog's summing up of the fairy tale on the final pages - and it may encourage them to give their own twist to stories they need to summarise. Picture book / Ages 5+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone

The Cat, the Dog, Little Red, the Exploding Eggs, the Wolf and Grandma's Wardrobe
Dylan's Amazing Dinosaurs - The Stegosaurus
E. T. Harper

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471119361

The latest in Dylan's Amazing Dinosaurs adventure features the stegasaurus and, with the clever cardboard stegasaurus model at the back, is bound to have dinosaur-loving children hooked! Dylan's adventures are fact-finding ones and in each story, he opens Grandpa's magic Dinosaur Journal to find out about a different dinosaur, before heading off on a mission back in time to find a real one and discover something about the dinosaur for himself. In this story, his dino-mission is to find out what is a stegasaurus' 'Thagomizer'. He is helped by his toy pterodactyll, Wings, who comes to life for each adventure. There is also plenty of jeopardy in each story that keeps the stories moving quickly and children engaged. Children could be encouraged to think about creating their own fact book about an animal or creature they want to learn more about. 4+. Reviewed by Julie Staples, teacher.

Dylan's Amazing Dinosaurs - The Stegosaurus
Gigantosaurus
Jonny Duddle

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781848771635

Gigantosaurus - now available in paperback - is a mixed genre book as it a story based on the traditional tale of The Boy who cried Wolf and includes factual information about dinosaurs. The story focuses on four young dinosaurs who are warned to be aware of the terrible Gigantosaurus. The four are playing in the forest, away from their parents, and one of them, Bonehead, volunteers to be lookout for the Gigantosaurus. He, however, plays tricks on his three friends by telling them that the monster is coming when it is only a Triceratops, a Dipodocus and a Stegosaurus who are all, slightly ironically, friendly towards the friends. Suddenly Bonehead is caught out, he sees the Gigantosaurus and urgently warns his friends of the danger but they don't believe him as he has repeatedly lied to them and they leave him alone. Bonehead is petrified; the monster makes terrible noises as it approaches. Hearing the noises his friends rush back to save their friend who fortunately has not been eaten and apologises to them for his lies. The story ends with a clever little twist to keep the reader thinking. The layout, language and illustrations in this amusing picturebook will engage young readers in the reading of the story. The illustrations of the young dinosaurs bring the characters to life and their facial expressions are a delight. The adult dinosaurs are also represented quite realistically for children to understand the differences between them. The language is repetitive and at times rhyming which will encourage children to join in the reading. The use of text in different sizes and fonts also adds to the narrative. This is a story that will read allow well and also engage individual readers, particularly boys, to explore the book independently. Reviewed by Fiona Collins, educational consultant

Gigantosaurus
Daisy Saves the Day
Shirley Hughes

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406348996

Daisy Dodds leaves her home in the countryside, her mum and her two little brothers and goes to work as a scullery maid in a big house in London. She tries her very best and works hard for her employers but she misses her family and wishes she could continue her education. When everyone else goes out to celebrate George V coronation Daisy is left at home to mind the house but she wants to celebrate as well. Her choice of items for red, white and blue flags does not go down well, leaving Daisy in disgrace. Daisy, however, is about to face her greatest challenge and it is she who saves the day. This is a lovely picture book capturing an era long gone with charming illustrations of London at the time of George V coronation and the workings of a big London house. The story has a brave and resourceful heroine who is rewarded for her efforts, and how right Daisy is in considering reading books so much more important than housework.. A slightly unbelievable ending but one filled with hope for what Daisy will become. As always a thoroughly wonderful book from Shirley Hughes. Picture book / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by Dorne Fraser, librarian

Daisy Saves the Day
Willy's Stories
Anthony Browne

Walker Books Ltd

ISBN 9781406351613

This new picture book from Anthony Browne arrives on the 30th anniversary of Willy the Wimp. In this 'collection' of stories, which can be used with Year 2 (age 7) upwards, we see Willy walking through a set of doors into a story: 'Every time I walk through these doors something incredible happens. I go on AMAZING adventures. Come with me and I'll show you...' We follow Willy as he enters the pages of well-known stories, from Rapunzel to Peter Pan and The Tinderbox. He joins each story at a significant moment - climbing Rapunzel's tower for the first time or fighting Captain Hook - and the reader has to decide what will happen next. What does he find in Rapunzel's tower? What happens to him after he defeats Captain Hook? Will he decide to climb into the tree to retrieve the tinder box for the witch? for example. It's an incredibly simple and clever way into stories for children, helping them to discover the writer in themselves as these 'story starters' set them off on their own exploration, encouraging them to create their own 'vignettes' in these classic stories. The images emphasis this; in addition to Browne's trademark gorillas are surreal, book-based additions; the pirate ship's timbers are partly made of books; Rapunzel's tower is built from books, and so on. Just as Browne's 'Shape Game' has encouraged the illustrator in us all, Willy's Stories will hopefully prompt children to see themselves as story-tellers and writers. 26 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone

Willy's Stories
Cakes in Space
Philip Reeve

Oxford University Press

ISBN 9780192734563

By the duo who brought us Oliver and the Seawigs comes a surreal story of space travel, robots, alien invaders and killer cakes! Astra and her family are undertaking a journey to planet Nova Mundi that will take 199 years, a journey that they are all meant to sleep through. However, Astra wakes up half way through the journey to discover that the spaceship is off course and that there are hundreds of killer cakes on the loose - and it's all Astra's fault! The troubles notch up as the spaceship is invaded by Poglites - who are after their spoons. Philip Reeve's storytelling skills take the reader effortlessly from one disaster to the next, supported by the gorgeous illustrations throughout from Sarah McIntyre; enough to keep even the most reluctant of readers enraptured. The story will be enjoyed by boys and girls aged seven years plus. You could also encourage children to design their own killer cakes or to build a class collection of 'spoons', labeling the most rare, imagining where they come from and who created them. 224 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone

Cakes in Space