NEW TITLES

At this age, children will be exploring a wide range of different materials, from picture books to non-fiction and fiction. The following selection includes a wide range of titles that can be shared and enjoyed with children as they develop their own reading skills.

The Wonder
Faye Hanson

Templar Publishing

ISBN 9781783701148

Wonder is a story about a little boy who questions and day dreams. As the reader follows him to school the sepia illustrations reflect a rather sombre tone. The reason for this is that on his journey the boy meets various adults who seem to dislike his daydreaming; the park keeper sighs at him when he treads on the grass, the bus driver grumbles because the boy bumps into another passenger and the lollipop lady snaps at him because he is not paying attention when crossing the road. Things do not get better in school and it is only when the art teacher tells him to use his imagination that, 'his day dreams are set free'. The illustrations then take on a spectrum of vibrate colours and show a fantastic magical world. The boy shows his work to the art teacher who tells him, "What an incredible imagination you have". This is an intriguing story which should unlock many children's imagination and would be a very good book to read to children in order to encourage them to use whatever they imagine within their artwork and indeed their stories. Picture book / Reviewed by Fiona Collins, consultant

The Wonder
How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel
Wendy Meddour

Frances Lincoln Childrens Books

ISBN 9781847804327

Librarians love books about the power of books and reading, and this is one of the best. A modern day retelling, in rhyme, of a traditional tale, first the Milkman, then the Postman, the Baker, her Aunt, then the inevitable Prince try to entice Rapunzel down from the 16th floor of a tower block. When she can't be bothered, they decide to make the effort to climb the stairs to go up for her. Seeing her unhappy and moping, they make her lunch, and when Rapunzel opens the letter the postman was able to deliver there is great excitement as Rapunzel had been offered a new job at the library. This gives the young girl something to live for and galvanises her into action. After fixing the lift, the next morning she: 'Tied up her hair in a very long plait / And pinned it all under a bright purple hat. Rapunzel loved the library and the library borrowers love her. Rapunzel has something to live for, learns lots from the books, and gives an enjoyment of life back in return. It demonstrates the power of books, of libraries, of friends. Rebecca Ashdown has used vibrant colours throughout. The people in the tower block are diverse, even the large amount of dogs who make their appearance. This is a fun book which will be used in library storytimes around the country. Picture book / Ages 3-6 years / Reviewed by Dawn Woods, librarian

How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel
The Midnight Library
Kazuno Kohara

Macmillan Children's Books

ISBN 9780230736092

Kazuno Kohara was born in Japan and now lives in the UK. The Midnight Library is her third book and is made distinctive by her use of linocuts for the illustrations as well as the use of a limited palette of colours. In this picturebook she uses black, orange and blue. The story focuses on a library that only opens at night and is run by a little librarian and her three owl assistants. The story shows what a library is for and how it should be used. At one point a squirrel band starts to play loudly in the reading room and they are told not to play there because it is too noisy but they can play in an activity room. A tearful wolf, who is so upset by the book she is reading, is taken to a storytelling corner. The use of the wolf is reminiscent of the Cultivated Wolf. The reader is informed about library cards, borrowing books and storytelling in the library. This is a gentle book which can be used as a focus for how a school or public library should be used. From reception to Year 2 this could be read to encourage children to discuss reading and borrowing library books. Picture book / Reviewed by Fiona Collins, consultant.

The Midnight Library
Seriously Silly: Scary Fairy Tales: Cinderella at the Vampire Ball
Laurence Anholt

Orchard Books

ISBN 9781408329535

One of six titles in the series of seriously silly, hilarious twists on favourite fairy tales this story recounts Cinderella going to the ball and escaping at Midnight. The twist is that Cinderella is not the timid shy girl chosen by the prince to be his bride, but a feisty heroine, unafraid of zombies, bats and vampires, out to have fun at an evening dance. The only thing Cinderella is afraid of is of getting married, so on the stroke of midnight she makes her escape. The loss of a shoe is still in the story, although it is still attached to its leg, and this time an ugly sister wins the hand of the Prince. For newly confident readers, this book will be familiar enough for them to read and follow the story, yet surprising enough to discover something new. There is lots of word play and the jokes can only be described as silly, but for the intended age range it's ideal. The detail in the line drawings of Robins allows the child to linger over the story and discover more jokes. It's Ella's Father who looks scared when they first visit their new family while Ella continues eating undisturbed. Once read, children will want to read the others in the series, thus practicing their new skills and enjoying the entertainment. 48 pages / Age 6-9 years / Reviewed by Dawn Woods, librarian

Seriously Silly: Scary Fairy Tales: Cinderella at the Vampire Ball
Princess Evie: The Unicorn Riding Camp
Sarah KilBride

Simon & Schuster Childrens Books

ISBN 9781471121784

As readers start to develop confidence in reading, they will be looking for stories that are not challenging but will give them the practice they need to build their stamina as readers, develop their vocabulary and their understanding of texts. This is where series like 'Rainbow Magic' or these new Princess Evie books come in. Some children will already be familiar with Princess Evie and her magical ponies from her very popular picture books; so it's nice to be able to bring them a character they recognise but in a longer, more challenging format. That said, these books are designed with short chapters, illustrations and clearly laid-out text to support beginner readers. There are two adventures so far in Princess Evie's young fiction, including this title and Princess Evie and the Forest Fairy Pony. There are also some 'Pony facts and activities' at the end to entice the pony-lovers among your young readers. 105 pages / Ages 6+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone

Princess Evie: The Unicorn Riding Camp
Leif Frond and the Viking Games
Joan Lennon

Featherstone

ISBN 9781472904621

With the How to Train Your Dragon films and books giving Vikings a new lease of life, it's good to see this new series from A&C Black, written by Joan Lennon; the first two books available are Leif Frond and the Viking Games and Leif Frond and Quickfingers. Ten-year-old Leif Frond is a young and rather puny Viking who has great ambitions to be a champion - but many obstacles to overcome before he can get there, although he does have cunning and persistence on his side. The stories have bags of humour as well as enough intrigue to keep young readers guessing and turning the pages. The stories are ideal for readers aged seven plus, with well laid out text, short chapters and a smattering of illustrations.

Leif Frond and the Viking Games
Children's Activity Atlas
Jenny Slater

QED Publishing

ISBN 9781781716793

The Children's Activity Atlas is a useful introduction for children into atlases and how to use them. The first spread explains that an atlas is a 'book of maps' and explains how to use this particular one. This atlas divides the world into 13 different regions so most of the large land masses are grouped together - North America, South America, Northern Africa, Southern Africa, Northern and Southern Europe, Russia and Eurasia etc are shown on distinct pages, with capital cities marked as well as places of interest such as statues and temples. There is a 'fact file' on each page and that region's flags - with stickers available to mark on the maps. The Index has the major towns, regions and countries marked with an easy-to-use locator. It's a useful book to have available when you're studying a new country, as well as for display purposes. Children will also enjoy browsing it on their own as they begin to get a sense of how our world looks. We also like the idea of the 'passport' included in the book - when a child has 'visited' each continent and completed a quiz for that continent, they can have a 'visa' sticker for their passport. 30 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by ReadingZone

Children's Activity Atlas
SuperHuman Encyclopedia
DK

DK Children

ISBN 9781409356981

This is an inviting reference tool for children aged 7 upwards and a refreshing text to encourage us to turn pages rather than manoeuvre a mouse/keyboard. The book is organised into eight main sections which explain/explore our bodies. Children will find appeal in the colourful illustrations, photos and diagrams which clearly support the text. Facts will intrigue all throughout with the factfiles which provide detailed information. This is easy to locate and to read. Statistics add further information. A glossary is included to define the unfamiliar vocabulary which has been included to fully inform. In all, a very comprehensive reference tool with something for all. 208 pages / Ages 7+ / Reviewed by Tracy Hart

SuperHuman Encyclopedia