Heading into Half Term…!

Every year, January seems to take its time to pass but February hurtles by and before you know it, the half-term holiday is here to greet us. Where has the time gone, etc etc…

This week, legendary children’s authors and illustrators, John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury, were given Booktrust’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the first time a double award has been given by the organisation. Despite being married, the couple have only collaborated once, instead producing many classic titles in their own rights; Burningham is responsible for Courtney, Avocado Baby, Granpa, Oi! Get Off Our Train among others, while Helen Oxenbury has illustrated many titles including So Much, Farmer Duck and of course Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt . These books are loved by all generations, so it’s wonderful to see the pair recognised for their contribution to children’s books. We have lots of these to lend to schools so if you’d like to borrow some, get in touch!

Below are this week’s Friday Reads; as always, you can find our archive of titles just here.

Apryl: Dog in Boots by Paula Metcalf

Philip the dog is besotted with his new neighbour, Penelope, but there’s a problem: she’s very tall while he on the other hand, is quite short.

After talking through his concerns with his pal Ralph, Philip decides there is only one thing to do: make himself taller. But how can a pup whose ears brush the floor when he walks possibly do that?

With Ralph’s help, Philip hatches a plan to woo Penelope, but- as you’d expect- it’s not plain sailing…

This is a lovely, light-hearted read from Paula Metcalf, with lift-the-flaps which add another fun element to the story.

(Oxford UP, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9780192758842, find it at a Norfolk Library)

Harriet: Henry and the Yeti by Russell Ayto

Ayto’s style has become very sparse with clean lines and blocks of colour.

This is an entertaining story about a young boy who determinedly sets out to prove yetis exist, in the face of scepticism his peers and teacher.

The text is as minimal as the illustrations, and it’s all very good fun.


(Bloomsbury, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781408876619)

Zoë: The Ship of Spectres by Patricia Elliott

I enjoyed this second Connie Carew mystery very much. It was an effortless read with plenty of action and intrigue plus an eclectic mix of characters.

Continuing her development as an anthropologist by studying passengers on board the Princess May – a luxury steamship on its maiden voyage to New York – Connie is on board with Ida, her cousin, as her chaperone no less, despite her tender age, and Arthur, Ida’s fiancé.

Not long after the ship’s departure from port, a series of mystifying incidents occur to some of the passengers. Is one of the passengers trying to kill another? Connie, along with her new friends, Elmer and Bobby, search the ship for clues. Can they ascertain the motive in time?

(Hodder, £7.99 paperback, ISBN 9781444924718, find it at a Norfolk Library)


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