The River and the Book by Alison Croggon
In our village we had two treasures: the River, which was our road and our god; and the Book, which was our history, our oracle and our soul. Simbala is a Keeper of the Book, the latest in a long line of women who can read the Book to find answers to the villagers’ questions. As developers begin to poison the river on which the villagers rely, the Book predicts change. But this does not come in the form that they expect; it is the sympathetic Westerner who comes to the village who inflicts the greatest damage of all.
Timmy Failure: Sanitized for your Protection by Stephan Pastis
Everyone’s favourite kid detective is back in award-winning author Stephan Pastis’s fourth book in the Timmy Failure series, perfect for fans of Wimpy Kid and Barry Loser. Shenanigans abound as Timmy Failure finds himself on a road trip with none other than notorious criminal Molly Moskins. Travelling halfway across the country to help your mother’s boyfriend settle into his new job would be inconvenient for any detective, let alone the founder, president and CEO of Total Failure Inc, the world’s greatest detective agency. Timmy has a case to solve, and nothing can stand in his way. If he is to arrest Corrina Corrina and solve the YIP YAP case, Timmy, his sidekick polar bear Total, and Molly Moskins must go on the run!
The Iliad by Gillian Cross and Neil Packer
The team behind The Odyssey now tell the story of the Trojan War. Cross’s vivid adaptation begins with a beauty contest: the prize, a golden apple. In return for securing her victory, the goddess Aphrodite helps Prince Paris abduct Helen, wife to the king of Sparta. Enraged, the king and his Greek allies wage war on the Trojans. Nine years later, the fighting still rages on, but the Greeks are beginning to quarrel among themselves – Achilles and Agamemnon’s petty argument has dire consequences for everyone caught in the crossfire. Neil Packer’s pictures capture the beauty and remoteness of the setting, and bring a profound humanity to one of the finest literary achievements of Greek civilisation.
Counting Lions by Katie Cotton and Stephen Walton
Larger-than-life black and white drawings are paired with poetic texts that reveal the ways in which endangered creatures – including lions, elephants, giraffes, tigers, gorillas, penguins, Ethiopian wolves, macaws, turtles and zebras – live on Earth. Artworks by wildlife artist Stephen Walton are rendered in charcoal and give little ones the chance to get up close and personal with nature’s wildest creatures. Virginia McKenna – actress and wildlife campaigner – has written a foreword which urges us to look at the beauty of these animals and do all we can to save them.
My Dead Bunny by Sigi Cohen and James Foley
“My dead bunny’s name is Brad; his odour is extremely bad. He visits me when I’m in bed, but Bradley wasn’t always dead …” A hilarious rhyming tale about a zombie bunny who comes back to visit his owner.
National Theatre: All About Theatre
The book is packed with interviews with famous directors and actors, like Lenny Henry, Meera Syal, Julie Walters and Ben Whishaw, and productions like The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and One Man, Two Guvnors. Hear from experts at the world-famous National Theatre about every aspect of stagecraft, including prop-making, set building and lighting design, and discover, from first idea to final curtain, how plays are made.
Santa’s Reindeer by Tom Duxbury, Matilda Tristram and Nick Sharratt
It’s Christmas Eve and Santa and Reindeer are about to deliver the presents. But then Reindeer loses his nose! Polar Bear, Seal and Penguin haven’t seen it. Can Reindeer find his missing nose before it’s too late?