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Blooming Club
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I Love You Beary Much by Sandra Magsamen is a loveable and touchable board book featuring soft, furry bear-like ears on the top edge of the book. As their little hands turn the pages, the young readers are encouraged to dream about what they aspire to be when they grow up. They will love to see the little bear dressed in different costumes on each page; whether it’s a pilot, an explorer, a conductor, a ballerina or a driver of a fire engine, the bear is reminded that it is loved “beary” much.

Having spent much of her life writing poetry, and stories, the author began to write poems weaving her experience as a mother and art therapist in the books she creates to connect the child and the carer or reader.

Other books by Sandra Magsamen >

Created by Max Velthuijs, one of Holland’s most celebrated of children’s authors, along side Dick Bruna, Frog is now celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

In Frog is Frog, Frog is not content to be just a plain green frog; he wants to do the things his friends can do. He tries to fly like Duck, to bake cakes like Pig and to read like Hare. But all his attempts are doomed to failure and Frog is disconsolate, until Hare points out that his friends love him just the way he is. And in any case, he can swim and leap better than any of them.

This is a one of the many Frog books that the author created for young children to have adventures with Frog and his friends and explore the wider world and their feelings. Through his friends’ acceptance, Frog learns to accept himself for who he is; the gentle and simple text together with the beautiful illustrations appeal to young children. Now available in a new picture book format, more will be released in the coming year to celebrate Frog’s quarter century anniversary for this new generation of fans.

Max Velthuijs was born in The Hague in 1923 and died in 2005, aged 81. He won several awards, including the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Medal 2004. He worked as an illustrator of posters, adverts and films after the war and only started working on children's books in the 1980s.

”Frog is an inspired creation – a masterpiece of graphic simplicity.” – Guardian.

Other titles in this series >

In Dixie O'Day: In the Fast Lane, when the All-Day Race is announced, Dixie knows he must win and with Percy at his side, he sets off! But soon his car gets into trouble and their arch-enemy Lou Ella speeds past in her brand-new sports car. Who will win the day?

Find out in the very first adventure from mother and daughter duo, master storyteller Shirley Hughes and the very talented illustrator, Clara Vulliamy. The former’s crisp and lively prose is complemented by the latter’s simple black, white and red fun and charming illustrations which give this little book a nostalgic feel. The adorable characters make a prefect step up to chapter books from picture books for both boys and girls.

The Haunted Library by Edgar Allan Poe Award Winner Dori Lillestad Butler is the first in a new chapter book series for emerging readers. The story follows Kaz, a 9 year old ghost who has not yet acquired all the basic ghost skills. All is fine until the wind separates him from his family and carries him to a town library far away. There he meets Claire, a “solid” *(human) girl who can actually see him! Claire wants to be a detective like her parents. Now she can work with Kaz to find his family while solving some ghostly mysteries along the way.

This ghost story is not scary but fun and entertaining. It has a good story line, wonderful characters and captures the imagination of young readers. They will love the way Clare goes about her investigation and will probably start wondering if ghosts ever go to sleep or have fingerprints! This is just the book to snuggle up and read to young children at Halloween!

*The Edgar Allan Poe Awards (popularly called the Edgars), are named after the famous poet, writer, editor and literary critic best known for his mystery tales. They are presented every spring by the Mystery Writers of America, based in New York City, to honor the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film and theatre published or produced in the previous year.

Other titles in the series >

In Blood of Olympus, the fifth and final book in The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan, though the Greek and Roman crew members of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen - all of them - and they're stronger than ever. The gods, still suffering from multiple personality disorder, are useless. How can a handful of young demigods hope to persevere against Gaea's army of powerful giants? As dangerous as it is to head to Athens, they have no other option. They have sacrificed too much already. And if Gaea wakes, it is game over…

This amazing fantasy will mesmerize its devoted fans of with its captivating story, characters, action, suspense and romance. For the past decade, this author has done more than any other to keep the gods alive, reviving children’s interest in mythology and reading. Written for 9 – 12 years old, the book is in fact for everyone. Just read it!

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Al Capone Does My Shirt a Newbery Honour book by Jennifer Choldenko celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. This incredible original and heartwarming historical fiction is for all ages.

It’s 1935 and twelve-year-old Moose Flanagan and his family have just moved to Alcatraz, where his father has taken on two jobs – guard and electrician. Fitting in in such an unusual place is not easy, especially when there is Natalie, his teenage autistic sister to look after, plus Piper Williams, the warden’s daughter, who loves to get Moose into embarrassing situations. All Moose wants is to stay out of trouble… but can he?

The author has carefully crafted a very atmospheric story, rich in detail about the setting on the famous prison isle, based on her voluntary work at the prison and the complicated emotional states of her well-developed characters. According to her, there are bits and pieces of herself and her family reflected in Moose’s family as they are a family that has lost a child who suffered from a severe form of autism.

Jennifer Choldenko said in the her message to readers in the new anniversary edition that she has come to the conclusion “the emotional lives of boys are as complicated as the emotional lives of girls and not enough books capture the complexity…” and that her mission now is to “work harder to create characters that resonate” with her readers.

Other titles in the series >

Spilt Second by Sophie McKenzie, the award-winning author of Girl, Missing and Close My Eyes is a heartstopping thriller for young adults.

Bound together by the devastating consequences of a terrorist attack on a London market, teenagers Charlotte (Charlie) and Nat appear at first to have much in common. But, as Charlie gets closer to Nat and his family, she begins to wonder if perhaps he knows more about the attack than he has let on. Split Second is an action-packed story that shifts between the perspectives of its two main characters as their courage and their loyalties are tested to the limit.

This book gets anyone, who enjoys action and suspense, hooked from the first page as Nat is frantically searching for his brother Lucas and the bomb in the Canal Street market. In the midst of all this, he catches sight of Charlie arguing with her Mum outside a store promising tattoos and piercings seconds before the bomb blasts.

There are many twists and turns and changes in their lives after the bomb and in their subsequent search for an answer and revenge, all of which keeps readers on the edge of their seats.

Also by Sophie McKenzie >