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Blooming Club
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To show children that books are great fun, parents have to start sharing them early in a child's life. The Very Hungry Caterpillar's Pop Up Playmat is a bright, fun fold-out book with exciting touch-and-feel texture for the very young to explore Eric Carle's wonderful world of colour and discovery. It is an ideal interactive book for sharing at tummy time as the child can read the book at eye level when on its tummy. Soon your child will be ready for the original The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other books by this author!

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A cat's life isn't always easy. One day you're king of the house and then everything changes. This is exactly what happens to King Cat in Marta Altés' new book The King Cat; he has to deal with a newcomer, a dog who is dribbly and disgusting!

Obviously, King Cat has to learn to get along with the dog; as children do when they have to welcome a new member to their families. This is a fantastically funny story to share with children on friendship, compromise and adjustment to change.

About the Author - Marta Altés

Tomie loves drawing. He draws whenever and wherever he can. He wants to become an artist in the future and he can't wait to meet his art teacher when he gets to first grade. But to his big surprise he is told by his first grade teacher that he is not to use his sixty-four Crayola crayons, only the eight school crayons, and then by his art teacher that he can only copy her picture. Knowing real artists don't copy, he refuses to budge. After some discussions, they come up with a solution that makes it possible for the artist in Tomie to shine.

Tomie DePaola's autobiographical picture book has just celebrated its 25th anniversary. His story of how he practised hard to become a writer-illustrator has been an inspiration for hundred thousands of children! Read this book to your child and bring out the creativity in him/her. 

The original Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll celebrates its 150th publication anniversary this year! It was first published by Macmillan & Co. Ltd in 1865 yet it remains an iconic story, with Sir John Tenniel's remarkable illustrations which perfectly capture the ordinary and extraordinary in the heart of Wonderland.

The shorter edition of Alice's adventures down the rabbit-hole in Wonderland, where she meets an array of curious characters, including the Mad Hatter, the Mock Turtle and the grinning Cheshire-Cat, was first published in 1927 to bring it to younger readers. Share the special children's anniversary edition with your child to savour the timelessness of this classic – get down to the rabbit hole together!

Related Activity: Story Time: Alice in Wonderland – Down the Rabbit Hole

Also by Lewis Carroll >

The Cat Who Came In off the Off by Annie M. G. Schmidt, the queen of Dutch children's literature, was first published in Dutch in 1970 and has just been brought to English readers by ‘Pushkin Children's' publishers with David Colmer's translation. It is an enchanting story about cats, dogs, humans and learning to dare which delights children and the young at heart! 

Tibble is a reporter. He only ever writes about cats, and he is about to be fired. Miss Minou is a young woman who has entered Tibble's apartment through the attic window and sleeps in a box, she hates dogs, likes rooftops, loves the fishmonger; and happens to have been, until recently, a cat. 

With her feline friends listening out for all the local human news, is Minou the answer to all Tibble's problems – or just the beginning of them?

This well told, whimsical story is such a treasure that we can't help wondering why it has taken 44 years for readers outside of Holland to know about this. Curl up with it, read it with your child or by yourself, whatever you like; it will be such a pleasure. 

In this WW2 story, bombs are falling on London, 14 year old Jeremy, his sister 12 year old Cecily and their mother have to leave London for Heron Hall in the north to stay with their uncle whose polio has kept him from enlisting in the army. They take on May Bright, an evacuee, to stay with them. Cecily and May find two strange boys dressed in prim velvet clothes in a nearby ruined castle, there beginning their extraordinary adventure where the past history intertwines with the present.

The Children of the King is by internationally acclaimed Sonya Hartnett. She captures the atmosphere of the war, how it changes the outlook on life in her characters, how one's existence is stripped down to nothing but chance in air raids, how powerless people felt they were. The coming of age of Jeremy, who leaves the safety of Heron Hall for London because standing by and do nothing is "not noble", is written with gripping intensity. Readers will find themselves caring for the three children and feeling happy to witness their growth. With her flowing prose, the author has crafted a beautiful story that will stay with readers for a long time.

Due to the global dominance of English, French children's books are very rarely translated into English. The Oksa Pollock mania that started in France in 2007 has spread to Europe and the rest of the world, and the first book in English translation finally came out just a year ago, with The Heart of Two Worlds, the third installment just being released. If you have not discovered this series yet, it is time to join its 13 year old heroine's adventures.

Oksa doesn't know she has amazing magical power until she is told by her grandmother. Strange things start to happen to her one day soon after her family has started their new life in London. Her hands set on fire and she flies. The truth is revealed. Her family in fact fled from another world called Edefia years ago and they are trying to get back but the only person who has the magical power to do that is Oska. And so her unimaginable adventures begin.

This new series by Anne Plichota and Cendrine, two librarians in France, was initially self-published, after gaining a following through word of mouth and its website. Now it has sold over half a million copies in French and has been translated to many languages. This fast paced fantasy series is full of action, magic, mystery, unexpected twists and colourful characters such as Pavel, Oksa's shapeshifting father; her best friend Gus and Tugdual, the two rivals for her heart; and her formidable grandmother, Dragomina. The thrilling adventures of Oksa Pollock will get readers hooked. 

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