Tuesday, 21 October 2014

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book Roundup - October 2014

Welcome to another edition of our occasional roundup of Early Reader and Chapter Books. We've got some corkers lined up for you so without further ado, let's dive in with some of Charlotte's favourite current reads.

First up, the return of an old favourite!

Bob and Barry's Lunar Adventures - Curse of the Werefleas by Simon Bartram (Templar Publishing)
Bob - the infamous Man in the moon, and his (not an alien, honestly) dog Barry are back in another cracking chapter version of the brilliant "Bob" books. This time, Bob isn't quite feeling himself. He has an odd craving for meat, a rather problematic issue with wind (and we're not talking about the sort that you can fly kites in - although you could try!), and unsightly hair sprouting all over his face and head (not to mention fangs). What could possibly be the cause of Bob's radical change? Could it have something to do with certain tiny microscopic visitors Barry has brought home to stay?

It's another fantastic addition to Simon's chapter book range, with some awesome black and white illustrations depicting Bob's terrible plight (but we've a feeling he's going to be back, don't you worry!)

So what's next in our book bag?

Middle School - Save Rafe by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts (Arrow Publishing)
For all those of you who are absolutely nutty about "The Wimpy Kid" here's another hero cut from the same slightly shaky cloth. In "Middle School - Save Rafe!" our titular hero is back, facing being kept back a year at school if he can't fave up to a rather unusual challenge. Can Rafe survive the rugged outdoors and complete an outward bound course? Hilarious rib-ticklingly funny situations abound with ace illustrations from Chris Tebbetts. Give this a shot if you're all wimped out!

Now a quartet of amazing autumn books from one of our favourite new publishers...

Arthur and Me by Sarah Todd Taylor and Peter Stevenson (Dragonfly Press)
We've been enjoying the Firefly and Dragonfly range of books from the awesome new Welsh publishers, who are fully supporting the Welsh Government's new junior literacy initiatives. We've been taking a look at the autumn roundup and there's truly something for everyone.

First up, we've really been into exploring Arthurian Legend lately - so this book arrived with perfect timing. Imagine (if you can) what would happen if an ordinary everyday schoolboy managed to resurrect the legendary king and warrior - and found that Arthur, King of the Britons, wasn't quite as legendary as expected.

Tomos tries his best to educate the ancient briton in modern ways, but with a school bully to face up to, and Arthur falling foul of sneering teachers and mocking knights, it's a fantastic time-travelling fish-out-of-water adventure for younger readers (and we LOVE it!)

Mr Mahli's Shed (and a Ghost named Dylan) by Laura Sheldon and Huw Aaron (Dragonfly Press)
Magic, mystery and a spot of shed-sitting are on the menu for our next book from the Dragonfly autumn lineup. Young Tomos and Alys offer to look after Mr Mahli's garden and don't realise that his shed holds spooky secrets that soon embroil them in a decidedly odd adventure. It's full of humour and more than a few unexpected twists. Come on down to the shed, it's storytime!

More? You want more? Oh you lot, we can never say no to you...!

Dottie Blanket and the Hilltop by Wendy Meddour and Mina May (Dragonfly Press)
Meet Dottie Blanket, a girl who has a magical opportunity to make one wish. When life takes a slightly worrying turn after Mr Blanket (her Dad) loses his job, Dottie closes her eyes and makes a wish. "I wish I lived on a bright green hilltop" she says, and before she can blink twice, Dottie is whisked away - and finds herself exactly where she wished to be!

It's a slightly surreal and decidedly odd little book this, but hilariously funny and we particularly loved Mina May's illustrations. She's only 13 and obviously has a bright illustrative career ahead of her, as her drawings are AWESOME!

Oh go on then, one more before bedtime...

Pete and the Five a Side Vampires by Malachy Doyle and Hannah Doyle (Dragonfly Press)
With perfect timing just in time for Halloween, here's a spooky story of a young boy named Pete - and his brilliant companion Blob (who just happens to be a Basset Hound). While out walking one evening, Pete and Blob spy strange goings-on in their local park. Strange flapping creatures emerge from the darkness, hell-bent on sucking his blood!

That's the least of Pete's troubles as there are more spooky creatures lurking. Werewolves, Hell Hounds and Bwcas (I had to do a quick google to find out what a Bwca is - and I wish I hadn't!) How on earth can Pete defeat such evil foes? Or are they just out for a night of partying at the local fancy dress evening?

For more fun from Firefly / Dragonfly, visit their website at http://www.fireflypress.co.uk/dragonfly

Hope you've enjoyed our Chapter Book roundup for October. Join us again next month when we take a look at another brilliant selection!