Monday, 27 April 2015

ReadItDaddy's Chapter Book and Early Readers Roundup - April 2015

"The Twits" by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Puffin Books)
As April slides away from us, we're rounding up another month of brilliant chapter and early reader books for your delectation. Starting things off with a right pair of twits. Yep, Roald Dahl's "The Twits" to be precise, with crazy and chaotic illustrations from Quentin Blake.

Mr Twit is a horrid horrid man with absolutely no redeeming features whatsoever. He smells, he picks his nose, he has the most disgusting personal hygiene and as for his diet - let's just say that you wouldn't want to be invited to dinner at Twit Towers.

Mrs Twit, on the other hand, wait, Mrs Twit is possibly even worse and the two seem to constantly bicker and fight, and play mean tricks on each other. Will they ever get their comeuppance? A family of performing monkeys cruelly imprisoned by the Twits - and a flock of clever birds might just settle their hash!

We loved the craziness of this - again this is a book I read as a kid and couldn't wait to pass on to Charlotte (who snorted with laughter at some of the tricks Mr and Mrs Twit play on each other!)

"The Twits" by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake is available now from Puffin.

Next we're quite close to home with the setting for a brilliant new fantasy story...

"Archie Green and the Magician's Secret" by D.D. Everest (Faber and Faber)
Take a smidge of Harry Potter, a pinch of C.S. Lewis and a tiny dash of Tolkien and you're soon wrapped up on the fantasy world of Archie Green. In "Archie Green and the Magician's Secret", young plucky hero Archie receives a mysterious book on his birthday. The book also comes with a message - Archie must travel to Oxford to visit the Museum of Magical Miscellany, to discover more about the world of the Flame Keepers - and also to delve into his own past.

Archie's quest is not as straightforward as it seems, as the book holds powerful secrets of its own and is soon drawn to the attention of nefarious dark spirits who would steal the book and use its power for their own ends.

D.D. Everest has built a fantastic alternate reality around my home city (as so many authors do) but with tons of originality and a crew of heroes joining Archie on his quest, younger readers will soon be drawn into this one and completely hooked.

"Archie Green and the Magician's Secret" by D.D. Everest is out now from Faber and Faber.

Something more light hearted next, perhaps?

"Chicken Mission - The Curse of Fogsham Farm" by Jennifer Gray (Faber and Faber)

Jennifer Gray's madcap series with darkly comic overtones is back with the sequel to "Chicken Mission - Danger in the Deep Dark Woods". This time vampires are afoot in "Chicken Mission - The Curse of Fogsham Farm" as our pluck-pluck-plucky heroes Professor Rooster, Amy, Boo and Ruth take on the evil Stella Von Fangula and Thaddeus E Fox to thwart their nefarious plans to turn everyone into chicken-eating vampires! EEKS!

Red House Children's Book Award Winner Jennifer has injected a ton of humour into this madcap caper. Keep your crosses and garlic at the ready though! (Mmm, Garlic Chicken anyone?)

"Chicken Mission - The Curse of Fogsham Farm" by Jennifer Gray is available now from Faber and Faber.

Room for a couple more? But of course...!

"True Face - Be Real, Be Fearless, Be You" by Siobhan Curham (Faber and Faber)

Here's a book with a core message we can really get behind on this blog. Though it's a bit 'old' for Charlotte (the book is aimed at girls aged 13+), "True Face" by Siobhan Curham is a positive guide to shrugging off peer pressure and the negative impact of succumbing to "The Perfection Police". Siobhan's book features chapters on body image, the impact of social media, bullying, love and sex with a realistic approach that doesn't talk down to its core audience. "True Face" encourages girls to be themselves, shrug off the idea of trying to follow dubious role models, and follow a new mantra "Forget the Fake - Keep it Real!"

"True Face" by Siobhan Curham is available now from Faber and Faber.

One more, go on then...

"Prankenstein vs Yankenstein" by Andy Seed, illustrated by Richard Morgan (Fat Fox Books)
Soapy Thompson is back, and this time he's not alone! Blue Peter Award Winning author Andy Seed's fantastic hero is back in "Prankenstein vs Yankenstein". Soapy's American cousin Topazz comes to stay, and that's just the beginning of a summer of trouble for Soapy.

When Soapy finds himself handcuffed to a toilet seat one morning, he decides to wreak terrible revenge on his miscreant cousin by reviving his monstrous alter-ego - Prankenstein. Things go even more awry for Soapy once he realises that he's no longer the only monster on the block. Who is the mysterious shambling figure stalking the countryside, pushing the entire country towards all-out war?

Knockabout humour, chaotic craziness and a good dose of lightning are in order for Andy Seed's fantastic sequel. Check it out and see why Andy is winning a huge army of fans (both dead and undead!)

"Prankenstein vs Yankenstein" is out now from Fat Fox Books.

Phew, we're jiggered! Tune in next month for even more chapter book and early chapter reader goodness!