Wednesday, 31 October 2018

A Halloween Round-up of spooky and tempting treats from Penguin / Puffin

We do love a spooky read or three at Halloween, and Penguin have a dazzlingly brilliant selection of books to tempt kids this year, truly something for everyone and all ages.

We'll kick off with "First Prize for The Worst Witch" by Jill Murphy.

Released back in September, this is the latest outing for Mildred Hubble, the titular magical mighty girl who never seems far away from chaos and cauldrons.

Even though she's the worst witch at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, her heart is always in the right place and she's the best friend anyone could ever wish for.

The story begins as summer term has started at Miss Cackle's Academy. Astonishingly, Mildred has made it through to Year 4 without being kicked out - and this year she has her eyes firmly on a very particular goal. 

As crazy as it sounds, Mildred Hubble wants to be Head Girl - the school's very highest honour.

Can Mildred possibly keep trouble at arm's length long enough to prove her worth? She's absolutely determined, but then Ethel Hallow - her arch enemy - is equally determined to scupper her plans. 

Completely immersive and imaginative, "First Prize for The Worst Witch" by Jill Murphy is out now, published by Puffin Books. 

Something for younger readers now, and a book that we've loved so much we've actually completely worn our copy out - it's literally hanging by threads so it's rather good that it's being re-released as a paperback. 

It's 46 (WHAAAT?) years since "Meg and Mog" by the late great Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski was first released. 

I remember the books vividly as a child, and they were always firm favourites - with our school library copies being similarly well loved by just about every one. 

Revisiting the first book again has been an absolute treat, the story of Meg the Witch, her fuzzy and fusspot cat Mog, and their friend Owl is utterly timeless and perfect for reading to little ones on Halloween Night. 

It's no surprise to learn that the book went on to spawn an entire series of massively successful titles, with stark and simple illustrations perfectly underpinning the fabulously atmospheric and spooky stories. 

You can read our original reviews of many Meg and Mog books on our blog here

"Meg and Mog" by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski is out now, published by Picture Puffin. 

Finally, a set of books that have somehow eluded us on the blog up till now - but we've been given a great introduction to these fabulously dark stories with the very latest title in the series.

"Death in the Spotlight" is the latest book in Robin Stevens' captivating "Murder Most Unladylike" series, combining darkly delicious murder mysteries with silky-smooth humour, mystery and suspense. 

Fresh from their adventures in Hong Kong, Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are off to the Rue Theatre in London to face an entirely new challenge: acting. 

But the Detective Society is never far away from danger, and it's clear there's trouble afoot at the Rue.

Jealousy, threats and horrible pranks quickly spiral out of control - and then a body is found.

Now Hazel and Daisy must take centre stage and solve the crime before the murderer strikes again.

Hazel and Daisy are the sort of heroines that C absolutely adores. Quick witted, brave, daring and absolutely determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, this has been a brilliant introduction to the series for her - and now she's equally determined to work her way through the rest of the books. 

Absolutely fantastic stuff, particularly the theatrical setting which slotted right in with C's renewed interest in drama and acting, with exquisite timing. 

"Death in the Spotlight" by Robin Stevens is out now, published by Puffin Books. 

(All books kindly supplied for review).