Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars Final Winner 2016/17 - Roderick Gordon - Summerhouse Land - Book Cover by Stanley Donwood #bookcoverwars

Mr Ripley's book cover wars final 2016/17 has now come to a final end. After four cracking heats, we now have another fantastic winner.......

As usual, I would like to thank all the people who have supported the
 book cover wars. I hope that you too have had as much fun as I have. 


Altogether 1,150 votes were cast over five weeks. Thank you all once again.


Without further ado,  I'd like to award the title of 'Mr Ripley's Book Cover Wars - Book Cover of the year 2016/17' to . . . . . . .  
 

Roderick Gordon - Summerhouse Land - Book Cover by Stanley Donwood - Published by Mathew & Son Limited -  (20 Jun. 2016) 

This book cover will be placed in the Ripley's Hall of Fame where it will accompany the following past winners:


2009/10 - Jon Mayhew 'Mortlock' 
2010/11 - Darren Shan 'Birth of a Killer' illustrated by David Wyatt
2011/12 - Curtis Jobling ''Werewolf: Shadow of the Hawk' illustrated by Andrew Farley
2012/13 - Thomas Taylor - 'Haunters' illustrated by Steve Wells 
2013/14 - Niel Bushnell - 'Timesmith' - illustrated by James Fraser 
2014/15  - M. G. Harris/Gerry Anderson's - 'Gemini Force One' Black Horizon by Blacksheep. 
2015/16 -  M. G. Leonard - 'Beetle Boy' - illustrated by Julia Sarda 




Monday, 19 December 2016

MR RIPLEY'S BOOK COVER WARS FINAL 2016/17 - EMILY BARR BOOK COMPETITION

Here we go again....
Over the last four weeks, different authors and illustrators and publishers have battled for their book covers to be voted into the grand final. As a result, we now have five worthy winners who have the chance to be crowned with the title 'Mr Ripley's Enchanted book cover of the year'. So without any further waiting, let the final battle of Book Cover Wars commence . . . . 

A very big thanks to you the authors and illustrators who have got behind their book covers. 

As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your final favourite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win, A PROOF copy of Emily Barr - The One Memory of Flora Banks. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favourite book cover using the poll at the bottom of the page. 
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll 
  • Spread the word on social media Twitter/Facebook #BOOKCOVERWARS 
  • Sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). 
  • This poll will end midnight 27th December 2016 
So here are the five book covers to vote for:
Book One: Lucy Strange - The Secret of Nightingale Wood - Book Cover by - Helen Crawford-White - Published by Chicken House Ltd, Oct. 2016. 
Book Two: Alexander Gordon Smith - Book Cover by Andrew Arnold - The Devils's Engine: Hellfighters Bk2 - Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (November 1, 2016)


Book Three: Rob Lloyd Jones - Book Cover by Petur Antonsson - Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake - Published by Walker Books (5. Jan 2017) 
Book Four:  Cameron McAllister - Book Cover artwork by Jeff Nentrup - The Demon Undertaker - Published by Corgi Children's (1 Sept. 2016) 
Book Five: Roderick Gordon - Summerhouse Land - Book Cover by Stanley Donwood - Published by Mathew & Son Limited -  (20 Jun. 2016) 




Happy Voting All!

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Mark Powers (Author), Tim Wesson (Illustrator) - Spy Toys - Book Review


The world's leading toy manufacturer makes playthings for the rich and famous, and every toy they create contains a tiny computerised brain and a unique personality. These toys are seriously awesome! But every so often there's a faulty toy ... 
Dan is a Snugaliffic Cuddlestar bear - he should be perfect for hugging. But because of a faulty chip, Dan is so strong he could crush a car! Thrown on to the rejects pile, he meets Arabella, a Loadsasmiles Sunshine Doll, who has a very short temper and is absolutely NOT good with children. Soon Dan, Arabella and Flax (a custom-made police robot rabbit gone AWOL) are recruited by the mysterious Auntie Roz, and together they make up THE SPY TOYS. 
Their first mission: to protect the prime minister's son from being kidnapped ...!
Another sparkling book to hit the shops this coming January (2017), is Mark Power's illustrated adventure "Spy Toys". It's a sparkling and glitzy affair; Tim Wesson's illustrated genius has produced the great book cover as well as the fantastically dreamt up illustrations inside. This is the first crazy story, as part of this new series, that keeps on hugging; it's a cross between "Toy Story" and a malfunctioning Rambo toy. This is another crazy caper make no mistake, but it is just how we like it! 

In this book, we enter the world of toy making in a bizarre and twisted world of Snaztacular Ultrafun, the world's biggest toy manufacturer. However, this is not just any toy manufacturer as every toy contains a tiny computerised brain that gives toys a realistic personality, so what could go possibly go wrong? Dan, a Snugliffic Cuddlestar bear, that's what could possibly go wrong as he has a faulty chip and is thrown on the reject pile. Once there, he is invited, along with a Loadsasmiles Sunshine doll and a robot rabbit named Flax, to join the ‘Spy Toys’. 


Their first mission is an action packed ride with fantasy spills around every turned page. The story will bring sunshine and joy to every reader (although perhaps not from Arabella the sunshine doll) with laughter and humour for the middle-grade audience and beyond. Once a dreamer and now a writer, this author has produced one of my favourite books to be published next year. The characters are loaded with an idiotic and quirky charm that will leave you smiling all day. 


I loved the scene in the book with the McBiff Triplets as it is outrageous, cinematic and fantastic to read. This is a great book which is easy to read - even with an almighty 200 or so pages. It will hold everybody's attention in a vice-like fantasy bubble, even the reluctant readers will not be able to put it down. You will run through this plot with the same excitement and adventure of an overactive toy rampage, but with a unique twist that just keeps on giving like Santa on Christmas day.  



Does your child like playing with apps as well as reading? If so, then check out the new free Spy Toys game app and help Dan to avoid the toy factory rejects pile in this free fun app game: bit.ly/SpyToysApp
Make sure you check the website: Spy Toys for other fun stuff as well. 

Play time is over get reading.... 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Barry Hutchison (Author) Katie Abey (Illustrator) - Worst Ever School Trip (Beaky Malone Bk2)


It’s been 92 hours since Beaky last told a lie. So far he’s survived two full days of school with only three light beatings, two telling-offs and one wedgie ... but the annual school trip is going to take Beaky’s survival skills to a whole other level – especially as a mix up in the school office means that Beaky and his class are on a trip to Learning Land, an educational theme park aimed at eight-year-olds. And home to cheery-but-creepy Clumso the Clued-up Clown whose job is to dish out fascinating facts to one and all. 


But there is worse to come when Beaky’s partnered with Wayne, a.k.a the school bully, who has a morbid fear of clowns. With Beaky unable to tell a lie and Wayne intent on beating him up, things aren’t looking good. And that’s before they find themselves on the run from a manic clown who’ll seemingly stop at nothing to track them down…

Lock all of your doors and run for cover as "Beaky Malone" is back in January 2017. When this book landed on my doormat, I had a sudden uncontrollable itch to hide it. I'm not sure why, but where could I hide this book? (Natural thought coming through) AND it suddenly came to me . . . . . the moon, that's a far enough away place, right?  

It is all well and good having a great idea at 7am in your underpants, but the first thing is, where do you get a rocket from? I can hear you all scream that NASA has one, but the second thought was, why was I feeling like this? WHY?

I sat down with a cup of tea, just to calm my nerves, but also to marvel at the brilliant book cover produced by Katie Abey.  When all of a sudden, I let rip a RIPLEY mighty fart that shook all of the houses in the street (I don't mind telling you). By fart power alone, the pages turned and I started reading THE BOOK which was a VERY big BIG mistake indeed, as I'm now mentally scarred and it's all Barry Hutchison's fault for bringing Beaky Malone into the reading world. 

Kids - you are going to love this book. Adults - you going to shake uncontrollably as your sense of humour is tested to the limit. Teachers - you are going to scream, run and then hide (this is a natural instinct when you come up against a character like Beaky Malone). Be also aware when you read this book, that you are going to see clowns everywhere; they are going to haunt your nightmares, so be prepared. Clumso the Clued-up Clown will leave you feeling very disturbed indeed. 

This story follows directly from the first book (World's Greatest Liar) in the series. In that book, Beaky is the star of the show. He is a fantastically written character, who is an outrageous liar. As a result, he was shoved into a "truth-telling machine" at Madame Shirley's Marvelous Emporium of Peculiarities. When he emerged, Beaky couldn't tell even the slightest little fib. In fact, he then feels compelled to utter every truth and honest thought that enters his head. This concept carries on throughout the book to great effect and will leave you running for random madness, factual or not. 

The narrative is clever, witty and infectiously funny for all ages. At times it's edgy, and Beaky Malone's real life observations are right on the mark, giving this book a big thump of reality amongst the slap stick caper inside the pages. Katie adds to this with her brilliant illustrations making this book a recommended read for everyone.  Explosively funny, upbeat, uplifting and delightfully imaginative - what more can a reader ask for? Another book, perhaps?! NO!!!

This is a great way to start the new year.... published by Stripes Publishing on the 12th January 2017. 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: The Great Shelby Holmes: Girl Detective by Elizabeth Eulberg & Illustrated by Matt Robertson - Book Review

Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen–always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.
When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that’ll take both of their talents to crack.

2016 has seen a large number of mystery/detective books being published for children around the world. This is a new series to look out for which is set to be published in the UK in Jan 2017 by Bloomsbury, it can already be purchased in the US. It is a BRILLIANT book which will add a very welcome voice, to this every growing genre. This is the first title in the series and features some amazing illustrations produced by the wonderful Matt (green fingered) Robertson. 

The book cover is brilliant; it captures the story inside very well through the bright, colourful and really appealing graphics. The story is an easy read which will suit many readers including those with a short attention span. The plot is captivating and you will find yourself unable to put the book down. The narrative is short and snappy and the main character, Shelby Holmes, is an absolute joy to read. She is a brilliant character - distinctive and very socially awkward - just like the real Sherlock Holmes. The relationship that plays out between her and John Watson is heartwarmingly portrayed, whilst their developing friendship might make you chuckle in unexpected places. You will encounter some silly Holmes-type jokes scattered about like clues on a dangling lead that may make you laugh or cry. At the very least, your sense of humour will be sorely tested. 


The book brought back some nostalgic memories of my time in New York City earlier this year. The author knows this city very well as she moved from Wisconsin to New York City in pursuit of a writing career. The first few chapters instantly transported me back to my time on holiday; it left a yearning fantasy to go back and walk the streets of Manhattan with the characters and play super sleuth myself. 


This is a dog kidnapping caper that will lead your super sensitive nose through a very enjoyable fantasy adventure. All the characters you associate with a good Sherlock adventure can be found: Holmes, Watson, Lestrade and, of course, Mrs. Hudson. All are caught up in action like you've never seen them before. In contemporary Harlem (NYC), a mystery needs solving around every corner. Fortunately, nine-year-old super sleuth, Shelby Holmes, is on tap to deal with and solve these. This is a great and engaging read that will keep you on your toes. 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Middle Grade Book Picks (8yrs-12yrs) US & UK Published

Ross Welford - What Not to Do If You Turn Invisible - Published by HarperCollins Children's Books - UK (29 Dec. 2016)

From the author of the unforgettable bestseller TIME TRAVELLING WITH A HAMSTER comes another surprising, beautiful and funny novel about a child who, by disappearing, will write herself into your heart forever…
Turning invisible at will: it’s one way of curing your acne. But far more drastic than 13 year-old Ethel Leatherhead intended when she tried a combination of untested medicines and a sunbed.
It’s fun at first, being invisible. And aided by her friend Boydy, she manages to keep her extraordinary ability secret. Or does she…?
When one day the invisibility fails to wear off, Ethel is thrown into a nightmare of lies and deception as she struggles to keep herself safe, to find the remedy that will make her seen again – and solve the mystery of her own birth…

Eva Howard - League of Archers (League or Archers) - Published by Aladdin  - US (6 Dec. 2016)

A girl on the run after being accused of killing Robin Hood learns what it really means to be a hero in this exciting adventure story. 
That s the girl who killed Robin Hood! Those words send Ellie Dray racing for the forest and the chance to clear her name. 
Twelve-year-old novice nun Elinor Dray has always idolized Robin Hood. She and her friends try to be like him by sneaking out to hunt on the lands belonging to the village Baron, stealing from him to feed their poor neighbors. They call themselves the League of Archers. 
While returning from a hunting trip late one night, Ellie meets a man in the forest a hunter like herself. But suddenly the man is shot with a poisoned arrow. She manages to help him back to the abbey, but it s too late and he dies. Only in his final moments, does Ellie realize that the hunter is Robin Hood, and that the abbess of the nunnery is Maid Marian. 
With her secret revealed, the Baron immediately arrests Marian. But he needs a scapegoat for the murder of Robin Hood, and who better than a young novice nun? Ellie is proclaimed a hero the person who killed the famous outlaw Robin Hood but the villagers don t agree. A mob forms, vowing to hunt Ellie down and exact their own vengeance. 
Will Ellie and her League of Archers be able to find the real killer, free Maid Marian, and keep Robin Hoods legacy alive?

Wade Albert White - The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes - Published by Little, Brown Young Readers - US (29 Dec. 2016) 

Step into a world made up of magickal floating tiers, where fantasy and science fiction meet in dark alleys, dragons aren't nearly as innocent as they look (which is to say, not innocent at all), and nothing is quite what it seems.

Anne has spent all of her nearly thirteen years at Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children, dreaming of wild voyages and looking forward to the day she and her best friend Penelope will board a ship to a better life. But when that day comes, Anne is denied her ticket due to a bureaucratic technicality (and one very determined, possibly evil Matron), and her escape plan sets an epic adventure into motion.
With a mysterious dragon medallion now fused to her right hand, Anne makes her way to a quest academy and discovers that she has been charged with a Rightful Heir Quest. She, Penelope, and new questing partner Hiro have only days to uncover the truth of Anne's quest, and to conquer it. To succeed, they'll have to travel to strange new tiers, solve myriad riddles, and triumph over time, foes, and bureaucracy-or face the horrible consequences.
Packed with action, wit, and endless heart, debut author Wade Albert White brings us the first volume in an irresistible and original new fantasy series (that doesn't take itself too seriously).


Suzanne LaFleur -Beautiful Blue World - Published by Random House Books for Young Readers (12 Dec. 2016)

Beautiful Blue World is a thrilling and moving story of children who become the key to winning a war. 
Sofarende is at war. For twelve-year-old Mathilde, it means food shortages, feuding neighbors, and bombings. Even so, as long as she and her best friend, Megs, are together, they ll be all right. 
But the army is recruiting children, and paying families well for their service. If Megs takes the test, Mathilde knows she will pass. Megs hopes the army is the way to save her family. Mathilde fears it might separate them forever. 
This touching and suspenseful novel is a brilliant reimagining of war, where even kindness can be a weapon, and children have the power to see what adults cannot."

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Cathryn Constable - The White Tower - Book Review (Chicken House Books)


When Livy's accepted at Temple College, a school for the very brightest, no one is more surprised than her, though she has always felt different. Recently, Livy's been drawn to the roof, where, among its towering stone angels, she has the strangest desire to fly. But her behavior is noticed by others, for whom the ability to defy gravity is a possible reality ...one that they'll stop at nothing to use for their own ends.


In 2012, The Wolf Princess was published by Chicken House and captured the hearts and minds of many readers. This is the second children's book to be published by Cathryn Constable. The White Tower is a similar story; it is a dreamy and nostalgic book that will transport the reader to a place in time that the author has chosen. The book is scheduled to hit the bookshops in January 2017, but you don't have to wait that long as I've already seen it on the shelves of many well- stocked bookshops. 


Livy is the main character of the story and you will certainly warm to her from the very first page. The doors close behind her and the bus lurches away to uncertainty, a new chapter and a new and unwanted life that will pull on the delicate heart strings.


A new start at Temple College, one of the oldest schools in London, but Liv is missing her best friend. She doesn't want to replace her with a new life at a rich school. The sadness and the loneliness exude through the plot. Liv does not want to fit into her new environment. The struggles of life will draw you into this plot unexpectedly; the atmospheric ambiance will suck you into a vortex of mystery, old-fashioned sense of adventure that will have you glued to the pages.


Cathryn has painted a brilliant narrative just like John Constable paints a landscape. A flourish of colour and a romantic palette painted in words and language that will transport the reader into a classic timeless fairytale. You will fly high into the clouds of mystery in search of forbidden knowledge and rummage through the secrets of the past. Science or magic, alchemy or mayhem? All of these will draw the reader into this brilliant and engrossing adventure. 


This is another fantastic publication from Chicken House. It is a great story of sadness, but it pulls the readers through the pages with uplifting charm and dreamy reality. Cathryn has a great sense of imagination turning dreams into good classic adventures that you will love and enjoy, regardless of time and age. 

A girl, a roof and the cold winter sky... A scattered snowflake of magic realism and a festive delight for everyone. I hope you read and enjoy it! 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

MR RIPLEY'S ENCHANTED BOOK COVER WARS - HEAT FOUR 2016 + JEFF KINNEY BOOK GIVEAWAY

It is a delight to have your company in the book cover war zonePlease make sure that you vote and enjoy the experience. Don't forget to share this exciting adventure with your friends and followers - everyone is welcome. #Bookcoverwars

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Book Cover War Rules:
There will be four weekly heats with five book covers to vote for. All heat winners will make the grand final. However, one more entry will also be entered into the final; this will be the book cover with the most votes from the other four heats as the highest runner up. 

Heat one Winner:  Alexander Gordon Smith - The Devil's Engine: Hellfighters Bk2 - Book Cover by Andrew Arnold - (171 Votes)

Heat two Winner: Book One: Rob Lloyd Jones - Jake Atlas and the Tomb of the Emerald Snake - Book Cover by Petur Antonsson - (168 Votes)

Heat three Winner: Lucy Strange - The Secret of Nightingale Wood - Book Cover by - Helen Crawford-White - (52 Votes)

As a voter, not only will you get the chance to choose your favorite book cover, but you will also be in with the chance to win a different special book each week. Therefore, in order to kick off the competition this week, we have an amazing book which is the latest hardback book - Jeff Kinney - Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down. 

If you are interested then all you need to do is:
  • Vote for your favorite book cover using the poll - VOTE HERE
  • Leave a comment through this post or poll - VOTE HERE
  • Mention it on Twitter/Facebook any place you like!  #BOOKCOVERWARS 
  • Sit back, watch the voting develop and wait to hear whether you've won (once the poll has closed). Please note that this book giveaway competition is  only open to the UK only.
  • This poll will end 16th December 2016 at midnight UK time. 
So here are the five book covers to vote for this week:

Book One: Roderick Gordon - Summerhouse Land - Book Cover by Stanley Donwood - Published by Mathew & Son Limited -  (20 Jun. 2016) - VOTE HERE

Book Two: Cornelia Funke - The Golden Yarn (MirrorWorld) - Book Cover by Cornelia Funke - Published by Pushkin Children's Books (3 Nov. 2016) - VOTE HERE

Book Three: Sara Pennypacker - Pax - Book Cover by Jon Klassen - Published by HarperCollins Children's Books (25 Feb. 2016) - VOTE HERE
Book Four: Ross Montgomery - Perijee & Me - Book Cover by David Litchfield - Published by Faber & Faber (3 Mar. 2016) - VOTE HERE


Book Five: Frances Hardinge - The Lie Tree (Illustrated Version) Book Cover by Chris Riddell - Published by Macmillan (20 Oct. 2016) - VOTE HERE 

Happy Voting all!









Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Tahereh Mafi - Furthermore - Book Review


There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is a boy named Oliver whose own magical ability is based in lies and deceit—and with a liar by her side in a land where nothing is as it seems, it will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.


This is the first middle-grade adventure written by the New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series. The author is the wife of Ransom Riggs (author of Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children) whom you might be familiar with. The book cover illustration is by Iacopo Bruno and reflects the story inside so well and in so many ways. When you first turn the pages you find yourself visiting an amazing story which is full of vibrant colour. This is a middle-grade read where the real magic begins. It is a story of unexpected friendship, humour and character warmth. 

This story is wonderfully enchanting and colourful - so much so that you may need sunglasses in order to read it. The story has been inspired by the author's love of reading as a child. She has taken all of her favourite books and thrown them onto an artist's palette to create a painting that will transport the reader into a magical adventure like no other. As a result, you'll find yourself hiding inside a floating cloud one minute and being attacked by a paper fox the next. 

The book starts very slowly, just like a babbling brook. The language is diverse and flowery creating words which shower down on you like little confetti petals. I loved the language and great use of metaphors. However, at times, the story did feel very whimsical and the humour did not always balance out the serious side of the story. I did wonder whether some of the strong subjects such as cannibalism might be more suited to an older audience than intended.

I really loved reading this book as, from the very first page, it screamed out individuality. It captures your attention and pulls you full throttle through the plot; it is certainly not conventional. The book is based around two main characters (Alice and Oliver) who develop an unexpected friendship. I enjoyed the different perspectives and voices that this brought as well as the author's engagement and dialogue with the reader.

If you are looking for something different and special this year to read, then this is the book for you. It just might take a little time to settle in your brain as you think about what you have read. This is a five star rainbow extravaganza. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Mr Ripley's Enchanted Books: Favourite Festive Children's Christmas Reads 2016

Matt Haig & Chris Mould - The Girl Who Saved Christmas - Published by  Canongate Books (3 Nov. 2016) 

JOURNEY TO THE EDGE OF MAGIC
If magic has a beginning, can it also have an end?
When Amelia wants a wish to come true she knows just the man to ask - Father Christmas.
But the magic she wants to believe in is starting to fade, and Father Christmas has more than impossible wishes to worry about. Upset elves, reindeers dropping out of the sky, angry trolls and the chance that Christmas might be cancelled.
But Amelia isn't just any ordinary girl. And - as Father Christmas is going to find out - if Christmas is going to be saved, he might not be able to do it alone . . 

Gavriel Savit - Anna and the Swallow Man - Published by Bodley Head (28 Jan. 2016)

Anna and the Swallow Man is a stunning, literary, and wholly original debut novel that tells a new WW2 story.

Kraków, 1939, is no place to grow up. There are a million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. And Anna Lania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father and suddenly, she’s alone. 

Then she meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall. And like Anna's missing father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. 

Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgement, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous . . .
Curated by Abi Elphinstone - Winter Magic - Published by Simon & Schuster Children's (3 Nov. 2016)
A beautiful and classic anthology of frosty, magical short stories from acclaimed children’s writers such as Michelle Magorian, Berlie Doherty, Lauren St John and Katherine Woodfine, and edited by author Abi Elphinstone.
Dreamsnatcher’s Abi Elphinstone heads up this gorgeous collection of wintery stories, featuring snow queens, frost fairs, snow dragons and pied pipers . . . from classic children’s writers such as Michelle Magorian, Geraldine McCaughrean, Jamila Gavin, Berlie Doherty, Katherine Woodfine, Piers Torday, Lauren St John, Amy Alward, Michelle Harrison and Emma Carroll.
An unmissable, enchanting treat of a collection that will be enjoyed for years to come, by readers of all ages.

Piers Torday - There May Be a Castle - Published by Quercus Children's Books (6 Oct. 2016) 

A remarkable story about love and death from the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize
Eleven-year-old Mouse is travelling to see his grandparents on Christmas Eve with his mother and two sisters. But it's snowing, and visibility is bad, and the car goes off the road, and crashes. 
Mouse is thrown from the car. 
When he wakes, he's not in his world any more. He meets a sheep named Bar, who can only say Baaa, and a sarcastic horse named Nonky, who is a surprising mix of his beloved toy horse and his older sister.
So begins a quest to find a castle in a world of wonder - a world of monsters, minstrels, dangerous knights and mysterious wizards; a world of terrifying danger but also more excitement than Mouse has ever known.
But why are they looking for a castle? As the cold grows, we realise it might just have something to do with the family he's left behind; and that Mouse's quest is more important than ever. 
This is a novel about love and death. It's about the power of stories to change the way we view the world - and it's about the power of a child to change their own world. Emotionally arresting but ultimately uplifting, this is a remarkable novel for our times.

Tom Fletcher - The Christmasaurus - Published by Puffin (6 Oct. 2016)

The magical, moving and bestselling first children's novel from Tom Fletcher.
Forget everything you thought you knew about the North Pole, and set off on a Christmas Eve adventure with boy named William Trundle, an elf named Snozzletrump, Santa Claus (yes! The real Santa Claus!), a nasty piece of work called the Hunter, and a most unusual dinosaur . . .