The Girl with her Head in the Clouds: The Amazing Life of Dolly Shepherd; Karen McCombie, illustrated by Anneli Bray
I love a good historical read that is centred around real people and actual events and the story of Dolly Shepherd is a wonderful story of determination, heroism and incredible bravery.
Dolly’s story starts in Edwardian Britain in the early 1900’s when she is fifteen years old. She dreams of flying but so far this has only amounted to jumping off the garden shed using an umbrella to help her fly. Dolly seems destined for a career working for her auntie’s fashion house making fancy hats for the wealthy but a weekend at the Alexandra Palace show-ground with its rides, stalls, shows, performances, musicians and dare-devil acts changes everything. It is here, after a chance meeting with hot-air ballooner Captain Gaudron, that Dolly would realise her dreams of flying and she would become Dolly Shepherd…factory worker in the week, dare-devil flier on the weekend.
Onyx: The Wolf Who Found a New Way to be a Leader; Vita Murrow, illustrated by Anneli Bray
Onyx: The Wolf Who Found a New Way to be a Leader is part of a new series of books based on heroic animals entitled ‘True Stories of Animal Heroes’ and is published by the brilliant Frances Lincoln Children’s.
Wolves. Fierce, protective and territorial…at least that’s how most were, but one wolf pup saw things somewhat differently. Onyx wasn’t like the other pups in his pack. He wasn’t into playing games or squabbling over food, he was different to his brothers and sisters in every way. They were strong and bold, he was weak and shy. He was the runt of the litter. For what Onyx may have lacked in physical stature he made up for in his wolf-smarts and when it was time for him to head out into the wild to find a pack of his own, he took with him a new way of thinking…
Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Haunted House; Annabelle Sami, illustrated by Daniela Sosa
I’ve been eagerly waiting for the next adventure with my favourite British-Pakistani detective and so I was thrilled when I was granted an advanced read of ‘Agent Zaiba Investigates: The Haunted House’ through Netgalley. After successfully solving cases involving missing diamonds and poisoned cup cakes, Agent Zaiba returns to solve a third case and adds a few new members to the Snow Leopard Detective Agency UK Branch along the way.
The Booker family are thrilled to have moved into Oakwood Manor, a house steeped in history, and Zaiba is delighted to have made friends with Mr & Mrs. Booker’s daughter, Olivia. The family are looking forward to having their new neighbours over for a house-warming but some strange occurrences are threatening to derail everything. Step-up Agent Zaiba and her backpack of detective goodies to solve whether Oakwood Manor really is haunted or if there is another explanation for the strange happenings…
It would be fair to say that many of us take talking for granted. Lots of people would say many of us probably talk too much. But not everyone finds talking so easy and for some it can be a daily challenge and an overbearing part of life. The author of ‘I Talk Like a River, Jordan Scott, has a stutter and has used his own experiences to create a beautiful, moving and important book.
A boy wakes up in a world surrounded by sounds and words that he finds difficult to say. No one can see the letters and words that get stuck in his mouth. At school, it is easier to stay quiet than to talk. To slink into the shadows, to hide at the back in the hope that no one sees him, to be the invisible child. Just to wait for the day to end and to escape.
Peter Van den Ende's debut wordless picture book portrays one little boat’s epic journey from the middle of the Pacific Ocean to a European port.
Two nameless characters, aboard the ship ‘Exploratio', carefully fold a boat out of paper. Once the paper vessel is ready they launch it out into the ocean where it begins an epic adventure home. The little boat attracts the attention of turtles and whales and many creatures that are an amalgamation of fish and mammal. Some creatures appear friendly and curious and approach the boat for a closer look whilst others loom menacingly, blazing white eyes staring ominously.
I’m a huge Vashti Hardy fan - the ‘Brightstorm’ series and Wildspark are superb - and so was thrilled to read her first book for younger readers. Retaining her trademark steampunk style, Hardy serves up the perfect adventure story as she invites readers of 8+ to teleport into the magical world of The Griffin Gate.
Grace Griffin, her brother Bren and her mother Ann live in the city of Copperport which is part of the country of Moreland. The Griffin family have a very important job, they are Griffin wardens whose role it is to help and protect the citizens and to keep the country lawful. Using the Griffin map and its teleporting technology, the Griffins are able to hop through portals to help anyone, anywhere. Grace is desperate to be a warden and to carry out her own missions but at thirteen years old she is still two years away from being old enough.