Hello Sunshine!

There’s sunshine! It’s spring and it feels like it! As this blog will reach most of you in the holidays (and the rest of you just after) I hope that you’re all feeling rested and are ready to face the final term of what has been an interesting year.

As we head towards the end of the year and there are ever-increasing numbers of books being released, it becomes even harder to choose from them for the blog and new release newsletter (sign up using the form at the bottom of the page!). This month on the blog I’ve chosen books that are sure to hit the spot for those kids in your classroom or library who want something a bit different.

We’ve all heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but in Goldilocks and the Three Crocodiles, we learn about the next adventure of Goldilocks – and this time her dog, Tiddles, is along for the ride. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem she’s learnt anything from her previous foray into other people’s homes, and Goldilocks and Tiddles help themselves to a seat, food, and, finally, a bed! However this time – even more frighteningly than bears – the house is home to three crocodiles who are not pleased to find uninvited guests. This gorgeously illustrated book is charming and funny in a way that is sure to entertain even the most difficult to please child. A great book to read aloud.

I’m sure we’re all familiar with at least one child who is totally and utterly obsessed with dinosaurs! If you have such a child in your classroom, then A Dinosaur a Day will provide them with enough weird and wonderful facts to last them an entire year. This gorgeous book features illustrations of each dinosaur in their habitat, along with a description and key information such as time period, diet and weight. Some dinosaurs are grouped together, and there is an index at the back of the book. Information about the rise and end of the dinosaurs is also included.

For those of you who enjoyed meeting Zelli Stormclash in D&D Dungeon Academy: No Humans Allowed, I’m very pleased to let you know that she and her band of friendly(-ish) monsters are back in D&D Dungeon Academy: Tourney of Terror. After defeating a necromancer and an army of the undead, Zelli (who is still pretending to be a minotaur), is faced with defending her school’s honour (what’s left of it) at the Tourney of Terror games. And while pretending to be anything other than human, keeping her friends out of trouble and battling Waterdeep Dragons would be more than enough to cope with, Zelli is also having terrible nightmares. Nightmares in which her entire world is destroyed. Nightmares that might not just be nightmares …

Read of the Month – One for Sorrow

The past couple of months I’ve talked about doing some comfort reading with cosy crime and (very specific) self help. A few weeks ago I decided to test myself with some grittier crime, and cracked open One for Sorrow. When you pick up a book, read the first page to get a sense of what it’s like, and realise that an hour’s gone by, you know you’ve found a good read!

It was just as well I’d decided that I was up for something grittier than The Thursday Murder Club, because this book is decidedly not ‘cosy’! The book opens with DCI Ava Turner at the funeral of a dear friend. She then returns to the station where she watches footage of the horrendous murder of that friend (there are some confronting images and scenes described throughout the novel, so if you’re not up for that maybe this isn’t for you), and the tension never lets up from there.

There’s a murderer on the loose in Edinburgh, one who specialises in moral conundrums and explosions, and he’s playing a game where no one else knows the rules. But what becomes very apparent very quickly is that the emergency services are not collateral damage, they’re the target.

This is fast-paced writing at its best, and we are drawn into the world of DCI Turner and her team very quickly. If you’re after a book to draw you in and hold your attention for breathless hours at a time, One for Sorrow comes highly recommended.

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