First In Line

First In Line

Over the last few months we have had the pleasure of reviewing the first instalment in a number of brand spanking new series. It’s always great to be there right from the beginning, discovering something new and then knowing that another is on the way. Enjoy!

Toffle Towers by Tim Harris, illustrated by James Foley

Why we love it: Fawlty Towers was the inspiration for this quirky story full of equally quirky characters.  Illustrated by James Foley, this very funny and inventive book will stretch little imaginations to their limit. Aside from an engaging plot, there are funny conversations, pages filled with thought bubbles, lots of word play, lists and letters that will captivate the 8+ reader.

What it’s about: 10-year-old Chegwin Toffle, a daydreamer of the most advanced kind has inherited an entire hotel – out of the blue! If he declines to take accept the hotel will be sold and all the employees will be out of a job. However, Toffle Towers isn’t your typical hotel and it hasn’t had a booking for two years… Can Chegwin save the day?

Wolf Girl by Anh Do

Why we love it: This is an intriguing, fast paced series and while the language and writing style make it an easy read, it’s also thought provoking. It will immediately appeal to readers that are interested in adventure and exploring what people can achieve in extreme situations.

What it’s about: Gwen and her family are forced to urgently flee their home and head off into the unknown. When an explosion stops their car, Gwen’s instincts kick in and she runs for her life. When she stops, she finds herself alone and lost in a forest. She begins to despair until a small wolf puppy joins her. Soon after Gwen finds herself with a pack of four dogs as her new companions. Can Gwen take care of her new found friends, survive and find her family?

Squidge Dibley: Destroys the School by Mick Elliott

Why we love it: The book is filled with epic, explosive, inexplicable weirdness, farts, slime, blue poo and lots of laughs. Author Mick Elliot is also responsible for the disgusting, toxic and stinky looking illustrations. It’s no surprise that his other day job is as a TV producer for Nickelodeon, which surely means he is an expert on slime.

What it’s about: Things are looking very grim for class 6PU at Craglands South Primary School when Squidge Dibley shows up. Squidge suffers from Nervous Belly Belchus and struggles with exposure to sudden loud noises such as shouting, yelling or angry outbursts. How will the strict Vice Principal Hoovsely cope with that? Will Squidge and his challenges and differences bring the class together or destroy 6PU once and for all?

Starfell: Willow Moss and the Lost Day by Dominique Valente

Why we love it:  Primary school readers who enjoyed Nevermoor and The Wizards of Once will love this magical quest and journey of self-discovery. Along with witches, there are dragons, trolls, secret portals, long lost spells and lots of intrigue.

What it’s about:  Willow Moss is a finder-of-lost-things, a valuable skill to have but not quite so impressive when you come from a long line of witches. All of this changes when the most feared witch in all of Starfell asks Willow to find a whole entire day, or else…

Malamander by Thomas Taylor 

Why we love it:  This stand-out middle grade read will appeal to so many different readers. Much like Nevermoor and Lemony Snicket, older children and their parents will also love the intriguing plot. The layers of quirkiness, history, legend, natural history and small-town community all create a wonderful atmosphere.

What it’s about:  This mysterious tale is narrated by Herbert Lemon (Herbie), the Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel in the misty seaside town of Eerie-on-Sea. Mostly, he assists with a lost hat or bag, that is, until Violet Parma lands in his office. And so begins the unravelling of an intricate web of secrets surrounding what is known as the Malamander, and the disappearance of Violet’s parents.






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