Category: Library

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Runner’s Up, Week 1

This week, we are celebrating some of the books that were runners up in this year’s Coventry Inspiration Book Awards.

In the What’s The Story Category, lots of you loved The Who’s Whonicorn Of Unicorns by Kes Gray, illustrated by Garry Parsons, a funny and surprising new take on the unicorn craze. This book is jam-packed with joyful wordplay and hilarious illustrations. Get ready  to discover: – spooky BOO!nicorns – polite AFTERYOUnicorns – floating BALLOONincorns – smelly POOnicorns – clumsy BUMPINTOnicorns – and so many more!

If you loved this book, try The Blue-Footed Booby by Rob Biddulph

Let’s follow the footprints!
Let’s hunt for some clues!
Left footprint! Right footprint!
No time to lose!

As everybody knows, Red-Footed Boobies are fabulous bakers. But when Desmond’s frangipane tart goes missing amidst a flurry of footprints, the Blue-Footed Booby becomes the chief suspect. But all is not as it seems…

Featuring one of the stars of Draw With Rob (video number 24), this is a gloriously silly rhyming story about the perils of jumping to conclusions.

One of the Telling Tales runners up was Future Hero: Race To Fire Mountain by Remi Blackwood

When Jarell discovers that the fantasy world, he is obsessed with drawing is real, he is launched into an incredible adventure. Ulfrika, the land of his ancestors, is in trouble and he is the hero they need. With the help of brave and wise-cracking Kimisi, Jarell must stop the evil Ikala. The future of Ulfrika depends on it… A winning blend of future tech gadgets and a fantasy world inspired by the mythology of Africa and its diaspora. Jarell, an ordinary boy who loves to draw, is the chosen one to save the world of Ulfrika.

If you loved this book, try Stuntboy, In The Meantime by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Raul The Third, a hilarious, hopeful, and action-packed novel about the greatest young superhero you’ve never heard of.
And finally for this week, a much loved runner up for Hooked On Books is Twitch by M.G. Leonard. The beauty of nature is the backdrop for a murky web of crime in this fabulous book celebrating family, friendship and feathered creatures. A nail-biting joy!
Can a birdwatcher outwit an escaped convict?

Twitch has three pet chickens, four pigeons, swallows nesting in his bedroom and a passion for birdwatching. On the first day of the summer holidays, he arrives at his secret hide to find police everywhere: a convicted robber has broken out of prison and is hiding in Aves Wood. Can Twitch use his talents for birdwatching to hunt for the dangerous prisoner and find the missing loot?

If you loved Twitch, try Eagle Warrior by Gill Lewis.
Bobbie is thrilled that a golden eagle has settled in the forest near her family’s farm. She loves to walk the hills with her granny and watch the bird soar through the sky. But not everyone shares Bobbie’s awe for the spectacular bird. When her granny’s beloved dog is killed by poisoned bait, it soon becomes clear that someone is out to get the eagle – and they’re ready to take down anything, and anyone, that gets in their way. Bobbie is determined to save the eagle but is it worth the risk? A stunning new wildlife adventure from multi-award-winning author Gill Lewis.
Happy reading!

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Winners

We have loved this year’s Coventry Inspiration Book Awards; reading, talking and voting each week. But now, it is time to announce the winners. Did your favourite win?

The What’s The Story Winner is…

Bad Apple by Huw Lewis-Jones, illustrated by Ben Sanders

In this fun cautionary tale, a really badly behaved apple is awful to lots of acquaintances. As one silly scenario unfolds after the other, Bad Apple shows what he’s really made of by making life miserable for Pear, Pea, Cat, Spud and Spoon, among others. In a twist at the end, Bad Apple receives his comeuppance when he eats the cake baked by snake.

If this was your favourite, try When Cucumber Lost His Cool by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Tom Knight

A perfectly-pitched rhyming tale of fun and friendship, from a previous Coventry Inspiration Book Award winner, packed with bright bold colours that will have you laughing out loud as you explore other’s emotions.

Kevin the cucumber is so cool – everybody knows it! Whenever anyone gets hot and bothered, Kevin is always there to cool them down. He even has his own super cool cucumber song! But when Kevin starts to feel like his friends are leaving him out, something happens that has never happened before: KEVIN. LOSES. HIS. COOL!

Will Kevin’s friends be there for him when he needs them most?

The Telling Tales Winner is…

Bad Panda by Swapna Haddow, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey
Everyone thinks that Lin is the cutest panda in the world. So much so that they send her off to the local zoo, away from her beloved brother, to be looked at my all the visitors. But Lin HATES being cute, and now she will do everything in her power to prove that she’s the baddest, meanest, most un-cute animal in the zoo. Being a bad panda isn’t as easy as Lin thinks it could be.  No-one believes her and she is finding it hard to convince her fellow zoo animals from taking back control of the zoo.
If this was your favourite, Evil Emperor Penguin by Laura Ellen Anderson

In the icy, snow-covered depths of Antarctica is the secret lair of an extraordinary penguin. Evil Emperor Penguin! From the bottom of the world, he’s got his sights set on taking the whole thing over! Unfortunately, he’s really not very good at it. Especially when his rival, Evil Cat, is trying to beat him at his own world-domination game!

With his lovable assistant Eugene, and octopus butler Number 8, Evil Emperor Penguin is the most devious, cutest and funniest evil mastermind ever to waddle the Earth! Just not the most successful…

And finally, the Hooked On Books Winner is…
When I See Blue by Lily Bailey
A boy struggling with OCD starts at a new school, but the bully is in Ben’s head.
There are 4 things you should know about Ben:
1. He’s 12 years old
2. He’s the new kid at school
3. His special number is 4
4. He has a bully in his brain
Sometimes Ben’s brain makes him count to 4 to prevent bad things happening. Sometimes it makes him tap or blink in 4s. Mostly it makes the smallest things feel impossible. And with a new school, a moody big brother, an absent dad, and a mum battling her own demons, Ben feels more out of control than ever. But then he meets April, and with his new friend, Ben might finally figure out how to stand up to the bully in his brain, once and for all.
If this was your favourite, try A Kind Of Spark by Elle McNichol, one of my all time favourite books! It’s a hugely entertaining and challenging book in equal measure, and a testament to the vulnerability, strength, and courage neurodivergent children show everyday.
A Kind of Spark tells the story of 11-year-old Addie as she campaigns for a memorial in memory of the witch trials that took place in her Scottish hometown. Addie knows there’s more to the story of these ‘witches’, just like there is more to hers. Can Addie challenge how the people in her town see her, and her autism, and make her voice heard?
This isn’t a book about being autistic, it’s a book about difference and discrimination that has autistic characters. It’s authentic, honest and just blooming brilliant. Many children will be able to recognise themselves in Addie which is so important – every child deserves to see themselves reflected in books.  And while enjoying a brilliantly told story, neurotypicals might learn an awful lot too, and gain some understanding of how the world looks and feels when viewed through a different lens.
And, once you’ve read the book, you’ll be able to watch the CBBC adaptation from 17th April!
Huge congratulations to all of the winning authors and illustrators!
Happy reading!

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Evictions, Week 5

It’s the final week of evictions before we find out this year’s winners of the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards, so it’s time to get voting for your winner. But before we do, let’s have a look at what you can read next if your favourite was voted out this week.

The final book to be voted out in What’s The Story? is Books Make Good Pets by John Agard, illustrated by Momoko Abe.

Books make good pets and don’t need going to the vet. You don’t have to keep them on a lead or throw them a stick. They’ll wag their words whenever you flick their dog-eared pages. Even howl an ancient tale for the inward-listening ear. Did you know that a book can take you anywhere? You only need to turn the pages of a story, and in a moment, you and your book could be crossing the waves in a pirate ship… or diving with mermaids… or even snoozing with a dragon. Books really DO make good pets! Why don’t you peep inside this one and take your mind on an adventure.

If you loved this book, try Not Just A Book by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross.
A book is not just a book. It can be so many things, a hat or as a building block, a flower press or a fly-swatter. But books are so much more than that. They can make you feel, they can take you anywhere, they can make you laugh and can teach you anything you want to know.
Count by Melvin Burgess, illustrated by Chris Mould is the last book to be evicted in Telling Tales.
When Boastful Brandon brags that he can count to 10 million no-one believes him. It sounds impossible. But once Brandon has started, nothing is going to stop him! He counts all through school – and gets into trouble for doing so. Even when he is sent to the furious head teacher who has never seen such disobedience, he doesn’t stop counting. He counts at home, through meals and all through the night. Soon, his extraordinary feat becomes a money-making sensation.
If you loved this book try, Max Counts To A Million by Jeremy Williams

Do you like epic quests of amazing counting? Do you dislike global pandemics, being stuck at home, and the number 7? Then I have a story for you. It’s about how I counted to a million during lockdown – with help from Mum and Dad, friends and neighbours, and Grandad. And some birds. And a bucket of marbles. And an awesome TV reporter.

Sometimes, just keeping on going makes you a hero. Eight-year-old Max is counting to a million. Normally, school or having anything interesting to do would get in the way, but school is shut and everyone has to stay home because the UK is in its first lockdown. Max’s dad works at the hospital and counting helps Max with missing him, but as the pandemic progresses and Max’s grandad journeys through his own battle with the virus, what starts as a distraction turns into record-breaking effort that brings Max’s community together.

Suitable for readers aged 7 up, this funny, uplifting story reflects the experiences shared by so many during the Covid pandemic and celebrates how ordinary people accomplish epic things. £1 from the sale of every copy of this book will be donated to NHS Charities Together

And finally, the last book to be voted out of Hooked On Books is Escape Room by Christopher Edge.
Ami arrives at the Escape Room expecting a game. Only when they are locked inside does she realise it’s much more serious and Ami and her teammates are the ones chosen to save the world. They must learn how to work together quickly so they can solve all the problems they are presented with. There are a series of different games and puzzles to solve – from beating a chess computer to finding a way out of a tomb until the final showdown in a computer game simulator that seems suddenly to be out in space and the asteroids heading for the ship are real. However, it’s not until the final chapter when a surprising reveal shows there may be a way forward to save the world.

If you loved this book, try Adam-2 by Alastair Chisholm. With incredible twists and turns and an action-packed story, this is a thrilling, unputdownable adventure.The robot Adam-2 has been locked in the basement of a lost building for over two hundred years – until one day he is discovered by two children, and emerges into a world ruined by a civil war between humans and advanced intelligence. Hunted by both sides, Adam discovers that he holds the key to the war, and the power to end it – to destroy one side and save the other. But which side is right? Surrounded by enemies who want to use him, and allies who mistrust him, Adam must decide who – and what – he really is.

Happy reading, and don’t forget to vote for your favourite to win!

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Evictions, Week 4

Another week and we say goodbye to three more fantastic books.

What’s The Story say goodbye to Inspector Penguin Investigates by Eoin McLaughlin, illustrated by Ross Collins.

The famous Diamondo del Mondo has been stolen! There’s something fishy going on. And no one knows fishy quite like…Inspector Penguin! Spot the clues throughout the book to help Inspector Penguin solve the mystery! Who could have broken into Baron von Buffetworth’s super-secure top-secret safe? And where have they taken his precious diamond? There’s only one detective who can solve this mystery: Inspector Penguin! That is, if he can keep his mind off tuna long enough to find some clues…

If you liked this book, try Edgar And The Sausage Inspector by Jan Fearnley, a funny quirky picture book that’s guaranteed to cause giggles!

Edgar and Edith are hungry, and it’s up to Edgar to bring home something tasty. But just when Edgar finds some delicious sausages, they are confiscated by The Inspector, a very important-looking rat with a big hat. Poor Edgar and Edith are left with nothing but dry crackers! That is, until one day, when The Inspector is all fattened up, and Edgar does some inspecting of his own, and the tables are turned . . .


Telling Tales will be very sad to see Grimwood by Nadia Shireen leave the competition.

Fox siblings Nancy (the tough one) and Ted (the sensitive one) are forced to flee the big city for the countryside after Ted accidentally bites off pussycat boss Princess Buttons’ tail. Grimwood, where they find themselves, is a kind of paradise it seems, full of friendly if eccentric animal residents who love nothing better than a good game of treebonk. Ted feels right at home, Nancy needs convincing, but when Princess Buttons arrives, bent on revenge, and armed with a Brain Zapper 3000, and their new friends step up to help, she changes her mind.

If you loved this book, you’ll be delighted to know that your favourite inhabitants from Grimwood are back in Let The Fur Fly! You could also try Agent Moose by Mo O’Hara. 

Agent Moose, the best (worst) secret agent in the Big Forest, and his slightly-more-intelligent sidekick Owlfred are on the case in this new full colour graphic novel series.

Something fishy is going on at the South Shore. Folks just disappear and are never seen again. But when Agent Moose learns that a key witness has gone missing, he and Owlfred ride to the rescue. Will they find the missing turtle before time runs out?


Hooked On Books lose Misson Mayhem by Burhana Islam, illustrated by Farah Khandaker

The first in a laugh-out-loud series following the hilarious, and often chaotic, adventures of nine -year -old Yusuf Ali Khan. Yusuf’s responsible older sister is getting married and, as everyone keeps telling him, it’s time for him to become ‘the man of the house’, when his sister gets married and leaves home.. The problem is… that sounds like way too much work, so he decides with the help of his cousin to sabotage his sister’s wedding; but his plans often backfire in accidental and hysterically funny ways. Will he get away with all his mischief or is there a bigger lesson for him to learn?

If you enjoyed this book, try Little Badman And The Invasion Of The Killer Aunties by Henry White and Humza Arshad.

“You’ve probably heard of me, right? Little Badman. No? Oh. Well. . . Doesn’t matter. You will do one day. I’m gonna be big.” I’m Humza Khan, the greatest eleven-year-old rapper Eggington has ever known; soon everyone will know my name. Only problem is school has got really weird, man. All my teachers are disappearing and our aunties are taking over. It wasn’t too bad at the start, they keep feeding us delicious snacks. Like, all the time. But now these aunties are trying to mess with my music, so me and my best friends Umer and Wendy are going to hunt for the truth. Cos something big and bad is going on and we won’t let anything mess with my music… or you know, the world.

A hilarious and fast-paced adventure from comedian Humza Arshad and screen writer Henry White, perfect for fans of David Solomons and Jenny Pearson.

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Evictions, Week 3

It’s the third week of evictions, and as ever, I am surprised at how early these books are leaving the competition.

What’s The Story? says goodbye to Frank And Bert by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

Frank and Bert are the best of friends and they LOVE to play hide and seek. But Bert the bear isn’t quite as good at hiding as he thinks he is . . . and Frank ALWAYS wins! Every. Single. Time. But when it’s Bert’s turn to hide, and Frank has to decide between winning again OR making his friend happy, Frank learns that friendship is always the true winner. This interactive and entertaining story about friendship is guaranteed to get children giggling!

If you enjoyed this book try, Omar, The Bees And Me by Helen Mortimer and Katie Cottle

Omar, The Bees and Me encourages children to look after nature in local communities planting wild flowers to form bee corridors. Themes around cultural identity are also explored through Omar (a new boy from Syria) and Maisie’s friendship. It also offers an insight into international beekeeping and is illustrated by award-winning picture-book maker Katie Cottle, creator of The Green Giant and The Blue Giant. Including bee facts on the endpapers and a recipe for honey cake on end page, Omar, The Bees And Me is a win for friendship, bees and our environment.

Telling Tales lose Sindhu and Jeet’s Detective Agency by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Amberin Huq

Sindhu and Jeet are the best detectives in town: they solve all their cases with a dollop of observation, a dash of imagination and a whole load of legwork. And when they travel from India to England for a holiday, the detective work doesn’t stop! This page-turning story is accompanied by black-and-white illustrations by Amberin Huq.

If you enjoyed this book, try The Case Of The Vanishing Granny by Alexander McCall Smith, illustrated by Sam Usher 

Billy, Fern and Joe Shortbread are the stars of their family circus, but they also have another talent … they’re experts at solving mysteries! When their circus moves into a new town they soon make friends with a young boy named Tom. But Tom can’t enjoy the circus because his granny has disappeared and he’s worried he’ll never see her again. With the help of their astonishing circus skills can the Shortbread circus stars crack the clues and find Tom’s granny? A brilliant McCall Smith adventure story, brimming with wit, wisdom and larger than life characters.

Hooked On Books have evicted Eve by Victor LaValle, Jo Mi-Gyeong and Brittany Peer

A young girl, Eve, raised in a virtual reality embarks on a deadly cross-country quest to save her father… and our dying planet. When the ice caps melted, most of humanity was lost to the hidden disease that was released. Now, a mysterious girl named Eve has awoken in secret and must deal with a world that’s nothing like the virtual reality she was raised in. In order to save her father and accompanied only by Wexler, her robotic caretaker and protector sheathed in her favorite teddy bear, Eve must embark on a deadly quest across the country. Along the way, she will have to contend not only with the threats of a very real world that await her, but the lies we tell our children in the name of protecting them. Victor LaValle and illustrator Jo Mi-Gyeong deliver a powerful dystopian adventure about the world we leave behind… and the price that must be paid to restore life to a dying planet.

If you enjoyed this book, try The Light Thieves by Helena Duggan.
Clever, quirky and hugely imaginative, discover the eagerly anticipated new series from the bestselling author of A Place Called Perfect. Who would you trust to save the world…a boy or a billionaire? The earth has shifted on its axis and a mysterious dark mark has appeared on the sun – the whole world is in peril! But billionaire tech genius Howard Hansom has a plan… When Grian’s sister goes missing he’s convinced she has run off to Hansom’s new city to help save the world. But when Grian and his two friends Jeffrey and Shelli track her there they find that nothing is quite as it seems. Why is everything so secret? Where is the mysterious Area 13? What does Howard Hansom want with all the people he has enticed to live in his city? The days are getting darker but what’s really happening to the sun?
Happy reading, and don’t forget to keep voting to keep your favourite book in the competition!

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Evictions, Week 2

Another week sees three more amazing books leave the competition. If you loved one of them, here are some recommendations of books you might enjoy too.

What’s The Story?: Constance in Peril by Ben Manley, illustrated by Emma Chichester-Clarke

Constance, an old cloth doll, having been rescued from a rubbish bin by a boy called Edward, suffers a series of potentially catastrophic incidents. More suited to elegant tea parties in a bygone age, she nevertheless remains stoic throughout. From being forgotten and left out in the rain or trapped up a tree, even being caught between the jaws of the neighbour’s dog, Constance is constantly finding herself in mortal danger. Although she’s luckily rescued each time by the watchful Grace, Edward’s loving older sister, it seems disaster is never far behind. Is Constance doomed to suffer a life of never-ending peril?

If you enjoyed this book, try Seahorses Are Sold Out by Katja Gehrmann and Constanze Spengler

Mika’s father works from home and he’s very busy! He can never find time for the promised swimming trip. So Dad allows Mika to choose a pet from the store while he finishes the project—something quiet like a mouse. And so begins a wonderfully turbulent story in which Mika brings home one animal after another… The mouse gets lost so they need a dog to find it. The dog is followed by a seal, the seal a penguin. One pet for Mika leads to another and another.  How many animals can come to stay before a harassed father notices?

Telling Tales:  A Tale Of Two Dragons by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Peter Malone

The kingdoms of Arbor and Pomosa are neighbours. Arbor is leafy and green with forests, while Pomosa is fertile, full of wheatfields and grazing cows. A high thorn hedge divides them but fortunately the children sneak through the hedge at night to help themselves to firewood or grain and milk. This keeps the people of both countries warm, fed, and happy. However, the kings are determined to protect their property and each one hires a dragon to patrol the hedge. Things escalate, and the kings order the dragons to fight, to the distress of their citizens, who’ve come to love these beautiful creatures much more than they ever loved their rulers.

If you enjoyed this book, try Grey Island, Red Boat by Ian Beck

Everything on the Island of Ashes is grey, from the weather to the castle, the grass and the flowers. But then the red boat arrives, and with it a young man who believes he is cursed – everything he touches turns to colour. Princess Opal and the people of the island are enchanted, but the King is suspicious and imprisons Wendell. Opal must find a way to escape to a life filled with love and colour.

Hooked On Books:  The Thief Who Sang Storms by Sophie Anderson

Linnet and her father, Nightingale, are Alkonosts, bird people who live on the island of Morovia. Alkonosts and humans used to live in harmony, but everything changed when a tidal wave devastated the island and killed the two Morovian queens, along with many of the islanders. Ruthless Captain Ilya plays on the islander’s grief and anger to claim that the Alkonosts’ singing magic caused the tragedy. He banishes the bird people to the deepest swamps and bans them from using magic. Linnet and Nightingale keep moving to stay safe and are forced to steal from humans to survive. When Nightingale is captured by Captain Ilya’s guards, Linnet embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue him. With no magic of her own, she must draw on other skills, such as kindness and determination, if she is to succeed.

If you enjoyed this book, try Song Of The Far Isles by Nicholas Bowling

Oran lives on Little Drum, where music is everything. Every islander has a birth instrument and a life song – and the ancestors, called ghasts, linger to hear the music. But when the Duchess arrives from the mainland bringing orders of silence, she threatens the ghasts’ existence, the very soul of the community. When Oran hears of a mythical instrument with the power to manipulate hearts, she brings her ghast best friend, Alick, on a quest to find it, play it, and change the Duchess’s mind …

Don’t forget, if you don’t want your favourite to be evicted, keep voting!

Coventry Inspiration Book Awards: The Evictions, Week 1

It’s that time of year already when the vote offs have begun for Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2023. The first books out are:

What’s The Story? The River by Tom Percival

Rowan is so happy exploring and playing and he particularly loves the river and how it can be calm, playful, or even angry, just like him. One year there is a particularly cruel winter, and the now empty dog basket is shown. The river, unseasonably remaining frozen, represents Rowan’s grief and his inability to find any joy in life without his beloved pet. The nature around him eventually breaks through when he notices, rescues, and heals a little bird and Rowan growing, feeling, and changing over time just like the river he remains and goes on.

If you loved this book, try Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate.

Celebrate love in all its forms, as Grandad tells his granddaughter about the adventures he used to have with Gramps. A long time ago, Grandad and Gramps spent many happy days travelling the world together in a camper van. But now Gramps isn’t around any more, Grandad doesn’t feel much like having adventures. As she listens to his wonderful stories, Grandad’s granddaughter has an idea to cheer him up…

Telling Tales: Indigo Wilde And The Creatures Of Jellybean Crescent by Pippa Curnick

Discovered in the Unknown Wilderness when she was just a baby, Indigo Wilde was adopted by World-Famous Explorers, Philomena and Bertram, who are always off adventuring. Home for Indigo and her little brother, Quigley, is 47 Jellybean Crescent, a crazy and colourful house full of magical creatures that her parents have taken in over the years. There’s Fishkins, a purrmaid – half-cat, half-fish, and ALWAYS grumpy; Graham, a llama-corn with a particular taste for tinsel; Olli and Umpf – bright pink and blue yetis who can’t blend into the snow, and that’s to name just a few. Now Indigo’s parents have sent another Monster Mail delivery to Indigo and Quigley. But this time, the box is empty, and the escaped creature is running rampage around the house. The race is on to catch the creature before it’s too late and disaster strikes…

If you loved this book, try Luma And The Pet Dragon by Leah Mohammed.

A collection of two warm and funny stories about Luma and her cheeky pet dragon. When Luma Dewan wakes up on the morning of her seventh birthday, she knows that today will be special. But she has no idea just how wonderful and extraordinary it will be. For today is the day she will meet Timir – a real talking dragon. Or at least when Luma is around that’s what he is. When anyone else is there, he becomes an ordinary grey puppy with a fluffy tail, who loves chasing squirrels and bouncing on trampolines.

It’s a big secret to keep – and Luma’s clever cousin Arjun is soon suspicious of this peculiar puppy, who doesn’t quite behave like any other dog. Luckily Luma’s grandmother – Nani – is there to help, and to Luma’s surprise, Nani might just know a little dragon magic of her own . . .

Hooked On Books: Magicborn by Peter Bunzl

The year is 1726 and the Royal Sorcerer of England is on the hunt for those who are Magicborn.  Two children, Tempest, and Thomas both have lost their parents, and both have one green eye and one blue eye. They are both in great danger, because they are MagicBorn and the Royal Sorcerer, Lord Hawthorn, is determined to track them down.  When Tempest is captured after accidentally unleashing a power she didn’t know she had, she is taken to Kensington Palace alongside a boy like her, Thomas. Trapped, Tempest and Thomas find their magic flickering to life – and with it, long-buried memories. For they are the lost prince and princess of Fairyland, bound by a deadly curse…and now the fairies are coming to get them. A battle is building – one only they can end. But who will survive?

If you loved this book, try The Chime Seekers by Ross Montgomery.

Step into a world of faerie tricks and hidden danger… When an evil faerie steals Yanni’s baby sister and swaps her for a changeling, Yanni is swept into a dangerous race against time to get her back. For faeries delight in tricks and rescuing her won’t be easy. With the help of his cousin, Amy, and the reluctant changeling, Yanni must travel to goblin palaces and battle-swept oceans, discovering ancient treasures and secrets along the way. Yanni will need every drop of courage and even a few tricks of his own, if he’s to outwit the faerie and save his sister…

Ross Montgomery brings the magical world of British folklore to life in this contemporary fantasy novelBursting with Ross’s trademark charm, humour and heart, with echoes of David Bowie’s Labyrinth.

Happy reading, and don’t forget to vote to keep your favourite books in the competition!

Friday Library Recommendations: The Healing Power Of Nature

We’re nearly at the end of January, and statistics say that 23% of people who made resolutions linked to healthier lifestyles will have given up in the first week, and only 9% make it past January 31st. But, it is really important that we look after our mental health all year round, so this week, I’m sharing books that give us ideas on how we can use the natural world around us to improve our well-being.

Shine Like The Stars by Anna Wilson, illustrated by Harry Woodgate

My Big Book Of Outdoors by Tim Hopgood

Discover the great outdoors with this beautifully illustrated treasury that celebrates the wonder of nature in four glorious seasons. From vibrant springtime flowers to sweet fruits on summer trees, the falling of autumn leaves and snowdrops in winter, this book of four seasons is the perfect introduction to the big outdoors.

Discover why birds fly south in winter, find animal footprints in the snow and learn to make the perfect snowflake; grow a sunflower, find a feather and make a daisy chain. Full of activities, poetry and fun facts to explore, this bumper book is jam-packed with amazing things to see and do outdoors – perfect for every season.

The Lost Spells by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris

Kindred in spirit to The Lost Words but fresh in its form, The Lost Spells introduces a beautiful new set of natural spell-poems and artwork by beloved creative duo Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Each “spell” conjures an animal, bird, tree or flower — from Barn Owl to Red Fox, Grey Seal to Silver Birch, Jay to Jackdaw — with which we share our lives and landscapes. Moving, joyful and funny, The Lost Spells above all celebrates a sense of wonder, bearing witness to nature’s power to amaze, console and bring joy.

Written to be read aloud, painted in brushstrokes that call to the forest, field, riverbank and also to the heart, The Lost Spells summons back what is often lost from sight and care, teaching the names of everyday species, and inspiring its readers to attention, love and care. This pocket-sized treasure is the perfect gift for fans of nature, language and rich artwork, adult and child alike!

The Night Animals by Sarah Ann Juckes

Nora’s mum has good days and bad days, but the bad days are getting worse.  It’s been just the two of them for always, and they don’t need anyone else.  When the rainbow-shimmering ghost animals Nora used to see when she was small start to reappear, she’s convinced that they hold all the answers.  Along with new friend Kwame, Nora follows a glittering ghostly fox, hare, raven and otter on the adventure of a lifetime, helping her to find the strength she needs to help her family.

In a heartbreaking and hopeful narrative, Sarah Ann Juckes’ stunning novel, illustrated by the award-winning Sharon King-Chai sees a brave young girl face down her ghosts. Each ghost animal mirrors the emotions Nora is hiding from behind the phrase, “I’m fine!” A stunning read for empathy, that allows us to look at life through the eyes of a young carer.

Happy reading!

Friday Library Recommendations: Rabbits

This Sunday is Lunar New Year, which is celebrated by 20% of the world’s population, and sees the Year Of The Rabbit begin (or the Cat if you are in Vietnam), so I have chosen some of my favourite literary rabbits for this week’s Friday Library Recommendations.

But before we get to the rabbits, let’s find out All About Lunar New Year. Kevin Tsang and Linh Nguyen have teamed up to tell us all about one of the most significant holidays celebrated across Asia. This beautiful book is filled with crafts and recipes, fun activities and facts about the Lunar New Year celebrations observed by over ONE BILLION people.

Read about the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac and learn why they’re so important to the Lunar New Year as well as the other stories behind this festival. Children can also create magical decorations, plan for the wonderful year ahead and make delicious treats!

Now to the Rabbits! First up is John Bond’s Mini Rabbit. Whether Mini Rabbit Not Lost or Mini Rabbit Come Home, these adorable stories are bound to raise a chuckle as our little friend is determined to succeed without help…

Mini Rabbit is making a cake. Cake, cake, cake! But he’s run out of berries. No berries, no cake. No cake? No way!
So off he goes to look for some… He’s not cold, not too small. And, no, no, definitely NOT LOST… or is he?

Mini Rabbit is making a camp in the garden. He can’t wait. It’s going to be the BEST DAY ever! But there are still a few last things he needs to get, and it looks like it might rain. Will Mini Rabbit ever manage to get everything home in time?

Next we have The Royal Rabbits Of London, where adventure begins for brave little Shylo and his Royal Rabbit friends in this charming series from bestselling authors Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore and illustrator Kate Hindley, that proves even the smallest rabbit can be the biggest hero. 

Life is an adventure. Anything in the world is possible – by will and by luck, with a moist carrot, a wet noise and a slice of mad courage! Shylo has always been the runt of the litter, the weakest and quietest of all of his family. His siblings spend their days making fun of him for not being like the rest of them. But when Shylo stumbles across a band of ratzis and overhears their evil plan to take a photo of the Queen in her nightie, it’s up to this unlikely hero to travel to London and inform the Royal Rabbits of London about the diabolical plot! The Royal Rabbits have a proud history of protecting the royal family and now the secret society need to leap into action to stop the ratzis… But can a rabbit as feeble and shy as Shylo convince them that Queen is in danger?

The Legend Of Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood has some of the bravest rabbits in literary history in a story that starts an epic adventure across the Five Realms.

Podkin is the son of a warrior chieftain. He knows that one day it will be up to him to lead his warren and guard it in times of danger. But for now, he’s quite happy to laze around annoying his older sister Paz, and playing with his baby brother Pook. Then Podkin’s home is brutally attacked, and the young rabbits are forced to flee. The terrifying Gorm are on the rampage, and no one and nowhere is safe. With danger all around them, Podkin must protect his family, uncover his destiny, and attempt to defeat the most horrifying enemy rabbitkind has ever known.

And finally, but I couldn’t possibly celebrate rabbits without talking about Watership Down by Richard Adams. This was one of my absolute favourite books when I was in primary school. It made me laugh and cry, and taught me a lot about faith and social justice.

In this epic story, a young rabbit called Fiver senses that something terrible is about to happen to the warren – he is sure of it. Fiver’s sixth sense is never wrong according to his brother, Hazel. They had to leave immediately, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them. And so begins a long and perilous journey of a small band of rabbits in search of a safe home. Fiver’s vision finally leads them to Watership Down, but here they face their most difficult challenge of all…

Wishing all of our families celebrating Lunar New Year a wonderful weekend!

Happy reading, and don’t forget to keep voting for your favourite book in the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2023 – Coventry City Council  if you don’t want it to be voted out!


Friday Library Recommendations: Luck

Happy New Year and welcome to the first Friday Library recommendations of 2023. Today is Friday 13th, which is viewed by some as a superstitious day where bad luck can follow you around, so today’s books all link to luck in some way.

A Duck Called Brian by Al Murphy features a duck in desperate need of a miracle.

When Brian wakes up and realizes he’s out of his favorite breakfast–Duck Nuts and milk–all he wants is to tell his best friend Gregory. But Gregory is nowhere to be found! Brian goes searching for his best friend, and finds many fellow ducks engaged in silly and entertaining activities along the way. Will Brian find Gregory, or will his day be totally fowl? Is he a lucky or unlucky duck?

A Duck Called Brian is a hilarious picture book that’s sure to have readers of all ages laughing out loud! With clever artwork, witty humor, and a fun search-and-find element, this story is a rib-tickling read-together tale.

Tilda Tries Again by Tom Percival shows us that sometimes in life we have to make our own luck through persevering when things don’t go our way.

Tilda’s world is just as she likes it . . . until one day, it turns completely UPSIDE DOWN. All of a sudden, everything is topsy-turvy, and nothing feels right. Things that were once easy now seem incredibly challenging. Can Tilda discover a new way to approach her problems and believe in herself?

Bold, bright and empowering, this is an inspiring story about coping with difficult situations. It’s the ideal book for helping children to build resilience and embrace a ‘can do’ approach to life.

The Unlucky Eleven by Phil Earle, illustrated by Steve May is the tale of a cursed football team where luck is definitely not on their side.

Ridiculous injuries … strange illnesses … cancelled games … Everything’s going wrong for the Saints this season, and Stanley’s team-mates believe they finally know why. Their football kit is cursed! But the team’s attempts to break the curse take things from bad to worse. Soon, they’re ready to call it quits. Stanley’s still got some tricks up his sleeve … but will his curse-cracking ideas save the team in time for the last game of the season?

Teamwork and determination are key to success for the Saints as their striker feels all the pain of the penalty spot.

The Boy Whose Wishes Came True by Helen Rutter is a brilliantly funny exploration of what happens when you are lucky enough to have all of your wishes come true.

Archie Crumb is having a tough time. Picked-on at school, picked last for any team; his home has been sad and quiet since Dad left and his luck feels like its run out. But things start looking up when Archie bumps his head and literally sees stars: his favourite famous football player standing in front of him, granting him nine wishes.

This is INCREDIBLE! Unlimited ice cream, a whole day of eating pizza and playing on the X-Box, revenge on the bullies, becoming the star player in a televised football tournament: finally, all his dreams can come true! Will Archie wish his way to happiness? Or will he realise that magic wishes may be wonderful, but only he has the true power to change his life?

Funny, moving, inventive, uplifting children’s fiction at its finest, perfect for fans of Jenny Pearson and Ben Davis.

And finally, voting is now open for this year’s Coventry Inspiration Book Awards. Follow this link to keep your favourite book in the competition: Coventry Inspiration Book Awards 2023 – Coventry City Council

Happy reading!