A wonderful demonstration of how much fun you can have with words, Carol Ann Duffy’s collection of poems includes ‘A Stick Insect’s Funeral Poem’, a whole herd of ‘Manchester Cows’, haikus, a tremendous search for breakfast in ‘Ran Out of Sugar’ and the progress of ‘The Hat’ through literary history, on poetic heads from Chaucer to Ted Hughes. Age 7+
Precious and the Zebra Necklace
When Precious Ramotswe discovers that her new friend Nancy has only a photograph and a necklace of carved zebras to remind her of her missing parents, the girls set off to find them. It is another case for Precious, the girl from the No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, and an exciting adventure in the wilds of Botswana. Age 7+
The Sunday Books
Mervyn Peake’s Sunday books were stories and drawings made for his two sons during the 1940s, when the family lived on Sark. None of the stories were written down, but the brightly coloured drawings of pirates, cowboys, monsters and jungle animals have survived. Peake’s friend and fellow writer Michael Moorcock has written tales of piracy, a shipwrecked circus and nightmare horse races to accompany these hugely entertaining pictures.
Children's Picture Atlas
Children will have fun exploring the globe through this colourful atlas. The 20 maps are illustrated with the produce, plants, animals, industries, geographical features, people and landmarks of each area, while highly informative panels provide key facts and descriptions of the region’s geography, history and culture. 7–11 years.
Games from Childhood
A Nostalgic Compendium of Games We Used to Play
Marked-out boards for versions of the game known in Britain as Nine Men's Morris have been discovered on classical ruins, ancient clay tiles and even in a Viking ship burial, the longevity and wide reach of the game attesting to its appeal. This compendium explains Nine Men’s Morris and eight other enduring games, such as Hangman and Battleships, with rules, strategy tips, printed playing boards and grids.
Our Island Story
HE Marshall (1867–1941) incorporated folk legends and focused on famous people and dramatic events in her books to give children a lively and engaging introduction to British history. Anna Bentinck and Daniel Philpott read the unabridged third volume, covering the period from James I and Guy Fawkes to Queen Victoria. 4 CDs; total time 4hrs 42mins.
Stories from Shakespeare
Using a combination of storytelling and excerpts from the plays, a cast led by Anton Lesser introduce the plots and main characters in Shakespeare’s eight plays about the Plantagenet kings Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III. Unabridged. 3 CDs; total time 3hrs 52mins.
Sparky's Magic Piano and Other Classic Recordings
‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’, ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’, ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’, and songs from Snow White ... This double CD album contains some of the greatest recordings made for children between 1911 and 1950 and performed by artists such as Danny Kaye, Gracie Fields and Paul Robeson. Altogether there are 38 tracks on 2 CDs; total time 2hrs 26mins.
What Katy Did at School
Based on Susan Coolidge’s own upbringing in a well-to-do New England family, the Katy books are among the best-loved of children’s classics. This second book in the series sees Katy and her sister Clover adjusting to life in boarding school. Here, the American actress Laurel Lefkow reads an abridged version. 2 CDs; total time 2hrs 27mins.
Written in 1857 with the intention of giving boys ‘valuable information, much pleasure, great profit and unbounded amusement’, this is the story of Ralph, Jack and Peterkin, three boys shipwrecked on a desert island, kidnapped by pirates, attacked by sharks... but Ralph always longed for adventure. This abridged version is read by Wayne Forester. 3 CDs; total time 3hrs 3mins.
‘It’s the dramatic, astonishing, comic or eye-popping truth that you’ll hear about in Pirates! ’ Roy McMillan traces the history of piracy on the high seas – often more extraordinary than fiction – since antiquity and tells the stories of notorious individuals such as Blackbeard, Anne Bonny, Barbarossa and Mary Read. Read by Jasper Britton. 2 CDs; total time 2hrs 38mins.
Puck of Pook's Hill
In Kipling's magical stories, Puck is accidentally conjured up by two children performing their version of A Midsummer Night's Dream near an ancient shrine. Puck and his friends tell the children stories, weaving together ancient and medieval history, myth, folklore and fantasy. Read by Peter Kenny. Unabridged. 5 CDs; total time 5hrs 53mins.