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20th September 2018

Mr Penguin is Back and He’s Headed for The Fortress of Secrets…

Grab a fish finger sandwich and a magnifying glass and get ready to head out on a second peril filled adventure with Alex T Smith’s Mr Penguin in… *dramatic drum roll* Mr Penguin and the Fortress of Secrets…Published by Hodder Children’s Books.

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With promise of bountiful cake, Mr Penguin and his arachnid sidekick Colin are requested to help solve the mysterious disappearance of a hamster by the name of Colonel Tuftybum. Mr Penguin is already in the thick of it on a case involving a gang of burly baddies and a precious stone but after a ride on a terrifying rickety motorbike and a dramatic plane crash they find themselves stranded up a mountain in the snow. Miles away from Cityville Mr P. is almost ready to give up all hope, especially when he can’t find Colin!

With an oscar worthy cast and the return of beloved Edith and her bumbag, parents and children alike will delight in joining Mr Penguin and his trusty gang on another magnificent adventure. Alex’s exquisite storytelling alongside his detail rich illustrations make for a winning combination to be enjoyed over and over again.

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Mr Penguin’s home-and-office –an igloo between two enormous skyscrapers in Cityville

 

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Mr Penguin’s cheerfulness vanished when he saw the crowd’s faces.

 

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Mr Penguin and Colin took a giant leap to catch it, but it was too quick and slithered into the hole.

 

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A little light snooping.

 

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Peruse Alex’s new portfolio at your leisure HERE or follow him on Twitter HERE.

 

Praise for Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure:
‘Addictive slapstick’ - Guardian
‘The perfect introduction to mystery stories’ - Scotsman

 

If this series is new to you, you can grab a copy of book one Mr Penguin and the Lost Treasure HERE

 

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17th September 2018

The Dam by David Almond and Levi Pinfold

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September sees the publication of a breath-taking picture book collaboration by a multi-award winning pairing David Almond the highly acclaimed author of Skellig and Arena Illustrator Levi Pinfold winner of the 2013 Kate Greenaway Medal.

The Dam published by Walker Books is a re-telling of a true story originally told by Kathryn and Mike Tickell, a striking and moving tale of loss in which David Almond pays homage to all musicians, showing the ancient and unstoppable power of creativity.

In the late 70’s and early 80’s construction began on the UK’s biggest man made lake, Kielder Water which is situated in the stunning North Northumbrian countryside, it’s creation meant a valley formerly filled with communities, farms, schools and homesteads was evacuated and slowly filled with water.

In this haunting poetic tale a father and his daughter visit the picturesque valley, where they tore down the boards over the houses, stepped inside and started to play – for this would be the last time that music would be heard in this place, celebrating the memories of communities and families who had once brought life to this now barren landscape.

 

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Expansive atmospheric landscapes painted in gouache and watercolour open up on each spread as Levi’s stunning paintings explore the fragile flora and fauna positioned alongside the vast man made construction which went on to become the dam.

 

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“The dam was sealed.

 The water rose.

 This disappeared.

 This was covered over.

 This was drowned

 The lake is beautiful”

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“Play for all that are gone and all that are still to come…”

 

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You can see the whole interview with Levi over on our Video Blog.

Buy a copy of The Dam HERE 

You can see Levi Pinfold’s portfolio HERE or follow him on Instagram HERE

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11th September 2018

The Plot Thickens in The Third Uncle Gobb Adventure

Award-winning anarchic duo Michael Rosen and Neal Layton have created yet more magnificent mayhem in the third instalment of the Uncle Gobb series. Uncle Gobb and the Plot Plot (published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books) sees cunning (and some might say evil) Uncle Gobb with his sights set on the plot of land behind Malcolm’s school and he has big plans for it too. Malcolm is going to need to come up with his own plot to stop Uncle Gobb’s plot. So that, in fact, is the actual plot plot of this uproarious adventure and worth noting that this might be the only book in the whole world which features a ghost cucumber, you have been warned.

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Click through to view Uncle Gobb and the Plot Plot PREVIEW

 

 

Illustrated throughout with Neal’s fabulous characterful creations, readers will be completely absorbed and inspired by this hilarious series. Grab a copy of the latest Mr Gobb adventure HERE (and if you haven’t read book 1 and book 2 perhaps grab those too while you’re at it!) Here are some of Neal’s illustrations from the latest book to whet your appetite.

 

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The first book in the series, Uncle Gobb and the Dred Shed won the Sheffield Children’s Book Award 2016.

 

Here’s what the press say about the Uncle Gobb books…

 

“Hilariously irreverent” –  Mumsnet 

“Ramshackle and silly in the best possible way” –  Financial Times

“Uproarious comic fiction” –  Bookseller

 

Check out Neal’s portfolio HERE or keep up to date with his latest exploits, both on and off his skateboard by following him on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Here’s Michael Rosen introducing the first in the Uncle Gobb series… watch if you dare…

 

29th August 2018

Harry Hill presents… Matt Millz Stands Up! Illustrated by Steve May

After the success of his first book about a young comedian Harry Hill returns with Matt Millz Stands Up! Illustrated by Steve May. Hardback published by Faber and Faber is out in October, we’re able to give you a special preview of the cover and a sneaky peak at the inside illustrations.

Matt’s TV performance seems to have given him the fame that he had always dreamed of: There are reporters camped outside his house – he’s suddenly in demand! But as the novelty wears off and Matt struggles to get any new gigs, it’s not long before he begins to doubt his friend and manager Kitty Hope. Would the stylish Excalibur  Agency turn his fortunes around? And could Matt ever bear to push Kitty aside?

Steve May has illustrated the book with his trademark hilarious black and white line he’s so well known for and the cover design features the characters of Team Milllz in a stretch limo, living the high life of gigging.

 

Harry Hill Presents Matt Millz Stand Up Illustrations by Steve May

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Harry Hill Presents Matt Millz Stand Up Illustrations by Steve May

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Harry Hill Presents Matt Millz Stand Up Illustrations by Steve May

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Harry Hill Presents Matt Millz Stand Up Illustrations by Steve May

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Harry Hill Presents Matt Millz Stand Up Illustrations by Steve May

 

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Harry Hill Presents Matt Millz Stand Up Illustrations by Steve May

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“Another comic caper that every 9-11 year old aspiring comedian will love, packed full of heart, humour and dos and don’ts!”

 

Review by The Reader Teacher

21st August 2018

Get snippy and crafty with Alex T Smith’s Egg Box Dragon

The Adventures of The Egg Box Dragon written by the late Richard Adams and illustrated by Alex T. Smith publishes in dazzling paperback this month with Hachette Children’s Books. An enchanting story about friendship, creativity and magic!

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In this enchanting picture book from the author of Watership Down we meet a little girl and her mischievous homemade dragon for the rip ROARing adventure of a life time with all the hall marks and credentials of a classic.

After magically coming to life Egg Box Dragon saves the day when he turns out to be an expert in finding lost things. The story culminates in a high octane quest to find the missing diamond from the Queens crown, with many humorous twsists and turns along the way  this book is sure to enchant and delight young readers.

So why not get creative with your little dragons during the school holidays by making your very own Egg Box Dragon?

Egg Box Feature

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You will need the following -

Paper to draw your dragon’s head / hands / feet and tail on – OR print out the below sheet

Scissors to cut them out (carefully, because scissors are sharp)

Tape or glue to attach the limbs

An empty egg box to attached them too.

WARNING... we can not guarantee that if your dragon does come to life under the light of the silvery moon that mayhem and mischief won’t ensue so once you have constructed your egg box dragon do keep an eye out for magical happenings.. Just in case.

We would LOVE to see your creations! Do tweet us @arenatweet with photos of your dragons and let us know how well behaved they are.

View illustrator Alex T Smith’s new portfolio HERE or follow him on Twitter for many many larks and giggles HERE 

How to Make an Egg Box Dragon

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