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2nd October 2018

Between Worlds with illustrations by Frances Castle

As winter fast approaches, the nights draw in and the air begins to chill so what better book to curl up with than Between Worlds Folktales of Britain and Ireland a beautifully re-imagined collection of traditional tales woven together triumphantly by award winning author Kevin Crossley-Holland and Arena Illustrator Frances Castle (published by Walker Books).

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Between Worlds is both lyrically rich and delightfully strange, these eerie and magical folktales from across Britain and Ireland have been passed down from generation to generation, and are now gathered together in this definitive new collection. Dark and funny, mythical and earthy, these fifty stories are part of an important and enduring historical tradition that dates back hundreds of years. Described by Neil Gaiman as the “master“, Crossley-Holland’s unforgettable retellings will capture the imagination of readers young and old alike.

Arranged by theme each section brings together stories inspired by; “Magic and Wonder” “Adventures and Legends” Fairies and Little People” “Love” “Wits, Tricks and Laughter” and“Ghosts”.

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Each beautifully crafted story features Frances’s exquisite illustrations reminiscent of lino cut prints, picking out key characters and locations, whilst cleverly and playfully complimenting the text on the page.

This visual feast will equally warm your cockles and chill you to the very bone. Grab a copy of Between Worlds Folktales of Britain and Ireland HERE 

 

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Frances Castle has been working as a freelance illustrator for over ten years after beginning her career in the computer games industry. She is inspired by comic book art and vintage children’s books from the 50s and 60s, and loves good charity shop finds of old magazines, books and packaging. She lives in north London.

View Frances’s portfolio HERE or follow her on Instagram HERE 

28th September 2018

Captain James Cook Folio Society Book Covers by Tomislav Tomic

Captain James Cook – The Journals 1768–1779 illustrated by Tomislav Tomic published by The Folio Society 

 

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Commemorating the 250th anniversary of Captain Cook’s first voyage, this sumptuous three-volume set of his private journals from The Folio Society with cover illustrations by Tomislav Tomic is accompanied by a full-size chart tracing the routes of his journeys.

Each volume is devoted to one of Captain Cook’s three pioneering voyages, and contains a concise and informative introduction, maps of the voyage and Philip Edwards’ unsurpassed selection of the journal itself (the third volume also includes a postscript on Cook’s death). All three voyages included scientific officers (including Joseph Banks, later to become President of the Royal Society) whose chronicling of the natural history they encountered added incomparably to the Western World’s scholarship.

Based on original material from the expeditions, Tomislav’s illustrations were heavily influenced by the artefacts and maps from that period resulting in complimentary covers based on flora, fauna, land and sea.

 

Stunning collectors editions which will add a sense of gravitas and impending adventure to any bookshelf.

 

View Tomislav’s portfolio HERE

 

Find out more about The Folio Society online here: Instagram @foliosociety Twitter @foliosociety Facebook @thefoliosociety

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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…