Titles to Try – January Edition

As January draws to a close I would like to share my other reads that I have enjoyed this month and recommend for school library purchase as well as for young readers to enjoy at home. Whilst there is a nice variety to the titles I am about to share on this blog there is also an underlying quality to the texts themselves that link the books in a way that benefits those of you reading this blog as you can be sure they are worth giving up your time and money to add them to your stock.

Ronaldo Rules – Simon Mugford and Dan Green

As footballers go it only seems fit that the first two titles in this brand new series Football Superstars are in relation to Ronaldo and Messi, the two most popular footballers in today’s game. Both Ronaldo Rules and Messi Rules were published on the 9th January with a style that has a liking to the Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates series’ but with entirely football relevant content instead. The layout grabs your attention every time you flick the page over to read more and more content as it is bold and features eye catching illustrations throughout, making this series perfect for those readers looking for quick fire snippets of text that contain everything they need from a great book, and in this case the book has facts and statistics about the specified footballer so that readers can learn all about their favourite player without getting swamped with information and lost in the process. There are other titles out later in the year that include Kane, Sterling and Hazard – and no doubt many more players will get added to this series as it becomes a popular request in libraries as much as at home, much like other football related titles are at present, with my library frequently unable to keep up with demand for the books most of the time.

  • Published by Welbeck Publishing on 9th January 2020.

Faery Tales – Carol Ann Duffy

Originally out in hardback in 2014 Faery Tales was published in paperback this month featuring illustrations by Tomislav Tomic. With over forty tales featuring inside this book readers are quite literally spoilt for choice, able to indulge in those tales that are well versed and familiar to us all – Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, The Pied Piper of Hamelin are all good examples – and then there are those that are less if at all known to readers and therefore an interesting and curious selection to be entertained by such as Tattercoats, The Lost Happy Endings, The Maid with No Hands and many, many more. Each tale is only a few pages long but enthralls you as you read with such an attention to detail within each story that helps ensure you can imagine the scene being depicted and embark on the adventure there alongside the characters. This would be a fantastic book to offer to children that read classic titles or to those that don’t in an attempt to broaden their reading genres because the short length of the stories will help ensure they are not put off by the size of the book – as is often the case with classic titles.

  • Published by Faber & Faber on 9th January 2020 (PB) 6th November 2014 (HB)

Sam Wu is NOT afraid of Zombies – Katie and Kevin Tsang.

There has been Sharks, Spiders, Ghosts, The Dark and now the latest title in the Sam Wu series features Zombies. In this book Sam Wu finds himself having to help the one kid in his class that he doesn’t get on with and who causes Sam Wu problems, Ralph Zinkerman the Third. It seems that Ralph and Regina have been sleep deprived because a Zombie Werewolf in the basement is not only disturbing them but is leaving them fearful of being eaten! In another bid to prove that he is not afraid Sam Wu takes on the task of solving the Werewolf problem alongside his good friends Zoe and Bernard, getting his sister little Lucy agreeing to look after Fang if anything should happen to him! The story features short chapters that are perfect for readers setting off into the world of chapter books, and the text is frequently broken up by illustrations relevant to the story. With more titles due out in this series and each book being as much a standalone read as a part of the bigger picture there is no better time to get young readers enjoying these fun, adventurous and frankly very brave characters as they embark on one incredible adventure after another with together.

  • Published by Egmont on 9th January 2020.

A Super Weird! Mystery, Danger at Donut Diner – Jim Smith

Well known for his Barry Loser series and with the similar now iconic style cover, this new release due for publication early next month has exciting new characters and locations for readers to familiarise themselves with and enjoy as they read about the Pebble family, who move to Donut Island to be nearer to work, and look to make new friends as they settle in. Melvin Pebble soon becomes friends with the Rhubarb, the girl next door, and as the pair find they have similar interests such as investigating mysteries it only seems fitting that they team up to uncover the cause of strange behaviour in the other children at school which all seems to stem from the collectible monsters in packets they all have. This being the first title in what will undoubtedly prove to be an incredibly popular series makes it perfect for those children starting off on chapter books, especially as the text is minimal on pages and frequently accompanied by stunning Jim Smith illustrations. Melvin and Rhubarb are given equal importance and airtime in the story ensuring this book feels relevant to all readers, and the pair featuring on the cover reinforces this. The content is light, often funny and will leave children laughing out loud as they enjoy the story, illustrations, relatable characters, friendship dynamics and so much more.

  • Published by Egmont on 6th February 2020.

There are some unquestionably good series’ to keep an eye out for in 2020 and some incredible installments too. Stayed tuned for a blog that gives you the low down on dates to remember for those titles that you won’t want to miss – albeit the start of a new series like that mentioned above by Jim Smith or the next instalment in The Unmapped Chronicles series by Abi Elphinstone. 2019 for me was definitely the year of the debut author, I wonder if 2020 will be that of the children’s book series.

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