Brilliant Barrington Stoke

I know when #bookpost arrives from Barrington Stoke that it will be an amazing book written and Illustrated by talented folk from the world of books! There are exciting moments waiting to see what title has arrived and then settling down to enjoy it.

What better time to celebrate this special publisher than Dyslexia Awareness Week! Read on for some of their latest and greatest titles. I have been recommending and sharing these far and wide this week!

Barrington Stoke books are suitable in content for KS1 and KS2 while being published on dyslexic friendly paper and in clearly spaced fonts. I love sharing these with anyone as the quality of stories and illustrations is guaranteed as much as the ease with which students can read them.

The Peculiar Thing with the Pea, Written by Kaye Umansky, Illustrated by Claire Powell

This hilarious re-telling of the classic fairytale, The Princess and the Pea is excellent, funny and completely relatable for young readers today. Prince Pete does not want to get married yet although the Queen is intent on finding him a Princess already. When Princess Patsy shows up, she is messy, fun and up for trying new games, and Pete is having the best time hanging out with her. The Queen and her ridiculous pea in the bed tradition doesn’t seem to be working as Patsy sleeps well each night. When it is time for Patsy to go home, she hands over a basket of lovely veggies, perfect for a soup! Will Patsy and Pete get married or has the Queen determined her unworthy? A fun castle adventure with amazing illustrations and a laugh out loud story!

The Invasion of the Crooked Oak, Written by Dan Smith, Illustrated by Chris King

In the town of Crooked Oak, where nothing exciting ever happens, the parents begin acting strangely. Light sensitive, thirsty and dead eyed, Nancy’s parents are the first to succumb. Nancy, Pete and Krish start looking into the strange behaviours of the town folk and it leads them to the old Fracking site on Carpenter’s Field. Finding doors unlocked, the trio go in and find strange purple orbs everywhere and find Nancy’s parents loading boxes of them into a van. The orbs explode and those in the way of the spores immediately change…can the trio save themselves and the town before it is too late? A bit creepy, mysterious and action packed, this is perfect for KS2 students!

Monster Slayer, A Beowulf Tale, Written by Brian Patten, Illustrated by Chris Riddell

A legendary and creepy tale of a monster full of hatred for humans. When the King returns from battle, there is a huge feast and celebration with music, food and dancing late into the night…which awakens Grendel! Grendel has been asleep for a hundred years and humans have forgotten about him, until he arrives and eats his fill of warriors. It then becomes a challenge for warriors to visit in attempts to kill the beast. Years go by and Beowulf arrives…he has all the skill needed to defeat Grendel but is he brave enough to fight the Hag who loved Grendel? Spooky and gruesome,this will certainly appeal to older primary readers.

Noodle the Doodle, Written by Jonathan Meres, Illustrated by Katy Halford

When Noodle joins Wigley Primary, it is love at first sight for the children. Most of them love spending time with Noodle, reading to him and taking him on class trips. A class trip to the beach proves to be a bit too exciting for Noodle with yummy sausages to steal, footballs to chase and sandcastles to destroy. It is not all fun and games for the children though as they get cross with Noodle. When the keys to the bus are lost, Noodle may just redeem himself! Delightfully funny and with super illustrations, this book will have children giggling away.

The House of Clouds, Written by Lisa Thompson, Illustrated by Alice McKinley

Grandad has come to live at Tabby’s house and there are plenty of changes in the house, the family dynamic and in the amount of care Grandad now needs. Tabby is fed up with it all especially taking Grandad’s smelly dog for its daily walk. When she stumbles along a path she finds a hilltop house that looks abandoned, except for something moving in an outbuilding. Running home, Tabby fills Grandad in and he shares a fantastical tale of cloud artists. Days later Tabby wants to know more but it’s too late to ask Grandad. This incredible book is an overwhelming reminder to spend time with those you love and to look up and appreciate all the wonders around you.

Survival in Space, The Apollo 13 Mission, Written by David Long, Illustrated by Stefan Tambellini

This book is a wonderful re-telling of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission to space in 1970. The famous words, “Houston, we’ve had a problem” are from this voyage and the three men had to act quickly in order to save themselves and get home to Earth. Astronauts go through intensive training for years in order to respond to emergencies with calmness, courage and a fierce determination, and these come across wonderfully on this version of events. Unfortunately, this crew did not get their Lunar landing but they came home safely after having to think quickly and preserve oxygen and heat for several days. It is great to bring accessible history to children that doesn’t shy away from the technical side of rocket launches but gives a clear child friendly understanding. This will be very popular in school!

The Griffin Gate, written by Vashti Hardy, Illustrated by Natalie Smillie

This has been gaining plenty of twitter hype over the past few weeks and with good reason. It is an excellent story with a magical map, crime fighting family and a determined girl. Grace and her family have been keepers of the map for a long time. It is their job to fight crime across the villages and towns on the map, though Grace is still too young to go on missions. An opportune moment presents itself and Grace jumps into a new mission accompanied only by her mechanical crow, however the clues are not adding up and she soon finds herself in danger. Secrets are found out and Grace more than proves she is ready to be part of the wardens of Griffin Gate. There is more to come from Grace and her family in The Puffin Portal.

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