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More from The Irish Times Books. Finding their place at the heart of Pfizer. The reinvention of customer service experience with applied intelligence. The Story of Home: A bolt from the blue. Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber. The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription.
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He's exceptionally tall but that really isn't going to help him here.
Through fair means or foul, Daniel realises he must somehow win the competition to avoid national humiliation - and the wrath of the rest of the school! With short chapters and lots of fun cartoon illustrations this is a great choice for the more reluctant reader. But she still feels a bit homesick. When the school decides to enter a film-making competition set by the local council, Dani is in her element - back at home she often makes videos with her friend Arch.
Amongst the fun and crazy adventures, there are subtle messages about being yourself, and developing confidence. A great take on the boarding school genre. Or are these problems just too big for Funfair Moon? Verbal and visual jokes about in this fantastical adventure. Tim and his family move to the country when his dad decides to become a farmer.
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Bankruptcy is looming when Tim persuades his dad to take in a pack of llamas. For various unlikely reasons, the llamas turn out to be footballing geniuses, the Ronaldos and Messis of the animal world, and are soon competing at a very high level. Silly, and as satisfying as stories of unlikely champions always are, the book is also full of quality descriptions of the footballing action as Llama United progress up the league.
And what a time they have, passing all the planets from Mercury to Pluto before returning home, navigating their way through an asteroid belt on the way. Each short chapter is full of information about the galaxy, and packed with illustrations by Tony Ross too. Lots to learn, and lots of fun to be had while publisher Barrington Stoke makes sure that this is a book that is particularly easy to read. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.
Rover, star of The Giggler Treatment and others, is back for a new and equally hilarious dog-poo centred adventure. As ever, Rover needs to collect dog poo to keep the Gigglers well-supplied. Probably not, but a camping trip certainly allows for lots of comic adventure. The jokes come thick and fast and mostly from the nether regions and the story is told as much through cartoon illustration as through the text making this a super accessible read for everyone.
Danny Dingle does just that with it's all-singing, all-farting, larger-than-life characters and irreverent tone. It is a treat to work on a book that's so genuinely funny and full of personality, which can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The book's universal appeal is something that is mentioned over and over in reviews, and it is one of the reasons it is so brilliant for engaging reluctant readers. Danny's witty, imaginative and relentlessly optimistic personality is infectious: you can't help but love him despite his many flaws. Doing exactly what it says on the tin, this book is indeed packed with things for kids to do with science and the great news is that all of them are fun and generally easy to do, and that they can be created from craft materials or items that all of us will have readily to hand.
Diagrams and colour photos make it more accessible and attractive to look at too. With activities that can be carried out indoors and outdoors, this will be great for the Easter and summer holidays. British Science Week is 10—19 March - find out more at www. She wishes she could take Neil, her puffin, with her. In a nice touch we see that mum is feeling a bit sad about it too.
Fortunately, the teacher sees a way to make things right. Children will understand exactly how Polly feels while guest appearances by Neil and Skittles the parrot add excitement and more humour. The short text, lively adventure and frequent illustrations make this just the thing for readers at the start of their own schooldays.
Along with a bowl of fruit, six batteries and a wind-up meerkat. Terrific fun. Author: Gareth P. Why, our pets. When Dung Guzzler beetles arrive from the former star Dun-Glowing, things look bad: these things thrive on rubbish, and as they get bigger will happily trample whole cities to produce more rubble. How will agent Biskit and his new partner Mitzy the cat stop them? Garth P Jones has a deservedly dedicated fan-base and they will love this new series. A fast-moving adventure ensues, a mix of daft but exciting action scenes, wisecracks, slapstick and some proper character development too.
Black and white illustrations by Tim Wesson add to the all-round appeal. All these things are put to good use to stop a wicked landowner, whose plans to turn the library into a carpark are actually cover for something even more despicable. This will be great fun for children who like stories overflowing with magic, and Kit and her friends are very appealing characters. They are as lively a pair of protagonists as you could hope to meet and there are twists, turns and surprises galore as the story unfolds. Each chapter opens with a Komodo Jones comic front cover — someone should publish those stories too!
Award-winning Michael Morpurgo weaves a charming and witty story around sport and history as they have come together in the recent twin triumphs of the City of Leicester with the discovery of the remains of King Richard III in a car park and Leicester City football club winning the Premier League. The link between the two? A family of foxes! When Daddy Fox finds the ghost of the king and helps to release him from an unseemly grave he is granted one royal wish.
What will it be? As a mad-keen footballing family the Foxes have one over-riding wish; that Leicester City can go top of the League. Can the King do it? You bet he can! Michael Foreman captures the spirit of this entertaining adventure perfectly. There are shades of Watership Down in the story of Shylo, the runt who embarks on a daring adventure, but it brings to mind Wind in the Willows too, in the depictions of the English countryside and the creation of eccentric yet believable animal characters.
Funny, surprising, original, it unfolds as smoothly as treacle dripping off a spoon, but much much faster. I did NONE of these things. Stay awake in lessons it helps. AVOID the class bully to stay out of trouble. Technically not a school issue - but still important. In 3 : invisible goodies — dastardly baddies — killer chickens poultry-geists! In a nutshell : noble kings — evil laughs — chocolate Good versus evil is given a very funny workout in this the first book in what should become a very popular series. As kings go, Edwin is lovely, always distributing chocolate to his subjects.
Andy Riley cleverly lampoons comic book conventions while simultaneously constructing an action story that will thoroughly satisfy their readers. Karen has made a name for herself with teachers, reading charities and librarians for producing fun and fast-paced stories that get the most reluctant of readers turning the pages. Walter Brown and the Magician's Hat is a magical story bursting with adventure and excitement.
Walter is woken on his 10th birthday by his cat Sixpence, and as he opens his presents he receives a rather special hat, with some rather special abilities. Black and grey illustrations bring the story to life, and Sixpence in particular looks very real and more than a little mischievous. Amusing, imaginative and entertaining, this story is a perfectly magical treat.
This really keeps me on my toes well, fingertips I suppose… and the great news is that every one of my readers wins. I also often get comments about how refreshing it is to have a book that can be read in a short space of time due to its manageable length. Many children who are not natural bookworms get a great sense of achievement from this — and those that read regularly find time to easily fit in my books alongside all the other distractions available to them.
So I hope I am doing my small part to inspire and support a love of reading. In a Nutshell: silliness — disguises - dogs Jeremy Strong continues to set the standard in comic writing for children and his Hundred-Mile-An-Hour Dog series is a tour de force of silliness. Trevor is determined not to let this happen and with his NOT-girlfriend Tina works out a clever plan. Meanwhile, someone is kidnapping dogs, the fancier, the better. The plot proceeds at the kind of speed even Streaker would be pushed to match and this is joyfully, inspiringly ludicrous.
Fans will be more than satisfied. Superfairies is a sweet new series about four little fairies, in which the emphasis is very much on kindness and helping others. In this springtime story the fairies are working together to clean their home inside the cherry blossom tree, when they get a call that one of their animal friends needs help. They climb into the fairycopter and fly to the rescue as always. Little Basil the bear cub has got into trouble in the river and things are scary until the fairies manage to help him out.
With just the right amount of risk and reassurance, and a gentle message about the danger of playing near water, this will charm young readers. I also had a wonderful illustrated book about the tooth fairy that included, most importantly, instructions on how to ensure my tooth was not missed in exchange for some pocket money. So when Curious Fox was introduced to Rose, Berry, Silk and Star, we knew we wanted to bring the Superfairies to the next generation of girls and boys!
The Superfairies live in a cherry blossom tree in Peaseblossom Woods, alongside their animal chums. A celebration for the changing seasons and the beauty of nature is always round the corner, and with summer fairs, petal parades and winter feasts, their active social lives alone could keep their calendar full all year round.
But nature also brings challenges. The fairies are torn: how can they protect their friends and still respect Mother Nature?
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There are plenty of times, however, that the animals need no help at all to get themselves in sticky situations. Wonder, curiosity and refusing to back down from dares are the prime culprits in keeping the Superfairies on red alert. Nature and technology harmoniously mix to aid animal rescues. Each fairy has a special power: Berry uses her super eyesight to scout for missing animals and Silk spins super strong webs to make ladders or catch falling friends.
Snow White panto review: Gleefully naughty, infectious entertainment
When they work together, they can solve any problem. This happy union is echoed by the author and illustrator, who are partners in crime and friends in real life. Join the Superfairies on their rescues with books 1 to 4 available now, and books 5 and 6 publishing in August this year. A classic Roald Dahl title, a most touching story of a boy and his very special father.
Danny and his father live in a caravan parked right next to the garage where his father works. Danny father teaches him how to fix bits of car, reads him bedtime stories and introduces him to the wonders of nature. One night, Danny discovers his father has a secret. He is a brilliant poacher and he is determined to outwit the local gamekeepers.
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How Danny helps his father carry out his most daring plan of all without being caught is a thrilling read and a triumph for father and son. Jeremy Strong knows just how to pitch a story to junior readers and the three different adventures in this collection have all his hallmarks: exaggerated characters; bags of slapstick; fast, furious storytelling that still leaves children with something to think about.
Pudding Lane Primary, as explained in the first story, is the proud owner of a pet ostrich, Iris aka Mad Iris. Loveable world-class detective Timmy Failure is back for a new adventure. And his business partner and side-kick Total, a. Can Timmy keep out of trouble at school and ahead of the game? There are laughs a plenty as Timmy finds himself in — and out - of some ludicrous situations. The combination of hilarious words and drawings will have even the most reluctant readers laughing their way through another great story from Stephan Pastis.
It makes for lively reading — another winner from a writer who always finds the net. Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. The story will satisfy its readers thoroughly and Max looks set to give Dork diarist Nikki a run for her money. Finding out just what leads up to this is very funny indeed and readers will be pleased to hear that Rafe still returns home something of a hero. How do you see off the school bully?
A farm boy himself he is quite at home with the big bully Olly and he dares Darren to come up close too. A gripping story with a surprising ending. In a nutshell: historical adventures full of facts and fun Not since Horrible Histories has the past been brought to life for young readers so accurately and with so much humour. Written in partnership with the National Trust in the form of the diary of a young boy, page to a knight at Widemoat Castle, the story recounts an exciting episode in his life culminating in an attack on the castle by the rebellious Welsh.
You can always rely on Philip Ardagh to add humour and this rollicking story has some very good jokes as well as appealing characters. A winning combination! It's much more serious than that. From Hillsborough to Munich and the Heysel Stadium, Alan Gibbons examines the worst events in football in a way that enables young fans to understand what happened and why. A fan himself, his book still celebrates the best of football too as a way to bring people together.
Meres gives almost-eleven-year old Darren a very authentic voice, and his diary extracts are broken up at regular intervals by lists and fun facts, making this very accessible. A fun and satisfying story to make reading rock! September Fascinating Facts Book of the Month Anything you can imagine, you can animate says this stimulating book, and it explains clearly and simply the ten key skills readers need to become expert animators, starting with flipbook loops and ending with special effects, lighting and camera skills. The instructions are carefully worded to be friendly and easy to follow, while the colour illustrations on every page help to explain the different processes, and keep it all feeling fun and uncomplicated.
There are lots of extra handy tips in text flashes, a page of useful links and a glossary with definitions of technical and unfamiliar terms.
Snappy Sammy Smoot
This is an inspiring and really useful guide for young would-be animators. This is a hilarious story of dead fish, gorillas with bananas in their ears, poetry, cunning plans and highly legal documents kind of. Oh and iPads, iPhones and vlogging of course. Oh the horror, the indignity! The days when people would sit around the fire playing board games, take long walks and do jigsaw puzzles — all the time. Will Louis convince his parents that social media and technology are good things after all?
Or will Louis have to find another way to make his voice heard? In an age where the issue of technology and social media addiction is becoming ever more topical and debated, How to Update Your Parents provides a fresh outlook on the subject and shows both sides of the argument in a thoroughly entertaining, non-judgmental, and hilarious way. A successful mix of pedal-action, friendship and fantasy adventure, this is a very satisfying story for newly confident readers. As Updike stresses, though, it is not just the customers who are bound absolutely by conventional ideologies.
He is simply another cog in the wheel; he fills a slot, a slot that any person could fill, a slot that everyone who is bound by conventional ideologies of masculinity and femininity in fact does fill. Sammy has a genuine erotic experience that develops in several stages. As Bataille suggests, too often in culture, people try to find happiness or psychic satisfaction by acquiring objects, presuming or hoping that those things will provide contentment. Ironically, however, since objects are inanimate, they cannot respond to the psychic desire invested into them, thus the continual need to acquire more objects to try to satisfy the libidinal energies mistakenly directed to them.
First, he begins to see the girls as more than objects, especially as more than sexual objects. Second, by feeling sorry for them, Sammy, in contrast to displaying his earlier limited masculinity, begins to embody and deploy elements of conventional femininity—compassion and understanding. As Updike suggests here, Lengel has been struggling with—perhaps even thwarted by—the person who sells cabbages to the store. Feeling marginalized and unempowered, however, Lengel, seeing the girls, seizes on the opportunity not only to reassert his power and authority, but he also seizes on the opportunity, he thinks, to cover over his psychic wound and regain his sense of masculinity.
They are caught between two voices of authority. First, it mocks Lengel. After this come in here with your shoulders covered. And he turns his back on them. However, because they are neither young nor sensually appealing, Lengel has never questioned them—nor has he felt threatened by them. Policy is what the kingpins want. I uncrease the bill, tenderly as you may imagine, it just having come from between the two smoothest scoops of vanilla I had ever known were there, and pass a half and penny into her narrow pink palm, and nestle the herrings in a bag and twist its neck and hand it over, all the time thinking.
As Updike stresses in this passage, Sammy begins to employ the positive conventional masculine quality of reason. By employing the positive, conventional masculine quality of rationality, Sammy simultaneously deploys its concomitant characteristic—the positive phallus, or the privileged signifier. Sammy wants to play the chivalric hero, the white knight in shining armor, and rescue the maidens in distress; he wants to save them from the foul ogre, Lengel. As Updike quickly suggests, though, Sammy is motivated by more than just chivalric posturing, for he leaves Sammy an escape.
However, their sexuality does more than embarrass him. It threatens his masculinity—his power, privilege, and wholeness. Censorship, however, excludes without representation, and consequently has no structuring effect upon sexuality. Because male sexuality is both represented and repressed by the phallus, the male subject is simultaneously more alienated from the real and more integrated within the symbolic than is his female counterpart. Female sexuality, on the other hand, is censored rather than repressed by the phallus—covered over but not represented or structured by the paternal signifier.
Semiotics That is, rather than invoke policy—an element of justice rooted in a system of laws and ethical principles—and which clearly never existed in fact or in concept until the moment that Lengel confronts the girls—Lengel invokes his Law—his exclusive power, privilege, and wholeness. He is the manager, the executor of power and authority. Thus, Lengel feels right and just in marginalizing, dehumanizing, and even figuratively annihilating the girls.
Instead of playing the just judge, Lengel plays the petty tyrant. That is, Sammy is still, in part, captated by his romantic ideals and by his youth.
While he is too young to articulate the nature and value of his experience clearly or fully, he perceives its meaning and significance. His reconstruction of events makes clear they do not need a defender. Preserving his integrity—his private, autonomous subjectivity—by holding the line against tyranny means more to Sammy than preserving his economic position or his parental acceptance. But he, like the customers, is one of the sheep. They are all unconscious—of themselves and of others. In this sense, they function like animals—or worse. They are automatons. They function like machines—or worse.