The Wild Way Home by Sophie Kirtley – review

Stig of the Dump meets Skellig in this heartwarming time-slip debut about friendship and courage.

Brilliant for Stone Age and Environment topics, The Wild Way Home celebrates nature as Charlie finds a deeper respect for the wildlife and wildness of the forest and a new bravery and understanding of self.

Written with warmth and humour, Kirtley uses gentle details of every day home life that ground the story in reality and give the characters substance. Balanced with the peril and fierce wildness of a Stone Age forest, this is a gripping adventure, perfect for fans of Hilary McKay and Geraldine McCaughrean. We loved it!

About the book:

When Charlie’s longed-for brother is born with a serious heart condition, Charlie’s world is turned upside down. Upset and afraid, Charlie flees the hospital and makes for the ancient forest on the edge of town. There Charlie finds a boy floating face-down in the stream, injured, but alive.

But when Charlie sets off back to the hospital to fetch help, it seems the forest has changed. It’s become a place as strange and wild as the boy dressed in deerskins. For Charlie has unwittingly fled into the Stone Age, with no way to help the boy or return to the present day.

Or is there … ?

What follows is a wild, big-hearted adventure as Charlie and the Stone Age boy set out together to find what they have lost – their courage, their hope, their family and their way home. Fans of Piers Torday, Geraldine McCaughrean and Stig of the Dump will love this wild, wise and heartfelt debut adventure.

You can get your copy here and signed copies while stock lasts, here.

The Lost Leopard by Jonny Marx and Xuan Le

This stunning picture book follows explorers Flora, Fauna and baby Bud on an exciting action-packed journey through beautifully illustrated environments in search of the elusive clouded leopard. They travel through varied habitats and encounter lots of wildlife, all labelled for the reader to identify.

The Lost Leopard is brilliantly interactive, with fun facts, lots to spot, flaps to lift and a beautiful gatefold pull out to enjoy as you share their adventure. As well as exploring habitats and the creatures that live there, The Lost Leopard gently encourages discussion about environmental and conservation issues, with a particular focus on litter pollution.

A beautiful book with gentle humour that reveals more with every read, this is one you will want to share over and over. Perfect for ages 5+ and environment topics.

About the book:

Join Flora and Fauna, the world’s greatest explorers as they embark on an extraordinary adventure in search of an elusive species of wild cat – the clouded leopard. With flaps and paper effects throughout who knows what marvellous things they’ll encounter along the way, or what their baby, Bud, may discover on this epic odyssey.

Hardback. You can get your copy here.

Wigglesbottom Primary: Break-Time Bunnies

All is chaos in Year 2! An unexpected visitor, a bewitched violin and an invasion of bunnies! What can it all mean?

The hilarious Wigglesbottom Primary series is back with a bang… and a lot of bunnies, in this laugh out loud book with three new stories about Class 2R and their wild imaginations.

School days are never boring at Wigglesbottom Primary and we love the way the stories race along at the same pace as Class 2R’s imaginations. These adventures are hugely relatable and super fun, showing a class of brilliantly positive and diverse children working together through every step of their adventures.

Pamela Butchart never fails to ace the imaginary leaps of young children and to celebrate the fun and excitement of childhood. Becka Moor’s illustrations bring all the energy of the characters to life and add even more comedy to the zany situations they create.

Perfect for Key Stage 1 and newly independent readers who love riotously funny stories.

You can order your copy here.

Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes

One magical friendship. One roaring adventure. The magical tale of a bold young chimney sweep and a remarkable tiger, a dangerously hypnotic ruby and a mystical land that’s found across an ocean and through a storm. Perfect for fans of The Girl of Ink and Stars and Pax.

Tiger Heart is a fierce historical fantasy where nothing is as it seems and magic can come from the most surprising of places. It is also deliciously dark; dealing with themes of capitalism, control and greed. A tale for our age, the nods to capitalist politics, child labour and animal welfare make this historical adventure all too relevant.

A fantastic story for children who enjoy their magic grounded in history with believable, authentic characters and a layer of worldly truth. We loved it!

About the book:

Fly never meant to end up in a cage with a man-eating tiger. And though she’s no princess, when the tiger bows to her, she can’t help vowing to free him and return him home. But the bird-filled jungles and cloud-topped mountains of the tiger’s homeland are an ocean away. And not everyone wants the tiger to return.

With dark and dangerous forces working against them, will Fly be able to fulfil her promises, keep them both alive and – just maybe – become the queen her tiger knows her to be?

You can get your copy here.

Explorers on Black Ice Bridge by Alex Bell

If you haven’t yet discovered Alex Bell’s extraordinary The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club series then you have a real adventure ahead of you and, quite frankly, we’re jealous that you get to experience the joys from the very beginning. Get on it now! The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club awaits:

The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club

Explorers on Witch Mountain

Those of you who have read the first two books are in for a treat with book three; Explorers on Black Ice Bridge. The team are back together and face a daring mission that combines all the storylines Alex Bell has been weaving through the first two books in the series. We meet snow queens, magical creatures, club rivalries, injustice, conservation, fierce friendship, and the flouting of many, many rules. There are wonderful new characters to meet and all the peril, excitement and universal truths we have come to expect from this outstanding series. Engaging and exciting, this is a truly magical series for explorers 9+

You can get your copy here.

The International Yeti Collective by Paul Mason and Katy Riddell

An epic adventure with big feet and an even bigger heart!

Ella is in the Himalayas with her uncle searching for yeti. But what seems like the adventure of a lifetime is cut short when she realizes that these secretive creatures might not want to be found.

Tick knows it’s against yeti law to approach humans. So when some arrive on the mountain, why does he find himself peering through the trees to get a closer look? What Tick doesn’t know is that his actions will set off a series of events that threaten the existence of yeti all over the world. What can he do to make things right? Just when all hope seems lost, help comes in the most unexpected form…

Brilliant for readers who are looking for something a bit different, this is fantastic storytelling, written with humour and passion. We can’t wait to see what Katy Riddell’s illustrations add to the story.

The International Yeti Collective has strong themes of conservation and the importance of respecting nature and the balance of the environment, making it a strong contender for a class read for environment topics. The yeti’s are portrayed as peaceful creatures who have a deep understanding of the ecosystems they live in. They have an active role in protecting the fine balance of nature, unlike the ignorant, greedy humans who the yeti see as destroyers. A beautiful lesson in sustainability and our responsibility to protect the environments we live in.

The first in a new series, we are very excited to see what happens next.

You can order your copy here.

Free by Sam Usher

This is a hug in book form. A warm and gentle text with a repeated refrain that echoes the lovingly rendered relationship between a child and his grandad. It is cosy cups of tea and shared triple decker sandwiches and a quiet visitor who wants to join the fun.

Boy and Grandad take care of a little bird. When it gets better, Grandad puts it outside, but it keeps hopping back into the house, following Boy wherever he goes.

Boy wants to keep it, but Grandad says it must return to its natural habitat in the wild where it can spread its wings and be free. And so begins an exhilarating journey into the rainforest! The first in a new quartet of enchanting picture books where a boy and his beloved grandad discover the wonder of the natural world.

Sam Usher’s beautiful illustrations will leave you wanting to gather your family together, set up a tea party and begin your own nature adventure.

We love this book and can’t wait to see where Boy and Grandad go next.

You can get your copy here.

Be More Bernard by Simon Philip and Kate Hindley

Perfect for fans of Jim Field, Rabbityness, Dogs Don’t Do Ballet and Giraffes Can’t Dance. Be More Bernard is a fabulously funny story about finding your own groove and being yourself, encouraging us all to chase our dreams and embrace our differences. We love Kate Hindley’s comic illustrations and have all been inspired to get our dancing shoes on.

When the other bunnies bounced, I bounced. When they hopped, I hopped. When they slept, I did too. Like them, I dreamed. But MY dreams weren’t the same. They were less . . . rabbity.

Bernard has decided that he’s not going to be like all the other bunnies any more. He’s not going to twitch his nose and prick his ears. And while others might dream of carrots, Bernard’s dreams are altogether more…disco!

He starts small, but when he finally gets to groove with grace and jive with joy at Bertie and Brenda’s Bunny Ball, Bernard shows the world that being yourself is the very best thing a bunny can be. From the author of the Sainsbury’s Book Award-winning You Must Bring a Hat and the illustrator of the brand-new Treacle Street series!

You can get your copy here.

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson

They call me Yanka the Bear. Not because of where I was found – only a few people know about that. They call me Yanka the Bear because I am so big and strong.

Found abandoned in a bear cave as a baby, Yanka has always wondered about where she is from. She tries to ignore the strange whispers and looks from the villagers, wishing she was as strong on the inside as she is on the outside. But, when she has to flee her house, looking for answers about who she really is, a journey far beyond one that she ever imagined begins: from icy rivers to smouldering mountains meeting an ever-growing herd of extraordinary friends along the way.

Interwoven with traditional stories of bears, princesses and dragons, Yanka’s journey is a gorgeously lyrical adventure from the best-selling author of The House With Chicken Legs.

The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson is a beauty of a book about the pain of feeling different and the power of stories to help you find your way. It celebrates the comfort that comes from having stories told to you and explores the power of accepting help from your friends, forming a herd, a web of strength, and finding your tribe. It's a beautiful exploration of what makes a family.

Yanka is stubborn and determined and as bright and spirited as we have come to enjoy from Sophie Anderson's characters. Full of animals, folktales, family and friendship, we love this atmospheric adventure - and whooped at the links back to The House with Chicken Legs. 

Coming September 2019!

Billy and the Dragon by Nadia Shireen

Our fearless heroine Billy is back! Whilst at a fancy-dress party, something terrible happens: Billy’s loyal sidekick Fatcat is kidnapped by a fire-breathing dragon. Uh-oh! But luckily for Fatcat, Billy won’t stand for that: off she goes on a brave rescue mission… Join Billy for a fairytale adventure with a twist.

We love Billy and her amazing hair where she keeps all her useful things. We're so glad she's back to inspire more children with her strength and positivity. Full of fun and mild peril, and with Fatcat begrudgingly along for the adventure, young children will be transported to a land of danger and dragons and savage fluffy bunnies. Never too scary, Nadia Shireen cuts through the peril with exquisitely timed humour, creating a brilliantly paced story that will have young children bouncing along in delight.

You can order your copy from our online shop here