3 4 Friday - Ghostly mice, mischievous felines and baby aliens

Congratulations to Chris Riddell for being awarded the Costa Children’s Book Award with ‘Goth Girl’, particularly because it has been a particular favourite with us all. We love not just the story, but that the publishers have done such a terrific job of making a book that is beautiful to look at and to hold. 

If you haven’t get discovered this treasure of a story, about lonely Ada Goth; or the wonderful silvery gothic detailing inside this book – come and feast your eyes – and discover how Ada with a ghostly mouse called Ishmael foil a dastardly plot that Maltravers, the mysterious indoor gamekeeper, is hatching. Seriously good stuff and one of those books that would appeal to a wide age range (7-12) and just gorgeous.

For today's 3-4-Friday #FridayReads, we thought we'd tell you about three new children's books that we feel will become favourites in 2014 - for pre-school, middle-grade and teen.

It's always a joy to see a new Slinky Malinki book and in ‘Slinky Malinki Early Bird’, Slinki creeps up the stairs to wake up a family who would rather stay in bed and who don’t react in a very friendly fashion. With its familiar rhyming text and delightful pictures of Slinky Malinki going about life in his cat-way, this is a picture-book delight for fans old and new.

Another book we have been enjoying is ‘Baby Aliens Got My Teacher!’ by Pamela Butchart. Here is a review by nine year-old Alex:

      "This was a very funny book about four friends, Izzy, Zach, Maize and Jodi, whose teacher, Miss Jones, suddenly starts acting really weird (by actually being nice to them). Zach tells them that he has seen a film about a lady who is really horrible to everyone in the village but then starts acting really nice to people . . . and she has a baby alien in her ear and starts putting baby aliens into their ears and is planning an alien invasion. 
     The next day Miss Jones is still acting weird and they start sneaking around the school looking for evidence that Miss Jones may be planning an alien invasion. I really enjoyed this book and got really stuck in. It is hilarious and has lots of brilliant words and illustrations. I think this book will make the charts in no time. So all I can say is, READ IT."

For older readers who may be looking for a change of scene from the wave of dystopian fiction of late, Nicki enjoyed ‘Stella’ by Helen Eve. 

This is an engrossing modern day teen drama about a school Queen Bee and the arrival of an American girl who sets out to take her crown. It’s a world of the beautiful and successful – and the deadly. There are shocks a plenty, some good social observations about popularity and control, and a good gothic feel to this story about the rivalry that threatens a whole school. What lengths will two girls go to as they fight for the top and is there nothing they won’t stoop to not to come second? 

As always, if you are looking for something to get children reading, we are always here to help with recommendations.

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