So we have had an invitation to a Roman Toga Party pinned to our fridge for months, literally months. Don’t you love when you have been waiting and waiting for an event and it FINALLY arrives. It was the annual showcase, from PanMacmillan, of new and wonderful books that will launch in 2016.
Meet the team… from PanMacmillan, honestly if you are ever looking fore a dream job then this is the one: Read children’s books and then travel about sharing what you have read. Sounds to me about like the most perfect job ever… though I am betting that there is masses of other work work that publishers have to do… to get their books out to all their book loving fans.
Meet the review team… not everyone was thrilled to be called away from book browsing for a photograph!!!
But there was a most fabulous cake as compensation, superbly suited to the theme…
Books and cakes appear to be a very good combination…
And then there was a Charlie and Lola goody bag.
Packed with wonderful goodies!!!
There was plenty of time to browse around and look at all the new books, read a few picture books (because one must)… And a stack of books to take home.
Bazillions of Books to Look Out For in 2016
Between cake and book browsing there were some fab presentations of the latest and greatest impending reads… you have to listen carefully, the books literally fly past…
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar: A mixture between magic and reality. A girl and her family visit her Grandpa. He has dementia and they are there to settle him into a home. A sensitive look back at her life and family. There are so few books with dementia as a theme… we will be grabbing this one.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo: We are huge Kate Di Camillo fans… Raymie’s dad runs off with the dental hygienist, and she decides that if she wins a talent competition her dad will see her photograph in the paper that he will come home to her. So, she heads for baton school… where life is tough, competition stiff, and she discovers that she isn’t the only one with deep dark troubles. This book is about wisdom gleaned in unlikely friendships. It is sad, tough and hopeful.
Julius Zebra: Bundle with the Britons and Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! by Gary Northfield: There is a new Julius Zebra coming out. I don’t know why we haven’t read Julius Zebra yet… I think perhaps we should have. Short easy funny reads, packed with illustrations… that nice transition level between easy readers and chapter books. Think Madagascar in ancient times.
Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman: Another must read, based on a true story, set in the world of eighteenth century Devonshire smugglers. A boy attempts to clear his father’s name and ends up embroiled in something much bigger… a mystery of note. You read a review in The Guardian.
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness: Poignant, funny and clever… What if you are just a regular person with a regular life and not actually here to save the whole world.
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness: An invisible boy, with too many burdens, is tired of being unseen. He calls for a monster… a compelling story on many levels it has love, loss and hope… and a movie starring Liam Neeson and Sigourney Weaver.
Stink and the Attack of the Slime Mould by Megan McDonald: There is a new Stink out. A delightful, amusing easy chapter book series. Stink is a 10 year old boy – who is growing mould in his bedroom. Lots of facts carefully hidden in this one, all about micro-organisms. He also has a big sister Judy Moody…
Judy Moody and the Bucket List by Megan McDonald: Of course there will be a new Judy Moody as well… she discovers her Gran’s bucket list and decides to make her own grade 4 one. Just good fun.
Girl Out of Water by Nat Luurtsema: This is a hilariously funny tale of a girl whose whole life is about swimming and getting through the Olympic Trials. And then she doesn’t. Her life is over, but she has a certain panache, an incredibly strong character and gets her life back on track, though you won’t believe how!!!
The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz: This is the story, set in 1910 and written as a diary, of a young gal dying to break free of her humdrum farm life in Pennsylvania. She runs away and becomes the hired girl to a Jewish family in Baltimore… and enters a whole new world. An intriguing world full of all that she longs for, but life isn’t quite as easy as she thought it would be. I am looking forward to this one… a coming of age diary, historical fiction, and teen read all in one.
Max by Sarah Cohen-Scali: This is touted as the book of the year, its on my desk to read this weekend. Compelling, chilling, and challenging… so far from the world that we live in, yet we must read it. It is the true story of Max, a boy born to carefully pre-selected parents in the Nazi programme, to produce an Ayran race. He is taken from his mother and raised as a soldier… his task to kidnap blonde Norwegian children who are then indoctrinated into the Nazi culture. Max begins to doubt the regime. Based on truth, endorsed by amnesty international. I have a feeling this will be one of those books that will stay with you for a long time.
There Will Be A New Timmy Failure
Timmy Failure: The Book You’re Not Supposed to Have by Stephan Pastis: I can’t express what good news this is for us. In this one Timmy’s spy log is lost… And published. It was never meant for publication. That is all I can tell you!!!
Mission Coding by Young Rewired State: Because everyone is into coding… the reader is sent on a number of missions, learning as they go.
Where’s Wally? The Colouring Book by Martin Handford: Well hello, a Where’s Wally colouring book… the ultimate busy book. Packed with scenes from the series, but they have rehidden him… so good luck on the search in black and white!!!
A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston: I don’t have an image for this one… but this is going to be the picture book that sits on your coffee table for a long long long time. Two children go on a journey… and they journey through the most incredible landscapes… created using the pages of children’s classical books… mountains, rivers, castles… all collaged from pages of Alice in Wonderland and The Jungle Book. Totally magical, look out for it.
We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen: The third in the Hat trilogy… Two tortoises, one hat and very shifty eyes. Seriously, these books are so so good!!!
Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor: I love how Fiona, of Walker Books, always ends by reading a story… and this one is hysterical… a hungry owl, rhyming and romping through a series of very clever disguises never quite gets his prize… even though he is the master of disguise. A fabulous bed time read that ends with a most satisfying happy ending.
First stories… a series of Fairy Tales with heaps of things to push and pull and basically fiddle with. Each spread is a mechanical triumph and every page is hardworking… great fun for busy little hands.
Then of course there is Julia Donaldson, her old favourites recovered to look like little theatres and how cute is the Gruffallo Puppet Book. Not to mention a cook book, full of recipes like owl ice-cream and gruffalo crumble… At last! And beautifully liftable “Treasury of Songs”… foiled edges, hardback, cd… the works. A great baby gift, family gift… gift.
A beautiful new treat from one of all time faves, Emily Gravett. An Old Badger, who lives in the woods… rhyming, beautiful, funny… stamp of approval!!!
There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith: Another galactically gorgeous picture book… we had to read it the whole way through… a boy looking amongst all sorts of wild animal “collective nouns” for his tribe. It is just a stroll through a whimsical world, beautiful illustrated. And yes he does find his tribe of kids. Love it!!!
Colin and Lee, Carrot and Pea by Morag Hood: One of those super clever, funny picture books that is loved by tiny little people and their grown ups too. Lee is a pea, Colin is not. Colin is a carrot!!!
The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight by Elli Woollard and Benji Davis: A heroic rhythmic rhyme… the story of a boy and his strange bird-looking friend. A story about friendship and then they discover that: one of them is a knight and the other is a dragon. Can they still be friends?
The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield: The true story of astronaut Chris Hadfield, who was afraid of the dark and had to overcome his fear to follow his dream.
Dinosaur Roar! by Henrietta Stickland and Paul Stickland: Why have we never read this superb book before, its a relaunch and endorsed by the Natural History Museum. A bright fun dinosaur book that little dinosaur lovers will want to take everywhere with them. A fantastic read, we read it on the spot and loved it!!!
This year Rudyard Kipling would have been 150 years old… expect plenty of Jungle Book fun… not to mention the ultimate outdoorsman and scout has written Bear Grylls’ Jungle Book, full of out door adventures. Not to mention a beautiful colouring book…
Heartless by Marissa Meyer: Step back in time, the prequel to Alice in Wonderland, when the Queen of Hearts was just a girl, who wanted bake. Baking was unbecoming for a future queen. Quirky, teen read.
Swashbuckle Lil: The Secret Pirate by Elli Woollard: A step up from an easy reader, the very fully illustrated Pirate Lil… is just pure fun. My pirate lad would love it just as much as his feisty sister.
Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce: More Frank Cottrell Boyce and no one is complaining, he is a fabulous story teller. In this book, Sputnik arrives at the front door claiming to be foster child, Prez’s brother… the whole family seems to think Sputnik is a dog. They could be quite wrong.
The 52-Story Treehouse (The Treehouse Books) by Andy Griffiths: You might have read this one, but their will be another one out… The 65 story… my middle boys have literally inhaled these books as they launch they read them. I predict a birthday room and an ant farm… just saying.
Old time favourites: Amazing machines are turning twenty. Some very hardworking activity books will be launched to celebrate, with plenty of stickers, press out and play pieces.
Chris Riddell… A new Ottoline, and the Purple Fox. Packaged beautifully, packed with all the usual trimmings… more than one of us just can’t wait.
The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood: Quantum Physics, death of her grandpa and a failed first love… not to mention time travel. The summer Gottie discovers that you can’t solve all problems with an equation.
Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse: Set in 1943 Amsterdam, the coming of Hanneke who works for the Dutch Resistance. She is asked to help find a missing Jewish girl and discovers a world of mystery and intrigue. Historical fiction fans will love this one: love, betrayal, heroism… survival. All good.
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake: Triplets, three sisters, raised apart and groomed for battle. Each with a magical talent. They compete for the crown when they turn sixteen… a do or die situation. Desperate.
Charlie and Lola: One Thing by Lauren Child: There will never be enough Charlie and Lola books in the world… this one is all about numbers. If you have never counted to a squillion, then now is the time!!!
Hugless Douglas and the Great Cake Bake by David Melling: We might have mentioned how much we love Hugless Douglas before. Well the affable bear will be back and he will be baking and I predict a glorious concoction… and a wonderful hug to end it off!!!
I’ll Wait, Mr Panda: The Panda is back teaching manners again… Not everyone can wait, but the stoic little penguin is trying…
Rabbit’s Bad Habits by Julian Gough: Easy reader… and rabbit is more than a little socially awkward. I am guessing some of my gang would find this hysterical!!!
Green Lizards vs. Red Rectangles by Steve Antony: Here’s an interesting one… the green lizards and the red rectangles are at war, eventually enough is enough. This looks like an interesting book to open up the conversation about a difficult topic with curious little people.
There will be lots of it, rejacketed, recovered and freshly presented… if you are looking for a walk down memory lane then step right in. Childhood adventures in a world with no adults, no screens and no electronic devices… imagine that!!!
Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher: Tess discovers that the man she thought was her father actually wasn’t, and that families are not quite what you think they are… and through it all, that turns out to be alright. A coming of age book that many teens will relate too.
Operation Rhino (The White Giraffe Series) by Lauren St. John: This is the fifth in the series and I can’t think why we haven’t read these yet. Great outdoors and wildlife, with a bit of a mystery and piles of adventure. They look fabulous.
May be Recycled (The World of Norm) by Jonathan Meres: This is a slapstick series for middle schoolers, about Norm who is just a regular guy… he is not a spy, has no social skills to hidden magic. You can’t beat real life for funny stories.
In the Dark, in the Woods by Eliza Wass: Teen read. Cassidy tells the story as her father decides to begin a cult. Dramatic and compelling.
This Raging Light by Estelle Laure: Teen read… Lucille’s mother decided that it was time for a break… leaving more and more responsibilities to Lucille. And then Lucille is surprised by love.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: Teen fantasy… a new and fresh story set in the same world as the Grisha Trilogy. A heist must take place and six highly dangerous outcasts are the team: a convict, a sharpshooter, a runaway, a spy, a heartrender and a thief.
Wolf by Wolf and Iron to Iron by Ryan Graudin: Historical dystopian (get your head around that!!!) teen reads… what if World War II ended differently. Gritty.
CHERUB VOL 2, Book 5: New Guard by Robert Muchamore: For fans, it is the last in the series… just saying!!!
Alrighty, now we are talking, these Infographics look fantastic. Filled with facts, they are visually dynamic. Filled with intrigue: data to read, compare, learn. Not to mention activities and stickers…
The How to Build Series by Rita Storey and Louise Derrington: These books are brilliant for makers of all ages… starting off with projects that are manageable without adult intervention… the projects get progressively harder, for example the final project in the rocket book is launching a rocket into space.
The Source to Resource Series by Michael Bright: A green look at key topics that are of interest to all of us, not just kids. Where exactly are our resources from and what happens to them on their journey to us?
The fabulous Priddy Book team of Roger and Sally, sent us a totally fun, and funny, presentation via video… there are no words for the great and colourful Priddy Book Collection…
Firstly, in 2016… there will be more of Hood 8’s favourite series… Playtown, Playtown. Playtown…
And the cutest little chunky Playtown trucks…
The highlight for me, and just so you know, you are never too old for a board book… would you look at the cuteness that is Follow me…
And that was it… until next year!!!
Blast from the Past
- A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party… And Fab New Children’s Reads of the PanMacmillan – 2015 Kind.
- What We Are Reading Right Now: Fab New Books to Look Out For in 2014…
- What You Could Be Reading This Year – Dozens of New Read for 2013.
- Se7en + 1 Bazillion of The Latest and Greatest Kids Reads for 2012…
We would really like to thank PanMacmillan South Africa for this fantastic event, for the invitation and of course the extra special treatment. This post is not sponsored in any way and the opinions expressed are as usual our own.