What We Have Been Reading Lately, The PanMacmillan Edition…

I realise that we haven’t posted any lovely “What we are Reading Right Now…” posts for a while, so as we are heading into some wintery months and hopefully some good snuggle time… these books have been lurking on our coffee table and been read and reread…


And when your child finally finds THEIR book, you know the one… that takes from just reading to loving reading… and that book is part of a great big series to get lost in!!!


The Land of Stories

The Land of Stories Series by Chris Colfer: This series is totally new to us, and so an exciting discovery… they are genuine chapter books and hood 6 has powered her way through them slowly but very surely and absolutely loved them. Basically, if you love fairy tales then you are going to love these. The books are jammed packed with characters from all sorts of children’s books and classic literature, particularly fairy tales.

The Wishing Spell (book 1): Alex and Conner are twins whose grandmother gives them a magical fairytale book… and they find themselves on a magical quest in the Land of Stories. They need to find the wishing spell to get back to their world. The spell only works three times and other folk are looking for it too. They only have one more chance to get home and a whole lot of adventures and tasks they have work through to race through to the end.

The Enchantress Returns (book 2): In book 2 the twins have to overcome the evil Enchantress who cursed Sleeping Beauty, and has kidnapped their mother. Back into the Land of Stories they must go. They can only defeat the Enchantress with a magical wand and they have to search for the pieces of the wand throughout the countryside: Through dangerous forests with lurking wolves, up snowy mountains alongside polar bears, and down beneath the sea, where the mermaids live.

A Grimm Warning (book 3): The saga continues. Long ago, the Grimm Brothers left a clue in one of their story books and Conner has to find the clue, and together he and Alex have to solve it. But there is a mysterious masked man, that is working for the enemy. Book 3 has a shocking ending, when Alex is left behind in the Land of Stories to become a fairy… and you have to have Book 4 ready to read, to see what happens next.

Beyond the Kingdoms (book 4): Towards the end of book 3 the mysterious masked man stole a potion from the children. Only now do they realise how important the potion is, because with it they can enter into other Story Books. There is betrayal and intrigue and as usual the quest is on. Disaster strikes, Conner and Alex are separated and stuck in two different books… and they have to find each other again.

There is a book 5 and book 6 in the series… but we have only read so far in the series. Look out for them, they are great reads for children that have worked their way through easy readers and beginner chapter books and are ready to be enthralled by a great and adventurous story.

Spirit of the Jungle Bear Grylls and illustrated by Javier Joaquin: I can’t imagine that there is anyone anywhere that hasn’t heard of the great adventurer, Bear Grylls. What you may not know is that he is a really great writer in fact his Mission Survival Series was the series of books that got Hood #4 totally switched on to reading. The book is about a regular middle school chap, called Mak, and who reluctantly travels to India on a family trip. When he gets there a flood separates him from his family and he finds himself alone in a wild and dangerous jungle. He has to use all his wits to survive, dangerous snakes, poachers and suchlike. In true Bear Grylls style it is gripping adventure, packed with excitement and extremely readable.

Fast Facts: Ocean Wonders: This is a fabulous book for fact lovers to get cosy with and settle down and glean some interesting facts from. Plenty of fast facts in bright boxes. Each double spread is a different topic, ranging from facts about the ocean to environmental issues, to food chains and coral reefs. There are maps with keys and diagrams for topics like the ocean layer zones. My youngest fact lover really enjoyed this read and is still sprouting facts that he gleaned from this book a fair while later. This is a great reference book for your junior fact lover, especially one with a passion for the ocean.

The Stone Age… by Marcia Williams: We are huge Marcia Williams fans over here, her fact filled cartoons are a great introduction to so many topics. The Stone Age is really the story of ancient man… cave paintings, the miracle of fire and how they went from nomads to farmers… fun learning, lots and lots to look at. If you are living with a potential cave dweller then they will be intrigued by a lot of the facts lurking between all the fun pages of their book.

The 30th Anniversary Edition of Where’s Wally by Martin Hanford: Well here we go… a lovely large Where’s Wally to dive into… of course there are the usual characters and a postcard a page to set the scene. And the usual pages… the game park, the railway station, the track and the seaside. Pure Wally fun… and for our overseas friends… Pure Waldo fun. We have blogged lots and lots of Where’s Wally Activities… take a peek here.

Encore Mr William Shakespeare by Marcia Williams: We have blogged about the first book in this series, Hooray for Mr William Shakespeare before. This one is more of the same loveliness. Books like these make it easy for young Shakespeare lovers to get a feel for Shakespeare stories… the gist of them and the main story all the while doing the things that kids love doing best… stickers and activity pages with codes to decipher, word searches, mazes and just pure fun. Plays covered in this activity book are: Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra, Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing and The Merchant of Venice. And of course cover to cover Marcia Williams comic illustrations… so everything to love!!!

Dinostars and the Cackling Cave Creature by Ben Mantle: Another book in the Dinostar Space Series. If you have a junior space enthusiast that happens to love dinosaurs then they will love this book… Bright, large scale picture book… that comes with removable fact cards and a pushout dinostar to play with. And a page of quick facts for junior fact lovers to enjoy. The group of Dinostars find themselves on planet Flammas, where a mysterious little alien turns out not to be so little after all… some adventuring to and fro, not to mention an escape from a raging volcano, the escapades continue and then they all live happily forever after. Good stuff for pre-schoolers.

Thank you so much to PanMacmillan South Africa for copies of these books for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to create it and the opinions expressed are as usual, our own.

2 Replies to “What We Have Been Reading Lately, The PanMacmillan Edition…”

  1. I love your book posts. They so often send me off to our local library’s website to put things on hold, and today was no different.
    Thank you!!

  2. Thank you so much Emily, so glad you enjoy them… we have plenty more of them coming your way!!! Have a fantastic week!!!

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