Welcome Guest! Login here or sign up during checkout to create an account.

Issue 286 Book Club

June 25, 2017


Cool Coding

(Cool Science Series)

by Rob Hansen

Pavilion Children’s

Cool Coding_cover


This fun and quirky book provides a fascinating introduction to the world of computer coding, organised into handy bite-sized chunks. Coding, now firmly part of the National Curriculum, is a huge subject and can seem slightly impenetrable, especially to parents, and that’s where this book comes in.

Cool Coding contains everything you need to know about computers and coding, from the very basics of binary code and how it works, to the myriad things that coding can actually do. It introduces the most popular coding programmes taught in schools, Scratch and Python, and shows how coding can be used to create websites, games and apps.

Packed with playful illustrations and inspiring information on the amazing world of coding and computing, this book is the perfect introduction to this most essential of subjects.

About the author
Robert has written all sorts of things, from software patents to tabletop roleplaying games, but this is his first non-fiction book. In his spare time, Robert enjoys hiking and making all sorts of things, from electronics to computer programs to woodwork. He is married and lives in Hertfordshire.

Other books in the series:

Cool Astronomy cover_high res

Cool Physics_coming soon


Issue 285 Book Club

June 18, 2017


The Misadventures of Max Crumbly: Middle School Mayhem

by Rachel Renée Russell

Simon & Schuster

Max Crumbly 2 Final Cover

At the end of his first adventure, Max had crash-landed on top of a Mighty Meat Monster pizza (try saying that three times) after taking a late-night tumble through the vents at South Ridge Middle School – and he was completely surrounded by three ruthless criminals!

Will Max be shredded to bits like mozzarella cheese on the hard and crunchy pizza crust of doom? Can his friend and sidekick, computer-whizz Erin, help get him out of this sticky situation alive?

 Rachel Renee Russell_author photo 1

RACHEL RENÉE RUSSELL is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the blockbuster book series Dork Diaries and the exciting new series The Misadventures of Max Crumbly. There are more than thirty-five million copies of her books in print worldwide, and they have been translated into thirty-six languages. She enjoys working with her daughter Nikki, who helps illustrate her books. Rachel’s message is “Become the hero you’ve always admired!”


Issue 284 Book Club

June 11, 2017


Bad Mermaids

by Sibéal Pounder

Illustrated by Jason Cockcroft

Bloomsbury Publishing

3d cover BAD MERMAIDS Book

Mermaids Beattie, Mimi and Zelda are enjoying a summer on land with legs when they receive a strange crabagram ordering them to return home at once. Some seriously bad mermaids are on the loose and the girls are the only ones who can stop them. If they’re going to save the day, they’ll need answers. And a clam car. Definitely piranhaprint nail polish. Possibly not the talking seahorse. Can they do it?
Filled with magical mysteries, fabulous fashion, and a serious piranha problem, Bad Mermaids brings a whole new twist to the underwater world of mermaids. If you enjoyed The Little Mermaid, you’ll love this too!

Sibéal Pounder Head Shot credit Richard Grassie low res

Sibéal Pounder previously worked for the Financial Times – interviewing everyone from Veronica Etro to Vivienne Westwood. As well as Bad Mermaids, she writes about fabulous witches and feisty fairies in Witch Wars, her first and much loved series for Bloomsbury, which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Award.


Issue 283 Book Club

June 4, 2017


The Adventures of John Blake

by Philip Pullman

Illustrated by Fred Fordham

David Fickling Books/The Phoenix comic




Far out at sea, and hidden by the fog of time, sails the Mary Alice and her crew – searching for a way home. But the mysterious ship is being hunted by a villain who will go to ANY lengths to track her down …

When a storm hits a small family yacht throwing a young girl overboard, John Blake dives in to save her and brings her aboard the so-called ghost ship. But trying to return her to her own time means going back to the one place where they run the greatest risk of being completely annihilated.

Join John Blake and the crew for an unforgettable time-travelling adventure on the high seas. With art by Fred Fordham.


Philip Pullman is the author of the legendary His Dark Materials trilogy! He has won more awards than you can shake a stick at, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children’s Book Award and a CBE. His writing is so awesome that The Times named him as one of the 50 greatest writers since 1945! He lives in Oxford, where’s it’s rumoured there’s a portal to Phoenix HQ…



Fred Fordham is truly a graphic-novel machine! From his first book, Nightfall, to his art in the astounding Phoenix smash hit, The Rocket of Rawangadalli, he’s been delighting readers, inspiring imaginations across the world, and generally making people say “WOW, LOOK AT THAT!”

Issue 282 Book Club

May 28, 2017


Evil Emperor Penguin STRIKES BACK!

by Laura Ellen Anderson

David Fickling Books/The Phoenix comic


Evil Emperor Penguin Strikes Back Cover 3D Lo Res


For anyone who doesn’t know, Evil Emperor Penguin longs to TAKE OVER THE WORLD! With his assistants, Number 8, a very well-to-do, sharply dressed octopus, and a cute ball of fluff called Eugene, he’s planning nefarious schemes of WORLD DOMINATION! There’s only one problem: EEP isn’t very good at world domination.

From the pages of The Phoenix, this book tells about the time EEP’s beloved spaghetti hoops are stolen! Could this be the work of his arch-nemesis Evil Cat?

Laura Ellen Anderson

Laura Ellen Anderson  spends every waking hour creating and drawing and would quite like to live on the Moon when humans finally make it possible.

Issue 281 Book Club

May 21, 2017


The Anti-boredom Book of

Brilliant Outdoor Things to Do

by Andy Seed





Say goodbye to boredom with this fantastic outdoor boredom-busting book! From the hilarious Andy Seed, winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2015 for Best Books with Facts, comes the fantastically busy Anti-boredom Book of Brilliant Outdoor Things to Do.

A brilliant book bursting with amazing outdoor activities that will have you running for the door! Packed full of hilarious illustrations from the wonderful Scott Garrett, this book will keep you entertained for hours on end!


Andy Seed is an author and poet, living in North Yorkshire. He writes memoirs, funny poems and humorous non-fiction books as well as all sorts of things for teachers. Andy won the 2015 Blue Peter Best Book with Facts Award for The Silly Book of Side-Splitting Stuff, and was shortlisted for it in 2016 for Silly Book of Weird and Wacky Words.


7_592830 side-splitting








Issue 280 Book Club

May 14, 2017


Animal Activity

by Isabel Thomas

Bloomsbury Activity Books




Warning: this book will self-destruct!

Packed full of fun and exciting projects, which use its pages in different ways, this book will have you tearing, folding, cutting, experimenting and scribbling as you find out all about amazing animals and plants.

Make your own hopping bugs, create and decorate an inflatable fish, and play an animal trumpet as loudly as you can! Can you piece together your very own dinosaur? Can you turn a piece of sheet into a hanging mobile of sea creatures? Put your skills to the test!

Pages from 9781408870068_txt_print 21-30


Isabel Thomas has written over 80 books and has been shortlisted for both the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize and the Blue Peter Book Awards. When not writing, she’s experimenting, inventing, drawing, exploring and wearing out her library card. In Cambridge, she’s zookeeper to three young sons and a primary school governor.










Issue 279 Book Club

May 7, 2017


Electrigirl and the Invisible Thieves

by Jo Cotterill

Illustrated by Cathy Brett

Oxford University Press




Part book, part comic… but one electrifying superhero adventure! Holly Sparkes returns to Blue Haven after her summer holiday to find some strange goings on. Weird green slime is oozing out of the ground, there’s been a spate of mysterious robberies and, worst of all, she’s losing control of her electrifying superpowers. If she could only stop blowing things up, she might just be able to save the day . . . again!

A great read for both boys and girls, with fast- paced and exciting plots,

this is perfect for comic- book and superhero fans.


Jo Cotterill author pic


Jo Cotterill has been writing stories and songs since she could hold a pencil. Growing up in Oxfordshire, she took out as many books as possible from the library each week and drew pictures on her bedroom walls. She can resist buying almost anything except books. Successful careers in acting and teaching were fun but nothing is as great as seeing your name on the cover of a book or enthusing kids about stories. Jo has published over twenty books and has far too many ideas for the number of hours available to write them. She lives in north Oxford, likes making cards and cakes, and believes passionately that there should be more female superheroes.


Issue 278 Book Club

April 28, 2017


The Secret Diary of John Drawbridge

by Philip Ardagh

Illustrated by Jamie Littler

Nosy Crow




John Drawbridge has moved to Widemoat Castle to learn to become a knight. And there is a lot to learn. How to charge with a lance on horseback without falling off. Why the spiral staircases always go up in a clockwise direction. How to defend the castle against invading parties. Why the plates served at banquets are made of stale bread (and why you should never eat them…). And much, much more. So it’s no wonder that John decides to keep a diary (even if it is only an imaginary one…) of his time at the castle. Things really liven up when the castle is attacked by an invading Welsh party – but can John foil their plot before it’s too late…?




Roald Dahl Funny Prize winning author Philip Ardagh is the author of The Grunts. He is probably best known for his Grubtown Tales, but he is author of over 100 books. He is a ‘regular irregular’ reviewer of children’s books for The Guardian, and is currently developing a series for television. Philip Ardagh is two metres tall with a ridiculously big, bushy beard and size sixteen feet, making him an instantly recognisable figure at literary festivals around the world.



Jamie is an illustrator who graduated from the Arts Institute at Bournemouth in 2008. When not trying to tame his un-naturally fast growing hair or having staring matches with next door’s cat he likes drawing, colouring in, cutting things out and sticking things in. Jamie’s books include Hamish and the Worldstoppers which was the bestselling children’s debut of 2015 and a Wilf the Mighty Worrier, shortlisted for the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards.

Issue 277 Book Club

April 21, 2017


Dragon’s Green

by Scarlett Thomas

Canongate Books


Dragon's Green packshot


Effie Truelove is a pupil at the Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange. When her grandfather is brutally attacked, Effie promises to look after his magical books. But then shady book collector Leonard Levar gets hold of them and Effie has to embark on the most dangerous adventure of her life!

Oh, and by the way, on
the hardback edition…
the cover glows
in the dark!

Dragon's Green glow in the dark

‘I loved reading Dragon’s Green… I found it even better than Harry Potter books! If you like books about magic, dragons, rare books and friends, you’ll love Dragon’s Green!’
 – Anon, 9 years old


Scarlett Thomas (c) Ed Thompson


Scarlett Thomas is a best-selling, award-winning, tale-spinning writer. When she’s not writing, she teaches others how to write at the University of Kent.