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Issue 299 Book Club

September 24, 2017


The Amazing Animal Atlas

By Dr Nick Crumpton & Gaia Bordicchia

Published by Flying Eye Books



From the great winding Ganges river in India to the thick conifer forests of northern Europe, travel across the globe to discover the rich variety of animals that share our blue planet. Written by zoologist Dr Nick Crumpton and fully illustrated throughout, this fascinating fact-filled book will be treasured for generations.



About the author
Nick Crumpton is a zoologist at University College London. He completed his PhD at Cambridge University before working at the Natural History Museum and for the BBC as a journalist and researcher.

Nick 20

Gaia Bordicchia is an established children’s illustrator from Italy. Her work has been published by Editions Milan, Penguin Random House and National Geographic, amongst many others.



Issue 298 Book Club

September 17, 2017


Greta Zargo and the Death Robots

from Outer Space

By A.F. Harrold

Illustrations by Joe Todd-Stanton

Published by Bloomsbury



Nobody knew it at that moment, but only three things stood in the way of the complete destruction of the Earth: one elderly parrot; one eight-year-old spelling mistake; and an intrepid young schoolgirl-turned-reporter in search of a story…

Greta Zargo needs a big scoop if she’s going to win the Prilchard-Spritzer Medal, the quite famous award for great reporting. But big scoops are in short supply in the quiet little town of Upper Lowerbridge, and all Greta’s got to investigate is a couple of missing cakes. But then, with a whoosh of unknown energy, a mysterious silver robot descends from the sky…

A laugh-out-loud funny new series from the author of the critically acclaimed The Imaginary.


About the author
A.F. Harrold is an English poet who writes and performs for adults and children. He spends his time showing off on stage, writing poems and books, and stroking his beard (it helps churn the ideas). He is the author of the Fizzlebert Stump series and the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal longlisted The Imaginary, illustrated by Emily Gravett. He lives in Reading with a stand-up comedian and two cats.

A magnificent beard - AF Harrold (C) Naomi Woddis 2011

Joe Todd-Stanton grew up in Brighton and studied at UWE Bristol, receiving a first class degree in Illustration. Joe has been commissioned to work for clients such as Oxford University Press, Usborne Publishing and Aquila magazine. He currently lives in London. For more information on Joe follow him on twitter @toddstanton1 or visit his website joetoddstanton.com

Joe Todd Stanton (C) Angelica Rose



Issue 297 Book Club

September 10, 2017


Corpse Talk: Ground-Breaking Scientists

By Adam & Lisa Murphy

David Fickling Books/The Phoenix comic

CT Scientists Front Cover 2D Lo Res


Incredible interviews with history’s most awesome scientists!

  • How did a taste of tortoise inspire Darwin’s discoveries?
  • What led Einstein to unlock the secrets of spacetime?
  • What’s the deal with Marie Curie’s deadly diaries?

Uncover all this and more in Corpse Talk, the hilarious and mind-expanding chat show that brings the dead famous to life!


About the author
Adam Murphy is a comics artist, writer and illustrator. He is the creator of ‘CorpseTalk,’ in which he digs up famous people from history and interviews their reanimated corpses, and ‘Lost Tales,’ in which he re-interprets unusual or lesser-known folktales from around the world, both for The Phoenix Children’s Comics Magazine. He lives and works in Ontario, Canada with his wife and son.
Lisa Murphy is a colourist. Her clients include: Adam Murphy (my very handsome husband!): CorpseTalk, Lost Tales, IDP: 2043, Gary Northfield: Gary’s Garden, National Geographic Kids, Neill Cameron: MEGA ROBO BROS, Neil Slorance: Dungeon Fun: Book 3







Issue 296 Book Club

September 3, 2017


A Place Called Perfect

By Helena Duggan

Cover illustration by Karl Mountford

A Place Called Perfect_front cover_RGB


Violet never wanted to move to Perfect, but when her father is offered a job that he can’t possibly refuse at the local opticians, she’s unwillingly thrust into a town full of overly obliging rose-tinted-spectacle wearers.

As her own eye sight begins to deteriorate and her mother starts acting as strangely as the other residents, Violet vows to discover the secret at the heart of Perfect – and then her father disappears! With the help of the invisible Boy, and a little imagination, can Violet save her family without making too much of a spectacle?

There’s something very wrong in Perfect, but the adults are too blind to see it…

About the author
Helena Duggan is from Kilkenny, a medieval, haunted city in the south of Ireland, which was the inspiration for A Place Called Perfect. She’s also a graphic designer and illustrator. Helena says on having her debut published by Usborne:
“Getting published was a childhood dream but to do it with Usborne has been amazing. I’ve enjoyed every step of my publishing journey so far, it’s been an education and I just hope A Place Called Perfect will be received as warmly with readers as it has been with Usborne.”

Helena Duggan copyright Dylan Vaughan

Issue 295 Book Club

August 27, 2017


Bunny vs Monkey: Book 4

By Jamie Smart

BvM4 Front Cover 3D Reverse Lo Res



A peaceful night-time picnic in the woods. What could go wrong…?


It’s Monkey, and he’s got a robot suit that shoots custard! And wait… there’s more?!

Rocket-powered hot air balloons!

Lord Wuffy-wuff’s dragon!

The wobbles!

and even the terrible HEW-MANS…

Can Bunny defend the woods and avoid getting poinked?!

About the author
He mostly tells adventures through comics. He’s worked extensively for The Dandy, The Beano, The DFC, The Phoenix, as well as The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Mega, Toxic, Doctor Who Adventures and others. He has released books through Scholastic, OUP, Penguin, Blank Slate, Random House, SLG, and David Fickling Books.
Image result for Jamie Smart illustrator

Issue 294 Book Club

August 20, 2017


The Boy With One Name


Simon & Schuster Children’s

Boy With One Name - final cover


Twelve-year-old Jones is an orphan, training as an apprentice hunter alongside his mentor, Maitland, tackling ogres, trolls and all manner of creatures that live in the Badlands – a hidden part of our own world, and which most people think exist only in fairytales and nightmares. But all Jones secretly wants to be is an ordinary boy and to leave the magical world forever…

When an ogre hunt goes wrong and Maitland is killed, Jones finally has a chance to find out where he came from. But the truth he uncovers isn’t what he’s expecting and it seems that if Jones is going to make his dream come true he’ll have to defeat a creature not even Maitland had dared take on and he won’t be able to do it alone…

He’s going to need help from Ruby, the first girl he’s ever met. She’s outspoken, fearless and determined to prove she’s as good as any boy, and unlike Jones, being ordinary is the last thing on her mind. Ruby’s desperate to find her place in the world and thinks the Badlands could be it. So, working together isn’t going to be straightforward. In fact, it could be downright dangerous.

But who said getting what you want is supposed to easy, even if it is just wanting to be ordinary?

About the author
Rupert Wallis read Theology at Cambridge University and holds an MFA in Screenwriting and Writing for Television from the University of Southern California. He now lives in Norfolk.

Issue 293 Book Club

August 13, 2017


Good Dog, Bad Dog: The Golden Bone

By Dave Shelton

Golden Bone Front Cover 3D Lo Res


Kirk Bergman and Duncan McBoo are pedigree police: the finest canine cops in Muttropolis. And they’re never short of work.

The Golden Bone of Alexandria has been stolen by malevolent mongrels and our doggy duo are the perfect pooches to take on the case…

Criminals beware: Bergman and McBoo are on you tail!

About the author
Born and raised in Leicester, Dave now lives in Cambridge with a brilliant woman, a beautiful girl, a bonkers dog and an inexcusable cat. He likes comics, cricket, crosswords and talking to cartoonists about pens. He is the creator of the slapstick comedy noir comic strip Good Dog, Bad Dog, as seen in the DFC, the Guardian and the Phoenix. His debut prose novel for children, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat, which he also illustrated, was shortlisted for the Costa children’s prize and the Carnegie medal, and won the Branford Boase award. He is fond of cake.


Issue 292 Book Club

August 6, 2017


The Story of Tutankhamun

By Patricia Cleveland-Peck

Illustrated by Isabel Greenberg

Tutankhamun Cover


Uncover the true story of an Egyptian king, and the 20th century explorer who found him.

Discover the troubles Tutankhamun faced as a young king, his untimely death, and his legacy, which lay hidden for centuries. Pore over his treasures, learn the steps of mummification, and see Tutankhamun’s fascinating story bought to life. Travel through history with Howard Carter, on his quest to uncover Tutankhamun’s hidden tomb, his incredible discovery, and our continued hunt to understand and unearth the riches of Ancient Egyptian life. Prepare to be amazed as you uncover the story of the most famous boy king, and a world-changing discovery.

This book brings to life the astonishing story of Tutankhamun, through the beautiful illustration of award-winning Isabel Greenberg and the fascinating writing of Patricia Cleveland-Peck.

About the author
Patricia Cleveland­Peck has published 16 children’s books and 4 adult non­fiction books. She has compiled programmes for the BBC and had 2 radio plays and 1 stage play performed. As her ‘day job’ she works as a travel journalist specialising in gardens abroad. With ”You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus’ she returned to the world of children’s books after a long absence – and is enjoying being there very much!
About the illustrator
Isabel Greenberg is an award-winning London based illustrator, comic artist and writer. She has had two graphic novels published ‘The Encyclopedia of Early Earth’ (Best Book Award at the 2013/14 British Comic Awards) and ‘The One Hundred Nights of Hero’. Isabel has worked with a variety of clients including The Guardian, Nobrow Press, The National Trust and the New York Times. In 2011 she won The Observer Jonathan Cape Graphic Short Story Prize. She enjoys illustrating all things historical.

Issue 291 Book Club

July 30, 2017


Dragon Rider: The Griffin’s Feather

By Cornelia Funke

Chicken House

Griffin's Feather


In DRAGON RIDER Firedrake, a brave young dragon, embarks on a magical journey to find the legendary place where silver dragons can live in peace forever. Along the way, he discovers extraordinary new friends and a courage he never knew he had. But the greatest enemy of all is never far behind – a heartless monster intent on destroying the last dragons on earth…

And in a heart-stopping new adventure, THE GRIFFIN’S FEATHER, the last winged horses are on the brink of extinction. Three foals lie ill, trapped curled in their eggs, in a sanctuary for threatened (and mystical) creatures. Ben – a young dragon rider – volunteers to seek the only cure: a griffin’s feather. His silver dragon, Firedrake, agrees to help. But griffins are a dragon’s fiercest enemy, and they live far away in the sweltering jungle.

A dangerous and exciting adventure begins …

About the author
 Cornelia Funke 2016 2 (photo by Thorsten Wulff)
Cornelia Funke is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inkheart trilogy, The Thief Lord and a whole host of popular children’s novels and picture books. Born in Germany, her international break- through came with Dragon Rider, which spent 78 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She now lives in California.

Issue 290 Book Club

July 23, 2017



By Peter Bunzl


21 Moonlocket_RGB


When infamous escapologist Jack Door breaks out from Pentonville Prison, he sets out for the town of Brackenbridge, determined to find his missing treasure – the Moonlocket. But when Lily and Robert unwittingly find themselves caught up in Jack Door’s search, they discover that Robert’s history holds the secret to the Moonlocket’s whereabouts…

Determined to solve the mystery, Lily, Robert and Malkin the mechanical fox, set out for London on an adventure full of danger, daring, family secrets and long-buried treasure…

About the author
Peter grew up in a rambling Victorian house with three cats, two dogs, one sister, an antique-dealer dad and an artist mum. As a child he loved writing and illustrating books and comics, and so he went off to study animation at university. Peter has animated commercials and two BAFTA-winning children’s TV shows. Recently his stories spilled from screen to page and he found he loved this new wordier way of telling tales. Cogheart was his debut novel.