Monday, 31 March 2014

A Comedy Line Up or an April Fool?

1st April is traditionally a time for many a practical joke to be played, until midday it is permissible to carry out an ‘April Fool’ and children’s publishing is of course no stranger to such activity.  The good thing, from some perspectives at least, is that these practical jokes last only a few hours.  Children’s books however need to last much longer and so whilst April 1st is a great opportunity to take advantage of fun and games it is also an important time for ensuring the books marketed are going to have a lasting appeal.
With this in mind, and also considering that we are about to enter into the two-week school Easter break there are some perfect books to entertain big and little readers this April and beyond.
Let’s start with the Funny Fiction line-up created by Scholastic.  Here we have a selection of books, some already published and awaiting their follow-ups., some brand new to the  bookshelves.  Here at Armadillo we have previously introduced you to Emer Stamp and her Top Secret Diary of Pig as well as Jo Simon’s Pip Street. It is exciting therefore to be able to tell you that not only can you still read these first books in the series but that now we can reveal there will be another diary from Pig and that the Pip Street adventures are continuing in Pip Street: A Piggy Pickle in which the brave Bobby Cobbler must investigate the sudden plague of power cuts.  
If investigations tick the boxes for you as a reader then Jonny Zucker’s Fleatectives will be the perfect offering.  With Buzz and Itch, two miniscule but brilliant detectives Larva Town can be assured that no stone will be unturned in the quest to solve the many mysteries that are appearing!  If however it is not animals but people who tickle your fancy then you will love Wild Thing by Emma Barnes a story that finds Wild Thing sticking things up her nose, biting bottoms and getting up to much more mischief besides.  Can having such a little sister ever be a bonus?  Kate is about to find out in this charming modern version of My Naughty Little Sister.  Read all about the marvellous Shrinking Violet who as a mini version of herself solved a number of mysteries?  Well Lou Kuenzler is back with Princess DisGrace: First Term at Tall Towers.  Princess Grace does most certainly not live up to her name but she is excited about her first term at Princess Academy, hoping that she can learn to be a proper princess … I’m sure your imagination can fill in the gaps here and reading this or any of the books in this selection will ensure lots and lots of laughs.  Time to have a giggle-tastic April Fool’s Day this 2014!

Once we have April Fools out of the way the focus is certain to be Easter and of course chocolate (who, apart from me perhaps, does not look forward to this annual event)?  I may not look forward to the chocolate (I can’t eat it) but I do look forward to all the wonderful books that I can indulge in instead.  Macmillan publishers have given me a real treat this year too.  Eggy books, books about rabbits, chicks even bears and hippos feature.  In fact here you will find Emily Gravett’s Bear and Hare as reviewed in Armadillo Spring 2014 alongside books such as
Rabbits Don’t Lay Eggs by Paula Metcalf and Cally Johnson-Jones.  Moving up to an older age group, these latter are picture books, comes the brilliant partnership that is Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell with Scavenger Void or a selection of Judy Blume titles all with new covers including the brilliant Double Fudge, Fudge-a-Mania and Super Fudge!  Teen and YA readers are not forgotten in this line-up either with a choice of the thrilling duo Unremembered and Unforgotten by Jessica Brody or David Baldacci’s The Finisher.  
Fans of non-fiction have not been forgotten either and with two books on art, Get into Art: Animals and Get Into Art People children will be able to draw their own Easter chicks and bunnies before picking up Wow! I Didn’t Know That! Amazing Facts About the Human Body.

Just a small selection to keep you going for a few days in the run up to the Easter break, much more to come ...

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