High Fliers

DSCN2107 Nuts in Space
Elys Dolan
Nosy Crow
Will they or will they not find their way home with their precious cargo? That is the nub of this hilarious story starring Commander Moose and his half dozen crew members. Having completed their mission to find The Lost Nuts of Legend and boarded their super stealth covert cruiser, they discover that the Star Nav of their craft, Forest Fleet’s Finest Starship no less, has malfunctioned. Oh woe! DSCN2108

Moreover, their food supplies are exhausted and their maps have been mysteriously consumed. Hmm! What can they do? Certainly not start on those nuts guys: they are reputed to bestow unimaginable boons: invincibility and bedtimes that are never passed, for instance. Stopping by at the Death Banana to ask for directions? Certainly not a good move, either guys.

DSCN2109 So do those fearless, very hungry, crew members ever find their way back home again? And what about those all-important Nuts of Lost Legend; what is their fate? If you want to know, and I’m pretty sure you do, then get hold of a copy of this action-packed saga. It’s absolutely chock-full of treats – both visual and verbal (not to mention nuts). Well, maybe not NUTS! DSCN2110It’s guaranteed to keep youngsters absorbed for hours, days, maybe even weeks!
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When Angus Met Alvin
Sue Pickford
Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Alien Angus is different; there’s nothing he likes better than to rest quietly in his peaceful garden. One day however his peace is disturbed when a spaceship crashes, creating havoc in the centre of his lawn.

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Out jumps Alvin, another alien whose mission it is to demonstrate his ‘special space skills’.
Angus is unimpressed by Alvin’s fancy flying and there rapidly develops a competitive element to their trickery. Time for Angus to consult Professor Poppemoff’s tome for a suitable idea.

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To say that Alvin’s already inflated idea of his skills is further inflated by Angus’s challenge and that it consequently causes his downfall – indeed his total deflation – is no exaggeration.
The resulting pin-sized Alvin is far from amused and quickly makes an ‘I promise to behave myself’ deal with Angus. Thereupon he receives a deft dusting of special, size restorative

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and sets to work to prove himself, which he duly does. Peace is finally restored in Angus’s garden.
A delightfully daft tale of friendship and lateral thinking, laugh-makingly delivered through a combination of completely crazy ideas compiled into a comic text, and playful pictures.

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These are littered throughout with off-beat details and appropriately idiotic images.
I envisage this one sparking off all manner of alien artistry and other imaginative ideas from enthusiastic listeners of the earthling species. It certainly got a huge thumbs up from both large groups of five and six year olds that I shared it with.
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 Pairs of children could be Angus and Alvin and then using the wonderful endpapers as a starting point, can compile and then depict, their own sets of ‘Special Things’ on small coloured pieces of paper. These can then be pasted up on opposite sides of a large sheet of card or paper, one half for Alvin’s, the other for Angus’s.

What about having an alien tea party, Alvin and Angus style, with young earthlings compiling the menu and concocting the food and drink. Then sharing it of course!

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Those Magnificent Sheep in their Flying Machine
Peter Bently and David Roberts
Andersen Press
I found myself struggling not to break into fits of laughter as I read this one out loud; indeed my ribs were aching trying to keep my giggles in. This absolutely uproarious saga tells and shows what happens when Lambert and Eunice and Marly and Mabs and Old Uncle Ramsbottom, Bart, Ben and Babs (phew!) accidentally take to the air in a biplane.

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Squashed into the cockpit they set forth on a round the world trip to see the sights. They drop in at, among other destinations, France for a can-can, Tibet where little Ben’s encounter with a Yeti is too close for comfort, DSCN2058

and India where a maharajah’s invitation to his Delhi palace for “Mutton curry” sends them scuttling hastily planewards. But then … east? west? Home’s best, the others firmly tell Ramsbottom , so, home they go. The returning plane is spotted by its silver-topped cane bearing owner who rushes eagerly to apprehend the thieves, only to find his empty flying machine at rest atop the hill, but no sign of any thieves, just a field full of white, woolly sheep.

DSCN2059 Wonderful!
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Find and buy from your local bookshop: http://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

If you are interested in teenage fiction, nominations are called for the Queen of Teen award 2014. For further information got to: http://www.queenofteen.co.uk

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