Here are two new young fiction stories from Holly Webb, both published by Little Tiger
Holly Webb, illustrated by Jo Anne Davies
The ninth of Holly Webb’s Winter Animal Stories is another time-slip adventure, this one featuring young Hannah.
She’s on holiday with her family and visiting a Christmas market in Dresden when she spots a wooden bear cub puppet on one of the stalls and knows immediately that she wants it.
Then back at the hotel in the bedroom she was sharing with her sister, the two get into a squabble over the bear and it gets broken.
During the night, Hannah wakes up and finds she is not in her hotel room but sitting on a dirty, straw strewn floor. She’s in a stable; a bear cub is there too and a much larger bear, she thinks.
Managing to open the door of the stall, she bumps into a boy and the two go outside and into a market square. But why is he anxious not to be seen?
Little by little Matthias explains what he was doing in the stable and why he is so determined to stop the cruel bear leaders getting hold of the cub Luna especially, and training her to be a dancing bear. She also learns that the boy sells carved wooden toys and when he invites her to join him in a rescue Luna attempt, she cannot but agree, especially when she actually sees bear dancing in action.
Another lovely seasonal tale full of snow and festivity, but also with a big emotional pull about the plight of the real bear cub and about the cruelty of bear dancing, which happily has almost died out.
Museum Kittens: The Pharaoh’s Curse
Holly Webb, illustrated by Sarah Lodge
Watched by the resident museum kittens, there’s great excitement among the museum staff standing in the Egyptian Gallery and it’s on account of a part of the Book of the Dead on loan from another museum.
It’s rumoured that there’s a curse on this particular piece of papyrus and when unpleasant things start occurring coinciding with its arrival, Peter kitten decides something terrible is going to happen to the museum. Tasha thinks otherwise and is determined to prove him wrong.
Then part of the gallery ceiling collapses, but that’s only the first disaster.
The entire gallery is flooded on account of a burst pipe; the kittens are trapped, so too is Grandpa Ivan. Is he right when he says, “Museum cats are perfectly capable of rescuing themselves,” or are they to fall victim to that pharaoh’s curse everyone’s been talking of? And what of the precious papyrus? Will it be ruined by the water?
Exciting stuff; those relatively new to chapter books will be whisked away, rooting for the kittens throughout; they’re made even more adorable thanks to Sarah Lodge’s plentiful illustrations.