Fairytale Ninjas: The Glass Slipper Academy
Paula Harrison, illustrated by Mónica de Rivas
Harper Collins Children’s Books
You’ll meet some favourite fairytale characters in this, the first of a new series, starring friends Red, Snow and Goldie who are pupils at the Glass Slipper Academy; Red rather reluctantly as she considers there are plenty of more exciting things to do than learning how to pirouette – things such as fighting trolls and riding dragons.
It quickly becomes evident that Red is a headstrong character who doesn’t always think before she acts; so when she grabs Snow’s penny and throws it into a supposedly broken wishing well, it might just be a case of be very mindful of what you wish for.
Once inside the academy, Red continues with her thoughtless behaviour and one of her wild acts results in her discovering a secret door in the studio behind which is a small storeroom full of clothes, silver armour, swords and a rolled up carpet. Just the kind of things for an adventure, thinks Red.
Madame Hart catches them red-handed and as a result agrees to give them sword-fighting lessons, telling the girls that the moves are very similar to dance moves. She also tells them that the most important thing she can teach them is self-belief.
Some weeks later during a lesson, Madame Hart is arrested for supposedly kidnapping little Prince Inigo and a group of soldiers take her away. Before you can say Diamond Palace, the three girls have stashed what they think they’ll need in their backpacks, ninja suits included, and along with wolf pup, Tufty, are off to find the real villain responsible for the young prince’s abduction.
Highly enjoyable either as a read aloud or as a chapter book for emergent readers, especially fairy tale fans, who will delight in discovering some of their favourite characters in different situations. Black and white illustrations by Monica de Rivas add to the fun.
Slugs Invade the Jam Factory
Chrissie Sains, illustrated by Jenny Taylor
This is the third adventure for inventor, Scooter McLay, his little alien chum, Fizzbee and his human friend Cat Pincher. Between them they have transformed McLay’s jam factory into a tropical jam glasshouse wonderland.
Now they have a problem: an attempted take over of the sluggy kind. In fact the slimy creatures have found several ways to infiltrate and moreover appear to be well-organised. How on earth is this possible?
Equally seemingly impossible is that Scooter’s mind has gone blank: he doesn’t have one single idea that might help the situation. With slugs leaving their slimy trails everywhere, feasting on the fabulous fruits and most likely causing the factory to fail its imminent hygiene inspection, on account of slug infestation, the situation is pretty desperate.
Daffy diagnoses Scooter with having creative block but has no knowledge of how this might be fixed; but could some of Fizzbee’s Cocoa Bean Creativity Jam help?
Something needs to be done and fast to thwart chief slug, Mucus’s plan to turn their factory into the first ever slug cafe and wellness spa. He seems to be taking the place over completely so the jam clan must pull out all the stops to halt his dastardly scheme and save their beloved establishment..
Did anyone say Brussels Sprouts? And be prepared for a surprise announcement before the end.
Hugely funny and equally silly, with Jenny Taylor’s illustrations adding to the enjoyment, this tasty offering concludes with a spread giving information about cerebral palsy, the condition that Scooter has.