ReadPlus is a collection of selected books and films arranged under themes. This web site provides lists, reviews and resources for librarians, teachers and parents about books for young people aged 5 to 18.
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Latest Review

Sep 21 2017

Sir Scaly Pants and the dragon thief by John Kelly

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408856062
(Age: 4-7) Recommended. This is the second story about Sir Scaly Pants the Dragon Knight and is just as entertaining as the first. This time the king is kidnapped by an evil dragon and Sir Scaly and his clever horse Guinevere, go to the rescue. After traipsing past a cyclops, a warty witch and a long-haired lady, Sir Scaly discovers the king tied up to a flagpole on the top of a very tall dragon tower.
Then he and Guinevere have to use all their wits to work out a way to rescue him.
The reader is introduced to 'The story so far' in an explanatory one page rhyme which describes how a knight raised him, how he went to Knight School, beat a smelly giant and became the King's champion. Then the story continues in humorous rhymes which are a joy to read aloud. The allusions to myths and fairy tales, like Rapunzel, will also appeal to astute readers, who will also appreciate the twisty ending.
John Kelly has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal and his illustrations, bold and very colourful, will certainly appeal to his young audience. The evil dragon is a joy to behold, gripping the king in its forelegs and the looks on all the faces of both people and animals will have young readers giggling aloud.
This is an uplifting and very humorous story that will have instant appeal to young readers and listeners.
Pat Pledger



More Reviews

Sep 20 2017

His Royal Tinyness : A terrible true story by Sally Lloyd-Jones

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Ill. by David Roberts. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406324662
(Age: 4-8) Highly recommended. Humour. Siblings. Babies. Told from the point of view of "the most beautifulest, cleverest, ever-so-kindest Princess with long, flowing wondrous hair," this is the tale of a family that was happy...
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Sep 20 2017

Little Shaq takes a chance by Shaquille O'Neal

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Ill. by Theodore Taylor. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781619638785
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Themes: Talent; Friendship. Little Shaq loves basketball and he is good at it but is a little worried that he might not be good at art. He doesn't really want to try something new (including trying new...
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Sep 18 2017

The bad bunnies' magic show by Mini Grey

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Simon and Schuster, 2017. ISBN 9781471157608
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Magic. Magicians. Deception. A slight change in plans means that The Great Hypno has been unavoidably detained and is replaced by the two bunnies, Mr Abra and Cadabra. The two bunnies take over the magic show usually put...
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Sep 18 2017

100 things to know about food

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Usborne, 2017. ISBN 9781409598619
This is a fascinating journey through the world of food that will not only appeal to budding young chefs but to anyone who likes to eat. Presented with lots of colourful illustrations with hundreds of simply expressed facts that are readily accessible...
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Sep 18 2017

Under the same sky by Britta Teckenrtup

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Caterpillar Books, 2017. ISBN 9781848575868
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Peace, Sharing. Under the same sky reflects the theme that we are all born under the same sky, with the same needs and wants, we share the same feelings even though we are spread across lands far away.
In...
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Sep 18 2017

Why do we need bees? Katie Daynes

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Ill. by Christine Pym. Usborne, 2017. ISBN 9781474917933
Type the title of this book into a search engine and you instantly get millions of results including this video, such is the importance of this tiny creature to the welfare of the world....
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Sep 15 2017

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

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Tiffany Aching book 1, Discworld book 30. Corgi Childrens, 2017. ISBN 9780552576307
(Age: 10 - Adult) Highly recommended. Fantasy, Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel (2004), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Childrens Literature (2004) (2016), Parenting Book of the...
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Sep 15 2017

Oi cat! by Kes Gray and Jim Field

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Hodder, 2017. ISBN 9781444932515
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Cats, Rhyme. Oi frog and Oi dog, the previous books in this wonderfully subversive series, tell us that the rules are simple: cats do not sit on mats and dogs do not sit on frogs. These rules have come of...
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Sep 15 2017

The City of Secret Rivers by Jacob Sager Weinstein

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406368857
(Age: 9+) We stood there for a moment, the drop of water and I. And then we both leapt at once. Hyacinth Hayward has accidently unleashed magical powers flowing under London. The shambling Saltpetre Men have kidnapped her mother and the...
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Sep 14 2017

The explorer by Katherine Rundell

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408885284
Highly recommended. Like a man-made magic wish, the aeroplane rose into the sky. It did not stay there for long. Fred has always dreamed of becoming an explorer, of reading his name among the lists of great adventurers. But when his tiny plane crashes...
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Sep 14 2017

How to resist: Turn protest to power by Matthew Bolton

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Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408892725
(Age: Secondary - Adult) Recommended. Matthew Bolton was Citizen UK's lead organiser for the national Living Wage Campaign whereby different community groups united to win the 'national living wage' for low-paid workers. In this little pocket-sized...
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Sep 13 2017

Leaf by Sandra Dieckmann

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Flying Eye Books, 2017. ISBN 9781911171317
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Polar bears. Climate change. Hope. Difference. An animal floats into the bay, and finds a cave to shelter in. The animals all stay away from him, they have never seen anything like him before, and when he goes out...
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Sep 13 2017

The secret garden and other stories

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Usborne Illustrated classics. Usborne, 2017. ISBN 9781409586562
Usborne have added another volume to their stable of illustrated collections that bring us the myths and legends that have been shared with and enjoyed by children throughout the generations. This collection includes...
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Sep 13 2017

Poe stories and poems: A graphic adaptation by Gareth Hinds

cover imageCandlewick Press, 2017. ISBN 9780763681128
(Age: Secondary) Highly recommended. Themes: gothic horror, death, disease, insanity, loss, confinement. Edgar Allan Poe's classic gothic horror stories and poems remain popular, particularly The Raven 1845. In this collection of four story...
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Sep 12 2017

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

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Scholastic, 2017. ISBN 9781407170992
(Age: 10-14) Highly recommended. 'Goldfish Boy' is the nickname given to Matthew by one of the visiting grandchildren of a neighbour. Matthew is in his own form of goldfish bowl, staying in his bedroom night and day, staring out of the window, looking...
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Sep 12 2017

On the night of the shooting star by Amy Hest and Jenni Desmond

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406377330
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Friendship. Borders. In this fable for modern times, Dog and Bunny live next to each other. They carry on their own lives, doing what each does: Dog loves to knit and sits in the garden knitting and listening to his...
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Sep 12 2017

Toto: the dog-gone amazing story of the Wizard of Oz by Michael Morpurgo

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Ill. by Emma Chichester Clark. Harper Collins, 2017. ISBN 9780008134594
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. When I had my sixth birthday my older sister gave me an illustrated copy of The Wizard of Oz and I immediately fell in love with the story. This poor book (which I still have)...
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