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 20 2018

You can't let an elephant drive a digger by Patricia Cleveland-Peck

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Ill. by David Tazzyman. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408879146
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: STEM. Probability. Humour. Verse. A range of improbably domesticated animals are given impossible things to do, inviting every reader to simply laugh out loud at the antics shown. Each double page shows an improbable scene: a shark in the bath, a polar bear cutting hair, a seal acting as a chef, brushing your teeth with a crocodile and more, all illustrated with gusto, hinting at the possible things which may happen with the animal doing something he is simply not designed to do.
Told in four line rhyming stanzas, each page invites the reader to predict the last word of each line and many adults will find children learning the stanza detailing the animal they like best. Kids will love the looks on their faces as they try out their impossible tasks, and the corresponding looks on the children's faces as a shark appears in the bath or an octopus helps with dressing or a wolf offers to read a bedtime story. Each page bristles with laughter and kids will love looking at the detail where other things are happening: mice carrying away the mousetrap, a cat under the table eating the fish dropped by the seal or the elephant's poo dropping onto one of the workers.
Full to the brim with hilarity, children will relish this unusual tale, another from the duo who created "You can't take an elephant on a bus". David Tazzyman is new to me and I found out more about him here. Initially a commercial illustrator, he illustrated the "Mr Gum" books for Egmont in 2006 and has illustrated children's books ever since. Patricia Cleveland-Peck has written some 14 books and more information can be found here.
Fran Knight



More Reviews

Sep 20 2018

Oscar the hungry unicorn by Lou Carter

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Ill. by Nikki Dyson. Orchard, 2018. ISBN 9781408355756
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Themes: Unicorns. Fairy tales. Food. Home. Humour. Oscar loves to eat and despite what he eats, he is still hungry. He eats his stable, the gingerbread house, the pirate ship, the toadstools which house the...
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Sep 19 2018

Dino diggers: Dumper truck danger by Rose Impey

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Ill. by Chris Chatterton. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408872482
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Dinosaurs, Technology, Accidents. In Dino-Town, the Dino Diggers are all ready for action. Dressed in their hard hats and fluoro jackets, they can take on any problem which comes long, so when...
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Sep 19 2018

Mummy Fairy and me : Fairy in waiting by Sophie Kinsella

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Penguin, 2018. ISBN 9780141377896
(Ages: 5 - 7) Recommended. Themes: Fairies. Humour. "Ella's family has a big secret - her Mummy is a fairy. She can do amazing spells with her computawand. Only, sometimes the spells go a bit wrong, and that's when Ella steps in to the rescue.
In...
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Sep 19 2018

Melowy : The ice enchantment by Danielle Star

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Ill. by Danielle Stern. Melowy series book 4. Scholastic, 2018, ISBN 9781338151800
(Age: 6-8) Themes: Unicorns, Fantasy, Friendship, Courage. In the Castle of Destiny hidden by a sea of clouds, Melowies, winged horses with gorgeous colourings, gather to be schooled in magic....
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Sep 18 2018

Ruby's worry by Tom Percival

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408892152
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Themes: Anxiety. Depression. Sharing. Friendship. Ruby's life is carefree and happy, but one day a worry finds her. At first it is a very small worry and can be hidden behind her, or even ignored. But as time goes on the worry...
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Sep 18 2018

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the pajimminy-crimminy unusual adventure by A.L. Kennedy

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Ill. by Gemma Correll. Walker Books Ltd, 2018. ISBN 9781406360509
(Ages: 6-9) Recommended. Themes: Friendship. Humour. Bonkers story of friendship, llamas and total evil.
Uncle Shawn and Bill are back, and so are the llamas. In a book that could stand alone or work as a sequel, they...
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Sep 17 2018

Princess Swashbuckle by Hollie Hughes

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Ill. by Deborah Allwright. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408862803
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Princesses, Stereotypes, Adventure, Frogs, Family, Verse, Humour. All Princess Swashbuckle wants to do is be a pirate queen, to sail away on a pirate ship and be the ruler of the waves. But her...
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Sep 17 2018

Norman the Knight gets a fright! by Mark Sperring

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Ill. by Ed Eaves. Bloomsbury, 2108. ISBN 9781408873991
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Knights, Dragons, Employment. When the four children and their cat apply for the job of helping Norman the Brave, a knight of renown, they are surprised at what he expects them to do. Their work...
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Sep 17 2018

The afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand

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Harper Collins Publishers, 2017. ISBN 9781460754283
(Ages: 12+) Highly recommended. A heart-warming and emotional tale of the importance of generosity, family, love and compassion. When Holly Chase is visited on Christmas Eve by three spirits warning her of the imminent consequences of...
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Sep 14 2018

The Funny Life of Pets by James Campbell

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408889947
(Age: 8+) Recommended. A dog's nose is more than 1 000 times more sensitive than our nose. That's why if you do a bottom burp in a dog's face it will go cross-eyed and fall over. Imagine a sausage dog's dilemma when it's eating sausages - the...
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Sep 13 2018

Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tanya Bolden

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Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781681196992
(Age: 13+) Recommended. In the latter months of 1864, during the U.S. Civil War, General Sherman of the Union led a huge army through Georgia, freeing slaves, plundering goods and destroying property of the vanquished. Many ex-slaves chose to...
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Sep 13 2018

Bonkers about beetles by Owen Davey

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Flying Eye Books, 2018. ISBN 9781911171485
(Ages: 6-adult) Highly recommended. Themes: Beetles. Non-fiction. What a wonderful encyclopaedic book about beetles, I read it from cover to cover, loving every piece of information given, observing the pictures with glee, scanning the layout...
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Sep 13 2018

Angry Cookie by Maria Karipidou

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Walker Books, 2018. ISBN 9781406383089
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Themes: Anger. Friendship. Confronted by an angry Cookie from the start, the reader will be in no doubt about the theme of this book. We are told in no uncertain terms, not to open the book, not to turn the page, and not to...
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Sep 13 2018

Melowy: The night of courage by Danielle Star

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Scholastic, 2018. ISBN 9781338151787
(Age 7+) Recommended. The night of courage is book 3 in the Melowy series and will be enjoyed by any pony lover aged 5+. In this book, readers meet the Melowies, magical ponies who are at school together. They come from a variety of...
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Sep 11 2018

The survival game by Nicky Singer

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Hodder Children's Books, 2018, ISBN 9781444944525
(Ages: 12+) Mhairi is a child displaced and desperate to return home. The world is changing around her and she is caught in an exodus as the people of Africa flee north, praying for a chance at survival now Global Warming is taking its...
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