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  1. Arthur Conan Doyle - Books, Sherlock Holmes & Facts - Biography
  2. Short and spectacular: 21 great novels under 200 pages
  3. You could win all 100 of these read-aloud books!

Pam Allyn, is an American literacy advocate and author. Called the Book Whisperer by many customers, Sarah has a knack for connecting the right books with the right readers. Lisa G. Kropp is the First Steps columnist for School Library Journal and a fierce advocate for early learning services in public libraries.

Maggie McGuire. Quirky imagination and wry humour make this a wonderful book for fussy eaters. Disgruntled Barry Bennett wishes he had better parents fun ones who let him do what he wants. Funny, smart and unpredictable. This ability proves invaluable as he befriends a team of lions in his search for his parents, who discovered a cure for asthma and have mysteriously gone missing. This is the first book in a well-crafted, thrilling trilogy.


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Meet three friendly and just slightly feisty cats in this sweet and simple lift-the-flap book by author and illustrator Viviane Schwarz. Clever and funny, the pages talk directly to the reader as we go on a mild feline adventure before bedtime. Even very young babies can enjoy the illustrations and lilting narrative of a really good picturebook like this one. A colourful and comforting read.

This fantasy adventure is a s classic in which modern and medieval worlds collide.

Arthur Conan Doyle - Books, Sherlock Holmes & Facts - Biography

Colin and Susan encounter a wizard who shows them an underground cave where knights lay in enchanted sleep. They must help the wizard find the lost, magic Weirdstone that keeps the knights safe. A mysterious giant terrorises the land but the people cannot destroy it. However, when the world is threatened by a terrible monster, the metal beast becomes their saviour. Did you forget that the film franchise was originally a series of novels?

The trilogy follows the fate of year-old Katniss Everdeen as she is forced to enter a TV game show in which competitors fight to the death. Smartly written, this futuristic thriller is great for luring teens back to the printed page. Certainly not Charlie, even if he has to suffer his smarty-pants cousin. However, when Charlie finds himself caught up in a missing jewellery mystery, his cousin might prove to be a useful ally. At any time of the day, sharing a book is one of the best ways to bring calm to wild family life. No wonder then, that this classic with its simple, reassuring conversation between a parent and child rabbit and its soothing watercolor illustrations has sold over 28 million copies.

First published over years ago, they were populated with fabulously named wildlife and Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves, and were adopted by the Scout movement long before Disney. Silly and smart. Dahl paints a joyously grisly portrait of a married couple who play nasty tricks on each other, enslave monkeys and trap birds for pies by gluing tree branches.

Gruesome, yes, but perfectly pitched at under-eights with a robust sense of humour. And of course, The Twits get their just desserts in the end. Other Asterix adventures were nominated, but this got most votes. Here, plucky Gauls Asterix and Obelix join forces with Britons in the fight against the Roman baddies. Child has such a dry sense of humour and a knack for talking intelligently to young readers. Plus of course, her mix of collage and illustration is colourful, funky and stylish. As a result, this post-modern retelling of a classic fairytale is essential reading for girls and boys who prize quirkiness over convention.

Picturebooks like this are brilliant for exploring concepts like friendship. Adapted for TV by Charlie Higson, this was the first in a series about an absent-minded boffin and his bumbling friend Colonel Dedshott. Still funny and fresh, despite references to housekeepers and library cards from the period in which it was written. Get them learning science early, with playful picturebooks like this romp through the world of micro-organisms. Explore how we catch a cold, what bacteria go into yoghurt and all kinds of other fascinating facts, simply and entertainingly explained.

After his family is murdered, a toddler wanders into a cemetery where he finds himself adopted and raised by its inhabitants yes, the dead ones and a guardian who seems to hover between the living world and the afterlife. Children learn so much from listening to us talk, long before they can express themselves in words. A stranger in a foreign world is always a good vehicle for comedy and a chance to explore acceptance and understanding. Especially when the hero of this odyssey is a charming, accident-prone bear.

Rosoff has an easy, flowing narrative style and an eye for the remarkable in the everyday, which makes her books crackle with tension and detail. A deservedly acclaimed read. Can he, his sister Meg and his friend Calvin free his dad in this sci-fi caper? This pacey spy thriller follows the fortunes of undercover agents, all aged between 10 and 17, who work for an organization called Cherub.

The fantasy was concocted by Carroll on a riverboat trip as a way of amusing the three young daughters of a friend. The rest is history. While reading bedtime stories, Herb accidentally falls into a book and finds himself in a perilous adventure where he encounters all the characters from classic fairy tales.

Short and spectacular: 21 great novels under 200 pages

Although you can enjoy the stories of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad in cartoons with young children, the novel is a more densely woven and evocative tale celebrating the countryside and companionship, better suited to older readers. President Roosevelt was a huge fan. Find out in a series of rhyming challenges. Funny, smart female-role-model stuff. Sophie and Mummy are having tea in the kitchen when a tiger arrives and decides to hang around a while, eating them out of house and home.

Family, school, everyday events and language itself are explored in these magical verses. This bright and breezy picturebook stands squarely with the dreamers. Mishaps abound as the book reveals Strong as a master of quirky stories for young readers.

You could win all 100 of these read-aloud books!

As silly as it sounds. Allan Ahlberg and his wife met at teacher training college and created many quietly funny storybooks together before her death in The classics continue to enchant, including this detailed little book throughout which young readers are encouraged to find fairy tale and nursery characters on each page. In his letters home he tells his family all about his adventures.

Great fun.

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This was the first full-length novel in a series about a brother and sister and their crime-busting friends. Mr Big is strong and tough, but also a bit of a softy. However, everyone is too scared to come near him to discover this, so how can he show them his nice side? Fern has a pet pig named Wilbur and as he grows fatter, he eventually faces the destiny of all the pigs on the farm. However, with the help of a talking spider called Charlotte, Wilbur might be saved.

This modern jewel follows an ordinary chap who finds his house demolished and the Earth destroyed in order to make way for a hyperspace bypass. The original radio comedy format ensures a tight, pacy read as Dent is bounced around the universe. The relationship between the parent dogs and their puppies is lovingly explored and the search unfolds as a thrilling adventure. The author of the Mr Benn series has a talent for playful picturebooks that concisely express something of the quirks and contradictions of the human condition.

Here, a powerful General is furious when his invading troops meet no resistance in the last unconquered territory and instead befriend its people. Three children who live in an orphanage under the uncaring custody of social workers and therapists decide to run away. Their escape is perilous, but when they meet a girl named Heaven Eyes, there seems to be some small hope in their otherwise bleak world.

Almond at his thought-provoking best. In a community dominated by power and battles, a misfit Viking teenager rescues and befriends an injured dragon. Can the two outsiders unite to be accepted and live happily? But one night, Star is not there and Fox must venture into the world alone and make new friends.

A funny picturebook fable about two hapless amphibians. Not all picturebooks are for toddlers. During Doyle's third year of medical school, he took a ship surgeon's post on a whaling ship sailing for the Arctic Circle. The voyage awakened Doyle's sense of adventure, a feeling that he incorporated into a story, Captain of the Pole Star. In , Doyle returned to medical school. Back at the University of Edinburgh, Doyle became increasingly invested in Spiritualism or "Psychic religion," a belief system that he would later attempt to spread through a series of his written works.

By the time he received his Bachelor of Medicine degree in , Doyle had denounced his Roman Catholic faith. Doyle's first paying job as a doctor took the form of a medical officer's position aboard the steamship Mayumba, travelling from Liverpool to Africa. After his stint on the Mayumba, Doyle settled in Plymouth, England for a time.


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When his funds were nearly tapped out, he relocated to Portsmouth and opened his first practice. He spent the next few years struggling to balance his burgeoning medical career with his efforts to gain recognition as an author. Doyle would later give up medicine altogether, in order to devote all of his attention to his writing and his faith. In , while still struggling to make it as a writer, Doyle met and married his first wife, Louisa Hawkins.

The couple moved to Upper Wimpole Street and had two children, a daughter and a son. In , Louisa was diagnosed with tuberculosis. While Louisa was ailing, Doyle developed an affection for a young woman named Jean Leckie. Louisa ultimately died of tuberculosis in Doyle's arms, in The following year, Doyle would remarry to Jean Leckie, with whom he would have two sons and a daughter. In , newly married and still struggling to make it as an author, Doyle started writing the mystery novel A Tangled Skein.

A Study in Scarlet , which first introduced the wildly popular characters Detective Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Watson, finally earned Doyle the recognition he had so desired. It was the first of 60 stories that Doyle would pen about Sherlock Holmes over the course of his writing career. Also, in , Doyle submitted two letters about his conversion to Spiritualism to a weekly periodical called Light.

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