Heart-pounding fantasy, time-traveling laughs and new baby blues by various authors – children’s book reviews –

Magicborn by Peter Bunzl and Maxine Lee-Mackie

Peter Bunzl and Maxine Lee-Mackie

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Mystery, history, fantasy and the craziest, most thrilling and scariest adventures…

Lyrical writer and visionary Peter Bunzl, whose award-winning Victorian steampunk series Cogheart won him rave reviews and an army of young fans, makes a whirlwind return with an epic new dual-world series featuring his very special brand. of black and delicious magic. .

With his alluring and signature blend of heart-pounding action, gripping mystery, jaw-dropping danger and riveting fantasy, BAFTA-winning animator Bunzl unleashes a sumptuous story featuring a fairy curse, a wild boy, royals intriguing and a time-travel plot with a thrilling Shakespearean hint at it.

‘The curse is changed. You’ll never know. The truth is lost. The lie will grow. It’s 1726 and the Royal Sorcerer of England is looking for those born of magic. When Storm Girl Tempest is captured after accidentally releasing a power she didn’t know she had, she is taken to Kensington Palace alongside Thomas, the “Wild Boy” who turns out to be her twin.

Trapped, Tempest and Thomas find their magic coming to life and with it, long-buried memories. For they are the lost prince and princess of Fairyland, bound by a deadly curse… and now the fairies are coming for them. A battle is brewing, a battle only they can end… but who will survive?

“Magicborn was created somewhere between history, myth and fairy tales,” says Bunzl and reveals that this fabulous new series – which transports readers to a magical land of wolves, devious royals and deadly curses – was inspired by a 1726 mural of the court of King George I at Kensington Palace with a “wild boy” who lived there.

And it’s certainly a wild and wonderful story, brimming with Bunzl’s descriptive elegance, all the uplifting atmospheres of a menacing fairy tale, and populated by a cast of superbly drawn characters that promise to make this new series another modern classic.

Add Maxine Lee-Mackie’s dark, atmospheric illustrations and you’ve got the best of soaring historical fantasy!

(Usborne, paperback, £7.99)

How to survive time travel

Larry Hayes and Katie Abey

Some children’s books really hit that fun, elusive place…and this brilliantly bonkers sci-fi adventure series from the talented Larry Hayes is hilarious, smart, and perfectly on point!

So buckle up for cheeky smiles and gargantuan laughs, then hop aboard Hayes’ standout second novel and enjoy a time-traveling, home-alone story with a difference.

After saving their parents from the clutches of frenzied billionaire Mr. Noah in How to Survive Without Grown-Ups, ten-year-old Eliza and her awesome little brother, Johnnie, are once again called upon to save their parents.

Mom and Dad have vanished into thin air and it’s up to the kids to save the day by time traveling to Egypt in the year 5000 BC. Can they defeat friendly townspeople, a mysterious boy-god, snakes, a rainbow-colored sphinx, and another plot to end the world?

And – most important of all – will they survive their time travel mission?

Hayes certainly knows how a child’s mind spins and with Katie Abey’s wacky black-and-white illustrations, this super-charged, action-packed Mission Impossible is guaranteed to keep youngsters glued to the page…and laughing til’ to ancient Egypt and back!

(Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, paperback, £7.99)

Radiya Hafiza and Rhaida El Touny

Be dazzled, enchanted, entertained and energized by Radiya Hafiza’s beautiful and thrilling sequel to her fantasy debut Rumaysa: A Fairytale. This awesome new adventure spins the classic fairy tale to show that anyone can be a hero, and invites youngsters to return to Once Upon a Time where anything is possible… Mirror, mirror, on the wall, that’s the fiercest of all? Since escaping from her tower, Rumaysa has traveled the land, far and wide, determined to find her long-lost parents. But after receiving a mysterious invitation from Saira White, Queen of Bishnara, she is soon drawn into a dark and magical adventure that threatens her happiness forever. Strung with magic and humor, this highly anticipated sequel is a winner, blending traditional stories of princesses, princes, witches, and beasts with a fresh, inspiring, and culturally diverse perspective. Beautifully illustrated by Rhaida El Touny, and brimming with action, heart, thrills, spills and chills, this is a great tale for readers young and old.

(Macmillan Children’s Books, paperback, £7.99)

Isabel Otter and Lucy Farfort

Having a new baby brother or sister in the family can be a difficult concept for jealous toddlers, so here’s the perfect picture book to help them understand the changes ahead. New Baby is part of Little Tiger’s beautifully crafted early experience series, which also includes Our Town: Afraid of the Dark. Sofia and Bilal are twins and they love getting into mischief together! When their family of four grows to five, the twins realize that sharing with new baby Farhan is harder than they ever imagined. But with gentle reminders about accepting situations we can’t control and about teamwork, the twins quickly learn to accept their little brother. Author Isabel Otter uses her simple yet emotionally powerful story to teach toddlers the importance of family and the patience and love needed to become a big brother or sister, while the stunningly beautiful watercolor of Lucy Farfort captures all the excitement of welcoming a new addition. to the family. The perfect gift book for parents and caregivers.

(Little Tiger Press, hardcover, £11.99)

Daddy does my hair: Beth’s twists

Tola Okogwu and Chanté Timothy

As Father’s Day approaches, share the joy of a wonderful and heartwarming story that celebrates afro hair and the unique and special relationship between a father and daughter. Written in rhyming verse by hair care educator and author Tọlá Okogwu, and featuring bold, colorful illustrations by rising star illustrator, Chanté Timothy, this is a picture book the whole family will cherish. It’s Sunday night and dinner is over. Beth is excited and walks over to the couch. Dad is there with a smile and a chair. ‘Dad,’ she asks, ‘will you please do my hair?’ It’s the day before school picture day and Beth would like a brand new hairstyle for Dad to get to work with water, oils and magic twists of her wrists. Youngsters will love joining Dad and Beth on a wonderful hair adventure that showcases quality parent-child time and includes Afro hair care tips from Nigerian-born Okogwu.

(Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, paperback, £6.99)

Moira Butterfield and Kim Geyer

Put on your walking shoes and set off for the great outdoors! Every walk is an all-new adventure in an inspiring picture book from author Moira Butterfield and illustrator Kim Geyer. Perfect for inspiring your young ones to enjoy the wonders of nature, this beautifully written and beautifully illustrated story is packed full of ideas to help children discover just how much fun a walk can be. Maya and her dad love to walk…whether it’s a walk in the woods full of wildlife, listening to the sounds on the busy streets, or savoring the scent of the flowers at the local park, there’s always lots to see, hear, touch and smell. Toddlers will love joining Maya as she discovers hidden treasures, hops and jumps along the way, and enjoys all the magic of nature. At a time when the mental well-being benefits of time outdoors are being felt more than ever, Butterfield’s story shows just a few of the pleasures of a walk, no matter how familiar.

(Oxford University Press, paperback, £6.99)

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