Archives for category: Egmont Publishing

Image result for the land of roar

Published by Egmont

I think most people at some point in their lives, have dreamed about another world…some are famous and are often quoted in books – the idea of going through a wardrobe into another country…

This though is a little unusual – Arthur and Ross used to imagine another world – The Land of Roar, but they haven’t thought about it for years and it is only when they begin to clear out their grandfather’s loft that they begin to remember their imagined adventures. The old rocking horse in the corner…no a little battered and worn…and the fold-away-bed…

Or were they? Should imagination be just brushed aside, as some sort of ephemeral thing? Imagination is a very strong talent and is likely to get you into trouble as it is to get you high marks in English exams. That a whole world might be reliant on your belief, your imagination, is a little disturbing…though wonderful too.

The Land of Roar. Things are different and not for the better…

Image result for peril in paris woodfine

Published by Egmont.

2015 – actually the 4th of June, was when I wrote a small post about The Clockwork Sparrow – The Sinclair Mysteries. I remember loving that one, because it was a mystery based in a shop similar in style to Harrods.

Since then Katherine Woodfine has continued to write crime novels for the younger readers – The Jewelled Moth, The Painted Dragon and The Midnight Peacock. All of which have meant that she has quite a following (that is an understatement).

Rope is made up of fibres woven together and this book is made up of two tales / fibres that make a fantastic rope of a story. Kidnap, insurgence, early aeroplanes, adventure and mystery set in Paris in 1911 –

What’s there not to love? Two characters we already know and love, new friends to read about, including a very brave small dog and a story to keep you reading late into the night.

This is brilliant.

Waterstones Finchley Road O2 have a number of this book signed. Buy them whilst stocks last!


Image result for cradle worlds lachlan

Published by Egmont

My big sister, is bigger than me. Well actually I’m not sure she is any more, but she was. She is, though four years my elder.

When she was bigger than me, though, we didn’t always get on. She was bigger than me. Could do things I couldn’t. Did do things I couldn’t or wasn’t allowed to. She also used to tease me with the result that I used to get cross. I think that was the word we would have used. Furious would probably have been better. She would wind and wind and wind again and then without any warning whatsoever, she would back off and stop. There seemed no reason as to why this might be. It was only when we became older that she admitted to me that at a certain point I would develop red triangles on my cheeks. Beyond that point she feared to go. I’m not surprised.

I am still a person of determination. I believe in fairness. So I still get cross. Though rarely now (though I can’t be sure of this)  so cross my red triangles appear. My anger though, was then and is now, full of energy. Not a little like an earthquake…

Which brings me to this extraordinary book.

When emotionally driven, Jane Doe’s anger and or fear sparks earthquakes.

The rock shaking sort.

For this alone, I would review this book.

I am pleased to report, though, that the rest of the book is as brilliant.  Though it is certainly a darker tale of bravery, friendship, other worlds and a desperate attempt to save them all, than perhaps I usually read. I should, obviously, read more.

Characters include Jane Doe – our heroine, a teenager trying to trace her father, who is, incidentally, the epicentre of the aforementioned earthquakes. Her father – who has disappeared. Tin-skins – mechanical dogs and not the nice sort, either. Hickory, a boy with history. More than his share. Leatherheads. A key. Violet who is eight, but not any more and Roth.

You really don’t want to know about Roth. Not someone you want to meet. A mix of all those evil characters from all the books you have read, (from those books, you know the titles I mean) mixed well with the ethics and views of the Nazis.

He is an entity that really can mess with your brain, your thoughts, and who you are and, who, incidentally, it is said, happens to be immortal.

His olfactory presence too, leaves something to be desired…

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A book to read, if you dare. Dark, full of adventure, with stupendous new characters.

Sadly Jeremy Lachlan lives in Australia. Too far to come and sign his books. If, however, should he ever come for a trip ‘Up Above’, I would be extremely pleased to welcome him to Waterstones Finchley Road O2.
This also means that the cover may not be the one that was on the copy I read. It may be the other, also depicted on this post…

Please note – I have now finished this, and find that there will be more to come! This is marvellous news…stupendous book – hopefully Jeremy will one day come all the way from Australia and sign books in Finchley Road O2 – just not just yet!

Image result for in the mouth of the wolf morpurgo

Published by Egmont

May 2018

Michael Morpurgo has become known for his books about animals in war. So much so that when I told a colleague I had just read a proof of a book due to be out in May, he assumed that this new title would be another such. This one though, isn’t quite the same. The only reference to animals is that of the wolf in the title, which though pertinent is, perhaps, unfair to wolves…

The book is about two brothers at the beginning of the last war. Both enjoying, words and poetry. One became an actor, the other a teacher. When Hitler changed all of that, one joined the RAF, the other, a pacifist, leaves to work the land.

What happens next changes both their lives forever and one finds himself in the jaws,  ‘in the mouth of the wolf’.

Michael Morpurgo needs no introduction. This book is of his usual calibre – in addition a personal history from this extraordinary author. The book is illustrated by Barroux – simply, but powerfully.

This is not one to be missed. It is to be published in hardback; I hope that, in addition, Egmont gives it good quality paper too. This is an important volume.



Published by Egmont

The first thing that struck me about the proof I received was the illustrations and the wonderful cut-out cover. I know that you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but, as I think I have said before – its the first thing you see… Sadly I can’t find any reference to the illustrator of this – on the book, apart from a reference to the copyright of the text and illustrations being that of the author. Her work as an illustrator should be celebrated.

This is a perfect book for October and of course Halloween.

Unicorns are to be feared. Glitter to be avoided at all costs…and fairies – well, one fairy is known to have eaten Tangine’s mother… What more can I say?

My favourite character in this book is the head teacher in Catacomb Academy – Miss Inspine, who happens to be a skeleton.

“Now!” said Miss Inspine. “Right. Please open your books at page thirty-two, the questionnaire on Angel-Kitten History. You have fifteen minutes.” And with that she took off her head and put it in the cupboard for some peace and quiet.

I sometimes want to be able to do that…

She caught sight of Tangine and heaved such a big sigh of relief that her skull fell off.

Miss Inspine was so shocked that her whole skeleton disconnected into a big pile of bones.

It is a gothic tale of a spoilt sprout. A tale of differences and a tale of rumour misconception and secrets.

This is a fun book – will be stuffed full of pictures (by the author, no less) and a giggle for the autumn… There are exclamation marks triplicated (see previous posts), but for this sort of book, it is not really important. It isn’t a literary piece, (it’s not meant to be), it is a book to giggle over. I think this might be a new term for me, a ‘giggle book’.

There is a bit on the back which says it is to be published on the 5th of October 2017  – so look out for it. I hope that it will be published with a similar cover to that they used for the proof. It will certainly be something to enjoy in the run up to Halloween…Perhaps you could organise a Scream Tea to celebrate All Hallows!

I hope and trust there will be a second volume – there is a last mystery that still needs to be resolved.



Published by Egmont

This was originally published back in 1991 by Simon and Schuster. I had never read it when I came across a copy and am now two thirds of the way through this darkly enticing volume.

Whitby is an extraordinary place – its history is remarkable, and this tale of aufwaders, fisher folk, magic, witches, murder and mystery is one that fully reflects the darker side of the village. It has of course, the connection to Bram Stoker and Dracula…this is another tale, as dark, a story of children, ‘difficult cases’, a group of elderly ladies, a cat, an evil hound and a mystery that runs though the town like a stain…. I wish I had known about the book before I visited Whitby some years ago – it is a story that should be read at the top of the steps leading to St Mary’s Church and the ruin of the abbey…

This copy has extra material – a map, details of places and things mentioned in the book and found in Whitby, a Q&A with Robin Jarvis and details of local legends…

I am beginning to think I ought to do a post about ‘good authors’ – those that regularly produce ‘good’ writing – Robin Jarvis is certainly one of these – his writing reminds me of Susan Cooper’s wonderful Dark is Rising series (Over Sea & Under Stone, The Dark is Rising, Geenwitch, The Grey King & The Silver on the Tree) – that I enjoyed as a young reader….

The above superb photograph was taken by John Patrick – a picture of the abbey with mist swirling around the arches…..( – I thought it rather wonderful.






Published by Egmont

Not yet published due  out in April 2017

This is an extraordinary and wonderful volume. This is how pirate stories should be – a wonderful mix of fantasy, adventure and traditional swashbuckling – a tale to make your hair curl! A story for those who love something a little different, an unusual and brilliant tale – a tale of whale song, prophecy, danger, evil usurpers, terrodyls, squid, family, opals, sea-hawks, moonsprites, and destiny…

A superb use of language and a rollickingly good tale – the start of a brilliant trilogy – due out in April 2017

Published by Egmont

This is a superb little volume. Beautifully binding Welsh myths, magic, and a modern story of friendship and bravery. It is a story of loss, but also of finding things again.

Gwyn’s grandmother gives him a collection of eclectic items for his birthday. A brooch, an old damaged toy horse, some dried seaweed, a whistle and a scarf. She tells him he might be a magician, someone from the old Welsh myths. Gwyn’s parents wish she wouldn’t fill his head with stories…

When Gwyn releases his gifts to the wind he receives things in return. Extraordinary and often beautiful things, though one is certainly dangerous.

The brooch becomes a beautiful silver spider and her webs become something mystical and beautiful allowing him to see another world.

Gwyn’s sister Bethan disappeared on the mountain behind their farm four years ago and the family still mourn and wonder about what happened to her. Gwyn is told by his Grandmother that should he be the magician she thinks he might be, then perhaps he will have his heart’s desire. Perhaps, just perhaps, Bethan will be found, and will return to her family…

A mythical and rather beautiful book for Christmas –



Published by Egmont

This could be listed as the first of the Naughty Little Sister books – of which there are a handful, most of which I think are in print, but are not always in stock, with all good bookshops, which is a pity.

These are beautifully written stories about a small little sister and the day to day adventures she has, often with her friend,  bad Harry.

The scrapes she gets into are usually as the result of not understand what is going on, or because she is a little frightened. I particularly remember a chapter where she meets Father Christmas, with disastrous results, and one about a birthday party.

They are illustrated by that consummate artist Shirley Hughes, who manages to get the expression on her face exactly right – and the books should never be re-illustrated by anyone else.

Each chapter is an adventure – so they are ideal for bedtime stories, and for those who are just getting going with their own reading. Superb chapter books – they are of a quieter time – no monsters, no time travel, just good solid very English traditional adventures. Wonderful. Another series I grew up with.

There are some editions of these in colour, however, I prefer, on the whole, the black and white illustrations…probably because those are what I had.

Looking on the Internet it seems there are the following titles still in print:

My Naughty Little Sister

My Naughty Little Sister and Bad Harry

More Naughty Little Sister Stories

When My Naughty Little Sister was Good and

My Naughty Little Sister’s Friends


Published by Egmont

Not yet published at time of going to post – 30th June 2016

I am slightly embarrassed that I had forgotten about Robin Jarvis. I read The Deptford Mice many years ago, but it was only when I looked him up on Fantastic Fiction that I was reminded of it.

I read The Power of Dark, within 24 hours of the proof being placed in my hands, and it really was a superb tale. whitby-002 Set in that small town, in the west of Yorkshire, Whitby –  a town known for its gothic weekends,  Bram’s Stoker’s Dracula, the church and abbey, fishing, jet, and witches. This is a tale of witches, both old and new. A tale of good, against evil, and ancient magic and forces conspiring to bring a ancient feud to a head…

Absolutely brilliant.

I visited Whitby a few years ago and this reminded me of that glorious weekend I had walking its streets and watching the sea – it made me want to go back again…

As I said above, I looked Robin Jarvis up on Fantastic Fiction (a superb site that lists fiction titles to author’s) and Robin has quite a back list, apart from The Deptford Mice, including a series of books set in Whitby – The Whitby series, published in the early 1990s

This book though looks to be a new tale about the town, and the story finishes with the opportunity for further books to be published about  Lil and Verne. I hope that promise is followed through – I liked Lil and Verne, but to be honest my favourite characters were Sal, and Cherry Cerise…

Buy it, and read it.