Archives for posts with tag: Egmont Publishing

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.





Published by Electric Monkey / Egmont

Not yet published at time of going to post: January 2016

I couldn’t put this down – I read it in 48 hours – with interruptions for work and sleep.

A human story. Samantha Reed lives with her mother and elder sister next door to ‘the Garretts‘. A large rambunctious family. Their lawn is covered with plastic toys. The plants are bought as a splash of colour and then die later as they never seem to get around to water them.  They are noisy, full of life and Samantha’s mother has declared them unsuitable from the moment she returned after delivering the traditional welcome dish.

Samantha though is fascinated by this loud, relaxed family and wishes she was one of them. She Spends many hours lying on the roof of her house watching the family. She doesn’t realise that someone though has noticed her and is startled when Jase Garrett climbs the trellis and sits beside her…

I loved this – it was one of those books that I worried about, and didn’t want to end. It even had the ‘right’ ending – I thought that it might just go wrong, but didn’t – a marvellous book. Funny (I think George is one of the best fictional four year olds ever), touching and moving.

“Is Jase already gonna marry you?”

I start coughing again. “Uh, No. No, George. I’m only seventeen.” As if that’s the only reason we’re not engaged.

“I’m this many.” George holds up four, slightly grubby fingers. “But Jase is seventeen and a half. You could. Then you could live in here with him. And have a big family.”

Jase strides back into the room, of course, midway through this proposition. “George. Beat it. Discovery Channel is on.”

George backs out of the room but not before saying, “His bed’s really comfortable. And he never pees in it.”

Teenagers are often under pressure to conform, to ‘do the right thing‘, and ‘to smile’; to behave as society, often their parents‘ society demand… This story is when all of that goes wrong and  how sometimes something more can come out of something wrong…if the people make the right decisions…

It is brilliant.

Published by Egmont / ISBN 978 1405276177

I loved this – a traditional crime mystery. This seems to be a new genre for the 9 – 12 age group, and a small number have been published. This though is the most atmospheric and also intricate tale. Set in an emporium much like Selfridges, or Harrod’s. I worked in the Waterstone’s branch in Harrods for 15 odd years and it was remarkable how this tale of theft, murder and general mayhem took  me back – I felt that Katherine Woodfine had probably worked there.

Brilliant fun, and a beautifully complex murder story – the best of this new genre for younger readers so far. I am pleased to report that there is to be a second in the series, to be published this September (2015) – The Mystery of the Jewelled Moth. If it is anything like as good as this I think Katherine Woodfine is on to a very good thing. I will look forward to reading that too.

Published by Egmont / ISBN 9781405270601

For those fascinated by Japan and all things Japanese – this is saturated with Japanese culture. Full of adventure and surprises. Detailed and clever. I know very little about Japan, so I can’t comment on accuracy, however, it certainly feels right – certainly good for anyone who is into adventure – Percy Jackson (Rick Riordan) readers should love it.

Two strong characters drive the story – Kenny a young teenager sent to Japan for a holiday and Kiyomi a young strong minded Japanese girl. In addition there is a tanuki character that adds an additional element of fun to the book – On looking up ‘tanuki’ on the Internet, I find that it is a Japanese Racoon Dog – and is also used for netsuke – in which I have a small interest and so include this picture of a tanuki netsuke

The end of this volume (the first in a series to come), was right for the story and for the series, however, it could have been a much deeper volume had the situation the characters ultimately find themselves had been different.

On reading that, I feel I’m not being very clear – but the book could have been stronger, if the end hadn’t been that which it is…if that makes any more sense… Either way – one for those who like Japan, adventure and the Percy Jackson series.