Top five children's books of 2012
The children's books category never fails to attract hundreds of commendable works each year, but some really are worth recommending.
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Top five children's books of 2012 The children's books category never fails to attract hundreds of commendable works each year, but some really are worth recommending. Fictional stories for children are just as important for publishers as the adult equivalent, as when the kids aren't begging for their friend's choice of story, the parents are plucking suitable selections off the shelf for them. As always, it's important to keep everything current and to stay on top with new releases. So, here's a look back on the notable titles of this year. 'Pirates Next Door' Penned by Welsh writer Johnny Duddle, this charming picture story about the life of a pirate family has received praise from all angles of the publishing community this year. The aptly titled Jolly Rodgers clan moved to the seaside town of Dull-on-Sea, where they're charged with the responsibility of injecting life into the local community. Defying the grown-ups and common conception of old sea dogs, the family waste little time in winning their neighbours over. Since its March 2012 release, this swashbuckling tale has been long-listed for the Greenaway Medal and even short-listed for the Best Children's Illustrated Book at the English Association Book Awards. 'I Need My Monster' Books with film potential can often be spotted from a mile off, and Amanda Noll's latest title is no different. 'I Need My Monster' centresaround the curious nature of young Ethan, who has no fear in regularly checking under the bed for his very own monster. However, when Ethan's favourite leaves a 'Gone Fishing' note, it's up to him to find a suitable replacement. The winning combination of giggles and shivers rings true in this spooky tale, perfect for children aged four to eight. Callum strikes a bond with his companion as this tale of friendship, loyalty and hope progresses. An ideal selection for the suspected deep thinker of the brood. 'One Dog and his Boy' Privileged child Hal longs for a pet dog, but his parents simply cannot contemplate the risk of a mongrel tearing through their expensive furniture. The two parties come to an agreement that the dog be acquired through EasyPets, a rental company that offers well-trained companions for a specified time. Only new arrival Fleck also carries a mischievous side, leaving the parents with no choice but to return the dog. Before this can be done, Hal comes to the conclusion that he cannot be without his new friend and chooses to runaway. Eva Ibbotson's 'One Dog and His Boy' is very much in the mould of '101 Dalmatians', and the chapters involving stray pedigree chums could have easily made it into Dodi Smith's iconic release. A must have for younger readers. 'Brilliant World of Tom Gates' Another for the older younger reader, Liz Pichon's story follows Tom Gates, a self-professed master of excuses, expert doodler and comic writer extraordinaire. Young Tom hasn't much time for parents' evenings, fellow school pupil and arch-nemesis Marcus Meldrew, along with camping; 'it sucks', according to Tom. He is however required to attend school every day, where opportunities for pranks and wind-ups are never far away. Parents shouldn't be thrown away from pointing their children in the direction of the rebellious Gates, though, for his creative, genuinely imaginative side and passion for pursuing his dreams is evident throughout. Besides, this was enough to get Pichon's title shortlisted for the Red House Children's Book Awards. 'Sky Hawk' Another Red House nominee, fans of Michael Morpurgo will have no problem relating to the themes explored in Gill Lewis' 'Sky Hawk'. Callum and his friends find bird of prey Fiona on the young boy's farm, where they try and chase her back to village she belongs. Callum eventually locates a cold yet stubborn Fiona near the mountain gullies. She refuses to move as she's guarding a secret hidden in the forest, but what could it be? Callum strikes a bond with his companion as this tale of friendship, loyalty and hope progresses. An ideal selection for the suspected deep thinker of the brood. Available at Foyles Bookstore
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