Book review: Trouble is brewing with Random House Children’s Books

Trouble is brewing with Random House Children's Books
Trouble is brewing with Random House Children's Books
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Everyone’s favourite troublemaker Daisy is in full bloom in a brilliant new collection from Random House Children’s Books.

But Kes Gray’s marvellously madcap mischief-maker is not the only one in a spot of bother… a magician’s apprentice gets in a mix as he tracks down a monster, a naughty dog has a schoolboy on the run and a birthday kitten finds himself in a tangle.

Age 5 plus:

Daisy and the Trouble with Piggy Banks by Kes Gray

The trouble with piggy banks is that they are nearly always empty!

And when Daisy’s best friend Gabby turns up at her house with the most awesome, immense, water-squirting micro-scooter you have ever seen, Daisy knows she’s got to have one too, even though she hasn’t actually got any money.

The only thing Daisy can do is get Gabby to help her hatch a money-making plan to buy the scooter of her dreams. Nothing could possibly go wrong… or could it?

This is award-winning Kes Gray’s tenth hilarious Daisy adventure and the stories are getting better, and the laughs are lasting longer.

Packed with Garry Parsons’ brilliant illustrations and including an entertaining ‘trouble index’ and easy comprehension test at the end of the story, this is one of the best series on the market to encourage young children to enjoy their reading.

Fun and faux pas all the way…

(Red Fox, paperback, £5.99)

Age 5 plus:

The Magic Potions Shop: The Young Apprentice Written by Abie Longstaff and illustrated by Lauren Beard

There’s magic in the air as dynamic writing and illustration duo Abie Longstaff and Lauren Beard cast a special spell with their new young reader books.

The creators of the sparkling Fairytale Hairdresser series wave their wands again to conjure up an exciting adventure series which is designed to educate as well as entertain.

In the Kingdom of Arthwen, there is a very unusual shop. It isn’t on the high street but deep in the forest. Even more mysterious, the shop isn’t in a building but inside the trunk of a very special tree. And don’t expect to buy food, clothes or toys at this shop. It only sells potions… magic potions. In charge of the shop is Grandpa, the Potions Master, who is 99 years old and so powerful that he can mix a potion to make you six metres tall, or a work up a mixture to make Brussels sprouts taste like ice cream.

Tibben, the young apprentice, thinks his Grandpa is wonderful and one day he wants to be the Potions Master. But there is lots to learn first and his apprenticeship is set to be monstrously difficult…

This enchanting story, which includes word games and a quiz at the back of the book, is ideal for building reading confidence whether through reading aloud or alone.

A magical start to a bewitching series…

(Red Fox, paperback, £5.99)

Age 3 plus:

Stay! by Alex Latimer

Well I’ll be doggone… pet dog Buster is enough to send everyone barking mad!

Talented author and illustrator Alex Latimer gives dog-mad youngsters some paws for thought in this fun and funny illustrated story about a messy but lovable pet in need of a strong hand and a warm heart.

Buster is a very difficult dog… he’s messy, naughty and sometimes, well, just disgusting. But Ben thinks his misbehaving pet is the best dog ever. So when Ben goes on holiday with Mum and Dad, he tries to write down everything to help his Grampa look after Buster. There are so many instructions about what Buster likes to eat, where he likes to go and what to do if the tearaway terrier gets lost that Ben forgets the most important thing of all. Will Grampa survive and why is he making notes for Ben?

Using gentle humour, brilliant artwork and some amazing escapades, Latimer shows youngsters that owning a dog is no walk in the park, with training and care just as important as having fun together.

(Picture Corgi, paperback, £6.99)

Age 2 plus:

Rosie’s Special Present by Myfanwy Millward and Gwen Millward

Who could resist a beautifully packaged birthday surprise from award-winning illustrator Gwen Millward and her talented writer-sister Myfanwy Millward?

This heartwarming and witty picture story about a playful kitten eager to meet his new owner and playmate is just purrfect for the family’s young cat lovers.

Today is Rosie’s special day… it’s her birthday and she’s hoping for a very special present. But first she has to join in the party with all her friends and Rosie, who wonders what her gift could be, is just too excited to eat. Meanwhile, Rosie’s present – a rather special marmalade-coloured kitten – is hoping and thinking and wishing too! What will Rosie be like, and will he be special enough?

A characterful cat, a cute little girl and a gallery of bright, bold pictures ensure that the Millward sisters’ celebration of fun and friendship will be a firm favourite with all the family.

(Jonathan Cape, paperback, £6.99)