Best Children's Books of 2009

November 9, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

I’ve seen a lot of books this year, and made many new friends in the book world. The more friends you get, the more you books and writers you learn of, and the larger your brain needs to grow to remember them all.

But I’m going to do my best. So here are some of the highlights of the year, in no particular order.

dingsDinkin Dings and the Frightening Things. I love this book. Guy Bass came and did a great spot at the Crystal Palace Children’s Book Festival and this story is just so much fun. Get your Zombalien masks on now!

morris Morris the Mankiest Monster. I really don’t need to say anything about this, just look at how brilliant it is. I love Sarah McIntyre‘s work. She’s got possibly the best line work out there and she’s also incredibly capable of making pictures full of hilarious, manky creatures. And the story’s by the Purple Ronnie guy, so it’s pretty darn perfect too.

rainbowThe Rainbow Orchid. If you like Tintin books, this is the one for you. Garen Ewing manages to cram so much detail into the panels that you get totally wrapped up in his world. It’s awesome, and a fabulous achievement. We’re lucky to have someone so talented making work like this these days.

enemyThe Enemy. Zombies are everywhere, and this book doesn’t need any more free marketing, but it is a goodie. It’s nasty and exciting, and it’s by Charlie Higson, so a win all around. I’d have loved this as a teenage boy. This is exactly what books for teenage boys should be like.

furnaceFurnace. Keeping on the horror theme, these three Furnace books by Alexander Gordon Smith are awesome. If you like the idea of being trapped in an underground prison, more closely resembling hell than Alcatraz, you’ll like these books.

revolverRevolver. As close to an adult’s book as a children’s book can be, the latest story by Marcus Sedgwick is cold, steely and desperately bleak. But he writes so well that you’re just happy to be back in one of his worlds.

And I want to add a few more, but I have a Yeti book to finish. Roll out, hairy soldiers!

Furnace: Lockdown

March 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Bits and Bobs


I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while now, so here it is. Alexander Gordon Smith’s new series is shaping up to be a corker.

I’m currently about half way through the first book – I want to get it finished before I hear him talk about it at the Crystal Palace Book Festival – but it’s already scary and exhilarating in equal measure. The book’s very different to his Inventors stories, and it’s interesting to see him write for older readers. There’s burglary, torture and death, and all sorts of wonderfully nasty Prison Break style situations. I just hope that none of it’s based on real-life experience.