Flour Babies by Anne Fine, won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book Award in 1992. When the annual school science fair comes round, Mr Cartwright's class don't get to work on the Soap Factory, the Maggot Farm or the Exploding Custard Tins. To their intense disgust they get the Flour Babies - sweet little six-pound bags of flour that must be cared for at all times.
Funny and poignant, Flour Babies is a brilliant depiction of secondary school life.
Tuffy doesn't feel wanted at home any more. His owners just don't appreciate him. So what if he broke the new TV? Got fur on all Dad's clean clothes? Ate Tinkerbell the kitten's special kitten-food? All accidents! But they're making such a fuss!
So Tuffy decides to make a break for it. He bids farewell to the gang - Snowball, Tiger and Bella - and runs away. But starting a new life isn't easy, and soon Tuffy starts to wonder if he's made a terrible mistake . . .
Bliss! A lovely, quiet, nothing-to-do and nothing-on-the-calendar Sunday . . .
Well, that's until bossy Aunt Susan - an unstoppable force - is on the phone insisting that Harry and his family come down to help her a local event she's promised to organise: the Great Toadpool Show.
It means swinging from a trapeze. Or walking on stilts. Or riding a unicycle . . . And that's not counting the fortune-telling tent, the tombola, or the choir singalong.
Aunt Susan has no idea of the mayhem she's about to unleash.
Anne Fine, the 2001-3 Children's Laureate, has collected poetry she feels it would be a shame for any child to miss.
A SHAME TO MISS . . .1 is aimed at junior readers and is a diverse mixture of classic, well-loved poetry like Lewis Carroll's 'Jabberwocky' or Tennyson's 'Break, Break, Break' alongside poems from more modern poets like Kit Wright, Brian Patten and Diana Hendry. Other poets featured include Hillaire Belloc, Walter de la Mare, Eleanor Farjeon, Robert Graves, Kipling and many others: more than 70 poems in total.
Anne Fine, the 2001-3 Children's Laureate, is a life-long lover of poetry, and A SHAME TO MISS...2 is one of her three irresistible collections of poetry for young readers.
Aimed at 9-11s, the collection contains a wonderful mixture of the familiar and classic (W H Auden, A E Housman, Christina Rossetti, Wordsworth and other poets) with poems from the late 20th century like Stevie Smith's 'Not Waving but Drowning' or Ted Hughes 'Full Moon and Little Frieda'. Poets from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds like John Agard and Grace Nichols are featured, alongside several other poets from non-European cultures.
The King is at his wit's end; twelve daughters and every morning their shoes are torn to ribbons! Nobody can tell him why, so he promises that whoever uncovers their secret will inherit his kingdom. The reward is huge - but the price of failure is their head. Who will risk it all for a dance with the princesses?
This story is a magic bean. It may not look much like a bean, but I can promise you that it is. For if you plant it in a young mind, it will grow into a love of story and reading. These beans are favourite fairytales and legends that will delight, thrill and thoroughly entertain. Each story has been brilliantly crafted by one of the best-loved writers for children.
This story was published by David Fickling Books as part of the Magic Beans anthology. The complete anthology is available in hardback and in ebook format.