The Wizards of Once

Author/Illustrator – Cressida Cowell34455798

Age – 8+

Xar is selfish, impulsive and full of himself. After all, he is the son of Encanzo, the King Enchantor. But he is the youngest son, and his magic hasn’t come in yet, causing him embarrasment and worry.

Wish is the daughter of Queen Sychorax, the most evil queen in the Warrior Empire. Wish is also impulsive, daring, and rebellious, but also caring and kind.

They are taught from birth that the other is a foe, an enemy, one to be slain if need be. But these two venture out into the darkness on the same night, breaking the strict rules of their forts. Wish is looking for her friend, a magical spoon that has run away. Xar is hoping to catch a witch. Everyone knows witches are extinct, but Xar believes if he can catch one and harness its magic, he will finally make his father proud of him and quieten his older brother’s taunts.

But there is something else out in the darkness. Something wild and evil, which throws them together into a uneasy pact to help the other. Not only do they have to face their angry parents, the something’s power has been growing their whole lives and they have unwittingly unleashed it.

Told directly to the reader, this is an exciting story about a prince and a princess unlike any other. Xar is a weedy, annoying brat and Wish has a limp and an eye patch. But both have loyal sidekicks who will defend them to the death. Xar’s magical creatures are funny and fantastical and Wish’s assistant bodyguard is new at the job and trying to be brave. Full of mystical pencil sketching illustrations, this was a great read with an unanswered question at the end – who is narrating the story?

(Courage, Bravery, Wizards, Witches, Magic, Warrior, Friends, Magical Creatures, Series, Scary, Humour)

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Tui Street Tales

Author – Anne KayesImage result for tui street tales image

Age – 8+

Jack, Tim, Ella, Harry, Gemma, Louie, Lucy and Terri live on Tui Street. Here are 7 separate tales of their daily lives of school, family and friends, but all with a touch of fantasy, fairytale, or maori legend.

They are all great characters, sometimes dealing with things on their own, pushing their  boundaries a little, helping each other, and learning about others in the street without any sign of preachy morals or corny outcomes.

Winner of the NZ Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a debut author, Tui Street Tales would make a great Read a Loud for class or home reading.

(Award winner, New Zealand, NZ, Fairy tale, Fantasy, Maori Legend, Friends, Neighbourhood)

Aunt Nasty

Author – Margaret MahyAunt Nasty (Early Reader)

Illustrator – Chris Mould

Age – 5+

When their Aunt Nasty writes to say she is going to visit, Toby and Claire’s family try to find an excuse to stop her. But she’s a witch, and Mum is worried what might happen if they say no.

Claire moves out of her room, leaving the cobwebs and placing a bouquet of poisonous flowers especially for their aunt. When she arrives she orders quiet during the day, because she will be at witch meetings every night, and they dare not upset her.

When her stay is near an end, they begin to breathe easy, but in all the tip-toeing around and upheaval, they’ve forgotten something REALLY important. Can Aunt Nasty help? She is a witch after all…

(Witch, New Zealand, Kiwi, Humour, Funny, Family, Magic)

 

 

Glitterwings Book Week Blunder (1) Miniwings

Author – Sally SuttonImage result for glitterwings book scholastic

Illustrator – Kirsten Richards

Age – 6+

When Sophia and Clara are given 6 small plastic unicorns by their Nana, they think they are sweet little toys, but little do they know, they are naughty, cheeky, and bound to get them in a LOT of trouble. In the 1st episode of this series, it is book week at their school and there is a dress-up parade on the last day. What will they go as?

They ask Mum to help, but the Miniwings spoil things. The next time Mum agrees, the Miniwings are even worse! Will they ever get a costume ready or will they have to wear their school uniforms in the parade?

These fun, coloured illustrated chapter books are great for budding readers. No. 1 & 2 are on the shelves with four more adventures to come.

(Unicorns, Series, Siblings, School, Magic, Fantasy, Fun, Mischief, Family)

Jim Reaper 3 – The Glove of Death

Author – Rachel Delahaye34455781

Illustrator – Jamie Littler

Age 8+

Jim is in his father’s study again – strictly against the rules. But he’s intrigued with his dad’s job and wants to find out more. The Death Dictionary is his favourite, telling him about all sorts of things to do with Dad’s occupation as a Grim Reaper. One day he looks up gloves, because there is a special glass glass with a white glove in it and it goes with his dad when he’s working and it stays in the box when he’s not. Jim is intrigued. He finds : The Glove of Death – how scary and cool is that!

But when he borrows it to raise some money for a DVD he wants, things go terribly wrong – so wrong, there are dead people all over his neighbourhood and it’s all his fault!

He’s got to fix things before Mum gets home, before Dad finds out and before any more people drop dead!

A white glove, a black cat and a very red face! The Glove of Death is another funny story in this series about a young boy and his Dad – The Grim Reaper. You don’t have to read No. 2 to enjoy this episode – but the first in the series – Jim Reaper – Son of Grim is a must!

(Humour, Funny, Friendship, Accident, Cat, Death, Secret, Mistake)

 

 

The Changeover

Author – Margaret MahyThe Changeover

Age – 15+

Laura Chant has premonitions. She’s tried to explain them to her mother, but she brushes them off. Which is exactly what Laura does when she has another one.

Little does she know that her world will soon be tipped upside down, her 3 yr old brother Jacko fighting for his life and a witch called Sorry offering to help. But it’s up to Laura. Will she make the Changeover to help fight the evil that has hold of Jacko?

Margaret Mahy at her best! This teen novel is gripping, beautifully written and pure Mahy Magic.
The Changeover won the prestigious Carnegie Medal in 1984 – which was the second time she’d won it. (The first in 1982 for her novel The Haunting). This new cover is also the best one yet!

(Witch, Demon, Siblings, Romance, Courage, NZ Author, Award, Kiwi, Classic)

The Cherry Pie Princess

Author – Vivian French34446815

Illustrator – Marta Kissi

Age – 7+

Princess Peony is one of 7 princesses in the land of Grating. But Peony, to her governesses horror, is different than her sisters. She would rather read or cook than practice being regal, try on new dresses or think about princes, like her sisters do.

But when she learns a trip to the library years before had ended with her father throwing the elderly librarian in jail – just for answering one of Peony’s questions – she is determined to have him freed.

But the king is busy helping organise his new son’s christening and he won’t listen to her pleads. So Peony sets out to free the librarian herself. But an old hag is coming to the christening, determined to wreak havoc because she wasn’t invited!

Peony is up against black magic, and her father’s temper, but first she has to escape from the dungeon he has locked her in!

This story is a little ‘Rapunzel’ and a lot ‘Sleeping Beauty’, but perfectly good as its own story of a princess who also makes magnificent cherry pies!

(Kindness, Determination, Magic, Fairytale)