Sarah McIntyre

Kevin's Great Escape

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Another of our Read Aloud short list which is proving very popular is ‘The Legend of Kevin’ by dynamic duo, Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre. When I arrived at school with this new story, there were plenty of squeals of delight…not just from the children!

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In Kevin’s new adventure, Misty Twiglet, famous pop star, has just moved to Bumbleford, much to the excitement of Max’s sister, Daisy. When Baz Gumption, Misty's manager, pays them a visit, he shocks everyone by offering to buy Kevin for Misty’s new garden. No one is prepared to part with Kevin, who is free to come and go as he pleases between his nest on the roof and the Outermost West. But Daisy is tempted by the chance to meet her idol and when Kevin is pony-napped, Max and Daisy must come to the rescue.

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Bursting with humour, ‘Kevin’s Great Escape’ is every bit as magical as his first adventure. Kevin is not the only creature to have been tricked into living in Misty Twiglet’s fabulous grounds; alongside some new faces- Cardigan Faun, Zola the gorgon, Cedric, a centaur and a little dragon called Belling- it’s delightful to see Iris the mermaid again! Neville and Beyonce (Ellie Fidgett’s guinea pigs) also make a reappearance and are pivotal in the rescue attempt.

Friendship is once again at the heart of the story and Max’s loyalty to his roly-poly flying friend is wonderful. The story romps along at a very pleasing pace with lots of action along the way. The illustrations are stunning as ever and the book itself is a thing of beauty with silver edged pages and shining stars on the cover.

With so much to recommend it, ‘Kevin’s Great Escape’ is fabulous follow-up to ‘The Legend of Kevin’. Best read with plenty of custard creams!

Kevin’s Great Escape Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre

OUP ISBN: 978-0192766113

Grumpycorn

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Although he has all the perfect things to help him write the most fabulous story, Unicorn is completely out of ideas. His friends happily offer suggestion after suggestion, but all this does is turn him into a very Grumpycorn indeed. When the others realise that he is struggling, they decide to help and Unicorn realises how important his friends really are.

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Sarah McInytre does it again! Fabulously fun and engaging, ‘Grumpycorn’ is everything we have come to expect from this talented author/ illustrator.

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Being one of life’s procrastinators, I completely empathise with Unicorn as he sits to write his masterpiece. How many times when faced with a task (current one- writing reports!) have I fancied a nice cup of tea to get me started? And as for needing a new notebook- Paperchase, here I come! Children relate to this too- how many serial pencil sharpeners, devotees of the eraser and toilet trippers have taken comfort in delaying the moment that they have to actually start working?

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Unicorn’s friends are delightful! Jellyfish is so excited and bubbling with enthusiasm- he might just be my favourite! Together, they show the importance of friendship and teamwork and when Unicorn realises he has behaved badly, are there to help him achieve his goal. The story lends itself beautifully to exploring feelings of frustration and how we deal with these.

The illustrations are everything you would hope for from a Sarah McIntyre book. Full of colour, humour and delicious detail, there is so much to enjoy on every spread. Unicorn’s special writing house is an absolute joy- I’d move in tomorrow! The ocean is full of lovely seahorses, fish and crabs who are watching the drama unfold as they enjoy themselves under the water. Any of these pictures could be used to inspire writing, comic strip creation or artwork with children .

A complete joy, ‘Grumpycorn’ is full of gentle humour and fabulous illustrations!

Grumpycorn Sarah McIntyre

Scholastic ISBN: 978-1407180823

Let's welcome ...The New Neighbours!

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I make no secret of how much I love this book and how often I recommend it and read it to classes. The appeal and humour of the story make it perfect for encouraging discussions about acceptance, understanding and challenging prejudice. Last year, our year 6’s wrote their own fantastic versions so I was really keen to add it to our Book Week celebrations.

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The whole school read and enjoyed the book and then each year group explored it further in class. We decided to use the story as a meaningful way of starting to explore ‘British Values’ and what these mean to the children. The conversations it generated were wonderful and resulted in the picture above- an idea which I cannot take credit for, I’m afraid!

A brilliant book with so much to offer!

The New Neighbours Sarah McIntyre

David Fickling Books ISBN: 978-1910200582