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April 08, 2014

Puffin meets Percy Jackson's biggest fan

Ollie_PJ fanEight-year old Ollie is a BIG BIG BIG fan of everyone's favourite half blood hero, Percy Jackson. He's read all the books in the Percy Jackson series as well as the more recent Heroes of Olympus books. We asked Ollie about why he loves the Rick Riordan books so much . . .

What it's about:
Percy Jackson is about a boy who finds out he is a son of Poseidon Greek god of the sea and has to save the world from monsters like the Minotaur. In the last book, The Last Olympian, he has to save Manhattan from monsters. He goes to a demigod camp called Camp Half-Blood.

What I liked: 9780141346809_PJ_LightningThief
What I liked about it was all the action and adventure. My favourite book is The Lightning Thief because at the end Percy fights Ares the god of war.I also like the books because I like Greek mythology and prophecies.

What I don't like:
I don't really dislike anything except the fact that there are only five books in the Percy Jackson series. I wish there were more!

To sum up . . .
I definitely recommend these books as amazing for 8+ children - they are some of the most exciting books ever.

Find out more about Percy Jackson and the Heroes of Olympus series by visiting www.rickriordanmythmaster.co.uk 

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April 07, 2014

Monday Make and Do - Make a friendship bracelet

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9780141344522_AngelsNextDoorBestselling author Karen McCombie has written a brand new series, perfect for readers aged 7+. The first book in the series is called Angels Next Door and it tells the story of Riley, whose best friend has just gone away forever. Lauren 'Queen of Everything' Mayhew is making school a nightmare so it looks like Riley's on her own - until the three Angelos sisters move in next door.

Her new neighbours are . . . different. Colourful and sparkly, they stand out, especially at school. It's not just their names or how they dress - there's is something magical about them. Who are these new girls and what's with all the glitter?

Find out more at www.karenmccombie.com

 

 

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March 28, 2014

The mad, the bad and the (over) motherly

Puffin's been raiding the bookshelves for any literary mums that could be described as 'nice and normal' , but it seems they're few and far-between. Who would you add?

CathyEarnshawCathy Earnshaw from Wuthering Heights

‘It was enough to try the temper of a saint, such senseless, wicked rages! There [Catherine] lay dashing her head against the arm of the sofa, and grinding her teeth, so that you might fancy she would crash them to splinters!’

Poor Cathy… The gothic princess died soon after child birth however, I’m not sure she was exactly “mother material”. Her love for Heathcliff made her somewhat overdramatic, irrational and well… crazy…

PetuniaDursleyPetunia Dursley from Harry Potter

‘“I want bacon.” “There’s more in the frying pan, sweetums,” said Aunt Petunia, turning misty eyes on her massive son. “We need to feed you up while we’ve still got the chance…’

Aunt Petunia’s mothering is suffocating! As she continues to feed Dudley, he is forever ballooning in size and becoming ever so spoilt! And yet, it seems she cannot spare any love for her poor nephew Harry. Between her and Uncle Vernon, they hope to ‘squash the magic out of him…’

SophiesMumSophie’s Mother from A Tiger Who Came to Tea

The doorbell rings.

“I wonder who that could be. It can’t be the milkman because he came this morning… And it can’t be Daddy because he’s got a key. We’d better open the door and see…’’

Sophie’s mother allows her young daughter to open the door to a Tiger and barely puts up a fight as he literally eats them out of house and home. Shockingly, the following day, they go out shopping like nothing has happened and buy the Tiger some food in case he comes back again!!!


MrsWormwoodMrs Wormwood from Matilda

“… Mr and Mrs Wormwood were both so gormless and so wrapped up in their own silly little lives that… to tell the truth, I doubt they would have noticed had she crawled into the house with a broken leg…”

Mrs Wormwood cares more about bingo than her own daughter, Matilda – who happens to be pretty fantastic by the way! She eventually gives Matilda up for adoption and this is her most ‘selfless’ act!

MrsLennoxMrs. Lennox from The Secret Garden

“Her mother had been a great beauty… She had not wanted a little girl at all, and when Mary was born she handed her over to the care of an Ayah … [and] she must keep the child out of sight as much as possible.

Like Mrs. Wormwood, Mrs. Lennox practically gives her daughter up for adoption as soon as she is born and subsequently Mary becomes extremely spoilt by her Ayah.

GertrudeHamletGertrude from Hamlet

She married. O, most wicked speed, to post with such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good: but break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue…”

Gertrude cares more about social conventions than her own son as she marries her husband’s evil brother. It drives poor Hamlet BONKERS!!!

 

 

MrsRabbitMrs Rabbit from The Classic Tale of Peter Rabbit 

“Now, my dears’, said old Mrs Rabbit one more, ‘you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don’t go into Mr McGregor’s garden.” 
 
We think it's perfectly understandable that Mrs Rabbit is protective of her brood, especially as her husband ended up in a pie.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Spot loves his mum (4)
 
Sally from Where's Spot?
 
"When Spot hurts his knee, his mum helps him feel better"
 
Spot's long suffering mother Sally is constantly having to find Spot, who LOVES a good game of Hide-and-Seek with his friends, which include Helen the Hippo who plumps for the piano (we imagine it was  a little flat afterwards).
 

EvilStepmotherFromSnowwhiteEvil Stepmother from Snow White

"Take the child away into the forest; I will no longer have her in my sight. Kill her, and bring me back her heart as a token."

Snow White’s evil stepmother is by far the wickedest of all mothers in this list! She is so vain, so greedy and so villainous that she demands the huntsman to kill her stepdaughter because a mirror told her that she was getting on a bit! And when the huntsman cannot complete the deed, she disguises herself as an old woman and poisons her with a bewitched apple. A nasty piece of work…

This brilliant post was written by Bethany in our Work Experience team. If you'd like to apply to do work experience at Puffin (endless cakes provided) then visit our careers page. 

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March 27, 2014

Puffin Podcast Episode 2: Hocus Pocus

Puffin Audio Poster Square

Host Ally McCrae delves into the tricky literary world of witches and magic. Joining him in the studio are Ben (Editorial Director at Puffin Fiction) and Gemma (Marketing Manager) to discuss the story behind this year's most hotly anticipated YA debut, HALF BAD. Plus there's a spine-tingling audiobook extract from Roald Dahl's The Witches, read by Miranda Richardson and a Hocus-Pocus quiz to test your grey matter. Listen now on our brand new soundcloud channel!  

Like what you hear? Tweet @puffinbooks #PuffinPodcast

Hear the whole story:
Half Bad by Sally Green po.st/nndJoa
Roald Dahl Audiobooks App: po.st/AK66KB

HalfBad TheWitches




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March 24, 2014

Monday Make and Do - Colour in Mrs Tiggy-winkle (watch out for the prickles)

MrsTiggyWinkle

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March 20, 2014

A VERY HUNGRY BIRTHDAY!

BirthdayBanner
Today officially marks the first day of Spring, which means it’s also time to wish The Very Hungry Caterpillar a very happy 45th birthday!

To mark this very special anniversary, The World of Eric Carle commissioned a Censuswide poll asking 2,000 UK parents and children:

What would the Very Hungry Caterpillar eat today?

Here are just a few of their surprising findings . . .

-       Mediterranean snacks are popular with kids – 1 in 5 children chose olives for the hungry caterpillar to munch on.

-       A third of UK Dads voted for the Very Hungry Caterpillar to eat sushi, which didn’t make the top ten lists of either Mums or children.

-       Cheese strings proved popular with both parents and children. Parents voted it as the 10th top food (41.10%) and the fifth most popular for children (60.3%).

-       Unsurprisingly, parents’ overall top 3 choices were the healthy food options bananas (73.4%), carrot sticks (66.5%) and broccoli (65.7%).

So a healthy diet is on the menu for a 21st Century Hungry Caterpillar, but this was not the only discovery made by The World of Eric Carle. The poll also revealed that not only would UK families choose The Very Hungry Caterpillar as the most memorable book from their childhood, they would also pick it as the No. 1 book to read to their children.

This is what Eric Carle himself had to say about the findings: “I am delighted and honoured that my book The Very Hungry Caterpillar is enjoyed by so many readers in the UK. The story grows out of my long time interest in nature and my own imagination. How wonderful to think about the caterpillar eating cheese strings, sushi and olives! It is tremendously rewarding and heartwarming to know that my book is loved by readers whose own parents enjoyed the same book as children. Thank you friends in the UK and Happy Spring to all!’

And here's the man himself pontificating about the secret of the book's enduring appeal. 

 

TheGiantWiggle

Let us know if you're taking part in Action For Children's Giant Wiggle by using #GiantWiggle and tweeting @puffinbooks and @aslongasittakes

Is it lunchtime yet?

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March 03, 2014

Monday Make and Do - Fun with The Worst Witch

9780141352565_FunwiththeWorstWitchThis Thursday 6th March, Mildred Hubble and her friends at Miss Cackle's Academy will be celebrating World Book Day with the new book Fun with The Worst Witch. Why not visit your local bookshop with your £1 World Book Day token and pick up a copy? Here is a sneak peek inside the book - can you keep tabs on Tabby the cat?

  FunWithTheWorstWitch_Part3

For more information on World Book Day and the £1 tokens given to all children in full-time education in the UK and Ireland, visit www.worldbookday.com.

 

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February 28, 2014

Dandelion Clocks author blog tour

9780141348995_Dandlion ClocksThe debut novel by Rebecca Westcott, Dandelion Clocks, is published by Puffin on Thursday 6th March. To celebrate, Rebecca will be embarking on a week long blog tour, visiting seven blogs in seven days, starting today.

In Dandelion Clocks, Liv takes us on a journey through her life from "Thirteen Weeks Before" to "Six Months After". We discover Liv's passion for photography, her brother's obsession with sticking to the rules, the stupidity of Moronic Louise at school, and how the family copes as Mum's terminal illness takes hold . . . Guided by Mum's own childhood diaries, Liv finds a new way to live.

This book is real, funny, utterly touching and absolutely heartwarming. Despite the sadness at the heart of the story, every reader will laugh and keep on turning the pages, charmed by Liv and her mum.

Join Rebecca (@westcottwriter) over the next seven days as she talks about her journey to publication; reveals her own teenage diaries and talks about the extraordinary lengths her grandmother went to to hide her diaries.

Dandelion Clocks Blog tour banner

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February 26, 2014

An interview with debut author Rebecca Westcott

Rebecca Westcott

Ahead of the publication of her debut novel, Dandelion Clocks, we chat to author, teacher and mum-of-three Rebecca Westcott.

How long did it take you to write Dandelion Clocks and Violet Ink?
I tend to write a first draft quite quickly - it takes me about six to eight weeks, writing after work in the evenings and at weekends. Being a teacher is great because I get lots of writing time during the holidays, which helps! Once the first draft is written I’ll take my time on the edit, really developing the voice of the main character and making sure that there are no inconsistencies in the plot.

9780141348995_Dandlion ClocksDoes anyone read your books while you are in the process of writing them?
I’m really lucky to have an incredibly supportive family, who read everything that I write (and have an opinion on everything I write too!). My 11 year old daughter was the first person to read both books. In fact, it was a conversation that I had with her in our garden one day last spring that gave me the idea for Dandelion Clocks. She also helped me to write some of Izzy’s poems in Violet Ink. Once I’m happy with what I’ve written, I’ll ask people to have a read and give me their thoughts. My husband, mum, sister and lovely friends are great at doing this!

Which authors have inspired you?
One of my favourite authors is Robert Cormier. He writes about topics that are quite grown-up in a way that younger readers can access, without being patronising. I often find his books chilling – they always leave me with a list of questions and wanting more. When I was a child I loved Judy Blume. I would read her books and feel as if I completely knew the characters, even though their lives were so different to mine. Now, I enjoy reading books by authors like Patrick Ness, Meg Rosoff and John Green. They aren’t afraid of tackling ‘big’ issues. After all, life happens to everyone – not just to adults.

What is your favourite way to spend a day off from teaching and writing?
I love spending time with my family. We are all big fans of camping and what I enjoy most is sitting in the sunshine watching my husband cook us an amazing campfire meal while our three children race around on their bikes (I’m not completely lazy though – I do the washing-up!). In the winter, if I’m not writing then I’m probably reading, while my husband cooks us a meal and the children create chaos with nerf guns. (You can probably tell that I really, really hate cooking.) Actually, I’m not that fond of housework either, so at the weekends we play a card game after supper - the loser has to do the washing up.

I want to be a writer. What are your top tips for getting published?
Write for fun! When I wrote Dandelion Clocks I was so excited by the idea that I wanted to write it down just to find out if I could create a story from beginning to end. I didn’t write to get published - I write because it makes me feel happy.

9780141349015_VioletInkSometimes, write as quickly as you possibly can. Don’t worry about whether it’s perfect – just enjoy the excitement of writing your words down. And then leave it. One of my favourite things about writing is returning to read something I wrote a while ago. It’s a great way of figuring out what works in your writing.

Write for lots of different reasons. Being a writer doesn’t mean that you are writing a book. It means that you communicate and record information using written words. So write a diary, write letters, write emails, send texts. Make lists, write a poem that you’ll only ever show one person, leave notes for your family on the fridge in magnetic letters. Write using as many exciting, interesting words as you can and then write using only twenty words. Play about – it’s your words and there aren’t any rules.

Don’t give up. If someone gives you feedback on your writing (it could be your friends, family or a teacher) then listen to what they have to say. Try out their ideas and decide if it improves your writing. If it does, then great – you’ve developed your skills. If it doesn’t, then you haven’t lost anything.

You can find out more about Rebecca and her novels at www.rebeccawestcottwriter.com or follow her on Twitter @westcottwriter

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February 17, 2014

Monday Make and Do: A pom-pom mouse

Double-click to download & make bigger!Throughout Beatrix Potter’s books you can find bewhiskered little fellows, but it’s the Tailor of Gloucester where they finally get a starring role. The old Tailor must make a waistcoat for the Mayor’s wedding but he falls ill, and Simpkin (his cat) has hidden the twist. Fortunately, the mice are a dab paw with a needle and thread and pull an all-nighter so the waistcoat is miraculously ready before the cathedral bells chime.

Rumor has it that some of their more literary cousins have taken up residence in 80 Strand – editors often come in to find extra full-stops on manuscripts and crumbs where once there were cupcakes.

So in honour of these not-so shy nor timourous beasties, our Make and Do Monday, to start half term, is a Pom Pom mouse! Download the activity sheet for all the details and tweet @puffinbooks

Download Pompommouse

All you'll need is some cardboard and some wool - here's one we made earlier, he just needs a name . . . (and some cheese). 

Mouse

For more activities inspired by Peter Rabbit and friends hop over to www.peterrabbit.com

 

 

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February 13, 2014

Puffin Podcast Episode 1: LOVE STINKS

PuffinAudio
Ahem - clean our your ears, because Puffin has a very important announcement to make.The first Puffin Podcast of 2014 is on air right now!

Join your host Ally McCrae for Episode 1! In honour of Valentine's Day, it's a LOVE STINKS special with hilarious audiobook extracts from Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Roald Dahl, a trip to Tanglewood with Cathy Cassidy's Chocolate Box Girls and the chance to pit your wits against our passionate Puffineers in the Duel of Devotion!

Like what you hear? Tweet @puffinbooks #PuffinPodcast

  

 

 

 

 

[Sound effects courtesy of freesfx.co.uk]

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February 12, 2014

Meet our Puffin Authors

Puffin meet rgb

Over the next few months, a whole host of our lovely Puffin authors will be out and about, across the UK, meeting fans, giving talks about their fantastic books and generally entertaining book-lovers!

From cake with Cathy Cassidy to Magic and Mayhem, inspired by Roald Dahl, with Lucy Mangan and the (quite frankly frightening) battle between Horrid Henry and Dennis the Menace for the title of the naughtiest boy in children's books, there's a great range of events happening soon with our fantastic authors.

Keep you eyes peeled on our Events page for all the latest dates and don't forget to subscribe to the Puffin Beak Speak Newsletter too.

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February 06, 2014

See, read and listen to The Diary of Dennis the Menace

It's been an exciting and busy week for Dennis the Menace, author Steven Butler and The Beano! Not only does The Diary of Dennis the Menace officially publish today, but Steven himself appeared in the Beano comic yesterday! Here's a peak at what happens when Steven takes a trip to the Beanotown library . . .

1-Steven Butler appears in The Beano (c) D.C. Thomson & Co. Ltd. 2014

PLUS - being a star of the West End, we thought Steven would be the perfect choice to record the audio book for us - and it is hilarious! You can have a sneeky listen to it by clicking on the SoundCloud sample below.

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January 13, 2014

Monday Make and Do - How to Draw a Dragon

Dragon FrontierBurning Moon is the second title in the rip-roaring Wild West fantasy adventure series, Dragon Frontierby Dan Abnett. Why not have a go at drawing your own dragon using these handy tips?

EN629_howtodrawadragon2_bformat_p4p

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EN630_howtodrawadragon3_bformat_p4p

 

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January 10, 2014

Let your ears take you back, and forward, in time

Timeriders_SLIDER

The eight books in the action-packed, time-travel TimeRiders series are now available as downloadable audiobooks.

From Hitler's bunker to Caligula's Rome, and Jack the Ripper's London to an ancient Mayan tribe, travel through history and beyond in this epic series by Alex Scarrow.

 

Trevor_White_1_web

Narrated by stage and screen actor Trevor White (left), each title is unabridged and features music from band EssZedd!

Visit the TimeRiders website to hear an extract from each of the eight audiobooks.

 

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January 06, 2014

Monday Make and Do - Free the Worst Witch!

Download WorstWitchMaze

BatMaze

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December 20, 2013

Top tips for a Snuggly Book-filled Winter!

It’s that time of year again where the ground becomes sparkly and something in the air just feels magical. Yes, that’s right it’s well and truly winter! I don’t know about you but it’s my favourite time of year. It’s a great excuse just to wrap up warm and curl up beside the fire with your favourite book! Here are our Top 5 Tips for a Snuggly Book-filled Winter.

PinguSlippes1) Set the scene – grab your fluffy slippers and that all important Christmas jumper and snuggle up in front of the fire.

2) Make a home-made cup of ultra-indulgent hot chocolate! Please get an adults supervision before making.

You will need: 2 pints of semi-skimmed milk 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder Dark/milk chocolate (optional) Cinnamon/Nutmeg (again optional, but advised!)

Directions: Step 1) Put milk into a saucepan and bring almost to the boil.

Step 2) Mix in cocoa powder until smooth.

Step 3) I always find it’s nice to add some real chocolate flakes just to thicken it up and give it that creamy texture.

Step 4) Finally, sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg to give it that Christmassy kick!

3) Christmas is a time for giving, so why not recycle some old books you have read by wrapping them up in Christmassy wrapping paper and anonymously leaving them in public places? For example, a park bench or cafes… not only will you de-clutter your shelves, you will feel great!

4) Make a Christmas bookmark!

5) Finally and most importantly, grab yourself a book!

Thanks Caitlin for this wonderful blog post - let us know what you're reading and of course, a merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

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Moshi Monsters: The Movie

The monsterific Moshi Monsters movie is released in UK cinemas today! Join Katsuma, Poppet and the other Moshi Monsters (along with a very eager Mr Snoodle) in an action-packed, song-filled race against time to stop evil Dr Strangeglove and his incompetent Glump sidekick Fishlips from pulverizing the recently discovered Great Moshling Egg.

9780141350691_MM_Movie_salespresWe have published the book of the story (it's called The Great Moshling Egg) so you can relive the excitement again and again! You can read the first chapter here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is the pawesome trailer for the movie - out today in UK cinemas!

 

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December 18, 2013

Clap if you believe - Review of Wendy & Peter Pan at the RSC

Tick tock, tick tock, is that your watch or is Mr Crocodile, prowling your imagination in search of the villainous Captain Hook? Even if you’ve never ‘read-read’ Peter Pan, you are probably familiar with its hero: the boy who never grows up, lives in Never Land, flights pirates and best of all, can fly.

PeterPanBut here’s the thing, there’s another character with a story to tell – and in the RSC Winter production Wendy & Peter Pan, Wendy Moira Angela Darling is taking centre stage. No longer the placid ingénue who wants to play mother, she is instead a feisty heroine who’s as good with a sword as a needle. And like J.M Barrie, Wendy is searching throughout the play for her brother who died – her own lost boy.

As well as a new feminist angle, there’s still plenty of good-old fashioned magic and flying to leave watchers of all ages completely agog. The cast have been busy strengthening their core muscles in rehearsals so they can swoop across the stage, suspended from an enormous metal mobile and even without a harness, Peter is turning somersaults through the air, aided by his ingenious Shadow chorus.

TinkWhile this is far cleverer than you traditional Christmas panto, there are still lots of laughs. Tink is the ‘big fat gypsy fairy’ with enough attitude to teach the brat-pack a thing or two, while Smee’s unrequited love for a certain one-hand captain is hilarious. Through the course of our NeverLand adventure we zipped through the full spectrum of emotions, from belly laughs to ‘eye rain’ (Peter’s words) to chortling, snortling and everything in between. 

Of course it wouldn’t be an RSC production without a show-stopping set. Underground dens unfold from beneath the stage, a toy pirate ship becomes a galleon fit for piratical rumbustification and there’s a secret flutter (not entirely sure of the collective noun) of fairies waiting to light up, if only the audience clap loud enough –which they do.


The age recommendation for the show is 7+ and swashbuckling sword fights certainly kept the small people by the front of the stage enthralled. I went with my dad (who insists on not growing up) and he was crowing like Peter Pan all the way home.  

Over a century later J.M Barrie’s classic story is as magical as ever. Leaving the theatre, beneath Stratford-Upon-Avon’s starry skies, we really did believe that with a little imagination (and fairy dust) anything is possible – and that girls can definitely have as much fun as boys.

PHOTOS FROM WENDY & PETER PAN BY MANUEL HARLAN.

Visit the Royal Shaksespeare Company to book tickets and be inspired. 

From the 16th - 20th December you could win a family ticket to Wendy & Peter Pan on January 18th, all you have to do is Clap if you believe in fairies by following @puffinbooks and using the hashtag #ClapClap. Read the terms and conditions here  View this photo

PeterPancompetition

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December 16, 2013

Monday Make and Do - The Snowman and the Snowdog colouring activity

For more activities featuring The Snowman and the Snowdog, visit www.thesnowman.co.uk

  Snowdog_ColouringSheet

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December 09, 2013

Monday Make and Do - Cathy Cassidy's Cupcakes

Today's Make and Do comes from the wonderful Cathy Cassidy, author of The Chocolate Box Girls series. More recipes, activities and fab freebies are available from www.cathycassidy.com

Cc_recipe_CARAMEL

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December 06, 2013

It's Christmas Day in the Penguin house . . .

 

 

Merrychristmaspenguindig4
T’was the night before Christmas . . .actually, here in the Penguin house it really is! Right now on the Penguin Podcast the excitement is building because tomorrow, for the purposes of this podcast episode, is CHRISTMAS!!!

Puffin and Ladybird have taken over this episode of the Penguin podcast to bring us Christmas day early. Featuring the voices of Steven Butler (author of the upcoming The Diary of Dennis the Menace), Benedict Cumberbatch (reading The Snowman and the Snowdog), Emma Thompson (chatting with William the turkey from The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit), Julia Donaldson (author of The Further Adventures of The Owl and the Pussy-cat) plus many more festive treats for you ears!

 

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December 03, 2013

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY - Celebrating 50 Whipple-Scrumptious Years in 2014

50TH_CCF_Purple_Background

2014 marks a phenomenal fifty years since Roald Dahl’s best-loved tale CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY was first published. The story of Charlie Bucket, the five Golden Tickets, the devilish Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Mr Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture, having (twice) been reimagined for the cinema, as an opera and, just this year, as a hit West End musical. Conservative estimates suggest the original book has sold over 20 million copies worldwide; it is currently available in 55 languages. 

In many ways, CHARLIE is the book that defines Roald Dahl’s magic for readers all over the world. It’s a story that is passed from one generation to the next, but it is also loved by adults in their own right.

9780141347264_Charlie_chocbarAnd that's why the lovely people at Roald Dahl want to hear from YOU! Over the next few months, there will be lots and lots of ways for you to get involved and share your CHARLIE stories and memories. Share what you most love about the book on the Roald Dahl Facebook page, and you could see your thoughts shared with other CHARLIE fans across the world via http://www.roalddahl.com/ and other social media channels.

So stay tuned on the Roald Dahl Facebook page for lots of ways to get involved!

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December 02, 2013

Monday Make and Do - The Snowman dot-to-dot

Snowdog_DotToDotnocrops

For more activities featuring The Snowman and the Snowdog, visit http://www.thesnowman.com/

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Penguin UK Christmas 2013 (featuring Penguin and Puffin authors)

'Twas The Night Before Christmas / When all through the house / Not a creature was stirring / Except for Jamie Oliver, Emma Thompson, and a star-studded cast of Penguin authors.

No mice, though.

Watch a special reading of the classic Christmas poem 'A Visit from St. Nicholas', from some very familiar faces.

Featuring Penguins: Emma Thompson, Jamie Oliver, Cerys Matthews, Colm Toibin, Clare Balding, Charlie Higson, Conn Iggulden, Malcolm Gladwell, Jennifer Saunders, Graham Nash, Meg Rosoff and Richard Curtis.

A very Merry Christmas from all of us at Penguin and Puffin! 

 

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November 25, 2013

Monday Make and Do - Catch Peter if you can!

PeterRabbitColourIN2

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November 11, 2013

Meeting Mr Moshi

WKP_1530Moshi Monster fans turned out in force to meet Michael Acton Smith AKA ‘Mr Moshi’ last Saturday (9th November) at Harrods in London.  Mr Moshi was in the Toy Kingdom to sign copies of the pawesome new Moshipedia - and with each purchase of the book lucky fans also received a Moshi-tastic goodie bag that included 100 Rox (Moshi currency).  

 

 

WKP_1547Fans were queuing from the moment the store opened with Katsuma keeping the crowds entertained whilst they patiently waited.  First in line was Lucy Neath from Milton Keynes who, whilst having a YouTube channel ‘themoshimonsterkitty’ with an incredible 8,000 followers, had never had the chance to meet Mr Moshi before!

Moshipedia – the A-Z of everything Moshi - is out now!

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November 06, 2013

ZOO-WEE-MAMA it's Wimpy Kid Wednesday!

FortuneZOO-WEE MAMA! THE WAIT IS OVER! At last 'Hard Luck', the eighth book in the Wimpy Kid series, by Jeff Kinney is here.

‘Hard Luck’ sees Greg Heffley on a losing streak. His best friend, Rowley Jefferson, has ditched him, and finding new friends in middle school is proving to be a tough task.

To change his fortunes, Greg decides to take a leap of faith and turn his decisions over to chance. Will a roll of the dice turn things around, or is Greg's life destined to be just another hard-luck story? Find out in ‘Hard Luck’ now. Make sure you read it first! Rowley

You’ll find all the latest ‘Hard Luck’ news, including Jeff Kinney’s UK tour dates this December, video messages from Jeff AND a Fortune Reader Game on the Wimpy Kid Club website.  Head over today and laugh-out-loud online with other Wimpy Kid fans.

Meanwhile, can you guess what's going on in these hilarious pictures from the book?

SweaterVest Fregley

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November 05, 2013

WIN family tickets to see Centrally Heated Knickers LIVE with Michael Rosen!

CentrallyHeatedKnickers MichaelRosenDo you often find yourself talking in rhyme? Do you get to school on mashed potato? Have you been known to wear centrally heated knickers??

Then you’re just the person we’re looking for! We have four tickets to give away for a fantastic family (or other group of mammals) to come along to the Science Museum in London to be blown away by the all-singing, all-dancing Centrally Heated Knickers Show.

The lucky winner will also win a copy of the book which has loads of rhyming poems about volcanoes, body parts and outer space, and the lucky winner will also get the chance to MEET MICHAEL ROSEN and have their book signed.

'How do I win?' we hear you cry – it’s simple.

Come up with your own rhyming, weird and wonderful short poem about anything related to science and technology, and send it to us at Puffin. Make them as disgusting and hilarious as you can! puffin@penguin.co.uk 

 

HOW TO ENTER

CHKlogoApplicants must be aged 16 or under, and must be available to attend the 11.00am show on Saturday 7th December at the Science Museum, London. The prize is a family ticket (2 adults + 2 children) and a copy of Centrally Heated Knickers (RRP £6.99). Applicants must send their poems to email address puffin@penguin.co.uk or post them to Puffin Publicity, Penguin, 80 Strand, WC2R 0RL. Entry deadline is 27th November 2013, and the winner will be notified by Friday 29th November.

 

Continue reading "WIN family tickets to see Centrally Heated Knickers LIVE with Michael Rosen!" »

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November 04, 2013

Monday Make and Do - MOVEMBER SPECIAL

TwitBeardWhat a lot of hairy-faced men there are around these days - and in Movember you may spy more Twits than usual. Use the template to make your very own twit beard and tie it on with some elastic or string. You could colour it in or make it really disgusting with bits of wool, dried pasta and cornflakes just like Mr Twit in Roald Dahl's story.

If you make this with your chiddlers then tweet your pictures to @puffinbooks

 

TwitBeard_Movember
 Download Roald Dahl's Mischief and Mayhem Activity Pack

Continue reading "Monday Make and Do - MOVEMBER SPECIAL" »

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November 01, 2013

In celebration of magnificent moustaches for Movember

The world of books is a treasure trove of marvellous facial hair. In honour of day 1 of Movember, here are a few of our favourites . . .

Mr-Twit4

 

Mr Twit - The Dirty Hive

"Mr Twit was one of these very hairy-faced men. The whole of his face except for his forehead, his eyes and his nose, was covered with thick hair. The stuff even sprouted in revolting tufts out of his nostrils and ear- holes . . . And how often did Mr Twit wash this bristly nailbrushy face of his? The answer is NEVER, not even on Sundays. He hadn’t washed it for years."

 

 

PoirotHercule Poirot - The Ultimate Wingman

"His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side. His moustache was very stiff and military. The neatness of his attire was almost incredible; I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound."

 

 

 

ChironChiron (Percy Jackson's teacher) - Straight from the Centaur's Mouth

"Then I recognized the tweed jacket, the thinning brown hair, the scraggly beard."

 

 

 

Gandalf_2_cardGandalf - The Bleached Bib

"Gandalf was shorter in stature than the other two; but his long white hair, his sweeping silver beard, and his broad shoulders, made him look like some wise king of ancient legend."

 

 

 

 

Mr wormwood

 

Mr Wormwood (Matilda's father) - The Comatose Caterpillar

"Mr Wormwood was a small ratty-looking man whose front teeth stood out underneath a thin ratty moustache."

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October 31, 2013

Monstrously fun Halloween activities

We've got some great Moshi Monsters-inspired activities for your little horrors this Halloween. Not sure what to with all that leftover pumpkin flesh? Or how to make a scare-tastic picture for a Halloween window? Then take a look at these crafty, creepy Moshitabulous activities! These, and 98 more, can be found in 101 Moshi Things to Make and Do!

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072_MM101Make&Do

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Trick or treat - Halloween book party!

While Puffin attempts to recreate Edvard Munch’s The Scream on a pumpkin (carving’s not easy with wings) we thought we’d blow away the cobwebs on some of the books and characters who might be celebrating Halloween.

Bedtimeformonsters5+ Little Monsters

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere, author of Mr. Big, Banana, and The Getaway is beautifully illustrated and sheds new light on monsters everywhere. Find out what a monster really wants when his tummy rumbles . . .

7 + Back to Ghoul

The Worst Witch is back with a new story from Miss Cackle’s Academy! In The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star, Mildred Hubble and Tabby get a surprise when her wish comes . Did you know Jill Murphy had started creating books, literally with a stapler, when she was six and that she wrote the Worst Witch when she was only 18! Worstwitchstar

12+ Other worlds

Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles aren’t quite the fairy tales you’ll remember. In Scarlet, Cinder is struggling to escape from prison while Scarlet Benoit begins a journey to find her missing grandmother. Working with Wolf, a street-fighter, she struggles to unravel the mysteries shrouding the disappearance. Equally gripping – and coincidentally also including a quick-witted wolf-ish character – is Rise of the Wolf, the first book in Jobling’s Wereworld fantasy series. Having thought himself a simple farmbody, one night sixteen year old Drew Ferran discovers that he is the last of the werewolf dynasty. Drew must battle the werecreatures determined to destroy him and master the animal within. It’ll leave you howling for more.

DRACULADo you dare?

Bram Stocker’s Dracula is the horror classic that inspired countless screen adaptations, from the 1979 German cult film Nosferatu, the Vampyre to the more recent Van Helsing (2004). However nothing can compare to reading page by page Jonathan Harker’s journal as he documents his visit to Castle Dracula, his imprisonment, his narrow escape, and the race to catch and kill the Count.

(Pssssssst once the kids are tucked up in bed there’s a treat for the grown-ups. Expect the unexpected in Roald Dahl's The Complete Short Stories. Discover the #darkersideofdahl with these sinister animations.) 

 

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October 28, 2013

#WhereIRead - in the car

There is, bizarrely, nothing I enjoy more in life than a long car journey. My mum now uses it as a bribe to get me to visit our distant friends and relatives with her. In fact I’m fairly unreliable when it comes to visiting family within a half hour radius of home, but those that live 3+ hours away think me an incredibly doting great/grand/second niece/cousin/whatever. They really don’t need to know the thought process behind it.

CarSeatI think it’s something about the repetitive bouncing motion, along with the gentle whooshing sound of cars going by, which I find inexplicably soothing. More fundamentally though, I think it’s the long stretches of uninterrupted time that car journeys offer, in which to read.

My sister gets car sick, so obviously she hates the car (and me, in it). She takes it personally. She thinks I’m gloating about the fact that I have so much time to indulge in our favourite activity while she just has to sit there trying to suppress her nausea. Deep down she understands though, I’m sure she does, and if roles were reversed she’d without doubt be burying her head in a book while I acquired the greenish tinge. 

Annie, 21, always available for round trips to Newcastle and Edinburgh.

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October 17, 2013

52 Puffins - #33 IKO (The Lunar Chronicles)

What is 52 Puffins - Waiting in the wings? Well, although we love our main characters, in 2013 we think it's time to celebrate the supporting cast: the extras with the witty one-liners, the dastardly villains and the best friend every hero would be lost without. Who's your favourite?  Download 52 Puffins - Questions - Download me! and send your answers to puffinblog@uk.penguingroup.com 

This week's blog comes from our rather marvellous work experiencer Emma, you can find out what else she gets up to here: http://readbakestitch.blogpost.co.uk

IkoYour character’s name and the book they star in . . .  Iko – The Lunar Chronicles (Cinder and Scarlet) by Marissa Meyer

Famous Friends Being an android Iko doesn’t have the time, nor skills to make a lot of friends. Her only companion is the female protagonist Lihn Cinder. Cinder did rebuild Iko after all when the family abandoned her and left her to rust away. 

Hero or villain? Definitely a hero! As Iko has an ID chip she can be rebuilt into any electronic system, however big or small. In the second book of the series she is transformed into a huge spaceship and saves the day on many occasions. She is a pretty feisty character.   

Why you love her? Iko is funny, courageous and not afraid to give her opinion. Even during those times when you don’t want to hear it!

What’s hercatchphrase or best quote? 

“Cinder," Iko said after a few silent minutes of explorations. "I'm enormous.

Iko says this when she realises she has been turned into a ship! Very funny. It must be a great shock to be transformed from a normal size human type shape to a massive machine of warfare.   

What wouldn't she leave the house without? Considering her ID chip can be put into any computer, I would say that Iko doesn’t have to worry about leaving anything at home.  

Tell us something we might not know. Iko was originally going to be sold for parts, as Cinder’s family thought that she has some sort of “personality glitch”. She used to forget she was an android and was prone to acting like a human, even wearing make-up on some occasions. This did not go down well with her owners.  

What really annoys her? Being ignored. Iko loves being the centre of attention, and always puts her two pennies in whenever there is a discussion. 

What does she dream of? All she ever wants is to be treated fairly, and would most of all love to become a human. She is almost like Pinocchio, except her nose doesn’t grow if she lies.  

Where would you go to hang out together? In her current state I would ask her to fly us all over the world. Being such a technologically advanced ship means she can go as far as space. Wouldn’t that be a thrill? Parking a big flying ship might be an issue though… 


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October 15, 2013

#WhereIRead - The Waiting Room

WaitingRoomEven when you’re young, you find out pretty quickly that life can involve a lot of waiting around. No, I’m not trying to make some philosophical point…I’m just saying, there are a ton of waiting rooms out there! Whether you’re looking to get your hair cut or your teeth checked, or board a plane, or visit a bank…an hour’s wait is annoying for anyone, but when you’re a kid, an hour is a much bigger chunk of your life than it is for an adult, and legitimately feels much longer.

And so I learned as a child to always, always take a book with me. Espeically if I knew I was going to the dentist, or the optometrist, or the hairdresser, or any place where there was even a remote chance of a wait. Books were often the most reliable forms of entertainment I could take with me, unlike my gameboy whose batteries never lasted long enough. Even now, with iPods far outstripping their puny Walkman ancestors in terms of memory, I still get bored and distracted listening to music for an overly long period of time. And I flip through magazines far too quickly to rely on whatever tattered periodicals might be waiting in the waiting room.

Not so with books – not by a long shot. I still don’t enjoy waiting rooms – who does? – but they’re excellent places to get in a spot of reading!

Pia is 23 and doesn’t mind waiting rooms, but cannot stand waiting for pizza. Ever. 

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October 14, 2013

52 Puffins - #32 Mr Wormwood

What is 52 Puffins - Waiting in the wings? Well, although we love our main characters, in 2013 we think it's time to celebrate the supporting cast: the extras with the witty one-liners, the dastardly villains and the best friend every hero would be lost without. Who's your favourite?  Download 52 Puffins - Questions - Download me! and send your answers to puffinblog@uk.penguingroup.com

MrWormwoodYour character’s name and the book they star in . . .  Mr Harry Wormwood in Matilda by Roald Dahl

Famous Friends  Harry has very few friends. He would probably refer to his TV set as his best friend, mainly because it would never answer back when he says something nasty…

Hero or villain? Aside from Matilda’s rotten head teacher, Miss Trunchbull; Harry Wormwood is definitely the villain of the story. He neglects his children and prefers to spend his time conning people by selling them faulty cars!

Why you love him? It is difficult to assign any really loveable qualities to Harry Wormwood, because honestly he has very few! What I will say is that towards the close of the story, Wormwood shows his daughter, Matilda a rare act of kindness. He allows her to live with Miss Honey, and accepts that she will lead a happier life with her than she would with them. He must have some sort of heart, even if it isn’t the right shape!

What’s his catchphrase or best quote? “I'm right and you're wrong, I'm big and you're small, and there's nothing you can do about it.” 

What wouldn't he leave the house without? Harry would be lost without a mirror. Ever since the unfortunate incident when Matilda super-glued his hat to his head; Harry would be somewhat disinclined to leave the house without checking a.) He looks smart or b.) He has hair on his head!

Tell us something we might not know. Harry Wormwood’s favourite jacket would definitely be a checkered one.

What really annoys him? Wormwood detests books. He hates Matilda choosing to read novels rather than settle down in front of the television. He cannot see the point in a visit to the library when one could be looking at shiny cars!

What does he dream of? Harry dreams of a life without children. He would probably be on a beautiful desert island with only a mirror and an expensive suit for company. 

Where would you go to hang out together? I would probably have to go to his house because he is far too selfish and lazy to meet anywhere that might possibly mean he has to move!


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October 10, 2013

52 Puffins - #31 EcK (There is No Dog)

What is 52 Puffins - Waiting in the wings? Well, although we love our main characters, in 2013 we think it's time to celebrate the supporting cast: the extras with the witty one-liners, the dastardly villains and the best friend every hero would be lost without. Who's your favourite?  Download 52 Puffins - Questions - Download me! and send your answers to puffinblog@uk.penguingroup.com

Today's Puffin was nominated by the wonderful Hope who once met Meg Rosoff on the film set of How I Live Now.

EckYour character’s name and the book they star in . . .  

Eck from ‘There is No Dog’ by Meg Rosoff.

Famous Friends 

God! Eck is the pet of Bob, a teenage boy whose mum won him the chance to be a God in a card game. 

Hero or villain? Hero

Why you love him? 

Despite Bob’s neglect of him as a pet (allowing him to be gambled away to his dad Emoto Head who wants to kill and eat him!), Eck remains faithful to his owner and you can’t help but want one. Who needs a dog when you can have an Eck?

What’s his catchphrase or best quote? 

Seeing as Eck can’t speak, here’s a quote about him- “Eck tilts his head and gently licks Bob's ear with his long, sticky tongue. It is his special way of expressing sympathy and it is not effective.”

What wouldn't he leave the house without?

Food. Eck is always hungry.

Tell us something we might not know.

You can buy Eck toys from Meg Rosoff’s website!

What really annoys him?

Eck is the last of his species, being a penguin/lemur crossover type creature. Unfortunately for Eck, his species has the best tasting meat in the universe (that’s 9000 galaxies!) and people and gods are constantly trying to eat him.

What does he dream of? 

Food. Always food. 

Where would you go to hang out together? 

Another galaxy perhaps? 

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October 04, 2013

Behind the scenes of HOW I LIVE NOW

HOwILIveNowLast August I was invited by Penguin to the filming of upcoming film ‘How I Live Now,’ based on the book by Meg Rosoff. Within minutes of arriving, I was being offered toast by the Carnegie winning author herself and whisked around the set to meet the cast and crew.

First up was Harley Bird, who plays Piper in the film and is also known for being the voice of Peppa Pig (even recording me my own personal message!) Next was Tom Holland (Isaac), who’d already been wrapped (that’s film talk for having finished filming all his scenes) but had turned up because he’d missed his “film-family.” Then came Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan, who plays the lead role of Daisy. Unlike her Manhattanite HopeandSaoirsecharacter, Saoirse is actually Irish (her name is pronounced like Seer-sha) and it was amazing to watch hit flit in and out of her strong Irish accent to an American twang when filming. Finally, I was nervously introduced to the Oscar winning (and one of my personal favourites) director Kevin Macdonald, who spoke about how much he adores the story of ‘How I Live Now’ and how he was thrilled to be working with such a young, talented cast.

I learnt how the lead actors had been having their own movie nights together each night whilst filming in rainy Wales and Surrey, how Saoirse can cry on HopeAndMegcue and how the sound man had begged to be part of the film as he loved the book so much: “I even have email-evidence of my grovelling!” I even got to listen into discussions regarding the soundtrack and hear the first ideas from composer Jon Hopkins, who has now released the the beautiful song ‘Garden’s Heart’ co-written with Bat for Lashes’ Natasha Khan for the film. 

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October 02, 2013

Rick Riordan answers your questions

Next week, on Tuesday to be exact, Percy Jackson fans the world over will be able to get their hands on our favourite demi-god's next adventure, The House of Hades - the fourth title in Rick Riordan's Heroes of Olympus series. We met up with Rick last month and he very kindly answered some questions from his UK fans.



Does anyone fancy helping Rick out with that pizza quest?!

Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades is out in the UK on 8th October.

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October 01, 2013

#WhereIRead - On the swing

Other than the most obvious “on the move” spots – tube / train / plane – where I lose myself in my book while in transit, there is only one other place I can think of that (sort of!) fulfils the theme. This place, while not strictly being “on the move” does see me literally moving, swaying back and forth in the swinging chair in my parents’ garden! Summer officially starts in my family home when the swinging chair apparatus is hauled from its heap in the attic and erected at the end of the garden under the neighbour’s apple tree, which droops over our side of the fence. I lay my head at the top of the long, rectangular cushion, while my toes poke over the end, and the gentle side-to-side tipping motion on a hot, lazy afternoon induces a completely tranquil state of reading. I feel like a baby in a rocking cot! Cloud movements in the sky and the rustling branches of the apple tree shadow the glaring sun, cradling me in a cool pool of shade. My horizontal ears absorb sounds in a different way than when I sit or stand fully upright, and people’s voices drift by subtly, merging with other sounds in the garden like bees and far-off lawn mowers. In addition to being a serene reading situation, however, this spot can sometimes be conducive to sleeping … which slightly defeats the main idea, but it’s very lovely nonetheless!

Claudia

October's theme is 'On the Move' - so let us know how you're reading and where it takes you by tweeting @puffinbooks 

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September 30, 2013

Monstrously good reviews from Isaac!

A massive thank you to 8-year-old Isaac Davies who reviewed two Puffin Moshi Monsters books for our blog . . .


2013summer 020First up, it's Music Island Missions: Zoshling Encounters

"I think this is a brilliant book, most especially for people who are into Moshi Monsters and missions. I enjoyed the bit where Simon Growl's hair looked quite burnt. I also like the bit where Furi says 'One for the stewpot and one for me' whilst he's crunching worms. I recommend this book to people of all ages as it's funny and there's a good story. It's just as interesting as the missions."

And secondly, Moshi Monsters: Doodle Book

"This book is absolutely excellent. My favourite page was Monstar Video Books, because a lot of children like playing on games and the Moshi Monsters games are especially good. I recommend this book to lots of children who like doodling and art, since it's a doodle book. The first doodle I did was to make a game called 'SAVE SPACE GLEN' where you have to use sound waves to kill Glumps."

2013summer 021

Thanks Isaac!

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September 27, 2013

Which Bird are you?

Which Angry Bird are you?

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#WhereIRead - By the pitch

WhereIReadfootballMy favourite place to read is quite incongruous I must admit, but it’s a place where it’s vital for me to whip out a book and read a few pages in order for me to regain a zen-like calm during an otherwise tumultuous afternoon.

The Old Spotted Dog is the shabby little ground where Clapton FC, the team that I support, play and although they aren’t as big as Manchester United or Chelsea (in fact they are eight(!) divisions below the Premier League), I still love them and because of this love, I get the most intense attack of butterflies each match day. I might only be able to read for a short while, usually the twenty/twenty-five minutes between reaching the ground and kick off, but the tension becomes almost unbearable and the only way I manage to cope is to pick up a book and lose myself in the pages. Each line on the page feels like a wave of calm, soothing my worried mind, and when the whistle goes to begin the match, I feel the equilibrium back in my stomach and I can begin to really enjoy the afternoon. Hopefully Clapton FC win and pick up three points but admittedly this is quite rare.

Kieran

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52 Puffins - #30 Long John Silver

What is 52 Puffins - Waiting in the wings? Well, although we love our main characters, in 2013 we think it's time to celebrate the supporting cast: the extras with the witty one-liners, the dastardly villains and the best friend every hero would be lost without. Who's your favourite?  Download 52 Puffins - Questions - Download me! and send your answers to puffinblog@uk.penguingroup.com

Today's nomination comes from Kieran who is 26 and a pizza enthusiast.

LongJohnSilverYour character’s name and the book they star in . . .  

Long John Silver, the evil pirate in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island

Famous Friends He is sly, cunning and nasty to everyone

Hero or villain? A treacherous villain

Why you love him?  He’s not an easy character to like, but the pirates that we're familiar with today (the wooden leg, pirate hat, parrot on the shoulder) have a lot to thank Stevenson for. He may be a nasty piece of work, but he’s the granddaddy of all pirates and that’s why I love him

What’s his catchphrase or best quote? 

“There's never a man looked me between the eyes and seen a good day a'terward" 

What wouldn't he leave the house without? 

Wallet, keys, bottle of rum, telescope, map of the South Seas, cutlass and revolver

Tell us something we might not know.

He has a wife from somewhere in Africa, who manages his financial affairs

What really annoys him?

I would imagine it’s quite hard getting up stairs with a wooden leg

What does he dream of? 

I don’t think the sly and cunning want to be sly and cunning forever, so I think once he has enough treasure, he would want to stop his piracy, settle down somewhere remote and isolated with his wife in a seaside cottage by the sea, cooking fresh seafood on a makeshift fire on the beach and sharing flagons of rum.  He’s just like the rest of us.

Where would you go to hang out together? 

We would begin the evening at the table of a local beachside tavern with a bowl of olives in the middle, facing out towards the sea.  After that, who knows…


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September 24, 2013

Magical Moomin fun at Moominworld

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Last year, Puffin and Waterstones ran a competition to offer one family a very special holiday to Moominworld in Finland, including a stay in a Moomin-themed bedroom at the Naantali Spa.The Chamberlains from Holmfirth in West Yorkshire were the lucky winners and they have just got back from their trip.

Moominworld Chamberlains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oliver, aged 8 and Maisie, aged 5, said "We had a fantastic time at Moominworld. We met Mama Moomin, explored the Moomin Island and house and watched a Moomin play. We loved staying in our Moomin room at the hotel and loved Finland - it was brilliant!"

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An ear fizzwiggling prize draw!

Prizes_september

 

 

 

Win this cracking selection of Roald Dahl audiobooks, with readers including Kate Winslet, Hugh Laurie, Quentin Blake, Bill Bailey and more!

You can also sign up to BeakSpeak (our monthly newsletter don't you know?) which is packed with books, exclusives and more competitions!To be entered into Puffin's great big top hat of fortune click here

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August 27, 2013

52 Puffins - #29 Piper McLean (Heroes of Olympus)

What is 52 Puffins - Waiting in the wings? Well, although we love our main characters, in 2013 we think it's time to celebrate the supporting cast: the extras with the witty one-liners, the dastardly villains and the best friend every hero would be lost without. Who's your favourite?  Download 52 Puffins - Questions - Download me! and send your answers to puffinblog@uk.penguingroup.com

Piper McleanYour character’s name and the book they star in . . .  Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite and counselor of Aphrodite Cabin (from The Heroes of Olypmus) 

Famous Friends Piper is part of the Prophesised Seven, and is good friends with Jason Grace, Leo Valdez and Annabeth Chase - to name a few.

Hero or villain? Definitely a hero

Why you love her? Piper is a character that is able to simultaneously be action orientated, compassionate, witty and determined – all whilst being super fashionable

What wouldn't he leave the house without?An extra hair tie, having loose hair flying in your face whilst battling monsters is a sure fire way of getting injured.

Tell us something we might not know. She was expelled from five different schools

What really annoys her? When people ignore or make fun of her being Cherokee

What does she dream of? Piper wants more then anything, to spend real quality time with her father – due to his being a movie star that means time together is pretty rare. 

Where would you go to hang out together? Piper seems like she’d be a real blast to go surfing or snowboarding with! 


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August 20, 2013

52 Puffins - #28 Juliet Butler (Artemis Fowl)

What is 52 Puffins - Waiting in the wings? Well, although we love our main characters, in 2013 we think it's time to celebrate the supporting cast: the extras with the witty one-liners, the dastardly villains and the best friend every hero would be lost without. Who's your favourite?  Download 52 Puffins - Questions - Download me! and send your answers to puffinblog@uk.penguingroup.com

Artemis FowlYour character’s name and the book they star in . . .  

Juliet Butler – Artemis Fowl/The Arctic Incident/The Eternity Code

Famous Friends 

Teenage criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon squad, and Domovoi Butler, Artemis’ Eurasian bodyguard

Hero or villain? Hero!

Why you love her? She’s an incredible fighter but could never be the stone cold bodyguard her brother is because she’s too fiery. She’s also hilarious.

What’s her catchphrase or best quote? 

“Don’t worry about me, brother. I’m a modern woman. We’re tough and smart, hadn’t you heard?”

What wouldn't she leave the house without?

The jade hairpiece that she wears at the end of her ponytail and uses as a weapon, earning her the wrestling title ‘Jade Princess’

Tell us something we might not know.

In the hardcover edition of ‘The Eternity Code’, the words ‘Eoin Colfer Artermis Fowl The Eternity Code Puffin’ are printed on the spine underneath the dust jacket in the “eternity code”, allowing a reader to decipher the coded message within the book….

What really annoys her? 

Her brother, Domovoi, trying too hard to protect her

What does he dream of? 

Being a professional wrester – a dream that comes true when she leaves for America at the end of ‘The Eternity Code’.

Where would you go to hang out together? 

Just chilling out in Fowl Manor, watching wrestling and eating popcorn


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August 14, 2013

Where there's Percy Jackson there are Spinebreakers!

Spinebreakers
Some of the Spinebreakers editorial team went to the launch event for the blockbuster new movie, Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters, based on the book of the same name, by Rick Riordan. Here’s what they thought . . .

PercyJacksonAgnes Okanlawon

Attending the premier of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters was one of the highlights of my summer. I am a massive fan of Percy Jackson and all things demi-god related, so I really appreciated all the little kooky extras like the blue sweets and magic tricks.

I would recommend that anyone who has read the books still go see the film because it’s a must for all fans. Anyone who hasn’t read the books should be ashamed! But also should still go see it also because it is an action packed fantasy with good characters and an interesting cast. I would like to thanks Spinebreakers for the tickets and also for the starting my love of the Percy Jackson books. I can’t wait to see if anymore of the series become movies. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole event and feel blessed to have seen Logan Lerman up close, front and centre in 3D!

Megan Quibell

10 of the Best Bits about Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters

1. Hermes, played by Nathan Fillion, and George & Marth

2. Seeing Grover in a dress!

3. Annabeth is blonde! Alexandra Daddario now has the beauty, brains, spirit, strength and looks of Annabeth!

4. The 3D is absolutely mind-blowingly stunning

5. The relationship between Percy and Tyson

6. The very-very end is just perfect. Absolutely perfect.

7. Mr D, AKA Dionysus, the god of wine. He’s hilarious. I mean, he’s a complete jerky, but he’s just so funny.

8. All the witty banter, especially between Percy and Clarisse

9. The romance was so true to the book

10. This film stuck so, so much closer to the book than the first film

 

Ruth Walbank

Like all book to film adaptations, the film was quite different from the book. Bits from the other Riordan books had been added in and changed slightly but I don't think this detracted from the film. I think all book lovers know that when a book is adapted into a film, it's going to be very different from the original in one way or another, so there were no surprises there! On the other hand, I would recommend trying not to compare this film to the book. I tend to find that when you do, you will always leave the cinema disappointed and if you go to see a film, you should enjoy yourself as much as possible! Otherwise what's the point in going to see it?

Overall, I expect this film to do as we'll as the first film did. As a whole, the film was excellent, and I have to add that the 3D was very well done. I congratulate Thor Freudenthal on his directing and Marc Guggenheim on his adaptation of the book. I look forward to seeing how Percy Jackson is going to be revived after its long 3 year rest from the first film! 

 

PercyJacksonandtheSeaofMonstersAtifa Jiwa

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is visually impressive with the fantasy elements brought to life in stunning 3D shots. An audience is immersed in everything from an underwater world to scenes made of vibrant stained glass. Most aesthetically pleasing is a watching a hippocampus (a water creature that looks like it's half horse, half rainbow) jump out of the ocean. For me, that was one of the most beautiful pieces of cinema I've ever seen.

 Peter Hartlaub noted that Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is "an easy film to pick apart" and indeed, if you're looking beyond face-value, it's easy to be disappointed by the clumsy plot edits, cringe-worthy one liners and unfortunate cliché. But ignoring that, this is one of the most easy to watch and easy to enjoy films you'll come across this year.

 3/5 stars. An enjoyable (and wonderfully family-appropriate) adventure film with a pleasing dose of Greek myth. And if those reasons aren't good enough? Two words. Logan. Lerman.

 Chuo Ying Ye

The long awaited sequel really lived up to its expectation. The action and story was exciting indeed and I believe that during the film not a single whisper was heard, even if the audience contained quite a lot of young children, showing that Percy Jackson has once again captured the entire attention of the views - a difficult task to do. When the film finished, I was actually speech-less because it was just that good. The story was not confusing and carried on very well from the last movie. This new adventure of Percy's to obtain the golden fleece was amazing to watch, it reminded me of when I was younger and how mesmerised I was about Greek mythology and how each God has certain powers. Since it is a movie for everybody, humour, action and a little bit of romance is incorporated into it. At times I was laughing at the slap-stick comedy but at points I was on the verge of tears, taking me on an emotional roller-coaster. If I was obsessed enough with the film before - Logan Lerman's looks play a big part in this obsession - I am even more drawn in now. I would rate the film 5/5 and hope that others enjoyed it as much as I did, a thrilling experience all in all.

 

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