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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Illustrator Michael Foreman
Author Roald Dahl
Year 1988 (first published 1964)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-031824-0

“Greetings to you, the lucky finder of this Golden Ticket, from Mr Willy Wonka! I shake you warmly by the hand! Tremendous things are in store for you!”

The Golden Ticket allows Charlie to fulfil his dearest wish, to have a specially conducted tour of the mysterious chocolate factory, and who wouldn’t want to wander in a place which made Whipple-Scrumptious Fudgemallow Delight or Cavity-filling Caramels or Strawberry-Juice Water Pistols or Lickable Wallpaper for nurseries? But there are dangers in store as well, especially for such unlovable characters as Veruca Salt, who disappears down the Great Rubbish Chute, or Augustus Gloop who is swept away in a river of hot melted chocolate, or Violet Beauregarde who … but it’s all here in this famous story, waiting ‘to entrance, delight, intrigue, astonish and perplex you beyond measure’ just as it has delighted and astonished more than two million paperback readers already.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory available on Amazon

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (full size)

The Colour of Magic

The Colour of Magic

Series Discworld
Illustrator
Josh Kirby
Author Terry Pratchett
Year 1985 (first published 1983)
Publisher Corgi
ISBN 978-0-552-12475-1

On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There’s an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage moves on hundreds of dear little legs, dragons who only exist if you believe in them, and of course THE EDGE of the planet…

‘ONE OF THE BEST, AND ONE OF THE FUNNIEST ENGLISH AUTHORS ALIVE.’ Independent

The Colour of Magic available on Amazon

The Colour of Magic (full size)

The Shambling Guide to New York City

The Shambling Guide to New York City

Illustrator Jamie McKelvie
Author Mur Lafferty
Year 2013
Publisher Orbit
ISBN 978-0316221177

A travel writer takes a job with a shady publishing company in New York, only to find that she must write a guide to the city – for the undead!

Because of the disaster that was her last job, Zoë is searching for a fresh start as a travel book editor in tourist-centric New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position though, Zoë is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can’t take off her resume – human.

Not to be put off by anything – especially not her blood-drinking boss or death-goddess coworker – Zoë delves deep into the monster world. But her job turns deadly when the careful balance between human and monsters starts to crumble – with Zoë right in the middle.

Also check out The Murverse Annex and JamieMcKelvie.com and Mur’s spectacular podcast I Should Be Writing Continue reading

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

Illustrator Jules Feiffer
Author Norton Juster
Year 1975 (first published 1961)
Publisher Lions
ISBN 0-00-6707998

“It seems to me that almost everything is a waste of time,” Milo remarks as he walks dejectedly home from school. But his glumness soon turns to surprise when he unwraps a mysterious package marked ONE GENUINE TURNPIKE TOLLBOOTH. Once through the Phantom Tollbooth Milo has no more time to be bored for before him lies the strange land of the Kingdom of Wisdom and a series of even stranger adventures when he meets the watchdog Tock who ticks, King Azaz the Unabridged the unhappy ruler of Dictionopolis, Faintly Macabre the not so wicked Which, the Whether Man and the threadbare Excuse among a collection of the most logically illogical characters ever met on this side or that side of reality.

‘This marvellous story about a spoilt boy’s somewhat Alice like journey into the world of words and numbers must be one of the most brilliant pieces of nonsense written in our time, and not so nonsensical either.’
Naomi Lewis, BBC World of Books

The Phantom Tollbooth available on Amazon

The Phantom Tollbooth (full size)

Professor Branestawm’s Treasure Hunt

Professor Branestawm's Treasure Hunt

Illustrator George Worsley Adamson
Author Norman Hunter
Year 1974 (first published 1937)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-030275-1

When it was a case of inventing an unspillable teacup, or a collapsible-cum-expandable house, or a liquid carpet to be applied with a brush, or a machine for peeling and pipping grapes, a bomb or a fire alarm, Professor Branestawm was the man for the job. His interests were wide, and his intentions excellent, but it simply isn’t any joke to be an inventor, or to be anywhere near one, as the Professor’s military friend Colonel Dedshott and his long-suffering housekeeper Mrs Flittersnoop well knew. Continue reading

The Curse of the Egyptian Mummy

Illustrator Laurence Hutchins
Author Pat Hutchins
Year 1985 (first published 1983)
Publisher Fontana
ISBN 0-00-672463-9

The room plunged into darkness and the door burst open. A white bandaged figure stood in the doorway. A piercing scream filled the air: The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb!

It’s the first day of the Cub Scouts’ camping holiday, and things have gone wrong from the start. A body is found, an Egyptian statue is dug out of a dustbin, their tents are ransacked. And then this dramatic appearance. Continue reading

The Mona Lisa Mystery

Illustrator Laurence Hutchins
Author Pat Hutchins
Year 1987 (first published 1981)
Publisher Fontana
ISBN 0-00-672589-9

“Paris, here we come!” screamed Class 3 of the Hampstead Primary School as the bus drove off.

Morgan, glancing out of the back window, was the first to spot the bearded man in the black Citröen, cruising behind them.

Was he following them?

The plot thickens when a second mysterious bearded man appears on the ferry boat, and the children find themselves swept up in a riotous adventure in which they become entangled with a group of art thieves intent upon stealing the MONA LISA! Continue reading

There and Back

Illustrator Robin Boutell
Author Magnus Pyke
Year 1978
Publisher Pan
ISBN 0-330-26020-2

‘A SEWAGE WORKS IS SUCH FUN, QUITE APART FROM BEING SUCH A FINE MONUMENT TO SCIENCE…’

The zestful and ebullient Magnus Pyke once again transports us into his colourful world of science-made-easy and discusses the tremendous advantages that technology can give us — if only we control it properly. Already the signs are encouraging: we have set aside areas in our towns to be free of wheeled traffic; we prefer babies to be born out of hospital; and we often say ‘thank you, no’ when science offers a tempting free gift.

Magnus Pyke’s infectious optimism and sparkling originality can only but succeed in making us believe that the world is not such a bad place after all.

‘A non-stop stream of provocative and stimulating ideas’ DAILY EXPRESS Continue reading