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)

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The Railway Children

The Railway Children

Illustrator C. E. Brock
Author E. Nesbit
Year 1960 (first published 1906)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN unknown

Though published more than fifty years ago, the story of The Railway Children has become a favourite with children of today as a B.B.C. Children’s Television serial.

There were three of the ‘Railway Children’, Bobbie, Peter, and Phyllis, and life went along as happily as anyone could wish until Peter’s tenth birthday. Then an awful thing happened. Some men came and took away their father. They left London after that and went to live in a not-very-nice house in the country. With Father away, and Mother brave but plainly worried, and very little money, they all did their best, but it was undoubtedly a piece of luck to find that a railway line ran by, just down the hill from their garden. There were always things to do beside a railway in those days, and all sorts of people travelled by train. The Railway Children soon made friends with some of them, and with the station-master and the porter; and then one day Bobbie discovered what had happened to their father, and, keeping it a secret from the others, thought of a way to help him. And that’s what makes the story so exciting – that, and the fact that it all feels so truly possible that anyone can get right inside that awful situation and feel what it would really be like to have to live it. Continue reading

Borrobil

Borrobil

Illustrator Pauline Baynes (cover), John Morton-Sale
Author William Croft Dickinson
Year 1973 (first published 1944)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN unknown

Check out the entire post for a full front and back cover spread!

On Beltane Eve Donald and Jean decide to visit the dark mysterious wood on top of the hill. And in the wood they meet Borrobil. As Borrobil explained to them, Beltane is one of the most magic nights of the year, when the White King of Summer must defeat the Black King of Winter. But Borrobil also describes himself as the best good magician who ever lived in these parts since the rule of King Diarmid. What better guide could Donald and Jean have to take them to see Morac defeat the poison-breathing Dragon and thence to the north to fetch Princess Finella to be Morac’s bride? But the Black Sulig has first to be overcome and when they eventually reach Finella’s castle more dangers threaten from the men of the Long Ships. Continue reading

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

Illustrator Pauline Baynes
Author C. S. Lewis
Year 1973 (first published 1950)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-030132-1

This is a story of magic adventure, and very powerful magic it was, in which four ordinary children, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, became involved. It started in a strange house where they were staying, and Lucy found she could go through the back of a wardrobe into a snowy land of pine forests where she found a faun. Edmund got through to it too, but he did not find the friendly faun. Instead he ran straight into the White Witch herself, a terrifying person, but she gave him what he wanted more than anything else at the moment – Turkish Delight. Then he told her of Lucy’s adventures with the faun, and about the other brother and sister who had not yet found the way through the wardrobe. Two boys, two girls! That was what the old legend told her that she needed to hold her spell over the land of Narnia, so she made Edmund promise to bring the other three to her. That was how it started, with the Witch and the Wardrobe, and the Lion was not long in making an appearance. He was the great Aslan, Lord of the Wood.

This is the first of a series of stories about Aslan and Narnia. The final one of them (The Last Battle) won the Carnegie Medal as the best book for children published in 1956. It appeals especially to nine- to twelve-year-olds but some will read it earlier, and many will still enjoy it a good deal later.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe available on Amazon

Triss

Triss

Series Tales of Redwall
Illustrator
 David Wyatt (cover), David Elliot
Author Brian Jacques
Year 2003 (first published 2002)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-141-31280-7

Discover Redwall – a whole world of adventure

Triss is a brave squirrelmaid – enslaved by the evil ferret King Agarnu of Riftgard and his cruel daughter, Kurda. But, secretly, Triss is planning a daring escape by sea…

As Triss sets sail, three young friends leave Salamandastron in search of adventure – and two youngsters go missing in Mossflower Woods. After three dangerous journeys, the travellers’ paths cross at the famous Redwall Abbey – where Triss will discover her destiny, and a new champion will rise to carry the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior and fight for the future of Redwall…

Brian Jacques is one of Britain’s best-loved storytellers – and Redwall is his most famous creation.

Triss available on Amazon

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

Fighting Fantasy 29: Midnight Rogue

Midnight Rogue

Illustrator John Sibbick
Author Graeme Davis
Year 1987
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-032378-3

Danger lurks in every corner of Port Blacksand – infamous city of evil-doers!

YOU are an apprentice in the Thieves’ Guild of Port Blacksand. Tonight is the testing time, the climax of your training. Your mission is to find and steal a priceless gem, the Eye of the Basilisk, and the special skills you have learned will be tested to the limit!

Many terrors lie in wait in the darkness of this evil city’s backstreets and alleys. Will you be able to accomplish your dangerous task? You have until morning to prove yourself.

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to set out on your mission. YOU decide which route to take, which creatures to fight and which dangers to risk.

Midnight Rogue available on Amazon

Fighting Fantasy 10: House of Hell

Illustrator Ian Miller (cover), Tim Sell
Author Steve Jackson
Year 1984
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-031831-3

Taking refuge in the infamous House of Hell has to be the worst mistake of your life!

The dangers of the torrential storm outside are nothing compared to the blood-curdling adventures that await you inside. Who knows how many hapless wanderers like yourself have perished within its gruesome walls? Be warned! Tonight is going to be a night to remember…

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which way to go, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

House of Hell available on Amazon

Fighting Fantasy 6: Deathtrap Dungeon

Illustrator Iain McCaig
Author Ian Livingstone
Year 1984
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-031708-2

Part story, part game, this is a book with a difference – one in which YOU become the hero!

Down in the twisting labyrinth of Fang, unknown horrors await you. Countless adventurers before you have taken up the challenge of the Trial of Champions, but not one has survived. Devised by the devilish mind of Baron Sukumvit, the labyrinth is riddled with fiendish traps and hideous creatures of darkness to trick and test you almost beyond the limits of endurance!

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to follow, which dangers to risk and which monsters to fight.

Deathtrap Dungeon available on Amazon

Fighting Fantasy 2: The Citadel of Chaos

Illustrator Emmanuel (cover), Russ Nicholson
Author Steve Jackson
Year 1984 (first published 1983)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-031603-5

Part story, part game, this is a book with a difference – one in which YOU become the hero!

The Citadel of Chaos holds a dark and dangerous peril for anyone foolhardy enough to venture through its gruesome gates. And yet venture you must, for your mission lies at the heart of the Citadel, with the dread sorcerer, Balthus Dire.

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to make your journey. YOU decide which route to take, which monsters to fight, and where to use your special knowledge of the magic arts.

The Citadel of Chaos available on Amazon

Fighting Fantasy 11: Talisman of Death

Illustrator Peter Andrew Jones (cover), Bob Harvey
Author Jamie Thomson and Mark Smith
Year 1987 (first published 1984)
Publisher Puffin
ISBN 0-14-031859-3

The once-peaceful world of Orb is in terrible danger!

Dark forces are at work to unleash the awesome might of the Evil One but their plans cannot be completed without the legendary Talisman of Death. It seems that all Orb is searching for the Talisman and yet YOU are the one who carries it. YOUR mission is to destroy the evil Talisman before the minions of Death can reach you. But beware! Time is running out…

Two dice, a pencil and an eraser are all you need to embark on this thrilling adventure of sword and sorcery, complete with its elaborate combat system and a score sheet to record your gains and losses.

Many dangers lie ahead and your success is by no means certain. Powerful adversaries are ranged against you and often your only choice is to kill or be killed!

Talisman of Death available on Amazon