Astrosaurs: Riddle of the Raptors
by Steve Cole
The dinosaurs didn't die out after that meteor hit earth: not according to this book, anyway. They were far more intelligent that any of us have previously suspected, and the last of the dinosaurs had flown off into space before the meteor struck.
This is the first book in the highly successful Astrosaurs series that's set in the Jurassic Quadrant - an area of outer space populated with dinosaurs - where there is constant friction between the red planets controlled by the carnivores and the green ones controlled by the vegetarians. Captain Teggs Stegasaurus and his crew of the Sauropod have to rescue two kidnapped athletes and foil the raptor's plan to ruin the Great Dinosaur Games.
With black and white illustrations to break up the text, this funny, fast moving story should attract young readers, especially boys, and keep them turning the pages. Then, if they're really hooked, they've got the rest of the series to read too.
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The Horrid Henry books
by Francesca Simon
(Orion Children's Books)
Just as his name suggests, Horrid Henry is the boy who messes about in class, finds lessons boring and is always looking for trouble. He drives his teacher, Miss Battle-Axe, to distraction and irritates his brother, Perfect Peter. Each book is a collection of 4 short stories about Henry's exploits told from Henry's viewpoint with masses of dialogue. Sometimes he gets his comeuppance in the end and sometimes he doesn't - the unpredictability is part of the fun. These books are written with 6-8 year olds in mind but they are so funny that they'll appeal to older children too.
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Snow White and the Seven
The Fried Piper of Hamstring
Rumply Pumply Stinky Pin
by Laurence Anholt and Arthur Robins
(Orchard - Super Crunchies)
These three titles are hilariously twisted versions of traditional fairy tales. Although these are aimed at 7- 10 year olds, they had my 13 year old reviewers (all reluctant readers) rolling with laughter. They loved the covers, the cartoon illustrations on each page and the strange names (especially Hubert Trumpet Crumpet Bum). These are slim books with not too much text per page so they don't look daunting. A really entertaining, easy read. Buy 'Snow White and the Seven Aliens' from Amazon
Buy 'The Fried Piper of Hamstring' from Amazon
Buy 'Rumply Pumply Stinky Pin' from Amazon