The Pushkin Press’ 2017 selection of the best national and international books for children will beguile the whole family with their classic beauty, perfect prose and stimulating thoughts and ideas. These books explore the thin border between fantasy and reality with plenty of weird and scary happenings. Traditional themes of childhood innocence and purity pitched against dark forces, and the triumph of good over evil continue to enrapture children of all ages—and their parents!
The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan (Pushkin Children’s £9.99)
Exquisite prose, and a lyrical style make The Poet’s Dog by American writer Patricia MacLachlan one of the literary greats in this year’s Christmas repertoire.
The poet Sylvan’s Irish wolfhound Teddy narrates this delicate and beautiful story of how he rescues two children lost in a blizzard and reunites them with their parents.
Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais. Translated by the author from the original French (Pushkin Children’s £7.99)
Three French teenagers, bullied in the schoolyard and online because they are over-weight, cycle from
Bresse to Paris on a mission to right personal wrongs. This amazing novel is so bright, original and fast-paced that it would be unfair to restrict its readership to children. Buy it for the kids, and read it yourself.
Detective Nosegoode and the Music Box Mystery by Marian Orton. Translated by Eliza Marciniak (Pushkin Children’s £7.99)
When Mr Swallowtail’s music box is stolen, Detective Nosegoode is on the trail in this droll and utterly captivating story from Poland. This book is enormous fun, particularly with the added interest of comic illustrations by Jerzy Flisak.
The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy (Pushkin Children’s £ 7.99)
When Aila and her brother, on the death of their mother, are sent off to stay with her childhood friend Mrs Cliffton, they walk straight into a mysterious scenario of disappearances. Enter the realms of this eerie novel as the secrets of the past are unravelled. Children and adults alike will be enthralled by the surreal happenings in the remote town of Sterling.
Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff. Translated by A. A. Prime (Pushkin Children’s £12.99)
This is the latest in the Red Abbey Chronicles set in the man’s world of Ohaddin. This feminist novel will be devoured by girls, as dark secrets and eerie happenings make for a marvellous and memorable read.
The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius. Translated by Peter Graves (Pushkin Children’s £16.99)
Meet Sally Jones the gorilla who is the heroine of this adventure, teaming up with the Chief to operate a cargo boat. Be prepared for plenty of action when Sally fights to clear the Chief’s name —and for her own survival. With nearly 600 pages of eventful and gripping narrative the kids (and you) will be absorbed for hours.
Dog by Andy Mulligan (Pushkin Children’s £10.99)
Lonely Tom thinks he has found a friend at last when his Dad brings him a lively puppy. Spider is the name Tom chooses for his new pet and the two are soon inseparable. But Spider is inquisitive and runs into trouble. His canine adventures lead to heartache and scary situations and Tom feels bereft when his beloved Spider disappears…Will the two be reunited? An absorbing and thought-provoking book.