Author Archives: Maverick

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‘If these are the books they are reading, then they should be off to a great start’ – Review by Chez L’Abeille about our Gold Early Readers

Cathy, teacher and reviewer at Chez L’Abeille, has posted another wonderful review of our latest Gold Early Readers, published in March:

‘Looking at the new additions to the Maverick Early Readers at the Gold Band level, I think Year Two teachers will find plenty to support children develop these essential building blocks towards independent reading. Each one is a five chapter book, which will build reading stamina. On top of that they are great stories that are fun to read.’

The Spooky Sleepover by Elizabeth Dale with illustrations by Steve Wood (Gold Book Band). ‘This story manages the balance between being scary but not TOO scary very well indeed! The lovely black and white illustrations work well, as the girls explore the night-time house, where every sound is different to the familiar day time world.’

The Magic Music Box by Katie Dale with illustrations by Giovana Medeiros (Gold Book Band). ‘Things don’t go as the reader may predict – and this is my favourite part of the story. In a time when talent shows are seen as THE way to achieve success, it’s heartening to have a story where hard work and practice are the virtues that get rewarded.’

The Chicken Knitters by Cath Jones with illustrations by Sean Longcroft (Gold Book Band). ‘What I particularly liked is the way environmental and animal welfare issues are carefully integrated into the story. This book would provide a good launch point for discussion around these points.’

The Coach, the Shoes and the Football by Katie Dale with illustrations by Ellie Oshea (Gold Book Band).  ‘I liked the way the story references the traditional tale [of Cinderella], but makes it a modern version – perfect for prompting similar re-telling of traditional tales from a different angle.’

Thank you Cathy! Read the full review here and to view the rest of the Maverick Reading Scheme, visit our website here.

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An Easter Review for Grandma Bendy from Books for Boys

A lovely Easter review from Books for Boys.  We are glad you enjoyed all the little details!

“This book is extremely inviting to early readers…”

Click here to read the full review!

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‘Entertaining read with great illustrations and an imaginative twist.’ – Review by BizzieBaby about The New LiBEARian

We are really grateful for all of the reviews from BizzieBaby about The New LiBEARian by Alison Donald and Alex Willmore.

‘Fantastic entertaining read. Great artwork. Felt robust. Lots of detail in the pictures. Great for slightly older kids who can appreciate the detail. Entertaining read with great illustrations and an imaginative twist.’

‘Loved the cover looked very appealing. The quality of the book was great. We really loved the illustrations and enjoyed reading this story together. It is a stimulating story as characters from other well-known stories all rolled into this new format. A good read and certainly enjoyed.’

You can read the full review and many more here.

Alison Donald has written many titles for Maverick including AdoraBULL, Pirates in Classroom 3 and has a new title due for release in June 2019 called The Spacesuit. Alex Willmore illustrated The New LiBEARian, but is also an author of a title that is due out It’s MY Sausage in September 2019.

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‘I really enjoy the originality of this series, it’s fun and frenetic.’ – Review by Book Lover Jo about Teachers on Pluto

Thank you to Book Lover Jo for reviewing our book Teachers on Pluto by Lou Treleaven, author of the Penpals on Pluto series.

‘Lou Treleaven is back with the third book in this out of the world series. Jon thought that living seven and half billion kilometres from Earth would save him from the clutches of his teacher, Mrs Hall. That is until the President of Pluto goes on his honeymoon and puts Mrs Hall in charge of the planet. It soon becomes clear that she is clearly incapable of this job – in Jon’s opinion- creating new ridiculous laws that are more like school rules. Obsessed with upholding these laws, it’s left to Jon and Straxi to take matters into their own hands when they discover a giant, mutant snargler on the loose! I really enjoy the originality of this series, it’s fun and frenetic. The use of letters, posters and robot reports to tell the story is really engaging and different, it’s proved to be a popular series at school.’

You can read the full review and many more here.

Thank you for your kind review Book Lover Jo.

You can read all three of the books in our Penpals to Pluto series: Letter to Pluto, Homework on Pluto and Teachers on Pluto by placing an order on Hive.

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‘An original and wonderfully entertaining picture book for children’ – Review from Midwest Book Review about Bears Don’t Eat Egg Sandwiches

Thank you to Midwest Book Review in the United States for reviewing our US version of Bears Don’t Eat Egg Sandwiches by Julie Fulton and Rachel Suzanne.

“Jack has a rather grizzly visitor arrive for lunch but they don’t want to eat any of Jack’s egg sandwiches. So what do bears eat for lunch? Through quirky illustrations by Rachel Suzanne and funny dialogue by Julie Fulton, the bear tells Jack all about his lunchtime plans — until they’re unexpectedly foiled! An original and wonderfully entertaining picture book for children ages 4-9, “Bears Don’t Eat Egg Sandwiches” is very highly recommended for family, elementary school, and community library collections.”

You can read the full review here.

If you are based in the US, you can buy your copy here. If you are based in the UK, you can buy your copy here.

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‘This funny and unusual story is set to become a firm favourite’ – Review by The Letterpress Project about Shampooch

Thank you for the detailed and delightful review from The Letterpress Project about our picture book Shampooch by Heather Pindar and Susan Batori.

‘We really enjoyed an earlier collaboration by this talented pair – Beware the Mighty Bitey – and this one is another laugh out loud story that will appeal to young readers.

When the elegant and rather snooty Shampooch emerges from her latest session at Furaway Pampering Salon she is all set to parade her charms to friends in the park. As she steps daintily towards the hill, other dogs call out to her to join them in their various messy pursuits. She is clearly out to impress and certainly looks very stylish but I liked the way that they don’t comment on this at all. They just want her to join them in the pleasures of rummaging in smelly bins, getting covered in mud and chasing rabbits. Having fun without worrying about looking good is what being a dog is all about after all.

As with all picture books published by Maverick, this one marries the energetic and amusing text with some splendid illustrations that bring the doggy characters to life. When I read it aloud to a group of three and four year olds recently, I found that I was inspired to use a range of voices to depict the quietly spoken, rather posh Shampooch through to the three gruffer, more down-to-earth ruffians who try to tempt her to stray from her chosen path. Who could resist finding different ways to convey the characters of Wagsy McBone, Woof-Whiffily and the gloriously named Sniffy-Bottingham? The graphic pictures show how, when Shampooch becomes tangled up with a kite as she climbs up the hill in the park, she tumbles back down to earth with a crash and eventually realises that getting dishevelled and a bit dirty doesn’t really matter at all – in fact it is rather good fun! The onomatopoeic words are carefully chosen to communicate the physical bumpiness of the ride ‘thwoked’, ‘skittered’, ‘hurtled’, ‘slithered’ and ‘flumped’ all add to children’s developing vocabulary.

The humans are pretty irrelevant in all this because dogs will be dogs, no matter how well trained and pampered they might be. We don’t see much of any of them until towards the end when it appears that the refined owners of Shampooch look remarkably similar to their pet with their long sleek hair and pointy noses.

This funny and unusual story is set to become a firm favourite with younger readers and would inspire some creative artwork and writing. At a deeper level, it also provides the important message about the need to get on with doing what makes you happy, rather than worrying what others might think. Who cares about keeping clean and meticulously manicured at great expense if it means that you can’t relax and enjoy the company of good friends after all. Plenty to talk about and reflect on what really matters in life for readers of all ages. Strongly recommended.’

Read the full review and many more here.

Heather Pindar has also written other titles for Maverick, including Froggy DayBeware the Mighty Bitey and Wishker.  All these titles and many more can be purchased here.

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‘I liked it because it was silly and messy.’ Review by T from Father Reading of Shampooch

Thank you to T and his dad at Father Reading for the lovely review and video of Shampooch by Heather Pindar and Susan Batori.

‘This is a funny, beautiful book that we both really enjoyed. The story bobs along briskly and is accompanied by some gorgeous, pink and pretty illustrations which capture Shampooch brilliantly (I also enjoyed the Tom and Jerry style legs-only view of humans). There is also a nice message about not judging based on looks and also being willing to try new adventures – something T is always willing to do.

A lovely book to read with children 3 and up with obvious mega-appeal for dog lovers everywhere (it was the dogs on the front cover that pulled T in). A gentle, humorous story that children will enjoy reading again and again. T enjoyed it and told me, “I liked it because it was silly and messy.” That statement seemed to be all he wanted to give though as you can see in tonight’s solo read…’

See their full review and video.

Heather Pindar has also written other titles for Maverick, including Froggy DayBeware the Mighty Bitey and Wishker.  All these titles and many more can be purchased here.

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‘Energetic, often funny and positive story about children finding ways to solve problems’ – Review by Letter Press Project about Arlo, Miss Pythia and the Forbidden Box

Thank you for the detailed and delightful review from The Letterpress Project about Junior Fiction book Arlo, Miss Pythia and the Forbidden Box by Alice Hemming and Mike Garton.

‘Being a pupil at Purple Hill Primary School is always exciting because of the unconventional teaching staff. Arlo isn’t that keen on speaking out loud in class but is a very good storyteller as he recounts the second adventure in this series. As if going on a Year 4 trip to a zoo with real dinosaurs wasn’t thrilling enough, this time Class 5P has another new teacher , the exotic and creative Miss Pythia, who fascinates the children with her unusual approach to teaching which includes often speaking in rhyme. She also seems to be able to prophesise the future and even has the ability to transport her class back in time!

She certainly knows how to inspire the children when she shows them a tantalising golden box with an embossed sun like symbol on the lid. She is usually pretty easy going but on this occasion strictly instructs them that:

‘Opening the box would have dire consequences. Dire consequences. Do you understand? Dire consequences’.

After their trip back in time to watch a play in the theatre in Ancient Greece, she tells them the story about Pandora’s Box. I like the way that this author always manages to weave in plenty of history and other useful information to beguile the readers. Despite the obvious parallels with the box in their own classroom, it is clear that someone may be unable to resist taking a peep inside at some point in the story.

All the children are very enthusiastic when she suggests that they should enter an inter–school theatre showcase where they have to write, direct and perform a play in one day. As the theme is ‘Myths and Fairy Tales’, they all decide to perform their own version of ‘Pandora’s Box’. Arlo is thrilled to be chosen to be the director, a role that he feels inspired to do well because he greatly admires the renowned film director, Jaques P. Lancaster. When he realises that his hero is going to be the star attraction at the event he feels even more excited.

Unfortunately, directing a play is not quite as simple as he hoped – especially when the members of the cast don’t necessarily agree with his overall vision for the play, or his directions. He won’t listen to advice from his friend Ronnie and is warned by Miss Pythia:

‘Arlo, you can’t do it all,

Pride always comes before a fall’.

As might be expected, the performance does not go smoothly, although it certainly keeps the audience entertained – especially when it seems that somebody has switched the cardboard prop of Pandora’s Box with the one that Miss Pythia has expressly told them not to touch. When it is opened, chaos is all around them and the curtain is brought down hastily. When the children peer cautiously inside the empty box, they can only see their own faces reflected on the shiny surface. Perhaps a happy solution is in their hands after all because, as in the original story, hope is all that is left:

‘We are the last hope for this play. We can sort out this mess, but we need to work together’.

I really enjoyed this energetic, often funny and positive story about children finding ways to solve problems and eventually learning to work together as a team . Once again, the lively illustrations by Mike Garton add to the atmosphere and show us the very different characters in Class 5P, and their extraordinary teacher. Despite her obvious flair for enthusing the children, Miss Pythia explains that she has to leave and the last chapter introduces us to her replacement, Dr Bland. Somehow I think that he might not be quite as grey and dull as he seems at first, but that will doubtless be another story.’

Read the full review and many others.

The first book Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo opened up a great adventure for Arlo and friends and we are excited to see what happens next in Arlo, Miss Pythia and the Forbidden Box. You can order these titles here.

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‘A delightful book to share and enjoy with your little ones’ – Review by Lancashire Post Newspaper Group about Shampooch

Thank you to Lancashire Post Newspaper Group for their pun-tastic review of Shampooch by Heather Pindar and Susan Batori.

‘With a comical canine cast featuring Wagsy McBone, Woof-Whiffily and the adorable, dog-eared Sniffy-Bottingham, what child could resist the new caper from top picture book team Heather Pindar and Susan Batori? Author Pindar and her illustrator ‘partner in grime’ Batori are on their laugh-out-loud best form in Shampooch, the waggish ‘tail’ of a pampered pooch who discovers that rolling in the mud and getting very, very dirty is far more fun than keeping her silken hair pristine clean. With her whiskers glossed, nose polished, claws buffed, tail fluffed and wearing her diamanté collar and designer mohair jacket, Shampooch is the most primped and pampered dog in the whole park. Her human owners love their ‘good dog, clean dog’ but will Shampooch manage to avoid all her friends’ dirty distractions? The author and illustrator team behind Strictly No Crocs and Beware the Mighty Bighty work their magic again on this tale of a dog who is doggedly determined to stay clean until she is bowled over by some mucky mishaps in the park. With subtle messages about being true to yourself, not judging others by their appearance, and the joys of simply having fun, this is a delightful book to share and enjoy with your little ones.’

You can read the full review and many more.

Heather Pindar has also written other titles for Maverick, including Froggy DayBeware the Mighty Bitey and Wishker.  All these titles and many more can be purchased here.

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‘It’s full of suspense, gently humorous and splendidly complemented by…expressive drawings’ – Review by Red Reading Hub about Arlo, Miss Pythia and the Forbidden Box

A wonderful review from Red Reading Hub about our new Junior Fiction title Arlo, Miss Pythia and the Forbidden Box by Alice Hemming and Mike Garton. This is the second book in the ClassX Series.

‘When I taught nursery children we often did an activity called, ‘What’s in the box?’ Singing a little ditty based on those words served to arouse the children’s interest and enthusiasm before the lid was lifted and we investigated its contents. And that is just what Miss Arlo does when she instructs her class that opening the particular box she has in her safe-keeping, is strictly forbidden.

Another winner from Alice Hemming; it’s full of suspense, gently humorous and splendidly complemented by Mike Garton’s lively, expressive drawings, which provide additional details and humour.

Now set fair to become a super series, this story is great for solo reading as well as highly appropriate as a class read aloud especially if the Ancient Greeks are on the agenda.’

You can read the full review here.

Thank you for the lovely review, we really appreciate it.

The first book Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo opened up a great adventure for Arlo and friends and we are excited to see what happens next in Arlo, Miss Pythia and the Forbidden Box. You can order these titles here.

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