Archives for August 2017

August 21, 2017 - Comments Off on Brilliant books to banish boredom

Brilliant books to banish boredom

We at Scoop are dedicated to encouraging all kinds of creativity in our readers, so we’ve pulled together a list of some awesome activity books that are a hundred per cent guaranteed to banish boredom for the last leg of the summer holidays. There’s something for everyone here, from craft lovers to outdoor adventurers, to science buffs, to sports fanatics – so there can be no excuse for having nothing to do!

First up, Nosy Crow’s series of smartly designed activity books are a feast for the eyes, and an inspiration for the mind. National Trust: Go Wild in the Woods is a perfect, pocket-sized compendium packed with survival tips for young adventurers, and teaches all manner of outdoor skills, from how to build a shelter and cook over a campfire, to fun games to play in the great outdoors. It also includes essential information about first aid, and what NOT to do when out in the wild. We also love this gorgeous range of colouring books complete with cards and envelopes. The series provides hours of arty activity on rainy days, with themes covering the likes of nature, summertime, unicorns and rainbows, and flowers and butterflies.

Backyard Explorer is a brilliant fill-in journal brought to young explorers by Lonely Planet. Packed with plenty of ideas for fun things to do and make (including cloud spotting, scavenger hunting and creating a time capsule), readers will be enjoying adventures right outside their own back doors in no time.

Budding scientists and engineers will find much to inform and entertain in b small publishing’s inventively educational series of STEM starters, which are packed with facts and engaging activities themed around science, technology, engineering and maths.

From experiencing a 3D penalty shoot-out, to playing a fun, flicking football game, Football Things to Make and Do is packed with immersive projects and games to keep footy fans entertained during the summer off-season. Young cricketers will love this recently released Cricket Sticker Book, which includes 450 stickers, plus insights into the rules of the game.


August 14, 2017 - Comments Off on Adventures Close to Home

Adventures Close to Home

Whether you’re off on holiday this summer, or enjoying a break at home, we can all experience incredible adventures through the pages of a book. Here are a few of our favourite reads to transport young adventure-seekers to thrilling far-flung places – no packing, passport or plane tickets necessary!

Set in 1910, and published in 2001, in Eva Ibbotson’s Journey to the River Sea is an absolute classic. When word comes that brave, bright orphan Maia has relatives living near Manaus, she’s transported from her English school to the heart of the Amazon, accompanied by her governess, Minty. Maia’s dream of an exciting new life with her cousins is tainted when she discovers that they’re horribly spoiled, and only interested in her parents’ money, but she’s entranced by the majesty of the forest, and befriends a half-English, half-Xanti boy, Finn. The plot twists and snakes like the Amazon itself – there are duplicitous dealings, secret identities, and an overarching respect for the wonders of the natural world. In Minty’s words, ‘children must lead big lives ... if it is in them to do so’, which is exactly what Maia does. She’s the pluckiest of heroines, with huge heart and integrity, and readers will come away dazzled by both the gripping adventure, and the author’s unforgettable evocation of the Amazon. It’s one of those special stories that readers will return to and re-read over and over again.

Katherine Rundlell’s recently published The Explorer was partly inspired by the author’s love of Journey to the River Sea. Intricately illustrated by Hannah Horn, this tells the gloriously gripping tale of four children struggling to survive when their plane crashes in the wilds of the Amazon forest. Fred has always dreamed of being an explorer, and desperately longs to do something to make his father notice him. He now has chance to do just that. While dangers are ever-present in the form of caimans, tarantulas, snakes and piranhas, they manage to find food, and Fred even fashions a raft that transports them along the river, with their adopted sloth aboard. Then, deep in the mysterious jungle, they encounter a real-life explorer who holds mysteries of his own. At its heart, this is a book about the magical richness of the natural world, and what it is to truly experience life. As the eponymous explorer explains, “You don’t have to be in the jungle to be an explorer … every human on this earth is an explorer”. This is a thoughtful and vibrantly thrilling feast.

From South America to South Africa: Lauren St John’s award-winning series of White Giraffe books were inspired by her experiences growing up on a Zimbabwean farm and game reserve, and they’re a thoroughly warm-hearted, wonder-filled treat. When eleven-year-old Martine is orphaned, she’s sent to live with her grandmother on a game reserve in South Africa, but her grandmother is distant and unwelcoming, and Martine also feels like an outsider at school. Then, after befriending Tendai, a keeper on the reserve, and sighting the fabled white giraffe, Martine discovers that she has a secret gift, and a world of adventure unfolds.

Set against a stunning Himalayan landscape, Jess Butterworth‘s recently released debut, Running on the Roof of the World, follows the epic adventures of twelve-year old Tash and best friend Sam as they journey from Tibet to India, where they hope to secure the support of the Dalai Lama in order to save her parents. But time is against them, as is the terrain. With winter setting in, the perilous paths of the Himalayas will soon be blocked by snow, and many dangers must be kept at bay. This thrilling fable about hope and holding onto what really matters abounds in derring-do appeal.

Melding magic and mystery with a wild spirit of adventure, Abi Elphinstone’s Dreamsnatcher trilogy is set in an imagined world, but inspired by the author’s real-life experiences among Scottish glens, Norwegian fjords, Italian Dolomites, Brazilian caves, and Kazakh eagle hunters in Mongolia. Moll’s quest to fight the Dreamsnatcher’s dark magic is furiously fast-paced, and these books are ablaze with action, adventure and enchantment.