Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Month: August 2019

Agatha Oddly

A perfect read…


A great series for readers who love adventure. You will have a real empathy with the heroine. I have loved the first two books and passed to school libraries where it is a great success.

Agatha Oddlow has been a detective for as long as she can remember – she’s just been waiting for her first big case. And nothing gets bigger than saving the City of London from some strange goings-on.

“I feel sure I have seen the symbol before- I felt it the moment I put it on the professor’s wrist. I search my memory, usually so reliable. But it’s like grasping in the dark, one minute I’m groping around, and think I have something, and the next it’s gone in a whisper.” Chapter 7

With a scholarship to the prestigious St Regis School, a cottage in the middle of Hyde Park, a room full of beloved sleuthing novels, and a secret key that gives her access to a whole hidden side of London, Agatha is perfectly poised to solve the mystery of what’s going on. But just who can she trust when no one is quite who they seem…

The second mystery is Murder at the Museum.

Agatha is s set to become the youngest member of the Gatekeepers’ Guild, but before that, she’s got a mystery to solve!

There’s been a murder at The British Museum and, although the police are investigating, Agatha suspects that they’re missing a wider plot going on below London – a plot involving a disused Tube station, a huge fireworks display, and five thousand tonnes of gold bullion.

Lena Jones is the new author and the books are published by Tibor Jones Studio and HarperCollins, bringing a great dimension to children’s books.

So, start reading this brilliant new adventure series, it is fun to read, will engage with all levels of readers, creates a sense of awareness of contemporary childhood with a sense of classic adventure and mystery.

Recommend as a great read for ages 8-11 years

Sue Martin




When We Became Humans by Michael Bright

A story of evolution, how we as humans developed into the upright, intelligent form that we are today, from  our recent cousins the Neanderthals to ourselves, Homo Sapiens. A large format highly illustrated book which follows in the success of When the Whales Walked.



  • One stop guide to discovering your origins
  • Exquisite illustration which brings the subject to life
  • Engagingly explores this key topic for Key Stage 2 pupils

The sections of the book are easy to follow from ‘How do we know who our ancestors were? to ‘Just Like Us’, which explores how the Neanderthals also liked to use jewellery and clothes.

At the back of the book there is a section on the human family tree and a world map showing how humans have always travelled on and and sea.

Michael Bright is an executive producer with the BBC Natural History Unit and has written over 60 books on aspects of natural history and conservation and the environment.

Hannah Bailey is an illustrator and designer inspired by the natural world and specialises in natural history and non-fiction for children.

Words and Pictures are part of the Quarto Group and aim to produce books that inspire and enable children to think and use their imaginations.

Recommended for ages 6-10, a great book to have for schools and at home.

Sue Martin

The Butterfly House by Katy Flint, illustrated by Alice Pattullo

Step inside the butterfly house, where wonderful, winged insects await. Spot the Banded King Shoemaker and the Monarchs, part of the Brush-Footed Butterflies. The number of species and their differences would fill a huge museum of drawers and glass show cases. 

The Butterfly House shows a number of different species in a glorious collection of illustrations and bite size info boxes. Did you know that there are over 11,000 species in the Tiger Moths family?  Their caterpillars have fuzzy bodies and are often known as ‘woolly bears’. Sounds like my kind of caterpillar.

It is a beautiful hardback book and a good size for the best display of the illustrations, which are captivating and entwined with the text to create a book  just waiting to be picked up.

Katy Flint, writes children’s books and lives in East London, her best selling book is The Story Orchestra and she has worked on non-fiction titles from human bodies to dinosaurs.

Alice Pattullo is an illustrator also based in East London. Alice works on commissioned illustrations and has a huge number of clients including; National Trust, Sainsburys and the V&A Museum.

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books are famous for their excellence in children’s books across the world and have titles in over 45 countries and 35 languages.

The Butterfly House is just the sort of book I am looking for, to sit and read after a walk towards the beach this summer. We recommend for children from 5- 9 and for adults too.

Sue Martin

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