Maxwell Grantly

Magical stories from an independent author

Archive for the tag “kids”

The Christmas Penny

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Have you ever wandered down the street and seen a shining new penny laying in the gutter?

This illustrated story tells the adventure of two Victorian street urchins, who found a whole new penny, one Christmas in New Babbage, and saw Professor Jiggers’ Flea Circus. As with all stories by Maxwell Grantly, things never go according to plan.

If you are interested in reading The Christmas Penny, it can be downloaded free of charge from Barnes & Noble, Blio, iBooks, Inktera, Kobo, Lulu and Smashwords. Sadly, the software at Amazon does not allow a zero pricing and so (if you use a Kindle) you may also download The Christmas Penny – but at a very small charge. Simply type “Maxwell Grantly” or “The Christmas Penny” into the search bar at any of these eight sites.

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Pfaffenthal Update

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Next year (2017) will be the 150th anniversary of the Second Treaty of London.

For people living outside Luxembourg, this date will have very little significance. However, for those who live and work in Luxembourg, the year 2017 will be an important opportunity to celebrate the reaffirmation of the neutrality of their city and a chance to remember the starting of a new chapter of this important European location.

The Second Treaty of London was an international treaty signed on 11 May 1867. It was agreed in the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War and the Luxembourg Crisis and it had wide-reaching consequences for Luxembourg and for the relations between Europe’s Great Powers.

As part of the many celebrations planned for 2017, I am currently working with a team from across the whole of Europe; helping in the production of a transmedia comic strip set in a computer generated reconstruction of the 1867 city. The story revolves around a young Luxembourgish boy named Steft and it explains how his vivid imagination caused him to cross the paths of many different characters in and around his home city of Luxembourg.

If all goes to plan, the comic strip will be released some time next year and it is hoped that it may be a unique way of retelling the stories of the inhabitants of this important European City.

World Book Day 2016

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Today is World Book Day and it is celebrated in nearly 100 different countries around the globe. In Great Britain, many children dress up as their favourite fictional character and then attend school in fancy dress for the day.

If you want to celebrate World Book Day in style, why not download a free eBook by Maxwell Grantly and enter his crazy magical world of disbelief for an hour or so. (All Maxwell’s eBooks are free to download from both iTunes and Kobo.) You won’t regret it!

Recommended for January

If you have young children in your family, they are sure to love the antics of the adorable teddy bear, simply named ‘Teddy.’ Best of all, this delightful eBook is completely free to download from both iTunes and Kobo.

Count on Teddy

Edward had a special playmate called Teddy, who owned a lot of different hats. Teddy had a smart bowler hat for listening to the BBC news on the radio, a baseball cap for riding his tricycle across the lawn and even a special shabby top hat for talking with Edward in the garden.

You might wonder how many hats Teddy owned: Edward certainly did! Sadly, Teddy was unable to count. Therefore, Edward decided to take Teddy for a special walk around the village and teach the little bear all the important numbers, up to five.

Can Teddy remember his first five numbers and then answer a simple quiz?

Like all zany stories from Maxwell Grantly, things are bound to go wrong in the most unexpected way. However, there is a simple moral to this story and younger readers are sure to appreciate the beautiful illustrations that accompany this lively tale.

 

Child Literacy at Christmas

Have you seen the new Sainsbury’s Christmas Advert this year? Mog sets off a chain of unfortunate events that almost ruin Christmas for the Thomas family. Can she pull it all back to save the day?

This year, Sainsbury’s are working in partnership with HarperCollins Children’s Books and world renowned author/illustrator Judith Kerr to create a Christmas story based on her much loved character Mog.

If you enjoyed the video clip, you can buy the beautifully illustrated book from Sainsbury’s. Every penny of the profit from sales of the book will be donated to Save the Children, improving child literacy in the UK.

If you would like further inspiration for teaching children to read, you may also like to know that every story by Maxwell Grantly can be downloaded (completely free of charge) from both iBooks and Kobo. There is even a free special Christmas eBook planned for released in December – more news about that later this month.

A Merry Christmas to you all.

Recommended for November

Those of us who live in the northern hemisphere have put our clocks back and we are now looking forward to six months of winter. That means that many of us will be curling up by the fire, with a warm cup of cocoa in one hand and a good book in the other.

If you want a reading suggestion for your children (at no cost) you could browse through the large selection of free eBooks on iTunes and Kobo by Maxwell Grantly.

If you want an idea of where to start, why not try the first story in a trilogy about Fingers the Pickpocket, called “The Incredible Story of Fingers and Boston.”

The Incredible Adventure of Fingers and Boston

Abandoned by his parents and forced by fate to work on the streets of New Babbage shining shoes, Edward Croydon (also known as “Fingers”) has to pick the pockets of rich gentlemen in order to survive. However, his life takes an unexpected turn of events when he discovers a stray Boston terrier wandering alone on the streets: a stray dog with the most peculiar-shaped dog tag hanging from her collar. Unfortunately, it’s not only Fingers who is interested in finding out the meaning of this curious dog tag; a gang of local criminals are searching for this dog and her tag too. They will do anything to seize the dog tag for themselves, within the Law or not.
Will Fingers find out the significance behind the strange-shaped dog tag of his new canine friend?
Will the local police be able to trace the missing Boston terrier before the criminals track Fingers and the lost dog?
Will the new friendship of Fingers and his terrier overcome the problems that they face together?
Find out the answer to these questions by reading the picture storybook by Maxwell Grantly: “The Incredible Adventure of Fingers and Boston.”

Albert’s Wiggly Tooth

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Do you believe in the tooth fairy? Not many children do. Even the thirty-two young boys and girls at the New Babbage orphanage all knew that Mr. Bagshaw, the resident housemaster, really took their old teeth and left a silver sixpence under their pillows. Even still, a whole sixpence is such a lot of money: you can buy so many sweets with just the one coin.

When Albert’s wiggly tooth fell out, he wondered what happened to it after he left it under his pillow. To his surprise, he discovered that Mr. Bagshaw was selling the children’s teeth to a local dentist, in order to build dentures for the elderly people in town.

Discover the crazy antics of what happened in church the following Sunday morning, when Albert discovered the identity of the new owner of the children’s missing teeth.

Like all stories from Maxwell Grantly, nothing ever goes to plan!

Gobbler and the Mirror

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We all know that light travels incredibly quickly in a vacuum. When it passes through other media, such as water or glass, it slows down very slightly. So, just imagine what life would be like if light travelled substantially slower in glass! How would such a world look?

Professor Higgins discovered that, if you added a special crystalline compound to the manufacture of glass, you could create a new transparent substance that had the property of slowing light by a total of three hours. Just imagine looking through a window that was made of this new invention: it would be like looking three hours into the past!

A local street urchin named Gobbler accidentally stumbled into a lecture given by Professor Higgins and learnt the secret behind this new amazing substance. His life would never be the same from that moment on. Find out how Gobbler’s life changed for the worse when he found himself being framed for a theft that he did not commit and discover whether he managed to clear his name.

Maxwell Grantly reveals all in his new eBook: “Gobbler and the Mirror.”

As is common with many stories by Maxwell, everything is not what it might at first seem to be!

A Reader’s Verdict

Quayside Photograph Just recently, a sample of five hundred teachers ranked the top ten books that all children should read before leaving primary school. In case you missed the survey results, the top ten reads as follows:

  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  2. Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian
  3. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  4. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  5. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  6. The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis
  7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  8. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen
  9. Dogger by Shirley Hughes
  10. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Do you have opinions on the books included in this list? Are there stories that you were surprised to see included or are there classics that you thought should have appeared in this list? It is always interesting to hear what others think and to learn the reasons behind their decisions. However, what do children think of the results of this survey? This BBC article summarises the verdict of 11-year-old Tom Lamb, from Shenfield in Essex. You may find his thoughts to be enlightening. For Tom, the big surprise is that the list does not include a single Harry Potter book.

“I really think they should have been on the list. I am on the last one now. I read it every night. I like the last one best, more than the other ones. “It’s called The Deathly Hallows. The other ones are more about school and stuff. This is about when he’s left school and it’s a lot more exciting.”

Do you have a verdict regarding the results of this teacher survey? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the “comments” section.

The One Hundred List

Albert and the Books

In a survey organised by the Times Educational Supplement and the National Association for the Teaching of English, the following list shows the top one hundred fiction books that all children should read before they left primary school.

1          Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

2          Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

3          Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

4          Matilda by Roald Dahl

5          The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

6          The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis

7          The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

8          We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

9          Dogger by Shirley Hughes

10        Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

11        Stig of the Dump by Clive King

12=      Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

12=      The Iron Man by Ted Hughes

14        Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

15        Winnie the Pooh by A A Milne

16        Funnybones by Allan and Janet Ahlberg

17=      Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson

17=      The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

19        Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss

20        War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

21=      Grimm’s Fairy Tales by The Brothers Grimm

21=      The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr

23        Peace at Last by Jill Murphy

24        Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer

25        Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd

26        Not Now Bernard by David Mckee

27        Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

28        The Twits by Roald Dahl

29        I am David by Anne Holm

30        The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

31        The Paddington series by Michael Bond

32        Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch

33        Esio Trot by Roald Dahl

34        Five Children and It by E Nesbit

35        Clockwork by Phillip Pullman

36        The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

37        The Magic Far Away Tree by Enid Blyton

38        Farmer Duck by Martin Waddell and Helen Oxenbury

39        Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

40        The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier

41        The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy

42        The Alfie and Annie Rose series by Shirley Hughes

43        Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield

44        Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

45        Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore

46        Sad Book by Michael Rosen

47        The Borrowers by Mary Norton

48=      A Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown

48=      The Jolly Postman by Allan Ahlberg

50        Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

51        Coraline by Neil Gaiman

52        Zoo by Anthony Browne

53        Treasure Island by R L Stevenson

54        Voices in the Park by Anthony Browne

55        Cinderella by Charles Perrault, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti

56        Pig Heart Boy by Malorie Blackman

57        The Railway Children by E Nesbit

58        Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman

59=      Kidnapped by R L Stevenson

59=      The Sheep Pig by Dick King-Smith

61=      Beegu by Alexis Deacon

61=      The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

63=      Eragon by Christopher Paolini

63=      The Mr Men and Little Miss series by Roger Hargreaves

65=      Gentle Giant by Michael Morpurgo

65=      Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

67        The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

68        Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti

69        Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff

70        Theseus and the Minotaur by David Orme and Wendy Body

71=      The Just William series by Richmal Crompton

71=      On the Way Home by Jill Murphy

71=      Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

71=      Street Child by Berlie Doherty

71=      The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde

76=      Angelo by Quentin Blake

76=      The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Draywalt and Oliver Jeffers

76=      The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

79        My Mum by Anthony Browne

80=      The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

80=      The Tunnel by Anthony Browne

82=      Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

82=      The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler by Gene Kemp

84        The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

85=      Click Clack Moo: cows that type by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

85=      The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

85=      The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

88=      I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child

88=      The Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy

88=      The Early Years at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

88=      Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver

92=      Birds Beasts and Relatives by Gerald Durrell

92=      The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner

94        The Mrs Pepperpot series by Alf Proysen

95=      The Asterix Series by Rene Goscinny and Albert Uderzo

95=      The Fib and Other Stories by George Layton

97        The Giant’s Necklace by Michael Morpurgo

98        The Kipper series by Mick Inkpen

99=      The Milly-Molly-Mandy series by Joyce Lankester Brisley

99=      The Suitcase Kid by Jacqueline Wilson

How many titles on this list have you read? Perhaps you might be prompted by this survey to revisit some of your favourite childhood stories and share these with your own children.

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