Maxwell Grantly

Magical stories from an independent author

Archive for the tag “tales”

The Top Five

Albert and the Books

If you are looking for something for your children to read, now that the winter is causing nights to lengthen in the northern hemisphere, why not consider the delight of digital eBooks.

If you are interested, here are the top five downloaded free eBooks from Maxwell Grantly’s library. The top two stories are perfect for young infants and the remaining three tales would ideally appeal to the older junior age-range. Best of all, every eBook is free to download and so there has been no better time to encourage your child to read and enter the magical make-believe world of literature.

(1) Teddy’s Many Hats – Teddy had a huge collection of hats. However, Teddy had a dilemma: which hat should he wear when he told his boy how much he is loved?

(2) Count on Teddy – Sadly, Teddy could not count and so Edward tried to teach him the first five numbers. However, Edward found himself learning an important lesson instead.

(3) Jack and the Space Pirates – Jack and his pet cat, Jet, became accidentally hijacked by space pirates. Jack had to devise a plan that would lead to his freedom and the release of a gold-carrying galleon.

(4) Gobbler and the Mirror – Gobbler lived on the streets of New Babbage, stealing food to survive. His life changed dramatically when he accidentally discovered the secret of a new glass invention.

(5) Albert’s Wiggly Tooth – Albert never believed in the tooth fairy so he wondered what happened to his teeth, after being placed under his pillow. Chaos reigned the following Sunday in church!

If you are interested in reading Maxwell’s stories, his work 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 his stories – but at a very small charge. Simply type “Maxwell Grantly” into the search bar at any of these eight sites.

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Christmas Podcast

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If you have read several of my eBooks, you might have noticed that I have developed a specific formatting style for many of my works. Most of my stories have a simple narrative thread but they are packed with numerous beautiful illustrations to accompany the text. However, you may have noticed that my last story (The Christmas Penny) deviated from this general trend. The reason for this change was that my last story was written solely for a steampunk podcast competition, due to be released in time for Christmas.

I am very pleased to announce that this story was successful in the competition and that it was selected (with three others) to form part of the podcast production. Incidentally, just by chance, all four stories were based around street urchin characters and so I understand that the podcast will have a strong steampunk urchin theme. If you have children, they may particularly relish this aspect!

The podcast is currently in the production stage and I understand that it is due for release in the few weeks. Of course, I shall be pleased to provide a link when it is finally available for download.

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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