November 28, 2016 — Imagnary House

This was perhaps the hardest list to create... because much like a child, it seems very wrong to name a favourite children's book. Nevertheless, we took ballots and gauged these favourite five books on what we've read and re-read the most, always finding new angles and entertainment inside. We hope you enjoy! 

1. Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl

Danny the Champion of the World - Roald Dahl

It doesn't get much better than dear Dahl, and we think that Danny the Champion of the World is perhaps his greatest feat. It's a marvellous tale about the relationship between a father and son, and an immensely entertaining education into pheasant poaching.

Synopsis: Danny lives with his widowed dad, William, in a Gypsy caravan. His dad operates a filling station and garage as a day-job, but when Danny is nine years old, he discovers that his dad has habitually taken part in pheasant poaching. What follows is a hilarious and heartfelt journey as Danny's dad educates him on becoming a mighty fine pheasant poacher... until Mr Victor Hazell, who's land they're poaching from, cottons on to their acts.

2. Seven by B. D. Harris

Seven by BD Harris is a wonder of short stories for adults and children alike.

Well, okay. We published this one. It's part of the reason we like it so much... but far more for its magical quirks and undeniable invitation into other worlds. 

“Our dreams are who we are, and not who we are going to be,” says Harris in his foreword to seven. As his debut publication, the short story collection is a wild entrance into the many marvellous worlds that he will be exploring in future releases. The featured short story of the collection is a two-part tale called ‘The Magician’.

Synopsis of ‘The Magician’: On the edge of a small town, a young boy lives alone with his father. Now, there are two things you ought to know about his father: 1) that he is a carpenter, and 2) that he is a magician. Magicians are funny people who never quite say what they are up to... so when his father doesn’t show up on his birthday, the young boy decides to go looking for him. Together with a suspicious imaginary friend, he’s pulled into the magical world that his father has created, in desperate search of how to bring him home.

3. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien

Tolkien wrote this as the prelude to The Lord of the Rings. Need we say more? It's stunning, and a perfect doorway into his intricate world. 

Synopsis: Gandalf tricks an unawares hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, into joining a party of dwarves as their “burglar”. Their mission? To reclaim their homeland, which is under rule of a terrifying dragon called Smaug. Bilbo is thrown into the wild as the group travels towards their home in the Lonely Mountain, quite unprepared to tackle his official role as “burglar”. A marvellous and exciting prelude to Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

4. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak

Sendak's renowned story is only 338 words. That's part of the reason we like it so much. It's a true masterpiece, as he manages to pack so much into so little. Much like the fire-cracker Max. If you want to stay away from the deep psychology of this one, there's no denying the pure fun joy of following Max's jam-packed journey with his Wild Things. 

Synopsis:  A young and troubled boy named Max, dressed in his wolf costume, wreaks such havoc through his household and is sent to bed without supper. But, Max's bedroom undergoes a mysterious transformation into a jungle environment, and he ends up sailing to an island faraway. Inhabited only by malicious beasts, known as the "Wild Things”, Max must try to act as their king and bring order to the chaos that he finds.

5. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw - Katherine Applegate

Something quite set apart from her Animorphs series, Applegate delivers an astounding story about family, friendship, and resilience. The simplicity of the writing somehow makes double the impact with such a complex story, and oh! We just love dear old Crenshaw.

Synopsis: Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

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