In the run up to Christmas, children’s publishers around the UK echo to the groans of almost-dead horses being revived and flogged for presents and stocking-fillers. Here is your handy guide to the latest releases:
Money (for Old Rope), by Liz Pinchme – Tom Gates, the eternal Year 5 pupil, is back. This time his class goes on a school trip. He and Marcus have some arguments. He is awkward around the girl. He eats caramel wafers with his mate. Back at home his teenage sister is grumpy and his parents are embarrassing. Repeat. Fun fact: under the terms of her contract with Tunnocks, Liz is bound to write a new Tom Gates novel every year until 2075.
How to Train Your Witch: Witch Way Now?, by Tressida Towel – Volume 18 of the series sees our admittedly engaging underdog heroes come to a puzzling, mysterious fork in the rutted, twisty, mud-strewn path through the whispering, dark, dank-smelling woods on their adventurous, terrifying and practically-almost unfinishable sentence journey to… (continued for another 37 books).
My Little Consumer Goes To The Mall, by Hamerson PLC – A spin-off from the popular YouTube series, this pop-up book sees our heroes on ‘the perfect summer holiday’, visiting every one of the out-of-town “retail leisure destinations” owned by the author. Comes with 3 pages of offer coupons (minimum spend £50) and ‘Save our Seas from Disposable Plastic’ plastic dolphin figurine (please dispose of on land).
Neeta’s Going Home, by Theresa May – Neeta was a good little girl in Syria. But when she was three years old, her parents said some rude things about the government there, and hurt its feelings – so they ran away, taking Neeta with them. They couldn’t find a home anywhere and they tried to enter the UK even though it’s against the law! So the British government sent them home to Syria. Neeta missed them, but the good news is that all that was years ago, and now she’s 18 she can go to Syria too! In fact she has to, because now she’s an adult she doesn’t have leave to remain here. Maybe she’ll be reunited with her parents! If they are ever seen again. A heart-warming story of family values perfect for Christmas.
My Little Red [Redacted] and the Invasion of Privacy, by Meghan Markle – Taking a leaf out of her predecessor Sarah Ferguson’s book, quite literally, sources close to Meghan Markle have penned a charming story about [redacted]. Meghan said that she hopes that this book will end media comparisons between her and Diana, and that she is ‘quietly confident’ that Fergie won’t sue for plagiarism.
Oh Fuck We’re All Going to Die, by Anonymous – Extinction Rebellion’s first venture into children’s literature is a pop-up book that transforms into a barricade between you and the bathroom, which displays mortality statistics for a flooded disease-ridden UK in the year 2100, and prevents you going for a pee until you replace your gas boiler with a dung-based heating system and donate to the XR crowdfunding page. May cause nightmares.