Where is the year going? We look forward to welcoming you to some of our upcoming events, in fact two of this month’s review titles are from authors who will be visiting us in May.

Other authors will be coming to Malton for the food festivals and again we are partnering with Be Amazing Arts to create fabulous activities and plays for the summer and winter periods. So keep your eyes peeled and come participate.

In the meantime, our Kemps team is still here to offer reading suggestions and our program of craft workshops and book clubs continues. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup: Volume 1

by Andy Sagar

Destined to be a favorite in many homes, Yesterday Crumb and the Storm in a Teacup, is the first book in a series from first author Andy Sagar. Originally from Yorkshire and a former primary teaching assistant, Sagar is now researching witchcraft at Cambridge University and his inspiration for this children’s novel came from a visit to Betty’s tea rooms in Harrogate. It’s enchanting fantasy fiction about a lost but feisty young girl who discovers she’s just as magical as the creatures she talks about in her beloved Pocket Book of Faeries.

Yesterday, Crumb is alone: ​​she appears as an attraction in a traveling circus and is constantly reminded by Ringmaster Skelm that she will never be free. She’s different: Her fox ears are the reason so many people come to watch her in her cage, not caring if she hears their hurtful comments. However, she is also very resilient, and when freed by the talkative white crow, Madrigal, she jumps at the chance to escape. But before Madrigal manages to deliver her to the benevolent Miss Dumpling, a wise and wonderful tea witch, she meets the sinister trickster, Mr. Weep, who promises to rid her of her fox ears by failing to warn her of the terrible consequences that this agreement will have. bring.

The story is full of wonderfully imaginative creatures such as Jack, the Candy Witch, Pepperpew, the Dragon Librarian, and a whole host of other fairies. Likewise, the teahouse where Miss Dumpling prepares her beautifully magical tea will captivate young readers as Sagar constructs a fairly believable world. It’s a world where, after reading this book, many will look forward to returning with the next installment in the series.

Publisher Hachette Children’s Group

ISBN: 9781510109483 Paperback $7.99

Cool Nature: Filled with facts and projects for kids of all ages

by Amy-Jane Beer & Damien Weighill

This book is exactly what it says on the cover! A really cool guide to the natural world that gives kids of all ages factual information and lots of ideas for understanding the world of plants and animals.

The book is packed with color and information delivered through an eye-catching cartoon style that is sure to appeal to many children. The facts are delivered in manageable, bite-sized sections while being quite captivating as well. For example, did you realize that wombat poop is shaped like cubes? The information covers a wide variety of topics from evolution to geology to the ocean, all in a friendly and humorous tone.

For those who like to get their hands dirty, there’s also lots of handy tips for nature-loving kids to do in their backyard and beyond, including how to make a cloud in a bottle and how to track animals. through the woods. This is the kind of book that any child with an interest in nature will read, use and cherish for a very long time.

Amy-Jane – local author and Guardian columnist will appear at The Milton Rooms for us in conversation with Rob Cowen on May 19 – tickets available at The Milton Rooms

Publisher HarperCollins Publishers/Pavillion Books

ISBN: 9781910232255 Hardcover€10.99

A net for small fish by Lucy Jago

In 1613 the courtier and poet Sir Thomas Overbury died in prison in the Tower of London. It was commonplace at the time, but two years later his death was officially investigated due to the maelstrom of wild rumors that swirled around the court of James I. The Clandestine Whispers which spoke of Overbury having been poisoned by his guardian, aided by Mistress Anne Turner, the confidante of Frances Howard, daughter of the all-powerful Howard family, resulted in a sensational public murder trial which involved not only Anne and Frances, but also Frances. ‘ husband, the king’s favorite – Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset. The salacious details released during the trial, including the charges of lust, witchcraft, witchcraft and murder, captivated all of London and quickly became the biggest scandal of the time.

The focus of Lucy Jago’s beautifully written first novel, A Net for Small Fishes, is not the Overbury scandal per se, but rather the events leading up to it, particularly the bonds of friendship that developed. are developed between Anne Turner and the younger, and desperately unhappy. , beauty of aristocratic society Frances Howard. A friendship that grew out of their mutual desperation to seek personal happiness and fulfillment at a time when women were expected to endure in silence, forcing them to take increasingly reckless risks – consulting necromancers, taking lovers – in their pursuit. A Net for Small Fishes took ten years of research and writing, and Jago’s time and care results in a novel that is as historically accurate as it is richly imagined. Dismissed by their (largely male) contemporaries as uniquely vain and lustful, Frankie and Anne are the Jacobean answer to Thelma and Louise and their story should not be missed.

Cambridge graduate Lucy Jago is an award-winning writer of fiction and non-fiction. Before writing full time, she produced and directed documentaries on history, arts and society for television.

Published by Bloomsbury

ISBN: 9781526616654 Paperback $10.99

Attention by Rob Cowen

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused shocks around the world: individuals, communities and nations have been thrust into an uncertain and largely inactive state of expectation, a complete suspension of “normal life”. In the year that may now seem unreal to many, Harrogate-based nature writer Rob Cowen has turned to poetry ‘to try to document the lived experience of unfolding events’ and create a close-up narrative of the traumatic pandemic year.

The poems collected in this book speak to both the beauty and the devastation that occur in everyday moments in the human and natural world. Cowen’s listening language observes the “butter-brown blur of a hawk,” a frozen moment gazing at the insects, the “shiny” ivy that defies the cancellation of Christmas. His poems document the seemingly randomness of the world and the emotions necessary for humans to make sense of it. Grief, fear, compassion, courage, love, and lust are just a few of the feelings depicted throughout the poems and it’s impossible to pick a favorite.

However, one poem that brings together the two purposes of the collection (listening and remembering) is the tender and evocative Family Trees. Here, the late-summer scent of clematis makes Cowen remember being lost in a wood as a child where his father picked him up, “in his arms and brought me back. / And I had seen him so angry, so happy”, a memory that pushes him to “mourn all / Family trees are losing their leaves” because of this new unknowable virus.

The Heeding is illustrated with linocuts by Nick Hayes (bestselling author of The Book of Trespass) which are beautiful and arresting in their own right. In fact, they add to the transformative power of this collection of poetry which does not admonish us to “heed” but is given to us as “The Heeding”. This collection of poetry is not a warning but a gift: it is a book to hold, to read and to transmit to others and, in it, is enclosed the experience of an inconceivable year.

Rob will appear at The Milton Rooms for Us in Conversation with Amy-Jane Beer on May 19 – tickets available at The Milton Rooms

Publisher Elliott & Thompson Limited

ISBN: 9781783966332 Paperback $11.99