Long ago, when the world was new, Lindiwe gazed down from the heavens, proud of the earth and the creatures she’d created.

She and her daughter Thandi swooped down to check their work, only to discover something was wrong. Everything was wilting and dusty and the animals looked sad; the earth needed rain. When the rains finally came, Lindiwe quickly sculpted clay pots to collect the valuable water.

 

Grateful they would be thirsty no longer, the animals fashioned a necklace as colourful as themselves in all their variety, and adorned with this beautiful gift, Lindiwe and Thandi returned to the heavens.

The illustrations glow with the heat and vibrancy of the African plains in this truly elemental creation story with a very human scale.

Sunny the meerkat lives with his enormous family in the Kalahari desert. They are all very close . . . so close, in fact, that one day Sunny decides it’s just too crowded and packs his bags. He’s off to visit his mongoose cousins. But from the watery world of the Marsh Mongoose to the nocturnal lifestyle of the Malagasy Mongoose, Sunny just doesn’t fit in. And who’s that shadowy figure who seems to be following him around?

What would you do if you woke up one night to find the shadow of a giant chicken passing your bedroom door? Go and investigate, of course! When Anyaugo follows a giant chicken into her kitchen one warm night in Nigeria, she embarks on a fun-filled adventure where nothing is quite as it seems. Is the mischievous giant chicken a friend or a foe? More importantly, will Anyaugo be able to save the food for the New Yam Festival the next day?

London 1800. Jupiter is young, black, living at the African Academy in Clapham with other boys from wealthy Sierra Leonean families. His life is a mixture of privilege and dispossession as he copes with the cruelty of his teachers, the rivalries and tensions among his schoolmates, a sense of duty towards his younger brother Robert and guilt over the death of another brother in Africa. Throughout, Jupiter strives to maintain his dignity, his Christian faith and pride in his roots.

But beyond the relative ease of Clapham lies another London, where poor black communities struggle for survival along the squalid reaches of the Thames. A world where Jupiter’s education and background mean nothing and skin colour alone determines fate. Into this world his younger brother Robert vanishes, and Jupiter is obliged to follow …

From the slums to the circus, a mixed-race Victorian boy seeks a place to belong. Ted lives with his mum and poorly big brother in the city of Bradfield. When a stranger turns up in their kitchen, Ted gets two big surprises. Firstly, the man – Pablo Fanque – is the first black circus owner in Britain. Secondly, he is Ted’s father. Before Ted can recover from his shock, he’s sent away with Pablo to learn the tricks of the circus trade. Pablo is determined that Ted should follow in his footsteps. But Ted isn’t at all keen on this terrifying new life among strangers. Can he adapt to it? And will he ever see his mother and brother again?

A gripping adventure in an exciting new series reflecting the authentic, unsung stories of our past! Now or Never brings a young soldier, Private Fazal Khan, from his home in India to the battlefields of the Second World War. Fazal’s world is now focused on Company 32 and the animals he cares for in the midst of one of the most frightening times in history. And as he and his friends make their way to the beaches of Dunkirk, Fazal must deal with even more than the terrors of a dangerous trek to reach the evacuation zone. The Company’s captain defends his troops in the face of a terrible betrayal at the point of rescue: not everyone has welcomed the help brought by the Royal Indian Army Service Corps. Now Fazal is forced to question why he is even there and why he is expected to be loyal to a king whose people don’t all see him as their equal.

 

VOICES: A thrilling new series showcasing some of the UK’s finest writers for young people. VOICES reflects the authentic, unsung stories of our past. Each shows that, even in times of great upheaval, a myriad of people have arrived on this island and made a home for themselves – from Roman times to the present day.

It’s about the friendship between a kind monkey and an old crocodile…

Illustrated by Charlene Chua

 

Diwali has arrived! Rangoli art decorates the floor and strings of flowers hang around the doors. Now it’s time to ring the bells, light the lamps, and welcome the new year with family and friends. A sweet introduction to the Hindu festival of lights.

An unlikely friendship between Miss Bandari and Mr Magarmach forms when the pair meet under the great plum tree, deep in the heart of India. Mr Magarmach is old and his hunting days are over but Miss Bandari loves hearing his stories as they munch plums together. One day their friendship is tested but with courage, trust and forgiveness they discover that living happily together tastes just as sweet as Miss Bandari’s golden plums.

The story of the monkey and the crocodile is a fable from the Panchatantra, an ancient Indian collection of animal fables dated to 300 BCE. But it’s a tale from around the world and versions can be found in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, China, Japan and the Caribbean.