Introducing 7 Stories Selects!

We know how hard it is to select a book to read - after all, there are so many to choose from, too many to even count...

That's why this year, we're bringing you a bespoke selection of Seven Stories every month, ranging from Early Years to Young Adult , from Fiction to Non-Fiction titles, Poetry to Prose, in the hopes of helping you to find your next favourite children's book. Of course, every title we choose will then be able to purchase from our independant bookshop!

And we couldn't think of a better theme to kick off 7 Stories Selects than 'Storytelling' with National Storytelling Week in full swing (running 30th January - 5th February). Each as brilliant as the next, our team have selected examples of stellar storytelling for January's Selects:


Picture Book: Charlie Cook's Favourite Book, Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler

We couldn't think of any better way to kick off our first 7 Stories Selects than with a classic tale from the unparalleled picture book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Axel Schefller. 'Charlie Cook's Favourite Book' is the perfect picture book for all the family to enjoy and sets a superb standard for storytelling. 

As we've been enjoying mixed up tales and spoon puppet workshops across the building, Seven Stories has been buzzing with classic Julia Donaldson stories loved by children and adults alike, and of course that includes 'Charlie Cook's' book-within-a-book-within-a-book-within-a-book where stories truly come to life at every page-turn.

But why do WE love it?
“Storytelling is at the heart of everything Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler produce together, and there’s no greater example of this than in ‘Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book.’ With eleven different books working to make one greater story, ‘Charlie Cook’ is a poetic picnic of playfulness, demonstrating that storytelling can still very much exist within worlds of make-believe!"


Ages 5 & Over: The Zebra's Great Escape

Paired with fabulous illustrations from Sara Ogilive, Katherine Rundell's 'The Zebra's Great Escape' is the perfect story to whisk readers over 5 on a great adventure. With every turn, vibrant characters come alive and leap from the page to deliver a fabulous tale of bravery and brilliance. 

A girl, a zebra, a dog and a squirrel set forth on a great adventure. Mr Spit is out to get them - but bravery and brilliant friends are a match for anyone. So begins a grand adventure to rescue a whole menagerie of animals - an adventure that will take all of Mink's courage and 

But why do WE love it?
"The Zebra's Great Escape already feels like a classic. Katherine Rundell's hilarious writing about alphabetical animals banding together to defeat the mean and moustachioed Mr. Spit is ripe to be drawn. Mink speaks to animals through flares of vibrant colour, and Newcastle resident Sara Ogilvie is able to bring Rundell's world to life with big, bold splashes and full-page action-packed spreads. The story is a treat that will feel fresh for any lovers of classic Disney, and holding the beautiful book feels like a treasure. Truly brilliant storytelling!"


Ages 8 & Above: You Don't Know What War Is

'You Don't Know What War Is' shares a rare yet incredibly poignant account of the complex realities of war as 12-year-old Yeva Skalietska writes a day-by-day diary entry of what happened on and following February 24th 2022...

While sharing a damp, cramped basement with her Grandmother, Yeva decided she would write down her own account of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and track her journey from her beloved home in war-torn Kharkiv to finding safety in Dublin. 'You Don't Know What War Is' is a powerful example of how storytelling can come in a multitude of media such as diary entries, journals, newspaper clippings, texts and social media.

But why do we LOVE it?
"Yeva Skalietska had just celebrated her 12th birthday when she woke up to the sound of explosions in Kharkiv; what follows is an eloquent story that is honest and harrowing, yet also full of hope. You may have been following the war in Ukraine in your own classroom or at home, and we believe Yeva's book is one that will really connect with younger readers and demonstrate how real-life stories are just as important as fictional."


YA Favourite: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

BookTok favourite 'One Of Us Is Lying' is a prime example of Young Adult storytelling that is bound to hook readers from the very first page. The first instalment of Karen M. McManus' superb Whodunnit series delivers delightful twist after twist. 

Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule. Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond. Bad boy Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime. Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life. And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again – because he dies twenty-four hours before he can post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

But why do WE love it?
"Think The Breakfast Club meets Gossip Girl meets twisted thriller and you'll have 'One Of Us Is Lying'. Brimming with teenage tension, and expertly told from four different perspectives, Karen M. McManus modernises a classic murder-mystery ploy to create a Whodunnit with depth while proving YA stories are often those most difficult to put down..."


All The Family: Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard

A true children's classic, loved by generations and immortalised by truly magical storytelling. Become re-acquainted with the world's favourite bear, Winnie-The-Pooh (well, aside from maybe Paddington), and delve into this delightful collection of tales for all the family to cherish.

Once upon a time, a very long time now, about last Friday, Winnie-the-Pooh lived in a forest all by himself under the name of Sanders. One day, when he was out walking, he came to an open place in the middle of the forest, and in the middle of this place was a large oak-tree, and from the top of the tree, there came a large buzzing noise...

But why do WE love it?
"In this stunning collection of short stories, we find Pooh bear at his very best, brought to life by E.H. Shepard's beautiful illustrations. And in A.A. Milne's incredible capturing of a child's imagination, we're told tales of kindness, friendship and of course, honey! Winnie-The-Pooh will never grow old."


Story Seller Recommendation: Song in the City by Daniel Bernstrom and Jenin Mohammed

'Song In The City' has quickly became a firm favourite among the Seven Stories Bookshop team, with words from Daniel Bernstrom and pictures by Jenin Mohammed, the duo deliver a stunning story of sound and song. 

What follows is an irresistibly charming tale about a young blind girl and her grandmother who experience the vibrant everyday music of their busy city, connecting generations of music and family while centring love, understanding and joy.

But why do WE love it?
"One of the Bookshop's favourite recent children’s books, 'Song in the City' is a fantastic opportunity for read-a-loud sessions and exploration of descriptive writing, onomatopoeia and sensory vocabulary. Inclusive and expressive, 'Song in the City' explores how to pay attention in different ways, teaching the individuality in the stories we tell about our environments and those we find in the places we live."


A Classic from the Collection: Mog, The Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr

We are immensely proud to now house Judith Kerr's incredible archive in our Collection, and thus it feels only fitting to dedicate our very first 7 Stories Selects to one of Judith's most-loved stories, Mog the Forgetful Cat!

Mog was actually inspired by the author's real-life pet and you can find early sketches of this really remarkable cat in our online Collection. "I was determined to use a vocabulary of no more than 250 words in the book about Mog, and I also determined never, ever to put anything in the text that the child could already tell from the pictures...I did a lot of sketches of Mog and of our house and its furnishings, and then I got on with the illustrations." Judith said.

But why do WE love it?

"Mog's lasting legacy (she debuted in 1970) is a credit to Judith Kerr's warm-hearted storytelling that borrowed from her own life as her real-life pet quickly transformed into a fictional feline who found a home on almost every family's bookshelves in the 50+ years following her creation. This is absolutely due to Judith's ability to deliver a story that revels in its own simplicity and teaches valuable lessons for all the family to follow."