Cette année, Miranda Hilliard a besoin de quelqu'un pour s'occuper de ses trois enfants, Lydia, Christopher et Natalie, et de la maison. Pourquoi pas moi ? propose Daniel, son ex-mari, un acteur au chômage. Pas question, réplique Miranda. Elle veut une personne de confiance, quelqu'un de solide, avec des principes et sans aucune fantaisie. Tout le contraire, pense-t-elle, de Daniel. Alors arrive Madame Doubtfire. Une vraie perle. Du moins en apparence. Car un père acteur peut être prêt à tout, et même à se déguiser en gouvernante poudrée pour être avec ses enfants. Mais comment va-t-il faire pour n'éveiller les soupçons ni de ses enfants ni de Miranda ?
On comprend que le projet mirifique de Daniel Hilliard ait enthousiasmé Robin Williams, sa femme Marsha et leurs enfants et que Madame Doubtfire soit devenu un film de Chris Columbus.
Ce n'est pas tous les jours facile d'avoir une mère qui accroche des pendentifs en forme d'araignées à ses oreilles, se teint les cheveux en bleu, se promène en bikini à paillettes et en pantalon bouffant à pois roses, et ne verrait aucun inconvénient à se rendre dans cette tenue à un rendez-vous avec votre directeur d'école. Ce n'est pas facile non plus d'avoir une mère qui passe ses journées à regarder des films à la télé, en mangeant des chips en compagnie de son petit ami, même si ce dernier a suffisamment bon caractère pour apprécier le surnom de Pourri de Malheur, que vous lui avez affectueusement donné. Pourtant, Minna l'héroïne de cette histoire, tient le coup. C'est elle qui pense aux visites chez le dentiste, à changer l'eau du poisson rouge, et à terminer toute seule ses devoirs. Ca ne veut d'ailleurs pas dire qu'elle ne s'amuse jamais. Et de toute façon, une maman, c'est toujours une maman !
Rien ne va plus au 27, avenue des Métairies. Estelle est aussi aimable qu'un bouledogue en proie à une rage de dents. La mère rentre chez elle par la fenêtre pour éviter de parler à sa fille. Et le père crie : « Alerte ! » dès que ladite fille pousse la porte de sa chambre...Will a toutes les raisons de croire que la crise d'adolescence est contagieuse ! Cela signifierait alors que la guerre ne fait que commencer...
Comment écrire dans un magnifique carnet quand on n'a pas la moindre idée de ce qu'on pense ? Je n'étais même pas sûre de ce que je ressentais. Je ne sais pas combien de temps je suis restée là, assise devant la fenêtre. En tout cas, j'avais la main toute moite à force de tenir mon stylo au-dessus de la première page. J'aurais pu commencer par des phrases qui sonnaient plutôt bien, comme « Ma mère est la personne la plus égoïste du monde » ou encore « Ma mère a gâché ma vie, celle de mon père et - j'espère, oh vraiment, oui, j'espère - la sienne ». Mais aucune de ces phrases n'était tout à fait juste.
'Okay, okay. So stick my head in a holly bush . . .' Tuffy, the Killer Cat, knows what he likes. And he isn't loving the 'art' that Ellie's mum brings home from her new class! So what's a cat to do . . .
Mischief and mayhem rule in Anne Fine's brilliant new story, with hilarious illustrations by Steve Cox throughout. Perfect for developing readers aged 5-7.
Guilt is in the eye of the beholder ...
When her cold and indifferent husband vanishes, so does Lois's old life. Now she is ready to take her chances again. There's only one fly in the ointment: Janie-Gay, ex-partner of the son Lois lost to drugs, and spiteful mother of the small, neglected child she can't get out of her mind.
Caring's not something one can lay aside, and Lois is soon tangled in webs of deceit. Worse, she is on a collision course with a remorseless society that claims to support and protect. Now, more than ever, she could use the skills of her once frozen heart...
The King is at his wit's end; twelve daughters and every morning their shoes are torn to ribbons! Nobody can tell him why, so he promises that whoever uncovers their secret will inherit his kingdom. The reward is huge - but the price of failure is their head. Who will risk it all for a dance with the princesses?
This story is a magic bean. It may not look much like a bean, but I can promise you that it is. For if you plant it in a young mind, it will grow into a love of story and reading. These beans are favourite fairytales and legends that will delight, thrill and thoroughly entertain. Each story has been brilliantly crafted by one of the best-loved writers for children.
This story was published by David Fickling Books as part of the Magic Beans anthology. The complete anthology is available in hardback and in ebook format.
Harry is in trouble. He's burned down the family kitchen so now has to spend a week of his summer hols with his uncle Tristram - who's heading off to stay with a new girlfriend - Morning Glory - on a tiny British island.
Harry doesn't expect it to be a lot of fun - with just a wacky competition at the end of the week to look forward to.
He certainly didn't expect to discover all the beards.
Or the angel on the mountain.
Or the helicopters circling overhead all week.
And he definitely didn't think it would be so wet . . .
'I adore stories in which people have weird dreams, and strange things happen. But that's in books. Real life is supposed to be real, and I like my world to be solid around me...' Mel is the class bookworm. She prefers books to people and doesn't want - or need - friends. She certainly doesn't want to be first-week minder for new girl, Imogen. And Imogen is odd. Slowly, Mel discovers that Imogen has a special talent - a family 'gift' that Mel thinks is more like a curse. And that's when she realizes that stories can happen in real life, too. For only she can stop Imogen's private horror story - stop the bad dreams...
I am NOT going to Charm School...' But Bonny has no choice. Forced to spend a day at Charm School while her mother is on a course, Bonny makes some surprising and hilarious discoveries. Can Bonny cope with listening to Mrs Opalene's Helpful Handy Hits (like 'how to bleach your elbows'!)? And what about the other girls the awful, selfobsessed little princesses who really want to win the 'Glistering Tiara' and are prepared to do almost anything to get it? After Bonny's day there, Charm School will never be the same again...
Told who to cheer for, who to believe in, Yuri grows up in a country where no freedom of thought is encouraged - where even one's neighbours are encouraged to report any dissension to the authorities. But it is still a shock when a few careless words lead him to a virtual death-sentence - sent on a nightmare journey up north to a camp amidst the frozen wastes. What, or who, can he possibly believe in now? Can he even survive? And is escape possible ... ?
"What does he mean? What's going on? Are you two thinking of putting Granny into a Home?" "Thinking is finished,' Natasha told him. 'It is decided." The four children, Ivan, Sophie, Tanya and Nicholas, can't believe it. Their parents are planning to put their grandmother into a Home. She's a bit of a dotty old lady - sometimes demanding, often annoying - but as much a part of their lives as their shambly house or the whirring of the washing machine.
So they decide to take action. They begin 'The Granny Project', with immediate and sensational results ...
How stupid do you have to be to fall out of a top floor window?
Or was Stolly trying something else - up on cloud nine, even then?
Stolly has always been so alive, so inspiring, taking risks, hiding nothing, notorious for being the school's most imaginative liar (or fantatist, as he calls it). But now he's lying in a hospital bed and Ian, his best friend who's as close as a brother, is watching, waiting and remembering...
A characteristically funny, moving, life-affirming novel about a most remarkable character and the truly inspirational effect he has on everyone he meets.
Bliss! A lovely, quiet, nothing-to-do and nothing-on-the-calendar Sunday . . .
Well, that's until bossy Aunt Susan - an unstoppable force - is on the phone insisting that Harry and his family come down to help her a local event she's promised to organise: the Great Toadpool Show.
It means swinging from a trapeze. Or walking on stilts. Or riding a unicycle . . . And that's not counting the fortune-telling tent, the tombola, or the choir singalong.
Aunt Susan has no idea of the mayhem she's about to unleash.
Lovers, colleagues, family - Tilly has always been brilliant at pushing people in and out of her life exactly as it suits her. Then along comes Geoffrey, gentle, compassionate, generous to a fault, with his miserable little children and his manipulative ex-wife.
Tilly's own expertise in the arts of deception and avoidance should be enough to make sure she's always one step ahead of Geoffrey's disastrous, crumbling family. But time and again she finds herself staying, brought down by their cowardly backsliding and their barefaced lies.
How has she managed to stay so long in a relationship she knows perfectly well has to be doomed? More importantly, how can Tilly plan her permanent escape?
Colin is in many ways an ideal citizen. He holds down a responsible job for the council. He visits his aged mother Nora, shops for her, cooks for her, and listens to her grumbles. He also keeps in touch with his sister Dilys, long estranged from her mother, in a vain attempt to maintain family ties. But neither Dilys, Norah nor Colin's colleagues know about his other - much more secret - life that involves a garden shed, a circus acrobat, a much adored three-year-old charmer, and a certain Mr Haksar's increasingly disquieting penchant for squabbling with his neighbours.
What Colin doesn't know is that, thanks to a house insurance policy incorrectly filled in by his mother, his two lives are set to collide, and there is nothing he can do to stop them. With her customary wit and perception, subtle yet razor sharp in her powers of observation, Anne Fine has produced another tour de force. Her portrait of the complex dynamics of family relationships is as lucid as it is uncomfortable, ending with a climax that in its wry irony and sheer unexpectedness is truly shocking.
So go on, ask me. 'Dear, dear Tuffy. Why was your Christmas so horrible?' Well. I couldn't climb the tree.
I couldn't touch the dangly decorations.
And Ellie made me part of her sing-along Christmas performance.
Horrible, horrible, horrible!
But I showed them. I was Tuffy the Acting Cat, superstar. How was I supposed to know things would get so . . . messy?
Let it be flour babies. Let chaos reign.
When the annual school science fair comes round, Mr Cartwright's class don't get to work on the Soap Factory, the Maggot Farm or the Exploding Custard Tins. To their intense disgust they get the Flour Babies - sweet little six-pound bags of flour that must be cared for at all times.
It was my birthday. How was I supposed to know it wouldn't be the only party around town on that dark and dreary Halloween night?
So things ended up in a bit of a mess. (Well, more than a mess, really. A complete disaster.) But it was not my fault so don't blame me . . .
Another laugh-out-loud Killer Cat adventure, by the award-winning and celebrated Anne Fine. Perfect for readers of 7+.
'Okay, okay. So slap my teensy little paws. I messed up - big time.' Tuffy can't wait for Ellie and the family to go away on holiday. He and the gang plan to ignore the grumpy new cat-sitter, and run wild all night. But could that furry bundle, suddenly flying through the air, put a stop to all the fun?
Christmas comes but once a year. Luckily . . . The Christmas holiday is, traditionally, a time when families gather together. In Ralph's case this means ten or more relatives coming to stay, including assorted aunts and uncles, nutty Great-Aunt Ida (the Home tells them to be careful not to let her out) and his ghastly cousins: Titania in her silly, sick-making frilly fairy dresses and the twins Sylvester and Sylvia (it took until Easter last year before the family dog got over them).
Jammed into one small house for three days of merriment and family fun, with the tv on the blink and Mum on the verge of a breakdown, it soon becomes obvious that, in this house, more definitely does not mean merrier . . .
Tuffy doesn't feel wanted at home any more. His owners just don't appreciate him. So what if he broke the new TV? Got fur on all Dad's clean clothes? Ate Tinkerbell the kitten's special kitten-food? All accidents! But they're making such a fuss!
So Tuffy decides to make a break for it. He bids farewell to the gang - Snowball, Tiger and Bella - and runs away. But starting a new life isn't easy, and soon Tuffy starts to wonder if he's made a terrible mistake . . .
Edward is four years old when he is locked away with his mother by her abusive, alcoholic partner, Harris. By the time an elderly neighbour spots his pale face peering through a crack in the boarded-up window and raises the alarm, he is seven.
Rescue comes, but lasting damage has been done. Sent to live with a kindly foster family, and then adopted, Edward struggles to adapt to normal life. Even as a teenager it's still clear to his new family and schoolmates there's something odd about him.
Then one fateful day, Edward catches a glimpse of himself in a photograph. What he sees shocks him to the core - a vision of Harris. Was this monster his father all along? And does that mean that, deep down, another Harris is waiting to break out?
Every step of progress Edward has made swiftly begins to unravel, and he has to decide whether his blood will determine his future.