When the annual school science fair comes round, Mr Cartright'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. Young Simon Martin approaches the task with little enthusiasm. But, as the days pass, he not only grows fond of his flour baby, he also comes to learn more than he ever could have imagined about the pressures and strains of being a parent.
Anne Fine's classic story about Tuffy the murderous cat, fabulously narrated by iconic comedian Jack DeePoor Ellie is horrified when Tuffy drags a dead bird into the house.
This is a fast and funny look at the pressures facing young girls to conform to fashion - and how they can be avoided - told in a gripping witty style from award winning author Anne Fine.
'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?
When Chester Howard starts at his new school, Miss Tate sits him next to Joe, the writer from hell. Chester refuses to believe that Joe has learning difficulties and persuades him to change his project from how to write neatly to how to write badly.
'You? Loudmouth Louis Todd? Stay quiet for even one hour?' Everyone knows Louis is a chatterbox. He can't stay quiet for even a minute. So no one believes him when he says he's going to do a sponsored silence. They don't think he can possibly do it. Not his teacher, nor his school chums and certainly not the dinner ladies: they bet five million pounds each. But Louis thinks just for once he might be able to keep his mouth shut all day! Will he manage it?
Once best friends, always best friends. That's the way it is with Angus and Jamie. Join them as they tackle a lively playmate, get muddled in a pretend game, and discover that playing isn't fun unless they are doing it together. More charming stories about a little boy and his toy Highland bull, from former Children's Laureate Anne Fine.
Bill's New Frock One Monday morning, Bill Simpson wakes up to find he is a girl! Forced off to school in a frilly pink dress, Bill discovers one of the worst, most baffling days of his life is about to begin....The Country Pancake The children of Wallisdean Park School can't believe their luck when the angelic Miss Mirabelle arrives. In order to save her from the fearsome Mrs Spicer, Lance comes up with the most original fund-raising idea ever....
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.
Cass has always been there for Tom, her twin - racing off to laugh with him in the old, abandoned ice house or planning how to foil Jamieson, the farm's creepy pest-killer. But now Cass is a teenager, she is changing - she wants her privacy and feels suffocated by their life on the farm. Bewildered, Tom struggles to regain their former closeness, but only succeeds in alienating both Cass and Jamieson's daughter Lisa. Until the night of the storm...
Blackmail - or negotiation? Mum and Dad reckon things would be better if Granny were in a Home. The kids all want her to stay. Ivan's Granny Project should make his parents think again. But there's more than one way of doing a project - and blackmail can work two ways.... A savagely funny tale from multi-award-winning author Anne Fine.
How would you feel if your mother had royal-blue hair and wore lavender fishnet tights? But Minna's whole family (including her mum's punk boyfriend, Crusher Maggot) is a bit unusual. Being the only sensible one is not easy for Minna...
Nobody wants Tulip in their gang. She skips school, gives her teachers cheek, and makes herself unpopular by telling lies. But this doesn't matter to Natalie.
Harry’s burned down the kitchen (by mistake) and blackmailed Uncle Tristan into taking him along on holiday to a strange island: home to the bewitching Morning Glory, a host of bearded oddballs, only one tree - and nothing else but trouble. The ferry man did warn them, ‘Glerhus Dill Sotblug!’ But what on earth did it MEAN? And will they end up eating things on sticks? A hilarious tale from multi-award-winning author Anne Fine.
Anthony the dog has a skin problem. The vet tells him that he must have all his fur shaved off apart from his head and tail! He knows that he'll be laughed at, but instead everyone thinks he's a lion and they treat him with respect.
Helly Johnston is miserable. Her mother is thinking of marrying again but Helly doesn’t want a stepfather, certainly not this one. She sobs her way out of the classroom all the way down to the cloakroom and the depths of despondency. There, forceful Kitty Killin comes to the rescue. Kitty’s not known for sensitivity or tact but she’s been through it all herself - her mother married the silver-haired, chocolate-bearing, goggle-eyed Gerald.
In a hurry to find five pupils to join a school trip to creepy old Harwick Hall, Miss O’Dell, their teacher, picks them from one of the ‘special’ columns on her list. They have little in common, except for two emergency phone numbers: two homes - two families.Arriving at the Hall in a storm, they discover an old manuscript hidden in a sealed room. Richard Clayton Harwick, long dead and gone, has left a record of the sheer wickedness of his stepfather.
From the moment Jamie sets eyes on Angus in the shop window, he just knows that they belong together. On Christmas morning, they're finally united, and soon the toy Highland bull is Jamie's constant companion.
When a chicken pushes a small book towards Andrew on his way to school one morning, and won't leave him alone until he picks it up, Andrew's friend Gemma finds it hard to believe. But when the two children start to read the contents of the book The True Story of Harrowing Farm they find themselves deeply moved by the chicken's tale. And if chickens have never moved you before, prepare to shed some tears now because this chicken is special.
Three stories of magical genies, far off lands and flying carpets by the multi-award-winning author Anne Fine. In "A Sudden Puff of Glittering Smoke", a disgruntled genie who appears on Jeanie's desk at school appears to be the answer to her problems, but she quickly discovers that she and her genie have very different views of the world.