For younger readers
Night of the Red Devil by Theresa Tomlinson, illustrated by Anthony Lewis (Walker Books pound;7.99), is a timeslip novel set in Whitby. The "red devil" in question does not have a Dracula connection, nor is it a stunt plane. Tomlinson has based her book on factual information about the Victorian jet works in Whitby, but sensibly laves most of the historical references for the second half of the story, having by then skilfully established reader interest.
The Cat With Two Names by Linda Newbery (Scholastic Press pound;3.99), also illustrated by Anthony Lewis, is a charming and amusing short chapter book written by an author who knows the ways of cats.
Alison Prince narrates Bumble (Young Corgi pound;3.99) from a hamster's point of view. "Well done," his mother says, after Rosie chooses him in the pet shop. "You've got the job. Remember, it's up to you to keep your people happy." Bumble, so-named because of a big bum ("a bit rude," he thinks), sets about his career with relish until two mice called Darren and Janice turn up.
Michael Thorn is deputy head of Hawkes Farm primary school, Hailsham, East Sussex