Winning ways

This month's titles selected by Fiona Lafferty

The Woman Who Won Things by Allan Ahlberg (Walker Books pound;9.99) takes up the story of the colourful Gaskitt family, who appeared last year in The Man Who Wore All His Clothes. In the first chapter, Mrs Gaskitt kisses the postman (don't worry, it's Mr Gaskitt's latest job - a running joke) and wins the first of many competitions, and the children Gus and Gloria see their teacher fall off her bike. The sweet, elderly supply teacher seems too good to be true, but things start to go missing at school.

Ahlberg has created another mini-masterpiece, deftly combining the familiar and the unpredictable to keep readers on their toes. Katharine McEwen's exuberant illustrations capture the pace and humour - I loved the bemused cats. Early readers deserve more books like this. It will make the transition from picture books to short chapter books a breeze for children in Years 1 and 2.

Fiona Lafferty is librarian at St Swithun's junior school, Winchester

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