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A tougher view of life prevailed in Les Hauts Murs, Christian Faure's unflinching drama based on the true story of a teenage boy desperate to escape from an imprisoning orphanage. Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne pursued their customary spare aesthetic in Le Silence de Lorna Lorna 's Silence , a brooding account of a young Albanian woman brilliantly played by Arta Dobroshi caught in a deadly immigration scam. Bouli Lanners's Eldorado offered absurdist comedy with melancholy touches. Two Italian films displayed fresh energy and a new confidence about wading into the country's political life.

Paolo Sorrentino's jaunty Il divo presented the internecine career of the politician Guilio Andreotti, wickedly portrayed by Toni Servillo. Dennis Gansel's Die Welle tracked the dangerous progress of a school course in fascist politics. In the thriller Jerichow, director Christian Petzold displayed his usual knack for tense psychological drama. Two Spanish films treated Basque terrorism. In O'Horten, the slight story of a train engineer at a loss in retirement, Norwegian director Bent Hamer offered another of his offbeat humanistic comedies.

Turkey's cinema industry had a bustling year. Nuri Bilge Ceylan's family drama Uc maymun Three Monkeys offered little relief from the clouds of doom hovering over the characters, but the director's grip was impressive; the film won the Cannes Festival's best director prize. Tatil kitabi Summer Book , from a new director, Seyfi Teoman, was a far friendlier film, deftly illuminating ordinary lives through its story of a family in the agricultural provinces.

Another impressive talent emerged in Ozcan Alper's Sonbahar Autumn , a searching drama about a political prisoner's return home. Veteran actress Tsilla Chelton lent backbone and humour to Pandoranin kutusu Pandora 's Box , Yesim Ustaoglu's film about a country matriarch with Alzheimer disease. Serbia's biggest domestic hit was Uros Stojanovic's Carlston za Ognjenku Tears for Sale , an engaging black comedy about two sisters from a war-devastated mountain village who are desperate to find a virile male.

Gritty realism dominated the Russian Vse umrut, a ya ostanus Everybody Dies but Me , Valeriya Gay Germanika's urgent portrait of troubled adolescents in the Moscow suburbs. In Kazakhstan documentary maker Sergey Dvortsevoy made a striking feature debut with Tulpan, a Cannes prizewinner that explored the lives of nomadic shepherds with a potent blend of landscape, humour, and ethnographic detail. In the Czech Republic, Petr Zelenka's sophisticated Karamazovi The Karamazov Brothers viewed Dostoevsky's novel through various fancy mirrors, including scenes from a powerful stage production.

In Poland veteran director Andrzej Wajda returned after a five-year gap with Katyn , a muted account of the Soviet massacre in of Polish army officers, intellectuals, and prisoners of war. More satisfying was Cztery noce z Anna Four Nights with Anna , Jerzy Skolimowski's first work in 17 years; this small-scale film was nourished by the director's feeling for obsessive love and the oddities of human behaviour.

Malgorzata Szumowska's German co-production 33 sceny z zycia 33 Scenes from Life peered into its heroine's troubled life with sometimes uncomfortable dedication. No Latin American product enjoyed a grander showcase than Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles's English-language production Blindness, which opened the Cannes Festival. In Os desafinados Walter Lima, Jr. The film won the Berlin festival's top prize, the Golden Bear. Francisco Franco, from the theatre, was revealed as another director to watch with his sharply etched Quemar las naves, excellent in its depiction of a bourgeois family under pressure.

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In Argentina cult director Lisandro Alonso moved closer to mainstream tastes with Liverpool , a subtly textured drama about a returning sailor haunted by his past. Prison claustrophobia was vividly depicted in Pablo Trapero's Leonera Lion 's Den , and the film was further strengthened by Martina Gusman's performance as a university student fated to give birth in prison. Elegant reflections and regret dominated La ventana The Window , Carlos Sorin's marvelously atmospheric film about an aged aristocrat who is waiting for the return of a long-lost son.

No film from the region tested audiences' resolve more than Asbe du-pa Two-Legged Horse , from the young Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf. Through stark images the film showed an Afghan youth hired to carry about on his back a crippled boy who is bent on humiliating him. Cult director Abbas Kiarostami experimented in Shirin, which consists of the reactions on female faces— Iranian actresses, plus Juliette Binoche—to a 12th-century Persian play performed offscreen.

The film was for connoisseurs only. Israel generated the extraordinary and powerful animated film Vals im Bashir Waltz with Bashir , Ari Folman's often hallucinatory recollection of his experiences as a soldier during Israel's invasion of Lebanon in Guy Nattiv and Erez Tadmor also scored well with Zarim Strangers , a roving tale of star-crossed love. Commerce rather than art continued to dominate India's teeming film industry.

Among Hindi costume spectaculars, Ashutosh Gowariker's Jodhaa Akbar led the field in star power, with Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan top-billed as a 16th-century Muslim emperor and a Hindu princess who are engaged in a legendary romance. For once, character portrayals mattered more than big battles. The year also brought Roadside Romeo, directed by Jugal Hansraj—the first installment of a proposed series of Indian animated features co-produced with Walt Disney Pictures. The film, about the street adventures of a spoiled Mumbai dog, broke no boundaries, but children left satisfied.

The first segment of a two-part historical epic set during the unstable ancient period of the Three Kingdoms, it balanced tough action scenes with convincing characters, a trick also managed by Peter Chan's Tau ming chong The Warlords. South Korea maintained its furious level of production. Japan's art cinema jewel was Hirokazu Koreeda's Aruitemo aruitemo Even if You Walk and Walk , a deceptively modest slice of life, alert to every criss-crossing dynamic inside a dysfunctional family.

South Africa delivered three notable films. Ralph Ziman's Jerusalema used glossy packaging and directorial force to make something distinctive from a stereotyped underworld story. The strengths of Anthony Fabian's Skin , a co-production between South Africa and the United Kingdom, lay in the straightforward treatment of its true story about a girl with black skin who was born to white parents.

Steve Jacobs's Disgrace , co-produced with Australia, carved sturdy drama from J. Coetzee's novel; the film featured John Malkovich as a dissolute Cape Town academic who confronts the upheavals of South Africa and of his own soul. Several major documentaries of addressed topics related to the war in Iraq. Alex Gibney's Academy Award-winning Taxi to the Dark Side used a young Afghan's story to examine controversial techniques used to elicit confessions from prisoners. The film explored the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The subject of Nerdcore Rising, by Iranian American comedian Negin Farsad, was a form of hip-hop whose lyrics centred on nerd culture. The film was screened at events across the United States. Music downloads and podcasts were ubiquitous in , and computer graphics in films looked almost like live action. Musicals ruled the popular stage and returned to the multiplex. New generations rediscovered the classics of dance and theatre, and many performing arts icons left the scene. The classical music world bade farewell to some of its most illustrious artists in , even as it greeted new technologies and broader cultural forces that would be crucial to its future.

Pavarotti was one of the most famous musical artists—of any genre—of the post-World War II era. Similarly, Sills transcended her prodigious vocal talents to become an ambassador for the music she loved and for the institutions that nurtured it. Rostropovich, considered by many to be the finest cellist of his age, was also a tireless champion of human rights. Stockhausen heralded a new era of sounds, creative strategies, and aesthetic concepts that defined vast stretches of the contemporary classical canon and offered fresh paths for the continued evolution of new music.

Technology continued to affect the position of classical music in the culture at large. A central problem of downloads—how to categorize and display data about composers, works, and performers—was solved in a system called the Classical Music Initiative, which was developed by Gracenote, Inc. An early and inadvertent benefit of the new technology was the discovery of a stunning hoax. When a Gramophone magazine critic entered a CD by the late British pianist Joyce Hatto into his computer, iTunes referencing Gracenote attributed the recording to another artist.

As experts began to analyze some of the more than recordings issued in Hatto's name on her husband William Barrington-Coupe's Concert Artist Recordings label, it was revealed that many had been taken from recordings by other pianists. The discovery of the Hatto hoax was a minor consequence of the burgeoning use of downloads.

In November Deutsche Grammophon DG became the first major classical label to distribute its recordings online. In the first phase of a plan to digitize the company's entire catalog, DG announced that it would offer about 2, high-quality albums— of them no longer in release—to consumers in more than 40 countries via its DG Web Shop Internet site. Soprano Barbara Hendricks, who left the EMI label in , founded the label Arte Verum in and in released a new album, Endless Pleasure, as a CD and online; she invited listeners to pay whatever they chose for each download.

She became the first classical artist to pursue a commercial path that had been blazed by rock group Radiohead earlier in the year, bypassing the once all-powerful record labels. Classical organizations intensified their efforts to reach out to a broader public via new media and technological formats. Many orchestras—not to mention public radio stations—streamed concerts on the Internet, and some offered downloads of recent performances.

The Met also broadcast live, in a high-definition digital format, six productions to movie theatres around the world and reached more than , viewers; for the —08 season the program was expanded to eight operas at more locations. The New York Philharmonic got into the act by launching a series of free podcasts that featured interviews with orchestra members and guest soloists about upcoming concerts. The podcasts were made available for download at the orchestra's Web site and from iTunes; plans were also made to offer downloads of four live concerts by the orchestra.

The Philharmonic also made the news in October when it was invited by the government of North Korea to perform in the insular country. That month orchestra president Zubin Mehta and other NYPO officials flew to the capital, Pyongyang, to discuss details of the invitation. They later announced that the performance would take place in February Controversy erupted during the summer and, to no one's surprise, emanated from the perennial hotbed of scandal, Germany's Bayreuth Festival. Audiences booed and critics jeered at the staging, which included a rewritten plot and full-frontal nudity.

Katharina Wagner and Christian Thielemann, music director of the Munich Philharmonic, subsequently announced their intention to take over leadership of the festival, replacing Katharina's ailing father, Wolfgang, who had strenuously guarded his control of the festival for decades. Richard Wagner, generally regarded as Hitler's favourite composer, was also inadvertently in the news when it was reported that part of the record collection of the Nazi leader had been discovered in the attic of former Soviet intelligence officer Lev Besymenski, who had reportedly retrieved the recordings in from the ruins of Hitler's chancellery in Berlin.

In addition to Wagner, Russian and Jewish composers and musicians were represented in the collection. In June one of the world's most illustrious chamber ensembles, the Guarneri String Quartet, announced that its members would retire in The quartet was formed in at the Marlboro Vt. Music Festival and over the succeeding decades was hailed for its performances of the string quartet canon. Renowned pianist Vladimir Ashkenazy also announced that he would give up concert performing because of arthritis, although he planned to continue to make recordings as a pianist.

He intended to focus on his career as a conductor and in would take the position of principal conductor and artistic adviser for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In November Alfred Brendel, hailed as Britain's greatest living pianist, announced that he would retire at the end of As usual, conductors played musical chairs during In July the New York Philharmonic announced that current music director Lorin Maazel would be succeeded at the end of the —09 season by Alan Gilbert, who in turn gave up his post as music director of Santa Fe N.

Opera to Dutch maestro Edo de Waart. At the Los Angeles Philharmonic, music director Esa-Pekka Salonen Salonen, Esa-Pekka said that he would leave the orchestra at the end of the —09 season; he was to be replaced by Venezuelan conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who was 26 at the time of the announcement.

Symphony Orchestra. In June, Franz Welser-Most was named music director of the Vienna State Opera from the start of the —11 season, and he said that he would continue his duties as musical director of the Cleveland Orchestra. Symphony Orchestra, becoming the first woman to head a major American orchestra. Opera companies found that calling on well-known outsiders could freshen their image. Placido Domingo, general director of the Los Angeles Opera, announced that film director Woody Allen would direct the company's season-opening production of Puccini's Gianni Schicchi; another film director, William Friedkin The Exorcist , would direct the other one-act operas on the same bill.

As the classical ranks were being depleted by losses and retirements, the music itself continued to be renewed with the debut of new works and the revival of old. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Abraham Lincoln. In a hint of things to come, modernist mainstay Charles Wuorinen announced in September that he had begun work on an opera based on the short story and film Brokeback Mountain. The Metropolitan Opera announced that it had commissioned a collaboration between film director Minghella and composer Osvaldo Golijov for a work to be produced in the —12 season.

An ominous undercurrent in the 21st century was the dispersing of the jazz community in New York City, centre of the jazz world, as rent increases and gentrification shuttered venues. The April closing of Tonic, a leading club that specialized in adventurous music, brought the issue into sharp relief. Musicians and fans protested singer Rebecca Moore and guitarist Marc Ribot were arrested , and a city councilman proposed tax breaks to landlords and others who aided artists.

In the summer the Alliance for Creative Music Action was formed to lobby the city for performance spaces, affordable housing for artists, and arts education in public schools. Jazz at Lincoln Center, previously a bastion of conservatism, presented a concert of free jazz that featured high-energy saxophonist John Zorn and innovative pianist Cecil Taylor. The young musicians of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground made news with a four-day festival at the Manhattan club Smalls.

A number of young Israeli musicians received attention, among them bassists Omer Avital and Avishai Cohen, trumpeter a different Avishai Cohen, clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen the trumpeter's sister , and pianist Yuval Cohen the trumpeter's brother. Chicago's Umbrella Music, which had offered weekly shows at several locations, held an international festival in November.

Perhaps the major festival of the year was the eight-night affair at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D. For the first time, a largely improvised jazz work won the Pulitzer Prize in music: Sound Grammar , a album by alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman; the Pulitzer committee awarded a posthumous special citation to John Coltrane. Coleman also received the Grammy Award for lifetime achievement. In the midst of his set at Bonnaroo, a Tennessee pop-music festival, Coleman collapsed of heat stroke, but he went on to lead his quartet later in the year.

The Internet became increasingly important to jazz, with labels such as Ayler, artistShare, Tompkins Square, and Greenleaf selling some recordings—by artists such as Ran Blake, Dave Douglas, and the Maria Schneider Orchestra—only over the Web, usually as digital downloads. The label Verve reissued hundreds of out-of-print jazz albums as downloads. Among the proliferating artist Web sites, sonnyrollins. Together they created true ensemble music that peeped through the fragile grooves of rpm recordings in the premicrophone era and still sounded tinny in LP and CD reissues.

For the first time, the players' individual sounds, intricate blending, and, most of all, their passion became real to contemporary ears. Metheny and Mehldau's Quartet , trumpeter Charles Tolliver's big-band collection With Love, singer Kurt Elling's Nightmoves, and Winterreise by pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and his trio were also among the year's notable releases. Death took a dreadful toll in The fusion of traditional styles with Western influences resulted in some of the finest global music of recent years; in the trend continued as African artists worked with Western rock musicians or produced their own distinctive form of hip-hop.

The most successful newcomer was K'Naan, who as a child fled with his parents from war-torn Somalia to Canada. K'Naan developed a unique minimalist African—hip-hop fusion, in which he was often backed only by one African drum. His approach was bravely low-key by hip-hop standards, but he succeeded because of the power of his music, in which he educated Western audiences about Somalia and asserted that he had witnessed more suffering and brutality than American superstars who bragged about gangster lifestyles and violence.

He impressed crowds across the U. Albarn became involved in the El Gusto project, producing an album recorded in Algeria that revived the multiethnic chaabi style that flourished before the country's independence in A European tour by the member El Gusto Orchestra featured several Jewish musicians, including the celebrated pianist Maurice El Medioni, who had lived in Algeria before The shows were hailed as an important collaboration between Jewish and Muslim artists. Incidentally , Plant got the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin together for a London concert, their third reunion since the band broke up in Not all the African musical experiments of the year related to rock music.

She responded with an experimental piece in which Mozart was born in Mali, as a hereditary musician, or griot. Her songs were backed by a string quartet, as well as the traditional Malian n'goni a four-stringed lute and Western guitars and bass. The African instrumental newcomer of the year also came from Mali. His debut album, Segu Blue, was recorded with his wife, singer Ami Sacko. In Brazil musicians also mixed revival and experiment. Members of Os Mutantes, the rock band that had been hailed as Brazil's answer to the Beatles in the '60s, released a live album to celebrate their return to the scene after nearly 30 years.

Their albums mixed indie rock, electronica, and samba, but the trio also started Orquestra Imperial as a side project, playing big-band samba from the '40s and '50s. The orchestra developed a cult youth following in Rio de Janeiro. Popular music in the U.


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On the scandalous side, former pop starlet Britney Spears embarrassed herself repeatedly, legendary producer Phil Spector faced a murder trial, and country singer Sara Evans weathered a messy public divorce. In fact, sales had been eroding throughout the new millennium. Warner Music Group laid off employees; big-box retail giant Wal-Mart shrank its music inventory; and musicians and record-company chiefs began wondering whether the business was in a death spiral. Not everyone was subject to the commercial pummeling, though.

Kanye West West, Kanye , for one, proved averse to any downturn. His album Graduation , released on September 11, posted the biggest first-week totals of any album since rapper 50 Cent's The Massacre in At the 49th annual Grammy Awards in February, the Dixie Chicks—a group that had received little country radio airplay in the extended wake of lead singer Natalie Maines's critical comments in about Pres.

George W. Bush—swept the major categories, winning five trophies, including the top song, record, album, and country album prizes. Other big winners included hip-hop soul singer Mary J. Blige and rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Country superstar Kenny Chesney remained a top performer as well, drawing more than a million fans for the sixth consecutive year. Multiple styles were represented among the year's most successful albums. Longtime stars seemed unfazed by the changing commercial landscape.

Bruce Springsteen released a number one album, Magic , and played numerous sold-out shows with his E Street Band. Critics also cheered the return of year-old Porter Wagoner Wagoner, Porter Wayne , who released the much-heralded album Wagonmaster. Wagoner died later in the year. The two-act reduction of the work's traditional three-act scheme, with a unit set and costuming by Danish painter and designer Per Kirkeby, turned out to be more interesting on paper and on the Internet than onstage.

Against any number of familiar productions, NYCB's youth-oriented version ended up looking thin as drama and monotonous as ballet theatre. This production drew attention to the participation in the direction and rethinking of the ballet of the well-known, and sometimes controversial, former dancer Gelsey Kirkland.

The final result, credited to ABT artistic director Kevin McKenzie with the assistance of Kirkland and the dramaturge Michael Chernov, also received a mixed critical response. Tony Walton and Willa Kim, familiar to Broadway theatregoers, designed the generally successful sets and costumes, respectively. NYCB's programming overall celebrated the centennial of the birth of Lincoln Kirstein, who was instrumental in the founding with George Balanchine and great success of the company.

The Harvard Theatre Collection, along with other cultural institutions on the East Coast, variously presented special events that showcased Kirstein's interests in the literary, visual, and performing arts. Cunningham's company toured extensively, with one special stop at Dia:Beacon in Beacon, N. The Martha Graham Dance Company put together on short notice a New York City season to help cap its 80th anniversary celebrations, and Criterion released Martha Graham : Dance on Film, a two-disc DVD presentation of historic films expanded by recent interviews and essays.

Independent dancemaker Twyla Tharp found her work the subject of a specially arranged performance by groups from five New York City-area colleges. In the Canadian company performed the version of Balanchine's rarely performed Don Quixote, in a co-production with stager Suzanne Farrell, who held the rights to the ballet. The New York Public Library concurrently restored a historic film of a preview performance from , which featured Farrell dancing opposite Balanchine himself.

The library screened the remastered film and then made it available for individual viewing on the premises of its Jerome Robbins Dance Division. The NBC also presented an all-Robbins bill, including his West Side Story Suite, in anticipation of commemoration of the 10th anniversary, in , of the renowned choreographer's death. Set to music of Gyorgy Ligeti, the four-couple showcase helped the choreographer launch his own venture, Morphoses: The Wheeldon Company, at the Vail Colo.

Polyphonia joined other works that the choreographer was preparing for weeklong seasons in London and New York City. As an outdoor event the festival presented Slow Dancing, digital portraits of individuals from across the world of dance—including the legendary Bill T. Jones Jones, Bill T. The Jacob's Pillow festival, Becket, Mass. The European dance world in was, as usual, busy with celebrations of anniversaries, but one in particular stood out as a truly continentwide occasion.

The Stuttgart Ballet dedicated a season to its great choreographer and former director John Cranko, who would have turned 80 in August; he was credited with having raised the company to international status. The programs included most of his best-known works as well as a revival of his Carmen from Neumeier also made a new work based on J.

Bach's Christmas Oratorio. The Bayerisches Staatsballett attracted an international audience to Munich with its new production of Marius Petipa's Le Corsaire, staged by company director Ivan Liska with the assistance of American Doug Fullington, an expert in Stepanov notation, the method used to record many 19th-century classics. Yury Burlaka and director Alexey Ratmansky reproduced as closely as they could the ballet as it was done in , replacing lost passages with their own choreography where necessary.

Other notable events were a gala to celebrate the 80th birthday of Yury Grigorovich, the debut of guest star Carlos Acosta in the title role of Spartacus , and a revival of Asaf Messerer's showpiece Class Concert. In St. Diana Vishneva , in which the ballerina danced extracts from some of her greatest roles in an unusual contemporary setting. Former Mariinsky principal dancer Faroukh Ruzimatov was appointed director of the ballet company of the Mussorgsky Theatre, St.

Boris Eifman premiered his latest work, The Seagull, for his own St. Petersburg-based company in January, transferring the action of the Chekhov play to a ballet studio. Company principal Kenneth Greve staged a new production of Nutcracker. The company's artistic director, Lynn Seymour, resigned from her post after a year, citing problems with working conditions. The city of Kalamata, Greece, again hosted its well-established international festival of contemporary dance. In the United Kingdom, the Royal Ballet's year was marked by the retirement of Darcey Bussell, who was by far the company's best-known ballerina.

Her final performance, in Kenneth MacMillan's Song of the Earth, was shown live on national television. The Birmingham Royal Ballet performed director David Bintley's full-length Cyrano, a completely new version of a story he had first used for the company some 16 years earlier. The title role was danced by principal Robert Parker, who retired at the end of the season at age Northern Ballet Theatre showed two new versions of Tchaikovsky ballets— A Sleeping Beauty Tale, giving a new twist to the old story, and Nutcracker ; both were choreographed by company director David Nixon.

The company also visited China, performing Nixon's Madame Butterfly. Scottish Ballet continued its progress, performing director Ashley Page's best-known ballet, Fearful Symmetries, as well as a new piece, Ride the Beast, by Stephen Petronio. The Bolshoi Ballet spent an extremely successful three weeks in London in the summer. After the successful Complete Works Festival at Stratford-upon-Avon ended in the summer of , the Royal Shakespeare Company RSC under artistic director Michael Boyd still could not rival the National Theatre, led by Nicholas Hytner, in terms of achievement and reputation, and the company's fortunes thus appeared volatile.

The main Stratford house and the smaller Swan too was closed for several years for refurbishment and renovation. Nonetheless, a number of big projects were under way for RSC. Boyd himself began directing another RSC company in the entire Shakespeare history play sequence, in the order of their composition. His Henry VI trilogy at the Courtyard an exciting 1,seat temporary accommodation in Stratford-upon-Avon was topped with a brilliant Richard III , in which Jonathan Slinger established himself in the front rank of British actors; a few months later he impressively portrayed an ethereal, hedonistic Richard II.

All the histories were slated to run in chronological order at the Roundhouse in North London in the spring of , and associate director Gregory Doran planned to direct yet another RSC company back in the Courtyard. The RSC was very active, and its work was often very good, but audiences could not always find its productions. In contrast, Hytner's National Theatre conveyed a sense of integrated purpose, despite a varied repertoire of classics and new plays. Rafta, Rafta…, for instance, was Hytner's version of a domestic comedy from by Bill Naughton, adapted and modernized by Ayub Khan-Din; working-class characters in northern England, in an utterly convincing shift, were made South Asians.

Howard Davies's superb staging of Maxim Gorky's first play, Philistines, illuminated universal aspects of family relationships in times of great change. New plays at the National included The Reporter, a slickly staged biographical play by Nicholas Wright about James Mossman played by Ben Chaplin , a famous British television journalist who committed suicide; The Five Wives of Maurice Pinder by Matt Charman, a striking comedy of polygamy in the suburbs; and the British premiere of 19th-century Swedish writer Victoria Benedictsson's The Enchantment, a Strindbergian story that featured Nancy Carroll as a heroine in romantic turmoil.

The Court's artistic director, Ian Rickson, bowed out after seven years with a superb performance of The Seagull, newly translated by Christopher Hampton and starring Kristin Scott Thomas; Rickson then made a fine National Theatre debut with a chilling revival of Harold Pinter's second play, The Hothouse. Some critics charged that the flood of musicals in the West End left behind the audiences for new drama and classic revivals. The criticism was not strictly fair to London's producers, who, unlike those of Broadway, could not depend on attracting a committed audience.

London's theatre overall was as varied and as vibrant as ever, but audiences were unpredictable. The casting of Lee Mead, winner of the viewers' voting, as Joseph ensured instant stardom for the actor and a huge surge at the box office. The production was a slightly scaled-down and much-improved revival of Steven Pimlott Pimlott, Steven Charles 's colourful London Palladium production.

Pimlott, a talented director with the RSC, and of operas, succumbed to cancer before the revival's opening night. David Ian, co-producer in of Lloyd Webber's The Sound of Music, brought back his own version of Grease , directed by David Gilmore, with two other TV-talent-show discoveries, but their impact was far lighter than Mead's. World Arround Us. Stepwise Reading. Fun and Picture. Popular Characters.

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Little spotters can keep track of all their finds using the stickers in the middle of the book. She has the look in her eye of a predatory crocodile and Joe starts to suspect that she has unpleasant designs on him. But what are they and how can he foil them? Paddington Bear had travelled all the way from Darkest Peru when the Brown family first met him on Paddington station. Since then their lives have never been quite the same Entre les cours de potions magiques, les matches de Quidditch et les combats de mauvais sorts, Harry et ses amis Ron et Hermione trouveront-ils le temps de percer le mystere de la Chambre des Secrets?

Dans un monde de plus en plus inquietant, Harry se prepare a retrouver Ron et Hermione. Bientot, ce sera la rentree a Poudlard, avec les autres etudiants de sixieme annee. Mais pourquoi Dumbledore vient-il en personne chercher Harry chez les Dursley? Dans quels extraordinaires voyages au coeur de la memoire va-t-il Pentrainer?

Cette annee, Harry a dix-sept ans et ne retourne pas a Poudlard. Avec Ron et Hermione, il se consacre a la derniere mission confiee par Dumbledore. Mais le Seigneur des Tenebres regne en maitre. Traques, les trois fideles amis sont contraints a la clandestinite. Depreuves en revelations, le courage, les choix et les sacrifices de Harry seront determinants dans la lutte contre les forces du Mai. Er starrte in die offenbar leere Dunkelheit rundum und sptirte ihre Bedrohung.

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The Adventures of Tom Bombadil collects these and other poems, mainly concerned with legends and jests of the Shire at the end of the Third Age. Cambridge Discovery Education Interactive Readers are the next generation of graded readers - captivating topics, high-impact video, and interactive exercises designed to motivate and engage. Choose from four formats: book plus access code for online content; online only; iOS app; and Android app. The online version of these readers comes complete with a learning management system - class creation, progress tracking, gradebook, and more - which frees teachers from the mundane task of homework correction, and gives students interactive practice anytime, anywhere.

This charming sticker book contains 20 much-loved nursery rhymes, and in each rhyme, key words are represented by black and white pictures for which there are matching, full-colour stickers. Young children will be delighted by this winning combination of activities, which also provides a variety of learning opportunities. Chaque jour, Pierre Lapin et ses amis vivent de folles aventures. Accompagne-les dans leur chasse aux radis grace a toutes les activites de ce livre. Points a relier, labyrinthes, jeux des ombres: a toi de trouver les solutions!

With different illustrators for each rhyme, a lovely patchwork feel is created. Combined with irresistible cover finishes, this is pocket money punching well above its weight. Little Red Hen is a Level 1 Read it yourself title, suitable for very early readers who have had some initial reading instruction and are ready to take their first steps in reading real stories. Each story is told very simply, using a small number of frequently repeated words.

But nobody can remember the words. The animals need a plan - and fast! What happens when Alice follows the white rabbit? Find out with this magical activity book, packed full of colourful stickers. Finish decorating the Christmas tree, complete the snowy scene, add Christmas food to the table and many more magical activities! This beautiful activity book is the perfect introduction to Christmas, packed full of festive stickers.

Without further ado, Mr and Mrs Brown welcomed the adventurous bear into their family, and in honour of their meeting place they named him Paddington. The Browns soon discover that Paddington is a most unusual bear, for ordinary things - like having a bath - become quite extraordinary when a bear called Paddington is around! Soon after a flood washes Rikki into the garden of an English family, he comes face-to-face with Nag and Nagaina, two giant cobras. The snakes are willing to attack Rikki, and even the human family who lives there, to claim the garden and house for themselves.

But they do not count on the heart and pride of the brave little mongoose. Even after a bumpy bus ride, Nancy finds a way to make the day extra-fancy! Will she be able to think of something imaginative in time for the big day? Manny and Ellie are having a baby, and everyone is excited. With two possums, a sloth, and a saber-toothed tiger to love her, this little mammoth will have the best family ever!

Little Bear sends Grandmother a picture, and she likes it so much she asks Hen to take him a thank-you kiss. But Hen passes the kiss to Frog, who passes it to Cat, and on and on-will Little Bear ever get his kiss? Ideal for beginner readers, this book is part of a series in which Little Bear experiences all the wide-eyed excitement and curiosity of a typical child and his adventures are related with quiet humour. The illustrator is the winner of the Caldecott Medal. Weasel is ready for his dinner. And poor mouse is it. Just in time, he thinks up a clever and entertaining way to distract weasel from serving up mouse soup for supper.

It is designed to excite and engage beginning readers. Reading aloud to a child is the first step to helping a kid become a great reader. Pinkalicious goes mini in this slipcase containing four miniature I Can Read titles! This adorable set makes for the perfect gift and features pinkerrific foil to add extra value. With his usual hilarious antics, Charlie overcomes his fears about the doctor. This Level 1 I Can Read is perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences. Marley loves to teach his new friends all about life at the house, but can Marley learn a thing or two from them?

A family snow day presents Marley with the perfect opportunity for some mischief, but Marley surprises everyone with his good behavior. Could Marley be a natural snow dog? But when Annie falls off Splash during a riding lesson, the rattled Pony Scout has to decide whether or not to get back in the saddle. Meg has pony books, pony toys, and pony clothes. And on her first day at a new school, Meg meets two girls who are as pony crazy as she is!

They want Splat to play with them, too! But what will he play? Splat is really excited about going camping-until his mom tells him she has invited his rival, Spike. In these delightful tales, Oscar Wilde employs all his grace, artistry and wit. The Happy Prince tells of the statue of a once pleasure-loving Prince which, with the help of a selfless Swallow helps people in distress. Even a simple game of dodgeball becomes a death match against an ugly gang of cannibal giants - and that was only the beginning.

Now Camp Half-Blood is under attack, and unless I can get my hands on the Golden Fleece, the whole camp will be invaded by monsters. Big ones. Though thick runs the plot as well as the spine , readers will race through these pages and leave Hogwarts, like Harry, wishing only for the next train back. Little orphan Heidi is sent to live with her grandfather in his remote house in the Swiss Alps. She soon begins to love her life with her grandfather and makes friends with Peter, the goat-herder and his grandmother.

Idyllic as her existence is, her aunt sends Heidi to live in Frankfurt to become a companion to the invalid daughter of a wealthy family although Heidi yearns to be back in the fresh air and freedom of the mountains. Flaubert holds up to ridicule not only Madame Bovary herself, but the society that dares to judge her. It tells of the orphan Heidi and her idyllic existence with her gruff grandfather in the mountains.

When she is sent to live in a city, comic chaos ensues, and eventually it is arranged that Heidi should return to the mountains. Together she and her friend Peter, the goat-herd, achieve wondrous changes in the community in which they live. An interactive sticker book that is full of busy, detailed illustrations of various animal habitats. It shows items to spot within the main picture in the border as silhouettes and each has a corresponding sticker which children can find, match and add in the correct place.

An interactive sticker book full of busy, detailed illustrations of a scenes from the past. Items to spot within the main picture are shown in the border as silhouettes and each has a corresponding sticker which children can find, match and add in the correct place. With over a thousand bugs for children to find, count and talk about.

A write-in book packed with masses of activities, including puzzles, drawing, colouring, dot-to-dot, mazes and spot the difference. This is the classic boardbook edition of the now famous Christmas tale. James builds a snowman in the garden and wakes up in the night to find that it has come to life.

He shows the Snowman his house, and in return the Snowman takes him on a magical journey. A gorgeously shiny stocking filler! Sparkle the fairy saves Christmas when she finds her magic wand at the very last minute, in this fantastic value and festively foiled book. Contains two press-out foiled pieces that slot together to create your very own 3D Christmas decoration to hang on the tree. With fun artwork and jolly rhyming text this is an ideal gift.

One day, a great storm takes Dorothy, and her dog Toto, to Oz. They have to follow the yellow brick road and find the Wizard of Oz to go home. Dorothy meets new friends; a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion. Can they help her find the Wizard, and go home to her family? The Christmas Unicorn is destined to become a picture book classic! There are festive puzzles, tasty Christmas recipes, perfect present tips, fun Christmas facts and a guide to making your own Christmas tree decorations.

Merry Christmas from Jacqueline Wilson! This title contains over stickers to fill the busy Christmas scenes, which include the elves sorting letters to Santa, making toys and toy testing and the reindeers in their stable. Just follow the simple steps in this enchanting book to discover how to make lots of magical fairy things for Christmas. There are ideas for decorations and cards, as well as glittering fairy wings, a Christmas crown, a sparkly star wand, and lots more.

Whether on windows, notebooks, these peel-and-place stickers are perfect for creating your own work of art-anytime, anywhere! Part of the Usborne Reading Programme developed with reading experts at the University of Roehampton. Drawn into an increasingly dangerous world, Oscar must quickly figure out who is good and who is evil in order to combat the wicked forces at large. Putting his limited magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity - and even a bit of wizardry - Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but into a better man as well. The football fans will enjoy bringing all the action to life in exciting book.

There are lots of players to color, and stickers to add to every page. Sumptuous illustrations and traditional binding make this a wonderful gift and the perfect addition to any collection. Complete and unabridged, this is a beautiful gift to be treasured and shared year after year. A humourous - and informative - guide to space travel which will delight any small astronaut-in-training.

This much-loved tale was a personal favourite of C. Lewis and J. This edition includes the sequel, The Princess and Curdie. In words and pictures, Gillian Clements tells the stories of these Great Events. These books are perfect for the emerging independent reader at upper Key Stage 1. This is one of a four-part series featuring the seasons - collect them all! Bright illustration, cheery characters, and lively rhyming text will make this little board book a favorite for story time.

Children will especially love the interactive surprise-the main character, featured on the cover, springs into action when the special tab is pulled! Happy Bunny is full of the joys of spring. Soon everyone else wants to hop and dance, too! When children pull the special tab on the cover, Bunny really hops!

Ages High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all. Dare you come to face to face with this motley crew? Perfect for fans of Jonny Duddle. I am a Girl! Most of all it is full of energy and laugh-out-loud funny. Who says that pink is for girls and blue is for boys? Have fun learning your ABCs with this fantastic activity book, packed full of stickers. Trace over the letters, colour in the pictures, add alphabet stickers and much more!

This fantastic phonics sticker and activity book makes learning to read fun! More than two thousand years ago, with his land under constant attack from nomads, the First Emperor of China came up with a simple solution: build a wall to keep out enemies. It was a wall that kept growing and growing. But its construction came at a huge cost: it is believed that more than a million Chinese died building it, earning the wall its nickname--the longest cemetery on earth.

Through the story of the wall, Patricia Brennan Demuth is able to tell the story of China itself, the rise and fall of dynasties, the greatness of its culture, and its present-day status as a Communist world power. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

Brian Lynch has written the screenplay for the 3D-CG comedy adventure, and Chris Renaud serves as executive producer of the film. A storybook based on the new feature film! The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And strike it does.

For in Harry s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley s younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone or something starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever?

Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects Harry Potter himself! Illustrated in full color by Charles Vess, Instructions features lush images of mythical creatures, magical landscapes, and canny princesses.

Its message of the value of courage, wit, and wisdom makes it a perfect gift. It is a Level 2 book, geared for kids who read on their own but still need a little help. A duck with no quack? Who has ever heard of that? Certainly not Splat-and he decides to investigate. Beginning readers will love the zany wordplay in this Splat book! It is perfect for kids who are beginning to sound out words and sentences.

Splat the Cat is excited to play games with his friends-until he loses every game! Will Splat find a way to have fun. Paddington, the first-ever live-action film with CGI animation based on the classic book series, lights up theaters on Christmas Day When Mr. Carter mistakes the lovable, literal-minded Amelia Bedelia for the new teacher, class will never be the same again!

First published in , this is a classic Ladybird hardback book, packed with information about one of the most important moments in the history of English-speaking people. This new edition, published to mark years since the Magna Carta, is exactly the same as the original, with a dust jacket and beautifully reproduced images.

The story of King John and the momentous events he saw take place over his reign are illustrated with twenty-four beautiful full-page pictures. This Ladybird Book about the story of Nelson is a gem from the Ladybird vintage archive. First published in , this is a classic Ladybird hardback book, packed with information about one of the most famous sailors in British history.

This new edition, published alongside the Story of Napoleon more than two centuries after the Battle of Trafalgar, is exactly the same as the original, with a dust jacket and beautifully reproduced images. The story of Nelson is told dramatically by L. For over thirty-five years it has helped young children who are learning to read develop and improve their reading skills. Each Read it yourself book is very carefully written to include many key, high-frequency words that are vital for learning to read, as well as a limited number of story words that are introduced and practised throughout.

Simple sentences and frequently repeated words help to build the confidence of beginner readers and the four different levels of books support children all the way from very first reading practice through to independent, fluent reading. Each book has been carefully checked by educational consultants and can be read independently at home or used in a guided reading session at school.

Further content includes comprehension puzzles, helpful notes for parents, carers and teachers, and book band information for use in schools. Alice in Wonderland is a Level 4 Read it yourself book, ideal for children who are ready to read longer stories with a wider vocabulary and are keen to start reading independently. This book helps you to find out all about the dinosaurs that lived a long, long time ago - big ones, small ones, scary meat-eaters and peaceful plant-eaters. For over thirty-five years, the best-selling Read it yourself with Ladybird has helped children learn to read.

All titles feature essential key words. Title-specific words are repeated to practise throughout. It is designed to be read independently at home or used in a guided reading session at school. All titles include comprehension questions or puzzles, guidance notes and book band information for schools. This Level 1 title is suitable for very early readers who are ready to take their first steps in reading. It offers a small number of frequently repeated words, simple facts, clearly labelled images and captions fully engage the reader.

It includes contents, index and a picture glossary. All-new, first reference titles complete the range, with information books about favourite subjects that even the most reluctant readers will enjoy. Further content includes comprehension questions or puzzles, helpful notes for parents, carers and teachers, and book band information for use in schools.

The Monster Next Door is a Level 2 Read it yourself book, ideal for children who have received some initial reading instruction and can read short, simple sentences with help. But when Suzy Sheep arrives with a picture from the olden days, Peppa wonders what she was like before she grew big and clever!

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She soon finds out that little Peppa laughed, cried and played with her best friend Suzy Sheep, but her favourite thing to do was Available in paperback, this is the perfect gift for Peppa fans. Peppa and her family are visiting the funfair. Find out who gets scared on the rides and who wins lots of prizes. For children who are ready to take their first steps in reading. The invitations are sent, rehearsals are complete and the costumes are ready, but who is the special surprise guest coming to see Peppa perform?

The story includes six envelopes containing story props like tickets, invitations, a theatre programme and much more! Peppa Pig: Sports Day is a Level 2 Read it yourself title, ideal for children who have received some initial reading instruction and can read short, simple sentences with help. Dick Whittington Dick Whittington goes to London to make his fortune, but gets a cat! What happens when Dick gives his cat to a wealthy man?

Story-specific words are repeated to practise throughout. Designed to be read independently at home or used in a guided reading session at school. This Level 4 title is ideal for children who are ready to read longer stories with a wider vocabulary and are keen to start reading independently.

Pinocchio is a naughty puppet who wants to be a real boy. Find out what happens when he runs away from home. Perhaps the cat can help him? This Level 3 title is suitable for children who are developing reading confidence and are eager to start reading longer stories with a wider vocabulary. The Read It Yourself box set of 6 books will be a delightful read for your young ones.

Children will love this collection of lively short stories. Ideal for sharing with your four year old, each story is the perfect length for bedtime. Ideal for sharing with your five year old, each story is the perfect length for bedtime. Pretty Thumbelina is the size of a thumb! Find out what happens when she meets lots of strange characters. With hilarious rhymes and beautiful illustrations, this classic seasonal story has become a favourite for good reason and teaches readers the true meaning of Christmas.

Now in a beautifully packaged pocket-sized edition that is perfect as a gift or stocking-filler. The Macmillan English Explorers reading programme introduces, teachers and develops essential reading skills and gives continuity at each age level. Each readers contains a balance of whole class teaching, shared reading and individual activities. Macmillan English Explorers is an exciting new reading programme developed specifically for children learning English in kindergartens and primary schools.

Written with second language learners in mind, these books expose children to real language and develop their reading and vocabulary skills. This series provides a wide variety of enjoyable reading material for all learners of English. Macmillan Readers are retold versions of popular classic and contemporary titles as well as specially written stories, published at six levels. With its clever courtroom-drama finale, this is a book that children will just love to hear over and over again. This fantastic activity book has spot-the-difference puzzles, mazes, board games, brain-teasers, things to draw, odd-one-out challenges, and much, much more.

Open up for hours of fun with Winnie the Witch and her cat Wilbur. And with over stickers you can add a spot of Winnie magic to every page! This fantastic sticker book has all you need for hours of fun with Winnie the Witch and her cat Wilbur. Find the re-usable stickers to complete the pictures and create your very own magical Winnie scenes.

Winston is a magic wizard. He does a magic spell. Oh no!

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My black cat is a dog now! Where is my wand? Where is my magic? I want my cat! Who lives in rainforests? What grows on the forest floor? How do rainforests help us to breathe? Read and discover the facts in Macmillan Factual Readers, a six-level series which allows young English language learners to explore a variety of fascinating real-world topics. All readers include a glossary with explanations of key vocabulary. Beautifully designed in full colour with striking images, the Macmillan Factual Readers help learners build confidence and fluency in their reading ability as well as enhancing their knowledge of other subjects.

Free Teaching Notes, audio and exercises are available to download. Why do peacocks have long feathers? The book has been adapted for film twice as silent films, and four times with sound, in , , and Four television series were made, including two in Britain in the s and two anime series in Japan in the s.

A musical version opened on Broadway in An American opera version in has been performed internationally and filmed for broadcast on US television in This new edition features the fully updated text - which includes new profiles of six magnificent beasts that inhabit North America and a new foreword by J. Rowling, writing as Newt Scamander. This stunning new fully illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban brings more breathtaking scenes and unforgettable characters - including Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Professor Trelawney.

With paint, pencil and pixels, Kay conjures the wizarding world as we have never seen it before. Fizzing with magic and brimming with humour, this full-colour edition will captivate fans and new readers alike as Harry, now in his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, faces Dementors, death omens and - of course - danger. This is the ultimate gift for Harry Potter fans, curious minds, big imaginations, bibliophiles and readers around the world who missed out on the chance to see the exhibition in person.

Learn all about the history of mandrake roots and dragons, discover what witches really used their brooms for, pore over incredible images of actual mermaids and read about real-life potions, astronomers and alchemists. What do you wear on your first day at school? Who will you meet? What will you do? What will your teacher be like? There are so many questions about this first experience. This wonderful activity and sticker book is a brilliant way to learn about what the day will be like - it makes the transition to school fun and exciting! You can colour in what you will wear, you can paint a picture of your teacher, you can sticker patterns on the windows as well as many other simple and fun activities.

The collection contains four stories, originally published in magazines in the s, and up till now, largely forgotten. Now collected together and with freshly-coloured artwork, and with characters from Horton the elephant to a Grinch, this really is a book to read again and again and to treasure forever. Peter Rabbit, Benjamin, and Lily have three radishes.

But then, they lose them! Who is the radish robber? Ladybird Readers is a graded reading series of traditional tales, popular characters, modern stories, and non-fiction, written for young learners of English as a foreign or second language. Beautifully illustrated and carefully written, the series combines the best of Ladybird content with the structured language progression that will help children develop their reading, writing, speaking, listening and critical thinking skills.

The activities encourage children to practice short sentences containing a maximum of two clauses, using the present tense and some simple adjectives. The activities encourage children to practice short sentences containing a maximum of two clauses, introducing the past tense and some simple adverbs. Based on the new Peter Rabbit animated TV series. Peter and Benjamin find some radishes one day, but then they start losing them! Is there a radish robber about?

All stories feature essential key words and story-specific words are repeated to practise throughout. They are designed to be read independently at home or used in a guided reading session at school. All titles include comprehension puzzles, guidance notes and book band information for schools. This Level 1 title is suitable for very early readers who are ready to take their first steps in reading real stories. Peter Rabbit: Treehouse Rescue is a Level 2 Read it yourself book, ideal for children who have received some initial reading instruction and can read short, simple sentences with help.

The Darling children are tucked up in bed when Peter Pan bursts in to their nursery. Peter and his mischievous fairy Tinker Bell entice Wendy and her brothers to fly away with them to a magical world called Neverland. There you can swim with mermaids and play all day with the Lost Boys. But you must watch out for pirates, especially Captain Hook. And how do you find Neverland?

Second star to the right and straight on till morning of course A spooktacular activity book packed with Halloween-themed activities, including puzzles, things to spot, drawing, doodling and colouring. Little children can use the stickers to create creepy Halloween monsters, learn how to draw a witch and wizard, match vampires with their shadows and much more.

Puzzle answers are at the back of the book. Jam-packed with bonus inserts throughout, including stickers, removable extras, lift-the-flaps and many other fascinating items, this book takes young readers on a thrilling tour of the magical artifacts of the wizarding world. A new series based on the key elements of the original Spot lift-the-flap titles, with bold, simple design and unexpected humour. Winter Wonderland is one of my favourite songs and one thats played over and over again in our house throughout the winter months.

Hearing it conjures up happy memories of winter walks in the woods with my family and friends. No matter how old you are, I think the wonder and excitement of waking up to a world under a blanket of snow still remains. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive. Her ambitious sleuthing helps authorities capture an international criminal. The frame story being that a Williams College student, Eustace Bright, is telling these tales to a group of children at Tanglewood, an area in Lenox, Massachusetts.

All the tales are modified from the original myths. Perhaps, as Dodgson might have said, Alice is no more than a dream, a fairy tale about the trials and tribulations of growing up-or down, or all turned round-as seen through the expert eyes of a child. These really useful workbooks provide consolidation and practice of handwriting skills starting with correct letter formation and progressing to joining whole words in sentences. Kick off your footballing journey and see the world in a whole new light! Thomas has been teaching children lessons about life and friendship for over 70 years.

He ranks alongside other beloved character such as Paddington Bear, Winnie-the-Pooh and Peter Rabbit as an essential part of our literary heritage. A beautiful gift edition, with exquisite artwork from Winnie-the-Pooh illustrator E. Shepard, this is the perfect memento of a trip to London - or a wonderful gift for a christening or special birthday. Alors accrochez bien vos estomacs et vos chapeaux! Seuls Charlie et Willy Wonka peuvent empecher les Kpoux de tout detruire. The activities encourage children to practice longer sentences with up to three clauses, more complex past and future tense structures, modal verbs and a wider variety of conjunctions.

The activities encourage children to practice longer sentences with up to three clauses, some expression of future meaning, comparisons, contractions and relative clauses. Children will love playing with the easy-to-handle mechanisms in this bright and colourful board book with magical illustrations by Emily Bolam, which is part of the hugely successful Busy Book series from Campbell Books. This is a really special book for young children and together with A is for Alice: An Alphabet Book, forms a classy introduction to the classic Macmillan Alice.

Revisit these moments and more from the girl who proved that Muggle-borns can be the most skilled witches and wizards of all. Travel from the Amazon and the Antarctic to the Himalayas and Hollywood with this entertaining selection of mazes from across the globe. Each maze is more challenging than the last, from taking a ramble in Rio de Janeiro to touring the Norwegian fjiords or finding your way in a Moroccan market.

All the answers are at the back of the book. Visit the bustling city streets, venture through a rowdy market and gaze in awe at how people travelled in steam trains and war chariots years ago. An eye-opening book for children of a technology-reliant generation, likely to inspire further research on times gone by. A great book to help children understand and appreciate the significance of explorations and discoveries of years ago, and perhaps bring out the inventor within.

Carefully selected websites, accessed via Usborne Quicklinks, allow readers to discover more facts about the history of our world. But when cursed snowflakes begin falling, the unicorns are turned to ice. Who could be behind this evil plan - and can Zoe and Astra stop them?


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A magical addition to Young Reading Series Three, for newly fluent readers who are ready for longer stories. From squirrels and hedgehogs to sea horses and star fish, there are over familiar words for children to discover and talk about in this delightful word book. Each word is accompanied by a friendly illustration, and the words are grouped into themes such as woodland animals, birds, flowers and plants and on the shore.

Wrap up warmly to join Gerda on her quest to rescue best friend Kay from the icy clutches of the wicked Snow Queen.