Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and Sophie Blackall

Sometimes, the stories behind books are as fascinating — or even more so — than the books themselves, as is the case for Finding Winnie, when two stranger-than-fiction real-life sequences of events — an army veterinarian buying a baby bear off a trapper at a train station, and a little boy’s unusual friendship with a certain grown bear at the London Zoo — collide to result in the creation of one of the most beloved literary characters ever written: Winnie the Pooh.

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Jim and the Beanstalk by Raymond Briggs

Fractured fairy tales are some of our favourite stories, especially since these are usually wittier than the originals. And, having read six versions of Jack and the Beanstalk — three of which are classic retellings — our hands-down favourite is this brilliant sequel to the classic fairy tale, conceived by Raymond Briggs in 1970(!), way before such stories became hip or common.

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Number One Sam by Greg Pizzoli

Sam is used to being the top dog, so to speak, on the race track. Then one day, an unexpected loss threatens to derail his winning streak and — more disastrously — his relationship with his friends. Only when faced with a moral dilemma does he finally realise that losing a race is small potatoes compared to doing the right thing and winning the respect of his friends.

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