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8th December 2016

Santa Claude by Alex T. Smith

In the newest edition to the Claude series our hero Claude, accidentally handcuffs Santa, who he thought was a robber! Who will deliver the presents to the children on Christmas Eve? Well Claude of course and his faithful companion, Sir Bobblysock save the day with hilarious consequences. Santa Claude is a must for any Christmas stocking, even adult ones, who will appreciate Alex T Smith‘s puns and jokes. Gloriously illustrated throughout with a stella line up of Alex’s clever characters, including PC Ann Cuffs, Beverly Clematis the florist, Percy Package the postman and a gorgeous plump Santa Claus.



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Santa Claude is published in hardback by Hodder Children’s Books and can be bought from Waterstones, although other online retailers are available, as well as your local bookshop, where the friendly staff will help you find just the right book.


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Santa Claude written and illustrated by Alex T. Smith


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1st December 2016

Christmas 2016 Calendar- Harry Potter by Jonny Duddle

This month we’re rounding off Arena’s 2016 calendar with a classic, Jonny Duddle’s magical illustration for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling, published by Bloomsbury.

Arena Calendar December- Jonny Duddle

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25th November 2016

Dear Santa, I’d like a book for Christmas

“Dear Santa, I’d like a book for Christmas.”


We’d love to see those words on every child’s Christmas wish list. Books are an inexpensive present that can change a child’s life, expanding their minds, exploring new worlds, finding out about life, all that and more. We love books and we pride ourselves on working on some of the most beautiful, absorbing and creative ones for children. Here’s our suggestion list from the very young to the older reader: perfect gifts for Christmas stockings.


Board books for little ones

Thomas Flintham’s animal board books bright and colourful animal characters, perfect for toddlers to start learning about numbers, noises, colours and babies.




Jonny Duddle’s bestselling pirate picture books, The Pirate Cruncher and and The Pirates Next Door have just been released as board books to engage very young pirates in pirate parlay, aargh!

Jonny Duddle Board Books


Picture Books for Pre-School Children


Kristyna Litten’s wonderful story of friendship Blue and Bertie, with glorious giraffes and a beautiful jungle setting or a special Christmas story, illustrated by Kristyna and written by Kirstie Rowson, about the day the Christmas decorations went walkabout, Angel’s Great Escape is available exclusively on Amazon or as an interactive app from MeBooks

Blue and Bertie picture book by Kristyna Litten


Nautical themed, Claude All At Sea by Alex T Smith, featuring our lovable hero Claude, his sidekick Sir Bobblysock and Nigel the sea monster, or for more confident readers a super-sparkly Christmas mystery adventure with Santa Claude.

Alex T Smith All At Sea Santa Claude


An hilarious new partnership Neal Layton and Andy Stanton with the whacky picture book Danny McGee Drinks the Sea or a new adventure series for older readers by Neal Layton, The Invincible Tony Spears out of this world, a great Christmas present for imaginative children.

Neal Layton Andy Stanton Danny McGee Drinks The Sea The Invincible Tony Spears


Books with Facts


For dinosaur lovers Joe Lillington’s story of Neffy and the Feathered Dinosaurs based on scientific discovery told through a story about Neffy a young microraptor who’s about to take her first flight.

Joe Lillington Neffy


Spike Gerrell has illustrated a great book called Football School, packed with awesome true stories, real science and fascinating facts about Football. Perfect for reluctant readers to dip in and out of.

Spike Gerrell Football School

Collections for older readers


Winter Magic with a cover created by Thomas Flintham is a an enchanting collection of stories from award winning authors curated by Abi Elphinstone, a must have beautiful gift book for Christmas.


Winter Magic Thomas Flintham Abi Ephinstone


More wonderful stories for older readers illustrated by Levi Pinfold, The Secret Horses of Brair Hill by Megan Shepherd is set during World War Two in a TB hospital where the patient, Emmaline can see magical winged horses in the mirrors. Another story of another world, written by A.F. Harrold where a song leads Frank and Nick to uncover the mysterious secret hidden in the basement in The Song Form Somewhere Else.

Levi Pinfold Secret Horses of Briar Hill Megan Shepherd and Song From Somewhere Else A F Harrold

And for our final pick of beautiful gift books for Christmas the gorgeous  A Miscellany of Magical Beasts packed full of magical illustrations crowned by the wonderful cover illustration by John Howe








16th November 2016

Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed Wins Sheffield Children’s Book Award 2016

Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed, written by Michael Rosen with riotous illustrations by Neal Layton was the overall winner of the Sheffield Children’s Book Award 2016.This award is very special as it is voted for by the children and young people of Sheffield through schools and local libraries

Congratulations to Neal and Michael, we can’t wait to see more from this award winning team.



Uncle Gobb and the Dread Shed written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Neal Layton

Published by Bloomsbury


8th November 2016

Neal Layton: Danny McGee Drinks the Sea

Neal Layton has teamed up with Andy Stanton, author of Mr Gum, for his hilarious new book, Danny McGee Drinks The Sea, published by Hodder Children’s Books.

Can a boy drink the sea? Surely it’s impossible! But Danny McGee does just that – and now he has his sights on other things. Soon he’s swallowing trees, flies, fleas, peas, mountains … where will it end?!

You can watch Andy Stanton discussing Danny McGee Drinks The Sea with Sunday Times journalist, Nicolette Jones on her video blog here.


Danny McGee Drinks the Sea cover illustrated by Neal Layton


Danny McGee Drinks the Sea illustrated by Neal Layton


Danny McGee Drinks the Sea illustrated by Neal Layton


Danny McGee Drinks the Sea illustrated by Neal Layton


Danny McGee Drinks the Sea illustrated by Neal Layton