Six exciting new tales for reluctant readers about a chilly superhero and friends

Reading Age 7-8 ★ Interest Age 9-12 ★ Word Count 1,200-1,500

We are proud to introduce a brand new fiction series for struggling readers aged 9-12. Each story in the Snow-Man series has a low reading age of 7-8, combining accessible language with exciting and witty plotlines that are appropriate to the age of the reader.

Blog Posts: 1–11 of 11
  1. Competition time!

    Competition time!

    Posted on: Apr 18, 2017

    Win a set of plays from our best-selling fiction series, Snow-Man!

    Let me set the scene...

    It's the middle of December, everyone should be in their winter coats and playing in the snow, but something has happened in the town of Shiverton, they are having a heat wave! Snow is melting and running down the hill, but why? How is there a heat wave in December? Who could be responsible?

    It's time for Cole Day to munch on a raw carrot and transform into the world's coldest superhero, Snow-Man.

    This brillllliant play has been skilfully rewritten from the original title to include seven speaking parts with varying amounts of lines so everyone can be included.

    The play consists of only 1000 words but is packed full of humour and superb illustrations by Steve Beckett to keep the attention of the participants. Although it has a reading age of 8-9 and an interest age of 8-12, I promise you boys and girls of all ages will absolutely love it!

    Our authors frequently tell us that villains are the best characters to write, and Tommy Donbavand is no exception. Who would you choose to be, hero or villain? Cole Day, Aka Snow-Man or Ray Burn with his giant sunglasses?

    Enter our competition for your chance to win seven copies of the play Hot Hot Hot! All you need to do is submit your details on our competitions page to enter! Competition now closed.

    You can find out more about the original series by reading the blogs below where you will meet other villains like Chuck Ingit-Down, Gail Force, Hayley Stone, Misty Morning and Weathergirl!

  2. This play is HOT, HOT HOT!

    This play is HOT, HOT HOT!

    Posted on: Jan 19, 2017

    Let your pupils become the imaginatively named characters in comic author, Tommy Donbavand's, exciting and witty play, Hot Hot Hot!

    Watch the smiles appear on your pupils' faces as they are immersed into the humorous and entertaining play.

    Cole Day was an ordinary school boy until, one day....COSSSSHHH! A stray snowball hit Cole on the back of his head!

    But it wasn't just any snowball, it was a radioactive snowball. Now every time Cole eats a raw carrot he becomes Snow-Man – the world's chilliest superhero!

    Your class will be enthralled as they act out the adventures of Snow-Man and his sidekicks, Thin Ice and Frostbite, as they try to get to the bottom of a heat wave in the middle of December. Could this be the work of Ray Burn and his giant sunglasses?

    The whole play consists of 1,000 words and has 7 speaking parts with varying numbers of lines and reading level so that everyone can be included. The book features bright colourful illustrations by popular illustrator Steve Beckett, and there is a useful question page at the back of the book to aid comprehension.

    The reading age of this play is 8-9 and it has an interest age of 8-12, but we're confident that pupils (and adults) of all ages and abilities will absolutely love to take part.

    Read our blogs on the six original fiction series below!

  3. Competition time!

    Posted on: Jan 13, 2016

    To celebrate the launch of our new series Snow-Man, we are giving away a SIGNED SET!

    Snow-Man, written by Tommy Donbavand, is our new series of exciting tales about a chilly superhero and his friends!

    For an interest age of 9-12 years, Tommy has imaginatively named the characters to really grab the reader's attention. Cole Day is just an ordinary boy who transforms into Snow-Man when he eats a carrot and is joined by his sidekicks, Thin Ice and Frostbite! Together they fight an array of ingenious villains such as Ray Burn, Gail Force and Chuck Ingit-Down (I bet you're smiling now!). Steve Beckett has really brought these characters to life with his bright, colourful illustrations which reward the reader and entice them to turn the page.

    With exciting and witty plotlines appropriate for the age of the reader, but with an accessible reading age of 7-8, all six titles in Snow-Man will captivate reluctant readers, inspire confidence and ensure a positive and fun reading experience.

    Read more about individual titles below!

    For a chance of winning the signed series visit our competitions page and simply fill out your details before 5pm on Friday 12th February 2016!
    COMPETITION CLOSED. The lucky winners are St Peter's CE VA Junior School, Derby!

  4. Born to be bad

    Posted on: Nov 05, 2015

    Our authors are always saying that villains are the best characters to write, and Tommy Donbavand is no exception. He says that "villains are so much fun to invent - especially if they come with secret lairs, diabolical weapons and over-worked minions!"

    The weapons in the Snow-Man series are certainly diabolical, and the baddies as eccentric as their 'puntacular' names. But exactly how do these characters go from a description on the page to a striking visual image? We asked Danny Pearson, our Senior Editor, to shed some light.

    Us: How were the villains brought to life?

    Danny: These were a lot of fun. Tommy and I swapped many emails on how a villain should look. Strangely enough a lot of 1970/80/90s villains from films came up as these were a great source for how a villain should act and what their costumes should look like. Again, as soon as we had settled on a look I'd send a brief over to Steve and in no time at all we would have a visual for a villain. I love how different they all are.

    Us: How detailed does an artwork brief need to be, and what sort of things does it include?

    Danny: This is tricky. Sometimes you can write a line or two and that will be more than enough for an artist to use but other times you need a scene to look so precise that you end up writing a paragraph or more detailing what you need to go in.

    I am lucky that the artists working with me on these are happy to make suggestions on an image that we are having a problem with.

    Us: How important is it to get visuals right on a series like this? Any do's and don'ts?

    Danny: It is so important to get the visuals right for each series. The visuals sometimes tell a part of the story that words could never do. The images are advertising the words. Without the images some of our readers would not even pick these up.

    The covers take the most time to work on as these need to be the 'shop front' for the book. If the covers do not capture

  5. Winter is coming...

    Winter is coming...

    Posted on: Oct 01, 2015

    Just when Cole Day thought things couldn't get any worse in the weather-beaten town of Shiverton, a brand new villain appears. And, to make matters worse, Weathergirl is someone he knows very well indeed.

    Snow-Man will need all his wintery wits about him – and an extra team member (meet Popsicle!) – when this powerful enemy decides to destroy the town she only ever tried to help.

    It's here! Check out the electrifying cover for the sixth and last reveal in the Snow-Man series, where our hero faces an unexpected villain with exciting – and possibly dire – consequences.

    As can be seen from the cover, this title is packed full of fantastic illustrations by Steve Beckett to accompany Tommy Donbavand's warm, witty narrative. Reluctant readers will enjoy the combination of colourful drawings and bite-sized chunks of text, as they help to make reading a fun and encouraging process as opposed to a laborious one.

    Just like the other titles in this series, Cold Front is aimed at reluctant readers aged 9-12 with a reading capability of age 7-8.

    Check back here for sneak peeks of inside artwork and other goodies in the run-up to Snow-Man's January publication!

  6. Stuck fast

    Stuck fast

    Posted on: Sep 14, 2015

    Another villain rains on Shiverton's parade and creates a sticky situation for the unassuming residents. It looks like the work of crafty crook, Chuck Ingit-Down, whose speciality is to lace clouds with glue which creates big, gooey puddles on the ground below!

    Can Cole Day turn into Snow-Man in time to rescue the trapped residents before it's too late?

    This story is the latest humorous instalment in the 6 title Snow-Man series from author Tommy Donbavand and illustrator Steve Beckett. Aimed at reluctant readers, each book has been crafted so that it blends engaging illustrations with short, manageable paragraphs which will guide the reader from start to finish in a simple and enjoyable way.

    As with all the titles in this series, characters are introduced in a section at the beginning of the book and challenging vocabulary is highlighted in order to eliminate confusion and make the book easy to use. Questions are included at the end of the story to ensure the reader has understood as well as read the book and can be a great catalyst for follow up activities.

    Just look at this brilliant cover! We reckon your students will be glued to the pages in no time...

  7. 'Mist-erious' goings-on in Shiverton!

    'Mist-erious' goings-on in Shiverton!

    Posted on: Jul 06, 2015

    Shiverton comes under attack again, but this time it proves even harder for Snow-Man and his crew to find the root of the problem due to a dense fog which shrouds the town.

    And why do everyone's trousers keep falling down?!

    Tommy crafts another witty and entertaining story, which, coupled with Steve Beckett's animated illustrations, make for an incredibly fun reading experience for children.

    To make the front cover stand out on a bookshelf and the inside artwork more vibrant, it was decided that an injection of colour to the previously white mist would be preferable and so different colours were experimented with in order to portray the fog.

    Green looked like it could be interpreted as an unpleasant smell and no-one was particularly keen on the pink so yellow was decided on because in colour psychology it is often associated with the mind. As the story transpires that the mist has come from wicked villain, Misty Morning, we thought that this was the most appropriate as she uses her mind powers to cause havoc in Shiverton!

  8. Don't look up!

    Don't look up!

    Posted on: Jun 26, 2015

    Cole Day has just finished building his go-kart to enter the annual Shiverton 'Roll Down The Hill A Bit' race. He's eager to take it out for a test drive. So the last thing he needs are giant, golf-ball sized blocks of ice falling from the sky and smashing up everything in sight.

    Cole must crunch a carrot and transform into Snow-Man once more. It's time to confront the ice-hearted Hayley Stone and her plan to bring Shiverton to its knees.

    Snow-Man's latest adventure is in danger of giving him a headache that he won't forget in a hurry! Have your reluctant readers join him in getting to the bottom of this curious crisis - we're confident they will traverse the text with ease and enthusiasm.

    The story is inviting and fun, and the language and word count are accessible for less able readers. Each book also boasts extra features including a general backstory, vocabulary page, questions about the story and a 'Meet the Author/Illustrator' page – all to increase engagement with the text.

    Not to mention, the weird weather and perilous happenings faced by Snow-Man and his team are captured skilfully in full colour illustrations throughout the story.

  9. Pass the carrot...

    Pass the carrot...

    Posted on: Jun 02, 2015

    Cole and his sister Winter are blown away (pun intended) when an uninvited guest breezes into town and wreaks havoc on homes, shops and local businesses!

    Can Snow-Man and his team put a stop to the path of destruction unfolding along the streets of Shiverton before everything is completely destroyed?

    This light-hearted tale comes complete with laugh-out-loud moments and an impressive villain that will have primary school children glued to the pages until the very end!

    Author, Tommy Donbavand, is an expert at developing stories for struggling readers and Windy-Pops! combines just the right balance of accessible language with a witty and highly entertaining plot. Accompanying a number of the pages are Steve Beckett's bright and engaging full colour illustrations which really bring this fun story to life.

  10. Sweat it out

    Sweat it out

    Posted on: May 28, 2015

    It's the middle of December, but Shiverton has been hit by a heat wave. All the snow is melting and running downhill.

    Could this be the work of Ray Burn and his giant pair of sunglasses? Why does he want to flood the Shiverton Museum of Really Expensive Stuff?

    To find out, Cole will have to munch on a carrot and become the world's coldest superhero - Snow-Man!

    We are proud to reveal the first action-packed story in the Snow-Man series, and it's swelteringly good! No, seriously.

    The combination of engrossing storyline and compact word count of 1,200-1,500 words will draw readers in and even leave them wanting more! We are confident that this amusing story can be enjoyed by all ages, but most specifically reluctant readers aged 9-12 with a reading age of just 7-8.

    Let your pupils join us for some surreal fun in the world of Snow-Man and his pals. And if we can't convince you, let this first exclusive look at the book cover do the talking.

Blog Posts: 1–11 of 11