A prize-winning picture book author and illustrator, Nadia Shireen is just as skilful at writing junior fiction, as this inventive, hilarious story shows. Fox siblings Nancy (the tough one) and Ted (the sensitive one) are forced to flee the big city for the countryside after Ted accidentally bites off pussycat boss Princess Buttons’ tail.

Grimwood, where they find themselves, is a kind of paradise it seems, full of friendly if eccentric animal residents who love nothing better than a good game of treebonk. Ted feels right at home, Nancy needs convincing, but when Princess Buttons arrives, bent on revenge and armed with a Brain Zapper 3000, and their new friends step up to help, she changes her mind. It’s gloriously silly but still totally credible and a proper page turner, while Nancy and Ted are real characters. Watch out for the wonderful asides from woodlouse Eric Dynamite, and Princess Buttons’ comeuppance is an absolute treat!

Author, Nadia Shireen

What the Shortlist Committee Say...

"If you go down to the Grimwoods today, you’ll have a fabulous adventure!"