When I was idly browsing in Waterstones at the weekend, I was given a free sample booklet of Alan Snow's Here Be Monsters !, the first volume of 'The Ratbridge Chronicles'. It's an illustrated book and I would guess it's aimed at age 7 years upwards. I have to say I was quite tickled with it. Here's the blurb from the back of the book:
Arthur has fallen foul of the appalling Snatcher and is trapped alone in the town, with no way home. Meanwhile Snatcher and his men are working tirelessly in secret on a fiendish and dastardly plan to take over Ratbridge - and the world. With the help of Willbury Nibble QC, some friendly boxtrolls and cabbage-heads, Marjorie the frustrated inventor, and the rats and pirates from the Ratbridge Nautical Laundry, can Arthur thwart Snatcher's evil plans - and find his way home ?
There's a sample chapter online at the Oxford University Press website (it's in a PDF, so you'll need Acrobat Reader to use this link), and there is a website for the book, which Alan Snow has illustrated himself. It has lots of features, so I can see it being a hit with children in particular. I am going to have to get the library to get this one for me, just so I can find out whether Arthur survives the Snatcher's evil plot.
Alan Snow is an English artist, who has worked with books, animation (for Aardman, the creators of Wallace and Grommit), film and computers. He has written and illustrated over 160 books for children, including How Dogs Really Work, The Truth About Cats, and How Santa Really Works. He has also worked on a very diverse range of other projects, including work on the design of a children's science museum in Japan and the design of a project robot currently on sale worldwide.