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Halilit Sounds of the Forest book set review

Review by Charlotte age 7 with some help from Mummy

Sam and I were sent a Halilit Sounds of the Forest book and instrument set. It’s really cute and Sam loves it.

 

The story is a board book so good for toddlers and the instrument looks like an owl and makes a really good owl noise. I have been reading the story to Sam and he has been making the noises at the right place.

The story is about a baby owl waiting for his Mummy to come home and how he hears lots of different sounds and wants to know if it is her.

The pictures are really nice and the story is good for Sam’s age. It isn’t too long and we can read it in one go but there is lots of chance to make his owl noises which he loves. It took him a few times to get used to how to blow through and get the owl sound but he quickly worked it out.

Sam now keeps playing the instrument and it sounds really like there is a real owl here!

I think this book is perfect for children age 3 to 4 but is easy to read for bigger children and the instrument is fun for everybody.

Sam and I really enjoyed sharing this book together.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Sounds of the Forest Set to review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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What I am reading this Summer- Lottie age 6

I have been reading lots of books this Summer.

My favourite one so far is My Naughty Little Sister it’s about a big girl who lives with her little sister who is very naughty. She gets into lots of trouble.

I have also been reading The Naughtiest Girl Again by Enid Blyton, Elizabeth is at boarding school and sometimes gets into trouble but she in this book she is learning to be calmer and she isn’t as naughty as the sister in My Naughty Little Sister.

My Mum and I have been reading Katy by Jacqueline Wilson which is really good but a bit old for me in places, Katy has had an accident and I have just got to the bit where she has got home from hospital, it’s a bit scary in places.

When we were on holiday I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which helped me plan my chocolate themed birthday party!

I am now looking forward to reading The Great Chocoplot by Chris Callaghan and The Chocolate Factory Ghost by David O’Connell which are going to be given to my friends instead of party bags after my party… I think I will need to have plenty of chocolate to eat while I am reading them!

I would love to know what books your 6 or 7 year olds like at the moment?

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which if you choose to order through will provide us with a small amount of commission at no extra cost to you.

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Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules by Stella Tarakson

I was lucky enough to receive two books from the Hopeless Heros series by Stella Tarakson to review and now it’s my turn on the blog tour to let you know what I thought of them!

Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules– By Stella Tarakson, Publication date 22nd February 2018

‘When Tim Baker breaks his Mum’s favourite vase it’s the least of his problems. The Greek hero he frees from inside is in danger of doing far worse. To the flowers, the rug-Oh no! Not the kitchen! Hercules is only trying to be helpful but he is just hopeless! It’s time to send this dim demigod home before Tim becomes ancient history.’

The vase was the last thing that Tim’s Dad had given his Mum before he died, even though they needed the money and it was worth a lot she still didn’t want to sell it because it was so important to her so when Tim accidently breaks it he is desperate to get it fixed before she gets home from work. Tim is quickly distracted though when he hears the words FREE AT LAST and finds a tall man towering over him. Tim soon realises that Heroes might be cool and Hercules certainly is strong but a genie  might have been more useful!

Hercules manages to destroy the garden and eat the roast chicken that was meant for dinner even before Tim’s Mum gets home but surely she will understand that heroes get hungry. Except…it turns out Tim is the only one who can see him

Allsorts of strange things happen and no one believes in Tim’s hero so he gets the blame as well as having to deal with worrying about being bullied by a boy from school. Hercules is struggling too- he misses his wife and daughter and wishes there was a way to get back to them. Can they work together to help Tim’s Mum and get Hercules home? What about Leo the bully and Queen Hera, Zeus’ evil wife who cursed Hercules?

Hera’s Terrible Trap, by Stella Tarakson- Publication date 22nd February 2018

Tim Baker thinks his adventures are over until he hitches a ride to Ancient Greece on a stolen vase. Soon Tim finds himself trapped with an Army of Peacocks and a hero who can’t stop admiring himself. PUT THAT MIRROR DOWN, THESEUS! Thank the God’s his new friend Zoe is there to help. Just don’t tell her Dad…

In the second book in the series we see Tim being transported to Ancient Greece on the vase that Hera has stolen back. The evil Hera wants to trap Hercules and Tim is expected to help, Tim ends up on the run and bumps into Hercules. Tim ends up meeting his daughter Zoe and they get to work together hatching a plan to stop Hera.

 

I really like these books from the Hopeless Heroes series, they are funny and they cover issues like bullying really well. I enjoyed how they link to actual Greek Myths and learning a bit more about the people you hear about in mythology.  I like the way the names are brought to life but it is still a story so you feel you are enjoying a book while you are learning rather than reading something for school.

The character of Hercules was great, he is a bit of a disaster but very kind to Tim and he makes me laugh. I really liked it when Zoe arrived in the second book as she was brilliant.

If someone told me to read a story about Greek Mythology I probably wouldn’t have wanted to but I really enjoyed both these books- it was very easy to loose yourself in the story and I read them both very quickly. I loved the way the books were set up- there was lots of Greek style writing which caught your eye and broke it up a bit. The illustrations by Nick Roberts were brilliant, I thought they really made you think of Ancient Greece and they looked like something that should have been on a vase like Tim’s Mums one.

I really enjoyed these books and am looking forward to the rest of the series coming out- there is 10 in total, so plenty to learn and enjoy!

I would say children as young as 6 would enjoy the Hopeless Heroes series but perhaps with a bit of adult help and that children older than me would also like the stories. I think they are perfect for my age (10) and my Mum thinks they would be good for people who aren’t too keen on reading as they are broken up into manageable chapters with plenty of illustrations to keep your attention as well as being funny enough to appeal to most children.

Thanks to Sweet Cherry Publishing for introducing us to this series and allowing us to be involved with the Hopeless Heros Blog Tour. Don’t forget to see what other bloggers thought of them on the tour!

Disclaimer: We were kindly sent the proofs for these books by Sweet Cherry Publishing but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

This post contains affiliate links which means we earn a small amount of commission if you choose to buy via them at no cost to yourself

 

 

 

 

 

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Giant By Kate Scott Book Review

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Kate Scott’s book Giant to read and review over the Summer. It was so easy to get into that I read it over just a few sessions.

Giant is about Anzo who is 11 and very, very short. This probably wouldn’t be so bad if the rest of his family weren’t very very tall and  everyone didn’t call him ‘peanut’. He gets teased at school and has to play ALL of the seven dwarfs in the school play. His family want to open a restaurant together and everyone has a job to do except Anzo. He wishes he was tall so that someone would notice him.  It makes me feel sad for Anzo that he is so worried he will never fit in.

Anzo’s friend Elise suggests he tries positive thinking. He is not convinced but gives it a go. All of a sudden, over a week, Anzo starts to grow and grow.  However, Anzo soon learns that being tall perhaps wasn’t the answer to all his problems. Anzo starts to learn that if you want things to change you have to change them yourself. He starts to follow his dreams of becoming a comic book creator and goes on an adventure with Elise.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a great story while covering topics like being proud of who you are and how everyone is different. It made me feel sad at times when it made me think about how sometimes people at school can be horrible but it was good at reminding me to be kind to other people and that everyone has different strengths. I like how it shows it doesn’t matter who you are, you can still do anything you want if you try hard enough.

I think this was a book about feeling different and being lonely but also about friendship and having courage. This book is aimed at 8 to 11 year olds and I think this is about right. I am sure my sister would enjoy the story but she is perhaps a bit young to understand it all, whereas if you are a bit further through school you have probably felt exactly as Anzo has. I think this would be a great book to read as a class, from year 3 onwards as it would have lots of things for the teacher to discuss that are relevant to their children.

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Book Review- On The Trail Of The Missing Pets by Marianne Su Yin

It’s always great to come across a new author who you haven’t seen before and I love it when I find a book that is very different to any others I have read before so was pleased when Marianne Su Yin contacted me and asked if I would review her new book- On The Trail Of The Missing Pets, A Mystery In History.

I really like history and have enjoyed reading fact books about World War Two for a long time but I haven’t read any fiction before so this was something a bit different.

It follows the story of Violet Vintage and her dog Spike who travel back in time by using a wardrobe of magic clothes and accessories and this time they find themselves in 1944 in bombed London. All the pets have run off in fright when the bombs were going off and Violet and Spike make friends with their owners and promise to track them down. The mystery is where could they have all gone?

Spike and Violet hatch a plan and travel around London hunting down the person who appears to be taking the pets but will they track him down?

I really enjoyed the style of this book- it’s written in rhyming though the whole thing which is really clever and the drawings are brilliant with lots of detail-my favourite drawing was the very last one, I won’t say what it was off but I like the way it was mainly black and white with certain things in colour.

On The Trail Of The Missing Pets is a good story, suitable for younger children, especially because of the rhyming style it is written in but it’s also got quite a lot of facts in so it’s good for older children too- I didn’t know Buckingham Palace was bombed nine times in a row and that the Royal Family decided to stay.

After the story there was several pages of information about WW2 that was really interesting and had lots of facts that I didn’t know so I especially enjoyed this addition to the story.

I enjoyed this book very much, it was a quick read for my age but I would go back and read it again and my sister loved it being read to her so I would probably suggest it was suitable for children age 6 to 10.

I am looking forward to Violet and Spike’s next adventure!

 

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Clever Tykes Books Review and Free Books for Primary Schools

I was pleased when a set of Clever Tykes books arrived in the post for me to review recently as I love having something new to read.

This set contains three books- Walk-It Willow, Code-It Cody and Change-it Cho and all three feature stories about children using their skills for a project or venture, facing challenges along the way and how they overcome them.

My favourite was Code-It Cody but my sister liked Walk-It Willow best, we both thought this one was quite funny, but they were all good and we both enjoyed all three.

I liked the way there were lessons within each story that the main character learnt and also that they made the point that even grown ups make mistakes when trying something new so it doesn’t mean you have to give up. I also enjoyed the way that the books encourage you to come up with new ideas of things you can do using your own skills. There were lots of ideas and advice within the stories for children wanting to learn a bit about running a business but because it’s in the story it doesn’t feel like you are learning which is great for children my age.

The books are easy to read for my age group and are a nice fairly quick story to enjoy, they are a little harder for my sister’s age but she enjoyed them being read to her. I think because of the message within them the books are correctly aimed at KS2 children but they are also good for slightly younger children to enjoy the stories. The illustrations are great too and there are plenty throughout to break it up for less confident readers. I also really like the type of print they have used in the book as it is very easy to read.

The books are sponsored by an initiative by Lloyds Banking Group which means they are offered free in Primary Schools- I had actually already seen one of them on my class bookshelf!

To find out more about the books you can visit the Clever Tykes website where you can buy them individually or as a set to read at home but if you are a primary school then you could visit the Clever Tykes Primary Enterprise Education  page where you can sign up for your school and access free books and teaching materials.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I was sent a set of Clever Tykes books for review purposes but all comments are my own

 

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AniMalcolm By David Baddiel- My half term read!

I was lucky enough to review a The Parent Agency by David Baddiel last year and loved it so was thrilled to be asked to review his new book AniMalcom.

The problem with really enjoying a book is that you never know if the author will be able to pull it off again, so whilst I was looking forward to reading AniMalcolm I was a bit unsure as to whether it would live up to my expectations. I needn’t have worried!

Animalcolm is about a boy called Malcolm whose parents LOVE animals. Malcolm is not so keen. His birthday is coming up and he really wants a laptop, he gets… a new pet! He is amazed that he is also allowed to go on the school trip- however he soon finds out they are heading for a farm- not exactly ideal for someone who doesn’t like animals!

When Malcolm arrives at Orwell Farm he meets a goat, called K-Pax, who the farm owners claim is very wise, although Malcolm doubts that! He changes his mind though when the magical goat hypnotises him!

 

Suddenly Malcolm is changing and AniMalcolm appears- will he ever be himself again?! It’s quite hard being an animal when you are not used to it and AniMalcolm has some difficult times –  being stuck on his back as a tortoise (it takes a very long time for another tortoise to help you from that position!) discovering that humans can no longer understand him and coming up against a cat who really doesn’t want to share her spot with another cat.

I was so pleased with this book- David Baddiel is just as funny as ever and really ‘gets’ children’s humour. I read this book in two sittings – I barely put it down and I literally laughed out loud so many times! My very favourite characters are The Dolly’s – Dolly 1, Dolly 2 and Dolly 3 but there are so many great characters that you get into the book really quickly.

The illustrations were great too and really added to the story.

Whether you are an animal lover or not this book is a brilliant read. I would happily give it 10/10. I think it’s perfect for kids age 8 plus to read easily on their own and am definitely going to recommend it to all my friends, but I think younger children would also enjoy sharing it with an adult- my sister is 5 and has just started reading it with my Mum and she loves it.

AniMalcolm is out now in paperback published by Harpur Colins and is available to purchase from Amazon

I can’t wait for David Baddiel’s next book!

 

 

Please note this is a sponsored post and contains an affiliate link but I read the book, loved the book and all views are my own!

 

 

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My Favourite Reads This Year

My Current Favourite Books

I have read lots of books this year so far and thought I would share some of my favourites for any children looking for a good read. I still have loads of old favourites that I would read time and time again, such as anything by Roald Dahl but these few are some of my new favourites that I would recommend. I would love to know what you and your children like reading together too!

Hello, is this planet Earth? by Tim Peake

I absolutely love this book, it has the most amazing pictures and I have looked at it time and time again. There are also some really interesting bits to read but it is mostly the photos I keep coming back to. We have given copies of this book to several of my friends for their birthdays and they have all really liked it – it’s definitely one of those books for all ages.

The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone

You can read my full review here but The Night Spinner is easily one of the best books I have read in ages. Full of magic and mystery and plenty of suspense this is definitely worth reading. Best suited to children age 8 plus.

The Midnight Gang by David Walliams

I have not finished this book yet but so far it is brilliant and certainly as good as anything else I have  read by David Walliams, I think I will whizz through it in no time!

The Enid Blyton Mystery Series

I have been working my way through these 15 books over the last few weeks and although they were written years ago and feel quite old fashioned in some ways they are still really good stories. I would also recommend these for children age 8 plus.

Star Wars Absolutely Everything You Need to Know

This is a brilliant book for Star Wars fans and is absolutely full of facts and information. I have been dipping in and out of this for months.

This post contains affiliate links

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Review of The Night Spinner by Abi Elphinstone

If you have been reading my blog for a while you will know that I became a fan of Abi Elphinstone last year when I was asked to review the first two books in her trilogy of stories about Moll and her quest to save the world from the Shadowmasks.

Since I finished reading The Shadow Keeper I have been waiting for the next book to be released so I could find out what happens next and the final book in the trilogy- The Night Spinner is even better than I expected.

I was so excited to find the people at South Kensington Books had sent me a copy of The Night Spinner as soon as it was released and even more excited when I realised that it had been signed by Abi Elphinstone herself! I took it into school to show and now everyone wants to read it! I have said they should start with The Dreamsnatcher though so they can enjoy all three books in order.

My Mum and I have been reading The Night Spinner together as a bedtime story and have dragged it out for as long as possible because we didn’t want it to end but we have now finished it. I am quite sad in a way because I don’t know what to read anymore and was enjoying it so much but I am so glad the ending was as good as I hoped.

If you have read The Dreamsnatcher and The Shadow Keeper you certainly won’t be disappointed- there is Shadowmasks, Peatboggers, Kelpies, Giants and Goblins and a feeling that you should definitely be wary of cobwebs but at the same time there is friendship and courage and hope.

There are sad bits and happy bits and the book is even better than the other two and although Moll is as spiky as ever you really want her to find the Amulet of Truth and win against the final two Shadowmasks even though it seems like she has no chance against the dark magic they are spreading everywhere with The Veil.

Set in the Northern Wilderness the descriptions are amazing and you feel like you could be lost out on deserted moors or heading deep into the mist- it made me want to go on an adventure!

There is a great twist near the end and you are kept guessing what will happen until the very last minute.

This is easily the best book I have read in ages and would recommend it to anyone age 8 or over- including grown ups as I had to keep hiding the book so my Mum didn’t read ahead!

I am just hoping that Abi Elphinstone is busy writing her next trilogy!

 

 

Family Fever
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Timmy Failure: Sanitizited for Your Protection Book Review

Timmy Failure: Sanitized for Your Protection Book Review


I have just finished reading the latest Timmy Failure book by Stephan Pastis and I think it is the funniest yet!

This time Timmy is on a mission to find YIP YAP’s missing money and stop the dreaded Corrina Corrina but travelling across America to Chicago he is forced to join forces with his former criminal nemesis Molly Moskins (who is a little bit in love with Timmy and very annoying) as his sidekick polar bear Total is in disgrace.

Timmy, Molly and Total have to make a brave escape from their parents to hunt the criminal down- they leave a trail of destruction behind them and unfortunately they don’t quite cover their tracks as well as they could. Fortunately the money is recovered in the end and Timmy can be happy that another case has been ‘solved’- even if he is now grounded!

Like the other books in this series this is a perfect read for anyone age 7 plus, the chapters are short and there are lots of pictures to break it up. The illustrations are really funny and add as much to the story as the writing itself. Don’t worry if you haven’t read the others yet- whilst it is definitely worth reading them it isn’t a problem if you read them out of order as they all work well by themselves rather than having to be read as a series.

I would give this book 5 stars and can’t wait for the next one- I hope Timmy and Molly team up again as this was really funny.


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