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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!

 

Family Fever
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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 and a Chance to Win an Amazon Voucher

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.

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.

What books would you recommend? Why not enter our competition to win a £10 Amazon voucher and maybe you can treat yourself to one of my recommendations.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.


Cover Image

 

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Dr. Seuss book reviews

Dr. Seuss book reviews.


As you may already know we love a Dr. Seuss book in our house- I really don’t think you ever get too old for them and there is something quite fun about getting to grips with the rhyming and tongue twisting.

We were very pleased to be sent copies of Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat In The Hat and Fox in Socks to share and review. My favourite is The Cat In The Hat which we used to read at bedtime when I was little and Lottie really liked Green Eggs and Ham because she hadn’t heard it before- we think our baby brother, Sam liked that one too as he clapped every time he heard the words ‘Sam-I-Am’ but that could have been that he just liked hearing his name over and over again! We also really liked Fox in Socks and had fun making Mum read that one over and over again as it is a real tongue twister.

If you haven’t read the books they all all well worth a try- they are all good for reluctant readers or children who are just starting to get confident reading, Lottie is trying to read Green Eggs and Ham out loud while we write this and she is just about managing, so they are good for new readers as well as being fun for older children.

Fox in Socks is all about how the Fox in Socks teaches Mr Knox some of the quickest, slickest tongue twisters in town- it is so funny to read and slightly confusing but really good.


Green Eggs and Ham is all about trying something new- Sam-I-Am wants his friend to try Green, Eggs and Ham and he doesn’t want to take no for an answer, his friend is certain he doesn’t like them and won’t try them anyway at all but eventually he gives in and to his great amazement actually likes them. This is another great Dr. Seuss book which teaches you a bit of a lesson- if you try something new you might like it.


The Cat In The Hat is about when The Cat In The Hat comes to visit Sally and her brother and basically makes a huge mess of their house while their Mother is out which then needs sorting out…they just don’t know if they should tell their Mother.

The stories themselves are great for children of all ages but probably best suited for 4-8 year olds and the illustrations are awesome too, they really make the stories jump out. 

If you are looking for a good book for a new reader then I would recommend you take a look at any of the Dr. Seuss books.

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Tidy by Emily Gravett – A Review

Tidy by Emily Gravett- Our Book Review


We have read a few of Emily Gravett’s books before and I loved her illustrations on a book we reviewed earlier in the year so were very pleased to be asked to review her new book ‘Tidy’.

Pete the badger lives in a forest and likes things neat but in the end Pete takes his need to be tidy a bit too far and it is only after he makes too many changes he realises his forest was actually better the way it was before.

This book has some really lovely illustrations – we especially liked the one of the fox having his fur groomed by badger using a hedgehog! 

It is really well set up for younger children to enjoy the pictures and to try and sound out some of the words. Each page is interesting with plenty to look at and it rhymes all the way through which we really liked and Lottie spotted straight away when I read it out loud.

We also liked the front cover which is quite special because it is cut out and it looks like badger is deep in his forest.

This is a really nice story with a good message which I have enjoyed sharing with my sister, I would recommend it for children age 3 upwards. Lottie is planning on taking it to school tomorrow to show her classmates so I am sure they will all enjoy looking at it too.

You can order your own copy here

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Blue Kangaroo Book Review

Blue Kangaroo Books by Emma Chichester Clark

 A Review Interview with My Little Sister!


We have been a bit quiet here on the blog recently because we have been very busy and one of the things we have been busy with is reading lots of awesome books we have been sent to review. 

Lottie was very happy when we were asked to review three new books from The Blue Kangaroo series as she was very much certain these were to be her books… and whilst they are very nice books with sweet stories and good pictures they are definitely aimed more at four year old girls than eight year old boys! So I decided to let Lottie enjoy the books and then interview her to see what she thought of them! 



Me: Lottie you have been sent three new books- ‘Happy Birthday, Blue Kangaroo!’ ‘Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo?’ and ‘When I First Met You, Blue Kangaroo!’ What did you think of them?
Lottie: I really liked them all, I can read some of the words myself but Mummy has read me the stories because they are too hard for me to read them all. 

Me: Which of the books is your favourite?
Lottie: I think ‘Happy Birthday, Blue Kangaroo is my favourite.

Me: Why do you like that one best?
Lottie: I like the birthday party and that when Blue Kangaroo is sad Lily has a good idea to make him happy again and then everybody wishes they had a Blue Kangaroo. I wish I had a Blue Kangaroo too!

Me: Where would you get a Blue Kangaroo?
Lottie: Maybe from the zoo?… In Australia? It’s a long way.

Me: Ok, maybe you should see if you can save up for a teddy instead, I don’t think we have space for a Kangaroo here. What else did you like?
Lottie: I liked it when Lily kept loosing Blue Kangaroo in ‘Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo?’ and that she got him back in the end.

Me: Was there anything you didn’t like in these books? Where the stories too long or just right?
Lottie: I LOVED everything. The stories are really good and not too long and I like the drawings too. I really do wish I had a Blue Kangaroo!

Me: OK Lottie. Would you recommend these books to other children your age?
Lottie: YES! I took them to school and we all read ‘Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo’

Me:Did everybody like it?
Lottie: Yes and we then all made our own Kangaroos in their pouches and we decorated Australian flags. It was fun.

Me: Thank you Lottie, I am glad you liked these books and that all your four and five year old friends enjoyed them too. I will look out for a Kangaroo for you!


Lottie’s Blue Kangaroo in his pouch!