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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!


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A Review of The Shadow Keeper by Abi Elphinstone

A Review of The Shadow Keeper by Abi Elphinstone

I was recently sent a copy of the newly released ‘The Shadow Keeper’ by Abi Elphinstone to review and I can honestly say I have struggled to put it down each day.

Following on from the first book in the trilogy, The Dream Snatcher, The Shadow Keeper can also be enjoyed as a story in it’s own right.

It started off dark and dramatic and straight away picked up pace to get you immediately into the story. Moll is a gypsy girl with a wildcat called Gryff and they are being hunted by The Shadow Masks who want to capture them in order to destroy both them and the old magic. Moll is trying to destroy the Shadowmasks dark magic by finding the second amulet which holds the soul of her Mother but to do this she has to hide from and battle them and also save herself and her friend Siddy from terrifying smugglers too.

This is genuinely like no other book I have ever read- it is like dipping in to someone else’s life and culture- there is magic, both old and dark, there are fortune tellers, medicine made from herbs and messages on the wind and secret codes- it is very different to any book I have ever read before.

There are good people and bad people, plenty to fear and lots to capture your imagination, the way the author sets the scene is fantastic- you feel like you are in the cove that is home to Moll and her tribe and then just chapters later you can really imagine what it must be like to be at the harbor with the smugglers having already twice fought off the dark magic that is trying to destroy Moll and her tribe.

I found the book to be gripping from start to finish, bits of it were very scary and very dark but Abi Elphinstone seems to know just when to stop the really dark bits to leave you wanting to read on without being too terrified to do so.

It takes a little while to warm to Moll who is very independent but this is also a story of friendship and learning how to trust and you do soon start to worry about what will happen to her. The end isn’t a ‘happy ending’ as such but it is a good conclusion to the book and it leaves you well ready for the next book in the trilogy. 

I already can’t wait for the final book to come out and would highly recommend this book to confident readers age 8 upwards or to enjoy with a parent from age 7 (although perhaps not as a bedtime story if you are easily scared!) You can buy The Shadow Keeper here 

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What Pet Should I Get? Dr Seuss Book Review

What Pet Should I Get? Dr Seuss Book Review

We are huge fans of Dr Seuss in this house so we were very excited to hear there was a book out that we hadn’t yet come across.

What Pet Should I Get? Has been discovered as one of Dr Seuss’ many ‘works-in-progress’ and has recently been published. This is a real treat for Dr Seuss fans of any age and is just as good as any of the others.

This is a lovely story about two children, a brother and sister, who go to the pet shop excited because they are allowed to chose a pet all of their own- it is a good lesson  for small children (especially ones like my sister who always says ‘I can’t decide’) because it is all about making your mind up. Just like many Dr Seuss stories there is a little twist in the end and that means you get to put your own spin on the book. 

Lottie took this book to share with her class (all age 4 and 5) and they really liked it. The story is really good for this age group, it is in the well known rhyming style of Dr Seuss and they all liked the pictures too. She said it gave them lots to talk about when the teacher had finished reading and they all had favourite pets that they wished the children would pick. I think this is a great book for children age 3 upwards – it is perfect as soon as they are able to sit down long enough to listen to a story and enjoy the rhyming style and it will appeal to Dr Seuss fans of ages.

I also really enjoyed reading the publishers notes at the back of the book which gave lots of interesting details about how the book came to be found and where the illustrations were from.

You can buy a copy of this lovely book here

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Book Review: The Imaginary by A.F Harrold

I recently received a copy of The Imaginary by A.F Harrold to review and when it first arrived I wasn’t sure I would really like it as it looked quite different from the books I normally enjoy but I decided to give it a go and read it with Mum as my bedtime story over the last week-I was really surprised but after a few chapters I couldn’t put it down. 

‘Rudger is Amanda’s best friend. He doesn’t exist, but nobody’s perfect.
Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend – until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda’s door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he’s sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn’t there survive without a friend to dream him up?’
I thought this book was fantastic- I liked the way Amanda created whole new world’s with her imagination and how this was her huge strength in the end. I loved the loyalty that Rudger shows to Amanda and how even though you grow up and out of imaginary friends you can still see them again when you really need to if you try hard enough. I loved the idea that when a child doesn’t need their imaginary any more there is somewhere for them to go until someone does need them.
The illustrations in The Imaginary were beautiful, really descriptive and are worth a good look on their own, I kept turning back to look at them in between reading the story. I liked the way the words on the page also reflected the story – such as when there was a power cut and the words were in white written on a black page so you felt like you were there in the power cut.
The story was really quite scary in places and kept your attention as you wanted to know what happened next and the ending was really dramatic. I think this is definitely one of the best books I have read this year and would really recommend it to anyone age 7+ up to any age at all – my Mum really enjoyed it too so I think it would appeal to nearly everyone who enjoys a good book.
 I just wish I had an imaginary friend now!

You can order The Imaginary here

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The most awesome and disgusting book EVER!

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Eye Popping Oddities 2016- 

The most awesome and disgusting book ever!!!

I have recently been sent a copy of Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! and it is quite possibly the best book ever.
I have never read their books before but I love this. The front cover is amazing- it has eyeballs and because it is 3D they actually follow you around the room.

There are loads and loads of little stories and facts throughout the book and they are so interesting. Some of them are really freaky though and make you squeeze you eyes closed and say ewww and I am really liking finding lots of stories about snakes to show my Mum who hates them!
I took this book to a family get together at the weekend and everybody had a read and all the people I showed found something that they wanted to read out loud to everybody else so I think this book is perfect for all ages.
I would say this would be a fantastic Christmas present or even just a treat for anyone age 6 upwards who enjoys reading about unusual things and I am definitely going to be going back to this book time and time again.

A note from Mum- 

At an RRP of £20.00 this is quite a pricey read, however, having watched Luke read it nearly constantly over the weekend I would actually say it is well worth the money! 
With just the right amount of ‘disgusting-ness’ this book is perfect for children of all ages from age 5-6 upwards. If the yucky bits aren’t your thing there are also plenty of other just plain amazing facts too. The bite size snippets of stories make this book perfect for both reluctant readers as well as the more confident. 

I can see this book being dipped in and out of for years to come.

If you would like to order a copy of this book, which we feel will make fantastic reading for all the family it can be found here on Amazon and at the time of writing was listed at a much lower than retail price.



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Danger Is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog

A Review of Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog         by David O’Doherty and Chris Judge and a chance to win a copy

We have been sent some amazing books to review recently and I was thrilled to receive a copy of Danger is Still Everywhere: Beware of the Dog.

‘Docter Noel is facing his most terrifying situation EVER – a little dog called napkin has come to stay. That may not sound particularly dangerous but every POD (Pupil of Dangerology) knows the only safe pet is a pet rock. So now Docter Noel is stuck in a wardrobe while Napkin wrecks havoc around the Dangerzone. And all the while Docter Noel is supposed to be writing his new VERY IMPORTANT handbook on Dangerology (Level 2). 

That is until the Pet of the Year competition is announced and Docter Noel hatches a plan to impress his neighbour Gretel. There’s only one problem. Serial safety-flouter Max Wurst us the judge…

For Docter Noel, it’s never been clearer that danger is still everywhere.’

I LOVED this book. I hadn’t read the first handbook but it didn’t matter I was still able to get straight into this second book- it was really funny and very silly and really made me laugh.

I thought the quiz was awesome and the pictures were fantastic. I would definitely give this book a score of 10/10 and would recommend it to any Dangerologist age 7+. Even if they were a grown up.

I am definitely adding the first Danger is Everywhere book to my ‘must read’ list!

We are delighted to be able to offer one lucky entrant the chance to win a copy of this must have handbook for themselves.

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