Book Review: Hortense and the Shadow (Natalia O’Hara, Lauren O’Hara)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Puffin

Pages: 32

Release Date: October 5th 2017

Summary:

Hortense is a kind and brave girl, but she is sad–even angry–that her shadow follows her everywhere she goes. She hates her shadow, and thinks her shadow must hate her too. But one cold, dark night, when bandits surprise her in the woods, Hortense discovers that her shadow is the very thing she needs most.

Continue reading “Book Review: Hortense and the Shadow (Natalia O’Hara, Lauren O’Hara)”

Interview and Book Review: The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat (Coral Rumble and Charlotte Cooke)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Wacky Bee Books

Pages: 32

Release Date: April 4th 2017

Summary:

Two children and their imaginations set sail from their living room on a voyage around the world! Read along as they spy an extraordinary array of characters doing even more extraordinary things…? With bright, fresh illustrations and a playful style, this rhyming book, based on the classic Edward Lear poem The Owl and the Pussycat, is a wonderfully quirky adventure.

Review:

This is a fun and inventive take on the popular nonsense poem The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear. I love that it’s written and illustrated by a mother and daughter team – it’s so cool to do things like that in a family!

I read this with Little Moore as soon as it came through the door, and he’s had it before bed several times too. The gentle rhyming and pastel colour scheme mean it works great as a bedtime book.

In this book, the owl and pussycat are two dressed up children who are having an imaginative playtime with a cardboard box. They meet lots of colourful and quirky characters on their journey and Little Moore loved pointing at all the different creatures. It’s a fun one to read aloud and I’m sure it’ll become a favourite with Little Moore as he grows older.

The illustrations are really beautiful and perfectly capture the words of the story and bring it to life. I loved the colour scheme – it’s different to a lot of the more cartoony coloured books on his shelves and that makes this one stand out.

This is a really great addition to Little Moore’s shelves and I hope you’ll check it out!

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Interview

I’m super excited to have author of The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat on the blog today for an interview. Welcome Coral!

  1. What made you want to write a book based on The Owl & The Pussycat?

Charlotte – my daughter and the illustrator of Owl and Pussycat – suggested it as she loves the poem.

  1. Are you a big fan of the poem?

I love the poem, too, and have done since childhood. It creates wonderful and wacky images, and has an enchanting musicality.

  1. Are there any other nonsense poems you’re particularly fond of?

The Jumblies is my all time favourite.

  1. Would you rather go to sea with an owl or a pussycat?

Great question. I suppose it would depend on whether I wanted the benefit of wisdom or the protection of an expert scrapper!

  1. What would you take to sea with you? Honey? Money? Or something else?

Perhaps it would be good to have a flare gun.

  1. What’s your favourite picture book?

I have many favourites, it’s impossible to choose, but Where the Wild Things Are is glorious!

  1. What’s the hardest thing about writing a picture book?

Getting the unity of vision to work, between writer and illustrator, is the hardest part. It was very easy to work with Charlotte!

And a few quick fire questions to end with:

 

  1. What are you reading now?

The Other Half Lives, by Sophie Hannah

  1. Favourite book as a child?

The Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton

  1. Favourite writing drink/snack?

Chocolate or nuts (or both)

  1. 5 desert island books?

The Bible, of course.

The complete works of Shakespeare, goes without saying.

Far From the Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy – it was my first encounter with romance

The Understudy, David Nichols – makes me laugh out loud

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres – makes me laugh, cry and luxuriate in the wonderful landscape.

  1. Favourite place to read?

In the bath, or on a beach.

  1. Any hidden talents?

I love football, and can still score the odd goal.

  1. What fictional world would you love to live in?

I’d love to be a companion to one of Jane Austen’s heroines. I’m sure it would give me great amusement.

Thanks to Coral for joining me here today! You can find out more about Coral and Charlotte and follow the blog tour below.


About the Author

coralpic

I have worked as a poet and performer for many years and I’m proud to have my work featured in Favourite Poets (Hodder). I have three published poetry collections of my own and have contributed to more than 150 anthologies. I am also one of the writers of the popular Cbeebies programmes ‘Poetry Pie’ and ‘The Rhyme Rocket’. I have given workshops in some fairly unusual venues as well…the grandest of which being Buckingham Palace!

Website: http://www.coralrumble.co.uk/

About the Illustrator

charlottepic

I was thrilled and proud when my picture book The Adventures of the Owl & the Pussycat was highly commended for the Macmillan Children’s Prize in 2010. Since then I have gone on to illustrate many other picture books and I enjoy making the occasional card too. When I’m not in my studio I’m usually outside running or playing referee to my two kids.

Website: http://charlottecookeillustration.blogspot.co.uk/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/charlottecooke

Follow the Tour

owl and pussycat banner5

Monday 1st May

An Awfully Big Adventure

 

Tuesday 2nd May

Emma’s Bookery

 

Wednesday 3rd May

Luna’s Little Library

 

Thursday 4th May

Maia and a Little Moore

Sew Many Books

 

Friday 5th May

Live Otherwise

Library Girl and Book Boy

 

Saturday 6th May

Get Kids into Books

OBC Mini Book Reviewers

 

Sunday 7th May

A Little But A Lot

Varietat

 

Monday 8th May

Mum Friendly

Book Monsters

 

Tuesday 9th May

Tales of Yesterday

Wonderfully Bookish

 

Wednesday 10th May

Sam’s Book Corner

V Family Fun

 

Thursday 11th May

Acorn Books

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

 

Friday 12th May

Big Book Little Book

Fiction Fascination

 

Saturday 13th May

Linda’s Book Bag

Me, Him, The Dog and a Baby

 

Sunday 14th May

Rhino Reads

Readaraptor

 

Book Review: The Giant Jumperee (Julia Donaldson, Helen Oxenbury)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Puffin

Release Date: April 6th 2017

Summary:

Rabbit was hopping home one day when he heard a loud voice coming from inside his burrow.
“I’M THE GIANT JUMPEREE
AND I’M SCARY AS CAN BE!”

When Rabbit’s friends Cat, Bear and Elephant come to help they are each scared away in turn by the mysterious voice.

He can squash you like a flee
He will sting you like a bee
And he’s taller than a tree!

But who is the Giant Jumperee?

Review:

I haven’t done any Little Moore’s Bedtime Reads in a while, mostly because our local library closed down (boooo) and we haven’t had that steady stream if new books. There’s still tons of his that I haven’t reviewed yet though, so I must start up again properly. This one is a review book which I couldn’t resist because it’s Julia Donaldson!

When Rabbit hears a mysterious voice coming from his burrow he enlists all his friends to try and get it out, but they’re all scared away in turn.

I’m a big fan of Julia Donaldson’s books – I wish I’d read them when I was a child, but I’ve had the next best thing, which is reading them to my younger sisters and now my son. She has a way with words and characters that just makes you smile, and this book was no exception.

The illustrations by Helen Oxenbury really bring the story to life. It’s more realistic than cartoony, like you might be used to with Julia Donaldson’s other books, but it’s really beautiful and she captures the expressions of the animals perfectly. (Googling her as I write this and realised she wrote The Dancing Classwhich was one of my favourite books as a child.)

This is a really fun, charming book and one I’m happy to add to Little Moore’s shelves. I hope lots of children will be enjoying this as a bedtime story soon.

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Book Review: Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane (Caroline Baxter)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Big Sunshine Books

Pages: 32

Release Date: March 8th 2017

Summary:

Join Pilot Jane, a fun and fearless airline captain, as she travels the world with her best friend Rose, a high-speed passenger jet. Together Jane and Rose have exciting adventures and form a perfect team, delivering their passengers safely to destinations as far afield as Alaska and Australia. But when disaster strikes and Rose falls ill, Jane is paired with ‘lean, mean flying machine’ Mighty Mitch. Can she still get the Queen to her party on time? Featuring a clever and courageous heroine, this action-packed rhyming story celebrates ‘Girl Power’ and shows what you can achieve if you work together. Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for take-off!

Review:

One of my secret favourite things about having a baby is reading picture books again – I loved them as a child, loved as a teen reading them to my baby sisters, and now I love them as an adult reading them to my own baby. It’s great to revisit all the classics I loved when I was younger and to come across new favourites too.

Pilot Jane has lots of exciting adventures with her pink plane Rose. But on the day of an important flight, Rose is sick and Jane has to team up with Mighty Mitch, a plane who doesn’t think girls make good pilots. But she proves him wrong and they work together to fly safely.

The illustrations in the book are gorgeous. I love Jane – she’s got a beautiful, cheeky little face that just makes me smile and want to like her. Rose is a very pretty plane, though I have to say I wasn’t too keen on her being pink: I was worried it played into the whole ‘girls like pink’ stereotype. I guess you could see it like that, or you can see it as, hey, girls can be awesome pilots and also like pink. Still, the colours are bright and fun enough to hold Little Moore’s attention for a while and I’m sure he’ll appreciate the story when he’s older.

There’s a lovely message of girl power here that I’m happy to read to my son and would love to read to a daughter if I ever have one. It doesn’t fall into the trap of putting boys down to raise girls up either: after working together with Mitch and coming to understand each other they even change their song from ‘Girl power forever‘ to ‘Girl – and boy – power forever‘ which I really appreciated.

This is a fun, colourful story with a great rhyming scheme and an even greater message. It’s definitely one that’ll be going on Little Moore’s shelves for when he’s older.

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About the Author

CB Author pic

Caroline Baxter lives in Oxford with her husband and two young children. From an early age she always had her nose in a book – and now does so for a living! Caroline grew up in South Wales and, after graduating with a BA in English Literature from Cardiff University, held a variety of management roles at UK universities including, most recently, at the University of Oxford. The Bear Cub Bakers, her first book, was written while on maternity leave with her daughter. Her second book,Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane, was published recently on International Women’s Day (8 March 2017). Caroline loves travelling, yoga, baking (and eating) cake, dogs, days out and snuggling up with a good story.

Follow the Tour

Pilot Banner1Monday 13th March

Chouett

Tuesday 14th March

The Writing Garnet

Wednesday 15th March

An Awfully Big Adventure

Thursday 16th March

Linda’s Book Blog

Friday 17th March

Tales of Yesterday

Saturday 18th March

Big Book Little Book

A Daydreamer’s Thoughts

Sunday 19th March

Get Kids Into Books

Nayu’s Reading Corner

Monday 20th March

Emma’s Bookery

Tuesday 21st March

Readaraptor

Wednesday 22nd March

Fiction Fascination

Thursday 23rd March

Wonderfully Bookish

Friday 24th March

A Little But A Lot

Saturday 25th March

Sam’s Book Corner

Chrissi Reads

Sunday 26th March

Minerva Reads

Maia and a Little Moore

Book Review: Dylan the Doctor (Guy Parker Reeves)

* I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review *

Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: August 4th 2016

Summary:

Dylan’s on his way – are you ready to play? DYLAN THE DOCTOR is the first picture book in a series featuring an exuberant stripy dog, who just loves to play. Created by bestselling illustrator Guy Parker-Rees, Dylan is a joyous new character who uses playing and fun to help toddlers explore and understand their world. Today Dylan is playing at being a doctor. He dashes about looking after all of his friends: Purple Puss, Jolly Otter and Titchy Chick. But who will look after poor, tired Doctor Dylan? All his friends, of course! Look out for Dylan’s friend, Dotty Bug, on every page, as she encourages readers to join in with the story.

Review:

I first read this to Little Moore as soon as it popped through our letterbox. He was in a very grumbly mood – possibly teething – but he sat through the whole thing, which I think is a pretty glowing review to start with!

Dylan decides he’s going to be a doctor for the day and helps to tend to his friends various ailments. But looking after everyone takes its toll and Dylan’s friends pull together to look after him too.

I loved the colours in this book. It was really bright, which I think helped keep Little Moore’s attention. I particularly love the design for Dylan, with his almost crayon-like stripy pattern. It’s a great one to read aloud, especially with the ‘Nee-naw’ of the ambulance, which Little Moore loved.

Although I haven’t really used it yet, I loved the idea of Dotty Bug adding extras to the book. She appears on each page and asks little questions to help younger readers join in with the story. I loved this level of interactivity and will definitely use it with Little Moore when he’s older. It’s a great way of involving children and keep them engaged with the story.

This is a charming little story with a great cast of colourful characters, and I’d definitely like to read more of Dylan’s adventures soon!

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About the Author

GUY PARKER-REES

Guy Parker-Rees is one of the UK’s best-loved children’s illustrators. His many successes include GIRAFFES CAN’T DANCE (Orchard) and SPOOKYRUMPUS (Orchard). Guy lives in Brighton.

Website: www.guyparkerrees.com 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Guyguyyug

Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of the blog tour at the following stops

 

DYLAN-BLOG-BANNER-02Monday 15th August

Chouett

Big Book Little Book

Tuesday 16th August

Powered by Reading

Orchard Book Club’s Mini Reviewers

Wednesday 17th August

The Pewter Wolf

Maia and a Little Moore

Thursday 18th August

Linda’s Book Bag

Fiction Fascination

Friday 19th August

Emma’s Bookery

Winged Reviews

Saturday 20th August

Tales of Yesterday

Get Kids into Books

Sunday 21st August

Library Girl and Book Boy

Acorn Books

Blog Tour: The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight (Helen Docherty & Thomas Docherty)

Today on the blog I am hosting a giveaway for The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight blog tour!

Publisher: Scholastic

Release Date: August 4th 2016

Summary:

Leo the mouse isn’t like the other knights. While they like fighting, he’d rather read a book. Leo’s parents are keen to turn him into a proper knight, so they pack him off on a mission to tame a dragon. But Leo knows that books are mightier than swords, and he tames not just the dragon, but a troll and a griffin, too \- by reading them stories. With its witty rhyming text and glorious, detailed illustrations, THE KNIGHT WHO WOULDN’T FIGHT is a joyful, magical picture book about the power of stories.

About the Author and Illustrator

Thomas_Helen_01

Helen Docherty is the author of THE SNATCHABOOK and ABRACAZEBRA. Helen lives in Swansea with her husband, Thomas, and their two daughters

Website: www.helendocherty.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/docherty_helen

Thomas Docherty is the acclaimed illustrator of THE SNATCHABOOK, ABRACAZEBRA and THE SNORGH AND THE SAILOR. He was shortlisted for the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal.

Website: www.thomasdocherty.co.uk

Twitter: www.twitter.com/TDIllustration

Giveaway

Enter here to win a copy of The Knight Who Wouldn’t Fight, plus Snatchabook and Abracazebra, also by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty.

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Blog Tour

You can catch up or follow the rest of the blog tour at the following stops

THEKNIGHT-BLOG-BANNER-02

Monday 1st August

Wonderfully Bookish

The Pewter Wolf

Tuesday 2nd August

Chouett

Library Mice

Wednesday 3rd August

An Awfully Big Adventure

Tales of Yesterday

Thursday 4th August

Powered by Reading

Big Book Little Book

Friday 5th August

Library Girl and Book Boy

Rhino Reads

Saturday 6th August

Linda’s Book Bag

Luna’s Little Library

Sunday 7th August

Emma’s Bookery

Maia and a Little Moore