Pages

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Childrens Book Review in The South Wales Evening Post March 26th -27th for The Easter Weekend

Find my Childrens Book Review Column in The South Wales Evening Post this Easter weekend March 26th-27th. My picks including a breathtaking finale to a riveting fantasy series, a picture book explaining Aspergers, Enid Blyton for young readers and a mad ostrich that will have you in stitches. Perfect reading for the holidays!!



BOOK OF THE WEEK


HALF LOST BY SALLY GREEN
TEEN FICTION 13+
A thrilling conclusion to this epic trilogy won't disappoint its legion of fans. Nathan a witch with enormous powers is on the run. Traumatised by the horrendous acts he has been forced to commit and faced with a battle to save his kind will it make or break him? Friendship, treachery, magic and adventure against the backdrop of a brutal war, this has it all. The heart stopping climax will stun you. Spellbinding.
ISBN: 9780141350905 PB Penguin Books £7.99
5/5 Stars



ISAAC AND HIS AMAZING ASPERGER SUPERPOWERS! BY MELANIE WALSH
PICTURE BOOK 3+
A great introduction to explaining Aspergers to very young children. Isaac feels he has superhero strengths and he shows us how he's sees the world in a different way. The story makes the subject more accessible and encourages readers to have a greater understanding. The superhero guise makes the uninformed appreciate the strengths and the struggles of those who have this condition. Great for teachers as well.
ISBN: 9781406344455 HB Walker Books Ltd £11.99
5/5 Star



ADVENTURES ON THE WAY HOME BY ENID BLYTON
CHILDRENS 5+
One of a series of short tales from one of my childhood favourite authors. Suitable for early readers made especially attractive with colourful illustrations by the talented Tony Ross and easily digestible short chapters. The classic tale of a group of friends and their dog finding adventure has universal appeal to boys and girls. A fight has broken out but how can they stop it? All is not what it seems!
ISBN 9781444927641Hodder Childrens £5.99
4/5 Stars



THE OSTRICH OF PUDDING LANE BY JEREMY STRONG
CHILDRENS 7+
An hilarious collection of three stories about the misadventures of Mad Iris, the school mascot, who happens to be a very naughty ostrich. Can he save the school from the nasty inspector and sort out over zealous parents? Punctured with zany illustrations to add to the slapstick comedy this is a great holiday read accessible to all reading levels. If that wasn't enough you can find jokes and other fun activities at the back.
ISBN 9781781125526 Barrington Stoke £5.99
5/5 Stars


Saturday, 19 March 2016

Childrens books for Easter and the Easter holidays featured in South Wales Evening Post March 19th

This week I picked some great childrens books for Easter and the holidays. An introduction to the true meaning of Easter, some naughty rabbits and two great activity books for rainy days including finger painting and origami. 



BOOK OF THE WEEK

WARNING! THIS BOOK MAY CONTAIN RABBITS! BY TIM WARNES
CHILDRENS 3+
When Mole and Lumpy Bumpy Thing find a hat that says ' Do Not Touch', the temptation is too great to do just the opposite! Soon, by magic rabbits appear out of the hat and before long there are far too many. Full to the brim of subtle ways to introduce numbers, expand vocabulary and help with reading in a really fun way this story will entertain as well as inform.


ISBN 978184692022 PB Little Tiger Press £6.99
5/5 Stars




THE EASTER STORY RETOLD BY RUSSELL PUNTER
PICTURE BOOK 4+
A lovely and sensitive introduction of the Easter story for young readers which explains why we celebrate at this time. Simply told with clear and colourful illustrations, the picture book really brings this retelling to life. Best read with an adult who can navigate any questions children will begin to understand Jesus' final journey and the true meaning of Easter.
ISBN 9781474918510 PB Usborne Publishing £4.99
5/5 Stars




FINGERPRINT ACTIVITES ANIMALS BY FIONA WATT
CHILDRENS 6+

Perfect for the Easter holidays and an alternative present to chocolate eggs this is a great activity book for those who like to get their hands mucky. Non toxic paints, clear instructions and vibrant fun scenes to create and paint anything from crocodiles to hedgehogs. By just using their fingers instead of a paintbrush children will have enormous fun painting as well as inspiring their imagination. Also will keep them occupied on the inevitable rainy days!

ISBN 9781474914338 HB Usborne Publishing £9.99
5/5 Stars





ZEN DOODLE ORIGAMI BY CAROLYN SCRACE
CHILDRENS 9+


Creative and therapeutic, this is the new mindfulness craze that could take over from colouring! Suitable for all ages explore the secrets of transforming a single piece of paper into an animal or decoration. Easy to follow with 20 sheets of Origami paper to colour and lose yourself into your creativity and create worlds of art following a thousand year old tradition that requires patience and diligence. From birds, boxes to butterflies feel the satisfaction of creating a unique piece of art which you embellish to your own taste. Captivating
ISBN 9781910706411 PB Salariya Book Company £ 9.99

4 /5 Stars

Saturday, 12 March 2016

MY CHILDRENS BOOK COLUMN FOR THE SOUTH WALES EVENING POST MARCH 12TH

My books in the South Wales Evening Post for March 12th feature lovely childrens books for animal lovers including  cats and  puffins, family drama and different perspectives. 


BOOK OF THE WEEK



THE HOME-MADE CAT CAFE BY KATRINA CHARMAN
CHILDRENS 7+
The “purfffect” start to a new series for animal lovers. Isla desperately wants a cat but her Mum, a vet, is reticent. Poppy, an adorable homeless cat, changes her mind and the family's lives. Their home becomes a cat sanctuary and cafe, giving them all a purpose and helping forge stronger family ties. Will the new business be a catastrophe or can they all work together? Charmingly illustrated throughout this is great for young confident readers.

ISBN 9781847156723 PB Stripes Publishing £5.99
5/5 Stars


NEAR, FAR BY SILVIA BORANDO
PICTURE BOOK 2+
Bold and bright, this is a terrific book for activities either at home or in the classroom. Things can look different extremely close up or very far away. The children will have a huge amount of fun guessing what the animals are as they can only see a small section as if under the microscope. There isn't any text so it will certainly inspire the imagination and give room for a lot of hilarity and thought.
  • ISBN: 9781406363180 HB Walker Books Ltd £8.99
    5/5 STARS

THE STORMY DAY BY JENNY COLGAN, ILLUSTRATED BY THOMAS DOCHERTY
CHILDRENS 6+
Polly's Dad is a fisherman caught in a storm. Can Polly keep herself busy while waiting for him with her Mum. Will her friend,Neil the Puffin, be able to help? A heart warming insightful tale followed by fun facts about lighthouses, puzzles and recipes at the back of the book. The striking two colour illustrations by local award winning illustrator Thomas Docherty just add to the pleasure for Colgan fans young and old.
  • ISBN: 9780349131924 PB  Little Brown Books £5.99
5/5 Stars



WHITE LIES, BLACK DARE BY JOANNA NADIN

CHILDRENS 11+
Asha's life has been turned upside down. Her lawyer Mum has cancer and she has to leave her private school for a tough local. To what lengths will Asha go to fit in? As she finds out, “telling lies can ruin lives. But telling the truth’s no easy ride.” Dealing with peer pressure, family crisis and standing up for yourself this book will resonate with many readers as it builds up to its tense climax.

ISBN: 978034912453 PB Little, Brown Books £6.99
4/5 stars




SOUTH WALES EVENING POST CHILDRENS BOOK REVIEW MARCH 5TH

Celebrating World Book Day my childrens book column features a friendly alien, a sleepy bear, a magic umbrella and a warrior princess

BOOK OF THE WEEK

PERIJEE AND ME BY ROSS MONTGOMERY
CHILDRENS 9+
A sci fi fantasy that is as poignant as it is funny. Caitlin's only friend happens to be an alien. But he's growing too big to hide and is a danger to himself and others. Can she save her friend while her family falls apart? Full of adventure, laughter and sure to make bobble hats the new must have! With a nod to Iron Man by Ted Hughes this is a story about bravery, friendship and family.
    ISBN: 9780571317950 PB Faber & Faber £6.99
    5/5 stars




DOZY BEAR AND THE SECRET OF SLEEP BY KATIE BLACKBURN
PICTURE BOOK 3+
This has the potential to be a real life saver for fraught parents who can’t get their children to sleep. Using known relaxation techniques combined with rhythmic text and twilight themed illustrations its the perfect bedtime story. Dozy Bear can't sleep but with the help of his parents and grand parents he slowly starts to drift off. Be warned this may have such a soporific effect it could also work on the reader as well!
  • ISBN: 9780571330195 PB Faber & Faber £6.99
    4/5 stars


HARPER AND THE SCARLET UMBRELLA BY CERRIE BURNELL
CHILDRENS 7+
An entrancing tale of a little girl called Harper who, “heard songs on the wind, rhythms on the rain and hope in the beat of a butterfly’s wing.” While looking for her cat with the aid of her magic umbrella she finds adventure and a mysterious orchestra. A gift of a book about cats, friendship and music. Don't forget to grab Harper and the Sea of Secrets for £1 on March 3rd, World Book Day
    ISBN: 9781407162171 PB Scholastic £6.99

5/5 stars


QUEEN OF THE SILVER ARROW BY CAROLINE LAWRENCE
YOUNG ADULT FICTION 12+
A retelling of a young girl Camilla who became a warrior princess while fighting the Trojans. The author of the hugely successful Roman Mysteries takes her inspiration this time from Virgil's Aeneid. Friendship, loyalty and girl power are all tested in a brutal war that really packs an emotional punch. The eloquent writing makes it great for struggling and dyslexic readers but also the story will appeal to fans of Katniss, Celaena and mythology loverogs.
ISBN: 9781781125267 PB Barrington Stoke Ltd £6.99

  • 5/5 stars

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

My Top Ten Perfect Childrens Books for Mothers Day

Some lovely children's books for Mothers Day that can be shared between Mother and Child from a baby up.


1. I LOVE MY MUMMY : A BLOSSOMING BOOK OF GIVING BY JONATHAN LITTON AND FHIONA GALLOWAY
PICTURE BOOK 0+
The perfect little board book to give on Mothers Day to keep busy hands occupied. Bold illustrations, cutouts and finger holes will endure and fascinate the most energetic of children while Mum is enjoying her special day. The colourful cast of cute characters all want to find ways to say thankyou to their special Mum. The rhyming text will make sure this has a captive audience while parents enjoy a rare quiet moment.
  • ISBN: 9781848691773 HB Little Tiger Press Group £5.99
  • 4/5 Stars



2.GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU BY SAM MCBRATNEY
PICTURE BOOK 2+
This timeless classic recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary and has delighted generation after generation. The large format board book makes its sturdy enough to be passed down from little hands to little hands. Little and Big Nutbrown Hare love each other very much but how do they let each other know? Anita Jeram's enchanting illustrations capture the story's sentiment perfectly and makes it a lovely book to gift on International Book Giving Day on February 14th
ISBN: 9781406358780 HB Walker Books Ltd £ 6.99
5/5 Stars


3. SPOT LOVES HIS MUM BY ERIC HILL
PICTURE BOOK 2+
The perfect present for your little loved ones. This sturdy heart shaped board book is a playful addition to the popular series about everyone's favourite puppy. Spot loves spending time with his mum, Sally. Each spread shows Sally and Spot having fun together in this brightly coloured board book.
:ISBN: 9780723257479 Penguin Books Ltd £4.99
4/5 Stars

4. I LOVE YOU MORE AND MORE BY NICKY BENSON & ILLUSTRATED BY JONNY LAMBERT
PICTURE BOOK 2+
A gorgeously illustrated celebration of the eternal love and bond between a parent and child. Simple lyrical rhyming text set in a twilight world as a bear takes his cub on a journey of discovery through dense woodland, blue mountains and sparkling rivers. This makes a beautiful gift for the very young or new parent. Ideal for fans of Guess How Much I Love You.
ISBN:9781848692114 HB Little Tiger Press £10.99
5/5 Stars



5. DO YOU REMEMBER? BY HELEN DOCHERTY

PICTURE BOOK 3+

A wonderful book that will spark special memories between parent and child. Enhanced with endearing illustrations by Mark Beech this would make a lovely birthday or Mothers Day gift. With its universal message, there's no such word as can't, it will really help overcome struggles to learn new skills. Whether it's the first time talking, walking or dressing this is a delightful way to start discussion about a young ones achievements and build their confidence.
ISBN: 9780571321148 PB  Faber & Faber £6.99
5/5 STARS

6. LITTLE WHY BY JONNY LAMBERT
PICTURE BOOK 3+
I adore Little Why with his fearless spirit and boundless curiosity as he discovers the world around him. Lambert has imbued this adorable baby elephant with real character. It also carries two great messages throughout. One is to be happy in your own skin as the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Also why its dangerous to wander off on your own especially with crocodiles about!
    ISBN: 9781848691834 PB Little Tiger Press Group £6.99
5/5 Stars

7. LITTLE ONE BY JO WEAVER
PICTURE BOOK 3+
A touching story of discovery shown through changing seasons. Soft charcoal illustrations perfectly capture a mummy bear as she introduces her cub to life in the wild. The simple text gives room for the reader to elaborate on the story and add their own observations. The panoramic scenes really give a sense of the true vastness of nature and a sense of our smallness which little ones will relate to.
ISBN: 9781444922738 HB  Hodder Childrens £11.99
5/5 Stars


8. A Great Big Cuddle by Michael Rosen Illustrated by Chris Riddell
CHILDRENS 5+
Two giants of children’s literature have joined forces to create a magical anthology of poetry for the very young. In a perfect introduction to poetry Rosen starts with a cornucopia of tongue twisters and nonsense rhymes and ends with soothing verses to send even the most energetic child off to sleep. Paired with Riddell's bold and beautiful illustrations you will have lots of fun reading this out loud. A great present for all occasions.
  • ISBN:9781406343199 Walker Books HB £14.99
  • 5/5 Stars



9. CHILDRENS COOKIE AND CAKE BAKING KIT BY ABIGAIL WHEATLEY
CHILDRENS 5+
This wonderful cooking kit will encourage absolute beginners to bake yummy cookies and biscuits. Everything you need is here including 25 simple to follow recipes, cookie cutters and a rolling pin. You can keep everything in a pretty gift box and is a lovely introduction to cooking that can be done with mum (or dad!) with something to nibble at the end from gingerbreads to heart biscuits. Delicious 
ISBN: 9781409598763 HB Usborne Publishing Ltd £ 14.99 
5/5 stars



10.LITTLE WOMEN BY L.M. ALCOTT
CHILDRENS 8+ 
This inspirational colour illustrated American classic makes a lovely gift between mothers and daughters. Set against the American Civil War Marmee and her five daughters resiliently struggle with poverty, first love and following their dreams. In an age where women's options were limited this heart warming tale really shows women in all their strengths. Jo, the aspiring writer has always been one of my favourite fictional characters as well as her Professor Bear!
    ISBN: 9781409581987 HB Usborne Publishing Ltd £12.99
5/5 Stars