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Friday, 18 August 2017

CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS IN THE SOUTH WALES EVENING POST AUG 19-20

This week my children's book reviews include a picture book about a child with autism, a picture book remembering sunny days, a big book celebrating cars and an anthology by BAME writers.

All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy



BOOK OF THE WEEK

THROUGH THE EYES OF ME BY JON ROBERTS
PICTURE BOOK 3+
A sensitive and illuminating account of life as a child with autism, inspired by the author's daughter. As we get to know four year old Kya, we discover her likes and dislikes. The story also explains Kya's differences and beautiful quirks. The enchanting and playful pen and wash illustrations, by Hannah Rounding, compliment the eye catching and engaging text. A perfect introduction for children and adults, to help raise awareness and understanding about autism.
ISBN 9781912213009 PB Graffeg £6.99




SUN BY SAM USHER
PICTURE BOOK 3+
The perfect antidote to a rainy Summer. A boy and his granddad set off on a scorching adventure. It's hotter than broccoli soup! Eventually, they find the perfect spot for a picnic but some pirates have beaten them to it. Wondrous, atmospheric illustrations that pulsate with the fiery heat of a summer's day. It also encapsulates the lovely bond between granddad and grandson. Richly told, this will captivate kids imagination. For Quentin Blake fans.
ISBN 9781783707959 PB Templar £6.99



THE STORY OF THE CAR BY GILES CHAPMAN
CHILDREN 8+
A rip roaring ride through the history of the world's most iconic and popular cars of all time. From Benz's first motor wagon to the jet-propelled ThrustSSC. The slick and bold graphics describe the beauty of line and design of the car as it develops over the ages. How they effect our lives, as well as the developments of the car's inner workings. An ideal gift that can be shared by motoring enthusiasts of all ages.
ISBN 9781526360267 HB Wren & Rook £12.99



A CHANGE IS GONNA COME BY VARIOUS
YOUNG ADULT 13+
An anthology featuring BAME writers. A variety of genre's including historical, contemporary, magical realism and dystopia. A rallying call to empower young people to take charge of their future. The stories and poems address the themes of race, mental health and identity. Deeply thought provoking, this is a must for schools and book clubs to raise awareness and discussion. Includes a list of resources to help with the issues raised.
ISBN 9781847158390 PB Stripes £7.99

Saturday, 12 August 2017

CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS IN THE SOUTH WALES EVENING POST AUG 12-13

This week my children's book reviews include an amazon adventure, a jungle sticker book, the return of Fighting Fantasy and an historical tale of freedom.

All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy




BOOK OF THE WEEK


THE EXPLORER BY KATHERINE RUNDELL
CHILDREN 9+
After their plane crashes deep in the Amazon, four children must try and survive. Can they find their way out? Has someone been there before them? A wonderfully exotic adventure that makes you feel you're also in the rainforest with them, discovering little jewels of fascinating facts, along the way. A tale of friendship, bravery and survival, edged with lush illustrations. A story encouraging you to expand your horizons. Favourite quote, “You are right to be afraid. Be brave anyway.”
ISBN 9781408854877 HB Bloomsbury £12.99




STICKER ART JUNGLE BY CRAIG AND KARL
CHILDREN 5+
Create one of eight colourful and stylish sticker-by-number animal portraits with this new series. Guaranteed to keep children entertained during the rainy holidays! Fill the numbered spaces with vivid coloured stickers and watch the animal art materialise. Each animal, such as a tiger, toucan or viper, comes with a fascinating list of facts. In association with the Natural History Museum. Also, available in the series is Ocean, Savannah and Woodland.
ISBN 9781847809452 PB Frances Lincoln £5.99





THE PORT OF PERIL BY IAN LIVINGSTONE
CHILDRENS 8+
Fighting Fantasy celebrates it's 35th anniversary, with the release of a brand new game book. I loved these books as a child and was thrilled to see their return. The reader plays the hero, picking their own route, not knowing where the adventure leads or into what danger. Use your imagination to battle monsters, solve clues and compete with perilous guests. Part story, part game, this is perfect for fantasy lovers.
ISBN 9781407181295 PB Scholastic £6.99




PASSING FOR WHITE BY TANYA LANDMAN
YOUNG ADULT (READING AGE OF 8+)
It's 1848 in America's Deep South. Slave girl Rosa, is pale-skinned enough to 'pass for white'. For a chance of freedom, she poses as a white gentleman and her husband's master and both attempt a daring escape. This courageous tale is inspired by the real life odyssey of Ellen and William Craft. Also suitable for dyslexic and reluctant readers, with short chapters, distinctive font and clear language. A thought provoking and empathetic read great for historical discussion.
ISBN 9781781126813 Barrington Stoke PB £6.99




Saturday, 22 July 2017

CHILDREN'S BOOK REVIEWS IN THE SOUTH WALES EVENING POST JULY 22-23

This week my children's book reviews include a spellbinding young adult fantasy, a ladybird in search of spots, a nostalgic look at A Midsummer Night's Dream and a contemporary romance for the holidays.

All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy



BOOK OF THE WEEK

THE HAWKWEED LEGACY BY IRENA BRIGNULL
YOUNG ADULT 12+
A bewitching tale of two girls, one boy and an ancient prophecy. Poppy and Ember are bound together by a ravens spell and a battle to become the Queen of the Witches. In the sequel to the Hawkweed Prophecy, will Poppy fulfil her destiny to succeed the throne? Or will her enemies come back from the dead? This beguiling magical tale and its strong female leads, full of betrayal, sorcery and friendship, is spellbinding.
ISBN 9781408341896 PB Orchard Books £7.99



LUCY LADYBIRD BY SHARON KING-CHAI
PICTURE 3+
Lucy ladybird has no spots! To try and fit in she collects different coloured spots from other animals. Her new spots are so pretty and unusual the other ladybirds want to be just like her. Bold and beautiful illustrations take us through the seasons, with a rainbow of colour and has a BIG fold out surprise at the end to captivate children. Shows that enhancing your individuality is a good thing. A joyful read.
ISBN 9781783703920 PB Templar £6.99



TITANIA AND OBERON BY JO MANTON & ILLUSTRATED BY PHYLLIS BRAY
CHILDREN 6+
A glorious hardback reissue of a classic tale, originally published in 1945. Written by Jo Manton, in a mix of prose interspersed with Shakespeare's original verse, this is the perfect introduction to A Midsummer Night's Dream. The ethereal, full colour illustrations, perfectly capture the magic and mystery of the story, with an abundance of fairies, flora and fauna on every page. A stunning gift for all ages.
ISBN 9781843653295 HB Pavilion £12.99




THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED BY BECKY ALBERTALLI
YOUNG ADULT 12+
Molly knows all about unrequited love, despite her twin, Cassie, encouraging her to be more confident. Cassie, even tries to set her up with her girlfriend's cute best friend,Will. He'd be a perfect first boyfriend, wouldn't he? So why can't Molly stop thinking about her co worker, Reid, an awkward Tolkien super fan? A coming of age romance about first love, dealing with changing friendships and growing up. Perfect for fans of Rainbow Rowell and John Green.
ISBN 97801413561122 PB Penguin £7.99

Saturday, 15 July 2017

SOUTH WALES EVENING POST CHILDRENS BOOK REVIEWS JULY 15-16

This week my childrens book reviews include  a perfect holiday book of things to do outdoors, a magical celebration of the series, 'That's Not My..., an exploration of famous cities and a heart-warming tale of brotherly love. 

All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy

BOOK OF THE WEEK



THE ANTI-BOREDOM BOOK OF BRILLIANT OUTDOOR THINGS TO DO BY ANDY SEED
CHILDRENS 7+
This brilliant book is packed full of fantastic activities, fun games, hilarious facts, laugh out loud jokes and much more. It doesn't matter if it's sunny, raining, or you're in the garden or on the beach, you will find something thing to do. Find out how to set bug traps, create a rainbow or make sand and stone art. Perfect to encourage kids to go outside for the Summer holidays.
ISBN 9781408870099 PB Bloomsbury PB £5.99



THAT'S NOT MY UNICORN BY FIONA WATT & RACHEL WELLS
PICTURE BOOK 2+
The 50th title in the international best selling series, 'That's Not My..' This silver edged board book, perfect for little hands, will delight babies and toddlers. The bright rainbow coloured pages feature a beautiful unicorn and his friend, a little mouse. Stroke the unicorn's soft mane and ears or touch his sparkly wings and unicorn horn. This tactile book helps sensory and language awareness with its repetitive words and different textures. Also adorably cute!
ISBN 97811474935975 HB Usborne £6.99




IN FOCUS: CITIES BY LIBBY WALDEN
CHILDREN 7+
Ten illustrator's explore ten unique cities. It delves into the cultural, social and historical identities of these world famous metropolis. In this supersized book you can lift the giant flaps to discover trivia and amazing facts. London is the most haunted city in the world. Moscow is home to the world's largest bell and Sydney, the most toxic spider. Paris has more dogs than people. From London to Tokyo, find your favourite city and explore!
ISBN 9781848575912 HB 360 Degrees £15.99




THE NEAREST FAR AWAY PLACE BY HAYLEY LONG
YOUNG ADULT 13+
Two orphaned brothers must leave America to live with their aunt and uncle in Wales. A thought provoking, sensitive tale of the different stages of grief and healing. You're really rooting for the endearing siblings as they try and help each other. I also loved the cultural contrast between living in America and Wales. Flavoured with Dylan Thomas references and quotes, this is a poignant, heart-warming tale of brotherly love.
ISBN 9781471406263 PB Hot Key £6.99


Friday, 7 July 2017

CHILDRENS BOOK REVIEW IN THE SOUTH WALES EVENING POST JULY 8-9

This week my children book reviews include  a giraffe who wants to read, an imaginative spin on Little Red Riding Hood, a naughty but very funny monkey and a magical romance for the holidays.

All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy!



BOOK OF THE WEEK


PAWS OFF MY BOOK BY FABI SANTIAGO
PICTURE BOOK 3+
Olaf the giraffe is really excited when he finds a book. But his pleasure turns to frustration when his friends keep advising him how to read it! Stand on one leg like a flamingo? Hang upside down like a monkey? A charming story of finding your own way. The joyfully, florescent illustrations from the talented illustrator of the magnificent Tiger in a Tutu, really add to the fun. Booklicious!
ISBN 9781407171487 PB Scholastic £6.99





LITTLE RED BY DAVID ROBERTS & LYNN ROBERTS-MALONEY
PICTURE BOOK 4+
An imaginative spin on a classic fairy tale. The story of a boy, a grandmother, a Big Bad Wolf and a keg of ginger beer! Thomas is known as Little Red. When he visits his Grandma she doesn't seem quite herself. Can he save her and himself? The watercolour illustrations are set in the eighteenth century with big wigs and satin dresses. It also has a Tim Burtonesque feel that will delight children and grown ups.
ISBN 9781843653288 PB Pavilion £6.99




THIMBLE MONKEY SUPERSTAR BY JON BLAKE
CHILDREN 7+
When Jams and his family are tricked into looking after a monkey called Thimble, all hell breaks loose. But when Jams is in mortal danger, there is only one monkey who can save the day! An absolutely hilarious story, which has deservedly been shortlisted for the Lollies, Laugh Out Loud Book Awards. This is an imaginative tale,with sharp one liners and a truly batty adventure which is still making me giggle! #votethimble
ISBN 9781910080344 PB Firefly Press £5.99




MISS MATCH BY CRYSTAL CESTARI
CHILDREN 12+
Amber has a gift. She can see someone's soul mate after five seconds of eye contact. This is rather awkward when she falls for the cutest boy in the school but her gift doesn't agree. Will she go against fate and let herself fall for someone who she shouldn't be with? Get swept away by an enchanting clean teen romance this summer. Fans of Geek girl and Girl Online will love this magically messed up romance.
ISBN 9781784299163 PB Quercus £7.99

Saturday, 1 July 2017

SOUTH WALES EVENING POST CHILDRENS BOOK REVIEW JULY 1-2

This week my children book reviews include the long awaited return of Dragon Rider, a picture book about a naughty bug, books perfect for little explorers and a mystery to be solved by an intrepid lady's maid .

All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy!



BOOK OF THE WEEK



THE GRIFFIN'S FEATHER BY CORNELIA FUNKE
CHILDREN 8+
A roaring return to the best selling world of Dragon Rider. The last of the winged horses face extinction. Only a griffin's feather will save them. Ben and his dragon, Firedrake volunteer to make the perilous journey to find a feather but Griffin's are a dragon's fiercest enemy. Can they save them? In a vividly portrayed world, richly illustrated throughout, their quest will thrill all middle grade readers. For fans of C.S. Lewis and Harry Potter.
ISBN 9781911077886 PB Chicken House £6.99





BUG BEAR BY PATRICIA HEGARTY
PICTURE BOOK 3+
A small stripy bug wants a warm place to stay. Look out bear, he might ruin your day! Hilarious tale about an uninvited guest who takes a shine to bear's warm, thick fur. The little bug's constant buzzing is distrupting bears day, he can't sleep or relax. Can he find the annoying bug a new home? Funny, rhyming text with bold, expressive illustrations. Great fun for reading out loud.
ISBN 9781848694514 HB Little Tiger £10.99




COMPLETE NIGHT EXPLORER'S KIT BY ROBYN SWIFT
CHILDRENS 6+
Become a night time nature explorer with this fantastic backpack, containing a book; a torch, constellation guide and glow in the dark stickers. Identify nocturnal insects, animals, birds and stars. A great excuse for parents to detach themselves from their phones and get the kids out, connecting with nature. Also available in the series is, Go Wild in the Woods. In association with The National Trust, packed full of activities and facts, it's perfect for little adventurers.
ISBN 9781788000215 PB Nosy Crow £12.99




THE LAST DUCHESS BY LAURA POWELL
CHILDRENS 8+
When thirteen year old Pattern, a lady's maid, is sent to work for royalty, mystery and welsh dragons await. Is the Duchess imagining plots against her or is there something more sinister afoot? A vivid, action packed mystery brimming with nail biting twists. Full of friendship and loyalty with an intrepid heroine at it's heart. Laced with silhouetted illustrations by Sarah Gibb, this is perfect for fans of Robin Stevens and Katherine Woodfine.
ISBN 9781509808908 PB Macmillan £6.99

Friday, 23 June 2017

CHILDRENS BOOK REVIEW IN THE SOUTH WALES EVENING POST JUNE 24TH-25TH

This week my children book reviews include a Dickensian thriller based in Cardiff, a baby book about breast feeding, a magical fantasy and a romantic summer read perfect for the holidays.

All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy!



BOOK OF THE WEEK


GASLIGHT BY ELOISE WILLIAMS
CHILDREN 9+
Set in Victorian Cardiff, fourteen year old Nansi is found alone in the docks. Why has her mother disappeared? Working in a theatre, Nansi is forced to join a crooked psychic act. Does the theatre owner know what happened to her mother? A deliciously dark, historical thriller that is evocative and intriguing. Wonderfully atmospheric with a determined feisty heroine and a menacing villain who has a distinctive Dickensian flavour. A great gift and perfect for book group discussion.
ISBN 9781910080542 PB Firefly Press £6.99






WHAT DOES BABY WANT? BY TUPERA TUPERA
PICTURE BOOK 0-2 YRS
This entertaining little board book is a light hearted and extremely funny story about breast feeding. It portrays a scenario every parent will recognise. A hungry baby who will not be soothed by his toy bear, ball or tambourine. Only his mothers milk will do! Baby's face and different moods fill the circular pages including happy, sad, angry and content. Highly appealing and playful, this will certainly add a smile. A great little gift for baby showers!
ISBN 9780714874074 HB Phaidon £8.95





MOONLOCKET BY PETER BUNZL
CHILDRENS 9+
The adventure continues for Lily, Robert and Malkin, their mechanical fox. Unwittingly caught up in a search for missing treasure, the moonlocket, they find themselves in the path of danger. Will they outwit criminal mastermind Jack Door? This brilliant sequel to Cogheart is full of daring, danger and family secrets in a richly imagined world that will sweep you away. A fantasy series that is magical, mysterious and mesmerising.
ISBN 9781474915014 PB Usborne £6.99






A GIRLS GUIDE TO SUMMER BY SARAH MLYNOWSKI
YOUNG ADULT 12+
Sydney and her best friend Leela are escaping to Europe for a month. No boys or family drama. What could possibly go wrong? It doesn't start well when Leela's ex boyfriend turns up. Back packing through London, Italy and everywhere in between these friends have a blast and take the reader along for the ride. This is a fun, light hearted read perfect for the Summer holidays. Suitable for fans of E. Lockhart and Holly Smale.

ISBN 9781408343869 PB Orchard Books £7.99



Saturday, 17 June 2017

FATHERS DAY CHILDRENS BOOK COLUMN SOUTH WALES EVENING POST JUNE 17-18

This week my pick of children's book include two picture books perfect for Fathers Day this Sunday. Also an educational activity book about sea creatures and a young adult historical romance set in World War Two.

All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy!


BOOK OF THE WEEK


ME AND MY DAD BY ROBIN SHAW
PICTURE BOOK 3+
A young girl goes on a walk with her dad. She discovers castles, crocodiles and dinosaurs but the best surprise is at the end. A joyful celebration of the bond between Father and child and the power of the imagination. The illustrations are to be savoured, poured over and shared. The first children's book from the animator of Snowman and Snow Dog, this will transport, inspire and melt hearts. Perfect for Fathers Day.
ISBN 9781444928112 HB Hodder Books £12.99




I LOVE MY GRANDAD BY GILES ANDREAE & EMMA DODD
PICTURE BOOK 2+
Special Grandad's should always be remembered on Fathers Day. Feel the joy and fun of spending the day with Grandad. Whether its playing games, solving problems or going on adventures, they are a treasure trove of information and ideas. Bold cheerful illustrations perfectly capture the loving relationship between the generations. A great gift to share.
ISBN 9781408338179 PB Orchard Books £6.99



SHARKS AND OTHER SEA CREATURES BY DORLING KINDERSLEY
CHILDREN 4+
Want to explore the ocean? Find out about super sharks, pretty parrot fish, and all their friends? This is a blend of educational content and simple creative fun. Why not paint a puffer fish, make your own jellyfish or create an ocean in an egg box! Imaginative and informative this is wonderful to engage young minds with fun projects and facts. Also in the series are farm animals, bugs and forest life. Perfect for the holidays.
ISBN 9780241274385 HB Dorling Kindersley £7.99




A BERLIN LOVE SONG BY SARAH MATTHIAS
YOUNG ADULT 13+
Set against the backdrop of World War Two, seventeen year old,German schoolboy, Max falls in love with Lili, a Romani trapeze artist from a travelling circus. Will their forbidden love survive when he is conscripted into the SS? A beautiful, heartbreaking romance that shines a light on the Romani Holocaust. A powerful, bitter sweet, insightful novel that will stay with you long after you finish it. Great for discussion in teenage and adult book clubs.
ISBN 9781909991408 PB Troika Books £7.99



Friday, 9 June 2017

CHILDRENS BOOK REVIEWS THE SOUTH WALES EVENING POST JUNE 10-11

This week my pick of children's book include two picture books perfect for Fathers Day next Sunday. Also two middle grade fiction books, one magical adventure set in Edwardian Hove and a heart warming quest about diversity and acceptance . All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy!




BOOK OF THE WEEK


YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA BY JIMMY FALLON
PICTURE BOOK 2+
Your baby's first word will be DADA! Right? Everyone knows that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies first word is DADA but does it work? A witty picture book from one of America's top entertainers shows Dads how to do it. Fiendishly simple and cheeky Dad's will love reading it with their children on Fathers Day next Sunday. The naughty illustrations by Miguel Ordonez just add to the fun.
ISBN 9781444931440 PB Hodder Books £6.99




JUST LIKE DADDY BY LUCY FREEGARD
PICTURE BOOK 3+
Daddy deals with scary monsters, plays silly games and puts on funny voices for bedtime stories. An endearing playful tale for children who want to be just like their dads. Adorable watercolour and ink illustrations really capture their close relationship. It shows a child's love and close bond that makes it the perfect gift for Fathers Day, next weekend. Also, a lovely reminder to cherish those precious moments together.
ISBN 97811843653370 PB Pavilion Books £6.99





THE AMBER PENDANT BY IMOGEN WHITE
CHILDREN 9+
Rose Muddle, a workhouse girl in Edwardian Hove, becomes a maid for a strange new mistress. When Rose becomes the guardian of a magical amber pendant she faces new dangers. With her new friend Rui and his mischievous pet monkey Bahula, can they defeat the shady Brotherhood of the Black Sun? Will Rose find her true destiny? A courageous heroine, rip roaring adventure and enchanted jewels, this is perfect for Harry Potter fans.
ISBN 9781474927291 PB Usborne £6.99



BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA BY LAUREN WOLK
CHILDRENS 9+
Crow lives on a tiny island with Osh, who rescued her from the sea. All she had to identify her was a feather shaped birthmark, a ruby ring and a partial letter. A mysterious fire across the waters sets of a chain of events that will help Crow find her true home. As her past and present collide she must decide who she is in this evocative and heart warming quest about diversity and acceptance.
ISBN 9780552574303 PB Penguin £6.99


Friday, 2 June 2017

CHILDRENS BOOK COLUMN SOUTH WALES EVENING POST JUNE 3-4

This week my pick of children's book include a tense whodunnit, two naughty crocodiles, the return of Tom Gates and a fantasy adventure epic. All in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy!



BOOK OF THE WEEK

ONE OF US IS LYING BY KAREN M. MCMANUS
YOUNG ADULT 13+
When Simon, the notorious school gossip is murdered, four class mates are in the frame. The geek; the beauty; the bad boy and the jock. They all have secrets but how far will they go to keep them hidden? A gripping psychological murder mystery. This exciting, taut story will reel you in and keep you hooked until the final reveal. The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars.
ISBN9780141375632 PB Penguin Random House £7.99




SOLOMON AND MORTIMER BY CATHERINE RAYNER
PICTURE BOOK 3+
Solomon crocodile has a new friend called Mortimer. But they are both bored and no one else wants to have fun. It's double trouble! When they play a trick on an unsuspecting hippo will the hippo jump out of his skin or will there be crocodile tears? Energetic illustrations really capture the crocodile's character and home. Children will delight in this naughty duo and it's a great story for reading out loud.
ISBN 9781509830459 PB Macmillan Childrens £6.99




FAMILY, FRIENDS AND FURRY CREATURES BY LIZ PICHON
CHILDREN 7+
An hilarious new Tom Gates adventure. His teacher, Mr Fullerman sets them an new class assignment, mapping out a family tree! Is Tom ready for all the revelations he discovers about his family? A book that champions reading with family and friends. Hugely entertaining and heavily illustrated with a mix of different texts and doodles this will keep the most distractable child entertained in this laugh out loud caper.
ISBN 9781407168111 HB Scholastic £10.99




LORD OF SHADOWS BY CASSANDRA CLARE
YOUNG ADULT 13+
The second in the stunning Dark Artifices trilogy. Emma's love for her warrior partner, Julian is forbidden and could destroy them both. With new threats emerging, including the ruthless Faerie King, can Emma protect her family? Will the price for her love be too high? A breathtakingly epic fantasy adventure that will make you laugh and cry. Full of friendship; family; loyalty and love that crackles with excitement and romance. This has it all!
ISBN 9781471116650 PB Simon & Schuster £12.99


Friday, 26 May 2017

SOUTH WALES EVENING POST CHILDRENS BOOK REVIEW MAY 27-28

This week my pick of children's books for The South Wales Evening Post include a classic World War Two mystery set in Devon, a stunning picture book about unity, a fantasy adventure full of mayhem and monsters and an empathetic modern fable focusing on a young homeless girl. 

My column can be found in the Weekend supplement of The South Wales Evening Post on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy!

BOOK OF THE WEEK



LETTERS FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE BY EMMA CARROLL
CHILDRENS 9+
Olive and her little brother are sent, from London, to stay with a mysterious lighthouse keeper in Devon, to escape the Blitz. Is he linked to her sisters disappearance? What is the meaning of her coded message? A gripping, historical adventure that will enthral and delight. This fast paced, middle grade thriller also has relevance for today and would be great for classroom discussion. The best kind of story that whisks you away into another world.
ISBN 9780571327584 PB Faber & Faber £6.99




UNDER THE SAME SKY BY BRITTA TECKENTRUP
PICTURE BOOK 3+
Dedicated to a united world, this talented illustrator shows how we still share the same hopes and dreams despite our differences. From penguins seeking solace, to singing whales, rabbits playing in the meadow and flamingo's sheltering from the storm, children will delight in the atmospheric pictures. With simple rhyming text and peek through illustrations we travel around the world celebrating variety and encouraging unity. A beautiful book to share.
ISBN 9781848575868 HB Caterpillar Books £10.99




QUEST FOR THE GOLDEN ARROW BY CARRIE JONES
CHILDREN 9+
Annie is one of the last humans who can control time. When her guardian is kidnapped, Annie is determined to save her and her enchanted home Aurora. On her quest she wins the trust of a dragon but there are secrets in Annie's past that are about to be revealed. Full of magical creatures, humour and adventure this is perfect for Percy Jackson and Harry Potter fans. The second book in the Time Stoppers series.
ISBN 9781408885437 PB Bloomsbury £6.99


THE GIRL IN BETWEEN BY SARAH CARROLL
CHILDREN 11+
In an abandoned mill in Dublin, Sam and her mother shelter from the memories of life on the streets. A place of safety. But when developers arrive their fragile security is about to be shattered. An empathetic story about homelessness which sheds light on those 'invisible' people who have fallen through the cracks of life. It shows the dangers, threats and vulnerabilities in this modern fable. A tense, haunting novel that will strike a chord.
ISBN 9781471160622 PB Simon & Schuster £6.99


Friday, 19 May 2017

SOUTH WALES EVENING POST CHILDRENS BOOK REVIEW MAY 20-21


This week my pick of children's books for The South Wales Evening Post include a thought provoking story about a young miner's son, a fascinating look at life on the farm, a rip roaring pirate adventure with dragons and a magical fantasy about a young witch coming of age. 

My column can be found in the Weekend supplement of The South Wales Evening Post on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy!

BOOK OF THE WEEK


TOWN IS BY THE SEA BY JOANNE SCHWARTZ & SYDNEY SMITH
PICTURE BOOK 3+
A beautiful and haunting story of life in a seaside mining town seen through the eyes of a young boy. While he enjoys playing, on a Summers day, breathing in the sea air, he thinks of his father deep underground digging for coal. Stunning ink illustrations show the striking contrast between the sparkling seaside day and the dark claustrophobic mining tunnels underground. This moving story will resonate with readers in Wales with it's strong mining history.
ISBN 9781406377385 HB Walker Books £11.99



FARM BY HEATHER ALEXANDER & ANDRES LOZANO
PICTURE BOOK 3+
What are tractors used for? Where does milk come from? What grows in the fields? Find out all about life on the farm with one hundred questions and answers and seventy lift-flaps. The bold illustrations in this sturdy, board book will fascinate children and ignite their interest in the countryside. A perfect introduction to a farmer's life and for talking about where food comes from and how it is grown.
ISBN 9781847808998 HB Wide Eyed Editions £9.99





JOURNEY TO DRAGON ISLAND BY CLAIRE FAYERS
CHILDRENS 9+
Twelve year old, Brine and her two friends, a magician and an ex librarian, accidentally hatch a dragon after joining the pirate ship, Onion. They are determined to find it's family and discover Brine's mysterious past. Sail into uncharted waters in this second of the series. Full of danger, excitement, friendship and laughs. A swashbuckling adventure that includes floating castles, ghosts and dinosaurs. This vivid and imaginative quest has something for everyone. Great fun.
ISBN 9781447290629 PB Macmillan Childrens £6.99




BETWEEN THE RAVEN AND THE DOVE BY SOPHIA KINGSHILL
CHILDRENS 10+
Thirteen year old Mag lives with her father in a home for the mentally ill. When one of the patients claim she is not only her mother, but a witch as well, Mag's world is turned upside down. Does she also have special powers? This atmospheric tale has whispers of myth and folklore. Nothing is what it seems. A feisty heroine and an intriguing magical world, this is suitable for fans of Alice in Wonderland and Hex Hall.
ISBN 9781786154804 PB Accent Press £7.99

Friday, 12 May 2017

SOUTH WALES EVENING POST CHILDRENS BOOK REVIEWS MAY 13-14 TH

This week my pick of children's books for The South Wales Evening Post include a young knight fighting the Welsh, an adventurous bear, an exciting adventure, fantasy and an inspiring visual memoir by one of our leading illustrators.

My column can be found in the Weekend supplement of The South Wales Evening Post on Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy!


BOOK OF THE WEEK

THE SECRET DIARY OF JOHN DRAWBRIDGE BY PHILIP ARDAGH
CHILDREN 7+
John Drawbridge has moved to Widemoat Castle to become a knight. We learn how he's taught to charge with a lance, defend a castle and pick the right falcon by someone's status! When the castle is attacked by the rebellious Welsh can he use all he's learned to defend it? Hilarious and lively illustrations by Jamie Littler. In association with the National Trust, this is part of a brilliant series full of fun and fascinating facts.
ISBN 9780857639011 PB Nosy Crow £6.99




EVERYWHERE BEAR BY JULIA DONALDSON & REBECCA COBB
PICTURE BOOK 3+
A charming adventure of a little bear who's looked after by a year one classroom. One day he becomes lost and embarks on a heart stopping adventure. This pacey rhyming tale follows him down a drain, in a boat, on a lorry and flying through the air. The detailed and endearing illustrations, by Rebecca Cobb, picture a wide range of diverse characters and hobbies making it hugely appealing. The combination of Donaldson's insightful and witty text herald another classic.
ISBN 9781447280736 HB Macmillan £11.99



THE CRYSTAL RUN BY SHEILA O'FLANAGAN
CHILDREN 9+
Chased by bullies, teenager, Joe, accidentally runs through a portal into the magical world of Cacassia. He finds himself in a training camp for a group of teenagers who will become Runners. There he meets Kaia determined to bring glory to her family at a terrible cost. Can he find his way home and help her save her world? A classic fantasy quest full of excitement and vibrant characters. Perfect for fans of Susan Cooper and Cornelia Funke.
ISBN 978444927085 PB Hodder £6.99





TRAVELS WITH MY SKETCHBOOK BY MICHAEL FOREMAN
CHILDREN 10+
Leading illustrator, Michael Foreman shows us an intimate collection of drawings and anecdotes from his travels around the globe. From the ancient land of the Aztec's, travelling by train through Russia, to drawing Mount Fuji in Japan. Armed with pencils and watercolours, he really captures his personal experiences of each place and its people. His jewelled colours add a vibrancy and intimacy. A truly lovely gift for his fans and inspirational for artists, young and old.
ISBN 9781783704729 HB Templar £17.99