'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Review: Bathtime for Little Rabbit

Bathtime can be lots of fun, and Bathtime for Little Rabbit shows how easy it is.

It encourages young readers to put themselves in the place of the parent or carer who is giving the child (in this case a rabbit) a bath. It's a perspective that is different to similar books.

As the 'adult' in the bathtime experience, you need to squeeze the shampoo to wash the rabbit's ears, and make sure to cover his eyes so the soap doesn't get in them.

Then there's toweling the rabbit dry, blowing his hair dry with a hairdryer, and of course moisturising with lotion.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Review: The Truth and Lies of Ella Black

Ella Black seems like a fairly normal 17 year-old English teenager -  until her thoughts intrude. It's apparent from the beginning that Ella has dark thoughts she fights against. Is it because her mother is so overprotective, because she's an only child or because the other girls at school can sense there's something different about her? Things take a drastic turn when her parents whisk her away from school with no notice, to Brazil.

Ella is bewildered and suspicious. Her parents won't tell her what's going on. It's then her dark thoughts, or alter-ego Bella, become more prominent. Or is Bella going to help protect her?
The reader  is taken on an unexpected and dangerous journey with Ella, whose life as she knew it was all a lie. Suddenly she must make desperate and life-altering choices to survive.

Review: Look, There's a Helicopter!

Children of all ages exclaim in delight when they spot a helicopter in the sky.

Look, There's a Helicopter! is a delightful early look-and-find board book.

The female pilot is ready to take off on a mission that will encourage child readers to join her, 'Start the ignition!'

Joining the pilot in her cockpit is her pigeon companion who is ready to fly into the sky and over the ocean.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Review: Illumanatomy

Carnovsky's previous book Illuminature wowed readers and so will their new book Illumanatomy. This book is an engaging and educational look at the anatomy of the human body.

Illumanatomy's illustrations may look busy with pink, yellow and green images and lines that look complex to read. However, viewing the book using the tri-coloured lenses turns what was out of focus, into something clear and enlightening.

The lenses make this book a unique experience. When looking through the red lens readers discover the body's skeleton, the green lens the muscles and the blue lens shows organs and blood vessels.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Review: Miles is the Boss of His Body

Body autonomy and privacy are topics that are important to introduce to children from quite a young age, both for their own well being and safety as well as for their development of social awareness and respect of others around them.

As all parents can I'm sure attest, young children are not inbuilt with a respect for privacy or personal space.

Today is Miles' sixth birthday and he is very much looking forward to having a pizza dinner at home with his family, but from the moment he arrives home from school he is greeted with unwanted physical contact.

Review: The Night Box

The magic and wonder of the night is beautifully captured in this bedtime picture book that's destined to become a classic.

Poetic and enchanting, the tale introduces us to Max, a little boy with a magical key to unlock a secret box and release the night.

We feel the building anticipation of dusk as night time draws nearer.

Two eyes, two ears, two wings, wait, as Day inches like a snail, around the clock, tick-tock, tick-tock.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Review: Sam: The Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World

Oh how I relish the first viewing of a Mo Willems title - his books are delightful, often charming, always hilarious and so deliciously odd.

Characters do not always act as expected and it is an adventure to read through each new offering that Mo presents, and repeat readings are always must - he is the top of my recommendations list when patrons ask for my assistance at the library.

In this sequel to Leonardo the Terrible Monster (KBR Review here), we learn a bit more about Leonardo's friend Sam who as the title suggests, is the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world. Sam is scared of absolutely everything, well everything except for Leonardo of course, because Leonardo and Sam are very good friends.

Review: Too Many Elephants In This House

Eric loves elephants, especially the ones that crowd his house. But his mother decides they have to go.

Join Eric in this adorable romp around his home where there's an elephant up to something at every turn.

Do you know how many elephants are actually in Eric's house? Can you tell them apart? Get ready for a barrel of counting fun as well as a giggle or two.

Can Eric solve his family's overcrowding problem without giving up a single elephant?

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

10 Quirky Questions with Demet Divaroren

1. What's your hidden talent?
I can shimmy and shake my body like a belly dancer.

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Arghhh, I hate villains. I want to stab them! Especially Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series.

Monday, 15 January 2018

Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the latest in the Star Wars movie franchise, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary is the perfect accompanying book for young fans.

True to the excellent Dorling Kindersley style, Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary has lots of photos, diagrams and explanatory information.

Wanna-be Resistance pilots will be able to delve into the fleet starships including the Raddus, Ninka, Vigil and Anodyne. And learn all about the starfighter uniforms and equipment.

It's also important to understand the opposition, so there are also pages dedicated to the First Order ships and key characters.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Review: This Zoo is Not For You

In the book This Zoo is Not For You we meet a scarf wearing, stylish platypus who has driven his bus to hand deliver an invitation to the zoo animals. The tiger at the front gate wrongly assumes that he is there to be interviewed to join the zoo.

One could only assume that a platypus, which is a unique animal from Australia, would pass the interview process easily. Surprisingly this is not the case.

As the platypus meets each interviewer he is rejected and told that 'I think, this zoo, is not for you.'

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Review: David Astle's Gargantuan Book of Words

I must admit I’m a bit of a word nerd. I love words and their origins, and this fantastic activity book engages kids in thinking about where words come from. It’s full of funny, clever and engaging quizzes, puzzles and anecdotes that will get kids thinking and laughing and learning without even realising it.

Speaking of word origins, did you know that around 500 years ago there lived a giant baby named Gargantua who was so big that his pram was a horse bigger than six elephants. And when he needed to wee, the yellow ocean drowned the people of Paris. Thanks to this super story we have the word gargantuan in the dictionary and the name of this book.