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I wanted to read this novel as even as a grown up I like reading a variety of reading genres including junior and young adult fiction. And what an experience meeting Bucky and the hierarchy of felines turned out to be. A thrilling escapade through physical & far away places combined with touches of fantasy and science fiction. An exhilarating read for confident readers of any age including adults! The author has a vivid and descriptive writing style with which this novel grows and grows holding the readers attention all the way. I found it very well written with creatively-worded sentences and chapters. I also loved the actions of the cats; some powerful, some enigmatic, but even if you're not a cat lover give this story a go-you wont regret it! I was engrossed from the very beginning where the action is centered on strange goings on at London's Natural History Museum. But that's just the start of a great adventure. Add in some episodes of tele-porting, tunnels, caves, jets and even pyramids then you're all set for a rocketing ride. If you're a Londoner or familiar with the layout of the city then even better as you'll be able to picture where the action happens. Caroline Highy, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
The Rainbow Blots are a delightful little family; each member is a colour of the rainbow with his/her own distinctive personality. Mummy Blot encourages them to have fun and they each do so by immersing themselves into activities linked with their specific colour. They have another little trick that they are able to perform as they can change themselves into a colour related object. Written in a rhyming format, this charming little book is illustrated in bright and bold colours which would appeal to young children. I like the fact that each colour character is unique and Indigo baby is my favourite! I especially liked the illustration of them tucked inside their little beds. The names and order of the colours of the rainbow are reinforced in the middle of the book - the child is encouraged to say them aloud - and there is the opportunity of drawing one's own rainbow blot at the end. This would be a very useful addition to an infant school library and a book which would be reread frequently if owned at home. It is certainly one which I would have made use of when teaching Reception aged children. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Hop the Kangaroo dog, daughter of the Roo family, finds it hard to learn to hop but bravely enters a race to Squish Mountain, hopping past many of her animal friends en route. Although she does not win, she is delighted with her achievement and discovers that it is the taking part, and not the winning that is important. I loved this book! It is one of the best children's books I have reviewed for ages. The art work is superb as its colourful illustrations convey the expressions of the characters and the ambiance of each scene so delightfully. The rhyming format is professional and offers just the right amount of text to accompany the informative pictures. Although it is essentially a simple tale, its message is one which is always supportive for young children and I would suggest that the book would be an excellent addition to any infant school library and a helpful resource for PSHCE lessons. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
The Sapphire Crystal is an exciting adventure that takes Melina and her friend Lisa into a parallel fantasy world. They seem to have discovered special powers that they must use to help save their own world. We follow them as they try to overcome the evil forces that surround them. The story is full of twist and turns and makes for a terrific read for young adults and would make a good film! Thoroughly enjoyable. Maureen Gourlay, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Absolutely beautiful! First of all, the illustrations are superb. They are bright, colourful and draw the eye wonderfully. They help to tell the story well and I adored them. The animals all came to life through the vibrancy and lines of the illustrations. Now to the story. I read this book with three hats on. First, my mum hat, second my primary school teacher hat and finally my bibliophile hat. This book ticked every single box. It was written well, using simple enough but engaging language. It made you want to turn the page to see what was going to happen next. It made you think about possible scenarios, for example what sorts of things might other animals be asked to do? And most importantly, it ended with a big happy smile on my face and a little chuckle. This is definitely a book I would read to my children and also to my class. I love the fact that some of the proceeds go to helping literacy in the Caribbean as well. Amanda O'Dwyer, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
What a wonderful story! Robin finds solace in the tale of a cat called Red. We follow Red through his adventures to find a home, and what scary adventures they are. It is beautifully written and with perfect drawings and sketches. Well recommended - a joy to read. Maureen Gourlay, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Maya enjoys going to the beach and is especially fond of swimming with her friend Finn, the parrot fish. Thanks to her magical webbed feet, she is able to rescue three of her marine friends who have become unwell through environmental issues. Turtle has ingested plastic bags, the water has become too hot for Coral and Dolphin has become trapped in a fishing net. This delightful little picture book is part of a series that the author Lucy Munday is creating in order to highlight the effects of environmental damage to our planet. Illustrated attractively in bold and bright colours, the message is clear but is not communicated in a way that would be distressing to young children. Each time Maya encounters a problem, the question DO YOU KNOW? follows, enabling discussion. At the end of the story there is further information about the three threats to the environment visited in the book, together with a useful website. This book would be a very useful addition to an infant school library, providing a helpful introduction to this subject matter in a gentle way. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Absolutely loved this! I couldn’t put it down and actually lost sleep reading it. It is written so well and descriptively that you actually feel as if you are on the ship with Bart and his friends Jonah and Sebastian. There are parts which are particularly gruesome and there are also parts which describe how black people were treated back in the 1700’s, which is hard to read, but I feel it needs to be written about and discussed, not just omitted because it’s uncomfortable. The story moves at a fast pace and keeps you hooked right to the very end. It gives a great insight into life at the time and in particular how life was on ships. I can see this being the beginning of a fabulous series of books about Bart and the boys. It’s also a great way to learn about history and about ships. I loved the fact there is a glossary of terms at the end as well, just so you know what you’re reading about. An absolutely brilliant book that will hopefully set lots more children on the road of reading enjoyment. Amanda O'Dwyer, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
'Grandpa and the Robin' is a moving picture book for children of 4 to 8 years, written by Eva Applecross and beautifully illustrated by Shelley Ashkowski. Dedicated to her late Grandpa Richard, it's a tale of loss and loneliness but also of joy and pleasure. Grandpa lives in a remote country farmhouse and is devastated by the passing of his wife, Doris. His only remaining relative, his granddaughter, Ana, lives too far away to visit regularly. But grandpa makes good use of his time and keeps busy tending his garden and watching the birds coming to feed. One in particular, a robin, visits often, which cheers grandpa up immensely. After being scared away for a time by a stray cat, the robin returns on Christmas Day and, even better, grandpa is blessed by a surprise visit from Ana and the two of them have great fun feeding the robin mealworms from grandpa's hat. This story is lovingly told and brings home the plight of many elderly people who live alone and far from their families. In a few short pages we find we care about grandpa as the story immerses the reader in a rollercoaster of emotions as grandpa loses what brings him hope but then finds it again in what we sincerely hope is a happy ending. A wonderful book to share with youngsters. Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
The Little Red Kite is not only a beautiful little story but one so wonderfully illustrated. With a simple premise at its centre, the heart of this book is immense. A basic premise, the tone is happy and the rhyming flows off the tongue and so naturally throughout. This is a joy to read out loud but is also manageable enough for emerging readers to grasp and read alone. A tale of friendship and the mere pleasure of just being happy with life, I had initially felt a little apprehensive about reading about a kite as the main character! I did wonder how you could actually build enthusiasm and indeed empathy with such a choice – but I was proved wrong. This is a lovely book that I’m sure readers will want to return to time and time again. Perfect as a pick me up, and a book for the shelf, it’s also a great comforting bedtime read. Clair Chaytors, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Wesley Fogel's second book, 'I might lose a tooth today' is a fun and light-hearted look at this experience that everyone has been through and can relate to. It's humorously and colourfully illustrated by Cristian Bernardini. The story chronicles all the ways a little girl might bring about a final separation from her first tooth and evaluates each one, all in rhyme. Her methods include eating a variety of crunchy foods, attaching it to a door handle or car bumper, even a rocket! But it also examines the emotional side of losing that first tooth versus the promise of a reward from the tooth fairy. There's even a chart at the end of the book for the reader to record the date of their first and all subsequent tooth losses. This would be a lovely gift for a child about to enter that period in their life when they start to get their grown-up teeth, about age 6 to 8. I know my grandchildren would have found it very amusing and it would help them forget any slight discomfort that might have come along with the experience. Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
This delightful little tale follows a traditional format which has always been loved by children. When Ariel visits the park, his scooter becomes stuck and none of the animals he asks is available to help him as they are all busy. Fortunately his friends Noel and Sam are able to do so and the three have fun together alongside the animals. I was immediately struck by the unique art work. I found it not only attractive but quite enticing as I never knew what I was going to see next. I especially liked the illustrations of a variety of characters on different scooters at the beginning and end of the book, the changing font styles and spotting the little animals who were making their sounds. Although it is a simple storyline, there are elements such as the fact that the animals Ariel encounters are not those that would be found in parks, adds to its enjoyment and success. The story ends with the positive reminder that friends are always there to help us. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
Now Available on Amazon. If I’m honest I was instantly charmed by Prince Zaaki and the Royal Sword of Luella, I love a story that starts with ‘Once upon a time’ and I think really endeared me to this fantastical tale. The descriptions of the castle and the land immediately pull you into the world of Luella while also cleverly providing context and backstory. As I think is suggested by the opening Prince Zaaki has the feel of a classical adventure to it, and we meet our prince as he first appears listless, the sets off on his adventures, with actions and peril along the way. This classical feel is continued in, perhaps as a nod to Snow White, the King’s personal assistant’s name - Helpy. I personally would have perhaps considered another name. I liked the imaginative animals that the author has populated Luella with and this imagination extends to the magic used throughout the novel and life at the TransM School. I also really liked the illustrations in the book. This is a book filled with adventure, and along the way Prince Zaaki might also find someone who “understands him” as he wishes. I think that this book would be good for 13 year-olds readers and it is all set up ready for the next book in the series.
'Delivered' is Sylvia Hehir's sequel to 'Deleted'. I haven't read the first book but I don't think that detracted one bit from my enjoyment of this absolute gem of a book. The title is so significant and clever, as it refers to both the birth of a child and the saving of family and personal relationships and maybe even a life. Our heroine, Frankie, hasn't seen her older sister, Keira, for over three years, after she walked out of the rather dysfunctional family home. She returns to her home area unexpectedly, obviously in need of a lot of help and support but Frankie has just arranged to gig with a band in Glasgow for a few weeks, along with her new partner, Alec. Keira refuses to have their parents involved, and, unable/unwilling to get out of her commitment to the band, Frankie leaves her sister and throws herself into Crazy George's struggle to get themselves heard and known. The story is very readable, exciting and completely engaging. It contains such a range of emotions and conditions, from panic, disappointment and addiction to affection, love and pure elation, with the atmosphere portrayed at the gigs and festivals electric and the ending hopeful. I would really love to read the first book in what I hope is to become at least a trilogy. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
Little h Dog longs to do what other dogs do but his weak muscles, which are becoming increasingly weaker, prevent him from doing so. His owner, Big H, is determined to support him and does so by seeking out the best canine experts, holding charity events and featuring on TV programmes. He eventually receives help from the Supervet who constructs a special set of wheels for him, enabling him to run about in the fresh air. It is difficult to read this little book and not feel moved. It is dedicated to a special boy whom the reader surmises is Harrison. In the story Harrison is the 'real little h dog' and his father, Alex is the 'real Big H'. 100% of the profits are going to Harrison's Fund, a charity that is dedicated to research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Cartoon-like illustrations are used, together with bold and distinctive font that focuses upon the visual aspect of words such as 'sniff their bottoms', 'run rings' and 'hope'; this has quite a powerful effect upon the reader. At the end of the story, we are encouraged to share reviews and visit the charity website. There is also the incentive of a free colouring book. My heart goes out to all those who were involved in the production of this book and I do hope that it is well supported. Val Rowe, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
I Miss You Most by Cassie Hoyt is not only a very timely book for lockdown but also a timeless book for all, like myself, who are separated from loved ones by distance, work commitments or legalities. Aimed at children of 4 to 8 years, it is insightfully written in rhyme and colourfully illustrated. The story evokes memories of activities undertaken with loved ones who can no longer be met with and imagines new adventures for the future. The shared experiences and the pictures are diverse and inclusive, so that all may find relatable content and the heartache of separation is very sensitively dealt with. This book is a great way to bring loved ones together in spirit and I can imagine it would bring great comfort, especially to a child, when it is shared at bedtime, to enable sleep with fond memories. I just wish this book had been around when my grandchildren were younger, I would definitely have gifted them a copy! Drena Irish, A LoveReading4Kids Ambassador
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