What a lovely little book this is. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I really enjoyed reading about Wojtek war hero bear. It seemed like such an implausible story yet Wojtek really did stand with Polish soldiers.
What shines through in this book is the great character that Wojtek was and how important he became to the soldiers that he was with and what a huge boost he gave them.
I was disappointed to learn at the end that not all of the characters were real, but given the time that has passed since the events in the book took place that isn’t really surprising that some of the story has been lost.
I’d never heard of Wojtek before, I had no idea that a bear had helped the Polish army in the second world war. It really is a heartwarming story. I liked the way that the story was told, sometimes we heard what Wojtek was thinking but most of the time told as if by an observer. It is simple in language and I think that it could be read by children aged 10 and over, but adults will enjoy the book too.
The illustrations also need a mention, for they match the writing in the simple way that they are presented but they fit very well with the story and I enjoyed seeing them a lot.
If you’re interested in reading about wars then this book will be sure to give you a different and unique story. If you don’t enjoy reading about the war then don’t let that put you off, it is the amazing story of Wojtek that is the story, and it is one that is well worth reading.
Thank you to the publisher Birlinn, for a copy of the book. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
When a tiny orphaned bear cub is adopted by Polish soldiers during World War II, little does anyone know that little Wojtek will become one of the bravest fighters of them all. As the soldiers train to take part in some of the fiercest fighting of the war, Wojtek grows up, providing headaches and laughter in equal measure as he learns to drink beer, chase horses and wrestle with his human friends. But at Monte Cassino, as the Allies try and dislodge German troops from their mountain-top eyrie, Wojtek, now a fully signed-up solider with his own rank and number, comes into his own, dodging the bullets to carry ammunition to his comrades as they inch their way to victory. After the war, the Polish solders move to Scotland. Wojtek comes too and soon becomes the centre of attention in a new country. But with hostilities ended, how long can he keep his freedom? Best-selling children’s author Jenny Robertson explores the themes of friendship and trust in this moving and inspirational story.
About the Author:
Jenny Robertson has written numerous books for children and adults – fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Her children’s novels and Bible stories have been widely translated and also read on Yorkshire Television and STV.
Stripey Enid is a funny little book, it feels more like a leaflet when you look at it but once you open it you will find a lovely little book.
The story is very simple, we are all different and that we are all ok just as we are. This is such an important message to teach our children and it is presented in a really clear and simple way which will work well for young readers.
My daughter aged seven read it and felt that it was too babyish for her, probably simply because of the size of the font used as she now wants smaller writing that’s more grown up. But it did get us talking about how we are different and how that makes us more interesting.
I’m not really sure what age Stripey Enid is aimed at as it would seem at first glance that it is aimed at four and under but there are parts, like where the child can list five of their good points, that seem aimed at older children. I think that in reality all young children will get something out of reading Stripey Enid, and it is a great way of starting conversations about how we are all different.
Thank you to the publisher, Beercott Books, for a copy of Stripey Enid by Natasha Lea. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
‘Believe in yourself, for you are unique!’
In this ever-changing world our children are bombarded with ‘image’ driven ideals of what is accepted as normal, or what we should aspire to be.
The reality is we are all unique and should be proud of it.
Stripey Enid has no colour or creed, she is just a friend. Using simple verse and interactive tasks, she aims to help your child understand that it is good to be unique, and that being yourself is all you need to be.
About The Author:
It was over 10 years ago, during a marketing exercise to promote a new theatre company whilst studying Performing Arts, that the idea of Stripey Enid came to Natasha.
Even back then, Stripey was seen to be different, something to challenge the norm, ask questions of people.
The idea of writing a book was never the intention but a natural progression on from the poems Natasha used to create for friends and family for birthdays & special occasions.
At the time Natasha was also working with a local Brownie pack and it was this interaction that made her realise that she was an adult in these children’s lives that wasn’t a parent or a teacher but a friend, a unique friendship that benefitted both parties.
Stripey came into being by the pure belief that Natasha had about peer pressure & social demands creating barriers between people, stopping people from seeing others as they truly are.
Stripey Enid by Natasha Lea is out on 16th June 2018 and is available to pre-order from Amazon UK or direct from the publisher.
How exciting, not one but two great children’s books!!
Like most parents, I like a kids book with a message, a book that will teach them something without them even realising. Sarah’s Shadow by Nick Jones is just such a book.
Sarah is unhappy because she is being teased at school, so she makes a wish on a shooting star to remove the thing about herself that is getting teased…her shadow. She goes to sleep excited about the next day, but when it comes the reality of life without her shadow isn’t what Sarah expected.
Of course, it all ends well but in the process, Sarah has learnt an important message about being happy with herself as she is.
I really liked this book, it’s well written and I love the illustrations by Si Clark. I’m sure that this book will go down really well with children under the age of six, although I think that children over that age would really enjoy the book, the picture book format would be a turn off for them. Or it certainly would be for my children! Perhaps the author could write a slightly longer version for older children, I would definitely get that for my seven year olds!
This would be a great book for all children, especially those who are perhaps unhappy with something about themselves, or someone who could do with being kinder to others.
Thank you to the publisher, Full Media Ltd, for a copy of Sarah’s Shadow by Nick Jones. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
If you could change something about yourself, would you do it? When Sarah Simpkins is teased about her shadow in the school playground, she finds herself wishing she didn’t have one. That night she has the chance to make the wish come true. But will losing her shadow really make her happy?
About the Author:
Nick Jones is an author based in Cheshire, UK, but originally from Bristol. He has written a series of joke books and an illustrated children’s book. His first joke book, Gagged and Bound, was written during the summer of 2014 and was published by Full Media Ltd later in the year to critical acclaim, garnering positive reviews from numerous book review websites such as Reader’s Favorite and The Bookbag. A follow-up, Gagged and Bound 2, was released a year later and received a similarly positive response, and in 2017 Nick returned with the third instalment. Nick returned with a very different book, Sarah’s Shadow, in December 2017. He has several new books in the pipeline including two picture books and a children’s joke book.
As a parent of seven year old twins, I’m still not sure what children have against sleep. I love to sleep and I wish that they did too! One day I will enjoy waking them up very early in the morning but for now, the trick to getting your reluctant child to sleep remains a mystery.
Go To Sleep by Marion Adams tells the story of Tansy the sheep, a typical lamb or finds it hard to fall asleep. With the rest of her flock sleeping Tansy takes the advice of a passing owl that counting sheep will help her to fall asleep. But all doesn’t go to plan and Tansy gets very worried and ends up waking the flock. I’m sure that all parents will identify with the end of Go To Sleep!!
Overall this is a lovely book. The illustrations by Sarah-Leigh Wills are great and it is a sweet little story that will be enjoyed by under fives.
Thank you to the publisher, Full Media Ltd, for a copy of Go To Sleep by Marion Adams. I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
Tansy the sheep can’t go to sleep. She’s forgotten how to do it! But when she follows the barn owl’s advice and starts counting sheep, she realises that something is wrong … The award-winning bedtime story with a humorous twist that children will love!
Marion Adams has been writing for as long as she can remember, usually for fun and sometimes for money as well. She started her career as an in-house copywriter with a publisher and now works as a freelance proofreader and editor. It’s her dream job because she’s paid to read all day (and eat dark chocolate). Over the years, she’s written all kinds of things for both adults and children, some serious and some less so, with published work including magazine stories, articles, poems, plays and non-fiction books.
Marion lives in Devon, UK, and when she’s not reading or writing (or eating dark chocolate), she loves going for walks on the wild moors where her picture book Go To Sleep! is set.
London Hat Hunting Mission by Winnie Mak Tselikas is a lovely little book. The reader gets taken on a tour of London with four dolls as they try to find as many hats as they can to help Mr Globe to feel better.
I’m not quite sure how a hat would help Mr Globe feel better but this is a great book that celebrates diversity and shows just how diverse London really is. The dolls visit a number of sites, from Buckingham Palace to Brick Lane, with simple photos with the dolls superimposed in.
I think that London Hat Hunting Mission would be a great addition to any young kids bookshelf and I think that it would be best aimed at under 5s. It’s not only a lovely read but it’s also a great way to introduce diversity and help your child to understand how one city contains so many different people from different places.
Review by Dora aged seven and a half:
London Hat Hunting Mission is just amazing. I think that it’s very good for under four year olds. I think that it is very good because young children will like it a lot but older children over ten probably won’t like it but all the children under ten should like it a bit. I like that it has all the different stops of London, I like that it has Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral and Big Ben. I like that it is about the world and kind of about friendship. I like how all the stops are very different. It’s very, very, very good and I think that under sevens would like it. I like the different kinds of dolls because they are all different. I give it five out of five.
Review by Jake aged seven and a half:
I don’t think that this book is good for children under five, but older children won’t so much. I think that the younger children will like it because it has dolls in. In the book, it has how you say thank you in some different languages, I liked trying to say the words and we asked Alexa how to say thank you in a few of the languages that we weren’t sure how to say and that was fun. For me, I would give it a two out of five but if I was younger then I would enjoy it more.
Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache.
The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.
Winnie Mak Tselikas is a believer in diversity. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied engineering, worked in commercial sales and in 2011 switched to education upon moving to London. There, she met her half-French, half-Greek husband and they had a son, who now has family in China, France, Greece, HK, the UK and the US. Winnie considers her son to be a world citizen rather than of a particular nationality or culture. Inspired by her family and London’s diversity, she founded One Dear World and created the lovely adventures of Mr. Globe and the little Londoner dolls.
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Dora aged seven: It is quite funny sometimes but it is a bit not kind which I didn’t really like as they weren’t very nice to the trolls. The pictures are a bit different to other kids books but I do like them, they aren’t that colourful though. The writing is also a bit different but I could read it ok although it was harder to read than normal books.
I liked the book, there wasn’t a particularly strong storyline to it and there was no message in it as there often are with kids, it is just a book that is purely for fun. And it definitely is fun. The illustrations are great, they are quite simple and as Dora said not very colourful but the expressions on the trolls faces are often amusing and made my children giggle. I think that at seven the book is too young for my children, it would suit ages 2-6 quite well and I’m sure that the story would get lots of laughs from younger children who would enjoy the pictures and the lyrical story.
Day of the Trolls:
Jake aged seven: It was really gross when the troll farted and when the troll had snot. It was really funny when the granny got thrown to the roof. The pictures were really funny because it looked like it was so weird and silly. I think that boys and girls aged three to five would really like this book.
Dora aged seven: It was quite gross but it was quite funny when the troll picked his nose. I do think that it was quite good and I did like the pictures a bit too.
I enjoyed reading Day of the Trolls and felt that it was better than the first book as it had a better storyline and more happening in it. It is a funny book and the words and the pictures make it funnier, they go well together. I think that this book would be perfect for children aged 2-6 who I’m sure would find it hilarious to hear about these naughty and rude trolls!
Through gaps in the roof we didn’t repair
through cracks in the walls we pretended weren’t there…
…the trolls have come creeping
while we were all sleeping.
Trolls on your chair, trolls in your bed –
is anything worse than a troll on your head?
What happens when your house is invaded by trolls – mischievous creatures who do nothing but cause havoc and mayhem? Find out in this zany and charming book which tells you how to get rid of them for good and make your house a troll-free zone!
It’s the Day of the Trolls: Fart-Fart and all the trolls are back! Join them in the shopping mall where they go wild, causing havoc as they overrun the place. But when they follow sign saying All Trolls – This Way, things turn out very differently to what Flycatcher, Bumscratcher, SnotFace, Squeer and the rest of them expected …
About The Author:
Ron Butlin is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer and librettist whose works have been translated into many languages. He regularly gives creative writing workshops in schools, and was Edinburgh Makar from 2008 to 2014.
James Hutcheson is Creative Director at Birlinn. He has been designing books, book jackets and album covers for many years.
The books are out now and you can buy Here Come The Trolls here and Day of the Trolls here.
I think that The Christmas Tale of Elaine Gale by Daniel Thompson is the first book that I have read that came about thanks to a Kickstarter campaign. I heard about it on a Facebook group and jumped at the chance to review the book, it sounded intriguing and I knew that having a Christmas theme would appeal to my children who are aged seven.
When the book arrived my daughter was especially excited. She did try and read it but found the font quite difficult so soon gave up and asked me to read it to her. The font and the way it is worded means that it isn’t, in my opinion, suitable for a learner reader to read themselves. To fully appreciate the rhyming it is also best read by a confident reader. Even I struggled at times with the book, the font and unexpected words used to help with the rhyming did not suit my dyslexia, but this was minimal and just required more concentration on my part. At 96 pages the book is also quite long, far longer than our usual bedtime story so we spread it over a couple of nights.
The book is a lot of fun. I loved the story and especially loved that Claire, the girl who names Elaine Gale is the leader of the group and the one who helps to defeat Elaine Gale, with Santa’s help of course. Definitely a great book for girl power. The story was great, fun and a bit scary but fast moving and very clever.
I think that this book would be loved by children aged 6+, it is a little scary and it is quite wordy so I don’t think that younger children will appreciate it as much. I’m sure that we will be reading this book for quite a few Christmas’ to come.
Review by Dora aged seven:
I loved the pictures, I didn’t like Elaine Gale because she was mean. I loved the Santa part. I loved the start and I loved the building of the snowman.
Review by Jake aged seven:
I loved the pictures and I loved the book.
About the Author:
I’m Danny, a Poet/film maker/musician and all round creative human from Birmingham.
I wrote this book because I love Christmas and I wanted to create something to add to the already rich tapestry of the Christmas festivities. I felt it was really important to tell an original Christmas story that a new generation of readers can claim as their own. I am really proud of what Connor and I have created with this book and I hope you enjoy our work.
About the Illustrator:
I’m Connor, a graphic design student and illustrator from Birmingham.
For me the book was an exciting project to work on because its quirky story and writing style really inspired my imagination. As a Christmas story it was unlike anything already available, this refreshing look at the Christmas story gave me a lot to work with. I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I loved making it.
When author Amanda Gee was asking for people to read and review her children’s book, The Fox In The Box I thought that it was probably a bit young for my almost seven year old children, but the cover was so adorable that I couldn’t resist.
And I’m so pleased that I didn’t. We all loved the book, the cute illustrations by Lee Holland work so perfectly with the story, it was fun to read and made my children think about animals and their homes. This really is a wonderful book, it is short but perfect and the rhyming words work really well. The font is clear and easy to read, although my children regularly ask me to read it to them they are both able to read it themselves too.
After reading this book I will definitely be looking out for more from Amanda Gee and I will definitely be buying The Fox in the Box as presents.
When Lydia finds a lost baby fox outside her back door, they set off together to look for his family. But on the way, they discover a terrible disaster is about to overtake their village. Can they stop it…..and will the cub find what he’s looking for?
About the Author:
I have lived in Suffolk all my life and have had a passion for the environment and wildlife for a very long time. In my books for children as well as teaching them about friendship and kindness, I am trying to help educate them about the fantastic world we live in and the amazing animals we share it with.
The Fox In The Box by Amanda Gee and illustrated by Lee Holland is out now and available from Amazon UK and Amazon US.