#BookReview of The Unicorn Prince by Luca Simone Lo Piccolo and ArtinAction #ChildrensBook (4-6 yr olds) #Kidslit

The Unicorn Prince by
 Luca Simone Lo Piccolo
and ArtinAction

Rated: 4 stars ****

Enter a magical kingdom of a unicorn prince who learns a valuable lesson from a fairy. With bold illustrations, a story, plus colouring-in pages, this is a delightful book for 4-6 year olds that will give pleasure as well as subtly teach them social lessons. Please note on the book you may see his name as Lo Piccolo Luca Simone.
Follow down to find out more in the blurb and my review. Find out what the second book is called and a buy link.

The Unicorn Prince

Blurb

A fun and valuable tale which encourages kids to celebrate people for who they really are.

The Prince of the Unicorns is the most beautiful unicorn of them all – but he has a problem. He thinks he’s so beautiful and special that he doesn’t want to play with the other unicorns in the kingdom! But with the help of a magical fairy, he might just learn a valuable lesson about vanity and humility which changes his mind forever…

With lovely illustrations and a heartwarming story, this touching children’s book teaches kids a valuable lesson about how a person’s character matters far more than their looks or their status. Encouraging kids to see past vanity and celebrate others for who they truly are, The Unicorn Prince uses an enjoyable story to impart a lesson which they won’t soon forget.

Book details:

  • A Fun and Engaging Story For Children Aged 4-6
  • Teaches Kids a Valuable Lesson About Humility and Not Thinking Too Highly of Oneself
  • Makes a Creative Gift Idea For Christmas, Holidays, Birthdays and Special Occasions
  • Ideal as a Bedtime Story, For Groups, or To Help Your Child Strengthen Their Reading Skills
  • And Much More!

With free bonus coloring pages for your child to bring to life with color, this wonderful tale will quickly become a favorite part of your bookshelf and a story which you find yourselves returning to time and time again.

The Unicorn Prince

Review

Pitched well for 4-6 year olds, the book is bright and eye-catching in its full pages of illustrations. Don’t be put off by the fact it is 48 pages, this isn’t 48 pages full of writing . On each page where the story is being told in a few short sentences, are illustrations and almost uniquely, this alternates with pages with no words, but a full page of an illustration, accompanying also what has just been read, which definitely has a high visual impact. From around page 33 onwards are delightful colouring-in pages that accompany the story very well as they depict some of the story. The colourings are suitable for the age-range and not too intricate, but without being too basic either and there are plenty for children to have fun with.
This makes the book very accessible for children of all abilities and how it is as wide-ranging as 4-6 year olds.
It is sure to motivate those children who are also perhaps reluctant readers when they reach 5 and 6 year olds too. It’s very much a book that children can look at independantly, share with their friends and for the story, share with an adult to read it to them or with them. The story has the elements and types of characters that children will be familiar with many fairytales, but taken to modern times and issues surrounding how society, including children can view themselves and the valuable lessons on a more positive path can be realised, but in a magical and wondrous way, with a unicorn prince and a fairy.

The book tackles themes of loneliness amongst the young and also attitudes of thinking highly of themselves over others. It illustrates very well how the Prince has everything materialistically, but what he doesn’t have is friendship and how this makes him feel. It also shows his snobbery a bit and how he thinks because he is a prince, that he is better and higher than anyone else in society. There is a fairy who shows her power and changes perspectives on the Unicorn Prince and how he is viewed by making the sky dark, thereby diminishing his physical beauty and glow about it, making him seem like all the other unicorns.In amongst all the emotion children will see, there is a change in tide to show a more positive and happy pictures as the Prince Unicorn discovers games and the enjoyment of just playing around and being like the other unicorns.

This is a good book for any story-time and as well as reading for pleasure, it can be used to open-up a discussion too. There is also a second book called – The Unicorn Prince and The Fairy Vase.
Buy Link: Amazon

#BookReview by Lou of #ChildrensBook – Can This Family Survive Quarantine? – The Adventures of Sheltering in Place and Covid-19 by Susana Basanty @sbasanty

 Can This Family Survive Quarantine?
The Adventures of Sheltering in Place and Covid-19
by Susana Basanty
Illustrated by Anna Ishenko
Rated: 4 stars ****

A fun, uplifting children’s story that balances the very serious with some humour that reflects children’s lives of what they are living through today. Find out more about it in the blurb and review and in the various links below.
Thank you to Susana Basanty for contacting me to review her children’s book and for supplying it to me.

About The Author

Susana Basanty, author of ”When my Mom Goes to Tsunami Supermarket, Why Can’t I Tag Along”, is an American born in Madrid, Spain. Later she moved to California in the 1970s, worked in e-Commerce and is now writing. She is married to Robert and has two children Elena and Christopher. A daughter-in-law Courtney and
a granddaughter Aviana. When she is not writing, she enjoys, family, church, friends, cooking, acting, gardening, crafting, Tunisian crochet and a positive mindset. For more information on Susana’s upcoming releases visit fablewords.com website – Fablewords

Can This Family Survive Quarantine

Blurb

A family struggles and copes with COVID-19, sheltering in place. Their unique approach teaches them how to help each other and others.

Review

As we are still all in lockdown and there may be some form of it for some time to come, this is a very timely book indeed as it reminds children about the virus, which again is also timely in the fact it is going on for so long and as children see things slowly and steadily, come back into some form of being like school etc, then it’s a worthy read. The book is told from a child’s point of view as well as the supporting characters of the family. It explains what the virus is in a way that children can understand and what essential workers are. It also delves into the new routines. What is good about this family story is that it feels like there is a positive vibe as well as a realistic one. Children will also be able to relate as it feeds right into what they too would be experiencing.

I love that there are demonstrations of washing hands and how not to and how to wear a facemask. There’s a real conscience about this book and some thought and care about this book, which is pleasing.

Children really get to know the characters – the inventor, the spa owner, which is fun. It’s also fun that the story shows what children can be doing in this time, even though they are missing their school staff and friends. There is an uplifting humour too as the children try to help out and things not exactly quite going to plan, even when they employ a robot to do all the chores. Children will enjoy the chaos that ensues.

The book also encourages empathy for their immediate friends and family and also those in other countries.

It all concludes in a heartwarming message that may well bring children (and adults reading this book with them) some hope and perhaps some comfort too.

Buy and Social Media Links:

Amazon         Facebook            Twitter        Fablewords 

The Boy Who Sang With Dragons by Andy Shepherd @andyjshepherd @PiccadillyPress #BookReview by Lou #ChildrensBook #Middlegrade

The Boy Who Sang With Dragons
By Andy Shepherd
Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie

Rated: 5 stars *****

Hilarious fun with some dragons and a touch of real life drama, makes this a great addition to The Boy Who Grew Dragons series, which is perfect for 7-9 year olds.
Thank you to Andy Shepherd for surprising me with a copy to review.
Discover more in the blurb and review below.

The Boy Who Sang With Dragons

Blurb

Here in Grandad’s garden I am the dragon whisperer, the dragon protector …

Tomas is a fully-fledged expert dragon grower and protector of the dragonfruit tree. He has eyes in the back of his head for watching over those sneaky dragons, awesomely fast reflexes for putting out sparks and dodging the diving antics of whirling newly hatched dragons. He’s got it all down pat – and managing his little lightning bolt dragon Zing, too. But he’s not quite prepared for the adventure that awaits him when a huge secret is revealed about his new friend, Aura. A thrilling secret that will take Tomas and Aura on a journey of discovery that will finally unlock the last mysteries of the dragonfruit tree. A journey of discovery that all the dragons will be in on – and just what will happen when lightning bolt dragon Zing and storm dragon Flicker get together? Get ready for the ride of your life in this fizzing, sparkling final story in THE BOY WHO GREW DRAGONS series.
The Boy Who Sang With Dragons 2

Review

It was with surprise and delight that The Boy Who Sang With Dragons came flying through my letterbox. It’s the latest in the series that is delighting many children from the age of 7 years old in their homes and schools. The books are part of a series, but can also be read as stand-alone pretty well.

The cover is so much fun and is textured, which adds a certain je’ne’sais’quoi. It’s always special for children to find books designed like this. Look out for the evidence that dragon’s may have been at the books. It’s illustrated in such a fun way inside.

Imagine dragon’s at the bottom of your grandad’s garden, well, this is where they live!

Ted and Liam are back and a lot of slime is involved, in the most unexpected gross ways that has a lot of kid appeal and then proceeds in a step-by-step guide of how to grow a dragon.

There’s also Aura and Lolli who are into capes and tutus and chocolate. Children will read where chocolate comes from. They are fun as well amongst riotous animals causing havoc.

Readers are reacquainted with the dragons, such as  Zing and Flicker to go on a terrific adventure with and also be acquainted with nature and what dragon’s can do for it. There’s a concern that one of the characters may stop seeing the dragons. There are real emotions that are easy for readers to grasp of and empathise with and see why a character is so sad and dreams and nightmares, which are relatable for children.
There are music references and the positivity that singing can bring and some more humour and nature as the author carefully brings the book back to a lighter mood.

Amongst the fun, there are serious themes within families and older relatives, but all done in context of the story and within a middle grade reader’s grasp of understanding as it’s nothing too heavy. Tha balance is good and is more on the side of humour, adventure, imagination and fun, which makes it a great addition to the series as well as perfect for reading for pleasure and has enough if school’s wish to open up a conversation too.

Hedgy-A and the Honey Bees by Ryan Mizzen @ryan_mizzen #Bookreview by Lou #ChildrensBook

Hedgy-A and the Honey Bees
By Ryan Mizzen
Illustrated by Paul Winward
Rated: 4 stars ****

Hedgy-A and the Honey Bee by Ryan Mizzen,  is a charming book that has an important environmental message which is written well for 5-7 year old children. It has great rhythm to its story-telling rhyme, which really captures children of these ages and has a good energy to it as well as some humour. Check out more in the blurb and review, then find out more about the author and how he has become quite a man of influence in matters of the environment. Find out why he has decided to write a book for the 5-7 years old range in a section below as well and why he is writing, what is The Time To Care Series of which this is book 1. Each further book will have a different character and ecological issue being addressed in story form in a way that has been written through being inspired by Julia Donaldson.
You can also discover a bit more about the illustrator, who has delightful pictures to entice children in and bring the story alive. You will also find buy links too.

I thank Ryan Mizzen for contacting me via my Contact Me part of my blog and for sending me, at first a PDF copy of Hedgy – A and the Honey Bees and then one of his “author copies” amongst his busy keyworking schedule.

Hedgey A Cover (B)

Blurb

“We have to do something before its’ too late,
To help save the bees from a horrible fate”

One day – Hedgy-A is visited by his friend Brizzy the honey bee. Hedgy-A learns that honey bees are becoming sick because chemicals called pesticides are being used on plants. But he knows just what to do and sets off for London to see the Queen, who he hopes can save the bees!

Link to purchase: Amazon
Libraries can order from Ingram Spark

Hedgey A Cover physical book

Review

Hedgy-A is a very cute hedgehog who lives beneath a beehive in this lovely rhyming book with beautiful illustrations of Hedgy – A and his friends and surroundings. The book gently encourages kindness and helping others. It is also about how bees make their honey and the impact the environment created by human’s, including farmers have on them. Hedgy – A wants to save the bees and travelling off to London, he visits in hunt of the Queen to tell her what is going on and to ask for her help to also save the day for the bees. It becomes fun, but also really packs a punch as it draws young children to the realities of what is happening.

You of course don’t need to see The Queen to help the bees, but it does all however create a very fun and inspired story that has a healthy helping of passion and strength of character at its heart that shows working together and caring can help make a postive impact in what is a lively story.

This is a book that schools and parents/caregivers alike can use well with their 5-7 year old children. It has enough to entertain and feed their curiosity about the natural world as it delivers an important message.

A note from the author:

What’s unique about the story and why did I write it?

This story is unique in the sense that it is drawing attention to pesticide use for a younger audience,
who will inherit the world we leave behind. Bees are crucial to our food supply and their numbers
have drastically plummeted in recent years, raising massive concerns. Research has shown that this
is linked to pesticides and neonicotinoids, some of which are banned in the EU, but still available
elsewhere. Meanwhile the UN has shown that it’s possible to eliminate pesticide use and still
produce high yields of crops with other measures. But the pesticide companies have formed a strong
lobby group and have no intention of stopping production.

About the Author

www.ryanmizzen.com

Ryan Mizzen Author ImageRyan is a Children’s Book Author. He holds a First Class BSc in Climate Change (Hons) from Coventry
University and a Distinction in an MA in Creative Writing (via Distance Learning) from Teesside
University. He has also completed online writing courses with Oxford University and the University
of East Anglia.
In 2018, Ryan was named as an Environmental Changemaker, following on from the UN Young
Champions of the Earth competition, where he proposed using fiction as a form of science
communication to spread awareness about the climate crisis to a wider audience. Prior to which, he
worked in the energy efficiency and offshore wind industries for four years.
He’s had climate change articles published by The Independent, Africa Geographic, Thomson Reuters
Foundation, The South African and he’s been interviewed about sustainability by Thrive Global. He’s
also written for outlets including IKSurfMag, Kiteworld Magazine, Age UK, The Writing Cooperative
and Holistic Health Magazine amongst others. His other interviews appear in the Huffington Post
and Authority Magazine.
His debut self-published picture book, Hedgey-A and the Honey Bees is now available using the buy link – Amazon
“A person of great influence.” – Thrive Global

About The Illustrator

www.paulwinwardillustration.com
Paul has over 30 years’ experience working in advertising and in a freelance capacity. He is an
illustrator with extensive experience designing books, e-books, logos and illustrations for websites.
Some of his other illustrated books include The Three Detectives, Kob the Antelope, Snowflake’s
Adventure on Mount Lifelong, The Journey to River Rose, and 1,2, Think!

#BookList2020 by Lou – My Top Children’s Book Choices 2020 #ChildrensBooks #TopChildrensBook2020

My Top Children’s Book Choices 2020
Various Authors       Various Genres       Various Ages

Children's book stack

I present what I consider the top 17 children’s books I have had the pleasure of reviewing. Discover more about them in the links provided. Each is in no particular order and I’ve included a couple of activity books at the bottom. There are books for every age group.

The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt Phillips Click Here for More Info

The Boy Who Fell Into A FairyTale by Ben Miller Click Here for More Info

A Jewel in the Sands of Time by Clive Mantle Click Here for More Info

The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons by Andy J. Shephard Click Here for More Info

Blaze – The Magic Flag Mystery by Lin Anderson Click Here for More Info

The Castle of Tangled Magic by Sophie Anderson Click Here for More Info

First Prize for The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy Click Here for More Info

Red Snow by Larraine Harrison Click Here for More Info 

Helping Hands Stories by Sarah – Duchess of York Click Here for More Info

A Better Place by Alyson March Click Here for More Info

Always Together at Christmas by Sara Sargent Click Here for More Info

The Butterfly Inside by Serena Lane Ferrari Click Here for More Info

My Mummy is A Monster by Natalie Reeves Billing Click Here for More Info

Gloria – The Summer Fun Bus by Sue Wickstead Click Here for More Info

My Awesome Autism by Nikki Saunders Click Here for More Info

Activity Books

The Dragon Book Club by Lexi Rees Click Here for More Info

Scavenger Art by Lexi Rees Click Here for More Info

#Bookreview by Lou of #Christmas #ChildrensBook – Always Together At Christmas By Sara Sargent #SaraSargent @wunderbooks @randomhousekids

Always Together At Christmas
By Sara Sargent
Rated: 5 stars *****

After reviewing Alone Together, this is an entirely different book in that it is for children and also focusing on something more upbeat, just what children need for Christmas. This is a book which children will see themselves reflected in how they’ve perhaps been living in these times and how Christmas can still be marvellous fun! It is pretty unique in its type and many children will find it reassuring.
It is available to buy now!
I thank Melissa and Elena at Wunderland PR for getting in contact with me to review  and for providing an e-book and so many fun pictures.

Please find the blurb, review and a bit about the author as you scroll down.

Always Together Christmas Tree

About the Author

Sara Sargent is a Senior Executive Editor at Random House Children’s Books. She received her BA from Swarthmore College and her Master of Science in Journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University. Sara grew up in Buffalo, New York, and has also called Chicago and New York City home. She has held positions at HarperCollins Publishers, Simon & Schuster, Meet the Press, New York Magazine, Hyperion Books for Children, and WBEZ in Chicago. Sara collects Christmas ornaments from all over the world, from every city she visits—her favorite one is a hand-painted pink bauble from the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. Sara lives in Brooklyn, and this is her first book.
      Always Together At Christmas Cover Pic                    Always Together Author Signing Book

Blurb

Christmas will always mean love.Even if love looks a little different this year. As families and communities come together—and stay apart—in creative ways this holiday season, bring comfort and joy to children with this story about a Christmas just as memorable as those in years past. ALWAYS TOGETHER AT CHRISTMAS is the only book of its kind this season which highlights different family traditions and the ways they’re changing in the pandemic: from Santa’s elves practicing social distancing to opening presents via Zoom on Christmas morning. It even includes ideas for new quarantine-appropriate Christmas traditions!Children everywhere will see themselves reflected in the pagesof this bookasitfeatures families of all types in locations that range from sandy beaches to snowy zones. With thesweet and cozy illustrations addingclassic touches, and the uplifting message of togetherness, love and joy, this book is the perfect gift to share with family and friends from across the miles.

Always Together Map Page

Review

The first thing that strikes me is the big, bold illustrations and the short sentence per page. This has curve appeal to young children. It is festive with snowy scenes. It is uplifting and caring and shares a way forward in the spirit of fun. Children will most certainly be able to relate to every scene in the book. It illustrates in an easy to follow map how things could feel different this year, before showing that it will all be okay in the end. Santa will still appear, there can still be a Christmas tree and gifts and new traditions forged.

Always Together Page

The book concludes with some lovely ideas for families to do from the virtual and physical worlds that are designed for some ‘safe’ fun.

This is a beautiful, quick and easy book that parents, teachers, children can all look at and read and relate to in a way that can reassure children who are concerned what Christmas will be like in 2020, in a calm and joyful, hopeful way.

Always Together Believe Page