Blog Tour Review of Toletis by Rafa Ruiz – For Ages Seven to 107 #Toletis @rafaruizmad #RafaRuiz @Neemtreepress #RandomThingsTour @AnneCater #AlenaHomiga #BenDawlatly #Spain #UK #Environment #Climate #Adventure #Fiction #Kidslit #YA #Education

Toletis
By Rafa Ruiz
Rated: 4 Stars ****

It is with great pleasure that I present to you my review of Toletis by Rafa Ruiz. The book for people ages 7 to 107 because it has important themes of friendship, the environment and there’s plenty of adventure and some humour, complete with illustrations. This is a book that adults and children can read alone or enjoy together and gain something from it. It is a book to inspire everyone at every milestone in their lives.

Today is happily my turn on the Random Things Blog Tour I was invited on.

FINAL Toletis BT Poster

About the Author

Rafa Ruiz Author PicRafa Ruiz is a journalist and author who has a staunch commitment to culture, art and the environment. He spent 25 years at Spanish newspaper El País and is a partner-founder of the Press Association for Environmental Information (APIA). He has written numerous children’s books, and he codirects the Mad is Mad art gallery in Madrid which gives space to up-and-coming artists. He is one of the partner-founders of the Press Association for Environmental Information (APIA).

 

Toletis Elena Hormiga PictureElena Hormiga is an illustrator with a sense of humour. She studied and worked as an engineer and later turned to illustration

 

 

Ben Dawlatly PictureBen Dawlatly took an MA in Hispanic Studies and Translation Theory at UCL. He translates both technical and literary texts. However, his real calling is in fiction and poetry.

 

Blurb

Trees are disappearing and adults don’t care. Toletis, his dog Amenophis and friends Claudia and Tutan are on a mission to turn their little valley town, set deep in the mountains, luscious green again. The odds are stacked against them. Can they succeed… with some very unusual help?

Toletis is a positive role model for boys

Toletis is a quiet, sensitive and caring boy who isn’t afraid to show his emotions. His character is a perfect antidote to the expectations of a “typical” boy: loud, boisterous and destructive. This is definitely a book for parents who reject the saying “boys will be boys”.

The ‘big’ real life stuff

One of the things I love most about Toletis is that it touches on big real life events such as the death of a family member in a wholesome and loving way. Sad events in the book are neither taboo nor overly sad; they are expertly touched upon in a way that is both matter-of-fact and empathetic.

Toletis encourages a love of nature

It’s easy to be drawn in by the immersive storytelling and beautiful illustrations. Toletis spends much of the book exploring the hills and valleys around his home, foraging, planting trees and doing all of the things every child should. The book gives just enough detail – the smells, the sounds of the hills are so clear you’re almost there yourself.

Toletis has a good sense of justice

Toletis has a good sense of justice. When trees are cut down to put a wide road through the town, he hatches a plan to stop it. He knows what is wrong in the world and isn’t afraid to step up and change it. 

Toletis Cover

Review

Travel along with the playful mist and meet Toletis who has a love of trees and to get to know them all as well as grow one, especially an apple tree. The book goes into the fascination of this in a lovely amount of detail and enough to feed the curiosity of young minds. Toletis’s friend Tutan also has a deep interest in wildlife and tries to imitate birds such as hen harriers, swifts, tawny owls and more and also animals such as pigs, horses, dogs and more.

In Spring time, also meet the Treenie-weenies, who are all the souls of the trees that had been felled, who then inhabit other trees. There’s an issue though – the town isn’t planting more trees and the Treenie-weenies are bored. Read on to find out what they do in the end. It certainly wasn’t what I expected, it was even better.

In the book you can join Toletis at his school and learn the Wobbegong language, which his teacher doesn’t understand and is reminded to write in English, but he speaks it with Aunty Josifina as they play with words and language and just have fun with it.

It is soon Summer time and there’s more people to meet and things to do.

Meet Alexander Atherton Aitken who comes to see Toletis, Tutan and Claudia on a farm. There visitor just isn’t used to farm animals. There’s fun and tall tales to be had and later in the chapter Lian – AAA as Alexander was shortened to has tales of his own to tell about Julian and whether he went to war or not and whether he was the Lian or not. Read on to find out what happens next and about the mysterious house.

Autumn arrives and Toletis promises hazlenuts for his mum and goes “nutting” a tree. There’s some natural child thoughts about how Toletis imagines his mum not being around anymore. It seems dark, but lots of children, including me, has thought and imagined this in childhood. In this case it sweetly makes Toletis appreciate his mum even more. There’s also a parts of growing up as he looks at his dad’s legs and compares them with his own, just to see if they’re the same. Children will relate to this as they try to make sense of things as they grow. There’s comfort to be gained by this part in the stories.

Behold the rickety mansion that belongs to Claudia’s Granny Ursula with her animal-like eyes. It is atmospheric and a feast for the eyes with its antique furniture and cakes, lots of cakes and then a further surprise of something else edible on the third floor. Read further to find out what…

Enter the Wide Road where people move too fast through their surroundings, never really paying attention to it as they speed along the road, that is also being widened by workmen. Toletis is different. He properly observes the surroundings. It highlights what plant species grow on road verges and their importance. There’s a stark contrast between the hard asphalt and the beauty of the green verges and the destruction of them and the speed on the roads and what harm can be done.

Winter brings a coldness that can almost be felt, as can the comfort of wintry foods. It also gives time for old photographs to come to the fore, which bring intrigue, beauty and fun that is so illustravely written.

Throughout the book there are adventures to have, friendships and a real care for the immediate environment, which is beautifully written. This may not be a book that immediately comes to people’s minds so quickly and yet there are important messages within it and it is a lovely story for children to explore this lovely vivid book alone or with and adult.

There are interesting illustrations throughout the book to assist in telling the story, which will appeal to many children of the ages 7 plus as they are now so used to reading books like Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Tom Gates, Storey Treehouse series that all have illustrations through them too.

The book will appeal to boys and girls alike and has Toletis, the main character having the qualities of being a positive role model to both. It shows a sensitivity as well as still having humour and adventure throughout it.

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A Book for Each Day of the Week #TheStrawberryThief @Joannechocolat #SummerattheKindnessCafe @Vicky_Walters #TheHangryHamster #SealedWithADeath @JamesSilvester1 #TheLongestFarewell @nulasuchet @johnsuchet1 #summer #bookish #crime #kidslit #romance #France #UK #Thriller #summerreads #review Resume of Reviews of 7 Great Books for Summer and Beyond

A resume of 7 great books I have read over the summer and beyond.

I have read and reviewed a number of books this summer. I thought I would give a quick resume of 7 of them. Full reviews are also in my blog. I have also provided individual links to the full reviews. Please do take a look, you may be inspired or reminded of a good book.

The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris – Fiction

Strawberry thief

The Strawberry Thief is the latest part of the Chocolat series, written by Joanne Harris

This book sees Vianne Rocher back in Lansquenette-Sous Tannes during Easter with strawberries and chocolate filling the senses. There’s also a change in the wind as there is excellent writing, truth and emotion in the writing as Anouk has grown up and flown the nest. This is in contrast to Rosette who cannot do this part of life.
Roux still lives on the boat, preferring his own company and there is a new character called Morgane Dubois.
The writing of the wind is beautifully descriptive and tells the reader there’s much more than just the wind to come and that it is meaningful. The growing up of children who fly the nest and set up their own lives is relatable. The book will arouse anyone’s senses and emotions. It is just as good as the previous 3 books within this series. The descriptive writing is atmospheric and adds to the intrigue as to how this book will end.

Note, there is also an added afterward about Joanne’s own experience of her daughter leaving home and there is a poignant, well-written short story in print copies only of this book that are well-worth reading.

Link below:

https://bookmarksandstages.home.blog/2019/06/02/the-strawberry-thief-by-joanne-harris-an-exquisite-atmospheric-and-poignant-book-5-stars-joannechocolat-orionbooks-gigicroft-thestrawberrythief-review-newbook-waterstones

 

Summer at the Kindness Cafe by Victoria Walters – Fiction

Summer at Kindess Cover (1)

Enter Brew – Kindness Cafe this summer and you won’t be disappointed. Enter Brew and be inspired to do your own random acts of kindness this summer, like the three women within this story.

Abbie Morgan is the main protagonist and is forced to leave London after being made redundant, something so relatable to many people.
Within the book there are sections called “Notes from the Brew Kindness Board”. This may inspire some people to follow-suit and do random acts of kindness. Get to know the characters and their personalities and see if Acts of Kindness transforms their lives or not.
Once the story has ended, turn the page for a lovely note by the author.

Link below:

https://bookmarksandstages.home.blog/2019/06/18/summer-at-the-kindness-cafe-by-victoria-walters-this-summer-be-encapsulated-in-warmth-kindness-and-life-vicky_walters-teambatc-summeratthekindnesscafe-randomthingstours-annecater-randomactof

The Hangry Hamster by Grace McCluskey – Fiction

hangry hamster

Have fun with this children’s book. Billy gets a hamster and takes him everywhere, until the hamster isn’t allowed on the plane when Billy is going abroad. The hamster gets left behind and becomes hangry and goes on an adventure through London. Take a read of this adventurous, exciting, humorous, well illustrated book, written by a child for children.

https://bookmarksandstages.home.blog/2019/07/14/the-hangry-hamster-by-grace-mccluskey-a-short-action-packed-book-to-engage-and-excite

Sealed with a Death – Fiction

Sealed with a Death Book Cover

Would you like a great political thriller? Give Sealed with a Death by James Silvester a try.

This book has got to be placed up there in one of the most current book in fiction there currently is. James Silvester writes very well and at excellent pace, in conveying what is happening and mixing it with his fictional. Meet Lucie Musilova – an assassin working as part of the Overlappers Intelligence Team. Women across many countries in Europe start to disappear, Kasper Algers, an Independent MP disappears and there’s still the case as to what happened to Ines Aubel. Readers are also taken into the world of brothels and further into the world of espionage and fake passports.

The book takes us to the far right of British politics and also to France where there’s the Gilet Jaune movement and the author takes this element into Britain. There’s also a focus on the everyday prejudices, pay as well as the cuts to police resources.

I have to say, I was impressed by not just how current this book is, but also the calibre of writing, considering the time it takes to write a book, especially well and how politics moves along at the moment. The language and tone of all the characters is believable, there’s no holding back!

Link below:

https://bookmarksandstages.home.blog/2019/07/15/sealed-with-a-death-by-james-silvester-jamessilvester1-urbanebooks-lovebookstours-politicalthriller-thriller-espionage-newreview-newbook

A Summer to Remember by Sue Moorcroft – Fiction

A Summer to Remember Cover

Clancy Moss is the main character, leaving her old life to start a new one. There’s romance, there’s social, tourism and education issues that are dealt with. From beginning to end this book has so much of human life and yet it feels as light as summer, and still it skillfully has meaningful substance. It is a most enjoyable and absorbing read of break-up, romance and life’s trials and tribulations and escapism. A Summer to Remember is a book to remember this summer and for more summers to come.

Please note, there is also an added short story in physical print copies of this book that is worth reading.

Link below:

https://bookmarksandstages.home.blog/2019/07/24/a-summer-to-remember-by-sue-moorcroft-a-delightful-summer-read-suemoorcroft-avonbooksuk-summer-summerreads-heatwave-review-newbooks-ebookpromo-norfolk-romance

 

Zippy and Me by Ronnie Le Drew – Non-Fiction

zippy cover

Ronnie Le Drew is best known as being the puppeteer for Zippy in children’s TV show – Rainbow. It is a well written autobiography about becoming a puppeteer, his starting out at the The Little Angel Theatre. Some of the hard time he had to go through (not a sob-story though, it is better than that). and the people he worked with such as Jim Henson and David Bowie. Ronnie comes across as being down-to-earth as he never forgets his roots. This book is also about a bit of Rainbow scandal and what happened to the people working in it afterwards. It is nostalgic to say the least. Readers will get a look of behind the scenes of Ronnie’s puppeteer work, which makes it a fascinating read.

Link below:

https://bookmarksandstages.home.blog/2019/08/02/zippy-and-me-by-ronnie-le-drew-with-duncan-barrett-and-nuala-calvi-re-visit-your-childhood-with-this-enlightening-book-about-rainbow-zippyandme-punchand-unbounders-duncanbarrett-nualacalvi-rai

The Longest Farewell by Nula Suchet – Non-Fiction

The Longest Farewell book pic

 Condensing my review down, only goes a little into what is really within the pages of this book. I will say it is a very worthy book to read, so please do take a look at the full review of it. I will also say it is the most emotional book of the summer. Nula Suchet’s husband James who, at the age of 57 had Picks disease – a form of dementia and this is chronicled very well in this book, with every heart-felt sentence. John Suchet’s wife – Bonnie also had dementia. It is heartbreaking and there is also so much love as Nula cares for James, who does go into a care home, but that is also where she meets John, who is there visiting his Bonnie. It is also about the relationship that develops between John and Nula and their travels together, that at first don’t exactly go smoothly. The writing is so amazingly strong, every aspect of the book is absorbing and all-consuming in a good way because every emotion can practically be felt and empathised and sympathised with. It is telling that it is all written from the heart and this part of both John and Nula’s life was not easy. It does however have the most happy of endings or rather shows the happiness of a continuation of their lives. 

Please do look at my full review for this book, if you haven’t done so already because just a few words only really highlights the book’s existence and a little of what it is about.

Link below:

https://bookmarksandstages.home.blog/2019/08/07/the-longest-farewell-james-dementia-and-me-by-nula-suchet-nulasuchet-johnsuchet1-serenbooks-david_suchet-vicky_mcclure-the_writereads-dementia-nonfiction-review-newbook

Geronimo Stilton – Stop Acting Around by Geronimo Stilton @PaperCutzGN #Kidslit #GraphicNovels #Review #Newbook #Humour #Adventure Take a look at the latest in the series of this fun novel

Geronimo Stilton –
Reporter #3
Stop Acting Around
By Geronimo Stilton

Rated: ****

About the Author

Born in New Mouse City, Mouse Island, Geronimo Stilton is Rattus Emeritus of Mousomorphic Literature and of Neo-Ratonic Comparative Philosophy. He is the director of The Rodent’s Gazette,New Mouse City’s most widely read daily newspaper. Stilton was awarded the Ratitzer Prize for his scoops on The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid and The Search for Sunken Treasure. One of his bestsellers won the 2002 eBook Award for world’s best-selling electronic book. In 2006 he won a Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award and in 2008 he won the Cartoomics prize “Beyond Comics.” His works have been published all over the globe. In his spare time, Mr. Stilton collects antique cheese rinds.

About the Book

Geronimo Stilton is Getting into the movies when he is invited by an old filmmaker friend, director E.J. Sprocket, to visit the set Block Cheddar 4, starring Jack Vole. Convinced that this could make for an interesting article, he brings Thea, Benjamin, and Pandora along. But soon they discover that it’s not all glitz and glamour as strange happenings have been plaguing production, causing the film to go off course. Will Geronimo’s acting career be over before it starts? Is there a MOLE on the set? As E.J. would say, “That’s show business for ya baby!”

Review

Geronimo Stilton stop acting aroundGeronimo Stilton books have been around awhile in libraries and book shops and they are nicely still going strong. They are graphic novels, with the story told in a well layed-out and illustrated form and often depict an eye-catching cover, with a good paced plot. Stop Acting Around takes Geronimo (a mouse) on-set of a big movie to meet his favourite actor – Jack Vole and reckons this would make for a great article. The book starts with some on set action. I thought this worked well to draw young readers in and it starts to set the scene. All is well until disaster strikes when 10 cans of film are mysteriously destroyed. The book has plenty of action and there is mild trepidation when there’s a rickety bridge to get across a ravine and down an old mine as the mystery continues as to what happened to the film reels. Further down the mines, Geronimo and his friends come across something quite unexpected in the darkness. There’s enough to keep children entertained throughout. There is a good,  solid ending.
It is, like other books in this series, all very well designed and the way language is used is great! Children can find lots of fun within the way the characters speak.
All in all, right from the start to the end of the book. there is enough mystery and excitement for children aged 7 plus. Children who are already fans of the series will enjoy it and those who have not yet tried the series yet, it is worth giving it a go and trying something new. The books have a great energy to them and would appeal to boys and girls alike and they can unleash the mysterious adventure within their imaginations and within the pages and perhaps be inspired to be news reporters themselves too.

*This book has a release date for the 3rd September 2019.

* Thanks to publishers PaperCutz for accepting my request from NetGalley and giving me the great opportunity to review this book, which hopefully will inspire more people to try this series or to continue to follow it.

________________________________________

Book: Geronimo Stilton
Author: Geronimo Stilton
ISBN: 9781545803325
Pub Date: 03/09/2019
Publisher: MacMillan imprint 
Papercutz
Pages: 56

The Hangry Hamster by Grace McCluskey A short, action-packed book to engage and excite. #GraceMcCluskey #seansteele #damagedproductions #hamsters #education #kidslit #libraries #bookshops

The Hangry Hamster
By Grace McCluskey
Rated: ****

About the Author

The author Grace McCluskey is not your average author by any means. She wrote The Hangry Hamster, aged 8 years old. She is now a little older than this, but still somewhere between that childhood and young-adult stage in life. The story was originally written for the 500 word competition ran by Radio 2. She did not win and naturally became disappointed. She, however did not give-up entirely and with going through all the usual editing processes etc, illustrator Sean Steele got on board and the book was published this summer and is already doing well.

Image may contain: text

Review

Today on my blog, I am delighted to present a review of The Hangry Hamster. I had the privilege of reading the Hangry Hamster pre-publication and knew as soon as I saw it, there was something really good and exciting  about it. I am happy to say I have been proven right and it has now been published with success.

The story introduces readers to Billy who wants a hamster and the fun the two of them have to of them have as they go everywhere together. That is until the hamster can’t go on a plane when Billy is going on a holiday abroad with his family. The hamster then goes on the run through London like no hamster has ever before and it turns out to be quite an adventure and readers will really see what happens when a hamster becomes hangry.

The front cover is brilliantly executed of a huge hamster towering over some famous London landmarks. It’s bright, fun and eye-catching. As an adult who works with every age, this is a book that excites me for children. The story is packed full of action, humour and the relationship between human and pet. The illustrations are brilliantly conceived and go along with the story incredibly well and the story really becomes alive.

I also really like this concept of bonding with a pet and becoming inseparable. The shift in pace works really well when the hamster becomes “hangry”. 
The illustrations are brilliantly conceived and go along with the story incredibly well and the story really becomes alive.

It’s great for a range of children, such as those who like to be read to, readers who are competent readers and enjoy reading alone, readers who are perhaps a bit reluctant. It’s short at 24 pages and there are illustrations on each page as well as a well constructed story.

This is a new story to really become excited about for children and would be an excellent addition to any library, and on your own shelves and is already in bookshops and selling fast. So, give new authors a chance and give this book a try. I reckon your child(ren) won’t be left disappointed. Even if you find it to be sold-out, I would still recommend you put in your request so you have a copy when it is back in stock.

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine By William A.E. Ford – Go on a Cool Interactive Time Travelling Adventure @williamaeford @marcelo_cinica #kidslit #Review #publishers #libraries #school

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine
By William A.E. Ford
Illustrated by Marcelo Simonetti
Rating: 4.5 stars 4.5 stars

About the Author

 

William Ford Author picWilliam has always had a passion for books, writing and story-telling.  William’s favourite way to end a cosy evening is to spend time dreaming up and reading bed-time stories to his five wonderful children.

Just one of his many stories, ‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ was inspired by the spark of his children’s colourful imaginations as they tirelessly created unique, laughter filled days from even the most mundane, everyday objects and situations!

Born in England, William  currently lives in Oslo, Norway with his wife Silje and five children.

‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ is William’s first published work and he plans to publish more books shortly.

William Ford Cover

Blurb

With Timothy Mean’s amazing imagination and time machine, anything and anywhere is possible! Join Timothy on a magical rhyming adventure as he skips through time and pranks with pirates, gets daring with dragons, and even teases a T-Rex.

“It’s Monday, Hip, hip hooray!
Where shall we travel in time today?”

With Timothy Mean, every day is a rhyme in time

Review

This book rhymes perfectly well. Travelling with Timothy Mean is so much fun! I actually had fun myself reading it to some children, who also had lots of fun. Their verdict was “It’s Great!!” So much so that reading it once just wasn’t enough.

Each page is very well illustrated and they all fit into the modern tastes of children in-terms of design, which I was impressed by as they look almost film book like in style. The illustrations are full of life and fun and go perfectly along with the words. The words themselves rhyme exceptionally well and have an excellent rhythm to them.

There is lots to feed children’s imaginations from creating a time machine to travelling in it to meet a viking ship, dinosaurs, his parents when they were children at school, the first moon landing, a dragon and knights, a pirate ship and finally into the future, before returning home.

 


The story takes place during the course of a week and everyday is clear and exciting! When I read it to children I could easily get them to join in and engage. They named the days as we went along, joined in enthusiastically with the hip, hip hoorays and other sentences that are repeated throughout the book, so in linguistic terms and communication terms, it is a book that is great for improving this too.
Each time the red button is pressed to go travelling through time and although it does not say what the sound made, the children decided, without prompting or questioning, it was “bing”, so they too were already creating their own element of fun and interaction with the book. There’s a lot of age appropriate humour throughout this time travelling adventure. It’s a book that children can really have a good time with.

The book is entirely age appropriate and children get to see different things, learn a bit, but mostly have lots of fun too. There’s plenty within the words and pictures to open up further conversations about what the children are seeing, to further their knowledge and feed further into their imaginations. I also love the layout of the entire book. It doesn’t look too daunting and it can be read to children or they can read it themselves and have lots of fun!

There’s a small and it is small observation within the illustrations, is that there isn’t always a visible picture of the red button, although it is mentioned each appropriate moment within the text, otherwise it would be a full five stars.

This book would be excellent for any home, nursery, classroom and library. This is a book for children who love books that rhyme, love adventure and enjoy authors such as Julia Donaldson.

This is an excellent debut book with fun and style with excellent writing from William A.E. Ford. It’s been created and written like he has been writing for longer and I hope there are more to come. It really is worth checking out!

William Ford VikingWilliam Ford Space

William Ford Dragon


_____________________________________________
Title: Timothy Mean and The Time Machine
Author: William A.E. Ford
Illustrator: Marcelo Simonetti
ISBN Number: 978-1-7307-5807-2
Main Points of Purchase: Amazon and Amazon Kindle

 

A Review of Princess Poppy – Please, Please Save The Bees! – An environmentally conscious book for kids By Janey Louise Jones @janeypoppyjones @Jennie Poh @Zoologist_Jess #EdenCooper #Cbeebies #PoppyPrincess #Kidslit #Reading #Review

Princess Poppy
By Janey Louise Jones
with Jennie Poh
Rating: 4 stars ****

About the Author

janey louise jones author
Janey Louise Jones has been writing the Princess Poppy series for fifteen years. She lives in Edinburgh. She has three sons.


Blurb


In this book, join Poppy and her friends as they discover why the bees have

gone missing from Honeypot Hill. Without the bees there will be no more
delicious strawberries, tomatoes, peas or honey treats. What can Princess
Poppy do to save the bees?
Follow the adventures of Princess Poppy and discover nature with her!

Publication date is 7th February. Books can be pre-ordered now. See below for my “Main Purchase Point” element.

princess poppy book


Review

Readers may know Princess Poppy from previous titles such as Princess Poppy: Baby Twins or Princess Poppy: Twinkletoes and many others. Princess Poppy has now been given a completely new lease of life by her author Janey Louise Jones and in great style, that is modern in its content and yet still in-keeping in the character that kids know and love. Princess Poppy is now an advocate, activist and junior environmentalist. She is a character that now can be a real source of inspiration and one that children can really build on in their own aspirations as they learn and explore with her in an informal, relaxed way. This book has a clear environmental and science themes to it. The interesting and different thing about this book is that it is a children’s fictional book with big credentials. It is endorsed by Environmental Education Consultant – Paul Lawston and by Head of Nature and Biodiversity for Scottish Government – Hugh Dignon. This book also has a quote given by Dr. Jess French – as seen on Cbeebies channel.

I have to mention the size of the book is excellent for kids to handle and for any teacher and librarian to use for a class or group of children. It is also great for bedtime or quiet time stories at home too. It’s medium in size and is bold with large pictures inside, making it ideal for any group storytime as everyone will be able to see with consummate ease. The illustrations are well conceived, in-line with the text and there is a lovely map at the beginning of the book of where Poppy Princess lives, which is an excellent element. Children of all ages love maps. There is also lots of room for excellent interactivity from counting different creatures to opening discussions about the importance of bees to having fun with a dance to taking the book much further and actually following some of the ideas of the book of having a bee trail and planting seeds. This book has plenty of scope in developing ideas and the imaginations of children and teaching them about science and the environment in an age-appropriate manner.

The story begins with Princess Poppy and her friend Honey visiting their grandpa in the summer to gather fruit. Already there is dialogue there to capture children’s attention.
All three become concerned about the size of the soft fruits and the decreased amount and their attention turns to the lack of bees. As the story moves on, there is talk of both bumblebees and honeybees vanishing. What this serious and timely topic is coupled with is some light-hearted fun too. There’s also talk of a summer fair. The book has plenty that is relatable to children.

Children will be led onwards with Princess Poppy and her friend Honey to discover other people hoping the bees will appear, which turn the two intrepid explorers into detectives on a mystery to discover where all the bees have gone to and end up on a bee trail. Children listening or reading this story will learn on this bee trail the difference between the honey and bumble bees, their different jobs and what bees need to thrive, in a relaxed informal way as it is told in story form, after all this is a fictional book, but with much for them to learn from.

There’s much for children to ponder that is thought-provoking for them, but on a level they will understand and be able to discuss in any group setting or with their parents/guardians.

The story then moves onwards when  Princess Poppy and Honey have discovered more about the bees to how to save the bees in a practical way and in time for the summer fair. She contemplates many ways of how to get the word out to the masses that bees need to be saved and that there are simple and practical things that can be done to achieve this. This segment of the story, although has many serious elements to it and has much to teach children, it is done in a relatable way. There’s even a dance called the “Waggle Dance” that children could copy and do to a certain extent, which adds a different element of fun to the story as does dressing up.

Once the story is finished, continue onwards in the book because there are some fantastic bee facts and how to practically help the bees, given to young readers by grandpa. Continue further and young readers and storybook explorers can help Princess Poppy spot the animals and creatures that are in the pictures given in a key chart, that include places such as grandpa’s garden, in the meadow and the hedgerow, which are all located within this book. This I think is a great idea and can be a fun tool to use for parents/guardians and anyone within education and libraries. It is also something fun that children can do with friends or alone.

All in all I would say this is an excellent interactive book for children. It is recommended age 3+, but in my opinion the children who would get the most benefit out of it and most understanding are primary age children, such as primary 1 and primary 2, although 3 and  4 years would also get some element of fun from it. The themes are serious and return books back to having an environmental message within them. There were elements I did  feel that could have been expressed in a bit more of a fun way and still have children understand it, especially for the very young, otherwise it would have had 5 stars. On the whole, it is a good paced read. I was also glad it had a happy type of outcome in the end though and had the reasons behind the importance of saving the bees and how to go about doing it. There is enough sensitivity to this book, so children understand the gravitas of the message that is being conveyed without scaring them.

I have read this book to children and they responded well to it and enjoyed it. I found even boys enjoyed this book. So, although it is about a couple of female friends and the main character is Princess Poppy, don’t limit it to only reading it to girls. There’s enough other content within it to appease boys too because they also can be interactive with this book just the same.

All in all these Poppy Princess books would fit perfectly well on anyone’s shelves and would make a great read. It is the type of book that could easily be read more than once as children grow and their understanding develops further in what the story is conveying about the importance of saving bees and how to assist in an age appropriate way in doing this. It is also the type of book that can be used to implement practical activities from to enhance science and environmental studies for young primary children. So, go ahead and add to your Poppy Princess collection or begin it, with this lovely, environmentally conscious book and pre-order it. Publication date is 7th February 2019.

Please continue to read on to find out more about this series of books.

poppy princess inside page

So far in these are the future Princess Poppy titles to look out for in this re-vamped series of books:

* Princess Poppy: Fantastic, no plastic!
* Princess Poppy: The Refugee Princess
* Princess Poppy: Love Our Planet!

*With thanks to Janey Louise Jones for sending me her book and for providing the photographs, information about herself and additional bits of information about this book.

*Please note that this is an impartial review.

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Title: Poppy Princess: Please, please save the bees

Author: Janey Louise Jones

Illustrator: Jennie Poh

Pages: 34

Publisher: Eden Cooper

Publication Date: 7th February 2019

Limited Hardback Edition
ISBN:  978-1-9164484-0-7

Luxury Softback Edition with environmental credentials, using FSC-certified
ISBN: 978-1-9164484-1-4

Main Purchase Points: Amazon, Book Depository, Foyles, WH Smith, Waterstones