Happy Paperback Publication of Blaze Dog Detective – The Magic Flag Mystery by Lin Anderson and Donald McKay @Lin_Anderson @Blazespage #BlazeDogDetective #BookReview #Childrensbook #kidslit #mystery #adventure #cozymystery #ReadingforPleasure #ReadingRocks #EduTwitter

Blaze Dog Detective – The Magic Flag Mystery
By Lin Anderson and Donald McKay,
Rated 5 stars *****

I am pleased and delighted to be sharing my review of Blaze Dog Detective – The Magic Flag Mystery. This is the first in the series, I am so pleased to share with you, is now available in Waterstones in Paperback, so – Happy Publication!
It’s a terrific, mysterious book for children, with great characters and story and Blaze the Dog, who does actually live up in Skye. It’s a book children can really get totally involved in as the mystery unfolds amongst enchanting scenery and a castle. This is an intriguing read for reading for pleasure at home and in schools.
As you scroll through you will come across links to their pages, various photos, the blurb, my  full review and a buy link.

Twitter page links:
For Blaze – Oor Blaze Fae Skye – Blazes Page
For Lin Anderson – Lin Anderson

I thank Lin Anderson for contacting me with the opportunity to review this book and for providing a PDF copy of the book, and the various fun photos of Blaze, which you will see as you scroll further down my blog post. 

About the Author

Lin Anderson is best known as the creator of the forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod series of crime thriller novels and is now also writing the children’s books – Blaze Dog Detective series. She is also known for her part in founding the annual ‘Bloody Scotland’ crime writing festival. 

Blurb

When the famous fairy flag of the Clan MacLeod disappears from a locked room at Dunvegan Castle on the Isle of Skye, the police immediately call in Blaze Dog Detective.
After all his scenting skills on the island are legendary.
With his team of Rosa, Rory and wee brother Laoch, Blaze leads the chase to rescue this magical flag before it can be spirited away from the island forever.

Blaze Cover

Review

A map, a castle, a secret passage, adventure, cute dogs, robbers, police, a mystery to be solved, this children’s book has it all. There is wonderful mix of mild trepidation and humour and a terrific energy throughout. With all that and excellent characterisation and plot, I am highly recommending this book for children. Read on to find out more…

blaze fae Skye
Blaze from Skye

This is the first in a brand new detective series for children. Blaze happens to be a real dog in Skye who lives with his wee brother Laoch and their human dad and these are the main characters within this book, in fictional form.

The approach of writing about the dogs is excellent as they are not cartoon-like, they are written much more realistically than that. The instincts and observations of the dogs is cleverly written as they take on this quality that readers will want to get to know more of. There’s a warmth and wisdom in the characterisation that makes them endearing.

I enjoy the fact that readers will get to know the Isle of Skye, Scotland  and then the dogs and then the story pulls you in even deeper into the mystery of the stolen and valuable Fairy Flag.

I love that there is a map of Skye that children can have fun with. I love maps in children’s books. It always, immediately helps to give them a sense of place as the story is set, whether readers have been to the setting, in this case the Isle of Skye, Scotland or not. The writing throughout also gives a beautiful sense of Skye and its magical landmarks.

Blaze and naughty on beach
Blaze and Laoch on beach

Readers quickly find out how Blaze became a detective dog and also meet Granny Beaton (Granny B). She is no ordinary granny at all, riding a motorbike and possessing a crystal ball and has a 10-year-old granddaughter – Rosa from Glasgow.

There is a bit of danger within this story when news unfolds that the Fairy Flag at Dunvegan Castle, where the Chief of Clan McLeod lives,  has been stolen, meaning that the school trip for a summer castle party may be cancelled. There’s a terrific illustration of the castle and its grounds, plotted like a map to explore, that is a brilliantly conceived idea.

Fang is easy to sympathise with as his story unfolds and readers will find out if he knows anything about the Fairy flag or not and about the mysteriously clever crows that appear.

The hunt is on and there is a determination to find the Fairy Flag and who stole it, with secret passageways, a cave, a mysterious boat called The Darkness, there’s excitement, adventure and mild trepidation and team work to try and get the flag back, before it is gone forever. There’s also the distraction of rabbits to chase along the way and a hope that PC Munroe will be able to help. 

blaze and ferry          blaze figures it out

There’s some red herrings here and there, that creates for a great story for keeping readers guessing and gives scope to feel really involved in solving the mystery.

So this book is very much worth transporting yourselves to Skye and joining Blaze with his mischievous, fun brother in Skye, as he tries to solve this mystery.

The book is available now in Waterstones in paperback. 

Click the link to purchase: Waterstones
You will see all the books, top author Lin Anderson has written, including this new children’s book.

Blaze knows all the best walks in Skye and even sometimes comes to the mainland. 
Lin Anderson kindly shared a few. Hover your curser over the photos to find a little more about where Blaze is in each of the locations. 

 

Blaze 'n Trails
Walks on Skye

#Review of My Awesome Autism by Nikki Saunders @NRSaundersbooks #autism #edutwitter #childrensbook #picturebook #primaryrocks #libraries

My Awesome Autism
By Nikki Saunders
Rated: 5 stars *****

If I were asked to describe this book in 3 words, they would be:
Bold, Creative and Positive!
The rest of the review can be discovered below, after the blurb.

my awesome autism cover

Blurb

We Are All Different! That’s Wonderful! Some Differences Are Easy To See…
A book about autism and diversity. This book is the first step to providing a communicational gateway for your child to learn about their autism in a positive and nurturing way.

Whilst delivering such love and reassurance, your child can enjoy the stimulating, colourful illustrations with you, and later revisit upon the child’s experiences thereafter.

my awesome autism cover

Review

This is such a positive and uplifting book that child-educators and parents/caregivers can all enjoy with children. It can be used for those with autism or even to help provide empathy and understanding to those who do not. All children can gain something from this book. The fact that everything is backed up with positive and warm words of love may make lots of children smile and perhaps feel good about themselves. It could also have that effect on families and teachers too as they read it with their child(ren).

Each page is simply illustrated in large brightly coloured pictures that bring the story to life. So, nothing too intricate and not too busy either.

It has a terrific accrostic using the word “Autism”. It is super positive. The book then goes on to show that everyone is different from hair to skin colour to skills to observation.

There’s a really clever picture within the book that demonstrates observation perfectly. It is drawn in a way that it could be a duck and a rabbit and asks which you see first. It reassures it doesn’t matter, just that people are different in what they initially see, both are right.

The book then goes on to demonstrating that people’s senses, feelings, likes and dislikes can all be different and each is backed up with still promoting that message of Love.

There’s an affirmation about being Amazing!

There’s a section on how everyone has strengths and weaknesses and how some people may find certain things trickier than others. It’s backed up with reassurance that this is ok!

Twitter Link  @NRSaundersbooks

 

#Review of Timothy (and Lucy) Mean and the Time Machine 2 by William AE Ford @williamaeford@marcelo_cinica #kidslit #libraries #Childrensbook #kidslit #edutwitter #primaryrocks

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine 2
(and Lucy)
By William AE Ford
Illustrated by Marcelo Simonetti

Rated: 5 stars *****

I’ve been impressed at the calibre of writing and style that’s been coming from award winning author – William AE Ford before in both Timothy Mean and the Time Machine and The Cockatoo from Timbucktoo and this latest is no exception. This series is perfect for primary school children. I’ve read the previous books to classes to great success as they take children on imaginative adventures through time and space, all in rhyme and with computer graphic like pictures that really stand out. There are ways you can make them interactive stories. They are as good as Julia Donaldson’s books.
There are also resources on his website…. See after the review for links to that and his social media and a bit about William AE Ford.

I thank William AE Ford for surprising me with a copy of the book.

Timothy Mean and His Time Machine 2

Blurb

With Timothy Mean’s amazing imagination and time machine, anything and anywhere is possible!

Join Timothy and sister Lucy on a new magical rhyming adventure in this sequel to the Award Winning ‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ children’s picture book.

Mummies, Gladiators, Cavemen, Albert Einstein, Giant Squids, Leonardo Da Vinci and Aliens make an appearance in this exciting, laugh out loud, time travel escapade.

Review

The escapades start when Timothy Mean has had enough of his Mega Space Anti Alien Laser Gun. The thought of tidying his room isn’t much better. Let’s face it, no one likes to actually tidy their room. Timothy has the perfect antedote to that. His time machine that he created in book 1 is ready for more adventures. Do note that they are also stand alone books as well as part of a series.

I love that the lines that children can tag onto and recite about pushing the button of the time machine are still there. What I’ve found is that children love to create their own sound to this too. These are books where educators could get very creative with and still be within a learning and growing capacity, whilst also expanding imaginations of children and creating a love of reading.

Characters throughout history are discovered from Cleopatra in Egypt, Julius Caesar in Rome, Cavemen and wooly mammoth’s during the Ice-Age, Albert Einstein in a classroom in 1909, King Neptune in Atlantis, Leonardo Da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa and then it’s off to the future and up to Mars where Timothy and Lucy see aliens.

It’s a spectacular book that has a terrific range of subjects within it and rhymes wonderfully well. It has enough fun and detail for children of primary school age, to really get into in each page. I whole-heartedly believe it will feed into their curiosity and humour.

This is one that could easily spark conversations in a classroom or school library setting in the most fun ways.

The illustrations again, produced by Marcelo Simonetti that accompany the story, stand out very well and look very exciting in their boldness of colour and style. Each depicts the story very well indeed.

So all in all, I highly recommend this book and others by William AE Ford, who is shaping up to be an exciting author in this section of children’s books. No longer is he a debut author, but one who is now award-winning and produced a few books and is becoming ever more established in the book world. Children are really enjoying his books.

Social Media Links

Website: www.williamaeford.com
Twitter: @williamaeford

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

William 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.

 ‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ and ‘The Cockatoo from Timbuktu’ were 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 and five children.

‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ won the Readers Favourite Children’s Sci-Fi / Fantasy 2019 Award.

‘The Cockatoo from Timbuktu’ is William’s second published picture book. 

Timothy Mean 2 an epic fun-filled, action-packed sequel to the award winning Timothy Mean & The Time Machine has just been released.  

William has been described as an exciting author with his books being in the same calibre as Julia Donaldson. 

“If you are a fan of Julia Donaldson, you will love William A.E. Ford’s books. They are of that calibre. They are packed full of a rhyming story, big and bright illustrations that match the stories and with something that children will take away from them – fun and just enough knowledge along the way. These book are fun to interact with at home, in a library or in school or to curl up with at bedtime. However you like to read books, this is an exciting author I highly recommend” Bookmarks & Stages.


William welcomes enquiries from agents and publishers.

#Review of First Prize For The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy #JillMurphy @CandlewickPress #ChildrensBooks #Kidslit #ReadingforPleasure #TheWorstWitch

First Prize For The Worst Witch
By Jill Murphy
Rated: 5 stars *****

What a delight to be able to review First Prize for The Worst Witch. It’s a great series set in a boarding school for witches – Cackles Academy, with its sometimes eccentric teachers, spells and the mishaps of the worst witch of them all – Mildred Hubble, each one is full of action, humour and friendship. It’s been televised many times and even most recently on the CBBC channel and also on Netflix. It’s a series that continues to entertain children and is well-worth reading.
I thank Candlewick Press for allowing me to review this latest book of The Worst Witch series.
See below for my blurb and review.

Blurb

The Worst Witch First Prize coverMildred the accident-prone witch sets her sights on winning the school’s top honor (and helping circus animals in need) in the charming finale of the popular series. As seen on Netflix!

Mildred Hubble returns to Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches with a big dream: to be chosen as Head Girl! But with Mildred’s history of mistakes and mishaps, even her best friends are skeptical. Besides, Mildred’s rival, Ethel Hallow, is sure to win. Still, the new term is going well until Ethel finds out that Mildred’s beloved stray dog, Star, actually comes from a traveling circus, and Mildred is forced to return him. When Mildred realizes just how unhappy Star and the other circus animals are, she’s determined to get Star back and give his companions a better life, even if it means the headmistress won’t pick her for Head Girl. Little does she know that friendship, compassion, and loyalty might be justthe qualities Miss Cackle is looking for! With the series complete and a show on Netflix, it’s the perfect time to introduce a new generation of readers to Jill Murphy’s delightful Worst Witch series.

The Worst Witch First Prize cover

Review

A missing circus dog, a chance of an important prize and the usual cast of Miss Cackle, Miss Bat, Miss Hardbroom, Mildred, Maud, Enid, Ethel and Druisilla make up another fun story at Cackles Academy. It’s as well and reliably written as they always have been for primary school/middle grade children with themes of school life, magic, friendship and teamwork, mixed in with humour, this series always entertains and is perfect for reading for pleasure. Whether you’re new to this series or an established reader to them, this is a book you can dive right into.

Mildred Hubble, the most haphazard witch in Cackles Academy is back for the summer term, as are her fellow witchy class mates. She still has her trusty cat – Tabby, plus a tortoise – Einstein and another addition from last term – a dog – Star.
There’s fun with trying to get a Fourth Year Firsts prize and what Mildred really wants is to be picked as Head Girl. That gets Maud giggling so much! Readers of this series will know that Mildred’s reputation isn’t exactly favourable in Cackles Academy and her witch skills leave a lot to be desired. Ethel Hallow is also bemused by her even reaching fourth year!

There’s also the addition to the school – a swimming pool with all manner of pond life in it, which causes excitement and ideas, which leads to creating spells that go wrong, leaving Miss Hardbroom (HB) to fix things out with a Selkie.

Druisilla and Ethel discovered a poster that shows Star to actually be a missing dog from a circus and Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom are left to deal with it, a situation, Mildred only goes and makes worse for those involved, including the Brilliantines at the circus.

Ethel and Druisilla are still up to their tricks on poor Mildred, to sabotage anything she wants to try and acheive. Maud and Enid are never too far behind, trying to keep her spirits up.

It’s another joyous addition to the Worst Witch series. I’ve read from this series since I was a child and more recently, to school children and it still never fails to entertain.

The Book Dragon Club by Lexi Rees – The Book That Gives Children Lots to Do @lexi_rees @rararesources #ChildrensBook #Review #Kidslit #SummerReading

The Book Dragon Club
By Lexi Rees
Rated: 5 stars *****

Today I am pleased to be closing this lovely blog tour for The Book Dragon Club for Lexi Rees. It is an excellent book for children to inspire them to read. It is packed with so many fun challenges and quizzes and so much more. Children certainly won’t be bored with it this summer and beyond. There is lots to do themselves, with families and friends. The full blurb and review are below as are buy links and about the author.
I thank Lexi Rees for sending me a copy of the book and for Rachel at Random Resources Blog Tour for inviting me onto this blog tour.

The Book Dragon Cover

Blurb

The Book Dragon Club

Packed with awesome activities, this journal has everything a book dragon needs!

  • Tackle the fun reading challenges
  • Set up a book club with your friends
  • Host award ceremonies and parties
  • Make up games and quizzes based on your favourite books

Plus space for book reviews, reading lists and so much more. 

 

The Book Dragon Cover

Review

This book is amazing and is absolutely exciting. It isn’t a story book. This is the most fun, interactive book I’ve seen in awhile that encourages children to get reading and having the most terrific fun with so many different activities. This is a book that is fabulous for both confident and reluctant readers alike. This could be used at home and within schools. It is full of lots of different types of activities linked to books and reading.
It is a book where you can record the books you have read in the most fun and dynamic way.

There are pages that give children ideas as to what books they may like to read, not by title, but by theme, such as there’s a segment to write down books that make you laugh, had an animal in it, this sort of thing; therefore could expand your children’s reading choices and expand their horizons.

The book sets tick-box challenges, which can enthuse children to read in different locations within the UK and abroad.

There are cutout membership cards as it encourages you to set-up your own book club and call it anything you want.

There are pages, encouraging children to think about the heroes and villains of the books they read and score them and write what special powers they have etc.

Why not use the cut out pages to create your own book cover or bookmarks as well as pages of who recommended what book to you and to write your own little book reviews.

There are pages encouraging children to write, such as their own ending to a book or to choose a book with a cliff-hanger and to really think about how that could possibly end.

There’s a cool section that gets children thinking what is best – the movie or the book and why?

There are party invitations, complete with a page to list your party feast and seating plan.

There is also a page encouraging to write to an author.

There is so much to do within this book, children certainly won’t be bored. Watch as their interest widens. This book is fabulous!

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Book-Dragon-Club-Lexi-Rees/dp/187288928X

US –  https://www.amazon.com/Book-Dragon-Club-Lexi-Rees/dp/187288928X

The Book Dragon Cover

About the Author

Lexi Rees was born in Scotland but now lives down south. She writes action-packed adventures brim full of witch-doctors, fortune-tellers, warriors and smugglers, combining elemental magic with hints of dystopia. She also writes fun activity books for children. 

Her fantasy adventure, Eternal Seas, was awarded a “loved by” badge from LoveReading4Kids. The sequel, Wild Sky, is available now. 

She’s passionate about developing a love of reading and writing in children and, as well as her Creative Writing Skills workbook, she has an active programme of school visits and other events, is a Book PenPal for three primary schools, and runs a free online #kidsclub and newsletter which includes book recommendations and creative writing activities.

In her spare time, she’s a keen crafter and spends a considerable amount of time trying not to fall off horses or boats.

Social Media Links –

www.lexirees.co.uk

https://twitter.com/lexi_rees

https://www.facebook.com/LexiAuthor/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvWC70tUEfzPk9e4n9OvOmg/

https://www.instagram.com/lexi.rees

 

The Book Dragon Club Full Tour Banner

#Review of School Can Be Cool by Maleka Mamuji @schoolcanbecool #schoolstories #childrensbook #kidslit #shortstories #families #parents #school #edutwitter

School Can Be Cool
By Maleka Mamuji
Rated: ***

I noticed the book circulating around on Twitter and had enquired about reviewing it, of which I am delighted that they agreed I could. School is Cool, rather than a full story book as such, is one with a few short scenarios of school days. It’s one that depicts children from all different backgrounds.

About the Author

Maleka Mamuji is originally from Kenya and moved to England (UK) when she was six years old. She grew up and studied in England where she qualified as a lawyer. The author states that, “school for me was a very memorable experience, fun but tough at times”. Her book aims at providing short but inspirational stories to help children enjoy their school experience.

School can be cool

Blurb

School can be Cool provides five short but inspirational stories from different students’ experiences. It shows the various challenges they face at school and how they overcome them. The main characters in the book are as follows:
•Rashida who has moved from Kenya to Manchester (UK) and is nervous of starting a new school in a different country;
•Jodie who wishes she could be like her best friend Gretchen as Gretchen is popular in school;
•Tom who always comes last in sports and wishes he could miss school on Tuesdays and Thursdays just so he can avoid doing sports;
•Milly, Peter and Leah are all very different from each other. They never talk to each other and do not even want to. They are teamed up by their Drama teacher Mrs. Clark to produce a play. How will they get along?; and
•Gemma who was led to believe that Friday the 13th is the day of bad luck; but Gemma’s luck proves different.

Review

School initially in each of the scenarios is definitely not cool in the beginning. From Rashida to having a bad dream about being the new girl in class to Gemma who thinks will go wrong on Friday the 13th and to make matters worse, has lost something. The stories themselves set up almost matter of fact scenarios about how children may perceive things as going to go in their school day and each one is shown a more positive slant to show that the day may not necessarily play out the way they first thought. Each scenario ends with showing how school days can be cool in the end.

It is a book that has potential to be a useful tool amongst bigger resources to some parents who are perhaps having some issues on certain days in persuading their child to go to school. The scenarios are fairly simple and quick, it’s more about how the child thinks a day might go and the reality proving them wrong than anything else, to present a more positive, inspirational outlook, which can feed into their own day and thoughts. Each, relatable primary school scenario is backed up with a lovely illustration.

The book is free on Kindle Unlimited at the moment.