#Review by Lou of #Middlegrade #ChildrensBook – Which Way To Anywhere By Cressida Cowell @CressidaCowell @HodderBooks #HodderChildrensBooks #HachetteChildrensBooks #WhichWayToAnywhere

Which Way To Anywhere
By Cressida Cowell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I’ve a review from a brand new series from Which Way to Anywhere by Cressida Cowell, author known for How to Train Your Dragon and Wizard of Once series and former Children’s Laureate. Fly down to discover the blurb and my review of this adventurous fantasy/sci-fi middle-grade book.

Blurb

From the bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once comes an out-of-this-world new adventure …

K2 O’Hero is a seemingly ordinary boy – after all, he and his twin sister Izzabird have been sworn to keep their family’s magical history a secret. Not even their infuriating stepsiblings, Theo and Mabel, know that magic exists. They believe K2 to be the most hopeless person they have ever known.

But K2 has a secret gift: he draws maps of worlds that are beyond the wildest of imaginations. Worlds with six hundred moons, burning rivers and dark, twisty jungles alive with plants that hunt by the smell of fear. But what K2 doesn’t know, is that the maps he draws are real.

When their baby sister Annipeck is kidnapped, the warring stepsiblings will have to use K2’s gift to find a crossing point into one of those worlds and embark on a daring rescue mission. With a terrible beast and a petrifying robot assassin in their way, they must learn to work together quickly – because the future of their family is at stake …

Review

The cast list that children will meet is great. It instantly captures your attention, but that’s what Cressida Cowell’s writing and imagination does and this book doesn’t disappoint.

There is a magical world with a beast and a robot assassin, trees and plants that aren’t completely how you would assume them to be, as well as a family with magic powers. Amongst the adventure and all the creatures are themes of blended families and ecology. It is a world that has much depth that is quick to emerge into, with its immersive writing style.

The book is dramatic within the forest and intriguing within the lands and characters. It is also full of humorous situations that brings extra entertainment in its twisty, action-packed fantasy/sci-fi world. It is a treat for the senses that is a twisty fast-paced, exciting page-turner. 

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#Review By Lou of #Middlegrade #book-My Mum Is A Spy By Andy McNab and Jess French @The_Real_McNab @Zoologist_Jess @nathanreed_lllo @welbeckpublish @WelbeckKids

My Mum Is A Spy
By Andy McNab and Jess French
Illustrated By Nathan Reed

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I have a review of My Mum Is A Spy, a Middle Grade book. It has adventure and mystery’s  Thanks to the publisher, Welbeck Books for the book in exchange of an honest review, get out those spy magnifying glasses and see the blurb and review below…

Blurb

My mum is absolutely definitely 100% NOT a spy…

When Lucia and her dad come to stay for a week, Idris can’t believe his bad luck. He had prepared himself to share the TV remote and maybe some of his toys, but he hadn’t prepared himself for Lucia. Lucia LOVES spying and – worst of all – she is convinced that Idris’ mum is a spy. And that just can’t be true . . . can it?

But even Idris has to admit there is something a bit unusual about their family trip to the zoo. Were his eyes playing tricks on him, or did someone really drop something into Mum’s bag? And why is Budi the orangutan, who is normally so cheerful, suddenly off his food?

Maybe it’s time for some spying, after all . . .

Review

This book is bursting with an exciting energy. This is absolutely terrific for children reading chapter books in the middle grade set. First of all, the illustrations are fun and look visually great, the layout of the text is also fun, making it easy for any child to get their teeth into. There’s also the curious question of whether Idris’s mum is a spy or not and Idris, initially with an eye-popping list, exploding off the page to catch any child’s eye as to why his mum isn’t a spy…. Something that readers will have fun exploring and figuring out who is right – Idris or Lucia.

Lucia’s love of spying really shines through when the news reporter announces the theft of pangolins from the zoo. Pangolins are described well in the book for kids. Readers can explore the zoo, meeting all the great and cute animals, all looked after well in large enclosures as Idris sees the good work zoos do. There’s even a map!
There is also a part that shows a fake palm oil plantation. Older readers may make the connection of palm oil and the depletion of forests and habitats.

The characters are written well. Lucia with her obsessions and imagination – this year it is spies and the slightly more serious Idris and his mum…. who goes mysteriously missing.

Between the adventure and mystery to solve from the zoo, the mild trepidation and danger and the question of Idris’s mum, this is an absolutely brilliantly entertaining fast-paced book.

#BookReview by Lou – Tilda Tries Again by Tom Percival @TomPercivalsays @KidsBloomsbury #ChildrensBook #Parents #Families #Preschool #CBeebies #CBeebiesBedtimeStory @Rob7Burrow

Tilda Tries Again
By Tom Percival

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Entertaining, fabulously illustrated well-told positive story that is great for pre-school, reception and primary 1 classes and for parents/carers etc to read and have fun with their children; as well as it having a deeper message that promotes positive wellbeing. This is a book worth getting excited about. Find out more in the blurb and my review.
Thanks to Bloomsbury Children’s Books for gifting me this book.

Some time ago I was privileged to review Tilda Tries Again and now I am republishing this review as it has been chosen as a CBeebies Bedtime Story. It will be read by Rob Burrow.

Tilda Tries Again

Blurb

Be open, be honest, be you! Big Bright Feelings for little people.

Tilda’s world is just as she likes it . . . until one day, it turns completely UPSIDE DOWN. All of a sudden, everything is topsy-turvy, and nothing feels right. Things that were once easy now seem incredibly challenging.

Can Tilda discover a new way to approach her problems and believe in herself?

Bold, bright and empowering, this is an inspiring story about coping with difficult situations. It’s the ideal book for helping children to build resilience and embrace a ‘can do’ approach to life.

Tom Percival’s Big Bright Feelings series is the perfect springboard for conversations about mental and emotional health, positive self-image, building self-confidence and managing feelings.

Review

Tilda Tries AgainIt’s bright, bold and greatly positive for young children. Not every day is going to be just as your children would want it to go, it isn’t possible and Tilda shows not only that, but that they can overcome that bad day and things can become brighter again. Tilda has her friends and toys and all is well with her world, but suddenly nothing feels right and for her, her whole world is turned upside down (literally, in the depiction). The pictures are all terrifically illustrated. They illustrate the narrative perfectly as children can follow both and it is a real attention grabber. The use in dramatic pictures and draining the colour out of the time when she is having a bad day, and bringing it back into full colour, when things get better only further, visually helps with the understanding of how she is feeling, when she is sad and happy. It captures children and their moods and interests very well.

 It is positive, entertaining and such a well-written story that children will relate to. What is so good is that Tilda brushes herself down and decides to try again. It also refrains from it being a sob story or self-centred story. It does in a fun way, promote resilience and that there will be a better day. It could also have a positive impact on children in a way that may just make them feel good inside and out and ready to try again, as Tilda does. It promotes the idea of not giving up.

It’s well written for young children, with short sharp sentences, perfect for preschool and reception or primary 1 classes as fun and discussions can come out of this book. Parents/carers etc can also have so much fun reading this to their children and whatsmore is that it is properly positive and can also be used as a bedtime story, or just curling up having a quiet time together.

#Review By Lou of #Middlegrade #book The Boy Who Dared By Rachel Coverdale @RLCoverdale #ChildrensBook #TheBoyWhoDared

The Boy Who Dared
By Rachel Coverdale

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I have a review for action/adventure middle grade book – The Boy Who Dared. The next book to The Boy Who Couldn’t. An excellent book to also have at home, in libraries, in school book clubs or to open class discussions with. There are questions at the back of the book to assist such activities. Thanks to Rachel Coverdale for getting in touch again to review this next book in the series. Discover the blurb and review below.

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Blurb

Action adventure story, suitable for 8-12 year-olds

A fun camping trip turns dangerous when James, Greg and Ahmed stumble across a dark secret in the beautiful Welsh wilderness. Separated on a mountainside in the dead of night, the boys must face their greatest fears as they are hunted by a ruthless gang. Can they reunite in time to save a hundred starving dogs – and themselves?

Review

The book re-joins readers with the first book – The Boy Who Couldn’t, although there are hints of what happened previously, so it is fine for readers to start here if they so wish. The dynamics of the relationships between Greg, James and Ahmed. Previously not friends, now things have moved on more positively as apologies have been made. The 3 boys are off on a camping holiday in Wales in scenic countryside amongst so much nature. From here, the boys end up in an adventure and mystery surrounding some farmers and dogs. There are also moments of trepidation as they come up against a gang.
Heroes aren’t always in capes. There are characters children can really get behind in this book.

The character and plot development is terrific and there are some great illustrations too.

Its a book that 8 to 12 year olds can so easily get really engaged in, as many have with ‘The Boy Who Couldn’t’.

By the end, it sets itself up nicely perhaps for another book in this series, which is absolutely worth following. This book isn’t just for Christmas, it’s great for all year round reading!

#Review by Lou of The Ultimate Guide To Growing Dragons By Andy Shepherd Illustrated By Sara Ogilvie @andyjshepherd @PiccadillyPress #MiddleGrade part of #TheBoyWhoGrewDragons #ChildrensBook series #TheUltimateGuideToGrowingDragons

The Ultimate Guide To Growing Dragons
By Andy Shepherd
Illustrated By Sara Ogilvie

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Dragons is the latest in bestselling series – The Boy Who Grew Dragons series, popular with and great for 7 years old plus  series with adventure, dragons, friendship and nature and more to feed curious minds. Fly down to the blurb and then my review below. I first thank Andy Shepherd for requesting a review from me.

 

Blurb

Did you see it?

A bright fleck of colour, darting into the green. You saw it, didn’t you? I knew you would! Because you’ve got your eyes open.

And now you want to grow dragons too.

Well here’s my guide with all the things I wish I’d known sooner. Of course, what I didn’t realise when I started writing it was how much I still had to learn!

Review

The previous book in the series was going to be the last, but then I guess another dragon grew or all the dragons got together and flew over and whispered in the author’s ears to plant a new idea in her brilliant imagination. This book imparts the secrets of dragons. Real dragons in the forest and sand and more in an engaging plot.

There is the Superhero Squad – Liam, Ted, Tomas, Aura, Kat and Kai, all in different parts of the world, which has Liam working out all the time differences. Each character has something interesting to say to feed curious minds about where they are in the world. It is also great for young gardeners too.
Children will learn that dragons are indeed all around them as the books delve into dragon fruits and more… It’s all written in an exciting, engaging style for children. There are pages set out like collecting cards about the dragons that are with each character that say about the name, the type, physicality, diet special skills, dragonality and special skills. Look out for the warnings too… You’ll also discover where to keep your dragons and so much more such as Polaris all within adventure and friendships.

The illustrations are wildly good fun and there’s a bit at the back of the book for children to write their own guide to growing a dragon.

This book is a terrific addition to this series of books, which I also highly recommend for adventurous, curious children.

#BookReview By Lou of David’s Bathtime Adventure By Sue Wickstead @rararesources @JayJayBus #PictureBook #ChildrensBook #Bathtime #BlogTour

David’s Bathtime Adventure 
By Sue Wickstead

Rating: 5 out of 5.

David’s Bathtime Adventure is an imaginative and fun story and today I am on the blog tour with a review. Find out more about the blurb and my review below. Thanks first to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and book.

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Blurb

David  loves his bath time!

As Mum fills the bath with water, David gets himself ready for a swimming adventure.

With toys and his fishing gear, he certainly enjoys splashing around in the water.

(And making a mess!)

Where will his imagination take him?

Review

Bathtime can be fun! David’s Bathtime Adventure makes it look like the best of times in this picture book, with a great story. It is about David and his bath toys having such a joyous and imaginative time of adventure. This book is perfect for those children who like fun and excitement as well as those who are reluctant to go into the bath. Parents/carers can use it as an aid. It’s also great for using to enhance bonding over bathtimes. The illustrations are also bright and bold as well as exciting and full of adventure. At the back of the book there is also a bit about water play and its importance.