#Review By Lou #ChildrensBook -The King Who Didn’t Like Snow By Jocelyn Porter Illustrated By Michael S. Kane #JocelynPorter #MichaelSKane #Snow #Christmas

The King Who Didn’t Like Snow
By Jocelyn Porter
Illustrated By Michael S. Kane

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The King Who Didn’t Like Snow is dedicated to Hospital Radio Volunteers in Plymouth and is a picture book, suitable for 0-6 year olds. Thanks for gifting it to me to review. Check out the blurb and my review below…

The King Who Didn't Like Snow

Blurb

King Mark is a higgledy-piggledy king who gets into a pickle every day. “Do something, Bert!” he shouts, and Wizard Bert, with his sidekick, Broderick the bookworm, always saves the day.
When snow falls on Windy Hill Castle, everyone is delighted – except for King Mark! King Mark doesn’t like snow and starts to sulk.
Will Bert and Broderick save the day again? Will King Mark walk into trouble? Do the children of Windy Hill Village have the answer…?
The King Who Didn’t Like Snow is a magical, amusing tale from the imagination of children’s author Jocelyn Porter. The unique illustrations are provided by none other than Michael S Kane, AKA Shaky Kane, the legendary comic artist.

Review

The book is bright and bold in its illustrations and easy to follow. Unusually, the text is also not only pretty big, it’s in bold, making it easy for a story-time curled up together or for children to read by themselves too, when they reach that stage.

The story takes place in a magical land called – Cornovia, where a time-travelling wizard (Bertram Ebenezer Rufus Togtangle) lives with Broderick – a bookworm in a Windy Hill Castle.

There are spells to be cast and a gigantic library, where Broderick goes to and almost forgotten games to discover.

When it snows, King Mark is not a happy man and is rather grumpy about it. The bookworm has and the wizard have an idea to create some fun and change the snow to a different colour.

There’s trying different things, such as toboganning down a hill. There’s also a message of being careful for what you wish for.

The book has some humour in it and also shows libraries off really nicely and in a fun way as well as winter fun, just in time for wintry weather.

#ChildrensBook #Review by Lou The Primrose Railway Children By Jacqueline Wilson #JacquelineWilson @FansofJWilson @OfficialJWMag @RHKidsUK #ChildrensBook #ClassicsAdaptation #MiddleGrade

Today I have a review of The Primrose Railway Children by bestselling and hugely popular children’s author  – Jacqueline Wilson. Her books have included series such as Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and many more, tackling many subjects in the present and past. Now she is also tackling children’s classics. So, this is her revamped, modern take of E-Nesbitt’s The Railway Children.
I’ve talked many times about Jacqueline Wilson and her books to children, so it is an honour to actually be able to review one.
Discover more in the blurb and my thoughts about it in my review below.
Firstly, my thanks goes to the publisher – Penguin Random House Children’s UK for gifting me a copy of the book to review.

The Primrose Railway Children

Blurb

An unbelievable talent’ – David Walliams

From multi-million bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson and inspired by E. Nesbit’s timeless classic, The Primrose Railway Children is a gorgeous, heartwarming story of family secrets and new adventures.

Sit back and enjoy the journey!

Phoebe Robinson loves making up stories – just like her wonderful, imaginative Dad.

When he mysteriously disappears, Phoebe, Perry, Becks and their mum must leave everything behind and move to a small cottage in the middle of nowhere.

Struggling to feel at home and missing her Dad terribly, Phoebe’s only distraction is her guinea pig Daisy. Until the family discover the thrilling steam trains at the railway station and suddenly, every day is filled with adventure.

But Phoebe still can’t help wondering, what is Mum hiding and more worryingly is Dad okay?

Review

The Primrose Railway ChildrenJacqueline Wilson has been inspired by E. Nesbitt before with her retelling of the story Four Children and It, which she called 4 Children and It. This time she has been inspired by The Railway Children by her. My hope is that children reading these, will be also inspired to go to the original versions too and see the similarities and the differences and appreciate both authors and their talents. Let’s face it, Jacqueline Wilson is enormously talented and I honestly was amazed to be given the priveledge of reviewing her book. Not only am I a fan of The Railway Children, but I also totally appreciate in wonderment what Jacqueline Wilson brings to children literature. The big question is, however, is this re-inspired story actually any good and will it hit the mark?

The timing of this book is quite perfect, just ahead of a sequel to the film of The Railway Children. I myself love trains and adventure and The Primrose Railway Children is sure to spark this in those middle-grade readers who devour Jacqueline Wilson’s books with their eyes and imaginations.

The Primrose Railway Children is made up of Phoebe, Amelie, Perry and Becks and then there’s their mum and dad. It’s written in a way that brings everything bang up to date. This, a bit like the original, isn’t a sugary sweet book, but there are cute animals. There is still upheaval, financial difficulties, technology issues and family secrets, which brings depth and intrigue. There’s some great humour within the story, so it isn’t too heavy, although there are some weighty themes, but they, as ever with a book by Jacqueline Wilson, are treated well and with children in mind.

The book mixes the past and present in a way that may well feed children’s curiosity as the book mentions the Edwardians and steam trains that would have run then on lines like The Primrose Railway, which is gently encouraged through the characters in the book having a desire to find out more. There’s something respectful about this and also makes it sound okay for children to do this. The book also mentions other classic books too in a way that is so clever and again gently encouraging the next generation to read these too, especially with all whilst putting her own spin on things and creating a pleasurable story, that is also well illustrated, but not overly so.

With dad mysteriously gone, the void this leaves can be sorely felt through the family, but none more so than Phoebe. The intensity of the bond between her and her dad can be keenly felt. There’s the whole worry that he may be dead, but they don’t really know if he is dead or alive and readers see the children process this between their humour and their seriousness in conversations and behaviours.

There’s adventure around the trains, the train station and make a new friend in the station master, which is delightfully written, with so much to discover about The Primrose Railway. It’s also a story that talks about differences between urban and rural life, differences in families as a whole and growing up.

This is overall a book many children will find engrossing and is relatable, and also as respectfully done as it possibly could be as she also puts her own slant on the family she creates and their different characterisations and the reasoning for their dad to be away and all ends in quite a twist.

There are some nods to E. Nesbitt’s original story – The Railway Children and so beautifully done, Jacqueline Wilson has acknowledged her and written a bit at the back of the book about her and her stories and I like that she also encourages children to read them too.

Jacqueline Wilson has written a number of books now, that have revamped the children’s classics and hopefully children will like hers as well as then discovering the original authors and reading what they wrote too. The two combined would now be pretty powerful and children could gain a lot from reading both versions, and perhaps discover the joy of reading and trains too.

#BookReview by Lou of Yaks Can Do Yoga @snezanawrites @sandyillustrates @HappyPandaBooks @lovebooksgroup  @lovebookstours #ChidrensBook aged 3 to 8. #Humour #Wellbeing #Yoga

Yaks Can Do Yoga
By Snezana Danilovic
Illustrated By Sandy Thornton

Yaks Can Do Humour can be used in many settings and is a fun way to add to children’s sense of wellbeing as well as tapping into their sense of humour. FInd out more in the blurb and the rest of my thoughts below.
Thanks to Love Books Group for inviting me to the tour and to Happy Panda Books for gifting me the book.

Yaks Can Do Yoga

Blurb

Yoga makes children happy, healthy and strong!

But if you are a clumsy yak, with wobbly hooves, who has never done yoga before, it can be tricky. Join Yak in her first Happy Panda class and see how she discovers the power and playfulness of yoga.

Eight yoga poses and their benefits are clearly explained and illustrated at the back of the book so young children can easily do them at home or in the classroom.

Yoga is for everyone! Adorable, engaging characters and humorous story draw in young children and get them hooked on yoga, creating healthy mind-body habits to last a lifetime

Mindfulness and meditation are lots and fun! The story’s humorous, creative visualisation exercises tap into young children’s innate imagination, facilitating a deeper understanding of their emotions and developing confidence and resilience.

Author and experienced children’s yoga teacher Snezana Danilovic and illustrator Sandy Thornton team up to create the Happy Panda Children’s Yoga picture book series of heart-warming stories full of gentle humour, aimed at encouraging even very young children to get hooked on yoga. Parents, teachers and educators don’t need to be experienced yogis – they can learn and enjoy yoga alongside young readers, too!

Review

If you’re looking for something different for children to do, this is a fun book to introduce Yoga into their lives. It has humour as well as poses they can safely perform in the comfort of their own home or garden or wherever. The illustrations also make this engaging and add to a child’s sense of humour as well as their imaginations and desire for fun and sense of wellbeing.

The instructions and illustrations are easy to follow, so this could be used in the classroom or home. It could be combined with PSHE at school or a general relax time before bed or a winding down time during the day.

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#BookReview by Lou of The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett Retold by Geraldine McCaughrean Illustrated by Margarita Kukhtina @GMcCaughrean @NosyCrow #ChildrensBook #ChildrensClassics #TheSecretGarden #PrimaryReads #Kidslit

The Secret Garden
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Retold by Geraldine McCaughrean
Illustrated by Margarita Kukhtina

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A beautifully designed book brings the magic and depth of The Secret Garden to a new generation. Find out more in the blurb and more of my thoughts in my review.
Thanks to Nosy Crow for allowing me to review and for gifting me an e-book of The Secret Garden.

The Secret Garden

Blurb

A favourite bedtime classic, beautifully retold by bestselling and award-winning author, Geraldine McCaughrean

This beloved childhood classic by Frances Hodgson Burnett is now available in a sumptuous gift book edition with dazzling new art.

When Mary Lennox is sent from India to live with her uncle at gloomy Misselthwaite Manor, she is the most spoiled and contrary child you could ever meet. But she is also extremely lonely. Until one day, she discovers a walled garden that has been kept secret for years. With the help of a little robin, Mary unearths the key and unlocks the wonder that lies beyond the garden walls – and finds that making friends can be every bit life-changing as a magical garden.

A captivating picture book retelling for young children by acclaimed author Geraldine McCaughrean, who has won, among many others, the Carnegie Medal twice, the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and the Smarties Bronze Award.

Review

The Secret Garden was a childhood favourite of mine, so with great joy and delight, it is all ready again for a new generation of readers. What I really wanted to know, was how well this re-telling would be and if all the important parts would be therThe Secret Gardene or not. I needn’t have been concerned. It is actually pretty faithful to editions before-hand, as far as I remember it, without digging my older copy out.

The story starts in India with Mary Lennox becoming an orphan and being sent to England, where she would be brought up in Misslthewaite Manor, quite a foreboding building, where she meets Mrs Medlock and the kindly servant, Martha. There is quite a culture shock for Mary as she was used to being pampered in India and she’s a pretty angry young girl.

When she does enter the garden, she meets Ben Weatherstaff, the elderly gardener, whose friend is Mr Robin. She later finds a key and is on a mission to find The Secret Garden. She also, however has to contend with Mr Craven back at the creeking, draughty old manor. During her time, she also meets Dickon and then Colin, the polar opposites to each other in manner.

Children can be easily transported into The Secret Garden, with its pacy story of light and dark as people’s lives change. The illustrations and descriptions are both rich and tell the story well. It is a lovely book and one that really does stand the test of time really rather well. The main elements of the story are still there, as you would expect and there’s certainly enough from the magic of the garden, the spookiness of the the manor, the emotion of upheaval and more… and getting to know the character’s pasts, presents and see a glimpse into their futures, there is plenty to engross children today.

#BookReview by Lou of Fireborn @flowler_aisling @HarperCollins @The_WriteReadsTours #UltimateBlogTour #Fantasy #Adventure #ChildrensBook #MiddleGrade 8-12years #ReadingForPleasure #PrimarySchoolReading

Fireborn
By Aisling Fowler

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Fireborn is an immersive and exciting adventure into a fantasy world for 8-12 year olds. Go on an adventure down to the blurb and the rest of my review to find out more. Thanks to The Write Reads Tours for inviting me and to this group and Harper Collins for gifting me a book.

Fireborn banner

Blurb

Set in the snowy northern forests of an imagined prehistoric world, Fireborn is the middle-grade debut of the decade. At turns exciting, funny and heart wrenchingly sad, it marks the introduction of an unstoppable new voice in children’s storytelling.

Twelve has spoken the Pledge and now she is a Huntling. She has given up her name to train in the art of fighting monsters and keeping the peace, and she won’t get to choose a new one until she has earned it.

But when the Lodge’s walls are breached for the first time, and a little girl is taken, Twelve is the only one interested in going after a child . . .

Teaming up with Dog, the Stone Guardian of the Lodge, Twelve ends up on an epic adventure that will change her life, her name – and her entire world.

Review

Fireborn coverFireborn is an epic adventure for 8-12 year olds. It has twists and turns and great characterisation, but with a difference. The characters are known by numbers, it sort of works to bring about something different to fiction, but once into the story, it isn’t the names that matter quite so much as the world of Ember takes over as do the characters lives. I think children will get into it though because above the giving up of names is a world for adventurous middle-grade readers can step into. For a debut novel, this is an author children would want more of, after reading this one. It has humour and breathtaking excitement as well as some of the saddest storylines. All this in one book makes it totally full on and the deeper you read, the deeper children will want to go into Ember, a fantastical world that builds on the page in wide ranging, indepth descriptions. It means readers can be totally immersed in Ember whilst reading it.

There are heroes and villains. The heroes are characters who have given up their names. They are known as Five, Six, Seven and Twelve. The villains are an array of monsters. There is the lodge where the young trainee Hunters go to hone their skills. These trainees land themselves a mission which takes them on a trail to The Fozen Forest. There are clans, who the Hunters have to act as protectors of, but it isn’t an easy task.

Twelve is the most promising Hunter but has issues and is far from friendly or a team-player as a result of making more enemies. The others also have their own issues. The book, in a way, shows that even heroes are not perfect and are not infalliable. This, even in such an all encompassing fantasy tale, this brings a bit of realism to it as the characters all find out a bit more about themselves in many ways, sometimes positive, other times negative and in some ways, in being resilient in times of trouble. It brings added interest to the otherwise, adventureous book, with a bit of magic within it. There’s a lot for children to dip their toe in and to be entertained.

#BookReview by Lou – The Boy Who Couldn’t by R. Coverdale @RLCoverdale #RandomTTours #TheBoyWhoCouldn’t #InternationalFriendshipDay #8-12yearolds #ChildrensBooks #PrimarySchool #Nature #Badgers

The Boy Who Couldn’t
by R. Coverdale

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Boy Who Graphic

The Boy Who Couldn’t is a positive story that is perfect for 8-12 year olds, that is great for the home and for school, with highly relevant and teachable themes.
School Resources are available and there is also a fun quiz at the back of the book.
Find out more in the blurb and review below. There is also fascinating information about the author after that too, as well as website and social media links for her and the Badger Trust.

Blurb

The Boy Who FINAL CoverThe school bully is the only one who can save them.

James’ life has been turned upside down and now the local bully has made him a target. So why would his mother insist he should invite him over? Especially when they’re hiding a secret badger clan at the bottom of the garden.

Now the badgers are under threat from a gang with fighting dogs and the badgers aren’t the only ones in peril.

Danger is approaching and it will make the most unlikely of heroes.

A story about becoming the person you can be, not the person you are expected to be.

Review

The chapters go between James and Greg, beginning with James, who is in the middle of a real life drama, he didn’t expect to be in and his parents are in some financial trouble. It is however his 11th  birthday and is a home with love in it and fun. His dad is into adventures and wildlife and home life is quite stable. He’s quite inspirational and takes time with his son, teaching him about badgers and they build a badger sett with Ahmed. Older children and young adults may be inspired to get into the outdoors and create dens, learn about wildlife and nature and have fun along the way.

When readers meet Greg for the first time, he is just turning 13. His parents are also having some issues, as does Greg himself, but finds being amongst nature calms him down. His homelife is, in complete contrast the James’s homelife, more unstable, and where he feels rather invisible to his parents, and his dad has been in prison, but he does have Uncle Kev, who shows him different things and pays him attention, when he visits.

James and Ahmed come from better off backgrounds than Greg does and different places, Greg from an estate and the other 2 boys not. They do however meet in the woodland, even though they feel awkward and Greg can be a bully, plus there are just differences because of their circumstances.

The book deals with bullying and what Greg feels like when he is the one who is frightened and James and Ahmed are showing bravery, instead of how it used to be the other way round, but in the end it is Greg who also has to show some courage when men come and start capturing badgers with their dogs, even though he initially freezes. There’s much trepidation and so much that will have children gasp and have them gripped. There are twists and turns as human and badger lives are put in danger. There’s also courage of a different kind, which is turning your life around for the better…

It has the absolute best of endings that will have everyone smiling by then.

Children will either be able to relate or they can empathise with people who’s home lives are perhaps similar or different from their own. It also shows how families can be different from each other, which encourages this empathy and understanding, as well as how very different people can end up in friendships, even when it doesn’t seem it would be likely due to life circumstances. It also encourages care for wildlife, in-particular, badgers. It also really highlights wildlife crime too.

At the back of the book, there is a True or False Quiz that readers can do for fun or in a classroom setting, that will enhance their understanding of what they’ve just read. In addition to this, there are also teacher resources that can be obtained, so it can be used in depth in schools.

There is a website at the back of the book, I’ll also include here, for The Badger’s Trust, for those interested.
www.badgertrust.org.uk
The author is also responsible and has included info about what to do if children/young adults do ever find themselves in danger in the UK and also the number for Childline: 0800 1111

About the Author

Rachel Coverdale Author PicRachel Coverdale was born and bred in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside in North East England. Raised with copious amounts of animals but without the distraction of a modern TV set, she turned to books and her own imagination for entertainment. Animals were and still are a huge part of her life and inevitably they made their way into her stories. Believing strongly in fresh air, nature and outdoor play to give children a sense of fun and freedom, Rachel uses her books to encourage children to connect with nature and venture into the countryside.

Having taught as an English teacher for many years and now settled happily into the role of school librarian, Rachel ensures all her books are not only creative, imaginative and exciting, but also of great educational benefit. Teaching resources and a scheme of work are available for “The Boy Who Couldn’t”.

Rachel is regularly featured on BBC Radio Tees Book Hour with Bob Fischer and Shack discussing and reviewing her latest reads. She also travels her native North East England paying visits to Primary and Secondary schools, giving talks on her books and about the importance of nature and the environment they live in.

Social and Website Links

Twitter @RLCoverdale

Instagram @rachellouisecoverdale

Website: https://www.rachelcoverdale.com Facebook: rachellouisecoverdale Twitter: @RLCoverdale

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