#Bookreview by Lou – Honeycomb by Joanne M. Harris – Happy Publication Day to Joanne Harris @joannechocolat #CharlesVess @alexxlayt @orionbooks

Honeycomb
By Joanne M. Harris
Illustrated by Charles Vess

Rating: 5 out of 5.

To my absolute amazement and joy, I have been gifted Honeycomb. Readers are in for a treat with this enthralling and enchanting book of 100 short stories by Joanne Harris. They are full of betrayal, gifts, magic, love, beautiful illustrations and much more…
Discover more in the blurb and my review…
I thank Alex Layt at Orion Books and Joanne Harris for gifting me a copy of Honeycomb.

Honeycomb 3

Blurb

An astonishing, richly interwoven story from #1 bestselling author Joanne M. Harris (The Gospel of Loki, Chocolat), beautifully illustrated by the multiple award-winning Charles Vess (Stardust, The Books of Earthsea).

Long ago and far away,
Far away and long ago,
The World was honeycomb, we know,
The Worlds were honeycomb.

The beauty of stories is that you never know where they will take you. Full of dreams an nightmares, Honeycomb is an entrancing mosaic novel of original fairy tales from bestselling author Joanne M. Harris and legendary artist Charles Vess in a collaboration that’s been years in the making. Dark, gripping, and brilliantly imaginative, these magical tales will soon have you in their thrall.

Review

HoneycombFairytales aren’t just for children, infact they were originally written for adults. Joanne Harris has done exactly this, created fairytales that are gorgeously illustrated and with all the hallmarks of a fairytale, with adult themes. Split beautifully into 2 books in 1 where land meets sea.
Imagine a honeycomb, with its hexagonal shapes, creating little pockets. Now imagine going into each one and finding stories that create the honeycomb, some are loosley interconnecting, others overarching, each one, unique and can be read as standalone, but together paint a bigger, wider picture. This in turn makes it a fabulous book to both read all at once (because it is pretty hard to resist) and to leisurely dip in and out of. People who follow Joanne Harris on Twitter will have familarised themselves with some of the short stories form of how they start with the bees, which are beautifully depicted on the front cover.

It’s clearly carefully planned and I love that the book starts with a short story about Nectar, which sets the scene of the Honeycomb Queen and other bees and ends with Honeycomb, just as bees do, as they go about their business. The writing is rich and not only full of descriptions, placing readers exactly where she wants them to be, they tell of something deeper. It’s like eavesdropping on the bees, who have something important to say and they deliberately want you to listen in as you are guided into where the Lacewing King and be transported into different worlds, which are entrancing and involving.

The writing is lyrical as fairytales are and magically captures the attention very quickly and draws you into many different places to meet many different creatures etc, that in turn become relatable to humans and the world we live in, with its abundance of societies. Each tale, intelligently has the insect world colliding with and criss-crossing with the human world. Meet Royalty, a Chancellor, a Teacher, the Slightless Folk and the Silken Folk, Death and more in this beautifully illustrated book that has many highly accomplished stories to easily lose yourself in. Some have trepidation, some allude to politics, some have warnings, and morals with each story carrying a message for readers to find within these expertly crafted tales you can easily lose yourself in.

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

The Unicorn Prince by
 Luca Simone Lo Piccolo
and ArtinAction

Rated: 4 stars ****

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

The Unicorn Prince

Blurb

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

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

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

Book details:

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

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

The Unicorn Prince

Review

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

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

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

#Bookreview by Lou of #ChildrensBook – The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale By Ben Miller @ActualBenMiller @simonschusterUK

The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale
By Ben Miller
Rated: 5 stars *****

Enchanting, mystical within a lot of fun mixed in with meaningful, relatable relationships between siblings that need a boost. There is also trepidation within several fairytales and the real world and all together it makes The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale so compelling for children.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster for accepting my request to review.
Please read on to discover more about the author, the blurb and full review of The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale and a little about The Night I Met Father Christmas.

About the Author

Ben Miller is an actor, director, and comedian, best known for writing and starring in The Armstrong and Miller Show and his role as Rowan Atkinson’s sidekick, Bough, in Johnny English Strikes Back.  Other recent big screen roles include What We Did On Our Holiday with Billy Connolly, and the much-loved Paddington 2 with, well, Paddington. On television, he is best known for the crime comedy drama Death In Paradise which has been a big hit worldwide.

The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale

Blurb

Following the breakout successes of The Night I Met Father Christmas and The Boy Who Made the World Disappear, get ready for the brilliant NEW novel from actor, comedian and bestselling author Ben Miller. Featuring beautiful illustrations from Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.

Lana loves stories. Especially the ones she and her brother, Harrison, share in their make-believe games. But when Harrison decides he’s too grown-up to play with Lana she finds herself feeling lonely. Until something magical happens…
 
Hidden in the strange new supermarket in town, Lana discovers a portal to a fairytale world! But these aren’t the happy-ever-after fairytales that Lana knows, they are darker and more dangerous, and the characters need Lana’s help to defeat an evil witch. But she can’t do it alone. Can she convince Harrison to believe in stories again and journey to the world with her. . .  before it’s too late?

This is a story about stories, but it’s also about a brother and a sister finding their way back to each other through the power of imagination. 

The Day I Fell Into A Fairytale

Review

The Day I Fell into a Fairytale plunges you right into that world. What an incredibly good start it has with a possible molehill. I say possible because it isn’t just an ordinary molehill. There’s an energy within the words chosen and how they are written that builds faster and faster as the molehill grows and grows until you fall into a fantastic, enchanting fairytale land with Lana.

Lana lives in Little Hilcot and has a brother – Harrison, whom she views as a bit too serious since being in senior school and hitting the books to study oxbow lakes, Archimedes and more, when all she wants to do is go on adventures. Later she needs to go to Grimms, a supermarket, with her family and buys a book of fairytales, which become a bedtime story. The fact that this becomes a peculiar version of fairytales where art is almost imitating life, like a character seeming to be a person she has seen before, makes this even more curious. It turns out that Lana hasn’t ever heard of the fairy tales, some of which you can read about within the book itself.

It is magical and mystical and a lot of fun as readers land into fairytales with banquets of the most delicious food and a tuneful robin, where the adventure really begins. It’s so easy to get lost in this book, as I put on my childhood brain. If you’ve been brought up on fairytales, they are all so recognisable within this story. It shows real thought and cleverness to bring them all together in a way that doesn’t rip them off or seem disingenuous. It’s impressive! You’ll meet the likes of Rumplestiltskin, Briar Rose, Sleeping Beauty, Hansel and Gretel and more of the Grimm’s fairy tales all spun together in a compelling tale that sweeps between that land and also the reality of the real world.

Look out for all the lovely illustrations of climbing roses and all that you could ever want in a pick ‘n’ mix and more… It just all adds to the fun of this beautiful, curious book that is so well written and hits the spot! There are twists and danger and mild trepidation as some characters are put into danger as good and evil exists.
There are expressed emotions and brotherly and sisterly care that is shown with warmth that children will also be able to relate to. It also demonstrates through story-telling that books, especially fairytales can ignite imaginations and a lot of new fun and adventures can be explored, even from the most normal, everyday places as the story goes between home, supermarket and the realm of imagination, created from a book of Grimm fairytales.

The Night I Met Father Christmas

I had an extract of The Night I Met Father Christmas too. It takes place in the North Pole with entrepreneurial elf – Grimm Grimmsson in his shoe factory and goes onto tell the story of the main character – Torvil Christmas. He is not a kind elf, but something magical happens through various events, again drawing on timeless classics and fairytales, things change.

As well as written word books, they can be purchased as audiobooks too.