#Bookreview of #ChildrensBook – Ben and The Bug by Natalie Reeves Billing – Essential Reading for Our Times @BillingReeves @RandomTTours

Ben and The Bug
By Natalie Reeves Billing
Rated: 5 stars *****

One of the most important and essential children’s books of our times!
Engaging and sensitive, this book takes children through our times of Covid 19 in a way they will understand and not be scared, but that will assist them to be more aware, through story, facts and a game.
I thank Random Things Tours for inviting me onto the blog tour and for them and Natalie Billing for sending me a copy of the book.

Blurb

When Ben meets Bug at the swing park, they instantly become the best of friends. But when everyone around them gets sick, Ben wonders about the identity of his new playmate.Ben and the Bug is written for families looking for a friendly approach to discussions around Coronavirus.

Ben and the Bug Front Cover

Review

This is an engaging story with one of the most important purposes of our times. Everyone knows about the Corona Virus now, but it can be challenging to remind children or know where to even start with children, when explaining it. In this engaging book that really brings everything down to a child’s level, this book will be an incredibly useful tool for children, child-educators and parents alike, through story and a game.

The game is “Spot the Bug”. On each page there is a bug to find, which will engage children further into the story of Ben and his Auntie Pat.

The book starts in the park. That’s where the bug was first encountered. It’s a fun, yet serious story that shows how a bug can be spread and make people feel unwell. It’s done in a sensible and sensitive way, through fun and bold illustrations and story, that is engaging for children. As well as the story are facts about keeping clean and the bug that all backs up the story and gently informs children. There are more facts at the back of the book as well, that can be brought into any discussion.
The book also shows the bug being sad that it is making people sick and wants to help. It will dissipate any fear factor, even though, of course the bug won’t do that, yet will help children to be able to better understand what is going on, to ease some anxieties, which could also help them to take the situation of Covid 19 more seriously. The book has elements of positivity as it tells of what people are trying to do to make this situation better.

About the Author

Natalie Reeves Billing. Author Pic (1).jpgNatalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction.
Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.

Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting.
Her new book, My Mummy is a Monster (part of the Monstrous Me collection) will be available in March 2020 and Carry Love in June 2020
Connect with Natalie on Twitter @BillingReeves.

#Bookreview by Lou of #ChildrensBook – My Daddy Is A Monster by Natalie Reeves Billing @BillingReeves @RandomTTours #MonstrousMe #MyDaddyIsAMonster

My Daddy Is A Monster
By Natalie Reeves Billing
Rated: 5 stars *****

Following from My Mummy’ – Is A Monster, this is another dual perspective book that is thought-provoking for young children.
Thank you to Anne at Random Things Tours and Natalie for inviting me onto the blog tour and for a copy of the book.

My Daddy is a monster pic

Blurb

The Monstrous Me collection are split perspective books looking at situations from other points of view, helping children develop a sense of balance, roundedness and wellbeing. Readers can literally and figuratively, turn the story on its head, and look at the very same situations from different angles. In this second book, ‘My Daddy is a Monster’ a curious little boy is convinced his dad is a monster. But, is he really? When we look through his dad’s eyes, we see a very different story.

Review

One way the book is My Daddy Is A Monster. Turn the book upside down and you get My Kid Is A Monster.
Monsters can hide and daddy turns into a big purple monster. He does all sorts of things like takes away the kids IPad, makes them awful food, drags them to a football match and much more. Then at bedtime, it all turns more positive for the kids as they realise daddy is not a monster after all as he does some really kind things.

On the flip-side the kids are monsters who leave toys lying out, fidget and fight, take daddy’s phone and moan through the football game and more…
When the kids are all tucked up in bed, the perspective changes and both kids and daddy wonder if each other are really monsters.

It’s a story that will make children think and could assist in seeing each other’s perspectives and try to regulate and think about their behaviour. It could enhance certain aspects of growing-up and being respectful and in growing into a more rounded individual. It’s perfect for opening up thoughtful discussions with young children, as well as enjoying the game and story, in a home and education setting.

It’s also beautifully illustrated with a game of “Hunting the Monstrometer” throughout the book.

About the Author

Natalie Reeves Billing. Author Pic (1)Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction.
Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.

Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting.
Her new book, My Mummy is a Monster (part of the Monstrous Me collection) will be available in March 2020 and Carry Love in June 2020
Connect with Natalie on Twitter @BillingReeves.

My Daddy is a Monster BT Poster (1)

#BookReview by Lou of The Magic Carpet by Jessica Norrie #Fiction

The Magic Carpet
By Jessica Norrie
Rated: 4 Stars ****

Today I bring to you a fictional diverse story of different families having to come together in an assignment set by the school to perform a range of fairy-stories. There are many challenging circumstances for families to overcome inside the brightly designed cover, which would sit looking very pretty, after reading on adult’s bookcases.
I thank the author of The Magic Carpet – Jessica Norrie for contacting me to review.
Follow down to the blurb, review and links.

The Magic Carpet cover

Blurb

Outer London, September 2016, and neighbouring eight-year-olds have homework: prepare a traditional story to perform with their families at a school festival. But Nathan’s father thinks his son would be better off doing sums; Sky’s mother’s enthusiasm is as fleeting as her bank balance, and there’s a threatening shadow hanging over poor Alka’s family. Only Mandeep’s fragile grandmother and new girl Xoriyo really understand the magical powers of storytelling. As national events and individual challenges jostle for the adults’ attention, can these two bring everyone together to ensure the show will go on?

Review

Most parents and other family members will be or have recollection of sitting through their child’s school play. A crying baby, the excitement and the nervousness of it all.

2016 is the year and the book starts in October with the school play. Wind back a month and September has the mum’s at the school gates, which is written through the eyes of a child – Alka Metha and how her mum is trying to sell the idea of a beauty business to other parents.

Theresa Perry is a mum who is reassured by letters from school and getting involved and gets over-excited. She also has so many insecurities and ends up rushing around, which also shows a critical side of her.

Mr Chan has a son – Nathan who wants his dad to help him with the story and to get Alka involved. What also shows is the judgements being made. Curiously Mr Chan is also looking for some romance to return into his life.

Safiya is mum to Xoriyo and like most mum’s relishes the opportunity of that elusive lie-in. There’s also the fact that Safiya can’t have any more children, that’s at play in their lives. There’s also the concern from Safiya that Xoriyo doesn’t really try, nor wants to fit in and she’s got to get to the bottom of it. She also teaches Xoriyo their background and culture, but also wants her to fit in well and be happy being British and living within the culture of the country she is in.

There’s the main cast and also quite strong secondary characters within this story of creating a story for school. Parents and school teachers are likely to relate to a lot of this book and how things can be within families and within the process of creating a school show. The book is also detailed about school days and school gate behaviour.
The way parents can be towards others and towards teachers is portrayed pretty well and accurately.
There’s also some secrets that emerge about how the children behave at school too. I think parents’/caregivers will find the novel both thought-provoking and enlightening. It also shows all these people from different origins and backgrounds trying to fit in and wanting to fit into one country and with each other.

The Magic Carpet, isn’t just the stuff of fairytales, that is the topic of the school play, but also the coming together of people from all different cultures, who now live in one country – the UK fitting together, or in the families cases, trying to; rather like the patchwork on the front cover of the book.

Links:

Website: https://jessicanorrie.wordpress.com

Buy Link:
 http://getBook.at/TheMagicCarpet

#BookReview of The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes @jenlynnBarnes @penguinrandom @PenguinUKBooks @WriteReadsTours #UltimateBlogTour

The Inheritance Games
By Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Rated: 4 stars ****

 Let the Inheritance Games Commence in this enthralling enigma of a story!

1 school girl, 1 philanthropist, 1 Will, 1 mysterious mansion and a family who are out for what they think should be their inheritance in the games you need to read but don’t want to take part in. There could be consequences!

I thank The Write Reads for inviting me on their Ultimate Blog Tour and for the team at Penguin for sending both an E-book and a physical copy.

Please do read on to find out more about this enthralling book.

Blurb

9780241476178_TheInheritanceGames_COV.inddLet the games begin: an utterly addictive and twisty thriller, full of dark family secrets and deadly stakes. Perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying, Riverdale and Knives Out.

She came from nothing.
Avery has a plan: keep her head down, work hard for a better future. Then an eccentric billionaire dies, and leaves her almost his entire fortune. And no one, least of all Avery, knows why.

They had everything.
Now she must move into the mansion she’s inherited: Hawthorne House. It’s filled with secrets and codes, and the old man’s surviving relatives – a family hellbent on discovering how Avery got ‘their’ money.

Now there’s only one rule: winner takes all.
Soon Avery is caught in a deadly game that everyone in this strange family is playing. But just how far will they go to keep their fortune?

9780241476178_TheInheritanceGames_COV.indd

Review

A teenage school girl, a whole lot of money, a mysterious mansion bequeathed to her in a Will. This is not ordinary young adult story. This is one that leads you into places of enigma. What’s the truth, what’s the lies? Secrets and games are afoot that make for a great YA book indeed. One that will get teens wanting to read. It’s good to see one that isn’t pure fantasy and isn’t pure romance; it has elements of a few genres within it.

Avery Grambs, the smart kid at school also likes games. Fun, innocent made-up ones, is how she found out she liked games. She’s just a normal teenager, well, almost, in these short-sharp chapters that entice you to read on as the story moves quickly into its first part of the mystery.
Tobias Hawthorn has sent a note to Avery, a person to her knowledge, she has never met. Instant worries of scams flee around the conversation.

Imagine being at school thinking of science and statistical information and studying Romeo and Juliet when a mysterious billionaire philanthropist leaves you a mansion in his Will?  That’s what began a whole different type of journey for Avery. She meets the family and the Will is read out, enough to make any reader sit-up and take notice. It is staggeringly jaw-dropping!

James Hawthorn, who prefers to call Avery – Mystery Girl, pops up here and there and seems a bit of an enigma himself, almost as much as why would someone, a stranger to him and his family, inherit what should have been there property from Tobias. There is also Grayson who is convinced that Avery used manipulation to get it…
He is also quite a deep character in his thoughts about money, the world and responsibility.

No one is going to make things easy for Avery. Let the games commence! Riddles, puzzles and secret passageways abound, which is a rather thrilling aspect to the story.

Emily brings a certain thought-provoking aspect to this family’s story in her bravery and also some empathy with her parent’s reactions to her.

Going back to the mansion, the big question that makes turns this book into something of a sinister mystery, is the big question – will everyone survive?
The way the book takes some twists, just at the right moments is great! Just when you think it might all be lost, up comes something else and reels you further into the mansion, that anyone staying there would have to be very brave indeed!
The twists ramp up in scale right to an ultimate page-turning crescendo!

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.