#Review By Lou of Meet The Grubblers By Sarah Louise, Illustrated By Amy Ashworth @sarahlouise_novels @thegrubblers @Random T Tours #BlogTour #ChildrensBooks #MeetTheGrubblers

Meet The Grubblers
By Sarah Louise
Illustrated By Amy Ashworth 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Meet The Grubblers Cover

 

Meet the Grubblers has cake, creatures and a magical world to explore in this positive adventure. 
Discover more in the blurb and my review below.
Thanks to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review as part of the blog tour.

Meet The Grubblers Back Cover

Review

Meet the Grubblers 3D ImageMeet the Grubblers is set against the pandemic, but also delves into a fantastic adventure. Emily is fed up of Ipad’s and calls over the internet and opens her curtains one day and is magically whisked on an adventure with a mysterious girl called Lucy, who in turn introduces her to The Grubblers, who are up to all sorts of antics… They are curious characters who bring humour and take readers further into a fantastical land, which is brilliant for escapism. Amongst the humour and cake, that features in the book, is mild trepidation as someone has captured Ada and it is up to Emily and Lucy, in this different land, to find her.
This is a positive story with an excellent ending.

You may never open your curtains in the same way after reading this story… There are perhaps more adventures than meets the eye for the imaginative readers…

On, perhaps an even more serious note, I think this is great, considering at the time of writing, Covid-19 has not totally disappeared and for the future as things move onwards, it’s an important reminder of its existence. The book, although set in a magical world for the most part, is also very relatable for children for what had happened in the world, as well as managing to be highly entertaining.

I highly recommend this very fun, entertaining book.

Meet The Grubblers BT Poster

#BookReview By Lou – Lies Like Wildfire by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez #JenniferLynnAlvarez #YA #Mystery @penguinrandom #BookTwitter #BookRecommendations

Lies Like Wildfire
by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A compulsive, intensive read for 12-17 year olds that will have their noses stuck in a book until the end. Thanks to publisher – Penguin Random House Children’s UK for gifting me the book to review. Discover more in the blurb and scroll on down to the rest of my review.

Lies LIke Wildfire

Blurb

Secrets and lies are everywhere in this compulsive page-turner, perfect for fans of TikTok favourites One of Us is Lying, We Were Liars and This Lie Will Kill You.

An intense high-stakes story about five friends and the deadly secret that could send their lives up in flames, perfect for fans of Karen McManus and E. Lockhart.

In Gap Mountain, California, everyone knows about fire season. And no one is more vigilant than 18-year-old Hannah Warner, the sheriff’s daughter and aspiring FBI agent. That is until this summer. When Hannah and her best friends accidentally spark an enormous and deadly wildfire, their instinct is to lie to the police and the fire investigators.

But as the blaze roars through their rural town and towards Yosemite National Park, Hannah’s friends begin to crack and she finds herself going to extreme lengths to protect their secret. Because sometimes good people do bad things. And if there’s one thing people hate, it’s liars.

Review

The gang, the teenagers make up – 2 boys, 3 girls, are called The Monsters, are also out to protect each other and themselves when a huge, catastrophic, very destructive fire breaks out in a town, with the wild flames heading towards Yosemite National Park. It’s pretty graphic in some places, especially with the fire, which really highlights the seriousness of the situation.

It’s a dark, twisty young adult book which highlights unhealty, toxicity in some relationships between the characters. There’s also the chase of future life dreams, such as teenagers wanting to become a nurse, work in criminology and more… Each is far, far from perfect. They tried to be good, but they are also far from this too as secrets are kept and many lies are told. Older teenagers and early 20 somethings will find this a gripping read as the story builds as the flames and realisation of the fire does too and there’s nothing much that can be done to fan them as the gang begins to crack here and there, but Hannah tries to hold tight and keep the gang close. As the net closes in on them, one of the gang disappears, creating further speculation and intrigue.

Lies Like Wildfire is about teens, who have their whole lives ahead of them, falling apart and readers can find out how far they are willing to go in their lies, even to the most powerful of authorities in law to try and coverup their terrible secret. There’s the intrigue as to whether they will eventually come good or not and what will happen to them.

#Review By Lou of Adventures on Trains – Danger At Deadman’s Pass By M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman for 9 years to 11 years @MGLnrd @samuelsedgman @MacmillanKidsUK #MiddleGrade #ChildrensBooks #AdventuresOnTrains

Danger At Deadman’s Pass
By M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Danger at Dead Man's Pass, M. G. Leonard , Sam Sedgman, Macmillan Children's Books, Elisa Paganelli

A high speed train journey of a series, this is book 4. Check out the blurb and my review as well as other praise from prominent and famous children’s authors and press. This book is great for 9 year olds to 11 year olds.

Danger At Deadmans Pass Cover

Blurb

Embark on a thrilling fourth adventure in the bestselling, prize-winning Adventures on Trains series – Danger at Dead Man’s Pass, from M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman, as Harrison Beck investigates an ancient family curse high in the German mountains. Illustrated in black-and-white throughout by Elisa Paganelli.


A mysterious letter from an old friend asks Hal and Uncle Nat to help investigate a spooky supernatural mystery. Legend has it the Kratzensteins, a family of rich and powerful railway tycoons, are cursed, but there is no such thing as a curse, is there . . .?

Hal and Nat take the night train to Berlin and go undercover. From a creaking spooky old house at the foot of the Harz mountains, they take the Kratzenstein family’s funeral train to the peak of the Brocken Mountain. Can Hal uncover the secrets of the Brocken railway and the family curse before disaster strikes?

Review

Danger at Dead Man's Pass, M. G. Leonard , Sam Sedgman, Macmillan Children's Books, Elisa PaganelliAll Aboard For Your Journey To Germany! It Will Be An Unexpected Journey Of A Life Time!

Firstly, that exciting cover is totally attention grabbing. There is much to enthrall within the book too. It is packed full of characters and mysterious things going on, including a curse. The mysteries don’t stop there, with such sensational intrigue at a creaky house, that has just the right amount of spookiness, with its private train line. The thought of a private line to a rather unusual large house is sure to capture children’s imaginations and thrill them. It’s just so cool!

Danger at Dead Man's Pass, M. G. Leonard , Sam Sedgman, Macmillan Children's Books, Elisa PaganelliThere’s lots to unravel within the book that will entertain 9 years to 11 year old children, which it is pitched at perfectly for.
There’s a family which is out of the ordinary – the Kratzensteins to get to know, including working out their curse, which sends readers on a thrilling action-packed mystery to get their teeth into and solve.

Reach the end of your journey and find some facts about where you’ve been.
So, I highly recommend this thrilling train journey that chuffs on with speed and much excitement that will get the adrenaline pumping so much, children will be so curious as to how it can all possibly end and then want some more!

Danger at Dead Man's Pass, M. G. Leonard , Sam Sedgman, Macmillan Children's Books, Elisa Paganelli

#Review By Lou – Drinking Custard – Diary Of A Confused Mum By Lucy Beaumont @LucyABeaumont @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #DrinkingCustard #Memoir #Parents #Families #NonFiction

Drinking Custard – Diary Of A Confused Mum
By Lucy Beaumont

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Drinking Custard Graphic 3

Today I am on a blog tour for an entertaining non-fiction – autobiographical book – Drinking Custard – Diary of a Confused Mum. Discover more in the blurb and review below. Thanks first to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review on the blog tour and for Octopus Books for gifting a hardback copy of the book. 

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Drinking Custard Graphic 1About the Lucy Beaumont
and the Book

Known for her sharp, witty and surreal view on everyday life, Lucy shares the unpredictable craziness of being a mum in this brilliant and laugh-out-loud ‘mumoir’. Mums everywhere will recognise the madness of it all. From when Lucy was hospitalised with indigestion in her third trimester (blame the burrito), to when she was *this close* to slapping her hypnobirthing instructor, to fi nding herself drinking a whole pint of custard in one sitting.
Drinking Custard also captures Lucy’s marriage to comedian Jon, as they navigate Lucy’s raging pregnancy hormones and balk at pram prices together.

 

Drinking Custard Graphic 5

Review

Firstly, Lucy Beaumont makes it clear she hasn’t written a parental advice book. As I read through the book, this is a book with humour and with anecdotes that parents may be able to relate to in their own lives.
There is about Lucy herself, who is also a comedian and her lifestyle as well as how she met fellow comedian – Jon Richardson, who she rubs up the wrong way from time to time. It’s really rather funny!

The way the book is set-out is fun, quick and easy to read for those busy parents. It’s easy to dip in and out of. It’s an entertaining enough book for something different to read to lift people’s mood.

Drinking Custard Graphic 6

There are some serious moments too, about hormones, the changes within her body whilst being pregnant and the challenges of those night feeds. There’s also joy of reaching certain milestones too, between missing the life pre-baby. There’s the changes in conversations from Homes Under The Hammer exchanged to Paw Patrol and Bing etc. and the groups to join up to and progressing onto nursery runs.

The book is entertaining and seems to be an honest, yet humorous account of life and becoming and being parents.

 

Drinking Custard BT Poster

#BookReview By Lou Sticky Icky Vicky – Courage Over Fear By Alysia & Michael Ssentamu, Illustrated By Noor Alshalbi #StickyIckyVicky #PixelPublishingHouse #AlysiaSsentamu #MichaelSsentamu #OvercomingFear #6to10yearsReading #ChildrensBook #Parenting #Families

Sticky Icky Vicky – Courage Over Fear
By Alysia & Michael Ssentamu
Illustrated By Noor Alshalbi

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Readers meet Sticky Icky Vicky in what is an ultimately positive rhyming story about overcoming fears. A book suitable for 6 to 10 year olds.
Thanks to Pixel Publishing House for gifting me the copy for review. Find out more in the blurb and review below.

Sticky Icky Vicky

Blurb

Meet Sticky Icky Vicky, a girl who wants to get over her fear—once and for all

In Courage over Fear, the first book in the Sticky Icky Vicky™ series, authors Alysia and Michael Ssentamu introduce readers to Vicky, a fun-loving girl who doesn’t mind getting a little sticky and icky. She loves rolling down hills and playing in mud—but when it comes to water, Sticky Icky Vicky’s fear prevents her from joining in the fun. Then Vicky gets an invitation for a waterpark party, and she decides that she really wants to go—even if it means ignoring the Negative Ned voice in her head and getting over her fear.

With vibrant illustrations and catchy rhymes, Courage over Fear offers children an inspirational/loveable heroine who learns some valuable life lessons, such as:

● Courage                ● Positive thinking                  ● Goal-setting

Aimed primarily at readers aged six to ten, Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear is a reading experience that leaves kids believing that they, like Vicky, can get past any obstacle in their way.

Review

The book is rhyming, which makes it great for using for 6 to 10 year olds. It’s enjoyable for this age group and is a positive story that is conveyed well for this age group. The fact it rhymes makes the fear less daunting in a way and makes it seem more palatable to read as it is less heavy than it may have been otherwise, especially for the younger part of this age group. For the whole age group, the book can be used as a discussion opener with children who have similar issues to Vicky surrounding water.

The story starts with Vicky having fun with friends, but soon it is revealed that she has a fear of water, the reason being explained within the story. This then begins to have an impact on her life, especially, in this instance, her social life as her instinct is to decline an invite to a water park. Instead of doing this, she decides to be brave and confront her fear and the thoughts in her head, which materialise as “Negative Ned”. There are however more positive thoughts, which materialise as “Positive Ted” to combat the negativity.

The book can help children see that something is worth a try, even though they are fearful at first because it could be more fun than they first imagined. So, it could be used as a tool to help widen children’s interests and their world and build courage and resilience.

#Review by Lou – Lost In The Clouds By Tom Tinn-Disbury #DKChildrens @penguinrandom #ChildrensBook – A sensitive #Story dealing with #Bereavement #Families

Lost In The Clouds
By Tom Tinn Disbury

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A sensitive, hopeful story with beautiful illustrations that deals with the topic of grief. Thanks to publisher – DK Children/Penguin Random House for gifting me the book to review.
Find out more in the blurb and the rest of my review (plus some useful links) below, as well as a bit about the author and a therapist who also had input in this book in a consultant capacity. There is also a very nice dedication given by the author.

Lost In The Clouds

Blurb

Children find grief difficult, and understanding where a loved one has gone can be a tricky topic to explain…
Billy misses his mummy very much. She lives in the clouds. Some days the sun is shining and Mummy’s clouds are nowhere to be seen. Those are Billy’s favourite days. He and Daddy would play in the garden all day long, and Billy knows that Mummy is letting the sun shine for them. But not all days are like that. Sometimes Mummy’s clouds are dark, and Billy feels sad and alone.

This moving and sensitively-written picture book gently explores grief and teaches children how to deal with their emotions surrounding the death of a loved one. With beautiful and colourful illustrations to accompany the touching narrative, this children’s book is perfect for adults to share with their little ones and to help them understand what they are going through.

You don’t have to weather the storm alone! The loss of a loved one can be a difficult topic to discuss with little ones, and this heart-warming book can help you support them through their stages of grief.

Follow Billy and his father as they navigate the loss of his mother through beautifully emotive illustrations and text:

– A large format book that adults and children can easily read together
– A sensitively-written narrative that helps children to process their grief and emotions
– Gentle full-page illustrations that allow children to become immersed in the story
– A non-fiction page that shows children and their families some of the ways to open the conversation about grief and loss

Written in collaboration with an experienced grief professional, Lost in the Clouds gently explores the topic of grief and teaches children and their family members how to understand and deal with their emotions surrounding the death of a loved one.

Review

The story about Billy losing his mum is sensitively handled. It tells a story using familiar things like the weather, especially focusing on the sky and playing in the garden. It’s overall a positive story that can lift the heart. It also shows children how Billy finds comfort in clouds and sunny days. It therefore also gives children ideas for discovering hope and comfort, especially on sunnier days. These are Billy’s happy days. The harder days are painted as more gloomy, stormy weather. So, this book cleverly shows different emotions through these weather changes, which can in turn help with some understanding of emotions experienced when grieving.
The book shows, not just Billy coping on some days and grief hitting hard on other days, but also how dad is going through this too and also missing his wife. It also shows father and son coming together in a positive way to help each other.
The book is beautifully illustrated throughout, which enhances the story, which in turn provides a relaxed opening for children and adults to discuss their feelings together. It essentially would do what it says it will in the blurb in helping children process and understand grief, as well as finding out that there is still lightness in life, even though some days can be hard.

At the end there is a useful “Guide for Grown-Ups” page with hints and tips how to help your child, how to approach the subject of someone dying and how to help them through their grief. There is also a section of resources so that extra support can be gained.
Here are some websites to some of those here:

Young Minds     Child Bereavement UK         Hope Again – Cruse Bereavement Care

About the Author

Tom Tinn Disbury is an author and illustrator living in Warwickshire, England. He lives with his wife and two children, and he is helped by his dog Wilma and cat Sparky.

Tom tries to give his characters rich, full lives, making sure they have a real range of feelings and emotions. That was particularly important in creating this book.

Tom would like to dedicate this book to all the keyworkers who help us in our day to day lives.

For Tracy, may you now be in peace.

About Stacey Hart

Stacey Hart is a therapist, trainer, university lecturer, and group facilitator. An expert on childhood bereavement and family breakdown. Stacey works as a trauma specialist in schools and corporations. She has also won a Family Law Award for best support services.

Stacey has appeared a number of times on television and radio as a leading voice on children’s bereavement.

Bereaved children like Billy have taught her to hold hope, laugh lots, and live every day to the fullest.