#Review of My Awesome Autism by Nikki Saunders @NRSaundersbooks #autism #edutwitter #childrensbook #picturebook #primaryrocks #libraries

My Awesome Autism
By Nikki Saunders
Rated: 5 stars *****

If I were asked to describe this book in 3 words, they would be:
Bold, Creative and Positive!
The rest of the review can be discovered below, after the blurb.

my awesome autism cover

Blurb

We Are All Different! That’s Wonderful! Some Differences Are Easy To See…
A book about autism and diversity. This book is the first step to providing a communicational gateway for your child to learn about their autism in a positive and nurturing way.

Whilst delivering such love and reassurance, your child can enjoy the stimulating, colourful illustrations with you, and later revisit upon the child’s experiences thereafter.

my awesome autism cover

Review

This is such a positive and uplifting book that child-educators and parents/caregivers can all enjoy with children. It can be used for those with autism or even to help provide empathy and understanding to those who do not. All children can gain something from this book. The fact that everything is backed up with positive and warm words of love may make lots of children smile and perhaps feel good about themselves. It could also have that effect on families and teachers too as they read it with their child(ren).

Each page is simply illustrated in large brightly coloured pictures that bring the story to life. So, nothing too intricate and not too busy either.

It has a terrific accrostic using the word “Autism”. It is super positive. The book then goes on to show that everyone is different from hair to skin colour to skills to observation.

There’s a really clever picture within the book that demonstrates observation perfectly. It is drawn in a way that it could be a duck and a rabbit and asks which you see first. It reassures it doesn’t matter, just that people are different in what they initially see, both are right.

The book then goes on to demonstrating that people’s senses, feelings, likes and dislikes can all be different and each is backed up with still promoting that message of Love.

There’s an affirmation about being Amazing!

There’s a section on how everyone has strengths and weaknesses and how some people may find certain things trickier than others. It’s backed up with reassurance that this is ok!

Twitter Link  @NRSaundersbooks

 

#Review of Timothy (and Lucy) Mean and the Time Machine 2 by William AE Ford @williamaeford@marcelo_cinica #kidslit #libraries #Childrensbook #kidslit #edutwitter #primaryrocks

Timothy Mean and the Time Machine 2
(and Lucy)
By William AE Ford
Illustrated by Marcelo Simonetti

Rated: 5 stars *****

I’ve been impressed at the calibre of writing and style that’s been coming from award winning author – William AE Ford before in both Timothy Mean and the Time Machine and The Cockatoo from Timbucktoo and this latest is no exception. This series is perfect for primary school children. I’ve read the previous books to classes to great success as they take children on imaginative adventures through time and space, all in rhyme and with computer graphic like pictures that really stand out. There are ways you can make them interactive stories. They are as good as Julia Donaldson’s books.
There are also resources on his website…. See after the review for links to that and his social media and a bit about William AE Ford.

I thank William AE Ford for surprising me with a copy of the book.

Timothy Mean and His Time Machine 2

Blurb

With Timothy Mean’s amazing imagination and time machine, anything and anywhere is possible!

Join Timothy and sister Lucy on a new magical rhyming adventure in this sequel to the Award Winning ‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ children’s picture book.

Mummies, Gladiators, Cavemen, Albert Einstein, Giant Squids, Leonardo Da Vinci and Aliens make an appearance in this exciting, laugh out loud, time travel escapade.

Review

The escapades start when Timothy Mean has had enough of his Mega Space Anti Alien Laser Gun. The thought of tidying his room isn’t much better. Let’s face it, no one likes to actually tidy their room. Timothy has the perfect antedote to that. His time machine that he created in book 1 is ready for more adventures. Do note that they are also stand alone books as well as part of a series.

I love that the lines that children can tag onto and recite about pushing the button of the time machine are still there. What I’ve found is that children love to create their own sound to this too. These are books where educators could get very creative with and still be within a learning and growing capacity, whilst also expanding imaginations of children and creating a love of reading.

Characters throughout history are discovered from Cleopatra in Egypt, Julius Caesar in Rome, Cavemen and wooly mammoth’s during the Ice-Age, Albert Einstein in a classroom in 1909, King Neptune in Atlantis, Leonardo Da Vinci painting the Mona Lisa and then it’s off to the future and up to Mars where Timothy and Lucy see aliens.

It’s a spectacular book that has a terrific range of subjects within it and rhymes wonderfully well. It has enough fun and detail for children of primary school age, to really get into in each page. I whole-heartedly believe it will feed into their curiosity and humour.

This is one that could easily spark conversations in a classroom or school library setting in the most fun ways.

The illustrations again, produced by Marcelo Simonetti that accompany the story, stand out very well and look very exciting in their boldness of colour and style. Each depicts the story very well indeed.

So all in all, I highly recommend this book and others by William AE Ford, who is shaping up to be an exciting author in this section of children’s books. No longer is he a debut author, but one who is now award-winning and produced a few books and is becoming ever more established in the book world. Children are really enjoying his books.

Social Media Links

Website: www.williamaeford.com
Twitter: @williamaeford

ABOUT THE AUTHOR.

William has always had a passion for books, writing and story-telling.  William’s favourite way to end a cosy evening is to spend time dreaming up and reading bed-time stories to his five wonderful children.

 ‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ and ‘The Cockatoo from Timbuktu’ were inspired by the spark of his children’s colourful imaginations as they tirelessly created unique, laughter filled days from even the most mundane, everyday objects and situations!

Born in England, William  currently lives in Oslo, Norway with his wife and five children.

‘Timothy Mean and the Time Machine’ won the Readers Favourite Children’s Sci-Fi / Fantasy 2019 Award.

‘The Cockatoo from Timbuktu’ is William’s second published picture book. 

Timothy Mean 2 an epic fun-filled, action-packed sequel to the award winning Timothy Mean & The Time Machine has just been released.  

William has been described as an exciting author with his books being in the same calibre as Julia Donaldson. 

“If you are a fan of Julia Donaldson, you will love William A.E. Ford’s books. They are of that calibre. They are packed full of a rhyming story, big and bright illustrations that match the stories and with something that children will take away from them – fun and just enough knowledge along the way. These book are fun to interact with at home, in a library or in school or to curl up with at bedtime. However you like to read books, this is an exciting author I highly recommend” Bookmarks & Stages.


William welcomes enquiries from agents and publishers.

#Review of First Prize For The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy #JillMurphy @CandlewickPress #ChildrensBooks #Kidslit #ReadingforPleasure #TheWorstWitch

First Prize For The Worst Witch
By Jill Murphy
Rated: 5 stars *****

What a delight to be able to review First Prize for The Worst Witch. It’s a great series set in a boarding school for witches – Cackles Academy, with its sometimes eccentric teachers, spells and the mishaps of the worst witch of them all – Mildred Hubble, each one is full of action, humour and friendship. It’s been televised many times and even most recently on the CBBC channel and also on Netflix. It’s a series that continues to entertain children and is well-worth reading.
I thank Candlewick Press for allowing me to review this latest book of The Worst Witch series.
See below for my blurb and review.

Blurb

The Worst Witch First Prize coverMildred the accident-prone witch sets her sights on winning the school’s top honor (and helping circus animals in need) in the charming finale of the popular series. As seen on Netflix!

Mildred Hubble returns to Miss Cackle’s Academy for Witches with a big dream: to be chosen as Head Girl! But with Mildred’s history of mistakes and mishaps, even her best friends are skeptical. Besides, Mildred’s rival, Ethel Hallow, is sure to win. Still, the new term is going well until Ethel finds out that Mildred’s beloved stray dog, Star, actually comes from a traveling circus, and Mildred is forced to return him. When Mildred realizes just how unhappy Star and the other circus animals are, she’s determined to get Star back and give his companions a better life, even if it means the headmistress won’t pick her for Head Girl. Little does she know that friendship, compassion, and loyalty might be justthe qualities Miss Cackle is looking for! With the series complete and a show on Netflix, it’s the perfect time to introduce a new generation of readers to Jill Murphy’s delightful Worst Witch series.

The Worst Witch First Prize cover

Review

A missing circus dog, a chance of an important prize and the usual cast of Miss Cackle, Miss Bat, Miss Hardbroom, Mildred, Maud, Enid, Ethel and Druisilla make up another fun story at Cackles Academy. It’s as well and reliably written as they always have been for primary school/middle grade children with themes of school life, magic, friendship and teamwork, mixed in with humour, this series always entertains and is perfect for reading for pleasure. Whether you’re new to this series or an established reader to them, this is a book you can dive right into.

Mildred Hubble, the most haphazard witch in Cackles Academy is back for the summer term, as are her fellow witchy class mates. She still has her trusty cat – Tabby, plus a tortoise – Einstein and another addition from last term – a dog – Star.
There’s fun with trying to get a Fourth Year Firsts prize and what Mildred really wants is to be picked as Head Girl. That gets Maud giggling so much! Readers of this series will know that Mildred’s reputation isn’t exactly favourable in Cackles Academy and her witch skills leave a lot to be desired. Ethel Hallow is also bemused by her even reaching fourth year!

There’s also the addition to the school – a swimming pool with all manner of pond life in it, which causes excitement and ideas, which leads to creating spells that go wrong, leaving Miss Hardbroom (HB) to fix things out with a Selkie.

Druisilla and Ethel discovered a poster that shows Star to actually be a missing dog from a circus and Miss Cackle and Miss Hardbroom are left to deal with it, a situation, Mildred only goes and makes worse for those involved, including the Brilliantines at the circus.

Ethel and Druisilla are still up to their tricks on poor Mildred, to sabotage anything she wants to try and acheive. Maud and Enid are never too far behind, trying to keep her spirits up.

It’s another joyous addition to the Worst Witch series. I’ve read from this series since I was a child and more recently, to school children and it still never fails to entertain.

#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.

#Review of The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons @andyjshepherd @PiccadillyPress #TheBoyWhoDreamedOfDragons #childrensbook #middlegrade #kidslit #parents #edutwitter

The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons
By Andy Shepherd
Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
Rated5 stars *****

Thank you to my surpise post of The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons, sent to me by Andy Shepherd, spanning from a quick chat some time ago. So, today, I am delighted to present my review on this great story that is just 263 pages and also has some terrific illustrations throughout, within its vibrant cover. It also, when the book is fully closed, has a special look as the subtle lines going down the pages look rather smart.The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons cover

Blurb

We dream of dragons. Soaring, roaring, fire-flickering dragons. While we’re tucked up in bed, they light up in our sleep. Sparking, glittering, aglow.

But dreams are only the beginning of an even greater story.

Because the truth is, our dragons don’t just visit us in our dreams…

Review

At some point, lots of children (including me when I was a child) have dreamt about flying on a dragon’s back, swooping and soaring through the sky.

Dragon races, friendships, sock puppets, a wormhole in a fridge, a jungle family, humour, warmth, a super hero squad, illustrations, this book has it all in only 263 pages that is  amazingly adventurous, fast-paced and sparky.
This book captures imaginations perfectly. Every page has something to make you smile.

Did you know dragons grow on trees? No? Enter this enchanting tale to find out about them and meet the beautifully coloured dragons called Flicker and Sunny. There’s a race with a difference – it’s a dragon race. It’s also used as a clever way of introducing the characters, such as Thomas and his Lolli, who have the most terrific fun with their games. There’s also great friendships within the characters.

Not everyone knows about dragons, but endearing and very fun grandad does. Grandad hasn’t been too well and had a hospital stay, but back on his feet, he’s as positive as ever with his grandchildren helping out with his vegetable patch and just having fun. I like the positivity around this part of the story.

This book is funny, heartwarming and is just perfect for sparking the imaginations of children and for reading for pleasure. It is also perfect for nature-lovers too, or just lovers of humour. On a deeper level, there is plenty about the world around you to have fun with. There’s also themes of having to move on as Thomas’s mum hears of a new job, meaning the family have to move. The emotion of having to leave what was known and loved behind is captured so naturally as it plays out and Flicker, the dragon also leaves. It’s another big theme for children, but handled so well and not completely negatively, which is thoughtful of Andy.

At school, secrets are inadvertently blurted out by Thomas himself to the new girl – Aura who proudly proclaims herself to be a dragon expert, which really throws Thomas into confusion as his emotions really take over and a chain of further events happen.

This book is great for schools, libraries and within homes. Children can have so much fun with it and within schools, there are subjects within the themes that can be discussed or used creatively within activities, as well as generally being good for reading for pleasure.

#Review of The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons @andyjshepherd @PiccadillyPress #TheBoyWhoDreamedOfDragons #childrensbook #middlegrade #kidslit #parents #edutwitter

The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons
By Andy Shepherd
Illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
Rated5 stars *****

Thank you to my surpise post of The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons, sent to me by Andy Shepherd, spanning from a quick chat some time ago. So, today, I am delighted to present my review on this great story that is just 263 pages and also has some terrific illustrations throughout, within its vibrant cover. It also, when the book is fully closed, has a special look as the subtle lines going down the pages look rather smart.The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons cover

Blurb

We dream of dragons. Soaring, roaring, fire-flickering dragons. While we’re tucked up in bed, they light up in our sleep. Sparking, glittering, aglow.

But dreams are only the beginning of an even greater story.

Because the truth is, our dragons don’t just visit us in our dreams…

Review

At some point, lots of children (including me when I was a child) have dreamt about flying on a dragon’s back, swooping and soaring through the sky.

Dragon races, friendships, sock puppets, a wormhole in a fridge, a jungle family, humour, warmth, a super hero squad, illustrations, this book has it all in only 263 pages that is  amazingly adventurous, fast-paced and sparky.
This book captures imaginations perfectly. Every page has something to make you smile.

Did you know dragons grow on trees? No? Enter this enchanting tale to find out about them and meet the beautifully coloured dragons called Flicker and Sunny. There’s a race with a difference – it’s a dragon race. It’s also used as a clever way of introducing the characters, such as Thomas and his Lolli, who have the most terrific fun with their games. There’s also great friendships within the characters.

Not everyone knows about dragons, but endearing and very fun grandad does. Grandad hasn’t been too well and had a hospital stay, but back on his feet, he’s as positive as ever with his grandchildren helping out with his vegetable patch and just having fun. I like the positivity around this part of the story.

This book is funny, heartwarming and is just perfect for sparking the imaginations of children and for reading for pleasure. It is also perfect for nature-lovers too, or just lovers of humour. On a deeper level, there is plenty about the world around you to have fun with. There’s also themes of having to move on as Thomas’s mum hears of a new job, meaning the family have to move. The emotion of having to leave what was known and loved behind is captured so naturally as it plays out and Flicker, the dragon also leaves. It’s another big theme for children, but handled so well and not completely negatively, which is thoughtful of Andy.

At school, secrets are inadvertently blurted out by Thomas himself to the new girl – Aura who proudly proclaims herself to be a dragon expert, which really throws Thomas into confusion as his emotions really take over and a chain of further events happen.

This book is great for schools, libraries and within homes. Children can have so much fun with it and within schools, there are subjects within the themes that can be discussed or used creatively within activities, as well as generally being good for reading for pleasure.