#BookReview By Lou of David’s Bathtime Adventure By Sue Wickstead @rararesources @JayJayBus #PictureBook #ChildrensBook #Bathtime #BlogTour

David’s Bathtime Adventure 
By Sue Wickstead

Rating: 5 out of 5.

David’s Bathtime Adventure is an imaginative and fun story and today I am on the blog tour with a review. Find out more about the blurb and my review below. Thanks first to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invite and book.

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Blurb

David  loves his bath time!

As Mum fills the bath with water, David gets himself ready for a swimming adventure.

With toys and his fishing gear, he certainly enjoys splashing around in the water.

(And making a mess!)

Where will his imagination take him?

Review

Bathtime can be fun! David’s Bathtime Adventure makes it look like the best of times in this picture book, with a great story. It is about David and his bath toys having such a joyous and imaginative time of adventure. This book is perfect for those children who like fun and excitement as well as those who are reluctant to go into the bath. Parents/carers can use it as an aid. It’s also great for using to enhance bonding over bathtimes. The illustrations are also bright and bold as well as exciting and full of adventure. At the back of the book there is also a bit about water play and its importance.

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Mr Nobody By Natalie Gordon @NatalieGord @LoveBooksTour #MiddleGrade #ChildrensBook aged 9 plus #VirtualBlogTour #BlogTour

Mr Nobody
By Natalie Gordon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Today I have a review to close this virtual book tour of a children’s book that was long-listed in the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition – Mr Nobody. For those who don’t know, Chicken House is a publishing company specialising in great children’s books. Mr Nobody is an immersive read for children aged 9 plus, where they will gain a family to care about for the length of the book and will prompt inquisitive minds to ask questions and will have them exude in empathy and sympathy as this book has the subject of Alzheimer’s in a child friendly plot. There is also humour and friendship through the pages too.

When nine-year-old Katie’s gran comes to live with the family, Katie is forced to share a room with her moody big sister, Lou. They soon discover that Gran has an imaginary, mischievous friend, Mr. Nobody. Before long, stockings are found cooking in the oven and Gran is found wandering the streets in her nightie, singing along to Elvis. As Gran’s actions become even more peculiar, Katie begins to wonder if Mr. Nobody might actually be real. And why do her new friends, Margaret and Hugo, always appear just when she needs help?

Review

Mr Nobody is a friend of gran’s. Children aren’t the only people to have an imaginary friend, sometimes older people, such as gran’s can too. The gran in the book does because she has Alzheimer’s Disease. This book is immersive and has humour as it shows children this all too real disease and the impact it has. Natalie Gordon has tackled the subject well and in a way that is sure to not only pique children’s interest, but also have a little insight, all whilst being entertained with the characters within this family and friend based story.

Young readers follow Katie in this powerful plotted book and she brings great joy to the sadness that her gran brings. Children who have a relative with Alzheimer’s will particularly identify with this book and even if they don’t, they’ll gain a deeper insight.

Running alongside the story about gran are themes of bullying and modern culture too and there is humour to be found along the way.

All the characters are relatable one way or another. It’s a book that many children are sure to connect with.

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#Review By Lou of. Where Is My Smile? By Natalie Reeves Billing @BillingReeves @LoveBookTours #ChildrensBook #Wellbeing #PictureBook

Where Is My Smile
By Natalie Reeves Billing
Illustrated By Hannah Jesse

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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Where Is My Smile? is charmingly illustrative with an engrossing story children can engage with and adults can use as a conversation starter about emotions.

Natalie Reeves Billing has many successful books, including the Monsterous Me series for young children.

Thanks to Love Books Group for the book and review opportunity. Discover more in the blurb and my review below.

Blurb

A beautifully illustrated picture book about mental health for young readers. Where Is My Smile? is the story of a little boy who can’t find his smile anywhere. He searches and searches, but it’s nowhere to be found. Where could his smile be? This delightful picture book is perfect as a bedtime story, and to help little children understand that it’s okay to be sad sometimes, but we can always find our way through it. Where Is My Smile? is the first in a new series of picture books from Natalie Reeves Billing focused on children’s mental health.

Review

This is a well illustrated book of a boy who is very sad. He knows he has a smile, but it appears to be lost. He searched for it around the house. He sees the rest of his family with smiles, but he can’t seem to fin his. Even the rainy weather means the sun has lost its smile… until one day, it all changes and smiles are back.
It’s a simple story where children can have fun looking for the boy’s lost smile and guessing where it may be and how he finds it. It is clear, not only in the blurb, but also in the construct of the story, that with a pinch of ingenuity, it can also be used as a simple conversation starter to engage with children who are sad or becoming depressed. The book holds a lot of family love and a solution to what makes the boy in the story happy.

The illustrations are bold and fun as well as meaningful in a way that will also help children engage with emotions, as well as easily follow the story.

It, in conjunction with other books and support, will be a valuable tool for any parent and an enjoyable story for many young children as they learn about their own emotions and those of others, so it also then brings some empathy and understanding, which Natalie Reeves Billing does very well in her books; as proven not only in this one but also books such as her Monsterous Me series. This book – Where Is My Smile? however, also focuses on wellbeing and specifically mental health p, in a way children will quickly understand through also being entertained.

The River By Tom Percival @TomPercivalsays @simonkids_UK #PictureBook #ChildrensEmotionsBook #Feelings #ChildrensWellbeing #ChildrensBook #Kidslit

The River
By Tom Percival

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am reviewing a book that covers emotions, nature and seasons in its picture book story – The River By Tom Percival. It would be great for any classroom, home, library. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s UK.
Discover more in the blurb and my review below.

The River cover

Blurb

An exquisite, thought-provoking book to help children understand the idea of ever-changing emotions.

Rowan loves the river; it’s just like he is. On some days, it’s quiet and calm, on others it’s light and playful, and then there are the days when it roars along, wild and angry. But when Rowan goes through a particularly difficult winter, the river freezes – just like Rowan. Can Rowan find a way to release his frozen feelings, and allow the river to flow freely once more?

The wise and reassuring new picture book from the creator of The Invisible and Ruby’s Worry.

Review

The River provides a great story that has a unique way of showing different emotions. It uses the river and the main character – Rowan to convey them. Follow Rowan along the river and through the different seasons. It shows the path and behaviours of the river, such as freezing over winter, before becoming free again in the summer. The illustrations are beautiful and carry the story along very well, in a quiet, engaging manner.
The story conveys the message that the river is always changing, it can be angry and it can be calm and humans, such as Rowan also change in their moods too. The river is a clever tool in this story to illustrate that children have many emotions and that is also shown through Rowan.

It’s a bright, thought-provoking story that is short and sweet, pitched perfectly at young children from at least nursery into primary school. It would also be great for libraries and homes. It’s one that I highly recommend and can be used as a great story and discussion.

Other books by Tom Percival:
The Sea Saw
The Invisible

#Bookreview By Lou of One Camel Called Doug By Lu Fraser @_lufraser #SarahWarburton @simonkids_UK #picturebook #RhymingStory #ChildrensBook #BedtimeStory

One Camel Called Doug
By Lu Fraser
Illustrated By Sarah Warburton

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One Camel Called Doug is a rhyming picture book for young readers that I highly recommend. Today I have a review, thanks to Simon & Schuster Kids UK for gifting me a copy. Find out more about it in the blurb and my review below.

One Camel Named Doug

Blurb

A warmly reassuring rhyming story (with a fun counting element!) about how it’s ok to need a little alone time, from the author of the award-winning The Littlest Yak.

Doug the camel is all alone and sometimes he wonders whether one is enough (it makes playing hide and seek terribly tough…). So when at first one, then two, then three, then four more camels turn up (followed by a whole camel herd), Doug delights in the possibilities all these new friends bring. But when Doug is ‘all camelled out’ from all the excitement and it’s time to count down to bedtime, he takes just as much pleasure from the peace of being alone once again.

Lu Fraser’s warm, funny text is a delight to read out loud and is brilliantly illustrated by Sarah Warburton in the first book from this exciting new picture book partnership.

Review

One Camel Called Doug is a funny rhyming story that also involves counting. It starts with one camel, but there may be more, or it could be something else. Doug tries to figure out what he is seeing and how many you need for playing games like hide and seek or going on a bobsleigh or playing football.
It’s bright and vibrant with some hilarity in its illustrations.
It’s a beautiful book that brings camels alive in ways readers will find hilarious and will never have seen before.
Any nursery, library, home could have this in their possession to great effect.
It’s a book I highly recommend!

#Interview By Lou with Siena about her book Why We Walk, Illustrated By Shannon Wilvers @rararesources #Siena #ShannonWilvers #ChildrensBook #SummerRead #Summer #Walking #Nature #SienasStories #WhyWeWalk #PictureBook #GreatOutdoors #Outside

Interview with Siena
About her new children’s book – Why We Walk

It was a pleasure to interview Siena – the author of Why We Walk, a Canadian who writes stories for young children that are relatable and entertaining for children the world over. This one is suitable for 1-6 year olds. You will find out why it was written, her passion for people walking and the environment, how she puts her books together and how the writer/illustrator working relationship came about. Finally you will find a little about how Siena felt when her first book got published and how she had to convince her family.
First, find out about the blurb and then onto the 5 questions in the interview.

Blurb

Why we walk_coverWhen we walk we see things that we would have missed if we drove. Things like birds, cats, & squirrels. When we walk we have fun spending time together. We talk and learn how walking can help to care for our planet. Join Siena and her dad as they walk to school and discover every little step counts.

This is the second book in the Siena’s Stories series. The first book, The Dance of the Snow Tractors, was named a top book for children in the automobile category by Newsweek magazine.

Now onto the interview…

  1. You have a clear passion for walking and inspiring young children to get outside to walk, what inspired you to write the book – Why We Walk? Also, what is your favourite types of places to walk?

This book was my first idea for a book. It just came to me when my daughter asked me that simple question while we walked to school. I like to walk and really enjoy birdwatching. I walk almost daily for exercise and enjoy trying to find my favourite bird, the cardinal.

  1. What inspired you to care about the environment?

I grew up on a small island off the coast of British Columbia and learned about sustainability at an early age. I also saw the destruction of the land by the mine my parents worked in and the clear cutting of the old growth forest by a nearby logging settlement. It seemed like every year the clear cuts got closer and closer to my island and they were ruining the amazing view I had of the surrounding forest and ocean from my window. I will always remember waking up early to eat breakfast and watching all the stars in full view without the big city lights.

I also have fond memories of the many times Green Peace ships would visit our settlement and share their stories.

  1. Do you find that by writing children’s books about walking and how this helps the environment then rubs off on adults. I had a primary school teacher who had a passion for the environment in the 90’s and a lot permanently rubbed off on me and positively impacted my thinking. Do you think books like yours has a real impact for the longer term how children think as they grow into adults?

I have faith that children today are much more aware of how their parents polluted the planet and will take measures to combat climate change. My book will be a small reminder.  I also believe technology will help them along the way. I used to work in the power electronics industry and have first hand experience with solar, wind and micro hydro installations. They are becoming more affordable everyday. I tell my daughter that even small simple changes like LED lighting will make a huge difference over time.

  1. You have an illustrator – Shannon Wilvers. How did this working relationship come about and can you give a little insight into the process of you both working together to create a finished story?

I had come up with the idea for my book a few years ago but I cannot draw. I do collect original comic book art and have a side job selling movie memorabilia at comic conventions. At the various shows I met a local comic artist (Geof Isherwood) who also teaches art at a local technical school. I discussed the book with Geof and he introduced me Shannon who was his student at the time.

I use Microsoft Powerpoint to write the books. I create a slide and put in the text. Next, I insert a personal picture or a picture from the internet as reference for Shannon. When I am done, I send the file to Shannon. She creates a storyboard and we fine tune the art and text.

  1. Your first book – The Dance of the Snow Tractors, was named a top book for children in the automobile category by Newsweek magazine. How did that make you feel and how did you celebrate?

I was over the moon. I had a hard time convincing my family and friends that I was serious about writing these books. Newsweek helped bring them over to my side.

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