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

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#ChildrensBook #Review by Lou – A Day In The Life of A Caveman, A Queen and Everything In Between By Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley @TheMikeBarfield @BusterBooks  @VenkmanProject @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours

A Day In The Life of A Caveman, A Queen and Everything In Between
By Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Children will have so much fun with this non-fiction book. Find out more in the blurb and my review. First, thanks to Love Books Group for inviting me to review on the tour and for gifting me a book.

A Day in the Life (2)

Blurb 

A Day in the Life (2)A colourful and comical tour through history from cartoonists Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley.

The hilarious minds behind A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You have teamed up once again – this time to give a taste of the daily lives of the people, animals and objects who made history.

Featuring a day in the life of early humans as they paint mammoths on the walls of a cave, a fierce gladiator battling in the Colosseum and the first woman in space. And not forgetting the animals of history – from an Egyptian cat (worshipped as a god, of course) to an albatross flying over Rapa Nui and a dog in the trenches of the First World War.

Readers can also discover the stories behind famous constructions, including the Great Wall of China and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and delve into the secret diaries of a Viking, Isaac Newton’s cat and the wooden panel that became the Mona Lisa.

With over 90 entries told in the friendly, informative style of Mike Barfield and brought to life by Jess Bradley’s brilliantly funny illustrations, this book will have children learning and laughing as they go.

Review

This bold and vibrant book is split into 3 sections – Ancient History, Middle Ages and The Modern Age. The author and illustrator have this book pitch-perfect. Together they have mixed fact and humour to create a book that children will just love and learn something too. The layout is in comic/graphic comic layout, which is inspired for today’s generation. It’s fast and entertaining and cleverly has history sit side by side by the modern. There are the facts, but also then a page for a “Newsflash” and a page called “The Bigger Picture”, all corresponding to the main topic, before swiftly moving onto the next topic.

Children are naturally inquisitive, so have many questions and a lot of them are answered in this book.

This feels modern and is totally eye-catching. Children who like Horrible Histories will get much enjoyment out of this as they learn.

Schools could also use this as one of their resources for topics to engage children. There’s certainly plenty to be inspired by.

A Day in the Life (1)

#BookReview by Lou of Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City: from the creator of Draw with Rob by Rob Biddulph @RobBiddulph @MacmillanKidsUK #MiddleGrade aged 8 plus #ChildrensBook

Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City: from the creator of Draw with Rob
By Rob Biddulph

 

Imaginative and entertaining with absolutely amazing illustrations that will blow you away a wonderful story to boot. Children aged 8 plus are sure to love this.
Discover more in the blurb and my review. Thanks also to the publisher – MacMillan Children’s Books for allowing me to review.

Peanut Jones Illustrated City

Blurb

Peanut Jones Illustrated CitySuperstar, author and illustrator Rob Biddulph dazzles in Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City, the first title in an adventure series for boys and girls of 8+. Fizzing with magic, danger, friendship and art, this exciting, funny, middle-grade debut is from the bestselling creative genius behind #DrawWithRob.

Some legends are born, some are drawn . . .

Drawing feels like magic to Peanut Jones. But art can’t fix her problems. Her dad has gone missing, and she’s stuck in a boring new school. Until the day she finds a unique pencil turbo-charged with special powers. Suddenly she’s pulled into a world packed with more colour, creativity, excitement and danger than she could ever have imagined. And maybe, just maybe, she might find out what happened to her dad.

‘A wildly imaginative, big-hearted celebration of creativity’ – Anna James, bestselling author of the Pages & Co series

‘Look at this utter beauty . . . This book is EPIC’ – Laura Ellen Anderson, bestselling author of Amelia Fang

Review

Rob Biddulph was known in the height of the pandemic for his “Draw With” sessions online. Now you can read his latest book – Peanut Jones and the Illustrated City.

Pernilla Anne Jones is otherwise called Peanut Jones and is in school detention when readers meet her, then we meet her friends and other people around the city, such as her mum, Rockwell and Lillibet, otherwise known as Little Bit.
The book has amazing illustrations. Nothing too out of the ordinary – people, cars and the like, but the way they are drawn makes them pop out from the page, like you could reach in and pick them up. They are some of the best children’s illustrations I’ve seen in a while!

Amongst the illustrations is where the story is occurring all around them, not always in a traditional words then picture kind of a way, but almost more in a synergy kind of a way. It’s all eye-catching.

Accompanied with the amazing illustrations there is a seriousness in the story itself as Peanut’s dad, who is an artist, is missing and memories of him flood back every so often and this captures emotion.

There is science and art as topics within the book and they interact in interesting and magical ways.

Children will gain a lot of knowledge about art, that’s cleverly integrated into fun the fun of this enchanting story of magic, mystery and adventure into a city she explores – Chroma – The Illustrated City, which is magical and yet isn’t without its trepidation. Peanut and Rockwell are sent on a mission to save someone and there is much in jeopardy and much at stake along the way and codes to work on and more…
There’s much action, including heroes and villains of the piece to keep children hooked and immerse them into the city and build up their excitement as they read.

At the end of the book is a fabulous glossary about the artists who feature in this book. Each has a small paragraph about them, which builds children’s knowledge in a fun way and backs up who they’ve come across in the story.

#BookReview by Lou of Journey To The Moon And Other Stories By Ed Goodwin @whizoap @ConradPress @RandomTTours #JourneyToTheMoon #ChildrensBooks #MiddleGrade #9-12yearolds #Humour #Fantasy #Unicorns #Space #Humour

Journey To The Moon
And Other Stories
 By Ed Goodwin

Rating: 4 out of 5.

3 stories in 1 provide adventure, fantasy, humour, realism all for 9-12 year olds. Find out more in the blurb and my review below…
A little later than planned due to unforseeable circumstances.
Thanks to Random Things Tours and Conrad Press for the book and invite to review.

Journey to the Moon Cover

Blurb

Fantasy, reality and humour are blended in three adventures. Nothing is as it seems as two young girls go to the moon, present a unique style of Punch and Judy and try to look after a unicorn.
In ‘Journey to the Moon’, with the help of a possibly over-optimistic dad and practical mum, two young sisters make their dream visit to the moon and back despite numerous setbacks. In ‘Punch and Judy’ the question of what would happen if violence was banned in Punch and Judy shows is explored. In the story ‘Unicorn Tale’, looking after a unicorn presents more challenges than expected, especially when it disappears into a dream world.

Journey to the Moon Cover

Let’s start with the cover. It’s just so eye-catching and fun. This is a book where children can go and have adventure that will send their imaginations soaring. 3 stories in 1 also makes this fun and rather special.

This hits some trends for children, including unicorns. There’s much fun and humour to have in these stories. The puppet shows that the family perform is great and may well spark the imaginations of its readers. That is possibly one of the best bits as it brings puppets back into the modern sphere again.

The family is one that I think children will have fun within this book during quiet times or bedtimes. It’s great for wherever you want to read.

Each story brings something different. From an adventure to the moon, which brings about a touch of reality to the realms of fantasy, such as in working out how to look after a unicorn. Each story provides entertainment in different ways. that are sure to surprise and give children space to have a laugh.

Journey To The Moon BT Poster

#ChildrensBook #Review by Lou The Primrose Railway Children By Jacqueline Wilson #JacquelineWilson @FansofJWilson @OfficialJWMag @RHKidsUK #ChildrensBook #ClassicsAdaptation #MiddleGrade

Today I have a review of The Primrose Railway Children by bestselling and hugely popular children’s author  – Jacqueline Wilson. Her books have included series such as Tracy Beaker, Hetty Feather and many more, tackling many subjects in the present and past. Now she is also tackling children’s classics. So, this is her revamped, modern take of E-Nesbitt’s The Railway Children.
I’ve talked many times about Jacqueline Wilson and her books to children, so it is an honour to actually be able to review one.
Discover more in the blurb and my thoughts about it in my review below.
Firstly, my thanks goes to the publisher – Penguin Random House Children’s UK for gifting me a copy of the book to review.

The Primrose Railway Children

Blurb

An unbelievable talent’ – David Walliams

From multi-million bestselling author Jacqueline Wilson and inspired by E. Nesbit’s timeless classic, The Primrose Railway Children is a gorgeous, heartwarming story of family secrets and new adventures.

Sit back and enjoy the journey!

Phoebe Robinson loves making up stories – just like her wonderful, imaginative Dad.

When he mysteriously disappears, Phoebe, Perry, Becks and their mum must leave everything behind and move to a small cottage in the middle of nowhere.

Struggling to feel at home and missing her Dad terribly, Phoebe’s only distraction is her guinea pig Daisy. Until the family discover the thrilling steam trains at the railway station and suddenly, every day is filled with adventure.

But Phoebe still can’t help wondering, what is Mum hiding and more worryingly is Dad okay?

Review

The Primrose Railway ChildrenJacqueline Wilson has been inspired by E. Nesbitt before with her retelling of the story Four Children and It, which she called 4 Children and It. This time she has been inspired by The Railway Children by her. My hope is that children reading these, will be also inspired to go to the original versions too and see the similarities and the differences and appreciate both authors and their talents. Let’s face it, Jacqueline Wilson is enormously talented and I honestly was amazed to be given the priveledge of reviewing her book. Not only am I a fan of The Railway Children, but I also totally appreciate in wonderment what Jacqueline Wilson brings to children literature. The big question is, however, is this re-inspired story actually any good and will it hit the mark?

The timing of this book is quite perfect, just ahead of a sequel to the film of The Railway Children. I myself love trains and adventure and The Primrose Railway Children is sure to spark this in those middle-grade readers who devour Jacqueline Wilson’s books with their eyes and imaginations.

The Primrose Railway Children is made up of Phoebe, Amelie, Perry and Becks and then there’s their mum and dad. It’s written in a way that brings everything bang up to date. This, a bit like the original, isn’t a sugary sweet book, but there are cute animals. There is still upheaval, financial difficulties, technology issues and family secrets, which brings depth and intrigue. There’s some great humour within the story, so it isn’t too heavy, although there are some weighty themes, but they, as ever with a book by Jacqueline Wilson, are treated well and with children in mind.

The book mixes the past and present in a way that may well feed children’s curiosity as the book mentions the Edwardians and steam trains that would have run then on lines like The Primrose Railway, which is gently encouraged through the characters in the book having a desire to find out more. There’s something respectful about this and also makes it sound okay for children to do this. The book also mentions other classic books too in a way that is so clever and again gently encouraging the next generation to read these too, especially with all whilst putting her own spin on things and creating a pleasurable story, that is also well illustrated, but not overly so.

With dad mysteriously gone, the void this leaves can be sorely felt through the family, but none more so than Phoebe. The intensity of the bond between her and her dad can be keenly felt. There’s the whole worry that he may be dead, but they don’t really know if he is dead or alive and readers see the children process this between their humour and their seriousness in conversations and behaviours.

There’s adventure around the trains, the train station and make a new friend in the station master, which is delightfully written, with so much to discover about The Primrose Railway. It’s also a story that talks about differences between urban and rural life, differences in families as a whole and growing up.

This is overall a book many children will find engrossing and is relatable, and also as respectfully done as it possibly could be as she also puts her own slant on the family she creates and their different characterisations and the reasoning for their dad to be away and all ends in quite a twist.

There are some nods to E. Nesbitt’s original story – The Railway Children and so beautifully done, Jacqueline Wilson has acknowledged her and written a bit at the back of the book about her and her stories and I like that she also encourages children to read them too.

Jacqueline Wilson has written a number of books now, that have revamped the children’s classics and hopefully children will like hers as well as then discovering the original authors and reading what they wrote too. The two combined would now be pretty powerful and children could gain a lot from reading both versions, and perhaps discover the joy of reading and trains too.

#BookReview by Lou Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears by Jessica Bowers It’s a book with #ClassroomResources @rararesources #JessicaBowers #ChildrensBook #KS1 #KS2 #FacingFears #ChildrensWellbeing

Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears
by Jessica Bowers

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears is suitable for 4-7 year olds. It has a pages at the back for parents and teachers to support children through this story. There are also resources available for the classroom. Thanks to Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to the blog tour and for gifting me the book. Find out more in the blurb and my review.

Blurb

Fantastic Fin CoverCome and join Fantastic Fin as he grows his courage by embodying various inspiring characters and animals to face his fears!

Teachers, Parents and Carers can access the free Fantastic Fin Teaching Resource Pack available from the author’s website.

This is the first book in a series supporting children’s mental health by well-being author and psychotherapist Jessica Bowers. Ideal for children age 4-7.

Fantastic Fin Cover

Review

Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears tells the story, in rhyme, of a boy called Fin, or rather Fantastic Fin. He is a shy and anxious boy who finds a lot of life challenging. He then imagines he is different things like t-rex, a spy, a shark and many more to help him feel brave and overcome these life challenges he is experiencing. The pictures are big and bold with a hint of humour around the hope they provide as Fantastic Fin transforms and feels braver to confront his fears with all his might. At the end of the story there is a page of “Fantastic Fin’s Factfile”. It gives children some practical tips and there is also a page they can draw on themselves, to show how they feel when they face their fears and perhaps conquering them.

The book provides positivity and enough story that can also be woven into a greater conversation and topic of wellbeing or positivity. It can also be used as a conversation opener to find out what your children fear most and how they may face them and overcome them in a fun way. It can, as the story is also fun, be a way of also bonding and finding out more about your child and their emotions in a gentle manner.

About The Author

Jessica is a well-being writer with an extensive background in supporting both young people and adults with their emotional well-being and mental health. Jessica is a qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist who trained at the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute. Prior to this, she worked for over 10 years with young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Jessica consults with and writes for the wonderful Storytime Magazine, for their emotional well-being and mental health content. She has written a collection of well-being themed children’s picture books for 4-7 year olds, and Fantastic Fin Faces his Fears is her debut book. She has also developed some school workshops which offer emotional education aswell as offering author visits to read her books and poetry to EYFS and KS1 children. Jessica develops free activity and teaching resource packs around emotions and well-being themes which are available from her website at www.jessicabowers.co.uk .

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/jessicabowerswellbeingwriter

https://twitter.com/bowerswellbeing

https://www.instagram.com/jessicabowerswellbeingwriter/

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fantastic-Fin-Faces-His-Fears/dp/1527298868/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Fin-Faces-His-Fears/dp/1527298868/