Tag: Children’s

The Closest Thing To Flying by Gill Lewis

Purplefourstars

Review by Alice

Semira and Hanna, her mother, have been in Britain for four years. They are under the “care” of Robel, a vile, pot-bellied people trafficker, who makes sure her mother doesn’t learn English or get paid, leaving her dependant on his scant goodwill.

The Closest Thing To Flying

They live in a house packed with people in similar circumstances. One day, Semira finds herself buying an old hat on a market stall, strangely drawn to the bird that decorates the hat. When she takes it home, she discovers there is an old diary hidden inside the hat box, written by a young girl called Hen over 100 years ago. Semira finds herself caught up in Hen’s story, finding in it an escape from her own life that is full of hunger and loss. She finds that she is challenged by the girl in the diary to speak up in her own life and fight for her place in the world.

I liked the feeling of escape and joy that Henrietta feels when she learns to ride a bike, and how that becomes mirrored in Semira’s story as she is also introduced to cycling through her new friend. This meeting then leads to more revelations in Semira’s life, about who she is and where she comes from. I also really liked the resolutions we get to some, but not all, parts of the story – it was interesting that not everything is resolved. It is a good bedtime book, perfect for children around 9-10 and older who are confident readers.

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The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods by Samuel J. Halpin

4 and half 1

 

Review by Alice

The Peculiar Peggs

The Peculiar Peggs of Riddling Woods is about a town called Suds where children have been disappearing for a long time. Poppy arrives in this town to live with her grandma, who makes her follow these strange rules and soon she befriends the weird Erasmus. The two children team up and try to solve the mystery of the disappearing children.

The Peculiar Peggs is a book, that shows that imagination with an eerie atmosphere can make an excellent combination. This is definitely not your average ‘two kids team up to solve a mystery’ there are so many more layers to unpeel that just keep getting better and better!

I think this book can be for anyone because although the main characters are two innocent children, it’s so much more dark and creepy than you ever anticipated.

 

The Tale of Maximillion The Mouse by Mac Black

5 Stars Coloured

 

Review by Angela

This is a very endearing story of Maximillian The Mouse and is suitable from the age a toddler will listen to a story through to age 7 or 8, depending on the child’s ability. Appropriate and colourful illustrations accompany the rhyming text with nothing to scare a young child. The vocabulary is rich and varied with lots of words to stretch a child’s spelling, conversation and understanding.

Maximillion Mouse

Maximillian is an active and creative little mouse, and has to try to outwit Camilla the cat. An amusing and satisfying story for boys and girls, daytime or bedtime.

The book is soft backed with glossy front and back pages, the writing is large enough for youngsters to follow with their fingers and the illustrations match the wording on the current page.

 

Sweaty and Pals Smile by Mac Black

4 and half 1

Review by Angela

Sweaty and pals Smile is the third instalment of the ‘Sweaty’ trilogy, with Sweaty and Pals being the first and Sweaty and Pals Again the second. Much in the same vein as the first two books, there is good clean fun between Derek and his faithful pals.

Sweaty and Pals Smile

In this book, Derek and his pals have all moved up a school year, with Derek and Curly having a new teacher, if only for a short time before getting yet another new teacher! The lovable old characters are all still there – smarty-pants Alison Brown and cross Mr Murdoch, as well as new-comers along the road, twins Nicole and Tiffany. There’s fun with teams of trolley racers organised by the local supermarket, Bisko’s, and a girly birthday party which the boys have to suffer!

This lovely paperback by Mac Black is well written with perfect length chapters for children’s bedtime which are complete little stories in themselves. Young children will love the realistic and funny tales of school days, taking photographs and shopping at the supermarket. The pages are liberally littered with wonderful and often amusing illustrations.

Mac Black

 

Mac Black’s website

Mac Black’s Amazon author profile

 

 

 

 

 

Walls by Emma Fischel

Four Stars

Review by Alice

When his parents separate, Ned Harrison Arkle-Smith is less than impressed with their ingenious plan to divide the family home into two – a mum side and a dad side. They hope this will help everyone cope better with the split, but Ned is furious, hating the walls and the changes they make to his much-loved home. As if this is not change enough, his best friend is acting strangely and a new girl has discovered his special place.

Walls

Narrated by Ned, Walls introduces us to and explores some of the emotional experiences of divorce through his eyes living with his two sisters, and his parents who have decided that they can no longer continue to live together. However there’s a slight twist to their living arrangements . . . as they continue not to live strictly ‘together’. The book teaches kids a lesson in friendship in a way they can relate to more than if their parents tell them what’s wrong and what’s right. A fun and intriguing concept that readers will delight in.

In my opinion Walls is aimed at children in primary school because a lot of the story is teaching children lessons in how to cope with friendships that might upset them.

 

 

Esme’s Wish by Elizabeth Foster

 

Four Stars

Review by Alice

Esme is a fifteen-year-old girl who lost her mother at the age of eight.  Everyone else seems to have moved on, thinking that Ariane was lost at sea, so why can’t Esme?  But, Esme doesn’t lose hope, she goes searching for her mother to a world full of wonder and magic.
Esme's Wish

Esme’s wish is a book, that showcases the importance of family and trust. This book is very good although it would be even better if we found out a little more about Aaron, Esme’s father, I think it would make the story more interesting.

I think this book is for young adults but is  appropriate for eleven-year-olds and above.

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Foster

 

Elizabeth Foster’s website

Elizabeth Foster’s Amazon profile

 

 

 

 

 

Sweaty and Pals Again by Mac Black

4 and half 1

Review by Angela

This is a lovely follow on from Sweaty and Pals. The main theme is fun and adventure for Derek (Sweaty) and his five pals. The style of writing, the length of chapters and the illustrations are very much like the original book and reading it felt very much like carrying on a school year later with more adventures of the Blytheton Road Gang.

Sweaty & Pals Again

The familiar characters we loved are still there, Gran, Grandad and the children’s favourite teacher, Miss Taylor, as well as the rather grumpy neighbour, Mr Murdoch. There are plenty of newcomers too with a couple of girls showing their faces to this all boys gang.

The chapters are just the right length to read one at bedtime and each chapter is a complete short story in itself. Young children will love the realistic tales of birthday parties, trips to the zoo on a bus and making the best of a rainy day inside. The illustrations are lovely and simple and depict the story perfectly.