Sweet Valley Confidential – Ten Years Later : Francine Pascal

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal My rating: 2 of 5 stars I can understand the feelings behind this, and the urge behind it, but Ten Years Later is a problematic and frankly strange book that seems to deny or barely recognise much of the structure and themes that made the SweetContinue reading “Sweet Valley Confidential – Ten Years Later : Francine Pascal”

What Does An Anteater Eat? : Ross Collins

What Does An Anteater Eat? by Ross Collins My rating: 4 of 5 stars Picture books are a performative thing. Every book is, in a sense, but picture books are perhaps more performative than others. They are made to be shared and talked about and enjoyed by multitudes of readers. They are made to beContinue reading “What Does An Anteater Eat? : Ross Collins”

Miss Wilmer’s Gang : Bessie Marchant

Miss Wilmer’s Gang by Bessie Marchant My rating: 3 of 5 stars This was my first ever Bessie Marchant, and after we got to the bit about taxidermy, I realised that we were in for quite a ride. She’s an interesting author is Marchant, always on my radar with her girls full of Strong AndContinue reading “Miss Wilmer’s Gang : Bessie Marchant”

Stories For Boys Who Dare To Be Different – Ben Brooks

Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have promised to be, above all things, honest in the reviews that I write and so it’s for that reason that I must confess that I wanted to dislike this a lot more than I did. TheseContinue reading “Stories For Boys Who Dare To Be Different – Ben Brooks”

Pony on the Twelfth Floor : Polly Faber, illus. Sarah Jennings

Pony on the Twelfth Floor by Polly Faber My rating: 5 of 5 stars There’s a lot to love about what Polly Faber does and I, for one, hope she continues to do it. I had, and continue to have, so much time for her work on the Mango and Bambang series ( which IContinue reading “Pony on the Twelfth Floor : Polly Faber, illus. Sarah Jennings”

Home Home : Lisa Allen-Agostini

Home Home by Lisa Allen-Agostini My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s a point towards the end of the first chapter of Home Home where I got The Feeling. You’ll know what The Feeling is; it’s that moment when you read something, maybe a word or a sentence or a metaphor, whatever, but you knowContinue reading “Home Home : Lisa Allen-Agostini”

A Pony For Jean : Joanna Cannan

A Pony for Jean by Joanna Cannan My rating: 5 of 5 stars There’s a reason I practically fainted when I found this in the pound shop and that reason is this: A Pony For Jean is a stone-cold classic, rich and evocative and unapologetically ponyish and it should be in the hands of anyoneContinue reading “A Pony For Jean : Joanna Cannan”

The Three Jays Against The Clock : Pat Smythe

The Three Jays Against the Clock by Pat Smythe My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have been aching for a reread of Pat Smythe’s pony books for quite some time, and so, dear reader, when I found a copy of The Three Jays Against The Clock in the bookshoop I clutched it to myContinue reading “The Three Jays Against The Clock : Pat Smythe”

The School by The Sea : Angela Brazil

The School by the Sea by Angela Brazil My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is great. It bounces along in that determinedly vivacious sort of way that Angela Brazil does (“Girls! Girls Everywhere!”) and then completely forgets about plot and has a natural history interlude that goes on for about three hundred pages, beforeContinue reading “The School by The Sea : Angela Brazil”

The Children At Green Meadows : Enid Blyton

The Children At Green Meadows by Enid Blyton My rating: 5 of 5 stars Sometimes Enid Blyton could be rather brilliant. I picked this up in a second hand bookshop the other day as a treat to myself. I had a vague memory of the title and, what’s more, I had the odd ache forContinue reading “The Children At Green Meadows : Enid Blyton”

Looking After William : Eve Coy

Looking After William by Eve Coy My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s very easy for me to become a little cocky when it comes to reading children’s books. I read a lot of them, and when you read a lot of anything, you become familiar to the tips and tricks that such books use.Continue reading “Looking After William : Eve Coy”

Home Fetters : Raymond Jacberns

Home Fetters by Raymond Jacberns My rating: 3 of 5 stars I had a bit of an interesting time in a bookshop recently, spotting a vast pile of those books that you just know are the sort of books that you want. Luckily enough they were also the sort of books that clearly didn’t sellContinue reading “Home Fetters : Raymond Jacberns”

Caldicott Place : Noel Streatfeild

Caldicott Place by Noel Streatfeild My rating: 4 of 5 stars Sometimes I suspect that, along with ‘Duvet Days’, there should be ‘Streatfeild Days’ where those people who feel a peculiar ache at their soul that they cannot quite identify should be allowed to take a day off to read a Streatfeild of their choice.Continue reading “Caldicott Place : Noel Streatfeild”

The Positively Last Performance : Geraldine McCaughrean

The Positively Last Performance by Geraldine McCaughrean My rating: 4 of 5 stars There are some authors who have this fierce richness about them when they work. They tell story; words that run together and layer something wonderfully thick and dense about you and you don’t quite know what’s happening until you finish it andContinue reading “The Positively Last Performance : Geraldine McCaughrean”

Running On Empty : SE Durrant

Running on Empty by S.E. Durrant My rating: 4 of 5 stars Running On Empty: a story of family, relationships, and of knotty moments and problems that need solving but don’t have easy solutions, a story of life, really. It’s the second novel from SE Durrant (the first, A Little Bit Of Sky, I reviewContinue reading “Running On Empty : SE Durrant”

Ella On The Outside : Cath Howe

Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe My rating: 4 of 5 stars Charming, subtle and incredibly – suddenly – moving, Ella On The Outside is one of those delightfully unclassifiable ‘thank god it’s in the world books that Nosy Crow does so well. It’s due out on May 3rd and I think it’s somethingContinue reading “Ella On The Outside : Cath Howe”

Max the Detective Cat – The Disappearing Diva : Sarah Todd Taylor

Max the Detective Cat and the Disappearing Diva by Sarah Todd Taylor My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s been a spate of detectives in the world of children’s books over the last few years. There hasn’t, however, been a detective with four legs and a white tail. This is Max the Detective Cat whoContinue reading “Max the Detective Cat – The Disappearing Diva : Sarah Todd Taylor”

Janie Steps In : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Janie Steps In by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s hard to know where to begin with this delightful little box of tricks, so perhaps we shall be like Fraulein Maria and start at the beginning for that is a very good place to start. And beginnings, really, are a strangeContinue reading “Janie Steps In : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

Jack Fortune and the Search for the Hidden Valley : Sue Purkiss

Jack Fortune: And the Search for the Hidden Valley by Sue Purkiss My rating: 4 of 5 stars My eye was caught by the premise of this one. Jack is an orphaned boy and, after one prank too far, his Aunt washes her hands of him. Jack is sent to be with his Uncle, anContinue reading “Jack Fortune and the Search for the Hidden Valley : Sue Purkiss”

The Stone Bird : Jenny McCartney, illus. Patrick Benson

The Stone Bird by Jenny McCartney My rating: 4 of 5 stars It took me a long time to understand The Stone Bird. When I first received it for review, I read it and didn’t quite connect with it. There was something not there for me, and so The Stone Bird slid to the pileContinue reading “The Stone Bird : Jenny McCartney, illus. Patrick Benson”

A Spoonful of Murder : Robin Stevens

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens My rating: 5 of 5 stars There was a point in reading this when the back of my neck started to tingle. It’s not often that happens, but when it does, it’s the sort of thing you need to pay attention to. And I think you’ve experienced itContinue reading “A Spoonful of Murder : Robin Stevens”

The Belles : Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton My rating: 4 of 5 stars I don’t usually step towards fantasy, but The Belles caught my eye. Camellia Beauregard is a Belle, tasked with ‘controlling’ Beauty in the gray and dammed world of Orléans. It is only through appointments with a Belle, that people can be transformed and madeContinue reading “The Belles : Dhonielle Clayton”

Five Fall Into Adventure : Enid Blyton

Five Fall into Adventure by Enid Blyton My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s a little part in this where Julian, after detailing the current predicament that the Famous Five have gotten themselves into, remarks, “…This is all very stupid and melodramatic” and it’s kind of the highlight of the entire book for me. It’sContinue reading “Five Fall Into Adventure : Enid Blyton”

The Arrival : Shaun Tan

The Arrival by Shaun Tan My rating: 5 of 5 stars It hit me recently that I’d never reviewed this, this story of eloquence and love and shadows, and that was something I had to make right. The Arrival holds a difficult place in my heart in that, I think, I read it too soon.Continue reading “The Arrival : Shaun Tan”

A Change Is Gonna Come

A Change Is Gonna Come My rating: 5 of 5 stars A Change Is Gonna Come is a compilation of short stories and poems from 12 Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic writers, ranging freely over a series of topics and themes, and pretty much all of them are rather wonderful, powerful contributions. What really struckContinue reading “A Change Is Gonna Come”

Seven Scamps : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

This is my last read of 2017! I wish you a lovely new year, and if festivities aren’t your thing, I also wish you the chance to spend the evening with a Very Good Book…. Seven Scamps by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is such a delightfully weird book. I’mContinue reading “Seven Scamps : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage : Philip Pullman

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman My rating: 2 of 5 stars It’s difficult to review this book so, forgive me if I take a while to get to the point. If I’m honest, I’m not wholly sure as to why I didn’t like this and I’m not sure that that dislike comes from me,Continue reading “The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage : Philip Pullman”

Egyptomania : Emma Giuliani and Carole Saturno

Egyptomania by Carole Saturno My rating: 4 of 5 stars Something very good has been happening in children’s non-fiction over the past few years. This is something to add to that realm of good things. Big, bold and rather deliciously put together, Egyptomania is a look at several key aspects of Ancient Egypt. Where thisContinue reading “Egyptomania : Emma Giuliani and Carole Saturno”

Freshers : Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison

Freshers by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison My rating: 5 of 5 stars Messy, chaotic, and laugh out loud funny, this is something rather joyous. A dual narrative, crafted by dual writers, Freshers was one of the most refreshing, honest and wildly moving young adult novels I’ve read for a while. There was the slight plusContinue reading “Freshers : Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison”

The Wrong Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Wrong Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is so wholeheartedly a good book. In a way, it’s a prototype for the ideal school story. The new girl arrives; highjinks jink, a Talent Is Discovered, and another girl gets her comeuppance. The difference with The Wrong Chalet SchoolContinue reading “The Wrong Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Chalet School and Barbara : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Chalet School and Barbara by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is the point in the series where we have what we’d now refer to as a reboot. There are now two branches of the Chalet School, plus St Mildred’s, plus the girls who act as companions to sick relativesContinue reading “The Chalet School and Barbara : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

My Little Pony : The Ultimate Guide

My Little Pony: The Ultimate Guide: All the Fun, Facts and Magic of My Little Pony by My Little Pony My rating: 5 of 5 stars I am very much here for the firmly feminist message that is the My Little Pony series, but I am also here for very nicely done media tie-ins. It’sContinue reading “My Little Pony : The Ultimate Guide”

The Murderer’s Ape : Jakob Wegelius

The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius My rating: 4 of 5 stars The titular Murderer’s Ape is Sally Jones and she’s also our narrator for this gently told story of murder, double-crosses and false imprisonment. It’s an interesting note to take for such a dramatic series of topics but then again, Sally Jones is anContinue reading “The Murderer’s Ape : Jakob Wegelius”

Why We Took The Car : Wolfgang Herrndorf

Why We Took the Car by Wolfgang Herrndorf My rating: 4 of 5 stars After spending time as a writer in residence for a road, I’ve been increasingly interested in the role of ‘roads’ in children’s and young adult literature. Young adult literature, in fact, has a perfect sort of marriage with the metaphor ofContinue reading “Why We Took The Car : Wolfgang Herrndorf”

An A to Z of Monsters and Magical Beings : Rob Hodgson and Aidan Onn

An A to Z of Monsters and Magical Beings by Rob Hodgson My rating: 3 of 5 stars I like this. A joint production by Rob Hodgson, and Aidan Onn, it was Hodgson’s artwork that originally caught my eye, with its exuberant and definite renderings of creatures ranging from the Sphinx through to the WerewolfContinue reading “An A to Z of Monsters and Magical Beings : Rob Hodgson and Aidan Onn”

The Little Library Cookbook : Kate Young

The Little Library Cookbook by Kate Young My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve been waiting for this book for a while, ever since I came across Kate Young’s work online and, in particular, the moment where she made breakfast rolls as inspired by The School at the Chalet by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer. What moreContinue reading “The Little Library Cookbook : Kate Young”

Ottoline Goes To School : Chris Riddell

Ottoline Goes to School by Chris Riddell My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s very easy for somebody who reads a lot of books to miss an author. And yet, equally, it’s also very easy to have a consciousness of who and what that author is and how they do what they do. This isContinue reading “Ottoline Goes To School : Chris Riddell”

The Princess and The Suffragette : Holly Webb

The Princess and the Suffragette by Holly Webb My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’ve been really interested in Webb’s recent turn towards some of the classics of children’s literature. She’s not alone in this of course, Jacqueline Wilson delivered the delightful Four Children And It, whilst Kate Saunders wrote the powerful Five Children OnContinue reading “The Princess and The Suffragette : Holly Webb”

Here I Stand : Amnesty International UK

Here I Stand by Amnesty International UK My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s a lot to love about this pained, poised collection of short stories and much of that comes from its careful and classy curation. The authors, ranging from Frances Hardinge through to Sarah Crossan, and Chris Riddell, sit alongside a foreword byContinue reading “Here I Stand : Amnesty International UK”

Looking for Enid : Duncan McLaren

Looking for Enid: The Mysterious and Inventive Life of Enid Blyton by Duncan McLaren My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is possibly the strangest and yet, maybe, one of the most brilliant biographies of an author I’ve ever read. It’s an approach that I don’t think would have worked for anybody but Enid BlytonContinue reading “Looking for Enid : Duncan McLaren”

The Explorer – Katherine Rundell

The Explorer by Katherine Rundell My rating: 4 of 5 stars A brief moment of context. I didn’t wholly connect with The Wolf Wilder as much as I did with the rhapsodic and blissful joy of Rooftoppers, and so The Explorer was a book that I read with a little bit of nervousness. Rundell isContinue reading “The Explorer – Katherine Rundell”

A Wrinkle In Time : Hope Larson, adap. Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel by Hope Larson My rating: 5 of 5 stars There’s a lot of books in the world I haven’t read (she says, channeling Franco Moretti) and one of them is A Wrinkle in Time. I’ve a strange antipathy towards classics, and fantastical classics tend to slide towards theContinue reading “A Wrinkle In Time : Hope Larson, adap. Madeleine L’Engle”

Stardust : Jeanne Willis & Briony May Smith

Stardust by Jeanne Willis My rating: 4 of 5 stars Let’s talk about confidence. Confidence is hard for big people, let alone little people, to maintain, let alone figure out if they even have it in the first place. The world is an intimidating space and circumstance conspires to place people in intimidating positions. WhetherContinue reading “Stardust : Jeanne Willis & Briony May Smith”

Diary of a Tokyo Teen : Christine Mari Inzer

Diary of a Tokyo Teen: A Japanese-American Girl Draws Her Way Across the Land of Trendy Fashion, High-Tech Toilets and Maid Cafes by Christine Mari Inzer My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s something immensely charming about this slender yet lovely memoir of a trip that Inzer took to Tokyo by herself at the ageContinue reading “Diary of a Tokyo Teen : Christine Mari Inzer”

Malibu Summer – Sweet Valley High: Francine Pascal

Malibu Summer by Francine Pascal My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s been a long while since I read a Sweet Valley book, and even longer since I’ve seen the TV adaptation, but I’ve got neither out of my head. There’s something about these books that I’ve grouped with something like The Babysitters Club, BugContinue reading “Malibu Summer – Sweet Valley High: Francine Pascal”

The Secret Of the Old Clock : Carolyn Keene

The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene My rating: 4 of 5 stars It’s interesting to consider just how old this series is now. The Secret of the Old Clock, the first in the mythic Nancy Drew series, was originally published in 1930 with a substantial revision in 1959. That’s a fair while,Continue reading “The Secret Of the Old Clock : Carolyn Keene”

Pandora of Parrham Royal : Violet Needham

Pandora of Parrham Royal by Violet Needham My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’ve known about Violet Needham for a while but never really known about her, the specifics, at all. I had a vague idea that she was a contemporary of Elinor M. Brent-Dyer and Elsie Oxenham, but then, as I never found herContinue reading “Pandora of Parrham Royal : Violet Needham”

When Dimple Met Rishi : Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon My rating: 5 of 5 stars When Dimple Met Rishi is a ferociously charming book. It’s also a book I heard about on social media and so, I suspect, might be my reposte to those critics who think that book-talk on social media is the death of everythingContinue reading “When Dimple Met Rishi : Sandhya Menon”

Listen to the Baby Animals : Marion Billet

Listen to the Baby Animals by Marion Billet My rating: 5 of 5 stars So I need to tell you a little bit about this book that, I suspect, might appeal quite immensely to the adults amongst you who have Suffered From Noisy Book Syndrome. Come on, we all know what I mean. Those booksContinue reading “Listen to the Baby Animals : Marion Billet”

Collecting Sticks : Joe Decie

Collecting Sticks by Joe Decie My rating: 5 of 5 stars I was at a conference the other day where talk turned to the idea of ‘kindness’ and how writing can give an opportunity for emotions to be expressed another way. To shine a light into the darkness. It’s a complex idea and one thatContinue reading “Collecting Sticks : Joe Decie”

Piglettes : Clémentine Beauvais

Piglettes by Clémentine Beauvais My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’m always a little wary when I get offered a book to review that’s been written by somebody I know in real life. One of the things that I’m very deliberate on is that when I review, it comes from a place of honesty. AndContinue reading “Piglettes : Clémentine Beauvais”

My Name is Not Refugee : Kate Milner

My name is not Refugee by Kate Milner My rating: 4 of 5 stars In this increasingly complex and difficult world we live in, I’ve been looking for books that help to explain and support younger readers. They have often proven of immense value to myself and the dual appeal of texts like this toContinue reading “My Name is Not Refugee : Kate Milner”

Things A Bright Girl Can Do : Sally Nicholls

Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’ve been sitting on this review for a week or so, in that gloriously selfish phase of having read a Good Book but not wanting to talk about it. Sometimes I want to wallow in that sensation and just holdContinue reading “Things A Bright Girl Can Do : Sally Nicholls”

I Have No Secrets : Penny Joelson

I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s a lot to love about this potent and markedly well-told thriller, not in the least the vibrant delight that is the narrator Jemma. Unable to communicate, yet possessed of a quick-thinking and fiercely distinct personality, Jemma now needs to communicate moreContinue reading “I Have No Secrets : Penny Joelson”

Terms & Conditions: Life in Girls’ Boarding-Schools, 1939–1979 : Ysenda Maxtone Graham

Terms & Conditions: Life in Girls’ Boarding-Schools, 1939–1979 by Ysenda Maxtone Graham My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is a delight. The second of two boarding school histories that I’ve breezed through recently, Terms & Conditions is an absolute delight. The first – Alex Renton’s Stiff Upper Lip: Secrets, Crimes and the Schooling ofContinue reading “Terms & Conditions: Life in Girls’ Boarding-Schools, 1939–1979 : Ysenda Maxtone Graham”

The Hate U Give : Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is remarkable. The debut novel from Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give is a ferociously crafted and brilliant and startling novel. It’s hard to not exhaust myself of superlatives for it but it is something else. I’m often a little nervousContinue reading “The Hate U Give : Angie Thomas”

Shocks for the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

Shocks for the Chalet School by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s a point somewhere around Peggy that the Chalet School series seems to start to mark time a little. The novelty of the Island setting has worn off, a batch of eminent faces have been shipped off to the OberlandContinue reading “Shocks for the Chalet School : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Calling – Endgame #1 : James Frey

The Calling by James Frey My rating: 1 of 5 stars     The reviewer sat down. She opened up her laptop. She navigated to Goodreads. She typed in the title. She found the book. She rated it one star. She paused. She had not enjoyed The Calling. She had found it somewhat challenging, complex,Continue reading “The Calling – Endgame #1 : James Frey”

Wuthering Heights : Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë My rating: 2 of 5 stars It’s odd, sometimes, how a book holds a consciousness in your brain before you have ever read a single page of it. Wuthering Heights is embedded somewhere in there, somewhere near Kate Bush and somewhere near the moorland that turns to grey and steelContinue reading “Wuthering Heights : Emily Brontë”

Prisoner of Night & Fog : Anne Blankman

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman My rating: 2 of 5 stars Prisoner of Night and Fog is set in extraordinary, awful times. It’s 1930s Munich and Gretchen Müller has grown up under the protection of her Uncle ‘Dolf’. ‘Dolf’ is Adolf Hitler and Gretchen is his beloved pet. The daughter of aContinue reading “Prisoner of Night & Fog : Anne Blankman”

The Girl’s Companion (ed.) Mary A. Carson

The Girl’s Companion by Mary A. Carson My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s hard to tell you how much I love this book. I think we begin with what it this book is; it’s a fairly solid text split into a series of chapters, covering a range of things that Respectable Girls might likeContinue reading “The Girl’s Companion (ed.) Mary A. Carson”

Wild Animals of the North : Dieter Braun

Wild Animals of the North by Dieter Braun My rating: 5 of 5 stars The latest step on my Carnegie / Kate Greenaway catch up is Wild Animals of the North by Dieter Braun. Genuinely a little bit breathtaking, this is something rather special.The conceit is simple and easy to grasp: Braun lists a selectionContinue reading “Wild Animals of the North : Dieter Braun”

Evie’s Ghost : Helen Peters

Evie’s Ghost by Helen Peters My rating: 4 of 5 stars I have a story to tell you about this. I was chatting with one of my lovely librarian colleagues about the books I was going to review and mentioned ‘Evie’s Ghost’. It turned out that her daughter had adored Peters’ The Secret Hen HouseContinue reading “Evie’s Ghost : Helen Peters”

The Jamie Drake Equation : Christopher Edge

The Jamie Drake Equation by Christopher Edge My rating: 5 of 5 stars There’s a lot to love about The Jamie Drake Equation. It’s not only a book that twists something quite classic and contemporary together, delivering a science fiction story driven by smartphones and astronaut dads, but it also sensitively and truthfully deals withContinue reading “The Jamie Drake Equation : Christopher Edge”

Orangeboy : Patrice Lawrence

Orangeboy by Patrice Lawrence My rating: 4 of 5 stars Orangeboy is one of those books which begin a long time before you read it. Take a moment and look at that front cover, that stark brilliant splash of vibrant colour that spills against the white background. It is an amazing piece of design and,Continue reading “Orangeboy : Patrice Lawrence”

Horrible Bear! : Ame Dyckman & Zachariah OHora

Horrible Bear! by Ame Dyckman My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s a lot to love about this vibrant and carefully pitched picture book. Horrible Bear! is the story of a girl who is out flying her kite one day. The string snaps and the kite falls into the cave of a very big andContinue reading “Horrible Bear! : Ame Dyckman & Zachariah OHora”

Girl Online – Going Solo : Zoe Sugg

Girl Online Going Solo by Zoe Sugg My rating: 4 of 5 stars This, the third in Zoe ‘Zoella’ Sugg’s series of young adult novels, solidified something for me. I’ve written about her her work before, and about the frustrating tendency for the media to leap onto her as a scapegoat for all that isContinue reading “Girl Online – Going Solo : Zoe Sugg”

Dragon’s Green : Scarlett Thomas

Dragon’s Green by Scarlett Thomas My rating: 4 of 5 stars Dragon’s Green is a really intriguing book and one that I sort of thought I wouldn’t like and then really rather did. It reaches in a thousand different directions, some more successfully than others, and when it hits, it’s utterly wonderful. So, a plotContinue reading “Dragon’s Green : Scarlett Thomas”

Inside, Outside, Upside, Down : Yasmeen Ismail

Inside, Outside, Upside Down by Yasmeen Ismail My rating: 4 of 5 stars There’s a lot to like about this charming sequence of activity books from Ismail and I think a lot of centres on the value of an unfinished line. Take a look, next time you’re somewhere bookish, at a similar book, maybe oneContinue reading “Inside, Outside, Upside, Down : Yasmeen Ismail”

Judith Kerr’s Creatures : Judith Kerr

Judith Kerr’s Creatures by Judith Kerr My rating: 5 of 5 stars It’s hard to define how beautiful a book this when you’re typing a review in that thick haze you get after crying, but I shall. I shall try. I love Judith Kerr. There are a handful of authors that I cling to inContinue reading “Judith Kerr’s Creatures : Judith Kerr”

The Lost Staircase : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer

The Lost Staircase by Elinor M. Brent-Dyer My rating: 4 of 5 stars I rather love this slim, eccentric story that doesn’t quite know what it’s meant to be. I came to it from the Chalet School series which sees two of the characters from The Lost Staircase attend the school. It’s a bravura stepContinue reading “The Lost Staircase : Elinor M. Brent-Dyer”

The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen : Hope Nicholson

The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen: Awesome Female Characters from Comic Book History by Hope Nicholson My rating: 4 of 5 stars Due out in May, this is one of those books that I want to write about now and talk about now because it’s great. Simple as that; I have been looking for books andContinue reading “The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen : Hope Nicholson”

Girl In Dior : Anne Goetzinger

Girl in Dior by Annie Goetzinger My rating: 4 of 5 stars I’ve been treating myself recently to a wallow in the things I love. (As everyone should do, no?). One of these has been reading about mid-century fashion and France; I am a Francophile and there is nothing better than nibbling the edge fromContinue reading “Girl In Dior : Anne Goetzinger”

A Brush With The Past : Shirley Hughes

A Brush With the Past: 1900 – 1950 The Years that Changed our Lives by Shirley Hughes My rating: 5 of 5 stars It was upon reading this that I came to realise something about Shirley Hughes and that is the great genuine humanity of her artwork. I have spoken before about how much IContinue reading “A Brush With The Past : Shirley Hughes”

The Journey : Francesca Sanna

The Journey by Francesca Sanna My rating: 5 of 5 stars The Journey is something rather special and painfully beautiful; it’s a picture book which retells the journey of a nameless family of refugees. Told in a mixture of calm double page spreads, and singular pages, the family have to leave their home after theContinue reading “The Journey : Francesca Sanna”

Username Evie : Joe Sugg

Username: Evie by Joe Sugg My rating: 2 of 5 stars Created by the ‘Sugg Squad’, and led by Joe Sugg who ‘created the storyline and characters and directed the project’; Username: Evie is a complex and often frustrating read. Yet, it’s equally important to note that it is a graphic novel with its heartContinue reading “Username Evie : Joe Sugg”

Transformers Robots In Disguise : Where Crown City Comes to Life

Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Where Crown City Comes to Life by Caroline Rowlands My rating: 5 of 5 stars There’s something rather wonderful about a book which elicits a “Whoah” from everyone you show it to. Transformers : Robots in Disguse : Where Crown City Comes To Life is a non-fiction media tie-in with oneContinue reading “Transformers Robots In Disguise : Where Crown City Comes to Life”

What is Red? : Suzanne Gottlieb & Vladimir Bobri

What Is Red? by Suzanne Gottlieb My rating: 4 of 5 stars Recently republished by the blessed Bodleian Library, What is Red? is a charming and rather beautiful book. It’s a simple journey through a series of colours framed around a question and answer dialogue: “What is Red? / Red is the colour of manyContinue reading “What is Red? : Suzanne Gottlieb & Vladimir Bobri”

The Farmer and the Fairy and other stories : Elizabeth Clark

The Farmer and the Fairy: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Clark My rating: 3 of 5 stars ‘The Farmer and The Fairy and other stories’ is a beautifully produced volume of Elizabeth Clark’s folkloric stories. Drawn from a variety of cultures, these stories range from ‘Yogodagu and the Bees of Yamato’ through to ‘The TaleContinue reading “The Farmer and the Fairy and other stories : Elizabeth Clark”

The Loneliness of Distant Beings : Kate Ling

The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling My rating: 3 of 5 stars Seren is part of a multi-generational intergalactic crew, on a mission destined to last as long as her life several times over. The ship is all that she knows and all she’ll ever know. But then she falls in love; dizzy,Continue reading “The Loneliness of Distant Beings : Kate Ling”

The Liszts : Kylo Maclear, Julia Sarda

The Liszts by Kyo Maclear My rating: 4 of 5 stars Beautifully complex and dark, The Liszts is a picture book that stands at the edge of a thousand different classifications. It’s poetry, it’s art, it’s story, and throughout all of that, it’s a quiet instruction to value the arrival of the unexpected and theContinue reading “The Liszts : Kylo Maclear, Julia Sarda”