Kiran Millwood Hargrave has such a beautiful way of orchestrating language and describing the world in such a way that you are immediately transported there. Scents, feelings, taste, all senses are thoroughly represented and you come away feeling like this book is now a part of your very soul.
This is a new fiercely female perspective on the Dracula stories we have heard in the past,
Twins Lil and Kizzy, are travellers, much hated and treated badly by society. The day before their divining, which is a ceremony learning your future path, their camp is burned and they are taken with other teens to become slaves. The rest of their travelling community murdered.
They become slaves to a cruel Boyar and are forced to do much against their will. In true feminist form, they learn to fight back, bare the consequences of their actions and protect each other and those they have grown to love.
Lil, the quieter twin, finds love in an unexpected place. Kizzy learns to sacrifice through her actions and both follow a path never before taken. There is an element of twin sense and knowing that you would do anything for your sibling within this book.
It is a dark novel full of female power, fierce love and a true sense of choosing your fate.
I devoured it in an evening, unable to leave the story at any point, needing to continue the adventure just as Drac needed to feast on blood.
Truly engrossing, utterly beautiful and a new girl power voice in the old Dracula legend.
Fast paced and truly adventurous
Heartbreaking and sad
Brave and fierce
Having grown up with the Alice stories, losing myself in Wonderland and enjoying the Mad Hatter’s endless tea parties I was thrilled to see them brought to life in a new way.
This collection of stories will bring you back to Wonderland, re-introduce you to your favourite characters and give you new perspectives on it all.
11 significant and stellar authors have come together to help us “Return to Wonderland”!
They have created mini masterpieces and I thoroughly enjoyed each one.
We learn from Patrice Lawrence, all about the hedgehogs and an old nemesis in the flamingo mallets. We visit a library with 7 books, and a missing book with Swapna Haddow, and Piers Torday helps us to find out how the Cheshire Cat got the smile he is so famous for!
There is so much to enjoy in these stories and they are so in keeping with Lewis Carroll’s original story that it feels an extension on Wonderland.
I feel this will give Alice in Wonderland a new boost with younger generations coming to read and love the stories as much as these authors did.
I particularly liked how each author introduced their story with how Alice formed a part of their reading history. It was fascinating, insightful and on many occasions I could totally relate to their experiences.
This is a wonderful book and I can see it being enjoyed in schools and homes across the country.
I really enjoyed reading about Alfie, Eric and the cast of friends from The Limb Lab. Alfie has been involved in a serious accident, in which he loses his right hand, and most of the memories surrounding the event.
As you read you discover snippets of memory from the accident and see what Alfie is going through. He has moments of frustration and anger at not being able to control his new hand, or to rid himself of the ghost feeling from his old hand.
Skipping school and The Limb Lab, he heads to the airport and “loses” his hand. In a quest to retrieve it, he finds lost property and finds a giant robotic hand which he discovers belongs to the most polite robot ever. So begins a journey of discovering who Eric is, where he comes from and also a journey in which new memories are surfacing for Alfie.
There are of course twists, turns and surprises along the way. I enjoyed the story and the ending is wonderful!
I think I enjoyed this book all the more for having heard Frank Cottrell-Boyce read from the chapter where Alfie first meets Eric. Listening to how he read it brought it to life and I was keen to carry on myself, I was not disappointed.
Frank Cottrell-Boyce is a master storyteller and his books are hugely successful as they are funny, relatable and honest.
Steven Lenton is a true genius and his illustrations make the characters so real. I am a huge fan on Lenton’s illustrative style!
Animals take the spotlight today….Penguins vs Badgers!
Both black and white and both learning important lessons in their respective stories!
Meet The Penguins by Mike Brownlow and The Only Way is Badger by Stella J Jones and Carmen Saldana.
Meet The Penguins
Written and Illustrated by Mike Brownlow
Published by Oxford University Press
Two penguins arrive with their cases, eager to make friends and play games. It isn’t easy to ask to play with others over and over again but they bravely continue on their way asking different animals on each page. Sadly, the answer is always the same…..no!
Sad and dejected they give up and ponder what to do next….until a little voice asks “Can I play”?
Well, after feeling so many rejections there is only one answer to the little bear. YES!
The cases are filled with amazing toys, tricks and fun and it isn’t long before others come asking to play.
What a lovely book to read and enjoy! The illustrations are colourful and bold. The animals are brought to life doing funny activities and there is some humour added in for all to enjoy.
This is an excellent introduction to learning how to be brave and ask to join a game, make a friend or try something new. The ending is brilliant and funny. I was chuckling to myself as I was reading.
It is always a good day when you hear the post land on the mat with a thump. Picking up the package I could see it was from Nosy Crow. I love Nosy Crow books and today was no exception.
Three brilliant new books sat happily in their package waiting for me to open and enjoy.
Today’s writing will focus on Have you seen my Blankie by Lucy Rowland and Paula Metcalf
The adventure continues as Alice isn’t willing to share Blankie and dragon needs some sleep.
This is a gorgeous book filled with colourful illustrations and rhyming text. It is perfect for anyone who has a special Blankie or teddy who helps them sleep. It is also perfect for anyone who loves stories with dragons and happy endings.
I know a few classes of children who will devour this book when they see it appear in the library!
The title allows a brilliant hook into reading this one- do the children think he knows where it is? How do we know? I can’t wait to read it aloud and see what they think!
The One-Stop Story Shop
Written by Tracey Corderoy
Illustrated by Tony Neal
Published by Little Tiger Press
I like a picture book that is slightly outside the box, one that has a lot of character and one that has a feeling of folktale to it. The Elephant that ate the night ticks those boxes for me. The illustrations are simple, effective and charming and the story has the feel of an old folk tale that has been passed down generation to generation.
Taotao is afraid of the dark night and so are his friends Zhazha and Duoduo. They meet Elephant who likes to eat the night and so it seems perfect but there are problems when you have only light and finding the balance is important. The night doesn’t need to be scary. This charming book is lovely to read to younger children to help them overcome a fear of darkness. It would also be a great read aloud to older children as part of learning to write folktales.