Archives: Book Reviews

Maria’s Island – Victoria Hislop

Published by Walker Books At a time when travel is restricted, this is a tale that takes us to Crete, to beautiful beaches, warm sunshine and loving communities who live and work together. Victoria Hislop’s first children’s book (for readers aged 8+) is a reimagined story based on her best-selling adult novel “The Island”. Yet […]

News Hounds – Laura James and Charlie Alder

Published by Bloomsbury’s Children’s Books Gizmo is feeling a little lost and bewildered as he moves with Grannie to the countryside. Fortunately he soon meets Jilly, an enormous Irish Wolfhound, and her four puppies. There follows a delightful tale for younger readers which follows Gizmo and his new friends as they resolve the problem of […]

Dark Lady – Akala

Published by Hodder Children’s Books Henry – orphan, pickpocket and possessing a magical talent for translating languages – is the central protagonist in award-winning Akala’s debut novel for teens. Set in Shakespearean London (and featuring the bard himself), Akala sets out to explore the themes of race and class through an adventurous tale which takes […]

The Boy Who Sang With Dragons – Andy Shepherd and Sarah Ogilvie

Published by Piccadilly Press This is the fifth and, sadly, the last it seems of this wonderful series which features Tomas, his super-hero gang of friends, his loving family and a whole crowd of home-grown dragons!  The story begins with Kat and Kai leaving to live overseas which leaves Tomas and their friends bereft until […]

Mira’s Curly Hair – Maryam al Serkal and Rebeca Luciani

Published by Lantana Publishing Mira wants straight smooth hair like her Mum. But despite all her best efforts she can’t get hers to straighten which makes her sad, until her Mum takes her for a walk. When a rain shower forces them to take shelter, Mira notices that the rain has curled Mum’s hair. From […]

Maybe… – Chris Haughton

Published by Chris Haughton Monkeys, tigers, and mangoes – this is a delicious book to read aloud with a class. Chris Haughton’s latest book Maybe… is a lyrical romp through the decisions young children can make when warned not to do something. Three young monkeys are left alone and told not to go down to […]

Something I Said – Ben Bailey Smith

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books This is a triumph! A funny book which at its heart shouts out how important words are (with some lexical explanations along the way). 13 year old Carmichael, the bane of his parents’ and teachers’ lives is entered into a school talent-contest as a stand-up comic, but teenage angst and […]

Meesha Makes Friends – Tom Percival

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books Meesha finds it hard to fit in, and especially hard to make friends. One day she takes matters into her own hands and uses her craft materials to make a friend, and in doing so creates a “real” friend in Josh. Tom Percival’s newest story, short-listed for Oscar’s Book Prize […]

Rain Before Rainbows – Smriti Prasadam-Halls and David Litchfield

Published by Walker Books  This is the most beautiful book, both verbally and visually striking. Written in rhyme and short-listed for Oscar’s Book Prize 2021 Rain before Rainbows, tells the story of how, when difficult times and worries arise, there is always a path out of the darkness into the light. The three or four […]

Would you like a Banana? – Yasmeen Ismail

Published by Walker Books This is a book that every parent, guardian, teacher and child-minder will relate to as they try to encourage a child to try a new food – in this case a banana! Using a riotous mix of font sizes and styles, illustrations, photos and an array of bright colours, the story […]