#BookReview: His Royal Tinyness: A Terrible True Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones & David Roberts #MPBooks

A fun picture book tackling the issue of new siblings in a different and fun way.


His Royal Tinyness book coverTitle: His Royal Tinyness: A Terrible True Story

Author: Sally Lloyd-Jones

Illustrator: David Roberts

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s picture book

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Description: Once upon a time there was a Happy Family.  Then, one horrible, NO GOOD day, a new ruler was born…BEHOLD – His Royal Highness King Baby!

My Review:  This is a funny book with a great message and is perfect for any kids with younger siblings who may sometimes feel jealous of the attention they’re getting. ‘His Royal Tinyness: A Terrible True Story’ is about A4 in height although wider than a typical A4 piece of paper. The hardback book comes with a sleeve which has some lovely bronze shiny outlines on the cover. Inside the book is filled with thick matt pages with lots of colourful illustrations and text.

The story is a simple one and is told by the little girl in the book. She starts by telling us how there was once a happy family with a mom, dad, a gerbil and her, a wonderful and perfect princess (her). But then a new ruler, King Baby(her baby brother) was born which meant that the princess was no longer cared for by her parents and left to fend for herself in the world. The story is actually very funny and is entirely from the perspective of the little girl who doesn’t like her new baby brother or the way her parents now look after him so much and seem to not care about her at all. She has to cook for herself, and generally take care of herself all alone while her parents are busy with the baby. However the story isn’t quite as true as it first appears and the illustrations show exactly how ‘true’ the little girl’s story is.

Fun illustrations among the text.

The pictures in this book are very funny. I love the way that they show so much detail about what’s really going on, such as all the heavy shopping that the poor princess has to carry (which is actually just one aubergine in a basket while dad carries bags of shopping!). Although most of the pictures are what is actually happening in the family, some pages show the girl’s own drawings and how she perceives how things are. I really like the style of pictures, there’s something about the way the characters look that I just enjoy and I like the hidden extras in each picture, not only of what is really happening with the girl but all the little extra things in the pictures to spot including the gerbil.

Some reviewers haven’t enjoyed this book much, stating that some children wouldn’t enjoy it, but I really have and can see kids enjoying this too although they might need an adult to sit down with them and point out all the little things in the pictures and show kids that the princess isn’t as poor and alone as she thinks. The whole story is about the girl’s imagination, the fact that she says right at the start that she has long flowing hair, when in fact she is wearing yellow tights on her head, shows how the whole story is just a bit of make believe. The ending is funny and has a wonderful message of getting along with younger siblings. I won’t give away the ending but it shows that all is well and kids shouldn’t fear or get upset about having younger brothers or sisters (particularly baby ones) as there’s plenty of good things including the bonus on the last page!

Funny pictures show what’s happening well.

Overall I really liked this book and think it would be great fun for any kids to read. Whether kids ‘get it’ probably depends on how involved an adult is in reading the story with the kids, showing all the fun extras, as well as how creative and imaginative the kids are. I certainly would have enjoyed and understood this book, even as an only child, as I have always been very imaginative and could relate to the girl and her imaginative story telling.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.

What do you think about this fun way to tackle the subjects of baby brothers and sisters?  Would you enjoy reading a book like this?  Please let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂 You can also follow me in these places: 

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#BookReview: Changes by Anthony Browne #MPBooks

An interesting surreal picture book with an interesting subject.

Changes book coverTitle: Changes

Author/Illustrator: Anthony Browne

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s picture book

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Description: When Joseph’s mother comes home, says his father, things are going to change. And almost at once they do – in the weirdest of ways . . .

My Review:  I’m not sure what to say about this very surreal and strange book. Joseph Kaye is waiting at home while his dad has gone to pick up his mum. He’s been told things will change but what did his father mean by that? ‘Changes’ is a large book, a bit bigger than A4 in size and filled with thick glossy pages of illustrations and easy to read text.

As Joseph ponders on the question of what will change, his imagination starts coming up with all sorts of things. First he sees the kettle changing its shape. Before he knows it the kettle’s become a cat! Is this what his father meant when he said things were going to change? The whole story follows this similar feel with Joseph left alone to imagine all sorts of things happening.

The opening page of the book – clear images and text.

I really like the illustrations. I’ve always enjoyed Dali’s paintings and Browne’s illustrations take on a similar feel. There are lots of different things happening to the objects around Joseph and it’s interesting just to look at the pictures and spot all the surreal changes going on. Even some very small objects such as a framed photo on top of the television have hidden fun extras that you may not notice the first time you read this book.

Interesting surreal images

Although the illustrations are good, I’m not sure the story will really be understood by kids and it felt a little strange. I’m going to put a spoiler here by telling you that the ending of the book has a twist: That the ‘change’ is that Joseph has a new baby sister which his parents bring home for him to met. This is a good twist but I’m not sure kids will really understand this ending if they are reading it alone.

More surreal pictures 🙂

The illustrations are great in this book and I think many kids will really enjoy looking at the pictures and spotting all the changes that appear, but whether the message in the story will be understood, and whether it’s a good book for discussing a new sibling to children I’m not so sure.
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy (as part of The Anthony Browne Collection).

What do you think of this book?  Do you like surreal books?  What about books covering this subject?  Let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂   You can also find me in these places: 

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#BookReview: My First 123 by Shirley Hughes #MPBooks

An excellent children’s book for learning numbers.

My First 123 book coverTitle: My First 123

Author/Illustrator: Shirley Hughes

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Young Children’s picture book

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Description: Learning to count is easy – at the seaside, on the bus, playing with friends or at home with Mum.  It’s fun learning to count anytime, anywhere, as Katie and her little brother Olly discover.

My Review:  This is a great book that teaches young kids how to count to ten. Katie and her baby brother teach kids how to count, with lots of great pictures and an easy way for kids to learn to count. Each page or double page represents one number. The number is shown in the top left hand corner of the book along with dots, as many large dots as the number represents, so three dots for the number 3. Below the number is a fun illustration showing the number in use such as four kittens. There is also a short description with the number shown in letters (two instead of 2) in bold print. Each page gives kids several ways to remember each number and I love the way this book does this so simply.

Fun and clear images

The illustrations in this book are very fun but also have a dated feel. The characters all have clothes and a look that says ’80s to me despite this being printed more recently. This is due to the fact that Katie and Olly first appeared in children’s books in the ’80s but I don’t know if this would put off some young kids today. At the back of the book as well as the first double page before the main ‘story’ there is a diagram, a sort of index of each of the numbers. The number as well as a set of dots and a little picture give kids more chances to count and I really like this little index.

More fun images to help with understanding numbers

I do like this book, much more than Shirley Hughes ‘My First ABC’. Despite the old-fashioned pictures I really do like the way this book makes it so easy for kids to remember their numbers up to 10. There are so many chances to count, either the dots or the objects in the picture and having the numbers written in letters too makes this a great book for kids and one I think I would have liked as a child. Overall a great first numbers book!

The fun index! 🙂

-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.

What do you think of this book?  Any other numbers books or books for young children that you like?  Let me know I’d love to hear from you.  You can also find me in these places 🙂 : 

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#BookReview: Poor Louie by Tony Fucile #MPBooks

A funny picture book for those who love their pets!

Poor Louie book coverTitle: Poor Louie

Author/Illustrator: Tony Fucile

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description:  Louie has the life every Chihuahua dreams of.  Walks with Mum and Dad, ice cream on Sundays and snuggles every night.

But when Mum’s belly grows bigger, things begin to change…

My Review:  This is such a fun story!  It starts with Louie, a Chihuahua, sitting in a dark room telling us about how he tried to run away from home.  We’re invited to hear his story which goes on to explain how wonderful his life was, how pampered (and babied) he was, until Mum’s tummy grew bigger.  The story is a pretty simple from then on and it’s obvious what is happening with his Mum and Louie, having met some babies before, fears a potential baby in the house.

I won’t go into any more detail about the story, but I will say that there is an obviously happy ending but also a surprising twist on the last page which just make me laugh.  The whole book is short but funny throughout.  I really warmed to Louie, the first pages just made me feel for the poor dog, although this might be because I’m a deep animal lover and have a tendency to ‘baby’ them myself!  I think this really appeals more to people who have pets and pamper and treat them a little like babies.  A lot of reviewers have said that this story would appeal more to adults than kids given the funny way that the Mum and Dad ‘baby’ their little Louie.  But as someone who grew up with a cat I called my sister (you may laugh but it’s true!) I think plenty of kids would understand and enjoy this book too.  I certainly would have when I was young!

Cute simple pictures

I like the illustrations in this book.  There’s something cartoonish about them but in an old fashioned way, like the cartoons of old.  I also like the way that the whole book doesn’t use a variety of colours and sticks more to a set of colours with yellow, blue and brown being the main palette.  The images don’t have a lot of detail and with the restrictions on colours it makes you focus on the important parts of the picture which just adds to the story.  Louie’s expressions are so fun and the whole book just takes on a fun feel.

Louie being pampered – recognise anyone who does this? 🙂

I’d recommend this book, it can be enjoyed by any age, though of course targeted at kids but I think only those who understand the whole loving/babying your pets might really enjoy this. I also should point out that the book is a hardback, about A4 in height but a little wider with thick papery rather than glossy pages.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.

Are you someone who papers your pets?  Do you know someone who does?  Like the look of this book?

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