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#BookReview: Where’s Wally? Destination: Everywhere! by Martin Handford #MPBooks

Where's Wally Destination Everywhere book coverTitle: Where’s Wally? Destination: Everywhere!

Author/Illustrator: Martin Handford

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Activity book

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Description: Celebrate the first 30 years of Where’s Wally? with this exclusive anniversary album from Wally to his fans.
Join Wally as he handpicks his top ten journeys of all time, with lots of terrific twists! Fantastic scenes are revisited in Wally’s very own scrapbook bursting with art, new things to search for and additional eye-boggling games to play. An amazing gift for the ultimate fan of the bespectacled red-and-white striped traveller in his 30th anniversary year!

My Review: This is a brilliant book for any fan of Where’s Wally as well as those who have never tried to search for Wally and his friends. ‘Where’s Wally? Destination: Everywhere!’ is a special book released for the 30th anniversary of Where’s Wally. It’s a hard back book which is quite big and square in shape, although in between A4 and A3 in size. All the red parts of the hardcover are material rather than paper and that automatically gives this book an extra special feel. Inside are thick glossy pages filled with very colourful images.

In this book we go back to some classic scenes from the Where’s Wally books but a lot of things have been changed giving this book a new feel. There are regular things to find in all the scenes such as Wally and his friends plus all their usual things such as Odlaw’s binoculars, Woof’s bone, etc. but there are new things to find and spot too. Although a lot of the scenes look the same as in the classic books, you’ll start to notice some interesting differences. Some are obvious such as the colours of some of the dinosaurs but there are some more subtle differences too.

An example of one of the classic scenes with new changes


This book feels a bit more like the Where’s Wally activity books in that there are additional things to do such as on the first page of searching there is a small scene in a box, taken from the large scene you have to search in. This small picture has some little changes to the large scene and you have to spot all these changes as well as searching for all the usual things in a Where’s Wally scene. Each of the 12 scenes in this book is different and has different extra tasks do as well as new things to spot in the original scene. It’s so much fun and takes me literally hours to spot things in just one scene so all these little extras just adds even more hours and fun to this book The back of the book has an index of extra things to spot in each scene.

The pictures are so amazing in this book and so detailed. If you’ve never seen a Where’s Wally book then you should really check it out as there’s so much detail in one double-page scene alone that you’ll spend hours just looking at all the fun things that are happening. What I love about Where’s Wally pictures is that even without purposefully searching for Wally and other things, I just love and am mesmerised by all the amazing details. In every section of each scene characters are doing all sorts of things, and every moment is funny.

Another fun page of seek and find! 🙂

I’ve always loved Where’s Wally and I’ve always loved any pictures with lots of details in them. I’d certainly recommend this to anyone who loves to look at funny scenes and spot all the details. If you’re a Where’s Wally fan you’ll certainly enjoy this book as there are so many new twists to the old scenes, and it’s great to have a revamp to the original images!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


Do you love Where’s Wally?  What do you think of this anniversary edition, would you buy?  Please let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂 

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#BookReview: The Christmas Guest by Daisy Bell #MPBooks

The Christmas Guest book coverTitle: The Christmas Guest

Author: Daisy Bell

Publisher: Quercus

Genre: Contemporary, Christmas,

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Description:  When Teddy runs away from home a week before Christmas, he is confronted by a cold, scary and oh, so big world.
Then he finds the Woods family.  With their kind hearts and cosy cottage, Teddy forms a special bond with Claire and Ben, but it’s in little Emily that he finds the best friend he needs.
But Emily is ill, and raising a puppy is hardly a priority for her stressed parents.  If only he can prove to them how much happier he can make them all, Teddy might just find his forever home this Christmas…

My Review:  I love this book!! It’s like the perfect tale for Christmas, and reminds me of all those heart warming Christmas movies! A puppy finds himself alone in the cold countryside just a week before Christmas. He decided to run away from home, to have a great adventure, but now he feels terrible, cold and lonely, until he meets the Woods family.

This book has such a heart warming story that it’s perfect for any age to read it. Told in the first person with the puppy being the narrator it begins with a quick prologue of the puppy being all alone and beginning to regret its decision to run away. This is then followed by the first chapter, titled ‘Eight Days Until Christmas’, every chapter after that is another day before Christmas. The whole story takes place over the course of just one week but every day is filled with so much happening.

Teddy, as the puppy later becomes known, is a very cute little puppy but is also untrained and doesn’t understand the human world that well. He finds himself on the doorstep of the Woods family home and desperately wants to be a part of their family, but the family have problems of their own and he can’t help but create all sorts of trouble in the way that puppies do. There is something really fun and unique about the story being told from the point of view of the dog and it’s this that really makes the book a fun read. It also puts an interesting perspective on the way humans do things and our interactions with pets and in particular dogs.

As the story progresses you learn about Emily, the Woods’ daughter and how sick she is. Teddy knows he is supposed to be the family dog, but with Emily’s illness the family find it hard enough to take care of their daughter and Teddy has an uphill struggle to convince the family that he is meant to be their dog. I won’t reveal more of the plot but the way the story plays out is just lovely and also very engrossing. Not only does Teddy have to deal with getting the family to accept him but there are also moments with other animals, especially a cat named Martha which led to some funny things happening in the story. There is a lovely backstory to Teddy’s previous life in the first chapter which makes you laugh but also feel for this poor puppy who just wants to be loved and accepted.

I loved reading this story right until it’s lovely end, the fact that so much happens in just one day really drove me on to continue reading and although I wasn’t sure I was going to be that into the book when I started reading it, I soon found I couldn’t put it down, desperately wanting to know what would happen next. The story has some lovely and funny moments, especially when Teddy observes things that humans do or say without understanding them. There are also some tenser, sadder moments which keep you reading until the end to see if things do work out the way you hope.

Although the ending is predictably happy, I really didn’t mind with this book and there are still moments when you don’t know what will happen. The overall story is such an uplifting one though, it’s like the perfect Christmas tale. It not only puts a smile on your face but also makes you tear up at the end too. The book is perfect for any age to read as there’s nothing at all offensive and I think many ages will enjoy this story. Part of me wishes it would be turned into a film just so I could see the cute puppy and the lovely tale unfold!

At the back of the book there’s a Christmas interview with the author, with Christmas related questions, along with recipes not only for human Christmas treats but dog ones too, and how to make a dog toy which is just a wonderful extra to get before Christmas! There is also an added piece of text talking about the history and comeback of the Christmas jumper which I have to say I found interesting as it’s fascinated me how they are popular again after being laughed at when I was young.

I would recommend to anyone who wants the perfect book to read for Christmas. There is nothing bad I can say about this book, it’s a funny, cosy and a heart warming read and perfect for anyone but especially those that love animals. It’s also one of those sort of ‘Christmas miracle’ type stories which make you smile and with a tale told from the point of view of the puppy, it’s just such an amazing and lovely read! Plus the cover is just too cute!!!
-Thanks to Bookbridgr and the publisher for a free copy.


Do you love the cover? 😀

Do you enjoy books with animals in them?  How about books with Christmas?  Would you like to read this book?  Please let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂 

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#BookReview: The Picture of Dorian Greyhound by Oscar Wilde & Eliza Garrett #MPBooks

The Picture of Dorian Greyhound book coverTitle: The Picture of Dorian Greyhound

Author: Oscar Wilde & Eliza Garrett

Illustrator: Pastiche Pastiche

Publisher: Wildfire

Genre: Classic, Short Story, Picture Book

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Description: The greatest works of literature, as told by the finest breeds.
Dorian Greyhound is the best of his breed – well tempered, beautiful and pure of heart.  So Basil Basset, an artist, paints a portrait that reflects the very essence of Dorian’s soul.
Then the moral corruption of this sweet creature begins.  On the outside, Dorian remains young and sleek – but as his naughtiness increases, the portrait starts to reveal his inner decay…

My Review: Having read two other books from the Classic Tails series, ‘Romeow & Juliet’ and ‘Pugs & Prejudice’, I was excited to read this one despite the fact I have never read or seen the original Oscar Wilde story. ‘The Picture of Dorian Greyhound’ is an interesting book with some beautiful illustrations. The book is a hardback and reminds me of the old Ladybird books I used to have as a child as the book is the same size with a matt finish, and has some lovely thick glossy pages inside with text on one side and a detailed illustration on the other.

The story itself is a much shorter version of the original ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ and begins with Basil Basset painting a portrait of Dorian Greyhound while recounting how he met him to his friend Lord Wooffon. When Dorian visits Basil he meets Wooffon who becomes a bad influence on him. I don’t want to detail the story but will say that it’s much darker than the other two books I read. Although a lot of what happens to Dorian and what he does is left out from the original book, the story still takes on a sinister turn and left me with mixed feelings having finished it.
The story is easy to read and the illustrations are really beautiful and very detailed. I loved reading the story but given the way it ends and the realistic images of the dogs I just didn’t enjoy this book as much as I had hoped.

Beautiful detailed illustrations throughout the book

The pictures in this book are really lovely and I do like how realistic all the dogs look. The dogs have human bodies and human clothes but the pictures do show things such as the dog’s tails and I love that one character, Sybil Dane, not only looks like her breed but it’s also reflected in how big she is compared to other characters. There’s also a very subtle detail in all of the images which isn’t easy to spot but if you look closely every picture looks as if it has been painted onto canvas and it just gives these images an extra special feel.

What I love most about the Classic Tails series and this book too is all the dog references which make the story more funny. Apart from the obvious names of the characters being dog breeds, there’s also mention of other dog things such as greeting someone with ‘a delicate sniff of the other’s hindquarters’ and one character contemplating a squeaky ball!

Each image appears along with easy to read text.

Although overall I do like the book and still find many of the dog references and pictures cute, the story of Dorian Greyhound is a dark one and the ending is one that can be a bit shocking if you’ve never read or heard of the original before. The last images of Dorian’s painting (or pawtrait as it’s called in the book) plus some of the other images towards the end of the story are a little dark and perhaps disturbing if you’re expecting a lighthearted and funny story like you get with ‘Pugs & Prejudice’. The realism in the images can feel all the more eerie if you are a dog lover and don’t enjoy the overall darkness of the story and I’m not sure if this would make some dog lovers like or dislike the book.

Despite what I’ve said I would still recommend this, it’s certainly made me want to read the original now, as it feels as if there are large chunks missing from the original story. And I think many people might get interested in this classic if they read this canine version first, however given the darkness of the story I certainly wouldn’t recommend this for anyone younger than teens to read as some of the images can scare younger kids.
-Thanks to Bookbridgr and the publisher for a free copy.


Have you read the original classic?  What do you think of this canine version?  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: Romeow & Juliet by William Shakespeare & Eliza Garrett #MPBooks

Romeow and Juliet book coverTitle: Romeow and Juliet

Author: William Shakespeare & Eliza Garrett

Illustrator: Bob Venables

Publisher: Wildfire

Genre: Classic, Short Story, Picture book

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Description:  The greatest works of literature, as told by the finest breeds.
In fair Purrona, two furry families are at war.  But when Romeow, the son of Lord Montamew, sneaks into a Cattulet ball, he falls in love with the beautiful Juliet – the daughter of his father’s sworn enemy.
So begins the tale of two star-crossed kitties, who defy this feline feud for the chance to live – but ultimately die – together…

My Review:  This is such a beautiful and wonderful book to own and perfect for anyone, no matter if you’ve read Shakespeare or not!  ‘Romeow and Juliet’ is a much shorter version of the classic play by Shakespeare, with a great feline twist.  Although many know the original play of Romeo and Juliet, for those that don’t the basic story is a tragedy.  There is a family feud between their two families, the Montagues and the Capulets but by chance Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love.  However their love is doomed from the start.

This book gives a great spin on the original story.  Although the basic story is exactly the same, and some of Shakespeare’s original words are used, the whole book is written in a more modern language which is good for people who haven’t read Shakespeare before, or are reluctant to because of the old language.  Being a feline tale though, the book is filled with references to cat things, such as the family names are Montamew and Cattulet (rather than Montague and Capulet), Mercutio is now Mewcattio and phrases like ‘Juliet was in her basket’ to name some of the many, many cat themed references which make this book so funny.

Text on the left with a lovely old-fashioned image on the right.

The illustrations are so amazing that I can’t help but constantly look back at this book as they are so detailed and so beautiful.  The pictures look very old fashioned and appear on every double page, text is on the left with a lovely illustration on the right.  The paper used is glossy and thick which makes the pictures look better than they would on matt paper.  The way this book looks along with the fact it is a small hardback (which has a matt finish to it) and is around A6 in size really reminds me of Ladybird books I had as a child.

Every picture features an old fashioned scene but rather than images of people they are cats which look like people, human-like bodies but otherwise they are cats.  The pictures don’t just look old fashioned though, they look like actual old paintings, with the detail you’d expect in old paintings like a very clever cracked oil paint effect on all the pages, it’s subtle but also gives each picture a really old fashioned look making it all the more special.  Although some people may find the anthropomorphic images strange (cats with human bodies) I love it and think many animal lovers would too!

Fun cat images of a classic play 🙂

I have really enjoyed this book and can’t recommend it enough to anyone who has a love of cats and interest in knowing the Shakespeare play.  I think the book would be loved by anyone who likes cats or animals as well as people who are fans of reading and Shakespeare, but I also think those who have never read any Shakespeare or don’t know the original story of Romeo and Juliet could enjoy this as a sort of introduction to Shakespeare/classics book.  Although some of the text is original Shakespeare which can make some lines harder to understand for some people, the images and the rest of the story make this an easy read and I think this would be a great book to even show to younger ages to get them interested in this classic.
-Thanks to Bookbridgr and the publisher for a free copy.


Do you enjoy reading classics, or would this entice you to read?  Please let me know your thoughts on this book I’d love to know what people think of this ‘Classic Tails’ series 🙂  You can also follow me in these places: 

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#BookReview: Wing Jones by Katherine Webber #MPBooks

Wing Jones book cover
UK book cover

Title: Wing Jones

Author: Katherine Webber

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Contemporary, YA

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Description: With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds.  when tragedy strikes, she discovers an extraordinary talent she never knew she had.  Wing’s running could bring her family everything it needs.  It could also keep Wing from the one thing she truly wants.

Before my review I just want to show you a special feature of Wing Jones:

Check out these sprayed edges! 😀

My Review:  I’ll be honest in saying that I’m struggling to write this review because I have mixed feelings about this book.  ‘Wing Jones’ is a wonderful book featuring tough situations and diverse characters but something about this book just failed to ignite my interest.

The story is about Wing, a half black, half Chinese teenage girl  living in America in Atlanta, Georgia.  The first chapter of the book introduces us to Wing and her brother as well as setting up a bit of fantasy which continues throughout the story.

Wing’s character was easy for me to relate to.  She’s bullied at school for being different and doesn’t feel she’s good at anything in particular.  Wing has a really strong relationship with her brother Marcus and it’s this that is soon tested when something terrible happens to him, an accident, and she and the others are left to deal with what happened to him and the consequences of the event.  I don’t really want to explain this part too much as it would spoil the story but the way the characters all deal with things afterwards and the mixed feelings everyone has towards Marcus and the event are interesting and I enjoyed this aspect of the whole novel.  The book is about more than just Marcus’s accident though and Wing realises a talent she didn’t know she had, a talent for running.

Despite the book being an excellent portrayal of how a terrible accident can overshadow peoples lives and how we all can find a love or a talent and what happens if we go after our dream, it just didn’t appeal to me like I’d hoped.  I’m not exactly a fan of contemporary fiction but I do still read a fair bit and usually enjoy YA contemporary novels but with this book I just never felt a desperate need to get back into reading it which usually happens if you get into a good book.

I like the diversity in this novel.  Wing and her brother are mixed race and I like the way the book openly tackled the difficulties Wing has with this, as well as the difficulties another character has with being gay.   However the book just never felt exciting to read.  At times I didn’t like the way Wing’s entire mind was consumed with one character.  Although the feelings of first time love are very relevant in YA, it felt a little over the top for me and it made Wing feel like she wasn’t as complex a character as I would have liked her to be.  I also didn’t enjoy the fantasy aspect of the book.  It is a minor part of the story, Wing sees a dragon and a lioness whenever she runs (this is introduced to us right at the start of the novel so I’m not spoiling it by telling you this) but you never find out if these were made up in her head or part of Chinese folklore or something else.   And I’m honestly still confused as to the setting of the book in 1995.  There wasn’t a real need for this as the story never feels dated and apart from a reference to the Atlanta Olympics (which happened in 1996) and the fact, maybe, that there were more racial tensions back then, I see no real reason why the book couldn’t be set in today’s time.

Although there are moments I really enjoyed in this book, I particularly enjoyed Wing’s grandmothers and the way both acted towards each other, overall I just wasn’t awed by this book.  There isn’t anything offensive apart from mild use of the s swear word and I think the book would be good for all teen ages and older and a good book for those with low confidence in themselves to read as the story of Wing’s running is very inspiring.  However I just didn’t enjoy it and I’m not sure I’d read it again.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: Timmy Failure: The Cat Stole My Pants by Stephan Pastis #MPBooks

Timmy Failure The Cat Stole My Pants book coverTitle: Timmy Failure: The Cat Stole My Pants

Author/Illustrator: Stephan Pastis

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle Grade/Children’s, Humour

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Description: Crime doesn’t take a holiday.  Neither does greatness.

So although I, Timmy Failure, the world’s greatest detective, am in Key West, Florida, I am NOT on holiday.  And I am DEFINITELY NOT on a honeymoon with my mother and Doorman Dave, having found zero evidence that they even got married.

But I am stuck in this hotbed of criminals with only the help of an unpaid intern.

There is no privacy on the island, but I know this: There is treasure.

My Review: I must be in a big minority because unfortunately I just didn’t enjoy this book like I had hoped. ‘Timmy failure: The Cat Stole My Pants’ is the sixth book in the series of Timmy Failure books and while it’s probably funny for a lot of people and kids, it was just too daft for me.

The book comes as a lovely hardback and is filled with lots of pictures as well as text. A lot of the book is pictures or handwriting and appears a bit like a notebook which it sort of is as Timmy is the narrator of his story. The whole story of ‘The Cat Stole My Pants’ is very daft. Timmy is a detective and runs a detective agency. He has a new intern called Emilio which is really another kid who’s on holiday with him and his mum and her new husband Doorman Dave. Timmy is a bit of a brat and loves to over exaggerate like so many kids would and it’s this unique humour that’s supposed to be funny but I just didn’t ever laugh at this book.

Some of the images inside the book.

There are bits I do like in this book. I actually like Emilio’s character. He looks strange and seems weird but I really liked him, especially his fondness of a certain bird. I also liked the ending of the story. I’m not going to give the ending away but it was nice and I think a little deeper than the rest of the book.

Some more pics among the text.

The images in this book are all quick drawings in black and white and do look funny. The pictures really lend to the story and I would have liked even more of them in the book, I think I also would have liked all the text to have looked handwritten too.

More silliness and fun.

I think this book will appeal to a lot of kids and adults too. I also feel as if boys might enjoy this a lot more and I think those with a very silly (almost over the top silly) sense of humour will love this most. The book just didn’t seem funny for me though and it’s not a book I would have enjoyed when I was younger. Maybe if I had read some previous Timmy Failure books this would appeal more but I just never got into the story, I never connected with Timmy in any way and it’s a shame because I really tried hard to enjoy this story.
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: One Of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus #MPBooks

One Of Us Is Lying UK book cover
UK book cover

Title: One Of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus

Publisher: Penguin

Genre: YA / Mystery /  Thriller

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Description:  Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive.
Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule.
Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond.
Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime.
Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life.
And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.  He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?
What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

My Review:  When I first saw this book advertised for review on NetGalley the advert challenged me to ‘not like this book’. That statement and the description of this book just made me want to read it so much and I’m happy I took up the challenge. But try as I could I just can’t not like this book, instead I love it!

‘One Of Us Is Lying’ is a YA mystery thriller with an American high school setting. The story starts with five teenagers going to detention, all of them seem to have been set up to attend detention and before they know it, one of them dies. With the teacher having left the room right before the victim dies, it seems that one of the four remaining teens is the killer. But which one was it and how did they do it?

I won’t detail the plot but it is set in America with typical stereotypes of the teens. The book is told in the first person and each chapter of the story is headed by the name of the teen who’s point of view we follow. Although the plot isn’t difficult to get into and the death in detention was quite dramatic, already setting up the drama in the rest of the book, I did find it a bit hard to follow the different points of view at first. It took several chapters into the story before I could really tell apart all the teenagers and I think this might be because there’s a lot of point of view switching at the start (chapters are never that long) and this led me to get confused a little at the start and not enjoy the book so much.

A few chapters in though and I really started to enjoy this story. All the characters are different and although the stereotypes are a little too typical, very American and not really like people in the UK so much, I’m used to reading American novels so it didn’t bother me and the characters all had more depth than it first appears.

The story moves quickly and gets very exciting as it becomes evident that there are deep secrets that the teens all hold. Not only the secrets that they initially don’t want revealed, but all the teens have other secrets which I didn’t guess at all except for Cooper’s deep secret which I had suspected for a long time before it was finally revealed.

I really like the fast pacing of this story, there was never any rest. I wasn’t really reading this book and trying to figure out who the killer was which was nice as the revelation was surprising though I might have guessed it if I had thought more in a detective way. However as with most books this was far deeper than just the death and all the characters go on such a journey that it was the whole story that kept me really entertained and thrilled.

The ending is very satisfying especially with the epilogue which I felt was necessary to finish of one character’s story. Most loose ends are tied up in this story and it is a bit of a typical teen book with an overall happy ending to the dark things that happened before. I did enjoy the book, it has occasional use of the f and s swear words but nothing else too offensive (a bit of violence but nothing graphic). I realise the book is a little unbelievable for some people in the sense that lots of teen books and films sometimes feel, the stereotypes perhaps a little too overdone, but I can’t lie, I did really enjoy reading this and feel like I came down from a bit of a high after finishing the last page. I’d certainly recommend it to anyone wanting a YA mystery thriller. It’s a deeper story than you think and a really gripping read…I guess I also failed on NetGalley’s challenge to ‘not like this book’ 😉 !
-Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy.


This book is released in the UK: 1st June 2017

What do you think?  Would you take up the challenge to ‘not like this book’?

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