#BookReview: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: My Adventure Field Guide #MPBooks

A fun activity book for kids interested in the outdoors with a great tie-in to the book and animation ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt adventure field guide book coverTitle: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: My Adventure Field Guide

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Non-Fiction, Children’s Activity book

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Description: There are so many wonderful things to discover on a nature adventure!

From the changing weather, creep-crawlies or even animal tracks, this guide is packed full of field tips, nature activities and fun facts to think about on your journey.

My Review:  This clever and fun book is perfect for children who are interested and love to explore the outdoors. Using the characters and illustrations from the much loved ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’, this book is packed with facts and things to do for kids.

Images from ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ appear throughout.

The book is an average book size with semi-hardback covers which can be wiped clean on the outside. Inside the pages are very thick and filled with colourful illustrations and text. The book begins by suggesting what kids should pack in order to go on a nature hunt and then each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the adventure such as the sky, what can be found in the ground/soil and plants, etc. Each chapter has lots to discover and find and I’m surprised how educational the book is while being so fun. The chapter about the sky for example explains how rainbows are formed, the lunar cycle and how weather works and the various types of clouds.

Fun activities to do.

Each chapter is really informative (I even learned some things myself) while being very fun due to the way things are easily explained and the short sections of text with lots of illustrations in between. Although the book is called an ‘adventure field guide’ it covers what can be found in urban areas as well as more rural. There are also lots of fun things for kids to do such as creating bird feeders, worm farms and baking some bear feet cookies. And of course the book wouldn’t be complete without mentioning details of the different bears and the caves you could find them in.

Lots of interesting facts to read.

The back of the book has an easy to understand glossary for kids of the more complicated words they may not know such as ‘annelids’ and ‘deciduous’ and there’s also a brief section about climate change which fits well into this whole book. I would have loved this book when I was younger. It’s not only easy and fun to read due to all the pictures but also packed with fun things to discover and do. I think plenty of kids would love to read this book and the tie in with ‘Were going on a Bear Hunt’ is a fun bonus.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: Julius Zebra Bundle with the Britons by Gary Northfield #MPBooks

A very funny book middle grade/kids book which any age may enjoy.

Julius Zebra Bundle with the Britons book coverTitle: Julius Zebra: Bundle with the Britons

Author/Illustrator: Gary Northfield

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle Grade/Children’s, Humour

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Description: So you think you know about Julius Zebra do you!
He’s handsone.  He’s the people’s champion of the Roman gladiator world!  He’s off on his jolly holibobs with his besties…
Emperor Hadrian has one last task for Julius before he grants his freedom, and it involves a trip to the strand and far-off land of Britannia!

My Review:  ‘We’re off on our holibobs!’ Why on earth that phrase makes me smile I don’t know but it does and I love, LOVE this book! ‘Julius Zebra: Bundle with the Britons’ is the second book in the Julius Zebra series and I just can’t wait to read more!

The story is about Julius, a zebra who is a champion gladiator of Rome. Julius is a bit of a celebrity and the book quickly introduces us to his other animal friends, Felix an antelope, Cornelius a warthog and Lucia a crocodile, to name a few. The story is very funny and Julius and his friends mistakenly think Emperor Hadrian has sent them off on their holibobs (holidays) to the strange land of Britannia but they soon learn the truth about what they are really doing there.

Fun pictures throughout the text.

The story is daft and silly but also very, very funny. I wasn’t sure I was going to get into this book at first, given the strange setting of a few animals walking and talking among the people of Rome but it quickly because an engaging read and the more I read the more I laughed. The book has lots of funny images, in black and white, among the text and for some reason I’m really drawn to the silliness of them. Julius and his friends are quite daft and the whole look of the illustrations just lends to this daft humour.

The story has a satisfying ending but leaves you with an epilogue that sets up the next book in the series which will be ‘Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians’ which I can’t wait to read. The back of the book has some interesting facts which I really enjoyed and it made me like this book even more. The author explains some of the things that the Romans brought to Britain, not all of them I knew about, but it’s done in a funny way that makes you laugh.
There is also an explanation of how roman numerals work.  It is educational but done in a very fun way with characters from the story explaining how it works. It’s included because this book has the fun added extra of every page number being written in roman numerals instead of the usual digits we use today.
My favourite extra at the end of the book though is Felix’s rock collection. Some of the rocks and their names really made me laugh.

Funny illustrations!

This book will really appeal to kids and older who like something silly but funny. It’s not a complicated story but I really enjoyed reading this and after the recent disappointment of another funny book aimed at kids, which wasn’t for me, I’m glad to say that this book has just the right sense of humour to really put a smile on my face. I can’t wait for the next instalment in the series and am now going to buy the first book ‘Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans’ too!
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy.


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#Colouring #BookReview: Kings, Queens & Palaces Colouring Book #MPBooks

A fun colouring book for kids (and adults) to colour and learn.

Kings, Queens &; Palaces colouring book
Printed by Walker Books

Title: Kings, Queens & Palaces Colouring Book

Author: Historic Royal Palaces

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Colouring (aimed at children)

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Description: Published in association with Historic Royal Palaces, this fun-filled activity book with beautiful illustrations to colour features kings, queens and palace people from some of the finest heritage sites of the British Isles. From William the Conqueror and the Tower of London to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Buckingham Palace you can colour and learn with fun facts and information about the history of the royals, where they live and where they work.

My Review: This is a lovely colouring book for kids although some adults might enjoy some parts of this too. The book is a little smaller than A4 and not too thick but still has a lot of colouring inside it considering the price. As the name of the book suggests this is filled with images of palaces, Kings and Queens but also features extras such as the crown jewels and pictures of various other royal things. Each page is crisp white with clear black outlines and many of the pages are double page spreads. Each paper is double sided and although the quality of the paper is good it is a little thinner than some colouring books (such as the Buster Activity Books) so I’d only advise using pencils in this as I think pens of all kinds would just bleed through. I use pencils and they just glide on the paper making colouring in this book very easy and fun.

Detailed images with space for doodling.

There are a lot of different images to colour in and each page and picture has various facts surrounding it, interesting facts I didn’t know. The pictures are mostly of palaces such as Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and Kew but also feature other things and I really like the doll’s house which is quite detailed! The pictures all look impressive and some of them are quite detailed too. I’m really amazed at how the current Royal Family look in some of the pictures, their faces are exactly like real life down to some creases and wrinkles. Some of the images look like they’ve been adapted/copied from real photographs which I suspect they may have been. Some of the palaces are more detailed than others in terms of colouring and plenty of the pictures have some additional white space which I like to use to doodle extras such as some birds.

Interesting facts and detailed and clear images.

What I love about this book is that it’s not like any other I’ve had before. I have the Kings & Queens to Colour book by Usborne but this one is very different with realistic yet fun images of everything. It’s simple enough for kids to enjoy but detailed enough for older ages to enjoy colouring in too. There are chances for you to doodle on certain pages that have blank spaces (if you feel like it) and the added fun facts about the palaces and royals just adds to why I like this book so much. The pages also open up fully so there are no issues with colouring into the spine. I just really like this book and can’t wait for another. I have included some images including one of my colouring in progress (in case anyone’s interested I know the jewels aren’t the same colours as the real crown but that’s the beauty of colouring – you can reinvent reality!)

Some images have less detail but are still impressive.
Some of my colouring 🙂

-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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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.


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#BookReview: Let’s Go To Nursery! by Caryl Hart & Lauren Tobia #MPBooks

A fun picture book for kids entering nursery!

Let's Go To Nursery! book coverTitle: Let’s Go To Nursery!

Author: Caryl Hart

Illustrator: Lauren Tobia

Publisher: Walker Books (Walker First Experiences)

Genre: Baby/very young books

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Description: Let’s go to nursery with Billy and Bee!  There’s SO much to do, and SO much to see!  Billy is shy but Been helps him have fun, so come with us now and let’s meet everyone!

My Review:

This is a great hardback book for very young kids to enjoy.  ‘Let’s Go to Nursery!’ is a fun rhyming book with some great images and rhymes.  The pages themselves are like thick shiny card so could take a quick wipe if they get a little dirty, the pages corners are also curved making this book easy and safe for toddlers to handle.

Some detailed illustrations

The story of the book is a simple but very fun one.  Bee is a confident girl while Billy is quite shy and together, along with Bee’s sister Boo, they all go to nursery and enjoy themselves.  The book’s pages are filled with fun rhymes, there isn’t one page that doesn’t have rhyming on it, even the back cover blurb has rhyming and it’s all in the same simple style which makes it easy for kids to understand what’s happening in the story.  I really enjoyed the story, even though Billy is shy and a little wary, Bee’s confident nature makes him enjoy the nursery, and when something happens to upset Boo, Billy is there to make her feel better.  The whole story has a lovely feel to it and would make me feel more confident going to nursery (I remember being very shy, like Billy, when I went to nursery myself).

Easy to read text and fun images

I really like the pictures in this book, they are all very nice and clear, not too abstract but there’s also some detail in many of the pictures which could make for a fun extra as kids and their parents can point out all the other things that are happening in the nursery.  The ending of the story is a happy as all the kids go home happy.

This is such a simple book but I really think kids will enjoy it as well as some adults sharing this with their kids.  It actually brought back some fond memories I had from my time in nursery and I think it would make a great book for kids who might be nervous about attending, giving them a positive experience to look forward to.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy


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#BookReview: Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure by A. L. Kennedy & Gemma Correll #MPBooks

A review of this funny and very silly kids book.

Uncle Shawn And Bill book cover
Fun cover of ‘Uncle Shawn And Bill And the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure’

Title: Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

Author: A. L. Kennedy

Illustrator: Gemma Correll

Publisher: Walker Books

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Description: Badger Bill needs rescuing. He’s been kidnapped by two nasty sisters who are about to make him fight a boxing match against three even nastier dogs.

The four most depressed llamas in the history of llamas need rescuing too. They are about to be turned into llama pies.

But never fear – Uncle Shawn is here! He loves rescuing things. He has a rescuing plan, which involves dancing, and a mole, and an electric fence. What could possibly go wrong?

My Review: This is a very silly and funny story which kids and I’m sure many adults will like. The story starts with Badger Bill, introducing his character and what’s happened to him. The whole way the book is formatted is very fun and it’s easy to get into the story and the humour right away.

Each chapter is called a Section and there’s a kind of summary at the start of each Section which explains what’s going to happen in the chapter. It’s done in a lighthearted way which can make you laugh with the way some events are described. As the story progresses we are introduced to Badger Bill, who’s having a very bad day as he’s been kidnapped. We’re also introduced to some very sad llamas who’ve been tricked into coming to Scotland and are now going to be made into pies, Uncle Shawn who’s the very silly and odd looking hero of the book, and the very nasty McGloone family who are the baddies of the book and who are the ones who’ve kidnapped and tricked the animals.

An inside image of the illustrations in the book

It’s a simple and yet really silly story which just makes you smile and laugh. The humour can only be described as extremely daft but something I know appeals to a lot of kids. There are pictures that accompany every double page of the book and I think the pictures are what really make the story even better. They are well drawn and simple yet full of humour like the writing itself. Most of the illustrations shown have a word or two description which somehow makes then even funnier.

More fun illustrations of the book

I don’t really want to give away the story but it has a predictably good ending. Even as an adult I’ve laughed at some of the jokes in the book and I think it will really appeal to the kids it’s marketed at. It’s definitely a book I’d recommend and something that cheered me up when I read it.
-Thanks to Walker Books for providing a free copy.


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#BookReview: Triangle by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen #MPBooks

A review of the fun picture book by the popular duo Barnett and Klassen

Book cover of Tringle
‘Triangle’ book cover

Title: Triangle

Author: Mac Barnett

Illustrator: Jon Klassen

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description: This book is about Triangle.  One day Triangle leaves his house to play a sneaky trick on his friend.  Or at least that is Triangle’s plan.

My Review: I do like this book.  The cover is especially intriguing featuring nothing more than a picture of Triangle.  Like the name suggests this book follows Triangle as he plans to play a trick on his friend Square.  The story is a fun one with Triangle playing his trick, but it backfires a little and ends with a funny, if slightly odd, twist.  The twist at the end of the book is unexpected and the last page leaves you with a question rather than just ending which is good fun in getting kids more involved even after the story has been read.

The first pages of ‘Triangle’

I love the illustrations in this book.  I was first introduced to Jon Klassen’s style with the book ‘We Found A Hat’, also by Walker Books, and this book follows in that amazing visual humour.  Most of the images look like printed shapes rather than being drawn freehand, and the expressions of character’s faces is somehow very funny in a way I think adults will love.

Another page of ‘Triangle’. Here you can see the curved edges of the book

This book is a hard back but not at all glossy.  Although the picture doesn’t show it, the books right-hand edges are rounded with no sharp points making this book easier for smaller hands to hold, however the pages inside are very papery rather than glossy so it depends on the child as to whether you’d want them handling the book.

More pages from ‘Triangle’ 🙂

The story is fun and I love the twist but I didn’t enjoy this as much as ‘We Found A Hat’.  The ending was a bit odd to me and although I love the illustrations I was expecting a little more.  However it’s a great book for kids and one which many adults might enjoy.
-Thanks to Walker Books for providing a free copy.


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