#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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#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


What do you think?  Is this a book you’d enjoy or are you thinking of buying?  Please do comment 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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#BookReview: J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Creatures Magical Film Projections #MPBooks

A fun book/kit for Harry Potter fans!

J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World Creatures Film ProjectionsTitle: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: Creatures Magical Film Projections

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s/Fun Kit

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Description: Discover Dobby the House -Elf, Buckbeack the Hippogriff and other fascinating creatures from the Wizarding World in this unique book.  In a dark room, shine a light through the window on each page to project incredible scenes on the wall or ceiling.  Read along and experience extraordinary moments from J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World like never before.

My Review:  This is an interesting and possibly fun kit for any fan of Harry Potter.  Although sold as a book and looking on the outside like a typical hardcover book, this is more of a kit when you open it up.  The basic idea of this kit is that you can project film scenes, or in this case some of the creatures from the Harry Potter world, straight onto your wall at night.  There are card rather than paper pages each with a window of clear plastic (acetate) which features some of the Harry Potter creatures.

When you open the book up you are meant to flip it all the way back, almost so the outer covers are touching each other and form a sort of triangle upright standing position with the book.  There’s an image inside the book to show you how to do this.  Once this is done, one of the card pages can actually stand up making it easy to point a torch at this page and read the text beneath.

Pages are attached on a ring rather than glued into centre

Once you have this set up you simply take a torch, or in my case my phone’s torchlight and shine it through the acetate towards a clear wall or sheet.  This has to be done in the dark so night time is best, and the book even suggests projecting this onto a tent wall!  The image on the acetate should project right onto the wall/surface and then there is a short script you can read out which relates to the picture.  The idea is that you can take it in turns playing the different characters and have fun following the script while seeing the scene projected.

One of the images to project along with its script

The whole idea of this book is really interesting and fun, there’s several different creatures to project and even a clear plastic window which you can draw your own scene on, however I do have some negatives about this kit.  For a start there are only about six scenes to project, your own being the seventh.  As well as this the script for each scene is very short, it feels like some improvisation might be necessary although I’m sure fans won’t see this as a big issue.

One of the images projected.

There are more practical problems I had with the book, the first is standing it up.  It doesn’t have a way to stand up and unless you place it on a rougher surface or hold it open with some weights on either side the book might slowly flatten.  I’ve placed my book on a blanket as the bare table was just too slippery.  The projected scenes are also very fuzzy when you shine a torch at them.  It’s a bit tricky to get the angle right and deciding how close to place the torch, but it didn’t matter how close or far I placed the torch to the acetate, the image was always quite fuzzy.  It’s still very recognisable when you see Dobby or Harry, for example, but I really thought the picture would show up clearer.  I projected the image in the picture below onto a sheet but the same happened whatever surface or wall I projected this on.

This isn’t a fuzzy photograph – this is the clearest I could get the image to project

Overall I think this is a fun idea and I doubt any Harry Potter mad fans will mind too much about the fuzzy images but it’s such a shame as it could be so much better.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What do you think?  Is this a book you’d enjoy or are you thinking of buying?  Please do comment 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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#BookHaul: Walker Books May 2017 #MPBooks

Another big book haul of teen and kids books!

It’s May and there’s some excellent new releases out there and the very wonderful people at Walker Books have sent me another package of children’s and teen books!  You can expect to see some reviews of these lovely books over the next month so but for now, here’s what came in the post 😀 !

First there’s the Middle Grade and Young Adult books…

So much to read!

Books included:

Here I Stand (YA) by Amnesty International UK (various contributors) – Through short stories and poetry, twenty-five leading authors and illustrators, including Neil Gaiman, explore the top human rights issues facing young people today. Now is the time to take a stand and make a difference.

The Teenage guide to Friends (YA) by Nicola Morgan –  comprehensive guide to teenage friendships, including sections on making friends, keeping friendships strong, and what happens when they break down – as well as online friendships, cyber-bullying, peer pressure and group behaviour, toxic friendships and frenemies, and empathy.

Julius Zebra: Bundle with the Britons (MG) by Gary Northfield – Julius and his pals must go to the far-off and strange land of Britain to win over the crowds of Hadrian’s empire. But this will be no happy-go-lucky holiday. A hilarious romp and mad-cap story set in Roman Britain, cram-packed with jokes and bursting with action.

The Tale of Angelino Brown (MG) by David Almond & Alex T Smith – Bert and Betty Brown have got themselves a little angel. Bert found him in his top pocket when he was driving his bus. What a wonder! But Mrs Mole is not so sure. Nor is Professor Smellie. Or the mysterious bloke in black who claims to be a School Inspector …

Release (YA) by Patrick Ness -The most personal and tender novel yet from Patrick Ness, the twice Carnegie Medal-winning author of A Monster Calls. It’s Saturday, it’s summer and, although he doesn’t know it yet, everything in Adam Thorn’s life is going to fall apart. But maybe, just maybe, he’ll find freedom from the release.

Picture books…

Some hardcover picturebooks

Poor Louie by Tony Fucile – Poor Louie! Life is perfect for this pup until Mum’s belly starts getting bigger…

King of the Sky by Nicola Davies & Laura Carlen – A powerful and beautifully illustrated story about migration and the meaning of home, endorsed by Amnesty International.

A paperback book perfect for Father’s Day!

Things to do With Dad by Sam Zuppardi – A morning of fun with Dad takes a turn for the boring when a long to-do list interferes. Can a young boy figure out how to turn an obstacle into an opportunity in this nearly wordless picture book?

Some Fun Pop-up books…

Pop up books are always fun! 🙂

No, Nancy, No! by Alice Tait – Nancy and her sausage dog Roger are ready for a day out in London! But is London ready for naughty Nancy?

Kiki & Bobo’s Sunny Day by Yasmeen Ismail – Join bouncy Kiki and shy Bobo for a day at the seaside in this charming lift-the-flap story, perfect for very young children.

And a special for Harry Potter fans…

A fun kit to use at night!

J K Rowling’s Wizarding World Creatures Magical Film Projections – Using black line illustrations on framed acetate pages, this enchanting book allows fans to project their favourite scenes from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films at home with a torch.

So..

Do you like the look of any of these books?  I realise I’ve got a LOT of reading and reviewing to get done, I’ve got so many books the last few weeks  (plus even more from NetGalley 😮 ) that I’m flooded with books…but I’m not complaining! 🙂

You can look forward to these books getting reviewed on this blog, in a random order, in the next few weeks!  But in the meantime, tell me, do any of the books interest you?


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#BookReview: Alphonse, That Is Not OK To Do! by Daisy Hirst #MPBooks

A review of this funny picture book about siblings

Alphonse That Is Not OK To Do! book cover
Walker Books UK book cover

Title: Alphonse, That Is Not OK To Do!

Author: Daisy Hirst

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description: Natalie mostly likes having Alphonse around, but when she catches him eating her favourite book, well…That is Not OK!

My Review: I love this funny book about sibling problems. The story is about Natalie and her younger brother Alphonse. Just like so many typical sibling problems, Natalie, being older, likes her brother but sometimes he does things that make her not like him. The story starts off by showing us how much the two of them enjoy spending time together, naming pigeons, storytime, etc. but then we see why Alphonse sometimes upsets Natalie by eating her favourite book! I don’t want to spoil the story, but it’s very funny and has a happy ending.

Simple and fun pictures inside this book

The pictures in this book really made me smile. Natalie and Alphonse are such simply drawn creatures but the book can really show their emotions well. The story also had me laughing, with both the pictures and the way some of the story was worded, especially about the ‘lunch was peas’ part which had me laughing for some silly reason. The book a paperback and around A4ish in size although square in shape. There are nice thick pages which aren’t glossy but show colours really well.

The text font is fun to read too.

I think kids, and especially those with siblings will relate to and enjoy this book. The ending is funny and sweet but also gets across a great message of getting along with your siblings. Apart from that adults might enjoy this too. I’m not a child myself but I found the whole book’s story and pictures really funny and engaging. I’d definitely recommend this book.

The whole book has a fun look to it 🙂

-Thanks to Walker Books for providing a free copy


Do you like the look of this book?  Is it something you’d enjoy or are you thinking of buying?  Please do comment 🙂  You can also find me here: 

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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.


Any thoughts please do comment 🙂

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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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