#BookReview: Where’s Wally? The Totally Essential Travel Collection by Martin Handford #MPBooks

A fun collection of Where’s Wally books with some extras.


Where's Wally The Totally Essential Travel Collection book coverTitle: Where’s Wally? The Totally Essential Travel Collection

Author/Illustrator: Martin Handford

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Fun Activity book

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Description: Just what you’ve been waiting for…All the wondrous Wally worlds in one! Seven sensational classic Where’s Wally? books packed into a handy travel-sized edition. Wherever you’re going, however you’re travelling – join the spectacular search for Wally and be sure to send a postcard to all of your friends!

My Review: I really love Where’s Wally? Although I never had all the books in my collection, I grew up with them and loved searching for all the hidden extras you could find. Now, to celebrate 30 years of Where’s Wally, seven great books have been packed into this handy travel sized set which is perfect for those who either didn’t have all the books already or just want to keep them all in one place! The book is about A5 in size with semi-hardback covers and a material elastic band that can close the entire book so nothing spills out if you do take this book on your travels.

The first page of the book

Inside the front and back covers (slotted into a gap in the covers) there are some postcards you can to colour in, six in total, which feature a section of a random Where’s Wally scenes. The postcards are great and nicely detailed so will take some time (but not too much time) to colour in. The postcards are also thick which means pens will work as well as pencils for colouring in but what’s fun is that they also feature a short checklist of a few things to find on the front of the post card itself, which can be fun for both the person colouring in the postcard to find and the person receiving it!

The first page folded out to show you things to search.

The seven books inside this travel collection are: Where’s Wally?, Where’s Wally Now?, Where’s Wally? The Fantastic Journey, Where’s Wally? In Hollywood, Where’s Wally? The Wonder Book, The Great Picture Hunt and Where’s Wally? The Incredible Paper Chase.
All seven books are in this travel collection complete and I’m amazed at how they all fit in together but it’s cleverly done. Each book has an extra folded page at the start which unfolds to show a checklist of things to find in each scene. This is only half the checklist you usually find in a Where’s Wally book so the other half of the checklist is folded on the last page of the book. I’ve shown photos of how this is done. The folded pages are easy to spot in the book and basically mark where each book begins so it’s easy to find.

Another fun page of things to find 🙂

Each page of a Where’s Wally book is of course smaller than the original books but are nice glossy and quite thick pages with clear and colourful images. I have good near vision so I didn’t have any trouble spotting even the smallest of objects however I will warn you that if you don’t want to strain your eyes it might be harder for some to spot the little things such as Woof’s bone, a key, etc. The checklist text may also be a little too small for some people to read.

I love this travel collection as I never had every Where’s Wally book in my collection. There are so many amazing pages to look at and I just love the way that just one Where’s Wally page can keep you looking for hours as there’s so many funny things happening in ever corner of each page!

Some extra postcards to colour in!

I’d definitely recommend this to any Where’s Wally fan, but also to those who have never tried the books before. The full price of ten UK pounds for seven books is amazing considering how much each book costs individually and the added bonus of the six postcards plus having all the books in one place makes this a great buy for everyone.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.

Do you love Where’s Wally/Waldo books?  Have you read any in the collection, or would you enjoy this travel collection?  Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.  Come check me out in these places too 🙂 : 

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#BookHaul: Walker Books September 2017 #MPBooks

Travelling took a lot more out of me than I thought and I’ve been under the weather recently so I’m sorry for the late posts, but I’m finally feeling better and will be posting regularly from now on.  I need to catch up with all your messages and everything elsesoon, but for now here’s a book haul!

I received an amazing book haul from the kind people at Walker Books.  There’s a whole collection of books this month and I’ll be reviewing them as soon as I can.  Below are the books I received plus a brief description of each.  The Anthony Browne collection is a collection of books sold together so I’ll be reviewing each book individually as well as the set 🙂

Here are all the books and I’d like to add a note that The Anthony Browne collection is in a zip pouch and is filled with an amazing 10 books!:

The Anthony Browne Collection

The Anthony Browne Collection by Anthony Browne – A ten book collection of Anthony Browne’s top selling picture books, including, Willy the Champ, Silly Billy, Willy the Wimp, Willy the Dreamer, Changes, The Tunnel, Through the Magic Mirror, Look What I’ve got!, Piggybook and Willy and the Cloud

A pop-up book, a picture book and a informative book with plenty of pictures:

A picture book, text book and a pop-up book!

Pop-up Shakespeare: The Complete Works by The Reduced Shakespeare company – Interactive spreads with dramatic pop-ups and lift-the-flaps bring to life each of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, Romances and Tragedies. Packed with hilarious jokes and funny facts, this is the Bard’s complete works as they’ve never been seen before.

His royal Tinyness: A Terrible True Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones & David Roberts  – Once upon a time there was a happy family. Until one horrible no good day when a new ruler was born… A beautiful jacketed hardback with gold foil decoration makes this the perfect gift.

National Theatre: All About Theatre – Described by Benedict Cumberbatch as “a brilliant introduction to theatre”, this fascinating book by the National Theatre shows how plays like War Horse and many others are made

A young adult and a middle grade book:

Reading books!

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James – Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Football School Season 2: Where Football Explains the World by Alex Bellos &Ben Lyttleton – This book is packed with awesome true stories, real science and fascinating facts and will make you laugh loads – and it’s all about football

Are you interested in reading any of these books?  Or are you looking forward to something else?  What do you plan to read this month?  Let me know, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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#BookReview: We’re Off to Look for Aliens by Colin McNaughton #MPBooks

A fun picture book with a very clever twist!

We're Off to Look for Aliens book coverTitle: We’re Off to Look for Aliens

Author/Illustrator: Colin McNaughton

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description: Colin McNaughton boldly goes in search of ALIENS!  Two books in one, this intergalactic epic will make your eyes pop out on stalks!  May the Wilberforce be with you.

My Review:  I enjoyed this book far more than I thought I would and I’m sure plenty of kids will too. ‘We’re Off to Look for Aliens’ is a fun picture book, a bit large being wider than A4 but only a touch shorter. Each page inside is a thick and glossy page with very colourful pictures throughout. The book is clever as it’s a story within story and narrated by a child. The first pages are about Dad and the new children’s book he’s created. He shows it to the kids and they all read the book which happens to have the same title and author as the one we are reading.

Lovely and clear illustrations

The story in the book is funny with brilliant repetitive lines. An example of the first page of this is: We’re off to look for aliens, Ugly-bugly aliens, We’re off to look for aliens, Wilberforce and I. This ‘Wilberforce and I’ rhyme keeps repeating on every page with the rest of the text following the same rhyme. You actually get into a rhythm reading this story and every turn of the page is fun to read.

Colourful pictures

The illustrations are very colourful and funny. There’s actually two sets of illustrations with the outer story looking a little more old-fashioned and the pictures from the book the kids are reading being a bit different, with lines being darker and a generally different feel to them. I really like the different aliens in the book and how strange some of them look. I actually really enjoyed the illustrations more than I thought I would as there’s quite a lot to see on many pages and the designs of the creatures are different to ones I often see.

Interesting and fun aliens

The ending of the book has a very fun twist that really made me laugh as I wasn’t expecting it. I think this book will have a wide appeal to both kids and even some adults and the repetitive sing-song nature of the inner story will keep many entertained. I’d definitely read this book again. I actually didn’t think I’d find it as fun as I did and I’d definitely recommend it, if just for that twist ending!
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy.

Do you like books with aliens?  What about picture books with twists?  Let me know 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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#BookReview: They Came From Planet Zabalooloo! by Sean Taylor & Kate Hindley #MPBooks

A fun and quite silly children’s picture book

They Came From Planet Zabalooloo book coverTitle: They Came From Planet Zabalooloo!

Author: Sean Taylor

Illustrator: Kate Hindley

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description: Watch out, planet Earth!  Zoron, Bazoo and Zob have come from Zabalooloo.  They’ve got a supersonic-sucker with shrinker-nozzle…and they are ready for an EPIC adventure!  OOH LA LA!

My Review: This is a funny and slightly silly story. Zoron, Bazoo and Zob are creatures from the planet Zabalooloo and they have come to earth to take BIG-SIZED thing back to their own planet, but things don’t go according to plan. The paperback book is about A4 in size and filled with thick glossy pages of colourful illustrations.

A wide book with lots of fun images

The story is really silly and perfect for anyone with a daft sense of humour, I’m sure lots of kids would enjoy this for how silly it is. When Zoron, Bazoo and Zob arrive on earth you realise they are tiny creatures and the BIG-SIZED thing they decide to take back is an animal. What happens afterwards is a really silly but there’s a great ending to the story and it actually has a great message too.

More fun images!

The illustrations are brilliant and quite detailed too. I love the expressions on the animal faces and little extra details within each image. The pictures really do make this book funny and are just perfect for the silliness of the story.

Comic style images with text

Although some reviewers have pointed out how the creatures from Zabalooloo talk in a slightly strange way, I don’t think it’s anything that kids would find hard to understand. I actually think it’s quite engaging and a fun, if slightly silly/daft, book for kids to both read and look at with the funny illustrations.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.

What do you think of this book?  Do you enjoy funny picture books?  Let me know 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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#BookReview: Harry Potter Magical Film Projections: Patronus Charm #MPBooks

A fun projection kit for any Harry Potter fan!

Harry Potter Magical film Projections Patronus Charm book coverTitle: Harry Potter Magical Film Projections: Patronus Charm (J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World)

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s/Fun kit

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Description: EXPECTO PATRONUM!  Discover the powerful Patronus Charm that Harry Potter and other wizards and witches use to produce a magical guardian.  In a dark room, shine a light through the window on each page of this unique book to project incredible scenes on the wall or ceiling.  Read along and experience magical moments from the Harry Potter films like never before.

My Review: This is the second Magical Film Projections kit I have with a Harry Potter theme, this time focusing on the Patronus Charm. The book is a hardback A5ish size which opens up with the spine at the top rather than the side. The book pages which are made of thick card are ring bound rather than glued in, which helps you to flip each page over and hold the book almost back-to-back.

How the book appears when you open it.

The idea of this book which is really a fun kit is that you can have fun projecting images onto your walls while reading some of the text on the page. The book has 6 thick pages of pictures to project, each one focusing on a scene in Harry Potter where the patronus charm is used or shown. What you are supposed to do is to flip this book so the hardback covers are as close together as possible (they won’t fully touch each other though) and then stand the book up in this way. There’s no way for the pages to hold open and I found that the book wouldn’t stand up without me placing it on a rough surface such as a blanket rather than a smooth table top.
Once you’ve put the book into this standing position you are supposed to take one of the pages and stand it up so it sits above the book. There is a clear acetate window on each page with a picture from Harry Potter. The pictures are from the films and as I said all feature the Patronus Charm. Below each picture is a piece of script from the movie, just several lines which you are supposed to have fun reading aloud with friends while looking at the projected image.
To project the image onto the wall you simply take a torch, I used my phone’s torch, and project it onto the acetate, pointing it towards a wall where the picture should appear. You should experiment with how close you are to the acetate with the torch or how close the overall book is to the wall as this can affect the size and some of the sharpness of each image.

A page of the book

Unfortunately I did run into some problems with this kit especially projecting the images. Just like the first Harry Potter film projection kit which featured Creatures, I found it hard to get a real clear image. No matter how close or far the torch and wall were and whatever angle I pointed the torch at, the pictures were always a little fuzzy. It comes from a sort of shadow, like each picture was made of two images overlapping slightly. Although you could still clearly see what the pictures were showing it’s a shame that they came out so blurry and it’s an issue I hoped would have been fixed with this second in the series released book. Standing the book up has it’s own problem too. Without a band to hold the covers together (when stood up) the book kept folding back down flat. I did fix it with a blanket as I said but it’s a shame as even the blanket sometimes didn’t hold the book and I was forced to put objects either side of it to stop it slipping back flat. Apart from that I also found I couldn’t stand up the card pages very well without holding them with one had to that they pointed at the correct angle to the wall.

The back page has a clear acetate window for you to create your own patronus charm, there’s even advice on how to come up with the charm if your mind is blank on what to draw. You can them project this image onto the wall too!

One of the projected images-looks fuzzy

Overall this is a fun kit which I’m sure any Harry Potter fan would love. I’ve given it three stars based on how well the kit works and the fact that I’m not a massive fan of Harry Potter (though I do like it – just not a huge fan). However if this was a projection kit of one of the things I am crazy about then I would probably rate it higher, as any Harry Potter fan probably will!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.

A final picture, not possible to get a clearer image projected which is a shame.

Note: In the projected photos I’ve tried to show you how the images looks fuzzy, though I projected this down onto a blanket and in slight daylight the fuzziness is the same if done onto a wall or at night. (though in a very dark room the pictures are darker). Both photos of the projection are not fuzzy as a result of my camera but are how the images ended up projected – it was the clearest image I could get!

What do you think of this kit?  Would you buy it if you were/are a Harry Potter fan?  Let me know 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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#BookReview: Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton #MPBooks

A fun and very colourful bedtime picture book for children.

Goodnight Everyone book coverTitle: Goodnight Everyone

Author/Illustrator: Chris Haughton

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s picture book

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Description: The sun is going down and everyone is sleepy.  Well…almost everyone.  There’s still one Little Bear, who is very wide-awake…

My Review: This is a lovely bedtime book I’m sure many young children will enjoy. I haven’t seen or read any of Chris Haughton’s other books before, but I love the illustrations in this and the simple message of everyone going to sleep. The paperback copy is around A4 in size, a little wider and a little shorter, with thick and colourful matt pages inside

‘Goodnight Everyone’ starts with the sun going down and everyone is getting sleepy. But Little Bear isn’t tired and doesn’t want to go to sleep yet. Although the rest of the book has full pages, there are some half pages at the start of the story which I’ve tried to show in the photos I have taken. It’s a fun way of turning the pages and showing all the animals getting sleepy. The story itself is very simple and not much of a story, with Little Bear soon feeling sleepy himself. The whole book has a lot of fun repetition of wishing the animals goodnight.

Lovely colourful pages.

The illustrations are what I really enjoy about this book. They are so simple and yet the expressions on the animals faces are easy to see. I love the block shape of Great Big Bear’s legs and the whole way that all the animals are made out of simple coloured shapes. The colours in this book are great too. The book has an amazing amount of colour, with purple, orange, green and blue being the main colours in use. Some people might find the colours a little strong but I think kids really enjoy a colourful book and I know as a child I would have loved this book’s illustrations.

Interesting page with several sections.

The book has a lovely end which is obviously predictable, but there’s also and added extra on the first and last pages. At the front, before the story begins there is a picture of the southern night sky. This is a complete image of all the star constellations, and is a clear illustration. The back of the book features the Northern night sky with a special extra image where ursa minor and major are shown. I love this added extra, it not only is a fun little extra image to add to the book, but makes this something kids can look at when they are older too, if they want to learn the star constellations in the future.

Simple fun images and easy to read text.

I really do love this book, I know I would have loved it when I was younger. The colours, the shapes and the fun and simple story make this the perfect book to read to kids, especially if like Little Bear, they don’t feel sleepy yet.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.

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#BookReview: They Didn’t Teach This in Worm School! by Simone Lia #MPBooks

A very funny middle grade book with a silly story but a great message of friendship.

They Didn't Teach This in Worm School book coverTitle: They Didn’t Teach This in Worm School!

Author/Illustrator: Simone Lia

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade, Humour

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Description: Marcus is a worm.  He likes the colour brown.  He likes mud (because it’s brown).  And he likes digging holes in the mud-brown earth.  But when Marcus meets Laurence (a scruffy, fat bird who looks a lot like a chicken…and thinks he’s a flamingo!), he comes face to face with his worst fear.  Marcus has two choices: Survive.  Or be slurped up like piece of spaghetti…

My Review: I really love this book.  It’s so funny and silly and has some great messages about friendship too.  Marcus is a worm and likes to do worm things, but one day he ends up on a plate in front of a bird.  About to become the bird’s breakfast he does the only thing he can…he says hello.

The story in this book is silly with Marcus the worm getting to know Laurence the bird and agreeing to help him go on a journey.  I don’t want to give away the plot but this book is just really funny and daft.  The book is told from Marcus’s point of view and is written in the first person.  Every page of the book is filled with funny moments.  The whole way the book is narrated and Marcus tells it is funny, there’s never a moment that isn’t and the illustrations just add to the humour.

Some funny illustrations.

There are pictures throughout the story and there isn’t a page in the book that doesn’t have an image around the text.  The illustrations are all black and white and grey with the exception of the pink used to colour Marcus and a few other things.  I really like the style of the pictures and especially the way that Marcus looks with no outline and that cute little face.

Funny images around the text.

The story has a great message of friendship wrapped around the humour and I especially liked the ending which is of course funny but also quite heartwarming too.   I enjoy a lot of funny children’s books but this is one of my favourites, there were moments I actually laughed aloud, especially when the ‘Eiffel Tower’ made an appearance.  I think plenty of adults would really enjoy reading this every bit as much as kids would and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a book to cheer up their day.  It’s definitely a story I’ll be reading again in the future!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.

Do you enjoy funny books?  Would this book be one that you’d want to read?  Let me know I’d love to hear from you.  You can also find me in these places 🙂 : 

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