#BookReview: Julius Zebra Rumble with the Romans by Gary Northfield #MPBooks

Hilarious start to a brilliant book series!

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Julius Zebra Rumble with the Romans book coverTitle: Julius Zebra Rumble with the Romans

Author/Illustrator: Gary Northfield

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle grade/Older Children’s fiction, Humour

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Description: So you think you know ZEBRAS, do you?  They’re handsome, eat lots of grass, and um…are always getting eaten by lions.  Let’s face it, they’re a little bit boring and stupid, too.  But a tussle with a grumpy gladiator can soon change a zebra…So cheer on our stripy hero, Julius, as he scraps for survival in history’s deadliest theatre: THE COLOSSEUM!  Just don’t call him a horse! (or Debra…)

My Review:  This book is so hilarious and just so silly but with a brilliant story too! ‘Julius Zebra Rumble with the Romans’ is the first book in the Julius Zebra series with the second and third books being ‘Bundle with the Britons’ and ‘Entangled with the Egyptians’. This book is where the adventures of Julius begins. Having been forced to go to the lake with his mother and his brother Brutus, Julius wants nothing more than to leave the stinky place and go home. But when a stampede of animals runs from the lake Julius finds himself alone, with a very annoying warthog, and together they have to escape both a lion and the Romans who are after them.

I started reading this series from the second book and have really loved it but going back to this first book I was a little worried that I might not find it as funny as the later ones, as sometimes happens when you enter a series in the middle. However I shouldn’t have been worried, this book had me laughing from the first pages ad it’s fun to see how Julius, a zebra from Africa, ends up battling Roman gladiators.

Very funny and silly images throughout the text.

The book is pure humour and a very daft/silly humour which I just love. It has a very British humour, even down to the characters saying things like ‘Cor!’ and it feels like some classic British comedies where there’s a lot of silliness and slapstick involved. The book also has a Horrible Histories feel to it seeing as Julius is a zebra in the times when the Romans were a powerful nation. As the story unfolds there are lots of illustrations to go along with the text. These pictures have to be read along side the text, they make up part of the story and something about this style of book is just so appealing and I really enjoy it.

The illustrations are hilarious and there’s just something I find instantly funny about Julius, his friends and those eyes! Every pictures is silly and I’ll admit I laughed aloud on more than one occasion from the pictures alone! The pictures are all black and white. The ending of the story is a satisfying one, in fact it is my favourite ending of any Julius Zebra book (so far) given what Julius does. The book has a proper conclusion but also an epilogue which leads nicely into the second book ‘Bundle with the Britons’.

Fun images tell the story as well as the text.

One thing I really love about this book is the setting and the fact that it’s a bit of a historical lesson in Romans too. There is a glossary at the back of the book explaining some of the Roman terms and words that you read in the text as well as a fun lesson on how to count in roman Numerals and of course Cornelius is always explaining facts within the story.

I can’t recommend this book enough, and in fact the entire series. I have definitely become a fan of Julius Zebra and can’t wait for every adventure he goes on. It’s a wonderfully funny book which plenty of kids will love, but it’s also a bit educational too. I also think a fair few adults will enjoy this story too.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What do you think of this book and the series?  Do you enjoy humorous books or do you prefer more serious ones?  Talk to me in the comments box below, I love hearing from you 🙂  You can also follow me in these places: 

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

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

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

Author: Sally Lloyd-Jones

Illustrator: David Roberts

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s picture book

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

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

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

Fun illustrations among the text.

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

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

Funny pictures show what’s happening well.

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


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

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#BookReview: A Mighty Bitey Creature by Ronda Armitage & Nikki Dyson #MPBooks

A funny story with some very funny pictures.

A Mighty Bitey Creature book coverTitle: A Mighty Bitey Creature

Author: Ronda Armitage

Illustrator: Nikki Dyson

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s picture book

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Description: Shh…there’s something coming!  Something MIGHTY, and something BITEY… OUCH!  GRAAH!  YAHOO!  It’s biting everyone’s bottoms…and it might bite YOU!

My Review: This is a funny story with some great illustrations. The paperback is around A4 in size although a bit wider and filled with thick glossy and very colourful pages. The story is a good one and very funny, all is quiet in the jungle until…Frog screams because he’s been bitten by something mighty and super-sharp bitey. He decides tell Lion, who’s King of the Jungle because Lion will know what to do.

The whole story relies on repetition and it’s very funny. As Frog rushes to see Lion he bumps into other animals, who all suffer the same thing in turn. Every animal he meets wants to then join Frog in going to see Lion. And when they finally meet Lion, you can guess what happens to him. I won’t reveal the very ending of the story or what seems to be biting everyone as I know it would spoil a funny book. I do like the ending, although to be honest I was expecting it to be more funny or silly. For a kids book with such a build up with all the repetition and silliness I felt the ending was a bit flat. However it’s that repetition that really makes this story work and it’s something I do love in picture books.

Fun repetitive words and pictures throughout the book.

The illustrations are brilliant. They are all very colourful and funny. I really like the style of the pictures and couldn’t help but see a bit of similarity between them and a well known animation, given the way the faces are expressed and the way Lion looks on the last page. I think kids would love this book for the pictures alone. They are more detailed than it first appears and there are extra things to spot such as bees and butterflies. It’s also worth going back and looking at the pictures again after reading the book as you might spot something else hidden in the images.

Very funny and colourful pictures with lots of things to spot.

Overall I think this is a very fun book and one lots of kids will enjoy. Although I’d prefer a better ending, perhaps one with a bit of repetition seen throughout the book, it’s still a good ending and the with all the funny pictures and silly repeating story, its a book that kids and maybe a few adults will enjoy looking at.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


Do you like the look if this book?  Is it something you would buy or would have loved reading when younger?  Please 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: Julius Zebra Entangled with the Egyptians by Gary Northfield #MPBooks

A hilarious and very silly story with some great illustrations!

Julius Zebra Entangled with the Egyptians book coverTitle: Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians!

Author/Illustrator: Gary Northfield

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle grade/Older children’s fiction, humour

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Description: So, you think you know about Julius Zebra do you?
He’s a gladiatorial champion!  Liberator of enslaved beasts!  A rebel of the Roman Empire!
But when Julius is shipwrecked on the shores of Ancient Egypt and mistaken for a horse god his luck takes a new turn and soon he’s bathing in donkey’s milk and being crowned Pharaoh of Egypt.  Just how long will his golden fortunes last?

My Review:   This is such a funny book and perfect to bring a smile to anyone’s face. ‘Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians’ is the second book in the Julius Zebra series, the previous books being ‘Rumble with the Romans’ and ‘Bundle with the Britons’. You don’t need to have read any Julius Zebra books before reading this one as it’s a complete story in itself, (and I never read the first book before trying out the second one a few months ago) but it is extra fun to know where all the characters come from and what they’ve been through.

The hardcover book has shiny gold on the cover and inside the whole story is written in easy to read text along with funny illustrations on every page. After his last adventure in Britannia Julius and his friends find themselves shipwrecked on a beach. Before they know it the Egyptian army finds them and somehow Julius gets mistaken for a horse god! I don’t want to explain more of the plot as it’s just too funny and it would spoil it for me to go into detail, but will say that this book is hilarious and has a very daft and silly plot. When I read the previous book I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at all the silly things that happen to the characters and the way they react and I wasn’t disappointed with ‘Entangled with the Egyptians’ as there’s more of that brilliant humour!

Funny pictures among the text.

The story is just really silly with every moment being a chance for something funny to happen, and what makes it even more funny is the pictures. Rather than the odd illustration in the book which you’d look at after reading the text, there are pictures on every page and they are part of the story. You have to see what’s happening in the pictures and read the characters speech bubbles before reading the next part of the text. I love this style of illustrations and the images themselves are just really funny. Every small picture or large one spread on a double page is funny. It’s hard to describe but somehow the way the characters are drawn (and those eyes!) makes the plot all the more funny and just looking at the cover makes me laugh.

The story throughout is hilarious, there’s never a dull moment and although it’s predictably going to be very silly, I still didn’t know what was going to happen, especially at the end. I like the ending it’s fun and made the book feel like the last in the series but there’s an epilogue that shows that the story is far from over for Julius and his animal friends, which I’m so happy about as I really can’t get enough of Julius and his friends.

After the main story is finished there are a few pages of extras. There’s a quick explanation of how to read roman numerals, as all the page numbers are written in roman numerals. There is also information on how to write in hieroglyphics, a funny explanation of mummification along with some great pictures, and a glossary, explaining some of the real life things that exist in the book. A glossary was also in the previous book which I found fascinating and I especially liked this book’s addition as I’ve always loved learning about Ancient Egypt and I didn’t realise where ‘Heter’ comes from.

More funny illustrations! 😀

This whole book is so funny and silly and it really put a smile on my face. Although aimed at kids this book will make any adult laugh too. I think the sense of humour in this book is just perfect for me, and how funny someone finds the book might depend on their own type of humour, but I’d really recommend this book to anyone to try, especially if you enjoy really daft/silly stories. I can’t wait for a future instalment of the series and I could see this series going on for a long time, as long as there are ancient places for Julius to visit. A really great book and the fact that the line ‘We’re going on our holibobs!’ is used again just cracked me up (no idea why but it does!)
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


I loved this funny and silly book!  Would you like it too?  What do you think of the illustrations?  Let me know in the comments below.  Come check me out in these places too 🙂 : 

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#BookReview: The French Exchange Whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas by Cal King & Sean Bright #MPBooks

A funny book to brighten up your day!

The French Exchange Whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas book coverTitle: The French Exchange Whale and Other Book Ideas

Author: Cal King

Illustrator: Sean Bright

Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks

Genre: Humour, Non-fiction (Joke book)

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Description: It’s said that everyone has a book inside them.  Hapless would-be writer Cal King doesn’t have just one though – he’s bursting with ideas for everything from children’s books to (in his mind) prize-winning novels.  Unfortunately all his ideas are terrible.

Cal was initially hurt when it was suggested he compile his pitches into a collection of ‘ridiculous book ideas’.  But, driven by an all-consuming need for approval, he agreed.  He hopes his ideas will prove to be an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamt of being an author.  His publisher thinks they’ll make you laugh out loud…

My Review:  This book really put a smile on my face and is perfect for anyone wanting a quick laugh. Cal King is bursting with ideas for lots of different books, but the trouble is that none of his ideas are really that good. That didn’t stop him pitching his ideas to a publisher though, and the result is this book!

‘The French Exchange Whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas’ is exactly what it’s name suggests, a collection of book ideas, all of them very funny (most of them not very good), and each of them listed here along with a brief description and an illustration of the book cover to match. The book starts with a brief introduction from the author, and another one from the publisher, before launching straight into the book ideas. Each one of these potential novels has a title, a tagline and a short synopsis which is usually no more than a page in length with a funny cover illustration on the other side of each double page. Although the book can easily be dipped into and read in any order, the recurring titles make it funnier if you read the book in order.

Silly book idea 😀

Like any joke book out there, this is all about having some silly fun and for me this book didn’t disappoint. I didn’t find each title hilarious but they were all silly and raised a smile. Some were definitely funnier than others, such as ‘Como Se Llama?’ Learn Spanish with Llamas, ‘Gordon’s New Trousers’ which doesn’t sound funny unless you see the picture and read the synopsis (Gordon is a highland cow) and I love ‘The Chartered Surveyors’ and the silly descriptions. The pictures really helped make this book much funnier than it would be without them. Each illustration is black and white and I love the simple yet fun design.

This book might be a short read, but it’s funny and one I keep looking back at whenever I feel like a quick laugh. There are a lot of book ideas and, strangely, I can imagine some funny (if slightly ridiculous) movies being made out of them. A few titles even had me laughing aloud. I’d certainly recommend this book for some silly fun, especially as a gift for anyone who enjoys funny books.

Another book idea with a funny title!

-Thanks to the Bookbridgr and the publisher for a free copy.


Do you enjoy joke books?  Would this one make you laugh?  Please let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.  You can also follow My Peacock Books in these places: 

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#BookHaul: Bookbridgr September 2017 & Extra Walker Book #MPBooks

A completely random selection of books! Do any spark your interest?

I’m now officially accepted as a bookbridgr blogger and have received my first ever book post from them which is so exciting! 😀  There are quite a few interesting books available but I chose two which just happened to arrive on the same day even though I didn’t request them on the same day!  I also received a book from Walker Books which was late in being printed.  Check them all out and let me know if any interest you? 🙂

First the Bookbridgr books:

Two completely different books!

The French Exchange whale and Other Rejected Book Ideas by Cal King –  It’s said that everyone has a book inside them. Cal King doesn’t have just one though; he’s bursting with ideas for everything from children’s books to (in his mind) prize-winning novels.  Unfortunately for Cal, his ideas are all a bit silly. However, refusing to be deterred by rejections from publishers and agents (or the laughter of his girlfriend) he managed to secure a meeting at a top publisher and arrived at their London offices with a head full of dreams and a folder full of concepts.  At the end of the meeting (during which the editor seemed to have the most terrible cough) it was gently suggested that Cal compile his pitches into a collection of ‘terrible book ideas’ for the joke book market. Slightly hurt by this suggestion, but driven by a desperate and all-consuming need for approval, he agreed. And here it is . .

Yuki Means Happiness by Alison Jean Lester –  Diana is young and uneasy in a new relationship when she leaves America and moves halfway around the world to Tokyo seeking adventure. In Japan she takes a job as a nanny to two-year-old Yuki Yoshimura and sets about adapting to a routine of English practice, ballet and swimming lessons, and Japanese cooking.  But as Diana becomes increasingly attached to Yuki she also becomes aware that everything in the Yoshimura household isn’t as it first seemed. Before long, she must ask herself if she is brave enough to put everything on the line for the child under her care, confronting her own demons at every step of the way.

And here is the book from Walker Books:

Just look how beautiful this book is! 🙂

The Wonderling by Mira Bartók  – In this extraordinary novel with its deft nod to Dickenson heroes and rogues comes the story of Arthur, a shy, fox-like foundling with only one ear and a desperate desire to belong, as he seeks his destiny.


What do you think of all these different books?  Are you interested in reading any?  Please let me know in the comments below I’d love to hear from you!  Come check me out in these places too 🙂 : 

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#Cats Really do Sell! #MPBooks

Some funny adverts from around the world featuring cats. A fun post for Sunday.

Laughing cat
So hilarious even this cat is laughing! – Image from Pixabay.com

I had planned on brining you an article/discussion post today but there’s been a lot of noise going on near where I live recently (works being done and such) which just turns my brain into mush so instead I though I’d bring you a fun post to brighten up your Sunday instead.

I recently found an advert online for Netto and it made me laugh as it featured cats, so I wanted to show you a few cat adverts from around the world.  It seems cats are used more and more in selling things these days.  There are many ads online featuring animals and especially cats.  Whether animated or not I can’t help but agree that these ads probably DO have an impact on sales.  so here’s 4 ads featuring cats 🐱 , the last will be fun for anyone to watch, cat lover or not and all of them are under 5 minutes long (for those of you with bandwidth issues 🙂 )

First up the ad that made me laugh this week.  This is for the German supermarket Netto:

This is a video made up of Japanese shorts.  There is a longer version of the below ad featuring descriptions which can be accessed on YouTube, but that ad is a bit long at over 5 minutes and this shorter one is a little funnier anyway and just shows the cats in action, running a Pizza Hut franchise:

Here’s another ad from Japan.  It’s kind of a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of ad for  some chewing gum (I think).  No idea what to think of it though o_O  !!!

And here’s a final ad that’ll appeal to everybody, cat lover or not, it’s just so funny!  Happy Sunday everyone 😀 😎


Do you like cats?  What about cats in adverts?  Did you find any of these fun or did the ads work on you?  Let me know what you thought I’d love to hear from you.  (Also let me know if you had any problems with watching the videos – I want to make sure I’m not posting anything unwatchable 🙂 ) 

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