#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: Things To Do With Dad by Sam Zuppardi #MPBooks

A fun picture book with the surprise that there are virtually no words!

Things to do with Dad book coverTitle: Things To Do With Dad

Author/Illustrator: Sam Zuppardi

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description: To Do: Wake Up, Make Breakfast, Do The Chores, Have Fun!

My Review: This is a very fun and rather simple picture book. This picture book is surprising as there are hardly any words at all and yet the story is told so well. The book starts with a boy and his father having fun making pancakes for breakfast. But then Dad looks over at the list of things to do, such as wash the dishes , hoover the carpets, etc. The dad sets off on completing his to-do list and with every double page you see him washing the dishes, for example, while his son plays separately from him, but in the same room. The boy tries desperately to get his dad’s attention but his dad, even though smiling at his son, keeps on doing his chores.

Some lovely and fun illustrations.

 

It’s hard not to give away the rest of the book but it is such a simple idea it’s impossible not to. The boy decides to resolve the problem by re-writing his dads chore list and calling it ‘Things to do with Dad’. After that the chores are still done but at the same time the dad and son can play and have fun such as exploring the jungle, instead of watering the plants.

So easy to understand without words 🙂

 

This book is very fun and a perfect gift to give for Father’s Day. The book has thick and glossy pages with some great illustrations that are very simple, looking like kids drawings, and yet hold some fun details too. I really like this book, it’s really a feel good story, so simple and yet the dad and son having fun while still doing the chores can remind both kids and their parents how much fun it can be to do the small things if you make them into an adventure. The fact this book has no words other than the chores listed makes this extra special too as it shows just how powerful some simple images can be. I’d definitely recommend this book whether for Father’s Day or just any day of the year. It doesn’t have to be exclusively for kids with dads either!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: William Wenton and the Luridium Thief by Bobbie Peers #MPBooks

An excellent adventure thriller for kids with real and very unpredictable twists!

 

William Wenton and the Luridium Thief book cover
UK translation cover by Walker Books

Title: William Wenton and the Luridium Thief

Author: Bobbie Peers

Translator: Tara Chace

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle Grade/Children’s

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Description: William is in hiding with his family after the mysterious disappearance of his grandfather. But when his extraordinary talent for cracking codes is discovered, William is kidnapped and taken to the secretive Institute for Post-Human Research.

Because someone is after him. Someone who needs William’s special skills to find the last remaining traces of a strange and powerful substance called Luridium.

William will have to use all of his ingenuity and code-cracking skills to find out the secrets the Institute is hiding. Impossible puzzles, cybernetic creatures and bloodthirsty robots stand in his way.

Check out those blue sprayed pages!

My Review: Wow!  This is a surprisingly fun read despite the initial hesitation I had when I began to read this book.  William is a boy who loves to crack codes and is very smart but his parents are worried about him.  When an exhibition at a local museum shows off The Impossible Puzzle, a puzzle that no-one in the world has yet solved, William is desperate to get a peek at it.  But things soon go wrong and William find himself running for his life.

The book begins with a scene at Victoria Station in London.  The scene is brief but sets up the mystery of this story right away.  I initially had doubts on whether I would get into this book.  Although I was curious to find out what was happening, the writing in the book didn’t really feel all that great and it didn’t feel as urgent as the story probably should have been.  I’m used to a slightly different style of writing in kids books these days and this felt a little less punchy and the first few scenes which were supposed to be exciting just felt oddly predictable.  However I kept on reading and found myself progressively sucked more and more into the tale.

It wasn’t until the pages about the Institute that I really got hooked.  The story is described as a fantasy but given the fact that it focuses a lot on technology I’d say it could be classed as children’s science fiction too.  Although the book is listed as a thriller there is some humour thrown in as well.  There are robots, a lot of robots, at the institute and it’s here that I really started to enjoy the story.  It becomes an exciting adventure and a really unpredictable one.  I’m surprised at just how imaginative some of the story is and something that happens in the Archives really surprised me.

The whole story has a really good conclusion and I enjoyed the fact I still didn’t know what was going to happen even right to the end.  The book is definitely a fun filled adventure thriller with fantasy/science fiction throughout.  While the writing could have been a bit better and faster, perhaps a problem of the translation rather than the original story, it was still a good read and I think the target audience of kids won’t be bothered at all by this.  Some adults might enjoy reading this too, it really picks up the pace after the first few chapters and is really surprising with lots of twists.  This book has a great ending as a stand alone but is apparently only the first of a series and it’ll be interesting to see how popular this series will be in the UK, the original story was written in Norwegian.
-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: 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


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