Title: Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic Trilogy #1)
Author: Celine Kiernan
Illustrator: Victoria Semykina
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s/Middle grade, Fantasy
Description: Mup’s dad has been kidnapped by witches, and Mup – along with her mam, brother and dog – must journey to an enchanted world to rescue him.
Danger awaits them. Witches Borough is a beguiling place of rhyming crows, talking cats and forbidden magic, ruled by a tyrannical queen and her band of raggedy witches. And Mam seems strange on this side of the border – striding, powerful and increasingly distant.
Even if they can save her father, Mup knows that nothing will ever be the same again.
Description: Mango Allsorts is a girl good at all sorts of things like making a tapir feel special. Bambang is that tapir and he thinks Mango is the brightest star of all. In this fourth collection of stories, the best friends nearly journey to the moon. But when disaster strikes will it be Bambang’s turn to shine?
My Review: Aww, I love Bambang the tapir! Mango, a girl who’s good at all sorts of things, and Bambang the tapir are the best of friends and they prove just how amazing their friendship is as they get up to all sorts of adventures. This paperback book is a pocket size, being smaller than A5, and has some lovely metallic bronze stripes on the cover. Inside the pages are made of thick paper and have lots of illustrations among the text of the story. ‘Superstar Tapir’ is the fourth book in the ‘Mango & Bambang’ series and although I haven’t read the other three books in the series, I’ve really enjoyed reading this one.
The book is made up of four shorter stories, each following on from the previous. In the first story ‘Snow Day’ Bambang sees Mango’s snow globe and wonders what snow is like. Mango finds a way to help Bambang find out. This tale is a very lovely example of friendship and I can’t help but love Bambang’s snow hat!
In the second story ‘A Night at the Fair’ Mango and Bambang go to the fair and have a wonderful time, but could something go wrong? I really enjoyed this story, especially what happens towards the end and the funny candy floss issue Bambang had!
In the third story ‘Rocket to the Moon’ Bambang’s friend Rocket the dog is determined to make it to the moon but when Rocket is missing Bambang starts to wonder if she really is on the moon. I love this story so much, it touched my heart and it also made me laugh, especially the illustration of Bambang posing!
In the last story, ‘A Tiny Tapir’s Tears’, Bambang’s cousin Guntur, the baby tapir, is a star on the big screen but Bambang worries about meeting Guntur, given how boisterous he can be. I loved the ending to this story, it was also funny, and you can’t help but fall in love with Bambang and his cute cousin.
All four stories feature Mango and her best friend Bambang the tapir who is just such a sweet character you can’t help but love this book! I didn’t know what to expect when I first started reading this, and I soon found out that the humans in the story and the animals, Bambang, Rocket and Guntur, can all talk and understand each other. Each of the four stories is not only fun to read but there are some really lovely moments, heart warming moments, showing friendship and how wonderful Bambang is, who is a bit shy and at times a little scared of doing things. There’s something really sweet and charming about this book and I loved all four stories, especially all the different hats Bambang has. Each tale also ends in a positive way with the last one putting a big smile on my face as the ending was just so perfect.
The illustrations probably have a lot to do with why this book is so appealing. It’s not every day a tapir is the star of a story but Bambang just looks so cute and quite realistically drawn too, but done in a way that you just can’t help but fall in love with this cute character (how many times have I said that now! 😍). I love the expressions Bambang makes and the way his snout looks! The pictures all follow a simple colour palette of various shades of grey, black, white and an orange/yellow colour. I’m guessing this colour is there because it’s mango colour. The simply coloured pictures fit perfectly though and show what’s happening in each picture well. I love all the illustrations in this book, not only of Bambang’s various poses, facial expressions and his different hats but I also like the way the images are quite simple, and yet have enough detail in them as well as looking funny or very cute depending on the moment.
Reading this fourth book in the series has made me want to read the first three! I’d recommend this book to all children, especially those who enjoy a bit of humour and a lovely tale. I’d also recommend it anyone older, with a soft spot for this tapir as you can’t help but love him and the fun adventures he and his best friend Mango get up to.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
Do you like tapirs? What do you think of this book? Let me know I’d love to hear from you 🙂
You can also follow My Peacock Books in these places too if you’d like 🙂 !
Title: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Volume Three: Amazing Artifacts
Author: Bonnie Burton
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s non-fiction, Activity
Description: From wands and racing brooms to a case full of beasts, the wizarding world is full of enchanted objects and magical devices. With this interactive book, go behind the scenes of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and all eight Harry Potter films to learn how the myriad artifacts of the films were lovingly designed and crafted.
Detailed profiles of everything from the Golden Snitch to Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes and Newt Scamander’s magical case include blueprints, concept illustrations, unit photography and more. Jam-packed with bonus inserts throughout, including stickers, removable extras, lift-the-flaps and many other fascinating items, this book takes young readers on a thrilling tour of the magical artifacts of the wizarding world.
My Review: This is such a stunning book and perfect for any Harry Potter fans! This hardback book is around A4 in size, though a little wider, and is beautifully embossed on both the front and back covers with some glossy images and shiny gold text and embellishments. Inside the book is filled with glossy and colourful pages filled with some text and lots of images.
‘Amazing Artifacts’ is the third book in the ‘J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic’ series and focuses on the objects found throughout the Harry Potter films and ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’. Beginning with a quick introduction which tells you the different roles and departments that go into making props for the movies (which is really interesting), the book then focuses on the objects from Fantastic Beasts before moving onto those found in Harry Potter. Each page contains an objects, or type of object along with snippets of text about it. There are wonderful photos of the objects as well as moments in the films when they are used as well as illustrations and sketches. I really enjoyed this book, you learn about how the objects were made or how a special effects were used to make things look a certain way, such as the way they made the Philosopher’s Stone sparkle in the film. Every page is really interesting to read and because the text is in snippet form it makes it fun and easy to read.
A lot of the pages have additional extras attached to them. There are pieces of paper or card stuck into some pages such as Harry’s Hogwart’s acceptance letter from the first movie, which you can unfold and read (you even get to know who really signed it), and a short booklet version of the beginning of ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’, to name just two of the many things you can find in this book! I really love books with these little extras stuck in, it makes it so much more fun and makes this book feel so much more special than one which would only have text and pictures.
There are stickers in this book for you to use wherever you want too, as well as a paper A4ish sized painting of Dumbledore stuck to the inside back cover which you can place on your own wall or not. It’s actually got a frame around it and made to look like an old painting! There’s also tips on how to make your own wand at the back of the book which is a great little extra for keen Potter fans.
Overall this is a really amazing book and great not only for fans of the films but also for people interested in how movies are made. I’d also say that although this book is aimed at kids, any age would enjoy reading this. A great book and one of an entire series I can recommend!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
What are your favourite artifacts from the movies? Would you enjoy reading this book? Let me know any thoughts you have and please don’t forget to follow My Peacock Books in these places and a big thank you if you do 🙂
Description: Little Penguin has problems: his beak is cold; there’s snow everywhere; the water smells salty; he waddles; he looks the same as everybody else. No – it’s not easy being a penguin!
My Review: This is a funny book but I’m not sure if all kids will enjoy it. ‘Penguin Problems’ is A4 in size and the paperback is very thin. Inside there are thick matt pages filled with colourful illustrations and easy to read text.
The story follows one penguin who wakes up in a bad mood, feeling grumpy about everything. He complains about the cold, he complains about the noise, he complains about the snow and the sun…all he can do is be miserable about everything…until he meets a walrus. I won’t go into the details of what happens but this is a funny book with our penguin character constantly complaining about everything to do with being a penguin and penguin life. The story has been likened to ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens and it’s true that this tale takes on that very twist although with an added funny extra at the end.
The illustrations are what drive the story forward and there’s lots of them and they aren’t all the same. There are lovely close-ups of the penguin on land and I really enjoyed the way the deep sea looked with the creatures there looking very different and almost like a sort of tribal artwork compared to the way the penguins look above ground. I really like the expression on the penguin’s face. Despite the similarity between all other penguins you can see the way he/she expresses, and there’s a general funny feel to all the images, especially when he/she is with all the other penguins calling to family.
Having heard the book compared to ‘A Christmas Carol’ the ending is seemingly predictable but there’s a funny twist that makes you laugh at the end. I think kids would enjoy this book, especially for the fun images and easy to read text, however there is one page of the book which puts a whole two paragraphs in a massive block one page. The text takes up the entire page and although it’s a good piece of text which one of the characters is voicing, I can’t help but think that it could have been broken up with more images. The various things the character points out could have been shown with little images making it easier to read. While this really doesn’t spoil the plot, I’m just not sure kids would be up to reading this massive chunk of text after reading such short sentences elsewhere.
Overall I like this book. I really like the story and the silliness of it and it would be a great book to show kids who might be prone to complaining, especially around Christmastime. It’s not a complex story but it has a great moral story of being happy with what you’ve got. I think adults would enjoy this book just as much, or possibly even more than kids and it might be best to sit with kids and read this book with them (at least the first time), to make sure they understand the large chunk of text. But overall a great and funny book.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
What do you think of this funny picture book? Would you or someone you know like to read it? Please let me know all your thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think 🙂 You can also find me in these places:
Description: Red and Lulu make their nest in a beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cosy in the cold. But, one day, something unbelievable happens, and the birds are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find one another again.
Luckily, it’s Christmas. Just the season for miracles…
My Review: This is such a lovely book, with such beautiful illustrations, it would make a wonderful gift for Christmas. This hardback book is a roughly A4 in size and is filled with thick, glossy pages with some beautiful colourful illustrations. The title on the cover along with the author name is in shiny gold. ‘Red and Lulu’ is a simple story but a heartwarming one that will make you smile.
Red and Lulu, two cardinal birds, love the tree they live in. Every year they nest in the tree, which stands in a family’s garden, and every year they love Christmastime when the family decorate the tree and sing ‘O Christmas Tree…’. But one day, when Red flies off to find breakfast, while Lulu stays in the tree, something terrible happens and the birds are separated. I won’t reveal the rest of the story but will say that it focusses on Red and his quest to find Lulu.
The story is a short one but it really tugged at my heartstrings. Although there is some text in the book, a lot of the tale is told simply from pictures and its these pictures that really make me love this book. Each illustration is like a work or art and they are all beautiful just to look at. The birds and the way they are drawn is very realistic and there’s something about their faces that makes you want to smile. The ending of the story is a lovely one and perfect for Christmastime. It’s predictably a very good end, but this is something I expected and I think everyone would enjoy it. I like the added extra page at the back of the book, the picture of the house and the tree, which goes well with the very first page of the book (before the inside title-a page some people may miss if you don’t look carefully).
The story of Red and Lulu, and the tree, is set in New York, which might be easy to spot if you know the New York architecture, and there’s a lovely extra page at the back of the book which explains a certain Christmas tradition there which makes the whole story more special and make more sense. I especially liked this back page as I didn’t know anything about this tradition and the sourcing of the tree and what happens in the story definitely makes more sense and feels better once you know this. On the same page at the bottom there is also some author acknowledgements which are worth reading to find out what inspired the book and this is how I learned that the birds in the book are cardinals.
This is a book both adults and children will enjoy looking at. It’s especially appealing if you love realistic and heartwarming pictures of animals or birds. While the story might be short and simple, it’s a typical perfect story to share at Christmas and I’m sure this is one book that would be enjoyed again and again.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy
What do you think of this book, especially its illustrations? 🙂 Please let me know your thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think 🙂 You can also find me in these places:
Description: Early one morning, a mouse is gobbled up by a wolf. “Oh Woe!” he cries. “Oh me!” He fears it is the end…until, that is, he meets a duck in the belly of the beast.
My Review: I love this story! It’s funny, a bit silly and ended in a way I didn’t expect. ‘The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse’ is a lovely hardback book around A4 in size and filled with thick matt pages. The book has an additional sleeve making it feel more special. The story is funny, one day a mouse meets a wolf and gets gobbled up. He thinks he is doomed now that he’s inside the belly of the wolf…until he meets a duck who’s already there.
The story is a bit silly but one I really enjoyed. While inside the wolf, the mouse learns that the duck is already living there quite happily. I don’t want to reveal more of the plot as it really would spoil it and the story is a bit short but it’s very funny and put a smile on my face when I read it. The ending is a good one and it’s funny but it wasn’t what I expected when I first started reading this book. I really love the ending twist though and it kind of explains the reason behind a typical wolf trait (at least it gives a humorous reason).
The pictures are what really makes this tale a funny one. I love Klassen’s style of illustrations and there’s just something about the way all the characters look, the way they stare and those eyes, it just makes me laugh every time I see these illustrations. The pictures are all monochrome with just a few pieces of colour here and there but the images are all so clear and easy to see and I think kids and adults will both enjoy this style of illustration.
I really do love this book, the story is so simple, kids will find it easy to understand and I think it’s a book that both kids and adults would enjoy taking a look at. Unlike a previous book I read by Barnett and Klassen called ‘Triangle’ which had a bit of a strange ending, this book’s clever twist is one which makes the whole story more enjoyable and one I’d recommend.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
What do you think of this book? Have you read any books by this author and illustrator before? Let me know I’d love to hear what you think 🙂 You can also find me in these places: