#BookReview: Sam and Jump by Jennifer K. Mann #MPBooks

A great children’s picture book which anyone who’s ever lost their favourite toy can relate to.

Sam and Jump book reviewTitle: Sam and Jump

Author/Illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

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Description: Sam and Jump do everything together.  One day they go to the beach, where they meet Thomas.  They play all day.  But when Sam gets home he realizes he’s forgotten something: JUMP!

My Review:  This is a really sweet and simple tale that many kids will relate to. Sam and his best friend Jump, a cuddly toy rabbit, do everything together. Like many kids with their toys, Sam is very attached to Jump and one day they go to the beach where they have fun together, until Sam meets Thomas. Sam and Thomas end up enjoying the rest of the afternoon together at the beach, but when it’s time to go home Sam forgets poor Jump and doesn’t know what to do.

Simple yet fun illustrations.

It’s hard not to spoil the ending of this story as it’s such a short and simple tale, but it has a really happy ending and I couldn’t help but smile at what happens. I really enjoyed this paperback picture book. It’s a little smaller than A4 in size and filled with thick colourful pages that have such simple illustrations. I really liked these pictures, they are so simple and yet really show the story well. They look like simple pencil drawings and that along with the font used in the book has a childlike appearance that I really enjoyed.

Pictures look like simple drawings.

A lot of children have a favourite toy and can relate to losing that toy, or the idea of losing it, which is why I think a lot of children would like this book. It’s so simple and gives a happy, uplifting ending for what kids may sometimes experience. I certainly would have loved this book as a child and would definitely recommend it to others.

Really sweet pictures, I just love these images! 🙂 ❤

-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: My Adventure Field Guide #MPBooks

A fun activity book for kids interested in the outdoors with a great tie-in to the book and animation ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’.

We're Going on a Bear Hunt adventure field guide book coverTitle: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: My Adventure Field Guide

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Non-Fiction, Children’s Activity book

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Description: There are so many wonderful things to discover on a nature adventure!

From the changing weather, creep-crawlies or even animal tracks, this guide is packed full of field tips, nature activities and fun facts to think about on your journey.

My Review:  This clever and fun book is perfect for children who are interested and love to explore the outdoors. Using the characters and illustrations from the much loved ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’, this book is packed with facts and things to do for kids.

Images from ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ appear throughout.

The book is an average book size with semi-hardback covers which can be wiped clean on the outside. Inside the pages are very thick and filled with colourful illustrations and text. The book begins by suggesting what kids should pack in order to go on a nature hunt and then each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the adventure such as the sky, what can be found in the ground/soil and plants, etc. Each chapter has lots to discover and find and I’m surprised how educational the book is while being so fun. The chapter about the sky for example explains how rainbows are formed, the lunar cycle and how weather works and the various types of clouds.

Fun activities to do.

Each chapter is really informative (I even learned some things myself) while being very fun due to the way things are easily explained and the short sections of text with lots of illustrations in between. Although the book is called an ‘adventure field guide’ it covers what can be found in urban areas as well as more rural. There are also lots of fun things for kids to do such as creating bird feeders, worm farms and baking some bear feet cookies. And of course the book wouldn’t be complete without mentioning details of the different bears and the caves you could find them in.

Lots of interesting facts to read.

The back of the book has an easy to understand glossary for kids of the more complicated words they may not know such as ‘annelids’ and ‘deciduous’ and there’s also a brief section about climate change which fits well into this whole book. I would have loved this book when I was younger. It’s not only easy and fun to read due to all the pictures but also packed with fun things to discover and do. I think plenty of kids would love to read this book and the tie in with ‘Were going on a Bear Hunt’ is a fun bonus.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: Kiki & Bobo’s Sunny Day by Yasmeen Ismail #MPBooks

A really fun picture book with a great friendship message and fun flaps to turn.

Kiki and Bobo's Sunny Day book coverTitle: Kiki & Bobo’s Sunny Day

Author/Illustrator: Yasmeen Ismail

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Flap Book

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Description: Kiki and Bobo are going to the beach.  It’s the perfect day for eating ice cream and swimming in the sea.  But why does Bobo look so worried?  Can Kiki help?  Lift the flaps and find out in this sunny seaside story.

My Review: I really love this book! Kiki the cat thinks it’s a great day for going to the beach but her friend Bobo the dog isn’t so sure. The book is a hardback, about A4 in size but a bit wider and square in shape. Inside there are some lovely images on glossy thick paper and each page has a few flaps to open which show something fun hidden underneath.

Very cute and colourful illustrations.

The story is very simple but has such a great feel to it that I’m smiling after reading this. Bobo is really scared of going to the beach and ends up trying to put off what Kiki wants to do. I don’t want to spoil the rest of it by telling you how this ends but I’ll say that we do find out what Bobo is so worried about and the book has a lovely ending with a key message about friendship.

Flaps reveal some fun details

The illustrations are really fun and I enjoyed the simple style. Each picture looks like it’s been painted, almost like a children’s painting, and I really like the way Kiki and Bobo look in the pictures. I like how simple each image is and yet there are fun extras in the flaps. There are lots of flaps in the book, some large and related to the story and some really small flaps which show fun hidden things such as the inside engine of the bus (this image is funny and shows how ‘happy’ the inside of a bus engine is!).

More fun and cute illustrations.

It’s the ending of the book that really made me enjoy this. The simple message of friendship is one that is so heartwarming it made me smile and one that is so easy for kids to understand. Although I’ve seen some other reviewers criticise how short and simple this book is, I think the book is perfect as it is. It is aimed at younger kids and is easy to understand and the flaps are a great bonus as you see all the hidden things hiding inside. I would have loved this book as a child and I could see myself searching for all the flaps in this book again and again. A book I’d recommend.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: No, Nancy, No! by Alice Tait #MPBooks

A really fun flap book featuring London that kids and adults would enjoy.

No, Nancy, No! book cover Title: No, Nancy, No!

Author/Illustrator: Alice Tait

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Flap Book

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Description: Watch out London, Nancy, coming!

At Buckingham Palace Nancy and Roger discover a lost teddy bear, and the chase is on across the sights of the city to find the children who dropped it!  But little Nancy just can’t help creating a spot of mischief along the way…

Help Nancy spot the children and discover the sights of London!  With flaps to lift, a fold-out map and plenty of surprises throughout, this is a wonderfully interactive story for the whole family.

My Review: This is a very fun flap book that children and I’m sure adults would love to look at. Nancy and her friend, Roger (the dog) spend a day in London sightseeing while trying to track down the two children who dropped their teddy bear. But Nancy can’t help but get up to some mischief while there, mischief that has Roger calling out “No, Nancy, No!”

The first page of the book.

The book is a hardback around A4 in size (a bit wider but a bit shorter) filled with thick glossy pages which show the story really well. Each page opens showing Nancy and Roger at a new location with lots of different details to see in the pictures. Each double page though has at least one flap which when turned shows what mischief Nancy gets up to.

An example of Nancy’s mischief!

The images are really fun. There’s a lot of detail in them and I found myself intrigued. At times it felt like looking at a ‘Where’s Wally?’ book, with so many different things to spot while reading along with the story. The illustrations are also fun as there are some recurring characters that show up in each double page.

Fun and detailed pictures with lots to see.

The story is predictable but also has a nice ending. Despite Nancy’s behaviour she does a good thing and although I guessed the ending of the tale some kids might not and it makes this a very fun book to read. I did enjoy this book when reading it and I think it has a real appeal for kids. The whole story is fun and the flaps are a real bonus, including a special ‘flap’ near the ending which I enjoyed but wasn’t prepared for. The book is also great as it really does a good job of showing off some of the London landmarks, something which could be extra fun for kids who might be visiting the capital.  Overall a really fun book which will really keep you entertained for a long time.

Fun flaps and still lots of detailed pictures.

-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#Colouring #BookReview: Kings, Queens & Palaces Colouring Book #MPBooks

A fun colouring book for kids (and adults) to colour and learn.

Kings, Queens &; Palaces colouring book
Printed by Walker Books

Title: Kings, Queens & Palaces Colouring Book

Author: Historic Royal Palaces

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Colouring (aimed at children)

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Description: Published in association with Historic Royal Palaces, this fun-filled activity book with beautiful illustrations to colour features kings, queens and palace people from some of the finest heritage sites of the British Isles. From William the Conqueror and the Tower of London to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and Buckingham Palace you can colour and learn with fun facts and information about the history of the royals, where they live and where they work.

My Review: This is a lovely colouring book for kids although some adults might enjoy some parts of this too. The book is a little smaller than A4 and not too thick but still has a lot of colouring inside it considering the price. As the name of the book suggests this is filled with images of palaces, Kings and Queens but also features extras such as the crown jewels and pictures of various other royal things. Each page is crisp white with clear black outlines and many of the pages are double page spreads. Each paper is double sided and although the quality of the paper is good it is a little thinner than some colouring books (such as the Buster Activity Books) so I’d only advise using pencils in this as I think pens of all kinds would just bleed through. I use pencils and they just glide on the paper making colouring in this book very easy and fun.

Detailed images with space for doodling.

There are a lot of different images to colour in and each page and picture has various facts surrounding it, interesting facts I didn’t know. The pictures are mostly of palaces such as Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and Kew but also feature other things and I really like the doll’s house which is quite detailed! The pictures all look impressive and some of them are quite detailed too. I’m really amazed at how the current Royal Family look in some of the pictures, their faces are exactly like real life down to some creases and wrinkles. Some of the images look like they’ve been adapted/copied from real photographs which I suspect they may have been. Some of the palaces are more detailed than others in terms of colouring and plenty of the pictures have some additional white space which I like to use to doodle extras such as some birds.

Interesting facts and detailed and clear images.

What I love about this book is that it’s not like any other I’ve had before. I have the Kings & Queens to Colour book by Usborne but this one is very different with realistic yet fun images of everything. It’s simple enough for kids to enjoy but detailed enough for older ages to enjoy colouring in too. There are chances for you to doodle on certain pages that have blank spaces (if you feel like it) and the added fun facts about the palaces and royals just adds to why I like this book so much. The pages also open up fully so there are no issues with colouring into the spine. I just really like this book and can’t wait for another. I have included some images including one of my colouring in progress (in case anyone’s interested I know the jewels aren’t the same colours as the real crown but that’s the beauty of colouring – you can reinvent reality!)

Some images have less detail but are still impressive.
Some of my colouring 🙂

-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: Timmy Failure: The Cat Stole My Pants by Stephan Pastis #MPBooks

A daft and funny kids book which I just didn’t find that funny.

Timmy Failure The Cat Stole My Pants book coverTitle: Timmy Failure: The Cat Stole My Pants

Author/Illustrator: Stephan Pastis

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle Grade/Children’s, Humour

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Description: Crime doesn’t take a holiday.  Neither does greatness.

So although I, Timmy Failure, the world’s greatest detective, am in Key West, Florida, I am NOT on holiday.  And I am DEFINITELY NOT on a honeymoon with my mother and Doorman Dave, having found zero evidence that they even got married.

But I am stuck in this hotbed of criminals with only the help of an unpaid intern.

There is no privacy on the island, but I know this: There is treasure.

My Review: I must be in a big minority because unfortunately I just didn’t enjoy this book like I had hoped. ‘Timmy failure: The Cat Stole My Pants’ is the sixth book in the series of Timmy Failure books and while it’s probably funny for a lot of people and kids, it was just too daft for me.

The book comes as a lovely hardback and is filled with lots of pictures as well as text. A lot of the book is pictures or handwriting and appears a bit like a notebook which it sort of is as Timmy is the narrator of his story. The whole story of ‘The Cat Stole My Pants’ is very daft. Timmy is a detective and runs a detective agency. He has a new intern called Emilio which is really another kid who’s on holiday with him and his mum and her new husband Doorman Dave. Timmy is a bit of a brat and loves to over exaggerate like so many kids would and it’s this unique humour that’s supposed to be funny but I just didn’t ever laugh at this book.

Some of the images inside the book.

There are bits I do like in this book. I actually like Emilio’s character. He looks strange and seems weird but I really liked him, especially his fondness of a certain bird. I also liked the ending of the story. I’m not going to give the ending away but it was nice and I think a little deeper than the rest of the book.

Some more pics among the text.

The images in this book are all quick drawings in black and white and do look funny. The pictures really lend to the story and I would have liked even more of them in the book, I think I also would have liked all the text to have looked handwritten too.

More silliness and fun.

I think this book will appeal to a lot of kids and adults too. I also feel as if boys might enjoy this a lot more and I think those with a very silly (almost over the top silly) sense of humour will love this most. The book just didn’t seem funny for me though and it’s not a book I would have enjoyed when I was younger. Maybe if I had read some previous Timmy Failure books this would appeal more but I just never got into the story, I never connected with Timmy in any way and it’s a shame because I really tried hard to enjoy this story.
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy.


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#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.


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