#BookReview: Alex Rider: Never Say Die by Anthony Horowitz #MPBooks

A great and exciting action thriller!

Advertisements

Alex Rider Never Say Die book coverTitle: Alex Rider Never Say Die

Author: Anthony Horowitz

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle Grade/Pre-teen, Action, Thriller

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

 

Description: The explosive new mission in the no. 1 bestselling series. After being forcibly recruited by MI6, teenage super-spy Alex Rider vowed he would never go back.  But even Alex can’t fight the past, especially when it holds a deadly secret.  Alex is Back.

My Review: I’m surprised how much I enjoyed this book despite a shaky start. ‘Alex Rider: Never Say Die’ is the eleventh instalment of the series and given the fact I had never read a previous book in the series before, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy it, but I did. The story begins with an interesting, almost movie-like, opening at the Suffolk Air Show before moving onto Alex, now living in America.

The Alex Rider series is like James bond for kids, at least that’s the feeling I got from reading this novel. I did find it hard to get into the story at first. It wasn’t the actual plot that I found difficult, this in fact sucked me in and I loved all the action that was happening throughout the story, but I found it hard to connect with Alex. It could have been the fact that I didn’t know the Alex Rider series before reading this book, but something about Alex always able to get out of a difficult situation, and not being overly emotional (despite having some bad dreams) made the book feel a bit unbelievable. However I stuck with reading it and I’m glad I did as the story just got better the further I read on.

Although at the start of the story Alex is in America, he wants to find out what happened to his friend Jack, whether she really did die, so he sets off around the world, first to Egypt and later to Europe. Despite the fact that there are references to what happened in previous books, and the people Alex has met, I never found the story confusing, as these parts are explained well, and it really can be read as a stand alone novel.
The action is what really made me enjoy this book, there’s never a dull moment with things happening all the time and the whole story told in a way that really made me feel as if I was watching a movie! Although the action primarily follows Alex, there are scenes with other characters (just like in a film) and I’m amazed at the effect the whole book has had on me after reading it.

I never really did connect with Alex as a character, but as I read this book I did start to like him after a while and the action is what drove the story more than anything else. I would have liked a deeper story with more emotion but once I realised that this was more about the action, and the amazing way the plot unfolds, I found it easy to enjoy this and couldn’t put the book down! There’s something about the way Horowitz writes that is amazing and the way everything was described, I just really felt like I was watching a movie in my mind, and I felt the same suspense and drama you feel when watching an action movie.

The ending of the story is a satisfying one with the plot set up for a potential next book in the series. The whole plot was actually really satisfying to read and I never guessed what was going to happen, even at the end, which made this a really great read.
Being for the pre-teen age group (and perhaps early teens might enjoy this too) there is nothing offensive, although there is a lot of action involving some characters that die, nothing really gruesome but sometimes a bit shocking to read.
After finishing this book I feel like reading it again, and I think I’d enjoy it all the more if I took the book mainly for action rather than trying to see more emotion in the characters. This book has also made me want to read others in the series and I’d definitely recommend this to anyone, especially pre-teens who enjoy a lot of action thriller stories, a little like Bond.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


Have you read the Alex Rider series, or if not how do you feel about action thrillers?  Please let me know I’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

#BookReview: The Tale of Angelino Brown by David Almond & Alex T. Smith #MPBooks

A funny and heartwarming children’s story about an angel.

The Tale of Angelino Brown book coverTitle: The Tale of Angelino Brown

Author: David Almond

Illustrator: Alex T. Smith

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade, Humour

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

Description: Bert and Betty Brown have got themselves a little angel. Bert found him in his top pocket when he was driving his bus.

Bert and Betty’s friends think he’s lovely. So do Nancy and Jack and Alice from Class 5K. What a wonder!

But Acting Head Teacher Mrs Mole is not so sure. Nor is Professor Smellie. Or the mysterious bloke in black who claims to be a School Inspector.

Then there’s Basher Malone – big, lumbering Basher Malone. He REALLY doesn’t like Angelino. And it looks like he’s out to get him

My Review: This is a funny and lovely children’s book. When I started reading ‘The Tale of Angelino Brown’ I didn’t think I’d like it as much as I did. The story begins with Bert Brown, a bus driver, who is married to Betty. While driving the bus Bert thinks he’s having a heart attack but finds a little angel inside his pocket instead. He takes the Angel home and together Betty and Bert decide to look after him and name him Angelino.

Images along side the text.

I don’t want to go into too much detail about the story as it will spoil it but this really is a lovely tale. Angelino is loved by everyone nice and brings out the best in everyone, but not everybody likes to see an angel and Angelino faces some trouble from some bad people. The story is a middle grade/ older children’s book although anyone older might enjoy this too. On the whole the story seems a simple and funny one. A lot of the characters are very silly and the situations are daft too (including some references to farting). But although on the surface the story just seems like any other funny story, this book has a deeper story inside it. I don’t want to explain what that part of the story is as it will give away the ending but it has a really heartwarming ending and it really put a smile on my face.

There are illustrations throughout the book, although some double pages don’t have any images a lot do. These are black and white pictures which are funny and add to the overall fun mood of the story. I do like these images as they make reading this book more fun and I particularly like the pictures of some of the teachers!

Fun pictures add to the humour of the book.

Some of the language used in the book is written with accents in mind, such as the word ‘maybe’ being spelt ‘mebbe’ when characters talk. This didn’t bother me but some kids might be confused by such words. Overall though this is a really lovely book, sweet and heartwarming and I’m glad I read it as I love the ending! I’m sure lots of kids and adults will enjoy this book.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What do you think of this book?  Do you love a good heartwarming tale, or something funny?  Let’s chat!   You can also find me inthese places:

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

#BookReview: Julius Zebra Bundle with the Britons by Gary Northfield #MPBooks

A very funny book middle grade/kids book which any age may enjoy.

Julius Zebra Bundle with the Britons book coverTitle: Julius Zebra: Bundle with the Britons

Author/Illustrator: Gary Northfield

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Middle Grade/Children’s, Humour

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

 

Description: So you think you know about Julius Zebra do you!
He’s handsone.  He’s the people’s champion of the Roman gladiator world!  He’s off on his jolly holibobs with his besties…
Emperor Hadrian has one last task for Julius before he grants his freedom, and it involves a trip to the strand and far-off land of Britannia!

My Review:  ‘We’re off on our holibobs!’ Why on earth that phrase makes me smile I don’t know but it does and I love, LOVE this book! ‘Julius Zebra: Bundle with the Britons’ is the second book in the Julius Zebra series and I just can’t wait to read more!

The story is about Julius, a zebra who is a champion gladiator of Rome. Julius is a bit of a celebrity and the book quickly introduces us to his other animal friends, Felix an antelope, Cornelius a warthog and Lucia a crocodile, to name a few. The story is very funny and Julius and his friends mistakenly think Emperor Hadrian has sent them off on their holibobs (holidays) to the strange land of Britannia but they soon learn the truth about what they are really doing there.

Fun pictures throughout the text.

The story is daft and silly but also very, very funny. I wasn’t sure I was going to get into this book at first, given the strange setting of a few animals walking and talking among the people of Rome but it quickly because an engaging read and the more I read the more I laughed. The book has lots of funny images, in black and white, among the text and for some reason I’m really drawn to the silliness of them. Julius and his friends are quite daft and the whole look of the illustrations just lends to this daft humour.

The story has a satisfying ending but leaves you with an epilogue that sets up the next book in the series which will be ‘Julius Zebra: Entangled with the Egyptians’ which I can’t wait to read. The back of the book has some interesting facts which I really enjoyed and it made me like this book even more. The author explains some of the things that the Romans brought to Britain, not all of them I knew about, but it’s done in a funny way that makes you laugh.
There is also an explanation of how roman numerals work.  It is educational but done in a very fun way with characters from the story explaining how it works. It’s included because this book has the fun added extra of every page number being written in roman numerals instead of the usual digits we use today.
My favourite extra at the end of the book though is Felix’s rock collection. Some of the rocks and their names really made me laugh.

Funny illustrations!

This book will really appeal to kids and older who like something silly but funny. It’s not a complicated story but I really enjoyed reading this and after the recent disappointment of another funny book aimed at kids, which wasn’t for me, I’m glad to say that this book has just the right sense of humour to really put a smile on my face. I can’t wait for the next instalment in the series and am now going to buy the first book ‘Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans’ too!
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy.


I loved this zany book!  Would you?  Let me know in the comments below.  Come check me out in these places too 🙂 : 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

#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

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

 

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.


Have you read any Timmy Failure books?  Did you enjoy them more than I did? 

Come check me out in these places too 🙂 : 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

#BookHaul: Walker Books June 2017 #MPBooks

Another amazing book haul from Walker Books featuring novels, picture books and even a colouring book! Check them out!

It’s June and the lovely people at Walker Books continue to bring a smile to my face with another new book haul!  Check out this wonderful selection of kids, teen and even a colouring book!  Details of each book are below the pictures and you can expect these books reviewed this month (and maybe heading into next month if I’m a bit slow at reading 😉 – LOTS of books to read! )

First some great picture books and a colouring book:

Two picture books and a colouring book! 😀

Sam and Jump by Jennifer K Mann – A sweet, reassuring story about friendship for all young readers who have ever loved, and lost, a special toy.

Mr Large in Charge by Jill Murphy – Mrs Large isn’t feeling too good. So Mr Large sends her back to bed. “I’ll take charge,” he says. But Mrs Large’s day doesn’t turn out to be quite as restful as she had first hoped!

Kings, Queens & Palaces Colouring Book – Colour your way from Buckingham Palace to Kew with this regal colouring book of kings, queens and palaces of the United Kingdom.

And how about these novels?

I can’t wait to read all these books!

Truth or Dare by Non Pratt – How far is too far when it comes to the people you love? A powerful and moving novel about bravery from the Guardian’s “writer to watch” Non Pratt.

Alex Rider: Never Say Die by Anthony Horowitz – In this brand new, explosive adventure in the number one bestselling series, Alex Rider is trying to get his life back on track after the traumatic events of his last mission. But even Alex can’t fight the past … especially when it holds a deadly secret.

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evens Welsh – People go to Italy for love & gelato … but sometimes they discover much more.
A wonderful coming-of-age novel.

Beck by Mal Peet – The final novel from Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet is the sweeping coming-of-age adventure of a mixed race boy transported to North America.

Truth of Dare is extra special with a double sided cover (you literally flip the book upside down and then read the second half from the back to the front! – I’ll add pics when I review it!)

These descriptions are as I was given them by Walker Books.  Anyone interested in any of these titles?  I’ve got a LOT of reading to get on with (and an internet connection that’s still driving me bonkers so I’ll do my best to get posts out as soon as I can).

Let me know what you plan to read in June, any of the above?  Or something else? I’d love to hear some recommendations too 🙂 


Come check me out in these places too 🙂 : 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

 

#BookReview: The Cherry Pie Princess by Vivian French & Marta Kissi #MPBooks

A very fun fairy tale children’s book

The Cherry Pie Princess book cover
UK book cover

Title: The Cherry Pie Princess

Author: Vivian French

Illustrator: Marta Kissi

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: MG/children’s Fiction

Feathers:One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

Description: Princess Peony has a bad feeling that her father might be a tyrant.  She doesn’t want to believe it, but he has a nasty having of throwing people in dungeons…

There’s a royal party coming up, and the king’s in an even worse mood than usual.  He flat out refuses to invite the wicked hag, which can mean only one thing: TROUBLE!

My Review: This is a very fun story for kids and one which I would have adored reading myself when I was younger.  Princess Peony is different to her family, the King, Queen and her six sisters.  During a Royal visit to the library Princess Peony, the only one of her sisters to show any interest in the books there, borrows a recipe book.  But Princesses aren’t supposed to bake and when her father King Thoroughgood finds out, it is only the start of Princess Peony’s troubles.

‘The Cherry Pie Princess’ is well written and really fun.  It’s like a new fairy tale story with a bit of humour thrown in.  It’s easy to get into this children’s book right away and although it is not a specifically funny book, the names of some characters and the illustrations inside will make you smile and laugh.  The story is quite simple but surprised me as I didn’t know what was going to happen.  Although the story follows Princess Peony at the beginning it also briefly follows some seemingly random characters like the Fairy Godmothers and a Hag.  All these characters stories later entwine to make a really good ending.

Cute illustrations at the start of the book

The illustrations are funny and have enough detail for me to really like them.  There are illustrations throughout the book, in black and white and there’s are illustrations on every other double page.  The pictures really lend to the story and are really well drawn, I especially like the image later of the cat sitting in the tree.  The ending of the story is a really good one and even though it’s predictably happy, I still didn’t know how everything would get resolved or what would happen to Princess Peony after a spell was cast!  (can’t say more or I’d spoil it!).

Some of the funny images that can be found throughout this book

I think kids will love this story, particularly if they are into fairy tales and although girls might be more inclined to enjoy this book, given the title and the cover, I’m sure some boys would too as Peony herself isn’t overly girly in her personality.  Adults might also enjoy it as I did.  I’d definitely recommend this book to others, given the fact it’s like a fairy tale it also has a little lesson that some characters have to learn but it’s all told in a really fun way and I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more Vivian French books after I’ve read this one!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What do you think?  Is this a book you’d be interested in?   Please do comment 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon

 

#BookReview: Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure by A. L. Kennedy & Gemma Correll #MPBooks

A review of this funny and very silly kids book.

Uncle Shawn And Bill book cover
Fun cover of ‘Uncle Shawn And Bill And the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure’

Title: Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

Author: A. L. Kennedy

Illustrator: Gemma Correll

Publisher: Walker Books

Feathers: One My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books featherOne My Peacock Books feather

 

 

Description: Badger Bill needs rescuing. He’s been kidnapped by two nasty sisters who are about to make him fight a boxing match against three even nastier dogs.

The four most depressed llamas in the history of llamas need rescuing too. They are about to be turned into llama pies.

But never fear – Uncle Shawn is here! He loves rescuing things. He has a rescuing plan, which involves dancing, and a mole, and an electric fence. What could possibly go wrong?

My Review: This is a very silly and funny story which kids and I’m sure many adults will like. The story starts with Badger Bill, introducing his character and what’s happened to him. The whole way the book is formatted is very fun and it’s easy to get into the story and the humour right away.

Each chapter is called a Section and there’s a kind of summary at the start of each Section which explains what’s going to happen in the chapter. It’s done in a lighthearted way which can make you laugh with the way some events are described. As the story progresses we are introduced to Badger Bill, who’s having a very bad day as he’s been kidnapped. We’re also introduced to some very sad llamas who’ve been tricked into coming to Scotland and are now going to be made into pies, Uncle Shawn who’s the very silly and odd looking hero of the book, and the very nasty McGloone family who are the baddies of the book and who are the ones who’ve kidnapped and tricked the animals.

An inside image of the illustrations in the book

It’s a simple and yet really silly story which just makes you smile and laugh. The humour can only be described as extremely daft but something I know appeals to a lot of kids. There are pictures that accompany every double page of the book and I think the pictures are what really make the story even better. They are well drawn and simple yet full of humour like the writing itself. Most of the illustrations shown have a word or two description which somehow makes then even funnier.

More fun illustrations of the book

I don’t really want to give away the story but it has a predictably good ending. Even as an adult I’ve laughed at some of the jokes in the book and I think it will really appeal to the kids it’s marketed at. It’s definitely a book I’d recommend and something that cheered me up when I read it.
-Thanks to Walker Books for providing a free copy.


Any thoughts please do comment 🙂

Here’s where you can also find me:

Facebook  Twitter  Google+ Instagram  Pinterest  Goodreads  Bloglovin’  StumbleUpon