#BookReview: Julius Zebra Entangled with the Egyptians by Gary Northfield #MPBooks

A hilarious and very silly story with some great illustrations!

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

A great and exciting action thriller!

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

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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: 

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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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#BookReview: They Didn’t Teach This in Worm School! by Simone Lia #MPBooks

A very funny middle grade book with a silly story but a great message of friendship.

They Didn't Teach This in Worm School book coverTitle: They Didn’t Teach This in Worm School!

Author/Illustrator: Simone Lia

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade, Humour

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Description: Marcus is a worm.  He likes the colour brown.  He likes mud (because it’s brown).  And he likes digging holes in the mud-brown earth.  But when Marcus meets Laurence (a scruffy, fat bird who looks a lot like a chicken…and thinks he’s a flamingo!), he comes face to face with his worst fear.  Marcus has two choices: Survive.  Or be slurped up like piece of spaghetti…

My Review: I really love this book.  It’s so funny and silly and has some great messages about friendship too.  Marcus is a worm and likes to do worm things, but one day he ends up on a plate in front of a bird.  About to become the bird’s breakfast he does the only thing he can…he says hello.

The story in this book is silly with Marcus the worm getting to know Laurence the bird and agreeing to help him go on a journey.  I don’t want to give away the plot but this book is just really funny and daft.  The book is told from Marcus’s point of view and is written in the first person.  Every page of the book is filled with funny moments.  The whole way the book is narrated and Marcus tells it is funny, there’s never a moment that isn’t and the illustrations just add to the humour.

Some funny illustrations.

There are pictures throughout the story and there isn’t a page in the book that doesn’t have an image around the text.  The illustrations are all black and white and grey with the exception of the pink used to colour Marcus and a few other things.  I really like the style of the pictures and especially the way that Marcus looks with no outline and that cute little face.

Funny images around the text.

The story has a great message of friendship wrapped around the humour and I especially liked the ending which is of course funny but also quite heartwarming too.   I enjoy a lot of funny children’s books but this is one of my favourites, there were moments I actually laughed aloud, especially when the ‘Eiffel Tower’ made an appearance.  I think plenty of adults would really enjoy reading this every bit as much as kids would and I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a book to cheer up their day.  It’s definitely a story I’ll be reading again in the future!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


Do you enjoy funny books?  Would this book be one that you’d want to read?  Let me know I’d love to hear from you.  You can also find me in these places 🙂 : 

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#BookReview: Hansel and Gretel by Michael Morpurgo & Emma Chichester Clark #MPBooks

A wonderful retelling or a classic fairytale with illustrations to add to the magic.

Hansel and Gretel book coverTitle: Hansel and Gretel

Author: Michael Morpugo

Illustrator: Emma Chichester Clark

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s/Middle grade, Classic

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Description: No child ever forgets the story of the witch, the breadcrumb trail and the gingerbread house in the woods.  Retold by master storyteller Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by celebrated artist Emma Chichester Clark, this powerful and beautiful retelling of the Brothers Grimm classic will grip the imagination of a while new generation of children.

My Review: This is such a magical book. I couldn’t remember the story of Hansel and Gretel properly. Most of the story I remember, the gingerbread house and what happens next, is actually the ending of the story, so it was wonderful to sit down and read through this book and be reminded of how this tale started.

Beautiful illustrations.

I won’t go into the plot in any detail but it is an exciting read: Gabriel and Lisette are a wonderful and happy couple who love their kids Hansel and Gretel very much, but one day an old witch spies on the family and wants to have Gabriel and the kids to herself. This version of the classic fairytale really has an enchanting and haunting feel. I felt drawn to reading this from the first page and couldn’t put it down until I had finished the whole story.

The illustrations really lend to the tale and its atmosphere. There are images throughout the pages, sometimes a double page image, sometimes a picture among the text. All of these illustrations though are so amazing that I felt they really pulled me into the atmosphere of the story. I especially liked the way Belladonna’s eyes are so different from the others.

Lovely images among the text.

I’d really recommend this book to everyone. Although it is aimed at kids it is certainly a book adults can enjoy reading too. With a great ending but enough of a haunting atmosphere to really grip kids, this is a wonderful version of the classic fairytale and one which I’ll be reading again.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


Do you remember reading Hansel and Gretel when you were younger?  What do you think of this new retelling?  Let me know I’d love to hear from you 🙂  Come check me out in these places too 🙂 : 

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#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

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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:

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#BookHaul: Walker Books July 2017 #MPBooks

A great July book haul of books for all ages from Walker Books.

This is a belated book haul of July’s books from the wonderful people at Walker Books.  These  arrived a little while ago but I’ve been behind in my posts.  All these books have been released in July or earlier and the descriptions of each book are a brief snippet I got when offered these for review.  Let me know if there’s any books that stand out for you 🙂  To start some middle grade and Where’s Wally?  books including a colouring book! :

Where’s Wally books among others! 😀

Where’s Wally?  The Colouring Collection by Martin Handford – A transportable Where’s Wally? colouring book to take with you on every adventure! There are pages upon pages of busy black and white pictures to colour, with small splashes of colour printed on the pages to give you inspiration.

Where’s Wally?  The Totally Essential Travel Collection by Martin Handford – Seven sensational classic Where’s Wally? books packed into a handy travel-sized edition. All the wondrous Wally worlds in one, with six postcards to colour in and send to your friends

Pigsticks and Harold: the Ends of the Earth! by Alex Milway – Pigsticks and Harold set off on a journey to the Ends of the Earth armed only with a sense of adventure (Pigsticks’), common sense (Harold’s), and a lot of cake. Will they ever find it, and make it back alive?

Terrible, True Tales from the Tower of London by Sarah Kilby – The ravens of the Tower of London bring its fascinating history to life, telling tales of gore, guts and great escapes. Perfect for fans of Horrible Histories.

And here are some great picture books:

Fun picture books!

We’re Off to Look for Aliens by Colin McNaughton – Dad’s new book has just arrived and his children are sitting down to read his latest adventure… Blasting off into space, Dad’s on the hunt for aliens. But what will his family think of his far-fetched tale?

The Greedy Goat by Petr Horacek – Goat has had enough of eating grass. She wants to try something different – the dog’s food, the pig’s potatoes and even the farmer’s pants. But things go wrong in this hilarious, but cautionary, farmyard tale.

My First ABC by Shirley Hughes – Learning your ABC is fun and easy with Katie and her baby brother, Olly.  A delightful introduction to letters and first words from Shirley Hughes, one of the best-known and most-loved picture book creators.

My Frist 123 by Shirley Hughes – Learning to count is fun and easy with Katie and her baby brother, Olly.  A delightful introduction to numbers from Shirley Hughes, the author of Dogger

And a special bonus for Harry Potter fans:

And a Harry Potter treat!

Harry Potter: Magical Film Projections: Patronus CharmExpecto Patronum! Discover the powerful Patronus Charm that Harry Potter and other wizards and witches use to produce a magical guardian. Shine a light through the window on each page to project incredible scenes on the wall or ceiling

So that’s it!  So many amazing books released this month and I’ll be reviewing all of them on this blog soon 🙂  Any reviews you’d be interested in reading first?


Any of these books interest you?  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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