#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.


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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.


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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?


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#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

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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 🙂 : 

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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.


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

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#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 🙂 


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