June and it’s another month of wonderful books from the lovely folks at Walker Books who have a real mix of books for all ages this month! Apart from some great picture books which seem to fit in perfect for this time of year, there are also some great books for teens and younger kids, even another Where’s Wally? book! 😀
First let’s start with the picture books all with a short description:
I didn’t get a book haul from Walker Books for December so I thought I would show these off a few days earlier. These new books which came in the post just before Christmas, are from the lovely people at Walker Books who have sent an amazing set of books to start off January’s book buying and reading.
First some great children’s and teen fiction:
The Day That Aliens (Nearly) Ate Our Brains by Tom McLaughlin – Best friends Freddy and Sal have accidentally intercepted a message from Alan – a spectacularly grumpy, brain-munching alien from outer space. Alan has only one message. Earth is going to be invaded in exactly ten hours’ time …
Mango & Bambang: Superstar Tapir by Polly Faber & Clara Vulliamy – Both Mango and Bambang are left star-struck when Bambang’s cousin comes to town with Hollywood actress Minty Verbena. But when disaster strikes, Bambang is the true star of the show.
How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather – After Sam’s father is hospitalised, she has to move from New York to Salem. Unfortunately, she’s related to one of the men responsible for the Salem Witch Trials, and to say she feels unwelcome is an understatement… When a centuries-old curse is rekindled, can Sam stop history repeating itself?
And here are some excellent and very interesting picture books:
Nature Storybooks Collection: Every Wonderful Word is True – A collection of 10 Nature Storybooks which give a fascinating and accessible introduction to the natural world. Subjects include sharks, polar bears, tigers, whales and many more.
All At Sea There’s a New Baby in the Family by Gerry Byrne & Faye Hanson – When Liam’s mum and dad bring his new baby brother home from the hospital they also bring him a present: a family of hippos. But the baby hippo of the family keeps going missing … A warm, sensitive and reassuring book about the arrival of a new baby in the family.
Lucky Laszlo by Steve Light – Lazlo is in love. So, with the perfect red rose in hand, he sets off to the theatre, where the girl of his dreams is starring in Alice in Wonderland. But when a cat snatches the flower and dashes backstage, Lazlo is in for a bit of bad luck.
So do any of these interest you? I can’t help but love the title and illustrations of Mango and Bambang: Superstar Tapir, it’s the Tapir that’s just so cute! 😀
The Nature Storybooks Collection is a box with 10 individual picture books inside! I’ll be reviewing them all plus the overall collection soon so I hope you enjoy those reviews along with all the others 🙂
What books have you recently received? Did you get any for Christmas? Excited to read something new? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
(Before you start reading the main post – WordPress admin is giving me a bit of trouble today, not letting me create links or edit images, so I had to create this post and fix the missing bits in the standard editor. I’m not used to it and the blog post took almost twice as long to write up than usual. Has anyone else noticed any issues with the admin editor or do you not use it?) Anyway on to today’s post:
A few days ago I received this wonderful bundle of books from Walker Books, even more Christmas goodies are in this haul, to go with the Christmassy books in last month’s book haul, along with a bunch of books that would make great presents any time of year! I’ll be reviewing them here throughout this month and next, so I hope you like the look of these books, let me know which ones interest you. Here’s the collection in no particular order 😀 :
Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares – 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 months. But one day Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it’s just the season for miracles…
Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor & Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland & Jeffrey Alan Love – The gods of the Vikings come to life as never before in this extraordinary illustrated anthology. Dramatic, enthralling and atmospheric tales based on the Scandinavian myth cycle tell of Odin with his one eye, Thor with his mighty hammer and Loki, the red haired, shape-shifting trickster.
Penguin Problems by Jory John & Lane Smith – 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!
A couple of books that stood out in this book haul – literally. A pop-up book and a big A3 sized hardback about cities.
World of Cities by Lily Murray & James Brown – Climb Paris’s Eiffel tower, explore Cairo’s ancient pyramids, wander the busy streets of New Delhi and see the lights of Shanghai in this whirlwind, large format tour of the world’s most beautiful cities.
The Christmas Story: An Exquisite Pop-up retelling by Robert Sabuda – The Nativity is brought to life by master pop-up artist Robert Sabuda in six gorgeously imagined, white and gold 3-D scenes, making this a Christmas gift book to treasure.
And for Harry Potter fans:
J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: Movie Magic Collection – This pack is the ultimate insider’s guide to the eight Harry Potter films and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. People and places, creatures and artifacts and all are explored in these interactive compendia through inserts, detailed character profiles and fascinating insights into the making of the films.
I’ll be reviewing the collection as well as an in-depth review of each book over the next month or so. Hope you enjoyed a look at this book haul, don’t forget to tell me which books interest you 🙂
Did any of the books above interest you? Have you recently got your own book post/haul you’d love to share? Let me know all your thoughts, I love hearing from you 🙂 Don’t forget you can also find me in these places:
Description: When Joseph’s mother comes home, says his father, things are going to change. And almost at once they do – in the weirdest of ways . . .
My Review: I’m not sure what to say about this very surreal and strange book. Joseph Kaye is waiting at home while his dad has gone to pick up his mum. He’s been told things will change but what did his father mean by that? ‘Changes’ is a large book, a bit bigger than A4 in size and filled with thick glossy pages of illustrations and easy to read text.
As Joseph ponders on the question of what will change, his imagination starts coming up with all sorts of things. First he sees the kettle changing its shape. Before he knows it the kettle’s become a cat! Is this what his father meant when he said things were going to change? The whole story follows this similar feel with Joseph left alone to imagine all sorts of things happening.
I really like the illustrations. I’ve always enjoyed Dali’s paintings and Browne’s illustrations take on a similar feel. There are lots of different things happening to the objects around Joseph and it’s interesting just to look at the pictures and spot all the surreal changes going on. Even some very small objects such as a framed photo on top of the television have hidden fun extras that you may not notice the first time you read this book.
Although the illustrations are good, I’m not sure the story will really be understood by kids and it felt a little strange. I’m going to put a spoiler here by telling you that the ending of the book has a twist: That the ‘change’ is that Joseph has a new baby sister which his parents bring home for him to met. This is a good twist but I’m not sure kids will really understand this ending if they are reading it alone.
The illustrations are great in this book and I think many kids will really enjoy looking at the pictures and spotting all the changes that appear, but whether the message in the story will be understood, and whether it’s a good book for discussing a new sibling to children I’m not so sure.
-Thanks to Walker books for a free copy (as part of The Anthony Browne Collection).
What do you think of this book? Do you like surreal books? What about books covering this subject? Let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂 You can also find me in these places:
Description: Willy loves to dream. He dreams that he’s a film-star, a painter, a ballet dancer. He dreams of fierce monsters and super-heroes. Willy’s dreamland is a gallery of amazing and magical pictures. Enter and see.
My Review: This is a surreal and interesting children’s picture book that’s great for introducing kids to the world of art as well as sparking the imagination. ‘Willy the Dreamer’ doesn’t have much of a story, it is a book that is more about the pictures inside than the story being told. The paperback is a bit larger than A4 in size and filled with thick and glossy, colourful pages, mainly of large pictures of Willy’s dreams.
The story runs along the bottom of the page and is a short and repetitive story made of simple sentences about what Willy dreams. Above the writing there is a large picture of Willy’s dream, each page dedicated to one of his dreams. The pictures are quite amazing and very detailed. Although all the pictures are of Willy and his dream, the images are his versions of famous paintings or movie characters, book characters, etc. These illustrations are amazing to look at and I was particularly drawn to pictures of paintings such as Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’ which has melting bananas instead of melting clocks for example.
The further you go into the book the more detailed the pictures become. Each one of the images is very detailed and a perfect altered copy of a real painting. There are plenty of little extra things to spot too such as how many bananas you can find (so many objects are morphed into bananas and I couldn’t help laughing at one of Van Gogh’s paintings of a bed ‘Bedroom in Arles’ where the bed is an entire banana!). There are also funny surreal extras such as a hammerhead shark literally having a hammer for a head.
The book has a good ending, though the last page image is a twist on the first which I didn’t notice straight away!. This is more of a visual book than a storybook. I really enjoyed reading this and can’t help but constantly flick back to see the pictures again. I might be a bit biased having studied art but I think this is a great book which kids will love and one which also has an educational quality as children will learn and know famous paintings through Willy’s dreams, and adults will love sharing this book too as there’s just so much to see and think about!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy (as part of The Anthony Browne Collection).
Do you love books with art, or ones like this that spark the imagination? Let me know what you’re thinking, I’d love to hear from you. You can also find me in these places:
Description: Willy, the diminutive chimp, wouldn’t hurt a fly. It’s no wonder the suburban gorillas call him Willy the wimp–until one day Willy answers a bodybuilding advertisement with hilarious results.
My Review: This is an interesting book which I wasn’t expecting to like as much as I now do. This special anniversary edition of the book is in paperback, about A4 in width and square in shape. Inside there are glossy, thick pages with colourful illustrations and text. ‘Willy the Wimp’ is a simple story which seems a bit silly but at the same time has a great message which may have been lost on a few amazon reviewers.
Willy wouldn’t hurt anybody, not even a fly, but no matter what, the suburban gorillas still call him ‘Willy the Wimp’. Willy hates being called a wimp, and one day he reads an advert in a newspaper which promises to change everything. The book has such a simple story, Willy answers a body-building advert and follows all the rules to get fit and strong. The plot may seem simple and at first it seems silly that Willy goes through changes in order to deal with the gorillas, however, those that look at the book’s ending more carefully will realise that it’s a brilliant story of overcoming the bullies by doing something that makes you feel better and more confident, and feeling happy with who you are.
The illustrations in this book are good and funny and show the story well. Some of the illustrations do look a bit silly though such as the gorillas, who are body building. They look so silly that it made me laugh.
I do like the ending, there’s a very funny dialogue between Willy and Millie which itself made me laugh, and the last page is funny too! The ending is satisfying and I think plenty of kids will really enjoy this book. Whether they’ll get the subtle message in the story without an adult pointing it out though I’m not so sure, but this is definitely a book worth reading with kids particularly those who may be dealing with self-confidence issues.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy (as part of The Anthony Browne Collection).
Have you read any Willy the Chimp books? What do you think of this story? Please let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you. You can also find me in these places:
I received a wonderful package from Walker Books recently and I felt like Christmas came early as there are some lovely books as part of the haul along with a kit…It just screams Christmas gifts so here is the book haul. I’ve separated the books into several images.
First let’s start with two beautiful books to read, both hardbacks:
The Dollmaker of Krakow by R. M. Romero – One night a little doll named Karolina comes to life in a toyshop in Krakow, Poland, in 1939 and changes the life of the gruff, broken-hearted Dollmaker. When the darkness of the Nazi occupation arrives, they must bravely use their magic to save their Jewish friends, no matter what the risks.
Julius Zebra Entangled with the Egyptians by Gary Northfield – After being shipwrecked on the shores of Egypt and mistaken for a Horse God, Julius can’t believe his luck! But a tour of the pyramids signals the end to their glorious fortunes in Egypt and Julius has to fight for his life as the truth is unravelled
Now for some picture books:
The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen – When a woeful mouse is swallowed up by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs and it turns out it’s pretty nice inside the belly of the beast … until a hunter shows up…
A Mighty Bitey Creature by Ronda Armitage & Nikki Dyson – In this raucous jungle caper something MIGHTY with SUPER-DUPER sharp teeth keeps biting Frog, Monkey and Zebra … right on their bottoms! They’re looking for big, brave King Lion, who just might know what to do…
Here’s a special educational but fun hardback:
Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum – Discover the incredible story of the search for life on Mars, told from the unique perspective of Curiosity, the Mars Rover sent to explore the red planet.
Here are some obvious Christmas or pre-Christmas gifts:
National Threatre: Play in a Box – Discover how to create, direct and act in your very own play in this brilliant kit. Find everything you need to put on a show, including ideas for the characters, settings and plot, as well as expert top tips for staging, costume, make-up, props, sound and lighting.
Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht & Jarvis – A beautiful, irresistible Christmas gift book that all begins with … picking a pine tree! This is a celebration of all the familiar rituals of decorating the tree – from digging out jam-packed boxes of trimmings, stringing tinsel, to, at last, turning on those twinkly fairy lights.
And finally a Walker Classic with a new spin 😀 :
Where’s Wally: Destination Everywhere by Martin Handford – Join Wally as he handpicks his most amazing twelve journeys of all time, with lots of terrific twists! Fantastic scenes are revisited and are bursting with art, new things to search for and additional eye-boggling games to play.
Reviews of all these books coming soon! Did you enjoy this selection of books? Which book(s) are you interested in reading/using out of this lot? For me I’m extra interested in ‘Julius Zebra Entangled with the Egyptians’ as I’ve already read the previous book here. And I found ‘The Dollmaker of Krakow’ so interesting that I began reading it the minute I opened up the package from Walker books!
Are you interested in any of these books? Or do you have other books you’re interested in reading this month? Please let me know I’d love to hear from you 🙂 You can also soon find me in these places: