#BookReview: Caterpillar Butterfly by Vivian French & Charlotte Voake #MPbooks

A fun book teaching kids about the transformation of a caterpillar to butterfly.

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Caterpillar Butterfly book coverTitle: Caterpillar Butterfly

Author: Vivian French

Illustrator: Charlotte Voake

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s picture book, Non-fiction, Nature

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Description: One summer, when she was small, Vivian French and her grandfather watched a family of tiny caterpillar eggs turn, stage by amazing stage, into beautiful butterflies!

My Review: This is a great book to show kids how caterpillars become butterflies but I’m afraid I just didn’t find it as good as others in the Nature Storybooks series that I’ve read. The paperback, wider than A4 in width but shorter is filled with thick glossy pages that contain both colourful illustrations and text. The book is a non-fiction which teaches all about the life cycle of a caterpillar to the stage it becomes a butterfly, but it has a story element making this easier for children to understand it.

The ‘story’, told from the point of view of the author herself, follows the little girl as she tells of the time she spent with her grandfather who grew stinging nettles in his garden because they grow butterflies. The girl’s grandfather shows her the eggs on the leaves of the nettles and after waiting a while she sees them hatched into small caterpillars which soon grow big and eventually turn into butterflies. This story is good but it somehow didn’t feel as engaging as other similar ones by the same author like ‘Growing Frogs’ and ‘Yucky Worms’. I’m not sure if it’s the story itself though or the illustrations but something about this didn’t feel as interesting as those other books.

Easy to read story text alongside the illustrations.


The illustrations are lovely and similar to some I’ve seen in other books. I don’t actually think there’s anything wrong or bad about the illustrations, they are lovely and in a style I do enjoy, however I can’t help but feel that, when compared to other books, there is a lot missing and the pictures could have had more. For example, when the butterfly is finally revealed, although we see it flying away, we never see it’s beautiful wings fully which would have made the story of the pretty butterfly all the more appealing. The illustrations, in parts, also make things like the peacock caterpillars white spots difficult to see. I only noticed any spots drawn the second time I looked at this book. It just feels like there could be more shown and perhaps this style of illustration, as lovely as it is, makes it hard to be as engaged as you could be reading this. Of course this is just my opinion.

The things that you learn about the caterpillars are interesting, like with other Nature Storybooks there are small snippets of text among the larger ones. These smaller snippets are in a font that was for me a bit difficult to read so I’m not sure if it will be easy for some children or not. The back of the book has a notes to teachers and parents section on how to use this book with kids and it supports Key Stages 1-2 of both Science and English so it’s a good book to use as a learning aid both in school and at home. The before last page also has extra pictures of different butterflies, their names underneath each one, which was a great addition as I didn’t know many species of butterflies and many kids might not either. However some of these pictures were again of the side-look of the butterfly and never the open wings which I think would have been good to see as butterflies can seem almost magical when you see some of their beautiful patterns. I think kids would engage much more if they could see these colourful wing images and it could give them a chance to spot these butterflies outside.

More illustrations in a fun but possibly difficult to see in detail style.


I do believe that this book could have been better, less text and more images perhaps or better and more colourful ones. But on the whole it is still a great book for teaching about the life cycle of caterpillars and how they turn to butterflies. Everything explained in the book is done in a simple and easy to understand way, and I found the autobiographical aspect of this book (the author writing of her own experience as the story) fun.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


Do you like butterflies or learning of their lifecycle from caterpillar to butterflies?  Would you buy this book?  Let me know any thoughts you have, I love hearing from you 🙂 

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#BookReview: A World of Cities by James Brown #MPBooks

A very large book of prints and fun information for children to learn about cities.

A World of Cities book coverTitle: A World of Cities

Illustrator: James Brown

Contributor of text: Lily Murray

Publisher: Walker studio

Genre: Children’s picture book

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Description: 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 tour of the world’s most beautiful cities. Print-maker James Brown, the talent behind international bestseller A World of Information, has rendered each city in bold, bright colours, with fascinating facts about the history and culture incorporated into the contemporary designs. London, New York and Tokyo have never looked so stylish – or so alive.

My Review: Wow, this is a stunning book and one I really enjoyed looking at! ‘World of Cities’ is a big book, A3 in size, and has hardcovers and thick pages making it a book you have to put down rather than hold in your hands. Inside the book has thick matt pages with lots of colour and text around the main image explaining each city. Every double page of the book explains some fun and interesting facts about a different city from around the world. Most of the well-known cities are here including, London, New York, Dubai, Paris, Cape Town and Tokyo.

A double page of the book open showing the city of London when you turn the page sideways.

 

I’ve always loved books like this, especially ones that are large and with snippets of information rather than blocks of text. As you open up this book the first city you see is London and along with the famous Big Ben image you also see a bridge, and on that bridge is a double decker bus. The picture is mainly in black with shades of blue and hints of red and white. Although the colours are different on each double page, Delhi having a distinctive shades of orange/yellow for example.  Having this small set of colours for each city makes the picture look like an old fashioned poster. I love the way it looks and with the black background in most cities it really makes you see the landmark being shown and enjoy the text and overall feel of each page.

The top page of the Hong Kong double page spread. Clear colours and images with fun text dotted throughout.

 

Every double page has to be viewed from several angles although the main name of the city as well as the images will always appear the same way up. Dotted around the pictures are snippets of text, as well as some running around all four borders of each page. Every piece of text is clear to read although I did struggle to read a couple of them when they were too near the spine which didn’t open up that well. What I love about the snippets of information is just how interesting they are. I was expecting to hear more boring and obvious facts but with London for example there’s the main information like the name of the tower that Big Ben sits in (Big Ben being the name of the bell not the tower itself), and the names of well known bridges to silly things like some funny names of some streets in London. Paris talks about the Eiffel Tower as well as how many dogs live in the city! Not only was learning all these facts a lot of fun (many of them I just didn’t know) but it was great to read some things such as how long ago people first settled in San Francisco, the snippet referring to the indigenous tribes people and not just the later settling of Europeans.

More information and pictures complete the double page.


The illustrations are just amazing and I really like the old fashioned poster look of them. I also enjoyed reading the text even at different angles, which some reviewers have had issues with. For me it felt fun to have these small pieces of text dotted in gaps of palaces and bridges or wrapped around towers. It certainly felt fun although I think this is a book that needs to be placed on the floor or a big table where you can constantly spin it around to read everything.

I’d definitely recommend this book for any kids. It’s a great book for learning things about cities and a book I would have loved to read as a child as I grew up without such good knowledge of these places. With lots of amazing images and some interesting information including the population statistics for each city, I think it’s a great book and one many will enjoy.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What do you think of this book?  Do you like large sized books?  Would you like a book like this with lots of facts and information about things?  Please let me know any thoughts I love hearing from you 🙂

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#BookHaul: Bookbridgr January 2018 part 2 #MPBooks

An interesting non-fiction book to interest anyone in healthy eating for the mind.

I’ve received another wonderful book in the post a few days ago.  It was an extra special surprise seeing as I’d forgotten all about requesting it!  I’d thought the book might come before Christmas and then after the holiday I completely forgot I’d ever requested it!

This wonderful non-fiction book comes courtesy of the Bookbridgr and Coronet.  It’s a book I’m especially keen to read given the fact that it is not only about food but also depression, something I have no shame in admitting I sometimes suffer from.  Take a look (apologies, I’ve only just realised how dim the light was when I took this so the book and paper look a little darker than they are!):

So excited to read this book, I love the cover! 🙂

Mad Diet by Suzanne Lockhart – Science reveals the truth about how our food is making us mad and fat.  Are you depressed or struggling to lose weight? You are not alone. 1 in 4 people are taking antidepressants and two thirds of us are obese or overweight. Something is clearly very wrong. Mad Diet lifts the lid on what is really going on with our food and provides an easy guide to restoring your mind and waistline.  Mad Diet provides a fresh new approach to healthy eating, in a market full of ‘gurus’ who don’t have the scientific knowledge to back up their claims, Suzanne Lockhart provides an accessible, scientific and empowering approach to healthy eating.  By detailing how harmful processed foods are, and showing your how to eat better for your body and your mind, Mad Diet enables you to change your outlook on food with positive outcomes for your mental health. As Suzanne says: ‘We really are what we eat. If we change what we eat we can change ourselves. And if we do that we might just change the world!’

So, what do you think?  I’ve always been interested in natural methods for combating/controlling illness so that’s why I’m personally very interested in reading this book.  But how about you?  Is this a book you’re interested in reading?


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#BookReview: Walk with a Wolf by Janni Howker & Sara Fox-Davies #MPBooks

A beautifully illustrated book showing the life of this often misunderstood creature.

Walk with a Wolf book coverTitle: Walk with a Wolf

Author: Janni Howker

Illustrator: Sarah Fox-Davies

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s picture book, Non-fiction, Nature

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Description: Come on a journey you will never forget – to the far wild north where a she-wolf roams with her pack…

My Review: This is a beautiful book with some truly stunning illustrations. The book is shorter than A4 in height but wider and is filled with thick glossy pages of some beautiful and colourful illustrations and text. The story is all about the life of a wolf, the various things wolves do to and is told in a wonderful way. Although the book is part of the Nature Storybooks collection it is a non-fiction book with a story element that makes it easy to tell children the various things about wolf life.

The book begins by asking us to ‘walk with a wolf’ and briefly describes her habitat and what she looks like before giving us more insight into the life she lives. It explains many things that wolves do such as why they howl, how they hunt, how they rest and sleep. Each page is filled with illustrations and text which is simple to understand but something about this particular book is different to others I’ve read and there’s a beautiful way certain lines are written, starting off new sections with phrases like ‘run with a wolf, charge with a wolf’ and ‘rest with a wolf’. It really engages you and makes want to read on.

Some lovely images around easy to read text.

The illustrations are some of the most realistic and beautiful I’ve seen! The way the wolves coats look is especially amazing with individual hairs and even eyelashes in some close up images being visible. The pictures not only show well what is happening in the story but it’s also mesmerising and magical to just look at some of these and I think many children, especially those with an interest in animals, will really love looking back at this again and again for the pictures alone.

The very fist page of the book, before the actual ‘story’ begins, has a short description of how wolves used to roam in many countries but are now only found in a few, as well as telling us the setting for this particular tale. The back page has a notes for teachers and notes for parents sections with information on how to use the book. The book actually supports Key Stages 1-2 in Science and English making this a great read for both at home and in the classroom.

Stunning illustrations show the wolf in detail.

There’s something just so beautiful and magical about this book and given the fact that so many people see wolves as only dangerous creatures to be feared I think many kids would benefit from reading this as it really does make you feel respect for these animals, and you may even grow to love them, especially with such beautiful illustrations.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


Do you like wolves?  What do you think of this book, or its illustrations?  Let me know any thoughts you have, I’d love the hear from you 🙂

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Amazon’s “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” Tag #MPBooks

How many of these books have you managed to read?

Sky library
Image from Pixabay.com

I’ve decided to do tags this year!  Or as many as I’m able should I be tagged or see an interesting one open to all 🙂  I was tagged by the lovely Brittany at Perfectly Tolerable.  I only just started following her blog and in fact she found me first!  She’s got some great posts and I love this simple tag 🙂

Amazon.com has a list of “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” that’s been compiled by Amazon’s editors, and the question is, how many of Amazon’s recommended books have you read?  As usual with tags there’s some rules but simple ones:

  1. Include the link to Amazon’s List
  2. Tag the creator of the meme (Perfectly Tolerable)
  3. Tag and thank the Person that tagged you- that would be me 🙂
  4. Copy the list below and indicate which ones you have read
  5. Tally up your total
  6. Comment on the post you were tagged in and let them know how many you read
  7. Tag 5 new people! (And comment on one of their posts to let them know you tagged them)

Unfortunately I’ve not even heard of some these authors let alone read their books!  Oh well, my score is going to be abysmal but here we go 😀 … Oh and although you only have to say ‘yes’ I’ve decided to add notes including which books I want to read although some have been on my tbr pile since I was a teenager! 😮

*The names of book titles US versions rather than UK.

Title Author Read?
1984 George Orwell Yes
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking  (On  tbr)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Dave Eggers
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Ishmael Beah
The Bad Beginning Lemony Snicket
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
Selected Stories, 1968-1994 Alice Munro
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll  (On tbr bought the book!- read a kids version when young though!)
All the President’s Men Bob Woodward
Angela’s Ashes: A Memoir Frank McCourt
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Judy Blume  Yes
Bel Canto Ann Patchett
Beloved Toni Morrison
Born to Run Christopher McDougall
Breath, Eyes, Memory Edwidge Danticat
Catch-22 Joseph Heller
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl Yes
Charlotte’s Web E. B White
Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese
Daring Greatly Brené Brown
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
Dune Frank Herbert
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson
Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
Goodnight Moon Margaret Wise Brow
Great Expectations Charles Dickens  (no- but on shelf at home for years!)
Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond Ph.D.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone J.K. Rowling (no but now want to)
In Cold Blood Truman Capote
Interpreter of Maladies Jhumpa Lahiri
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth Chris Ware
Kitchen Confidential Anthony Bourdain
Life After Life Kate Atkinson
Little House on the Prairie Laura Ingalls Wilder (On tbr-have a collection of her books at home!)
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love Medicine Louise Erdrich
Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor E. Frankl
Me Talk Pretty One Day David Sedaris
Middlesex Jeffrey Eugenides
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game Michael Lewis
Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
On the Road Jack Kerouac
Out of Africa Isak Dinesen
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Marjane Satrapi
Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen (on tbr just bought the book!)Does Pugs & Prejudice count? 😀
Silent Spring Rachel Carson
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
Team of Rivals Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay Michael Chabon
The Autobiography of Malcolm X Malcolm X
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Díaz
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger
The Color of Water James McBride
The Corrections Jonathan Franzen
The Devil in the White City Erik Larson
The Diary of a Young Girl Anne Frank Yes
The Fault in Our Stars John Green
The Giver Lois Lowry
The Golden Compass Philip Pullman
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald (On tbr)Does The Great Catsby count?
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood  Yes
The House at Pooh Corner A. A. Milne  Yes (tho I can’t remember much!)
The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot
The Liars’ Club Mary Karr
The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan
The Little Prince Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Long Goodbye Raymond Chandler
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Lawrence Wright
The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien (Want to)
The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat Oliver Sacks
The Omnivore’s Dilemma Michael Pollan
The Phantom Tollbooth Norton Juster
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
The Power Broker Robert A. Caro
The Right Stuff Tom Wolfe
The Road Cormac McCarthy
The Secret History Donna Tartt
The Shining Stephen King
The Stranger Albert Camus
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway
The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame  Yes
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami
The World According to Garp John Irving
The Year of Magical Thinking Joan Didion
Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
Unbroken Laura Hillenbrand
Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Susann
Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein
Where the Wild Things Are Maurice Sendak

So as you can see my total score is….7 out of 100! (more if the picture books count!)

If only some of the classics and old books I’ve read appeared on this list: Crime and Punishment, Lord of the Flies, Short Stories by Oscar Wilde, etc. my score might have been a lot higher…but alas according to Amazon’s editors I need to read a lot more in my lifetime!

I’ve enjoyed doing this tag, it’s fun and simple to do and nice to compare books with others.  I nominate…Everyone!  I’m not going to nominate anyone specific to do this tag (I feel strange picking specific people who might not want to or missing out those who do) but urge anyone who has enjoyed seeing this and who wants to, please take part…and you can nominate me as your tagger 🙂


How many books have you read from this list?  Are there any that you want to read, or any that you’ve never heard of?  Let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂

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#Poetry: A Brilliant Idea! #MPBooks

Has this ever happened to you?

An idea
Image from Pixabay.com

Has this ever happened to you?…

A Brilliant Idea!

I had a brilliant idea today,
Of blog post for you to read,
One that would make you smile,
Make you click on it in your feed.

But then a knock at the door,
Distracted me for a while,
And when I returned to write,
I dropped my very smile.

What was I going to write,
Oh, what was I going to say,
Write a funny story,
An article or a play?

I’d forgotten all the words,
The very core of my post,
I thought I could remember,
Think back…..Almost.

But no, they were now gone,
Never to be here returned,
I should have written it down,
A painful lesson learned.

So here is what I wrote,
A little poem for you instead,
Maybe you’ll think it funny,
Or a balloon filled with lead.


So has that ever happened to you?  Have you ever had to substitute a post or write something different because you forgot what you were going to write?  Let me know I love hearing from you 🙂

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