THE BEAR, THE PIANO, THE DOG AND THE FIDDLE- David Litchfield

5/5

A stunning sequel to The Bear and the Piano from one of the brightest talents in children’s books today.

Generally, if a book involves David Litchfield illustrations, you can be guaranteed that it’s a good one, especially when he’s also the author. Grandad’s Secret Giant was my picture book of the year for 2017, and The Bear and the Piano is definitely a favourite and very much deserving of all the love surrounding it. The Bear, the Piano, the Dog and the Fiddle, no surprise, is just as good.

I actually love this sequel more than the first book; it was heartbreaking and heartwarming with a very clear and meaningful message about friendship and sharing, and how things may not always work out how you expect but true friendship will always shine through. It is such an important book for adults as well as children to read and love.

I can’t recommend The Bear, the Piano, the Dog and the Fiddle enough and it’s one that I hope finds as much love as the first book! Fans of David Litchfield will not be disappointed, and I hope that he finds many more new fans with the release of this title!


Thank you so much to Christopher and Ellen at Quarto for my copy of this book!

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ARCACIA – T.A.Barua

Good evening! I was asked to be a part of the blog tour for Arcacia by T.A.Barua, a new children’s fantasy book. It’s been receiving some good reviews! Here’s the premise:

When a beautiful sorceress-queen, Selina, spurns Setanor, a powerful, jealous northern warlock, an invasion of Western Arcacia begins. To save her newborn triplets from death, they are cast down a magical river to the New World, a place called, ‘London, England.’

Thirteen years later in a cold, Victorian London attic… The future of Sophie, an impoverished orphan looks bleak but everything changes, to her astonishment after a young witch arrives through her bedroom window with an incredible message and a warning. So begins her life in a beautiful, enchanted ancient world…

How do Sophie and her four friends summon the tremendous courage to rescue her long lost family while restoring Arcacia from dark, ruling forces? Mystical beasts, sceptres, powerful witches and daemon-trolls are just some of their challenges. Meanwhile, the dreaded terrifying warlock, Setanor and his witch-consort Lilith have sent a secret enemy to plan their downfall…

Check out the rest of the bloggers involved in the tour!

You can get a copy of Arcacia here.

Have you heard of or read Arcacia? What did you think of it?

THE NIGHT DRAGON – Naomi Howarth

3.5/5

A beautiful look at how it’s okay to be different and on the importance of trying.

I know you shouldn’t judge a book on its cover, but, seriously, look at this one! It’s such a beautiful illustration that I just had to read the book!

The Night Dragon is a gorgeous story that’s perfect for people to read to young children, all about how we are all different and unique in our own ways, and how you don’t have to be the same as everyone else. It also highlights the importance of trying and not giving up, and believing in yourself and others.

I really enjoyed reading The Night Dragon, especially for the illustrations which were so beautiful and colourful! The end of the story was so heartwarming and the illustrations complimented that perfectly.


Thank you to Frances Lincoln via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

JOSEPHINE BAKER – Isabel Sánchez Vegara

4.5/5

One of my favourite additions to the Little People, Big Dreams series!

I adore the Little People, Big Dreams series, and, since looking into the titles in this series, Josephine Baker is one that I really wanted to learn more about and read! So, I was very excited to see it go up on NetGalley and just had to read it straight away.

So far, this has been one of my favourite books in the series; the illustrations compliment the story beautifully and are simplistic without being boring. It was fascinating to learn about a brave and inspirational woman who I hadn’t heard of before.

This book is definitely aimed at older children; it covers some of the trickier periods of history to explain to young people, but, nevertheless, it is an important one for learning about race, the Second World War and following your dreams in the face of adversity.


Thank you to Frances Lincoln Children’s via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

NO SAD SONGS – Frank Morelli

4/5

A heartfelt story of family, friends and life.

Following a family tragedy, 18-year-old Gabe LoScuda suddenly finds himself thrust into the role of caregiver for his ailing grandfather. Between the shopping trips and the doctor visits with Grandpa, Gabe and his friend John try to salvage their senior year, meet girls, and make the varsity baseball team. It doesn’t take long for Gabe to realize that going to school and looking after a grandfather with Alzheimer’s is more work than he ever imagined.

And when long-lost Uncle Nick appears on the scene, Gabe soon finds that living with Nick and Grandpa is like babysitting two grown men. Aside from John, the only person who truly understands Gabe is Sofia, a punk-rocking rebel he meets at the veteran’s hospital. When these three unlikely friends are faced with a serious dilemma, will they do what it takes to save Grandpa? If there’s a chance of preserving the final shreds of Grandpa’s dignity, Gabe may have to make the most gut-wrenching decision of his life—and there’s no way out.

As soon as I heard the details for this book, I just knew I had to be involved in the blog tour and read this title! Perfect for fans of Jennifer Niven, Jandy Nelson and Sarah Moore Fitzgerald, No Sad Songs touches upon so many aspects of Young Adult fiction that I, and many other readers, love, such as friendship, crushes and an emotional rollercoaster!

I have very rarely come across a book that focuses on the very common illness of Alzheimer’s, so this was a very interesting yet heartbreaking subject to read about. That said, the warmth that comes off the page doesn’t make this a depressing book to read, and rather it serves as an important book in YA to highlight what so many young people go through when relatives have this illness. No Sad Songs focuses a lot on how important it is to live in the present and to not focus on the past, and how life can throw all sorts of curve balls at us.

Finally, I must stress how beautiful Frank Morelli’s writing style is – this book was such a good read because of it! I found it so easy to get into and the characters really came to life; Gabe especially is a very interesting and complex character who has had to go through so much and yet continues to soldier on. His life is turned completely upside down and you can’t fault his resilience.

If you’d like to read No Sad Songs, and I highly recommend that you do, then you can get your own copy here: Amazon UKAmazon US.

 


Thank you to Neverland Blog Tours and Fish Out Of Water for the eBook of this title, and for the opportunity to be involved!

MY BOX-SHAPED HEART – Rachael Lucas

4/5

A fab contemporary with a refreshing focus on dysfunctional families

I’d seen a lot of excitement for this book brewing over on Twitter so when I saw it go up on NetGalley I just knew I had to try My Box-Shaped Heart. I love YA contemporary books, especially UKYA, so this is right up my street. Luckily, it didn’t disappoint and was a book that I looked forward to picking up every time I had a spare 5 minutes.

One thing that I really liked about this book is how the main characters all come from dysfunctional families that aren’t the “norm”. Coming from a single-parent family, I could really relate to Holly and what she was going through at home with her mum, which I so rarely find in YA. I also liked how one situation that comes up in the book is handled very sensitively, and for me I didn’t find it triggering, which, again, is different to a lot of YA books.

I really enjoyed reading My Box-Shaped Heart and felt that the only thing that let it down was that it felt a bit lacking somehow towards the end; it just needed that little something to make it stand out more. That said, I would still thoroughly recommend this book – it was a nice light read, perfect for the summer or if you’re looking for a quick read that’s easy to get into!


Thank you to Macmillan via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

 

 

GEORGIA O’KEEFFE – Isabel Sánchez Vegara

3/5

A bright and colourful addition to the Little People, Big Dreams series.

The people behind the Little People, Big Dreams series are really on fire this year; we’re being spoilt! Here is another addition to the series, focusing on the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Like some of the people in this series, I hadn’t heard of her before so it was very interesting to learn about her and see why she’s such an important person.

Whilst these aren’t my favourite illustrations in the series, I can see how children will love them for their brightness and for how they jump off the page. This story was a lovely one all about seeing the beauty in the little things and was a very heartwarming book.


Thank you to Frances Lincoln via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

 

HARRIET TUBMAN – Isabel Sánchez Vegara

3/5

Full of bold imagery, Harriet Tuban is among the latest titles in the gorgeous Little People, Big Dreams series.

I love the Little People, Big Dreams series so I am so glad that I get to read the latest additions to the series on NetGalley! First up of the new titles coming out in June is Harriet Tubman which I found really interesting! I’ve never heard of Harriet Tubman, who was an influential woman in America in the early twentieth century.

I liked the illustrations in this book, which I think children will find engaging as they’re very bright and colourful. The only thing I would say is that it’s probably aimed at slightly older children due to the nature of the book at times, although it’s an important topic.

Harriet Tubman is a must for any collector or lover of this series!


Thank you to Frances Lincoln via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

WWW Wednesday: 16th May 2018

Hello! I’ve had a day off today which I spent at Cadbury World and Astley Book Farm which was lovely, and I’m writing this post as I get ready to go to the RSC to see Macbeth – get me being all cultured!

my box-shaped heart

What are you currently reading? 

Slightly cheating with the picture here because I literally just finished this one today – but it deserves a shoutout. I really enjoyed My Box-Shaped Heart by Rachael Lucas and can’t wait to get it reviewed either tonight or tomorrow when it comes out!

no sad songs

What did you recently finish reading?

Review is coming for this next month when I’m part of the blog tour (!) but I finished No Sad Songs this week and I am definitely going to be giving it a good review; I loved it!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have a few Little People Big Dreams books to read on NetGalley, then I shall probably start either the new Secret Seven book or Tradition by Brendan Kiely.

BAD NANA: OLDER NOT WISER – Sophy Henn

3.5/5

A fun new book aimed at more confident readers from the talented Sophy Henn.

As a fan of Sophy Henn’s picture books, I was very excited to see that she has a series for young readers coming out and Bad Nana didn’t disappoint! Bad Nana is such a likeable character that people young and old will love her – she’s always up to mischief!

Older Not Wiser introduces us to 8-year-old Jeanie, our narrator, as she tells us of some of the tricks that her Bad Nana has gotten up to. Jeanie is such a sweet narrator, and, along with Sophy’s distinctive illustrations, she really comes to life through the stories she’s telling. What I liked about the format of this book is that you can dip in and out of it as it’s made up of three parts, which makes this an easy book to enjoy.

I think that younger readers will love this series; it reminds me a bit of Judy Moody. There’s just enough silliness to keep you engaged, but it’s all with a purpose and adds to the warmth of the book.


Thank you very much to Harper Collins via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!