THE NIGHT BEFORE THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS – Kes Gray

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RELEASED: 04/10/2018
PUBLISHER: Hachette
GENRE: Picture Book, Children’s, Christmas

A brilliantly funny Christmas picture book from the bestselling author of Oi Frog!

It’s the day before Christmas Eve and Santa is ever so busy … he’s got presents to wrap, reindeer to wake and a sleigh to start. But has he forgotten something? And, more importantly, will he be ready in time?

Inspired by Clement C. Moore’s classic festive poem, this hilarious, rhyming picture book is sure to have you ho ho ho-ing!

As soon as I saw Kes Gray’s name on the cover of this Christmas book, I just bought it, and I’m so glad that I did! Along with his typical fun rhymes in a story that’s both fun to read and listen to, Claire Powell’s illustrations are beautiful and really bring the story of Christmas Eve Eve to life!

The Night Before The Night Before Christmas is an enchanting book that’ll bring fun and laughter to everyone’s Christmas preparations, telling the story of how Father Christmas gets ready for a busy night! I can’t recommend this book highly enough and it has immediately become one of my festive favourites!

PENGUIN PROBLEMS – Jory John, Lane Smith

penguin problems5/5

Penguin Problems is SO GOOD!

What I love about this book is that it can be both hilarious and meaningful at the same time with a wonderfully grumpy penguin as the main character. His life is just full of problems…or so he thinks, because, whilst he may be having a difficult time, he’s got so much that isn’t a problem.

We start off meeting this fed up penguin and see him have a particularly trying day full of things that irritate him (which I’m sure many people can relate to!), but, after he meets a walrus who shows him how he’s exactly where he needs to be, he starts to see the positivity in everything…for a while anyway!

This is definitely one of my go to books to buy for all my friends and family just because of how relatable and entertaining it is, as well as Lane Smith’s beautiful illustrations which capture Penguin’s personality perfectly!


Thank you to Jo at Walker for sending me a copy of this book!

LAST STOP ON THE REINDEER EXPRESS – Maudie Powell-Tuck, Karl James Mountford

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No picture can quite do justice to the sheer beauty of this meaningful Christmas picture book. This was a total cover buy – as soon as I recognised it as being illustrated by  Karl James Mountford, I bought it there and then having no clue about what was inside. So, when I sat down to read this book, I was captivated by story and the beautiful illustrations!

Last Stop on the Reindeer Express is a Christmas tale full of warmth and meaning. With more and more families not being the traditional nuclear family, at Christmas children can often feel torn and unsure about who they’ll spend Christmas with. This book tackles this difficult topic in a sensitive way that shows those children that they’re not alone, and that no matter who they spend Christmas with, they are loved.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough; whether or not it’s a book that’s relevant to your own situation, it’s a joy to read and the illustrations are magical! It’s definitely one to add to your bookshelf this Christmas.

kayleigh

THE STORY ORCHESTRA: THE NUTCRACKER – Jessica Courtney-Tickle

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The Nutcracker is the second book in The Story Orchestra series, and it provides a magical Christmas adventure for everyone who reads it. From the music to the illustrations, this beautiful adaptation of The Nutcracker is really enchanting and made me feel all warm and like I’m ready for Christmas!

Again, as with all the books in this series, it provides a creative and unique experience for the reader; you’re encouraged to use your imagination and see how you feel the music would change the story. My sister gets very excited every time I offer to read this book with her as she loves the interactivity and looking at the illustrations.

This is a must-have book for Christmas!

 


Thank you to Megan at Quarto for sending me a copy of this book!

THE STORY ORCHESTRA: THE SLEEPING BEAUTY – Jessica Courtney-Tickle

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As soon as I received an email through saying that copies of the third stunning book in The Story Orchestra series were available for request, I didn’t hesitate in replying! Four Seasons in One Day is a book that my sister and I love to read together and the children at her school love it too, so I had no doubt that I would love The Sleeping Beauty. Luckily, we were not at all disappointed, and this has turned out to be my favourite in the series so far!

The Sleeping Beauty, like the previous titles in this series, is a beautiful book that makes for a hugely enjoyable read since it combines a story with music. In this case, we have the classic story of The Sleeping Beauty accompanied by the music from Tchaikovsky. The pieces of music selected really compliment the story and Jessica’s illustrations are a delight to look at!

I really hope for more in this series; they just keep getting better and better!


Thank you to Megan at Quarto for sending me a copy of this book!

THE BANDIT QUEEN – Natalia and Lauren O’Hara

the bandit queen4.5/5

I went into this book a bit blind; I was literally going on the fact that it had a beautiful cover and is published by Puffin, and then I realised that it was from the pair behind Hortense and the Shadow, which explains why it’s so beautiful!

The Bandit Queen is a poetic story with morals intertwined that are subtle and open to interpretation. This makes for a really engaging story since you can get a lot out of it with each reread. I personally loved the message about needing structure and support in order to grow up, and how you can have everything that you think you want, but ultimately it’s family and friends who make the difference. That said, you could just see this as a fun children’s rhyming story, full of chaos and mischief!


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

I Spy Book Tag

I was looking for a tag to do, and I came across this one that La Ronda @FlyingPaperbacks did on Thursday, and it seemed like a really fun little tag!

RULES:

  • Find a book that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category.
  • You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes! I haven’t stuck to the five minute rule; I’m tired!

 


Image result for how to train your dragon bookTransportation: 
How To Train Your Dragon

Image result for the goldfish boyAnimal: The Goldfish Boy

 

 

 

Image result for thirteen reasons why book coverNumber: Thirteen Reasons Why

Image result for my swordhand is singing

Weapon: My Swordhand is Singing

Image result for words in deep blueSomething You Read: Words in Deep Blue

 

 

 

Image result for mistress of the storm

Body of Water: Mistress of the Storm

Image result for firebloodProduct of Fire: Fireblood

Image result for the princess diaries book one

 

 

 

 

Image result for back to blackbrickArchitecture: Back to Blackbrick

Image result for witch for a weekClothing Item: Witch for a Week

Image result for mum and dad glueFamily Member: Mum and Dad Glue

 

 

 

Image result for caravalTime of Day: Caraval

The Phantom of the OperaMusic: The Phantom of the Opera

Image result for wingbound heather trimParanormal Being: Wingbound

 

 

 

Related imageOccupation: Me Before You

Image result for the story orchestra the four seasonsSeason: The Story Orchestra – The Four Seasons

 

 

Image result for red tears joanna kenrickColour: Red Tears

Image result for angel cliff mcnish

Celestial Being: Angel

Image result for sunflowers in februarySomething That Grows: Sunflowers in February

 

 

 

This was such a fun tag to do, and gave me the opportunity to find some books I don’t think of as often! I tag anyone who is looking for something fun and quick to do on their blog! 

HIDING HEIDI – Fiona Woodcock

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Last year I discovered a wonderful new talent, Fiona Woodcock, who with her debut has created such a beautiful book that passed the baby sister test with flying colours! I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to read this one with her…and I definitely don’t mind because I love it.

Heidi is so good at hide and seek that it’s not as fun as she thinks for the other children and, as she soon realises, herself. However, when they play different games as well as hide and seek, they can all have fun and enjoy it regardless of whether they’re the best.

Aside from simply adoring the illustrations, the story has the lovely message of how you don’t have to win to have fun because everyone has different talents and it’s (forgive the cliché) the taking part that counts.


Thank you very much to Simon & Schuster for my copy of this title!

WILD – Emily Hughes

5/5

This book. The wild child. The illustrations.

I love it.

I suppose I am slightly biased because the little girl in this story reminds me so much of my little sister, and always has done since I was shown this book for that very reason! However, I think that that is all part of the charm of this beautiful book – we will all be able to find something within ourselves that reminds us of the characters in this story. You can take this book at surface level and interpret the need to embrace our wilder sides and not feel trapped by what is considered “normal”, or you can look deeper (still on the same lines though!) and think about how we shouldn’t remove animals from their natural habitats because they often can’t adapt to a strange new environment. As I was writing this, I’ve realised how those aren’t even the limitations – there are more interpretations to be made!

This is a firm favourite of mine because of the simply gorgeous illustrations, the simplistic story that’s full of meaning, and the fun that leaps off the pages. The wild child is such an adorable character, full of warmth and humour, making this book one to be loved by both children and grown-ups!

MUM AND DAD GLUE – Kes Gray, Lee Wildish

5/5

A little boy tries to find a pot of parent glue to stick his mum and dad back together. His parents have come undone and he wants to mend their marriage, stick their smiles back on and make them better. This rhyming story is brilliantly told with a powerful message that even though his parents may be broken, their love for him is not.

This story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming! The little boy needs to find some Mum and Dad glue to fix his parents who are separating…but, as he learns, there isn’t a glue that can put them back together.

This book is beautifully written and illustrated, and is perfect for anyone who is experiencing or has experienced separation. I love it so much because the story emphasises how, unfortunately, these things do happen but it’s not the child’s fault and their parents still love them as much as they ever did – just because the parents fall out of love, their love for their child will never change. I also think this book is brilliant for grown ups, regardless of whether there are children involved in the break up, to show that it’s okay that relationships don’t always work out and that there doesn’t always have to be someone to blame.

An essential and beautiful book about how you can’t fix everything, but that’s okay, from the wonderful Kes Gray!