THE BARNABUS PROJECT – The Fan Brothers

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RELEASED: 06/10/2020
PUBLISHER: Frances Lincoln
GENRE: Children’s, Picture Book

Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered “perfect” creatures, there is a secret lab. Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect. They are all Failed Projects. Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with green hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars. But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . . and Barnabus doesn’t want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes. He just wants to be himself. So he decides it’s time for he and the others to escape. With his little trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom – and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are.

This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.

Books by The Fan Brothers are always beautifully illustrated with a lovely story and The Barnabus Project is no exception. I adore the illustrations which are just entrancing and the meaning of the story about being yourself is put across in the perfect way.

Barnabus is such an adorable character, and I love that although he’s a “failed project” he’s happy with being himself and wouldn’t want to change. I also think that the message about not judging others comes across really well in this story.

I’d highly recommend The Barnabus Project for fans of stunning artwork and for people looking for a picture book with a really heartfelt message that’s very important.


Thank you to Quarto via NetGalley for this title.

LIGHTS ON COTTON ROCK – David Litchfield

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RELEASED: 03/09/2019
PUBLISHER: Frances Lincoln
GENRE: Children’s, Picture Book

Heather is a little girl who wants to go to Outer Space, where the stars sparkle with magic and wonder. When a spaceship lands at Cotton Rock, it seems that all of her dreams have come true. But soon the alien has to leave. Will the spaceship ever come back? And if it does, is Heather ready to leave everything on Earth behind? This beautiful story for ages 4-7 about family and dreams travels through space and time to show us that what we are looking for might be closer than we think.

I’m a huge fan of David Litchfield’s work, and so, naturally, I was very excited to see that he had a new beautiful book coming out! And wow, this one certainly doesn’t disappoint!

Lights on Cotton Rock is full of David’s usual wonderful illustrations where your imagination can run wild as the artwork and the words complement each other perfectly. Rather than have writing to explain every illustration, there are pages where the pictures are the sole thing telling the story and that makes you appreciate the talent that David has even more! I adore the message of family with this book and can’t recommend it highly enough.

A must for fans of David Litchfield, and a must for anyone who has yet to discover this incredible storyteller and artist!


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

Books I Need To Read and Review!

So…I’ve not been a very good book blogger lately when it comes to reviewing. I just haven’t had the time to read whilst sorting out moving out! However, I have been lucky enough to receive some fab books from lovely publishers either in the post or via NetGalley, and I want to give them a bit of a showcase on here because I’ve either read a bit of them and really enjoyed them, or because I’m super excited to get to them! I have made sure to get a pretty picture of each one, and they’re slowly all appearing on my Instagram. Reviews will come soon, I promise!

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Show and Tell by Rob Biddulph from Harper Collins, published 8th August 2019.

Meet Class 2L. These kids are excited. 
Today’s SHOW AND TELL day, and you’re all invited!

Come and be schooled in magic and wonder by the award-winning Rob Biddulph, in this brand-new story about how biggest isn’t always best!

Packed to the brim with his trademark warm humour, life lessons and pitch-perfect rhyme, this is a story to read together, laugh out loud at, and enjoy over and over again.

The perfect book for boys and girls, to read out loud or enjoy alone.

 

img_6004Into The Crooked Place by Alexandra Christo from Hot Key Books, publishing 8th October 2019.

Desperate times call for desperate magic . . . Magic rules the city of Creije Capital and Tavia Syn knows just how many tricks she needs up her sleeve to survive. Selling dark magic on the streets for her kingpin, she keeps clear of other crooks, counting the days until her debt is paid and she can flee her criminal life. But then, one day, with her freedom in sight, Tavia uncovers a sinister plot that threatens to destroy the realm she calls home. Desperate to put an end to her kingpin’s plan, Tavia forms an unlikely alliance with three crooks even more deadly than her: Wesley, the kingpin’s prodigy and most renewed criminal in the realm Karam, an underground fighter with a penchant for killing first and forgetting to ask questions And Saxony, a Crafter in hiding who will stop at nothing to avenge her family With the reluctant saviours assembled, they embark on a quest to put an end to the dark magic before it’s too late. But even if they can take down the kingpin and save the realm, the one thing they can’t do is trust each other.

 

img_6021A World Full of Spooky Stories by Angela McAllister from Frances Lincoln, published 3rd September 2019

Get ready for Halloween with this child-friendly collection of spooky stories from all over the world.

Feel your pulse race and your skin tingle as you read about the fearsome witch Baba Yaga, the serpent woman from Spain, the rescue of Tam Lin from the bewitching Queen of the Fairies, how Father Death gets caught in the Enchanted Apple Tree, and the waterdwelling Bunyip from Australia. Make sure you have your candle ready as it’s sure to be a long night… This gorgeous gift book is the perfect anthology for Halloween, or any time you want to be spooked!

Features stories from Germany, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Africa, Brazil, Japan, Australia, India, UK, Canada, France, China, Ireland, Syria, Korea, Sweden, Egypt, Iceland, New Zealand, Arabia, Spain, Tibet, Iran, Greece.

 

99628D69-9BDB-48FB-8A4F-437CB74D131FSophie Takes To The Sky by Katherine Woodfine from Barrington Stoke, publishing 15th September 2019.

Scaredy-Cat Sophie is afraid of everything! So when a balloonist comes to the town fair, Sophie is left behind while everyone else goes to watch him fly in his marvellous balloon. She’s far too frightened of the crowds, the commotion and even riding in a horse-drawn carriage. But Sophie longs to watch the hot-air balloon sail across the blue sky. If she could just be brave enough to face her fears, who knows where her journey might take her … A touching tale for young readers of learning to overcome anxiety and follow your dreams.

 

67168999_475081016388547_5396842423602390331_nWhat Magic Is This? by Holly Bourne from Barrington Stoke, published 25th July 2019.

Sophia, Mia and Alexis are clinging on to a spark of hope that maybe – just maybe – they’re special. But could they really be witches with the power to cast life-changing spells? When the three friends gather to cheer up heartbroken Sophia, they’re ready to put their theory to the test. But when long-held secrets are revealed and hard truths start to hit home, their night of bewitching quickly takes an unexpected turn … A touching celebration of female friendship and finding the courage to love yourself from acclaimed author Holly Bourne.

 

69079973_129665268323494_7568384364344495277_nThe Lost Fairy Tales by Isabel Otter from Little Tiger, published 22nd August 2019.

If damsels in distress and prissy princesses give you cause for despair then look no further… 
This enchanting anthology of 20 overlooked and forgotten fairy tales has been collected from different cultures around the world. Every story features a strong female heroine, who approaches life with humour, wit, cunning and bravery. None of these heroines needs rescuing.

Thank you so much to all of the above publishers for sending me copies of what is an amazing collection of books! I can’t wait to finally get around to reading and reviewing them!

kayleigh

WORK IT GIRL: J.K. ROWLING – Caroline Moss, Sinem Urkas

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RELEASED: 07/03/2019
PUBLISHER: Frances Lincoln
GENRE: Children’s Non-Fiction, Biography

In this new series for aspiring future girl #bosses, discover the life of JK Rowling, the famous author. Be inspired by her remarkable story, and learn 10 key lessons from her life and work. Featuring inspiring quotes and mantras, this is a book for all girls wanting to forge their own career path.

I’m absolutely a Potter nerd, and I find the whole history of the world and of the books fascinating, and so I was very keen to get my hands on this book all about the lady behind the magic!

Boss The Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling makes for a really interesting read. Although I knew that she had a difficult time before Harry Potter got published and on the road to publication, I didn’t realise a lot of the things that this book mentioned. That said, it was all put across in such a positive way, and it wasn’t hard to finish this book feeling very inspired and empowered.

This book makes a wonderful gift; it’s bold and engaging, and I flew through it! This series is a fabulous idea that shows young girls that they too can achieve regardless of the difficulties life may throw their way.


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

READ TO YOUR BABY EVERY DAY – Chloe Giordano, Rachel Williams

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RELEASED: 14/03/2019
PUBLISHER: Frances Lincoln
GENRE: Children’s Poetry, Nursery Rhymes, Picture Book

Science tells us that babies develop best when they are spoken to, sung to and read to. Introduce your baby to a world of words and pictures with these 30 classic nursery rhymes from the Mother Goose collection and beyond paired with images of Chloe Giordano’s delightful hand-embroidered illustrations on cloth.

Even when they’re tiny, the sound of their parents’ voices helps babies make sense of the world and feel comfortable with new people and places. This treasury gives you the opportunity to rediscover just how useful (and calming) these best-loved nursery rhymes are in one, handsome volume.

I adore a good nursery rhyme, and have many fond memories of watching my favourite VHS of nursery rhymes over and over again (I finally found it on YouTube!) and so when I was offered a copy of a new book of nursery rhymes from Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for review I jumped at the chance!

Read To Your Baby Everyday is a beautiful addition to anyone’s collection; it’s really unique in the fact that the illustrations are all taken from hand-embroidered cloth! It’s so clever and I really enjoyed taking the time to appreciate every detail in the book. I think that the one thing that held me back on giving it 5 stars is that it’s not always the most engaging book for a child as it’s not as bright as I would’ve liked. Other than that, I can’t fault it and it really would make a perfect gift for a little one.

I would highly recommend Read To Your Baby Everyday as a way to showcase some of the best nursery rhymes that we’ve all grown up knowing and loving, in a new and fresh take on a gift book.


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

 

YOUR MIND IS LIKE THE SKY – Bronwen Ballard, Laura Carlin

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RELEASED: 07/02/2019
PUBLISHER: Frances Lincoln
GENRE: Picture Book, Mental Health

Your mind is like the sky. Sometimes it’s clear and blue – but sometimes a raincloud thought comes along and makes everything seem dark. So what can we do about rainclouds? This beautiful picture book, written by child psychologist Bronwen Ballard and illustrated by award-winning artist Laura Carlin, shows children that worries and negative thoughts are normal and helps them develop healthy thinking habits. Tips on mindfulness and extra resources for parents are included at the back of the book.

As someone who struggles with controlling my thoughts, I was very intrigued when I heard about this book. Mindfulness is something that I haven’t found useful in the past, much as I’d love it to be! So, I was really hoping that a picture book aimed at children may help me a little bit more…

Luckily, I was not disappointed.

Your Mind Is Like The Sky is a beautiful book with a powerful message; whilst you can’t control your thoughts, you can accept them and learn to deal with the different types. I love how thoughts are personified into clouds; this makes them seem less scary, and shows that, despite how dark they can be sometimes, they are only thoughts and they will pass. Unlike many books that focus on mindfulness, there isn’t too much text which made this book stand out even more. It reads just like a normal story and is just the right length to make it useful but not overwhelming.

At the back, something that’ll make this book more useful for parents and teachers is the breakdown of how mindfulness works and what you can do to help children. That said, I think that this book is useful for people of all ages who struggle with raincloud thoughts making this an essential addition to your collection of books about mental health.


Thank you to Ellen at Quarto for sending me a copy of this book.

Six for Sunday: 9th December 2018

Hello and welcome to Day 9 of Blogmas! This week’s is a lovely reflection on my year of blogging. Only three left of this half of 2018’s prompts – you can find the prompts here! This week’s topic is:

2018 Blogging Highlights

1.  Sunflowers in February. I’m very proud of this post as it has my highest views to date and really got me feeling good about starting up my blog and developing my Twitter!

2. Being added to a blogger list for a publisher.

3. Hitting 1000 likes.

4. My first author interview, which was with Heather Trim.

5. Posting the first review of Fierce Fragile Hearts that the author was aware of!

6. Taking part in some fab blog tours, especially Differently Normal and No Sad Songs.

 

What have been your blogging highlights for 2018?

kayleigh

Picture Books for Christmas

It’s getting closer, and it’s definitely time to start to thinking about Christmas gifts and Christmas reading! Some of my favourite gifts to give people are picture books, and at this time of year there are lots of brilliant picture books to choose from! I think that beautiful hardbacks and christmassy paperbacks are wonderful to share with others. Here are my top picks!

Grandpa ChristmasGrandpa Christmas – Michael Morpurgo, Jim Field

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Dr. Seuss)How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr Seuss

Sproutzilla vs. ChristmasSproutzilla Vs. Christmas – Tom Jamieson, Mike Byrne

 

 

Ollie's Christmas ReindeerOllie’s Christmas Reindeer -Nicola Killen

The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker: Press the Note to Hear Tchaikovsky's MusicThe Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker – Jessica Courtney-Tickle

The Night Before the Night Before ChristmasThe Night Before The Night Before Christmas – Kes Gray, Claire Powell

 

 

Last Stop on the Reindeer ExpressLast Stop on the Reindeer Express – Maudie Powell-Tuck, Karl James Mountford

The Worm and the BirdThe Worm and the Bird – Coralie Bickford-Smith

The Fox and the StarThe Fox and the Star – Coralie Bickford-Smith

 

 

The Nightmare Before ChristmasThe Nightmare Before Christmas – Tim Burton

The Queen's Present (The Queen Collection)The Queen’s Present – Steve Antony

Penguin ProblemsPenguin Problems – Jory John, Lane Smith

 

 

kayleigh

THE STORY ORCHESTRA: THE NUTCRACKER – Jessica Courtney-Tickle

the story orchestra the nutcracker5/5

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!

WWW Wednesday: 14th November 2018

It’s been a MyKindaBook week – I got approved on Friday on NetGalley for three of 2019’s most exciting titles so that threw all my murder mystery plans out of the window!

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What are you currently reading? 

I expected to like Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds, but I didn’t expect to be as hooked as I am! It’s such a good YA contemporary with a little dash of time-travel, which made me a bit hesitant at first, but I’m loving it!

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What did you recently finish reading?

FIERCE FRAGILE HEARTS BY SARA BARNARD. AND YES, IT’S GOING TO LIVE UP TO THE HYPE BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING. I’m just glad that I have other good contemporaries to read otherwise I think I would’ve been left in a massive book hangover from this one!

I also read The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty this week – it’s my favourite in the series! It’s just a stunning book that I would highly recommend for everyone who loves music and fairytales, and it would make the perfect gift.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

Last but not least from my NetGalley recent approvals is Enchantée by Gita Trelease. I’ve been so excited for this ever since I saw the image of the proof on Twitter (it’s STUNNING) – France, revolution, YA…what’s not to love?! I can’t wait to get stuck in.