2+, 3+, Picture Books, Uncategorized

There’s A Spider in My Soup by Megan Brewis

Little Spider loves to go swinging from her web!

Wheeeeee!!!

But one day, she swings too far and – SPLOOSH – lands herself in a big soup-bowl of trouble.

Poor Little Spider.  

Will she ever be brave enough to go swinging from her web again?

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I’ve always been a little scared (understatement) of spiders but meeting this little spider family has made me a little more comfortable with them.  Little Spider is full of adventure and longs to swing from the web but mum and dad spider knew how dangerous swinging could be.  One day whilst they are sleeping Little Spider decides to venture out for a little swing and soon ends up in hot water… or should I say soup.

This is a delightful, beautifully illustrated picture book that will teach young book lovers how to be brave… and that spiders are actually rather friendly and lovely. 🙂

There’s A Spider In My Soup is published by Oxford University Press.

About the author

Megan Brewis

Find out more about Megan by visiting her website here.

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5+, 7+, Children's Fiction, Stories to Share

The Royal Rabbits of London: The Great Diamond Chase by Santa Montefiore & Simon Sebag Montefiore – Illustrated by Kate Hindley

 The biggest, most beautiful diamond in the world has been stolen from Buckingham Palace! Shylo and the brave Royal Rabbits of London will do whatever it takes to crack the case and return the jewel to its rightful place.

Then they discover that Russia’s elite sharp-toothed secret-agent minks are in London. Could they have anything to do with the theft? But nothing is quite what it seems, and the Royal rabbits soon realise they might need a bit of help from an old friend to solve this mystery.

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This is the third in The Royal Rabbits of London series and if you are still yet to discover these brave, regal rabbits then boy are you in for a treat. They will hop their way into your hearts and you now have three fantastic tales to catch up on.

Now, you may think that the Royal family is under the protection of the Secret Service and the Royal Guard. But what you may not be aware of is that there is also a team of brave rabbits watching over them. The Royal Rabbits of London are a ‘secret society devoted to protecting the Royal Family and evil across the world.’

These books are fun and full of adventure, with characters you and your young readers will fall in love with. These little rabbits teach us about courage, loyalty, doing what you feel is right, and the importance of believing in yourself – even when you do make mistakes.

Beautifully illustrated throughout and just perfect to share or for confident young readers to read alone.

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Shylo and Horatio crept outside to sit beneath the Weeping Willow.

 

About the authors

Santa Montefiore

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Photo taken by Elaine Fattal and sourced from the Simon and Schuster website.

Santa Montefiore’s books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages and have sold more than six million copies in England and Europe. She is married to writer Simon Sebag Montefiore. They live with their two children, Lily and Sasha, in London. Visit her at SantaMontefiore.co.uk. You can also follow Santa on Twitter at @SantaMontefiore.

 

Simon Sebag Montefiore

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Photo taken by Ian Jones and sourced from the Simon and Schuster website.

Simon Sebag Montefiore’s bestselling and prize-winning books are now published in over forty-five languages. His new book The Romanovs: 1613–1918 has been universally acclaimed and is already a bestseller in the UK, Australia, and the USA where it was on the New York Times bestseller list for eight weeks. Montefiore has won literary prizes for both fiction and nonfiction. His latest novel, One Night in Winter won the Best Political Novel of the Year Prize and was longlisted for the Orwell Prize. He is now writing the third novel in this trilogy.

Follow Simon on Twitter at @SimonMontefiore. For more information visit SimonSebagMontefiore.com .

About the Illustrator

Kate Hindley

Kate Hindley is an illustrator who graduated from Falmouth School of Art in 2008. Kate lives in Worcestershire.You can follow Kate on Twitter at @hindleyillos.  For more information visit KateHindley.com

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The Royal Rabbits series is published by Simon and Schuster AND there is a 4th adventure coming this Autumn!  I am very excited about that. You can follow Simon and Schuster on Twitter at @simonkids_uk

 

 

Children's Fiction, Picture Books

The Pooka Party by Shona Shirley Macdonald

How do you get in trouble with the moon?

Throw a great big Pooka party!

High in the mountains lives a magical creature called: The Pooka.  The Pooka loves living there on its own and spends its time singing, gardening, dancing and reading.

One day The Pooka realises, it feels a bit lonely and misses its friends.

So decides to invite everyone to a great big party with music and cake!

Deer Fellow Beeings,

I invite yoo to a

Pooka party, ther

Will be mOOsic

And lotz of cake.

Address: By the

waterfall and near

the hOOj bowlder.

Time: Midnite.

Will anyone turn up?

Or will everyone turn up?

Come to the Pooka Party and find out what happens!

A magical and beautifully illustrated story about loneliness and the power of friendship, by highly acclaimed illustrator, Shona Shirley Macdonald.

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This such a cute book.  I absolutely adore The Pooka.  He reminded me a little of myself.  Those of us that like to spend time alone often get into the habit rather easily and then eventually we realise that it’s actually rather nice to see friends and this is exactly how The Pooka feels.  Even though he spends his time doing all the things he likes he gets lonely and misses his friends.  So he decides to have a party but has he left it too long?  Will they come?  A really lovely story that it super to read aloud and is full of fascinating and stunning illustrations that will give you plenty to talk about.

And if you’re wondering what The Pooka is…

The Pooka

The Pooka or púca (Irish for ghost) is a creature of Celtic folklore.  It is considered to be a bringer of both good and bad fortune and is said to enjoy creating havoc and mischief.  The Pooka, who usually lives in the mountains and hills, is a shapeshifter and can take any form it chooses: dog, rabbit, goat, horse, hare and even human form.

The Pooka Party was published by The O’Brien Press in hardback last year.

Thank you so much to the lovely people at The O’Brien Press for sharing this wonderful book with me.  It’s been a pleasure to read and share.

About the author/illustrator

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Shona Shirley Macdonald is a Scottish author/illustrator based in County Waterford.  Her published illustration includes The Moon Spun Round: W.B. Yeats for Children, edited by Noreen Doody, published by The O’Brien Press in 2016, Rita Kelly’s poetry retrospective Turas go Bun na Spéire and two Scottish Gaelic graphic novels, Cuir Stad air an Stoirm Shnaechda and An Smutag Ghaisgeil.  Her projects range from publications of poetry and fiction to concept artwork for theatre.

Blog Tour, Children's Fiction, Christmas 2018

The Night I Met Father Christmas by Ben Miller with Illustrations by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini

So, earlier I spoke about Ben. Now I would like to mention the beautiful illustrations by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.

A great story is made even greater by wonderful illustrations and the combined effort of the Simon and Schuster design team and Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini have brought us an absolutely stunning hardback book that will earn precious space on your bookshelf.  It really is a keeper.  The cover is stunning, with gold foil that brings it to life and makes the book literally jump out at you when you see it.  There is so much detail throughout the entire book  and Daniela has created a gorgeous selection of illustrations that complement Ben’s writing brilliantly.  She really is a great talent and I’m delighted to have had the opportunity to ask her the following questions.

How do you begin to create the wonderful art work that brings Ben’s story to life?

‘After having some initial ideas, inspired by the story, I always plunge myself into extensive visual research, mainly to find the kind of visual reference that will support me in drawing characters and things that feel real, that feel like they could exist in a parallel dimension of wonder. The drawing stage always feels quite technical in some ways for me; this is where I sweat to get the composition, anatomy ad perspective right. While the painting stage is really where all the magic happens for me… where I focus on getting the atmosphere and feel right for the picture. And where I feel like I’m in my element. Each stage is very important. But some are more “nerve-wracking” than others….’

If you could choose one other classic Christmas story to illustrate, what would it be?

‘A Christmas Carol of course :), although I would also quite like to make my own version of A Nightmare Before Christmas…’

Do you believe in Father Christmas?

‘Well, I wasn’t sure to begin with if I have to be honest… but reading ‘The Night I Met Father Christmas’ has definitely put the doubts to rest in my mind! I’m definitely going to be putting out mince pies and brandy for him this Christmas!’

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I hope I’ve whetted your appetite for this wonderful book.  Tomorrow I will be kicking off the first day of the official blog tour and I’ll be running a giveaway to win your very own copy The Night I Met Father Christmas so do keep your eyes peeled and don’t forget to follow. 🙂

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Christmas 2017, Picture Books

Christmas 2017 – Book Advent – Day Seven

Day Seven

I’m going back to a picture book for this one and it’s absolutely stunning. It’s by Kate DiCamillo, author of titles such as Ramie Nightingale and Flora & Ulysses and illustrator, Jaime Kim

La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo and Jaime Kim.

La La La

“La La La…La”

A little girl stands alone and sings,

but there’s no response.

So, gathering her courage and her curiosity,

She skips out into the world,

calling to the trees,and the pond and the reeds..

But will anyone sing back to her?

This is a book where the pictures literally tell the story. A story about loneliness and finding the courage to find your voice, step out into the world and connect with it. It’s a beautiful, gentle story with the most sublime illustrations that add warmth and tenderness. This is a book to share with your little ones, a book to talk about and look for the meaning in. “What is she doing? What is she feeling? How has she overcome that?”

La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo and Jaime Kim was published in October 2017 by Walker Books.

Just wonderful and to finish a few words from Lovereading4kids expert reviewer, Andrea Reece:

There’s no need for extra words to tell this story, children will understand exactly the girl’s need to be heard, seen and answered; impeccably told, it’s a story that speak to us all. ~ Andrea Reece, Lovereading4kids

Christmas 2017

Christmas 2017 – Book Advent – Day Three

Day Three

Magnificent Birds illustrated by Narisa Togo

Walker Studios is an imprint of Walker Books. They produce the most stunning books that will mark the perfect gift for book lovers. The quality and finish is beautiful and perfectly compliment the talent of the illustrators and authors whose work is captured within. These are books that are a joy to pick up and read.

Magnificent Birds is filled with the most amazing illustrations from Tokyo born Marisa Togo whose lino-cut prints capture the beauty and magnificence of these incredible birds. Perfect for both art and bird lovers alike. Young and old.

IMG_20171203_185056From the bird-of-paradise that performs it’s extravagant courtship dance, to the godwit that makes the longest flight without stopping, discover incredible birds from all over the world. Explore the long-living, the rare and the spectacular, and celebrate the truly magnificent birds of our planet in this gloriously illustrated gift edition.

 

Magnificent Birds was published on the 2nd of November by Walker Studio.

Discover more about Narisa Togo here.

Discover more about Walker Books here.

Christmas 2017

Christmas Advent – Books, Books, Books

December is finally with us again and with it advent begins. I always feel slightly nostalgic at this time of year. I remember the advent calenders I used to have as a child, festive pictures of Father Christmas and Christmas trees covered in glitter. Behind each door would be a small picture: maybe a star, maybe a beautifully wrapped pile of presents, a sprig of holly or even a Christmas pudding. I loved those calenders. They didn’t contain chocolate in those days but they were still exciting and magical. Well this year I thought I’d make my own virtual calender to share with you and this one will of course contain books!

Day one brings us a little something to get us in the Christmas spirit!

Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares

This beautiful picture book brings us the story of Red and Lulu, happy together in their tree until one day they are unexpectedly separated. We follow Red on his quest to find Lulu. Tired and hungry he begins to wonder if he’ll ever find Lulu again. Then he hears a familiar tune. Will it lead him back to Lulu and home? With stunning illustrations, this gentle story will be wonderful to share over the festive season and beyond.

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Red & Blue was published on the 5th of October by Walker Books.

Discover more about author and illustrator Matt Tavares here.

Discover more about Walker Books here.