Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Winnie's Big Bad Robot by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

If you've not yet met Winnie the Witch then you're in for a treat.  Winnie's a loveable, slightly accident prone witch who's not afraid to try new things with the help of some magic and her trusty cat Wilbur. E discovered her books in his school library and is devouring the series on a nightly basis.

In our latest title, Winnie's Big Bad Robot, Winnie uses her magic wand to bring her art project robot to life.  Almost immediately Winnie realises this was a bad move as he steals her wand and starts turning the garden creatures into robot frogs and ducks.  No one is safe and before you can say 'Abracadabra' the robot turns Winnie into a robot witch!  Wilbur quickly realises that he's the only one who can save the day ... and so he does.

With order safely restored and the robot reduced to a pile of junk, Winnie sits back in her deckchair to enjoy one of her special drinks and a little downtime with Wilbur.

E absolutely loves the illustrations and when I asked him why he liked the Winnie books so much he simply said, "Because they're funny".

A big bonus in this book are the sheets of stickers in the back perfect for making your own robot.  We had a great time with ours and I hope you will too!  Learn more from the website dedicated to all things Winnie.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Standing in for Lincoln Green by David Mackintosh

David Mackintosh is an author/illustrator/graphic designer with a distinctive style that gives his main character, Lincoln Green, an energy and sass that's well deserved and reminds me just a bit too much of the little guy in my house.

So who is Lincoln Green and why does he need a stand-in?  He's a kid who fancies himself a bit of a cowboy but behind this bravado Lincoln Green just wants to avoid all the boring things in life like chores and dental appointments. Preferring to spend his time drinking fizzy sarsaparilla and eating hotdogs, Lincoln Green invents a 'stand-in' to take care of his dirty work. All seems to go swimmingly until his 'stand-in' decides he wants to have fun too.

Standing in for Lincoln Green is full of humour, an engaging main character double act and superb illustrations and design.  I just can't get enough so expect to see more of David Mackintosh's books popping up here again soon.

For more of Mackintosh's work visit his website Profusely Illustrated. He also made a fun short film about Standing in for Lincoln Green that you can watch here:

Thursday, 21 January 2016

New year ... new mag

And a belated happy new year folks!  It's taken longer than usual for us to get back into the routine of early morning departures, school uniforms and homework.  And I'm the first to admit that the holidays have been a bit of hard time for E and books.  While I've managed to read everything I could get my hands on (and a few novels not actually gifted to me), the books in E's room have been playing competition to Lego, Star Wars and well, more Lego.

We're getting there slowly but surely and crossover relief arrived yesterday in the form of his first issue of Okido, the Arts and Sciences magazine for children. Londoners will have likely come across the mag before and I'm here to say that it's worth it. What sweet relief from battledroids and storm troopers was the illustrated article (comic book style) about Tim Peake, the space station and sleeping strapped into a bed. Enthusiasm carried through to the craft project and by the time you could say 'time to brush your teeth' we'd built a rocket carrying Yoda, our cat and some Okido characters.

Okido states that the mag is aimed at kids aged 3 to 8. It's immediately engaging and gloriously gender neutral so do give Okido a go!

Thursday, 17 December 2015

The Snow Beast by Chris Judge

With a main character that would normally be the 'baddie' this book caught E's attention immediately. Chris Judge's 'Beast' stars in a series of awesome books and we're thoroughly enjoying 'The Snow Beast' as a Christmas treat.

The villagers living below the Beast's mountain have had their tools stolen and it's preventing the annual snow festival from going ahead.  Eager to help the villagers, the Beast goes on a hunt to find the culprit, and in a series of comic book like illustrations we follow him as he chases a giant set of footprints and eventually meets another Beast.

In the end the tools are returned, the Snow Beast is introduced to the villagers and there is a rockin' party in an iceberg.  Seriously, how much cooler can you get?  E loves the DJ Beast and counting the cakes at the party. I love the time together to enjoy a good book. Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, 14 December 2015

Where Does Joe Go? by Tracey Campbell Pearson

Six Books I'm Reading...

Where Does Joe Go? by Tracey Campbell Pearson is one of those unexpected Christmas classics; unexpected because the word Christmas is never even mentioned.  

Joe runs an ice cream parlour in town but come winter each year he disappears. Each friend and neighbour has a theory as to where Joe goes. From the moon, to the beach, to tango dancing to the desert, we hear everyone's thoughts on Joe. But as you may have guessed, our pot bellied friend with the fluffy white beard is not up to any of these things.The final charming illustration of Joe in a red suit feeding ice cream cones to reindeer puts the rumour mill to rest once and for all.

I love this book for Christmas and I think you will too.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean and Eric Litwin

Six Books I'm Reading...

Pete the Cat is a much loved storybook character in our house and so is his Christmas tale published in 2012. Santa is sick and has only one choice but to call on Pete the Cat to deliver all the presents and ultimately save Christmas. But Pete, like his young readers, is aware that he is very small and this is a tall order.  With the help of a trademark Pete the Cat song to give him some extra courage, Pete proves that even the smallest of us can achieve big things. A warm message that sits nicely alongside a flying VW bus, a singing cat and a groovy little Christmas hero.

Friday, 11 December 2015

Mr Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry

Six Books I'm Reading ...

 Originally published in 1993, Mr Willowby's Christmas Tree is a wondrous tale of the tree that keeps on giving, and in doing so captures the meaning of Christmas. In quick, clever ryhming text we learn that Mr Willowby's tree is just too big and the top must be cut off or it simply won't fit in his house. This little cutting becomes someone else's tree and the bit snipped off that tree gets passed on to someone else until even the mice have the perfect tree for Christmas, all thanks to Mr Willowby.

Beautifully illustrated with a vintage feel, this is a book I look forward to each year. And if you want more of Mr Willowby's story look up the Jim Henson production from 1995 and treat yourself to a little movie with Kermit as your guide.