Posted in Book Review, Childrens Books

Bloom – Nicola Skinner 5*#Review @HarperCollinsCh @skinnerwrites #ChildrensFiction #Environment #WeekendReads #BankHolidayWeekend

A beautifully written, incredibly original and wickedly funny novel for readers of 10 and older – BLOOM is for everyone who has ever felt like they didn’t fit in, and for anyone who has ever wanted a little more colour and wildness in their lives…

Sorrel Fallowfield is growing up – in a REALLY surprising way…

Sorrel Fallowfield is so good at being good that teachers come to her when they need help remembering the school rules – and there are LOTS.

Luckily, Sorrel doesn’t have any trouble following them, until the day she discovers a faded packet of Surprising Seeds buried under a tree in her backyard.

Now she’s hearing voices, seeing things, experiencing an almost unstoppable urge to plant the Seeds in some very unusual places… and completely failing to win her school’s competition to find The Most Obedient Child of the School.

And all that’s before flowers start growing out of her head…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Childrens Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An entertaining, environmentally orientated story aimed at children from ten years onwards, the important themes it explores come across effectively, resonating with the reader.

The plot is complex, filled with messages about the importance of green spaces, not building on the green belt land we have, the power of corporations, and the damage they can do. On a more individual level, there is an exploration of friendship, and its importance, and how it has to be nurtured to survive. Diversity is also a theme, as is the importance of family, however, it exists.

The need to be different and speak out, rather than saying nothing just to fit in, is perhaps the most dominant theme of this story, and in a world where the young often feel powerless this is a theme worth promoting.

The beauty of this book is that it delivers its messages in the guise of a magical story, with complex characters who demand a reaction from the reader. Sorrel is easy to empathise and admire, whilst the controlling, blinkered headmaster has little to recommend him. Full of vivid imagery, you can easily imagine the setting and action, which is vital in any book.

Perfectly pitched for the age group, and also enjoyable as an adult read, this is a must-read.

Posted in Animal Welfare, Book Review, Childrens Books

Mr Dog and the Rabbit Habit – 5*#Review -Ben Fogle- Steve Cole- Illustrator- Nikolas Ilic @HarperCollinsCh @BenFogle @SteveColeBooks @nikolas_ilic #childrensbooks #childrensfiction #animals #dogs #rabbits #conservation

A brand new young fiction series by TV broadcaster and intrepid explorer Ben Fogle, inspired by his real-life animal experiences…

Co-written with best-selling children’s author Steve Cole and illustrated throughout with beautiful black and white illustrations by Nikolas Ilic.

You can always count on Mr Dog to help an animal in trouble…

When a mother rabbit is captured in a trap, he ends up playing bunny sitter

But someone wants rid of All the rabbits, not just this one, and time is running out for Mr Dog to save them…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Children’s Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A refreshingly different children’s illustrated story with wonderful relatable animal characters and an important message, delivered in easy to understand bite size pieces, about animal conservation and welfare. The fun illustrations reinforce the text and make this book suitable for younger children too.

This adventurous and fun story has believable characters with recognisable animal characteristics. It should be a favourite of both children and adults lucky enough to read this book too.

The plot although necessarily simple does have a couple of twists and doesn’t fall into the trap of becoming too sinister or cliche for the intended audience. It deals with contemporary animal husbandry and conservation issues in a readable and understandable way.

Mr Dog is the star, and he is an instant hit with me. Adventurous, clever, courageous, fun and kind, he has desirable personality traits that resonate with children and he makes a good role model.

An enjoyable read for children and their adults and the makings of an important, yet fun series.

Posted in 7 Days of Books, Book Review

#7DaysofBooks #Read #Reviews #bookblogger #amreading @Jolliffe03 #JaneHuntWriter

What I’ve read and reviewed over the last seven days.

Click on the link on the image for the full review.

I received a copy of these books from the publishers via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.

Click for Review
Click for Review


Posted in Book Review

The Bandit Queen- 4* Review – Natalia O’Hara and Lauren O’ Hara

The bandits give their queen treasure, tigers, mischief and mayhem. But sometimes a little girl needs something more…

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

Even though I only read the Kindle version of this book, the beauty of the illustrations is evident. This is the story of a mischievous little girl who is kidnapped by bandits, who make her their queen. She has lots of opportunity for rebellion but finds out that belonging is more important. There are dark themes to this story but ultimately the bandit queen learns what is really important and that family is found in many forms.

The story is in rhyme and will hold children’s interest. The moral of the story is clear but delivered in a story like way making it understandable to children of this age group. For maximum enjoyment, I suggest you read the hardback picture book to really enjoy the colourful illustrations.

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House Children’s UK – Puffin via NetGalley in return for an honest review.




Posted in Blogging Community, Book Spotlight, New Books, Press Release

New Release – The Dragon Children: The Prophecy.- Children / YA Fantasy

 As a lover of dragons-

here’s a children’s book worth reading:

The Dragon Children-The Prophecy

– a Children / YA fantasy.

I’ve shared the press release below:

Manchester Based Lawyer releases Debut Fantasy Novel to Raise Money for Make-A-Wish ® UK31d348fd-db9a-48f4-843a-78b59c06aec6A Manchester based lawyer, Hannah Byrnes is set to release her debut children’s and young adult fantasy novel ‘The Dragon Children: The Prophecy’.

A devotee of J.R.R Tolkien, J.K Rowling, C.S Lewis and Philip Pullman, Hannah has always enjoyed stories of magic, destiny and adventure. The Dragon Children: The Prophecy is her début fantasy novel aimed at readers over the age of nine.The story centres around two children, Bridget and Kai, whose destiny it is to teach Mankind the wisdom of Dragons.

Due to her love of all things magical, Hannah will be donating 100% of the royalties from sales of the book to Make-A-Wish® UK who grant magical wishes to children and young people living with life-threatening conditions. Charity Registration Nos. 295672/SC037479

Released 13th February 2015.

You can order a collectors edition by clicking here.

Blurb - Flower

31d348fd-db9a-48f4-843a-78b59c06aec6Once a generation, two children are born whose destiny it is to share the wisdom of Dragons with Mankind. Bridget and Kai were both born with a star-shaped birthmark, and find themselves in Dragonsreach caring for a nest of Royal Dragon Eggs.

There is talk of a Prophecy where Dragons rule the skies and Mankinds faith in Magic is restored, but when disaster strikes the dragon eggs are lost and the children are separated. The outlook is bleak.

Only if Bridget and Kai can meet again, the dragon eggs found and the Iron Queen defeated – can the prophecy be fulfilled.

Author Bio - FlowercKakV2QE5SopZzI4W7-mhYvIfTsAs a girl, Hannah wanted to be a knight. She would spend many an hour on the backs of ponies or chasing boys with her pink She-Ra sword and telling her friends stories of magical lands. Her teachers thought that creativity should be put to good use. She travelled the world with a Choir meeting royalty and presidents from far away places. She was always in school plays and appeared on TV aged 9 and many more times after that.

Passionate about justice, her first published work was featured in an anthology for International Women’s Day. Hannah studied law and gained a 1st class, and was called to the Bar after receiving a full scholarship and supported many disabled people to assert their rights. A real life knight!

But then one day, quite out of the blue and during a very difficult year, she started dreaming of Dragons. Before long she had written a whole book about them.

Hannah Byrnes:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Make-A-Wish ® UK – Charitable Donations

Hannah is donating all the royalties from the book to help Make-A Wish grant magical wishes.

Hannah has committed to raising at least £5,000.

Make-A-Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.

The charity was founded in the UK in 1986.

Registered charity number: 295672/SC037479

If you would like an advance copy of ‘The Dragon Children: The Prophecy’ to read, review or feature please contact Kris Barnes of Authoramp.

Hannah Byrnes is also available for interviews and guest blogging.

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter Randa Handler

The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter

If you want your pre-schooler to understand the true meaning behind the Thanksgiving celebration this is the book for you.

Beautifully illustrated it tells the story of a young girl’s Thanksgiving experience in 1941. Through pictures and conversation with her mother, Takari learns about the Japanese Thanksgiving.

When Takari accidentally damages the Thanksgiving platter an heirloom from her Japanese grandmother her mum seems unreasonably angry. It is only when her puppy Ruffles has a similar accident, Takari realises her mother was stressed and didn’t mean to upset her.

She is sent to play with Little Sparrow and learns about making corn bread as it was made on the first Thanksgiving by the Wampanoag. When she finds out Little Sparrow and his father are spending part of their Thanksgiving at the veteran hospital she helps too and realises the true meaning of Thanksgiving is sharing and helping others especially those less fortunate.

A lovely way to help your children understand Thanksgiving is more than a Turkey dinner.

The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter

The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Randa Handler

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps

View all my reviews

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review The Boy Who Spoke to God Randa Handler

The Boy Who Spoke to God by Randa Handler

Beautifully illustrated ‘The Boy Who Spoke to God’ will appeal to the primary school age group it is intended for. The story told as a fairytale makes the important message of racial harmony and religious tolerance in modern society easy to absorb.

The story describes a multicultural society living in harmony. This allows them to improve the population’s health and abolish poverty by supporting the community’s economy. Their world is perfect except for the different religious celebrations and holidays, which cause discord. The story makes the important point; it is the children who suffer most when society becomes dysfunctional.

The revealing conversation between Niko a young Greek boy and his friends show the children understand the problem better than the adults. Niko is encouraged by his parents to ask God how their multicultural society can live in harmony. God appears to Niko in a dream. His message; people can practice different religions without disharmony if they respect the right of others to hold different beliefs. Niko’s dream is interpreted in different ways by each of the different religious groups and he becomes an outcast. Everyone wants to be right. It is not until his final dream Niko is able to make the adults understand god is perceived differently by every individual and this diversity should be accepted and celebrated in all societies.

This book would be an excellent learning tool to help answer a child’s question of what god looks like and to demonstrate in an easy understandable way the importance of diversity in our world.

I was given a copy of this book by the author in return for an honest review.

The Boy Who Spoke to God by Randa Handler

The Boy Who Spoke to God by Randa Handler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Randa Handler
JaneHunt Writer First Steps

View all my reviews