Book Review

Moon Reads: Tales from the Ocean

Tales from the Ocean by Chae Strathie and Erin Brown

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Read before: No

Ownership: Provided by the publisher after I requested it for review

Disclaimer: Receiving a review copy from the publisher does not affect my opinion of the book. If you think I review it highly it is due to me knowing my taste well and therefore not requesting books I won’t enjoy. And I am not obligated to review the book if I do not like it, so you may not see bad reviews due to me preferring not to hype down a particular book. I only do reviews of books I disagreed with if I think it is worth bringing a topic or warning to light.

Tales from the Ocean is a lovely collection of stories that may seem familiar alongside some new ones that each focus on at least one type of marine life. We have little seahorses crying Stingray when there are none and then not being believed when there is truly one, which is a familiar tale for many with a little boy that cries wolf. And yet the book not only tells a lovely tale but also shows the delightful camouflage abilities of the seahorse alongside their natural enemy, and this is just one of the 20 tales included in the book.

Each of the pages is beautifully illustrated and the whole book is a full-colour experience into many tales and marine life. And the familiar tales woven with true facts about the marine life or just new tales made to fit the particular place that creature plays in the ecosystem and making it a fun story. It was delightful to read. So much I basically didn’t put this book down until I finished all of them and then was left wanting even more stories to feature more creatures.

As such, I recommend this for anyone with a child interested in the ocean and fish and anything that has to do with water, or if you want to use it as educational but fun material, or just nighttime short stories to be read together or out loud to the child. It is a gorgeous book and worth having at hand.

Book Review

Moon Reads: 44 Tiny Chefs

44 Tiny Chefs by Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Read before: No

Ownership: Copy provided for review upon request by the publisher

Series: 44 tiny…

Disclaimer that even though I got gifted a copy of the book but the publisher, I would’ve still reviewed it because I enjoy the series and it is on my radar all the time.

Look, I’ve been a fan of the tiny pygmy mice and Betsy and her family since the first book, 44 Tiny Secrets, and every time there’s a new one I am just utterly excited to read it. So far we learned about the pygmy mice and that they can play the piano, but then we also learned they can be marvellous acrobats since they were trained by someone that was in the circus, Betsy’s grandma.

44 Tiny Chefs now looks at Betsy’s dad and his new hobby, baking! So when the opportunity to open a bakery presents itself, the family is super happy as they have been filled too much with all the baking that has been trialled and done. And then, some interesting parts happen and they get invited to host a royal gala, but can they actually cook for so many people successfully and not fail for the Queen?

Honestly, the whole book was funny, I could imagine the distress, the confusion and all the over the sweetness of it and of course, I love the family Betsy has and the adventures they get into, and the cute little mice.

I can recommend this if you want cute musical, baking and animal shenanigans, and a family that isn’t absent for most of the book.

Book Review

Moon Reads: The Raven Heir

The Raven Heir by Stephanie Burgis

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Read before: No

Ownership: Bid for the proof copy in aid as it was annotated.

As a fan of Stephanie’s books, and knowing the Raven Heir was in the making a few years ago, it was inevitable I’d bid and bid until I got this proof. Which then I promptly devoured and enjoyed thoroughly.

In the same delightful fun fantasy adventure style as The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart, The Girl with the Dragon Heart and, The Princess who Flew with Dragons, The Raven Heir explores the power of the character’s internal magic and what makes them be unique and therefore magical or the heroine that is needed.

We meet Cordelia and her triplets, Giles and Rosalind, who are much more well-behaved than she is, and a lot less wild. She can feel it in her bones, in her being, that the woods call her, the shape-shifting is ever so tempting and it is hard to obey the rules. But Cordelia tries hard and does her best, even if sometimes this doesn’t work out.

But when the safety of her home is at stake and the triplets are suddenly in the run for their lives, it is Cordelia who seems to know more than her triplets and who will have to make very tough decisions.

Overall the book explores the power of being siblings, friendship and the weight of responsibility and knowing something. But it also has a lot of animals, and nature involved, and all the elements of a perfect Disney/Pixar film, or a good animated series that will stay with you for years to come. Actually, if it was to be made as a film, I’d say give it to the studio behind The Secret of Kells, or Wolfwalkers, because it would fit so beautifully in that style. If you have watched either film or any of their films, The Raven Heir has that magical quality and fantasy epic that is also heavily tied with nature and living and the power and weight of choices made.

As per usual, the author has made an amazing book and there is layers and layers of it to look into, starting with the world and then coming to Cordelia, her magic and the magic of her triplets, alongside her identity and the adventure they have to set off to save the kingdom.

Highly recommended to readers of all ages, anyone that loves a good story, one that will stick with you forever, this is the one to pick.

Book Review

Moon Reads: 44 Tiny Acrobats

44 Tiny Acrobats by Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Read before: No

Ownership: Preordered because I enjoyed the first one

Series: 44 Tiny…

I really enjoyed 44 Tiny Secrets, and you can read my review here, so I pre-ordered the sequel and have no regrets.

44 Tiny Acrobats is giving us a little more on the circus side of the family story and a lot more on the mysterious grandma that grandpa loved so much. It all starts when Grandpa is not acting as normal and Betsy’s parents are acting even more strange than usual. This is because the circus Grandma used to be a part of is in town just really close to their house.

This puts Betsy in an interesting position because she wants to go to the circus and also learn more, but then doesn’t want to offend or hurt her Grandpa. In the end she goes and things get a bit difficult because she has all her lovely tiny acrobatic mice and they put on a show in the circus.

This leads to some very interesting fun, including a bad and terrible contract, a bit of extortion and finding out a lot more about the past of each family member alongside meeting some of Grandma’s old friends.

As someone who does aerial circus arts, this was a very cute and fun book to read and I liked the connections it had to the story from the first book, and that it is in itself a story but it also has a lot of extra parts to learn about if you read the first one. The artwork is cute and adorable and honestly I can’t wait to see what fun adventure Betsy and her pigmy mice come up with.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Tails of Magicat

Tails of Magicat by magicatchoo

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Read before: Not as a book.

Ownership: Backed on Kickstarter

Spoiler free review: No

I had read some of Tails of Magicat before on Tapas and when the kickstarter popped up I knew I wanted it. It did take a long time to get it, but the quality of the book is absolutely stunning. The paper is thick and gorgeous, the book is full colour and it is a chonky one. And obviously the art is extremely cute.

It mostly follows the story of a little cat as he learns magic, makes new friends and explores the forest, plus slowly grows up. It is ADORABLE and made me both smile, and laugh and be emotional and the story is varied. For example, he goes hunting and makes frineds with a frog, and then he makes friends with his bullies and things like that.

Magicat lives with his grandma who cooks delicious meals and is the elder in magic to him, so she teaches him too. This means we get illustrated recipes throughout the books. The first one is just for carrots, but as the story goes through it gets more complex and with fancier recipes, including bear claws and a roast. Each of the recipes also features as part of the story so your mouth is already watering by the time you get to read the full recipe and then it even shows variations and ideas to make it more of your own at the end.

Honestly, it was a slow joy to read this one and it cheered me up plus it made me want to cook a lot too. I want to make those bear claws soon. I can highly recommend it, and if you’re interested in a cute black cat learning magic and making friends and taking care of his community, then you can buy it here.

Book Review

Moon Reads: The Long Way Home

The Long Way Home by Corrinne Averiss Kristyna Litten

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Read before: No

Ownership: Requested. A free copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for a review

Spoiler free review: Yes, but may contain hints about most of the story.

When Little Tiger UK sent the newsletter of new titles coming, this felt right up my street so I asked for a review copy and they gracefully provided me one. This does not change or influence my opinion of the book at all.

I breezed through The Long Way Home on a weekend afternoon, and it made me teary eyed. Lets start with the artwork. It is a soft palette that mostly conveys pink, purple and orange, and tones of it with some blue in there, and the style is soft with some pops of colour. It is delightful and gives a soft warm feeling already to the story even before starting to read the words.

And talking of words, the story is about a little elephant, Otto, and his grandmother, Nanu, as they go on an adventure. As we know, the saying is that elephants don’t forget, and going on adventures definitely means not forgetting the way home. But as they set off on the adventure, Nanu seems to be keep forgetting little things here and there, getting distracted and just not being herself as usual. And then she forgets the way home, and it is up to Otto to try to remember the way home, plus also put his explorer skills to the test and help himself and his Nanu.

It was a tender story that touches on dementia and Alzheimer, so it would be a story I recommend for children whose grandparents may be diagnosed or being a little “extra forgetful”, as it shows that one should be kind and cherish the memories but also, continue making memories, it isn’t that forgetfulness means the end of the story or of the relationship and that is part fo what the story tries to show. Plus encourages the young to help their elders as they struggle with new challenges.

Overall, a story to make your heart soft and your eyes slightly teary alongside lovely illustrations in full colour.

Book Review

Moon Reads: The Marvellous Moon Map

The Marvellous Moon Map by Teresa Heapy and David Litchfield

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Read before: No

Ownership: Gifted by a friend from my wishlist.

Spoiler free review: No.

Mouse is excited to set off and find the moon following the Marvellous Moon Map, but his friend Bear worries about how he will manage and if he is well prepared. Mouse starts the adventure in high spirits but as the time goes by, the woods get darker, the weather gets worse and suddenly a map isn’t enough to get by and find the moon.

Thankfully Bear was worried and so prepared a way to save Mouse. They do make it to the moon and Mouse realises how valuable true friendship is and how having friends makes discoveries and things more fun and better, plus easier to deal with.

This is one of those books that are good for read aloud or just letting a young reader go through. The pictures tell most of the story but it has dialogue so also quite fun either way. The artwork is stunning and I was happy to read it and pause to see all the details of what is happening to Mouse, and Bear once he joins the adventure.

Recommended for those wanting a book about friendship for children, a nice read as an adult, something about the moon or cute artwork of animals, it is very soft in colours and feeling.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Midnight Magic

Midnight Magic by Michelle Harrison and Elissa Elwick

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

Midnight Magic is all about magic and black cats born at midnight.

It is also one of those books that as a child you love and will read over nad over again and keep thinking it would be amazing to have a cat like Midnight and be so lucky to have magic around. I remember feeling like this with The Little Leftover Witch, and I got the same little hope of magic and things just coming to happen with a pinch of magic in them.

Midnight is born exactly at midnight on a stable and she is a very lucky cat but also, it means a lot of trouble, but she will soon find her way around life.

I had a lot of joy reading this book, the illustrations make it even nicer to read and the rhyming verses to go through the story are delightful. I can highly recommend this book to read, both for your own enjoyment or for your childre, or your niece/nephew, or if you’re a teacher, then for your classroom. There will be a lot of fun and imagining how life would be if you had Midnight come to your house and you adopted her. I cant wait to see if there will be more adventures for Midnight and her family.

Overall, great read for all ages, and full of magic. Highly recommended.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Cat’s Cafe

Cat’s Cafe by Matt Tarpley

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

After some browsing for cute books that are either comics or graphic novels, I found this as a suggestion from similar reads and thought it was cute. Put it on my wishlist and got it as a birthday gift, so happy me.

Cat’s Cafe is about a cafe where Cat makes coffee and treats for a bunch of critters that each have their own personality, troubles, and good things, like an anxious bunny with a kind heart and the wish to make everyone happy, or the penguing who loves caffeine. There’s a wonderful cast of visitors to the cafe and each is special in their own way.

As I read the book I cmostly felt like I was sitting in a cafe, and I wanted to be in one, just sipping coffee or chatting with a friend. Each little comic feels like a hug and warmth and it just makes yu smile or go “oh yes, I ahve felt like that”, or maybe at times I wished someone would do something like what the cast did to a certain animal, so it was all in all a cheerful read with a warming loving community feel, plus it is ultra cute.

The artwork is relatively simple but that doesn’t take away from it and it does emotions well, so it conveys what it needs in cuteness, simplicity and ease, all good points for it. On top of that there are certain comical effects to put this book into comics territory completely and not just for it being panels and drawings.

All in all, if you want to give a hug in an easy to read book, this would be a great choice. Great for a friend you can’t see but would like to cheer up or have a cup of coffee with, I would recommend!

Book Review, Books

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! Review

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! by Lorna Scobie

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! was gifted by a friend from my wishlist because I saw it and thought it’d be a fun book to have and read (plus it made me think of my sister who keeps rabbits, and the friend who gifted it also has rabbits).

Best part, it has a surprise fox featuring in the story which made it even better.

But this is a book about a small bunny who gets all the best things and all for itself, until suddenly the rabbit parents surpise with a lot of siblings (you get it, the whole “like rabbits!” definitely applies here). So our bunny isn’t too keen on having suddenly a lot of comapny and having to share.

But what will be done about having so many new siblings around?

I thought the whole story was really cute and the artowkr is fun, with each new rbabit being unique in its way and a lot going on in page as we move further and further. Plus, despite thinking I knew what the next page had to say I was still surprised nicely by it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Highly recommended for children or just yourself as a treat for your tired mind and just needing something soothing and that will end well.