Book Review

Moon Reads: Fox & Rabbit

Fox & Rabbit and Fox & Rabbit Make Believe by Beth Ferry and Gergely Dudas

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

Series: Fox & Rabbit, first two volumes

Read before: No

Ownership: Found the first in Forbidden Planet, could not resist, read it ordered the second one and third.

This was an impulse buy because it had a fox and a rabbit on the cover and they are the main characters, plus they are relatively small books and easy to read. What can I say? In the same line of comics like Jelly & Narwhal, we have Fox and Rabbit who are best friends and have adventures together.

The very first one has a few episodes of stories of them having adventures and it also introduces us to other friends like the robin who is always thinking about food. I really loved the robin. Or the turtle that is always late and asking what they have missed. But overall the adventures are wholesome and sweet, and they just were a nice pause and lovely to read.

The second book picks up a little after the first and is all about using your imagination and having adventures in a variety of ways which was adorable, a bit more “fast” paced than the first book but still good.

As much as they are simple books and easy to read, they are good at touching on confidence, friendship and how to navigate certain situations, so it was lovely to read, plus I accidentally shared this with my best friend and there was a chapter that was perfect for our friendship so it felt particularly fated to be a good book.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Yuzu the Pet Vet (Vol 1 & 2)

Yuzu the Pet Vet Volumes 1 and 2 by Mingo Ito

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

Read before: No

Series: Yuzu the Pet Vet

Ownership: Bought it on a shopping trip to London because they looked cute.

Yuzu the Pet Vet starts quite slow, with Yuzu having to move to live with her uncle since her mum is sick and in hospital, but her uncle is a vet and she has to help a little with the animals. But the catch si that she is afraid of animals. However, as you read, the little adventures mean that Yuzu starts paying more attention to the animals and gains confidence.

Each volume was a bunch of short stories, each focused on a visitor to the vet and how Yuzu helps, but it also overall includes more plot like her adapting to her new life, a new school, and dealing with her feelings of how to cope with having her mum being sick in the hospital and not being able to see her much, or feeling it is difficult to see her and not wanting to. They also encourage taking good care of animals and loving your pets, alongside learning from each interaction between the owners of the specific pet and the pet, and it is very cute.

The art style is adorable and the animals are always very cute, and the stories are soft and very child-friendly while at the same time dealing with hard topics at times like illness, death and other challenges but also fear and nicer things like making friends or gaining confidence.

Overall, a nice manga to read with children or to give to children to enjoy on their own. Very soft and lovely, but may cause people to want a pet and to want to be involved more with animals.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Star

Star by Holly Webb

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

Read Before: No

Ownership: Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for a review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor do I receive any other compensation for reviewing it beyond the book.

As I mentioned in the Frost review, Star was my first Holly Webb book, which I read in December and honestly, I loved it. It was the right kind of cute and gentle but also had a little adventure, a little bit of moving in space to another area or in a way living someone else’s experiences.

The story follows Anna, who wishes for snow and borrows a little wooden tiger from her Russian grandmother while she hears stories of her cousins back in Russia. But as she goes for a walk, she wonders about a loose tiger cub in Russia near the village where her cousin lives. As such, we suddenly are now in that village and being the cousin Anna.

The story follows Anna as she tries to save the tiger cub but also not be in danger, and it is very cute, very intriguing and cares about the little animal and just shows how things can affect life, but also to be safe. I really liked some of the measures Anna took to be sensible before leaving her house and a few of the things she cautiously does before approaching the tiger cub.

Overall, the story was enjoyable, made me want to have a few wood-carved animals to display somewhere and just to think about animals and the roles they have and what can happen when we disrupt them.

Recommended for readers that can read on their own or a family read to slightly younger readers with some guidance on topics and explanations on the content, nothing untoward or anything like that but it does deal with hunters and animals and other little things. The illustrations are absolutely stunning and it is so worth reading.

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.