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: There is No Big Bad Wolf in this Story

There is No Big Bad Wolf in this Story by Lou Carter and Deborah Allwright

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

Ownership: Preordered one but also got a copy from publisher

Series: There is no… in this story

So, when I found this book existed, I preordered it, but then Bloomsbury contacted me to see if I would like a review copy which I did. I was excited to read it, since I enjoyed a lot There Is no Dragon in this Story which I have reviewed previously. So basically, as much as I had a copy from the publisher it doesn’t define my review or influence it.

Finn was a fan as you can see, and it is a delightful cute story on a take about how the poor wolf is always the big bad wolf in things like The Three Little Pigs and Red Riding Hood amongst others. And our poor “big bad wolf” in the story is tired of having to be chased around and be the baddie, and not being appreciated for his hard work in being the bad guy, so he stops doing his job and ends up just chilling with the dragon.

The story characters try to make do without the wolf, and things get interesting to say the least.

It was a cute story, with a fun kudos to other fairy tales and stories for children and I liked the artwork a lot, it is quite vibrant and fun and full of expression, and it works well as a second book to go with the Dragon one.

If you want a fresh take on the big bad wolf, and a new read aloud or starting to read book for children, this is a great one for sure and obviously do recommend the first too!

Book Review

Moon Reads: Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue

Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison and Illustrated by Jenny Lovlie

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

Read before: No

Ownership: A gift by the lovely Asha

Series: Kitty, Book 1

Minor hiatus while the internet has been dodgy and making uploading images difficult. Meanwhile I read and read and this is one not to miss.

Kitty is the daughter of a superhero mum who goes out and helps people at night with her cat powers. So of course Kitty wants to be like mum and help others but she doesnt feel too brave and she should be in bed.

That is, until a handsome tomcat pokes through her window in search of her mum and suggests Kitty help them. At first she isnt sure but then decides to go have an adventure and find the cause of the scary sounds they can hear.

The book is then a setup story of Kitty and her “crew” of cats and how she meets each of them alongside using her little talents and powers, and of course as she finds the cause of the terrible scary sounds and ends up using the moonlight to light her way and not be so afraid.

Honestly the book was an adorable wholesome superhero kind of book with a very cat like hero who is learning the ropes and trying her claws out in the world, and with the super cute illustrations it is even mmore enjoyable.

Great for read out loud, or maybe small readers into superheroes or cats or both. Or adults like me that love cosy stories and being able to lose yourself in an adorable adventure.

Book Review

Moon Reads: So You Think You’ve Got It Bad? A Kid’s Life in the Aztec Age

So You Think You’ve Got It Bad? A Kid’s Life in the Aztec Age by Chae Strathie and Marisa Morea

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Bought for myself since it sparked my curiosity

Series: So You Think You’ve Got It Bad?

I saw Nosy Crow talking about this book when it came out and it made me curious. If you don’t know, I am Mexican and had my education in Mexico, so I learned a lot about Aztecs in the “it is part of our history, good and bad” way, and I had a fascination with it so I even tried to learn more. So I had to check this book out.

The premise of the series overall is that it comapres a modern life of a child with what children would have as a life in a specific culture or period. This one compares schools, food, family, entertainment, sports, etc. I found it amusing, the artwork is pretty good and fits nicely, and for the most part the data matches what I know.

I can’t recall the exact details but there were some places where I felt at odds with what they said, it was too much of a joke or a little exagerated, or it didnt match anything of what I had learned on my own, so its partly why I didn’t rate it high and as much as it was interesting, it was also at times either trying hard to be funny or trying hard to give you a LOT of information, the balance could have been better on that frnt. Not that I dislike one or the other but rather there was a lot to say and not all said in the best way.

But it did pass the time well and it reminded me of my own time in school and devouring lots of extra curricular books on Aztecs and other Mexican cultures and what they did with their lifes. Oh yes, just reminded that thepart that was too clinical and tidy was the part about the conquest and what the Spanish did, because of course it would be. Conquerors don’t like to admit too much about how bad those actions were. And there is a bit of judgement on some traditions as thought more barbaric or wild, it isn’t using those words but the way it is phrased wasn’t ideal.

I mean, if it is for a kid, buy it, it is fun, it does convey a LOT of data about the Aztecs and regular life, but it may be worth finding more sources if it is a particular itnerest of the child or an adult. Still, fun little book with cute drawings.

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: Luna Loves World Book Day

Luna Loves World Book Day by Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Bought myself

Every year I browse the selection of books that will be available for “World Book Day”. The UK celebrates it in March which confuses me but apparently there are reasons for it, and I don’t need to get into an essay about them. Still, I browse books and saw this one which caught my curiosity and bought it.

I ahve to say the artwork is what wins in this book for sure. There are a lot of unicorns and cuteness. Sweet illustrations make Luna feel more alive and her story be what it is, you barely need the words to understand it. Which is why I was a bit meh about the words, the story feels a bit like it was written to fit and therefore wasn’t as well prepared as other books.

Now I have not read other books in this series, so not sure if that is the style of them, but I read enough children’s books to feel one that is a bit odd and just doesn’t capture the attention with the words. That was a shame because the story is about a little girl excited for dressing up but things keep going worng until thankfully she still manages to enjoy the day and love it as much as she can. That is in itself a sweet story and it was beautifully illsutrated.

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: Arthur and the Golden Rope

Arthur and the Golden Rope by Joe Todd-Stanton

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Wishlist gift from Jenn who is a sweetheart.

Spoiler free review: No

Series: Brownstone’s Mythical Colletion, Book 1

I love fun adventure illustrated stories, and this one is one that falls into the “child reads on their own but still wants fun illustrated books rather than more words than pictures” and it is gorgeous. The artwork makes me smile and is full of fun details that add to the story.

But overall the story starts with an introduction about the Brownstones who are adventurers by blood, and yet the very first Brownstone was anything but adventurer material, and that was Arthur. He was a smart curious boy who was most certainly not an adventurer, until his curiosity saved him from mishap and he was the only elegible one for one adventure to save their town and recover the golden flame.

Chaos, shenanigans, and lots of fun ensue as Arthur tries to get some of the Norse gods involved to help him recover the flame and capture the one who took it away. The story is sweet, full of adventure and challenges Arthur by making him use his intellect and problem solving in unusual ways.

Obviously after reading this, I added all the rest of the series to my wishlist because it was a delight to read and I would like to have more adventures with the Brownstones.

Recommended for kids who want adventures or are curious about Norse or other mythology.

Book Review

Moon Reads: I Don’t Like Books. Never. Ever. The End.

I Don’t Like Books. Never. Ever. The End. by Emma Perry and Sharon Davey

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

Read before: No

Ownership: It was a cheer up gift from my best friend.

Spoiler free review: No. Due to it being short and illustrated, this may contain spoilers.

With a title like that, I couldn’t resist adding the book to my wishlist and I assume that is why it was what Nikki sent me. This is the story of a girl called Mabel who keeps getting books as gifts, all the time. And her response is that she doesn’t like them so could people please stop gifting her more books?

However, she still uses the books, to make towers of books, as sleds, as coasters, whatever you can imagine that is not reading the book, she’s probably done it to the book and used it for it! Very creative book uses, but still she does not read them, until one night the books have had enough!

And as she explores stories and falls from book into book without actually getting the full story but just her interest piequed, she decides maybe she might just try reading one, just the one, maybe she doesn’t dislike books that much?

You can imagine where this goes so I’ll leave it there but needless to say I had a lot of fun reading this and the illustrations make it even better, starting from the many alternative book uses t the stories Mabel is missing out on. It was a good cheer up gift and I can recommend it is a funny story or a book to read aoud to kids and let them even try some of the safer alternative book uses for a giggle or something.

Recommended for kids who don’t like books, and those that do, and anyone that may not be a kid but that loves books and illustrations and fun short stories.

Book Review

Moon Reads: The Mist Monster

The Mist Monster by Kirsti Beautyman

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Bought for myself

Spoiler free review: No

Ok, a mist monster sounds cute and the artwork looked sweet so I had to get it, I have a soft spot for friendly monsters (did anyone ever watch Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends?).

Anyway, this is a story about Penny after she moves to her new house which she isn’t sure she likes, but then she goes out to play and bumps into Morris, a mist monster that joins her in an adventure and as they adventure they discover new friends.

Obviously as the mists recede, Morris disappears but that doesnt mean Penny is on her own anymore and she meets Morris every misty day.

I mean, the story is cute, its about adapting to new places and giving things a chance, but also about making friends and being open to finding them even if we’re not in our usual place, a good book to gift to a child moving house or just one who wants to make friends or feels a bit lonely.

The artwork wins and is very fitting to the story so I was super happy with reading it.