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.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Franklin and Luna and the Book of Fairy Tales

Franklin and Luna and the Book of Fairy Tales by Jen Campbell and Katie Harnett

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Christmas gift from a lovely friend (Zoe)

Spoiler free review: No

Series: Franklin and Luna #3, you can read my review for the the first and second adventure if you want to know about them.

This time the story is about Luna and the town people preparing a party for Franklin, but they’ve to distract him on his birthday so they go on an adventure.

Accidentally, while browsing books, Luna’s pet turtle goes into a locked book so they follow. Inside the book they start finding the characters of various fairy tales (I think this is the perfect opportunity to “queue” each fairy tale to be read for the next few nights after this book if you’re reading this aloud or if it is a young reader on their own and testing their wings) and as they explain that they’re searching for their turtle friend.

No one has seen the turtle until they find the right fariytale (I’ll let you guess which one, though I’d classify it is a fable rather than a tale). And then they make it to the party with some extra friends tagging along.

I like the concpet of it and that characters keep showing up but new ones come through each new book and the artwork is stunning and fun so I can highly recommend it still. It makes me happy to just read the books and chill.

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: Happy Narwhalidays

Happy Narwhalidays by Ben Clanton

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Preordered as I love this series.

Spoiler free review: No

Before the year ends and the holiday season is behind us, I had to share my review for the fourth Narwhal and Jelly book, which is all about their version of the holidays. There is a magical mermaid unicorn that brings gifts just for giggles to the sea creatures and as per usual Jelly is skeptical but ends up wanting to give a gift to Narwhal, and Narwhal is the cheerful bundle of joy as usual.

I had a lot of fun reading this just before setitng the Christmas tree up and while trying to finally get a feel for the Christmas spirit which I wasnt feeling very much this year due to circumstances *points at world and situation*. But Narwhal is so chirpy and so hopeful that you just can’t resist it and suddenly you feel a little bit more cheerful, a little bit more into the holiday spirit and maybe even wishing a magical mermaid unicorn had brought you a gift or something to spread the holiday cheer.

The artwork is simple but it doesnt take away anyting from it, as it is very expressive and fits well the story, there are still waffles and a lot of sea creature friends alongside Jelly and Narwhal and I can recommend it as a feel good cheer up read where you need all the books from this series because one is just not enough, in a good way.

Recommended for those who love sea facts, narwhals, jellyfish, friendship and cute cartoons. It is a read on your own, or just look at the pictures or share a giggle with someone kind of book.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Once Upon A Dragon’s Fire

Once Upon A Dragon’s Fire by Beatrice Blue

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

I reviewed a while ago Beatrice’s other book, Once Upon A Unicorn Horn, so when I saw this one was coming, I preordered it. It is easy, make a book I enjoyed, I will almost always preorder your next books.

The artwork was top class, but that was no surprise given I enjoy Beatrice’s art a lot. And as per the previous book, this is a book giving things a new “origin” so in this case it is centered around a dragon and fire.

This is about two children that made up adventures and were obsessed with dragon stories so they decide to go search the dragon and thanks to them “fire” is invented.

Look it is way better than I am describing!

In all honesty the story is a great read out loud or act out one, the artowkr and pictures are full of detail and cuteness, and the story is reaffirming and all about tenderness and warmth (and some dragon fire too).

It has a dragon, fire, and a great story, so this is a definite win and I am eagerly awaiting what else we may get as an origin of this thing type of book from Beatrice Blue.

Book Review

Moon Reads: 44 Tiny Secrets

44 Tiny Secrets by Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King

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

I saw this book on Twitter and it felt very tempting to read and buy, so I preordered and lo and behold, it did not disappoint.

For starters the house where Betsy lives is full of ferns and it has a piano and she’s the daughter of two famous pianists, so she has to become the next one, like them. Her very patient grandfather is happily teaching her despite the potential failures.

Betsy tries so hard to make her parents porud but something just doesn’t work, instead she gets a letter on the post with the promise of a secret way to be able to play the piano like her parents. It comes free, but the only thing is, she has to keep the method a secret.

She accepts and oh, the delightful brilliant madness of this comes true. I loved the secret method and it just made me feel happy to read the book.

There was a lot of “want to hug you and reassure you” feelings towards Betsy as she is doing her best to impress her parents. It highlights how conversations adults have can make a big impression on a child and affect their perception of themselves and of their future.

And of course there’s a lot of humour and things to make you smile and the sweetness of a good children’s book that will leave you feeling like you’ve just had a nice plate of warm cookies, your favourite kind.

I recommend this book if you like music, fun families, crazy stories and lots of little giggles, and of course, if you are curious about what the 44 tiny secrets are.