Ok, this was an impulse buy. I saw the Yoshi had a sale a while back, wanted some prints, bought some prints, found there was a collection titled Foxy Fashions and well, there was a book with all the illustrations, and it was on sale, so obviously I had to have it. Come on, it says “foxy” and it is about fashion. It was utterly irresistible for me.
The book is a collection of fashions seen through Yoshis eyes per era/type and with the wearers having their face masked by fox masks. It is gorgeous and honestly if you check the store and see some of the prints youll find the joy of just flicking through this book and revelling in it.
All I can do is share my favourite page and say that I recommend it because it is stunning!
Luna Loves World Book Day by Joseph Coelho and Fiona Lumbers
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.
The Long Way Home by Corrinne Averiss Kristyna Litten
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.
Ownership: Preordered a signed copy form Waterstones
Spoiler free review: Probably. Mild spoilers.
I have been enjoying branching out on graphic novels beyond my usual, and when Waterstones had a sale I popped this in my basket and then read it in an afternoon.
We mostly follow a sad ghost who suffers with anxiety and just sadness and is trying ot do a little bit more, dare a little more, so when they get invited to a party, after a lot of maybe yes maybe not, they decide to go.
Obviously it isnt a case of just going to the party and we see all the mulling and thought that go through their head, but at the party they spy someone else who is lonely and ask if theyd like company. Surprises do happen when you dare a little bit and well, the rest is more left to the reader once they get on the story and for me not to spoil anymore.
Overall, I liked it, but it does have a sad undercurrent not unexpectedly) so its a bit of a double edged sword. I think it is a bit undecided too if it is middle grade or young adult. Part of it feels older than middle grade, but the art style and the way the dialogue happens have a more middle grade vibe to it, so this is probably bordering both genres rather than fitting neatly in one or the other.
Art style is relatively simple since its mostly ghosts and just following the one character for a while, but it does keep you int he world and the dialogue moves it along. And itd be a good graphic novel to gift to someone struggling with loneliness and sadness. Not that this is a solution, but maybe a little bit of hope or to feel seen and identify a little with the characters in it.
Overall, it was enjoyable if sad, but I did hope for a little bit more and maybe that was more my expectations than the book itself, so who knows?
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.
Ownership: Bought as a mood treat when I was a little annoyed. Who can resist cat illustrations?
Spoiler free review: No
What Cats Want is a fun format guide to cats, but also a collection of cute cat illustrations. I basically read it cover to cover even though I do not have a cat nor am I planning to have one any time soon.
I think it makes the how to make sure you take good care of your cat accessible given that it has a lot of illustrations, comes with small paragraphs, and more of a basic guide but at the same time it is quite comprehensive from what to do, where to touch a cat, how to deal with certain behaviours or understand their body language amongst a myriad of other details.
It was a case of opening the book going “oh, its a cat owners manual but cute and illustrated” and then I suddenly had finished the book and knew what to do about litter boxes, and how to make sure the cat is not bored and one interacts well with a cat, etc. It has a lot of common knowledge items but it also has little details or things one takes for granted or may not know how to navigate when choosing and owning a cat.
Id say, if you know of anyone wanting to have a cat for the first time, or someone who likes cats or someone getting a cat already who could do with a handy guide then this is the book for them.
Read before: No I have read some of the single comics before
Ownership: Bought for myself to cheer me up
Spoiler free review: No
Series: Sarah’s Scribbles
Ok, I have read some of Sarah’s comics before on and off from instagram and blogs and the ones people share. I used to follow her on tubmlr and then stopped being so into tumblr, so probably why. But I still like them and I found a copy of the book really cheap second hand so thought you know what? Let’s find some funny good things in life and buy the book and read it and enjoy and giggle.
Of course, being part of the Sarah’s Scribbles series, this is hilarious, has a lot of “relatable” comics, I think I spent most of the time take screenshots and either sending them to my husband or sending them to my friends to what matched our relationships or anecdotes or stories and have a giggle with them.
Which is to say that probably the best review I can give for this book isn’t a very long one but can be summarised into the fact that this book will probably contain at least one strip or comic that will resonate with one or many friends and family members so you will want to share it around and make other smile or laugh or go “do you remember?” or maybe do a “this is us/me/you” to someone as you share and maybe you will also want to make others read it after you have finished because it made you smile and feel like the world wasn’t just you against it but others struggle too and we all try to make fun or it and make the most out of it, and just get on by.
I Don’t Like Books. Never. Ever. The End. by Emma Perry and Sharon Davey
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.
Space Detective by Mark Powers and Illustrated by Dapo Adeola
Read before: No
Ownership: A copy was provided by the publisher so I could participate in the blogtour but this doesn’t influence my opinion of it.
Spoiler free review: Yes
Space Detectives is a really cute “mystery” middle grade. It is set in a space city orbiting the Earth were our two main characters are spending their summer helping in the ice cream shop. There is a fun cast of alien species making their appearance and odd flavours of ice cream.
But the main event is that as they make friends, they stumble upon a big mess where the space city is on a collition course to the Moon! Our brave pair then decide they can’t let it just stand and they should try to solvethis mystery. They are even joined by their new friend and so chaos ensues as they try to find a way in to investigate and help fix the course of the station.
Overall, I enjoyed the fun story and there were a lot of funny moments however two “science” fails really struck to me, one related to their smart suits and the other related to the actual plot of the collition course being set and “fixed” but there is also a lot of encouragement towards science and computers so I just hope it helps encourage kids to those fields rather than put them off.
The artwork is extremely cute and I had so much fun seeing how the alien species appeared in the illustrations, specially the bat rats which I kinda wanted as pets and also at the same time found slightly terrifying!
Recommended for anyone wanting a wacky space adventure with a quick mystery and save the day story.
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.