Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Out in the Wilderness Tales by Mail

Subscription box: Tales by Mail

Theme/Month: Out in the Wilderness for April 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Tales by Mail subscription, you can do it on their website.

Tales by Mail is a bi-monthly middle grade book box that comes with two books, some activity pages you can collect, or copy or use in various ways, a pin and one or two items.

This one had an extra book which was a lovely surprise, so lets unbox it and see what I thought of it, starting on the top right and going clockwise:

  • I rarely ever take pictures with the box, but somehow decided to add it this time. I love that it is not bulky and it basically looks like a book.
  • Out in the Wilderness activity pages, with space for reviews fo rhte book and some fun activities related to them and the theme. They fit in with the rest of the pages into the binder.
  • The Weather Weaver bookmark.
  • The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori, I had been looking forward to this book for a while and squealed a little seeing it in the box.
  • Melt by Ele Fountain, sounds interesting.
  • Melt bookmark.
  • A multiuse scarf with some gorgeous matching print to the theme. You can use it as a scarf, a headband, etc, pretty useful.
  • A third book, were totally spoiled! Hope Jones Saves the World.
  • It is very very tiny but there is a little collectible monthly pin just there in front of Umbreon’s nose

Overall it was a box full of books and I felt spoiled by opening it! Very very excited by the contents of it and highly recommended still.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Agent Zaiba Investigates The Poison Plot

Agent Zaiba Investigates The Poison Plot by Annabelle Sami. Illustrated by Daniela Sosa

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Preordered.

Spoiler free review: Yes

Series: Agent Zaiba Investigates

The second book in the Agent Zaiba series, you can read the review for The Missing Diamonds here, and now that we have the Snow Leopard Agency UK branch setup, Zaiba is ready for more things to be resolved and any mystery or good investigation that may come up.

The best part is that is the sumer fete time and Zaiba has a detective “murder mystery” course setup as one of the features of it. But things turn interesting when in the middle of a baking competition, there appears to be poison added to the cupcakes and causing one of the judges to be ill.

Zaiba, Poppy and Ali waste no time in trying to find out who put the poison in the cupcake and why.

One of the things I like a lot in the book is how the foreshadowing puts the clues and items nicely there for the reader to find if they are paying enough attention but they are also not screaming “I am the clue”. It is just done well through the story, so little hints of “hey this may be what the poison was made of” that show up early in the book, help and show that sometimes data you get before the actual incident happens can be quite useful. As Zaiba and her aunt put it, powers of observation.

Overall, another good mystery for Zaiba and her friends to solve, more development on the relationships of the family, and a better view into the world Zaiba inhabits and the story of her ammi, which is nice to see. You get continuity but you could also read each on their own and it would be alright without needing to read the previous one.

Highly recommended diverse detectiving classic to be!

Book Review

Moon Reads: Agent Zaiba Investigates The Missing Diamonds

Agent Zaiba Investigates The Missing Diamonds by Annabelle Sami. Illustrated by Daniela Sosa

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

Read before: Yes

Ownership: Preordered.

Spoiler free review: Yes

Series: Agent Zaiba Investigates

First book in the Agent Zaiba series! I have been meaning to review it for ages, and then packed the house, got the second one, then got the third and ended up rereading it so I could do a review of each of them consecutively.

I would class the whole series as something to become a classic, like Baby Sitters Club, or Fantastic Five. But with a more diverse cast! We have Zaiba, her little brother and her best friend, Poppy. All of them really into detectives and investigating, so when at the engagement party for the wedding of a cousin of Zaiba, some diamonds go missing from a famous actress,,,,, alongside the dog that had the diamong collar, Zaiba takes it into her hands to find out the truth and maybe just maybe crack the case fo who stole the diamonds.

Overall, it had a lot of culture, but adventure wrapped in one, and I loved just following the trio of friends around the hotel while they find clues and make notes and figure things out, some by accident and luck and some by using the powers of observation and memory.

Highly recommend it if mystery is the game and you want something with adorable drawings and cute notes and just something that makes you feel like you are part fot he fun and the adventure.

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.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Historical Heroes Tales by Mail

Subscription box: Tales by Mail

Theme/Month: Historical Heroes for February 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Tales by Mail subscription, you can do it on their website.

Tales by Mail is a bi-monthly middle grade book box that comes with two books, some activity pages you can collect, or copy or use in various ways, a pin and one or two items.

This is the first box of the year and it had some fun surprises in it! Starting from the top left and going clockwise:

  • Amari and the Night Brothers bookmark.
  • Darwins Dragons which I’ve been looking forward to since last year.
  • The month’s activity pages with space for reviews and some fun challenges.
  • The Queen’s Fool, which sounds intriguing.
  • A print with a quote and a signed bookplate for The Last Bear
  • The collectible pin.
  • A weekly planning notepad which I think is adorable.
  • A bookmark for The Queen’s Fool.

I was so excited to see a book I had wanted in the box and overall thought it had two very interesting reads alongside the bonus of that planning notepad which made me smile. It makes me happy to get the box and feel like I have great reads coming.

Book Review

Moon Reds: Space Detectives Blog Tour

Space Detective by Mark Powers and Illustrated by Dapo Adeola

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

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.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Anti/Hero

Anti/Hero by Kate Karyus Quinn, Demitria Lunetta and Maca Gil (Illustrations)

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

Read before: No

Ownership: Gifted by a sweet friend who saw it on my wishlist and gifted it to me

Spoiler free review: No

Anti/Hero is about two girls who are trying to find their place in their world the way they want. Piper Pájaro is popular but not very smart and she has a secret, she is incredibly strong. So during her free time she tries to be a superhero but her clumsiness and strength work against her most of the time. On the other hand we have Sloane MacBrute who is extremely smart but has the bad rep of her evil grandfather, so everyone treats her as if she was the same. So she does what she needs to make sure her mother is fine and has a decent life.

When an accidental encounter has them have a Freaky Friday kinda of moment and they swap bodies, they have to team up to work it out. But it isn’t just a race to fix the item that caused them to swap bodies, they also have to team up to fight Sloanes evil grandfather and in a way help each other through a competition where they have to rely on what they know plus the strengths of each other.

It was a really cute read, with a fun feel to it, quite a bit of diversity and looking at how people may judge you for what they know about your family without giving you a chance to be more than their expectations and why the expectations may be wrong.

Recommended for fans of superheroes, those that like graphic novels that are self contained and new heroes.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Whimsical Worlds Tales by Mail

Subscription box: Tales by Mail

Theme/Month: Whimsical Worlds for December 2020

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing a Tales by Mail subscription, you can do it on their website.

Tales by Mail is a bi-monthly middle grade book box that comes with two books, some activity pages you can collect, or copy or use in various ways, a pin and one or two items.

Today I am showing you what the Whimsical Worlds box had inside and what I think about the contents, starting from the theme card/activity pages in the bottom left and going clockwise:

  • Whimsical Worlds activity pages, as per usual there’s space for a short review of each book and a few other activities.
  • The Marvellous Land of Snergs which claims to be the story that inspired the Hobbit so I am curious to find out more about it and also it is setting me for high expectations…
  • “A bookworm lives here” sticker, I have a soft spot for awesome stickers so this is a great item.
  • Small & Wild tea, it came with two bags and I was extra excited to see one is called Snoozy Fox! They’re both delicious and kid-friendly.
  • A Christmas wooden ornament, which promptly went on my tree.
  • Three promotional bookmarks for other middle-grade books.
  • The House at the Edge of Magic, this one has a different vibe, more like a Narnia feel to it and I am intrigued by it.

This book brought me great joy between the foxy tea, the Christmas ornament and just the interesting reads that came inside. So far, I can highly recommend the box for anyone with children, teachers or those like me that enjoy reading middle-grade books even if there are no children around to share them with.

I also really like that it packs two books and non clutter items in it. The tea was promptly brewed and enjoyed, the ornament went on the tree, the sticker will be put on a surface soon and the books read and enjoyed. No complaints there at all. And a lot to say for packing a punch in the contents.

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.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Magic Menageries Tales by Mail

Unboxing spread of Tales by Mail "MAgic Menageries" box

A great little box not focused on young adults, or even adults but actually on Middle Grade reads is Tales by Mail by the same people behind Book Box Club). One of my favourite perks is that it is focused on the books and activities that don’t require more than imagination, some time and something to fill them in. They even have a siblings option just in case you have two little ones in the same household.

So enough raving about it and lets go straight into the contents! Starting on the far left bottom with the theme pages and going clockwise:

  • The set of pages to add to your folder with space for reviewing the books included alongside some activities. These fit nicely in the binder you can get from them I love adding them to their binder once the box arrives).
  • This time we also got a patch to show off were part of Tales by Mail, which I think is a really cute touch. You’d get this when you start your subscription as far as I understand).
  • A super cute magnet with the flying tiger from the theme card.
  • The pin to match the theme.
  • Temporary tattoos of fantastical creatures. I used to love temporary tattoos as a kid and these are so cute and fun!
  • A collection of promotional items for A Clock of Stars, this includes a postcard/print, a bookmark and a sampler, it does sound super exciting and I am intrigued.
  • Another promotional bookmark but for a different book.
  • Book 1, being The Creature Keeper by Damaris Young, this sounds so intriguing and magical.
  • Book 2, which is a more wonderful tale called the The Midnight Guardians by Ross Montgomery.

I love middle grade and Tales by Mail basically makes my life better by giving me two fun middle grades matching a cute theme every other month and with some extra goodies plus some promotional items that make me curious for more books if I like the ones included usually I do, so I end up wanting more books. My pile of books that I want to read is growing exponentially!

If you have children or if you e njoy middle grade, I can highly recommend this box!