Archive for August, 2015

The big book of animals of the world

By Ole Konnecke

ISBN 9781776570126

Gecko Press

This is not your average board book. For a start, it is a much larger format board book which makes it ideal for sharing with the whole family or a group of children. They will love pointing out all the different animals found within its pages.

Crossing different landscapes we meet animals from the Arctic, to farms and cities and mountains, to Africa and China, and right across the globe. While on the surface it may appear to be a simple word book, it is much more than that. This book houses a collection so vast that children will find so much to talk about. It might be the different animals or it might the different habitats but whatever it is, this is wonderful opportunity to talk and discuss and that alone makes this a very worthy book to add to any collection. There is even a little family of mice who make their journey across the different continents and oceans. Well, at least I think they are mice. I might have to just keep reading the book again and again to be sure. I love the sloth!


It is great to see that even our humble Kiwi has been included. For those that want to explore this book even more, especially in a classroom setting, do check out the teacher notes here.

Pictures courtesy of Gecko Press.


By Martina Boone

(Heirs of Watson Island Book 1)

ISBN 9781481411226)

“Three plantations. Two gifts. One ancient curse.
All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead–a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.
Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who somehow seems to know what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family’s twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.”
Book two is coming out soon!


Benjamin McTish and door through the Grandfather Tree

Book 1 in the  Benjamin McTish series

By June M Pace

ISBN 9780989646406

This series has been out for a while but worth a share.

“When Benjamin finds a peculiar relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.”

He and his new-found friends, Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have come from America,  become an unlikely threesome ready to solve mysteries in a fantasy world where the Path of Prophecy leads them to many adventures and dangers. Benjamin has a sixth sense but will it be enough to protect the threesome from dark sorcery? Sit back and enjoy the trailer.


Serafina and the black cloak

By Robert Beatty

ISBN:  978-1484709016

Disney-Hyperion 2015


“Never go into the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”

What a grand trailer with obviously plenty of thought put in to its production. I love the atmospheric music running through the trailer as it creates a moodiness that makes me just want to dive right in. The cover of the book is also one that immediately catches the eye with its Gothic type mansion and silhouette of a young girl . It has already been voted number one Middle Grade Book of 2015 on Goodreads.

Serafina and the Black Cloak is a spooky mystery-thriller from Disney Hyperion about an unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate in 1899″. For years Serafina has remained hidden in the basement of the Estate where her father works. She moves in and out of the hidden doorways, unseen and unheard. She does as she is told and keeps away from everyone but soon children begin disappearing and it becomes clear to Serafina that she must do something to find them. Following clues and a terrifying man in a black cloak, Serafina risks everything to find answers. I really am looking forward to reading this book.

Exploring nature’s pattern magic

By Dee Pigneguy

Photography by Mike Pigneguy

Design by Heather Arnold

ISBN 978043323561

Mary Egan Publishing



It is not often I have the pleasure of reviewing non-fiction books for children so I am delighted to share my thoughts on this new one coming out this month.

It is a total exploration of all the wonderful patterns we see in nature. Often when we see an insect, animal, plant or indeed any natural thing, we may immediately see the beauty in them but we may not always see the patterns. We don’t necessarily understand the purpose of those patterns either but this book delves in to the reasons and explains it all in very easy terms. The book is a stunning montage of bright natural colours with photos from tiny swan plant seed bugs to helix spirals on snails. Nature is brimming with shapes and patterns that all have purpose. Camouflage has always been one aspect that amazes me.   For example, the stripy patterns on tigers help them blend into the long grasses.

Each page focuses on a particular pattern from spirals, symmetry, and spheres to crystals, fractals and so many more. Information is in bite-size bits to easily digest and tempt readers into looking closely at the patterns. The whole layout is just perfect to dip in to over and over again.

There are four pages dedicated to activities that readers can do to learn more about patterns in nature and this is followed by a very good index page.

This is a wonderful book, perfectly packaged and ideal for any home or school library.


Hello World

Written and illustrated by Paul Beavis

ISBN 9781927271988

Gecko Press

hello world

Mr. and Mrs. Mo are so busy that they have no time to play with Monster. So the little, and rather impatient Monster decides to go off in search of his own adventure, anyway. And what an adventure he has. That is until loneliness and hunger take over.  Little monster soon realizes that those who love him are always near, always ready to protect him and keep him safe. Younger readers will love looking for Mrs Mo hiding just out of reach, as little monster takes on his first journey towards independence.  This is beautifully illustrated in the most wonderful colours. Bright oranges, yellows and reds all bursting with sunshine and shadows.  Monster has the cutest, quirky facial expressions which kind of pull at the heart strings especially when he is feeling a little weary.

It is one of those stories to cherish and read again and again. A very reassuring tale of love and support.


This delightful book follows the equally wonderful picture book

Mrs. Mo’s Monster

ISBN 9781927271018

Mrs mo Do enjoy the trailer to the first book as borrowed from the author and illustrator Paul Beavis’ own website. Do check out his site especially the fun stuff you can do.