Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Book Lover Jo

2 children aged 12 & 9.
Joined May 2015

Favourite book EVER is Northern Lights
  1. #68 of 2833 reviewers for 9 year olds
  2. #308 of 4772 reviewers for 4 year olds
  3. #276 of 3709 reviewers for 5 year olds
  4. #126 of 3573 reviewers for 6 year olds
Year R/1
Year R/1, 2 books
Year R/1
Year R/1, 0 books
My Timeline Follow

Wrote a Review 5th July '18

Book pages The Polka Dot Shop
The Polka Dot Shop
I read it (an adult)
 Laurel has a flair for writing heart-warming, funny stories that capture brilliantly the ups and downs of family life. Andy’s life feels officially over when her school announces a new no-uniform policy. While she is desperate to look and dress like everyone else she knows she will be forced to wear dreadful cast offs from her Mum’s vintage boutique and when the ‘fashion police’ see what she’s wearing she’ll never live it down. Fast forward two years and she’s confined to the outskirts of friendship groups and her problems have grown bigger than having terrible fashion sense. Her Mum is becoming increasingly distant and the vintage shop is under threat and all Andy can focus on is finding a way to dress so she can fit in. A chance find of a bag full of designer clothes in the shop, changes everything. Will Andy uses this to make her dreams come to true or can she find a way to help her Mum and transform the shop? Delightful in every way, ‘The Polka Dot Shop,’ totally charmed me with it’s winning formula of friendship, family with just enough of a sprinkling of romance to leave you with a warm glow inside.

Wrote a Review 5th July '18

Book pages Pony on the Twelfth Floor
Pony on the Twelfth Floor
I read it (an adult)
 Having loved Polly’s ‘Mango and Bambang,’ series with Clara Vulliamy, my expectations were ridiculously high and I can confirm that Polly completed exceeded them with this funny, heart-warming tale. Kizzy is completely obsessed with ponies, from her pony posters on her walls all the way down to her pony slippers and she dreams that one day she might have one of her very own. The problem is if you live in the city on the twelfth floor of a tower block it’s not as if you’ve got the space to keep one. But when Kizzy stumbles across a pony in the bakery aisle in her supermarket, she’s not prepared to let small details like this get in the way. Surely it’s perfectly possible to hide a pony in your bedroom without her Mum finding out, what could possibly go wrong?

Kizzy’s unstoppable determination to keep the mischievous and loveable Flapjack is just bonkers yet really endearing. I love how Polly weaves in a really interesting cast of characters who can’t help but get caught up with Kizzy’s infectious enthusiasm despite knowing it’s bound to lead to chaos and many comic moments. Whilst having ponies right at the centre of this story, this book really does celebrate the tenacity of the human spirit and highlights the transformative power of friendship. From the grumpy caretaker, to the lonely old lady who help her out, their lives are enriched by her reaching out to them in her hour of need in her desperate attempt to keep Flapjack. Wonderfully diverse, it’s really interesting to read a pony story that isn’t set in an idyllic countryside, the city setting makes for an engaging idea. Just like Kizzy we all have dreams that we would love to fulfil and even though you know she must take Flapjack back you just will her to be able to keep him for just that bit longer.  You can’t help but fall in love with this story, I thoroughly  enjoyed every moment. Sarah Jennings’s gorgeous illustrations capture brilliantly the warmth and humour of this story and I really wish more middle grade stories were illustrated. Bursting with humour and mayhem, Polly has created the most glorious story that will leave you with a warm glow in your heart and a smile on your face.

Wrote a Review 5th July '18

Book pages A Sky Painted Gold
A Sky Painted Gold
I read it (an adult)
I’ve long been a fan of Laura Wood’s glorious writing having loved her wonderful, ‘Poppy Pym,’ series with it’s mix of delightful characters and clever mysteries seamlessly woven together in the most marvellous of stories. So I was intrigued to discover that Laura was embarking on new writing adventure with her first YA debut, ‘A Sky Painted Gold,’ and the lure of devouring it proved impossible to resist. Nothing could quite prepare me for this truly exquisite and enchanting tale with it’s allure of glitz, glamour and endless parties with something dark bubbling beneath the surface. Lou is a passionate writer always looking for the stories hiding in places. Growing up she wonders about the grand Cardew House which has stood empty for years. Like a moth to a flame she is drawn to it’s faded elegance as it lies separated from the rest of the village by the tides covering it’s causeway. She feels a compulsive attachment to this house derived of occupants as it’s left neglected feeling an almost sense of ownership. She is dismayed when the new owners arrive for the summer and the house is restored to it’s glory days but finds that she can’t keep away. Soon she is unexpectedly thrown into this new and thrilling existence and as she gets closer to the Cardews, her relationship with them becomes all consuming leaving her old life behind. But what will happen when the summer is over, how can Lou exist outside of this intoxicating and exotic world.

Let me shout from the rooftops just how much I adored, ‘A Sky Painted Gold,’ nothing I will write in this review will ever capture the sheer triumph of Laura’s stunning writing. Intricately detailed with the most elaborate descriptions this book oozes beauty, elegance and excitement from every page, with a hint of danger just looming in the background. We see Lou transformed as she tries to understand the purpose of her life and completely understand why she embraces something completely different. Who could resist this sophisticated and spoilt world that she previously could only dream about. Emotionally we see her torn between her old life and new life whilst confusion about her feelings for Robert Cardew, as he plays hot and cold with her. The reader can see why she is inextricably drawn to this family, yet their relationship feels fragile and finite. I felt on edge in the very best of ways when reading it, waiting to see if the bubble would burst for Lou. Laura has assembled the most delectable cast of characters from the reserved cautious Robert to his effervescent but delicate sister Caitlin who he fiercely protects. I particularly loved Laurie her warmth, compassion and sheer boldness truly delighted me. Laura has captured magnificently the changes to society that were emerging in the 1920s which felt at the time wildly outrageous and daring, this book reflects this mood perfectly. An outstanding, gorgeous read that left me breathless, Laura has created a spectacular book.

Wrote a Review 1st July '18

Book pages Kat Wolfe Investigates
Kat Wolfe Investigates
Book Lover Evie read it aged 9
Kat Wolfe Investigates is an amazing book about two girls who become local detectives. When a local man who Kat is pet sitting for mysteriously disappears, Kat turns to her friend to help find out what is happening. Will Kat and Harper manage to solve the case before the police? I loved this book because I am a big fan of mystery stories. My favourite character was Kat because she uses karate moves to protect herself. On some of the pages there are tiny illustrations which are very detailed. This book is an exciting book and I would recommend this book to 8 and over.  

Entered a Giveaway 19th May '18

Book pages Placeholder Book
Kat Wolfe Investigates
For Ages
9, 10 & 11
No. of Copies
End Date
5th Jun '18
Open to residents of Republic of Ireland & United Kingdom