Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Piglet

Aged 6
Joined April 2015

Favourite book EVER is The Giant Jam Sanwich
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Bobbin
Bobbin, 10 205 books
Piglet
Piglet, 6 341 books
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Was read to me 17th September '18

Really Remarkable Reptiles
Author: Jake Williams
This is a book that appeals to all ages (grown ups included!).  As an object, the book is made of high quality materials and full of beautiful, simple and engaging illustrations of reptiles of all and every kind.  Full of facts that are presented in easy and accessible language, this is a great book that both entertains and informs.  From explaining what reptiles are, to providing information on a range of them, the book leads on to the habitats that they can be found in and how the human impact on these habitats is endangering reptiles.  This book is sure to inspire a love of reptiles and a concern about protecting their environments to ensure their survival.  I love books such as this that are designed to educate, inspire and engage young children to care and act about protecting their environment.  

We loved reading this book together as a family, and will certainly dip in and out of it in the future.  It will also make a great reference book for school projects.   We would also recommend 'The Egg' by Britta Teckentrup, which is similar in range but covers everything you need to know about eggs in a similar manner to how this book covers everything you need to know about reptiles!  

We would definitely recommend this book, and it would make a great present for any child who loves reptiles.

Was read to me 10th September '18

Beetle Boy: The Beetle Collector's Handbook
Author: M.G. Leonard
This is a unique book that is truly unlike any other. A spin-off from the Beetle Boy trilogy, the collector's handbook is the source of information used by the main character. While this is in some ways a 'fiction' book, it is also a guide to beetles from around the world. In this aspect, it is also has a slight soon on the way information is presented. So unlike a traditional information book about beetles, this does not provide a taxonomy- based listing of species. Rather the author has selected interesting beetles and groupings to highlight. In this way, the book opens a door to the world of beetles for those with a the first inklings of an interest, and points the way for further investigations for those who want to learn more.

What I liked about this book was the inclusion of lots of facts, the beautifully detailed drawings, the level of enthusiasm and enjoyment that the author instills into the subject and the chatty, incidental anecdotes by the narrator. The latter is great at engaging a young audience. I think my children's favourite bit of the book was leaning that that are still lots of beetles to be discovered. When so much of the world seems set out, knowing that this is an area of knowledge still to discover had inspired an even greater enthusiasm for the subject! 

As an adult reaxer, I learnt much from this book, and also developed a greater appreciation of the amount of research undertaken in writing the trilogy.

This is a book that our whole family highly recommends!

Was read to me 4th September '18

Junkyard Jack and the Horse That Talked
Author: Adrian Edmondson Illustrator: Danny Noble
Junkyard Jack is about a boy whose mother is in jail (for a crime she claims not to have committed). He lives with his Aunt her cruel husband and their mean daughter who do not provide him with a warm and loving home environment. On top of this, Jack has dyslexia, so he has quite a lot to deal with.

Jack decides to run away from his, and on his way meets a talking horse. And so the adventures begin...

While my six year old loved this (and my ten year old was soon listening in each night, this book didn't grab my attention. I was expecting something much more funny, along the lines perhaps of Roald Dahl, David Williams or Andy Stanton, and... it felt a bit average. There are so many good books out there for children that perhaps this doesn't quite live up to what we have got use to. Having said that, my children loved it, and really they are the target market, not me!

Was read to me 4th September '18

Junkyard Jack and the Horse That Talked
Author: Adrian Edmondson Illustrator: Danny Noble
Junkyard Jack is about a boy whose mother is in jail (for a crime she claims not to have committed). He lives with his Aunt her cruel husband and their mean daughter who do not provide him with a warm and loving home environment. On top of this, Jack has dyslexia, so he has quite a lot to deal with.

Jack decides to run away from his, and on his way meets a talking horse. And so the adventures begin...

While my six year old loved this (and my ten year old was soon listening in each night, this book didn't grab my attention. I was expecting something much more funny, along the lines perhaps of Roald Dahl, David Williams or Andy Stanton, and... it felt a bit average. There are so many good books out there for children that perhaps this doesn't quite live up to what we have got use to. Having said that, my children loved it, and really they are the target market, not me!

Was read to me 19th August '18

Natboff! One Million Years of Stupidity
Author: Andy Stanton Illustrator: David Tazzyman
The publication of this book was well timed for my younger son - we had just finished reading the Mr Gum series, and he was feeling a bit sad about that. When this book arrived  he was SO excited, and read the first 4 or 5 pages to himself! 

The book itself follows the history of Lamonic Bibber (the town where Mr Gum lives). Each period of history is written in a contemporary style. Some styles were a bit harder to understand when read aloud, and he probably didn't appreciate the literary references. What he DID enjoy was the sillyness of words and situations that he has come to know and love from the Mr Gum stories. This book made him giggle lots, especially sections where there was lot of repetition (of words and of plot/themes). It wasn't long before my ten year old was also actively listening in! 

The ending is brilliant and possibly the chapter that produced the most laughter from the whole family. I really hope that my younger son re-read this again in a few years, and again when he is an adult as there are many levels on which to enjoy this book.