Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews


Aged 7
Joined April 2015

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Was read to me 16th March '19

Charlie Changes Into a Chicken
Author: Sam Copeland Illustrator: Sarah Horne
'Charlie changes into a chicken' is (probably) unlike any other book you will read.  It is ridiculous, funny and has some serious themes running through it (the main character, Charlie, has a brother in hospital who is awaiting the results of a scan, and is also the target of the school bully).  How does Charlie cope with his anxieties? By changing into various animals, of course! Why does this happen?  Charlie's group of friends are determined to find out, and undertake various experiments to seek out the cause.  This book is full of quirky characteristics (footnotes, Q & A's from readers, the author discussing the plot with the reader...).  It bounces around and keeps you entertained the whole way through, there are certainly never any boring bits.  It was a great story to read aloud to my son, and as with all good children's books it was an enjoyable story for both of us.

My son loved this book, and we are pleased to learn there will be more. Definitely recommend for fans of Mr Gum and The Nothing to See Here Hotel series.

Was read to me 11th March '19

Fanatical About Frogs
Author: Owen Davey
My children are huge fans of this series of books by Owen Davey, and I was delighted to find his newest book in the library.  As with his other books, there are lots of bright, engaging pictures and diagrams and fascinating facts.  The book covers everything you might ever want to know about frogs, from what they have in common, what they eat (with some truly gruesome facts!), how they communicate, their role in mythological tales and how the reader can engage in frog conservation. As ever, there was plenty in this book for both my children and I to learn.  This is a fantastic book in that it is full of interesting facts which means that my children are learning without it feeling forced. It definitely puts a bit of fun into learning, and I feel it helps to know that there will be no test at the end. Highly recommend this book for any young nature lovers, and it would make a fantastic gift.

Was read to me 22nd February '19

The Wombles at Work
Author: Elisabeth Beresford Illustrator: Nick Price
As most readers already know, the Wombles are creatures that live underground and tidy up after litter dropping Human Beings. In this adventure, we are gently introduced to the cast of Wombles (and a swan!), as they are set the task of seeing who can come up with the best idea to tackle Pollu (pollution) to win a gold medal. 

The story is well written, with kindly characters that are both endearing and aspiring, and who greatly appealed to my own litter picking child (who also has a fondness for creating new things with his finds). The chapters are quite long (too long to read one chapter per night), but my son was still able to easily follow the story. We will definitely now be seeking out more of the Wombles books. I liked the environmental themes of the book (don't drop litter, think about how things can be mended or re-used) which seem pertinent to current issues. It is hard to believe that this book was written bin the 1970's and yet these issues have not changed. So as well as being a well written story, this is also a great way to teach children the importance of looking after where you live. 

Was read to me 4th February '19

Amazing Evolution: The Journey of Life
Author: Anna Claybourne Illustrator: Wesley Robins
This is excellent educational book that takes children step by step through all aspects of evolution. 

With fun illustrations, paragraphs, facts and pictures are used together to present information and set out facts about what evolution is, different types of evolution, what extinction and the different ways in which it can occur. There are sections on the history of evolution (how and why evolution was discovered and the key players in the development of the theory) and how animals are related to one another. There is also a section on whether or not evolution is still taking place, and predictions as to what future changes may be.

This book is aimed at 9 -12 year olds, but my 7 year has enjoyed listening to it as much as my 11 year old so I would say it is suitable for younger children. I love books like this that are able to make what can be quite complex scientific ideas and theories accessible (and fun!) to young children. As an adult I have learnt a few new things from this book, and I would dwdefinite have benefited from this book as a young child who struggled a bit with science.

I would highly recommend this book for any curocur child who has a love of science and nature.

Was read to me 25th January '19

The Legend of Kevin: A Roly-Poly Flying Pony Adventure
Author: Philip Reeve Illustrator: Sarah McIntyre
Kevin is a flying pony who loves biscuits. One day he finds himself caught up in a wild storm that blows him away from his home in the wild, wet hills and into the flat of Max, a young boy who lives in the town of Bumbleford.  The storm has left the town flooded, and it is not long before Kevin the flying pony is helping Max to rescue the towns inhabitants from the floods. There is much silliness and japery in this story, and the book is full of humorous cartoons.  My son loved the naughty Sea Monkeys (and, secretly, they were MY favourite characters too!). We read this book together quite quickly, as every time we got to the end of a chapter we both wanted to carry on for a little bit more... 

My son loved this book, and upon finishing it immediately asked to read the next one from this author/illustrator team!