Toppsta - Childrens Books – Reviews

Piglet

Aged 7
Joined April 2015

Favourite book EVER is The Giant Jam Sanwich
Group
Bobbin
Bobbin, 11 225 books
Piglet
Piglet, 7 370 books
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Was read to me 18th January '19

Pugs of the Frozen North
Author: Philip Reeve Illustrator: Sarah McIntyre
My son loved this book!  A kind of book version of Wacky Races, a number of groups enter a competition to race to the top of the world. The main characters are Shen and Sika who enter the fray with a sledge pulled by 66..... pugs!  There are plenty of adventures along the way, with a stop at a Yeti noodle bar and an encounter with the Kraken (both of these I loved, as it was a great way to introduce these myths and legends to my son).  Who will win the race? With set backs and successes along the way for all entrants, it is difficult to know who will win the race.  The ending is great, and poignant.  I now have to find more books by these authors as my son really loved this book so much. 

Was read to me 18th January '19

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain
Author: Edward Ardizzone
This is a beautiful story that captures perfectly a child's wish for adventure. Little Tim is a boy who loves boats, and more than anything wants to be a sailor.  His friend The Captain talks to him about the sea, but alas Tim's parents laugh at his dreams and tell him he must be much older before he can become a sailor. When an opportunity presents itself for Tim to become a stowaway, he jumps at the chance and he sets off on his own voyage.

The text and illustrations are dreamy and whimsical, and perfectly capture the way in which children dream of adventures not allowed in the normal, conventional world. My son was a little bit scared of what would happen when the boy left his parents behind, but we carried on until the end, and hopefully without spoiling the plot I can reassure other potential readers that all ends well. 

Was read to me 18th January '19

Sleep
Author: Kate Prendergast
Beautifully illustrated, this is gentle book about the different ways in which animals around the world sleep. The main part of the book features one animal on each page, and my son found it fascinating to learn that ants only fall asleep for moments at a time or that sloths would not fall out of trees while they slept.  As a reluctant reader, it was heartening to see that my son was happy to read sections of this book. We also had quite a few interesting conversations about the different ways in which animals sleep (and agreed that we would both rather be bears who sleep all winter than busy ants!). At the end of the book is a section with more detailed facts on each of the animals featured in the book. My son also loved this, and it is great as it makes the age range that this book is suitable a bit longer.  

Would definitely recommend this utterly charming book for any animal loving young children.

Was read to me 8th January '19

Engineering Scribble Book
Authors: Eddie Reynolds , Darran Stobbart
My son loves designing and making things, and is a keen engineer so this book is perfect for him! Full of ideas and spaces to respond to suggested projects, this book is a great and inventive way to help a child learn more about engineering and the techniques that can be used to solve problems.As well as ideas and projects the book includes a few facts and definitions of terms, aiding learning as you go along. 

A great interactive book that makes learning fun. A definite hit with my child!

Was read to me 8th January '19

A Wee Bird Was Watching
Author: Karine Polwart Illustrator: Kate Leiper
A mother and her young daughter are on a long journey, and decide to stop in some woods for a rest and some food. While the mother gathers food, a small bird watches over the girl. This story is a re-telling of a folk tale of how robins gained their red breasts. 

The story is quite subtle in a introducing the idea that the small family are fleeing from somewhere, and the dangers and deprivations that they encounter on their way. The language is gentle and understated, and the illustrations match their tone. 

My son really liked this story (as robins hold a special significance for us) and wanted to know if it was a true story. It gave us the chance to talk about folk tales, which are a genre that I have not really read to my children.