I am so excited to share the cover for my new book with you, I really hope that you love it because Georgie is very excited!
When Georgie Grows Up is the story of a very imaginative child who isn’t really sure that the promise of eating their vegetables is really worth growing up big and strong for! A 32 page long picture book in full colour which will take you to the moon and to the depths of the ocean.
Georgie is an intentionally non-binary character so that as many of the children reading the story can identify with Georgie’s wild imagination as possible!
What do you want to do when you grow up? Are your dreams as outrageous as Georgie? Read my brand new story when it is released on 20th June 2022.
You can preorder your copy now from my Folksy shop or get it on release day from my Amazon book shelf! All preorders will come with an extra special gift too!
The book is almost ready to go to print and has been dedicated to three of my beautiful nieces and nephew, Bonnie, Betsy and Noah. Being surrounded by children keeps me young and my imagination overflowing, I am very lucky to be their aunty.
Thank you for joining in with my excitement as it draws closer to launch day, there will be plenty to look out for across my social media accounts!
Sass Feels Lonely is the first book that I have written with very simple sentence structures which appeal to younger readers and reluctant readers or those who struggle with more complex books but still want a bright picture book to read. The pages only have one sentence each and children can learn the book easily through repetition which in my experience (as a mummy having to read the same stories over and over again) gives children a sense of accomplishment which can guide them towards a love of reading in the future.
My original story for Sass was much longer and more in depth but as I was writing it I became aware that Sass could tell his story through the images as much as the text which would give children more freedom to develop Sass’s story in their own imaginations.
I am incredibly proud of Sass so when the publisher sadly had to withdraw from publication and close down, I knew that I wanted to independently publish Sass Feels Lonely under my own publishing brand Moby and Puddle Books. I have spent the last few weeks taking the necessary steps to do so and I am happy to announce that Sass Feels Lonely is now available on Amazon.
I also have limited amounts available on Folksy which are the first edition copies that I have purchased from the now defunct publishers. You can even find keyrings there too!
To celebrate the release of the second edition of Sass Feels Lonely I have decided to run a giveaway across my facebook and instagram accounts. It will run until Midnight on Monday 4th April and winner announced on my blog Tuesday 5th April. There will be two winners, the first will win a signed copy of the book and a soft toy that looks a little like Sass (a cousin perhaps?) and the second will win a signed copy of the book with a Sass keyring and sticker. Due to ongoing postal issues the giveaway will be exclusively UK based.
I hope that however you get your hands on your copy of Sass, that you enjoy it and that you fall in love with this big fluffy creature who lives in the forest just as much as I have. One setback won’t stop him, after all Sass is on the lookout for more friends!
Written by Leon Howlett, Professor Von Schmell and his Fart Powered Bike is as random as they come. It is a little bit of mayhem wrapped up in a glorious story about inventors and a race. If you don’t like your children to read books about farting, burping or other bodily functions then at least it is right there on the cover for you to see and keep away from. It isn’t hiding anything or pretending it is some great moral story, it is however blatant fun in the form of a picture book.
Harry is 10 years old and he finds farts and burps hilarious, why wouldn’t he? life is far too serious as it is, especially at the moment, so seeing him giggle and chuckle as we read this book was brilliant. He is also a massive fan if inventors and crazy inventions (he adores Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs) so this book definitely fell into the hands of its target market and we thank Stour Valley Publishing for sending it to us for review.
If I had to pick at anything, (As seems to be the thing that I complain about most in childrens books) it would be the lack of punctuation. It really makes it a lot more difficult to read out loud, maybe this is just me? But the right punctuation or even the wrong punctuation but in the right place really does help the rhythm of a book keep going, especially when it is a rhyming book. This book is not great with punctuation and has very little on some pages. When it has a second edition which I think it will, this would be a massive improvement.
The illustrations by James Gibson are fantastic, our favourite being the parrot in his dressing gown which really is worth buying this book for. James has a way of creating humour within the story and also in the background with so many different details that keep you lingering on each page more than you otherwise would. I am a big fan of James Gibson’s work and think that the book is worth getting to enjoy the artwork as much as the story.
Harrison awarded 5 webs out of 5, ignoring the lack of punctuation due to the amount that the book made him laugh and laugh. We are sure to read this one again and look forward to reading more from both Leon Howlett and James Gibson.
Harrison and I really loved the style of this book, the illustrations are vivid and full of texture. There are lots of hidden details to look out for in the backgrounds of each page too which meant that we spent longer chatting about the extra details as well as the story itself. The Boogie Woogie Monster is a story that teaches the value of not making rushed judgements based on appearance. The story flows really well and there were no slow points and the story made sense from start to finish, it was clear, concise, fun and heart warming.
The Boogie Woogie monster is lonely but he keeps trying to make a connection with Moe, the main character in the story, and keeps protecting him even after he has been shunned by the boy. The monster is very self aware and knows that the boy is scared. I think that makes him a lot more loveable despite the claws and teeth.
Harrison really enjoyed the inclusion of some of his favourite characters, Santa and the tooth fairy which are hilariously laced into the story with some great consequences. I particularly liked one spread that shows a group of monsters because most children have the occasional monster lurking under the bed, even some adults too.
This book is fun and is colourful, it is a great story and will be one that we will read more than once. It might be helpful for children who are struggling with sleeping in the dark although it might have the opposite effect since the art work is so fantastic. I would recommend this story to anyone who loves a little uniqueness with a great story to go with it.
The second book in the Stick It Brit series by Jenny Neal won’t disappoint fans of the original. It is a fully illustrated children’s book that will delight even if you are not familiar with the first book in the series.
This alphabet book focuses on food with Brit and baby Amy putting on a picnic for their toys. Once again Brit is covering everything with sticky notes and causing a little chaos at the same time. Young children will not realise that this book is helping them read, it isn’t at all preachy or stagnant, it is a real story all the way through.
Once again Jenny Neal has created a bright and colourful book with really wonderful backgrounds that have so much energy. The illustrations are simple and playful, they really capture the relationship between the sisters.
Harry thought that baby Amy pouring the drink over her own head was hilarious and Brit’s reaction was perfect for a big sister. I have a soft spot for the teddy Captain Spy and hope he makes more appearances in further Stick It Brit titles.
The Q part of the alphabet is Quavers which I thought was a little risky, any brands in a book can age them but then again I think Quavers will likely be around for many years to come (I hope so at least, they are delicious!). I will warn you though, if you plan to read this book, do not do it at bed time like we did, we had no choice but to get top and have snacks and a glass of milk! This book will make you hungry! It is good that the majority of the foods are healthy snacks and mostly vegetarian but some vegans may not like the inclusion of eggs if reading to vegan children (we love veggie ham and sausages so we didn’t mind that!) Honestly though you would have to be pretty strict to let that stop you from enjoying the story.
We both really enjoyed the second instalment of Stick It Brit and hope that it won’t be the last.
Stick It Brit and the ABC Picnic Surprise by Jenny Neal is available now from Shookbop.
This book was kindly sent to us for review by the publisher Stour Valley Publishing and it completely our own views.
Small Tom’s Big Adventure was written by fox enthusiast Marian Pierce and is a wonderful story of one fox named Small Tom who helps a couple of lost cubs try to find their way home. With the help of a fox lady who is never shown but who helps keep the local dens fed and warm, Small Tom goes on his big adventure.
Small Tom is great in the fact that he knows when he can help but also knows when to ask for help too. Their is a whole community of foxes and they all come together to help each other stay safe, warm and dry. It is genuinely a heartwarming tale that made for a fantastic bedtime story.
The story is a little wordier than most picture books but is not too long at all, if you have a child who wants the same book read over and over again in one night then it might be one you want to start a little earlier in the night but it certainly won’t be one you would mind reading more than once.
The illustrations are beautiful, all of the foxes are so fluffy especially the baby ones who were Harrisons favourites. There could have been a way to make each one a little more identifiable as once the fox community comes together it can be hard to keep track of which fox is which. The foxes may also benefit from just the slightest highlight in the eyes to make them appear just a little more approachable but that may just be personal opinion.
The book also highlights the importance of The Fox Project which helps foxes in the UK who may be displaced, hungry or injured. It is a very worthwhile charity which links nicely to Small Tom’s Big Adventure. Find out more now http://www.foxproject.org.uk
You can purchase this beautiful book, available now from Shookbop.
Harrison awarded Small Tom’s Big Adventure 5 webs out of 5, his favourite part was the sleeping foxes in their dens and the thought of humans being able to help foxes in their neighbourhoods.
We were delighted to receive this book for review from the publisher Stour Valley Publishing and all of the opinions are our own.
Always Good is a full colour children’s book written by Gary Heskins and illustrated by Kerry Sullivan, it is the story of a boy named Bobby Mac who sees the world differently to everyone around him. Teaching that the world is full of more than just material possessions and that you can be happy without all of them. Happily Bobby Mac sees his family as the richest treasure he could have. It is a feel good story with a heart of gold that tries to see the best in not having much.
Bobby has a wonderful family and they have taught him a lot about gratefulness and I think that it is a great lesson especially for children that aren’t in a position to have all of their wants met straight away. For the even children that are lucky enough to have everything, this story teaches to be a little more humble and to look at what really matters in your life.
Harrison and I really enjoyed this book, it is bright and colourful, has a clear message and was easy to read. It helped us to discuss what we take for granted in our life and how we could be more grateful for what we have too.
The illustrations by Kerry Sullivan are great, the style is very friendly and appealing to young children and old with lots of action going on, Harry particularly enjoyed the illustrations of the animals and the children playing football. Every page is jam packed with colour and energy, the characters really stand out.
The book is let down by a lack of punctuation which is very hit and miss, some pages have capital letters and full stops and others have no punctuation at all which does bother me when reading aloud especially. It could use the help of a good editor to just polish off what is a great story.
I was concerned that the book promoted an unhealthy, ideal version of being ‘always good’ however the main character does admit that he does have bad days too, which was a great addition to the story in my opinion because it is hard to be happy all of the time and is an unrealistic expectation to put on yourself or other people but it is possible to always be grateful for what you do have.
Harrison and I think that this book would be great for children who are struggling to see that other people live different lives and have different lifestyles but it doesn’t make your life any less valuable. We all have moments of envy and this book would be a good one to read in those moments.
Harrison awarded Always Good 4 out of 5 webs, the story is great and the illustrations are beautiful, it just needs some work on the punctuation and grammar.
We were sent this book by Stour Valley Publishing for review, the thoughts and opinions are our own.
It is not often that a book is created so beautifully and by a whole family at that. Created by the Bax family and written by mum Stacy Bax, Busy Buzzy Bee is a story that has been created from five year old Elodie’s watercolour paintings. The whole process is really creative and inventive. The mix of the innocence of Elodie’s five year old imagination painting flowers in beautiful colours combined with the parents bees makes it really magical.
The story has some great repetition and tells children just how important bees are and how busy they are making sure that all of their jobs are done. It inspires children to look after the bees and help them as much as possible without getting too scientific and confusing.
The text is great but it is formatted in a confusing way, it could definitely be clearer but it doesn’t take much away from the story all and since it is surrounded by a literal hive of bee activity I can see how it would be difficult to format the text around it.
The back of the bus has a bonus poem and a lovely illustration dedicated to the heroes that are our amazing NHS and all they have accomplished throughout the global pandemic. It is really heartwarming.
I am a big fan of bee books and encouraging children to look after our fluffy little friends as you will know if you have seen my book Blake the Bee Who Believed or the book I illustrated for Simon Henderson, The Soggy Little Bee. It is amazing that all of these bee books can be teaching a similar message and still be amazingly different. Bees really are magical and Busy Buzzy Bee really shows that magic.
Harrison really enjoyed looking at all of the little details in the illustrations, he spent a long time looking at all of the individual bees and deciding on his favourite ones. He really engaged with the illustrations as much as the story. The colours and the beautiful illustrations really do catch your eye.
If you have ever sat and watched a baby play you can see that their minds are working constantly, figuring out the world around them. In Munchkin’s Adventures you get a glimpse into what Alice (Munchkin) is daydreaming about and her imagination is running wild while she is spending her day with her family doing very ordinary activities.
Written by Karen Farrell and illustrated by Grandma Robyn, this story is enchanting and so are the illustrations. The imaginary adventures are varied and fun, from a rocket ship to a mermaid lagoon just like on the cover. Harry thought that he could imagine his baby cousins going on all of these fantastic adventures to all of these magical places. Wouldn’t it be amazing if they could really tell us about them all?
The text is simple to follow and it is laid out really nicely, you can see what Alice is really doing and what she is imagining easily which allows the illustrations to shine. They are really delicate and soft watercolours that are perfect for the tone of the gentle story.
The cover initially seems very girly, we don’t buy based on gender stereotypes in our home, we just read what we like. Hopefully the pink doesn’t put anyone off though because the story really is great for anyone, boys and girls can daydream of being merpeople and astronauts alike. Harry really enjoyed it and thought that the baby was very sweet.
Munchkin’s Adventures is available now on Shookbop.
The publisher sent us this copy for review and the opinion are all our own.