Webb Review – Pencil Case Pals, Peaty Pencil Learns To Help

Written by Tazkia Dokrat and illustrated by Kerry Green, Peaty Pencil Learns To Help is a lovely little book about a pencil who is great at academics and not so great at sports (I can instantly relate!)

The pencils are adorable.

Peaty Pencil has to learn that everyone has strengths and weaknesses and that helping each other really helps everyone. It is a very cute book and the pencils have so much personality. I am a massive stationary addict (Hoarder?) and seeing these little pencils chatting and running is just charming. It is a really cute idea. It isn’t easy to give emotion and movement to inanimate objects and Kerry Green does it really well.

Harry and Peaty Pencil Learns To Help.

The font selection is a little strange as random words throughout the text are given extra emphasis with decorative fonts, it does add to the interest on the text only pages. It is only a short story but is one of a series of Pencil Case Pals and we would be really interested to see the rest too.

We were curious on pages where Peaty Pencil and friends were sat writing with little pencils, did those little pencils have personalities too? That would be super cute but could go on forever.

Harrison gave this book 4 out of 5 webs.

This book was sent to us for review by the publisher Stour Valley Publishing and our opinions are our own.

Available now from Shookbop.

Thank you so much for reading our review,

Samantha and Harrison.

Webb Review – Munchkin’s Adventure by Karen Farrell and Grandma Robyn

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.

Beautiful soft watercolours.

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.

Munchkin’s Adventure is a beautiful 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.

Thank you for reading our review.

Samantha and Harrison.

Webb Review – Stick It Brit By Jenny Neal

Written and illustrated by Jenny Neal, Stick It Brit is a children’s book that helps to encourage children to learn in their own unique ways.

Stick It Brit was not at all what I was expecting from the title, both Harrison and I thought wrongly that the book would be about Brit giving up or telling someone to leave them alone, perhaps it is a regional dialect thing but saying ‘stick it’ is not the positive message that we soon found this book to be. It was made very clear very fast that the stick which was being referred to was actually sticky notes!

Stick It Brit.

Stick It Brit is the story of a little girl who is struggling to learn spelling and vocabulary and uses sticky notes to help often with hilarious results (have you tried to pop a sticky note on a cat? Brit did!). It was great to see Brit not only recognise her own struggles but to find a way to work through them too. A story of perseverance even when it isn’t easy and that practice will make your tasks easier.

It is a great story that shows not everyone will learn in the same way and that you need to find the way to suit you best.

The illustrations are bright, bold and colourful. I really like the energetic backgrounds on every page, there is not a single page that lets down that energy which carries the enthusiasm throughout the book. It is educational without losing track of the story and would be a great motivator to a child who is struggling to find their own way of learning.

Harrison enjoyed Stick It Brit.

Harry really enjoyed the story too and thought that the idea was brilliant, he suggested that each book should come with a pack of sticky notes to get you started.

Stick It Brit also raises money for Twinkling Stars, Stillbirth Bereavement Services which just makes it even more special.

Harrison awarded Stick It Brit 5 webs out of 5.

Published by Stour Valley Publishing and available now from Shookbop.

This book was sent to us for review and these opinions are our own.

Thank you so much for reading our review.

Samantha and Harrison.

First Song is now available

First Song is the story of a little girl who has her life turned upside down by a her new baby brother who just will not stop crying. Mum, Pops, Nana and Grandpops all try hard to soothe the baby but are unsuccessful, can his big sister find the way to help him sleep?

Dedicated to my own daughter who has always been the best big sister anyone could wish for even if she does argue like crazy with her little brother, no one else is allowed to treat him badly, she is his protector. My Webblings are my inspiration and that has never been more obvious than in this new book.

My beautiful Webblings.

I have written the story and illustrated it digitally, I have been growing and improving, trying to get as much texture and life into digital art as I do with watercolours. It is a process that I have really enjoyed and I hope that it shows with First Song. I know that I still have a lot to learn about story writing and illustration but I am really proud to share this story with the world.

First Song has arrived.

First Song was released yesterday and has had a great reception so far, I can’t thank my family and friends enough for the encouragement and support that they have given me throughout the whole process.

Published by Moby and Puddle Books.

Available from Amazon and Folksy now.

I hope you like it as much as I do!

Samantha Webb.

One of my favourite background details in First Song.

Webb review – Sid the snail has lost his trail by Chloe Helene Harding

Sid The Snail Has Lost His Trail is written by Chloe Helene Harding and illustrated by Marife Gonzales, a picture book written in rhyme that aims to teach children perseverance. Sid gets separated from his mummy in bad weather and has to find his way home alone but it is not an easy journey.

Available from Shookbop.

Harrison and I really enjoyed Sid’s story, it is simple to follow and is full of heart. Sid meets lots of friends on the way and listens to their advice not to give up. I think that children will really relate to Sid, even now I can remember that fear when I was lost as a child (only for a few moments luckily) and the fear of being alone is real. It also shows that Mummy and the whole family never gave up looking for Sid either which I think is a really important part of the story too. The main theme is perseverance and that is exactly what Sid will learn by the end of his journey.

Harrison loves Sid The Snail

The illustrations by Marife Gonzales are absolutely beautiful. A mix of digital and collage with lots of texture. They are bright and impactful and match the tone of the story from page to page. My favourites were the trees, leaves and flowers whereas Harry really loved the characters especially Len the louse. It has a very cheerful overall feel to the story despite some of the darker parts when Sid is scared and lonely.

A great bedtime story.

Sid The Snail Has Lost His Trail made a great bedtime story all snuggled up and ready to sleep. We were very glad that there was a happy ending, a really warm and fuzzy happy ending to Sid’s journey. We would highly recommend this story for your bedtime routine, it was heartwarming and wholesome.

The author, Chloe Helene harding is an advocate of Growth Mindset especially in children and the book includes a great explanation about how helping a child to develop a growth mindset will help them in the future to nurture themselves and the world around them. I believe that this is incredibly important and something that is too often overlooked. Seeing it in the back of the book can be really enlightening to parents and carers, it is in my opinion a great addition. It is a great lesson for adults too and we all need a reminder sometimes.

Stour Valley Publishing are the publishers behind the story and they sent it to us for review and we are very glad that they did, we have really enjoyed getting to know Sid and the world that the author and illustrator have created together. Hopefully it is the first of many.

Harrison awarded 5 out of 5 webs.

Harrison has awarded this book 5 out of 5 webs and has asked if he can read it again soon. I think he will probably enjoy it even more when he isn’t so sleepy too.

You can get your own copy now from Shookbop.

This review is all of our own opinions and is not a paid review.

Thank you so much for reading,

Samantha and Harrison Webb.

Webb Review – Introducing Sherman by Ruth Drury

Introducing Sherman available from Shookbop.

Introducing Sherman is a picture book written and illustrated by children’s author Ruth Drury. As the title suggests, the story introduces Sherman, a character who has a very unique job, he is responsible for the anxious feeling in the pit of our stomachs when we feel ashamed of something we have done or are about to do. Poor Sherman has had enough of his job and wants to retire.

The story is a teaching aid to help children recognise why they might feel ashamed and ways that they might find helpful to stop them feeling bad. Showing that shame is a natural and normal emotion that doesn’t have to linger for long.

Sherman is a complex character that Harrison and I enjoyed discussing. The concept of emotions is a difficult one to portray as a character and Sherman is a good example of it done well. I am not sure that either of my children would of really grasped the concepts that Introducing Sherman was describing when they were 4-7 years (which is the target age for the book) but at 9 years old it started some really deep conversations. I think that if you have a child who is struggling with feelings of self doubt and anxiety then this book could help them to recognise their emotions.

I get the impression from the cover that Sherman is only one of ‘The Shenanigans’ and that we will possibly see more in the future although it doesn’t make it clear in the book so I cannot be sure.

Harry learning about Sherman.

The illustrations are bright and eye catching with a collage feel to them. The character of Sherman is definitely the star of the book and stands out despite being surrounded by an array of other characters, his little red pants are just brilliant. It is a unique style of illustration and I really enjoyed the full pages with lots and lots of detail. There are a few pages where the characters inexplicably have no faces despite all of the other characters having faces which was a little off putting because they didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the illustrations throughout the book. If you are looking for a book absolutely jam packed full of colour then you will enjoy Introducing Sherman and I don’t think it is a style that I have come across before.

Harrys favourite page.

Of course Harrys favourite part was always going to be when a granny shouts ‘BUM!’ It sort of comes out of nowhere and although I didn’t really understand why the granny was shouting or who she was shouting at, Harry didn’t care in the least, he thought it was hilarious and that Sherman should perhaps just make everyone shout ‘BUM!’ all the time and he might not want to retire anymore.

Introducing Sherman is a bright colourful book that will help you start a conversation with your child about the emotion of shame and how to overcome that feeling so that it doesn’t stop them from doing things they enjoy. The vibrant palette and all of the small details in the illustrations elevate the story to make it more fun.

Harry awarded Introducing Sherman 3 out of 5 webs.

Harry has awarded Introducing Sherman 3 out of 5 webs, he did struggle to understand the concept without us talking it through but he really liked Sherman and all of the illustrations. It is not a book that we would read a lot but it is one that will be great to come back to when we need to discuss emotions and we both hope that Sherman is just the first of The Shenanigans.

Harry and Introducing Sherman.

You can learn more about Introducing Sherman and Ruth Drury’s books on Ruth’s website. Or grab your own copy of Introducing Sherman now from Shookbop.

Thank you so much for reading our review,

Samantha and Harrison x

Please note that this book was sent to us for review, this is not a paid review and is completely our own views.

FIRST SONG Cover Reveal

First Song is a brand new book which I have spent months writing and illustrating, I am so happy to finally reveal the cover ahead of the launch on September 13th! And here it is …

First Song Written and illustrated by Samantha Webb.

First Song is the story of a very fed up big sister who is having to learn that life with a new family member isn’t all fun and games. All baby wants to do is cry and the adults just can’t seem to soothe him no matter what they try.

This story is dedicated whole heartedly to the very best big sister that I have ever known, Lilly Summer Webb. Who even now at age 13 when she should be all surly and moody, will drop everything to be there for her brother if he is hurting. Both of my Webblings inspire me constantly but the bond they share is something that is so beautiful to watch from the outside. Don’t be fooled, they fight all the time but she has his back when he needs it too.

The story is written in rhyme and is fully illustrated in a new style that I have really been enjoying and hope that you will too! None of the characters are named because I hope you have siblings that will relate to them, maybe you could name them for me?

I am a bit mad on ‘art of …’ books because I love to see the concept art behind my favourite stories. Here is a little look at some of the behind the scenes sketches from First Song, very rough ideas. The finished book is digital but all of my initial ideas are done with paper and pencil.

Big sister concept sketches.

I had quite a clear idea of how I wanted the sister to look, sort of a wild version of Lilly I suppose. I did try lots of other ideas but I kept coming back to this one.

Choosing colours.

I wanted to have a deep earthy feel to First Song but trying to decide on a colour palette without it all blending together was difficult. My initial (Top Left) idea was what I had pictured before I started creating my character but I felt like she looked a little cold and needed warming up. I decided on the bottom right as the final design.

Cornlings are planned right from the start!

It was important to know exactly where my characters would be telling their story, this is a close family living in a very cosy and warm home. Of course every story needs a Cornling too although he was moved in the final edit to somewhere else so you will have to spot him in the finished book.

A very rough sketch of the family home.

This very early family live in a cave but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be full of home comforts. My ideas are scrawled all around the sketch. This view of the home is never shown in the final story but it helped me to have a good idea of where everyone belonged.

Baby Brother.

The first coloured image of Baby Brother, he is of course crying, poor little guy. Can you guess what will soothe him? feeding? changing? maybe. Drawing a baby was a challenge but it was a fun one and I just love drawing tiny baby feet which you will see in the book.

First Song will be available on Folksy and Amazon from September 13th and I really hope that you love it but if you can’t wait until then you can buy my previous titles from my Folksy shop and have them signed!

I am excited to see it in print so I best go and sort all of the finishing touches now! Look out for a preorder soon.

Thanks for reading,

Samantha Webbb.

Webb Review – Sydney Spider by Stacy Bax and Anita King

Available now from Shookbop now.

Written by Stacy Bax and illustrated by Anita King, Sydney Spider is a beautiful story about friends coming together to help when all feels lost.

Harrison and I read this book together and he has read it twice more alone since, so I think it is definitely a winner. The illustrations are really beautiful, Anita King has infused so much sweetness and warmth into the main character, Sydney Spider that no one could possibly be scared of this little spider even if you do suffer from arachnophobia.

The story is written in rhyme and flows really well, it has a great rhythm and is spaced well for being read out loud and shared. It is simple to follow and is really kindhearted. It is a wonderful way to teach children to be a bit more respectful of the homes of the creatures that live around us with a focus on leaving spider webs alone.

Merri Mouse was our favourite character.

The characters are all very sweet, we enjoyed the illustrations of the different animals paw prints but were a bit confused about how they followed the footprints because most of the animals are wearing (adorable) boots. It didn’t take anything away from the story though which is honestly enchanting.

From an illustration standpoint I feel like the front cover could have been different, the image is beautiful but it gives away the ending a little prematurely and as we were reading Harrison commented that he “thought that would happen because its on the cover”. The illustrations could also do with being a little sharper but that doesn’t take away from their charm.

Independant reading.

Sydney Spider would be perfect for children who are scared of spiders because it gently introduces them to the fact that spiders are creatures that need protecting too. It is intended for children younger than Harrison and would be great for younger audiences but sometimes its good to remind older children of the importance of looking after creatures smaller than them too and picture books really shouldn’t have an age limit in our opinion. I’m 35 and will never grow out of picture books! It is also great if like me you have a fear of spiders that you don’t want to pass on to your children.

Sydney Spider is published by Stour Valley Publishing who were kind enough to send us this copy for review. We enjoyed it and think you should grab a copy from Shookbop.

Harrison awarded Sydney Spider 5 webs out of 5.

Now we may be biased because the story is about a web but Harrison has awarded Sydney Spider 5 out of 5 webs and we are both looking forward to reading more stories by Stacy Bax and seeing more of Anita King’s illustrations.

Thank you for reading,

Samantha and Harrison x

Webb Review – What A Clever Cat! by Gabriella Heyburn

What A Clever Cat by Gabriella Heyburn.

Written and illustrated by Gabriella Heyburn, What A Clever Cat is a full colour picture book about a very clever cat indeed. The story follows three cats and their owners to the winter fair with some very funny conclusions.

Harrison and I enjoyed seeing the cats in their homes being pampered, the different homes have been illustrated beautifully, my favourite is the canal barge, what a lovely home for a cat.

A beautiful home for a cat.

The story is very sweet with lots of lovely big illustrations of the cats, if you have a child who is a cat lover then this book is a very easy sell, they will definitely enjoy it! The illustrations are clear and tell the story really well and the font is very bold and simple making it ideal for early readers but I can easily imagine adults enjoying the cheeky and mischievous antics of the cat too.

Harrison enjoying the story.

Harrison loves all books with animals as a main focus and he thought that the ending was brilliant. Initially he was unsure about choosing this book because the cover is quite dull and he thought it might be a sad story but once he had a little flick through and saw that it was actually really colourful he got comfy and sat down for a read. The cover really gives nothing away, it may have been better to have a brighter and more eye catching cover that matched the feel of the interior but then perhaps the surprise wouldn’t of been as humorous?

Sausages??

We also found it hilarious that one of the cats loves sausages, having never had a cat of our own (We are very much bunny people!) we had no idea that cats would enjoy sausages and for some reason that visual is just really funny to us.

What A Clever Cat is Gabriella Heyburns first picture book and we really hope that she will continue to make them. Gabriella captured the characteristics of the cats beautifully, they have a lot of personality. The story telling is great and I can see it getting better and better with more books.

If you know a little cat lover you can’t go wrong with this story book. It has been a difficult one to review because I really do not want to give the ending away and spoil it for you. It is a really charming story.

4 out of 5 Webs

Harrison has awarded this book a 4 webs out of 5, the only part he wasn’t sure about though was the cover, a lesson that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because he enjoyed the story inside and it wasn’t sad at all.

You can get yourself a copy of What A Clever Cat now from Shookbop. This is an author and illustrator that I think will continue to put out beautiful stories so get yourself her first book now.

Thank you so much for reading our review.

Samantha and Harrison x

Please note – this book was sent to us for review, it is not a paid review and all opinions are our own.