Little library loves

 

We grew up with libraries.  That’s where you got books to read before bedtime.  Back then, dear reader, there was no Amazon.

Of course there will always be books that you just *have* to own but a daily reading habit sometimes makes the choice of what next difficult.  Charts have little meaning when they seem only reflect the 99p bargain of the day rather than a really good read.

This year I’ve really enjoyed getting into Children’s Literature so what makes more sense than taking advantage of Eims’ workplace? Lots of beautifully borrowed classics and new releases. Happy days! The Iron Man alone confirms the importance of libraries and oh! what fun the BFG is making for me.  Lots of project ideas for Lil D’s next visit.

Eims may have already known this but libraries really are a treasure worth rediscovering.

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April book club: Jim Reaper

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Jim has a dream. He dreams that his parents will buy him a limited edition Bazoom!, an awesome scooter, and his best friend’s sister will think he’s as cool as she is.   The problem is that there are only a limited number of Bazooms! left and mum’s definitely not going to buy it given her obsession with staying healthy.

So that leaves dad.

Except while trying to convince dad, Jim and his friend Will discover that the mathematically challenged accountant may not be spending his days (and nights) crunching numbers…

This is a fun story with a cast of characters that make you laugh: from Will, Jim’s best friend, with his jelly brain and obsession with snails, to Jim’s little sister Hetty, whose worldly wise attitude sits alongside her love of blackmail.

The language is accessible to young readers and the pace keeps everyone moving along nicely. I was surprised how much I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading more about Jim Reaper.

February Book Club

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Violet and the Pearl of the Orient

Violet has new neighbours.  On first impressions they’re not the type of people Violet and her family would normally take to but everyone deserves to be given a chance, right?

As events unfold in their little community Violet begins to suspect the newbies of more than just unpleasantness.

Her favourite neighbour’s valuable pearl has been stolen and the police aren’t listening to Violet’s suspicions.

It’s time to do some detectiving.

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Lovely illustrations by Becka Moor and more to enjoy from Violet in Harriet Whitehorn’s series of books.

December Book Club

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig. Illustrated by Chris Mould.

This is the story of how Father Christmas came to be the man we know today.

Everyone is young first –  this story follows Nikolas, our Boy called Christmas on his path to becoming the jolliest man in the world.  An adventure that teaches us that saying something is impossible is merely a restriction we put on ourselves.

A Boy called Christmas is a beautiful tale about finding your path.  It shows us the importance of kindness and altruism whilst challenging what’s thought of as impossible. It also explains the old chimney trick nicely.

We’re looking forward to reading this for many Decembers to come.

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November Book Club

Witch Switch

Author: Sibeal Punder

Illustrator: Laura Ellen Anderson

Witch SwitchWitch Wars is over.  The right witch got the job of top witch, except the old witch with cart described the winner as elegant, and Peggy is kind and brilliant, but she’s still as clumsy as ever, so perhaps it isn’t over yet…

Fran is the first to discover that Peggy has disappeared and so begins the adventure as Tiga and Fluffanora search for their friend.  There is only one suspect- Felicity Bat, badly helped by Aggie Hoof (who spends most of the book enforcing the fashion of wearing shoes on your ears), but figuring out what they have done with Peggy is nearly impossible.

Yet again this instalment of the Witch Wars Adventures is pure fun.  Tiga is settling into life in Ritzy City, but there are many things to learn.  Who was her mum? Which spell brings an object to you and which makes it grow? When will Fluffanora stop making Aggie Hoof put shoes on her ears?  And most of all, where have all the witches been disappearing to? IMG_3164

The illustrations are beautiful and bring this crazy adventure to life.  It’s a world where a 9 year old has a lot of power and sometimes uses it the way only a 9 year old can.

Lil D has enjoyed the quirkiness of Witch Wars, can’t wait to read this with her too!

September Book Club

The Shepherd’s Crown

Author: Terry Pratchett

“If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”

The Wee Free Men

Ever since I read Monstrous Regiment  I have been hooked on the Discworld books (I totally did not see the twist coming, as obvious as it was).  Not all of them were classics, but there are so many enduring characters, with faults and virtues in often unequal measure that they make you realise the world is completely mad sometimes.

And among my favourite in the series are the Tiffany Aching books (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, I shall Wear Midnight and Wintersmith).  Written for younger readers they incorporate elements and characters of the adult books, with the strong and sensible young Tiffany Aching as our focus as she negotiates her way through life as temporary Kelda (kind of a queen) to the Nac Mac Feegles (a clan of well meaning but mischievous small creatures- definitely not fairies), Hag (or witch) of the Chalk (where Tiffany lives) and a girl trying to grow up.

The Shepherd’s Crown is something more than Tiffany’s story though.  It is the last book written by Terry Pratchett before his death, and the early scenes of the death of a long running character from the adult books felt genuinely sad.  But even these chapters contain the joy of noticing the absurd, and doing what has to be done, because sometimes you are the only one sensible enough to get it done.

It isn’t a complete book, I imagine details would have been fleshed out if time had allowed, but as a fan I’m glad we got one last outing.

The wee free menI probably won’t read this particular Pratchett with the dotes just yet, but I highly recommend introducing the little ones (and yourself) to the wonders of Discworld.  The Wee Free Men is a good place to start.

“It’s still magic even if you know how it’s done.”

A Hat Full of Sky

August Book Club

Ever after highEver After High – Once Upon a Time

Author: Shannon Hale

This is a collection of short stories introducing the characters of Ever After High. Some are simply the first chapter in the already published books in the series, and some are brand new.  Having never read the books these short introductions have really piqued my interest in the full length stories.

Ever After High is a boarding school for the children of fairy tale characters.  These kids are not only expected to follow in the footsteps of their famed parent, they have to agree to take their parent’s exact spot in the fairy tale.  Harsh for the likes of Ashlynn Ella, who in order to take her mother’ s place in the story, will have to lose Cinderella, gain a Wicked Stepmother and some Ugly Sisters.  And difficult for Dexter Charming, who is set to inherit one of many roles given to Prince Charming, despite not really being all that heroic or Charming, unlike his impressively large family.

The humour and the twists on both fairy tales and modern-day life (MirrorPad remind you of anything) make these really enjoyable little adventures.  Clearly, the story doesn’t end for the characters on the last page, and you are being encouraged to read the full books, but they have enough in them to spark a fairytale friendly imagination.

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