Newest For Sharing Reviews

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Sun Moon Star by Kurt Vonnegut and Ivan Chermayeff

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In his own delightfully imaginative way Kurt Vonnegut tells the story of the birth of Christ in this unique and long out of print children's book. Told from the perspective of the new born infant in his first hours of birth, this charming little story feels different to other children's Christmas books whilst at the same time goes back to the basics in exploring the true nature of Christmas. Full review...

Lump Lump and the Blanket of Dreams: Inspired by Navajo Culture and Folklore by Gwen Jackson and Lissa Calvert

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In the fir tree in the forest there were two holes: in the small hole at the top Blue Bird lived, but the big hole, in the ground below the fir tree was the home of Mother Bear and her little bear, Lump Lump. It was coming to the time when bears should be hibernating, but Lump Lump wanted to run in the forest and eat more honey. Somehow he didn't think that sleeping could be that much fun. Blue Bird sang him a song about a blanket of dreams and Lump Lump had to have one. There was a snag though - before the blanket could be woven Lump Lump had to collect the white light of morning, the red light of evening, the falling rain and the rainbow for Spider Woman to weave into his blanket. Full review...

As Nice as Pie by Gary Sheppard and Tim Budgen

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The day that you build that bird table and set out some nuts you are unwittingly creating a millstone for your own neck. From now on your inner voice is going to keep telling you to keep the food topped up. What will happen to those poor little birdies should they go without, will you be to blame for their hunger? Worse than the voice in your head is if the birds themselves started to demand more food. Could you deal with a cheeky chaffinch or a rabid robin? Full review...

Raven Child and the Snow Witch by Lina Sunderland and Daniel Egneus

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A beautiful story of hope, family and love. In the frozen north and safe away from the icy wilderness, young Anya lives a happy care-free life in the Snow Garden. She plays, she is at one with the animals and she dreams. On one day, no different from any other, Anya’s mother sets off on a journey to the glacier to collect a special flower to plant in the Snow Garden. Anya waits for her mother’s return and keeps busy throughout the day. After a long while of waiting Anya falls asleep and dreams of a terrible event involving the most dreadful enchantress of them all – the Snow Witch. From here on, Anya becomes determined to find and save her mother but she has no idea what lies ahead. Can Anya pit her wills against the frozen wilderness, the wild wolves and ultimately the Snow Witch herself? Full review...

Farm by Surya Sajnani

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In this sturdy, interactive board book little ones have clues to animals you might find on the farm, and can then slide the pieces of picture round on the facing page to uncover the answer. Full review...

Hush...Little Bear is Sleeping by Surya Sajnani

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In this somewhat ironic interactive board book, Baby Bear is trying to sleep but other animals around him keep making a noise. I say ironic because this would otherwise be a perfect bedtime story, but because it's a press and listen book with sound effects on every page, it's far too much fun and more likely to get them engaged and playing than carefully drifting off to slumber. Full review...

Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers

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Fred is an imaginary friend. He really loves being an imaginary friend, and he throws himself into his role wholeheartedly whenever he is 'summoned' by a child. The problem is that his children always end up finding a real friend, and then they don't need him, and slowly he fades away until the wind whisks him away into the clouds where he waits until he is summoned once more. When he becomes Sam's friend he thinks that all his dreams have come true - they like the same things, they have so much fun together, but Fred has a funny feeling in his imaginary tummy that one day, Sam won't need him any more either… Full review...

One Hundred Sausages by Yuval Zommer

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Mmm, sausages! Everyone knows that dogs have special hearing when it comes to the discussion of what's for dinner, especially when it comes to sausages. My mum used to hide the worming tablets in sausages as our dog would eat the sausage so fast he wouldn't notice the tablet. Well, most times! Anyway, this book is all about one particular dog's love of sausages, and what happens when he is falsely accused of stealing all of the town's sausages! Full review...

Gordon's Great Escape by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

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The life of the humble balloon is one full of fear and dangers. Imagine going out of the house each day and all that protects your vulnerable self is a thin sheet of taut rubber. Even if you do get to survive into your dotage, this is not a long time. Who has not left a balloon alone for a week or so, it starts to sag and go wrinkly until it is nothing more than a floppy bag. Depressing as this may be, Gordon the balloon looks on the bright side of life and is determined to enjoy every moment he has. Full review...

How to Save a Superhero by Caryl Hart and Ed Eaves

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It's just an ordinary day for Albie – he's playing with his toys just like any little boy. However little does he know that his day is going to be super in more ways than one. This is another fantastic adventure in the next in the series of books by Carol Hart and Ed Eaves. Full review...

Winnie and Wilbur Meet Santa by Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul

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Winnie and Wilbur are writing their letters to Santa. Wilbur wants lots of things including a wind up mouse, tins of sardines, and a cuddly blanket. Winnie, however, just wants a lovely surprise. When Christmas Eve arrives that is what she gets – but it's not exactly the surprise that Santa had in mind. He gets stuck in their chimney for so long that he might not have time to deliver all the presents. Luckily Winnie and Wilbur find him in time and, for once, Winnie's magic seems to be working. Full review...

There's a Snake in My School! by David Walliams and Tony Ross

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Miranda loves to be different so no one is really surprised when she arrives at school on Bring-your-pet-to-school Day riding on the back of an enormous slithery python called Penelope. But they are a bit frightened. After all, pythons EAT people. Miranda, however, soon convinces her classmates that Penelope is both friendly and lots of fun to play with. It looks like it's going to be the best day of school EVER. But that's before Miss Bloat, the headmistress, intervenes and locks up all the pets. Luckily Penelope has a special talent that will save the day. Full review...

That's Not a Hippopotamus! by Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis

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With the onset of TV, the internet and colourful books we take for granted that we know what different animals look like. A giraffe has a long neck, a lion has big teeth and a Dodo does not look like much anymore. However, imagine a time before all this technology, the closest you would get to an exotic animal might be the assorted stuffed creatures in a local Natural History Museum. Perhaps the children of Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis' That's Not a Hippopotamus! learned from some poor taxidermy, as they sure don't know what a Hippo looks like. Full review...

An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo

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If you have ever tried to print a design using traditional methods such as screen printing or block printing, you will know how tricky a feat this is. Making a simple black and white design is tough enough as you try and spread the paint evenly and avoid bleeding, but multicolours are even more complex. You have to remove your screen and add another, then make sure the new colour sits exactly where it should. When it goes wrong it looks amateurish and you have to start again. Do it right and it can look as wonderful as An Animal ABC by Alice Pattullo. Full review...

The Queen's Present by Steve Antony

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We join the story on Christmas Eve. The Queen hasn't finished her shopping yet, which is probably unlikely for a grandmother and great grandmother, but then I suppose most people in that position don't have a job ruling the country so she can be forgiven. She's shopping for the little prince and princess, but in a surprisingly unpatriotic moment she realises the UK just won't do, and she needs to venture further afield. If only there was someone with access to airborne transport who could whisk her away to the likes of France and Egypt and Italy and China at the drop of a hat (or the tug of a reign). Full review...

Greatest Animal Stories by Michael Morpurgo (Editor)

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We all know of Aesop and his animal fables: the hare and the tortoise, the boy who cried wolf or the ant and the grasshopper. In this stunning collection of animal stories, Michael Morpurgo has collated well-known and much-loved animal stories in a beautifully presented book. In the introduction he writes that we often first meet animals in stories before we meet them in real life and this collection is selected from his favourite childhood animal tales. Within his own stories, Morpurgo favours the inclusion of animals as the central character and these are all well received by children. As a primary school teacher, I value the fact that such a well-known author has collected these valuable animal-centred stories which can be used not only to engage children with tales from different cultures but also in providing life lessons. Each is beautifully illustrated and individual in style to each story. Prefacing each tale is a short paragraph giving information on the origin of the story and often a question or two to promote thought and discussion within the story. The stories originate from across the globe: Iceland, Africa, China and North America to name a few. Full review...

Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Felix Bernard, Richard Smith and Tim Hopgood

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It’s the end of October – almost November – and the embers of Christmas are just being brought back to life now. The weather is changing, the leaves are falling and it’s dark before six o’clock. No matter how much we try not to, our thoughts are turning to Christmas. Now, I absolutely love Christmas. However, what I love more than Christmas is the idea of Christmas. Walking in a Winter Wonderland paints the idea of Christmas better than anything else. It is a Christmas card in words and although it may be 13 degrees on Christmas day with grey skies, in our hearts sleigh bells are ringing, snow is glistening, Mister snowmen are being built and we all conspire as we dream by the fire. What a fantastic way to epitomise Christmas by using this great song, made famous by Peggy Lee and originally written in 1934, as a story book for children. Full review...

The Princess and the Christmas Rescue by Caryl Hart and Sarah Warburton

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Christmas can be an awesome time surrounded by friends, but if you don't have many, it can also be a rather lonely time. One way you could get more friends is to socialise a little and perhaps join a hobby group or two. What is unlikely to help is locking yourself up in a workshop and inventing things on your own all the time. This is exactly how Princess Eliza spends her time, but what caused her to have a lacks in friends may help her when a Christmas crisis occurs. Full review...

The Mouse that Cancelled Christmas by Madeleine Cook and Samara Hardy

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When you think there can't possibly be a different way to tell a Christmas story for children, along comes Madeleine Cook and Samara Hardy with a tale of a mouse who was once injured at Christmas time. A falling bauble hit poor mouse and that was enough to convince mouse that Christmas meant danger. Mouse dons his hard-hat and high-visibility jacket to inspect the animal's village Christmas preparations. In true health and safety style, nothing is up to scratch: the star is too pointy; the tree too tall and the lights are too bright on the tree, not to even mention the spikiness of the pine needles. Quite frankly, Christmas is jolly well too dangerous, so mouse wants it cancelled. Full review...

Santa Claude by Alex T Smith

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Ah Claude! He is such an endearing little dog. He's back on an adventure with Sir Bobblysock and this time it is a Christmas adventure. There are baubles and trees and carols and reindeer and, of course, there's trouble! For who else but Claude would accidentally handcuff Santa to an armchair on Christmas Eve, and then need to deliver all the presents himself? Full review...

Ludwig the Space Dog by Henning Lohlein

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Before there was Neil Armstrong and before there was Yuri Gagarin, there was another explorer of Space – Laika. This was no man however, but a dog. Laika was one of the first animals to explore space; the less said about her fate the better, but surely her adventures would encourage other canines to explore the great beyond? Ludwig is one such Mutt and although we may not have a rocket ship to help him with his adventures, we do have a set of 3D glasses. Full review...

Fred by Mick Inkpen and Chloe Inkpen

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It's tricky being a puppy. There are so many things to try to understand, like sit, and stay, and fetch! Whilst the pup in this story has learned all of these tricky commands, and is doing very well at being a good boy, he is having some issues around the word 'Fred'...what on earth does everyone mean when they keep shouting it at him? Full review...

The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies

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The Storm Whale in Winter is a sequel to the highly popular The Storm Whale. Noi's father embarks on one last fishing trip before the Arctic Winter sets in. All alone, with his six cats, Noi patiently waits for his father's return. As night sets and the sea begins to freeze, Noi starts to worry and believes he can see his Dad's boat from his bedroom window. Full of courage, he sets off out in the snow to find his Dad. Getting lost in the blizzard, Noi is in need of help which comes in the form of his old friend. Full review...

Threadbear by Mick Inkpen

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We have all had a special teddy, the teddy which is not perfect, the one that would never be classed as beautiful but the one that is loved more than any other. Threadbear is that very teddy. The man who made him put so much stuffing in him that his arms and legs were too hard. Sadly, because of all the extra stuffing, the squeaker in his stomach has never squeaked. Not once. Ever. Threadbear feels he is letting his Ben down, so he embarks on a mission to fix his squeaker. He tries and tries but fails, until he decides that there is one special person he must meet and maybe this will be the only person who can fix his squeaker. Full review...

The Building Boy by Ross Montgomery and David Litchfield

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This is the story of a boy and his Grandma. An award-wining architect, Grandma promises to build the boy a special house on a hill over the horizon, over a city and beyond the sea. But Grandma is getting old – too old to make houses. And, one day, she is gone. Without Grandma, the house is empty. It’s just rooms. But the boy has an idea – it requires a lot of work but the result is totally magical. Full review...

A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters and Ellie Snowdon

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Living on a farm, with her father who works as a farmer and a mother who is a farm-vet, Jasmine has spent all her young life learning how to care for animals. On a visit to a neighbouring farm, Jasmine is excited to see the new baby piglets. Expecting to see eleven piglets, she is stunned to find one extra - a tiny little runt hiding in the corner. Being smaller than her hand, the farmer has no sympathy and expects it to die by the end of the day. Of course, Jasmine can't allow this to happen. The story is then set for a struggle to save the smallest piglet, called Truffle. Full review...

Spinderella by Julia Donaldson and Sebastien Braun

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From high above the classroom, Spinderella watches in fascination the classroom activities at Scuttleton Primary School. She wants to be able to do two things: play football and count. However, her family of spiders are only interested in flies, flies and flies. They also have no desire to learn how to count Down with numbers they all cry. Unperturbed by their lack of enthusiasm, Spinderella goes in search of numbers and playing football. Along the way she meets a familiar wish granting character (no spoilers here) and her journey begins. Full review...

Letter to Pluto by Lou Treleaven

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Letter to Pluto is a story told through an inter-planetary pen-pal friendship. Set in the year 2317, writing with a pen and sending letters has certainly become a dying art-form. However, Jon’s teacher, Mrs Hall, decides it is important to keep the art of letter writing alive. The only difference is that Jon’s pen-pal lives a long way away. 75 billion km to be precise. On Pluto. At first the idea of writing at all is bad enough, but when Jon finds out that his pen-pal is a girl he nearly quits the programme. Encouraged by his teacher’s bribes of merit awards for his best writing, Jon soon learns that Pluto is not as boring, small and smelly as he first thought. Full review...

Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph

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As the title suggests this is the story about the 'Odd Dog Out'. All Odd Dog wants is to fit in and she, therefore, travels around the world to find a place where everyone is just like her. Everything seems perfect until she meets a dog who is behaving differently and realises that it might actually be a good thing to stand out from the crowd. Full review...

More People to Love Me by Mo O'Hara and Ada Grey

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'More People to Love Me' is a story about a little girl with a huge family. She has a mummy and a step-mum, a daddy and a step-dad and four brothers and sisters. She also has lots of grandparents: in fact, she has so many grandparents she has to have a special name for some of them – like Grananna, who is her step-dad David's mum. Given the size of her family, it's not surprising that this little girl struggles to fit everyone on the family tree she draws at school. This upsets her a bit until she realises it's actually better to have a forest than a single tree. Full review...

The Road Home by Katie Cotton and Sarah Jacoby

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The year is winding down, and nature is beginning to turn her thoughts again to winter. As the leaves begin to change, and birds start to fly South, animals throughout the forest are preparing for this change in seasons. This book follows their trials and tribulations as they all try to take the road that leads them home. Full review...

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Spooky School by Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton

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As a teacher and a parent, one of the main aims I have when it comes to reading is to promote a love of reading in all children. This can of course in general be more challenging with boys. Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton have created a wonderful book with two familiar characters at the centre. Their previous tales of Shifty McGifty were shorter books around 35 pages told though rhyme. However, their latest book, The Spooky School, at 124 pages, is perfect for the maturing primary school student (approximately 6-9 years of age). If these children had experienced the earlier books, then there is a feeling that Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam have grown up with them. Although this book will appeal to both boys and girls, boys will particularly enjoy these fun tales. Full review...

The Dragon's Hoard by Lari Don

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If you ask anyone to name a Viking story, legend or tale, my money would be on Beowulf. However, it is not clear whether this was an Anglo-Saxon or Viking tale. Try further and search on Amazon for Viking sagas for children and you won't get very far. Until now, that is. Lari Don has written a collection of stories which bring tales from this historical era to life. Most primary schools study Vikings as a topic, so it is surprising that there are so few quality stories around for this age group. Full review...

Dog on a Digger: The Tricky Incident by Kate Prendergast

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I'm going to tell you a story about Dog, Man, Lady and the Pup. They all work on an industrial site - in fact Dog and Man live there in a caravan and Man drives the sort of digger which is dreamed about by boys large and small. Lady and the Pup run the snack bar and one day as they're all having something to eat, the Pup goes missing. Man and Lady search everywhere but it's Dog's sharp ears which finally track him down - caught in a branch over a fast-flowing stream. And it's Dog who works out how to rescue him. I needed 88 words to tell you that story, but Kate Prendergast does it without using a single one - and she tells it in a far more engaging way than I could ever manage. Full review...