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Book review: Frostheart by Jamie Littler

Book review: Frostheart by Jamie Littler

Frostheart by Jamie Littler, book review graphic

I really, really, really wanted to love Frostheart by Jamie Littler.

How could you not love a book about a boy with magical powers on a quest to find his family in a weird and wild place?

The Blurb

Way out in the furthest part of the known world, a tiny stronghold exists all on its own, cut off from the rest of human-kin by monsters that lurk beneath the Snow Sea.

There, a boy called Ash waits for the return of his parents, singing a forbidden lullaby to remind him of them… and doing his best to avoid his very, VERY grumpy yeti guardian, Tobu.

But life is about to get a whole lot more crazy-adventurous for Ash.

When a brave rescue attempt reveals he has amazing magical powers, he’s whisked aboard the Frostheart, a sleigh packed full of daring explorers who could use his help. But can they help him find his family . . . ?

The cover

Oh my! Frostheart has a beautiful cover!

Sorry to go all Fan Girl here, but there’s a cutout on the front, there’s gold embossed writing, there’s cute and stylish artwork.

I love it! I want it!

I would pick up the book on the cover alone.

Frostheart by Jamie Littler, book cover showing cutout cover

The artwork

The awesome illustrations don’t stop with the cover. Just to show what a talented chappie Jamie Littler really is, there are black and white line drawings throughout the book, which, along with some clever typesetting makes Frostheart a very special book.

Frostheart by Jamie Littler, interior photo showing beautiful illustrations and typesetting

Characters and writing

The writing style is lyrical and the descriptions vivid. Littler’s imagination has run wild with the world-building. It’s gorgeous prose.

There are a cast of colourful characters and the protagonist, Ash, goes on the ‘hero’s journey’ to discover, use and ultimately come to terms with his powers.

To love, or not to love, that is the question.

So, why did I keep reading a few chapters and then putting the book down?

Did I not care whether the boy with the song-weaving powers found his parents or not?

Well… kind of.

Was I not on the edge of my seat to find out if he would survive exile from the only home he’d ever known with his mentor?

Umm…

Even if the mentor is a warrior-yeti?

OK, a bit.

Seriously, it took me weeks to get through this book. I finally figured out the problem.

Pacing

The book starts off pacy enough with Ash using his song-weaving power for the first time to save his friend, but then the whole thing slows down while the villagers get freaked about the song-weaving, reject him and the Frostheart arrives. Then he has to decide to go on the Frostheart, and it just seems to take f.o.r.e.v.e.r.

No spoilers, but things do speed up for Ash to save the day, but on the whole, the pace was slower than I would have liked.

My verdict

Frostheart is aimed at the 8 – 12 year old audience, the one’s who enjoy ‘How to Train your Dragon’ and ‘Frozen.’ It’s lovely writing, really imaginative, and don’t forget that to-die-for cover. I was really sad that I didn’t love it. It was a just bit too slow for me.

Have you read Frostheart? Do you agree with my verdict?

Let me know in the comments.

Suzie xx



Book review: Ghosters by Diana Corbitt

Book review: Ghosters by Diana Corbitt

Kicking off the 2020 book reviews here on my blog is Ghosters, a middle-grade novel, by Diana Corbitt.

Ghosters, a middle grade novel by Diana Corbitt

The Blurb

Filled with scares, mystery, and plenty of humor, Ghosters tells what happens to twelve-year-old Theresa Martinez and her autistic brother, Joey, when their mom suddenly dies and money problems force the family to move into a creepy old mansion.

Her dead grandmother’s creepy old mansion.

Enter Theresa’s new ghost-obsessed friend, Kerry. Eager to use her ghost-hunting technology, Kerry suggests they enter a reality TV show’s video contest. “If we win, we both get what we want,” she tells Theresa. “You earn money for your family. I record an actual ghost.”

And why not try? The place is definitely haunted.

Hey, what could happen?

My random thoughts on Ghosters.

Ghosters was a surprising story in many ways.

This is not a book about silly children chasing what they think is a ghost and it turns out to be shadows at the window, or something equally boring. Ghosters turned out to be an actual ghost story.

As this is a ghost story, there are some spine-tingling scary passages, although there are some funny bits too. However, it is the cast of well-rounded characters dealing with very real issues of grief and living with Asperger’s syndrome that makes this book stand apart from others: it wasn’t really what I was expecting.

I also didn’t see the twist at the end coming, and this added another (unexpected) layer to the story.

Whilst not wanting to give spoilers, I did wonder whether it would have been possible for the protagonist’s father to have kept the ‘secret’ without her suspecting, but I’m considerably older than the 9 – 12 years target audiences, so they probably wouldn’t be as skeptical as me.

Ghosters a middle grade ghost story by Diana Corbitt

All the characters were flawed and believable. Theresa was especially well-written. One minute she was taking on the role of care-taker for the family, the next she was doing things that made you remember she was actually only 12 years old. Good stuff.

Final notes

This is a great ghost story that I enjoyed. Diana Corbitt has three other books in the series too, so young readers can follow Theresa, Kerry and Joey on their adventures.

Happy Ghosting!

Suzie xx


Laura's Lovely Blog
“MOG” May Giveaway

mog may giveaway

“Mog” May Giveaway

Regular readers of my blog will know that Judith Kerr’s ‘Mog’ series has a special place in my heart (and on my bookshelf). I’ve read the stories of the lovable, and just a little bit naughty, cat to my children and now to my grandchildren. And they love them just as much as I do. So, here’s your chance to win 4 ‘Mog’ books in my May Giveaway.

Titles up for grabs this month include:

Mog the Fogetful Cat

Mog the forgetful cat

Mog always seems to be in trouble. She forgets that she has a cat flap and she forgets that she has already eaten her supper. But, one night, Mog’s forgetfulness comes in very handy…

Mog in the Dark

mog in the dark

One night Mog’s imagination takes her on a hilarious twilight adventure to a land of fantastical creatures, but true to form, all Mog really wants is her supper!

Mog on Fox Night

mog on fox night

One evening Mog refuses to eat her food and Mr Thomas decides he’s had enough and outside she must go. In the snow Mog feels cold and alone until she wakes from a snooze to find some young foxes are playing with the rubbish bags.

Mog and the V.E.T mog and the vet

One day Mog was chasing a butterfly when something happened to her paw. “She’ll have to go to the vee ee tee,” said Mrs Thomas. But Mog hates going to the vet and before her paw can be made better, she causes great confusion in the vet’s surgery…

Every child deserves to read ‘Mog’ so if you’d like to win these four stories, just enter on the form below.

The winner will be drawn on 1st June.

Good luck.

Suzie xx



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Children’s Easter Book Bonanza

Easter Book Bonanza

Children’s Easter Book Bonanza

A very quick post today from a wet and windy Wales. I’ve teamed up with ten authors to bring you the Children’s Easter Book Bonanza. Yay!

Go to the Children’s Easter Book Bonanza
There are books for children between 0 and 12 years… and they are awesome. So, head over to the giveaway and download yourself a bargain. But be quick as this is a Four Day Event and the discounts end on the 2nd of April.

Even if the weather is as bad with you as it is with me, you’ll have your Easter reading sorted 🙂

Happy reading.

Suzie xx


 

Book review: Ten Sheep to Sleep by Nidhi Kamra

 

Ten Sheep to Sleep

I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog recently but I thought you might like to look at some of the books I’ve been reading. I’m starting with Ten Sheep to Sleep by Nidhi Kamra.

The Blurb

Sammy Jo counts ten sheep to put her to sleep, but tonight, ten more sheep appear. The new sheep are creating a ruckus. Sammy Jo has to find a way to calm the sheep down, count twenty sheep, and ensure everyone is happy so they can get a good night’s sleep.

The Story

There was a lot I liked in Ten Sheep to Sleep. For a start, the title is wonderful and the grandkids ran about chanting it after we’d read it.

I liked that Sammy-Jo was pro-active in problem solving to help the sheep and it was fun seeing the things that the other people in the story counted to help them fall asleep.

Ten Sheep to Sleep screenshot 1

I’m not an artist but the illustrations have a painted-in-watercolour effect that adds to the dream-like feel. I did worry that my grandson might complain the book was a bit ‘pink’ but it didn’t seem to offend him.

What the grandchildren thought.

At 3 and almost 5 years old, my grandchildren are below the suggested age range for this book of 5 – 8 years. The idea of counting sheep when you couldn’t get to sleep was not one that they’d encountered so we had to discuss this. Grandson promised he’d try it at bedtime.

They had no problem counting to ten with Sammy-Jo, however they’d not tried counting in two’s. The concept went over the head of the 3 year old but the older one was very interested and we had to try out the idea with his Lego blocks. Older children would probably understand the maths already but the book was a nice way to introduce them to little ones.

Ten Sheep to Sleep screenshot

 

The final verdict.

Ten Sheep to Sleep is an unusual book which created some interesting talking points and learning opportunities with my grandchildren. It would be equally useful for early readers or as a picture book.

Love Suzie xx

PS Don’t forget about my March giveaway. Enter below.



 

March giveaway – 5x Guy Parker-Rees Picture Books

Announcing my March giveaway, 5x Guy Parker-Rees Picture Books.

March giveaway

If you’ve been reading my blog, you will have noticed that I often wish I could draw. OK, I can do stick people and things with straight lines, like houses, aren’t too shoddy, but anything more?  Forget it.  One of my favourite book illustrators is Guy Parker-Rees. I love his bright, bold artwork… and kids do too. So, I’m excited to have five of his picture books up for grabs in my March giveaway.

Here are the books you can win.

Come to Tea on Planet Zum-Zee

alien tea on planet zum zee

If you take your rocket to the outer edge of space, you’ll come across a funny little alien place. The alien peoples call it Planet Zum-Zee, and they’re meeting here today for a special picnic tea. Join the space party on Planet Zum-Zee! Meet the crazy creatures and share their deliciously funny food.

The Jungle Run

Here come the animals, one by one.
They’re all getting ready for the Jungle Run.
Cub turns up to take her place 
but the others say, ‘You’re to small to race . . . ‘

Cub may be little compared to the other animals, but she’s quick and clever and she knows just how to show the rest of the jungle what a winner she is.

Spookyrumpus

Bong! Goes the bell in the rickety tower, Twelve times…that means it’s Spooky Hour. 
Listen! Hush! Oooh, what’s that sound? The midnight spooks are coming round. 
The creepy countdown has begun, so get ready to giggle at funny, floaty ghosts, clickety-clackety skeletons and terrific tromping trolls! A real rollicking, romping, rhyming story with hilarious illustrations.

Jolly Olly Octopus

Jolly Olly Octopus

When Jolly Olly Octopus gets the giggles, it isn’t long before the waves of bubbly laughter have spread to all his friends and the whole sea bed is awash with sea creatures chuckling away. But, oh no! Here comes Shark! Suddenly things aren’t quite so funny any more.

K is for Kissing a cool Kangaroo

K is for Kissing a cool Kangaroo

From juicy jellybeans to kissing kangaroos, children will love learning and remembering the letters of the alphabet in this fun-packed ABC book with vibrant illustrations

If you’d like to be the proud owner of these great books, enter the competition below.

Good luck peeps.

Love Suzie xx



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Judith Kerr 5x Mog picture books Giveaway

Mog

5x Mog Picture Books Giveaway

February is the month of love and Judith Kerr’s stories of ’Mog’ the naughty but very lovable cat will always hold a special place in my heart. I have many happy memories of reading about ’Mog’ with my children and now I am sharing the books with my grandchildren. So, I’m excited to announce that February will be my 5x Mog Picture Books Giveaway.

Up for grabs this month are five books in the ’Mog’ series.

Titles included are:

  • Mog and Bunny

Mog and Bunny

Bunny is Mog’s best thing. But one day Mrs Thomas says she is going to throw Bunny in the dustbin… 

Awww.

  • Mog and the Baby

mog and the baby

Mog’s peaceful day is shattered when a baby comes to visit. All Mog wants to do and sleep and play but there is no chance of that with a little baby around!”Mog loves babies,” says Mrs Thomas but suddenly Mog isn’t quite so sure… 

This was my children’s all time favourite bedtime story. You have to know how Mog saves the baby.

  • Mog’s Bad Thingmog's bad thing

When Mog’s garden disappears under an enormous white flappy thing, Mog is very unhappy and does A Bad Thing. But inside the white flappy thing a Cat Show is taking place, the perfect setting for Mog to make her family very proud indeed. 

All kids love it when ‘bad things’ are done lol!

  • Mog and the Granny

mog and the granny

When the Thomas family go on holiday, Mog stays with Granny. It seems safe enough…until she meets Tibbles. 

Oh dear. More trouble for Mog.

  • Mog’s ABC

mog's abc

On the day of Debbie’s birthday party, Mog sets off on an adventure through the alphabet. Along the way she meets the dragons in the dark and the jaguar with a jug of jelly. M is for Mog, but to her surprise, it is also for the mad mouse monster of her dream.

An ABC book with a difference 🙂

 

So, there you have it. Five fantastic books that should be on every child’s bookshelf.

I’ll be drawing the winner the 2nd of March.

Enter below.

Good luck!

Suzie xx



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The winner of the Winnie the Pooh classic boxset January Giveaway

Winnie the Pooh Giveaway

A.A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh books are such classics and they must be as popular today as they’ve ever been because I had nearly 1500 entrants in my January Giveaway – a record number for me.

Anyway, onto the business of announcing the winner.

The winner of the Winnie the Pooh Giveaway is…

*** Chris Fredlund ***

Chris, if you can get in touch with your address, I’ll post the books out to you straight away.

Snowy Wales

We’ve had a few days of snow here in Wales, so I thought I’d share the view out of my back gate.

winter snow

Stay warm and happy reading.

Suzie xx


Today is Winnie the Pooh Day. How will you be celebrating?

Winnie the Pooh day

Did you know that 18th of January is the official Winnie the Pooh Day?

A.A. Milne, the author of this classic story, was born on this day back in 1882. It’s hard to imagine that this well-loved little bear was first published on 14 October 1926. The story started around the author’s son’s collection of stuffed toys. And yes, his son was called Christopher Robin in real life.

Did you catch last year’s film Goodbye Christopher Robin? It’s a dramatization of how the characters came to be created and well worth a watch.

Idea’s to celebrate Winnie the Pooh Day

Read a book. 

Yeah, that one’s obvious but Pooh always has some words of wisdom even though he professes to be a ‘bear of very little brain.’

Watch a film.

There have been loads of animations of Winnie the Pooh stories. Here’s the trailer for the 2010 film.

Cuddle your Teddy

Go on, everyone had at least one cuddly Pooh bear, didn’t they?

Eat some honey

A day without a friend is like a pot without a single drop of honey left inside. AA Milne Click To Tweet

Enter my January Giveaway

I’m giving away a Winnie the Pooh Classic Collection Box set. It features 4x titles:

  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The House at Pooh Corner
  • When we were very Young
  • Now we are Six

Winnie the Pooh

Whatever you do, have a Happy Winnie the Pooh Day.

Love Suzie xx


 

Winnie the Pooh Giveaway: 4x Classic Books Box Set

I love Winnie the Pooh. As a child I had cuddlies of Pooh, Piglet and Kanga (complete with a removable Roo in her pouch.) So, the books in my January Winnie the Pooh Giveaway are very special to me.

Winnie the Pooh Giveaway

Winnie the Pooh Giveaway

Titles include:

  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The House at Pooh Corner
  • When we were Very Young
  • Now we are Six

There are four books in a tidy slip case and they are illustrated throughout in full colour.

Winnie the Pooh GiveawayThese are lovely books which are a must for any child’s bookshelf.

I will be drawing the winner on 2nd February.

Good luck.

Suzie xx


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