The Boy Who Couldn’t By Rachel Coverdale

We received The Boy Who Couldn’t by Rachel Coverdale to review. Both Eva and I read the book and love the message behind it as well as the addition of animals.

The Boy Who Couldn't

The Boy Who Couldn’t

A stirring action-packed adventure story following two very different boys who are forced to create an uneasy friendship when their paths cross unexpectedly.

Illustration from The boy who couldn't

When James and Greg stumble upon a badger baiting plot by dangerous criminals, their tenuous relationship is tested to breaking point. Can they overcome their differences and fears to help each other and save the badgers?

A heartbreaking yet uplifting story about becoming the person you can be, not the person you are expected to be.

Woods - The boy who couldn't

James’ life has had a big change, as has Gregs. This leads to James’ dad becoming a stay at home dad while Gregs’ family life falls apart. James and his dad discover a badgers sett in the woods. Badgers are highly endangered so they agree to keep them a secret.

The secret of the badgers is soon shared when James, his dad and Ahmed come across Gregg injured in the woods. Gregg agrees to keep the badgers secret too, fascinated by their habits and happy to escape his unhappy home. It doesn’t take long for the boys to uncover dangerous criminals badger baiting. Can they work together to save the badgers?

Our Thoughts

Eva read The boy who couldn’t first and said she really enjoyed reading from both boys perspectives. The story is fast-paced and full of action with a twist at the end.

Rachel Coverdale

Rachel Coverdale was born and bred in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside in North East England. Raised with copious amounts of animals, and without the distraction of a modern TV set, she turned to bookers and her own imagination for entertainment. Animals were and still are a huge part of her life and inevitably they made their way into her stories. She is keen to promote animal welfare and wishes to raise awareness about the vulnerability of British wildlife, particularly badgers.

As an adult, Rachel has worked with many troubled children and is passionate about highlighting their plights and encouraging people to see the damaged child hiding behind the poor behaviour.

Rachel also writes books for younger children. Believing strongly in fresh air, nature and outdoor play to give children a sense of fun and freedom, she uses her books to encourage children to venture into the countryside.

Lets Find The Tiger – Children’s Book Review

We received Let’s Find The Tiger to review, beautifully illustrated by Alex Wilmore. Published by Little Tiger and aimed at children aged 0-3 years, who will love finding the Tiger.

Let's Find The Tiger

Let’s Find The Tiger

This colourful peek through the pages and lift the touchy-feely felt flap book encourages little ones to look for the tiger. Curious children will love exploring the leafy jungle to find the tiger in this stylish touch and feel book.

Inside spread of Let's find the Tiger

This tactile exploratory wonder of a board book will keep children engaged in their search to find the tiger. With little hints of hiding animals on each spread, little ones with love hunting for the tiger. The final reveal includes a satisfying flocked image on the final spread.

With a repeated refrain that encourages the development of word recognition and an introduction to a whole host of jungle animals, little ones will learn whilst having fun. With plenty of colour filling every page and playful illustrations provided by Alex Willmore, this is a fun book for every tiny future explorer!

Lift the flap book

Alex Willmore

Alex Willmore is an illustrator who just loves drawing fun, cute characters. He lives in rural Northamptonshire with his wife, two sons and two cats. When not drawing, Alex can mostly be found eating outrageous amounts of biscuits and enjoying a nice drive or walk around the countryside.

Coming Soon!

Get ready to go searching again with the second title in this series, Let’s Find The Penguin, due for publication in September 2019!

Do you know a little one who would love this book too?

I Love My Llamacorn – Book Review

We received I Love My Llamacorn to review by Prisca Le Tande. Published by Little Tiger and aimed at children aged 2 to 5 years, this gorgeously glittery book is perfect for fans of llamas, unicorns and everything magical!

I Love My Llamacorn

I Love My Llamacorn

A loveable llamacorn will steal your heart in this beautifully sparkly board book. Full of bright, colourful illustrations, fun peep-holes and die-cut concentric hearts penetrating from the cover right through every page, this little book for children proves just how deep love goes.

I Love my Llamacorn

I Love My Llamacorn is a celebration of unconditional love in board book form. With gentle rhyming on each spread, children will stay engaged on their journey through the book. Tiny book lovers who tend to flick forwards, backwards and skip pages when first engaging with board books will still be able to receive the full message regardless of reading order thanks to the self-contained rhymes on each spread.

Inside - I love my Llamacorn

Prisca Le Tandé

Prisca Le Tandé is a child of the disco era – so dancing queens and grooving cats are right up her street. She sees the world of illustration as a dessert trolley laden with your favourite things. Why no taste everything – you can always go to the dentist afterwards. After studying Applied Art at school, she enrolled in a film studio degree and embarked on an adventure in the into the world of animation. She is still living the adventure, as the author and artistic director of the animated series “Grosha and Mr B”. When she was young, Prisca adored the craft craze scoubidou. It’s that same simple creativity that gives her such joy now that she’s creating books for children.

Izzy’s Thoughts

Izzy enjoyed this book so much. She is absolutely obsessed with unicorns, llamas and anything magical so she has been reading this tgo her Llama’s! This is definitely a perfect book for little ones who love the That’s Not My Series which Izzy adores too. Izzy loved the sparkly pages and brightly coloured, cute animations. Eva has been asked to read this several times as Izzy loves the way she reads the rhymes throughout.

Do you know a little reader who would love this too?

Zippy And Me By Ronnie Le Drew – Blog Tour

Zippy and Me is a hilarious autobiography by Rainbow Puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew. Zippy and Me is the first behind the scenes look at the iconic children’s programme Rainbow. Rainbow aired over 1000 episodes between 1972 and 1997, I remember loving it myself as a child!

Zippy And Me by Ronnie Le Drew

Zippy And Me

Puppeteer Ronnie Le Drew has worked with the greats across almost half a century. From David Bowie in Labyrinth to Michael Caine in A Muppet Christmas Carol. The role that defined his career though was Rainbow’s Zippy, who he operated for more than twenty years.

This is the first time an insider has told the true story of what went on under the counter and inside the suits. From the petty squabbles between performers, wrangling with TV executives, and scandals such as the ‘love triangle’ between the musicians Rod, Jane and Freddy. Not to mention the now infamous X-rated episode shot for an ITV Christmas party, which subsequently found its way to the Sun.

Interweaved with the dirt on what really went on behind the scenes is the story of Rainbow’s heyday in the 1970’s and 80’s. The stars found themselves catapulted into an exciting showbiz world – scooping a BAFTA award and even performing for the queen, and the story of a young lad from a south London council estate who defied his parents’ protests to become one of the most respected puppeteers of all time.

Ronnie Le Drew

Ronnie Le Drew with Zippy

Ronnie Le Drew is one of the UK’s most respected puppeteer and recipient of the prestigious Harlequin Award. He has operated many of the most iconic children’s puppets of the twentieth century. From Zippy, Sweep, Muffin the Mule, Bill and Ben, Brains from Thunderbirds – as well as working on classic puppet films such as Labyrinth, Little Shop of Horrors and The Muppet Christmas Carol. He continues to work regularly as a puppeteer in TV, theatre and advertising. He also teaches at the London School of Puppetry, which he founded in 1987.

Dotty And Dash’s 1,2,3 – Children’s Book Review

We received Dotty And Dash’s 123 pop-up counting book to review. Illustrated by Craig Shuttlewood, written by Patricia Hegarty and published by Caterpillar books, an imprint of Little Tiger.

Dotty and Dash's 123

Dotty And Dash’s 1,2,3

Dotty and Dash are off on a quest, to discover the number they like the best. Children will love helping Dotty and Dash choose their favourite numbers between 1 and 100 in this colourful pop-up counting book.

Number 1  Dotty and Dash's 1,2,3

This sturdy book is perfect for children learning their numbers. With banners across the bottom edge with numerals up to 100. This will appeal to even the most ambitious of little learners.

Each page is bursting with colourful, cute illustrations by prolific artist Craig Shuttlewood, winner of the Best Children’s Book in the Junior Design Awards for Town and Country. Accompanied by rhyming text written by Patricia Hegarty making counting to 100 an enjoyable experience for young children.

4,5,6

Each page contains at least one pop-up number, so the fun never stops – and that is something you can count on!

Izzy’s Thoughts

Dotty and Dash’s 1,2,3 has quickly become a firm favourite with Izzy. She loves the rhyming and loves to show she knows the numbers by joining in! We think think this book is fantastic!

100

Craig Shuttlewood

Craig lives in Brighton with his family and drams up ideas from a garden studio. With a background in fine art, he has exhibited original work in many galleries from London to New York. More recently he has been focusing on creating engaging children’s books. In his spare time, Craig mountain bikes, plays dinosaurs and draws with his kids.

Patricia Hegarty

Patricia began working in children’s publishing more years ago than she cares to remember and is now editorial Director at Caterpillar Books. As an editor she has worked on titles ranging from atlases to animal pop-ups, craft kids to crazy mazes and sticker books to secret diaries.

Second Skin By Sue Bentley – Blog Tour

I received Second Skin by Sue Bentley to review, a fantastic fantasy featuring shapeshifting dragons! This is the first book in the Bridge of Fire books published by Endeavour Venture available from Amazon.

Second Skin

Second Skin

Estranged from birth and raised on tales of the great mountain castle of Idrith-Core, where her distant father serves as Lord Commander and confidante of the King, Aledra Jewel-Wing was now going there to court.

As one of the Drakkoni, a race of powerful shape-shifters and conquerors of a wild land, she joins her stepmother at the festival for all peoples. But when in attempting to save a life, Aledra shifts into her Drakkoni Secondskin – her beautiful second soul: a giant flighted lizard with flaming breath – she breaks an ancient oath, and the tremulous peace between the Drakkoni and Esrans is shattered.

Branded a fugitive, hunted by her father, and aided in escape by the master-mancer who raised her, Aledra begins a journey for survival across a war-torn continent.

Sue Bentley

Sue Bentley

Sue lives in a house surrounded by a wildlife hedge so she can pretend she lives in the countryside. She enjoys reading, walking, cinema, researching her books, and painting and printmaking, when she’s not writing — which isn’t very often!

My Thoughts

I thoroughly enjoyed Second Skin, Aledra’s quiet life quickly changes with joining her mysterious father in court. When things go wrong, she ends up being held in a cell where she finally meets her father. The master-mancer who taught her, helps her escape. Throughout there are complicated characters such as Aledra’s father, Aledra herself and Penda. A mixture of love, war and dragons, Second Skin is a fantastic start to the Bridge of Fire. I can see Aledra growing further throughout the series and can’t wait to see where it leads.

Have you read anything by Sue Bentley before?

American Dreams By Kenneth Bromberg – Blog Tour

I received American Dreams by Kenneth Bromberg to review, a crime novel published by Flame Tree Press. From Czarist Russia to America where dreams are made, we follow Max and his father through a world of crime.

American Dreams Bookcover

American Dreams

In 1904 Czarist Russia, Max, a four-year-old Jewish boy, witnesses his mother’s rape and murder by Russian soldiers. After the boy’s father extracts terrible revenge, father and son escape to New York and settle on the Lower East Side, a teeming melting pot of recent immigrants.

Max meets a young Polish girl, Sophie, and the two children become inseparable playmates. By the time they are teenagers, Max excels at both school and sports, Sophie has become a stunningly beautiful young woman, and friendship has grown into love. Their plans are shattered when Sophie is forced to marry a local crime boss and once again, Max must simply watch as the most important person in his life is taken from him. In response, he begins a ruthless and violent climb to the top of the New York underworld

Kenneth Bromberg

Kennerth Bromberg Author photo

Kenneth Bromberg grew up in the beach cities of Southern California. He has a passion for tennis, American history, and literature. Having attended the University of California, Los Angeles, he then worked for several years as a bartender. He eventually returned to UCLA to pursue an MBA and become a certified public accountant.

After retiring from accounting, Kenneth fulfilled a lifelong dream of becoming a novelist. His first work, American Dreams, is based upon stories told by his grandmother who immigrated to New York from a small Jewish village near Kiev in the first years of the 20th century. If you like Mario Puzo’s The Godfather and Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy, you will love this debut novel.

My Thoughts

I knew from the first chapter I would enjoy American Dreams as a crime fan and wasn’t disappointed. After a traumatic start for Max, we meet several other characters with some interesting backstories too, all leading them to America. Here they all work towards their own dreams. Forwarding to World War II where two of the sons of main characters serve, yet have their own dreams for the future too. American Dreams is rather violent throughout, mixing crime, love and a little history across several generations really well.

Do you enjoy violent crime novels too?

The Closer I Get By Paul Burston – Blog Tour

I received The Closer I Get by Paul Burston to read and review. This psychological thriller based around online relationships is deliciously creepy and twisted.

The Closer I Get By Paul Burston

The Closer I Get

Successful author Tom has writer’s block for the first time in his life. An online admirer, Evie is his main distraction, she simply won’t leave him alone. Eva is a smart, well-read and unstable woman living with her sick father. Social media is not only her escape but her everything and she takes social media friendships too far. When she’s hit with as restraining order, her world collapses, whilst Tom is free to live his life again and continue concentrating on his writing.

Things aren’t adding up though, Tom is also addicted to his online relationships, and they take a darker, more menacing turn, he’s powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on!

Paul Burston

The author of five novels and the editor of two short story collections. Paul Burstons most recent novel The Black Path was a WHSmith bestseller. His first novel Shameless, was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award. His third novel, Lovers & Losers was shortlisted for a Stonewall Award. The Gay Divorcee, his fourth novel was also optioned for television. Paul is the founding editor of Attitude magazine. He has also written for many publications including Guardian, Independent, Time Out, The Times and Sunday Times.

My Thoughts

The Closer I Get is so creepy because it is plausible. Social media stalkers are all too real and Paul Burston captures both the victim and the stalkers perspectives perfectly with some added twists throughout. I would absolutely recommend this if you enjoy thrillers full of twists surrounding authors.

Have you read any of Paul Burston other novels?

My Little World – Unicorn & Flamingo Book Review

My Little World books are absolutely lovely! We received a copy of Flamingo: A Colourful Book of Counting and Unicorn: A Magical Book of Colours to review. Illustrated by Fhiona Galloway and Patricia Hegarty and published by Little Tiger. 

My Little World Books

My Little World

These brightly coloured board books with concentric die cuts are perfect for children aged 0-3. Izzy (almost 5!) absolutely loved them too. The bright artwork immediately caught Izzy’s attention and she wanted to read them straight away! With fingerholes and a cheerful rhyming text, these fun books make learning come alive for inquisitive young children and babies

My little world - Flamingo: Av colourful book of counting

Flamingo: A Colourful Book of Counting

Count the flamingos with your little one with this brightly coloured book. From one pink flamingo to 10 sleeping flamingos, this beautifully rhyming book encourages parents and child interaction. It also teaches numeracy, reading skills and enhances hand-eye coordination.

My Little World Unicorn: A magical book of Colours

Unicorn: A Magical Book of Colours

This sparkly, rhyming book of Unicorns teaches young children and babies the colours of the rainbow. Encouraging parent and child interaction and reading skill too, this lovely book is a great addition to the bookshelf!

Our Thoughts

Izzy really enjoyed the books and has read them several times with all of us repeatedly. With bright colours and fun themes, these books are bound to encourage all babies and children to enjoy learning to read.

Fhiona Galloway

A freelance illustrator for many years, Fhiona has enjoyed illustrating for a wide base of clients including many children’s publishers which she loves. She lives in the wast of Scotland with her husband, daughter an giant schnauzer and when she’s not reading, she enjoys spending time walking, watching films or reading.

Patricia Hegarty

Patricia began working in children’s publishing more years ago than she care to remember and is now Editorial Director at Caterpillar Books. As an editor she has worked on titles ranging from atlases to animal pop-ups, craft kits to crazy mazes and sticker books to secret diaries.

Do you know a little one who would love these books?

Razia By Abda Khan – Blog Tour

I received Razia by Abda Khan to review as part of the Random Things Blog Tours. Razia is a fast-paced thriller exposing the truth behind Britains darkest secret.

Razia - Front cover 

How far would you go to free a slave?

The novel is published to coincide with World Day against Trafficking in Persons which is held on 30th July 2019. People trafficking and modernday slavery is a massive problem worldwide with very few countries immune from it. Raising awareness can help increase the prevention of that.

Razia

Farah Jilani is a lawyer who lives and works in London. Having just ended a long relationship. Her parents are looking for a husband for her whether she wants one or not. This all seems normal enough until she attends a work dinner. The dinner is hosted by a dangerously powerful man and Farah comes across a young woman being kept as a domestic slave called Razia.

Travelling from the law courts of London to the brick kilns of Lahore, Farah begins to uncover the trap keeping generations of people enslaved. Everywhere she turns, Farah faces deep-rooted oppression and corruption. She teams up with a human rights lawyer Ali in a bid to seek justice for Razia. When the authorities finally step in their actions have dire consequences.

Can Farah discover the explosive secret behind these tragic events?

Abda Khan

Abda Khan Author Photo

A lawyer and campaigner who works with victims of domestic violence, Abda Khan has written two novels. Her first novel Stained was published in 2016. Abda Khan was highly commended in the 2017 NatWest Asian Women of Achievement Awards in the Arts & Culture category.. She also won the Noor Inayat Khan Muslim Woman of the Year Award 2019

My Thoughts

Razia really is a gripping read, I managed to finish it in just one day. I just couldn’t put the book down, Abda Khans passion shows through her writing. Years of research has helped create a fast-paced, character-driven thriller that you simply can’t tear yourself away from. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for future novels from Abda Khan and hunting down a copy of Stained too as her writing really draws you in.

Do you enjoy thrillers that also help raise awareness of important topics too?