Book Reviews

See our latest book reviews and search for all previous reviews. We’ll be adding more over the coming months, so check back to see if your favourite book has been reviewed by us.

Here comes Lolo

Niki Daly

This book is part of a mini series​; it consists of four short stories all featuring Lolo, a spirited ordinary seven-year-old girl of colour.

Beyond the Fence

Maria Gulematova

Piggy lives with Thomas. They do everything together - but only what Thomas wants. Then one day Piggy gets the opportunity to do something by himself and he meets Wild Boar. Will Piggy be able to break free from the stultifying life in the Big House controlled by Thomas?

Child of St Kilda

Beth Waters

What was it like to live on the “islands on the edge of the world” - or rather on Hirta, the largest island of St Kilda? Beth Water’s has based her account of life on this the remotest island off the coast of Scotland on the memories of Norman John Gillies, the last child to be born on Hirta.

Born Bad

C K Smouha, illus. Stephen Smith

Does the way we look affect the way we see ourselves? The wolf of this story would certainly say yes. He was born bad, he looks bad and in turn, he is expected to act bad. But what happens if he wants to radically change?

Umbrella

Elena Arevalo Melville

Lonely Clara has no one to play with until she finds an umbrella in the park.

A million dots

Sven Völker

This is a beautiful book for counting games. Children love to count the dots, but what happens when there are too many dots to count?

The pirate tree

Brigita Orel and Jennie Poh

When two lonely children meet up The Pirate Tree becomes a metaphor for a ship and friendship.

The golden cage

Anna Castagnoli & Carll Cheut

Valentina wants a talking bird and will go to any lengths to get her wish.

Where did you go today?

Jenny Duke

Where did you go today? Was it the park to swing on the swings? Or did you fly? Perhaps you went on the slide? Or maybe, you skied down a mountainside?

Sing to the moon

Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl, illus. Sandra van Doorn

It is raining - nothing to do, boring. If only there were wishes that can transport you to different exciting places. But you don’t need magic; you just need a loving grandfather and imagination!

The Phoenix of Persia

Sally Pomme Clayton, illus. Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif

When the wish of King Sam and Queen Aram is granted and they have a baby, their joy turns to sorrow – anger even. The baby, Prince Zal, does not look like the prince the king wanted...

Moonstruck! Poems About Our Moon

Roger Stevens (ed), illus. Ed Boxall

This anthology is another ‘stuff in your schoolbag’ poetry book from the Otter-Barry series that encourages children to read and share poetry.

A Kid in my Class

Rachel Rooney, illus. Chris Riddell

The variety of poems is past imagining – the thoughts of a hamster; wondering what present to give a leaving teacher; haikus to describe pop-up ideas, including a ‘her-ku’, twins; school sports day; advice (with a twist) to a new boy; playground life; feeling shy; every aspect of the school day.

Sock Story

C K Smouha, illus. Eleonora Marton

Phil and Dave are a pair. They spend time together, making jokes, chatting and playing games. Suddenly, they get separated. Without having each other, life seems scary. But why is their adventure unique? I can give you at least two reasons.

Alfred and the Blue Whale

Mina Lystad, illus. Ashild Irgens

Alfred is scared about lots of things but speaking in front of the class in four days’ time about the blue whale is going to be the worst thing ever.

The Adventures of Anatole

Nancy Willard, illus. David McPhail

Nancy Willard’s trilogy which narrates the adventures of a boy and his orange cat Plumpet, now in one volume.

My storee

Paul Russell, illus. Aska

A young boy, possibly dyslexic, loves writing stories. However, his work is always heavily critiqued and covered in red slashes. How does everything change when a new teacher arrives?

Mira’s curly hair

Maryam Al Serkal and Rebeca Luciani

Mira’s hair is a riot of curls. Not what she wants at all. She would like straight hair just like her mother. But appearances are not always as they seem. When the rain comes down, Mira has a real surprise.

Tiger Lily

Gwen Millward

When things get spilt or broken, or even eaten, it is clear that naughty Tiger did it. Lily declares it is so, and also tells us that Tiger is not sorry. But some things do require punishment. So they run away to be wild. At first, it is exciting, but what happens when it is dark and cold? Sometimes you can be too wild.

Emmett and Caleb

Karen Hottois and Delphine Renon

Emmett and Caleb are friends. This does not mean they always like the same things, and sometimes this can cause a bit of friction. But for friends, there is always a way through difficulties - an invisible poem perhaps, with all the right words.

Me and Mrs Moon

Helen Bate

Mrs Moon looks after Maise and Dylan after school while both sets of parents are still at work. But what happens when Mrs Moon's behaviour becomes unusual?

Veronica Twitch the Fabulous Witch

Erica-Jane Waters

The three witches who run Twitch magazine are highly excited, as Double Bubble, the most popular of girl bands, will play at their festival. However, these plans all collapse when the girl band is kidnapped...

Invisible Jerry

Adam Wallace, illus. Giuseppe Poli

Jerry feels left out at school and is befriended by Molly. What he learns from their relationship encourages him to befriend Paul.

The Secret Life of a Tiger

Przemystaw Wechterowicz, Illus. Emilia Dziubak

In this tale, Tiger seeks to convince us that what we may know of his behaviour is not the whole truth.

The perfect sofa

Fifi Kuo

The Perfect Sofa tells the heart-warming tale of two friends, Panda and Penguin, who decide that their old sofa is no longer good enough and that a new one is due along with the adventure they go on to find it.

Grobblechops

Elizabeth Laird, illus. Jenny Lucande

The story starts with Amir not wanting to go to bed because he is working himself up into a state: ‘there might be a monster’. His imagination runs riot: ‘he might have huge teeth and growl like a lion. He might try to eat me.’

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