Tag Archives: Childrens

What a stinker! But in a good way…

Mr Stink by David Walliams After watching the BBC’s enjoyable TV version of Mr Stink at Christmas, I was inspired to read the book to see what Walliams, who adapted his own book for the TV, and put in a cameo as the Prime Minister, was like on the page. I had read somewhere that the book was more ‘Dahlesque’,… Read more »

Carnegie Longlist 2013

The longlist for the 2013 Carnegie Medal has been announced and I was please to see quite a few books I’ve already read on it, plus several in my TBR pile – and of course in an ideal world I’d like to read all of them! The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to an outstanding book for children and was… Read more »

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien Now – considering that I last read The Hobbit, aged around twelve, many, many years ago – before starting to re-read the book, ask me what I remember of it apart from Bilbo and Gandalf? I would answer, “Gollum and the ring, and Smaug the dragon, but particularly Gollum.” I was surprised to… Read more »

A magical read for older children

Shadowmagic by John Lenahan When Scott offered giveaway copies of Shadowmagic by John Lenahan I was quick to comment as I thought this older children’s fantasy could be really fun; and that my daughter might enjoy it. I was particularly thrilled when a signed copy arrived – Thank you Scott & John. Lenahan is an American magician living in England…. Read more »

Short Takes

AnnaBookBel   September 27, 2009   No Comments on Short Takes

Catching up on some shorter reviews … Amulet by Roberto Bolano To paraphrase the Cranberries album title, Everybody else is reading it, so why can’t I? – I’ve finally read some Roberto Bolano. He is definitely the flavour of the moment; his posthumously published epic 2666 is generating acres of discussion and review. However I wanted to read something shorter… Read more »

An great adventure read for 11+

The Secret Ministry of Frost by Nick Lake This novel for older children of about eleven upwards was our book group choice for May/June. As a group, we haven’t read a novel aimed primarily at a younger audience since the penultimate Harry Potter, (as opposed to adult books that are great for younger readers too). One of our number knows… Read more »

The Childrens’ Laureate’s choices

There was much on the news and in the papers about the Childrens’ Laureate’s choices of best children’s books to celebrate 10 years of having the post – Long may it continue. The five Laureates, past and present, each chose about twelve books which were whittled down to seven. In the media, much is being made of the fact that… Read more »

A Cinematic treat for readers of all ages…

The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures by Brian Selznick This book has a fascinating concept. It’s a chunkster of over 500 pages that can be read in just a couple of hours for over half the pages are pictures – black and white pencil drawings mostly. But it’s not a graphic novel, this book is… Read more »

Sheer Poetry – a remarkable read

Cloud Busting by Malorie Blackman This is unlike any other children’s story I have ever read. A series of 26 short poems, telling the story of Sam and Davey, and all about bullying and friendship, secrets and lies, and the terrible thing that happened one day … Told entirely in Sam’s voice, the poems are mostly in a prose style,… Read more »

A realistic novel of pampered pets and fearsome beasts in Ancient Rome

Tiger, Tiger by Lynne Reid Banks Two tiger cubs brought to Rome – one is destined for the arena; the other is defanged, booted and becomes a much loved pet for the Emperor’s daughter Aurelia who is twelve. She begins to fall for the tiger’s handler Julius, to her cousin Marcus’ dismay. When a prank played on Julius goes wrong,… Read more »

Another modern classic novel for older children

The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban This Pinnochio-esque tale for older children written in 1967 of a clockwork Daddy mouse and his child is a modern children’s classic. Deservedly so, it features a road trip for the discarded and broken wind-up mice full of adventure, peril and featuring a nasty rat-baddy, also much happier episodes where the mice… Read more »

Beware of black buttons – Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman is a deliciously scary children’s novel that is destined to become an absolute classic. Think Clive Barker for kids, but with a sense of humour and you’re about there. ***SLIGHT PLOT SPOILER ALERT*** Coraline’s family has moved into a new flat. Her parents are too busy to talk to her so she explores the building and… Read more »

Vive le livre! Long live the book!

The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner is a dazzling historical novel for older children and young adults – and fair blew this forty-something adult away too. I absolutely loved it! This is the Paris of the late 1780s, just before the revolution. Yann, a gypsy youth who has second sight, assists his friend and mentor, the dwarf Tetu behind the… Read more »

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”

… so said Truman Capote. Going to Venice is like stepping into a time-warp. On the surface, it’s ancient, romantic and beautiful, yet it is mysterious and there’s often a whiff of danger from its history as a great trading city. Much of the paraphenalia of modern living is hidden from the tourist’s view allowing you to wallow in adoration… Read more »

My Easter kid-lit feast

I’ve decided that in the run-up to Easter, I shall concentrate on children’s literature and ya (young adult) novels. Like many readers, and notably dovegreyreader’s recent theme of revisiting her inner child, I get an awful lot out of reading proper children’s novels, the best of which are the equal of any adult book. However rather than re-read books I… Read more »

Boy in the striped pyjamas by John Boyne.

A lot has been written about this book, especially since it was filmed, so I came to it having realised the ending, but I hadn’t worked out how it happens. Told from the point of view of nine year old Bruno, the son of a high ranking soldier who gets promoted to become the Commandant of Auschwitz, Bruno and his… Read more »