Monday, 26 October 2015

Ten Spooky Skeletons

Ten Spooky Skeletons

By Garry Parsons
Published by Caterpillar Books

It's nearly that spooky time of year again and if looking for some creepy books for your little ghouls, then check out this counting hardback, Ten Spooky Skeletons. It's a peek-through picture book with lots of bone shaking skeletons and a fun glow in the dark front cover as well as a glowing surprise at the end.

We join the skeletons as they go searching for some skelly friends. From playing pirates to circus antics, and even magic tricks, children will enjoy seeing what these silly skeletons get up to.

There are die-cut holes on each page to develop and continue the counting story. The holes are all different sizes and not always easy to spot, which is great as children will love trying to spot them first. I read this to Aoife as she always enjoys books with die-cut holes in and likes to feel the page looking for them and poking her little fingers through them.

Ten Spooky Skeletons is fun and flows well when reading out loud. Great for Halloween or reading at bedtime and seeing the glow in the dark skeletons. I find the skeletons rather cute and don't think they'd be too scary for your little ghosties.

Join the fun and count along with these comical skeletons and enjoy the super-spooky fright at the end! Ten Spooky Skeletons is available in all good bookshops and online here.

Boo!: A Book of Spooky Surprises (My Little World)

Boo!: A Book of Spooky Surprises

Written by Jonathan Litton and illustrated by Fhiona Galloway
Published by Little Tiger Press

Boo! is the latest release that's part of the MY LITTLE WORLD series. I'm a big fan of these books, and reviewed EGG back in April, which you can read here. EGG is actually one of my daughter's favourite books and it saved us when we were stuck on a plane for 9 hours, when it should have only been 4!

In this title we join Pumpkin and his friends for a spooky game of peekaboo and try to find out who is shouting BOO!

This spooky board book features bright artwork and cute characters. Their eyes are little finger holes which are great for small spooky hands - Aoife loves turning the pages and using the holes to wiggle her fingers through them.

With lots of repetition, you may find your young ones shouting 'boo!' and trying to give you a fright. Boo! is full of spooky but fun surprises that you'll enjoy reading with your little ghouls. Boo! is available in all good bookshops and online here.

 Happy Halloween!!

Friday, 16 October 2015

PABLO & JANE and the Hot Air Contraption

and the Hot Air Contraption

By José Domingo
Published by Flying Eye Books

Halloween is nearly upon us so what better way to get in the spirit of things and start reading the odd spooky tale or two. Pablo & Jane is a beast of a book, it's a large format book with a padded cover - it really is something quite special to hold. It comes with 4 pages of stickers, so older children can get involved in the interactive story. 

Pablo & Jane find themselves trapped in the Monster Dimension by the evil Dr. Felinibus. The only hope for returning home is using their broken Hot Air Time Machine, with their dangerous journey taking them through places such as Lopsided London, Terrifying Transylvania and Horrid Hawaii. Will they find all the missing parts of their machine and avoid the terrors that await them in the Monster Dimension? Intrigued? Check out the great trailer for the book below...

At first I thought this was a comic/graphic novel until I started to explore the book further. It's a hard title to pigeon hole, my best attempt would be to say that it's a comic book style story that has a 'Where's Wally' look and find element to it. José's wacky and playful illustration style wouldn't go a miss on a TV channel like Cartoon Network, so children that are fans of those kinds of shows will definitely find something here.

Incredibly immersive, with lots to do and a great spooky story to boot, this is possibly the wackiest children's book I've ever glanced at!  If you're looking for a different kind of present for the older child this Halloween this is definitely it. Pablo & Jane and the Hot Air Contraption is available to buy now from all good bookshops and from Flying Eye Books.

A Cat Called Panda

A Cat Called Panda

Written by Melanie Arora and illustrated by Charlie Brandon-King
Published by Button Books

A Cat Called Panda, written by Melanie Arora, features a naughty cat explaining his unusual name to a young girl named Amanda. Written as a whimsical nonsense-style poem and aimed at ages 1+, this delightful little book would make a great gift for any age, young and old. 

Panda is a cat who is very fond of bamboo and tries to explain to Amanda that though he is called Panda, he is very much a cat. A cat who has bright green eyes and can see in the dark and can make dogs bark! He is a cat and it’s as simple as that! 

It features a monochrome theme throughout with splashes of colour. Children will be able to spot all the different animals that are black and white, such as a panda, badger, magpies and cows among many more.

The illustrations are simple, but being black and white the images are striking. I especially like the hard back cover under the slip cover, a striking animal pattern of white on black. A Cat Called Panda is available in all good bookshops or online here.

Beautiful Birds Colouring Book

Beautiful Birds Colouring Book

By Emmanuelle Walker
Published by Flying Eye Books

Colouring books are a growing trend at the moment and no wonder why, they’re a great way to de-stress and relax, a nice way to unplug at the end of a busy day. Flying Eye Books have just published their own colouring book, Beautiful Birds, illustrated by Emmanuelle Walker.

Beautiful Birds Colouring Book stands out with it’s neon spine and cute end papers. It features over 80 different bird scenes to colour in and you’ll be able to spot up to 26 different species of birds, from Warblers to Blue-tits, Pheasants to Puffins and Kakapos to Owls - A great gift for any bird enthusiasts.

Colouring books are great as you don’t have to be artistic to create unique pictures. Aimed at any age, I’ll definitely be buying these as Christmas gifts for friends and family. 

With Beautiful Birds Colouring Book, you’ll be able to lose yourself in a riot of colouring in as you bring these exotic birds to life. Available to buy from all good bookshops and online at the Flying Eye Books website.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Imelda & the Goblin King

Imelda & the Goblin King

By Briony May Smith
Published by Flying Eye Books

I've been looking forward to getting my hands on this title since I heard Briony May Smith was to have her first book published through Flying Eye Books. The wait was definitely worth it and Briony's signature style works well in this beautifully presented picture book debut (I love the gold foil lettering and forest symbols on the cover!).

The story here is about a human girl called Imelda who lives next to a wood. And this is no ordinary wood as its enchanted and full of fairy folk. Imelda would play with the fairies everyday and learn all of their secrets and all is perfect until a big nasty bully turns up - THE GOBLIN KING! And what a nasty brute he is.  

After storming the enchanted forest, the Goblin King announces that he's the new boss and takes the fairy queen as a prisoner - even after her being so welcoming! So Imelda is called upon to save the day, and with some help from her fairy friends she comes up with a cunning plan to stop the horrible Goblin King for good! And with the Goblin King being a greedy brute, its not long until he gets his just desserts!

Briony's illustrations echo back to vintage illustrations you would expect to see in vintage fairy tales, using traditional techniques to bring her illustrations to life. Each spread is filled with energetic pencil and watercolour illustrations - with lots of gorgeously rendered characters to be spotted all over. 

I couldn't help but think of David Bowie as the Goblin King in the classic 80s movie the Labyrinth. Of course Imelda & the Goblin King has no relation to the movie at all, but I always find a bit of nostalgia can be found in all forms even if it was just 'Goblin King' that triggered it! And I would let your nostalgic get the better of you and buy this book as it's a modern classic! Perfect for children and adults alike, a modern fairy tale for all to enjoy. 

Imelda & the Goblin King is available to buy in all good bookshops and online at the Flying Eye Books website.

TOUGH GUYS (Have Feelings Too)

TOUGH GUYS (Have Feelings Too)

By Keith Negley
Published by Flying Eye Books

This stunning debut from talented illustrator Keith Negley looks at emotions and how they might affect tough guys. All the usual tough guys are here, with Keith including everyone from Superheroes to Cowboys and Astronauts to Racing Car Drivers. Keith's bold, striking style really makes each spread stand out.

We open on a sobbing Wrestler, who's upset he's lost a match - and why not? Even someone as big and strong as a wrestler might shed a tear if he's lost an important wrestling match. Keith also depicts an astronaut out in space and very lonely, as well as a couple of ninja friends who have fallen out over something upsetting. You'll also find tough hardy sailors shown at their weakest and Knights getting distraught over broken swords! 

We end with a young child reading in bed with his father. Parents have feelings too, even if they do try to hide them so they don't upset anyone else - which is the point of Tough Guys, a tough exterior doesn't always mean that you're that tough inside. A great graphical book that will help introduce children to emotions and help parents talk about it. Who knew the Hulk really had a good old cry now and again?

Tough Guys is available to buy now from all good bookshops and from the Flying Eye Books website.