Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Four Fun Chapter Books

I’ve read some really great chapter books recently – I’m really starting to build up a library of favourites! All of these were sent to me free of charge, but that doesn’t affect my opinions. There’s everything from animal tales to space adventures to dragon taming, so let’s see what we’ve got!

A Seal Pup Called Pearl, written by Helen Peters, illustrated by Ellie Snowdon

This is a sweet and very nostalgic-feeling animal rescue book – I grew up on the Animal Ark books, and I think Jasmine’s life at Oak Tree Farm, with her array of rescued animals, will feel very familiar to anyone like me! This particular instalment, where Jasmine and her family help to raise an abandoned seal pup, is really lovely. It has a strong message about caring for wild animals and allowing them the best chance to return to the wild, while also having a lot of lovely moments in the rehabilitation itself. A very cute read – I recommend the series for animal lovers!

Dragon Storm: Mira and Flameteller by Alastair Chisholm, illustrated by Eric Deschamps

I really like this fantasy series, which moves between different character pairs with each book. This time, it’s Mira and her dragon Flameteller, who are budding engineers, which is useful since there’s a problem with some of the dragon-made magical machinery that keeps the Dragon Guild safely hidden from the regular world. The stakes in this one are the highest yet, and I get the sense that the overall series arc is ramping up with each book, as the king swears outright to hunt down and destroy the dragons. It’s a really exciting story, but the excitement hinges on working together to find clever solutions rather than outright action, and there are some nice themes about fixing your own mistakes and listening to people who might have unusual methods. This is definitely a fun first fantasy series!

Cosmic Creatures: The Helpful Hootpuff by Tom Huddleston, illustrated by Sophy Williams

This is the third book in the Cosmic Creatures series and it’s another lovely adventure with alien wildlife! There are some gentle ecological themes as the colonists search for a source of power, and plenty of the animal escapades I’ve come to expect from the series. The Hootpuffs are adorable and plucky Charlie and her little brother Maki are great leads with a very sweet relationship. It’s a more gentle read than the previous books (no animal trafficking in sight!) and well worth a look for animal lovers.

Anisha, Accidental Detective: Fright Night by Serena Patel, illustrated by Emma McCann

I’ve not read any of the previous Anisha, Accidental Detective books, but this Halloween-themed one is easy to jump into, and tells a fun tale of mysterious hijinks and friendship. I really enjoyed how well it balanced regular school elements with the zanier mystery sections, and both the humour and the depiction of primary school friendships is spot on. I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of this series, and you can’t go far wrong with this for a Halloween treat!

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