Author's Note

This Week’s New Books #6

Another pretty hefty week – but I’m not feeling too bad about things as I did do an enormous unhaul and got rid of nearly 40 physical books from my shelves! I should probably cool it on NetGalley for a few weeks, though…

ARCs and review copies

The first three are all from NetGalley!

Jane Austen Investigates: The Abbey Mystery by Julia Golding

This new series, featuring a young Jane Austen investigating mysteries, looks like a lot of fun – and that’s a really cool cover.

The Magic Place by Chris Wormell

I’m always on the lookout for middle grade fantasy featuring cats, so this was an obvious one for me to request (the cat is named Gilbert!).

Continue reading “This Week’s New Books #6”
Book Reviews

Middle Grade Mystery Mini-Reviews

I’ve read several books recently that seem to be on a similar theme, so I thought I’d scoop them all up into one post of mini reviews. None of these were quite my usual cup of tea, but they should all be hits with those who love middle grade mysteries set in the real world!

All three of these were sent free of charge for me to review; the first two were unsolicited physical proofs from Nosy Crow and the last was one I requested from NetGalley.

The Secret Detectives by Ella Risbridger

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Author's Note

This Week’s New Books #5

Oof, it’s been a big week for new books for me! I can’t believe how many have come in since last Saturday – someone at NetGalley had a funny five minutes this week and approved me for a whole bunch of requests that had been hanging around for ages, which has done a lot of the damage (everything without a physical copy here is from NetGalley!), but they’re all things I’m excited for – so let’s get to it!

ARCS and review copies

Sprite and the Gardener by Rii Abrego and Joe Whitt

I’ve really enjoyed the graphic novels I’ve read from Oni Press before, and this one looked like it had really beautiful art, so I jumped in when I saw it on NetGalley without knowing too much else about it. This should be a fairly quick read for me, I hope.

The Tangleroot Palace by Marjorie Lu

I’ve never read Monstress, but I’ve always admired the art style, so I’m very intrigued by this collection of shorter dark fantasy fiction from Marjorie Lu. This was another cover-induced click – I mean, just look at it!

Nightingale by Deva Fagan

Middle grade fantasy is one of my favourite things, and when I saw the words “stealing a magical sword right out from under the nose of Prince Jasper” and “heist goes off the rails” I was sold!

Continue reading “This Week’s New Books #5”
Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Baby Books We’ve Been Loving!

I mentioned in my 2021 goals post that I was stopping star ratings for baby books, as it hardly seems fair given they’re judged on an entirely different metric than books where the story is the focus. But I still want to highlight some of the amazing board books and picture books that are coming out, so I’m introducing a new feature! Kitten Corner will be a less structured round-up of the things I’ve been reading with my little one – I hope you enjoy it. Books in these posts will be marked with a star if they were sent to me for review.

We’re all about the interactive books at the moment! If it has a flap, slider, or textured bit to grab, it’ll be a hit. The very first ones we tried, and a collection we love, is Nosy Crow’s Felt Flaps series by Ingela P Arrhenius – recently we’ve been loving Where’s Mr Narwhal? and Where’s Mrs Tiger?*. The bright colours, simple artwork, and huge soft flaps make these great for babies just starting to be interested in grabbing books. Each of the books has four animals (or people – I’ve previously reviewed Where’s Mrs Queen?*) to find, and a final flap that hides a mirror – you wouldn’t think something so short could provide so many hours of fun!

Books with fuzzy bits are something that have only just come into the spotlight here – I’ve been encouraging my baby to touch the That’s Not My… books for a while, but he’s only started to go for them himself in the last few weeks! One of my favourites is That’s Not My Bat, written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells, because the bats are just too cute, but we’re also fans of That’s Not My Robot and many of the others. More recently, I received Who Said Cheep?* by Becky Davies and Yi-Hsuan Wu from Little Tiger to review, and it was an instant hit! This book combines feely patches with flaps – each noise-making animal is hidden behind another, wrong, animal with a little bit of texture poking through a cut-out in the flap, and the combination is apparently hilarious. We get giggles whenever we read this one!

Probably my favourite of all the current interactive series at the moment is the new Peekaboo series by Camilla Reid and Ingela P Arrhenius (again! She’s so talented!). We received Peekaboo Apple* and Peekaboo Bear* just before Christmas, and I was wowed by the clever design, simple but effective rhymes, and fantastic construction quality. Some of the sliders are a little bit advanced for an eight-month old who hasn’t quite got the precision of older hands yet, but they’re so much fun to work, even for an adult, and they have a lot of humour in the art, too. Peekaboo Love* just arrived last week, and is already a new favourite, with some brilliantly cute images!

I know not all of you who follow me are parents or are interested in baby books, but I hope this new feature is helpful to some of you! I’d love to know what your favourite books to read with a baby are!