Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Autumnal Reads

The days are getting shorter and the weather’s getting colder, which means autumn’s the perfect time to curl up with a book! These sweet reads all felt really autumnal to me – they were all sent to me for review, but my opinions are my own as always.

Who Said Twit-Twoo? by Becky Davies, illustrated by WYi-Hsuan Wu, from Little Tiger

The previous book we had in this series, Who Said Cheep? was literally loved to pieces, so I’m thrilled to have a new instalment, which is full of nocturnal animals. I will say that the flaps, which are thin card, are not the world’s sturdiest, and they’re easy for little hands to crease and even tear off, so this is definitely one to read under supervision, but it combines flaps and feely bits for a fun interactive read. Animals making the wrong noises is always a hit, and the sweet, gentle artwork makes this a lovely book to look at as well as play with.

Wake Up by Isabel Otter, illustrated by Pau Morgan, from Little Tiger

I’m a big fan of this nature-themed recycled board series, and Wake Up, with all its sleepy animals, is so adorable. The soft colours make this feel very cosy to read, and the peek-through cutouts definitely keep the attention from page to page. I enjoy having a more relaxing read every now and then amidst all the very bright books, and I love that these are a bit more eco-friendly than some very plasticky board books. Wake Up is lovely!

Peekaboo Moon by Camilla Reid, illustrated by Ingela P Arrhenius

Another favourite series! After Peekaboo Sun, I suspected a night-themed book might be next, and it’s just as sweet as I’d hoped. Incorporating the bedtime routine (dinner, bath, toothbrushes, bed), this book is full of sliders that are absolutely perfect for little fingers to do themselves. The big mirror is a huge hit as always!

Under the Stars by Rosie Adams, illustrated by Frances Ives, from Little Tiger

This is a very sweet rhyming book that points out lots of similarities between our lives and those of the wildlife around us. There’s a pleasantly repetitive chorus, which really highlights how much we have in common with the animals, and it has a gentle message of kindness and love for the natural world. I love the soft art style, particularly the watercolour backgrounds and the textures of the feathers and fur – this would make a lovely bedtime read, as it’s very calm and relaxing to look at.

Book Reviews

Kitten Corner: Beautiful Illustrated Non-Fiction for Older Kids

I’m loving the current trend of beautiful non-fiction picture books aimed at middle grade readers – these huge, fully illustrated books are the stuff of childhood dreams for an inquisitive kid, no matter what subject! I’ve rounded up six of my recent reads to show you – all of these were sent to me for review, but my opinions are my own.

Continue reading “Kitten Corner: Beautiful Illustrated Non-Fiction for Older Kids”
Author's Note

#SweepUpYourSmols TBR!

Two TBRs in a week?! I know, it’s unheard of! But this weekend is the third round of #SweepUpYourSmols, my mini-readathon where the goal is to read as many books under 300 pages as you can. So, do you want to see the books I’m choosing from? There’s no way I’ll get to all of these, but I’ve got a nice selection!

I actually found myself really having to search for small books to include! I think I’ve been picking them off and leaving the longer chonks to wait, which is not ideal… Still, there’s an eclectic mix of things so I feel like I’ll be fine for some mood reading.

The Game by Diana Wynne Jones

I’m working my way through the few books on Diana Wynne Jones’s backlist that I didn’t read as a child, and this sounds like an interesting one – I’m in the perfect mood for one of her magical, fun stories.

Beauty and the Beast stories edited by Maria Tatar

This is a collection of different animal spouse fairytales from around the world – Maria Tatar’s name on it makes me sure it’s going to be interesting, and I always love adding new variations of fairytales to my repertoire!

Wood Angel by Erin Bow

I’ve seen lots of warnings that this is a pretty grim book for middle grade, violent and quite sad, but I was still tempted into it by its talking cat and witchy vibes, so I’ll give it a go, and if I’m not feeling the darker side of it, I’ll DNF.

Grayling’s Song by Karen Cushman

More witchy middle grade! This sounds like the kind of charming adventure I really love, with a girl out to stop a curse and rescue her mother. I think this would make a good bath read.

A True Princess by Diane Zahler

Diane Zahler’s fairy tale retellings are always great – a little dark, but really beautiful takes on their original stories. I’ve actually just finished writing my own take on The Princess and the Pea, so this might be a good time to read A True Princess!

Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B Larson

These next three were in my TBR during the last round of Sweep Up Your Smols – maybe this is the right time to get to this YA retelling of Swan Lake?

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

I don’t know too much about this one other than that it has a fantastic cover and queer female pirates, which honestly was enough to sell me on it!

Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

This actually popped up in my TBR Spotlight a few weeks ago, so head there for more of my thoughts on it!

Hawk of May by Gillian Bradshaw

This Arthurian retelling has been on my shelf for longer than I can remember. I’m actually a lot pickier now with Arthurian stories than I used to be, so I’m not sure if I’ll get on with this one, but it’s a high priority for me to at least try it and see if it’s a keeper, or if I can have some more space!

As You Wish by Cary Elwes

I love The Princess Bride movie – who doesn’t? And I also love love love behind the scenes books, so I’m really looking forward to this look back at its filming, from the horse’s mouth. I read the introduction when I got this book and decided to save it for a rainy day, as it was just so charming.

Will you be joining in with #SweepUpYourSmols? I’d love to see your short book picks!