Posts Tagged ‘Children’s’

Up and Up

Shirley Hughes

up and upThe magical story of a little girl shoes wish to fly finally comes true, much to the alarm of the grown-ups.
A wordless story that is truly delightful – a triumph in true classic Shirley Hughes style.

When we borrowed this from the Nursery School Library my daughter (3 and a half) was most disconcerted when we got it home and realised there were no words in it. However once we began to look at it she was captivated by the enchanting drawings that tell the story.

A little girl watching birds longs to fly and when a magical egg gives her that chance she grabs it. Through the pictures we follow her on her exciting adventure, flying around the kitchen and then out into the garden and beyond to the street, over tree’s and away. The little girl is exhilarated by her new ability, her parents are a little concerned! They follow after her, as much as they can and are soon joined by a stream of people looking at the girl in the sky. She is keen to escape capture and leads them all a merry dance until, after evading nets and a hot air balloon, she finally comes down again having had an unforgettable time.

The lovely thing about this is that every time we tell it, it is a little different and every different person who tells it brings something fresh. The wealth of detail in the pictures encourages the use of more than a little imagination and it was particularly special to see my older daughter ‘reading’ this to my younger one and also the younger one’s pleasure in being able to tell us the story.

Verdict: This was a very popular book with my children and encouraged them to engage with a book in a different way. Brilliant!

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Red Fox
Publication Date: September 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British book
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Dixie O’Day: In the Fast Lane

Shirley Hughes and Clara Vaulliamy (illustrator)
dixie O'dayIntroducing Dixie O’Day and also, of course, his friend Percy! This dashing duo are always getting into adventures – here they enter the All-Day Car Race little knowing what is ahead of them! Dixie and Percy run into all sorts of peril, as does their arch enemy, Lou Ella. But who will win, and will Lou Ella get her comeuppance?

It gives me great pleasure to introduce two dashing gentlemen, Dixy O’Day, the bow tie wearing, responsible car owner, and his best friend, co-driver, and all round good chap, Percy. These furry fella’s enjoy the simple things in life; Sunday motoring in the country, picnicing at the seaside and relaxing in the evening with a good cup of tea and their favourite biscuits. Not that they are adverse to a little excitement, which is handy as they do seem to get themselves in to tricky scrapes with alarming regularity!

While we still enjoy sharing our favourite picture books, my six-year-old daughter has started to request “grown up” chapter books for her pre bed reading. Although these books are written for early readers, with simple stories that appeal to her interests, I have found that the leap from picture book to chapter book to be a steep one. Particularly when I am reading an un-illustrated segment, I have noticed that my daughter’s concentration wanes mid chapter and without a visual reference and in the absence of descriptions she has trouble keeping track of the secondary characters.

From the very first page you know that you are getting something different. Dixie O’Day is a very British book about a pair of well-mannered British chaps. Beneath the excitement of the great Didsworth to Dodsworth car race there are some very gentle lessons about taking care of your possessions, consideration for others, manners and doing good deeds.

In a world full of apps, technology and extra digital content it was a delight to watch my daughter interacting with the book in a much more traditional way- exploring the included character interviews, games and maps – these added extras have pulled us back to the book as much as the story itself.

The chapters were the perfect length to maintain a fidgeting child’s attention, but long enough to that my daughter didn’t feel short changed at bedtime. The chapters each ended on a gripping cliff hanger and on more than one occasion I gave in (gleefully*) to my daughters pleas of just one more chapter.

In my experience the illustrations in similar books are usually black and white. While the illustrations in Dixie O’Day benefit from the edition of just red, pink and grey, the use of different retro prints add to the overall texture of the pictures and makes the overall book feel as if a much larger colour palate has been used.

I loved the retro 1940-1950’s styling. Everything from the illustrations themselves, the language use, even the compact size of the book, all nod to a past era. Although I was born long after the mimiced era, everything about the book made me feel nostalgic for my own childhood. Saturday mornings watching wacky races on the television, rummaging in charity shops for very British books about adventures, midnight feasts and lessons in morality.

Verdict: With it’s fast paced and exciting chapters and vibrant illustrations on every page Dixy O’Day is the perfect bridge between the chapter books my daughter craves and the picture books we already love.

* another step closer to creating a mini bibliophile

Reviewed by Caroline

Publisher: Bodley Head
Publication Date: August 2013
Format: ARC
Pages: 128
Genre: Children’s, Humour
Age: Early reader
Reviewer: Caroline
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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On The Shelf

ON THE SHELF: This is Big Book Little Book’s version of the meme ‘In My Mailbox’ created by The Story Siren.  Each month we post about all of the books we have added to our book shelves in the preceding month, whether they be bought, borrowed, swapped or received for review.


Aliens Love Underpants! by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. Paperback. Bought (Jane)

Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Paperback. Bought (Jane)

Dora the Explorer mini boxed set of 4 by Various. Hardback. Bought (Lesley)

Ella Bella Ballerina and Cinderella by James Mayhew. Paperback. Borrowed Library(Karen)

Hide and Seek by Jez Alborough. Paperback. Borrowed from preschool library (Lesley)

Mr. Bump by Roger Hargreaves. Paperback. Bought (Jane)

Mrs Muffly’s Monster by Sarah Dyer. Paperback. Borrowed by library(Karen)

Paddington  by Michael Bond and  R.W. Alley. Paperback. Bought (Jane)
Room on The Broom by Julia Donaldson and  Axel Scheffler. Bought (Jane)
The Little Lost Robin by Elizabeth Baguley. Paperback. Borrowed from Library(Karen)

The Princess Who Had No Kingdom byUraula Jones and Sarah Gibb. Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

The Tiger who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr and Geraldine McEwan. Bought (Jane)

Yo Ho Ho! A-Pirating We’ll Go by Kaye Umansky and Nick Sharratt. Bought (Jane)


Sara Crew,Or What Happened at Miss Minchin’s Boarding School by Frances Hodgeson Burnett. Kindle. Bought (Helen)

Young Adult

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Kindle. Bought (Caroline)

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles. Hardback. Bought (Caroline)

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting. Kindle. Bought (Caroline)

Die for Me by Amy Plumb. Kindle. Bought (Caroline)

Far from the War by Jeffrey David Payne. Review Copy. Received from author (Caroline)

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens. Kindle. Bought (Caroline)

Passion by Lauren Kate. Paperback(Signed). Bought (Caroline)

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles.Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

Silver and Bone by J.D. Thompson. Review Copy. Received from author(Caroline)

A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene Woodbury. Review Copy. Received from author (Lesley)

A Weekend with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)
Fourteen Days Later by Sibel Hodge. Kindle. Bought(Helen)
Just For The Summer by Judy Astley. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris. Kindle. Bought(Helen)

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy. Paperback. Borrowed (Jane)

One Day by David Nicholls. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

Other People’s Husbands by Judy Astley. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

Pleasant Vices by Judy Astley. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

Spying in Heels Series books 1-7 by Gemma Halliday.Kindle. Bought (Helen)
Sweet Temptation by Lucy Diamond. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)
The Case of the Missing Boyfriend by Nick Alexander. Kindle. Bought (Helen)
Three Weeks To Say Goodbye by C.J. Box. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)
Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahearn. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)
While I’m Still Myself by Jeremy Lane. Review Copy. Received from author

White Lies and Custard Creams by Susan Alison. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

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On The Shelf:

ON THE SHELF: Our version of the meme ‘In My Mailbox’ created by The Story Siren.  Each month we post about all of the books we have added to our book shelves in the preceding month, whether they be bought, borrowed, swapped or received for review.


Fireman Sam Touch and Feel by Various. Board book. Bought.(Caroline)

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees’. Picture book. Brought.(Caroline)

If I Were a Cow by Anne Wilkinson.Board book. Bought.(Lesley)

Noddy(x10) by Enid Blyton. Paperback. Bought.(Helen)

That’s not my Tractor by Fiona Watt. Board book. Bought.(Lesley)

The Princess and the Wizard by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. Picture book. Brought(Caroline)

The Very Lazy Ladybird by Isobel Finn and Jack Tickle.Picture book. Bought(Lesley)


Clover by Susan M Coolidge. Kindle. Bought.(Helen)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. Paperback. Bought.(Jack)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K.Rowling. Paperback(Jack)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K.Rowling.Paperback(Jack)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling. Paperback. Bought.(Jack)

The Marvelous book of Magical Horses by Klutz. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

The Tales of Beedle The Bard by J.K Rowling. Hardback. Bought (Karen)

What Katy did at school by Susan M Coolidge.Kindle. Bought.(Helen)

What Katy did next by  Susan M Coolidge. Kindle. Bought.(Helen)

Young Adult

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Paperback. Bought.(Caroline)

Henderson Boys: Grey Wolves by Richard Muchmore. Paperback. Bought. (Dan)

Jessie Hears NYC by Keris Stainton. Paperback. Won from Publisher Hachette Children’s Books . (Caroline)

Magus of Stonewylde by Kit Berry. Paperback. Bought .(Caroline and Dan)

Meant to Be by Tiffany King. eBook. Won from blog: Word Spelunking .(Caroline)

Moondance of Stonewylde by Kit Berry.Paperback. Bought. (Dan)

Shadows at Stonewylde by Kit Berry. Hardback. Bought. (Caroline)

Solstice at Stonewylde by Kit Berry.Paperback. Bought.(Dan)

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. Signed Paperback. Won from AuthorJosephine Angelini (Caroline)

You against me by Jenny Downham. Paperback. Bought.(Caroline)


Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter 1st edtion, 1st print. Hardback.Signed. Bought. (Karen)

Chicken’s Mules and two old fools by Victoria Twead. Kindle. Bought.(Lesley)

Deadly Intent by Lynda La Plante. Hardback. Bought. (Karen)

Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

Northern Lights by Nora Roberts. Paperback.Bought.(Helen)

One Day by David Nicholls.Paperback.Bought.(Helen)

Organised Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider.Hardcover. Bought. (Lesley)

Pearl of China by Anchee Min. Paperback. Won from publisher Bloomsbury via Twitter.(Caroline)

Remember me? by Sophie Kinsella. Paperback. Bought. (Karen)

Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

Sowing Secrets by Trish Ashley. Kindle. Bought.(Lesley)

The Case of the Missing Boyfriend by Nick Alexander.Kindle. Bought. (Lesley)
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. Paperback. Bought.(Helen)
The Right Attitude to Rain  by Alexander McCall Smith. Paperback.Bought.(Helen)
The Sound of Laughter by Peter Kay. Hardback. Bought.(Karen)
Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

61 Hours by Lee Child. Paperback. Bought. (Karen)

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On The Shelf

This is Big Book Little Book’s version of the meme ‘In My Mailbox’ created by The Story Siren.  Each month we post about all of the books we have added to our book shelves in the preceding month, whether they be bought, borrowed, swapped or received for review.

Wow this month we have really been splashing the cash! Let us know what you think of our shelf.  Have you read any of the books listed? Which books would you like to see reviewed?

Bloodstream by Tess Gerittsen Paperback.(Karen)
But Can Drink Water?  Jan Hurst-Nicholson . Kindle.(Lesley)
Fallen  by Karin Slaughter. Hardback.(Karen)
Good at Games by Jill Mansell. Paperback. (Lesley)
Jo Frost’s Confident Toddler Care  by Jo Frost. Hardback. (Jane)
Love, Sex and Tesco’s Finest Cava by S. Carter. Kindle. (Lesley)
Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy. Paperback.(Helen)
Play To Kill  by P.J Tracy.  Paperback. (Karen)
The Life Of Polycrates Other Stories For Antiquated Children by Brendan Connell. PDF. Sent by Author for review.

The Queens Fool by Phillippa Gregory.  Paperback. (Helen)

The Silent Girl  by Tess Gerritson.  Hardback.(Karen)
The Surgeon  by Tess Gerritson.  Paperback.  (Caroline)
 The Wire In The Blood  by  Val McDermid. Hardback. (Karen)
Wedding Cake To Turin  by Lynda Renham. Kindle.(Lesley)
Where Rainbows End  by Cecilia Ahern.  Hardback. (Karen)

Wuthering Heights  By Emily Bronte .Paperback.(Karen)

Young Adult
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel. Paperback. (Karen)
Corsets and Clockwork : 13 Steampunk Romances edited by Trisha Telep. Kindle. (Caroline)
Everlasting  by Alyson Noel. Paperback. (Caroline)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan. Kindle. (Caroline)
FirelightForever by Maggie Stiefvater US Hardback. (Caroline) Paperback. (Lesley)
Forgotten by Cat Patrick.  Paperback. (Caroline)
Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey. Kindle. (Caroline)
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Paperback. (Karen)
Shadows On The Moon by Zoe Marriott.  Kindle. (Caroline)
Hush, HushStarcrossed by Josephine Angelini. Kindle.(Caroline)
The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening AND The Struggle by L J Smith. Paperback.(Karen)
The Vampire Diaries:The Captive Part 2 AND The Power by L J Smith. Paperback.(Karen)
The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, Book 2)Children’s
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer. Hardback.(Karen)
Disney Pixar Cars 2 by Lisa Marsoli.  Hardback.(Jane)
Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake. Paperback.(Helen)
The Chronicles Of Narnia Box Set by  C.S. Lewis .Paperback.(Caroline)

Horse Tales by June Crebbin.  Hardback.(Karen)

Tabby MctatPre School
Again! by John Prater. Paperback.(Helen)
Its The Bear by Jez Alborough and Niamh Sharkey.(Helen)
Roary’s First Day Roary The Racing Car by Rachel Dawson. Paperback.(Jane)
Tabby McTat by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Paperback.(Helen)
The Octonauts And The Frown FishThe Octonauts and the Frown Fish by Meomi. Paperback.(Jane)
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