Posts Tagged ‘Publisher- Corgi’

The Fairy Tale Hairdresser and Aladdin

Abie Longstaff and Lauren Beard (illustrator)

The Fairytale Hairdresser is having a long-overdue holiday — but in no time at all she is tangled up in a world of flying carpets, mysterious jewels and magical lamps. Can she rescue Aladdin, free the genie and save the day?

I like this book because Kitty actually travels to a different part of their magical land and I’ve been very interested in what other parts of their land exists. Aladdin has also been my favourite Disney film.

I also love the book because it’s like a re-written story. I really like Aladdin especially because of the Genie; it’s a girl!!!!!

Verdict: I really enjoyed this book and I hope you do too!

Reviewed by Tianna aged 9

Publisher: Picture Corgi
Publication Date: March 2017
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Fairytale retelling
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Tianna 9
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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The Fairytale Hairdresser Beauty and the Beast

Abbie Longstaffand Lauren Beard (Illustrator)

fairytale hair dresserThe Big Bad Beast’s heart is melted by Bella, the most beautiful girl in Fairy Land – but could she ever love someone so beastly?
The Fairytale Hairdresser teaches Beast that beauty is on the inside (although there’s always time to treat yourself to a little makeover!) in this fabulous modern twist on the classic fairytale. There are witty fairytale jokes to spot and beautiful details to discover, read after read. Featuring all the fairytale favourites, this is the spectacular seventh story in the bestselling Fairytale Hairdresser series.

This is an exciting book.
I liked looking at all the different hair styles in this book.
I liked seeing the Beast looking funny.
I always like seeing all the different fairy tale people.

Verdict:I think it was the best book out of all of them.

Reviewed by Sienna aged 6

Publisher: Picture Corgi
Publication Date: March 2016
Format: Picture book
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book, fairytale
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Sienna (6)
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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Butterfly and the Birthday Surprise

birthdsy surpriseOver the hills in a land of sweetness, little fairies bake and play. Would you like to peep at their secret, scrumptious world? Make a wish, then step into the magic of Fairycake Kingdom.
Butterfly has everything organized for her party and she doesn’t want any surprises. But when the big day arrives, things start to go wrong. Will her friends be able to save the day with a wonderful birthday surprise?

My four year old daughter was delighted with this cute story. From opening the first page she was entranced by the map of the fairies kingdom, wanting to know the names of all the places and who lives where, and which way they would go to visit each other. She also loved the page that introduces the fairies who will be in the story. It was nice to know the names and recognise them before we started the story, especially as we haven’t read any Fairies of Blossom Bakery books before.

The story is a sweet tale about fairy Butterfly who is organising her birthday party, and she is very organised! Butterfly plans everything to the last detail and her friends help her to get everything ready, they put up with Butterfly’s bossiness very well! It doesn’t occur to Butterfly that her friends may want to do something for her, or even surprise her and she steams ahead with her plans. But on the day things don’t go smoothly as her dress goes missing and eventually the weather doesn’t co-operate with her plans. However Butterfly’s fairy friends save the day and Butterfly realises how lucky she is to have them and that things can turn out really well even without a big plan.

At the end of the book there is a recipe to make one of the cakes in the story, which I thought was a nice touch.

The pictures are pretty and colourful. There is plenty to keep the attention of a little girl.

Verdict: This is a sugary story with a gentle moral and a little bit of fairy sparkle.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Picture Corgi
Publication Date: February 2014
Format: Picture book
Pages: 32
Genre: Fairy, baking
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge:
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Cross My Heart

Carmen Reid

cross my heartBrussels, 1940. Fifteen-year-old Nicole watches as the Nazis invade Belgium. Determined not to stand by as her country is brought to its knees, Nicole vows to fight back and joins the Belgian Resistance. Under her new alias – Coco – Nicole embarks on a dangerous new life as a spy, where the only question is not if you’ll be caught, but when…

As the Germans walk into Belgium in May 1940 Nicole’s world is turned upside down. Despite the danger, the warnings and the fear Nicole can’t help herself and joins the Resistance as her world is torn apart. Nicole shows herself to be a brave and resourceful member of the team. She is flung into more and more hazardous situations and has to make difficult and even life threatening decisions. Nicole is an inspiring heroine.

As people disappear, Jews are marked, food diminishes and everyone lives in fear as they witness the viciousness of Nazi rule, Nicole’s determination to help only gets stronger. Nicole’s involvement in the Resistance causes her to see the worst of the Nazi’s in action and as the story develops, Nicole sees more and more of the worst of the Nazi regime. The atrocities she sees and experiences are familiar to anyone with some knowledge of World War Two but I found that seeing them through the eyes of this teenager was a bit like hearing about it for the first time. There is a freshness and immediacy in the writing.

There is also a little romance in the tale as Nicole grows closer to Anton, a childhood friend who she joins the resistance with and comes to mean a lot to her. There is added poignancy in the situation the young lovers are in, knowing they are putting themselves in danger and could be ripped away from each other at any time.

Verdict: This was a great read; there is action, tension, fear, love , courage and inspiration in its pages. Whether you have read lots about WW2 or this is your first attempt at reading anything about that time it will draw you in and keep you there until the last turn of the page.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Publication Date: August 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Genre: Historical fiction
Age: YA
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British book
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Wonder

R.J. Palacio

wonder“My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”
Wonder is probably the most thought-provoking book I’ve read in a long while. It makes you feel angry about the injustice of the world. August feels ordinary, He does ordinary things, he has an Xbox and a dog and he eats ice-cream and rides his bike like an ordinary boy. The problem is he doesn’t look ordinary. How can you blend in when kids run away screaming from you in the playground? How can life be easy when you were born to stand out? August’s parents both had the same gene; he had a 1 in 50,000 chance but I guess he was unlucky, because he has treacher Collins Syndrome.

Definition-. “Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS), also known as Treacher Collins–Franceschetti syndrome, or mandibulofacial dysostosis is a rare autosomal dominant congenital disorder characterized by craniofacial deformities, such as absent cheekbones. Treacher Collins syndrome is found in about 1 in 50,000 births. The typical physical features include downward slanting eyes, micrognathia (a small lower jaw), conductive hearing loss, underdeveloped zygoma, drooping part of the lateral lower eyelids and malformed or absent ears” (Wikipedia, 2014)

These are the normal symptoms and there is nothing else apart from your facial features that are affected by the syndrome. So you feel completely normal but look far from it. You want to know the worst part? There isn’t anything he can do about it.

He’s never been to school and his parents want him to go, although they’re really not sure themselves. How will everyone react? It’s hard starting a new school but how hard would it be with a face that gives people nightmares? When he starts, it turns out OK, he knows people stare and point at him when he walks past and whisper about him behind his back. He does, however, quickly make friends with a girl called Summer and a boy called Jack Will. There is still one person who can’t get over it and he is really horrible to August. This book tells of all the hardships of life when people only look on the outside…

I really liked the book. But it was really sad. I like the fact that it was written bylots of different people’s point of view. I think it is not suitable for younger readers because it’s a very difficult topic and very hard to get your head around. And also, I suggest you read it with a box of tissues nearby as it is quite hard to read for the emotional reader (AKA me, I found myself with tears in my eyes in more than 1 point…)

Verdict: Overall I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a good read and to have their thinking challenged about how we judge people.

Reviewed by Daisy (12)

Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Publication Date: January 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 215
Genre: Contemporary
Age: YA
Reviewer: Daisy (12)
Source: Own copy
Challenge: None
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Netgalley November: Week Two Round Up

netgalleynovember3Personal Target: To read and review eight net galley titles and improve my approved/feedback rating

Number of books read this week: 3

Running total of books read: 5

Netgalley Approved-Feedback: 54.7%

Currently Reading: Crossing by Stacey Wallace Benefiel

Feedback: My Approved-Feedback percentage would have been much higher but I was approved for four new books this week.I know, I know! but I was posting my feedback and I just happened to look at the the newly available and most popular titles and they were just too good to pass up!

On the positive side the fact that I am being approved for titles after a bit of a drought shows how much this challenge has already helped!

If I manage to complete my original target, before the end of the month, I will go on to read from this list of recently approved titles:

The Edge Of Always (The Edge Of Never 2 )by J.A. Redmerski
Witch Finder by Ruth Warburton
Doubting Abbey by Samantha Tonge
Unleashing Mr Darcy by Teri Wilson

As usual click on the TBR title to be taken to the appropriate Goodreads page.

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone
time after timeCalling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn’t. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds.
It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work…until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn’t want?
Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us’s Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.

Time After Time is the sequel to the excellent Time Between Us. The first book was told from Anna’s first person perspective as she meets the mysterious Bennett in 1995 and uncovers his secrets. In Time After Time we are gifted with Bennett’s perspective as he navigates and attempts to reconcile the two halves of his life in contemporary San Francisco and 90’s Chicago.

While Time After Time is a time travel book (my third this month!)it had a very contemporary feel. Bennett’s gift is the tool the author uses to allow the unlikely couple to meet and to develop the tension within their relationship, however I felt that this fantasy element was much less important compared to the couples individual character developments over the duology. Both Anna and Bennett struggle with issues related to identity, self belief and faith in their relationship. For Anna the lesson was about being true to her ambitions and not being defined by her relationships.

When we met Bennett in Time Between Us is was already very familiar with his extraordinary gift and how he could use it to enhance the lives of the people he loves. Over the course of the two books he explores the impact that seemly small actions can have on people’s lives and he develops a confidence in his instincts and opinions but with an added maturity and humility.

Verdict: A sweet romantic read I can envision myself returning to time and time again

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Carnegie and Greenaway: Wonder

R. J. Palacio

Wonder cover artMy name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.
August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary – inside.
But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don’t make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don’t get stared at wherever they go.
Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he’s being sent to a real school – and he’s dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted – but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, underneath it all?
Narrated by Auggie and the people are around him whose lives he touches forever, WONDER is an funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page.

Wonder is quite frankly an amazing book that well and truly deserves its place on the Carnegie Shortlist. I read the book in a night and needed copious amounts of tissues as I neared the end. It should be made clear however that this is not a sad book, instead it is one that highlights the better side of human nature. Although the darker side does raise its ugly head from time to time, this book shows how human kindness can overcome it. Yes there are parts that are quite corny and twee, but I was left with such a feeling of hope after finishing the book, so much so that the corniness didn’t really seem to matter.

Auggie is the main character in the book, even when we read from the point of view of other characters. Born with a severe facial deformity he has had a lot to overcome in his 10 years. Previously homeschooled his parents decide to that now is the time he should start at mainstream school. Auggie is apprehensive but decides to give it a go, it’s not like he isn’t used to the way that people look at him. Initially ostracized there are a couple of pockets of light in the dark. In the end, despite the wishes of a boy who is obviously scared of being different, Auggie gains the acceptance of his classmates by showing a incredible quiet strength.

Wonder is written from the perspective of a number of central characters, all people whose lives have been touched by Auggie. I did miss the perspective of Auggie’s parents but at the end of the day this is a book for pre teens not for adults and the characters that they would wish to hear from are all covered. All points of view were written in the first person, but I always knew whose voice I was hearing. I liked the way that this was done, I don’t think that the book would have had nearly as much impact has it all been written from Auggie’s point of view as a large part of the storyline was how he, as a person, affected the lives of those around him. I also think that the decision to write the book in the first person was a good one. It is a very emotive book about a very emotive subject, the first person narrative reinforced this as the reader feels an intense emotional connection to what is going on.

I also liked the fact that although this book focuses on the better side of human nature, the ‘good’ characters weren’t perfect. Via sometimes resents her brother for taking her parents attention away from her and whilst she loves her brother doesn’t always want the hassle that being seen with him brings, their parents disagree on Auggie starting school, Jack gives in to peer pressure and talks about Auggie behind his back and Auggie does feel anger and resentment at the lot that he has been given. Had these characters not had these little imperfections then Wonder would not have seemed as real and I don’t think it would have succeeded in putting across the message that we should all take time to look at who a person is as that is what counts.

I’m not sure that it will win Carnegie, I think it may be a little sentimental to actually win the prize. It has however been a welcome break from the heavy darkness that can be found in some of the other books on the shortlist. And although I don’t think it will win part of me wishes that it would.

Verdict: A beautifully written, emotional book that give me hope for the nature of human kindness.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Publication Date: January 2013
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320
Genre: Coming of age
Age: Middle grade/ Teen
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: None
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Shopping With The Enemy

Carmen Reid

shopping with the enemyFashion-guru Annie’s well-dressed world is falling apart – first she’s lost her legendary sense of style, and now her daughter Lana seems to have become her worst enemy. Even her multi-millionairess friend, Svetlana, is having daughter trouble.
A trip to a luxurious Italian spa seems like the perfect way to forget her problems. But celery juice and Pilates can’t solve the disasters that are about to strike…
Will Annie rescue her passion for fashion?
And can mothers and daughters ever truly be friends?

I’ve not read any of Carmen Reid’s ‘Annie Valentine’ series before so probably need to hunt down some copies to catch up with Annie’s past as I really liked her as the main character and her whirlwind lifestyle and clear ability to get herself into various capers and adventures.

In this light-hearted and fun story, Annie is feeling down and seems to have lost her sparkle. But life conspires to send Annie on an adventure which helps her to recover her passion for fashion and life in general.

At the beginning of each chapter there is a run-down of one of the character’s outfits, where it’s come from and the cost. Not being that much of a fashionista, it was quite interesting to me and I’m wondering if my own wardrobe needs a bit of a re-vamp!
But back to Annie – her daughter Lana is in New York and very happy there working for NY Perfect Dress but there are concerns about sales being down and Svetlana, Annie’s best friend who has invested into the company, is quite clear that if this downward trend continues she will pull the plug and Lana and Svetlana’s own daughter, Elena, would have to return to the UK. In the midst of this Annie makes a big mistake doing a makeover on her TV show and gets persuaded by Svetlana to take some time out and go on a spa trip to Italy with her.

This is where I began to enjoy the book more. After looking forward to her trip – done Svetlana style, with luxury all the way – Annie makes the awful discovery that she wasn’t to be laying around being pampered every day and fed delicious foods, but more that this was a hard core detox treatment involving cabbage soup and enema’s. She tries to escape but gets called back by Svetlana with the terrible news that Svetlana’s ex-husband Igor has kidnapped her two young boys. This then leads Annie and Svetlana on a wild trip across Europe to try to get the boys back. I enjoying this part of the story and I liked swapping to and from the chaos that Annie was involved in and the story of what was happening in New York with Lana, Elena and Perfect Dress.

Verdict: This was a great read that got better the more that I read. If you are a Carmen Reid fan, and a lover of the ‘Annie Valentine’ series then this is a must have!

Reviewed by Lesley

Publisher: Corgi Books
Publication Date: November 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 384
Genre: Chick Lit
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Lesley
Source: Provided by publisher
Challenge: British Book
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Carnegie and Greenaway Awards: Small Change For Stuart

Lissa Evans

Stuart Horten – ten years old and small for his age – moves to the dreary town of Beeton, far away from all his friends. And then he meets his new next-door neighbours, the unbearable Kingley triplets, and things get even worse.
But in Beeton begins the strangest adventure of Stuart’s life as he is swept up in quest to find his great-uncle’s lost workshop – a workshop stuffed with trickery and magic. There are clues to follow and puzzles to solve, but what starts as fun ends up as danger, and Stuart begins to realize that he can’t finish the task by himself . . .

Stuart Horten is a very short boy with very tall parents who has just moved far away to the place where his father grew up. There he finds that his family have a long history. His great-uncle, the fabulous magician Teeny Tiny Tony Horton and his glamorous assistant Lily disappeared years ago and Stuart is convinced there was something mysterious about their vanishing. He becomes convinced that finding his great-uncles long lost workshop holds the key and starts on adventure, joined by his ten year old neighbour and a blind elderly woman, to find it.

This is a truly lovely book. It’s perfect for children of Junior School age, but there is also an innocence to it that should charm adults. Lissa Evans has done a fantastic job at getting into the head of a ten year old boy who feels slightly outside of the world of ‘normal’ ten year olds because he is small and has slightly odd parents. Stuart has a naiveté that should appeal to both adults and children. The story enters the realm of magic and fantasy based in the normal human world, but is never totally unbelievable. More you get swept along with the story and want to believe when you reach the only part of the story that delves into the fantastical.

This is a fairly short book at 288 pages, unsurprising given who it is aimed at. It’s written in such a way that makes it an incredibly easy read and I finished it in less than two hours. It is very definitely a children’s book, but it’s the kind of book that you want to be able to read to your children, just so you are able to share in the magic too. Still not my favourite Carnegie shortlisted book so far, that remains ‘Between Shades of Grey’, ‘Small Change for Stuart’ currently comes in as a very close second.

Verdict: Innocent and charming, a book that will take both children and adults on a magical adventure.

Reviewed by Alison

Publisher: Corgi Children’s
Publication Date: April 2012
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288
Genre: Magic, Fantasy
Age: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Alison
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: Debut Author
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Princess Poppy: The Play


Janey-Louise Jones

Join Princess Poppy and her friends and family for another brilliant adventure in Honeypot Hill.
Poppy is putting on a play in her garden! But there’s so much to do – she will need tickets and costumes and actors and a story. Her best friend Honey is taking part, and so are her cousins Daisy and Edward. Everyone in the village will be there for the performance, so Poppy wants to make sure everything is just perfect. But when Poppy starts ordering everyone around, the others name her Princess Bossy Boots, and won’t help her any more. What should Poppy do to save the play?

My daughter has been borrowing a whole string of Princess Poppy books from her pre-school and we have been enjoying the adventures of this little girl as she learns some important life lessons. Poppy is not actually a ‘real’ princess, but has a Grandpa who tells her that every little girl can be a princess (if they behave like one!).In this story Poppy learns that she cannot always be in charge, or make everyone do what she wants. She needs to consider the views and feelings of others.

The messages in the stories are always clear and simple, but I don’t find them to be too preachy, and the stories are very realistic in looking at the ways children play together. As well as this one we have talked about being kind to your friends, having patience, coping with family illness and dealing with new babies. There are many more we haven’t read yet too.

There are lovely touches in the book that make it more fun for girls, a list of the characters in the story and their pictures comes at the beginning. Then there is a map of Poppy’s village, Honeypot Hill. It’s great to see where the characters live, how they might go to visit each other, or to school, the stables and so on. Even better at the start of each story there is an envelope with a little something inside, always related to the story. Tianna loves to discover ‘what is in there this time’!

These stories are very sweet. I think they manage to steer clear of being sickly by the fact that the topics they cover are true to life, and because Poppy (and the other characters) are not too sweet themselves. However if your daughter is a complete tomboy then these are probably a little girlie.

Verdict: Lovely books, I am tempted to add them to our home library as I think they will stand the test of time too, and possibly be useful when we need to deal with some of these issues ourselves.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Corgi
Publication Date: March 2011
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book, Issues
Age: Early Readers
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British Book
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