Posts Tagged ‘Publisher- Red Fox’

Katie Morag and the Birthdays

Mairi Hedderwick

katie moragKatie Morag is desperate for it to be her birthday, but as she soon discovers, there are plenty of other birthdays to be celebrated on Struay both before and after hers. Join Katie Morag and friends for a year on Struay. Celebrate Neilly Beag’s birthday with a celidah and a jig, Liam’s with an April Fool’s joke and the Big Boy Cousins’ with a huge BBQ at the Old Castle. And find out what excitements are in store for Katie Morag and her Two Grandmothers on their special day . . .

This book is about the irrepressible Katie Morag who lives on the Scottish Island of Struay with her family and their birthdays. It interweaves a story through the months of the year as Katie Morag celebrates all the family birthdays and continually asks that on-going question, “When is it my birthday?”. Looking at all these people celebrating in different ways and sharing fun together was a sweet story, and one that every child can relate to.

I enjoyed reading this story to my girls, it is written in months, each page has the month as a heading and the date of the person’s birthday in different colours down the side. Katie Morag’s own birthday has a couple of extra pages too. I also liked the way the book had a calendar at the end that you could put your family birthdays in (or an older child could). It was also a great touch that it had ‘how to make’ pages showing things that Katie Morag had made for her family and how you could do them yourself, my daughter immediately wanted to make the birthday card.

Both of my girls really enjoyed this, they are 4 and 6 years old and it is perfectly pitched for them. This is a fairly long picture book with quite a bit of text and is probably better suited to a child of this age rather than a two year old. Having said that the pictures are fabulous with lots of detail to engage children and bring the story to life, and the birthday theme is obviously one that even younger children will be able to have an understanding of!

Verdict: This was a lovely book, and the little extra’s in it make it something special.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Red Fox
Publication Date: March 2006
Format: Paperback
Pages: 48
Genre: Picture book
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own copy
Challenge: British book
Posted on:

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
Posted on:

Dr Dog

Babette Cole

dr dogMeet Doctor Dog, he’s the Gumboyle family’s favourite pet and their very own trusty physician. When Doctor Dog jets off to a medical conference in Brazil the Guimboyles decide they can’t survive without him and so he returns to rescue them from all sorts of ailments: itchy nits, tickly tonsils and worms to name but a few. . .

I have enjoyed a few of Babette Cole’s stories and when my youngest picked this up in the library I was quite happy to add it to our pile of books to borrow. However the girls decided that we had to read it in the library then and there, so we did and it attracted some comments from other library users too. This is a book that can’t fail to induce an opinion!

The story is about the Gumboyle family whose pet dog is also their doctor. This is of huge benefit to them as they are not the most hygienic or healthiest of families! Dr Dog has to treat them for such complaints as smokers cough, head lice and worms as well as tonsillitis, ear ache and tummy ache. He givens good advice and shows the family pictures (drawn in a childlike style) of what is happening in their insides as a result of their lack of cleanliness or their illnesses. It’s a great way to get a conversation going about health and hygiene. “Never scratch your bum and suck your thumb” has got us talking about lots of things, as well as raising giggles from the girls.

Dr Dog warns the family of that bad things will befall them if they don’t change their ways. I am sure none of them really thought that Grandad Gumboyle’s excessive wind would blow the roof off their house though. The illustration for this also causes much merriment as Grandad sails through the air on his toilet as the ruined roof lies beneath him. It may not be what happens to most people but it does make a point!

Unsurprisingly after all this Dr Dog has to have time off for stress – brilliant.

Verdict:This is an irreverent and amusing look at health issues that can affect children and families. It has been well loved for the three weeks it has been in the house!

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Red Fox
Publication Date: February 1996
Format: Picture book
Pages: 40
Genre: Humour, Health
Age: Early readers
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Borrowed
Challenge: British book
Posted on:

The Whales’ Song

Dyan Sheldon and Gary Blythe

Lilly listens to her grandmother’s tales of whales and longs to hear the creatures’ powerful songs for herself. This eloquent work celebrates the extraordinary relationship between a young girl and the whales that do eventually sing for her.

I picked this book up when I was teaching and bought it because the pictures are exquisite. Some of them could hang on your wall!

Following that, the story is emotive and beautiful, I always feel it when I read it. There is a haunting quality to it, the idea that the whales could call to you is spellbinding. It is easy to see why Lily is so intrigued by her Grandmothers tales and at the same time why her uncle is sceptical and gruff about it.

As Lily longs for her own encounter with the whales the pictures beautifully illustrate the yearning. The encounter with them is mesmerising.

I have recently read this to my nearly four year old and she enjoyed it, but in a totally different way to me. She was interested in; why was the uncle was cross? Why did Lily give the whales a flower? Do whales really talk? Can they really sing? But this is one of the great things about the story, that it brings such different things to those that read it. As she grows it will grow with her, and the beauty I see in it might, one day, be apparent to her too.

Verdict: Superb, evocative and yet simple story that will be treasured for a long time.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Red Fox
Publication Date: September 1993
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Early Readers
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
Posted on:

Alpha Force: Rat-Catcher

Chris Ryan

The elite young SAS team sees action in a South American operation to catch a drug baron, where their individual skills are tested to the max.

The second book in the Alpha Force series ‘Rat Catcher’ is a great story which takes Alpha Force to South America where they find themselves only seconds from death in the mountains of Chile. The story has many twists and turns. The team encounter both a dangerous drugs dealer and a young street boy who they learn to trust and who is able to help rescue them when they find themselves in trouble.

Verdict:This amazing book is full of tension and suspense. I couldn’t put it down.

Reviewed by Jack (11)

Publisher: Red Fox
Publication Date: June 2004
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Genre: Action, Adventure
Age: Middle Grade
Reviewer: Jack (11)
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
Posted on: