Posts Tagged ‘Reviewer- Faye’

Hello Dark

John Coxhead

Welcoming and becoming comfortable with the dark is such an important thing for children to learn. Simply by saying ‘Hello Dark’ has proven – in the author’s experience – to be a fun, engaging way of overcoming the worries and fears of the dark. This delightful story for children aged 5 to 8 can help support them at bedtime and during the day.


This was a really wonderful read and one that can definitely be used to show children that there isn’t anything to be afraid of in the dark. Freddie is terrified of the dark and to conquer his fear, his dad shows him how to walk into the room and say hello to the dark. It helped to make Freddie less frightened until he turned on the light. It then helped him to overcome darkness when there is no light to turn on. Lastly, Freddie manages to overcome his fear and even helps his sister start to do the same. This is such a lovely story. I haven’t had a chance to try it out on children but I think it would be a really interactive read, getting them to say hello to the dark while it is dark but also along with Freddie in the book. I would definitely recommend this read.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: May 2020
Format: ebook
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Childrens
Reviewer: Faye
Source: N/A
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Pirate and R

Daniele Forni

The Pirate and R is a simple introduction to the statistical software R, specifically aimed at future data scientists.
Got to www.thelittledatascientist.co.uk for more codes to use and to stay up to date regarding future publications.


As an adult who knows absolutely nothing about R data coding, this book was really well written and laid out. It explains how the coding works with the backdrop of a pirate. So, for example, how to show what fruit the pirate has in his basket all the way to working out how much treasure the pirate has in his chest. It was really well depicted as well and I feel like this is a book that is a brilliant starting point for children to start coding themselves. It is a really simple introduction and I would definitely be interested in reading further books like this one!

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: June 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 30
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Childrens
Reviewer: Faye
Source: N/A
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The Broccolis

J. C. Allan

Meet the Broccolis – your vegetable super hero family.
This is their first adventure together!
Next time, you will be able to continue the adventure at Barney’s Birthday. Keep an eye out for book two where their story continues.


This is a very short but lovely story about a young Broccoli and her first day at school. It is a wonderful introduction to the Broccoli family and their lives. Summer is a little bit of a handful, unable to sit still and often this leads to things going wrong. Namely in this book she ruins her younger brothers’ train set and bumps into him on the slide! But all is not lost as the eldest brother is on hand to fix everything. I believe that children would really enjoy this book and it could be a good opportunity to talk to children about starting school and how to deal with arguments between siblings.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: May 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 20
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Childrens
Reviewer: Faye
Source: N/A
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If Only They Could Talk

Ian Walker

Miles Goodyear’s whole life has been planned out for him. Born into a wealthy brewing family in Chesterfield between the wars, he knows he will go to the local grammar school, followed by St John’s College, Oxford. After graduating, he will then follow his older brother into the family business where he will remain until the next generation eventually takes over when he retires.
But life – and a series of bad decisions – go against him and, as a result, things turn out very differently from what was originally planned.
If Only They Could Talk is the story of one man’s reflection on his life, his failed relationships, his regrets and his dashed hopes. It’s about someone born with so much, who loses everything as he struggles to cope with a changing world. Or at least that’s what his relatives are led to believe as they clear out his house following his death.
Gradually, the house reveals its secrets, but nothing his relatives find there can prepare them for the final twist to Miles’s story.


Five Favourite Things About My Protagonist

On the face of it, it’s difficult to like too many things about my main character Miles Goodyear. For a start, he is one of life’s losers. Most men can only dream of the start in life that he had. After all, he was born into a wealthy brewing family and was destined to have the best possible education at the local Grammar School. Following this, he would go on to study at the illustrious St John’s College Oxford. This would have prepared him to take up a job for life as a director in the family firm. Yet despite all the privileges that his upbringing bestowed on him, he still managed to lose everything. Miles is also a drinker, an adulterer and a person who abuses his position at work. Nevertheless, you can’t help but like him. Would I want to go on a night out with him? Yes, I would. Would I want him to run my company? No, never! Would I ask him to give me advice regarding affairs of the heart? Absolutely not.

At the centre of Miles’s story is his friendship with Sprout and Herman. He meets the two of them on his first day at school and they remain close friends for the rest of their lives. That is something not many of us manage to do and it demonstrates the type of person he is.

In some ways, Miles is a bit like King George VI. Miles was never meant to run the family business. In the same way – albeit further up the social ladder – George VI was never meant to become king. Those were the roles their brothers were destined to take on, but didn’t. As a result Miles is a person who is deeply conscious of precisely what his family has achieved. He is fully aware of the responsibility he has to pass that legacy onto the next generation. In many ways it is a chain around his neck, a burden he has to bear. However he realises it’s his duty and he refuses to shirk his responsibilities both to his family and his employees. That’s despite the fact that he would have been financially better off if he’d decided just to sell up.

Miles is also a trier. As the world is changing about him and all his competitors start to fail, he strives to adjust, to bring in new ideas and new products in order to save his family business. Ultimately he’s not successful but at least he can say he tried his best.

One of the great things about Miles is that he is able to re-invent himself. Having failed as a businessman he tries his hand at something completely different. I’ve always admired people who are able to succeed in two quite distinct fields. People like George Forman who went from being a professional boxer to selling his grill on TV, or Glenda Jackson who successfully changed career from being a famous actor to becoming an astute politician. Nobody could claim that Miles was a successful businessman. But at least he was able to start all over again as a teacher in the school where he was a pupil in his youth. Eventually he even becomes moderately successful and is relatively happy in his new profession.

Finally, Miles is no cold fish. He’s the type of person who usually lets his heart rule his head and ultimately this leads to his downfall. We all love a flawed character like him. It’s the same reason why Nelson has a column in Trafalgar Square, despite the fact he was both impulsive and an adulterer. In contrast, the cool, calculating Wellington only has a very practical pair of waterproof boots named after him.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: May 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 270
Genre: Historical Fiction
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: N/A
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Dad You’ve Trumped!

Andrew Rogerson

This is the story of how a dad tries to explain away his moments of flatulent indiscretion to his daughter Poppy who is five. These are real moments. They are real excuses!


A book that is absolutely full of tongue-in-cheek good ole British humour! It is the tale of a young girl who is constantly hearing her dad trump and instead of admitting it, he blames everything around them instead. It’s a light-hearted read that would definitely work well being read between a father figure and a child. At the end of the book, it even suggests making the farting noises while you read to your child which would definitely make things a lot more interesting in my opinion! Definitely a fun and entertaining read that I am sure your child will want you to read again and again!

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: May 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 34
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Childrens
Reviewer: Faye
Source: N/A
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Brilliant Baxter at the Funfair

Carol Cordrey

An exciting visit to the Funfair for Eliza, her grandmother, Grinny, and their much loved Labrador, Brilliant Baxter. This story’s easy rhyme and vibrant illustrations are certain to delight both children and adults.


Brilliant Baxter at the Funfair is a short but sweet picture book story about a family dog being incredibly protective of his family. It is a lovely story that has the dog rescuing some children while at a fun fair before they all have more fun. It’s perfect for those that enjoy dogs and love how instinctive they can be when it comes to protection. I think that children in particular would happily read this book and look to their dogs for protection in the future. It would also work well to warn of some of the dangers of funfair rides as something to talk through with the child you’re reading with.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: May 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 20
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Children
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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Charles Dickens: My Life

Derwin Hope

When Charles Dickens died prematurely on the 9th June 1870 aged only 58, he left behind a legacy unsurpassed in English fictional literature. But he also wanted to write his true life story and this remained undone. 150 years on from his death, I have found that sufficient material has now been uncovered to enable that narrative of his life story to be produced for the first time. Research amongst 15,000 of his letters, journalistic articles, documents and other relevant material connected to him have all combined to make it possible for me to piece together that evidence and, guided by the way he wrote his two travel books, has resulted in the production of this personal story in his own words that he so desired to tell. It shows exactly how, from difficult beginnings, he descended into acute humiliation and abject poverty, before then emerging due to his talent and incredible resolve, into one of the most famous men and popular authors the world has ever known. It chronicles his enormous public triumphs and his profound private turmoils, as well as the secret life he led when, on his own admission, he became “seized with lunacy”. It includes his two momentous visits to America, and his withering and radical opinions of institutions and situations he found there, as well as those he encountered at home – all expressed in his own inimitable style. This is his compelling and personal narrative, put together for the first time in a way that he wished his legacy to be told. It is the real and true story of his life.


How I Researched My Book

After hearing that Dickens may have led a secret life, I began by reading modern biographies of him to try and find out more and then turned the clock back to read the 3 volumes on his life produced by his friend John Forster shortly after Dickens had died in1870. I still did not feel I knew the real and true story about him when, by chance in 2004, I became a Judge in Portsmouth. I visited the humble house of his birth and as I stood in the bedroom where he was born, the question went through my mind: ”How did he get from here to the life of fame he went on to lead, and how much of this did he explain in his own words?” I then began further research, focussing only on things that Dickens had said about his life. This included not only what he had told Forster in secret about his childhood, but studying in detail 15,000 of his letters that had now been published, details of what he had written in his journalism and other documents relating to him, as well as verbatim transcripts of his speeches and faithful reports from people who had witnessed other things that he had said. I put this gigantic jigsaw of his reporting of his life into a continuous narrative form using his words, so that for the first time in 150 years the true sequence of his life is set out as he had wanted to do himself, but had left undone by the time of his untimely death at the age of 58.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: May 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 536
Genre: Non-Fiction
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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Sully’s Glow

Simi Godagama

Harpi the eagle discovers her inner voice that guides her to Sully, a boy with a glow. Sully is unaware of his glow until he discovers he has the capacity to help someone in need. After he meets Harpi, together they meet more friends who each in turn have their own issues that heal and transform through their encounters with one another. Eventually with their combined energy, they transform the world they live in. Sad Sully becomes Smiling Sully, Hopeless Harp becomes Hopeful Harpi, Perfect Parrot becomes Pitch Perfect Parrot, Greedy Giraffe becomes Grateful Giraffe and Cranky Croc turns into Courageous Croc.


Sully’s Glow is a charming little story about how four different animals and a human, who are struggling with inner demons, work together to find each other’s worth and to help each other become happier. It has a good rhyming feel to the book that allows it to be easy to be read aloud to children as well. I really enjoyed the moral story at the centre of this book and I know that my niece would really enjoy this book. It’s also got some amazing illustrations as well that really bring the story to life.

I would definitely recommend this book, especially to those children aged 5-8 who are struggling to find friends. Perhaps they feel like they don’t belong anywhere, or that they are too ugly, or too bored or simply too angry. This book shows that if you open your heart and help one person that you will feel better yourself and it may just lead to a wonderful friendship. It’s just got a lovely feel to the book that I really enjoyed.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: March 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 88
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Children
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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The Vatican Games

Alejandra Guibert

Vera is born on the day an apocalyptic revenge is unleashed, annihilating half of the world’s population.
Her birth marks the beginning of a new world order run by powerful gaming corporations.
A warless existence with no poverty has been secured, until this fine balance becomes once more under threat.
Vera is the female David to beat Goliath and prevent further devastation.
The future lies in her hands. It’s a game that she needs to win.


Five of My Favourite Things About Being An Author

by Alejandra Guibert

I love creating stories, imagining a world that is not my own but someone else’s. As a child, I always created stories during bath time and became lost in my imagination to a point that my mother had to drag me out of the bathroom when I had been too long!

Of course creating characters gives me great pleasure too. Putting myself in someone else’s shoes and feeling what they feel and doing what they would do brings an incredible feeling as I’m putting it on the page. It’s almost as if I were introduced to these characters at the beginning of a book and as time went by and they developed, they would end up telling me what their next step would be.

One of my favourite things of being an author is the ability to be in my own bubble of creation. Spending time in the worlds I’m creating and with those people within those worlds and being able to create meanings and ideas through them.

I also enjoy immensely being inspired by other authors. Alongside my own journey as a writer, I am constantly reading and looking for inspiration from different sources: I enjoy looking into different and inspiring forms of expression from other novelists but I also thrive on the knowledge passed on by non-fiction authors. I usually have four or five books on the go, from which I gain inspiration, as long as they are relevant to what I’m writing.

And last but not least, I love the interaction with readers, I enjoy learning of their own interpretation of events and characters and sharing deeper meaning to a story or a poem. Some of my ideas and wishes translate into a kind of message that I want to convey. In brief, communication with the reader is paramount to my writing. Showing viewpoints and concepts that might help change reality for the better, whilst somehow moving or touching the reader is my ultimate goal.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: January 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 242
Genre: Sci-Fi
Age: Adult
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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The Princess and the Valley Man

Dorota Kluza and Evan Williams

The Princess and the Valley Man is an enthralling, educational tale of adventure, fantastic creatures, and dashing acts of bravery!
Join Solis and Princess Luna, on an amazing journey through the Earth’s most unusual place: Death Valley. Luna, a princess from a kingdom in a far-away star, is curious to see the sights in Death Valley. And Solis, smitten by Luna’s beauty, is only too happy to indulge her.
They travel through landscapes – from the exhilarating Sea of Sand to the majestic Canyon of Marble to the eerily frightening Mysterious Cave – forming new friendships and gaining a deep understanding of each other.
Meet fantastic creatures – from moving rock formations, to Kiko the talking bird, even mysterious inhabitants of a ghost town – and be with Solis and Princess Luna as they dodge challenges, solve puzzles, craft clever solutions and find a way out of hairy situations.
More important, discover how to love with all your heart, the most seemingly unlovable place on Earth.


Exclusive Extract

There was a place on Earth that was considered most unusual: Death Valley, which was in California in the United States. Now you might be asking yourself: what make’s Death Valley so unusual? Well, it was a land of extremes. While it had towering mountains, it also had below-sea-level salt flats and even sand dunes. All strewn across the landscape were rock formations of many colors, some of which held mystery. Sometimes, when the rain comes at the right time, the landscape would bloom with an explosion of flowers. These mostly grow from the many seeds that had been waiting in the dirt; sometimes they wait many years for the rain to come. Mostly, though, it is the heat that makes this place famous. You see, Death Valley is the hottest place on Earth!

One day, because of Death Valley’s unique terrain and features that focused the sun’s energy upon itself, it reached a temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56,6 Celsius degrees) – the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth. Something very special also happened on that day: a child was born in this place of extremes. This child, some say, got something even more special from the sun on that day, an inexplicable kind of energy that would be with him wherever he went which kept him safe and protected him from harm. His parents called him Solis. He was an extraordinary boy who grew up in this most interesting and unusual place. He was not afraid of anything and he made lots of friends, including local animals that he used to play with. A born explorer who never gets sick, decided one day to take it upon himself to protect and preserve Death Valley, which he loved with all his heart.

As a young man, Solis travelled to many places far and wide and has seen many kingdoms. In fact, as a former soldier in his kingdom’s army, he had fought in many battles. His exploits were famous throughout the lands, especially among schoolchildren who were studying history. Living in Death Valley, he worked by helping those who came to seek adventure and see the amazing sights.

One day, on his way back home after a deeply exhausting day at work, he came upon a group of travelers who had become trapped in their big coach within a massive sand cloud. He sped up his wagon to reach them quickly and to help them get out of it. He knew it was not a typical sand cloud caused by the wind, but a monstrous attack of a deadly sand creature living in this area that could not stand any noise. Luckily for the travellers, Solis was not afraid of it!

“Do not leave your coach!” Solis screamed. “Close the windows and your doors, and be as quiet as possible!”

But the travellers were overwhelmed with fear and panic. “Help us and get us out of here!” They screamed. “Get us out of here, please!”

Solis jumped off his wagon as quickly as he could. He looked like a cowboy wearing an old Western-looking bandana on his face and a special pair of shoes designed to not sink on any surface. He ran to them, then tied a big thick cotton rope from his wagon to their coach. But at this moment, the scary sand creature came out of the sand cloud and started to shake the noisy coach violently from one side to the other.

The travellers were screaming loudly from fear, but Solis was not afraid of the creature at all. He stayed calm, carefully connecting the rope. He made a few quick steps, like he was floating on the sand on his wide flat shoes, and was back in his wagon in a second, pulling the tourists and their coach away from this dangerous sand monster.

Once they all were on safe ground, Solis emerged from his wagon covered in sand. “Are you all okay? Is anyone hurt?” His voice was calm, reassuring. “This was the sand beast living in this area. I hope she did not scare you too much. Next time you must be more careful here and must follow some precautions. By the way, my name is Solis.”

Just as he introduced himself to the travellers, he saw among them the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. He was entranced. But the travellers interrupted his reverie, crying with happiness and saying, “You saved us! You saved us! Thank you so much, Solis!”

“Oh my goodness, you are all covered in sand,” one of them said, helping Solis dust the dirt off his shirt. “We are very sorry for this trouble, but we got confused by the intense heat of this place. Luckily, we found the coach. But when we tried to drive out, the beast attacked us. You know the rest of the story, Solis. You are our hero!”

Solis’s face blushed from the attention. “Oh, I’m not a hero, guys. I am just glad I could help and to make sure you are all fine. Travellers often get confused from the heat here. Ordinary folks could rarely stand the kind of heat we have in Death Valley. Just be more careful next time, wear a hat and drink lots of water, and watch out and take precautions to avoid the sand beasts in this area.” Solis flashed them a smile that was pure charm.

“We would love to thank you, somehow, Solis,” said someone from the group. “Please allow us to invite you for dinner tonight?”

“It is really not necessary,” he replied, but then he could not take his eyes off the beautiful girl. “But of course, I would love to have dinner with you all.”

“Hoooraay!” they cheered in unison. “See you tonight at the Last Kind Words Saloon?”
“See you then,” replied Solis happily.

On the way to their accommodation, the travellers could not stop talking about how Solis fought off the deadly sand creature, and how brave he was for saving them. And among them, the beautiful girl that Solis liked merely smiled, quietly anticipating to meet him again.

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: January 2020
Format: Paperback
Pages: 100
Genre: Adventure
Age: MG
Reviewer: Faye
Source: Review Copy
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