'Bliss' is a charming story about a young girl who works in her family's bakery. This isn't just any bakery though, this is a magical one where croiss...more'Bliss' is a charming story about a young girl who works in her family's bakery. This isn't just any bakery though, this is a magical one where croissants are capable of curing people of the flu and muffins may just whip up the sparks of romance. A quick and easy read, the book is full of extraordinary characters, as well as a town where incredible things happen. I really enjoyed it and will definitely be looking out for the sequel. (less)
This is the first book in Sally Gardner's new series and the first case of the Fairy Detective Agency. It's a beautifully packaged book with fabulous...moreThis is the first book in Sally Gardner's new series and the first case of the Fairy Detective Agency. It's a beautifully packaged book with fabulous illustrations by David Roberts which really bring the story to life.
Combining some magical elements reminiscent of well loved fairy tales with a dark centre which will appeal hugely to readers who like it when children save the day and their wicked parents get their comeuppance, 'Operation Bunny' has been described as reminiscent of some of Roald Dahl's best loved stories. While I think this book is actually quite different, I can understand how comparisons could be made between the two.
Sally Gardner's tale features heroine Emily Vole. Emily has an incredible adventure when she becomes acquainted with her next door neighbour Miss String and her human-like cat Fidget. A whole new magical world opens up for her and her life is literally turned upside down. From then on, readers should expect just about anything to happen. There are pink, talking bunny rabbits, fairies, witches, zombie children and magic lamps. Suspend your disbelief because this story will carry you away from reality and into a world of enchantment and adventure.
I found this book a quirky and entertaining read. Emily Vole is an adorable and likable heroine and this is a story spiced with secrets and magic which will appeal hugely to younger readers. (less)
This is a charming and heartwarming story about a young boy who dares to be different. I wouldn't normally have picked this one up because it is predo...moreThis is a charming and heartwarming story about a young boy who dares to be different. I wouldn't normally have picked this one up because it is predominantly aimed at younger readers but I'm so glad that I got the opportunity to read it because it was simply lovely. The perfect book to put a smile on your face at all the exciting and wonderful adventures that our hero Barnaby gets up to along the way.
I should mention that there are also some wonderful illustrations throughout the book by Oliver Jeffers which show Barnaby on his extraordinary journey.
The story is about embracing the things that make you different rather than always trying to change and fit in with everyone else. This is an important message to convey to children reading the book and one which we should all remember.
The book reminded me quite a lot of some of the best Roald Dahl stories where the adults are far from perfect and could actually learn a thing or two from their children. Mr and Mrs Brocket are desperate for their whole family to be seen as normal and one of their mistakes is to value this more highly than the things which make each of them special in their own right and which should be celebrated rather than hidden away.
A pocket sized book with a pocket sized hero, Barnaby Brocket is one of those characters that you'll remember long after reading the final page. He has a whole host of amazing experiences and sees some incredible sights as he travels around the world. He also meets lots of interesting people who teach him some valuable life lessons. He's an inspiring figure who we could all learn a thing or two from.
This is a great book for both children and adults. It is a unique story which is sad in places but ultimately an uplifting tale of daring to dream. (less)
‘The Haunting of Charity Delafield’ is a charming little book which would make the perfect Christmas present, with its gorgeous gold edged cover and p...more‘The Haunting of Charity Delafield’ is a charming little book which would make the perfect Christmas present, with its gorgeous gold edged cover and pocket size - just right for slipping into someone's Christmas stocking. Although aimed at a slightly younger audience, the story is so exquisite that I think older readers will be won over by it too.
It tells the story of Charity Delafield who lives in a big house with her father, servants and adorable cat Mr Tompkins. Apart from the kindly servants who look after Charity like she is their own daughter, Mr Tompkins is her only friend and companion and has a habit of frequently sneaking onto her bed at night. He's so adorable that I wish I had a cat just like him! Charity has been protected and cosseted all her life and has no real knowledge of life outside her small world. She doesn't see or play with other children and isn't even allowed to explore the whole of the house, most of which is kept locked up. When she's told by her father that she's going to be sent away to a boarding school, Charity is understandably upset but this sets in motion a chain of events which leads to her eventually finding out the truth about her family and the mysterious disappearance of her mother when she was a baby.
I really loved this delightful story which I can see myself picking up to read again and again. It’s fairly short so ideal for frequent re-reads but is packed full of charm and is a simply wonderful little book. I loved the character of Chairty and the servants who look after her. They're always slipping her squares of chocolate or steaming mugs of hot chocolate and they treat her like she's their own. I also liked Silas Jones, the kind-hearted chimney sweep's boy who befriends Charity and helps her to unravel the long-buried secret about her mother. It's sad to think that she's never had a friend before but in Silas she finds someone her own age who she can have fun with and their friendship blossoms throughout the book.
The plot actually took an unexpected turn in the second half and I was surprised by the direction which the story ended up taking. However, there's a lovely fairytale quality about the book and this worked well with the second-half of the story which leads Charity on a real magical adventure, beyond the realms of anything she could have dreamt of.
The ending was beautifully written and in my opinion, absolutely perfect. If you like happy endings then you’ll love this one! (less)