This is perfect to read to children. It's funny, and it has a dinosaur + some fantastic illustrations by Lane Smith. Nice format too. It also has alteThis is perfect to read to children. It's funny, and it has a dinosaur + some fantastic illustrations by Lane Smith. Nice format too. It also has alternate endings and a very quick-witted little girl....more
Cathy Cassidy is yet another prolific UK children's author I'd never read until now. I'm not going to lie: I've always thought her books looked too yoCathy Cassidy is yet another prolific UK children's author I'd never read until now. I'm not going to lie: I've always thought her books looked too young, which is why I avoided them. Pretty bad, I know. I'm really surprised by how much I enjoyed Cherry Crush, as I had no idea it'd be so fun or addictive.
This is the first in a brand new 5-book series, which I believe is Cassidy's first, and came about due to fan demand. It's the story of Cherry Costello who, along with her father, moves from Glasgow to Somerset to be with his new girlfriend, Charlotte, and her large family. Charlotte has 4 daughters - Honey, Skye, Summer and Coco. They're all roughly around the same age as Cherry, and are like the sisters she never had. I liked all the sisters, though Honey left something to be desired. I know I'm supposed to sympathise with her situation, but I can't be doing with people who behave like that. She's the only aspect of the book I really didn't like, but I can see that her emotional journey was an important part of her family's lives.
Cherry Crush has a great sense of family values, which is what I loved most about it. I'm really close to my family, and seeing that portrayed in books always makes me smile. Family is the most important thing after all, and Cassidy effortlessly shows that with her story of change and self-discovery. Of course, Cherry Crush wouldn't be complete without a little romance, which comes in the form of Honey's boyfriend Shay. He's sweet, supportive and struggling with family problems of his own. He instantly connects with Cherry, and the way their friendship develops is subtle and unassuming.
Cassidy covers so many themes here that it's difficult to mention them all. Loss, truth and acceptance play a big part in Cherry's story, but there's so much more waiting for you within these pages. It's an absolute joy to read, and I think teenagers will love it - if I'd read it when I was 14, I'd have thought I'd won the book lottery. The next instalment, Vanilla Skye, is published in September 2011, and I can't wait. If I could read it now, I would!
I don't usually review books for an age group this young (5+), but I enjoyed Murray's YA debut, My So-Called Afterlife, so thought I'd give this one aI don't usually review books for an age group this young (5+), but I enjoyed Murray's YA debut, My So-Called Afterlife, so thought I'd give this one a go as a one-off change. One chapter in, I knew I'd made the right decision -- I was laughing my head off at Harriet's hutch antics, not to mention the fantastically funny illustrations by Lee Wildish.
Murray's writing is brilliant to read. It's amusing in the best way, and her characters are charming and intelligent animals with personalities that kids will love. Thanks to Harriet herself, as well as Smudge the family cat and Doodle the opera-singing Poodle, things are never dull in Showbiz Sensation.
This is exactly the kind of book I would have loved when I was little, and I'm sure any child reading it will enjoy it. I've never heard of a famous cartwheeling, somersaulting pet rabbit before, but if I could somehow own one, I would. Though I'd have to get it a really, really sturdy cage, for fear of an Alcatraz-like escape plan taking place.
Werewolf Versus Dragon is the first book in the Beastly Business series, which is being republished and repackaged throughout the year. It's a great rWerewolf Versus Dragon is the first book in the Beastly Business series, which is being republished and repackaged throughout the year. It's a great read for kids, and would be perfect for fans of Tommy Donbavand's Scream Street series. There aren't quite as many laughs, but there are some brilliant characters and some equally brilliant beasts!
The RSPCB is an acronym for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Beasts. It's a massive conservation-type area where injured beasts are rehabilitated before being released back into the wild, and reminded me of a less scary Jurassic Park. Beasts living under the care of the RSPCB include werewolves, fairies, gargoyles, dragons and phoenixes. There are also trolls and vampire owls, which I would love to see more of.
The characters of Werewolf Versus Dragon are a lot of fun to read about, and I think I've finally settled on a favourite: Druce the gargoyle. He provides much of the book's humour, and also has the ability to turn to stone. Personally, I think that's cool. I also like Tiani the fairy and werewolf Ulf, who together make a great team when it comes to getting rid of the bad guy.
The pacing is fast, the plot adventurous and the writing entertaining. I would have liked more humour in the dialogue, though I did laugh at a lot of the full page artwork, which mostly made up for that. I'm looking forward to reading more of these new editions of the series, especially book 4, The Jungle Vampire. I wonder if the vampire owls will make an appearance? ...more