Book Reviews

See our latest book reviews and search for all previous reviews. We’ll be adding more over the coming months, so check back to see if your favourite book has been reviewed by us.

The way to Treasure Island

The way to Treasure Island

Lizzy Stewart

Matilda and her dad bring complementary personal qualities to their search for treasure in the natural world.

Up to something

Up to something

Katrina McElvey

Dad and Billy each build their own racing kart and then build one together.

Umbrella

Umbrella

Elena Arevalo Melville

Lonely Clara has no one to play with until she finds an umbrella in the park.

A million dots

A million dots

Sven Völker

This is a beautiful book for counting games. Children love to count the dots, but what happens when there are too many dots to count?

The pirate tree

The pirate tree

Brigita Orel and Jennie Poh

When two lonely children meet up The Pirate Tree becomes a metaphor for a ship and friendship.

The golden cage

The golden cage

Anna Castagnoli & Carll Cheut

Valentina wants a talking bird and will go to any lengths to get her wish.

Where did you go today?

Where did you go today?

Jenny Duke

Where did you go today? Was it the park to swing on the swings? Or did you fly? Perhaps you went on the slide? Or maybe, you skied down a mountainside?

Sing to the moon

Sing to the moon

Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl, illus. Sandra van Doorn

It is raining – nothing to do, boring. If only there were wishes that can transport you to different exciting places. But you don’t need magic; you just need a loving grandfather and imagination!

The Phoenix of Persia

The Phoenix of Persia

Sally Pomme Clayton, illus. Amin Hassanzadeh Sharif

When the wish of King Sam and Queen Aram is granted and they have a baby, their joy turns to sorrow – anger even. The baby, Prince Zal, does not look like the prince the king wanted…

Moonstruck! Poems About Our Moon

Moonstruck! Poems About Our Moon

Roger Stevens (ed), illus. Ed Boxall

This anthology is another ‘stuff in your schoolbag’ poetry book from the Otter-Barry series that encourages children to read and share poetry.

A Kid in my Class

A Kid in my Class

Rachel Rooney, illus. Chris Riddell

The variety of poems is past imagining – the thoughts of a hamster; wondering what present to give a leaving teacher; haikus to describe pop-up ideas, including a ‘her-ku’, twins; school sports day; advice (with a twist) to a new boy; playground life; feeling shy; every aspect of the school day.

Sock Story

Sock Story

C K Smouha, illus. Eleonora Marton

Phil and Dave are a pair. They spend time together, making jokes, chatting and playing games. Suddenly, they get separated. Without having each other, life seems scary. But why is their adventure unique? I can give you at least two reasons.

Alfred and the Blue Whale

Alfred and the Blue Whale

Mina Lystad, illus. Ashild Irgens

Alfred is scared about lots of things but speaking in front of the class in four days’ time about the blue whale is going to be the worst thing ever.

The Adventures of Anatole

The Adventures of Anatole

Nancy Willard, illus. David McPhail

Nancy Willard’s trilogy which narrates the adventures of a boy and his orange cat Plumpet, now in one volume.

My storee

My storee

Paul Russell, illus. Aska

A young boy, possibly dyslexic, loves writing stories. However, his work is always heavily critiqued and covered in red slashes. How does everything change when a new teacher arrives?

Mira’s curly hair

Mira’s curly hair

Maryam Al Serkal and Rebeca Luciani

Mira’s hair is a riot of curls. Not what she wants at all. She would like straight hair just like her mother. But appearances are not always as they seem. When the rain comes down, Mira has a real surprise.

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily

Gwen Millward

When things get spilt or broken, or even eaten, it is clear that naughty Tiger did it. Lily declares it is so, and also tells us that Tiger is not sorry. But some things do require punishment. So they run away to be wild. At first, it is exciting, but what happens when it is dark and cold? Sometimes you can be too wild.

Emmett and Caleb

Emmett and Caleb

Karen Hottois and Delphine Renon

Emmett and Caleb are friends. This does not mean they always like the same things, and sometimes this can cause a bit of friction. But for friends, there is always a way through difficulties – an invisible poem perhaps, with all the right words.

Me and Mrs Moon

Me and Mrs Moon

Helen Bate

Mrs Moon looks after Maise and Dylan after school while both sets of parents are still at work. But what happens when Mrs Moon’s behaviour becomes unusual?

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