Category Archives: Book review

BLOG TOUR: The Boy Who Rescued a Rainbow by Corrina Campbell

It’s Day 10 of the blog tour for The Boy Who Rescued A Rainbow by Corrina Campbell, published by Little Door Books, and I’m sharing my review of this delightful picture book.

The Boy Who Rescued A Rainbow by Corrina Campbell

This beautifully crafted picture books explores what being strong, brave and fearless really means, showing the wonder of imagination alongside the reality of life’s challenges, whatever they may be.

A young boy is enjoying marvellous adventures with his faithful dog by his side, when he discovers a broken rainbow. He fixes it, and together they all enjoy even more adventures. But one day, the rainbow disappears and the boy realises he is gone forever. How can he be strong, brave and fearless without his friend?

Thankfully his little dog reminds him it’s okay to feel sad and cry. And eventually the boy picks himself back up and continues his adventures, and is then reminded of his wonderful rainbow friend and the fun they had together.

A simple narrative, accompanied by gorgeous, colourful illustrations bring this lovely story to life. Young readers will love the imaginative play of the little boy, and the friendship he makes, and will be encouraged the develop their understanding of bravery in the face of loss as the story progresses. The Boy Who Rescued a Rainbow is a brilliant book to use in the classroom too, with opportunities for extended learning around themes of kindness and empathy. A real treat.

With thanks to Little Door Books for sending me this book to review and inviting me to be part of the blog tour. Follow the rest of the tour here:

BLOG TOUR: The Dragon in the Bookshop by Ewa Jozefkowicz

The Dragon in the Bookshop is a beautifully told story by Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize shortlisted author,  Ewa Jozefkowicz, published by Zephr. I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour celebrating the publication of the book, and sharing a short guest post by the author with an exclusive extract.

The Dragon in the Bookshop by Ewa Jozefkowicz

Inside the pages of a Polish legend, a hungry dragon stirs…The town of Krakow is in danger! Konrad and Maya’s quest to rewrite the ending of the legend and save the townspeople leads them on a magical adventure that sizzles with myth, mystery, dragons and dinosaurs. Will they find the right words and the power of stories to heal broken hearts?

Moving and magical, this wonderful adventure will captivate readers everywhere, and demonstrates the power of stories to bring hope and healing. We will all experience grief at some point in our lives, and stories like this that raise awareness are just what is needed to bring empathy and understanding.

Polish author Ewa Jozefkowicz’s Dad was a bookseller who inspired her love of reading and storytelling. He died when Ewa was a teenager and she became selectively mute in response to her grief. The Dragon in the Bookshop is Ewa’s exploration of the bereavement she experienced as a child and a tribute to the memory of her Dad. In her role working for a school support service, Ewa has experienced first-hand the life-affirming work of charity Grief Encounter ( who support children and young people who have experienced the death of someone close to them – this is one child in every UK classroom by the time they reach 16 years old.

Grief Encounter did not exist when Ewa lost her dad. Ewa and Zephyr are partnering with Grief Encounter to raise awareness of the charity and the book will help promote their work. As a charity, Grief Encounter work closely with individuals, families, schools and professionals to offer a way through the anxiety, fear and isolation so often caused by the grief of losing someone close.

I am really pleased to welcome author Ewa to the blog today with a guest post and an extract from the story. Welcome to the blog Ewa!

“The Dragon in the Bookshop is a story about grief, hope, the healing power of nature, and the realisation that the people we love are never truly gone. They’re in so many elements of what we do every day – in the things we say, the decisions we make, even the books we read. The main character in the story is Kon, who stops speaking after his dad’s death and is struggling at school. But things begin to change when he meets Maya on the beach that he used to explore with Dad. Later, they go to visit his Dad’s bookshop together, and get whisked away on a magical adventure through one of the books that Kon used to enjoy reading with him.

Below is an extract from the story, which describes the moment in which they find themselves in the bookshop, before strange things begin to happen.”

Being in the bookshop with Maya was fun. I was rediscovering the magic that Dad always spoke about.

“What’s this one?” she asked, pulling out a book from the middle of the pile, “Look at it – it’s beautiful.”

She handed it to me and I ran my fingers over the silky green cover. It shimmered in the light. And then my heart stopped. There were tiny footprints embossed in gold round the edge of it, shaped just like the print that I’d found. I turned the book over and checked the spine, but there was no title. It was obvious that the book wasn’t new, like all the others in this bookshop. In fact, it looked very old. When I dared to open the cover, I found thinned, yellow paper and a sweet, musty smell.

I flipped over to the title page and there I saw a picture of the dragon. It was so detailed and intricate that you could see every muscle in its body. Just looking at its eyes made my stomach suddenly heavy with fear. It wasn’t just any dragon – it was the one from Vavel Castle. The legend that Dad had always read to me. He must have somehow found a special edition. Maybe he’d been waiting to give it to me for my birthday.

I turned the pages greedily, recognising every word of the story, but seeing it somehow in a new light. Maybe it was something about the illustrations at the end of every paragraph, or the strange print that looked like old fashioned writing. I had a peculiar sense that the light around me was changing as I read, but all I knew is that I desperately wanted to get to the end.

“Konrad?” It was Maya’s voice but at the same time it didn’t sound like her at all. It wasn’t cheerful and carefree. It was small and shaky and scared.

I glanced up. She was still there next to me. I was still standing holding a book. There were still shelves of other books around us and a wooden floor beneath our feet, but we weren’t in Dad’s bookshop anymore. We were somewhere else entirely.

Find out more here .

Grief Encounter provide immediate support with a FREEPHONE Grieftalk helpline 0808 802 0111 open Mon-Fri 9am-9pm, a live chat via their website or support by emailing

With thanks to Fritha and the team at Zephr for inviting me to participate in the blog tour. Follow the rest of the tour here:

BLOG TOUR: One More Try by Naomi and James Jones

Today is the final stop on the blog tour for a wonderful new picture, One More Try, by Naomi and James Jones, published by Oxford University Press. This delightful story introduces a very determined Circle who will just not give up!

Circle loves the tower that the squares and hexagons have built. But Circle and his friends are much rounder or pointier…and much wobblier so making a tower turns out to be quite tricky. When the shapes are ready to give up, Circle asks them to have one more try. Can he find a way?

A follow up to their 2021 debut picture book, A Perfect Fit, which featured a triangle trying to fit in, this time we meet a very determined Circle in another shape-filled adventure. Circle and his friends try everything to make their tower-building work – from making themselves stronger and smarter to looking at the problem from every angle. Finally, when all the others are ready to stop, Circle asks for one more try. And you guessed it, it works!

A thoroughly enjoyable story about workings out, seeing things from different perspectives and not giving up, One More Try is sure to bring a smile to your face and get little minds thinking. I love the shapes as characters, each with their own personality, and I can imagine if my boys were still young they would be asking for ‘one more’ read of this colourful story!

With thanks to Oxford University Press for sending me this book to review and Liz Scott for inviting me to participate in the blog tour. Find out more on the rest of the tour:

New reviews: Picture Book Round-Up!

Today on the blog, I’m sharing a round-up of the plethora of brilliant and beautiful picture books I’ve read over recent weeks. Full of fun, themes of friendship and acceptance right through to wacky adventures, readers young and old won’t fail to enjoy these delightful stories!

Super Silly Museums by Nick Sharratt is a simply a delight! Everything a picture book needs to be to grab young reader’s attentions: inviting, entertaining, informative and jam-packed FULL of brilliant illustrations and fold-out pages. Readers are invited to explore the silliest museums ever, from the toe-tapping Shoe-seum to the somewhat stinky Pooseum. As the book says ‘going to the museum has never been so much fun’! Published by Scholastic (who are also running a fantastic competition to celebrate the book).

Frank and Bert by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros is a gorgeous story about kindness and making your friends happy. Join friends Frank and Bert, as they play hide and seek, and Frank discovers that there is more than one way to win. Beautiful illustrations and a simple narrative with a huge heart; this is simply a great picture book! Published by Nosy Crow.

Punk Rocker Poodle by Laura Dockrill and Sandhya Prabhat brings to life a noisy, punk-tastic poodle (who is a toddler with terrible twos in disguise!). A stomping, rhyming, rap-filled narrative shows just how much attitude this little pooch has – until it’s time to go to sleep; then all she wants is a cuddle!! Illustrations leap off the page and the whole story is so full of colour, readers will want to listen to Punk Rocker Poodle again and again (but maybe with the ‘volume’ down a little if it’s bedtime..!!). Great fun! Published by Faber.

Oh No George! by Chris Haughton celebrates it’s tenth anniversary this year! The perfect tale for dog lovers everywhere, it features George, the hapless hero who simply can’t be good. Whether it be eating cake, chasing cats or digging up the flower bed, George is powerless to resist. How can he make it up to Harris, his owner?! You’ll have to read this funny, entertaining tenth anniversary edition to find out! Published by Walker Books.

SuperQuesters: The Case of the Stolen Sun by Dr Thomas Bernard and Lisa Moss illustrated by Amy Willcox is the first in a new STEM-focused adventure series. Great for sharing, this engaging title brings STEM topics to life, introducing a great cast of magical characters, taking readers on an exciting adventure and inspiring their learning. With opportunities to participate and gain rewards in the shape of colourful stickers, children will love each STEM Quest and the opportunity to become STEM superheroes! Published by QuestFriendz.

You Are Enough: A Book About Inclusion by Margaret O’Hair illustrated by Sofia Cardoso is an inclusive and empowering picture book inspired by Sofia Sanchez, a 12- year-old girl with Down Syndrome. Featuring a cast of characters with all kinds of backgrounds and disabilities, You Are Enough encourages children to be brave and courageous no matter what they are facing. It also shines a light on the difference kindness can make and how we all need a cheerleader or two in our lives. Inspiring and engaging with lovely illustrations, this is a great book to share and prompt discussion. Published by Scholastic.

Monkey Bedtime by Alex English and Pauline Gregory is a wonderfully funny look at monkeying around at bedtime – with real monkeys! If you don’t know your marmoset from your gibbons, Monkey Bedtime will introduce you. Meet a whole host of marvellous, mischievous monkeys as one little boy tries to get to bed. As the time ticks on and Mummy keeps calling out ‘it’s time for bed’, more and more monkeys arrive through window, doors and even down the chimney! Find out if he’ll ever get to bed in this delightful, wonderfully drawn tale perfect for anytime of day! Published by Faber.

Wowee Zowee: A Flight of Imagination by Jurg Lindenberger invites young readers to join the fun as they step on board the airline of imagination. Travelling to some weird and wonderful places, they’ll meet a some crazy characters along the way. With space for their own imaginations to come to life on the page, children can draw and colour throughout, in places like the Fruitnveg Megaburb, Frostonika and Vectoland. In amongst all the fun, they’ll learn about what to pack for a journey and even navigating the airport. I think it’s time for a Wowee Zowee adventure – the perfect travel companion! Published by Cicada Books.

With thanks to all the publishers for sending me these books to review. They will be finding new homes via my local foodbank.

BLOG TOUR: Uncle Pete and the Forest of Lost Things by David C. Flanagan illustrated by Will Hughes

I’m so pleased to be hosting the final day in the blog tour for the second book in this delightful adventure series, Uncle Pete and the Forest of Lost Things by David C. Flanagan, illustrated by Will Hughes published by Little Door Books.

Uncle Pete the explorer and his fearless mouse sidekick, TM, have lost their stardust-powered plane. Where should they look for it? The strange and mysterious Forest of Lost Things? That’s crazy! Nobody should EVER go there! With lots of dangerous dilemmas to overcome, Uncle Pete and TM head out on a brand new adventures that’s full of surprises, laughs and a few scares. Along the way they meet some ingenious squirrels, a kindly dolphin, 12 enormous cats and a lost polar bear. Can bravery, kindness and lots of jam sandwiches help Uncle Pete and TM find there plane and get back home safely?

Having been lucky enough to read the first adventure featuring Uncle Pete (read my review here), I did catch a sneak preview of this latest adventure – and have been looking forward to finding out what happens ever since! We join Uncle Pete and TM as they set out to find the wonderful, rickety bi-plane that takes them on their adventures, and see them use all their ingenuity to find it! Readers will not fail to be entertained as Uncle Pete’s delightfully eccentric character comes to life once again, along with his brilliant sidekick TM (Tiny Mouse!) – through both the lively narrative and the quirky illustrations. And readers will love meeting new characters – like Tiddles the giant scary cat (not so scary when he starts licking his bottom at the wrong moment, just like normal sized cats do…!). Full of delightful detail, little bits of magic and as it turns out, more than just a plane rescue, Uncle Pete’s adventures in the Forest of Lost Things will have young readers clamouring for more!

With thanks to Little Door Books for sending me this book to review. Find out more on the rest of the blog tour: