Tag Archives: Blog tour

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 (www.griefencounter.org.uk) 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 readzephyr.com/books/9781801109185 .

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 grieftalk@griefencounter.org.uk.

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: Happy Sad by Pippa Goodhart and Augusta Kirkwood

It’s blog tour time! Today I’m hosting a delightful new picture book, Happy Sad by Pippa Goodhart and Augusta Kirkwood, published by Little Door Books.

When Toby finds a sad mermaid in a rock pool he takes her home to make her happy. But, away from her sea home and family, the mermaid is ‘Happy Sad’. What should Toby do?

A sweet tale of mixed emotions, as a young boy plays by the sea and finds more than just shells on the beach! Beautifully captured with softly-toned illustrations full of depth, Happy Sad portrays the exact feeling when you’re caught between being happy and sad.

As Toby tries to make the mermaid happy, although he succeeds in some ways, she still misses her true home. Even though they become friends, he starts to appreciate the only way to make her truly happy is to take her home – but this makes Toby ‘happy sad’ too! Happy to see the mermaid happy in her real home; sad because he can’t go with her.

A great picture book to instill empathy and reassure young readers that it’s ok to have mixed emotions, Happy Sad is a lovely story and will brighten up your picture book shelf!

With thanks to Little Door Books for inviting me to be part of this 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:

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:

BLOG TOUR: Wolfbane by Michelle Paver

Today I’m hosting the final stop on the blog tour for Michelle Paver’s new novel, Wolfbane published by Zephyr Books, the grand-finale in the legendary Wolf Brother Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. The Stone Age adventures have been read by three million readers worldwide and I’m sure many of them will be waiting with bated breath to find out what happens to Wolf, Torak and Renn.

The end of winter is a perilous time when ice rots and frozen rivers awake. Wolf finds himself adrift at Sea, far from his pack and hunted by an ice demon bent on devouring his souls. While Wolf battles hunger, loneliness and the monsters of the deep, Torak and Renn must find him before the demon can – or lose their beloved pack-brother forever…

Gripping from the first page, Wolfbane is a stunning conclusion to an incredible series that spans eighteen years! Over that time, author Michelle has created an immersive and breath-taking world, bringing to life an ancient time every reader should visit.

As Torak and Renn race against time to find Wolf, not only must they battle the demon, they must face rival clans and the immense and terrifying power of nature itself, before it’s too late. The thrilling narrative sweeps you straight back into the story, with edge-of-your-seat action alongside heartfelt moments between the characters, that shine a light on the themes of friendship and loyalty. A fitting end to a fantastic series, Michelle Paver has crafted another brilliant story in this middle-grade series that generations of readers to come are sure to enjoy!

Share your memories of the Wolf Brother series on the author’s website here and follow her on Twitter or Instagram. Read my review of another title in the series, Viper’s Daughter here.

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