Upcoming Event: Children’s Book Launch in association with Born Free

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Independent children’s picture book publishing duo, PatrickGeorge, are teaming up with international wildlife charity the Born Free Foundation to promote their latest book ‘Animal Rescue’, with 50p from the sale of each book going to support Born Free’s wildlife rescue and conservation work around the world.

The Launch

Date: 18th February 2015 from 11am
Location: The Powell-Cotton Museum, Kent, UK.
Info: For further information and to attend this event, which is open to the general public, especially children and their parents see www.quexmuseum.org.

Born Free Foundation President, Will Travers OBE, will attend the book launch taking place at the award-winning Powell-Cotton Museum in Birchington, Kent on February 18th. The launch will include a book reading and signing, an opportunity to hear from Will Travers about Born Free’s animal rescue work, and a fun interactive animal rescue activity for children.

The Book

Animal Rescue is a book in which you become a rescue hero. Simply turn the transparent page and rescue the animals! It’s fun, it’s simple and it’s a gentle introduction to the importance of animal welfare. There are no words in this book so you can choose the words which are right for you.

There are eleven spreads portraying animals in need and an acetate sheet between each double page spread which, when flipped from right to left, serves to rescue the animal in need off the page and place it back into its natural environment.

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Image and synopsis taken from PatrickGeorge.com

Born Free

Born Free Foundation is a dynamic international wildlife charity, founded by Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers following their starring roles in the classic film Born Free. Today, led by their son Will Travers, Born Free is working worldwide for wild animal welfare and compassionate conservation.

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Born Free supports and manages a diverse range of projects and campaigns. The charity embraces both compassion and science in setting an agenda that seeks to influence, inspire and encourage a change in public opinion away from keeping wild animals in captivity, while in the short-term working with governments, the travel industry and like-minded organisations to seek compliance with existing legislation and improving the welfare conditions. This has included the development of ABTA’s Global Welfare Guidance for Animals in Tourism.

Through its Compassionate Conservation agenda, Born Free provides protection for threatened species and their habitats across the globe. Working with local communities, Born Free develops humane solutions to ensure that people and wildlife can live together without conflict. In 2013, the Born Free Foundation received the World Tourism Award, for its commitment to conservation.

For more information please visit: www.bornfree.org.uk

Spotlight: The Goth Girl Series by Chris Riddell

Being unemployed – which I newly am – is good in the sense that I can wander around bookshops during the week as much as I wish, but bad in sense that I can’t actually justify spending any money right now. 😦

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My will power was really put to test when I saw the beautiful Goth Girl hardbacks on display in my local Waterstones this week. WANT!

The second book in the series, Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death was released on September 25th, and is Waterstones’ Children’s Book of the Month.

How perfect are these for younger readers this Halloween!?

I mean, look how pretty…

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Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death

GG2Preparations for the Ghastly-Gorm Garden Party and bake-off are under way. Celebrity cooks are arriving at the hall for the big event and, true to form, Maltravers, the indoor gamekeeper, is acting suspiciously. Elsewhere at Ghastly-Gorm Ada’s wardrobe-dwelling lady’s maid Marylebone has received a marriage proposal. Ada vows to aid the course of true love and find out what Maltravers is up to, but amidst all this activity, everyone, including her father, appears to have forgotten her birthday!

About the Author

Chris Riddell was born in Cape Town, South Africa, where his father was an Anglican priest and a member of the ANC. The family moved to England in 1963, when Riddell was one year old, and he spent his childhood in a number of different locations, as his father moved between parishes. Both of Riddell’s parents continued to be active in the anti-apartheid movement.

Chris Riddell is an internationally acclaimed writer and illustrator whose many awards include the Nestlé Gold Award and two Kate Greenaway Medals—the most prestigious prize for illustration in the UK. He is the creator of more than one hundred books for all ages, including the immensely popular series the Edge Chronicles and his latest chapter book series, starring the irrepressible Ottoline Brown, which School Library Journal called “exceptional.” Chris lives in Brighton, England, with his wife and three children where he invents his amazing characters in a very tidy shed in his yard. (Goodreads)

What Are People Saying About Goth Girl?

“Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is one of the best children’s books I’ve read this year. Possibly *the* best. Aside from its truly beautiful presentation, it’s a fantastic gothic story with unusual characters, clever writing and amazing illustrations. The whole package really is a work of art.” – Wondrous Reads

Both illuminated and illuminating this is a magnum opus from the singular talent of Chris Riddell and is certain to be the jewel in the crown of every book case it adorns.”

– Droplets of Ink

“Love. Everything.” – Sarah Churchill, Goodreads

Click on the banner to read the first chapter for free!

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Friday Feature: The Best Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years? Part 1 (0-5 Yrs)

As I mentioned in my Bookish Thoughts post yesterday, I’ve noticed in blogland that this week America is celebrating Children’s Book Week. It doesn’t look like it’s one that we celebrate over here in the UK (there are so many it’s hard to keep up)but it got me thinking about my favourite children’s books, (also so many!).

I came across this list from October last year, of the 100 Best Children’s Books of the Last 100 Years compiled by Booktrust.org.uk, so I thought it would be a good excuse for me talk about what I think of the choices, and maybe add a few of my own.

They have split the list into four year groups, 0-5, 6-8, 9-11, and 12-14 with 25 books in each. I’m going to look at a different category at a time. Click on the heading to go to the full list.

0-5 Years

It’s been a long time since I’ve read any books aimed at 0-5 year olds. A few of my friends have young kids, but there are none in my immediate family so I’m not exactly up-to-date where they are concerned. However, a lot of the books on this list are classics that most people will be aware of.

The notable classics that made the cut include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where’s Spot, Room on a Broom and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, but I don’t actually remember those from my childhood at all. Well, maybe Room on a Broom.

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I am pleased to see The Snowman on the list, although I don’t think I had the book, I just watched the animation at Christmas (and still do), Where the Wild Things Are is a book that I ADORE but I came to it later in life, and Dr Suess’ The Cat in The Hat will always be a favourite, along with many of his others.

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But the nostalgia really hit me when I got to Not Now, Bernard – I’d completely forgotten that even existed and did a proper gasp when I saw it!!! Meg and Mog (I was all over anything with witches – nothing has changed) and Dear Zoo. I definitely remember loving those books.

Favourite on the List:
It’s a tough one. I own versions of The Cat in the Hat, and Where the Wild Things Are and would happily read them over and over, but now I’ve remembered about Not Now Bernard I’m leaning towards that one. I think I’ll have to find a copy!

Missing from the List:
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I always preferred Green Eggs and Ham to TCITH so I think that should be in there. I also really vividly remember A Big Ball of String by Marion Holland. I loved that book so much!

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And lastly, there is one book that I’ve never been able to find. All I know is that it was about a unicorn who gets lost and ends up cold and wet and covered in leaves. I can picture it well, but haven’t been able to find it because I have no idea what it was called or who it was by. ONE DAY I WILL FIND IT. Any ideas??

What would make your list in the 0-5 years category? I’d love to know!

Next time I’ll look at the 6-8’s Category! (Blyton…Dahl…ahh so good!)

The Perfect Picture Book This Christmas?

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It’s Christmas and two tree decorations – cardboard prince Rudolph and clothes peg fairy Rosalind – are discarded for being too shabby. Christmas Eve magic brings the toys in the cupboard to life, and when they discover their two friends are not on the tree, they search for them. However, while they are away, a Fouly – the exact opposite of a Christmas Fairy – sneaks in and hides. Unaware of the evil creature’s presence, the toys return with Rudolph and Rosalind, who have also been transformed, and they all help prepare a festive feast. During this the Fouly steals Rosalind’s wand and uses it to kidnap Father Christmas… Rudolph and Rosalind go to rescue him, but they must first seek out Santa Lucia for the one thing Foulies hate the most: the Lucia Light.

Their mission takes them to the Fouly Castle, but they are captured and confronted by Malicia the Fouly Queen. Using the Light, they defeat Malicia, free Father Christmas and return home. But the Fouly follows, seeking revenge, and – backed by a fierce Holly Army – the battle for Christmas begins… Will the Fouly be defeated? Will Rudolph and Rosalind be thrown away, or will the gratitude of Father Christmas help them regain their places at the top of the tree?

The Prince, The Fairy and The Fouly is a charming adventure story which combines all the elements of a traditional Christmas tale with a variety of characters and situations that highlight the battle between good and evil.

Resplendent with beautiful black and white illustrations, it’s the perfect bedtime story for children aged 7+ in the run-up to Christmas, and an ideal stocking filler. Its large format and presentation make the book ideal for emergent readers.

I read this when I was ill in bed yesterday and it cheered me up immensely. I’m not sure that lengthy synopsis is really necessary though!

The story centers around two discarded Christmas decorations and their friends who come alive each Christmas Eve and host a party for Father Christmas. However, there are evil Foulies lurking and one of them is so jealous of the fun they are all having, he kidnaps Father Christmas, putting Christmas in Jeopardy for everyone.

This is a traditional story that I can easily picture families reading together at Christmastime. It has just enough danger and action to be interesting and just enough magic to be beautiful. But the main star here is definitely the illustrations. The illustrator has done a beautiful job and the cover really doesn’t do it justice. The Christmas pictures are dazzling and the Foulies are truly sinister with their spidery limbs and hairy coats.

I loved the monster’s ball and the resolution to the story, Fitzsimmons manages to cram in a lot of detail in very few words. I only really had one gripe – the cardboard Prince’s name, Rudolph – I felt might be a bit confusing for children especially when Rudolph takes Father Christmas’ reindeer to go and save him…or is it just me?

Anywayyyyy, if I had a 6-8 year old child in the family, I wouldn’t hesitate in buying this for them this Christmas, it would make a lovely present.

unicorn rating 4

Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from the Publisher/Author in exchange for an HONEST review. Many Thanks!
Title: The Prince, The Fairy and The Fouly
Author: Jim Fitzsimmons
Details: E-book
Publication Date: November 4th 2013 by Troubador Publishing Ltd.
My Rating: 4/5
If you liked this try: Christmas Tales by Enid Blyton

Blog Admin Update & Currently Reading

A few more changes/updates to the blog:

I finally added a Review Policy & Contact page (and got a new gmail account solely for blogging purposes) and updated my TBR page. Hurrah! I’m getting there.

There are more changes I want to make to my sidebar but at least the important things are done, so I’m feeling pretty smug with myself.

I’m off work sick today (having a nightmare with my Wisdom teeth!) so I’m trying to cheer myself up with this beautiful picture book I just got approved for from NetGalley. It’s so cute!

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It’s Christmas, and two tree decorations – cardboard prince Rudolph and clothes peg fairy Rosalind – are discarded for being too shabby. Christmas Eve magic brings the toys in the cupboard to life, and when they discover their two friends are not on the tree, they search for them. However, while they are away, a Fouly – the exact opposite of a Christmas Fairy – sneaks in and hides. Unaware of the evil creature’s presence, the toys return with Rudolph and Rosalind, who have also been transformed, and they all help prepare a festive feast. During this the Fouly steals Rosalind’s wand and uses it to kidnap Father Christmas… Rudolph and Rosalind go to rescue him, but they must first seek out Santa Lucia for the one thing Foulies hate the most: the Lucia Light.

Their mission takes them to the Fouly Castle, but they are captured and confronted by Malicia the Fouly Queen. Using the Light, they defeat Malicia, free Father Christmas and return home. But the Fouly follows, seeking revenge, and – backed by a fierce Holly Army – the battle for Christmas begins… Will the Fouly be defeated? Will Rudolph and Rosalind be thrown away, or will the gratitude of Father Christmas help them regain their places at the top of the tree?

The Prince, The Fairy and The Fouly is a charming adventure story which combines all the elements of a traditional Christmas tale with a variety of characters and situations that highlight the battle between good and evil.

Resplendent with beautiful black and white illustrations, it’s the perfect bedtime story for children aged 7+ in the run-up to Christmas, and an ideal stocking filler. Its large format and presentation make the book ideal for emergent readers.

Title: The Prince, The Fairy and The Fouly
Author: Jim Fitzsimmons
Details: E-book
Publication Date: November 4th 2013 by Troubador Publishing Ltd.