Posted in Review

Review: Supertato Veggies Assemble

Today I shall be reviewing Supertato Veggies Assemble by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

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This is a story about an evil pea wreaking havoc in the supermarket late one night. He sends an army of peas out of the freezer to destroy everyone else. Can Supertato and his friends help save the day?

One thing that draws you to this book is how colourful it is. Each page is jam packed (pun intended), with lots of action and little quirks you wouldn’t normally find in a children’s story. I particularly like the baked beans tins!

As a writer, trying to write my own novel about an animated piece of ham, Supertato gives me hope that talking food as protagonists DOES work, its actually inspired me to go back to my ham story and figure it all out.

I love how the name of the story is based on a very popular cinema franchise, it works very well and it should hook in superhero fans no matter the age.

What I find fascinating are the illustrations, I enjoy how the broccoli and fish fingers are drawn, using bubbles as inspiration.

The narration, to me, is very Batman the TV series – esque, it’s all I hear in my head when reading it out loud to my children, now that I’ve told you this you will probably feel the same way. For those not familiar with the style just imagine a narrator describing a situation and then questioning the outcome, it’s effective and gets you thinking ahead to what may happen. With it being a children’s story it is light hearted and very fun to read.

Another thing I enjoy is the superhero team, one of which is a tomato. We find out something interesting about tomatoes in this book, something which children may not know so I like how it’s approached.

If you are looking for a quick book to read to your child this is definitely the book for you. It isn’t wordy at all, yet it still works out well as the illustrations tell the story just as effectively as the narrative.

Comments from my son

“I like the fish fingers looking at the evil pea”

If you like this book try Supertato Run, Veggies Run! By Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet

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DID YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW?

As any reviewer will tell you, do your homework, and the results will pay off, so homework is what I did. If you feel I’ve missed something, please let me know. I’ve got notes upon notes of what to put in and leave out. Likewise, if it’s too long or too short do let me know. I’m refining this skill little by little every day.

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Posted in Review, writing

Review: The Bean Machine

The next review is The Bean Machine by Adam Bestwick.

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Image result for adam bestwick the bean machine

My Rating: 6 out of 10

My Son’s Rating: 10 out of 10

It’s about a bean obsessed boy, who loves to eat beans all day every day. A problem arises when he eats so much that even mum and dad don’t know what to do with all the empty tins. Can Jack find a way to deal with the tin crisis?

I enjoy rhyming stories and this ticks all the boxes with rhythm, pattern and readability, it’s easy to read, though at first, it does seem very wordy, it soon picks up pace. The text goes well with the imagery and I feel Adam achieved his goal of telling a story and also teaching his readers some good life skills.

I would say it’s aimed at around 7 year old’s, but younger children would benefit from this story too.

What children will love about this is that the story goes in depth about what he eats beans with, some combinations that children would love and adults would squirm at.

The illustrations are engaging, fun and they work very well. Adam uses both drawn images and real-life images with winning effects.

There isn’t much character development, but the story isn’t about that, it’s about the outside world ideas and inspirations.

I can’t fault the story but there is a lot of emphasis on all the food combinations, I wonder if just putting in a few suggestions would have created the same effect?

This book is aimed at all beans addicts and those who love to see something good come from something so bad.

Comments from my son:
“I liked the end page the best”

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DID YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW?

As any reviewer will tell you, do your homework, and the results will pay off, so homework is what I did. If you feel I’ve missed something, please let me know. I’ve got notes upon notes of what to put in and leave out. Likewise, if it’s too long or too short do let me know. I’m refining this skill little by little every day.

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Posted in Review

Review: The Rise and Fall of Claude the Magnificent

I’m trying to do more than just one review a week, I have hundreds of books so I need to get them all reviewed, wouldn’t you agree?

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“If horses can wear shoes, why can’t cats wear hats!” – My favourite part of the entire book

The Rise and Fall of Claude the Magnificent by Chris Capstick and illustrated by Monika Filipina is today’s review.

Image result for the rise and fall of claude the magnificent

My Rating: 10 out of 10

My Son’s Rating:

I love the idea that a cat has a strong desire to show off his artistic talents. After listening to his mum, he sets off to Paris to make a name for himself, which he thinks will be easy.  A lot of characters he bumps into tries to knock his confidence which then does happen. Is it all over for Claude?

There is a lot of text within this book, so I’d say the reading age range is probably 6+ though as a huge cat fan I’ve read this book to my 2 and 4-year-old many a time and they love each read.

The illustrations are beautiful, very pastel like with a lot of attention to detail on every page, Monika has done a fantastic job of setting the theme with the right colours, she has easily achieved her goal. Each hat Claude makes is over the top and very flamboyant, but that is what the people wanted.

As the story progresses, Claude manages to find a niche and becomes quite successful at hat making, hence the front cover image, though it comes with downsides and without spoiling it, there’s a nice little nod to Paris’ famous landmark.  His ego grows and what started out as a formidable character, you soon see his nasty streak.

I do like stories like this, where the character goes through a change.  In children’s picture books, sometimes, there aren’t any developments or changes within the character but I find my children understand the character a bit more if they were once bad but then good, or if they were good and they turn nasty, they comprehend the necessary change the character has to go through.

The story tackles, upbringings and greed very well and Chris has done an excellent job of dealing with these themes within.  It is a book I definitely recommend and enjoy.  My favourite part of the book has to be the double page spread of the giant hat because it shows off Claude’s amazing talent and gives off a very foreboding and impending doom about it.

 

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DID YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW?

As any reviewer will tell you, do your homework, and the results will pay off, so homework is what I did. If you feel I’ve missed something, please let me know. I’ve got notes upon notes of what to put in and leave out. Likewise, if it’s too long or too short do let me know. I’m refining this skill little by little every day.

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Posted in Review

Review: Solomon Crocodile

For my next review I’ll be looking at Solomon Crocodile, written and illustrated by Catherine Rayner.

Image result for solomon crocodile

My Rating: 7 out of 10

My Son’s Rating: 8 out of 10

The story is about a cheeky crocodile who just wants to play. Unfortunately, he keeps on making everyone unhappy by his wicked manner.

Catherine Rayner has done a wonderful job illustrating this book, the splatter type effect used on Solomon and the way she has drawn the storks and hippo works very well as a children’s picture book and I can understand why it won the Kate Greenway Medal.

The text is simple and easy to read, I’d say it is aimed at the 4 to 7-year-old market and I believe Catherine achieved her original goals for the story. The setting is in a jungle and you can tell this by the colours and scenery used – lots of greens, reds and yellows.

It’s not a story where the character changes his naughty trait, unlike Naughty Naughty Monster, but something good does happen to him at the end which makes me believe there may be follow up books. After a quick google, Yes I can see a follow-up!

Solomon doesn’t listen to what the animals are telling him which leads him down a path where he eventually feels lonely, this is what makes the story work because it’s reflective of an actual child’s mood when they don’t get their way, I’ve learnt that much from my own boys.

I wouldn’t say it’s an original, but it’s a cute little story designed to showcase how well Catherine Rayner can illustrate and combine the theme and setting to the text. From the start, we are told Solomon is trouble and we go on an adventure to see just how bothersome he can get with the other animals.

I did enjoy reading this but was hoping for a different type of ending, due to the character’s nature so I can’t give it full marks.

Comments from my son:
“I liked the part where he gets a friend.”

If you liked this book, I recommend “Naughty Naughty Monster” by Kaye Umansky and illustrated by Greg Abbott.

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DID YOU LIKE THIS REVIEW?

As any reviewer will tell you, do your homework, and the results will pay off, so homework is what I did. If you feel I’ve missed something, please let me know. I’ve got notes upon notes of what to put in and leave out. Likewise, if it’s too long or too short do let me know. I’m refining this skill little by little every day.

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