Saturday, 24 August 2019

Tales of Mossycup Wood Frogbit and the Big Gloop

Tales of Mossycup Wood Frogbit and the Big Gloop is a wonderful children's book debut from Emma Jane Dunne.

At the heart of Mossycup Wood you will find Poggle Hollow few people know about its existence and those few people who do know about it, tend to try to keep it as a secret.

The Pogglewitts live there, they are small, very friendly and fun-loving people who have made nests for their homes in the oldest of the trees in the heart of the woods.

Their lives are full, but filled with wondrous things to do to help keep them happy. Waking up to the singing of the dawn chorus, watching the clouds as they float on by, collecting dust from butterflies,or singing to the minnows in the water.

It's a great book for children aged 4 to 7 and adults alike who will be utterly charmed by the stores and the colourful illustrations.

It's published by Matador at £9.99.


Hello is a debut book from Natalie Axander.

It helps children learn how to offer greetings in a wide variety of languages, in the guise of her hero Kevin as he daydreamingly travels around the world.

It's a well written and well illustrated book which will be great for children and adults to read together.

The illustrations were originated by Natalie Axander and drawn by ValEria Ko.

It's published by Matador at £6.99.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Aya and Papaya Discover What Makes Everyone Special

Aya and Papaya Discover What Makes Everyone Special is a new book in the splendid Aya and Papaya series of illustrated children's books, created by MQ.

It's a very special day for Aya and her best friend, Papaya, as they are going to take a ride on an 'plane to visit Aya's grandparents.

When they are at the airport waiting for their flight they see many different people who are from a lot of different places from all over the world.

Aya learns about them and comes to realise that everyone is special, but in their own, often totally unique, way.

Created by MQ, it's written and produced by Andy Abey, Anne Bleeker, plus the Qs.

The splendid and vivid illustrations are supplied by Leo Antolini.

It's due for publication by Matador on 28th August at £8.99.

Out of the Noise

Out of the Noise is a very interesting autobiography from Michael Fisher.

It tells the story of his early life, in the North Staffordshire town of Leek. The title of the book comes from an expression that locals use about their town, "Out of the Noise" it's a market town located between two hills and, as the expression goes, "Out of the Noise."

There are stories about the wonderful toys that his engineering father crafted by hand, the terrible December Disaster (the Christmas tree caught fire) and more interesting tales of growing up in a small market town in the north Midlands in a Moorlands town.

Read about seaside holidays of the type you probably went on yourself, street parties and the town's annual May Fair and a variety of special events, including the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

There's also some moving memories such as his uneasy relationship with his father as Michael grew inot an adolescent and a favourite auntie who provided him with loving support during these difficult times.

The book is also very well illustrated with a wide range of well reproduced photographs.

It's an evocative and very moving, poignant book and really must be on the reading lists of anyone with an interest in the social history of Britain.

It's published by The Book Guild at £9.99

The House is on Fire and the Kids Are Eating Ice Cream

The House is on Fire and the Kids Are Eating Ice Cream is a collection of poems which is for those who like their coffee black and their poetry even blacker.

There are poems about death, disaster and hangovers.

About buses that are filled with a whole panoply of weird creatures and characters, the poet's very own Cleopatra, or Morticia (of both types).

Of rabbits that panicked and rabbits that didn't. And why this might be the case.

There's a house fire, sleep, or lack of it and almost everything else, besides.

Thomas R. Langton has what can only be described as a mordant sense of humour and the ability to craft some excellent poems from premises that are at once mundane but also ethereal in their nature.

It's published by Matador at £8.99 on 28th August.

The Most Beautiful Thing in the World

The Most Beautiful Thing in the World is a book of poems by Micheal D. Winterburn, with illustrations by Dave Hill.

But! It's a very special book of poems, for they are all utterly hilarious and aimed at a younger audience.

However, that's not to say that parents, grandparents and older siblings will not enjoy the humorous poems in this book. In fact, I feel that the kids might need to hide their copy of the book!

You'll read about great grandma and her very flashy, very special double decker of a mobility scooter, the many and varied adventures of a humble and rather ordinary Pound coin, what happens on the summer holidays, read what might by the shortest example of poetry in the entire world, learn what happens when a seacher caught the tlass about spoonerisms, what it's like to live in a castle.

Read about a greedy black hole in outer space, why you should eat your greens, why you should keep an eye out for cats, there's a goat who considers grass to be gross and there's everything else from a ballerina to The Strid. What's a Strid? Read the book and learn!

It's published on 28th August by Matador at £6.99.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Aya and Papaya Find Happiness

In Aya and Papaya Find Happiness We follow the pair as they set out on a journey to find all about the meaning of what true happiness is all about.

It's created by MQ and written by Andy Abey, Anne Blecker and the Qs and is superbly illustrated by Leo Antolini.

When Aya woke up one day, something felt different, not quite right. But what was it?

When she was cleaning her teeth, Aya realised that she had lot something very precious and dear to her. She had lost her happiness!

She took Papaya with her on a quest to find her happiness. They searched high, they searched low.

They searched indoors and outdoors. 

Eventually, with the help of her mummy and daddy, Aya was able to find her happiness, again.

It's a lovely book for children and parents.

It's published by Matador at £8.99.

Thursday, 1 August 2019

The Forgotten Past

In his new book, The Forgotten Past, Andrew Vinken takes a very interesting look at history.

The vast majority of history is what is called top down history, or history from above, as it is also known.

But Andrew Vinken's book on history is so much more than that.

On the first page I said to myself: "I did not know that!"

And some time later, when I noticed that I'd reached page 96 without so much as a break, I thought: "I'm hooked!"

Andrew's style is chatty, witty and urbane, yet he writes with just enough academic rigour to add a little something else to this book.

It's filled, really filled, with a very mixed stew of facts that are more than a little bit interesting, perhaps bizarre, inspirational and down right fun!

Find out who was the real first person to achieve powered flight. And the answer you are thinking? Sorry! That's not the Wright answer! And even the right answer is open to debate. Read the relevant section in the book to learn all about the pioneers of powered aviation.

Also, find out which TV presenter helped (inadvertently, perhaps) to solve a foul murder that was committed 131 years previously. And learn how they could tell the killer had mutilated the corpse after death!

Learn about how an unknown Titanic victim was finally identified in 2007, read the story of the Conscientious Objector who earned many medals for bravery, including the Victoria Cross, read about Knightly murders, about Regicide, the loin cloth wearing war hero, the origins of mineral waters as being of medicinal purposes, learn of the Cock Lane ghost, of the canine haunting of a Scottish estate, find out about the nice Goering brother, of parachute pioneers and much, much more besides. Including who really gave their name to America.

It will be published by Matador on 28th August for the bargain price of £8.99.

I must confess that I am looking forward to the next book by Andrew Vinken.

A "must buy" book for holidaymakers who want a good read to take with them on their summer holiday.