Blake, the bee who beileved by Samantha Webb – Book Review

Blake the bee who beileved

We are massive fans of Samantha Webb after Glub captured and stole our hearts last year and we were very excited at the prospect of a new story! You can read my interview with Samantha Webb here from last year just after the release of Glub.

Blake, The Bee Who Believed, is a beautiful story that follows a bee in a world where all the flowers have died and the honey is all gone. Blake believes that she can take the world into her own hands and bring back honey and flowers. She sets off on a dangerous adventure to find a solution to the problem.

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I think this book really shows children that Bee’s are important, without them, we wouldn’t have our beautiful flowers.

Blake is beautifully illustrated which is what draws me to love Samantha’s books, they are all incredibly drawn and the stories are always easy to read, relatable and rhyming.

I love books that show a child a different perspective, this book does that. Amelia has a bit of phobia around Bee’s (mostly all flying insects.) I just knew I needed to buy this book in the hope that she would see Bees in a different light. By creating such a lovable and cute character like Blake, I hope many more children can learn to fall in love with these beautiful and misunderstood creatures.

Blake also shows us that you have to believe in yourself, everybody else has just accepted the fact that the pollen is gone whereas Blake believes that she can make a difference which is a very important message sent in this book. I think we could all take a lesson from Blake and believing in yourself and making a difference in the world.

I am really pleased with this book and the positive effect it has had on Amelia.

Amelia and Blake

Amelia’s thoughts: Amelia loved Blake because she was cute and not scary. She said she was happy that Blake was able to bring the flowers back because she loves flowers and they smell great.

She is now looking forward to summer and to seeing many Blake’s in our garden. Amelia loved the illustrations in Blake and she loved the stickers she got with the pre-ordered version! Thank you so much to Samantha for signing Amelia’s copy with a lovely message!

If you’d like us to review your book email us at whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com and we would be thrilled to work with you!

 

Magic Pie by Robyn Embrey – Book Review

We have been gifted this beautiful book by Robyn for a review, and we received it in a lovely package containing bookmark’s, colouring pages and our very own little bottle of magic dust which we are very grateful for.

Magic Pie.jpg

The story follows a young boy named Olly who wants to make a magic pie. He mixes up his very own magic pie when his mother shows him that she has her very own magic dust. Olly uses the magic dust and finds himself trapped in Magic land where he meets up with a rabbit and a fairy who are also looking for some magic to help them fix their problems. They stumble across the magic genie and realize that he is in need of some help too. Olly helps the Genie come up with a magic phrase that will help him grant his magic wishes.

You can order your copy of Magic Pie by Robyn Embrey on Amazon by clicking the picture of the book. (Affiliate link.)

This book is magically full of character’s who each have there own need for magic. In need of help they team together to complete the quest in finding the genie who can grant them their wishes.

We really loved that this book was written in witty rhymes that roll of the end of your tongue making it easy to read and to follow along with. The illustrations are beautifully drawn and colourful making them eye-catching for children.

I think this book is easy for children to understand, and follow along with you as you read to them. I think older children would quite like reading this book alone as it does flow really well with the help of rhyming. I think the book would best be suited at 4-7 year old’s. The storyline itself isn’t too complicated to understand and I think children will love the element of magic and genies as much as we did.

Amelia Magic Pie

Amelia’s opinion:

Amelia’s favourite characters were Olly and The Genie. She liked that Olly likes magic and she thought the Genie was funny and she liked that he is purple. She would love to take a trip to Genie land too and meet up with the rabbit and the fairy. She particularly liked the magic words which Olly comes up with for the Genie.

Amelia like’s book that are magical and introduce her to a different world, and new characters and this book did exactly that! This is the first book we’re going to add to Amelia’s bookshelf, if you want to send your book to us for review contact me at whatsinmywonderland@gmail.com!

Author Interview with Sherry Christie

I’m back again with another Interview with Sherry Christie, Author of ‘Crash Bang Ooooooo!’.  The children’s novel Crash Bang Ooooooo! is about a rabbit who really wants to win a medal or trophy in the Golden Olympics. His journey leads him all around the world in the hope of finding a talent that can earn him his medal. He is a very optimistic rabbit who is willing to try anything. Sherry Christie lives in North Cornwall with her family and has a degree in Criminology with Psychology including Child Psychology. She has worked with children in Preschools and youth clubs. She loves all wildlife and writes some of her novels to raise funds for Wildlife charities!

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me beach profile

Where did the inspiration for Crash Bang Ooooooo come from?

The title came first with Crash! Bang! “Ooooooo”. Years ago, my eldest daughter, then aged two, was describing how someone had fallen. “She went, crash, bang, Oooooo,” said my daughter, shaking her head sorrowfully. It really made me laugh. When we were reminiscing one evening last year she said it again and I thought, that is a great title for a book.

I love the message this novel sends out to children. You can’t be good at everything but everyone is good at something. I love how Rabbit doesn’t give up trying, what was the main message you want children to take from your novel?

I love Rabbit’s perseverance and self- belief. He rolls with each disaster and never loses faith in his ability to be a winner. “Believe in yourself,” is a very important message. I deliberately chose a rabbit for my hero, to show you don’t have to be the biggest or strongest to be the best.

Rabbit travels around the world to attempt some of the records he wants to break at the Animal Olympics, how did you choose where Rabbit was going to visit?

I began by thinking of the most visually interesting sports in the Olympics. This then led to researching the best places in the world to train. Fortunately, this provided a lovely diversity of mountains, beaches and the city. I hope it inspires children to want to explore the world.

Was there a particular moment in which you realised you wanted to write novels?

I have been making up stories, creating characters and writing for as long as I can remember. It was how I played as a child. In that respect have never grown up. I have endless lists of imaginary friends, half-finished stories and ideas that go back decades. In the last couple of years, I decided it was about time I submitted some finished projects to a publisher.

Why did you choose to write a children’s novel rather than adults?

I like to play with words, I love rhyme and alliteration and the way words can sound together. There is so much more scope for this in children’s books, especially as they are more often read aloud. Children’s books are so fun to write too, in that you can completely lose yourself in fantasy.

You volunteered to work with children in preschools and youth groups, has this inspired your writing?

Definitely. I learn a lot from listening to children play and get inspiration from their imaginative games. Their perspective and priorities are very different from us boring adults. Very often a child will say something fun that I scribble down for later thoughts. Working with children has also given me an opportunity to see where my books can help children with their social development and what positive messages I can help reinforce.

Is there any advice you would give to other aspiring authors? Or any advice that you were given that you would like to share?

My one piece of advice is, make every word count. I spend a great deal of time searching for the best adjectives and restructuring sentences to cull unnecessary words. It really lifts the writing to a different level.

What are your hobbies/ favourite pastimes outside of writing?

Four children ranging from 15 down to 4 certainly keeps me busy. We are fortunate that we live in North Cornwall by the coast. So, we have the beautiful Cornish moors beaches and woods to explore. I love to be around nature and encouraging it into my garden.

Now that Crash Bang Ooooooo! has been published are you planning any other novels?

Plenty. I have, “The Orangutan Who had a Big Chip on his Shoulder”, coming out in February and have submitted more to my publisher for this year’s list. I also write books to raise funds for wildlife charities.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is there anything that you would love to have accomplished?

I have for many years been working on a longer novel about a fairy who believes in humans. I hope one day to finish that. At the speed I am going, five years might be a bit ambitious.

What is your all-time favourite book and why?

My all-time favourite book would be Alice in Wonderland because it is so bonkers. It taught me at an early age, there are no limits to imagination

What is your favourite quote and why?

My favourite author is the late Sir Terry Pratchett and my favourite character is Granny Weatherwax, so to quote her, “Everything has a story in it, change the story, change the world.” That feels empowering.

amelia crash bang ooooooAnd finally, if you were stranded on a desert island, in which you could only take 3 items, what would you take and why?

How exciting! Unlimited paper, a pen and a camera would keep me entertained for months. I could write undisturbed and look for exciting wildlife to photograph. I am thinking positive and assuming I’d be rescued… eventually. No need for them to hurry though.

We loved this story, Rabbit is very inspirational and also very comedic  and I hope you all can enjoy it too! Don’t forget to pick up your copy!

Odd Socks by Robert Powell – Book review

This book was kindly gifted to me for a review.

Odd Socks is the debut novel of author Robert Powell. Odd socks is a 229-page children’s book that follows the journey of two courageous socks who live in a world which is run by the Evil Mr Foot. Sophie and Henry team up with Mr Foot’s children: Junior and Frankie and a few other’s in a Plan to bring down Mr Foot’s self-proclaimed empire.

odd socks

First things first, I will never look at my socks the same ever again. In the town of Socksville, lives Mr Foot who is a very rich and greedy man, he owns the Big Factory which produces the socks for the entire world. He is careless and treats everyone in Socksville terribly, even his own family.

Sophie is a tall sock who takes on a major role in the story, she is courageous, adventurous and the most caring of all. Henry is a small and old sock who has the know-how but isn’t very street smart. Henry has spent his entire life inside of the Factory, he has no real experience of being a Sock outside of the Factory yet he is privileged to have the knowledge of what is expected of a sock. Sophie and Henry manage to escape the Big Factory on the Big Hill only to realise how bad things are with Mr Foot in charge.

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Sophie and Henry embark on some action-packed adventures after leaving the Big Factory which leads them to meet villains Flip and Flop, two of the most nastiest dumbest Flip Flops in the entire world. But their adventures also lead them to meet some new friends Bill and Boris the boxer shorts, Socrates the old retired football sock, Wallace who spends most of his time missing his partner sock Doris, Mr Belt, Mr Tie and of course the Hairgrips.

After embarking on some dangerous adventures Sophie and her team of clothing accessories overhear Frankie and Junior (Mr Foots children) planning a mission to bring down Mr Foot and stop his evil ways. They decide to help take on the most dangerous mission of all to save the people of Socksville.

Powell has given each and every clothing item a different personality that you grow to fall in love with. In a world where socks come to life, we also get to meet some really awesome characters, my favourite being Mr Tie, he spends most of the book talking in Rhyme and he doesn’t really connect with the other characters for a while also I really loved Sophie’s character. She has so much compassion and even at times feels sorry for Mr Foot who is the nastiest man in the world of Odd Socks. I actually really like how Mr Foot’s character has been wrote, he is a true villain and has no idea that everyone around him dislikes him.

Odd Socks makes the most ordinary things extraordinary, to us a washing machine may seem a place to wash your clothes, to a sock it is almost a luxurious holiday. My favourite part of this book is in chapter 1 when Henry tells you his story ‘The life of a Sock by Henry.’

This book is perfect for story time with children, and although I am an adult I actually don’t know what I’m going to do with my evening’s now that I have finished this book. Odd Socks contains quite a lot of foot-related puns and jokes Robert Powellwhich really make you laugh, I would say this is a family book and would be greatly enjoyed reading with both parent and child.

I really wish this book had been written when I was younger. If you are looking for a book that is action packed, funny and a book your children will love this is the book. It is labelled 8+ and can be enjoyed by parents too.

Visit Robert’s website here and find out more about Odd Socks.