Welcome to the Children’s Christmas book fair with books for children up to the age of twelve years old. All of which would make great gifts.
Today I am sharing three books in the Children’s Cafe that I have personally reviewed and can recommend.
The first author today is Eloise de Sousa with my review from 2019 for Space Dust which is a delightful read for children of all ages.
About Space Dust
We’re going on a trip in Big Ox’s canoe. Watch the fire bears roar on Venus as pepper pot trees grow on the moon. As Big Ox steers us to the planets, Litte One wonders if Mum will come home soon.
My review for Space Dust October 2019
A wonderful journey around the planets in a canoe paddled by a favourite spoon that will delight younger readers, and those reading the story to them. There are beautifully colourful illustrations between the stages of the trip, which will encourage a pause in the storytelling, offering an opportunity to discuss the journey so far. The two main characters, Big Ox and Little One are lovable travel companions as they head off in search of Little One’s mum. and discover creatures such as sea horses swimming in creamy mushroom soup. It is also an excellent introduction to our solar system for young children, and definitely a book to stimulate imagination and creativity.
At this time of year I am always looking out for print books for children for Christmas gifts that they can physically hold and enjoy many times. I can recommend Space Dust as a perfect example of this.
The next author with a book that would be perfect for older children is Paul Andruss who recently released an updated version of Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer (Book 1) with Black Wolf Books
About the book
Fairies took his brother…
When Jack sees a sinister woman kidnap his bother Dan, he knows his parents will never believe him. Nor will the police. Not when he says Dan vanished into thin air. If Jack wants to see Dan again, he has to save him. And not just him …
If he ever wants to find Dan, first he must save Thomas the Rhymer from a wicked enemy.
Bravely embarking on a rollercoaster adventure into the dark fairy realm, Jack and friends face monstrous griffins and brooding tapestries with a life of their own, learn to use magic mirrors and travel on ley lines that whip them off faster than sound
Even if he returns Thomas the Rhymer to his selfish fairy queen, she might make Jack her prisoner. With the odds stacked against him, can Jack succeed in finding and freeing Dan?
My review for the original edition of the book (I am sure that it is even more intriguing now)
After 60 odd years of reading it is easy to get into bad habits. By this I mean sticking to the tried and tested with regard to genres and authors. This is not healthy when you are a writer yourself, as I have discovered when reading Thomas the Rhymer by Paul Andruss.
I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K Rowling when it was released. Whilst I enjoyed it as a children’s story, I really did not find myself engaged or inspired to read the other seven books or watch the movies. I felt excluded from the millions who did and usually keep my silence in the face of fans.
However, Thomas the Rhymer had me hooked from page one and continued to keep me engaged the entire 319 pages.
This is an ensemble piece with a cast of characters that would be happy in starring roles in Alice in Wonderland or any Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. Jack Hughes, Ken, Catherine and the delightful Rosie, along with Thomas with his foot in this world and that of the Fairies; draw you into their inner circle and hold you fast.
Each of these wonderfully drawn characters face challenges in their past or present that make them feel isolated until they join forces to protect the most vulnerable amongst them and bring a brother home.
The story will challenge your beliefs in spectacular fashion. Is there another world or worlds running parallel with ours, are fairies sweet and delicate creatures or demons; is that tramp outside the Post Office real or an illusion? As you travel with Jack, Ken and Catherine on their quest, hurtling along ley lines and battling fantastic monsters and evil temptresses, you will find your heart beating a little bit faster. And probably checking under your bed at night!
The scenes set in London that criss cross centuries are filled with historical facts distorted with fairy dust. Next time you are in the city and walking the streets you will be looking into dark doorways and wondering if behind that old oak door with chipped paint lies a nest of elfin waiting to rob you of your senses.
The writing is superb with wit, humour and an edge that turns this from a children’s fairy story into a multi-generational adventurous fantasy that I believe knocks Harry Potter into a cocked hat!
I recommend reading Thomas the Rhymer and at any price it is a steal worthy of the elfin themselves with a value of very much more in my opinion. There are more books to come in the Jack Hughes series and I would love to see the movies.
Challenge you senses and pick up a copy today.
You can listen to the music that has been created for the book by classical composer Patrick Hartnett: Score for Jack Hughes & Thomas the Rhymer
And finally today a review for Frank Prem... for one of his children’s poetry story books…A Beechworth Bakery Bears (The Beechworth Bakery Bears 1) – You can also find Frank in the main Cafe and Bookstore with his other poetry collections.
About the stories
The Beechworth Bakery Bears are having lots of fun.
They are rowing in regattas and taking tea in the pie warmer.
They are riding on bobsleds and slurping coffee.
They are keeping watch over the bakery and making sure that everyone has cake to eat.
They are waiting, and hoping, that someone might take them home, where perhaps scones will be made!
They are ready to tell you all their stories . . .
My review for the book August 6th 2020 – Perfect for children of all ages
Step back in time to your teddy bear years… easy to do with this lovely picture book
I thoroughly enjoyed this small but fun filled book about a group of bears in a bakery. They are the PR team encouraging customers to buy the delicious goods on sale and hopefully adopt one of them to take home with them. Some go as far to put themselves in paper bags ready to go…I would certainly be tempted.
There are wonderful images with individual poems telling each story and the bears are clearly pranksters with honey a great motivator.
If I was to pick a favourite it would be the acapella bear band, Chutney and the Condiments… definitely had me smiling.
I am sure that every child would love to read this picture book and share it with their parents.
Thanks for dropping in today and I hope that you have found some wonderful book gifts for the younger members of the family.