"The book was truly delightful to read and I can see it becoming a firm favourite. It was refreshing to see a fairy tale where the female lead didn’t need a man to save her."
Read more from Whispering Stories blog
How to be a Hero is a satirical romp through Viking land…with a difference. While it has raucous parody warriors and names that have been scraped from the funniest corners of the playground, it’s also a wonderful and thorough introduction to Viking mythology. The main characters are fumbling Whetstone – just an ordinary orphan on Midgard (Earth) – and Lotta, a feisty Valkyrie-in-training in Asgard, the land of the gods. But you'll meet plenty of other personalities along the way, including the Norse god we love to love, the notorious and devious Loki. The story begins with Whetstone taking on a dangerous task in the hope it will make him a somebody; because he really, really wants to be a Hero, any kind of hero; he wants to be able to tell grand stories and be remembered... And then, quite separately, we meet Lotta, a Valkyrie who can’t do Valkyrie-ing very well and is trying very hard to improve. Both Lotta and Whetstone aren’t doing so great in their attempts to achieve recognition… When they meet, however, worlds collide in more ways than one.
Full of magic, legends and situations deftly constructed to make kids giggle (there’s snot and bottom references galore), this is definitely for fans of How To Train Your Dragon. Or perhaps that should be How Not To Enflame Your Dragon… Yes, there’s a dragon. Just one, but he’s mean enough to fill the fiery boots of an entire dragon army… Feisty characters, sneaky villains, scaly threats and a golden cup that tells the future: I have a feeling that this slick story is just the beginning and we’ll be exploring more of the Viking worlds held in the branches of Yggdrasil (the tree central to the Norse cosmos, doncha know). I certainly hope so.
REVIEW BY SNORT
ABOUT THIS BOOK by LoveReading4Kids
About The Worst Class in the WorldAccording to head teacher Mrs Bottomley-Blunt, 4B is the WORST CLASS IN THE WORLD. She says school is not about footling or fiddle-faddling or FUN. It is about LEARNING and it is high time 4B tried harder to EXCEL at it. But Stanley and Manjit didn't LITERALLY mean to make their whole class sick with homemade biscuits. And they definitely didn't LITERALLY mean for Manjit's dog Killer to eat their teacher's shoes or for Bruce Bingley's rat to escape. These things just happened even though they had a FOOLPROOF plan. You see, 4B may be the WORST CLASS IN THE WORLD. But you wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Highly illustrated and featuring two hilarious madcap adventures in one book, these books are just right for children ready for their first chapter books.
REVIEW LINKS: ReadingZone Bookstoker
I loved this book! Author Gianna Pollero CLEARLY has a sweet tooth! She puts so much detail into describing all the tasty treats… it honestly left me hungry. But no way could I put this book down to grab a snack even though I wanted to, I devoured this book in one sitting. Read more from Stoomio Book Reviews
When reading Ghost Scouts, it helps if you take yourself out of yourself. And I probably mean that in every sense. Don’t be solid humanoid, Jane Doe. Be a wispy spirit of Jane Doe with no solid grip on reality, partly due to your ghost fingers, but mostly down to your absolute lack of understanding of what the hell is going on. Ready? Great. Oh, and also try to adopt a southern drawl, or more specifically a Louisiana/Cajun accent. For instance, don’t pronounce Y’ALL as yorl, say y’ARL. Maybe I’m not doing it quite right, but the further away from Royal Doulton, croquet and the Chelsea Flower Show the better.
Now, before you enter Hallabaloo at Camp Croak, I would seriously advise you read the first in the series, Welcome to Camp Croak, or you may be a little confused about the characters, and why Lexie is completely cool sharing her summer days with a wherewolf, zombie, skeleton and three-headed camp guide. Heads up: it’s a summer camp for characters with a dark side. But don’t think for a moment that this book is dark. It’s a total ray of sunshine. Let me explain…
While this story is ladled full of mischief and magic and rotten tricks, it’s friendship that shines through – comradery, love and loyalty between misunderstood characters. And that’s going to be needed in abundance when Lexie’s grandma doesn’t turn up for visitor’s day at Camp Croak, because there’s no way ‘Gram’ would miss it unless there was darkness at work… Hint: there’s darkness at work.
This story zips along, dragging you by the feet as you scratch your head and laugh your lips off. Because, this is seriously funny. From Gram’s suspicious note to her granddaughter – ‘don’t write back to me; you are very boring’ (which had my stomach aching) – to wonderful phrases such as ‘she had the icy composure of an overlooked watermelon’ - to observations such as ‘the English can’t go twenty-four hours without tea or they explode’ - to the titles (oh the titles!) such as You Scream, I Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream Because The World Is Broken... Genius! And I haven’t even mentioned the illustrations. Mad-cap and characterful. Like a fever dream in pencil.
In a booky world where many publishers are playing it solid and safe, author/illustrator Taylor Dolan is a breath of fresh air. It’s nothing like I’ve ever read. Occasionally, I felt like a child shouting ‘wait, wait, read that bit again!’, and that can only be good, because wildness is precious; wrapping your head around the unfamiliar is crucial; new experiences are vital. It’s all essential to grow creativity and expand the imagination. I would give this series five stars out of five and say to you, go and crack open your kid’s head (in a good way) and give the contents a stir. Y’all will thank me for it.
REVIEWED BY SNORT
OUT FEB 2021
IN ‘VI SPY’, YOU’VE GOT THE MOST BRILLIANT SPY BOOK THAT’S PERFECT FOR KIDS WHO LOVE A BIT OF HUMOUR, A BRILLIANT PLOT AND A SENSE OF ‘OMG I NEED TO KEEP READING!’
Read more from ALittleButALot blog
"I'm always on the look-out for highly-illustrated middle grade titles packed with laughs and that is exactly what you get from this brilliant story told through a series of letters from a son to his super-spy parents (whom he believes are sprout farming in Outer Castonga!)" Read more from LibraryGirl&BookBoy blog.
*please note this review contains spoilers*
It has evolved! And I not just talking about the waspy alien community in Spraybridge. If you’ve read the first book – named simply Crater Lake – you’ll know that Jennifer Killick has a skill in balancing horror with comedy. But it’s a real feat to create a sequel that not only explains the premise of the first so niftily, without exposition and awkwardness, but grows the storyline with tenacity and tension. With Evolution, she does so - effortlessly. Like Stranger Things meets BBC classroom drama meets popular video game, One of Us, it’s about a group of old school friends that must dodge ill-meaning aliens whilst simultaneously trying to work out how to neutralise them. The plot has really clever little twists and the sci-fi element is true to its roots – there’s real science referencing in this book; prepare to become an amateur entomologist. Also be prepared to be disgusted by that. All great stories need characters we care about. The cast of Evolution is so colourful and tangible, you can’t not care. (Unless you’re one of them…. Bzzzzzz). We’ve met most of them before – their personalities are clear-cut, believable, unforgettable. But there’s a new one in this book: Karim. Endearingly self-adoring, with slick moves and quick banter and, importantly, a dependency on hair-styling products. I never thought main character, Lance’s friendship group could take any more members, but things are different now, and Karim is a super fresh addition to the cast. The dialogue is terrific and readers will love the humour tucked between every set of quotation marks. (Because if there's a time where humour is needed in adversity, it's when your mum's body has been hijacked by giant wasp extra-terrestrials). There’s lots of quipping, backchat and banter. It’s full of butts. But that’s where the buts stop. I have nothing but applause for Crater Lake: Evolution. It's funny and thrilling, and whether they realise it or not, kids will be learning an important life lesson: it doesn’t matter if friendships grow or change – so long as you can put differences aside and come together to work as one when bug-eyed aliens take over your town. That’s all that matters.
REVIEWED BY SNORT
OUT MAY 2021