Even though I absolutely love picture books, I don’t normally review them. But this one I have a personal connection to; I know the illustrator, the wonderfully charming and accomplished, Simona Ceccarelli.
Of course, every good book starts with a brilliant story and Erin R. Wage has written a great one, that looks at, literally, both sides of the story. The cherry on top of this delightful book is the beautiful illustrations. I love how Penelope Giraffe’s neck is as expressive as her face and I must mention how fabulous Gus Penguin looks in his bright Hawaiian shirt.
Your pre-schooler will have so much fun with this book as you both try to help Penelope and Gus decide which side is up. This is one storytime where the thing which is not staying still is the book itself.
I love how interactive this book is. If you have a toddler who likes animals and loves to find out THE answer, you have to get this book.
Now, these books are not my usual selection but I bought them and read them because an agent said that one of my pieces of writing sounded “Amelia-Fang-ish”. So I thought I look into this Amelia Fang person, thinking she was an author, but it turns out she is the main character of a series of middle-grade fantasy books.
I must say I really like Amelia Fang! She is spunky and determined, such a good friend and brave when the situation calls for it. She has great friends in a grim-reaper and a yeti. She does not always plan for what happens but her heart is always in the right place.
Nocturnia is where Amelia and her ghoulish friends live. It’s a place where you can find The Ricketty Residences, Zombie Yoga Hall, Post-bats and even a putrid pond. They go to school at Catacomb Academy and disobey their parents when the situation calls for it. But they always try to do what they think is right.
In the Barbaric Ball, Amelia has to rescue her pet pumpkin from the spoilt Prince Tangerine of Nocturnia, who turned out to be only a half-vampire. But when Amelia finds out the prince’s true family situation, it softens her heart towards the prince and they end up as friends.
In the Unicorn Lords, that dark secret Amelia discovered in the Barbaric Ball takes them to the Kingdom of Light in search of Tangerine’s long-missing mother. There they uncover a sinister plot to control both the creatures of the light and the creatures of the dark. But can these four friends really save both kingdoms?
The illustrations are absolutely fab. I like how each book cover has its own accent colour and the sides of the pages have the same colour.
The storyline has lovely little twists and turns, and each character we get to know not only has a part in the story but is also well fleshed out. The descriptions of the various places are not overwhelming but just enough to allow you to picture them in your head.
I am confident any middle grader would enjoy these books. Dare I say, I know some adults who would enjoy these too. There are also a few more books in the series, you can check them out here.
It has been a non-winter this season (reason? in my opinion, it’s climate change – it can not be denied) so, during the winter-sport holidays, we went looking for some snow. And we did find some, but high up in the mountains. The road leading up is usually paved in snow but not this time (actually, it wasn’t last year either). Still we managed to enjoy a snow day out.
Here’s a few photos for you to enjoy:
All is not lost – winter has made an appearance in the last 2 days – late but at least it felt a little more like winter. But it was really just for all of 2 days, we are back to sort of spring type weather now.
What does this mean for spring and summer? i am not sure. i do hope we will have a decent summer because i am a sunshine person. Are you a sun-seeker or does the cold suit you better?