We were thrilled to be asked to be part of the Witchy Travel Tales book blog tour as we love to support new and emerging authors. Witchy Travel Tales are written by Sibel Beadle for her daughters and are about all the places that she has visited. We were asked to have a look at Book 2 which is inspired by Stonehenge.
Witchy Travel Tales Book 2: Sleepless in Stonehenge
Sleepless in Stonehenge is about a little girl called Viva and her fear of the dark. Its a magical story all about how to overcome this fear and have an adventure on the way.
I often find that there are only essentially a few different types of children’s book stories and themes and authors tend to write imaginatively around them. This book is a little bit different though, it deals with facing a fear (which is a common theme) but in a really quite unique way. It isn’t at all like the usual books we review. My children really enjoyed it, not least because they’ve been to Stonehenge. The illustrations were unusual enough to spark their imaginations and actually get them trying to copy them. In fact, the illustrations really make these books very unusual and quite special. Its nice to have the option to read something slightly different to the usual picture book format and we really enjoyed that element of this book.
In terms of the story, as I mentioned its very original and quite special. You can really tell that its well thought through and tested on little ears. My eldest enjoyed reading it to herself whilst our six year old had to have it read to him over a couple of nights as its too long for one sitting when you’re a six year old boy!
Witchy Travel Tales are clearly a labour of love and the books are really quite delightful. Its a privilege to read something which is born from family love and trying to deal with real issues. If you’d like to find out more have a look at the website and follow Sibel on Twitter:
About the author: Living in Billericay, Essex with her two daughters Sibel Beadle previously worked as a senior banker for the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development in Central London before becoming a full time children’s author. Previous titles in her Witchy Travel Tales series include; The Seven Sisters andSleepless in Stonehenge (Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd 2017). The third, The Golden Bunny of the Lake District is published by Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd March 2018. All three books are available to purchase in paperback RRP £6.99 from online retailers including amazon.co.uk . For more information please visit: www.witchytraveltales.com
I’ve started the countdown to Christmas and have been looking for perfect gifts for people who have everything. Its a tricky one as i’ve got a reputation for finding great gifts but this year i’m quite stuck.
Fortunately earlier on in the year we were sent these fantastic Colouring Books by Noisy Crow who have been collaborating with The British Museum. I’ve reviewed some of their other books and they are just great, they would have been perfect for me as a child or as a mum reading to my child. However, these colouring books are even better as they meet the criteria for doing something crafty and mindful, they’re useful and interesting.
You can chose from either Fabulous Flowers & Perfect Patterns or Amazing Animals & Beautiful Birds. Both are illustrated by Rachel Cloyne who was inspired by objects in the British Museum collections. Her illustrations are real works of art in themselves, but brilliantly once you’ve coloured them in you have a card and an envelope (each book makes 24 cards)!
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a history/ museum loving creative friend then this is it. You can find more information here
Poppy and the Blooms is a beautifully illustrated picture book which feels like a real visual treat. It’s an adventure story based around friendship and how small things really can make a big difference. The artwork is stunning and very original and I think this makes it stand out as an interesting read for small children.
Kiki and Bobo are having a day at the seaside, its all very exciting but they have very different personalities which reminded me of my own children. This is a lovely picture book from one of the UK’s best children’s book illustrators. Aimed at very little children this has lots of flaps to keep their interest and a very simple charming dialogue between the characters.
I like books which have slightly eccentric characters and in Bobo there is a picture book version of one of my own highly eccentric children. Suffice to say we all found this charming, its a really endearing book.
Being set a the seaside makes it the perfect book to gift any little pre-schoolers who are about to go off on summertime seaside holidays. There are plenty of opportunities in the book to allow you to discuss any anxieties that they might have which makes it a useful addition to the bookshelf this time of year.
As ever with Walker Books Kiki and Boko’s Sunny Day is beautifully presented and feels like a quality book. If you’d like to find out more have a look here.
There is nothing that my children find more amusing than a bit of toilet humour. That’s why I knew, even before the review copy of Old MacDonald Heard a Parp by Olaf Falafel came that they would love it.
Old MacDonald Heard a Parp is a reimagined take on the classic nursery rhyme, except in this version Old MacDonald thinks the parps are coming from all the animals.
This is a fab book for getting the children to join in with you and for having an innocent laugh with them. I often find that my children find a lot of books quite intense and it takes a very special book for them to join in and become quite animated. This book is one of them and the five year old in particular loves it. In fact, he repeats the rhyme at every possibility.
Now, I say the five year old loves it, but to be honest this doesn’t convey just how much he loves it. There is a downside, he is quite cheeky and I’m blaming this book for his latest little practical joke which involves phoning people up and blowing raspberries down the phone at them. I suspect this was comedian Olaf Falafel’s intention. It has made us all laugh and we are planning on reminding him of this when he’s older.
We have all enjoyed this book, the illustrations are great, and there is a handy guide to making the noises. However, most of all though, it has made us all laugh and rediscover a bit of family fun at a time when we really have needed to do this. Thanks Olaf! If you’ve got kids in the 4- 8 year old age range or just fancy a good old laugh then this is the perfect picture book for you.
Harper Collins are running a competition to win a signed copy of the book: