Giveaway and Review of The Bear by Claire Cameron

27.11.2014
08:25

bear cover

Anna and her younger brother Alex, known as Stick, are camping in the Canadian wilderness with their parents. Suddenly, Anna is awakened by terrifying screams and hears her parents shouting. Then there is an eerie silence all around them. She has no idea what has happened, only thinking that a big black dog has come to get them.

Told through five year old Anna’s eyes, it is a heartbreaking journey as Anna battles hunger and confusion to try and keep her two year old brother safe. Through Anna we learn about her life with her family and her memories of her parents. Anna’s voice was fantastic and gave a huge sense of how vulnerable we are against nature. I also liked the way that Cameron used senses like taste and smell when Anna was describing things.

This is a haunting and tragic read that I found utterly compelling and read in one sitting. It is a book that you will still be thinking about a long time after finishing. I doubt that there will be many dry eyes on reaching the end of this novel.

5 stars

Thank you to Random House for sending us a copy to review.

We have three copies of The Bear to giveaway. To enter, please re-tweet this post or leave a comment below. Open to UK residents only. Giveaway closes 5/12/2014.

Giveaway and Review of The Target by David Baldacci

26.11.2014
09:42

target cover

I am thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour for The Target and The Escape by David Baldacci. We have one copy of both books to giveaway. To enter, please re-tweet this post or leave a comment below. Open to UK residents only. Giveaway closes on 30/11/2014.

Review of The Target

The Target is the third book in a series by international bestselling author David Baldacci starring Will Robie and Jessica Reel.

The Target opens in a prison cell on Alabama’s death row. Robie and Reel are faced with their deadliest mission so far with the stakes the highest they have ever been, but first they must address their own personal demons and face training to prove that they’re still the best people for the job. This is a real action packed and gripping read, which takes the characters from the US to North Korea.

I can’t believe that this is the first David Baldacci book I have read, I was completely glued to my seat and couldn’t put it down. The Target is a fast paced thriller full of twists and turns and surprises around every corner. Although, it is the third in a series it also reads well as a standalone book and is one that I highly recommend.

A fantastic suspense filled read.

Thank you to Macmillan for sending us a copy to review.

Review of Alfie in the Garden by Debi Gliori

18.11.2014
17:19

Alfie cover 2

Debi Gliori is one of our favourite picture book authors and we were thrilled to receive a copy of Alfie in the Garden, which is the first in a new series.

Alfie in the Garden is the story of a little rabbit who loves to play in the garden and imagine that he is in faraway places like the jungle. Alfie pretends to be a lion and an elephant.

The illustrations are stunning and we particularly liked the double page spread of Alfie pretending to be a lion. We also enjoyed spotting all of the other animals that Alfie meets in the garden.

This is a lovely beautifully illustrated book about all of the fun you can have playing in the garden. We can’t wait to read about Alfie’s next adventure, which will be published next year.

Thank you to Bloomsbury for sending us a copy to review.

Review of Coming Home for Christmas by Julia Williams

15.11.2014
12:14

CHFC cover

I am delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Coming Home for Christmas by Julia Williams today.

I was really excited to see that Julia Williams had written a Christmassy book set in the village of Hope Christmas where some of her previous novels have been set. It was great to be reunited with many of the characters from her previous books and felt like meeting up with old friends.

Cat, Pippa and Marianne are all dreading Christmas. Cat, once a popular tv chef, has been replaced by a younger model and is desperate to rescue her career. However, family life shows no sign of slowing down for her. Marianne is worried about her marriage after her husband’s unstable ex-wife appears back on the scene. Whilst for Pippa, she is trying to look after her family and run a farm as a newly single mum. To make matters worse, when developers start sniffing around the beautiful countryside the residents of Hope Christmas start to wonder what might happen to their beloved village.

Although this novel does follow on from Last Christmas and it was good to know the history of the characters, it would also read well as a standalone book too.

This is a lovely heartwarming festive read that I really enjoyed. 5 stars from me.

Thank you to Avon for sending us a copy to review.

Review of Snow Day by Richard Curtis and Rebecca Cobb

12.11.2014
11:24

Snow Day cover

When everyone wakes up to find that it has snowed heavily all night, they are really excited that there is a snow day and no one has to go to school. However, two people trudge through the snow and think that it is a normal day. Danny arrives at school and finds that the only other person there is his least favourite teacher Mr Trapper. Danny thinks it will be the worst day ever, but at break time in the snow covered playground something unexpected happens.

This is a lovely, magical story about friendship that would make a perfect Christmassy read this year.

The illustrations by Rebecca Cobb are fantastic and really bring this wintery read to life.

Thank you to Puffin for sending us a copy to review.

Review ofDinosaur Poo! by Diane and Christyan Fox

10.11.2014
14:09

dinosaur poo

Dinosaur Poo! is a story all about different types of dinosaur poop. There is a velociraptor who decides to find out which is the biggest poo. Could it be a stegosaurus, a triceratops or perhaps a spinosaurus?

This book had us laughing out loud. We particularly the bright, vivid illustrations, rhyming text and the fun flaps to lift up.

A really fun read.

Thank you to Quarto Publishing for sending us a copy to review.

Review of Mountwood School for Ghosts by Toby Ibbotson

05.11.2014
08:52

Mountwood School for Ghosts

Our Halloween read is Mountwood School for Ghosts, a brilliant story by Toby Ibbotson.

Three old ladies called Fredegonda, Drusilla and Goneril who are really Great Hagges and are over 400 years old are shocked at society when reading the paper and decide that they must do something about it. After all, when was the last time they heard of anyone being frightened to death. The Hagges decide that they should start a school for ghosts to teach them how to be truly terrifying and this leads them to the eerie Mountwood Castle.

Daniel and Charlotte are best friends live on Markham Street a place full of large quirky houses and neighbours who they love. When Markham Street is threatened, they decide that they will do anything to help.

I really recommend this book, which is a spooky tale with lots of funny parts and a cast of fantastic characters. I can’t wait to read Toby Ibbotson’s next book.

I love the cover of this book!

Thank you to Macmillan for sending us a copy to review.

Red House Children’s Book Award Blog Tour: Megan Rix

04.11.2014
10:12

RHCBA2015

I am delighted to welcome Megan Rix to Bookbabblers today as part of the Red House Children’s Book Award blog tour. Megan’s book The Bomber Dog has been shortlisted in the Young Readers category. Here is Megan’s guestpost…

Megan Rix Photo 1

Canine Creative
By Megan Rix

My two dogs, Traffy and Bella, are in all of my books and not just in the acknowledgements. Bella used to love my husband’s socks and only his socks when she was a pup (how did she know they were his?!) and Buster in ‘The Great Escape’ has a nose for identifying various members of his family’s slippers. Both Traffy and Bella used to howl as pups like Howl does in ‘The Victory Dogs’ and Bella’s love for playing ball is shared by Grey in ‘The Bomber Dog’.

Traffy is nearly 7 now, steady and loving. She comes into our local school with me to listen to children read. Bella’s just turned 4 and full of energy and determination and fun. They are the absolute best of friends and remind me a lot of Molly and Grey from ‘The Bomber Dog.’ At the start of the book Grey and Molly are living in a derelict shed and devoted to each other, so much so that when a bomb strikes a house further along the street resulting in the shed going up in flames Grey risks his life to save his friend.

My days usually start with a long dog walk by the river (with Traffy and Bella often in the river). Sometimes I write in my spare-bedroom office but only one dog can comfortably squeeze in there. Or in the conservatory but the dogs like the door open and it can get a bit cold in the winter! Their favourite place for me to write is on the bed – fortunately I love writing first drafts by hand. They clamber on and within a few minutes are fast asleep and often snoring.

A couple of hours later they’ve woken up and it’s time for me to have a break. This usually involves trying to drink coffee while playing ball with Bella with one hand and tug-tug with Traffy and her favourite toy with the other.

People sometimes ask me if the animals in my books speak and I tell them they don’t. They can communicate perfectly well without words. Anyone who’s ever owned a pet knows that.

Being home alone is never lonely when you have two dog shadows wherever you go. Even when I get up at three in the morning to do some work and creep out of the bedroom so I don’t disturb my sleeping husband Traffy and then Bella will pad down the stairs after me and curl up beside me on the sofa-bed in the conservatory.

They always know when I’m going out for the day because I’m putting on make-up and not wellington boots and they don’t like it. But coming home to be greeted by two exuberant dogs is just the best thing ever. Bella races to grab a toy to give me and Traffy picks up a chew so she can ‘talk’ and my normal dog walking, ball throwing, toy playing, writing routine resumes.

Megan’s website is www.meganrix.com

bomberdog

“The Bomber Dog” has been shortlisted in the younger readers category of the 2015 Red House Children’s Book Award. The Red House Children’s Book Award is the only national children’s book award voted for entirely by children. It is owned and co-ordinated by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, and sponsored by Red House.

Review of Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

31.10.2014
13:07

Little Lies cover

This is the first book by Liane Moriarty that I have read and I absolutely loved it.

Straight away, we find out that something bad has happened at the Pirriwee School trivia night and someone has died. The book then takes the reader on a journey full of twists and turns as we try to guess what happened that fateful night.

The characters were fantastic and even the more minor characters seemed to have strong personalities. I particularly liked the snippets of dialogue in each chapter from the various parents.

Little Lies is a captivating read that is beautifully written and full of suspense. There are some real laugh out loud moments, but also a number of darker ones and Moriarty touches on domestic abuse and violence throughout the novel.

I was glued to the sofa whilst reading this as I was so desperate to find out what happened. This is a fantastic five star read. I can’t wait to read more by this author.

Thank you to Penguin for sending us a copy to review.

Review of Dirty Bertie: Horror! by David Roberts and Alan Macdonald

29.10.2014
14:11

Dirty bertie horror

Dirty Bertie is back.

Horror! is a collection of three hilarious stories where Bertie manages to wreak havoc wherever he goes.

In the first story, Bertie is desperate to watch the latest horror film Return of the Blob Thing at the cinema. So when his dad says that he can go with his granny he is certain that he can convince her to allow him to watch it. However, Bertie didn’t plan on Granny’s new boyfriend Reg coming along too and he is determined to make him as uncomfortable as possible.

In the second story Splodge!, Bertie and his class are off to the local art gallery to see a very famous painting. However, when Bertie manages to escape to the gift shop and buy a water pistol big problems begin. We loved this story, which was our favourite of the three.

The third story is called Grrr! and starts with Bertie trying to figure out how he can find enough money to buy a pirate telescope. He decides that he must find a job and remembers that his friend Darren’s cousin has a paper round. Darren’s cousin Neil agrees to let them deliver papers to two streets in exchange for £1, but when Bertie meets a guard dog things start to go down hill.

A perfect book to read this half term as Halloween approaches.

Thank you to Little Tiger Press for sending us a copy to review.

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