Over the last few months we have read some fantastic books including old classics as well as brand new titles. Therefore it seems appropriate that the top books we read in April include a mix of both.
Chapter Book of the Month
First up is our Chapter Book of the Month and we have chosen The Worst Witch written and illustrated by Jill Murphy and published by Penguin. Growing up I was a huge fan of this classic series but until I picked up a copy for Mini Reviewer Izzie, I had no idea that the original was published in 1974 (please note this is well before my time)!
I was incredibly excited to share this magical story with Izzie but I anxiously wondered whether a book that was over 40 years old would still appeal to today's generation of young readers.
I am delighted to confirm that Izzie was hooked from the moment she was introduced to Mildred Hubble and her friends at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. It was an absolute joy to read about Mildred's disastrous spells and Ethel's mischievous antics and pour over the brilliant illustrations together. We will certainly keep an eye out for the other six books when we next visit the library!
Non-Fiction Book of the Month
Our Non-Fiction choice this month is The Big Book of the Blue by author and illustrator Yuval Zommer and sea life expert Barbara Taylor. We were so excited when a copy of this newly released beauty arrived completely out of the blue from publishers Thames & Hudson.
Firstly, we were amazed by its size, it really is big! Mini Reviewer, Theo (4), immediately took the book off me, made himself comfortable and started turning the pages. He was mesmerised by the quirky illustrations of all the different sea creatures and of course the boats! Then he started asking me questions and fortunately this book has all the answers. So if you or your children have ever wondered why penguins don't freeze? Or what makes a pufferfish puff? Then this book is definitely the one for you. It is jam packed with amazing facts and answers many fishy questions.
I particularly liked the section highlighting the dangers to the oceans and ocean life as it includes plastic pollution, which is something we have been talking about a lot recently as a family. Theo enjoyed spotting the 15 sardines hidden throughout the book and counting all the different sea creatures. We cannot praise this book enough and we are sure it will ignite curious little minds everywhere.
This is the third book in Yuval Zommer's big book series and we will now definitely be on the look out for The Big Book of Bugs and The Big Book of Beasts.
Picture Book of the Month
Finally our Picture Book of the Month is The Wardrobe Monster by debut author-illustrator Bryony Thomson. This is a newly released book published by Old Barn Books in April 2018. Now when I first saw the title of this book, I admit I was a little worried that it may be too scary for the Mini Reviewers, it is after all a bedtime story featuring a monster! However, once I had read through the book, not only was I reassured that this is a story all about calming that childhood fear of monsters lurking in the shadows, I had also completely fallen in love with Bryony's quirky and charming characters.
The story features pink haired Dora and her friends Lion, Penguin and Bear. They are having trouble sleeping at bedtime due to noises coming from the wardrobe. Together the friends summon enough courage to peek inside the wardrobe and they discover the friendliest monster you can imagine!
The Mini Reviewers were all initially apprehensive of the story, especially the bangs from the wardrobe, but they were immediately calm once the friendly lime green and pink monster was revealed and they went on to find the ending of the story extremely funny! They have since asked for for the story again and again so it has obviously been a big hit in this house!
GIVEAWAY ends 5pm on 6 June 2018:
GIVEAWAY ends 5pm on 6 June 2018:
The Wardrobe Monster is a lovely story full of gentle humour and perfect for reassuring little ones who may be afraid of the dark and if you would like to win your own signed copy of The Wardrobe Monster, then check out our giveaway over on Twitter now.
We hope you have enjoyed our top reads from April, our round up of books for May will be coming very soon, so watch this space...
Kate & the Mini Reviewers xx
Disclaimer: We received copies of The Wardrobe Monster and The Big Book of the Blue for review purposes. However, our opinions are, as always our own.