Eva’s Books

Operation Bunny – Wings & Co – Sally Gardner

Posted in Children's Books, Eva's Books on October 31st, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Operation Bunny - Wings & Co

Published  04/10/2012
Publisher Orion Children’s Books
Source – Amazon Vine
My Rating – for 7/8- youngish 12 – 5 stars

I have read and enjoyed many of Sally Gardner’s novels including those targeted at the Young Adult market. I’m delighted to see her return her attentions to the 7-12 age group as my children loved her Magical Children Series.

This is the first in a series of books about Wings & Co, a fairy detective agency resurrected by Emily Vole, a young girl who has had a lot to deal with in her short life so far – abandoned as a baby at Stansted Airport in a hat box, adopted by emotionally challenged wannabes, condemned to a life of drudgery. However, hope comes in the shape of Miss String and Fidget…I won’t spoil the story by saying any more. Suffice to say, Operation Bunny has Sally Gardner’s usual humour, charm, pace and overall feeling of whimsy which will spellbind young readers.

Suitable for independent readers from age 7 upwards, probably aimed more at girls than boys, Operation Bunny is a beautifully written, original story complemented perfectly by David Roberts’ quirky illustrations.

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Luke and Eva’s Current Reads

Posted in Children's Books, Eva's Books, Luke's books on September 12th, 2011 by admin – 2 Comments

My poor children have been seriously neglected on the blog what with Luke starting “big”school and Eva going into P4 but they have been busy reading too!  Here are some of their most recent reads as well as some which are on the wishlist for Autumn.

Quite an eclectic mix from Eva, the Morpurgo and Anne Fine books are ones I have been reading to her at bedtime but fairies and occasionally mermaids are still very popular!  I particularly like The Angel of Nitshill Road and the subtle way it deals with bullying.

It’s her birthday in mid-October so I have already gathered a few surprise book gifts to  accompany the main present…of course this is all top secret at the moment!  As the new Wimpy Kid book isn’t out  until November it won’t be part of the birthday present but will certainly be pre-ordered.

Meanwhile Luke has been enjoying the latest Skulduggery Pleasant book, Death Bringer and is looking forward to the new Charlie Higson, The Fear.  I am kept busy researching suitable titles for him, thank goodness we have two excellent library branches nearby!   Below are some of his most recent, current and soon TBR books.

Oh and last but not least, a special mention for a very funny book which kept both of them entertained on holiday in Kildare,  The Donut Diaries of Dermot Milligan, “a British Diary of a Wimpy Kid” with tons of toilet humour.  It’s great when I can find a book they both like which strikes a happy medium between zombies and fairies! 

I love to hear what other folk’s children/grandchildren/younger siblings are reading so if you have any recommendations just shout! :-)

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Luke and Eva’s Christmas Picks

Posted in Children's Books, Eva's Books, Luke's books on November 25th, 2010 by admin – Be the first to comment

Santa usually brings a few books as well as the usual annuals so Luke and Eva have chosen a few books for your delectation, some of which they already own, some of which are on their wish lists (and mine too, if I’m perfectly honest!)

He’s a complex man our Santa, a would-be international man of mystery.  Admit it, you’ve always wondered what he gets up to the other 364 days of the year – well the wait is over and all will be revealed to both young and slightly older, in my own case…

It’s not often I find a book which fires the imagination of both my 7 year old daughter and my 10 year old son but this modern twist on Santa’s secret life has done just that.  Indeed there are a lot of laughs for the Mums and Dads too, I particularly liked this gem -

“I can’t stand mince pies, ” said Santa.

“What? But everyone knows you love mince pies…don’t you?” said Jingle, not quite believing what he was hearing.

“Never have, never will.  I don’t trust them.” said Santa gravely. “They promise mince…and deliver fruit.  They are the liars of the pudding world, and I don’t like liars.”

A rollicking, fun read for all the family to get you into the festive mood and to entertain the little ones while you’re engrossed in endless wrapping…

My daughter has just joined the Brownies and absolutely loves it, including the rather snazzy uniform.  Therefore it was very serendipitous that we discovered this Brownie themed Christmas read recently.  This is the seventh in the Brownies series by Caroline Plaisted but a new one to us and I was delighted to find a new series to engross my daughter, particularly one which does not involve fairies of different hues!

The activities are all very true to life and this is an excellent read for any girl aged 7-9 who is involved in the Brownies.  We’re looking forward to collecting the rest of the series.

Eva and I are ardent Daisy fans right from the early days of Eat Your Peas so this Christmas themed book was guaranteed to please.  As usual it has an accessible print and is filled with wonderful illustrations which makes it an ideal transition from picture books for independent reading – although I do love sharing this at bedtime. 

Daisy’s life is never straightforward and she gets in trouble more often than not, especially when she has her own ideas about how to organise a Christmas Nativity.  She reminds me of a more modern version of Dick King Smith’s  Sophie who had similar entertainment value for Eva.

Highly recommended for independent readers aged 7+ and for bedtime reading.

This one has only recently come to our attention and is at the top of our wish list, I imagine it will be acquired before the week is out!  Whilst we do enjoy the original version of The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, this looks enticing with its more modern interpretation and inclusion of wit and humour.

Other favourites include -

Do you have any other recommendations to add to our collection?  

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Eva’s Latest Loot – April 2010

Posted in Eva's Books on April 24th, 2010 by admin – 8 Comments

A diverse collection comprised of library loans, charity shop purchases and competition wins.  We’ve already had several reads of Thumbelina (50p from Oxfam!) and My First Knock Knock  joke book has been well used… there is of course a Magic Kitten and Magic Pony plus some ballet inspired stories in Nina Fairy Ballerina and Ballet School Carousel.  Eva has loved lots of the Rita the Rescuer series by Hilda Offen, excellent for independent readers around 6-8 – this time we got Rita in Rocky Park but she’s nearly finished the whole series so are on the lookout for something similar.  Junie B Jones is another series which Eva really enjoys – we even learn a lot about life in kindergarten and first grade in the US, Junie is like an American version of Sophie from the Dick King Smith stories which Eva also loves.

Two great charity shop buys were Gwyneth Rees’s Fairy Gold (Gwyneth Rees is a firm favourite) and Stanley’s Christmas Adventure – yes, we’re getting ready for the festive season already, well book wise anyway!  Flat Stanley can do no wrong in this household.  From the library we got Lauren Child’s fabulous Who Wants to be a Poodle, I don’t – we have read most of the Charlie and Lola series and also have some Clarice Bean plus a beautiful version of Pippi Longstocking illustrated by Lauren Child.   We have spent all week taking turns to do all the tongue twisters from Dr Seuss’s Rhymes, Riddles and Nonsense – I think it must be even better than Brain Training for keeping the old grey cells turning over!   Life wouldn’t be complete without a Rainbow Fairy addition, this time Destiny the Pop Star Fairy which Eva has borrowed from a friend – she has decided to set up a mini mobile library in her class and has started a book exchange!

Last but not least, Eva got her share of our prize win from Lucy Coat’s blog, The  Beasts in the Jar and The Dolphin’s Message - if I can get her dragged away from the fairies, ballerinas and fluffy animals for a while, I’m looking forward to introducing her to the Greek Myths.

Phew, that’s enough to keep us going for quite a while – I am going to have to buy another plain bookshelf and paint it pink to match the one I painted for her only 3 months ago!

PS – the books are not actually as long and thin in real life…must be my camera – if only it would have the same effect on pictures of me! ;-)

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Eva’s Eight Picks for Spring

Posted in Children's Books, Eva's Books on March 21st, 2010 by admin – 3 Comments

Eva is very keen to become involved here and is a proper little bibliophile at 6 so she has selected her top books for reading this Spring. 

Alice in Wonderland – Ladybird Classics (we saw Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland in 3d yesterday so it will be interesting  to compare and contrast the two!  We also have a lovely edition illustrated by Helen Oxenbury but with slightly more difficult language, one to keep for the future.

Our World Book Day freebie, Magic Ballerina, The Magic Dance – Darcey Bussell and Kitten Chaos – Anna Wilson.

The Pain and the Great One, Soupy Saturdays – Judy Blume – surprisingly low on fluffiness, fairies and furry animals but seems to strike a chord with its friendly sibling rivalry and humour.

Danielle the Daisy Fairy – Daisy Meadows – I’m not sure when the Rainbow Fairy phase will be phased out, I think there are 100+ books in the series so hopefully we will not have amasssed the whole collection…

Princess Poppy – The Fashion Princess – Janey Louise Jones.  What little girl could resist these candy coloured books where the script matches the cover – pale pink pages, dark pink writing.  I think we have the complete series now.

Not Quite a Mermaid – Mermaid Tricks – Linda Chapman.  A relatively easy read but good for emerging readers plus we have just started Linda Chapman’s Secret Unicorn series and it looks very promising.

Sam the Stolen Puppy – Holly Webb.  Part of the appeal of this series is the predictable plot so Eva can enjoy reading them without being distracted by complicated storylines plus negotiations are presently underway re acquiring a four footed friend – could be a long process!

And last but certainly not least Magic Bunny – Chocolate Wishes – Sue Bentley and apparently there is a Magic Ponies, Puppies and Kittens series – thank heavens for our local library and online reservation.

You will have noticed there is a preponderance of pink, princesses and general fluffiness but I’m just pleased she is so into reading.  For Easter I have ordered a book set each  for her and Luke.  Eva is getting Sally Gardner’s Magical Children series and Luke is getting an Usborne set of True Stories including tales of prison escapes, spies and WWI and WWII.  Don’t worry, the Easter Bunny will bring them some eggs so they won’t be deprived!

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