Posts Tagged ‘Eva’

Fire Spell – Laura Amy Schlitz

Posted in Children's Books on November 21st, 2012 by admin – Be the first to comment

Expect a selection of reviews of children’s books in the run up to Christmas as I have been vetting a few for Luke and Eva and I always like to know what they’re getting when they open a book…plus I enjoy them too. :-)  This one is destined for Eva who is a little bookworm so she will love it.  I wouldn’t recommend it for reluctant readers as it is a fairly hefty tome at almost 400 pages and it would bore Luke silly but then he’s 12 and he hates fantasy unless there are zombies…

Fire Spell

Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
My Rating – 4 stars – almost there!
Set in Victorian London in 1860, Fire Spell will appeal to young readers with a penchant for magical adventure and fantasy. Clara Wintermute comes from a wealthy but rather melancholy family, not surprising given that all her siblings were wiped out by cholera. She longs for some excitement in her life and this comes in the shape of the puppeteer, Grisini, a Fagin-like character and his young urchin assistants, Lizzie Rose and Parsefall (the Artful Dodger?). Unfortunately, in true Victorian melodrama style, all does not bode well and Clara ends up imprisoned in the body of a puppet while Grisini engages in magical and mental battle with the aged witch Cassandra. Will Clara ever return to human form? Can Lizzie Rose and Parsefall help her whilst evading the clutches of their evil master? Does Cassandra have a human heart after all?

Yes, it’s all rather melodramatic but extremely good fun and reminiscent of the adventures of E Nesbit’s characters with touches of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline and The Graveyard Book as well as a pinch of Cornelia Funke’s Inkheart Trilogy. Targeted at the 9-12 age group, at almost 400 pages, I think it’s perhaps only suitable for very confident readers in the younger age bracket but it is an enjoyable romp of a read for anyone who enjoys an exciting, magical, well plotted story with no great surprises en route.

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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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