Tag Archives: book blog

Angelina Ballerina by Katherine Holabird illustrated by Helen Craig

wp-1470895465538.jpgI hadn’t realised the story wasn’t written as recently as I thought having been written in 1983 to many a classic story however I don’t remember having this read to me as a child. The edition we have is a board book published in 2007 by Puffin Books.

The story is about a young mouse called Angelina who wants to be a ballerina however she hasn’t had lessons and she dances all the time when she’s meant to be doing other things such as tidying her room, getting ready for school even dancing around the school yard!

The story continues and I’m sure you can guess what happens, she has ballet lessons and as she has the lessons she doesn’t dance when she’s not meant to be much to the relief of her parents.

I bought this book for Boo for a couple of reasons, after quickly reading the book to myself in the bookshop (love I can do this with young children’s books as they’re not too long) and thought what a lovely story it was.  The illustrations are beautiful and are highly detailed. The cover caught my attention with the little silver hearts and the illustration of a mouse asleep in bed. But the main reason is Boo was given a music box as a present which has a pretty ballerina spinning round and round as the wind up classic music is played she loves it and has tried to copy going round and round many times so thought a book about a ballerina would appeal.

However it doesn’t seem to be the case….yet. I have read the story a few times now to Boo and she’s not very interested. At 20 months I think she’s a little too young for it at the moment as it has a lot of words unlike most of the other stories I’ve read to her recently. The last time I read it to her she got up from sitting on my knee and took the opportunity to play with a full size football of 7 year old Monkey’s while he was out!

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Boo does however like the illustrations which I thought she would as she loves the detailed illustrations in her two Beatrix Potter books.

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At the moment I think Boo would score this 5/10 as she likes the illustrations but the story hasn’t caught her attention yet. I think she will like it more when she’s 2+

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I on the other hand really enjoyed the story. I liked how the story starts with Angelina not having had ballet lessons still practices really hard and also how this can be related to all children who want to busy themselves doing something else instead of what they’re supposed to be doing like tidying their room. I find the illustrations are lovely I have always liked detailed illustrations in children’s books especially reading with an older child where you can ask them to look at the illustrations and point a particular item out. I know this book will grow with Boo and I think I will be asked to read it to her many times repeatedly in the coming years. I will score this 8/10.

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The Jolly Rogers and the Monster’s Gold by Jonny Duddle

wp-1468389427861.jpgThis is a story about Matilda who has a pirate family for friends. To the pirates she is a ‘landlubber’ someone who stays on dry land but she is best friends with one of the pirates Jim Lad who often sends her notes in bottles whilst he’s out to sea.

One day she finds a treasure map in a bottle she has fished out of the sea but it’s not from her best friend. Matilda does know though that Jim Lad’s family would like to see the map. The pirate family consists of Jim Lad’s mum, dad, Nugget his sister his Grandpa, Bones the dog and Squawk the macaw.

On the treasure map there’s a message “Dear fellow private….Do ye want to be rich?” And so the adventure begins.

I bought this book for Monkey as a little Christmas present, I just seen it one day in a supermarket and as it was about pirates I picked it up to have a look.

I have to admit I stood in the supermarket aisle having a little read of it and was completely drawn into the story straight away. Not only did I find the way it was written intriguing as a lot of it is written the way a pirate may speak but it also has fantastic illustrations all in black and white but they are drawn so brilliantly and have a lot of detail.

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We’d reached a point with me reading a bedtime story to Monkey where he still wanted me to read to him which I am more than happy to do but the picture books were too young for him but most books with chapters were too long or didn’t have many engaging pictures, so when I found this book I knew it would be a good starting point to move onto chapter books as although it’s in chapters they’re not too long for a child to become too bored or the reader to spend all night reading. The text is very clear, the size of the book is perfect and although being 159 pages long it doesn’t feel overwhelming.

The story is by Jonny Duddle who has written a couple more books in this series The Jolly Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon and The Jolly Rogers and the Cave of Doom. This story was first published in 2015 by Templar publishing illustrations by Jonny Duddle.

Well Monkey thoroughly enjoyed this book and was more than happy to go to bed just to have another chapter read to him and I too even got excited about reading to him again and reading a longer story meant I could enjoy the story too and feel like I wasn’t just reading to him for the sake of it.

Monkey without too much hesitation gives this book 10/10 as it’s about pirates, the story is exciting but not scary and the pictures are “really cool”.

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I really enjoyed this book too. It has a believable story, the illustrations are fantastic and it got me enjoying reading again to Monkey. We were both in fact sad when it finished so we went and bought another of Jonny Duddle’s books the next day which I will review in another post. In the meantime I give this book 10/10.

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