Saturday, 1 April 2017


Text Mac Barnett, Illustrations Jon Klassen
Walker Books 2017
Complimentary copy provided by Walker Books in exchange for an honest review.
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Back: This book is about Triangle. One day Triangle leaves his house to play a sneaky trick on his friend. Or at least that is Triangle's plan.
Peeking furtively out of his triangular front door,Triangle has a cunning plan. We don't know what it is yet, but he is willing to walk a long way to play a 'sneaky trick' on Square. A shape on a mission, he steals past shapes of various sizes until he arrives in a neighbourhood full of squares.
Hiding outside Square's house, he hisses like a sneaky snake. Poor Square has a fear of snakes. Wide-eyed and panicked,he shouts at the ten million creatures he imagines to be waiting on his door step.
On hearing Square's fearful voice, Triangle cannot keep up his ruse and bursts out with laughter. Realising he's been tricked, angry Square chases Triangle all the way home again. When he's just about to catch this pointy trickster, suddenly Square gets stuck in the triangular shaped door. Oh dear!
Triangle is feeling rather smug about the situation until he realises that his home is now filled with darkness. And guess what? Triangle is afraid of the dark. Lesson learned?

Triangle as a book will stand out on any book shelf.  No glossy colours or busy details here, the stylish front cover simply has a large, charcoal triangle with two wide eyes peering out. It's only when you open the cover and see the inner sleeve that the title of the book is confirmed- yes, of course, it's about a triangle.
With earthy, muted tones set against a cream background, the simplicity of Triangle is intriguing for readers. To match it's quiet illustrations, the story is uncomplicated and steadily paced. While the characters are simply drawn, their wide eyes are expressive. My (almost) 3 year old was able to identify the feelings portrayed- "He looks scared....He looks grumpy" he commented. Perplexed, he also asked "What's sneaky Mommy?" 😏 
Introducing the concepts of shape and size, the pictures offer discussion about small, medium and large. My son particularly enjoyed seeing how the square shape wouldn't fit through the triangular door. 
With lessons about friendship, behaviour and feelings, minimalist pictures and some shifty comedy, 'Triangle' makes for a great read. 

Click here to see a nice 'Triangle' activity sheet from Walker Books
Happy Reading,
Missus B.

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Alphonse, That Is Not OK To Do!

Written & illustrated by Daisy Hirst
First published by Walker Books 2016, this edition 2017
Free copy provided by Walker Books in exchange for an honest review.
Affiliate links included in this post
Back: Natalie MOSTLY likes having Alphonse around, but when she catches him EATING her FAVOURITE book, well......THAT is NOT OK!

The story of two monster siblings- Natalie is the big sister and Alphonse the baby brother. 'Mostly' Natalie doesn't mind having a little brother- he's good company when it comes to playing on the bunk beds, having story time and making things. Sometimes though, Alphonse draws on Natalie's things and that bugs her....AND she really hates it when he eats her stuff.
One day, things just aren't going right for Natalie- it's peas for lunch, the TV is awful and her Mum compliments her on her doggy drawing, but it's actually a horse. It's the final straw when Natalie discovers Alphonse under her bed, munching on her favourite book. Oh dear. 
She decides to hide behind a chair, drawing an angry tornado, two giant beasts, a swarm of peas and a very small Alphonse. When Alphonse comes to her later &  suggests fixing her book gives him the silent treatment, covers her ears & goes for her bath (in a bit of a huff.)

But, while she is winding down with her rubber ducky, outside she hears a bit of a commotion- roaring, screeching and a terrible clatter.Oh no! Natalie feels a sense of panic and wonders if her angry drawing has come to little Alphonse being swept away in a tornado, chased by screeching beasts and drowning in a storm of frozen peas?! 

Turns out, there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for all the disturbance and Alphonse, in his efforts to fix Natalie's book, has had a few little mishaps. 

A heartwarming story capturing some of the ups and downs of sibling life. Alphonse and Natalie are two adorably cute monster characters, one a flash of red with fluffy ears, the other a pint-sized blue with pointed ears and sharp teeth (perfect for chewing.)  The illustrations and font have a child-like quality , with just enough text per page to keep the attention of a young child. 

A simple, charming story about childhood relationships, conflict, forgiveness and resolution.

Happy Reading,
Missus B 

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Don't Call Me Choochie Pooh!

Text : Sean Taylor, Illustrations : Kate Hindley
First published by Walker Books Ltd 2016, reviewed edition published 2017.

Complimentary copy of book provided by Walker Books in exchange for an honest review.
Affiliate links included in this post.
 Policy available here
Back of Book: 
I might be little, but I'm not one of those silly, frizzly dogs you get.
I want to be  an ordinary, PROPER, puddle-jumping, stick-chasing dog!
And I DON'T want to be called CHOOCHIE POOH!

A hilarious story written from the perspective of a pampered pooch, 'Don't Call Me Choochie Pooh!" will appeal to children, adults & dog-lovers. This little terrier has had ENOUGH mollycoddling from her owner and just wants to be treated like all the other dogs.              
Doing 'proper dog things' like playing IT'S MY STICK! "Where the main rule is you have to growl as if you're really angry, even though you're not."
Lying on her posh puppy bed (with ALL the frills) she tells us she is NOT frizzly, fluffy or daft. The heart-shaped treats her owner gives her are embarrassing and being stuffed into a flowery hand-bag is just mortifying!!

She cringes at being called an "incy wincy cupcake" outside the supermarket and when her owner puckers up for a kiss, well, that just takes the (dog) biscuit!  
My owner called out, off we go OOPSIE BOOPSIE CHOOCHIE POOH!
I wanted to jump into a pit full of crocodiles.
Wonderfully illustrated, the pages are alive with colour and hilarious dog faces. Hindley's attention to detail will satisfy the beady eyed. Illustrated from a little dog's point of view, quirky details include the owners fluffy footwear, dog patterned clothing and dog-bone jewellery. The inner cover includes a collection of puppy portraits with this poor little pooch looking none too pleased in a variety of doggy outfits. 

A satisfying and funny read-aloud, Don't Call Me Choochie Pooh! will bring plenty of smirks and giggles....While 'Choochie' wishes her owner wouldn't baby her so much, by the end of the story, she discovers that there are plenty of other owners guilty of the same pandering....

                       See Sean Taylor read his book here:

Sunday, 5 February 2017

The Perfect Guest

Author & Illustrator: Paula Metcalf
Walker Books 2017
Free copy of book provided by Walker Books in exchange for an honest review.
This post includes affiliate links
See my disclosure here

Back of book:
Walter has a guest!
His teeny-weeny squirrel friend, Pansy.
The thing is....Walter is really VERY neat and tidy.
And Pansy is really VERY accident-prone....

Walter the dog is one house proud hound. He loves his polka-dotty table cloth, his pretty garden, and his sparkly new tea-pot. 

When his squirrel friend Pansy phones to say she's coming to visit, Walter is excited, but soon discovers she’s a bit of a liability!

Oops! There goes the much loved tea-pot!
Pansy is a busy little guest: she bakes lemon-cake, but eats most of it herself, tucking into Walter's chocolates as well. She helps with the sewing & accidentally stitches Walter's trouser legs together. While the cake crumbs get vacuumed up, the tableware goes flying. The precious teapot gets a good scrubbing, but ends up in smithereens.  When Pansy offers to dust the ornaments, Walter decides that her energy would be better spent with watering the garden vegetables. What harm could she do out there?
Pansy has kindly made Walter a lovely new pair of trousers, in a perfect pattern that Walter loves.
But hang on! What's this trouser shaped hole in the bedroom curtains?! Oh dear!

Walter has underestimated his little squirrel friend though! Pandemonium follows Pansy wherever she goes & it’s not long before disaster strikes in the garden too.

While Walter is busy polishing & dusting indoors (in his frilly apron), Pansy has a bit of a dilemma outside. If only Walter looked out his window, he’d see the mayhem in the background!

It all ends well though, with one final blunder, bringing a delightful surprise. And so, Walter realizes that despite her clumsiness, his little Pansy is the most perfect guest after all.

A charming story about friendship, we see that Walter & Pansy have two different personalities. Walter likes to be organized, tidy, is a tad prissy and VERY house proud. He's also patient and forgiving. Pansy is enthusiastic, helpful, energetic, and resourceful. She's also a tad greedy and boy is she clumsy! Put these two together and we have a recipe for chaos, with plenty of giggles along the way.

With soft, warm illustrations, there are some quaint little details- like Walter's circular dial telephone, Pansy's sewing thimble/pin cushion and Walter's feather duster. Well, these are things that my little man certainly wouldn't recognize and nice little details to discuss! 

With it's comical characters, charming illustrations, and heart-warming story, 'The Perfect Guest' makes for a pleasant and funny read

Sunday, 8 January 2017

#Baby Love : My Toddler Life

Written & illustrated by Corine Dehghanpisheh
Published by My Art to Inspire 2016
Free copy provided by the author & Book Publicity Services in exchange for an honest review.
  ©Missus B's Picture Book Reviews
This post includes affiliate links
See my disclosure here
Back of book: A curious toddler loves to play...especially with his mommy's smartphone! When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it's the perfect teaching moment. Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention. Her simple reminder : Put down our phones. 

"Today Mommy and
 I have lots to do,
Like counting, colouring
And painting too...
Reading books,
Playing with toys
Learning new words,
And making noise!"

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Picken : Mix and Match the Farm Animals

Picken Mix and Match the Farm Animals Mary Murphy
I love the split-page design- a perfect invitation to peep inside.

Words & Pictures: Mary Murphy
Walker Books/ Baby Walker 2017
Free copy provided by Walker Books in exchange for an honest/unbiased review. 
                                                 Post includes affiliate links
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Back of book
  • A mix and match book to share with your baby
  • Create different farm animals for imaginative play
  • High contrast illustrations for visual stimulation
  • The start of a lifelong love of books
This charming book features seven farm animals, but it's split-page design means you can come up with lots of wacky combinations of your own. 

What do you get when you cross a piglet and a puppy? A Pippy! 
Have you ever seen a Gootten or a Lappy? 
Or a Kiglet?!

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Story for their Stocking Campaign

Last week, the Arts Council launched it's “Story for Their Stocking” Christmas campaign, urging parents to choose a book as a stocking filler and to take some time to read and share stories with their children during the Christmas holidays.

I always loved the smell of a new book and the nice little collection under our tree on Christmas morning. After the 5 am start, all that toy chaos, the turkey dinner & trifle, it was lovely to just wind down in front of the fire with that new book or annual. 

Perfect Christmas memories!

Read more about the 'Story for their Stocking' Campaign here

New research published by iReach on the reading habits of Irish parents found the following: 
  • One in every two parents want to spend more time reading to their children  
  • Of the parents who read to their children, 14 minutes is the average time spent reading with them a day. One in two parents spend anything up to 30 minutes reading to them while one in 10 read to their children for 30 minutes or more.  
  • Two in five parents do not spend any time reading to their children  
  • On average parents spend 124 minutes of uninterrupted time with their children each day 

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Rosita and the Night of the Radishes

Written and illustrated by Dorothy Thurgood Manning
33 Loretta Kids Books 2016
Reviewed copy kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Back of book:
Young Rosita competes in Oaxaca, Mexico's radish carving contest which is held every December 23rd. She hopes to win first prize and use the money to help her family's failing farm. This tale of magic realism is geared for children ages 3 to 8.

This post includes affiliate links. 

Monday, 10 October 2016

World Mental Health Day 2016

This post includes affiliate links, see my policy here

Observed on October 10th every year, World Mental Health Day promotes global mental health education, awareness and advocacy. 
Any one of us, irrespective of age, gender or background can be affected by mental health problems at some point in our life. 1 in 10 children between the age of 5 and 16 suffer from a diagnosed mental health problem*. From an early age, we can help children to identify & express their feelings and below are some books I've used and recommend. 

How Are You Feeling Today? A dip-in book, helping children to recognise & deal with a range of emotions.Understanding & recognising feelings is an important life skill for every child and this book is a lovely introduction.
Click here to read more about this book
The Colour Thief: A family's story of depression:An honest and touching story describing parental depression.Beautiful portrait illustrations and concrete language make this book a supportive tool for families or professionals.
Click here to see more about this book

Meh! A story about Depression A wordless picture book sharing a child's perspective of depression. 
  Read more about this book

What to Do When You Worry Too Much : a supportive work book for children experiencing anxiety
Click here to read more about this book

Peter & Lisa: A Mental Illness Children's Story : The story of two adults affected by mental illness. Includes simple, clear language & descriptions about depression, bi-polar disorder & recovery. 
Click here to read more about this book

This year's World Mental Health Day theme is Psychological First Aid 'Humane, supportive & practical assistance to fellow human beings who recently suffered a serious stressor' (WHO). 

When Something Terrible Happens  is a supportive work book to help children cope with grief or loss.
Click here to read more about this book

Check out my  Feelings/Emotions Page for a more comprehensive list of books.

Related links:

Monday, 26 September 2016

Sing the Planets...

...An "I'll Remember That" Book
Author and illustrator: Bonnie Ferrante
Single Drop Publishing 2014
Reviewed copy kindly sent by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This post includes affiliate links.
Read my policy here

Back of book:
Here is an active way to learn the order of the planets and have fun doing it. Children learn quicker and retain information longer, the more different learning styles are involved. This book uses music, rhyme, singing, pictures and movement to help students learn the order of the planets, the meanings of their names, their position, and their classification.....

Additional text describes how the author, a teacher for 33 years, effectively used this strategy with several classes.