Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Stig of the Dump by Clive King

book review

Stig of the Dump by Clive Owens 4.5/5

979470.jpgBarney is a solitary eight-year-old, given to wandering off by himself. One day he tumbles over, lands in a sort of cave, and meets’ somebody with shaggy hair wearing a rabbit-skin and speaking in grunts. He names him Stig. They together raid the rubbish dump at the bottom of the pit, improve Stig’s cave dwelling, and enjoy a series of adventures.

 

Review:

Another re-read of one of my childhood favourites has only reaffirmed my love for this book. I can recall reading Stig of the Dump to myself for the first time at about eight years old, and then having my teacher read it during storytime just a few months later. I was still as impressed with the story as I read it to my daughter.

Why did I give it 4.5 and not 5*? Purely for the fact that my daughter didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as our last read, The Borrowers. Her attention wandered a little during the lengthier descriptions. I, on the other hand, loved the detailed descriptions and wonderful relationship dynamic between Barney and Stig. I will encourage my daughter to re-read the book for herself in a year or two.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

 

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Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: Isle of Winds by James Fahy

book-review

Isle of Winds (The Changeling #1) by James Fahy 5/5

28173857Robin Fellows lives with his grandmother and lives what appears to be a rather ordinary life for a normal twelve year old boy.

But when Robin’s Gran dies, quite suddenly and a bit mysteriously, his world is turned upside down. A long lost relative comes out of the woodwork and whisks him away to a mysterious new home, Erlking Hall, a quiet estate in the solitary countryside of Lancashire.

Suddenly Robin must adjust to his new reality. But reality is no longer what he thought it was…

Erlking has many secrets – as do his newly found Great-Aunt Irene and her servants. After a strange encounter on the train and meeting a cold, eerie man on the platform, Robin begins to notice odd happenings at Erlking.

There is more than meets the eye to this old, rambling mansion.
Little does he know that there is more than meets the eye to himself.

Robin is the world’s last Changeling. He is descended from a mystic race of Fae-people, whose homeland, the Netherworlde, is caught in the throes of a terrible civil war.

Not only this, but in this new world there is a magical force that has infiltrated the human realm.

Before he can wrench power from the malevolent hands of the Netherworlde’s fearsome tyrant leader, Lady Eris, he must first search for the truth about himself and the ethereal Towers of Arcania.

Review:

A coming-of-age, fantasy book with hints of Harry Potter and Narnia. Readers big and small will enjoy this descriptive, vivid tale of Robin Fellows and his plunge into all things other-wordly, fantastical creatures, tyrannous rulers, magic, and heritage.

There are two factors that have to be on top form to bring such a story to life. Firstly, characters. Well-rounded, relatable, memorable characters that readers can love or hate are essential in making an unforgettable reading experience. Isle of Winds has characters that are effortlessly written and relatable whether human or not. The second factor is worldbuilding. The sights, sounds, tastes, smells have to draw you in until you are walking within the pages. Fahy’s worldbuilding is first rate. I love Erlking and everything odd and peculiar about it. The ordinary mixed with extraordinary was a hit with me, and don’t get me started on the brilliant Neverworlde and its occupants.

This is a book that I shall be happy to read to my daughter. I don’t mind sitting through Robin’s story for a second time.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me, Indie Book Advent

Review: The Sheep Pig by Dick King Smith

book-review

The Sheep Pig by Dick King Smith 4/5

6tag_221217-135642When Babe arrives at Hogget Farm, Mrs. Hogget’s thoughts turn to sizzling bacon and juicy pork chops–until he reveals a surprising talent for sheepherding, that is. Before long, Babe is handling Farmer Hogget’s flock better than any sheepdog ever could. Babe is so good, in fact, that the farmer enters him into the Grand Challenge Sheepdog Trials. Will it take a miracle for Babe to win?

Review:

One of the joys of having children is re-reading your old favourites to them. My daughter’s copy of The Sheep Pig is, in fact, my copy from childhood.

Re-reading as an adult helps you see the themes and morals in the story that you may have missed as a child. The underlying theme of this book is that you can be anything you want to be and do anything you want to do if you set your mind to it. Also, manners go a long way. Babe wanted to work sheep, so he learnt , listened, and worked hard. He also treated the sheep as his equals. This is an important message for impressionable, young minds.

There are a few truthful, raw moments dotted in the otherwise joyous narrative. When Ma died, my daughter broke her heart, and straight after, Babe was seconds from being executed. I forgot how the narrative went a little dark in that moment, and although upset, my daughter wanted me to continue. Life and death are fairly common themes in children’s literature now, and The Sheep Pig handles the truth of farm life brilliantly. We are not a family of vegetarians, and reminding my daughter of this helped her see the truth in where her food actually comes from and what happens from farm to plate.

In summary, a quick re-read that touched on some important issues.


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

book-review

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher 5/5

6tag_151217-150230.jpgThe Christmasaurus is a story about a boy named William Trundle, and a dinosaur, the Christmasaurus. It’s about how they meet one Christmas Eve and have a magical adventure. It’s about friendship and families, sleigh bells and Santa, singing elves and flying reindeer, music and magic. It’s about discovering your heart’s true desire, and learning that the impossible might just be possible.

Review:

As I type this, I have a 7 year old giving input over my shoulder. I read this novel to her every night for the past few weeks, and can honestly say that it was a huge hit. It is full of Christmas magic and wonder, and in true Tom Fletcher style, lots of dino-awesomeness.

I’m a huge fan of the main character. William Trundle is a wheelchair user, and it’s awesome that such characters are represented in children’s literature. Bullying and its effects is also highlighted.

My daughter says it is not only an amazing book, but the best book she has ever read. That’s quite the testament to Fletcher’s storytelling skills. It is a book that is meant to be read out loud, and there is a plot twist that had both of us gawping at each other.

In summary, read this book to your kids!


The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

 

 

100% K.J Chapman, Writing and Me

Thankfully, I Keep Notes!

musings(1)

About ten years ago, I had an idea for a children’s book. My love of YA/ NA/ adult science fiction and fantasy won out, and I put my children’s book idea on the back burner, but yesterday I started thinking about a particular character. I say ‘starting thinking’, when I actually mean that I couldn’t shake them from my mind for the whole day. This led to me trying to remember other characters, creatures, narrative ideas, and I knew that I have to persue this.

I never started drafting, but I remember taking extensive notes. I got myself in a bit of a panic, wondering if I could remember any of the details, certain that I got rid of the notes, but then I did some digging and rooting, and guess what? Not only did I save my notes, I had kept them in great condition, and was meticulous in writing my descriptions and explanations.

Thankfully, I keep notes and I do it well!

relief

A ten year old idea is now blazing in my mind with new concepts, characters, and a fresh perspective. I’m more than a little excited to crack on with this, but will do so when I find time alongside EVO Ghost because finishing the series takes precident.

I’m up for the challenge of writing children’s literature, and will definitely try the traditional publishing route for this one. Self published, children’s ebooks are even harder to market than YA and adult!


Content belongs to KJ.Chapman

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