blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Beast & the Bethany – Jack Meggitt-Phillips, illustrated by Isabelle Follath*

Beauty comes at a price. And no one knows that better than Ebenezer Tweezer, who has stayed beautiful for 511 years. How, you may wonder? Ebenezer simply has to feed the beast in the attic of his mansion. In return for meals of performing monkeys, statues of Winston Churchill, and the occasional cactus, Ebenezer gets potions that keep him young and beautiful, as well as other presents.

But the beast grows ever greedier with each meal, and one day he announces that he’d like to eat a nice, juicy child next. Ebenezer has never done anything quite this terrible to hold onto his wonderful life. Still, he finds the absolutely snottiest, naughtiest, and most frankly unpleasant child he can and prepares to feed her to the beast.

The child, Bethany, may just be more than Ebenezer bargained for. She’s certainly a really rather rude houseguest, but Ebenezer still finds himself wishing she didn’t have to be gobbled up after all. Could it be Bethany is less meal-worthy and more…friend-worthy?

My thoughts:

This was lots of fun, and very silly.

What amused me before I read it was the title – my sister-in-law is called Bethany and I told my husband that made him the Beast!

However the book was even better than it’s title suggests.

The Beast lives on the top floor of Ebenezer Tweezer’s enormous house, where it demands more and more unusual delicacies to eat. In exchange he vomits up whatever Ebenezer, a sprightly 511 years old, desires.

Until the Beast wants to eat a plump, juicy child. I think it might be related to the witch in Hansel & Gretel.

Enter Bethany – a short hurricane of bad manners, petty theft, and obstinence. She’s also a lot smarter than anyone gives her credit for.

With Bethany’s help Ebenezer starts to plot against the Beast and put a stop to its greed.

I laughed so much at times I snorted like a pig!

This book may be aimed at child readers but even an old crone like me can enjoy it.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Isadorn the Unicorn and the Sloppy Dragon – Angela Castillo & Indira Zuleta*

What’s a frustrated unicorn to do? Dunfer the Dragon has just moved into the cave next door, and Isadorn’s perfect world has been turned upside down.
Not only does he make growling noises all day and night, he’s just burned down her favorite rosebush! Can Isadora figure out how to talk to Dunfer about her problems? Or will her magical unicorn world be ruined forever?

My thoughts:

This is sweet and adorable, brightly coloured illustrations complement the storyline and engage the reader.

As well as being a lovely story about making friends and resolving conflict, it features some discussion points to prompt a conversation with your youngster after reading.

I passed this to a friend with a small child to get their thoughts. My friend’s daughter (aged 3) said it was “pretty, and good because the unicorn and the dragon made friends” – which is excellent feedback.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

books, reviews

Book Review: North – Edith Pattou

This is a beguiling epic of magic, love, loss and betrayal based on the traditional fairytale “East of the Sun, West of the Moon”. The lyrical writing and bold sweep of the story as Rose travels north will cast a spell over every reader. “A rich tapestry that will resonate with readers…The stuff of epic tale-telling, replete with high drama and compelling characterisations.” – Booklist. Rose was born into the world facing north, and as a north child, superstition says that she will be a wanderer, travelling far from home. This prophecy is fulfilled when she is taken on the back of a white bear to a mysterious empty castle, where a silent stranger appears to her night after night. When her curiosity overcomes her, she loses her heart, and must journey to a land east of the sun and west of the moon to reclaim it.

My thoughts:

I won this book in a Twitter giveaway from Usborne and will be published in November.

This is a beautiful retelling of a fairy tale hailing from Scandinavia, with a clever and resourceful young heroine who goes on a magical quest to find her white bear and bring him home. A love story, not just between the two protagonists, but also between Rose and her family.

While this book is aimed at younger readers (what publishing calls Middle Grade) this gentle, moving tale would resonate with readers of all ages.