Barty and Darcy by Mo Bird | Review

About The Book

How often do we come across a couple who are complete opposites and yet bond brilliantly?

This book tells of a pig and a duck who suffer similar fates. Both of them run away from home and by chance meet up where they create a bond which proves unbreakable. Together they decide to seek a new future which is reliant on the pig finding a cure for his affliction.

Like a lot of mothers who encourage their children to pursue their talents Barty Hog’s mother was convinced her son was going to be a World famous singer. Unfortunately, neither she or Barty were aware of a serious problem he had with his voice.

There was also a similar situation with Barty’s new friend Darcy. The problem with Darcy was the fact that her legs were too long to pursue her first chosen career. Follow them both as they journey through their young lives trying to overcome what they call their handicap.

There could be a tear at the end, not only from Barty and Darcy but also you the reader!

My Thoughts

What an adorable, simple, little book! “Barty and Darcy” is a sweet and entertaining tale of a piglet, Barty, that aspires to be an opera singer and a duck, Darcy, a budding ballerina.

When I opened this wonderful book, my first thoughts were how beautifully it had been illustrated by Brenda Howden.

Bartholomew (Barty) lives on Gentle Farm and anyone who lives there is certain to have a long and peaceful life. He also has a magical voice and his dream is to sing at the most famous opera house in the world.

His mum, Elsie, makes it her mission to give Barty every opportunity to become a world famous singer.

Unfortunately, Barty suffers from Aqua Voce, a non-life-threatening condition that renders him unable to sing unless submerged in water.

In order to achieve this Elsie creates the Gentle Farm Symphony Orchestra with the help of the other farmyard birds and animals.

However, Barty’s fellow animals mock and boo him and embarrassed and upset, he runs away.

He meets Darcy at a pond some miles away, who, having failed at becoming a synchronised swimmer, empathises with him. Long-legged Darcy now hopes to become a ballerina.

The couple find out from a wise old owl that there is a cure for Aqua Voce but they have to travel to Italy to find it.

“Barty and Darcy” communicates a positive message of perseverance and eventually finding solutions to problems, no matter how big they might seem, in order to realise your dreams. The pig and the duck eventually became world-famous, but they never forgot the support of those who believed in them.

This story, as well as being very amusing in parts, was beautifully and vibrantly illustrated using different animals throughout and I would definitely recommend it. The book would make a lovely addition to a family library.

Thank you to NetGalley and Troubador Publishing Limited (Matador) for the complimentary ARC. This is my honest and totally voluntary opinion.

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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Tales From Nature: Ladybug by Magali Attiogbé | Review

Book Synopsis

Join ladybug as she helps gardeners with their aphids and camouflages herself from a swooping bird. But where should she hide her little eggs? Introducing nature to little ones, Tales From Nature provides simple, entertaining story-lines with an animal character as the focus. Bright and colourful illustrations are sure to engage young children as they learn about each animal’s day, from a cute description, to what it eats, and where it lives. Simple, engaging text explains nature in a playful way for little ones. Each page includes a window or a flap to encourage children to read on and discover more.

My Thoughts

This colourful and delightful, little book introduces very young readers to the life-cycle, appearance and eating of a ladybird. The text is straight-forward and easy to understand for small ones and it is nicely complemented by modern, strong artwork. It is sweet, pleasing and positively told with its bright and eye-catching colours and smiling, happy creatures. This book would be a great addition to a family library.

{Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for the free ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.}

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

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Ada Lovelace by Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Zafouko Yamamoto | Review

Book Synopsis

This board book version of Ada Lovelace—an international bestseller from the beloved Little People, BIG DREAMS series—introduces the youngest dreamers to the world’s first computer programmer.

As a child, Ada had a big imagination and a talent for mathematics. She grew up in a noble household in England, where she dedicated herself to studying. Her work with the famous inventor, Charles Babbage, on a very early kind of computer made her the world’s first computer programmer. Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this fascinating mathematician, and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own.

Little People, BIG DREAMSis a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

My Thoughts

This is a non-fiction book about the life of Ada Lovelace. Part of the series, ‘Little People, BIG DREAMS’, “Ada Lovelace” is the tenth book and the first one I’ve read.

Ada’s mum liked maths and her dad liked poetry and when she was still very small, Ada and her mum had to go and live with Ada’s Grandma and her cat. Encouraged by her mum, Ada, too, liked maths and problem-solving and, much later, she meets inventor, Charles Babbage. They worked together developing a machine that led to the computer as we know it today.

The wonderful illustrations in “Ada Lovelace” really complement the text and I am sure both adults and small children will delight in this book as much as I did!

[Thanks to #NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for my ARC of #AdaLovelace in exchange for an honest review.]  

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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Baby Bird by Andrew Gibbs | Review

Book Synopsis

“All birds are born to fly,” thinks Baby Bird, watching the other hatchlings leave the nest. “I suppose it’s now or never…” But one of Baby’s wings is twisted and shrunken and not at all like the other one. Instead of flying, Baby plummets to the ground. There, Baby makes a new friend, and learns that sometimes you have to find unexpected ways to achieve your dreams. A moving story about the power of friendship and the importance of accepting yourself just the way you are, this lovely watercolor picture book shows how friends can help you overcome difficulty.

My Thoughts

A delightful and adorable tale illustrated with eye-catching watercolour. A little bird is trying to learn how to fly. But one of Baby Bird’s wings is twisted and shrunken and not at all like the other one. Instead of flying, Baby plummets to the ground. Baby Bird meets another bird, Cooter, who helps Bird accept that, even if you can’t fly, you can still get around and enjoy life!  

“Baby Bird” by Andrew Gibbs is a sweet tale about friendship and acceptance which is also an important reminder for both adults and children. I really enjoyed reading ”Baby Bird.” The lovely illustrations will keep young children engaged in the story and it is a fantastic bed-time story for them.

{Thank you to #NetGalley and Quarto Publishing for the free copy of #BabyBird and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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The Cottingley Fairies by Ana Sender | Review

Book Synopsis

Description

“…an intriguing, enchantingly rendered real fairy tale.” – Kirkus Reviews 

Elsie and Frances feel sad for adults who simply can’t see the magic in the forests around them. If only they could see what we see. 

In 1918, Elsie Wright and her cousin Frances Griffith photographed fairies in their garden, in the small village of Cottingley (Yorkshire). Without expecting it, many people paid attention—including renowned writer and spiritualist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This is the story, narrated by Elsie herself, of the true events that led to the Cottingley Fairies becoming a international phenomenon.

My Thoughts

This wonderful book fully deserves its gorgeous five stars! If you didn’t believe in fairies before you read this magical children’s book, then you will afterwards.

Based on true events, it tells the story of cousins Frances and Elsie who live in Cottingley, Yorkshire and their encounter with fairies in their garden.

The beautiful illustrations in “The Cottingley Fairies” outclass many I’ve seen in other fairy stories. There is even some background provided in the back of the book that explains the origins of the tale.

Any small child would be delighted to have this as their bed-time story and I know that I would have done.

My heartfelt applause to the author, Ana Sender for writing this sweet little book.

{Thank you to #NetGalley, North South Books and Ana Sender for the free copy of #TheCottingleyFairies and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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AYA and PAPAYA Meet the Big Little Creatures by MQ | Review

Book Synopsis

Join Aya and Papaya on their latest adventures in MQ’s second bright and fun children’s picture book!

Morning has broken and as the sun peaks through her window, Aya gently opens her eyes and gives Papaya an enormous hug. Jumping out of bed and pulling back the curtains, a big smile spreads across her face. Today will be a great day because Aya’s best friend, Samy, is coming to play!

Aya and Samy, with Papaya and Bamboo, decide to go on an adventure to the big castle at the end of the garden. But first, they must be brave and make their way past the big little creatures that live in the garden. As their journey progresses, Aya and Samy learn an important lesson about bravery and being kind.

You can read MQ’s other AYA and PAPAYA adventures, AYA and PAPAYA Find Happiness, also available from Amazon and Apple’s iBooks Store.

My Thoughts

A delightful, sweet tale with colourful and vibrant illustrations. Aya and her friend Samy along with their respective look-alike dolls, Papaya and Bamboo are going to play together. Their adventure leads them outside into the garden where their imaginations start to run awry. The theme for children in “AYA and PAPAYA Meet the Big Little Creatures” is that things may not be as scary as originally thought and that fears shouldn’t prevent anyone from enjoying their adventures. There is an additional message in the story about treating nature with respect which is also an important reminder for both adults and children.

A fantastic bed-time story for the little ones!

{Thank you to #NetGalley, Troubador Publishing and the author for the free copy of #AyaAndPapayaMeetTheBigLittleCreatures and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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The Boy and the Egg | Ellen DeLange | Review

The Boy and the Egg by Ellen Delange

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


What an adorable, simple, little book! “The Boy and the Egg” is a sweet tale of the different animals or birds that could be hatched from within an egg that small children might find, from turtles to dinosaurs.

Told from the child’s viewpoint, it is beautifully and vibrantly illustrated using different animals throughout the story. Focusing on children’s expectations and their own investigations, there is also a discussion question at the end of the book.

[Thank you to #NetGalley, #ClavisPublishing and #EllenDeLange, for a free ARC of #TheBoyAndTheEgg in exchange for an honest review.]



View all my reviews

The Boy and the Egg

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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My Mommy and Me | Liesbet Slegers | Review

Book Synopsis

From bestselling author-illustrator Liesbet Slegers, a cheerful book with interactive flaps about the love between a mother and a child.

What do you love to do with your mommy?
There are so many things you can do together!
Will you come and take a look?

A cheerful book with flaps that make animals appear in a surprising way. For toddlers ages 18 months and up, with a focus on the child’s emotions.

My Thoughts

“My Mommy and Me” is an adorable, simple, little book and follows the same format as ‘My Daddy and Me.’ It’s a cute and delightful tale of the different activities that Mummy often does with her small children, from playing Hide-and-seek to  going to the seaside together.

Told from the child’s viewpoint, it is beautifully and vibrantly illustrated using different animals such as cats, mice, panda bears and rabbits throughout the story. As with ‘My Daddy and Me’, it focuses on children’s emotions and there is also a discussion question at the end of the book. I read an e-book version, however other versions include lift-up flaps for interactivity.

[Thank you to #NetGalley, #ClavisPublishing and #LiesbetSlegers, for a free ARC of #MyMommyAndMe in exchange for an honest review.]

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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My Daddy and Me | Liesbet Slegers | Review

Book Synopsis

From bestselling author-illustrator Liesbet Slegers, a cheerful book with interactive flaps about the love between a father and a child.

What do you love to do with your daddy?
There are so many things you can do together!
Will you come and take a look?

A cheerful book with flaps that make animals appear in a surprising way. For toddlers ages 18 months and up, with a focus on the child’s emotions.

My Thoughts

What an adorable, simple, little book! “My Daddy and Me” is a sweet tale of different things that small children could and often do with their Fathers, from getting dressed in the morning to going on bike rides.

Told from the child’s viewpoint, it is beautifully and vibrantly illustrated using different animals throughout the story. Focusing on children’s’ emotions, there is even a discussion question at the end of the book.

[Thank you to #NetGalley, #ClavisPublishing and #LiesbetSlegers, for a free ARC of #MyDaddyAndMe in exchange for an honest review.]

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Five Stars

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Review | Birds of a Feather | Vanita Oelschlager

Book Synopsis

Children are innately curious about words, especially phrases that make them laugh (“Ants in your pants!”), sound silly (“Barking up the wrong tree” or “Goosebumps”) or trigger images that tickle a child’s sense of the absurd (“Like a bull in a china shop”). Birds of a Feather introduces children to the magic of idioms – words that separately have one meaning, but together take on something entirely different. Birds of a Feather introduces idioms with outlandish illustrations of what the words describe literally. The reader then has to guess the “real” meaning of the phrases (which is upside down in the corner of each spread). At the end of the book, the reader is invited to learn more about these figures of speech.

My Thoughts

This is a wonderful way to teach children about idioms. Every page has an idiom not only listed but also beautifully illustrated and giving its literal meaning. The illustrations are hilarious and sweet, especially as they all feature birds or animals. My favourites were ‘Bring home the bacon,’ ‘No spring chicken’ and ‘Let the cat out of the bag.’

The meaning of the idiom, along with an example of its usage in a sentence, is written at the bottom of each page, inverted, and in minute lettering, so that it can be referred to only when you really try to read it. Unfortunately, the writing was so small that I had problems reading it at all.

“Birds Of A Feather” concludes with an explanation of how a particular idiom originated, and encourages readers to find the origins of other idioms, as the words that are used in an idiom are generally not meant literally, however, neither are they a random group of words thrown together.

{Thank you to NetGalley, VanitaBooks LLC and the author, for a free copy and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.}

Brianne’s Book Reviews Rating | Four Stars

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