Welcome to more of my children’s book reviews. I hope you enjoy my choice of books and the reviews of them. Please don’t forget to scroll down the page and read all of them!
Children’s Book of the Week – Sir Stan the Bogeyman by Stacie Morrell
Available as an eBook $3.13 and in Paperback $8.16
The age-old story of the bogeyman is one most of us will be very familiar with. Here, the author weaves a delightful tale, telling us how the bogeyman first became the man he is. The man, many generations of children know so well and fear so much. And, how, with a little help from the right source, the misunderstood bogeyman would be able to find his much-needed change in his life.
Sir Stan the Bogeyman is desperate to tell his own story. Under normal circumstances, few wish to listen to him. Upon first sight, children either hide under the covers or run away. But, one little girl, kindly and willingly, sits still long enough to hear what he has to say. And, by having overcome her fear and doing this, she helps the bogeyman to redeem himself for past misdeeds.
Ms Morrell has written a beautiful, enveloping short story, told in rhyme, which keeps the reader entranced to the end. The rhyming is mostly excellent, though, I did think it faltered just a tad in places. This did not, however, detract from my enjoyment of this enchanting little book.
The story is well told and the exceptional illustrations, by Elizabeth Berg, are a joy. The moral is worthy: take the time to listen to others; open your mind and give them a chance, and your fears of the unknown may well be alleviated. There is a lesson in the possible consequences of good and bad behaviour subtly woven in, too.
All-in-all this is an original and fun read, which I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone. (5 stars)
Sir Stan the Bogeyman would be best suited to ages 5 years and upwards.
Other books I have reviewed
The March of the Toymakers by Julianne Victoria
Available on Amazon as an eBook $3.13 and in Paperback $8.99
Santa’s workshop, far away at the North Pole, is suffering from a severe shortage of elves. With the start of the New Year preparations for the following Christmas getting dangerously close to being underway, Santa is beginning to panic. Now, as anyone knows, this is entirely the wrong time of year for such a dearth. Toys need making for all the children in the world to open and enjoy at Christmas next, and without sufficient toy makers there will not be enough toys to go round. The burden is placed upon Chief Toymaker, Nissa, to solve the problem.
Armed only with some lines of enigmatic verse and a magic sword, and accompanied by his favourite reindeer, Rudolph, Nissa gathers his chosen companions as they ready to embark on their quest to find the Fair Feather Maid. She is the only one who can provide the much-needed extra workforce. Forewarned of the journey’s dangers, the elves set out aware that to save Christmas, not only must they overcome these perils, but, they must meet Santa’s deadline and be back at the North Pole by Midsummer’s Eve. The fierce opposition, however, is clearly determined not to let them do this.
The March of the Toymakers is an action-filled adventure story involving a whole cornucopia of evil, fabled creatures such as ugly trolls, wailing banshees and gruesome ogres. Throw in a few secret gates, scary forests and long, blood-curdling battles, and you have the ideal adventure story for children.
This is a very enjoyable book which I would have no hesitation in recommending. The plot is tight, well-written and contains just enough ‘scare’ to keep children interested without frightening them too much. This is a perfect Christmas book, but, I wouldn’t describe it as just a book for Christmas. Although it does focus on the spirit of Christmas giving, and Santa does feature at the beginning and end, it stands up on its own as a tale which can be read at any time of year.
The characters are well-developed and on the whole likeable. The descriptions of the mythological creatures are clever – not too long, just enough to get the right mental image. The scenes are depicted in a creative manner, and there is plenty of action, too.
In all, a delightful little fairy tale and lots fun. (5 stars)
The March of the Toymakers would be best suited to ages 5 years and upwards
An Unexpected Adventure by D. X. Dunn
Available on Amazon as an eBook $1.26 and in Paperback $3.75
An Unexpected Adventure is the story of two young boys who, having grown up together, are now living hundreds of miles apart. Christmas is here and Chris is missing his life-long friend Alex. Bored with the same old round of family activities, Chris goes to his room to check his email for messages. Just as he hoped, there is one from his dear friend.
Alex is a whiz with computers, in particular interactive computer games, and he has just discovered a new website offering more interaction than usual. Via his computer, Alex found himself transported to the land of Distania and back. A land filled with adventure, mystery, magic and dragons, and a young prince who is hard to trust. Having come this far, he is more than anxious that the cautious Chris comes with him on his next trip.
Unsure of the wisdom of this adventure, and having been told by his mother he has only thirty minutes before leaving the house to visit a relative, Chris reluctantly follows Alex’s online instructions and finds himself on the same journey his friend had taken earlier. Alex travels the same route again. The two boys meet up for the first time since Alex and his family moved away. The adventure opens up before them.
An Unexpected Adventure is a sort of good old-fashioned adventure story, brought up-to-date with the introduction of modern technology. This is a great book with just the right amount of everything. Action, excitement, not too scary surprises, a few mysterious characters and a non true-to-type dragon. It is short, well-written and keeps the reader’s attention throughout the whole book. The scenes are well-described, as are the dragons. The idea may not be entirely original, but it is very well-executed. Both boys behave just as you would like innocent ten-year-olds to do; which is very refreshing, to say the least.
The ending of An Unexpected Adventure left me wanting to read more. So hopefully, the next book, in what I presume must be a series, will be out soon. (5 stars)
An Unexpected Adventure would be best suited to ages 9 to 12 years
Journey to Jazzland by Gia Volterra de Saulnier
Available on Amazon as an eBook $5.20 – In Hardcover $14.36 and in Paperback $8.52
Bored with playing the same music over and over again in the same orchestra, and wanting the freedom to play her own music from the heart, Windy Flute makes a huge decision. Having heard of the legendary Jazzland, where instruments are free to ad lib, Windy decides to go there.
But, getting there alone is not an option. She needs friends, other instruments, to go with her to make her sounds ‘fuller’. When Windy finds these willing instruments, they team up and head for Jazzland together.
Journey to Jazzland provides an opportunity for children, and adults, to learn a little about jazz and other music. It is well-written and very readable, and the illustrations by Emily Zierothare are an absolute delight. There are some nice moments when the instruments learn, when finding a bridge they need to cross, that they can only cross it with team work.
Short, sweet and instructive and well deserving of five stars. (5 Stars)
Journey to Jazzland would be well-suited to any child with an interest in music.
All my reviews can be found on Amazon and, where possible, Goodreads.
Book Covers with links can also be found on my Pinterest Board – ‘Books I Have Reviewed’
Please note: Authors frequently offer their books at lower prices, and often they are free. These prices were correct at the time of publishing, but it is worth checking for any changes.