Category Archives: Book Reviews

How Do Cats Do That? by Peter Scottsdale

Title: How Do Cats Do That?
AuthorPeter Scottsdale
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction
Publisher: Indie
Publishing date: 15th of July 2016
ISBN: 9781536855722

Synopsis:You’ll Be Amazed by How Cats Do The Wonderful Things They Do.

My Review:

“How Do Cats Do That?” is a handy little book about what cats do, how they do it and why. It is a very short book, but it contains a lot of information. Each “chapter,” if I can call it that, is headlined with a question about something cats do and the following paragraphs explains what, how and why (not necessarily it that order).
I very much enjoyed reading it, though I did spot a few grammatical errors, but it did not take away from the fun of reading the book.
Much of my enjoyment of the book can be attributed to me being very much a cat person, living with two cats, and I think any catlover would enjoy reading this book (even if they already know a lot about cats).
It might also be beneficial to check out the authors blog where he blogs about… cats.


Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms by Robert Paul Weston

Title: Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms
Author:Robert Paul Weston
Illustrator: Misa Saburi
Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Publishing date: 20th of February 2018
ISBN: 9781101918746

Synopsis: A warm, gorgeous exploration of a little girl’s experience immigrating to a new country and missing her home and her grandmother, who still lives far away.

My Review:

Sakura’s Cherry Blossoms is written through a series of Tanka poems , a traditional Japanese poem. The poem style is applied flawlessly throughout the book, and though it has few pages this book covers a lot of ground.
The story is about Sakura, who relocates with her family to America, and her meeting with the everyday in a foreign country with a new culture and a new language. It gives a view of how she misses her old home and her grandmother, but still becomes a sweet story about friendship.
The illustrations in this book is beautiful and varied, they compliment the story excellently. It is an excellent story, very suitable for young readers between 3 – 7 years.

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café by Richard Dee

35086847Title: Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café
Author: Richard Dee
Genre: Cozy Crime, Light Sci-fi
Publisher: 4Star Scifi
Publishing date: 15th of June, 2017
ISBN: 9780995458161

Synopsis: Meet Andorra Pett; with her trusty sidekick, she’s taken over a derelict café. On a mining station. It just happens to be orbiting Saturn!
She’s hoping for a fresh start, away from all the drama of her old life. It’s a chance to relax and start again in a place where nobody knows anything about her or her past.
But the café holds a secret, and secrets have a habit of coming out; whether you want them to or not.

My Review:

I am not much of a crime or mystery reader, but as this book sounded like quirky science fiction  book I decided to give it a try. The book did not disappoint.
The heroine, Andorra Pett, comes across as a likable mess in control with a habit of stumble into trouble. Though she has a bit of a striking personality at first, she quickly becomes a character you want to spend the next couple of hundred pages with.

The story has all the familiar classical marks of a crime novel; an outsider getting into a secluded society with few ways in and out where she ends up having to solve a crime in an environment where everyone might be a suspect. With it being a bit of a crime story and a bit of science fiction, these elements do shine through and should be strong enough to enthuse any regular crime reader looking for fresher watering-hole.

The story is set in space, so of course we will have to label it science fiction, but the elements of science fiction are light. The whole thing takes place on a space station circling Saturn, making most of the day-to-day life pure speculation, but the author has managed to do so without jamming a million made up words down the readers throat. It is believable that this colony could potentially exist in a future time.

Another thing I particularly liked about this book is that the trusted sidekick is gay, and he is not gay in the stereotypical flamboyant way books and movies like to gay people out to be. Like all people he does have his, for the lack of a better word, issues, but they do not seem to be there because of his sexual preferences but more as normal character flaws (because all characters have to have flaws to be real).

For last, I did really enjoy to read this book. I might have struggled a bit while setting into the story but I usually do. It takes a chapter or two to get you hocked. Bottom line is, I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoys science fiction, guilty pleasure or crime fiction.

Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Cafe Full Banner
Hosted as part of tour by Rachel’s Random Resources

Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks by Seniha Slowinsk

Title: Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks
Author: Seniha Slowinsk
Genre: Picture book, Children’s fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publishing date: 1st of February 2018
ISBN: 9781912262274

Synopsis: Can you help Rocky Rocks find his socks? If you can see, you must tell me, what colour sock you can see?
I’ll give you a clue, it rhymes with bed, could it be the colour…

My Review:

Rocky Rocks and the Colourful Socks is a nifty little picture books which will teach the youngest readers about colours as you search through Rocky’s house looking for socks.
The book is written in light rhyme which makes it easy to read out loud and easy to remember. The illustrations are large and colourful, which makes them entertaining.
I would recommend this book for the youngest readers, as the text and illustrations are fun.

My Anxiety Handbook by Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher & Phoebe McEwe

Title: My Anxiety Handbook
Authors:Sue Knowles, Bridie Gallagher & Phoebe McEwe
Genre: Teens & YA, nonfiction
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Publishing date: 18th of January 2018

Synopsis: Helping young people with anxiety learn to recognise and manage their symptoms, this anxiety survival guide teaches 10 to 21 year olds how they can overcome their biggest worries.
Showing that anxiety is a normal human emotion that many people face, this book helps young people understand the ins and outs of their own anxiety and helps them to challenge the difficult patterns they may get into. Co-written with a college student who has experienced anxiety herself, it is a relatable and straightforward guide. As well as providing tried-and-tested advice and exercises that are proven to reduce feelings of anxiety, it includes recovery stories from young people who have managed their symptoms successfully.
With practical chapters on sleep, exam stress, transitions, and seeking extra help, this is a go-to guide for any tween, teen or young person living with anxiety.

My Review:

I think that “My Anxiety Handbook” will be a very handy book for any teenager who suffers from Anxiety. As aimed at young adults as well I think this book might be trying to cover a bit too much ground. Anxiety in young teenagers will be quite different from Anxiety in a late teens, beginning of twenties somethings.
That aside I think this book is interesting enough, that it will draw in anyone who struggles with anxiety, simply because it provides you with a tool belt to deal with your anxieties. Also, this book strongly validates that anxiety is a real thing, in a world where most people will suggest that you just need to pull yourself together. It lays out the ground work of techniques you can try on your own, in order to overcome (ar at least cope) with your anxiety.
What I call “the psychology part”-of the book, might be a bit too heavy for some younger teens, but I think that anyone who suffers from anxiety and want to do something about it will keep through.
The book also have some interesting stories from people who experience anxiety on a daily basis, and I think that this is a much-needed perspective. It can be very soothing and liberating to read that you are not the only one who suffers, because when you have anxiety it can really feel like you are suffering alone. I am saying this as someone who is a very angsty person with social anxiety, and I really enjoyed this book and reading the stories of other people.
For me, I think this book might be the best fit for someone in their mid-teens, but I would not say that someone from outside of that group shouldn’t read it.

Planet of the Orb Trees by Barton Ludwig

Title: Planet of the Orb Trees
Author: Barton Ludwig
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Heartlab Press Inc.
Publishing date: 14th of December 2017
ISBN: 9780995044159

Synopsis:Environmental disasters have forced most of humanity to live inside Roaring Rocket Amusement Park. Everyone is happy riding broken-down rides except for Kai. When Kai spots a healthy tree inside a giant maze, he wonders if orbs from that tree can transport him to a new green planet. Kai’s friend, RJ, tries to talk him out of his dreams but Kai persists.

My Review:

I enjoyed the premise of this post apocalyptic world where a group of people have taken refuge withing an amusement park. Kai, is not convinced that he is safe at the amusement park, he want to flee the flame-ridden planet to find a safe haven. Despite his friend’s warnings he set out on a journey to get to the biggest Orb Three, because he is convinced that his escape lies in this three.
In his journey Kai learns a lot of lessons about other people and about being kind.
I did enjoy the story, but the story felt too rushed and it lacked any depth in its characters. The artwork was nice, but whoever was tasked with drawing a camel for this book does not know the different between a camel and a dromedary. Camel are two-humped, the drawing in the book is one-humped (that is a dromedary). As a children’s book I believe that things like that should be on point, because these books are supposed to not only entertain children but also educate them.
The book also had a few inconsistencies where there were talk about not having any coconuts and then suddenly the orbs were called coconuts.
Apart from that it was an okay read.

The Girl Who Said Sorry by Hayoung Yim

Title: The Girl Who Said Sorry
Author: Hayoung Yim
Illustrator: Marta M.
Genre: Children’s Fiction , Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Self-published
Publishing date: 5th of October 2017
ISBN: 9780993717482

Synopsis: Too girly or too boyish. Too thin or too fat. Too quiet, too loud. Be ambitious, but don’t hurt feelings. Be inquisitive, but don’t interrupt. Be outspoken, but don’t be bossy. Most of all, be yourself — but be a lady. What’s a girl to do in a world filled with contradicting gender expectations, aside from saying sorry?

My Review:

The Girl Who Said Sorry is a short and easy read, this is a book intended for 4 – 8 year olds. It does serve a good narrative for all the things that girls are told to do but not to do from an early age on. This is a picture book, and the illustrations are simplistic and colours are used sparingly. I think the design goes very well with the books theme.
This book does cover a topic in great need for coverage, and I think it that this book could definitely help both child and parent. This book could potentially help a little girl to get on the path of discovering herself.

The Awakened Dreamer by Kala Ambrose

Title: The Awakened Dreamer
Author: Kala Ambrose
Genre: Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality
Publisher: Llewellyn Publications
Publishing date: 8th of December 2017
ISBN: 9780738753119

Synopsis: Your dreams can be an important part of your decision-making, relationships, and problem solving—if you know how to properly use them. The Awakened Dreamer shows you how to remember your nightly dreams, interpret what they are telling you, and use daydreams to manifest your desires into reality.
Kala Ambrose helps you combine daydreams with powerful visualizations that can be channeled into your nightly dreams, strengthening the connection between your conscious and unconscious self. Learn how to use your mind, body, spirit connection to achieve your goals and discover valuable insight on different kinds of dreams, including recurring, teaching, visitation, and lucid dreaming.

My Review:

To start off I want to say that Llewellyn is my go to publisher when it comes to alternative books and spirituality, and The Awakened Dreamer did not disappoint.
This book can easily be used as a tool to understand your dream and even  help you remember your dream (because you dream every night regardless if you remember your dreams or not). The book is easy to read and provides clear instructions for how to dream and how to interpreter your dreams. The author manged create this book and instructions while coming across of genuine and down to earth, without seeming pompous.
I would recommend this book for anyone who wish to gain insight into understanding their dreams.

Kid Authors

Title: Kid Authors; True Tales of Childhood from Great Writers
Author: David Stabler
Genre: Children’s Nonfiction & Middle Grade
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publishing date: 10th of October 2017
ISBN: 9781594749872

Synopsis: The series that includes Kid Presidents, Kid Artists, and Kid Athletes now chronicles the lives of Kid Authors!
Here are true tales of famous writers, from long before they were famous—or even old enough to drive. Did you know:
• Sam Clemens (aka Mark Twain) loved to skip school and make mischief, with his best friend Tom, of course!
• A young J. R. R. Tolkien was bitten by a huge tarantula—or as he called it, “a spider as big as a dragon.”
• Toddler Zora Neale Hurston took her first steps when a wild hog entered her house and started chasing her!

My Review:

Kid Authors tells the stories of some great authors’ upbringing and how their childhood came to shape their fiction. The stories are made simple and straight forward making them easy to read and enjoy. J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Allan Poe, Ronald Dahl, and Judy Blum are just some of the authors you get to drive into the childhood of. The red band that binds the stories together are how all these people had to face challenges, like childhood bullies, being orphaned or huge spiders, and the story shows how they still persevered. The stories are accompanied with simplistic illustrations illustrating events in each authors’ story. I found Kid Authors very entertaining even though it is intended for children, and I think may avid reads would enjoy to read this book in order to hear about the childhood of their favorite authors.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Magical Realism
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Publishing date: 18th of June 2013
ISBN: 9780062255655
Purchase Link:

Synopsis:Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl

My Review:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane has been advertised as Neil Gaiman’s first book for adults since Anansi Boys. Reviewing a Gaiman book is always hard, because of the nature of his stories and how they might be intended for adults or children but their themes are so universal that they cannot be locked into either.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane was written for adults, but because we see the whole story though the retrospective eyes of a 7-year-old boy much of it reads like a children book. The story touches on human mortality and centralises the innocence of childhood where everything is magical and new. The story starts off slow, but the Gaiman stated that it starts off slow to deter young readers before things get to the grotesque parts.

The story sucked me in from page one, the nostalgic overtone of the story kept me interested and kept me reading. Following the story and feeling with the horror of childhood fears. As all Gaiman’s books “the Ocean at the End of the Lane” is instantly quotable, where Gaiman picks at the truth and reality of the human condition and mortality.

“I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

I thoroughly enjoyed this story for beginning to end, even though it was a very short story. The characters felt real and I was sympathetic to the main character, and the ending came together in a beautiful bittersweet knot.

“And did I pass?”
The face of the old woman on my right was unreadable in the gathering dusk. On my left the younger woman said, “You don’t pass or fail at a being a person, dear.”