Published by Harper Collins

‘Sometimes ,’ said Marie, ‘even little things can be quiet fierce.’

Moths come in all sizes, some are so small you hardly see them at all. Others are large enough to follow. I have to admit to never following a moth – apart from when I have tried to take the odd photograph of a particularly enticing one. It seems that to follow moths isn’t necessarily a wise thing to do. Unless that is you are the sort of person who enjoys adventures and consequences…

This is a wonderful book, with the most inventive and often surprising characters and creatures…some of which are not as pleasant as others. Then again…

Filled with wonderful detail (including a superb cuckoo clock) – with an ending that opens up the potential for more – which is always good.

This was first published in 2020 – I am ashamed to admit that I never got around to reading it, till this week. It is now in paperback.

For once, however, the Gods have played into my hand; the second book is just out. – so I can buy a copy tomorrow and find out what happens next…

Fear it turned out trumped most emotions.


Oh, I almost forgot – it is illustrated by the talented Chris Riddell.

A Clock of Stars: The Shadow Moth by Francesca Gibbons, Chris Riddell |  Waterstones

Published by Simon Schuster

The Good Bear by Sarah Lean, Fiona Woodcock | Waterstones

I lifted the lid.

Inside the box was a pair of rubber boots.

I don’t think anyone would be excited by the gift of a pair of rubber boots. These though, were a practical gift, if not particularly wanted. At all.

More useful for exploring the wilds of Norway…but a disappointment none-the-less, if you are hoping for something totally different…

This is a tale of a bear and a young hopeful author. A tale of friendship, stolen salmon, bravery and a story about what is important. It’s a story of families, thick socks, fathers and daughters, ignorance, snow and a typewriter. It is though, most of all, about a brown bear

Illustrated by Fiona Woodcock, this is a story for cold winter evenings. Perhaps even for those nights when snow begins to fall. Perhaps then, a story for Christmas.

I am pleased to say this has the right ending. Not necessarily the one that you might expect – but definitely the right one.

People’s attitudes towards animals are usually the result of ignorance or education. That is, for those who are not soft, cuddly or ‘cute’. For those that are, in addition, dangerous, the response can be all the more extreme.

There are those, however, that look beyond the immediate…

This is a story of ignorance and education…and love.

The Midnight Thief

Published by Scholastic

It isn’t glamorous. But it is deadly.

A tale of bats (the flying sort), missing dragons (the non-flying sort), an exclusive boarding school, a mystery (well more than one), friendship and bullies…

Each chapter has an additional piece – there are small essays about all sorts of wondrous things – some of which are true…

Fun, well written and a joy. I haven’t finished this yet – but it needs reviewing now…will go well with The Witching of Aveline Jones and the Hag Storm...not as Gothic, but just as enjoyable. Would make a nice pile of three books to enjoy. Four if you also purchase ‘The Haunting’....


The Bewitching of Aveline Jones | Usborne | Be Curious

Published by Usborne Books

This is the second book about Aveline Jones. For reasons I don’t understand I either never read The Haunting of Aveline Jones or just didn’t get around to reviewing it on my blog. I had a feeling though that I had read it…but then life, don’t you know does get in the way sometimes.

SO I’m very glad I asked for a prepublication of this – a book for October and Halloween.

A story of a stone circle, friendship – and sisters..

The very good thing about this one, is that you don’t have to have read The Haunting to enjoy it – it easily stands alone.

Atmospheric and clever…a story of history, persecution and revenge.

I will now have to find a copy of The Haunting…

Hag Storm by Victoria Williamson – Cranachan Publishing

Published by Pokey Hat / Cranachan Publishing

A book for Halloween…

‘Did you just declare war on me, you wee bogle?’

Hag stones. Stones, usually pebble like, with naturally occurring holes through them. :

Hag stones, as they are properly called, have been enchanting the folk of Britain for centuries, often literally. They’ve often been believed to have magical properties and to be able to mysteriously ward off witches and other ne’er-do-wells. 

It’s all in the hole, you see. The theory goes that only good things can pass through a hole, so while good fortune and good wishes will find you through a hag stone, bad luck and evil thoughts are too big to be able to pass through the hole and become stuck in the middle. This belief may be bolstered by the centuries old belief that magic cannot work on moving water. So, since the hole in a hag stone was created by moving water, it works as a sort of ‘shield’ against spells and the like.

I like language and this combines language with a gorgeous story of witches and witchcraft, spells and enchantments.

‘I know you are, you big bletherskate…’

When Rab finds a hag stone he see something strange as he looks through the hole in the middle.

Through the stone, the sky to the west looked bruised and blood-tinged, and the air from the sea held a salty chill. He was just about to drop the stone, when a black-robed figure crossing the fields in the distance caught his attention…

Atmospheric, beautifully written and a fantastic tale of revenge and witches…

Really is brilliant.

I suspect that Victoria lives in Scotland – a little far to ask to come down to London. If, however, she is ever down this way – I hope we will be able to organise a signing of some sort.

This might be a book set in 1771 in Scotland and so a title usually to be found north of the boarder – but it has found a home in Waterstones O2 – it’s wonderful.

So, all you wee bogles out there, do visit us and we will sell you this fantastic book…

Due to be published on the 30th October – just in time for Halloween!

The Monsters of Rookhaven (Paperback)

Macmillan Children’s Books

And humans, as is their wont, have a terrible habit of making a mess of things.

Even monsters, it seems, have families.

This is perhaps darker than some might find enjoyable, that said, those who are into the darker side of life, perhaps the more gothic side, will love this.

Tom and his sister Jem find themselves lost in a wood. Through the trees they see something, that really they shouldn’t.

There are wonderful details in this gorgeously illustrated book. Aspects that fit with The Little Shop of Horrors, perhaps the Addams Family too… and certainly the great Maurice Sendak. A wonderful, extraordinary tale of a range of unique and rather special characters. A family like no other – wonderful and positively not one you might like to meet at night…

For me, the name Piglet, will no longer just be a name for a rather charming kindly companion for Winnie the Pooh. It will mean something darker. Much darker.

Brilliant and certainly suitable for some, for Halloween…not to be missed.

The illustrations are stupendous.

I wanted to use some of Edward Bettison’s glorious illustrations from the book – however, I can’t get them to carry over, but – do look at his site:

A little taster…beautiful wood engravings, I think. A highly talented artist.

The Unexpected Tale of Bastien Bonlivre - The Unexpected Tales (Paperback)

Published by Usborne Books

A book of stories, authors and the catacombs of Paris.

Bastien, the son of two well known and respected authors, is left an orphan after they die in a mysterious hotel fire.

The result of this traumatic event means that Bastien now resides with the other orphans in an orphanage in Paris.

Things have changed since the old days and the new director isn’t interested in the welfare of his charges…more interested in his own comfort and his own interests.

Bastien misses his parents, his home and being able to wander his city – and of course the bookshop, Le Chat Curieux and his friends there.

Things couldn’t be worse. Then the authors of Paris start to go missing…kidnapped as they write in solitude. Could there be a connection with his parents’ deaths?

A mystery set in Paris and the catacombs beneath…a story of friendship, bravery and doing the right thing…a story of three brothers…

The start of a brilliant series.

Torn Apart - The Partition of India, 1947 (Paperback)

Scholastic Children’s Books

A slim important volume. Just 123 pages – but powerful with it.

A story of two boys – their lives woven and plaited together. Powerful, moving and atmospheric. A small jewel of a book – a nugget of history…

Everyone should read this – a little bit of history opening a time of great change – who was responsible? I suspect everyone involved had something to do with it…

A story of life…of history…from which it would be good to think we might have learnt, at least something…

The Little Broomstick (Paperback)

Hodder Children’s Books

I have recently been reading Mary Stewart’s adult novels – loving the language – ordering them one after another. Then I came across this title – with a notation that it is a Children’s Book – so – I had to have it.

Illustrated by the fantastic Shirley Hughes this is a gorgeous story of a young girl staying in her great-aunt’s house. She’s lonely – but makes friend with a black cat, which is something any of us might do. The result of this feline friendship means that she also meets Tom, searching for his cat…

A beautiful story of magic – with a twist. Traditional, beautifully written and wonderful. I read numerous children’s books and I regret that a number get given away. This one, I’m keeping.

Wishyouwas: The tiny guardian of lost letters: Alexandra Page: Bloomsbury  Children's Books

Published by Bloomsbury.

What does happen to those letters that go missing in the Royal Mail?

A story of Gatherers, Sorters and Deliverers! Characters with unique and rather wonderful names including amongst others: Wishyouwas – the hero of our tale and a Sorter, second class, Penny a young girl, curious and fascinated…Fragile, Handlewithcare, Uncle Frank, Withlove, a dog named Ripper, Stampduty, Dearsir and the owner of the dog, a rat catcher, Stanley Scrawl… who isn’t quite what he should be…

This too is due out at the end of the month – a hardback at £12.99 – a book for Christmas, without a doubt.

A delightful adventure for those who just wonder about the post.