Archives for category: Nosy Crow

Image result for the dragon in the library

Published by Nosy Crow –

There are some out there who don’t enjoy a good book. I was one, once. Though I did enjoy being read to. I just didn’t see the necessity of learning to read for myself. That is until I visited the Tutankhamun exhibition…but that is another story in itself.

This then is for those out there who think that books and dare I say it, LIBRARIES are rather dull and not for them.

How different things would be if there happened to be a dragon living beneath these extraordinary and wonderful depositories of escapism and other things…

Kit’s friends are ‘into’ books – in a big way – never happier than sitting with a nose stuck into a new novel…she though, would rather spend her time outside – there are trees to climb, places to go…not least the local cemetery… ‘...with its spooky stone angels and matted undergrowth full of cool insects and – one blissful day – a rat….’

When Kit finds herself visiting her local library with her friends things turn out very differently from the way she thought it would…there are wizards and dragons involved and magic too… There is a little of Pages & Co / Anna James (see previous review) in this – however, this one is for those who are a little younger – none the less a book to enjoy over the summer. You never know it may mean a visit to a library, or perhaps to a bookshop – to look at books

Illustrated throughout by Davide Ortu – which is always a bonus…after all what is the use of a book without pictures? 

 

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Image result for old ballet shoes

Published by Nosy Crow

This could be called the sister of Elizabeth Laird’s book Welcome to Nowhere. Though in that, the book details the progress of a family from Syria to the UK, No Ballet Shoes in Syria details what happens to a small family of asylum seekers once they have reached these shores. With what I suppose are literary flash backs of Aya’s home life before the war and the journey to England.

It is an emotional, beautifully written tale, using ballet as a central point of reference – with of course that connection to Ballet Shoes (Noel Streatfield). I know nearly nothing about ballet, however, the terminology and phrases used give a strong ballet-colour to this story.

Sadly a tale that is being repeated again and again in the news. This one reminds those of us who are so lucky, that their names aren’t refugee/asylum seeker, they are the Ayas of the world…

Nosy Crow haven’t given / published the cover that the finished title will have, so I have chosen this image from the Internet. It seemed apposite.

Note Catherine’s alter-ego Cate Shearwater is the author of the Somersaults and Dreams books – about gymnastics.

5 Things to Consider Before Trying Pointe Ballet. The picture is credited to ThoughtCo Ballet Dancers and Bruised Toenails. Pointe shoes.

The_Middler_cvr72DPI

Published by Nosy Crow.

Our eldests are heroes.

Our eldests are special.

Our eldests are brave.

Shame upon any who holds back an eldest

And Shame upon their kin.

Most of all,

Shame upon the wanderers.

Let Peace settle over the Quiet War,

Truly and forever.

‘My big sister, is bigger than me’… I am sure there is a poem that starts with that phrase. This is a story set around where you stand in the family: Oldest, Youngest or a Middler. My big sister was a Middler. I don’t think she felt the same way as Maggie does in this fantastic tale of deceit. I have never asked her. Perhaps I should.

Jed, is an Eldest – so a hero. He’s special. He’s brave. Trig is four years Maggie’s junior, the Youngest and Maggie?  Well she’s not important at all. She’s a Middler. She won’t be doing anything interesting. She’s not important. She will live safely. Her life will be secure, quiet…unlike her brother’s.  She isn’t brave (she’s a Middler), she’s not special (she’s a Middler) and she certainly isn’t a hero. Eldests are heroes, special and brave. They go to camp…

Maggie begins to realise that things aren’t quite as she has always been led to believe. Perhaps it isn’t so wonderful to leave, seemingly never to return, to fight the Quiet War. Perhaps there’s more to this then she thought.

Fennis Wick is protected from the Quiet War by the Boundary; protected by all the Eldests who go to fight, to keep their families safe. Beyond the Boundary – there’s wilderness, lawlessness and there are the dirty, dangerous and deceitful Wanderers

I’m not sure I am as brave as Maggie. Though thinking about it, I am certain that my big sister (you know, the one that is bigger than me), would certainly have done something of a similar line as Maggie and on reflection – I hate inequality and lies…and I have been known to say what I think and to stand up for what I believe in – so perhaps we two would fight for what is right…certainly to protect my brother…siblings are so important, so special.

A dystopian story about lies, deceit, families, friendships and siblings…

Eldest. Middler. Youngest.

Dirty, dangerous and deceitful wanderers.

A stupendous book about malfeasance,

thinking for yourself and

standing up for what is right.

A book for now.

Simply one of the best books I have read in ages…

 

 

NB. I have just looked up that poem – and find it’s by Spike Milligan and entitled: My Sister Laura. I haven’t read it in years…

 

 

 

Image result for The Boy who flew hitchcock

Published by Nosy Crow

Athan Wilde has a habit of running around roof-tops – leaping from one building to another. Much to the annoyance of the people trying to sleep in the buildings below. He’s also a friend of Mr Chen and between them they are designing and making a flying machine. A delicate and difficult project at the best of times…and these aren’t the best of times.

A story of bravery. Treachery. Lies, deceit and friendship. It’s a proper, traditional tale – a tale of murder and mayhem.

A story of hopes and dreams.

Brilliant.

 

Image result for ella on the outside howe nosy crow

Published by Nosy Crow

This isn’t a big book. The typeface is larger than most. This is the story of Ella, who has recently moved to a new house with her mother. They live alone together, and have a secret that mustn’t be talked about.

This is a story about wanting to belong. To be accepted.

A story of secrets.

A story of betrayal.

Of doing the wrong thing, for the wrong reasons and ultimately its a story about friendship, who are our friends and why.

I haven’t finished it yet – just got to page 148 – and its a book that interrupts your thoughts, makes you want to finish it…but I have paperwork to do. Car insurance to sort out, and a house covered in cat litter (I have a new kitten), which needs to be cleaned…

I will though, go out into the garden later this evening, and finish this…

Its super.

 

 

 

Published by Nosy Crow.

This is a super picture book all about those times when

other people

are told they are ‘a star’. Whether because they have done well at school, found something that was missing or for any other reason. When other people are told that they are special, sometimes you can forget that we are all made of stardust and we are all a star in one way or another. The young girl in this lovely picture book is comforted by her grandfather as her big sister keeps being the one everyone notices. Who always does the right thing, says the right thing and is just there, being a star. He explains how we are all made of stardust and that she’s a star too. The young girl in this story takes it a little further and eventually becomes an astronaut.

Beautifully illustrated – with gorgeous text –

Bang

Twinkle

Twinkle….

with a black cat that appears regularly throughout – this is a lovely book.

I read a copy of this today, at work. The message is an easy thing to forget in the noise and turmoil of life. My big sister regularly gets things right too – and is often a ‘star’. Sometimes though, I can be one too. I just need to be reminded once in a while….

The photo above is stolen from the Internet again – this time its from Getty Images.

Maybe I will see the stars like this in Madagascar…

 

Image result for jamie drake equation

Published by Nosy Crow March 2017

Many years ago my mum encouraged me to write to Neil Armstrong, (I was extremely young), which resulted in my receiving a letter from NASA explaining that though he was always pleased to hear of young people interested in the space program, he was sadly too busy dealing with his heavy schedule of activities to reply personally. They did, however include a signed photograph. The letter and the photograph are framed and are up on my office wall.

I have always believed you should write to people who’s work you have admired and have as a result of this early encouragement written to all sorts of people at different times of my life. I keep meaning to get in contact with Tim Peake – but haven’t got around to it yet… I feel that from him, I should get a proper letter, if only to make up for not having had one from Neil Armstrong, but I suspect that is wishful thinking.

Jamie Drake’s father is an astronaut and has recently left earth to stay on the International Space Station preparatory to sending small probes out into the dark, in the hope that as a result, aliens might respond with some sort of message in the future.

Jamie’s school has become very involved with the idea, and the different classes are following Jamie’s dad day by day. They have been making models, writing stories, talking about it in class and generally becoming very captivated by it all. Which is all very exciting for them and Jamie too. Though he is not so much excited, as vaguely worried. Space isn’t exactly safe, he knows this. Space walking isn’t exactly a walk in a park; he’d much rather have his dad down here on earth to help him build his models.

So, what is this book about? Image result for fibonacci spiral

Aliens – perhaps, (I’m not going to tell you whether any aliens get around to replying to the probes).

Space.

Families

and a thing called the Fibonacci sequence and spiral.

It is a funny, brilliant story, with a twist.

Nosy Crow’s proof of this is their usual yellow backed job – with a picture on it that might be the one they use to illustrate the cover of the book. The picture above is the same one – so it might be the one they use. It may not.

The Fibonacci sequence picture was, I’m afraid, nicked from the Internet – from Sciencevibe.com – with thanks and apologies. I hope they don’t mind….its is also found in shells too, not just in space and in many other areas too…it is a piece of mathematical/natural history wonder.

 

 

 

 

Published by Nosy Crow

This is a book about fostering. About children and about those children who won’t be parted. It is a story of bravery and dealing with things that are far greater than those affected. It is also about people who are trying to help – and sometimes seeming not to be doing the best job. It is a story of people in particular Ira and Zac two siblings being moved around from home to home. Desperate that perhaps this time, maybe, the move will be their last. When they move into Skilly House, a care home, they make friends, only to lose them again as they leave. Then Ira finds a letter, hidden under a floorboard…and makes a different new friend…

Moving and beautifully written – a book for this time of year; perhaps the worst for being in care.

In the Finchley Road O2 Centre there is a Giving Tree, and gifts can be purchased for children who are in a care home. A simple system of choosing a label and purchasing a gift, which can be left in the O2 Management’s offices – buy this, and buy a gift for a youngster like Ira & Zac…it will be appreciated.

Published by Nosy Crow

This is a post with my sister Clare in mind. She breeds Middle White Pigs…in Yorkshire – and once won the Great Yorkshire Show with her boar Boris…Not that I’m inordinately proud of my big sister…but there you are. So you get a picture of her and her pigs with this too!

Back to the review – Jasmine’s father is a cattle farmer. There are no pigs on his farm at all. He doesn’t want pigs; he only has enough time for the cows on his farm and doesn’t need or want the complications of pigs to add to his work load. His wife is a vet – dealing with everything from large animals to pets. The family is busy – the children going back and forth to school; everyone with their own interests….

Jasmine’s interests? Well, Jasmine is into all things porcine. Jasmine, would love a pig – whatever her parents say. She is reading up on all the rare breeds in a magazine she receives regularly, and any books she can get hold of. When her mother takes her out on a call to a calving at a local farm she asks the disagreeable farmer if she can look at his pigs whilst her mother deals with the calving. Without really thinking about it the farmer tells her that there are piglets – 12 of them.

There, in the third enclosure, sure enough, is a sow with 12 bright pink fat little piglets… but what is that movement under the straw?

This is the start of a wonderful series of books about Jasmine, her family and the animals she comes across.  Though a book for five to eight year olds it has not followed many other animal books for younger readers. The book includes details of the hard work involved and the more technical aspects of looking after animals, and this is stirred well into the mix – Jasmine knows about colostrum, about using the warmth from an oven to help small animals to recover. I don’t think this series will shy away from death either, (Jasmine makes the observation that the first 24 hours are the most important) – and it looks to cover the care of animals as well as having a good plot for this most important age group.

I hope there won’t be too many Jasmine books – just the right number and no more – I don’t think, though that Helen Peters will be prolific, and I suspect these will become much loved classics. I hope too that pigs, (perhaps Middle White Pigs) will feature again in one of the later books.

Published by Nosy Crow

This is the story of an Italian family in Wales. It is a story of immigration. Of nationalities, and of the war.

It is also a story of food. Quality Italian food. The stuff that makes you salivate.

Joe loves his Italian heritage, the café  his great-grandfather  founded, and his family. The café though is slowly dying, as is the high street. Slowly he realises that he can’t let his inheritance disappear. The café is bound up in the history of the village and there is so much more to it, than just a place to buy a coffee.

It is a book about family. About tradition. Respect and doing the right thing.

Gemin also wrote Cowgirl – which was also a good feeling story – and both were a real pleasure to read and enjoy. There is a small amount of historical notes, along with some details about opera, and even a few pages giving recipes…

I love the idea of a sweet pizza, but have never come across a restaurant that offers one…