Archives for category: Nosy Crow

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 –




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).



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 – 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…





Published by Nosy Crow

Not yet published at time of going to press: April 2016

Another book of the crime genre for young readers – full of mystery, suspense, danger, missing siblings, kidnap, murder and general mayhem. Set mainly in a music hall and is full of adventure of the best sort. A true romp of a story – I loved it!


Published by Nosy Crow

This is a book for those followers of superheros, whether they be Batman, Superman or any of the others that regularly save the world from destruction. This is not a graphic novel. Initially I wasn’t sure about this one and felt it was perhaps too light. I have, since I finished it, however, changed my mind.

A younger brother finds his brother has been given super powers. With that comes responsibility and he finds that he gains responsibilities too, that both surprise and challenge him. A superhero needs not only support, a cloak, but a mask and secrecy too.

Further more, there is usually someone out there, who is trying to take over or destroy the world and sometimes a superhero can do with a little help. Well quite a bit.

This was great fun, it also dealt with some serious issues. If your brother is a superhero has been captured, what exactly do you tell your parent’s? Especially the day before the world is due to end…

Light, but fun and we can all do with a little of that!

Once more, I am unsure as to whether the cover will stay as it is advertised on the ‘Net’ – advertised for July.