Discovering our World in Picture Books PART 4: Atomic Adventure by Dr. Dominic Walliman & Ben Newman

In today’s digital time frame I find it’s so easy to become mesmerised by our phones, iPads or computers. As the internet sweeps us along a path of striving for what will be, might be, or ought to be, as it promises riches and tells us we should be inspiring others or accomplishing something incredible to prove our worth and reason for existing, as it entices us to become more and more tangled up in society’s urgency, it’s then that we forget to stop and take notice of the true wonder of what we are and what is happening right in front of our eyes at this very moment in time.

Atoms

When something so tiny can be so great the only mistake to be made is for it to be overlooked. Atoms are the foundations of life, of people and the universe yet without magnification atoms are invisible to the human eye. Understanding things we cannot see or perceive continues to baffle, confuse and intrigue many of us. Making sense of what appears to be one thing but is actually quite another seems illogical. Perhaps we should be feeling our way towards the answers instead of looking for material proof. Yet as humans we want to measure things and find reasons as we strive to agree on solid results. This next book wholly encompasses the allure behind physics and scientific explanations of our world.

Book Review on Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure by author/s Dr Dominic Walliman & Ben Newman.

Atomic Adventure

What’s it all about?

This fascinating children’s non-fiction picture book delves into the physics behind the energy forces that make up our world. It presents this complex topic in a remarkable way. We learn about light, sound, gravity, force, pressure, energy, magnetism, atoms, molecules and so much more. All the things we cannot see but know they are there. This book shows us a fun, knowledgeable and contemporary approach to physics and is bursting with mind blowing facts which are concisely explained through everyday events that children can easily relate to.

Which age group is it aimed at?

Due to the complex topic and the sheer volume of information to absorb I would rate this suitable for age 6 upwards. However it’s harder to put a maximum age limit on it as it’s an excellent reminder of basic physics at any time throughout school life.

Conclusion

The look and feel of this children’s book makes it an ideal gift for a curious mind, looking for answers and keen to learn about the invisible side to our world. This large hardback book is one to keep and to be used as a handy reference book.The humorous characters and attractive infographic style illustrations bring physics alive.

Author/s: Dr Dominic Walliman & Ben Newman

Illustrator: Ben Newman

Publisher: Flying Eye Books, March 2016.

Our Rating: 5/5

CLICK TO BUY Professor Astro Cats Atomic Adventure

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Source: Own copy

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Discovering our World in Picture Books PART 1: The Story of Life

Discovering our World in Picture Books PART 2: The Adventures of Water

Discovering our World in Picture Books PART 3: Tree: Seasons Come, Seasons Go

Discovering our World in Picture Books PART 3: Tree: Seasons Come, Seasons Go by Patricia Hegarty

When we go for a walk in the country, what do we see?  How does it make us feel?

Perhaps we admire the view like a picture of beauty held static in time and capture it on our iPhones as a keepsake. Or maybe we’re aware of the footprints in the soil,  the leaves falling to the ground or a bird chirping above us on a branch. Yet somehow life seems to slow down in the country. The air feels calmer and our hearts more serene as we march through the fields and weave among the trees at a purposeful pace. Suddenly it’s like the world around us is standing still as we rush across its living surface. A mere cursory glance could trick us into thinking that it’s only us who is changing, moving and interacting with our surroundings and nothing else …but then we look again.

The miracle is that everything around us is in a constant state of change. Everything is reacting and adapting to its surrounding environment. Everything is growing, developing and regenerating into something new. All living things are connected within this continuous cycle and nothing more clearly demonstrates this than our ever changing seasons.

Book Review on Tree: Seasons Come, Seasons Go by author Patricia Hegarty

Tree

What’s it all about?

A striking picture book which depicts the changing seasons through the life cycle of a tree. The concept is simple and brings the descriptions of each season to life with rhyming text. It starts in winter and follows the seasons full circle back to winter again. We learn about how the tree interacts and changes with the weather, animals and surrounding plants throughout each season.

Which age group is it aimed at?

This book would capture the interest of the younger end of the picture book market, age two to five years. Young children will find that the bright illustrations and rhythmic text clearly and simply demonstrate the changing seasons and make them fun and easy to recognise.

Conclusion

The look and feel of this book immediately draws you in with its vibrant pictures and cute little owl peeping out through the cut out hole. This is a book you would be proud to have on your bookshelf. Both informative and enchanting. Although I found the rhyme a little clunky in places, overall it added to the magical atmosphere created within the book.

Author: Patricia Hegarty

Illustrator: Britta Teckentrup

Publisher: Little Tiger Kids, Sept 2015

Our Rating: 5/5

CLICK TO BUY Tree: Seasons Come, Seasons Go

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Source: Own copy

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Discovering our World in Picture Books PART 1: The Story of Life

Discovering our World in Picture Books PART 2: The Adventures of Water

Books for Tweens Age 8-12

Books for Tween 8-12

As my children get older, my knowledge of children’s books expands. My eldest complained I rarely review his books so this week I’ve pulled together some of his latest reads, ideal for Summer reading. All these books come under the category known as middle grade. They’re for children who are confident at reading and keen to explore lengthy illustrated chapter books. Any of these could appeal to boys or girls.


Skellig by David Almond. Published: Hodder Children’s Books, Sept 2013.

A curious, timid character with his odd ways enters the lives of Michael and Mina and becomes their special secret in the shed. A heart-warming and original story of friendship and understanding difference. The very short chapters make this an easy one to read at bedtime.

LENGTH: 46 chapters.

CLICK TO BUY Skellig


The World of Norm, May Contain Nuts by Jonathan Meres. Published: Orchard Books, Sept 2011.

The first in a series of books following the amusing mishaps of everyday life with Norm. His life is turned upside down when he and his family move house. Norm doesn’t mean to get into trouble but things just keep happening around him. A witty, laugh out loud book about family life.

LENGTH: 27 chapters.

CLICK TO BUY The World of Norm: 1: May Contain Nuts


The Accidental Prime Minister by Tom McLaughlin. Published: OUP Oxford, Apr 2015.

Joe was just expressing his opinion when suddenly he finds himself in the position of prime minister. Joe wastes no time settling in and bringing in new laws and instructing everyone to lighten up and have fun. An entertaining read showing life is what you make of it.

LENGTH: 19 chapters.

CLICK TO BUY The Accidental Prime Minister


My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons. Published: Nosy Crow Ltd, Jul 2015.

You never know what you might miss when you nip off for a wee! That’s exactly what happened to Zack. When Zack returns he discovers his little brother Luke has been given superpowers and told to go and save two universes. How’s his little brother going to manage? Zack decides he will need some help. Every chapter will make you laugh.

LENGTH: 35 chapters.

CLICK TO BUY My Brother is a Superhero


Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor by Jon Scieszka (author) & Brian Biggs (illustrator). Published: Amulet Books 1st ed. Sept 2014.

Science has suddenly got funnier. This highly illustrated middle grade book is genius in many ways and it’s futile to resist reading it in the robot voices. Frank Einstein has grand plans to win the Midville Science Prize with his friend Watson and the straight talking self-assembled robots Klink and Klank. However it’s not as easy as Frank first thinks once his arch rival T. Edison decides to enter it too.

LENGTH: 22 chapters.

 

CLICK TO BUY Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor


The Person Controller by David Baddiel (author) & Jim Field (illustrator). Published: Harper Collins Children’s Books, Feb 2016.

If you think video games are fun, your eyes will light up at the idea of this humorous story as it sends your imagination in a spin. What would you do with the person controller? Twins, Fred and Ellie can’t believe their luck, now they can make anything happen but perhaps all isn’t as rosy as it first seems. The story is split into four parts and interspersed with illustrations to break up the reading. Engaging from start to finish.

LENGTH: 57 chapters (4 parts).

CLICK TO BUY The Person Controller

Keep watching as I’ll be reviewing some more middle grade books soon.

Source: Own or library copies.

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Infographics on YA Fantasy Fiction

YA Infographics Banner

Being a relative newcomer to the writing industry I’m learning all the time. As I hike into the unknown of my writing adventure I always like to share with you the things I learn along the way. YA (Young Adult) fantasy fiction is one such genre which I’m still wading through and beginning to understand in greater depth so I’ve been putting together a useful infographic to condense my notes and keep them to the bear minimum – almost like a checklist to help guide me through. This is not an exhaustive list by any means but it sums up the ones which have cropped up repeatedly during my search.

YA Fantasy Fiction

 

This is a free printable graphic.

 

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Book Review: The Three Ninja Pigs by David Bedford

The Three Ninja Pigs

Synopsis: Everyone gets cross when these lively, ninja kicking pigs seem to be leaving a trail of destruction behind them everywhere they go … but who is really causing the mess and how can they retaliate?

Conclusion: These unlikely martial arts heroes karate their way through this fast paced picture book. The action packed illustrations and their amusing additional comments successfully portray the pig’s good intentions mixed up in mayhem. A truly original take on a classic tale.

Book Genre: Picture Book

Recommended Age Range: 2-6 years.

Author: David Bedford

Illustrator: Becka Moor

Published: Simon and Schuster Children’s UK, Jan 2016.

Source: Own copy

Rating: 4/5

CLICK TO BUY The Three Ninja Pigs

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Book Review: There’s a Lion in my Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson

There's a Lion in my Cornflakes

Synopsis: Eric and Dan collect one hundred coupons, just like it says on their their cereal packet, to be exchanged for a real pet lion. It sounds straight forward enough. Only pet lions seem to be very popular of late so they don’t quite get what they’d hoped for. It begins to look like a complete disaster … or is it?

Conclusion: This book will get both you and your children giggling. A funny, contemporary story with illustrations to match. Still a firm favourite of ours. Forget saving up for books, posters or cuddly toys. The stakes have just got higher!

Book Genre: Picture Book

Recommended Age Range: 2-6 years.

Author: Michelle Robinson

Illustrator: Jim Field

Published: Bloomsbury Children’s July 2014

Source: Own copy

Rating: 5/5

CLICK TO BUY There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes

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