Mini Mondays are my attempt to get everything reviewed even while drowning in nappies, washing and milk! Shorter than usual but hopefully still enough to give a flavour of the books!
This week I’ve been playing catch up with short ‘early reader’ chapter books.
These are often the books that fall by the wayside in my attempts to read as much as possible for work. This year, I made an effort to read more Teen/YA and – while I could probably read more of those still – next year my aim is to read more of these ‘first’ chapter books.
Bee Boy: Attack of the Zombees by Tony De Saulles
Following Bee Boy: Clash of the Killer Queens – which never fails to give me this earworm: https://youtu.be/1Ti2P_z5IPw
Meet Melvin, a boy who keeps bees on the roof of his tower block (incidentally, I love that he lives in a flat) and occasionally turns into one! It’s up to him, best friend Priti and new boy Berty to solve the mystery of a strange sickness that’s hit their fellow pupils.
This series cleverly turns facts about bees and the environmental issues affecting them into the centre of a funny, fast-paced plot.
With a fun yellow and black themed cartoon-like design, there’s a dastardly uncle, giant plants, cunning spies, bucket loads of bodily fluids and, of course, killer zom’bees’! This is a fun-filled, action-packed adventure kids will love.
Isadora Moon Makes Winter Magic
The incredibly popular Isadora Moon is back in a new wintry adventure, in her characteristic sparkly pink and black design.
With a nod to The Snowman, Isadora builds a Snow Boy from magic snow – he comes to life and they have a lovely time until he starts to melt!
With fairy ice palaces, magic snow, ice skating, a frozen feast and a flying snow-sleigh this is a book with plenty of winter magic to capture the imagination!
As an added bonus, there’s recipes, crafts, quizzes and more at the back of the book too – plenty to do over the Christmas holidays!
The Legend of Kevin by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
I’ve saved the best for last! I LOVED this and can’t wait to read more from this pair.
Kevin is a roly poly flying pony and Sarah McIntyre has brought him to life brilliantly – he’s quite the character. Plus, his favourite food is biscuits so he’s obviously a good sort!
This is full of fun – a slightly silly adventure written with a dry, almost matter of fact tone that makes it immensely readable and enjoyable.
When a flood hits Max’s town, its up to him and his new friend Kevin to save the day!
With stylish mermaids and an underwater hair salon, stinky sea monkeys and a near miss with a shark, shopping in swimming trunks and sea-faring guinea pigs, not to mention the headteacher stuck on the school roof there is imagination, absurdity and laughs by the bucket load.
Kids will love this, but adults reading it with them will too thanks to the voice and style of the writing. The illustrations are full of life and detail – the mermaids in the hair salon is a brilliant example of just how much of a story can be told through its images – and in a story of this level particularly, quality illustrations that can do that are vital. These are more than up to the job.
I am really hoping we’ll see more of Beyonce and Neville in the future too!
Have you read any of these?
Which other ‘early’ chapter books would you recommend?