Picture Book and Play – Goldilocks and the Three Bears

Picture Book And Play is a weekly post in which we look at a picture book (or books) Peapod’s been enjoying recently and some of the play we’ve had based on it.

I’ve talked about the Campbell First Stories range, illustrated by Natascha Rosenberg, before, most recently in our Three Little Pigs post here, but they really are great.

With simplified, rhyming versions of the text and moving pictures they’re so engaging and fun.

I also wanted this Peep Inside version by Anna Milbourne and Mar Ferrero, but it’s not out til next week! I’ve ordered it anyway as these are a great accompaniment/next step to the Campbell ones with peep through pages, flaps and a longer, fuller version of the tales.

Peapod has had his First Stories version for a while now and often takes it down to read, and then “play it?” (I love how he’s started asking to “play” his books!) Mostly this involves him being Goldilocks pretending to be asleep, me being Baby Bear pretebding to cry then him waking up and running away!

So we’ve done plenty of this but we’ve also taken it into his tuff tray with some oats, compare bears and different sized bowls and spoons.

As you know by now, I’m nothing if not honest with these posts so allow me to say now that some of you might find your little ones want to diligently sort by size or colour etc. However, it wasn’t long here before our tray play reverted back to its usual “there’s a road block”/”need tractor”/bury the bears!

But that’s fine. Peapod enjoyed the feel of the oats and the sensation of them falling over his hands and arms.

He did some Goldilocks play which saw him unintentionally categorising and ordering the bears and bowls, and (even once he’d reverted to his favourite games in there) it was great for mathematical language of size and comparison, and problem solving (“it’s going to take me ages to bury these bears with this tiny spoon”… “use the big one!”)

We were lucky enough to get some nice enough weather to take the tray outside this week too, so we did some porridge making!

Let me tell you – this was quick to set up but clean up was another matter 🙈🙈 You’ve been warned!

That said, it was totally worth it. Peapod has lots of fun mixing and scooping and pouring and filling and of course we acted out the story once his porridge making was complete too!

I also got this out – A Chair for Baby Bear by Kate Umansky and Chris Fisher – and Peapod’s been really taken with it.

It’s a great spin-off style story, as we rejoin the Bears as they go shopping to find Baby Bear a new chair. I really like how it mirrors features of the original tale with its “too scratchy/scary/grand” chairs and the way the chairs themselves refer back to Baby Bear’s pretend play on the walk to the shop.

Peapod likes joining in with the “too…” parts and the repeated “please, please, please!” as well as talking about all the different chairs in the shop and which we’d choose. His favourite part is definitely the end which is a lovely way of bringing the story back to the original tale.

Peapod asked to play this one too -“Play it? What need?” – so first we went through the book and found what we’d need. He wrote the things down as we thought of them til we had a full list of props. He also wrote a note for Baby Bear from Goldilocks just like at the end of the story!

Once gathered and set up we spent most of Saturday playing this and it was lovely!

#MGTakesOnThursday – A Sprinkle of Sorcery

#MGTakesOnThursday was created by Mary over at Book Craic and is a brilliant way to shout about some brilliant MG books!

To join in, all you need to do is:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison, cover art by Melissa Castrillon, interior art by Michelle Harrison, published by Simon and Schuster

This is the second book about the Widdershins sisters – Fliss, Betty and Charlie – and it’s a series I can’t recommend highly enough.

You can read my review of book one, A Pinch of Magic, here and their most recent adventure, A Tangle of Spells, here.

The sisters make for perfect protagonists – each markedly different to each other, squabbling in a supremely sisterly way, but all fiercely loyal and protective of each other.

Which is lucky, because when Charlie is kidnapped, it’s up to Betty and Fliss to save her.

This is an adventure story like no other – with more than a pinch of magic (see what I did there?!) this is also part ghost story, part piratical adventure, part quest.

As with all the books in this series, it draws exceptionally well on fairytale, myth and legend and their unwritten rules and tropes. Enchanted objects, an old crone who can help or hinder, wells and wishes come face to face with lost islands, fearsome pirates, maps, old sea tales and treasure hunters.

It is a story with love, loyalty and family writ large against a fast-paced, spooky, magical and hugely exciting adventure.

If you don’t know these books yet, you need to add them to your pile pronto.

My favourite quote from page 11:

“Set upon bleak, drizzly marshes and overlooked by a vast prison, Crowstone wasn’t a place people came to unless they had to.”

This book in three words:

Sisters. Pirates. Magic.

Kevin and the Biscuit Bandit

Kevin’s back!

I was a Kevin fan from the moment I read his first adventure (you can read my reviews of books one and two here and here) and his newest adventure is every bit as entertaining as its predecessors!

Kevin and the Biscuit Bandit by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, published by Oxford University Press

If you’ve not read the previous books in this series, do. But this can be read as a standalone (or out if order if you’re really that much of a rebel). There’s a great introduction to Kevin (a roly-poly, biscuit-loving flying pony who lives on Max’s roof) at the start and then we’re straight into the action.

And, with police chases, brilliant disguises, cunning plans, an out of control biscuit machine and some very, VERY naughty Sea Monkeys, the action doesn’t let up!

There’s a biscuit thief terrorising Bumbleford…and Kevin is suspect number one (number one of one that is!) So Max and Daisy set out to clear his name by finding out who’s really behind the biscuit burgling.

As with the previous books, this is a huge slab of fast-paced, feel-good, family fun.

There’s a laugh a minute and something for everyone from the celebrity chef pushing Sprout Squashy pseudo-biscuits to a fart-powered panto pony to parental texting to horse prison to the classic poo on the head which, let’s face it, kids will LOVE.

I was absolutely DELIGHTED to see Beyonce and Neville (Ellie Fidgett’s guinea pigs) get not just a cameo but a starring role as they embark on their own daring sunflower seed heist too.

I can’t recommend this series highly enough to young readers. It’s so much fun; with pacy plots, great characters and loads of ‘sound effects’ it’s perfect to read aloud and the dynamic illustrations are packed with wit and humour too.

Best enjoyed with biscuits (of course!)

WWW Wednesday 24/2/21

WWW Wednesday is hosted by ‘Taking on a World of Words’ every Wednesday and asks:

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What will you read next?

So, first up, my current reads:

The Storm Keeper’s Battle by Catherine Doyle

I’m really enjoying being back on Arranmore. Finn is such a brilliant main character, I love how he has remained the underdog, a ‘hopeless case’ right through the trilogy.

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

I was so excited for this and I’ve been drawn straight in and don’t want to put it down. You can read my full review as part of the blog tour in a couple of weeks.

The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay, audiobook read by Katherine Press

I read this and loved it when it came out (my review is here). It is definitely one of my all-time favourites. I wanted to re-read it before reading the new, companion novel The Swallow’s Flight and luckily the narration is perfect so I’m listening to it and loving it every bit as much as I did first time round.

What have I just finished reading?

A Tangle of Spells by Michelle Harrison

I loved this (there was never any question of me not doing really was there?!) and I’m so thrilled there’s going to be another Widdershins adventure to come! Full review to follow.

Anna at War by Helen Peters, audiobook read by Louiza Patikas

This was a really well told and very moving wartime adventure. Just the right balance of emotion, tension and realism with some very believable and likeable characters. I especially liked the first half of the book as we saw Kristellnacht unfold, Anna’s journey on the Kindertansport and her first impressions of England.

What’s next?

I’m so thrilled to have been approved to read The Swallow’s Flight by Hilary McKay so that will be my next netgalley read, once I finish rereading Skylarks’ War.

My next physical book will probably be The Weather Weaver by Tamsin Mori, though I have accrued something of a backlog again all of a sudden so I definitely need a TBR sort soon!

Have you read any of these?

What are you reading at the moment?

A Tangle of Spells

I was lucky enough to request and be approved to read an early copy of this from the publishers on netgalley in exchange for an honest review. However, I also bought my own finished copy and all views and opinions are my own.

A Tangle of Spells by Michelle Harrison, cover art by Melissa Castrillon, interior art by Michelle Harrison, published by Simon and Schuster

This is the third book following the Widdershins sisters – Fliss, Betty and Charlie – and we join them as they move out of The Poacher’s Pocket (family home and pub) with their father and Granny, and sail across to Pendlewick to set up home there.

However, despite its sunshine-and-light exterior, something’s wrong in Pendlewick.

Between their crooked new home (adorned with salt, silver coins and secrets), The Hungry Tree that no-one dares venture near, sinister-sounding Tick Tick Forest, whispers of witches and a blanket ban on talk of magic (after all, “magic and trouble go hand in hand”) the sisters find themselves once again caught up in a web of witchcraft and danger.

I love this series.

I may have definitely left it way too long between books one and two, but it’s been wonderful to read A Sprinkle of Sorcery and A Tangle of Spells back to back (I only wish I’d gone back to reread A Pinch of Magic first!) If you’ve not yet read the others – start at the very beginning! My mini review of A Pinch of Magic is here.

It’s lovely to see how the three sisters have grown and their relationship strengthened following their previous adventures, while at the same time they haven’t changed a bit and remain the chalk-and-cheese, ever-bickering, doggedly loyal trio they’ve always been.

Each reader will no doubt have their own favourite sister; I think though that pipe-smoking, whiskey-sipping (OK, whiskey-downing) Granny has to be my favourite character throughout this series though. Tough, real and utterly believable, she’s just such a comforting presence in her own no-nonsense way.

I also really like the way the three stories all draw on folktales, superstition and magic but in such very different ways. Each has a different setting, feel and twist to it… But I think this might just be my favourite yet – it is packed to the crooked rafters with witchcraft, charms, superstitions and spells.

Take the eeriest elements of your favourite fairy tales and you have the flavour of this book. It is wonderfully, darkly atmospheric and the imagination and realisation of the world and its magic are second to none; I can’t share my favourite things with you for risk of spoiling them for you, but I will just say that amongst many things here, a particularly cobweb-filled room will linger in my imagination for some time to come.

Magic aside (well, sort of, just momentarily), there is (as there is in all the books) a tangible sense of urgency, danger and tension too that will draw in the fantasy-fearing, adventure-lover and win them over too! The rescue attempt is so exciting and I loved how it took us back to the girls’ first adventure too.

The baddies are brilliant. And that is pretty much all I can say on the matter in order to avoid spoiling the story for you. But they’re malevolent and menacing in all the best ways, with a power and influence that’s terrifying.

This is a truly outstanding magical adventure. Overflowing with fairytale and folklore, hearsay and local legend, witchcraft and wiles, not to mention the fantastic Widdershins family, it had absolutely everything I could have wanted in a book and I completely devoured it.

I am BEYOND THRILLED to hear…theres going to be another Widdershins adventure and it cannot come soon enough!

Picture Book and Play – Pancakes

Picture Book And Play is a weekly post in which we look at a picture book (or books) Peapod’s been enjoying recently and some of the play we’ve had based on it.

Tuesday was Pancake Day. I love Pancake Day – growing up it was always really fun, flipping (and dropping!) pancakes and filling them with as many sugary treats as possible (my best ever filling that always sticks in my memory being mint choc ice cream, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and chocolate sprinkles).

Last year, Peapod wasn’t at all keen on pancakes but I was hoping he’d see sense this year. Sadly, he still turned his nose up, but he enjoyed making them – helping to pour, sift, whisk and mix (he was especially keen on the whisking!)

Obviously, he took a back seat for the flipping (leaving that to the experts!!) but helped to choose and chop the fruit to top them with.

Carefully arranging the fruit on his pancake before demolishing all the fruit on both plates and leaving the pancake untouched 😂

After helping with the real pancakes, I set up his tray with flour, water, bowls, whisk, spoons, sieve etc as well as his toy pan, plates and ‘toppings’ with yellow playdough for him to pretend to make his own.

He has LOVED doing this!

And of course, we’ve read some pancake stories too!

Our favourite has to be Mr Wolf’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley, which we wrote about last year too. Peapod has loved this and we’ve read it at bedtime every day at least once usually twice, since Monday.

He woke on Tuesday and the first thing he asked was to “Play Mr Wolf’s Pancakes?!” So we were straight in the playroom at 6.45am acting it out before he went to nursery! He even switched his shop over to be the shop from the story!

Unfortunately I didn’t get any better pictures as we were too busy playing it!

We’ve also been reading Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes by Anna Kemp and Sara Ogilvie, which was one I’d not read before but we both really like.

It’s got a flavour of Not Now Bernard as Daisy is constantly ignored by her busy parents. And even a purple rhino showing up and stealing all the pancakes can’t get their attention. But a sign at the zoo about a missing rhino soon helps them see the error of their ways.

I love Sara Ogilvie’s gentle, colourful and expressive illustrations in this. I’ve written before about how well she captures ‘real life’ and her depictions of family life here do that perfectly.

Peapod loves the rhino. Not least the page with the rhino on the loo. And not least because he has an obsession with rhino poo (ever since we went to the zoo last year and the enclosure was a bit ‘fragrant’!)

And we’ve read Mairi Mckinnon and Silvia Provantini’s retelling of The Runaway Pancake which Peapod thinks is very funny indeed.

In this traditional tale which has many versions and similar tales the pancake hops out of the pan to escape its fate as fodder and makes a run for it, chased by the family. As it runs, it passes various animals who a join the chase until it reaches Pig, who’s got a much better idea than joining the chase…

We have of course played Runaway Pancake too, both chasing the ball and each other!

I appreciate this is a bit late for pancake day fun now, but both pancakes and pancake stories are for life, not just for pancake day!!

Did you have pancakes? Did you do any pancake play or reading?

Which picture books have you enjoyed this week?

#MGTakesOnThursday – The Incredible Record Smashers

#MGTakesOnThursday was created by Mary over at Book Craic and is a brilliant way to shout about some brilliant MG books!

To join in, all you need to do is:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

The Incredible Record Smashers by Jenny Pearson, illustrated by Erica Salcedo, published by Usborne

This week I’ve chosen a new book that I had high hopes for. I read Jenny Pearson’s ‘The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates’ when it was Children’s Book of the Month in work last year and thought it was hilarious (you can read my review here) and perfect for young readers so I was hoping this would follow suit.

And it definitely does. It’s firmly cemented Jenny as one of my favourite funny authors to recommend and I can’t wait for this to join Freddie as one of my most heavily recommended books in work (if we ever reopen).

In both books, what’s wonderful is the way she takes a sensitive subject (in this case mental health) which could be serious, heavy or difficult and writes it into a story so full of warmth and hilarity that it’s impossible to read without a smile on your face.

Here, we meet Lucy who’s staying with her Aunty Sheila while her mum’s in hospital. She loves Sheila and enjoys their time fixing things, car booting and eating fizzy yoghurt and kale (OK maybe not the last bit) But, she wishes her mum would get better and be happy again, so she could stop staying with Sheila sporadically and stay at home with her mum.

Spurred on by a chance find at a car boot sale, she decides to try and get onto new TV show Record Smashers, in a bid to make her mum happy again.

So, along with new friend, world record fanatic and assistant co-performer the always interesting, never boring Sandesh, she sets out to find a Guinness World Record to break.

For those of you familiar with Freddie Yates, you’ll be able to guess at the hilarity this leads to. After a bashing from Wilbur the watermelon, a one hundred metre hurdle involving flippers and flamingoes and a near-death encounter with a squirrel, they finally find their act. And some suitably show-stopping costumes to wear for it.

There’s no stopping them now. Unless of course the two criminals on Sandesh’s tail have anything to do with it…

Its so clever how Jenny writes such real and moving moments into a story so full of silliness and fun. Lucy’s emotions and our glimpses into her life with a mum who’s sometimes sunshine and sometimes asleep are so well-depicted, as are her muddled thoughts and feelings on why her mum isn’t happy and how this affects her.

And there’s also her budding friendship with Sandesh, who is so lovely! They’re a great pair and I really rooted for them. I loved Sandesh’s World Record facts and the way we got one for each chapter header too – such a fun added extra.

As ever, there was loads to laugh about for both adults and children, but I have to admit giving an extra loud giggle to “Competitors Ready!” before spending quite a lot of time shouting “Contestants rrrrready! Gladiators rrrrready!” in a poor Scottish accent. And of course I was singing the theme tune to Record Breakers throughout the book.

If the above paragraph means nothing to you, you’re too young. Please smile and nod indulgently.

Fast-paced, funny and full of heart this is a brilliant follow up to last year’s debut and I’m thrilled to see there’s another book from Jenny on the way!

My favourite quote from page 11:

“…he said I had shouted, “Why don’t I fix that smile right off your face with my fiery fists of fury?” They both agreed it wasn’t a very “Lucy thing” to say, but secretly I thought it made me sound rather dangerously exciting.”

This book in three words:

Funny. Warm. Happy.

Bonus fun – Become a RECORD SMASHER!

Ever wanted to SMASH a World Record? In celebration of the upcoming publication of The Incredible Record Smashers by Jenny Pearson, Usborne and Guinness World Records are encouraging as many children as possible to have a go at SMASHING a book-themed record this #WorldBookDay 2021! Book dominos, book pyramids, balancing books on your head… Find out more here.

The Incredible Record Smashers us released on 29/4/21 but you can (and clearly should!) pre-order now!

Picklewitch and Jack and the Sea Wizard’s Secret

I was lucky enough to request and receive a copy of this from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.

Picklewitch and Jack and the Sea Wizard’s Secret by Claire Barker, illustrated by Teemu Juhani, published by Faber Children’s

So, I have been getting a lot of bookpost recently. Mostly that I’ve ordered and paid for, some that I’d requested or been offered to review. But last week a mysterious book-shaped parcel arrived and I had no idea what it could be.

People – it was THE NEW PICKLEWITCH AND JACK! It was so unexpected and such a lovely surprise!

And most importantly, it more than lived up to expectations! I loved both of the first Picklewitch and Jack books (you can read my reviews of them here and here) so I had high hopes and this was every bit as warm, funny and fantastic as the first two.

If you’ve yet to meet Picklewitch then firstly, you’ve been missing out, and secondly, go back and start at book one. This would read fine as a standalone but you’d only want to read the rest immediately and you’ll get so much more from it if you see Picklewitch and Jack’s friendship develop from the beginning.

But if you’ve set your sights on starting midway through the series, maverick that you are – Jack is a quiet, clever, rule-following, fossil-collecting boy. His best friend is Picklewitch who is, to put it simply, an absolute force of nature (both literally and metaphorically).

And here, they’re off to the seaside. Well, Jack is. Picklewitch is not so sure (read: she is stubbornly certain she’s not going and sulkily demanding Jack doesn’t go either) until she hears there’ll be I Screams, then her bag is packed (by the birds. At her say so. And with Jack’s lunch sneaked in of course.)

There’s a school trip to meet a famous fossil hunter and hunt for fossils – Jack’s dream! But Picklewitch isn’t sold (read: can’t think of anything more boring than fudgenutting fizzles) and is much more interested in befriending (read: getting cake from) the Sea Wizard she spies on the beach.

But what has Scowling Margaret got hidden in her cave? And what is our famous fossil hunter really searching for?

This is another brilliant adventure from this perfectly paired and utterly lovable duo.

It’s full of holiday excitement – fossil hunting by the sea, splashing in rock pools in a rather…retro…bathing costume (I loved this!), sneaking out at midnight, messages in bottles and undersea caves; and there’s a great twist in the trip revealing both a perfectly painted baddie and a…well I can’t spoil that!

But it’s the characters that really make these books and they are in top form here.

Jack and Picklewitch both play off each other and balance each other brilliantly, and its lovely to see their friendship so strong now.

Of course, Picklewitch is the star, larger than life, and bursting from the page in Teemu Juhani’s exuberant illustrations. She fizzes with energy and unbridled mischief, and Claire Barker’s utterly joyous, totally bonkers, cleverly creative use of language is, as ever, perfect for her.

She is one of the funniest, liveliest, most lovable, well-drawn characters I know and I love her. Everyone should be just a bit more Picklewitch (even if just through taking up her favourite exclamations of excitement, declarations of disapproval and irritated insults – “WOT a fudgenut. WOT a fopdoodle. WOT a frazzler.”)

But here there’s also the excellent Scowling Margaret. Brilliantly depicted by both Claire and Teemu (ahem, and Picklewitch – “A proper old mugswoggler and hobbledehoy she is.”) she’s everything a Sea Wizard should be and the scene in her cave after Picklewitch has invited herself for tea cake is genius in its silences, small talk and solid slabs of cake.

I love this illustration – it’s just so full of character and has such a story all on its own.

If you couldn’t tell already I thought this addition to one of my favourite series was the absolute kipper’s knickers. Engaging, energetic and laugh out loud funny – everyone needs Picklewitch and Jack in their lives.

WWW Wednesday 17/2/21

WWW Wednesday is hosted by ‘Taking on a World of Words’ every Wednesday and asks:

What are you currently reading?

What have you just finished reading?

What will you read next?

So, first up, my current reads:

A Tangle of Spells by Michelle Harrison

OK I technically haven’t started this yet, but I’m about to and I am SO excited for it! The only good thing about having left A Sprinkle of Sorcery for so long is being able to dive straight into this one!

Anna at War by Helen Peters, audiobook read by Louiza Patikas

I bought this when it was released but still haven’t read it! Amy mentioned it recently and it jogged me to look for the audiobook so I coukd finally read it! I’m only a chapter or two in but I think I’ll enjoy it.

What have I just finished reading?

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam, audiobook read by Ethan Harisse

Really thought-provoking, this merged some really lyrical poetry, with very effective metaphor and imagery, with a very blunt, real subject. The real life experience of the authors clearly helped add realism and credibility; so much of its power was in the small details rather than the bigger events. There was no sensationalism, no perfect characters, no easy answers. This is a book about systemic racism, inequality, power, division, prejudice and expectation. It is also a book filled with hope and possibility.

A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison

Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! Full review ASAP.

Picklewitch and Jack and the Sea Wizard’s Secret by Claire Barker

I was so thrilled to receive a surprise advance copy of this in the post this week. It was totally unexpected and saw me give a little cheer of excitement. I love this series and this is a brilliant addition to it! Review to follow.

The Incredible Record Smashers by Jenny Pearson

Jenny Pearson’s writing is brilliant. I really enjoyed this and I’m pleased to see she’s another book in the pipeline too! Full review to follow.

What’s next?

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys is my next physical read, I loved Salt to the Sea so I’m really looking forward to this.

My next netgalley read is Storm Keeper’s Battle by Catherine Doyle, another I can’t wait for!

Have you read any of these?

What are you reading at the moment?

Mina and the Undead Playlist Post

I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.

Mina and the Undead by Amy McCaw, cover art by Becky Chilcott, published by Uclan

Vampires have always been part of Mina’s life, growing up in Whitby (which inspired at least some of Stoker’s Dracula) with a (now estranged) mother seemingly obsessed by them too. But they can’t be real…can they?

It’s summer 1995 and Mina is headed to stay with her sister Libby in New Orleans, hoping she might stay more permanently if things work out…but will they survive the summer?

Libby works at a haunted house style attraction giving interactive horror-movie-inspired tours full of thrills, where Mina hopes to join the team,and she’s arriving just in time for ‘Fang Fest’ in the city too. Roommate Jared seems to love a good ghost story just as much as she does and is full of local myths and urban legends (oh, and he’s gorgeous too – well, of course he is!) And then there’s the recent spate of murders which seems to be getting closer and closer to home…

As someone who grew up loving Point Horror, American Gothic and the like (not to mention pretty much all the vampire films referenced in the book) I know teen me would have devoured this; a group of cool, independent older teens at the centre of a vsmpiric murder mystery with a bit of Gothic romance thrown in for good measure. Yes please.

Creepy, full of twists, cleverly plotted and achingly retro this has it all – angst, family issues and romantic tension in amongst blood bars, crime scenes and graveyards. Sisters, lovers, suspects, dead friends, missing mums, a strangely accurate psychic… and of course vampires. This has everything a horror-loving, YA fan could want!

It’s also packed to the rafters with 90s pop culture references that I’m not sure how many teens will get (as if they weren’t even born then – it wasn’t that long ago!), but that I loved! They had me reliving my youth in the best way and, even if you don’t fully get them or know them well, they definitely added to the story’s atmosphere and authenticity.

With that in mind, I bring you my Mina and the Undead Playlist – what would you add?!