As the effects of the pandemic continue, books can provide solace during an unsettling and challenging time. Here’s the City Kids autumn book review to keep children interested in the world at large, whether they are home or in school.
Book Hospital by Leigh Hodgkinson (Simon & Schuster) £6.99
In this cute story about loving books, we hear all about the adventures that books can take you on. But what happens when books are scribbled on, spilt on, chewed up and accidently ripped? They go to the Book Hospital, silly! There they are lovingly restored and returned to their owner ready to be enjoyed again. Leigh Hodginkison humorous illustrations guides us through the perils of being a book especially when the last page is missing…
When I See Red by Britta Teckentrup £10.99
Britta Teckentrup beautifully depicts anger, in this tale of a girl whose rage sweeps her away like a storm in a forest. Understanding this emotion can be difficult for children and this book shows the different sides to anger which can seem frightening or overwhelming, but also powerful if used in a positive way. Teckentrup’s bold illustrative style captures our heroine’s emotional journey in a way that is accessible to young readers who may recognise themselves when anger takes hold.
The Book of Labyrinths and Mazes by Silke Vry and Finn Dean – (Prestel) £14.99
An absolutely stunning book, packed full of stories and puzzles all about labyrinths and mazes from the past to the present. Full of historical facts, philosophy and stories from across the globe – it explains how labyrinths have been embedded in culture for centuries and why humans have been obsessed with creating them. Fascinating and visually engaging, this book will have you hot-footing it to Hampton Court to test out why we are scared yet excited by the idea of getting lost.
Interview with a Shark & Other Ocean Giants Too by Andy See and Nick East (Welbeck Children’s) £9.99
This funny and informative book goes on the premise of a scuba diver who invents a machine which allows him to talk to animals, even ones that live underwater. He interviews the great and the good of the sea world, finding out fascinating facts about their lives, including a manta ray (who is six metres wide), blue whale (who is as heavy as 25 elephants), octopus (favourite book – Diary of a Wimpy Squid) but also enlightens readers that all his guests are endangered and with some simple steps they too can help look after the planet. Perfect for young animal lovers who love humour.
Wildlord by Philip Womack (Little Island Books) £7.99
If you’re looking for a gripping adventure with a supernatural edge, this is just the ticket. When orphan Tom Swinton receives a mysterious letter from an uncle he didn’t know he had asking him to visit his Suffolk farm because ‘It is time for you to see, time for you to understand’ he cannot help but be intrigued. When he arrives Tom soon senses a feeling of foreboding and quickly realises he is far from alone – dangerous beings occupy the surrounding woods and the farm has secrets which hold the key to his parents death. A page turner from start to finish.
Allies by Shakirah Bourne & Dana Alison Levy (DK) £12.99
Everyone needs an ally and this is a fitting book for the times we currently live in. 17 bestselling YA authors talk about what allyship means and how to show up for underrepresented groups, be that friends or strangers. These powerful accounts of racism and disability may make for an uncomfortable read, but they also give the opportunity for self-reflection, as well as ideas for action. Some of the proceeds of this book will go to The Black Curriculum.