Titch and Mitch: The Magic Boots & The Blue Wizard by Garth Edwards
The two latest adventures of the Titch and Mitch series faturing the two loveable and charismatic pixies have just recently arrived on the doorstep. Book 4 The Magic Boots and 5 The Blue Wizard bring another series of short stories of the deeds and doings of these diminutive heroes and their friends. The first book focuses mainly on a pair of magical boots and their new owner the intelligent turkey Wiffen..... Whole Review Here
Dinosaur Cove: Rampage of the Hungry Giantsby Rex Stone
This must be Jamie and Tom’s bazillionth adventure in Dinosaur Cove but that doesn’t mean it’s not an exciting one! The two boys and dinosaur friend Wanna are practising their tracking and sneaking skills on a herd of plateosaurs when one weak little baby is left behind. The trio are determined to help it catch up with the others but first they will have to get it back to strength with plenty of food and water. Things are starting to look up as they cross a desert on the trail of the herd when they see a beautiful oasis up ahead..... Whole Review Here
Dinosaur Cove: Chasing the Tunneling Trickster by Rex Stone
Jamie and Tom are planning another fantastic trip back to the age of the dinosaurs in their brand new adventure. They are going to use their time-travelling portal in Dinosaur Cove to take them all the way back to the dawn of the dinosaur age so that they can carry out some research for Jamie’s father. Pausing only to pack some cheese and pickle sandwiches and an ammonite to use as a key to the portal, they head off back in time. They and their small dinosaur friend, Wanna, set out to explore. It’s not long before they discover all kinds of strange new creatures but none is stranger than the Lystrosaurus which lives in the tunnels it digs underground. However, disaster strikes when one of the cheeky dinosaurs steals the backpack containing the ammonite, without which they can’t get home! It looks like the two boys will have to follow the Lystrosaurus into it’s lair if they want be able to travel back home.
There are now around a dozen Dinosaur Cove adventures featuring Jamie and Tom, which goes some way to proving the popularity of the series and with a seemingly endless supply of young dinosaur fans it’s just as well! The author has written a thrilling series for younger readers and yet also keeps a very strong educational side to the books, which we thought was fantastic. Fans can get lost in adventures amongst these giant creatures and yet learn loads of facts about them too.
There are other books in the series that deal with the more popular and well known dinosaurs, which may lend them a bit of drama that this episode is lacking but it is nevertheless filled with a humour and mischievousness which more than makes up for it. With a perfect blend of fun and facts, this should appeal not only to parents but also to every child who dreams of adventure with their own dinosaur pet in a time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.
Our thanks to OUP for sending us a copy.
Review by James@KidsCompass.
One Smart Fish by Chris Wormell
One of the best secrets (until now!) at Kids Compass is that one of our reviewers is absolutely terrified of fish. She took one look at this book with its fantastic artwork and wouldn't go near it so it was with heroic determination and an inflated sense courage that I took it upon myself to read and review Chris Wormell’s new creation.
Long, long ago before human kind was even a shadow of a thought and land was just a barren desert, the ocean was full of fish. They came in all shapes and sizes, colourful and scary but one fish was particularly special. This fish was the smartest fish in the sea. Most unusual of all was his strange desire to walk on land and he spent many long hours staring at the empty shores while his companions played in the waves. One day he made up his mind that he would be first to walk on the beach and he thought long and hard before finally inventing... Feet! This little fish set foot on dry land for the first time ever but it soon became clear that it was a lonely place and it wasn’t long before he rejoined his friends in the water. But his adventure was just the start of the long and difficult conquest of land.
When you think about it this is a book of staggering ambition, to take the incredibly complex theory of evolution and somehow condense it and make it accessible to young readers and I have to say it succeeds magnificently. Without being over the top with the telling, Chris Wormell manages to inform and delight with this funny tale of a smart little fish and his pioneering work in the name of evolution. Everything is here to both satisfy budding scientific minds and provide an entertaining story while the final page in particular is well worth a look as it contains animals from dinosaurs, reptiles, birds and of course, us, all starting from one little fish in the water.
The authors’ writing creates a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with its chatty feel and the illustrations are colourful with plenty of humorous goings on to ensure there is always something new to notice.
As long as you aren’t scared of fish this is a great and very informative picture books and should appeal to all children with inquisitive minds.
Our thanks to Random House for sending us a copy.
Review by James@KidsCompass.
What's for Dinner Mr Gum? by Andy Stanton
For those of you who don't already know, the vile Mr Gum and the repulsive butcher Billy William the Third have always been best mates. In previous adventures they have managed by one means or another to completely terrorise the town of Lamonic Bibber. Every week Mr Gum would turn up at the butcher's shop for dinner in the shape of a bucket of slops and entrails. One day, Mr Gum doesn't turn up and Billy decides to investigate. He secretly follows his friend down the road and straight to... Greasy Ian's House of Slops, the most disgusting kebab shop ever!
Poor Billy! Betrayed and alone! Revenge is his only option and with that the deadliest war Lamonic Bibber has ever seen begins. Before long dead chickens and various bits of meat are being fired across the streets and things soon get so bad that the entire population is considering leaving town. It's up to the heroes Friday O'Leary, the young girl Polly and a gingerbread man Alan Taylor to try and sort things out. The only way to save their town is to find the woman of Billy's dreams.
This is another great addition to the Mr Gum series from Andy Stanton. There have been criticisms due to the very small part played by Polly and her friends and there is also a rather hefty section of the book dedicated to rhyme like songs which are a bit weak and detract from the normal brilliant storytelling. However there is no denying that this new Mr Gum adventure is otherwise pure enjoyment. Whether you are a child or an adult the book still manages to be entertaining and hilariously funny. The sheer ridiculousness of the situation and the vile characters are a mix that will have any reader in stitches throughout. If you ask me you just can not go wrong with a giant tank made out of a kebab!
Aside from the excellent plot, Mr Gum is also well written with pace, excitement and a clever twists. For young readers there is a great deal of visual stimulation with different fonts, amusing wordplay and great illustrations. For the parents who might worry about just how gruesome and revolting some of these characters are there is also a strong moral side to the tale. The terrible reality of war is brilliantly broached for the young audience who will understand just how devastating it is for all concerned while still laughing at the offenders antics. The matters of education and truancy is also raised.
All in all this is another fantastic story, perhaps a little weaker than the others but not in any significant way. Everyone who reads this will be laughing for hours and then desperate for the next book to hurry up and come along so that they can once again plunge into the strange world of Mr Gum.
Oh and for those of you who were worried that there was no Jake the Dog mentioned above you will be happy to hear that the huge dog has a short story of his own, in which he causes the Credit Crunch single-handed!
Our thanks to Egmont for sending us a copy.
Reviewed by James@KidsCompass.
The Disappearing Moon by Simon Bartram
Bob is the Man on the Moon and with his six legged dog Barry, he is in for a new and exciting adventure! The amazing magician Alacazamo is in town and putting on a show but when he makes the moon disappear as his big finale it looks like Bob might be out of work. If he has any hopes of saving his job he has just six days in which to find the moon.
Aimed at children between six and eight, this is the first instalment of a new series featuring Bob and Barry. A Wallace and Gromit like pair, their antics are funny and exciting, except for Bob’s obsession with fish paste sandwiches slightly gross but will nonetheless make kids laugh. The illustrations reflect the story brilliantly and if you look close enough you will find an alien presence in almost all of them, an extra little detail aimed to divert and amuse kids, which this book does extremely well. All in all, this will provide a huge amount of fun and entertainment, either as a first step into chapter books or for simply reading aloud.
Our thanks to Templar Publishing for sending us this book to review.