This week my children's book reviews include a collection of three chilling novellas perfect for teens, a picture book about a competition for a unicorn trophy, a middle grade story about a hawk teaching a boy to love nature and a middle grade story about a little girl must cope with the loss of a friend.
Also in the Weekend section of The South Wales Evening Post. Enjoy!
BOOK OF THE WEEK
THREE STRIKES BY LUCY CHRISTOPHER, KAT ELLIS & RHIAN IVORY
YOUNG ADULT 15+
A red eye blinks in the darkness; a hidden door opens to a lost crypt; a life is held within a flame... welcome to Three Strikes. These unnerving tales include a mysterious cult, a ghostly tale and a retelling of The Little Match Girl. They are full of mystery, mayhem and menace and will stay with you long after you've closed the book. Seductive and unsettling novellas to curl up with on a winter's night.
ISBN 9781910080863 PB Firefly Press £7.99
I REALLY WANT THAT UNICORN BY FABI SANTIAGO
Chloe Crocodile is confident she will win the coveted unicorn trophy in the local talent show until hula hooping Veronica arrives. An hilarious and exuberant story about the perils of being covetous and warning against rivalry and competition. This is ideal for reading aloud while showing the importance of friendship. The candy colours and effervescent illustrations that dress the wonderful animal characters are a laugh-out-loud delight that will be enjoyed again and again.
ISBN 9781408336915 PB Orchard £6.99
FLYING FREE BY NICOLA DAVIES & CATHY FISHER
Colin's big brother gives him an air rifle and he can't wait to start shooting stuff. But shooting a living animal is different to shooting a can. When Colin shoots a hawk his life tilts on an angle and takes him down a new revelatory path. A powerful message about respecting nature and learning all actions have consequences. A short, easily digestible book with finely observed pencil illustrations suitable for reluctant readers as well as nature lovers.
ISBN 9781912654093 PB Graffeg £7.99
THE AFTERWARDS BY A.F. HARROLD & EMILY GRAVETT
Ember and Ness are best friends but when Ness dies Ember is determined to bring her back from the Afterworld. A deeply moving tale of friendship, family, acceptance and moving on. The monochrome illustrations with flashes of colour really give the emotional journey added depth and pathos. The dark humour laced throughout the story uplifts an otherwise sad subject. This tale reminds us that everything has an end but also a new beginning.
ISBN 9781408894316 HB Bloomsbury £12.99