The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker (Review)

The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker

Blurb

This complete collection of Cicely Mary Barker’s Flower Fairies features a brand-new enchanting cover.

Perfect for fans of all ages, this wonderful collection includes all the original Flower Fairy poems and illustrations by Cicely Mary Barker from the classic books.

Since the publication of Cicely Mary Barker’s first book in 1923, the Flower Fairies have been ethereal companions to generations of readers around the world. Her charming poetry and delicate illustrations have sparked the imaginations of children for over ninety years and continue to inspire a life-long love for fairies and all things magical.

Review

This beautiful book was my birthday present off my parents and a book that has been on my wishlist for ages. I was so excited I started reading it straight away.

This fantastic book is just stunning as the illustrations are beautiful. Each fairy is unique and all match the flower or plant that they are with perfectly matched with. Barker was clearly a very talented artist because the flowers and plants are so well drawn I could easily recognise all the plants (well the ones I am familiar with). I can imagine Barker studying each plant in detail to get the very best illustration. 

Each fairy is accompanied by a beautifully written poem by Barker which is also associated with each plant and clearly shows that Barker really knew her plants. I also loved how certain poems had little facts attached to them about the plants, for example whether the plant was poisonous or known by another name. I really learned a lot from these attached facts and discovered that plants I know are also known by other names. 

I had so many favourite illustrations and poems but my absolute favourite was the Christmas Tree fairy and I plan on rereading this poem when it is closer to Christmas. I would also love some prints of certain illustrations because they would look stunning on display rather than hidden in a book. 

Barker in my opinion was an extremely talented artist and really knowledgable about plants. I loved this book and fully intend to dip into this book from time to time and remind myself of these beautiful illustrations and poems throughout the year. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Bookshop.org | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973) was the illustrator who created the famous Flower Fairies; those ethereal smiling children with butterfly wings. As a child she was influenced by the works of the illustrator Kate Greenaway, whom she assiduously copied in her formative years. Her principal influence, however, was the artwork of the Pre-Raphaelites.

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There Once is a Queen by Michael Morpurgo (Review)

There Once is a Queen by Michael Morpurgo

Blurb

“There once is a Queen ever constant to her people…”

From the Nation’s Favourite Storyteller Sir Michael Morpurgo comes a poetic celebration of our Queen and longest reigning monarch, beautifully illustrated in watercolour by acclaimed artist Michael Foreman.

There once was a little girl, a princess, who became a queen, our Queen Elizabeth. Now, seventy years later, her reign as the longest serving female monarch in history has seen her stand steadfast through triumph and tribulation, and through the monumental changes that have shaped our world, as this remarkable queen has remained devoted to crown, to country… and a corgi or two!

Beginning with the queen as a little girl, planting an oak tree with her father, There Once is a Queen follows her incredible story in a way that will bring this historic reign vividly to life for readers around the world, big and small. An exquisite gift book and commemoration of the Platinum Jubilee, it marks a unique moment in our shared history and will be a treasured keepsake for generations to come. 

Review

I really enjoyed how straight away Morpurgo links his story book to The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser which was an epic poem written for Queen Elizabeth I. Thankfully, Morpurgo’s book is not as long as Spenser’s poem.

This little book is the life of the Queen starting with her as a little girl planting an oak tree, then a princess and then as a queen. But whenever the queen wanted some peace and quiet she always returns to that oak tree she planted with her father. I loved the link of the oak tree because an oak tree can live to a vast age and is a symbol of endurance and that is what our queen is also a symbol of. 

The book is set almost as a fairytale but still puts across how hardworking, kind and beautiful our Queen is. The beautiful illustrations by Michael Foreman also really add to this beautiful little book. 

The main thing this book does though in my opinion is show children that the Queen once was a little girl, she once was a child who had the same dreams and thoughts as a child. It shows the Queen as a human rather than a mythical lady who lives in palaces. 

Morpurgo puts the life of the Queen in language that is perfect for children and adults alike and keeps it short and snappy enough for children not to lose concentration or interest in the book. The book makes a beautiful gift edition and keepsake for adults and children who want to remember the Jubilee. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 Dragons. 

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Purchase Links

Book Depository | Foyles | Waterstones | Wordery

(All purchases made using one of the above affiliate links gives a small percentage of money to myself with no extra cost to yourself. All proceeds go towards the upkeep of this blog. Thank you ever so much, your support is gratefully received.)

About the author

Michael Morpurgo has written over 130 books, many of them award winning. His best known work is War Horse which has also been turned into a stage play and a film. In 2003 he was made Children’s Laureate. He set up a charity with his wife called Farms for City Children and in 1999 he was awarded an MBE for his charitable work. In 2017 he was awarded a Knighthood for his charitable work and literature.

If you enjoy reading my blog and would like to make a donation I would be very grateful. Thank you

Star Trek The Next Generation Cats by Jenny Parks (Review)

Star Trek The Next Generation Cats by Jenny Parks

About the author

Jenny Parks is a scientific illustrator that also happens to be a shameless nerd, with a penchant for drawing animals, dinosaurs, imaginary creatures… and occasionally, people as cats. Somehow, she found herself with a bit of internet fame with the illustration ‘Doctor Mew’, and has been baffled ever since. With a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts, and a graduate degree in Science Illustration from UC Santa Cruz, she now resides in Denver, CO as a freelance illustrator, fulfilling her destiny to make a living drawing cute, fuzzy things.

Blurb

The cats are back in their continuing mission: to boldly go where no one has gone before. This companion to the bestselling Star Trek Cats brings the many adventures of Star Trek: The Next Generation to life in a faithfully feline homage to the hit series. From encounters with the Borg to adventures on the holodeck, Captain Picard and the rest of the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D crew are reimagined as cats with lovingly detailed and eyebrow-raising scenes from throughout the award-winning series, perfect for Star Trek fans across the Galaxy.

Review

I was so excited to see there was a sequel to the Star Trek Cats and that this book was just as good as the previous one. The first thing I loved was the choice of cats for the characters especially the choice of cat for Captain Picard.

The book is like the previous book where it does not follow a story but instead has snapshots from different episodes. I have some favourite scenes which include Relics where the cats are kittens. My ultimate favourite is where the cats are playing poker and I must admit I would love to have it as a picture on my wall. However, I must admit the Borg cats are a little bit scary.

I love this book and I highly recommend it to other Star Trek and cat fans. I give this book a big 5 out of 5 Dragons and I thoroughly hope Jenny Parks does Star Trek Voyager soon!

Lyra loves the book as well!

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

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Star Trek Cats by Jenny Parks (Review)

Star Trek Cats by Jenny Parks

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About the author

Jenny Parks is a scientific illustrator that also happens to be a shameless nerd, with a penchant for drawing animals, dinosaurs, imaginary creatures… and occasionally, people as cats. Somehow, she found herself with a bit of internet fame with the illustration ‘Doctor Mew’, and has been baffled ever since. With a BFA in illustration from the California College of the Arts, and a graduate degree in Science Illustration from UC Santa Cruz, she now resides in Denver, CO as a freelance illustrator, fulfilling her destiny to make a living drawing cute, fuzzy things.

Blurb

Captain’s log: We have entered a galaxy where beloved illustrator Jenny Parks has conjured an astonishingly vivid homage to the original Star Trek series with an unexpected twist: a cast of cats. Featuring a hilarious new take on iconic characters and scenes—from Kirk in the Captain’s chair to Spock offering his Vulcan wisdom—this eye-opening adventure stays true to the tone of the classic TV show. Playful, loving, and from a strange new world, Star Trek Cats is the perfect gift for fans of, well, Star Trek and cats.

Review

I could not believe my eyes when I accidentally discovered this book and I immediately bought it for my husband for Valentine’s Day, obviously I had to read it myself. I love Star Trek and I have seen every episode of the original series and I am now working my way through the films so I was overjoyed to read this book.

The book doesn’t follow a story and is instead snapshots from different well known episodes of the series. The book doesn’t have a lot to read as it is mainly the amazing illustrations but that does not matter as the book is a joy to behold. Every scene is brilliantly done but a few are my favourites. One is Scotty holding his bottle of Scotch Milk and the other is a scene from the episode The Trouble with Tribbles.

This book is brilliant for Star Trek fans and cat fans alike. The illustrations are amazing and very cleverly done as the cats have been chosen to reflect the Star Trek characters perfectly. I will never see Scotty the same way again after seeing his cat version. I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a giggle and a quick read to brighten up their day. I give this book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

P.s. Lyra my cat likes the book as well.

Purchase Links

Waterstones

Book Depository

 

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The Nutcracker illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat (Mini Book Review)

The Nutcracker by E. T. A Hoffmann, retold by Kate Davies, illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat

Blurb

A beautifully illustrated retelling of The Nutcracker, capturing the magic of the ballet and the excitement of Christmas Eve. Join Clara and the Nutcracker Prince on a journey to the land of sweets, brought to life in a spectacular pop-up finale.

Review

Every Christmas I read a different version of The Nutcracker, this does mean I have quite a few different versions of The Nutcracker in my house now. This year’s choice is a little children’s version which is very abridged with beautiful illustrations and a stunning pop up illustration at the end.

I must admit I did miss a great deal of the story but understand why it had been shortened in such a way. The other thing I loved was how the story flowed so well, even though elements of the story were missing it did not make the story disjointed in any way.

I thoroughly enjoyed this little book and highly recommend it to children and adults. However, care needs to be taken with the pop up illustration as it is very delicate and could easily be damaged. I give this little book a massive 5 out of 5 Dragons.

Purchase links

Book Depository

Waterstones

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