After a considerable absence of 2 months I am happy to say that service is being resumed and for the first Blog of 2014 Armadillo reviewer Bridget Carrington shares a few (very honest) thoughts on a couple of books she has been kindly reading and reviewing recently...
Tiny Twisted Tales
Last January I blogged a piece about Stuart Reid’s Gorgeous George series, which I thought was better suited to an animated film than to print – not least because of the many typos. Further GG stories have confirmed my opinion… The GG books are illustrated (well) by Calvin Innes, who has now written and illustrated two brief stories in verse, Pale Henry and Jenny in a series he calls ‘Tiny Twisted Tales’. Again, the illustrations are the best bit.
This new series from the noted Irish publishers O’Brien is produced in collaboration with the Irish Farmers Journal, and are written by Anna McQuinn with illustrations from Paul Young. The two titles so far available are utterly delightful. Colm’s Lambs introduces us to the village, the farms and the characters who will appear in the stories, and gives readers a good insight to the realities of lambing, while A Rosette for Maeve? follows another farmer’s daughter, Lisa, as she prepares her prize calf for a show. Aimed at older KS1 and lower KS2 readers, well-illustrated, funny and sad at times, these short novels don’t glamorize farming but perfectly express the hard work and enjoyment which farm life offers. They also offer an insight to Irish life, on and off the farm. Brilliant!
Yet more Tales from Lovecraft Middle School
I’ve just received another volume in Charles Gilman’s excellent ‘Tales from Lovecraft Middle School’ series (see the February Blog). Intriguingly titles Creature it comes in the splendid holographic cover. Can’t wait to read it!