The Dog Who Lost His Bark: Review

The Dog Who Lost His Bark

The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer
Genre: Childrens /MG Fiction
Publication: November 1st 2018
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy from Walker – Thank You
Add to Goodreads
Rating: ✵ ✵ ✵ ✵

A warm, uplifting story about a boy, his dog, and the healing power of music marks a first-time collaboration between two former Irish Children’s Laureates, Eoin Colfer and P.J. Lynch.

Patrick has been desperate for a dog of his own for as long as he can remember, and this summer, with his father away, he longs for a canine friend more than ever. Meanwhile, in his short doggy life, Oz has suffered at the hands of bad people. Somewhere out there, he believes, is an awesome boy — his boy. And maybe, when they find each other, Oz will learn to bark again. Illustrated in light charcoal by two-time Kate Greenaway Medalist P.J. Lynch, this heartwarming story by Eoin Colfer, internationally best-selling author of the Artemis Fowl series, is certain to enchant.

Eoin Colfer’s links: Website | Twitter  | Bookdepository | Booktopia


The Dog Who Lost His Bark is a heart wrenching yet heartwarming tale that touches on animal abuse, the wonderful work rescue shelters do, marriage separation and the power of music. Yeah that does sound like a lot to be crammed in 149 pages, but Colfer’s story flows beautifully and accompanied by Lynch’s illustrations this really is a masterpiece.

Firstly we meet Oz as a little no name pup, see him go onto to his first home, be abused, then dumped.

Secondly we meet the boy, Patrick, going of to spend his summer holidays with his mum at his granddads. As an adult reading the story you pick up up on what’s going down between Patrick parents quite early on, but depending on the age of the child either reading the book or having it read to them, they might only learn this as the character does.

Ultimately Boy and Dog end up up saving each other. Through love and care and patience Patrick gets through to Oz and they build a loving friendship. Patrick shuts down after learning the truth of his father abandoning him and his mother for a new woman. Patrick’s instincts is to push Oz away, to push love away. But Oz persists with his doggy awesomeness and finally breaks through to Patrick.

Yeah you’ll cry while reading this one. But I think it’s worth it. Colfer gives the reader some really important life lessons through a beautiful story of love, friendship and recovery.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Nick White: Author Q&A

Kat: The Legend of Gnawbonia by Nick White
THE WORLD’S FIRST FULLY ILLUSTRATED NOVEL
168 pages & 14 chapters of action packed illustrated mastery

In the great city of Catifornia, the Meofia are by far the most feared of all the felines. At home, their baby sister Kat is enslaved under lock and key. Done with the constant abuse, she escapes, embarking on a perilous journey far beyond the land of cats.

Lost at sea, Kat is captured by a ruthless gang of notorious pirate dogs and forced to the depths of the ocean in search of treasure; where she discovers an ancient city, lost in time.

Here, Kat comes to terms with who she truly is – gaining the courage to fight for her life and freedom, to fulfil an ancient prophecy that she inevitably finds herself entwined with.

A new style of book, a fusion of various parts.
Adventure novel, graphic novel & picture book.


T h e    I n t e r v i e w

KAT: THE LEGEND OF GNAWBONIA IS AVAILABLE AS A VISUALLY STUNNING HIGH-QUALITY HARD COVER (seriously it’s beautiful, congratulations on that) AND AS AN ANIMATED EBOOK. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR AND KAT’S PUBLISHING JOURNEY?

Thanks Sarah. I did actually get accepted into a few publishing houses, but turned them down as they wanted full creative control of the book and in the end they pay fractions to authors. Although there’s a few risky pages in there I like everything I’ve put into the book and didn’t want it butchered by any company scared of offending few individuals to protect their reputation. So I funded the first print run through Kickstarter, it’s a great way to do it – if you can convince people it’s a worthy investment that likely won’t be fulfilled for a long time due to shipping problems and international banking issues. Hahaha.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT, OR HOW THE STORY CAME TO BE?

I’ve wanted to do an illustrated novel for about 17 years, and what sparked that was that there just aren’t many around (there were none back then). I guess I then had to work up the courage to spend 5 years of my life on one single project. I was never really sure what the story was going to be but in the end when I put pen to paper I wanted the end of it to have an epic fight between a seemingly helpless and small-for-her-age cat, and a bunch of hungry beastly dogs. And I wanted the cat to come out on top. From there it was a case of reverse engineering the story; Why are they fighting? The dogs could be pirates. Why is the cat there? She could be their prisoner? How did she get there? She was lost at sea etc etc. Every answer would inspire a further question until the story was plump enough.

IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING AND GIVE YOURSELF ANY ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I’d tell myself to invest heavily on Netflix… then I could have spent the last few years working on my book fulltime and not through the nights in between my full time job.

ARE YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING AT THE MOMENT, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?

I am loosely working on the next volume of the book. It’s very exciting; it’s a straight continuation of the story.

WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT OR WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?

The last book I read was the Gruffalo. I have a 3 year old daughter. The last book I read for myself was James and the giant peach. I always wanted to read it when I was younger but never got around to it. Roald Dahl’s still got it!


THANK YOU SO MUCH TO NICK FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!

Nick has chosen to give 10% of all profits from the book to three international animal charities, Mercy for Animals, The Humane League and Animal Equality, who are doing essential work around the globe to eradicate factory farming – a theme the book lightly touches on.
Nick is originally from Sydney, Australia, has spent the last 18 years as a commercial artist, lending a hand to some of the biggest ad and design agencies in the UK, NZ and Australia.

NICK CAN BE FOUND @ www.nickwhiteworks.com

KAT: THE LEGEND OF GNAWBONIA CAN BE FOUND @
Website | Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Animated eBook

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Snobbity Snowman: Children’s Book Review

35722778

Snobbity Snowman by Maria Bardyukova & Quiet Riley Jr.
Genre: Children’s (intended for ages 3-8)
Publication: October 1st 2017
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Review Copy
Thank You.

Snobbity Snowman has everything a snowman could possibly want: a shiny hat, freshly-picked noses and enough pride to last a lifetime. In fact, he is so selfish and shortsighted that he fails to see the instance his life starts falling apart.

What disasters must take place to open his charcoal eyes? To help him see that pride and possessions cannot bring true happiness? Will he defrost his ego and embrace the warmth of companionship?

Only Snobbity can tell.

Depicting winter in rich and whimsical tones, Snobbity Snowman’s quirky characters and unexpected twists promise to leave a lasting impression on all its snobbulous readers.

Snobbity Links: Amazon | Goodreads | Smashwords

Riley sat on my lap as I read him this winter-themed children’s eBook on my computer, which has a reasonably large monitor. The second and third read throughs we did took place on my on iPhone 7 plus. Even with the smaller screen the text and images were still easily readable. I was impressed by this, as Sometimes the clarity of picture books can suffer when being read in an e-version. This book read clearly and pleasantly on both screens. And I think that shows that Bardyukova and Quiet Riley Jr. have worked hard to make it suit the e-format.

The art work is bright, bold and fun. The story is one of Snobbity the Snowman learning the about the joys of giving to those less fortunate and second chances. There is also the added bonus of activity pages at the end, which is a lovely way to round off the book.

After the first read through Riley (4-yrs-old) requested we read it again and after the second read through he asked ‘’how did he get his stuff back”. This opened up the conversation to talk about the importance and feel-good-ness of giving to others.

All in all this was a delightful little book that I can see myself reading to Riley again, and again.

Thanks for visiting The Adventures of SacaKat.
Until next time, enjoy your shelves :-).

Hugo Makes A Change: Children’s Picture Book Review

34146459Hugo Makes A Change
by Mauro Gatti & Scott Emmons

Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publication: November 1st 2017
Publisher: Flying Eye Books (Walker Australia)
Source: Review Copy
Thank You Walker Books

Add to Goodreads

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Hugo the vampire craves red, juicy meat for every meal! But when his eating habits leave him feeling sluggish and bored, he goes on the prowl for something new… Maybe those strange-looking things growing in the garden aren’t as bad as they look?

After trying fruits and vegetables for the first time, he discovers the joys of a more balanced diet. The story is told in rhymed verse accompanied by simple, charming, graphic illustrations.


Hugo Makes A Change is a delightful story about a vampire that goes on a journey learning about healthy eating.

Plot Summary: We see Hugo eat lots of meat and little else. Hugo then gets sick. He starts to realise there is a connection between his meat heavy diet and feeling bad. Hugo goes off searching for alternatives. At first, he fears trying new things. Finally, Hugo gets the courage to try something new and he enjoys it. Hugo then goes on a journey trying as many different fruits and vegetables as he can find. After eating all the fruits and veggies, Hugo starts to feel well again, to feel better than he’s ever felt before. Hugo goes on to realise he can still have meat in his diet if he pairs it with fruits and veggies. In the end Hugo finds that if he eats a balanced diet he will be healthy and happy.

My four-year-old loved the story asking all sorts of questions about what Hugo was eating and repeatedly requesting we read it again. I think this book is a real winner. Through Hugo’s adventure in healthy eating children can start to learn the connection between what we eat and how we feel. It is a delight to read out loud with rhythmic sing song sentences and the artwork is easily understood and enticing to a young audience.

I think this book would make a fantastic Christmas gift for any fussy little eaters you know.

Hugo Links: Walker Books | Booktopia | Bookdepository

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse: Children’s Picture Book Review

34002075

The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen

Publication: November 1, 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Thank You Walker

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

They may have been swallowed, but they have no intention of being eaten… A new comedy from the unparalleled team of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen.

Early one morning a mouse met a wolf and was quickly gobbled up…When a woeful mouse is swallowed up by a wolf, he quickly learns he is not alone: a duck has already set up digs and, boy, has that duck got it figured out! Turns out it’s pretty nice inside the belly of the beast – there’s delicious food, elegant table settings and, best of all, dancing. And there’s something more: no more fear of being eaten by a wolf! Life’s not so bad, considering the alternatives. That is, until a hunter shows up… With a nod to traditional fables and a wink to the reader, the award-winning Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, Extra Yarn and Triangle offer a tale of cooperation and creative cuisine that is sure to go down easy.


Early one morning, a mouse met a wolf, and he was quickly gobbled up.

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse is a fantastical story of a Duck and a Mouse who refused to be eaten and a humorous lesson in why wolves howl.

“I may have been swallowed,” said the duck, “but I have no intention of being eaten.”

Quick plot rundown: A Mouse meets a Wolf. The Wolf eats the mouse. The Mouse meets a Duck inside the Wolf, they then proceeded to live happily partying it up. The Wolf gets sick from all the hubbub inside him. Now weak and sick the Wolf becomes the target of a hunter. The Duck and the Mouse knowing their new way of life is in danger jump out of the Wolf and scare off the Hunter. Then they all live happily ever after, sort of – The duck and the Mouse do, the Wolf, not so much – but you’ll have to read it to understand what I mean by that.

When I opened the box from walker I actually gasped out loud. The hardcover’s illustrated sleeve is a real treat for the eyes. The book is full of delightful and easily “readable” earthly toned illustrations – simply glorious!

The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse is an easy and well-paced read (text to picture ratio) and flows well off the tongue. I would recommend this book for ages four and up. I think children any younger wouldn’t be able to grasp the impossible and bizarreness of Duck and Mouse’s activities and the humour that makes this book a joy to read.

If you have any kiddlets in your life, The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse would make a captivating Christmas present.

Goodreads | Walker Books | Booktopia | Bookdepository 

Mac Barnett: Website | Twitter – Jon Klassen: Website | Twitter

Gary: Children’s Picture Book Review

29092967

Gary by Leila Rudge
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Publication: November 1st 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review Copy
Thank you Walker
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Gary, a grounded racing pigeon, dreams of exploring the world—until the day he falls into an adventure of his very own.

Most of the time, Gary is just like the other racing pigeons, eating and sleeping and dreaming of adventure. There’s just one thing that separates him from the ordinary pigeons: he can’t fly. When his friends set off in their travel basket, Gary expects to stay at home, organizing his scrapbook of travel mementos and imagining far-off places. But when he accidentally falls into the travel basket and ends up a very long way from home, he discovers that flying might not be the only way to have adventures. Leila Rudge, in her gentle, colorful style, is sure to charm anyone who has ever felt like the odd one out with this satisfying story of perseverance and being comfortable in your own skin.

Gary @ Walker BooksLeila’s Website & Instagram | Gary pre-order @ Booktopia 


Aimed at ages 3 & up, Gary is a beautiful story about a racing pigeon that cannot fly.

Gary longs to go on adventures like all the other racing pigeons.

One day after an accident leaves Gary far away from home and all alone, he must figure out how to make his way home without flight. Gary doesn’t give up and ends up overcoming his non-flight issues using his intellect. In the end Gary ends up having an epic adventure, the adventure of his dreams.

I found this book easy to read out loud, with the text flowing well. On the surface it is a seemly light and enjoyable story, but there are underlying messages of celebrating everyone’s differences, persevering to overcome obstacles and following your dreams.

The artwork is a delight to look at. The story (lettering) sits over the top of full colour images that take up the whole page.

Riley asked me questions about Gary then requested we ‘read it again’. Ethan tried to eat the book. Yep, ages 3 & up.

If you have any little kiddlets in your life, Gary is one to keep an eye out for.

 

Play: Picture Book Review

Play by Jez Alborough
Release Date: July 1st 2017
Publisher: Walker Books
Source: Review copy from publisher
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you Walker Books


From the award-winning creator of Hug, Tall and Yes comes another classic picture book for the very youngest children.

Using only a handful of words, Jez Alborough skillfully tells the bedtime tale of Bobo the chimp. The sun is still up and this little chimp wants to play with his jungle friends, but then the sun goes down and he’s all alone… The perfect bedtime read for every playful little monkey!


My Thoughts: Riley was very excited when I handed him PLAY and told him we had a new book to read at bedtime.

The story follows Bobo as his mother tries to get him to go to sleep. Bobo has other ideas and keeps running off to find new friends to play with, until the sun disappears and he’s alone in the dark. Bobo is rescued and returned to his mother, spending the night in her arms and then watching the sun rise again.

Riley was really engaged in this book. He was looking at the images and asking questions about the little monkey and what he was doing. The book opened up conversation on going to bed when asked, doing what mummy says, staying safe, love and even the cycle of day and night.

The images are magnificent. There is one image of Bobo sleeping in his mother’s arms that spans across two pages that is breathtakingly beautiful. Jez Alborough is such a talented artist. There are very few words and story is really told through the art.

Immediately after we finished reading, Riley requested we read it again. The next morning, he spotted the book sitting on my computer desk and asked, ‘Can we read the monkey book’. Riley has been repeatedly requesting it. We’ve both found a new favourite in PLAY. The perfect bedtime story!

You can find Jez Alborough @ his Website, Twitter,  Walker Books & Goodreads

Mini Reviews: Riley’s Favourite books right now

I asked Riley to pick his favourite books – Riley is my Three nearly Four-year-old son, who’s favourite activities include asking WHY, making the house look like a tornado has ripped through it, going for walks to the park and reading picture books with anyone that is willing  He rummaged around and handed me > > >riley-books-collage

Possum Magic by Mem Fox & Julie Vivas: Oh Mem Fox, everything you touch turns to gold. I doubt there is many a Aussie kid who doesn’t know of Hush and Grandma Poss! Riley and I pretty much read this one every night. The tale of the two possums who go on an adventure around Australia eating people food to try and cure Hush’s invisibility. Gorgeous artwork. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland: This is the tale of a grumpy bear and the group of animals that try to cheer him up. Ultimately the bear is just grumpy because it’s tired – I can relate to that! The book has bright pleasing artwork, with simple sing-song like sentences. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

Time For Bed by Mem Fox & Jane Dyer: Riley and I read this book every night as our last book. Our final Goodnight book. The words flow beautifully and we always end up singing it rather than just reading it. It is rhythmic poetry featuring all different animals saying goodnight to each other. Beautiful artwork. Delightful and easy to read out loud.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Anna Jones. Essentially this book is just the nursery rhyme with illustrations and three pin wheels at the top that you can spin. Riley would be happy just to sing the song and uses the book as an excuse to do so.

Finding Nemo & Dory Storybook Treasury by Disney Pixar: The images are big and bright, with eight separate stories based off of the two movies. Riley loves this damn noisy book. It is such a pain when you’re trying to keep the story flowing to keep having to stop to find the corresponding sound effect button! The stories are easy to read ‘IF’ you leave out pressing the corresponding buttons. I cheat half the time and ignore most of the buttons. Meh!

Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox & Judy Horacek: Every page has a different illustration of a different kind of sheep, with every few pages the question being asked ‘where is the green sheep?’ The green sheep appears on that last page and is finally found. Riley has a green sheep plush toy that came with the book, so sometimes before we sit down and read the book I’ll hide it (somewhere easy) and then get him to find it. Simple sentences, cute artwork and is easy to read out loud.

Five Tank Engine Tales by Britt Allcroft: This book consists of five separate Thomas the Tank Engine adventures. The stories in the book are episodes I can remember watching with Riley on TV and thus are based on the original Railway Series by The Reverend W Awdry. The stories are quite easy to read out loud with big bold pictures and very few words per page. Riley does actually have quite a few of the original books, but they are more wordy with smaller pictures.

While Riley was super excited to get his books out and “help” Mummy take photos of them, Ethan couldn’t have cared less and chose to sleep.img_9615