Super Sporty 3: The Mechanical Menaces by Ellie Firestone

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I love children’s books because they are always such a lot of fun to read. I think that sometimes books for adults become a little too serious and lack fun which authors that write for the younger age groups get to play with so much. For me children’s books, as I say a lot, are so important in kick-starting that reading love that is so important in a child’s development and if I can help parents out there with suggestions for certain books I’ll try my best. Just a side note if you’re waiting for Amazon and Goodreads reviews, they will be up there soon, I’ve been on a bit of go slow since the festival but they will be up there soon I promise. For now another fun and snappy story for your little ones.

Sporty and her best friend, Harley, are two young horses who play basketball for Horsecitty’s professional team called the Shorthorns. They’re also superheroes.

In this book their adventures continue as they go back in time to save the young Sporty from an alien attack that will leave both superheroes powerless. But with evil robots that are programmed to seek out their targets at all cost, how will Sporty and Harley stop the mechanical menaces?

If you like horses, if you like superheroes, if you like adventure and aliens, then you’ll love Super Sporty and the rest of the Horsecitty gang.

The first thing to note is that I’m coming into this series on the third book so I was a bit confused on starting this because it does just throw you in at the deep end but if I’m right the book follows Sporty and Harley who are trying to save the world from the terribly evil Blarg and Splatt. In this instance our heroes find out that the evil duo are planning to travel back in time to take away baby Sporty’s super powers. If they succeed Sporty will be unable to show Harley her super powers and all will be lost and our heroes will be unable to save the world in the future. Sporty and Harley have no choice but to travel back in time to protect baby Sporty and stop the villains taking over the world. *insert dramatic noooooooooooo.*

I thought this book was a lot of fun; it’s a mix of vivd imagination, funky and childlike illustrations and a real understanding of how to keep a younger audience engaged wholly in the story. The writing is packed with little punchy tit-bits and ways of making your little one smile. The chapters are short enough to hold the attention span of both child and adult and you won’t find yourself getting lost in the story or needing to explain lots of bits. It comes across really well and has a very amusing and entertaining vibe throughout. In terms of content the main characters are talking, flying super hero horses who can time travel, there are both aliens and villiains and a whole barrage of other interesting and exciting characters. What more could you want?

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In terms of the age of the reader it does need to be a slightly older child unless they’re nine or ten because there are a few more difficult words interspersed but I can see this being a great book for children to take in to school and read aloud or at home before bed. It’s got enough intrigue to keep their attention but isn’t too complicated to stop their attention from sticking to the book. I think these books would be just as good being read aloud to a slightly younger child because voices could be added to the different characters to help distinguish and it could be made 6/7/8 year old friendly in that way. My only slight wobbles were one it does get a little ridiculous but I think as you continue it becomes almost like a caricature of a book; it is over the top, it is silly, it is complicated but only in the way that a child can bumble through picking up little bits. Additionally Icky and Troy do speak in what I would call baby voices which could be misconstrued; such as “Drakk say he turn good!” said Icky. “He just now unfreeze you. So maybe he be good.” As an adult I might worry that a child might pick this up as a copy cat style of talking but it’s only a small wobble.

Overall this is quite a complicated but easy to read book with some strong characters a real understanding of how to draw a child in and capture their imagination and pull them in. It has a humorous feel, some feel-good characters and a good use of heroes and villians. The speech may worry me as a parent but maybe I’m being a little picky. Definitely one for your burgeoning readers book shelf.






Quiet Boy : Tom Kavanagh

Good Afternoon wonderful readers! I speak about the fact that I review all genres of book quite regularly here on mylittlebookblog, and so far, in a year and a half blogging I am yet to turn someone away in their request for a review. Before I started blogging I stuck to reading only genres that I enjoyed as we all do, but I wanted to read more diverse genres and mylittlebookblog has opened a door in that sense. I also love that I get to review children’s books because my childhood was filled with reading and any books that can give a child the love of reading that I gained from the adventures I read about need to be shared. I actually approached the author Tom Kavanagh on Twitter, which is something I’m using more and more as a communication tool with authors and offered a review. So thank you to Tom for taking up my offer because I rather enjoyed this lovely little book.

I actually think that children’s books are really difficult to write because there needs to be a balance between interesting language, a story, and something that’s going to keep the reader entertained. Books can be a little over-whelming and as a child I remember books that just didn’t hook me or didn’t teach me anything. This cannot be said for this book. The story follows Quiet Boy (nick-named QB) who is a little different. A shy and sensitive character, his worried parents send him away to a camp for children that need a little help finding their feet in the world. Filled with anxiety and worry QB meets up with his Grandfather and the two decide that whilst he is away QB will recount his adventure in letters to his dear Grandfather. Once at the camp QB meets two very special characters, Rose and Tim and the three of them create their own three musketeer like friendship. The story follows the trials and tribulations of the three characters and the difficulties they face in interacting with different people and taking part in different team-building tasks. The story, told in letters to his Grandfather follows this lovely character as he finds his feet, and his voice in a very special coming of age story.

One of the things I liked most about the book were the character profiles; QB is sensitive and nervous, but from the start you feel for him because he has such a strong moral core. The writing style really plays on the concern and unease that QB is feeling in this new situation and the author handles it with great care. Rose or fidget girl as she is nicknamed, is a self-assured but is also a character that frets. Her assured personality mixed with her need to fidget created a very well-balanced character which also helps to bring out QB’s character. Tim (aerial boy because he likes planes) is the least developed out of the three in terms of character building, but his sense of humour added another contrast helping to create distinction between the two males characters because they are quite similar.

The story also pushes a very ethical message throughout the book that wasn’t overplayed or made too obvious but just kept weaving through. It is also looked at what can happen when you stray from doing the right thing but in such a way that didn’t affect the characters too negatively. Also by adding in an nasty character, found in the form of the bully Rory it lead to some interesting choices for the characters that helped to keep the moral theme continuing throughout. I also loved the idea that they were each their own superhero struggling to find their way and think that this book could really help any readers that are struggling a little with finding their path in life. The ending is always very lovely and warming (although a little upsetting) and rounds of the book really nicely which is always a good thing.

I did have a few comments on the book, firstly it did become a little repetitive and I think it’s because of the form of the letters, that do really work but at times I did feel that it needed something more. It wasn’t that I tired of the book I just thought that it might not hold the reader’s attention as much as it could. I also think some of the events could have been played up more to create more suspense such QB’s difficulty with the group tasks and Rose’s difficulties when playing her part as Blousey in the performance. I think a little more colour in the events would have helped to create more drama and suspense and would have countered the repetitive nature of the letters. Linking to this I think because of the use of the letters, the book lacked description to draw the reader in and I think a little more would have helped to enhance the events happening in the book but I understand that this isn’t always possible.

As a whole this is a lovely coming of age story that has a real message throughout and could really help readers that are potentially struggling through growing up. I think it did get a little repetitive however the strong character profiles and the use of contrasting events helps to counter this and make the story more exciting. A really lovely story and one I would definitely recommend!