Book Review

Book Review: Squish McFluff: The Invisible Cat by Pip Jones & Ella Okstad.

imageAn imaginary friend is a wonderful thing.
What giggles! What games! What adventures they bring!
Well, Ava’s a girl who knows all about that…
Meet Squishy McFluff, her invisible cat!

This is an absolutely gorgeous early reader book. It is divided into three little chapters so is a little more in depth than a picture book (it’s also just over 70 pages long compared to the 32 most picture books are) but still has that utterly charming feel.

Each pair of pages contains just a few lines of dialogue, all rhyming, telling the story of how Ava finds Squishy McFluff and brings him into her family. Like all good imaginary friends Squishy McFluff is prone to a bit of mischief, causing a little havoc for Ava’s very understanding and welcoming parents. A few times I giggled out loud at the things they got up to.

Ella Oakstad’s illustrations are really very lovely. Their muted tones work very well, and they fit the text and feel of the book perfectly. To draw an invisible cat and convey its invisibility must be a challenge, but it’s one that is definitely achieved.

Squishy McFluff: The Invisible Cat is the first in a new series, I can see them becoming firm favourites. This trailer helps to show off the loveliness of the books:

Squishy McFluff: The Invisible Cat is published in the UK by Faber & Faber. Whilst I was provided with a copy of the book by the publisher all opinions expressed are my own.

Book Review

My Week In Books. [5]

Each Monday I review the books I’ve read in the previous week in mini reviews.

The Angel’s Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery by Justin Richards. BBC Books.
I was really excited when BBC Books announced this eBook tie in to the final episode of the first half of the current series of Doctor Who. TV tie in books are a real love of mine and having seen Melody Malone’s book play such a prominent part in the episode I couldn’t wait to read it. Initially I was really disappointed, this book is not the book featured in the episode but another Melody Malone Mystery. Once I’d got over that and got stuck into reading I was soon won over.

The book is a really enjoyable read, I thought Melody’s voice was captured really well which really added to the reading experience. It was good to read a story about the Weeping Angels – they’re a little less scary in prose than they are on the tv screen! I thought it was interesting that they had facets that hadn’t been explored in the tv series, I wonder whether this will be brought into the tv canon at any point. I’d love it if the BBC produced more Melody Malone books though I imagine there’s a limited number of stories they could do featuring the Weeping Angels.

Playground by 50 Cent. Quercus.
The book opens with a title page crediting both 5o Cent and Laura Moser, which pleased me to see the ghost writer clearly credited, and a foreword from 50 Cent where he talks about how the book is a semi-autobiographical account of his youth and his time as a bully. I must admit I was a bit unsure about the book when I picked it up but these things made me more interested in what was held within it.

50 Cent says that he hopes to show the various sides of a bully and I think this is achieved well by the book, from the very beginning the lead character, Butterball, comes across as an angry teenager with a challenging attitude. Over the course of the book as you get to know Butterball better you discover the other layers that he has and get to see the whole boy. Whilst this is a book with a definite moral message it avoids feeling preachy – I think this book could be a useful read for a lot of teens. I was surprised by how much I liked this book, if there are to be more YA titles from 50 Cent I will most definitely be adding them to my collection.

Red Tears by Joanna Kenrick. Faber and Faber.
I saw this book discussed on a discussion group and was intrigued by it so requested it from the local library. Whilst I’d read books that included mentions of self harm before I think this book covered the subject in more detail than any of them. It is a book that’s clearly been well researched and it’s thoughtfully written, it never glamorises or demonises self harm but instead carefully explores the subject matter and the different ways people react to it.

I found the book hard going at times because I could identify a lot with some of the pressures the lead character is facing, it definitely reminded me of some of my own year 11 experiences (though I dealt with them in a different way to the lead character). I think if this book had been around back then I’d have found it reassuring just to read that someone else was feeling similarly. This is a book I am sure I will be recommending, though with caution as the author herself advises that it may be triggering for some readers.

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A double post this week after I was away last weekend. I feel a bit bad that in two weeks I only managed to read 3 books, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time catching up on the issues of Rolling Stone I’m behind on instead.