Review: Queen of the Sea

Title: Queen of the Sea
Author: Dylan Meconis
Genre: Children’s, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Cult graphic novelist Dylan Meconis offers a rich reimagining of history in this hybrid novel loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary.

When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island’s sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor’s life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself.

Review:

I love reading adaptations of true events. This graphic novel tells an alternative story about Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Mary I. Their names are changed to Eleanor and Catherine, but the premise of the story is the same: that the daughter of the King banished her half-sister from the kingdom so that she couldn’t steal her throne.

I’ve read other books about Queen Elizabeth I, so I know the story of what happened. This book follows Margaret, who is a fictional character. She lives on the convent island, which houses Eleanor (the Elizabeth character) while she hides from her sister. This story includes mysterious shipwrecks, spies, and a hidden cave, which were not part of the true history. These aspects make it an exciting story for a children’s graphic novel.

This is a fun story! I loved it!

Thank you Candlewick Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham

Have you read Queen of the Sea? What did you think of it?

Review: Doctor Who: Dr. Eleventh

Title: Doctor Who: Dr. Eleventh
Author: Adam Hargreaves
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The greatest mash-up in the entire Whoniverse is here! Doctor Who meets Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Men in this new series of stories, written and illustrated by Adam Hargreaves.

In Dr. Eleventh, join the Eleventh Doctor and River Song on an amazing new adventure through time and space . . .

Review:

I’ve seen these books for a few years, and I always wondered what they were like. The Eleventh Doctor is my cousin’s favourite one, so I decided to get her this book as a gift. The book is so cute that I’ll have to get the other ones!

In this story, Doctor Who has to go on a trip with River Song to find something he is missing. You don’t find out what it is until the end. Along the way he meets many of the recurring evil creatures that are on the show, such as weeping angels and zygons.

I loved how we get to see so many familiar faces in this book, even if they aren’t necessarily good friends. This book would be great for kids who are fans of the show, but also adults who love it too!

What to read next:

Doctor Who: Dr. Tenth by Adam Hargreaves

Doctor Who: Dr. Twelfth by Adam Hargreaves

Have you read Doctor Who: Dr. Eleventh? What did you think of it?

Review: David Bowie

Title: David Bowie
Author: Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Genre: Children’s, Non-Fiction
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: ebook
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

New in the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of David Bowie, the starman who dazzled audiences with his music. As a child, young David had a head full of songs and ideas. He was inspired by the pop and mod scenes in Britain to pick up the saxophone. After earning his stripes in some of the coolest bands in London, David splashed onto the solo scene. His songwriting talent and musical skill made him one of rock and roll’s all-time greatest artists. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the musician’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a bestselling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardback versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

Review:

I haven’t read any books in this series, but this one was very cute.

This series is great for young kids to learn about important historical figures. This book is about David Bowie and how he became a rock star.

David Bowie was an interesting man. I think his music and costumes would appeal to kids, so this book is a great way to introduce kids to David Bowie.

Thank you Lincoln Children’s Books for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Muhammad Ali by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Mahatma Gandhi by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

Have you read David Bowie? What did you think of it?

Review: The Adventures of Alice Laselles

Title: The Adventures of Alice Laselles
Author: Queen Victoria
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Royal Collection Trust
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: June 8, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

To my dear Mamma. This, my first attempt at composition, is affectionately and dutifully inscribed by her affectionate daughter, Victoria.
 
Long before she became queen, a young Princess Victoria took a keen interest in writing during her studies with a private tutor at Kensington Palace. When she was just ten and three-quarters, she created the story of Alice Laselles as an exercise in English composition. The story is now kept safe in its little marbled notebook in the Royal Archives, and it is published here for the first time.

The Adventures of Alice Laselles centers on young Alice and her thoroughly charming companions at the highly recommended Miss Duncombe’s School for Girls. Scandalizing news soon spreads among the students that someone has brought a cat into the honeysuckled cottage. And though Alice would never dream of doing so undutiful a thing, the transgressing tabby wears a red ribbon round its neck on which is written her name. Will the mystery be disclosed and Alice’s innocence proven by dinnertime?
An enchanting children’s story written by a real princess, The Adventures of Alice Laselles is illustrated with characters created from Victoria’s own collection of paper dolls, drawn for her by her governess and delicately hand-colored by Victoria herself. It will enchant and captivate every little princess today. 

Review:

Today is Queen Victoria’s birthday. To celebrate, I’m posting a review of a book she wrote when she was 10 years old! I picked up this book a couple of years ago when I was at Buckingham Palace. I was so surprised to see it, because I didn’t know she wrote a book as a child.

This book has the story of Alice Laselles, as well as illustrations. The original copy of this story is kept in the Royal Collection Trust at Windsor Castle. The history of this story is given in the introduction by Jacqueline Wilson. Queen Victoria wrote the story for her mother, and illustrated it with her governess. There are also images of the paper dolls she created with her governess at the end of the story. They are so beautiful! I’m amazed at how she made paper dolls when she was a child, and I also remember playing with paper dolls when I was a child almost 200 years later!

This is a beautiful book. The cloth cover makes it a keepsake. The story is also quite entertaining. This book is a must read for any fan of Queen Victoria.

What to read next:

Who Was Queen Victoria? by Jim Gigliotti

My Name is Victoria by Lucy Worsley

Have you read The Adventures of Alice Laselles? What did you think of it?

Review: The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate

Title: The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate
Author: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (illustrations)
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Noseholes and elephants! A pet-eating monster interrupts a perfect playdate with Princess Sneezewort . . . but who is that new masked avenger?

Princess Magnolia and Princess Sneezewort have plans . . . mysterious plans, like a princess playdate! They dress-up slam! They karaoke jam! They playhouse romp and snack-time stomp! But then a shout from outside Princess Sneezewort’s castle interrupts their fun. It’s a monster trying to eat someone’s kitty! This is a job for the Princess in Black. Yet when the Princess in Black gets there, she finds only a masked stranger and no monster in sight . . . or is there? Action and humor abound in this ode to friendship that proves that when shape-shifting monsters intrude on your plans, two heroes are better than one.

Review:

The Princess in Black makes a new superhero friend in this story. The story begins after she has defeated a monster with the Goat Avenger. She has a play date with Princess Sneezewort, but it is interrupted by a monster in the park. Princess Sneezewort uses the list of steps she read in a magazine to transform into a hero, the Princess in Blankets. Together, the Princess in Black and the Princess in Blankets defeat the monster.

This is an adorable series! The story is funny and the pictures are beautiful. I love the vibrant colours of the characters and the setting.

Though these stories are short, the characters become more developed in each one. A couple of books ago, Princess Magnolia met Princess Sneezewort. In this book, Princess Sneezewort transformed into a hero just like the Princess in Black. I love the running joke that no one recognizes these heroes in their disguises, even though it still looks like them.

This is a great series for kids and their parents!

What to read next:

The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (illustrator)

Have you read The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate? What did you think of it?

Review: Work It, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling

Title: Work It, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling
Author: Caroline Moss, Sinem Erkas (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction
Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this new series for aspiring future girl #bosses, discover the life of JK Rowling, the famous author. Be inspired by her remarkable story, and learn 10 key lessons from her life and work. Featuring inspiring quotes and mantras, this is a book for all girls wanting to forge their own career path. 

Review:

I’ve always been a huge fan of J.K. Rowling. I have fond memories of reading the first Harry Potter books with my dad when they first came out.

Her life story is a huge inspiration to me, as a writer. I was familiar with a lot of her story, but I still found this book fascinating. Jo created her own success by working hard at what she enjoyed doing. She wrote when she had time, including while her daughter was napping. She continued to work hard even after she became successful. She also never forgot her humble beginnings, by giving back to those in need.

The books in this series are beautiful. I love the creative graphics. The images look like they are created with layered pieces of paper. There are many pages just made up of just pictures, with short quotes from J.K. Rowling.

I love this series! There are currently two books, one about Oprah Winfrey and the other about J.K. Rowling. I can’t wait to see what other inspirational women are featured in this series.

What to read next:

Work It, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey by Caroline Moss, Sinem Erkas (illustrator)

Who Is J.K. Rowling? by Pam Pollack, Meg Belviso

Have you read Work It, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling? What did you think of it?

Review: Work it, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey

Title: Work it, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey
Author: Caroline Moss, Sinem Erkas (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction
Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A new series of empowering biographies featuring modern women.

When Oprah Winfrey was a little girl, she watched her grandma hang clothes out on the line. Oprah adored her grandma, but she knew in that moment her life would be different… And she was right. 

Discover how Oprah became a billionaire CEO and media mogul in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life. Featuring inspiring quotes and mantras, this is a book for all kids wanting to forge their own career path.

Review:

I didn’t know much about Oprah’s life before reading this book. She came from very humble beginnings. She had to live with her grandmother as a child, and they didn’t have much. Her mother didn’t care for her the way she should. She was discriminated against because of her race, including not being able to sleep in the same building as her family because her skin was too dark. Oprah made the most of her opportunities in school to become a very successful business woman.

I loved the art in this book. Each illustration looks like pieces of paper cut out and layered to make a picture. There are some parts where different materials are used, such as ribbon to create Oprah’s hair. One of my favourite pictures had a VCR tape with the tape coming out of the plastic to create an image of Oprah. This was such a creative way to illustrate the book!

This book is for kids, so it has simple language. It talks about the hardships that Oprah had to go through to get to where she is today, so it doesn’t talk down to the young reader. There was a list of further reading at the back, though I don’t think some books should have been included because they are too mature for children reading this book. It had a parental advisory next to the book titles, but I don’t think they should have been included. My copy is an ARC, so this may have been changed in the final copy.

I loved this book. I’ll be reading the other book in this series soon, which is about J.K. Rowling.

What to read next:

Work it, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling by Caroline Moss and Sinem Erkas (illustrator)

Have you read Work it, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey? What did you think of it?