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Media

‘A lovely message and a great read’ – Review by Book Murmuration about Shampooch

Thank you to Book Murmuration for the great review about Shampooch, a new picture book by Heather Pindar and Susan Batori.

‘Shampooch is the cleanest, prettiest, most pampered dog in the park. She declines all invites to roll in the mud and riffle through bins because she’s got an image to maintain. Then Sampooch chases after some beautiful kites and all chaos ensues.

A light-hearted and witty story about the price of maintaining a perfect image.

With young people under increasing pressure to maintain an image online, it is important that children learn from an early age not to prioritise appearance over living. Shampooch misses out on friendship and fun because she is so concerned about her fur and her hair. When she is sucked into the doggy fray, she finds it liberating.

There are extra laughs in the illustrations, especially in the contrast between aristocratic-looking Shampooch and the smelly dustbins and muddy puddles around her. We just know at some point that the two are going to meet and this keeps the reader waiting. The joke is obvious but we have to know how and when it will happen.

Maverick Arts Publishing always produces books which are friendly to the youngest picture book readers. Their books appear to be produced with a strong knowledge of what amuses and captivates children.

Move over Aristocats – Shampooch is here and she’s throwing off her collar. A lovely message and a great read.’

You can read the full review and many more.

Heather Pindar has also written other titles for Maverick, including Froggy DayBeware the Mighty Bitey and Wishker.  All these titles and many more can be purchased here.

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‘Fun and engaging with a silliness that children will love’ Review by What’s Good to Read about Teachers on Pluto

Lovely review from What’s Good to Read about Teachers on Pluto by Lou Treleaven, author of the Penpals on Pluto series.

‘Overall, Teachers on Pluto is a children’s book that I really enjoyed. While it is not a story in the traditional sense with chapters and formal structure, it is told in the form of letters, postcards and newspaper clippings which is quite unusual and interesting. Each page is different in layout and style and is an excellent way of keeping a young readers attention. Jon and his mum write letters to each other, while his gran communicates with him via postcards. There are also public announcements in the form of posters and newspaper announcements and even a report from the class robot.

Another plus is that there are plenty of “nonsense” words such as snargler, vomblefruit, Flumpenslurp Burble, skwitches and more that will help children put their phonics comprehension to work.

The story is easy to follow, easy to read and humorous – especially the exchanges between Jon and his adrenaline junkie gran (pod racing, sky diving, parachuting etc.)!

Teachers on Pluto is definitely a book younger readers will enjoy, and would be good for reluctant readers and the format is quite unusual and unique and not overwhelming.

Fun and engaging with a silliness that children will love.’

You can read the full review here.

Thank you for your kind review What’s Good to Read Team.

You can read all three of the books in our Penpals to Pluto series: Letter to Pluto, Homework on Pluto and Teachers on Pluto by placing an order on Hive.

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‘A wonderful story of friendship and self-assurance’ – My Book Corner reviews Shampooch

Thank you to My Book Corner  for such a wonderful review about our new Children’s Picture Book, Shampooch by Heather Pindar and Susan Batori.

‘Shampooch is the most pampered dog at the park. After her latest session at the salon she joins her friends but isn’t too keen to play their messy games of playing in the mud and chasing rabbits.

When a kite blows her way, it’s not long before Shampooch becomes just as mucky as the others and she realises how much fun it is when you’re not clean and tidy!

Shampooch is a wonderful story of friendship and self-assurance. A fun read for children who like to be messy! Heather Pindar enthrals the reader once again with her latest text, as Susan Batori’s illustrations ensure Shampooch’s personality shines through on every page.’

You can read their full review here.

Heather Pindar has also written other titles for Maverick, including Froggy DayBeware the Mighty Bitey and Wishker.  All these titles and many more can be purchased here.

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‘Strong characterisation…and some wonderful humour’ – Madge Eekal reviews Arlo, Miss Pythia and the Forbidden Box

Thank you to Madge Eekal for another detailed review about our new book Arlo, Miss Pythia and the Forbidden Box by Alice Hemming and Mike Garton.

‘An entertaining and easy to read story for emerging readers.

The story is written in simple language to make it accessible to emerging readers but still has strong characterisation (particularly of Arlo who narrates the story) and some wonderful humour. I’ll give you just one example that made me laugh out loud. There’s a short scene in chapter one when Arlo is listing the things that he believes make Miss Pythia weird. When he points out she shares her name with an Ancient Greek priestess, Daisy-May replies: “So what? … My surname is Bacon and I’m a vegetarian. It means nothing.”

While the writing is entertaining and easy to read, the plot also has just the right amount of interest and intrigue for the age range. I especially liked the twist about the fate of the class kitten. (Sorry, it’s a plot twist so I can’t tell you more!) The themes about friendship and the importance of teamwork are also well handled, being subtle enough not to detract from the plot.

I can’t conclude a review without a quick mention of the fun black and white illustrations by Mike Garton. Deliberately childlike, these are likely to appeal to the target readership while, as an adult, I had more appreciation for the things children won’t consciously notice such as the diversity amongst the characters.’

You can read her full review here.

The first book Arlo, Mrs Ogg and the Dinosaur Zoo opened up a great adventure for Arlo and friends and we are excited to see what happens next in Arlo, Miss Pythia and the Forbidden Box. You can order these titles here.

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‘A wacky and weird story told through postcards, letters and newspaper cuttings.’ – Teachers on Pluto review by Madge Eekal

We have had a lovely review from Madge Eekal about our new Junior Fiction book Teachers on Pluto by Lou Treleaven. We are excited to continue the Penpals on Pluto series with this third book:

‘As the third in a series of books, I did wonder whether the fact I hadn’t read either of the first two was going to spoil my enjoyment. Fortunately, while it would’ve been nice to know more about the backstory of the book’s various characters, Teachers on Pluto does stand alone.

This isn’t a traditional story broken into distinct chapters. Instead it tells the story through a range of different documents including newspaper cuttings, letters between our main character Jon on Pluto and his parents on Earth, postcards between Jon and his Gran, various posters and leaflets with public announcements, and even the internal report from a robot.

This unusual format works remarkable well and I was particularly impressed that the overarching narrative remains easy to follow. The format also provides lots of opportunities for humour and I especially chuckled at the postcard exchanges between Jon and his Gran. (She’s entered the ‘Saturn Ring Race’ and we’re treated to updates on her progress through the qualifiers to the finals as well as some wonderful asides of what she has planned for the moment she’s sent off the postcard, including abseiling, caving and sky diving).

The format also provides lots of opportunities for fun illustrations, including Jon’s doodles on his letters, and a whole range of fonts. No two pages are the same and I’m confident this variety will help keep the interest of younger readers.’

You can read the full review here.

Thank you for your kind review Madge.

You can read all three of the books in our Penpals to Pluto series: Letter to Pluto, Homework on Pluto and Teachers on Pluto by placing an order on Hive.

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‘With its expressive use of language, it’s a great read-aloud story.’ – Shampooch Review by Parents in Touch

Educational resource Parents in Touch have posted a wonderful review about our latest Picture Book Shampooch. Written by Heather Pindar (2018 Maverick Book of the Year Winner for Froggy Day) and illustrated by Susan Batori

‘Just look at Shampooch – she’s just been groomed and she looks beautiful! It took a mere 3 hours 42 minutes and now she’s off to the park to show everyone how stunning she looks. All her doggy friends try to entice her to play but she won’t… and then she sees a beautiful kite and is whooshed off her feet. Disaster! But, wait! It was such fun she wants to do it all over again – and all the friends join in, to the dismay of their humans. Superbly illustrated by Susan Batori, this is a lovely story about dogs doing what they do best – having great fun. With its expressive use of language, it’s a great read-aloud story.’

Thank you! Read the full review here.

Heather Pindar has also written other titles for Maverick, including Froggy DayBeware the Mighty Bitey and Wishker.  All these titles and many more can be purchased here.

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‘Yet again, Maverick has delivered a book with appealing and amusing illustrations to complement a witty, wacky and well-crafted story.’ – Review about Shampooch by Ish Mother

Ish Mother has left a charming review about Shampooch, our new picture book by author Heather Pindar and illustrator Susan Batori. Shampooch can be purchased here.

 

“I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s just say Shampooch discovers that getting messy can be lots of fun!

This is a really fun book which would definitely appeal to young dog lovers. It would also be a fantastic book to read with little ones who seem anxious about getting messy, to show them it can be fun and that there’s more to life than looking smart. My only slight reservation is the negative reactions of the owners, which might put children off getting dirty, but this would be a good talking point for parents to explain when it is and isn’t OK to get messy, and why dog owners might react differently to parents (it’s easier to take off muddy clothes than it is to clean muddy fur, for instance!).

I really enjoyed reading this book with Toddler, there are lots of brilliant onomatopoeic words that make it lots of fun to read aloud, and he loved looking at all the funny dogs! Yet again, Maverick has delivered a book with appealing and amusing illustrations to complement a witty, wacky and well-crafted story.”

You can read her full review here. You can see our other titles here.

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‘A great story that delivers a very gentle message of not judging others’ – Review of Shampooch by What’s Good To Do

The online review guide website Whatsgoodtodo.com have left a lovely review of Shampooch, our pawsome new picture book by Heather Pindar and Susan Batori.

“Overall, this is a great story that delivers a very gentle message of not judging others by their look and how opening up to new experiences can be so much fun.

It has been beautifully illustrated, showing Shampooch in all her pampered glory and will appeal to boys and girls.

It is, for the most part, easy to read. There are some nonsense words in the form of the dogs names (Shampooch, Wagsy McBone, Woof-Whiffily and Sniffy Bottingham) which are great for children learning phonics as it forces children to put their phonics skills to work and sound out the words.”

You can read their full review here.

Heather Pindar has also written other titles for Maverick, including Froggy Day, Beware the Mighty Bitey and WishkerAll these titles and many more can be purchased here.

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‘Such great value as they do double duty: help children to learn to read and also encourage a love of reading for pleasure’ The Merry Bookworm reviews some new Early Readers!

The Merry Bookworm has just posted a wonderful detailed review for four of our new Early Readers:

Bingo and the Burblies by Steve Howson and illustrated by Gisela Bohorques: Gold Band.   This story really struck a chord with Hugo, who stopped reading at various places to ask why humans would want to hurt the burblies and take away their home.  As a parent, it was a pleasure to see him responding with empathy and concern about saving animals and the planet. 

The Underwear Wolf by Clare Helen Walsh and illustrated by Letizia Rizzo: Gold Band.   Hugo thought this story was hilarious!  He loved the fact that Stitch finally made friends with other werewolves and he thought that it was very kind of Stitch to knit them ‘super-stretchy pants’ to keep them warm.  The story gave us lots of opportunities to talk about difference, inclusion and empathy and Hugo has now decided that he wants to dress up as Stitch for World Book Day.  

Nanny Ninja by Jenny Jinks and illustrated by Sean Longcroft: White Band.  This is a cleverly-written story that breaks down the older-person stereotype and also introduces the concept of resilience.  Hugo loves super-hero characters and so this story was right up his street.  He understood that you need to keep working hard in order to be good at something and now keeps asking his Nanna if she needs to go for a sleep…

Scary Scott by Katie Dale and illustrated by Irene Montano: Gold Band.  Hugo’s favourite time of year is Hallowe’en and so he was excited to read this before he even opened the cover.  He thought that Scott was brave both to go to the party when he didn’t know anybody and also to face the bullies.  He cheered at the end when the children wanted to remain friends with Scott, even though they had found out he was a ghost; Hugo’s parting shot was “It’s nice to be kind and let everyone join in, Mummy”.

These books are such great value as they do double duty: help children to learn to read and also encourage a love of reading for pleasure, which is a huge win-win in my eyes.  There are also lots in the range – with more due out in March – which means that you can always find stories (from pink band to white) that will interest your young readers; indeed, my daughter, who has been a ‘free reader’ for over a year now, still loves to pick these books up as she is drawn to the superb illustrations and engaging stories.  I only have one complaint – the books have been responsible for a number of arguments over whose turn it is to read them!’

Thank you so much! Read the full review here and visit our Early Reader website to learn more about the scheme, order the books and download free activity packs and audio files.

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‘The character names and their hilarious capers out on the sea will have readers laughing from the first to last page’ – My Book Corner Review of Pirate Parrot & The Knit-Wits (White Band Early Reader)

Wow, this is such a wonderful review from My Book Corner about our White Band Early Reader, Pirate Parrot and the Knit-wits by Steve Howson and Daniel Limon.

“What a fantastic story!

The character names and their hilarious capers out on the sea will have readers laughing from the first to last page. A tale of clever animals as they outsmart the humans they sail with. With Steve Howson providing the text along with Daniel Limon’s colourful illustrations this is a fantastic addition to any bookshelf.

Join parrot Jim Squawkins and his fearless animal friends as they set sail on The Crooked Cross-stitch, a pirate ship destined for treasure-lined shores. When another pirate ship is spotted on the horizon, Bogey the crow and Clarence the cat help Jim successfully defend their ship and all who sail on her.

Surprising the other mean pirates with their plan of attack, the animals steal all their treasure, much to the delight of the Crooked-stitch’s Captain Ken and the other sailors who were hiding below deck. With a ship full of gold and treasures galore, they land on an island where they store their riches before setting sail once again. A storm interrupts their celebrations sending them crashing into rocks and they watch their beloved ship sink to the bottom of the murky sea. They begin to paddle to the nearest island but their lifeboat just isn’t going anywhere. Thankfully, they had saved their knitting needles and in a flurry of loops and swirls, a beautiful new sail is created, taking them onwards. The crew of the Crooked Stitch decide to stay but life on the sea calls to all the animals and they leave their human hearties on dry land and venture forth across the waves.

Can Captain Jim sail the seas forever more or does he come across more merciless pirates to steal treasure from?”

You can read their full review and many more on their website.

All of our Early Reader books can be purchased at Hive.

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