Tag Archives: picture book


Five Star review from What’s Good To Do that will make you want to read the book ‘again and again!’

Thanks to What’s Good To Do for writing a fantastic review of The Spacesuit by Alison Donald and Ariel Landy!

‘It rightly places them and the importance of their contribution right up there with the rest of the team, and does so in a way that I think empowers girls and women. The story is told in a humorous but very informative way, and one that both of the kids found very engaging. We all loved how on nearly every page, there was a little FACT box, containing lots of really interesting bits of trivia.

We thought the illustrations, by Ariel Landy, in the book were gorgeous and the really added to the story – they are as much a part of the story as the words, and I thought they helped the kids to appreciate just how much work and design go into creating things like this.

My eldest particularly likes snippets of information, so loved reading these and all of the facts throughout the book, and has been reciting them to be for the past few days!

This is a brilliant book, and one the bridges the gap between fiction and non-fiction really well. We all loved it and I have no doubt that it will be read again and again.’

Read Louise’s fantastic full review here or buy a copy of the book here

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Madge Eekal Reviews gobbles up cute new picture book Don’t Eat Pete!

Zoe at Madge Eekal Reviews has just done a wonderful review on Don’t Eat Pete! by Sue Walker and Carlo Beranek

A fantastical story about a troll with a very big appetite and a very frustrated pug. This is worth reading purely to find out how Pete the pug gets his revenge.

The cartoon-like pictures are bright and appealing. Uncle Boll reminds me of a blue version of Shrek but it’s the picture of Pete, that really stand out. I’m not much of a dog lover yet the illustrations of Pete are utterly adorable.

The story itself is sufficiently simple for even the youngest reader to follow with plenty of repetition. I felt increasingly sorry for pug, Pete, whose little belly rumbles as he’s forced to watch the huge troll eat more than would be possible for any human. Perhaps that’s why I loved the twist at the end so very much. (Sorry, I can’t say too much without spoilers but let’s just say that Pete gets his revenge in a very clever way).

 (I am, however, considerably older than the target audience and many children will love the rhyme, especially as this often makes it easier for them to learn the text.)

Read the whole review here or buy a copy of the book here 

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‘A really inspiring story’ The Ish Mother’s super review for The Spacesuit!

The Ish Mother Bec posted a wonderful review for The Spacesuit by Alison Donald with illustrations by Ariel Landy over the weekend:

‘I love that the story starts with Ellie as a little girl learning to sew, making it relatable for children who have dreams and passions of their own. I also really like that there are facts dotted through the story and also at the beginning and end of the book, grounding the story in reality. It’s an aspect of the space race that I had never even considered before and learning about the work that went into designing the spacesuits was really interesting. 

I also really like the illustrations, which capture the sixties style brilliantly and – forgive the pun – weave together aspects of tailoring and engineering beautifully. I love the facial expressions on the characters too – Ellie’s expression exudes warmth and really draws you to her, and I loved the slightly cross-eyed astronaut after testing out a rival suit!!

I’d really recommend this book for older preschoolers and younger school-age children who have an interest in space, a creative streak or even just a particular passion that they dream of pursuing as they grow up. It’s a really inspiring story of how small dreams can grow in unexpected ways, and how you can be part of something much bigger than yourself with hard work and determination.’

Thanks, Bec – another thoughtful review!

Read the whole review here and buy a copy here 

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‘Well-told story, bold pictures and a series of clear messages’ Madge Eekal Reviews aMOOsed by The Moosic Makers!

Zoe at Madge Eekal Reviews recently enjoyed reading new picture book The MOOsic Makers by Heather Pindar with illustrations by  Barbara Bakos:

The story in The MOOsic Makers is more complex than many picture books and it is, therefore, most suitable for children at the top end of the picture book age range. The story is, however, clearly told and the concept – farm animals making money – is likely to have a strong appeal to children. 

The bold and colourful pictures are very stylised. (Indeed, out of context you might not recognise the main characters as cows.) However, they do have lots of appeal. I particularly liked all the extra details that the illustrator has added to the story including Farmer Joni’s ginger cat and the rabbits, mice and chicks that make regular appearances. The frog and insect driving bubble cars in the scene where Celery and Nutmeg try to hitch-hike home also made me smile.

In addition to a well-told story and bold pictures, The MOOsic Makers contains a series of clear messages. This includes an underlying theme of ‘no place like home’ and an emphasis on everyone working together and having the same opportunities. Through the appropriately named character of Georgie Smarm, there’s also a subtle warning to beware of people who may not be what they seem and who make unrealistic promises.’

Thank you! Read the full review here and buy a copy here 

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The Letterpress Project on Don’t Eat Pete!: ‘I predict that this will be a huge hit with young children’

Karen at The Letterpress Project has recently enjoyed new picture book Don’t Eat Pete! by Sue Walker:

Trolls often get a negative role to play in children’s stories so it is refreshing to see a new gloriously illustrated picture book with simple rhyming text that gives a different perspective and puts an everyday troll family centre stage. 

This laugh out loud picture book is generously packed with detailed and colourful illustrations throughout. The central characters are very likeable with a range of facial expressions drawn to convey their various dilemmas. There is also lots of delicious looking food to look at and talk about as well as the chance for children to hook onto the refrain because they sort of know that Uncle Boll is going to need plenty of reminders. I predict that this will be a huge hit with young children.’

Thanks, Karen! Read the whole review here and buy a copy here

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‘A great story that will educate and hopefully inspire girls to get interested in space’ What’s Good to Read stellar review for The Spacesuit!

What’s Good to Read has just published a 5 STAR review for The Spacesuit by Alison Donald:

While we love Maverick Books already, this has to be our favourite so far, maybe because it is based on a true story. Children learn about space and moon landings at school but this book gives a small insight into the people behind the scenes with Eleanor Foraker and her team of seamstresses and engineers that created the spacesuit.

A great story that will educate and hopefully inspire girls to get interested in space (and not just the sewing side). It gives another dimension to the space stories we are used to hearing, and true!’

Rating: 5/5

Full review here and order here

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‘An inspirational true story about the remarkable women who helped to make a space dream come true’ Lancashire Evening Post celebrates The Spacesuit!

Pam Norfolk at The Lancashire Evening Post has published a super-charged review for The Spacesuit by Alison Donald:

It didn’t just take rocket science to put man on the Moon… there was also a team of talented, tireless seamstresses!

Author Alison Donald and illustrator Ariel Landy have the history of the spacesuit all sewn up in an enchanting picture book which celebrates the real-life people who won a race against time to develop the special astronaut clothing used in the first Moon walk 50 years ago.

Dedicated to the women and men who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the Moon landings possible, The Spacesuit focuses on the team of seamstresses, led by the very talented Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Foraker, who won a competition to make a suit for the Apollo 11 astronauts.

Landy’s bold, colourful illustrations are full of intriguing, small detail, and Donald’s story features lots of fascinating, accessible facts as the excitement of the race to make a spacesuit mounts, and the sheer determination of Ellie and her team to achieve their own seeming mission impossible shines through.

An inspirational true story about the remarkable women who helped to make a space dream come true…

Thanks, Pam! Read the full review here

Buy a copy here 

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‘A smashing book for children – of all ages!’ Linda’s Book Bag is over the moon about The Spacesuit!

Linda at Linda’s Book Bag has posted such a terrific review for The Spacesuit by Alison Donald that we just had to quote most of it in full!:

What a wonderful, timely book The Spacesuit is. It might be designed for children but it brought back so many memories from 50 years ago for me and introduced me to a whole new aspect of the moon landings I’d never considered before. Just who made those first spacesuits? Indeed, entertainment and nostalgia aside, there’s a vitally important message here. We know so much about the first man on the moon, but what about the women behind that achievement? Based on real people, in The Spacesuit we discover Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Foraker who was instrumental in creating the spacesuits used. The Spacesuit gives credence and status to all in a message so important to children. Similarly, I thoroughly appreciated the inclusion of those of different ethnicities in Ariel Landy’s colourful and enhancing illustrations.

There’s so much to discover in The Spacesuit as facts and figures adorn every part of the book, from the inside covers, and across the title pages to throughout the story so whilst it’s possible simply to read the book as an entertainment, with jeopardy making it exciting, so much can be learnt too. I had no idea that 21 layers were used in those first spacesuits, for example.

Facts aside, there are wonderful messages about perseverance, team work, doing your best and being proud of your achievements. Ellie’s childhood hobby becomes a career and ultimately a world changing skill so that children can see that their aspirations can be fulfilled regardless of their background. What could be better than that?

The Spacesuit offers something different every time it’s read. It has the potential for so many uses with children that I can see it forming the basis of home and school projects. How about researching those constellation patterns perhaps or playing with onomatopoeic language in the whir of the machines and where exactly is Texas on the map? There really is a wealth of material (forgive the pun) to be enjoyed here.

Finally, I love the fact that the book brings us right up to date with a code to scan for more information. The Spacesuit is a smashing book for children – of all ages!’

Thank you, Linda! Read the whole review here

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‘4 brilliant, high-quality picture books’ The Merry Bookworm checks out Maverick’s latest!

Lorraine at The Merry Bookworm recently test drove our 4 latest picture books with her young children and here is what they thought:

I, Pod by Rebecca Lisle with illustrations by Richard Watson

Rebecca and Richard definitely have another hit on their hands with this third book in the ‘Stone Age Stories’ series. Hugo loved this story in particular, laughing his head off when Nim kept getting Pod’s name wrong (by the time he got to ‘Poo’ he was in hysterics!). The story is entertaining and engaging, the ‘chase’ element provides excitement, and there’s lots of descriptive language and onomatopoeia to help bring the story to life. H also loved the bold and expressive illustrations, which almost leap off the page. Super stuff…’

Don’t Eat Pete! by Sue Walker with illustrations by Carlo Beranek

‘This is a cracking rhyming story that my kids have asked for over and over again, joining in at the top of their voices ‘DON’T EAT PETE!’ The rhyming text flows smoothly, which makes it a joy to read out loud and there are some great rhyming pairs to help expand vocabulary. The children love the ending and both agree that ‘meanybobs’ Uncle Pete definitely deserves his comeuppance! A refreshingly daft, ‘will he, won’t he’ story with comical and colourful illustrations.’

The Pirate Who Lost His Name by Lou Treleaven with illustrations by Genie Espinosa

This is a brilliantly entertaining story, where we are introduced to a whole host of interesting and aptly-named pirates of both sexes, our favourites being Captains Megabeard, Weirdybeard and There’s-parrots-in-me-beard!  As you might expect from such a piratey story, there’s lots of pirate speak, which will encourage even the most reluctant readers to use their best piratey voices when reading out loud. Plus, the bright, hilarious illustrations show each and every pirate off to their stereotypical best! I’ve read this story so many times now, and it still makes me chuckle and smile. It’s a really great read…’

The MOOsic Makers by Heather Pindar with illustrations by Barbara Bakos

This is warm-hearted story about being yourself, not trusting strangers and the benefits of both teamwork and inclusion. What I love most about it is the language: the wordplay makes the children laugh and the descriptive writing makes it a real treat to share. I’m also really taken with Barbara Bakos’ characterful and atmospheric illustrations and I’m loving Billy the Donkey, in the final scenes, rocking a sparkly pink dress! A very aMOOsing tale – or should that be tail?!

There you have it – 4 brillant, high-quality picture books … I can tell just how much my children have enjoyed them by the fact that they keep squirreling them out of our reading corner and hiding them away in their rooms! I hope you spot one (or more!) that will appeal to your young readers too…’

Thanks, Lorraine!

Read the whole review here

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‘One of a very few moon-related books I’ve seen this past few months that has chosen to put the spotlight on women’ Red Reading Hub on The Spacesuit

Jill at Red Reading Hub has posted a magnificent review for The Spacesuit by Alison Donald with illustrations by Ariel Landy:

Over the last week many of us have been enthralled to watch the first moon landing in 1969 relived on our televisions screens for its 50th anniversary; but how many of us thought about what went into the designing and making of the protective spacesuits worn by the three Apollo astronauts, and in particular, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin when they walked on the moon.

Alison Donald’s straightforward, accessible narrative focuses on Ellie Foraker’s skills and her determination to win the NASA competition, making it one of a very few moon-related books I’ve seen this past few months that has chosen to put the spotlight on women and their role in helping to send men to the moon.

Ariel Landy’s digitally worked illustrations too capture the resolve of Ellie and her team throughout the task, showing the tension when things get tough as well as the times when the mood was upbeat.

Along with the facts included in the story itself, the inside covers have short snippets of space travel information and there’s a glossary and a space time line extending from 1957 and the launch of the 1st Russian satellite, through to the 1969 moon walk.

All in all an inspiring picture book for young readers.’

Thanks, Jill!

Read the full review here and buy a copy here  

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