I was recently introduced to the treasure trove of review books that are available on NetGalley and I have been reading through an eclectic collection of books on my phone. This is my year to actually master the art of reading on a screen… it is not my favourite way to read a book, in fact I find screens hard work, so I specifically chose books that I would find extremely easy to read and enjoy.



Modern Art for Kids

by Stephanie Ho Poon

We read this book together during our family school time. It is a great introduction to Modern Art, all the -isms and their great artists. Beautifully illustrated pages with short and concise blocks of information about the different art periods. Followed by a closer look at specific great artists within a particular movement… and with each period there was a wonderfully crafty project, inspired by the great artist. All sorts of materials were used, from recycling to water colours, clay to pastels… the projects helped us to slow down and reflect on what we had learned. Instead of just reading on and gathering facts, this book allows one to pause and think about the artist and reflect on what we can learn from them about the period of art we were looking at.

We thoroughly enjoyed this, art teachers everywhere will love this book… a lovely balance of historical fact and creativity… who wouldn’t want to learn about Orphism and create a Sonia Delauney popsicle to go with it. This a “must read book” on Modern Art for kids and their adults. There is loads to learn, in an easily accessible way and inspiration to create their own works. We loved this book, so much so that we bought a copy of it.


Brown Girl Dreaming

by Jaqueline Woodson

This book is a Newberry Medal winner for a reason and why did I take so long to read it? Just brilliant. A story written in poetry… and absolutely packed with emotions. A memoir, of Jaqueline Woodson’s childhood growing up between Southern Carolina and New York. An African American childhood, during the Civil Rights Movement. And another book to add to our school reading pile.

Jaqueline Woodson has the skill to create poetry through her childhood eyes. The poems are beautifully written, you will want to linger longer and ponder about a life that was lived. An incredibly beautiful book and one that we would read again and again.


Wildlife Anatomy

Written and illustrated by Julia Rothman

I have Julia Rothman’s first four books: Nature Anatomy, Food Anatomy, Farm Anatomy, and Ocean Anatomy, but I had no idea that Wildlife Anatomy was out. I was thrilled to discover it and just as thrilled to discover that it is just as fabulous as her other ones. Chapter by chapter there are amazing and incredible facts on every single page.

  1. The World Over: Animals from far and wide…
  2. Tooth and Claw: From Fish to Birds and Cats and Dogs, this chapter is all about who hunts what and how.
  3. Have you Herd? If if it lives in a herd, you will find it in this chapter… so many buck varieties and horns of every kind. As well as all hoofed animals, and the biggest kind of “herdy” creatures: elephants.
  4. Social Networks: Naturally this section is about animals that live and thrive in groups, especially our local meerkats.
  5. Built from the Ground Up: If you didn’t think animal architecture was interesting before, you will after reading this chapter… from tiny birds and insects, to the well known beaver…
  6. Weird and Wonderful: And are there some very weird creatures in this world… huge chameleons, an axolotl, and the list goes on.
  7. Consider Helping: This is just one page but packed with interesting links and places we can go online to help wildlife organisations around the world.

Each double page spread is filled with an animal or a type of animal. While there are few words, making it extremely readable, in typical Julia Rothman style there is a surprising amount of incredible facts. Between the detailed illustrations and the punchy paragraphs, this is the kind of book that fills your “Did you you?” bucket. This book is suitable for animal lovers of all ages and stages, literally something new and interesting on every page. I absolutely loved this and will be adding it to my collection of favourites.


Julia Rothman’s Nature Anatomy Activity Book

by Julia Rothman

Another beautifully created Julia Rothman book, filled with her stunning illustrations, the kind of book that is almost too lovely to look at and once you have filled the pages with your own drawings and wildlife spotting, it will be a memorable keeper.

It is just glorious and packed with things to do, this is a road trip delight…

  1. Fact Pages: About all sorts of wonderful things.
  2. Make it Pages: Make your own fossils; Edible Constellations; Make a beaver lodge; Phases of the moon Mobile; Origami Animals.
  3. Journal Pages: Keep a Cloud Diary, Draw your own snowflakes; Beautiful Butterfly Pages; Seed Discoveries.
  4. I Spy: with Binocular Eyes; Rotting Logs, and Spotting Pages.
  5. Word Games: Word Finders, Word Tangles, Mazes, Crosswords and Wild Life Codes…

I think, while this book may have been geared towards children, children of ALL ages would enjoy it. I know it is the kind of book that I would have loved as a child, and would still love to toss into my backpack with some coloured pencils for an adventure into the great outdoors.

The Butterfly Club #3: The Mona Lisa Mystery

by M.A. Bennett

Ooooh, a history adventure series for kids and it is fabulous!!! I received book three to review, but had to go back to the first two in the series… and they are available on Audible. This is a time traveling, changing history kind of a series… Luna has been left with her Aunty, who has a Butterfly Club… it sounds like “Dullsville”, all I can say is beware of dull looking aunties… Luna finds herself on adventures of note with her friends Konstantin and Aidan. It turns out that the Butterfly Club are actually plundering technology from the future, and Luna and her mechanical friends step back in time. These books have a steam punk feel to them, and middle graders will enjoy the technology trend.

The Ship of Doom: In the first adventure the three friends are sent back in time to 1912, and to rescue a very important piece of technology, Marconi’s radio only it is on board the famous passenger liner, the Titanic…

The Mummy’s Curse: In this adventure our trusty trio head off to the Valley of Kings and the curse of Tutankhamen’s tomb, well is it real or imagined? Just before Howard Carter is set to discover the great pharaoh’s tomb, and in era where you are between World Wars.


The Mona Lisa Mystery: In this adventure our team of three, together with Houdini, are off to a little Paris Gallery to steal a painting called the Mona Lisa, only to discover that they are not the only ones after the painting… not to mention the painting is full of hidden clues to a previous era, the world of the Middle Ages and the genius, Leonardo Da Vinci.

All in all this is a great series. The pace is fast and gripping, and just great stories. Definitely grab the audibles for road tripping!!!


How to Build a Boat

by Elaine Feeney

This is an adult read, the story of Jamie, a child that doesn’t fit the mould and some of his teachers that are prepared to break the system and go the extra mile. Jamie is neuro-divergent, heading into an all boys secondary school on the West Coast of Ireland. This book follows Jamie’s stream of thought, he is beautifully observant of those around him and while he isn’t able to express himself as the other boys do… he is able to get his message across. Prepare to cry, and also, laugh out loud. It is a book about surviving grief, Jamie’s mother died when he was born, but also a triumph, together with his died they survive a lot. Jamie and his co-characters all face their own challenges, but somehow the more they support Jamie, the more likeable they become. The characters in this book make you want to read on, you will want to know what happened to them after the book has ended.


Wild Escapes

by Siân Anna Lewis

I had to select this book for review… who wouldn’t want to go exploring in the Wilds of Great Britain. Absolutely glorious photographs on every page… I loved this book with exciting and way-away-from-the-madding-crowds places to stay. This book takes countryside getaways to a new level… and with each getaway comes local activities to do: local hikes, markets and landmarks to look out for. Five Chapters of “get up and go now” holiday spots:

  1. Coast: Who hasn’t dreamed of a lighthouse getaway, complete with an observation room – to cosy up in and watch storms lash the coast or join them for a summer feast on the beach below… basically any time of year is the dream!!! Or a Cornish stone cottage, an Atlantic Coastline Campsite, or stay in the campsite that inspired Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and launched the scouting movement, or even a Cornish Castle. Let’s not even get started on the glorious Welsh and Irish Coastline.
  2. Meadow: The magic of meadows, little islands of wildlife in an ever increasing urban environment. Stay in a converted school bus; or Farr’s Meadow campsite, which has everything from a yurt to a gypsy caravan; a converted windmill in Kent; Stunning cottages and even a house dug out of rock, that has been inhabited for the last 800 years… now that’s history and looks like a real life adventure into the world of Hobbits.
  3. On the Water: One thing about the wild outdoors is waterways that kind of get lost as everyone rushes to the coastline… but as the sport of wild swimming takes off, so these sort of magical adventures become more interesting. Welcome to the Peak District, and cottages where you can literally dive from your deck into the water; a cabin built on a raft in Essex; and a beached boat in Wales; Rose Castle cottage in Cumbria, just beautiful; and Low Wry overlooking the Lake District has some quirky tree tents to rent; And a Wild Boathouse.
  4. Woodlands: And… into the woods…if you ever wanted to stay in a treehouse in the middle of the woods, then this is the chapter for you. A Roundhouse in Sussex that looks straight out of a fairytale; Peach Cottage on a Working Farm, yes please!!! And of course a gorgeous little Cottage on Mount Snowdown. Or stay in a safari-styled domed tent in the rewilded forest of North Yorkshire, packed with wildlife to observe and enjoy. A log cabin or the Faraway Tree House in Cumbria that cries out for a visit from Beatrix Potter, or some woodland elves. And even the tiniest of tin cabins.
  5. Moors, Hills and Fells: This chapter is a hikers dream, packed with places to roam and filled with ancient legends and stories of times gone by. Including the completely remote Bird How in Cumbria, which looks like the wildest stay of them all. There is still more, a cottage on the Inner Hebrides, now that’s a getaway!!! And the Lazy Duck in Inverness-shire… is really a last but definitely not least kind of a getaway.

I really loved this book, a wonderful book for dreaming, packed with glorious photographs and potential adventures… Absolutley loved it.

Amazon Affiliate Links used in this post.

I received these books from Netgalley for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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