All posts by orchardbookclub

Blog Tour Review – Curse of the Werewolf Boy by Chris Priestley.

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Curse of the Werewolf Boy
By Chris Priestley
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Mildew and Sponge don’t think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloom-
laden, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when somebody
steals the School Spoon and the teachers threaten to cancel the Christmas
holidays until the culprit is found, our heroes must spring into action and solve the crime!
But what starts out as a classic bit of detectivating quickly becomes weirder
than they could have imagined. Who is the ghost in the attic? What’s their
history teacher doing with a time machine? And why do a crazy bunch of
Vikings seem to think Mildew is a werewolf?
Hugely funny, deliciously creepy and action-packed by turns, this brand new
series from Chris Priestley is perfect for 8+ readers who like their mysteries
with a bit of bite. Fans of Lemony Snicket and Chris Riddell will love Curse of the Werewolf Boy.
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36150286
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Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Curse-WerewolfBoyMaudlin
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Ever since he was a teenager, Chris has loved unsettling and creepy stories. He has fond memories of buying comics like Strange Tales and House of Mystery, watching classic BBC TV adaptations of M.R. James’ ghost stories every Christmas and reading assorted weirdness by everyone from Edgar Allan Poe to Ray Bradbury. He
hopes his books will haunt his readers in the way those writers have haunted him.
Website: http://www.chrispriestleybooks.com/
Twitter:
https://twitter.com/crispriestley
Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/chrispriestleywriter/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christopherpriestley/
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This book is perfect for this time of year! Spooky but not frightening, it’s a quick read about the funny (although they don’t mean to be) Mildew and Sponge (who even names their kids that?!) Who take it upon themselves to solve the quest of the missing spoon…. yep you read that right….. a missing spoon! This book is a super fun read, I loved the drawings, they really add to the reading of the book.
This is the first book of the author, Chris Priestley’s I have read and if his other books are as good as this…. and it really was good…. then I will definitely be reading more!
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Curse of the Werewolf Boy is available now from all good book retailers. Please make sure to stop by the other blogs that are taking part in this tour.
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Review – Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourn

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Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourn

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When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom?

Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.

But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.

Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35581157-fire-lines?from_search=true

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fire-Lines-Cara-Thurlbourn-ebook/dp/B075FTR12K/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1505480503&sr=8-13&keywords=fire+lines

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Cara Thurlbourn writes children’s and young adult fiction. ‘Fire Lines’ is her first novel and it’s a story she’s been planning since she was fifteen years old.

Cara has a degree in English from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University.

She lives in a tiny village in Suffolk and has worked in academic and educational publishing for nearly ten years. Cara blogs about her author journey and in November 2016 she crowdfunded her first children’s book. 10% of its profits are donated to animal rehoming charities.

Cara plans to write at least two more books in the Fire Lines series, as well as a young adult mystery series, and has lots more children’s stories waiting in the wings.

You can sign up for Cara’s newsletter, for giveaways, updates and latest releases, here: http://www.firelines.co.uk

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This is a new to me author so when I was asked to join in the blog tour I did so as we had a review gap and I’m sooo glad I said Yes! It seems that my reading trend has taken a turn and I’m suddenly drawn to the books that hold magic, action and adventure….. and Cara’s book definitely ticked all those boxes for me.

I loved the whole situation about Émi having to hide her magic (i didn’t like how quickly she trusted some people) and how differently each quarter was treated depending on what colour sash they wore on their arm, would have liked a bit more background on that. I enjoyed the darkness about the four cities, it left you guessing how much was actually true and how much was twisted and added to.

For me this book had everything and I highly anticipate book 2 hitting my shelf!!

Actual rating – 3.5

3.5 thumbs

Follow the other awesome book bloggers on Cara’s book tour 😀

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Review & Giveaway – Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren.

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Title: Prisoner of Ice and Snow (Prisoner of Ice and Snow #1)
Author: Ruth Lauren

Release Date: 7th September 2017

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35382914-prisoner-of-ice-and-snow

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1408872757

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Valor is under arrest for the attempted murder of the crown prince. Her parents are outcasts from the royal court, her sister is banished for theft of a national treasure, and now Valor has been sentenced to life imprisonment at Demidova, a prison built from stone and ice.

But that’s exactly where she wants to be. For her sister was sent there too, and Valor embarks on an epic plan to break her out from the inside.

No one has escaped from Demidova in over three hundred years, and if Valor is to succeed she will need all of her strength, courage and love. If the plan fails, she faces a chilling fate worse than any prison …

An unforgettable story of sisterhood, valour and rebellion, Prisoner of Ice and Snow will fire you up and melt your heart all at once. Perfect for fans of Katherine Rundell, Piers Torday and Cathryn Constable.

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Ruth Lauren lives in the West Midlands in England with her family and a lot of cats. She likes chocolate, walking in the woods, cheese, orchids, going to the movies, and reading as many books as she can. She’s been a teacher and worked in lots of different offices, but she likes writing best. Prisoner of Ice and Snow is her debut novel.

Website: https://www.ruthlauren.com/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/ruth__lauren

Instagram: www.instagram.com/ruth_lauren

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A brilliant and touching story about a wonderful sisterly bond that goes above and beyond! This story had me hooked on the very first page, action packed with plenty of life lessons to be learnt for all the characters on some level. 

The author had a great way of describing details in the story that made it easy to imagine what was happening, I felt many chills from the book (maybe that was the Ice) I definitely don’t want to be heading for the child’s prison that’s for sure!! I can’t wait for book 2 (so happy that it won’t be an only book) It’s a great read for all and I will be recommending it to all my friends and telling them to be keeping an eye out for Ruth’s other book as I have a feeling she’s going to be a go to author for me and my friends! 

I give this book a very well deserved 5 thumbs up, please don’t leave us waiting too long for book 2 😀

5 thumbs

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 Proof copy of Prisoner of Ice and Snow

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Monday 4th September

Bookish Outsider

Hux Tales

Tuesday 5th September

YA Under My Skin

Book Lover Jo

Wednesday 6th September

PowisAmy

Kirstyes

Thursday 7th September

Library Girl and Book Boy

OBC Mini Reviewers

Friday 8th September

A Bookish Life Blog

Bart’s Bookshelf

Saturday 9th September

Tales of Yesterday

The Book Moo

Sunday 10th September

Rachel Bustin

The Bibliophile Chronicles

Monday 11th September

Minerva Reads

Golden Books Girl

Tuesday 12th September

Live Otherwise

Luna’s Little Library

Wednesday 13th September

An Awfully Big Adventure

Mum Friendly

Thursday 14th September

Emma’s Bookery

Miss Cleveland is Reading

Friday 15th September

Bibliobeth

A Little but a Lot

Saturday 16th September

With Love for Books

Get Kids into Books

Sunday 17th September

Linda’s Book Bag

Fantastic Book Dragon

Thank you to Bloomsbury for the advanced copy and to the lovely Faye for organising and including us on this fab book tour!

 

 

Spy Toys by Mark Powers.

So it would seem that the last week of the holidays is the perfect time for my children to get sick and pass it into everyone in the house, even though i have a million and one things to do….. this post being one for them!! So my heart felt apologies go out to Mark, the wonderful author of this very chuckle-some book and to Faye for organising this great book tour!!
So with me medicated up, a pile of tissues at my side, the kids in a daze on the sofa, let’s get this review live!

 

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Title: Spy Toys: Out of Control (Spy Toys #2)
Author: Mark Powers

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36035921-spy-toys

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0744RCYB9

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Toy Story meets James Bond in the second book in this incredible action-packed series!

Fresh from the success of their first mission, our heroes the Spy Toys – Dan the Snugaliffic Cuddlestar bear, Arabella the Loadsasmiles Sunshine Doll and Flax the custom-made police robot rabbit – are ready for their next task. This time, the secret code that controls every Snaztacular Ultrafun toy has been stolen and all over the world toys are revolting and turning against the children who own them.

Can Arabella disguise herself as a super-sweet little doll in order to find out more from the daughter of Snaztacular’s top scientist? Can Dan and Flax chase down Jade the Jigsaw, the puzzling prime suspect for the robbery? And can they save the day before the mind-controlled toys forget what it means to play nice?

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Author Mark Powers has been making up ridiculous stories since primary school and is slightly shocked to find that people now pay him to do it. As a child he always daydreamed that his teddy bear went off on top secret missions when he was at school, so a team of toys recruited as spies seemed a great idea for a story. He grew up in north Wales and now lives in Manchester. His favourite animals are the binturong, the aye-aye and the dodo. www.spytoysbooks.com

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Website: www.spytoybooks.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mpowerswriter

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Mark Powers where have you been all my life?! Spy Toys: Out of Control has to be one of the funniest books I have read…… ever! This book is a super funny and quick read, I read it in one sitting. We jump right in with the evil Hog Wild and his prisoners over a fiery volcano, the brave Dan, Arabella and Flax come to the rescue crushing Hog Wilds plan but obviously that’s not the only bad guy in the book….. we have Jade the Jigsaw (you’ll never look at a jigsaw the same ever again!) Gemma who’s not exactly what she seems and….. well I won’t spoil the book for you.

I loved  Tim Wesson’s illustrations throughout the book, especially the surgical gown wearing chipmunks!! I felt this was a great addition to the book. I also thought the FREE Toy Spys game app (available on iTunes & Google Play Store) was a great fun addition to this book, it’s the first time I have seen anything like that 🙂 

So if you live a fun and gigle-sim read then Mark Power’s books are definitely for you. Make sure you check him out today!

5 thumbs

 

Month of Reviews Day 17 – The Ice Dragon.

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An enchanting tale of courage and sacrifice for young readers and adults by the wildly popular George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, the series that inspired HBO’s Emmy Award-winning GAME OF THRONES. Lavish illustrations by acclaimed artist Luis Royo enrich this captivating and heartwarming story of a young girl and her dragon.

From ancient times the ice dragon was a creature of legend and fear, for no man had ever tamed one. When it flew overhead, it left in its wake desolate cold and frozen land. But Adara was not afraid. For Adara was a winter child, born during the worst freeze that anyone, even the Old Ones, could remember.

Adara could not remember the first time she had seen the ice dragon. It seemed that it had always been in her life, glimpsed from afar as she played in the frigid snow long after the other children had fled the cold. In her fourth year she touched it, and in her fifth year she rode upon its broad, chilled back for the first time. Then, in her seventh year, on a calm summer day, fiery dragons from the North swooped down upon the peaceful farm that was Adara’s home. And only a winter child―and the ice dragon who loved her―could save her world from utter destruction.

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My daughter picked this up from the library, she’d not started it so I had a quick look and before I knew it I’d finished! It’s a quick read (120 pages) about 7 year Adara, born to the winter she comes across as cold and emotionless with not only the children her age but also her family. The animals of winter are her friends, especially the ice dragon. I loved reading about the bond that forms between these two unexpected friends, friends that go above and beyond for each other.

I have to mention the drawings/sketches in this book, WOW! They are amazing, detailed and mesmerizing. They added a lot to this book for me.

A great read for all….. I was drawn to it because of the author, my daughter because of the content and drawings.

5 thumbs

Month of Reviews Day 16 – Lucy’s Fingley Discovery.

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Get set for…TIME TRAVELLING FUN!
Doing Ordinary Deeds Lovingly Changes Lucy’s Life Forever!
Join Dodl Bear when he visits Lucy’s dream and invites her on a Time Travelling adventure to The Magical World of Fingley, an eco-world where humans, fairies and other curious creatures live.
Funny, Educational, Inspirational and Magical!
Lucy’s Fingley Discovery shows that having responsibilities can be fun!

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When Lucy doesn’t look after her pet hamster Winston properly she gets visited by the magical bear Dodl in her dream. She was suppose to clean out his cage regularly, brush him, and do the basic things all pet owners should, but Lucy soon got bored of Winston and always found an excuse to get out of tiding her room or cleaning out Winston’s cage. So when she met Dodl he took her back to the magical world of Fingley were she soon learns that tidying isn’t so bad after all, but when Winston gives her a big scare she hopes its not to late to start being a good pet owner and keeping everything tidy and helping her mum out around the house. Join Dodl and Lucy on there magical adventure through Fingley which is home to fairies, mermaids and pegacorns.
My favourite part of the story was when Lucy found the little card from Dodl that he’d deliberately left for her on the floor so that when she was cleaning she would find it, on the card was a few lines from the song they sang in Fingley while they were cleaning to make time go a little quicker and to get the job done. I also liked it when Lucy rode Aura the pegacorn across the beach.
 I also enjoyed the activity pages and competitions in the back of the book. The pages also have little decorations which draw your eye, that was a nice little touch.
I love the front cover which is very bright and colourful with Lucy, her pet hamster and her room in the background with Winston’s cage. 
I think the book would have been better if there had been some pictures throughout  the story, the only pictures in the book are the ones with the activities and the map of Fingley at the start. Other than that I thought this was a great read!
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Thank you to Daisa Morgan for sending me a copy of this book and I hope you read the other books in the Fingley series.
And the world of Fingley doesn’t end there!
You can now visit…. yes visit the world of Fingley!
Located in Barton upon Humber, you can eat, visit and  explore Fingley. Whether that be a craft session with ‘Astoria the Pixie’ and ‘Elgiva the Elf’ a play in the soft play centre, tea in the park or even the chance to hold your very own birthday party with them! The choices are endless in the world of Fingley!! 
More detail can be found on their website —> http://www.fingley.com

Month of Reviews Days 11, 12, 13 & 14 round up.

Unfortunately due to family issues our weekends posts didn’t get published so to catch up we thought a round up post would be a great idea!

Having children at both ends of the reading spectrum (12 and 2) our trips to the library are some what difficult. The toddler part is at the opposite end of the building to the teen part so our trips take at least an hour, even longer if they have had a delivery of new picture books!! Even though my teen is no longer into these books she sure has a good look at the new additions and who can blame her when THESE are in the pile….. or should I say in our home pile! 

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Beautiful, bright picture books that draw even the oldest of picture book lovers attention! Out of the three of us we all grabbed a different book, Lily-May (aged 2) picked up the two Masiy books and the Aliens Love Underpants books (much to the amusement of her older sister) all these books have vivid and bright pictures that held her attention, she asked for the Alien book reading umpteen times and asked for it back on today’s visit (must check to see if there are more books in the series!) 

Amy-Lee (aged 12) and the one pretending to be uninterested in the toddler section slyly added King Jack and the Dragon and Jack and the Beanstalk to the pile. These books had more words than we would usually choose but to my amazement Lily-May actually really enjoyed these books, I loved the little tabs on the Beanstalk book.

I added the Ben and Holly and My Brilliant Dad to the pile. We love Ben and Holly and this book was a fun read with all the buzzy bees and the My Brilliant Dad was given to Dad for the bedtime story (think he secretly liked the theme!)

And our trip is never complete without at least one book from our absolute favourite author, David Melling. We are HUGE Hugless fans, it doesn’t matter if we have already had the book we never go home without one of these! 

All these books are great reads, with bright vivid illustrations that keeps my toddler’s attention for the whole book (and that’s a great achievement at times!) make sure you keeps your eyes out for them on your next library visit!

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5 thumbs

Month of Reviews Day 10 – The Tales Of Beedle The Bard.

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Written by J.K. Rowling 

Published by Bloomsbury

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The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore.

Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

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I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to pick Beedle the Bard up and I only with I had read it sooner! 5 wizarding childrens stories (The Tale of Three Brothers, which is featured in the film) its a quick read book which i finished it within an hour.

After each story Dumbledore pens his own thoughts about each book, which I really enjoyed. I loved reading how he interpreted each story and at points had you rethinking how you read the story yourself, I loved the extra glimpse into this wonderful Wizards mind.

My favourite out of the 5 stories has to be The Fountain of Fair Fortune. The more muggle kind of story from the 5, it was the most heart warming and dare I say ‘normal’ one that I would probably read to my own children.

A must read for any Harry Potter fan, and a must for the collection!

5 thumbs

Month of Reviews Day 9 – Perfectly Norman.

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Title: Perfectly Norman
Author & Illustrator: Tom Percival
Publisher: Bloomsbury
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Norman had always been perfectly normal. That was until the day he
grew a pair of wings!
Norman is very surprised to have wings suddenly – and he has the most
fun ever trying them out high in the sky. But then he has to go in for
dinner. What will his parents think? What will everyone else think?
Norman feels the safest plan is to cover his wings with a big coat.
But hiding the thing that makes you different proves tricky and upsetting.
Can Norman ever truly be himself?
A poignant yet uplifting story about individuality, with stunning artwork
in a striking minimal palette from the author/illustrator of Herman’s
Letter. Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Benj Davies will love it.
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Tom Percival writes and illustrates picture books and has also produced
covers and internal illustrations for the Skulduggery Pleasant series. Tom
has written and illustrated three books for Bloomsbury: HERMAN’S
LETTER, BUBBLE TROUBLE and the forthcoming HERMAN’S HOLIDAY.
He grew up in a remote and beautiful part of South Shropshire. He now
lives in a far more conventional building (a house), with his girlfriend and
their young sons.
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Website: http://tompercival.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TomPercivalsays
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First off, can we just say how brilliantly bright, colourful and spangly this cover is!!
Just look at it!

 

This story is the sweetest book ever!  A story about teaching children to be themselves, be who they are and not mingle into the crowd….. Because being you is the very best thing. 

Norman isn’t happy until he grows his beautiful wings but then is frightened about people will say, on these pages the illustrations are coloured grey and look sad, an amazing job by Tom. It made those parts of the story sad a gloomy but once Norman has his wings on show all the colours come out and the story starts to bloom. Everyone in the world need to have their wings on show!

 Lily-May loved to see Norman flying in the book, she then ran around the room with her arms stretched out pretending to fly! Its safe to say that she loved the book, we read it umpteen times before bed for the last few nights and probably for the next few nights to come. 

We cant wait to see what Tom throws at us next, you’ve set the bar high for the next book and cover…….no pressure!!

5 thumbs

Be sure to check out the rest of the book tour and see what the other bloggers thought to Perfectly Norman.

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Month of Reviews Day 8 – A Case of Good Manners.

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Anyone with Toddlers need this book box set in their lives! 12 great, colourful books in their own case all about manners.

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My 2 year old adores these books, on the odd occasion she has done something wrong and has to sit on the naughty step we get the book that relates to what is has done wrong, I then sit and read it to her and explain to her why it’s not nice and why manners are important, and they seem to work with her understanding of the different manner.

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I also took these to playgroup and they went down a treat with both parent and child, below is a comment from Mum, Kelly about this great case of books….

“That’s me and my little boy in one of the pictures 🙂
He loved the stories and loved talking about the pictures, he’s an animal lover so that went down a treat.
I got a little bit too excited about the puzzle picture on the back of the books, great little added touch.”

5 thumbs

Sweet Cherry Publishing  is an independent children’s publishing company that specialises in fiction series.Their books explore engaging characters and worlds that children will want to revisit time and time again, and their list targets a wide range of readers – from board books and picture books all the way through to YA. They publish a diverse selection of genres including action, fantasy, and coming-of-age, and their educational titles for younger children are very popular with parents and teachers. 

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They truly do have some amazing titles available (we have our eye on a few) so do make sure you check out their website, when we say there is something for everyone Sweet Cherry has you covered!!