Book reviews

20th June 2021
TITLE: The Whisker Twitchers

AUTHOR: Kathy Tallentire, ill. by Becky Stout

Star rating: 5

** Contains spoilers **

The Whisker Twitch Cover.jpg


What a wonderful short story for young children! Although it's presently summer in the UK, I very much enjoyed this wintry, snow-filled book. It follows the adventure of a young rabbit who, with a little help from her granddad, gets to play in the snow for the first time. Accessibly written in simple prose and with plenty happening to keep a young mind amused, I suspect this will go down very well with 5 to 7 year olds - and parents and grandparents too.

Snow, I think, is so magical. And I think - I hope - most people enjoy remembering when they were young, snow had fallen, and they got to enjoy a day off school having snowball fights and rolling huge balls to make snowmen. I still remember hunting through the kitchen cupboards for a carrot for the snowman’s nose, and hunting the street looking for small pebbles for the snowman’s smile. This book by Kathy Tallentire - and superbly illustrated by Becky Stout - reminds me of my wintry childhood. And, I suspect, it will remind other readers too.

I'm delighted to recommend this book to all young children. I think it would make an excellent present, particularly at Christmas. Not only that, I think any parent or grandparent enjoying this book with a child will then want to tell them about the fun they had in the snow when they were young. Despite the modern world we live in, where everything seems to be based upon a screen, there's still nothing more fun than playing in the snow. And this book helps us to celebrate that!


9th December 2020
TITLE: Rescue Me

AUTHOR: Kathy Tallentire, ill. by Dave McCleery

Star rating : 4

** Contains spoilers **

Rescue Me Cover

Sadly, Dog hasn’t got a name. So, in the story, he’s simply called ‘Dog’. The story begins with Dog living under a bush in a park. Like the other dogs he sees, he wants a human who will love him and play with him. Then a kindly man picks him up and brings him to an animal shelter. And, from there, Dog’s adventure begins.

This short book is very simply told. The writer wants to tell a story and, with little or no fuss, she gets on with it. As a result, the pacing is very good and there’s plenty happening on every page. The story is complemented by colorful artwork which, like the story, is modest. In many ways, this book (the writing style and the artwork) reminds me of the old Peter and Jane Ladybird books. Very little in the way of flowery prose, but always a strong, cleverly plotted story for a child to (a) follow with no problem and (b) enjoy!

So, who is this book for? Well, I suspect most parents would be delighted to share this book with a 6 – 8 year old child. Dog meets a number of characters who ‘help’ him on his adventure, and that element of ‘caring’ will go down well with mums and dads. I think it would be welcomed in schools too.

Now, I’m a sucker for ‘puppy eyes’, so I’m delighted to tell you everything turns out okay for Dog. And, by the end of the story, he’s not called Dog any more.


Billy Bob Buttons
Winner of the 2014 UK People’s Book Prize (Children’s Category)
A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review