Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Children's Book Reviews: Story Books For Younger Children (sent by Matador)

Matador Publishing work with self-published authors. Four of the recently released paperback children's books that they've sent me for review have a common theme looking at, and celebrating, difference, so I've put them all together in one post.

These are all nicely illustrated picture books suitable for reading together with children from a very young age, or for independent readers aged around 5-6+ to tackle alone.


Peter Pixie Visits The Rescue Centre

Peter Pixie Visits The Rescue Centre book cover showing pixie dragonfly and fly agaric mushroom

This is a tale about young Peter Pixie, who lives in a very complex miniature world of fairy folk and insects, and acorn trains. His school are off on a trip to the Rescue Centre. A big emergency arises when a human starts picking mushrooms, and an entire part of their village has to be relocated.

Peter pixie getting up and dressed in the morning

The illustrations are really sweet and full of detail, with lots of real life insects and amazing Pixie food which sounds wonderful. Some of the 'use' of insects seems a bit rough, but they don't seem to mind too much. There is a reminder that eating strange mushrooms isn't wise, as the only human in the story soon finds out...

Peter Pixie drawing ant table with food

Peter Pixie Visits The Rescue Centre is written by Michael Woodward and illustrated by Alison Lingley. 32 pages, rrp £7.99

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Aya And Papaya - Discover What Makes Everyone Special

Aya And Papaya discover what makes everyone special children's book cover

This is a tale about young Aya, who is off to visit her Grandparents in a different country. At the airport she realises everyone is different, with different hair and skin colour, different clothes and languages.


An important and very simple message is in this book - we are all people, and we are all pretty much doing the same things, whatever we look or sound like, and wherever we are from, or wherever we are going to.

Childrens book showing people speaking languages we don't understand

The illustrations are bright, bold, minimal and really nice. They go very well with the text and don't detract from the main message.

Aya And Papaya - Discover What Makes Everyone Special is created by MQ, written by Andy Abey and illustrated by Leo Antolini. Paperback, 38 pages, rrp £8.99.

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The Knobbly, Wobbly, Bobbly Celeriac

The Knobbly Wobbly Celeriac Childrens Book Cover

This is a large scale book which introduces young children to different vegetables, including the strange looking celeriac, through a very simplistic storyline. Designed for children 2-5 and slightly older, two children visit the greengrocers every day and take home a different vegetable for tea.

Inside page showing 2 children and mother at greengrocers with various vegetables

There is lots of repetition and very little language. The illustrations blend cartoony characters and photographs to show exactly what Celeriac is, and there are 2 great recipes at the back of the book. I'm not a fan of 'dead eyes' in illustrations, although the vegetables are depicted as really cute and friendly.


The Knobbly, Wobbly, Bobbly Celeriac is by Alexandra Campbell and is part of a series of books introducing different vegetables. 24 pages, rrp £9.99

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Hippocrocohog

Hippocrocohog book cover Childrens story book by Adam Nuth

This is my favourite of the 4 books and has a great message about being understanding of those who are different to you. Written in rhyme, it's funny and light-hearted, and I really like the illustration as well - although the children have really googly eyes!

Hippocrocohog childrens story book inside page with 2 children walking to the park

Two girls go to the park with their Grandparents and inadvertently disturb the ferocious Hippocrocohog who lives in the lake. He wants to capture them, but their Grandparents are too quick for that and he is defeated - although you'll be surprised how, and where he ends up...

Hippocrocohog by Adam Nuth island with Keep Out signs and scary eyes

Hippocrocohog is a really funny story which bizarrely seems entirely plausible, and it's a good read. Expect to see more from author Adam Nuth and illustrator Alice Samways. 32 pages, rrp £6.99. 

All of the above books are self-published with Matador Publishing and available now from good book shops instore and online, including Amazon. Handy affiliate links below:




These books were sent to me for review by Matador Publishing. Amazon links are affiliate, which earns me a few pennies if you buy through my link, but won't ever cost you a penny. 

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