Thursday 15 December 2016

Book Review: Oi Dog! By Kes & Claire Gray

Oi Dog!

Oi Dog! is the laugh-out-loud sequel to Oi Frog! It does stand nicely on its own merit though. The intro, which can be read in all manner of silly voices, is an immediate draw card.

"Oi Dog! Get off the frog!" said the frog. 

Frog has has enough of the rules set in Oi Frog! - that dogs sit on frogs - and decides to change the rules. He decides to change all the things that each animal sits on so that he can get a better deal, and the ending doesn't disappoint. I must note though that the final joke went a bit over my 2.5 year old's head but us parents found it hilarious. There is enough rhyming and silliness that can be enjoyed and repeated by younger readers. Just wait until you find out what elephants will sit on!

Jim Field illustrates Oi Dog! and the pictures are bold, bright and the expressions on each animal are on point.

This book is a great rhyming book that introduces a lot more abstract items to your children's vocabulary and has a great laugh factor. Definitely one to add to the collection. 

Available now in hardback and paperback.

Thanks to Hachette for providing me with a review copy of this book.

Wednesday 14 December 2016

Book Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
JK Rowling
 This tale from the world of Harry Potter is set well before the events of the famous books and adds so much magic (figuratively and literally) to the wizarding world. I am constantly amazed and mind-boggled to think of how well J.K. Rowling has thought up not only the names and characteristics of these beasts, but has made them come to life by turning them into a movie! The premise is that Newt Scamander, a Magizoologist, has a brief stopover in New York but he misplaces his magical briefcase containing a variety of magical beasts. Some of these beasts escape and chaos ensues. 

As just mentioned, the book is written as a screenplay which reads differently to a normal novel. It is a script and includes camera angles, settings, and a few other directions such as the emotions that are being portrayed. It does take a bit of getting used to but don't let that put you off reading it! After a while your mind begins to create the events in your imagination. If you happened to see the movie first (I haven't yet) then you will already have images and characters in your mind ready to replay the adventure without the inevitable disappointment of 'The Book Was Better'. There is also a glossary at the back which gives you the meaning and context of each direction (eg CU - close up camera angle)

It is a relatively quick read, I got caught up in it while my daughter napped and read it start-to-finish in about 3 hours (luckily she had a long nap!). The book was gripping, well paced and has a great twist or two to keep it interesting. The main characters are well developed, likable and funny. There are quite a few words and slang that will be familiar to HP fans, if this is your first HP-related read then there is a glossary of a few terms provided but most are pretty easy to figure out.

My only gripe would be the use of No-Maj instead of Muggle (those who are born of non-magic parents and incapable of producing magic), although I can let it slide because it is set in a different time and of course we still have loads of British/American slang floating around.

If you can get your hands on this book in one way or another (I don't condone stealing however), then grab a cuppa, put your feet up and read it! It is a wonderful addition to the ever-growing world of Harry Potter.

Thank you to Hachette for my review copy of this book