E. Nesbit

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Beth And Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2015 – The Round Up

Published December 31, 2015 by bibliobeth

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Hi everyone and welcome to my round up post where Chrissi and I talk about our highlights (and lowlights!) of Kid-Lit 2015. We had some fantastic books on the list this year, please see my reviews below and for Chrissi’s reviews, visit her blog HERE.

JANUARY- Five Children And It- E.Nesbit

FEBRUARY- Pollyanna- Eleanor H.Porter

MARCH- Diary of A Wimpy Kid- Jeff Kinney

APRIL- Flour Babies- Anne Fine 

MAY- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe- C.S Lewis

JUNE- Velveteen Rabbit- Margery Bianco 

JULY- Gangsta Granny- David Walliams 

AUGUST- The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman

SEPTEMBER- Watership Down- Richard Adams

OCTOBER- Goodnight Mister Tom- Michelle Magorian

NOVEMBER- The Class That Went Wild- Ruth Thomas

DECEMBER – The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) – Rick Riordan

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our third year of Kid-Lit blogging.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2015 and why?
BETH: SUCH a tough choice. We had some super amazing titles this year. If I absolutely had to choose one it would be Goodnight Mister Tom which narrowly beats The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, one of my all-time favourites. So beautiful. So moving. I may have shed a tear or two…
CHRISSI: It has to be Goodnight Mister Tom which is one of my favourite books of all time, even as an adult it moved me. Possibly more so. Arghhhh the love I have for this book.
2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2015 and why?
BETH: Hmm. There weren’t any real howlers this year (compared to the horror that was The Swiss Family Robinson last year!). Again if I had to choose, I would go for Diary Of A Wimpy Kid. This is not because it’s terrible because it’s not at all. Perhaps I was just expecting something a bit more and maybe I’m the wrong demographic but it wasn’t an amazing read for me.
CHRISSI: Watership Down. I’m a massive rabbit lover and wanted to connect with it more.
3) What was the Kid-Lit book of 2015 that surprised you the most?
BETH: Either Watership Down which was slightly darker than I expected or Velveteen Rabbit which was even more adorable than I expected!
CHRISSI: The Lightning Thief. I didn’t expect to enjoy Percy Jackson as much as I did!
4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2015?
BETH: Yes! Something else from Ruth Thomas after once again thoroughly enjoying The Class That Went Wild as an adult and David Walliams as I thought Gangsta Granny was a brilliant read. Wonder if one of these authors will turn up on our list for 2016? &#X1f60a
CHRISSI: More from David Walliams and Rick Riordan!

For anyone who reads these posts, thank you so much for your continued support, we love doing this challenge and hope to continue it indefinitely. Coming tomorrow – the big reveal for Kid-Lit 2016! Which titles made it this year? And which titles are we going to have to do er…. another year?!

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Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit 2015 – JANUARY READ – Five Children And It by E. Nesbit

Published February 1, 2015 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Robert, Cyril, Anthea, Jane, and Baby brother “Lamb” find an ancient Psammead sandfairy who grants them one wish per day. But whatever they wish turns wrong. They try “beautiful as the day”, “wealth beyond avarice”, angel wings to fly, defending a besieged castle, raiding Red Indians, and more. Diamonds for Mother on her return is the last straw.
What did I think?:
Hello everyone and welcome to our first Kid-Lit read of 2015! This year we have mixed it up slightly and have chosen six classic works of children’s literature and six more modern reads (published post 1980). Our first classic read is Five Children and It which was originally published in 1902 from a series of stories published in The Strand magazine. The story involves five children who have moved from London to the Kent countryside and one day, while digging in a gravel pit, unearth an old, tired and very disgruntled Psammead or “sand-fairy,” who has the ability to grant wishes. It agrees to give the children one wish a day on the condition that it will disappear at sunset. The children are delighted with their good luck but unfortunately their wishes don’t quite go to plan.
For example, their first wish “to be as beautiful as the day,” leads the servants unable to recognise them and as a result, they are shooed away and locked out of the house until sunset when the spell breaks, and the children (very relieved to be just ordinary) are able to return home. They decide as a group to be much more sensible with their wishes so the next is to be rich beyond their wildest dreams. The gravel pit becomes full with gold guineas that they gleefully fill their pockets with and head to town unfortunately to find out that these coins are no longer in circulation and no-one will accept them as legal tender. In fact, they get into a bit of trouble with the police when one of the townsfolk questions how the children have managed to amass so much gold. Luckily, all ends well when sunset arrives and the gold simply disappears, leaving the police scratching their heads and doubting their own minds as to whether it was there at all!
One of my favourite wishes is when the children wished for wings (a wish that is probably still one of mine, as an adult) and everything seems to be going so well for them until they fall asleep upon a church bell tower, sunset arrives, heralding the disappearance of the wings and they find themselves locked up on the tower with no way to get down and a LOT of explaining to do. I loved the adventures that the children had with all the wishes that the Psammead granted them, albeit quite a few by mistake… how often have we all uttered the words “I wish…” but luckily we haven’t had a sand-fairy there to grant them for us? For example, living in a castle under siege may sound fun but it’s definitely a situation that we wouldn’t want to find ourselves in, as the children quickly find out.
I never actually read this children’s classic as a child, but I do remember watching and enjoying the BBC series that was made of it and have quite a clear picture in my mind of how they portrayed the Psammead. Reading the story as an adult was also an enjoyable experience even if the Psammead in the book isn’t quite what was shown on the TV series (where are the eyes on stalks?!). I think it’s a great story that has stood the test of time and that children would still love nowadays. I didn’t realise that E. Nesbit wrote a couple of other stories about the Psammead and I may have to look into them to see what other wishes that tricky little sand-fairy grants.
For Chrissi’s fabulous review, please see her blog HERE.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):
3-5-stars
psammead

Beth and Chrissi do Kid Lit – the titles for 2015

Published January 3, 2015 by bibliobeth

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This is the third year that my sister and fellow blogger Chrissi Reads and myself have set ourselves a Kid-Lit Challenge and this year we decided to shake things up a bit. We have each picked six so-called “classic” works of children’s fiction and we based this around books published before 1980 (yes, it wasn’t so long ago, I know), and six more “modern” children’s stories. We hope you will enjoy our selection.

JANUARY- Five Children And It- E.Nesbit

FEBRUARY- Pollyanna- Eleanor H.Porter

MARCH- Diary of A Wimpy Kid- Jeff Kinney

APRIL- Flour Babies- Anne Fine 

MAY- The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe- C.S Lewis

JUNE- Velveteen Rabbit- Margery Bianco 

JULY- Gangsta Granny- David Walliams 

AUGUST- The Graveyard Book- Neil Gaiman

SEPTEMBER- Watership Down- Richard Adams

OCTOBER- Goodnight Mister Tom- Michelle Magorian

NOVEMBER- The Class That Went Wild- Ruth Thomas

DECEMBER – The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) – Rick Riordan

 

Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit 2013 – The Round-Up

Published January 6, 2014 by bibliobeth

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2013 is over, and so is our Kid-Lit challenge but I think I can speak for us both when I say we both really enjoyed it. Here are the twelve books we read with the links to my reviews! Please check out Chrissi’s blog HERE for her fabulous reviews.

JANUARY – Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

FEBRUARY – The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley

MARCH – The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

APRIL – Stig of the Dump by Clive King

MAY – Heidi by Johanna Spyri

JUNE – A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

JULY – Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

AUGUST – The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat

SEPTEMBER – A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

OCTOBER – Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

NOVEMBER – Northern Lights/The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

DECEMBER – The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

So, in the style of the “Talking About…” reviews we normally do, we thought we’d answer a quick few questions about our first year blogging in Kid-Lit.

1) What was your favourite Kid-Lit book of 2013 and why?
BETH: This is tough, there were quite a few that I really enjoyed. I think it would have to be A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, simply because I had forgotten how beautiful the story was.
CHRISSI: This is a tough question. I’m torn between two that I thoroughly enjoyed. They are The Railway Children and A Little Princess. I think I’d have to go for A Little Princess, because it just gave me such a lovely warm feeling when I read it. The writing is beautiful.
2) What was your least favourite Kid-Lit book of 2013 and why?
BETH: There were a couple that also fitted this category! Probably The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley as I found it quite odd, and was bitterly disappointed by the story in general.
CHRISSI: We seem to have similar answers Beth! Mine would be Children Of The New Forest though. I was disappointed with it. I really thought I’d enjoy it! The Water Babies was an odd read.
3) What was the Kid-Lit book that surprised you the most?
BETH: This has to be Northern Lights/The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I loved the imagination behind this story, and some of his ideas (like having your own personal daemon) just blew me away. That reminds me, I must put the second book on my Coming Up list soon!
CHRISSI: I was surprised at how long Oliver Twist was. I think I’m so used to the film which condensed the book quite a bit.
4) Have you been inspired to read any other books from a Kid-Lit author of 2013?
BETH: I have! After The Little Princess, I decided to look into what else Frances Hodgson Burnett has written, as I know only of this book. I then went on a trip to Persephone Books in London, and found a copy of her novel The Making of A Marchioness, which I am looking forward to getting round to at some point!
CHRISSI: I want to read more of Frances Hodgson Burnett. Other than that I don’t think I’d read books from the same authors, besides Dickens, who I will hopefully read more of on the future. It has made me want to continue this challenge, and also think about other features around children’s literature!
Coming soon…. (Thursday to be exact) Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit – The Twelve Titles for 2014!

Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit – DECEMBER READ – The Railway Children by E. Nesbit

Published January 5, 2014 by bibliobeth

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What’s it all about?:

Three children, forced to alter their comfortable lifestyle when their father is taken away by strangers, move with their mother to a simple cottage near a railway station where their days are filled with excitement and adventure. First published in 1906, this beloved children’s classic has charmed generations of readers.

What did I think?:

I haven’t read this book for a while and I was slightly worried what I would think of it as an adult. I was also concerned for my sister and fellow blogger ChrissiReads as I know this was one of her favourite books ever as a child. Luckily, I had no need to fret as I loved it just the same as I did when I was younger. The story introduces us to three children, Roberta (Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis who live a charmed life with their mother and father in a large house with a few servants in England. Their world is turned upside down however when their father is taken away one night and the children are given no explanation for what has occurred or when their father will be returning – they are only told he is on “business.” Furthermore, they are forced to move to a much smaller house in the countryside with their mother and must live for a while as “a poor family,” watching every morsel of food and lump of coal to try and cut costs as much as possible. The children try to make the best of their change in situation, and discover the wonders of the railway which lies very close to their new home, and gives them many opportunities for adventure.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this story on re-reading it, was the way that the author wrote about children. It felt much more authentic than other books of the time as the characters of the children were real. That is to say they had faults, they argued, they played, they got into scrapes etc, and this made the tale more enjoyable as I felt they were incredibly relatable to any child reading it. I also loved the adventures they managed to get themselves into – from Peter’s attempts to procure a bit more coal for the family to saving a baby and dog when a fire breaks out on a barge, there was always some kind of action in the story to look forward to. There are also morals to be learned for the children (and perhaps the reader!) without them being forced down our throat, which I always appreciate. The Railway Children is definitely a classic piece of children’s literature, and I think it will continue to be treasured for years to come.

To read Chrissi’s review, please visit her blog HERE.

Would I recommend it?:

But of course!

Star rating (out of 5):

four-stars_0

Please look out for Beth and Chrissi do Kid-Lit, twelve new titles for 2014!