#BookReview Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

One of my New Years Resolutions was the read more “classics” this year, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was one of the first I was able to pick up. I was so lucky that I found this book at a local charity book sale! It was screaming my name the minute I saw it on the table and it’s been screaming my name while it’s been sitting on my bookshelf (well…desk. My bookshelves are rather full. I need to get reading faster and more to clear some room…).

I’ve seen both of the movies (Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp) so I knew what was coming. It was going to be a book full of shenanigans with some humor and lessons sprinkled throughout. And boy, did it not disappoint! I have to say, Roald Dahl is one amazing author and I really want to read more by him now. This classic is so full of childish nonsense and valuable lessons all at the same time. It’s mesmerizing what this man could do with his words.

The book has some deep, dark material that comes off as playful. Charlie and his family weren’t well off and Roald make that very, very clear. Yet the prose he puts this narrative in makes it seem… fun? Silly? I can’t even pick the right word. As an adult, I am in awe of how this family survived but I could easily see a child laughing their way through. A child would truly have no idea what the horror of starving is like, yet it is described so amazingly in this book…

Seriously, I’m in awe. I am in complete and utter awe over this man’s writing. He’s a literary genius, to say the least.

There are parts as an adult that I can pick apart, but I don’t think this book was intended to be some literary work that needs to be examined like Shakespeare. This book shows the good and the bad of being a kid – don’t be stubborn, don’t be a brat, don’t watch television all day, don’t go ahead without listening – stuff that we all learn as a kid. Charlie is the “perfect” child who listens and does what he is supposed to, and in the end he wins. Is this how life works? Nope. Is it still important to teach? Heck yes!

Wonka is such a wild and interesting character too. He’s a very old adult but doesn’t act like it who employs Oompa Loompa and pays them in cacoa beans. He has a giant workshop but no workers and wants to give a child his only life’s work. Yes, that makes so much sense… Not. But it’s believable in this book, because he’s so wild and zany… I’d love to see a perfect adaption of this book – word for word, picture for picture, etc.

The language, dark humour and sarcasm in this book also make it absolutely hilarious. Snozzberries gets me every time! And Wonka’s absolutely amazing sarcasm against the children… Well, it’s mean but it’s funny. So funny. I found myself giggling at how ridiculous some of the comments were, yet I still loved it all the same.

Either way, this book is amazing! I wish I would have read it as a kid but reading it as an adult was so much funnier! Amazingly enough, this book only took me two days to finish.

Five out of five stars!

I need some more Roald Dahl in my life!

 

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Check out some more reviews and books you might enjoy:

#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid

#BookReview HughTube by Richard Clark

#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

 

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#BookReview My Little Pet Dragon by Scott Gordon

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My Little Pet Dragon is a unique children’s read full of fantastical fun!

I really liked the cover page with the CD art of the dragon on a skateboard. To me, that really stood out compared to other children’s books I’ve seen around recently. The entire book is continues to pack each page full of the awesome 3D art that’s on the cover.

Each page has just a few words on it and a 3D picture that matches the plot that’s carrying on.

I’d say the general age group for this book would be between 2 to 9 years old. The story is rather simplistic, but is extremely cute.

At the end of my copy, which was an eBook I found via BookBub, it has a story about how Scott got into writing. While I thought it was a touching story to include, I felt that it didn’t need to be in a children’s novel that a child might read themselves on a parent’s tablet or phone. As an adult I loved reading it, but it felt out of place (in my humble opinion). It is a motivational and inspirational set of words though!

The version I was reading also included lots of sneak peaks at his other books! While it does a great job advertising these books, it didn’t feel right sitting in a book that a child could be reading. You’re introducing them to a couple chapters and then they can’t necessarily finish it. As someone who has studied marketing, I understand the need to market and advertise your books, but it just didn’t mesh well with the way this book was set up. Maybe put sneak peaks as links at the end or on your website? Not in the book that ends up taking WAY more pages than the story itself.

The final bit (I promise!)… It asks to support the author on Patreon. Again, I totally understand the need to support artists and writers, but it felt out of place.

Overall, this book was really cute and I’d love to read more by Scott Gordon! I think he has lots of potential and he appears to have quite the catelogue!!

Four out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about the author, Scott Gordon, on:

Goodreads – Scott Gordon

Scott Gordon’s Blog

 

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And if you enjoyed this book, why not check out another you might enjoy? Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1

#BookReview Backyard Hullabaloo by Junia Wonders

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I was lucky enough to find this book for free via BookBub!

Backyard Hullabaloo is a fun and spunky picture book by Junia Wonders and Divin Meir!

What I liked about this book was that there was a little more reading content in it. The picture books I have been picking up lately had barely a sentence per page, but this book had multiple sentences and even paragraphs per page! Having a little more content made this book a little more fun and inventive when I was reading it.

We follow Mr. Bagoo, who overslept since his alarm clock didn’t ring! We also meet his neighbors along the way as he tries to get his chores done! Everyone seems to be in a bad mood for some reason! Mr. Bagoo and his neighbor aren’t getting along, and they must solve their issues with each other.

I also loved that there was no rhyming scheme to this book – it moved at a nice pace and didn’t feel forced. It was written in a tone that felt professional and yet humorous or child-like all at the same time.

The artwork was a style I don’t see to often – it looked like digital crayons! I really liked this different art style, especially since it felt like it belonged with the story. I couldn’t see any other art style fitting with the tone and silliness of this book!

Overall, I’d highly recommend this book! It’s a great picture book with a fantastic story! I could see this book easily being used for story time at a school!

Four out of five stars!

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

If you enjoyed this book or review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Half Done Fun by Katja Vartiainen

 

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Photo via Goodreads.

#BookReview Seeds and Trees by Brandon Walden

Seeds and Trees by Brandon Walden is a super cute illustrated story.

I absolutely love the main title page – the flowers, thorns and bird are absolutely stunning. The art style felt unique yet beautiful, which is something I crave in picture books. I love seeing different art styles that connect with the story.

An added touch was the letter from the author at the beginning. As a child, I probably would have skipped by it and not cared in the least, but as an adult I like reading into the mind of the author. Seeing the reasons behind the story is always a little pleasure of mine!

The story itself worked well with the art style. The contrasting There was a bit of a rhyming scheme at certain points of the story, but it didn’t feel super forced.

The theme and story itself tells a really important tale about positive vibes. I definitely think this book would be a great read for parents to bond with their children or for a school to pick up. I could see young classrooms picking this story apart and telling great tales!

Five out of five stars!

I found this book for free on BookBub.

 

Check out this book on:

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Amazon.ca

 

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And comment below – what children’s books do you absolutely love?

#BookReview Sleepy Animals by Gerald Hawksley

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Sleepy Animals is a picture book full of colourful drawings of very tired animals!

This book is definitely aimed towards the younger audience (mainly toddlers, and up to five years old). The pictures are simple and sweet, which makes this book the perfect resource for learning (whether in daycare of kindergarten classes). With over 20 pages of animals falling asleep, it could also be used as a bedtime story for the toddlers!

Yet again, the illustrations really stand out and make this book as great as it is! The storyline are very linear (tired animal falls asleep) and doesn’t require too much thinking. It’s simplistic, which is why it is so good for the target audience. If you pair this book alongside some of Gerald Hawksley’s other books, you’ll have a great baseline of books to introduce kids to!

Five out of five stars!

I found this book via BookBub.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads – Sleepy Animals

Amazon.com – Happy Animals & Sleepy Animals 2-pack

Amazon.ca – Happy Animals & Sleepy Animals 2-pack

 

Find more books by Gerald Hawksley on Goodreads.

 

If you enjoyed this book review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

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#BookReview Boy and the Very Lonely Pony by Junia Wonders

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Boy and the Very Lonely Pony is one of the cutest children’s read I have picked up in a very long time!

This book I acquired through BookBub’s program – it was free, so of course I wanted to pick up another sweet children’s read!

The artwork in this book is absolutely STUNNING! The pony on the cover pulled me in and made me want to read it! The style of this book, with soft colours and blended lines was also fantastic. I like this art style so much, so it’s nice to see it included in a children’s picture book.

The words on the page are sometimes straight, and sometimes curve around the objects/houses. It’s a unique way for reading, which I also enjoyed. It makes the book more fun!

If you are looking for a book about friendship, then you should definitely pick this one up! It’s a great introduction to how kids and be friends (with not only people, but animals too) and has a wonderful theme behind it. Friendship and overcoming obstacles was the central theme, and it really hit the mark! I would definitely include this on a child’s bookshelf or in my schools’s local libraries!

The book is short and sweet, and I declare this a must read! It’s a must read if you have children, and I highly recommend it! The art style is soft and fantastic, the themes and central story is a beautiful tale all kid’s should know, and it would be a great bedtime read!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Boy and the Very Lonely Pony – Goodreads

Amazon.ca – Boy and the Very Lonely Pony – Amazon.ca

Amazon.com – Boy and the Very Lonely Pony – Amazon.com

 

Check out the author Junia Wonders:

On Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8112399.Junia_Wonders

On her Website – http://www.juniawonders.com/

Check out the illustrator Divin Meir:

On Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8181659.Divin_Meir

 

Do you like to read children’s fiction? Give me a shout out on Twitter @ReviewAlholic using the hashtag #briarsreview and tell me about it! Or comment below with your favuorite children’s novel!

#BookReview Happy Animals by Gerald Hawksley

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This book was a super cute picture book about happy animals!

Happy cats, dogs, and frogs are just some of the ridiculously adorable animals showcased in this book. I really liked the cartoon-y art that was featured within the book. The colourful pictures gave the book a friendly and fun feel, which makes it perfect for the target audience.

There is a rhyming scheme, which seems a little forced at times. Dogs, frogs, tree, three, etc. Despite this, I think the book was a fun book for the younger age group (one year to five years maximum, in my opinion). It’s definitely easy to read along with, and could be read in a silly song to make the book more fun and interactive.

For a picture book, it’s rather long! It’s well past 20 pages of colourful pages with happy animals.

Overall, I think this book is very sweet! It’s the perfect book to introduce young readers into the world of literature! I’d also recommend this book to a kindergarten or daycare class learning animals, because it’s fun and colourful enough to make a lesson out of.

Five out of five stars!

I found this book for free on BookBub.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Happy Animals

Amazon.com – Happy Animals

Amazon.ca – Happy Animals

 

Check out more books by Gerald Hawksley on Goodreads.

 

If you enjoyed this book review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Half Done Fun by Katja Vartiainen

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