Book Talk – January 2020

Our children’s book meeting was held on 28th January at Broke Hall Primary School, and we discussed books that had been determined at our previous meeting late last year, which were :

  • I,Cosmo by Carlie Sorosiak
  • A Pocketful Stars by Aisha Bushby
  • We Won an Island by Charlotte Lo
  • The Unimaginary Friend by Guy Bass
  • Jasper and Scruff by Nicola Colton
  • The Haunting of Peligan City by Sophie Green

I, Cosmo Cosmo the dog tells of his life within an ultimately quite ordinary seeming family unit, but when um and Dad start to argue regularly and disagree a lot the only concern Cosmo has is whether he and Max – who he has been with since birth – will get seperated in the fallout, and as such decide to take positive steps to avoid that happening. Told from the dog’s perspective, the story is incredibly heart warming and feels realistic when setting scenes, sharing information and depicting the story. This would be a fantastic recommendation for pet lovers.

– My full length blog on this title can be read here.

A Pocketful of StarsTelling the story of a typical argument and consequential falling out between a young girl and her mum, and how that soon becomes an anything but normal situation when the mum becomes unwell and ends up in hospital. While visiting her mum in hospital Safiya finds herself transported in a game that she must complete in order to save her mum and make peace with the guilt she has been feeling, convinced her mum became unwell because of her. The computer element makes the book more relevant to today’s audience, and the story is true to life as it unfolds. The Kuwait aspect of the book had an incredibly authentic feel, as did the way the book talked about bereavement, which in this book feels so genuine. My blog on Aisha’s debut can be found here.

We Won an IslandTelling the story of one family’s plight when they face eviction from their home and have no where else to turn to. When the children apply to win an island via an advert in the newspaper they make so much effort trying to impress the man giving an island away. If they win they can look to improve things for them all. This book feels very Enid Blytonish, and reminded some of us of the Durell’s. We observed that Dad’s depression is pivotal to the plot but only touched on lightly. It was beautiful to read of the community coming together and the book really captured the spirit of that and portrayed it beautifully, which contributes to this book being the perfect escapism for younger readers. My full review of this book can be found here.

The Unimaginary FriendBen is a very isolated and lonely boy until his imaginary friend the Gorblimey becomes unimaginary and proves to be the perfect friend, so when Skeleton Keys comes along and threatens to send the Gorblimey away it is down to Ben to protect his new friend and prove that he is no threat to the world that Skeleton Keys protects. It seems there is more than just one unimaginary to be aware of. We really loved this book, with the illustrations making the book. The story is funny with lots of laughs to be had while reading. The characters names are very fitting and memorable and the potential for this series to be popular is evident in this first book. My blog on this title can be found here.

Jasper and Scruff A story about a Cat that has a perfect life in every way, but is eager to become friends with a popular group of other Cats, so when they accept an invite to dinner Jasper gets excited at the prospect, that is until Scruff sneaks home with Jasper and has other ideas. This is a light read, ideal for Year Two children, especially as there is minimal text and lots of pictures. A great title for those starting on chapter books and fans of Claude.

Potkin and Stubbs : The Tale of Peligan CityPotkin and Stubbs are up to their usual tricks of investigating mysteries and crime within Peligan City in this second book within the series. As Book One sets the scene and introduces relevant characters this book felt pacier, and a bit more scary too. The book plays nicely into Book Three, which is the final instalment in this series. This was a truly great sequel that carried on the noir feel to the story overall.

Books for our next meeting have been decided as :

  • The House of One Hundred Clocks by A.M.Howell
  • Tiger Heart by Penny Chrimes
  • The Monster Who Wasn’t by T.C.Shelley
  • Demelza and the Spectre Detectors by Holly Rivers
  • Anna at War by Helen Peters

Our next meeting will take place on 2nd June 2020.

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