I decided to buy a copy of My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons for our school library after hearing lots of great feedback about it on Twitter. The first thing that caught me eye in the book shop was the simply stunning cover which has amazing artwork by Laura Ellen Anderson and bold typography by Rob Biddulph. It would be difficult to resist picking up and reading, which you really need to do.
The story opens up with two brothers, Luke who is a Superhero obsessive and Zack who is a bit of a maths geek. Fate takes a turn in events when Luke needs to go for a wee and by the time he comes back his brother Zack has superpowers and been given a mission to save two universes from the unknown ‘Nemesis’. The fact that Luke misses out on his Superhero destiny because of a badly timed bladder is a hilarious premise which will definitely peak your interest.
Unfortunately for Zack he has no concept about what being a Superhero entails as he’s never read a comic in his life. It’s up to his brother Luke to show him the Superhero way and so between them Star Lad is born. Star Lad’s powers are soon tested when he saves a runaway bus from possible tragedy and so he becomes known to the world.
It seems that the only thing which will interfere with Zack fulfilling his mission is his maths homework but then it goes horribly wrong when he gets kidnapped. It’s then up to Luke to find out what Nemesis is and rescue his brother and save the world, so ironically he ends up on this mission . He has help in the form of his friends Serge and Lara his feisty neighbour who is trying to expose the true identify of Star Lad for a scoop for the school newspaper. We have all the great ingredients for a great story a Superhero in jeopardy, a jealous brother, reliable sidekicks and a fiendish villain. The story keeps you hooked right to the end waiting to see if our intrepid trio can save the planet from Nemesis.
I really enjoyed all the Star Wars references throughout the book they really made me laugh. We learn that Luke is named after Luke Skywalker and had a jedi babygro as a baby. One of the funniest conversation that takes place is when Luke ‘s Dad reveals a shocking secret that his favourite character in Star Wars is Darth Vader and Luke can’t comprehend why he has chosen the villain. It rocks Luke’s foundations and makes him consider a future where maybe one day he might be tempted by the dark side,
The ending of the book hints to the possibility that this is to be continued which would be fantastic as I would love to see more of these characters. If you like comics, superheroes and battles between good and evil this is definitely the book for you.
I was recently very lucky to receive this parcel of loveliness from Flying Eye books and it contained two very beautiful but different Picture Books. ‘Whatever Happened to My Sister’ by Simona Cicaolo and ‘Let’s Go Outside’ by Katja Spitzer.
I found ‘Whatever Happened to My Sister’ particulary poignant as I have two daughters who are growing up and having very different interests. It tells the tale of the relationship between two sisters who are growing apart as they are growing up and explores the impact these changes have on them both.
It opens with the youngest sister thinking that something very strange is happening with her older sister and thinks ‘that someone had replaced my sister with a girl who looked a lot like her.’
She gets increasingly confused as her big sister always seems cross with her and not wanting to play with her, which she can’t understand.
Whatever she tries, she can’t work out what has happened to her sister, she knows that her Mum and Dad know something but nobody tells her what is going on.
She really misses her sister and remembers all the fun they had together and feels increasingly sad about not spending any time with her. But then her big sister finds her crying and realises what has happened and she takes time to spend with her sharing her new interests and making her feel inlcuded again.
This book is a joy to share, it’s beautifully illustrated and the colours reflect the mood of the story changing from muted shades to more brighter colours as the story concludes. I feel it is a perfect book to help explain changes in older through this moving and simple story.
‘Let’s Go Outside’ immediately reminded me of the books that I had read as a child. It has a lovely vintage feel to it yet still manages to be modern at the sane time.
The illustrations are colourful and striking in a way that will enagage a younger reader. It is perfect to use as an introduction to early word and story building with plenty of opportunities to look at different things we see every day. Every page in this book is truly beautiful and a delight to behold. This book is bound to become a treasured timeless classic.
The worst part about sharing stories with your children that you’ve grown up reading, is when they don’t sound as fantastic as you remember them being. I keep feeling nostalgic for the classics of my childhood but then I stumbled upon the Murder Most Unladylike series, which is like revisting my favourite stories but in a new and exciting way.
This year at school in the library I have been looking at ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ and ‘Arsenic for Tea’ with a real longing as the covers are so striking and intriguing. Now the summer holidays have arrived I have taken the opportunity to find out all about them. I then disovered that the latest book was about to be published and it was set on the Orient Express. I was desperate to read this having had a slight obsession with this luxury train since a very young age.
I started with ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ where we first meet the founding members of the Detective Society Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong at their school ‘Deepdean School for Girls’. It opens up with Hazel finding the body of Miss Bell the science mistress who has been murdered but then mysteriously disappears, the girls then have to find out what has happened and identify the murderer. The story is set in the 1930s and has a very vintage feel but at the same time feels really modern and relevant which is quite a feat to acheive. Suspects are drawn up and eliminated as the girls get closer and closer to discovering what really happened. The ending is far from predictable and I failed miserably to guess who had actually committed the dastardly deed. This book contained everything I desire from a boarding school story, containing all my favourite references ‘lacrosse’. ‘tuck box’ and one of the key aspects of the story the ‘bun break’. I feel that when your child reads this they may end up with a deep longing to go to boarding school just as I did reading these type of stories growing up.
I then committed a fatal error in my enjoyment of the series and feel I was not being a ‘good egg’ by doing this awful thing, which I must reveal. I know that Daisy and Hazel would see straight through me and identify my crime and wouldn’t be able to keep up the pretence any longer. I’m going to say it very quickly and get it over with ‘IskippedArsenicforTeaandwentstraighttoFirstClassMurder.’ In my haste to board the Orient Express with Daisy and Hazel and sample the opulence and luxury onboard, I bypassed ‘Arsenice for Tea’! Readers this is a serious mistake which I urge you not to repeat, it was like receiving the spoiler alert as to who has gone out in the GBBO when you haven’t yet watched it. I will be paying for my misdeameanour in good time, watch this space!!
However let’s try and forget what I have just said and let’s join our detectives aboard the Orient Express where we can be sure that something is about to go horribly wrong. Onboard we are introduced to our cast of characters who we know by now, will all be playing some signifcant role as events unravel. In this story Daisy and Hazel seem to find themselves with a case which seems impossible to solve as the body is found behind a locked door. The girls assemble their list of suspects and go on the hunt to uncover who has murdererd the wealthy heiress and stolen her jewels. It moves on at such a fast pace with twists and turns which made it impossible for me to again to discover what had happened, Although I did come quite close which made me feel like I had learned something from our detective duo.
This series is such a delight and joy to behold and I really couldn’t put it down. The best thing is its great to have discovered a book where you can have the instant gratification of two more books to devour. I have it from good sources that there is more on the way in this series which I am thrilled to hear.
Ever since I read ‘Murder Most Unladylike’ which was only a week ago I have been recommending it to everyone that I can and urge you to go ahead and try it, I know you will love it as much as I do.
i’m now off to my dorm for a well deserved bun break which I have kept hidden in my tuck box.