Moon Reads: Once Upon A Dragon’s Fire

Once Upon A Dragon’s Fire by Beatrice Blue

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I reviewed a while ago Beatrice’s other book, Once Upon A Unicorn Horn, so when I saw this one was coming, I preordered it. It is easy, make a book I enjoyed, I will almost always preorder your next books.

The artwork was top class, but that was no surprise given I enjoy Beatrice’s art a lot. And as per the previous book, this is a book giving things a new “origin” so in this case it is centered around a dragon and fire.

This is about two children that made up adventures and were obsessed with dragon stories so they decide to go search the dragon and thanks to them “fire” is invented.

Look it is way better than I am describing!

In all honesty the story is a great read out loud or act out one, the artowkr and pictures are full of detail and cuteness, and the story is reaffirming and all about tenderness and warmth (and some dragon fire too).

It has a dragon, fire, and a great story, so this is a definite win and I am eagerly awaiting what else we may get as an origin of this thing type of book from Beatrice Blue.

Moon Reads: 44 Tiny Secrets

44 Tiny Secrets by Sylvia Bishop and Ashley King

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I saw this book on Twitter and it felt very tempting to read and buy, so I preordered and lo and behold, it did not disappoint.

For starters the house where Betsy lives is full of ferns and it has a piano and she’s the daughter of two famous pianists, so she has to become the next one, like them. Her very patient grandfather is happily teaching her despite the potential failures.

Betsy tries so hard to make her parents porud but something just doesn’t work, instead she gets a letter on the post with the promise of a secret way to be able to play the piano like her parents. It comes free, but the only thing is, she has to keep the method a secret.

She accepts and oh, the delightful brilliant madness of this comes true. I loved the secret method and it just made me feel happy to read the book.

There was a lot of “want to hug you and reassure you” feelings towards Betsy as she is doing her best to impress her parents. It highlights how conversations adults have can make a big impression on a child and affect their perception of themselves and of their future.

And of course there’s a lot of humour and things to make you smile and the sweetness of a good children’s book that will leave you feeling like you’ve just had a nice plate of warm cookies, your favourite kind.

I recommend this book if you like music, fun families, crazy stories and lots of little giggles, and of course, if you are curious about what the 44 tiny secrets are.

Dragons Love Tacos Review

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin. illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Look, a book that mixes dragons and tacos? Yes please! And lovely friend saw it and decided it was the perfect gift sonow I have a cute tiny dragon holding a taco at home.

Isn’t it adorable?

The book is all about how dragons love tacos with cute drawings of different types of dragons, what to put on the tacos to make dragons love them more and what to avoid and even features a taco party (this felt perfectly like it was describing me as I love hosting taco parties and sharing the taco love around) so it was most certainly the right book for me and I kept cooing over it.

And it comes with the little plush toy which is a nice bonus. I recommend it is a gift for a child (or an adult like me that loves dragons and tacos) and it will mean a lot fo time spent in joy looking and playing with the taco dragon and pondering what dragons one might have over for a taco party when it is possible to do that again!

Not Like The Others Review

Not Like The Others by Jana Broecker

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

A friend gifted me this book out form my wishlist and I had it there because it has foxes and the artwork looks adorable!

A short cute book celebrating diversity (even if it is mostly with animals) and being different. It is in a way a readalong, an activity book and just cute to look at. Each set of pages has some information about the animal in the opposite page and then the idea is to find the one that is not like the others (hints of what makes it different are in the description).

At the end you also have more activities ifyou want to, and you could read this along, or hand to a child to just be mesmerised by the many animal sin the pages and the subtle differences (or the poignant ones) and what makes them special. Or play a “which one do you feel like right now?” I can see a lot of potential of keeping younger children absorbed in it and the little details.

All in all, a cut ebook for searching, celebrating differences and just larning a tiny bit about animals.

Fox and the Box Review

Fox and the Box by Yvonne Ivinson

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I got this book gifted by a friend frm my wishlist, and I loved it. I can review it here but I think the best review you will get is my reading it aloud.

I absolutely adored the story and the artwork to match, it is easy, sweet but such a delight to read as you can see from the video. It is a gorgeous fun book that I would recommend as a joy to read to anybody who wants a bit of kindness and niceness in their lives or who wants a cute book to read to their children.

Come on, it has a fox in it!

A Mouse Called Julian Review

A Mouse Called Julian by Jow Todd-Stanton

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Look, picture books that have sneaky foxes in the cover or involved foxes as characters, I will most probably add to my wishlist, and this was not the exception.

I needed a small filler book while I waiting between budyd reads and this fit the bill perfectly. It made me feel good and surprisingly goes well with the whole avoiding others and staying inside because of lockdown.

Julian likes to keep to his own company and has learned how to avoid his neighbours, until a sneaky fox shows up and things change for Julian. The artwork is extremely cute, and the story was sweet for a moment making you think something may happen and then it gets better whcih was nice to read.

I liked the concept behind it and feel like feel good books about those that keep their own company are rare, but this one was cute, fun and just worth reading.

So if you like mice, foxes, cute stories or just something to cheer up, I can recommend this book!

Ava Twist, Scientist Review

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and Illustrated by David Roberts

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I got this lovely little book from Faye from my wishlist and it did not disappoint.

Ada Twist is a very curious little one and that may get her into trouble. the artwork is wonderful, the relationship of the family and how they try to help Ada, figure out how to answer her questions (because she is absolutely crammed full of them) and just be there.

Obviously at times Ada may get into trouble and still you can feel the love from her family, the curiosity from Ada and how much she has a scientific hypothesis approach in everything.

I think this is a wonderful book to give a curious kid that has all the questions and keeps looking for answers, and to the parents too as it wil show both sides and maybe afterwards add a book about the kids best interests because I just felt like researching and diving deep into a book after reading this.

The Snow Dragon Review

The Snow Dragon by Abi Elphinstone & Fiona Woodcock

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I don’t know why, but I expected a much younger book (that is my bad, nothing with the book), so it took me a little bit to get into it. It is still an illustrated young children’s book, but it is on the more wordy side than not.

The story is extremely sweet and kept me thinking of some of my favourite stories as a child, including The Rescuers or Madeleine. This felt like those stories made me feel but it stands on its own well.

Phoebe hopes for a miracle day of her own and to be able to leave the orphanage, but it may never be. However she does her best to hope, and to be happy alongside her sausage dog Herb. A little miracle is all she may need when it is close to Christmas.

I finished the book and felt uplifted and happy. I guess it can be classed as a Christmas story but I definitely didn’t read it with that vibe, but it’d fit fine.

All in all, a snowy story of an orphan full of hope. And there’s a dragon, who can say no to stories with kind nice dragons that give you hope?

Little Lost Fox Review

Little Lost Fox by Carolina Rabei

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Another cute children’s book I recently got gifted from my wishlist. It is easy to figure out why it was on my wishlist. Yes, it is because it has cute foxes on the cover and the title goes about it too.

The story is about a little girl who has a many toys but her favourite is a cute fox, but suddenly her fox disappears and is lost. So she follows some paw prints and finds a fox cub who seems lost and lonely, which it is why it has borrowed the fox toy.

And so they set off to search for Mother Fox around the area until they find her, but the little girl has made new friends so she has more company to play with afterwards.

The artwork is really cute and the story is lovely and just nice to read. The foxes are gorgeous and it wins at being easy to read but entertaining and heartwarming.

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! Review

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! by Lorna Scobie

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit! was gifted by a friend from my wishlist because I saw it and thought it’d be a fun book to have and read (plus it made me think of my sister who keeps rabbits, and the friend who gifted it also has rabbits).

Best part, it has a surprise fox featuring in the story which made it even better.

But this is a book about a small bunny who gets all the best things and all for itself, until suddenly the rabbit parents surpise with a lot of siblings (you get it, the whole “like rabbits!” definitely applies here). So our bunny isn’t too keen on having suddenly a lot of comapny and having to share.

But what will be done about having so many new siblings around?

I thought the whole story was really cute and the artowkr is fun, with each new rbabit being unique in its way and a lot going on in page as we move further and further. Plus, despite thinking I knew what the next page had to say I was still surprised nicely by it and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Highly recommended for children or just yourself as a treat for your tired mind and just needing something soothing and that will end well.

Hicotea Review

Hicotea by Lorena Alvarez

On a school field trip to the river, Sandy wanders away from her classmates and discovers an empty turtle shell. Peeking through the dark hole, she suddenly finds herself within a magical realm. Filled with sculptures, paintings and books, the turtle’s shell is a museum of the natural world. But one painting is incomplete, and the turtle needs Sandy’s help to finish it.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

This was in my wishlist and the gorgeous Lauren from Northern Plunder gifted it to me for Christmas (go give her a follow and a read, she’s awesome). And of course it was a great read.

The artwork is vibrant and full of colours that make me think of dreams and ideas (not in a sleepy way), and the story shifts between reality and imagination and it is one of my favourite things as you can see the interactions and how they affect Sandy and make it real to her rather than what an adult would say is just her imagination.

In this second book, Sandy is trying to work on a project for school where they travel to a forest and have to wrtie about the experience. She finds a turtle shell and this plunges her into a magical world where things are slowly falling apart and Sandy tries to help.

Same as with Nightlights, it has a scary component, and imagination goes rampant on the pages but it is a gorgoeusly odd tale that I enjoyed a lot. I cna only recommend this one and the previous one. However, you do not need to have read the previous book to understand this one. It is still recommended because it shows a bit more of Sandy and her imagination.

The Chicken Thief Review

The Chicken Thief by BĂ©atrice RodrĂ­guez

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

A friend I’ve known since we were 14 or so, was in Spain and made a small trip to come see me in the UK (we’re both from Mexico). On the last day she was here, she gifted us (husband and I) this book. I teared up a little.

For starters, this is about a fox “stealing” a chicken. We keep chickens and my logo is a fox. No need to say more, right? This book has no words in it, a language agnostic book. All of it is pictures and the pictures do their job amazingly well.

Our fox steals the chicken and runs away, when ehr friends find out they pursue them. And so goes th story as they are being pursued so the chicken can be rescued. But does the chicken need rescuing?

It is a gorgeous book, the artwork is brilliant, the story is very well doen and as mentioned, not even need for words. And well, it questions preconceptions and assumptions on others very well, plus choices and reactions to things.

I highly recommend it because it is a sweet one and charming.

Wish Review

Wish by Chris Saunders

Wish is a story about the power of kindness and the magic of friendship.

Rabbit has never had a wish before but one day he gets not one, but three! He asks his friends what they would do if they had a wish to get ideas. He hears their ideas, but what does he want?

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I got this as a Christmas gift. It was on my wishlist for a while as I like having some children’s books to read sometimes when I want to read but don’t have the energy to fully commit to an older book. But with pictures it is easier and just nice.

Wish is about a bunny rabbit who gets three wishes and he isn’t sure what to wish for. So he goes around and asks his friends, and they each tell him their wishes and what they would like. Adventures, nice things, all of them very unique to each of the friends, but none of them seem to be exactly what the little rabbit wants to wish for.

So when he makes his wishes, he finds out sometimes wishes can be good and shared. It is a cute story with soft artwork, the kind that makes you believe in wishes and just makes you feel warm inside.

All in all, it was a lovely gift and it was a good book to cuddle with after being tired from all the festivities. Something to relax with and just enjoy and smile about.

The Okay Witch Review

The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner

Magic is harder than it looks.

Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. When some eighth-grade bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something really strange happens. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! When Moth’s new powers show up, things get totally out-of-control. She meets a talking cat, falls into an enchanted diary, and unlocks a hidden witch world. Secrets surface from generations past as Moth unravels the complicated legacy at the heart of her town, her family, and herself.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

This book that I sadly haven’t seen anyone raving about is a hidden gem. It’s a graphic novel with cute artwork, and lots of coming into your magic, plus small town vibes and school shenanigans!

Moth loves everything that is magical and witchy, but that means she’s a little out of the main circle in school. However as she makes a new friend because she is friendly, she accidentally comes into magic powers. And boy, they are interesting and scary and also, magic is hard!

Not to spoil anythign but Moth lives in a small town that was really against witches, there is a talking cat, and there is a school play, Moth’s friend trying to impress his father (mysterious character that the father is), and then Moth’s own mother is keeping some really interesting secrets of her own.

But none of that will stop Moth from trying to learn how to do magic and use it better than by accident! She is one determined girl and this is a fun read full of joy, adventure, crazy stuff and bucketfuls of magic and history.

Highly recommended if you like empowering books about preteens/teens coming of age and finding powers, if you like magic, and friendship and family. It’s a really lovely book.

Shadow Review

Shadow by Lucy Christopher and Anastasia Suvorova

In our old house, Ma told me there was nothing to be scared of. No monsters hiding behind doors, or in wardrobes, or under beds. She said there were no dark places at all. But, in the new house, under my new bed, that’s where I found Shadow.

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px

I like having a stack of illustrated books to go through when I am not feeling well enough or in the mood for a big read. That isn’t to say they aren’t as wrothy, but rather, this type of books are very powerful in a small number of pages, and Shadow is one of those. [This review contains “spoilers”]

Shadow takes us on a journey into depression and “shadows”. How grief and fear can stop the world and sometimes put the ones we love into the shadows and push them away. The little girl has a good life and then they move to a new place and Ma isn’t the same so she finds a new friend to play with, Shadow.

The book is quite powerful, the artwork is very fitting in a limited palette that hints at darkness and more, but it is a good book, with lots of detail in the artwork and the wording. Good for children who would read a fun story about an imaginary friend and a daughter and mother, or for older ones who know grief, anxiety and depression.