Totoro Picnic YumeTwins Unboxing

This box made me panic, because it had not arrived almost two months later. But it did two days before I could complain it was lost in the post 9sneaky box).

As you know, every now and then I get one of their boxes because the theme tempts me. So with a theme of “Totoro Picnic” it was obvious I needed it, right? (the answer here is yes if it is Ghibli). Starting on the theme card on bottom right and going clockwise:

  • Theme zine, which usually has more than just what is inside the box.
  • Totoro chopsticks. I’ve had some other chopsticks from them and they’re sturdy and easy to wash.
  • Totoro plastic camper mug, super cute.
  • Totoro face towel in a handy holder.
  • A plastic picnic blanket (I should stop saying it has Totoro on it, right?)
  • Two nice receptacles, kinda bento boxes that stack well.
  • As a bonus, it came with a Pokemon cable protector (the tiny one next to the lid and chopsticks)

Isn’t it all super cute? I was glad I got this cute box.

Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom

Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom by Gigi D.G.

What happens when an evil queen gets her hands on an ancient force of destruction?

World domination, obviously.

The seven kingdoms of Dreamside need a legendary hero. Instead, they’ll have to settle for Cucumber, a nerdy magician who just wants to go to school. As destiny would have it, he and his way more heroic sister, Almond, must now seek the Dream Sword, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Queen Cordelia’s Nightmare Knight.

Can these bunny siblings really save the world in its darkest hour?

Sure, why not?

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

Cucumber Quest was one of my birthday gifts I had on my wishlist. One of those I am randomly looking at related to this item things and stumbled upon it.

The main thing about it is that it is cute, it has a nerdy bunny who doesn’t want to be a hero and his little sister that does. Cucumber Quest pokes fun at the cliches. Starting with “you are given this quest, you are the chosen one”, which Cucumber (the nerdy bunny) definitely doesn’t think he is. All he wants is to go to school of magic.

We also have an evil queen bent on world domination! And her lackeys, who are amusing and very much useless, but they made me laugh a lot. There is a princess that is kept captive (and that Cucumber has zero interest in).

And Almond, his sister is super awesome and ballsy. She’s studying to be a knight, and training to do so, but she’s the little sister, so she can’t be the hero, obviously (but Almond will fight you on that, trust me).

It is a fun easy read with lots of food related things and a lot of poking fun at cliches and quests. It made me laugh and also it is adorably cute! I am curious to read the next one.

The Princess Who Flew With Dragons Review

The Girl who Flew with Dragons by Stephanie Burgis

Sofia isn’t the crown princess – that’s her perfect big sister, Katrin. Sofia is the other one. The disappointing one. So when disaster strikes, Sofia is certain she’s not a good enough princess to fix things. But she has to try. And maybe when you’re a failed princess with only a young dragon and a pack of rowdy goblins on your side, it’s time to try something wildly different…

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

I love this book series so mcuh I kept pushing it to my friends and even insisted they borrow both books that were out rather than just the first one because I knew they’d want to read the next one once they finished the first one (I was right!).

You can read my review for The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart and The Girl with the Dragon Heart. They’re really good and help set the universe for this book (though technically you don’t need to read them beforehand but they will help understand this one better).

Anyway, I had eagerly preordered this one, and I do not regret it at all. I was very excited to read it and made sure to pace myself to make it last and enjoy it more (more or less how I’d have to have a cup of hot chocolate but that’s another story for another time).

It was so good and really warming. It as always has a way of telling you that who you are is important as you are, but also makes you think inwardly about things (in this case there’s a lot about family and learning and philosophy). I laughed and cheered and wanted to defend them and I really enjoyed it.

Highly recommend for reading out loud, or for reading to yourself. I mean, DRAGONS and riding dragons, and brave princesses and chocolate, and adventures! Plus there’s a cat that in my head is a mix of Pebbles, Stephanie’s cat, and Tomte, Asha’s cat. I know very few of you who read this will know what I am talking about, but in my head it is the cutest most perfect nursing loving caring cat with all the fluff and chill of Tomte.

I will stop with cats, and say you should go buy them all (the books, not the cats…)

Pilu of the Woods Review

Pilu of the Woods by Mai K. Nguyen

Willow loves the woods near her house. They’re calm and quiet, so different from her own turbulent emotions, which she keeps locked away. When her emotions get the better of her one day, she decides to run away into the woods.

There, she meets Pilu, a lost tree spirit who can’t find her way back home—which turns out to be the magnolia grove Willow’s mom used to take her to. Willow offers to help Pilu, and the two quickly become friends.

But the journey is long, and Pilu isn’t sure she’s ready to return home yet—which infuriates Willow, who’s determined to make up for her own mistakes by getting Pilu back safely. As a storm rages and Willow’s emotions bubble to the surface, they suddenly take on a physical form, putting both girls in danger… and forcing Willow to confront her inner feelings once and for all.

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

I bought this book because I stumbled upon the website for OniPress and this one caught my eye, so I ordered it.

The artwork is gorgeous and very earthy. It fits perfectly with the “woods” theme and yhere is so much information about trees, plants and part sof the woods. That was one of my favourite parts, how much Willow knows about the her surroundings when she is in nature.

Pilu is also very cute and not exactly what I expected but I liked her a lot.

The story itself is cute but it felt a little like it was trying hard to keep you interested, by not giving enough info, which wouldn’t have made the story any less if we had had it and probaly I would’ve been less distracted wondering why or what was omitted.

It has an educational point of view, and the topic is feelings and thoughts which are represented as this kind of bubbly creatures and I really found that a wonderful way of giving them “shape” in the story.

Overall, a nice warm story about family in a nature setting, and it also deals with how to deal with feelings and thoughts in general. Artwork is cute and very much in tune with OniPress and their style (or at least the ones I have read from them before).

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt Review

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

Happy-go-lucky Narwhal and no-nonsense Jelly find their inner superheroes in three new under-the-sea adventures. In the first story, Narwhal reveals his superhero alter-ego and enlists Jelly to help him figure out what his superpower is. Next, Narwhal uses his superpower to help a friend find his way back home. In the third story, Jelly is feeling blue and Narwhal comes to the rescue. Ben Clanton showcases the joys of friendship and the power of believing in yourself and others through this irresistible duo.

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

And we’re now on the sequel! Superpowers for everyone!

And yes, that is basically the theme of this book (and waffles, and friendship). Narwhal is a superhero, but what is his superpower? I love that Jelly’s power is to “jolt” others. Makes sense given that Jelly is a jellyfish. And there’s even more superheroes.

Super Narwhal is as cute and loving as can be. And there are a few puns to be had in the book (so yes, adults and children can enjoy, and then enjoy a re-read as you grow up). It made me laugh a lot and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Same advice as with the first Narwhal and Jelly book, go buy it, you need it (but now you also need the first one! so go get both and maybe the next ones that aren’t out yet?)

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea! Review

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together. A wonderfully silly, full-colour, early graphic novel series featuring three short stories and a super fun ocean fact page – and joke page too!
The perfect first book for young readers, just moving on from picture books, discovering the joys of friendship, working together and the power of imagination.

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

I found this book thanks to Stephanie Burgis, the author behind The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart book series. She tweeted something about it and it spiked my interest so I ordered this one and the sequel, plus preordered the next two. (Yeah I trust her judgement, this had to be good).

Thankfully it did not disappoint at all. My only qualm is that it is too short. Narwhal is so cute, loving and he makes me laugh so much, and Jelly is such a great contrast friend but not like a super grumpy one, just a different one.

This tiny book made me laugh, want waffles and just fall in love with it. It is highly recommended for children and adults alike, the art is “simple” in lines but still very good and it keeps you in this lovely undersea world.

My advice, go buy them all! Everyone needs this book in their home (and the similar book would be A Polar Bear falls in love.

Moonstruck Vol 2. Some Enchanted Evening Review

Moonstruck Volume 2: Some Enchanted Evening by Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle

Werewolf barista Julie and her supernatural friends try to unwind at a party, but a conniving fraternity of fairy bros has other plans for our heroes. With one of their friends trapped in the frat house and the winter solstice (a notable night of magical mischief) looming ever-closer, it’s up to the amorous werewolves and gregarious centaur to save the day.

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

I read the first volume for Moonstruck a while ago, and enjoyed it so much that I preordered the second volume. (And somehow didn’t review it here, oh shame on me!)

They had me at the Newpals (a Neopets alternative in this universe). I loved Neopets, and it was part of my tweens/teens so much, I still go visit my pets (I have a rare Lutari for example, that I worked hard to catch on Lutari day). And basically, there is a small plot line about Newpals, and it made me all soft and reminded me of so many happy times.

But the story in general is about a party they end up with adn complications, plus there is a lot of figuring out how things work and relationships should work between the characters (not just romantic relationships, by the way). But this is all explored in a really cute, funny way. I adore the characters and how unique and special each one is, plus despite not reading the previous volume to 2catch up” or “refresh” I still thoroughly enjoyed this and it jolted my memory without having “recaps”.

There’s some new developments about characters that make it amusing, and there’s the whole take on frat parties but with fairies. Yes, you read that right! It was just a blast to read, a cuddly funny but also very real story (yes, I know it is all in a magical world, but that doesn’t take anything from it).