review by Maryom
Usually when children's picture books arrive I leave the reviewing of them to The Mole, but these were so beautiful they caught my eye, and I wouldn't let him see them!
I've long been a fan of Cornelia Funke after sharing Dragon Rider and Inkheart with our youngest daughter, and these two books hold the same sort of magic but for younger readers.
The first is a picture book, illustrated by Monica Armino, for 'beginner' readers or for sharing with toddlers. Gawain Greytail and the Terrible Tab - Sir Tristan of Twitstream is fed up of having his castle over-run by mice. So he gets a cat, the Terrible Tab, to hunt them down, and soon the castle is an almost mouse-free zone. The three remaining mice are unhappy and fearing for their own lives but fortunately, Gawain Greytail, the mouse knight, comes to the rescue, teaching them some tricks to help outwit Tab the cat. it's a fun, exciting tale of under-dogs (or mice) standing up to a bully, and you can't help but cheer as the mice win the day!
The second, The Moonshine Dragon, is for more confident readers. One moonlit night, when Patrick should have been asleep, he sees a tiny silver dragon appear from the pages of a story book, chased by an equally small White Knight. Patrick soon finds himself shrunk to the same size, and battling to save the dragon. Will he be any match for the knight? ...
A magical adventure that will delight its readers. It's exciting, a little tense, but not scary. A 'chapter' book but, illustrated again by Monica Armino in shades to echo the magical moonlight, there are pictures on almost every page bringing Patrick, the dragon and the knight to life - as much a delight as the story itself. I almost missed an additional feature; the back and front flaps hide puzzles that tie in with the story - spot the difference between two White Knights, and guide the dragon safely home through the maze.
As always from Barrington Stoke, the books are designed with dyslexia-friendly features in mind - both font and print-colour are designed to help the less confident reader, but without detracting from the stories. I loved them both!
Publisher - Barrington Stoke
Genre - children's 5-8 years, picture book