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What I Read in July with Boolino

What I've Read This Month

Marianna has really started to become interested in books this month. She likes to sit and look through them on her own, and then will bring it over to me or Anthony to read it for her. (I can already recite her favourites from memory...) It's so much fun introducing her to new books though, putting on silly voices, and watching her expression change as she starts to understand the story.

The Great Dragon Bake Off

So I was really pleased when Boolino sent us The Great Dragon Bake Off by Nicola O'Byrne to review. This is the super cute tale of Flamie Oliver, a young dragon who is sent off to the Ferocious Dragon Academy to learn how to be big, bad, and scary.

The Great Dragon Bake Off

Except, Flamie is more interested in cakes, pies, and pastry... and when he is tasked with kidnapping a princess to eat, it's the final straw! Marianna loved the wonderful illustrations of the dragons, and Anthony and I enjoyed all the references to baking stars. (Heston Blowitail and Scaly Berry anyone?) If your little one watches the show, they will really love this book. Even if they don't, this is still a lovely story book, with a heartwarming message about being yourself, even when it means breaking away from convention.

The Great Dragon Bake Off is recommended for children aged 0 - 5, and is available from Boolino for £6.99.
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Read on for the other books I've read this month...


Molly the Mole: A Truth & Tails StoryMolly the Mole: A Truth & Tails Story by Truth & Tails
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2016. This is a beautifully illustrated story about a a little Mole named Molly. Molly can't help comparing herself to her friends, and it makes her sad because - to her eyes - she is found wanting. She is surprised to find that her friends see things quite differently, and realises that it is not our talents or our looks which make people love us, but our willingness to be good, kind and helpful to those around us.

The story is told simply but effectively, and is every bit as heartwarming a bedtime story as I could hope for!


Vincent the Vixen: A Truth & Tails StoryVincent the Vixen: A Truth & Tails Story by Truth & Tails
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2015. Vincent loves playing make believe with his brothers and sisters, but he comes to realise that even when they have stopped playing he is still pretending. This is beautifully written, and the illustrations are great fun. An excellent book for introducing the concept of gender identity to young children.


Carlos the Chameleon: A Truth & Tails StoryCarlos the Chameleon: A Truth & Tails Story by Truth and Tails
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2016. Carlos is a lovely vibrant green, but when he plays with the other animals he changes the way he looks so he can fit in. He worries that his friends wouldn't like him otherwise. But by the story's end Carlos has realised that the best way to make friends and be happy is to be himself.

The artwork in this book is absolutely gorgeous - lots of bright colours and funky patterns - and the story carries the message that I most want my daughter to understand: we're all different, and that's a good thing.


Heart On Track: A Teammate RomanceHeart On Track: A Teammate Romance by Jamie Athelstan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Fiction, 2016. Enjoyable contemporary romance with an engaging build up as Dean, used to being a track star, sifts through his emotions towards Clarke, his new competition. Is it just frustration at being displaced as number one that keeps Clarke on his mind, or is there something more to it? The two main characters share great chemistry and after reading this short story, I'll be looking out for more by this author.


True Crime: 4 True American Crime Stories - Vol 1 (From police files of the 1920s to the 1950s)True Crime: 4 True American Crime Stories - Vol 1 by Guy Hadleigh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2013. Some interesting cases I hadn't come across before, and an enjoyable short read.


The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child MurdererThe Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer by Kate Summerscale
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2016. Another brilliant book from Kate Summerscale. It tells the story of Robert Coombes, a 'wicked boy' who murdered his mother aged just 13. The crime itself is disturbing yet fascinating, as is the contemporary press coverage which surrounded it. We see an early example of moral panic over youth diversions in the form of the Penny Dreadful, and the problem of what to do with juvenile criminals.

Summerscale's detailed research enables us to follow Coombes long after interest in the case had died away, and eventually traces him to his final days and the legacy he left behind. This is an excellent read and was my favourite book of the month.


Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary ShelleyRomantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley by Charlotte Gordon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2015. When this popped up in my recommended reads I knew Wollstonecraft vaguely through her writings, Shelley for Frankenstein, and I'd never felt the urge to delve deeper. But the blurb drew me in and I'm so glad it did. This double biography of mother and daughter alternates lives by chapter - not universally popular, I know, but one of my favourite literary devices - and gives particular focus to the huge influence the former had on the latter, for all that they scarcely met each other.

Both women were fascinating; they broke conventions, defied expectations, and helped to change the world forever. I felt so angry at the injustice of how they were treated by society, and how long it actually took for women to be able to live the life they dreamed of without censure. I cried at their tragedies, and I laughed at some of the completely outrageous behaviour. This is a gripping read which I didn't want to end.


15 Celebrities Who Have Killed : From The Limelight To The Court Room (Serial Killers - Murderer - Criminals Crimes - True Evil - Horror Stories - True Crimes - Violent Crimes)15 Celebrities Who Have Killed : From The Limelight To The Court Room by Richard Berrington
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Interesting premise, and there were a couple of stories I hadn't known about. What lets it down is the lack of proofreading / editing.


The DC Dead Girls Club: A Vintage True Crime Story of Four Unsolved Murders in Washington DCThe DC Dead Girls Club: A Vintage True Crime Story of Four Unsolved Murders in Washington DC by Jason Lucky Morrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Non-Fiction, 2014. I had heard of these cases vaguely, but this book really filled in as much detail as is known. The saddest thing about these stories is that none of the murders were ever officially solved, and the majority left police mystified. An interesting - if tragic - read.

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  1. Your book review posts always make me want to do a bunch of reading! The dragon book sounds super cute. ;P

    1. Marianna's taken to carrying it around with her, just ready for the moment when someone gives in and will read it... :)


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