A funny account from a writing journal…Awesome!

TITLE = MY TOTALLY AWESOME STORY

AUTHOR = PAT FLYNN

ILLUSTRATOR = PETER CARNAVAS

GENRE = HUMOUR, SCHOOL, GROWING UP

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7, 8

This is an easy to read, very funny book. It is basically a record of all the writing assignments that Duane is given by his teacher, Miss Wright. Duane does not like writing so his responses to her set tasks are often quite humorous (and sometimes quite short!). He also thinks he is tough and strong and the best rugby player ever – so his journal entries about his sporting activities are often amusing too – things don’t always go as Duane expects (or likes). And we also get a glimpse into Duane’s love life!

An entertaining story which is made even more engaging by the sketches that Duane (aka illustrator, Peter Carnavas) adds to his stories and journal entries.

An amusing book which is sure to be a hit with young readers especially those who enjoy other comical diary accounts (eg Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series)

And why not check out the author’s website where you will find lots of fun things to do and see in relation to this book: there’s a booktrailer, a clip of Pat reading the book and even a song and drawing help from Peter (the illustrator). Check it out here.

Recommended (dma) ****

The strange world of D.M.Cornish

TITLE: MONSTER BLOOD TATTOO. BOOK TWO: LAMPLIGHTER

AUTHOR: D.M. CORNISH

GENRE; FANTASY

INTEREST LEVEL: YEARS 9 and up

D.M.Cornish continues the Monster Blood Tattoo series with “Book Two: Lamplighter”. As with the first book in this intriguing series (Foundling), the presentation is delightful: from the endpapers, to the illustrations of key characters to the detailed glossary, maps and appendices. Cornish has obviously spent a lot of time developing the weird world behind the series. Whilst Book Two is considerably longer than the first volume, it is probably more action packed and absorbing. There are more trials to be faced by young Rossamund both in his lamplighter training and in the world beyond, where monsters are lurking grimly. It seems the world itself is being turned on its head and danger lurks at every corner (and  not just from the monster world). Whilst he has an uneasy ally in a new trainee lamplighter, Threnody and whilst there are some adults in his corner, there is a lot for Rossamund to distrust. The ending is a cracker and will ensure that readers will be eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

A warning to first time readers: whilst the glossary certainly helps readers to grasp the strange characters in this book, this is probably one of those fantasies which need to be read in sequence. It would not be easy to pick up the story threads (nor undestand the links between characters) otherwise. This series can be quite demanding on the reader, with the strange monster names and daily life; definitely one for the fantasy devotee.

To see more of the strange world of D.M.Cornish, try exploring his amazing website and blog.