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Halloween Special: Kids Corner...Small Screams for Little Monsters!

I decided to bring back Kids Corner recently and what better way to kick it off than with a Halloween special! here's 4 reviews of books suitable for ages 3- 11 years old.

Room On The Broom by Julia Donaldson

The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch's hat, then her bow, and then her wand! Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom. But is there room on the broom for so many friends? And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon?

Illustrated by Axel Scheffler (From

Room On The Broom is by Julia Donaldson, which if you have any experience of picture books for under 5's you'll already know pretty much says it all about how awesome this book is! Told in her genius rhyming style this book tells the story of a Witch and her over crowded broom and is absolutely hilarious. But it's not without small scares either as the Witch comes face to face with a hungry Dragon.

The rhyming flows impeccably, it's a complete and utter joy to read and as witty and unique as they come. This is without doubt one of my daughters favourite books of all time and a Halloween must read for your little monsters. Axel Scheffler's fantastic illustrations complete this delightful and funny picture book. Recommended for ages 2-5 years.

Published by Macmillan September 2002

The Grunt And The Grouch: Big Splash by Tracey Corderoy

The Grunt and the Grouch are two of the most disgusting and badly-behaved trolls in the world - and the most fun! They keep bogies and ear wax in jars, and they never, ever have a bath! This brand-new series of three-in-one storybooks will bring out the troll in all girls and boys! Dive in with The Grunt and The Grouch as they gatecrash the opening of the local swimming pool, get all tangled up on a camping trip and come face to face with a little troll horror when they're left to babysit Grunt's mischievous cousin

Illustrated by Lee Wildish (From

I recently reviewed Tracey Corderoy's picture book featuring these disgustingly brilliant characters over on BookBabblers. This book is aimed at a slightly older audience who are just moving beyond pictures books to their own little novels and is a wonderful transition book. With Three short stories and plenty of fun illustrations to keep little ones interested, moving to 'big kid books' has never been so much fun.

The Grunt and The Grouch will delight boys and girls alike with their truly disgusting antics. My daughter thoroughly enjoys these books and didn't want me stop reading. The language is also still very simple and is particularly suited to young readers to practice their new found skills, something I've found difficult to get just right when trying more advanced books for my daughter than her usual picture books. Tracey Corderoy gets everything just right for her target audience; language, characters, plot and fun factor. I'd highly recommend these books to boys and girls aged 5-8 years old.

Published by Little Tiger Press July 2010

FrightFully Friendly Ghosties: Ghostly Holler-Day by Daren King

It's winter and what better than a ghostly holler-day by the sea? But how are Tabitha Tumbly, Charlie Vapour, Humphrey Bump and the other ghosties to decide between Frighten-on-Sea and Scare-borough? A postcard from their friend Headless Leslie decides for them: Headless is in Frighten and cannot remember how to get home. He wrote the address on the postcard, then he forgot what the address was. I'd lose my head if it wasn't screwed on - which it isn't.' So the friends descend on Frighten and set off on an exciting ghostie caper, involving a haunted Frighten pier, a mysterious phantom magician, a fun fair and an extremely infuriating Headless Leslie.(from

Frightfully Friendly Ghosties is a pretty witty little book. There's plenty of references and subtle name changes to the British Seaside town that had me chuckling to myself, and I loved Del-Boy like ghost, Charlie Vapour. However I think these may be lost on it's target audience. Nonetheless I think this book will appeal to a lot of children aged 7-9 who will no doubt enjoy the thrill and terror of the phantom majician and the very cool illustrations. At just over 100 pages and smaller than a standard paperback it's short enough and intriguing enough to keep attention and who could resist a ghostly fun-fair?

Published by Quercus September 2010

Fame School: Trick Or Treat by Cindy Jefferies

Dannys drumming is going badly, so to cheer him up Chloe and her talented friends at Rockley Park decide to treat him to a surprise Halloween party. But there are some spooky things going on that no one can explain. Is somebody playing tricks or is Fame School really haunted? Whatever happens, Dannys in for a wail of a time.

Book 14 in The Fame School series (from

Is there any tween girl who doesn't love Boarding School stories? Add in a STAGE SCHOOL boarding school and this series is made of win! Despite joining this series at number 14, I was easily able to pick up the story. This book has everything, fun characters (Marmalade the mischievious dancer and Danny the brooding drummer my favourites!) a spooky mystery, a hint of romance and once again, boarding school! This is a must for girls aged 8-11 who will love this book, and I suspect the whole series! Fun from start to finish.

Published by Usborne September 2010

Halloween Bookish News!

I have a few little snippets to share with you and in keeping with Halloween weekend they're all of a spooky nature! 

First up, I have two fantastic sounding events to tell you about taking place this weekend in London.

I was emailed by Foyles Bookshop telling me about this fantastic event, which sadly I can't attend but thought my readers may be interested in!

Sunday 31 October 2pm

Demons Vs. Angels With Sarwat ChaddaSam EnthovenWilliam HusseyCliff McnishL.A. Weatherly

Celebrity chat show ghost 'Jeremy Vile' invites an audience of horror-seekers to a special one-off Demons vs Angels themed debate with guest authors Sarwat Chadda, Sam Enthoven, William Hussey, Cliff Mcnish and L.A Weatherly.
Hosted in our very special literary graveyard, the event will be followed by a signing and creepy canapé reception. With amazing prizes and goody bags to be won on the day.
Colouring, activities and Halloween goodies for all visitors
Click Here for more details and to reserve a place!

 Ripley's Believe It or Not museum in Piccadily Circus, London
  a week long event from 23rd to 31st October
The event is based around a new fiction series we are launching called RBI (Ripley’s Bureau of Investigation) centered around 7 agents with amazing abilities they have to solve mysteries all over the world linking to the amazing and unbelievable, finding out if these mysteries are true. The books are aimed at 6 to 10 year olds, and are great for getting boys into reading, so in aid of this there will be an RBI trail around the museum where kids answer multiple choice questions on each of the exhibits and learn more about the books the exhibits are featured in.
Where: London’s Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum, 1 Piccadilly Circus
Times: 10 til midnight every day 
Cost: The promotion itself is free, but entry to the museum is £19.95 for a child, £25.95 an adult and £81.95 for a family ticket.
Date: The event will be running from Saturday 23rd to Sunday 31st 

The contact info is the museum number: +44 (0)20 3238 0022
 and the museum website:
Warning: Only For The Brave!
Charlie Higson launches zombie short for teens for Halloween

London, UK. -- October 26, 2010 -- Puffin Books announces the release of The Scared Kid, a chilling short film for Halloween created by best-selling children’s author, actor and comedian, Charlie Higson.

The film is aimed at 12+ and is available to view at is also available on YouTube: for older teens and zombie fans of all ages. It offers a cliff-hanging taster from The Dead, the second book in Charlie’s action adventure zombie series, The Enemy.

I've watched this and it's quite creepy! I also have the books to read and think I may just save them for this weekend, if I'm brave enough!

And Finally...

I have not one, not even two but THREE sneak peeks of upcoming books I'm sure you can't wait to get your hands on!

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

Due to be released in the UK November 2010 by Headline, read the first chapter here

Out For Blood by Alyxandra Harvey

Can't wait for the next installment from the delicious Drake family? Here's the first chapter to keep you going until it's release in the uk this November!

Entice by Carrie Jones

It will be January before we get our hands on these pixies, but until then you can check out the first chapter right here

And Don't Forget....

I'm running a Halloween giveaway for one copy of the fabulous gothic ghost story, The Dead Of Winter by Chris Priestley, which you can enter right here

Halloween Book Review And Giveaway! The Dead Of Winter by Chris Priestley

Michael Vyner recalls a terrible story, one that happened to him. One that would be unbelievable if it weren't true! Michael's parents are dead and he imagines that he will stay with the kindly lawyer, executor of his parents' will ...Until he is invited to spend Christmas with his guardian in a large and desolate country house. His arrival on the first night suggests something is not quite right when he sees a woman out in the frozen mists, standing alone in the marshes. But little can prepare him for the solitude of the house itself as he is kept from his guardian and finds himself spending the Christmas holiday wandering the silent corridors of the house seeking distraction. But lonely doesn't mean alone, as Michael soon realises that the house and its grounds harbour many secrets, dead and alive, and Michael is set the task of unravelling some of the darkest secrets of all. This is a nail-biting story of hauntings and terror by the master of the genre, Chris Priestley. (from

I am not easily scared. There are very few books that can keep me awake at night through terror. With it’s deliciously spine-chilling story, The Dead Of Winter managed that and had me on edge throughout.

Young Michael has lost both his parents and faces orphan hood in Victorian London, but on the day of his mother’s funeral a surprise benefactor is revealed. Michael must go and spend Christmas in his new guardians home, the formidable Hawton Mere. Nervous to meet his new guardian, Sir Stephen, Michael’s apprehension soon turns to terror as he approaches Hawton Mere in a carriage late at night and sees a ghostly woman in the marshes surrounding the stately home. Once inside his fear isn’t abated as he finds Sir Stephen on the edge of insanity and dark secrets lurking in every shadow.

I love a gothic ghost story. There’s nothing better than slipping back into an eerie past and being scared out of your wits. The Dead Of Winter is no disappointment and is gripping throughout.
In a book of this kind perhaps the most important character is the setting itself, and Hawton Mere is a fantastic, creepy mansion harbouring all kinds of secrets. Surrounded by cold dark marshes, Priestly truly sets the scene for a terrifying ghost story in this cold and unforgiving home. The descriptions of the surrounding areas are vivid and I could easily picture it while reading the book.

The characters are also brilliantly crafted and very much of their time. From the mad aristocratic guardian, lurking in every shadow and dripping secrets, to the fiercely loyal servants refusing to abandon the family that has seen such tragedy they are exactly what you want from this genre. Sir Stephen’s sister Charlotte adds a mysterious and complex dimension as you wonder throughout what her role truly is-friend or foe. The language used is authentic and formal as you would expect, but still manages to be incredibly readable and gripping. Rather than alienate, it sucks you right in and you’ll feel you’ve slipped back in time yourself as you read this book.

The Dead Of Winter is a hugely atmospheric book and best read curled up in front of the fire on a dark, windy night. It isn’t a long book and at just over 200 pages is one you will devour in one sitting. I literally couldn’t put it down and had that thrilling edge of your seat feeling throughout with every creak and groan in the house having me jump out of my skin. It’s my favourite kind of horror, suggestive, atmospheric and sinister without being graphic. I’d recommend this book to anyone of any age from Eleven years old who enjoys a good gothic ghost story and especially to reluctant readers as I’m certain even they won’t be able to resist this devilishly delicious tale of horror.

Published in the UK October 2010. Thanks to the publishers for sending me a copy for review.

Win This Book!

I have one brand new finished hardback copy of this book up for grabs! All you need to do to enter is fill in the form below.

Because it's Halloween and to make things fun, you can get an extra entry by leaving a comment on this review. Tell us if you've had a ghostly experience or which book has left you unable to sleep at night!

Contest is open to UK residents only.
Closes at 12pm GMT Friday 5th November
Under 13 year olds must ask a parent or guardian to enter on their behalf.
Winner will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours otherwise the prize will be offered to someone else.

Good Luck!

Finding Sky UK Blog Tour

Today is my stop on the UK blog tour for Finding Sky by Joss Stirling!

I really loved Finding Sky, especially the idea of Savants, something completely new to the YA paranormal book shelves. Today Joss tells us why being a Savant could help at school or college.

Seven reasons why being a Savant can help you get on in life at school or college: 
1. Telekinesis (making things move) - You and the Most Annoying Girl in the Year are both making a move on the same guy.  Imagine being able to make a can of drink mysteriously up end over her perfect hair sending her running for the bathroom.  Result: the field is left clear for you.  This gift would also make even a klutz seriously impressive at sport, bending every ball in to the back of the net, thus improving your image all round. 
2. Seeing the future - the downside of this gift is that it seems not to work well on those you know and love so you have to be clever how you use it to your advantage.  Answer: focus on seeing someone in your class who is outside your circle of friends, see them taking the upcoming exam.  It's going to be the same questions for you, right?  So why not get a sneak peak?  Uh-oh, I think that is cheating so maybe we should only imagine this one! 
3. Sensing where things have come from - great way to check if you are having doubts that your rat of boyfriend is two timing you.  Touch his jacket and find out its recent history.  If it was innocently hanging on a peg at home as he claimed, then you owe him an apology; if out with another girl, then why not use 1 to make your displeasure known? 
4.  Reading emotional colours - if you are like Sky, you have the key to the real person behind everyone's external behaviour.  You'll know if someone is lying to you - or if they love you.  Should help you to sort out the soulmates from the love rats in a twinkle of an eye. 
5.  Healing - while there are lots of noble uses for this gift, it also comes in handy for those fashion-disaster moments.  Remember that pair of shoes that looked so great in the window but are hell to wear?  A few minutes with a healing touch and you'll be good to go for the rest of the night on the dance floor. 
6.  Sensing threats and danger - a useful gift to have in the jungle that is the school corridors.  It will alert you to the approach of the year's bully and her cronies so you can duck out of range, or to the arrival of that teacher who is keen on handing out reprimands for any slight infraction of the rules. 
7.  And finally telepathy.  Now how cool would it be to be able to talk to your mates without anyone knowing?  No more confiscations of phones for texting during lessons!  You can chat away during the most boring classes and none would be the wiser.  Only works as long as your friends were Savants too, of course. 

Thanks Joss! 

Intrigued? Checkout my review for Finding Sky here!

Finding Sky was published in the UK September 2010

Don't forget to follow the whole tour, yesterday's stop was at Narratively Speaking and tomorrows will be at My Favourite Books


I've moved ... you can now find this blog at CosyBooks.Blog ...same content, different place!

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