Sunday 5 June 2016

Elli Woollard Book Reviews || The Giant of Jum, The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight and Swashbuckle Lil 'The Secret Pirate'

We love a good bedtime story in the mini beast house.
Anything that takes us away to another land or time is brilliant.

We were recently sent a trio of Elli Woollard books.
The Giant of Jum,
The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight and
Swashbuckle Lil 'The Secret Pirate.'

A little bit about Elli -
Elli Woollard is an exciting talent on the picture books scene, who started writing stories after an embarrassing incident in which her youngest son broke Michael Rosen's glasses. In addition to picture books, she also writes children's poems. Her snappy rhymes, catchy rhythms and witty stories are sure to make her a huge success. The Giant of Jum, her first book for Macmillan, was a hit debut and the start of her winning collaboration with Benji Davies. Elli lives in London with her four children, her husband and two guinea pigs.

The first book we picked to read was The Giant of Jum.

"The Giant of Jum was a grumpy old grouch
who was constantly grizzling and grumbling .
And when he was hungry he'd slobber and slouch
and say, "oh how my tummy is rumbling!"

"Fee!" he said, "Fi!" he said, "Fo!" he said, and "Fum!"
How I pine, how I wish for a child on a dish.
Little children are yummy yum yum!"

The twins found him a bit scary to start with and hid behind their pillows but once they figured out he was a nice giant who wasn't actually going to eat children they decided they actually really liked him.

You follow the Giant of Jum as he walks through the lands to find little children to eat, specially one named Jack, but every time he meets some children he always ends up doing something nice for them.

It really is a lovely story and the book flows so nicely that its a wonderful read and really captures the imagination of little children.

The second book we read was the wonderful The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight.

The Dragons of Dread were a terrible bunch!
They ate boys for the breakfast and girls for their lunch.
But their best things of all, their favourite delights
were dribblesome, nibblesome, knobble-kneed knights.

This book follows little Dram who has to go and catch his very own knight.
On his first flight out of the dragons nest he flies through crashes of lightning and strong winds that made poor Dram loop and loops. So he ends up crashing in a pond.

Young James spots him in the middle of the pond and mistakes him for a rare kind of  duck, he rescues him and takes care of him. James isn't in his knight amour so Dram just takes him for a plain old boy.
The develop a friendship and all seems well.
But when they wake the next day, James is gone and Dram has found a place full of knights.

One knight who looks very familiar. JAMES!
They are put against each other, Dram has to bite and James has to fight!

What happens???
Well I don't want to ruin the ending, you'll have to buy the book to find out.

The boys loved this book the most out of the two. Since reading it they have made me make them some cardboard shields so in case they bump into any dragons they are ready for battle!

The illustrations in both these books were beautiful, and they really brought the books alive!
Illustrated by Benji Davis;

Benji Davies is an illustrator, author and animation director.
His first self-penned picture book The Storm Whale won the inaugral Oscar’s First Book Prize in 2014 and was shortlisted for Booktrust’s Best Book Awards. His second, Grandad’s Island, won the children’s book category of the AOI World Illustration Awards 2015 and was crowned Best Picture Book and overall Children’s Book of the Year at the Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards 2015.

'When Lil sat at school doing spellings and sums,
Nobody, nobody guessed
That she wasn't at all like an ordinary girl,
And under her jumper and vest....
Lil was a pirate, a swashbuckling pirate.'

I read Swashbuckle Lil with Noah,

The book has two short stories in it
The Secret Pirate and Croc Ahoy.

He wasn't too keen to start with as he thought it was a girl book and he was far too boyish to have a girl book read to him.
We took it in turns to read a chapter each.

From the moment I started reading he was hooked. With the stories both being in rhyme it was hard to put down the book which resulted in us reading it front to back in one sitting!
Not bad for a book about a girl, and Noah actually really enjoyed it.
He also found it an easy read, and he didn't need any help from me when he was reading his bits.

Lil is a girl with a great imagination and instead of doing he school work, she is far too busy in her own little world, fighting the evil pirate Stinkbeard.

In the first story Stinkbeard is trying to kidnap her teacher, and in the second Stinkbeards nasty pet croc wants to eat all her class mates for lunch.

We both laughed out loud whilst reading, its a great book and we are both hoping there'll be more from Lil in the future!

You can buy all three of these books on Amazon;
The Giant of Jum for £6.99


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