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All reviews tagged with Kate Harvey

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A Face Like Glass

'One dark season, Grandible became certain that there was something living in his domain within the Cheese Tunnels.’ So begins Frances Hardinge’s latest fantasy/adventure novel, and this first sentence sets the tone for the rest of the book: intriguing, funny, and slightly offbeat. The novel is set in the underground city of Caverna, a closed…

Captain

One of many books published this year to coincide with the centenary of the First World War, Captain explores friendship in extreme circumstances. Billy, a fifteen-year-old who has lied about his age in order to enlist in the British army, is sent immediately to the Middle East, where he forms a close friendship with a…

Faster! Faster!

In this sequel to Higher! Higher! (2009), the girl and her father are once again playing in a park. With the girl riding on his back, ‘Daddy’ is pushed to go ‘faster’, transforming into a dog, a rabbit, an ostrich, a horse, a cheetah, an eagle, a dolphin, and finally a turtle before changing back into a…

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs

Three dinosaurs prepare three bowls of pudding at varying temperatures and then lie in wait for a ‘succulent, poorly supervised little girl’ named Goldilocks to come along in this sophisticated adaptation of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears". This is one of those remarkable picturebooks in which the words and pictures come together perfectly to produce…

King Baby

Kate Beaton’s latest picturebook is a humourous treatment of the constant attention newborn babies need from their caretakers, told from the point of view of the exalted King Baby himself. King Baby has many demands, offering his adult subjects ‘smiles and laughs and kisses’ as a reward for carrying out his orders (‘FEED ME! BURP…

Liberty’s Fire

In Lydia Syson’s third historical novel, set over the rise and fall of the Paris Commune between March and May 1871, four young adults from different socioeconomic backgrounds are thrown together and must navigate the volatile political climate in order to survive. At the heart of the novel is the love triangle between musician Anatole,…

Lion Practice

There are echoes of Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are in Emma Carlisle’s celebration of imaginative play, although the execution and visual style are very different. Like Sendak’s text, Lion Practice concerns a child learning to contain her wilder instincts after being chastised by her parents for boisterous animal-based play. There is a clear lesson,…

Little Liar

This is an intense and gripping novel that seems to take its cue from the recent ‘domestic noir trend’ in adult fiction. Like many contemporary novels in that genre, Little Liar features a manipulative and morally ambiguous female protagonist who is by her own admission an unreliable narrator and who spends the novel scheming to…

Tales from Shakespeare

(Note: This review focuses on Twelfth Night (ISBN 9781784930028) and Hamlet (ISBN 9781784930004)) QED publishing’s Tales from Shakespeare series is not the first to rewrite Shakespeare’s plays for a young audience, nor will it be the last. While these are not the most innovative of such adaptations, there is enough originality to make them a…

The Book of Pearl

This beautifully written fantasy novel begins where many supernatural romances end: with a fairy renouncing her powers to be with her human lover. Ironically, just as Olia becomes human, her human lover Ilian is exiled to 1930s Paris where he adopts the pseudonym Joshua Pearl. From there the nonlinear narrative jumps backwards and forwards in…

The Girl Who Thought Her Mother Was a Mermaid

The title of this novel is fairly self-explanatory: the protagonist, Stella, follows a series of clues that seem to suggest that her recently deceased mother was in fact a mermaid. She runs away from home intent on finding answers on a nearby island, where she gets into a pickle with her mother’s former associates. The…

The Revenge of the Ballybogs

Siobhan Rowden’s follow-up to The Curse of the Bogle’s Beardcontinues the story of Barnaby Figg, a boy who works alongside his half-bogle grandmother in her pickle factory. The Revenge of the Ballybogs is essentially a rehash of the same formula: this time it is Barnaby’s mother, rather than his father, who is kidnapped, prompting Barnaby once again to…

The Tiny King

Taro Miura uses a combination of vivid colours, geometric shapes, and collage to tell the story of the Tiny King, who is lonely and living in a castle that is too big for him, until he marries the Big Princess and fills his castle with children. Miura’s deceptively simple illustrations are what make this book…

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