Bookish Stuff – Horrid Henry

I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve been reading lately and at first it doesn’t seem like much (especially when compared to the book legends that read 100 books a year and such like). But then I have been  reading a lot to my son at bed time and I have to say it’s been fun! So I’m going to write some posts on the children’s books that I’ve been reading.

Horrid Henry

For those of you with kids, you may well have seen the TV cartoon based on these books. After reading them it’s safe to say they’ve been faithful to the stories. The films took a bit of a departure from them but we’re interested in the books right?

Looking at the books they’re great for kids of all ages, divided into stories that can be read in about 10 – 15 minutes you’ve got great stories like:

Horrid Henry and the Computer – Where Henry locks out his entire family from the computer and blackmails them into giving him computer time and buying him games. As an added reward he gets his little brother Peter into trouble.

Horrid Henry and the Demon Dinner Lady – Henry finally gets to have packed lunches, but one of the dinner ladies makes sure that none of the kids can have so much as a crisp! Henry has to think smart of beat her!

Horrid Henry and the Fairies – Henry’s brother Peter is becoming intolerable! What can he do to get him into trouble? Making him believe in fairies could help…

The characters are great – brilliantly exaggerated but with enough realism to be able to relate to them and you can definitely feel the pain of the parents….

So if you need something entertaining for your kids, Horrid Henry is great for lots of short stories. If something longer or different is needed keep an eye out for further posts on kids books there’s going to be posts for more kids books of all sizes!

Simon 🙂



Bookish Stuff – Just William


Continuing the fun time I’ve been having with children’s books lately I’m moving onto an older set of stories.

Just William

What I didn’t appreciate until I read these books was how old they are. I found them harder to read than other children’s books and I couldn’t work out what it was all about until I realised that they were first written in the 1950’s.

Don’t let this put you off though, despite some of the words being hard to understand and more than a bit old the stories are really good. William is a character that together with his gang of friends seem to somehow to find trouble, even when they’re not looking for it.

A few stories of worthy of note are:

  1. William’s birthday where he thinks he’s getting two puppies and manages to get a herd of sheep to storm the village and trash the clothing of the local ballet class.
  2. William manages inadvertently destroy the prize peaches and asparagus of two fiercely rivaled gardeners.
  3. Striking fear into a local thinking club who think the house next door is haunted, whereas it’s only William and his pals using the house for midnight feasts.
  4. Tricking his arch enemy and his gang out of their Christmas party presents in front of their very eyes.

While reading some of these I have literally been having to fight back the laughing, in my minds eyes I can really see all this going on and young William often in a state of wonder of how situations have got to where they are. In all honesty he often tries his best to be cautious and is merely the victim of time an unforseen circumstances.

In my mind they’re definitely worth a read to your kids, but I doubt they’ll be laughing like you will be!

Simon 🙂

Book Review – The Beauty Thief

Chronicles of the Twelve Realms

I rarely write book review posts, that becasue it takes me son long to read one you guys would get bored between posts and forget me. But I have just finsished The Beauty Thief, written by my bloggie friend Rachael Ritchey. The premise of the story is about where real beauty comes from and that outer beauty is superficial and without inner beauty we are an empty shell. The message is powerful and the imagery in the story around this is powerful.

The story is set around the betrothal of a young princess to  a high prince and a mysterious character that has the ability to steal beauty to stay alive for many centuries. The story start off in a very chilled out way, there is a lot of familiarisation with the events, people and their backgrounds. Events in the book change when treachery and the key event of the story takes place.

After this the plot splits into different sub plots as honourable knights and dastadly villains play their own part. Setting against each other and finding their way around all the problems thown ni their way. There is more treachery and battles as the characters start to converge towards the story climax. The pace picks up a lot in the second half making it hard to put down as I found the different plot threads knitted together.

The final climax ends in a surprising way, I’m not going to say how because I want you guys to read it for yorselves. But as with any good story there are questions left which need answering and the inevitable thread which my or may not lead to a follow on.


This was not my normal kind of read, I approached it with an open mind and I was pleasantly surprised  with the story. It’s something that would appeal to many, it’s simple language appealing to younger and older readers alike. Sure, some purists may think that the language is newer than the time the story is set and doesn’t work. But that’s not the point. This didn’t set out to be Lord of the Rings and only a very brave person would set out down that path. Its aimed at being a read that could be easy for young or old. It’s an enjoyable read and I would suggest all you reader bloggies should give it a try! Have a look at Rachaels website for details on where to get it.

Simon 🙂


Classic Book Tag


Hello bloggies,

I was nominated for the classics book tag by Charley of BookandBakes1. I’m not a typically classic book reader, but nonethe less, let’s see how we go. I have to apologise to Charley now, becasue she tagged me so long ago on this one and I’ve not been my diligent self and done it quickly. But as always thanks to Charley, she is a book addict and a great blogger!

Here goes! (All images are from Google.)

An overhyped classic you didn’t really like:

Ive tried to think of one here, but I can’t think of one. *sigh*


Favourite time period to read about:

I learned a lot about Victorian Britain from the Sherlock Holmes novels. They’re a great glimpse into how the world was working and functioning in those days and the fascination with the time period and these stories shows in the TV and film work going on around the stories.



Favourite fairy tale:

I’m not a great fairy tale person myself…




What is the most embarrassing classic you haven’t read? 

I have to go with Charley on this one, I would like to read Moby dick and I haven’t got around to it yet. I’ve heard a lot about it and about how the author has put in a lot of information about whale hunting. But I know there are some stunning quotes tucked in there too.



Top 5 classics you’d like to read soon:

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee



A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

1984 – George Orwell



Robot Dreams – Isaac Asimov


The End of Eternity – Isaac Asimov




Favourite modern book/series based on a classic:

I am currently loving the BBC version of An Inspector Calls. They’ve made some changes (with Priestley’s son’s help) but it’s still dramatic and intense. It still makes you question your every move.




Favourite movie version / TV series based on a classic:

On ITV at the moment is this awesome amalgamation of a number of Dickens classics. It’s called Dickensian and it’s just amazing. I’m LOVING it so much. I can’t work it out either, but it’s so clever how so many classics have been weaved into one.



Worst classic to movie adaptation:

How about the modern Romeo and Juliet? I wasn’t a fan of this, hate me as I’m sure many of you love it!



Favourite edition(s) you would like to collect more classics from:

I’m not really a collector of book series as such. I buy a book that I like or want to read.


An under-hyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:

I’m not sure I’ve got one here – I think many classics are unerrated. I also think that schools and the education system don’t encourage children to read the classics that would be best for them, or to have the reading freedom they need.


I’m going to nominate a few people for this tag, if you don’t want to do it don’t worry, but I’m passing on the tag love!





Simon 🙂