Recently my focus has been all over the place so I’ve been reading children’s books, as they’re shorter and normally more fun to read. Here are my mini reviews of some of those NetGalley arcs.

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 Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian

Celebrate 40 years of friendship with Goodnight Mister Tom, with this special anniversary edition.
The gruff and surly Mr Thomas Oakley is less than pleased when he is landed with a scrawny little city boy as a guest, but because it is compulsory that each villager takes in an evacuee he reluctantly agrees. It soon becomes obvious to Mister Tom that young Willie Beech is hiding something, and as the pair begin to form an unlikely bond and Willie grows in stature and in confidence he begins to forget the past. But when he has to return to war-torn London to face his mother again he retreats into his shy and awkward ways once more.

Available now from: Bookshop.orgHiveWaterstonesAmazon

This was a such wonderful book! I devoured it and really didn’t want to stop reading it. I loved following Willie Beech’s story as a London evacuee sent to the countryside during World War Two. He was a lovely boy who’d been treated badly by his mother but was looked after so lovingly by old Mister Tom. Tom was a sad widower who had kept to himself for years but all that changed when Willie came to stay. a wonderful book that I’d wished I’d read years ago and will definitely read again. Older children will really enjoy this story about Willie Beech and Mister Tom.

Thanks so much NetGalley and Penguin Random House Children’s UK for my digital copy via the NetGalley app.

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Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden
Narrated by Sharon Alexander; Rachel Jacobs; Alan Carlson

51UkWv2hxtLFrom NetGalley: “Schoolyard rivalries. Baking disasters. Puffed sleeves. Explore the violet vales and glorious green of Avonlea in this spirited adaptation. The magic of L.M. Montgomery’s treasured classic is reimagined in a whimsically-illustrated graphic novel adaptation perfect for newcomers and kindred spirits alike.
When Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt an orphan who can help manage their family farm, they have no idea what delightful trouble awaits them. With flame-red hair and an unstoppable imagination, 11-year-old Anne Shirley takes Green Gables by storm.
Anne’s misadventures bring a little romance to the lives of everyone she meets: her bosom friend, Diana Barry; the town gossip, Mrs. Lynde; and that infuriating tease, Gilbert Blythe. From triumphs and thrills to the depths of despair, Anne turns each everyday moment into something extraordinary.”

Available now from – Audible

This was a great introduction to the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M . Montgomery. I really enjoyed listening to this dramatised version of the first book. It made me smile and laugh out loud as Anne, Marilla, Matthew, Mrs Lynd, Diana Berry and of course Gilbert Blythe were brought to life so expertly by the narrators. I definitely recommend this to children who have yet to read or listen to this story.  

Thanks so much NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for my digital copy via the NetGalley app. 

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Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace (Easy Classics) adapted by Gemma Barder

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From NetGalley: “Pierre is nothing like his confident, handsome friend Andrei. He is awkward and shy – and when his father dies and leaves Pierre a vast fortune, suddenly very popular. As war rages on the edges of Moscow and the charming young Natasha catches the eye of both friends, Pierre must decide what he wants and who he is. Can Pierre finally find happiness, and will Natasha decide where her heart truly lies?
From the dazzling ballrooms of St. Petersburg to the blazing war-torn streets of Moscow, children can now experience the famous, epic Russian stories. Suitably adapted and illustrated for children aged 7+.”

Pre-order from – Amazon

I’ve never attempted Leo Tolstoy’s tome and couldn’t resist this children’s version when I saw it on NetGalley recently. I didn’t have a clue what the story was about so I went in blind. I and discovered that it’s essentially a love story about Pierre who’s very shy and doesn’t have many friends until his rich father dies leaving him a fortune! It’s the old story of marrying for money and status, instead of for love, a la Jane Austen, except set during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. I loved the illustrations, but I found the enormous cast of characters very confusing, so didn’t remember who was who in different parts of the story. This could be partly because I was reading it on my tablet and therefore couldn’t keep flipping the pages back to beginning of the book where there was a list of all the different characters and their families. Hopefully the children who this is aimed at won’t be so confused. 

Thanks so much NetGalley and Sweet Cherry Publishing for my digital copy via the NetGalley app.