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  • Sawl Bwci Bo? - Joanna Davies a Steven Goldstone

    *For Welsh review, see language toggle switch* (suggested) reading age: 5+ (suggested) interest age: 0-5 Genre: #earlyyears #counting #numbers #bilingual Forget the Minions, because the Bwci Bo’s have arrived! This is the slick new counting book by the team behind Joey Bananas Handmade. This’ll be the only book you’ll need to get started on your counting journey. If you're not familiar with these mischievous little monsters, have a look at the https://www.joeybananashandmade.co.uk/ website and have a look at all the other colourful and eco-friendly stuff they make. This time, author Joanna Davies, and graphic designer Steven Goldstone have turned their hand to a bilingual book that helps young children count to ten. Who said that learning has to be hard work? You’ll have plenty of fun with these funny, furry little creatures. After learning how to count to 10, you can take the learning even further, by counting all the legs or counting back down in reverse. Plenty of chances to practice the new counting skills. The illustration is bob-on - very modern, and has clearly been done to a very high standard by a professional designer. Sometimes, you get some books that are quite busy, but this one has a minimalist, simple vibe which works well. As I’m currently doing research on bilingual books, this drew my attention because of the fact that the text has been clearly set out in both languages (which isn’t always the case). And don't just take it from me - the BookTrust charity obviously love the Bwci Bo’s too, because it was chosen to be part of ‘Dechrau Da’ [BookStart] scheme that gives free books to all 2-3 year olds in Wales. Apart from the fact that over 30,000 copies have been printed (which is quite an achievement, to be fair) you may be surprised to know that this was the first original Welsh-language book to be selected for the scheme… ever! Pretty cool eh? Publisher: Atebol Released: 2022 Price: £6.99 FREE ACTIVITIES FROM ATEBOL COLOURING: https://80720c4558f091813bd2.b-cdn.net/wp-content/uploads/Documents/Sawl%20Bwci%20Bo%20-%20How%20Many%20Bwci%20Bos%20-%20Lliwio.pdf FIND THE LOLIPOPS: https://80720c4558f091813bd2.b-cdn.net/wp-content/uploads/Documents/Sawl%20Bwci%20Bo%20-%20How%20Many%20Bwci%20Bos%20-%20Lollipops.pdf AUDIO BOOK FROM BOOKTRUST https://soundcloud.com/booktrust/sawl-bwci-bo-how-many-bwci-bo

  • Oes yr Eira- Elidir Jones a Huw Aaron

    For Welsh review, see language toggle switch. (suggested) interest age: 11+ (suggested) reading age: 13+ Genre: #highfantasy #epic #adventure #fiction Back to the Copa Coch [Red Summit] If you enjoyed Yr Horwth (winner of The Book of the Year 2020: Children and Young People category) and the follow-up, Melltith yn y Mynydd, it stands to reason that you’ll be pleased with the third addition to the legends of the Copa Coch series, Oes yr Eira [age of snow]. The novel strikes a different tone to it’s predecessors, yet feels familiar. Who’s it for? If you are unfamiliar with the books, they are in epic fantasy/high fantasy genre. Elidir Jones is the author, and he teams up with the one and only Huw Aaron for the illustrations. I try not to compare Welsh books with English ones, but to give you an idea, the series has The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings vibes, with several other influences to boot. (not a bad comparison though, to be fair) Despite there being some similarities to Tolkein's work, these books have a distinctly Welsh flavour. Although Atebol’s website states that these books are suitable for audiences aged 11-14+, I think the '+' is of particular importance, because there’s no age limit for who will enjoy them really (I'm 31, and I like them). What I would say, however, is compared to many books for this age, is that language is quite challenging. Although it all flows quite naturally, I think it does call for a confident reader to tackle some of the words, let alone have the necessary stamina to read a ‘busy’ novel of this length. Adventure no. 3 This time, we leave the Copa Coch as the band of heroes travel to the nearby kingdom of Bryn Hir. When they arrive at the city of Crug y Don, they soon come to realise that things aren’t quite right there. One of the Gods has reportedly gone insane and has turned against his own people. Whilst investigating the mystery, our heroes realise that not everyone is telling the truth, and perhaps the people of Crug y Don are hiding something. In actual fact, they’ve never faced such a challenge - how exactly do you stop a God who’s out of control? If you want to know which dark secrets from the past are hiding in the shadows go grab yourself a copy. By now, we’re more familiar with the characters and their mythical world, and it feels like the author is too, having got into the groove of writing about these characters. We even see some will they/won't they between Nad and Sara at last. What next? We still don’t really know what happened to the village of Copa Coch (now empty, by the way). Whilst we don’t get the answers in this book, I’ve got a feeling the next novel will start addressing this mystery. What went wrong? Where are our brave adventurers now? According to Elidir, he’s got some big plans for the mythical universe he’s created in the novels. There’s no shortage of interesting characters and locations – certainly enough material for several more novels I’d say! Publisher: Atebol Released: 2022 Price: £7.99 HIGH PRAISE FOR THE SERIES...

  • Tyllau - Louis Sachar [adapt. Ioan Kidd]

    ★Ar restr BBC Big Read Top 100★ (suggested) reading age: 11+ (suggested) interest age: 10+ Genre: #mystery #fiction #adventure #modernclassic #magicalrealism Welsh adaptation of Holes by Louis Sachar. This witty, inventive and utterly compelling novel from Louis Sachar is a must-read for children and adults too. A deft mixture of seriousness and humour, it is told in a direct, simple style that belies the clever construction of Sachar's powerful narrative. REVIEW BY CATRIN DAFYDD Stanley Yelnats has been falsely accused of stealing a pair of shoes. Because of this, he is sent to Glaslyn camp. Stanley isn’t to blame, and it’s said that he and his family have been unlucky for many years. Despite the injustice, a visit to this strange camp reinforces Stanley's character and changes his life forever. Ioan Kidd's adaptation of Louis Sachar's novel captures the reader's attention from the very beginning. The mystery belonging to ‘Gwersyll Glaslyn’ compels you to speed through the chapters. The reader has the opportunity to understand the main character's thinking and is fully immersed in his world. The juxtaposition of everyday reality and surreal stories offers a nice balance to the novel. What is most striking about the novel is its simplicity. The storytelling is tight, similar to old allegories, yet entirely modern. Without a doubt, this is a novel that shows the development of a character, and shows in a subtle way how friendship is formed and how it’s possible to make the most of a bad situation. A novel that shines a light on injustices as well as showing how tenacity and perseverance can achieve results. Above all though, despite being a concise and direct novel, with almost no emotion; this is a book that will leave its mark on every single reader because it touches upon the truth. A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Stanley Yelnats' family has a history of bad luck, so he is not entirely surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to the Camp Green Lake Juvenile Detention Centre in the middle of the Texan desert. There is in fact no lake there at all and not much green either. Stanley soon discovers that his work at the camp will be to dig a deep hole each day, and to report back about anything he finds there. Stanley gets to work - but he soon discovers there's more to the task he's been given than merely an exercise in character-building WHAT PARENTS NEED TO KNOW (from Common Sense Media) Parents need to know that Louis Sachar's Holes is a moving, action-packed, and sometimes violent mystery that won the Newbery Medal. It's about a boy named Stanley, who's falsely accused of a crime and sent to a juvenile detention center in the middle of a desert in Texas. The story will excite young readers' sense of justice, as Stanley is treated most unfairly. In the flashback passages, Katherine, a White woman, loves Sam, a Black man, and they're victims of racist violence. There's threatened as well as real violence in the present-day parts of the book, including fistfights, drawn guns, attacks with shovels, and danger of poisoning. This is a more intense book than many novels for this age group, as some adults in the book treat youngsters as slaves. However, there are some funny moments, and the mysterious ways that past and present connect in the book are engaging at just the right grade level. The book was adapted for a 2003 movie, and there's a good audiobook version read by Kerry Beyer. Publisher: Gomer@Lolfa Released: 2007 Price: Reduced to £2 on Gwales (bargain!) https://www.gwales.com/bibliographic/?isbn=9781843238409&tsid=9 IT WAS SUCH A GOOD BOOK THEY MADE IT INTO A FILM!

  • Cors Caron- Meleri Wyn James

    *For Welsh review, see language toggle switch* ♥Children's Book of the Month: June 2022♥ (suggested) reading age: 11-14+ (suggested) interest age:11+ Genre: #msytery #adventure #environment #fiction Description: A mystery novel for children set against the backdrop of the Caron marshland in mid-Wales. The story moves swiftly between two worlds, and deals with themes of relationship, love and the change in our attitude towards the environment. REVIEW BY ELIN WILLIAMS (14 yrs old) This is an eventful book, which tells the story of a fifteen-year-old girl called Caron who goes missing on Cors Caron [marsh] in Ceredigion. She suffers from epilepsy but doesn’t see this as a weakness. On the contrary – it’s something that defines her and makes her special. The marsh is Caron's escape when life isn’t treating her kindly, and she knows every part of the land like the back of her hand. This is what causes her father, Rhys, to worry when Caron does not return home for her supper or answer her phone. Rhys works on the marsh and shares the same passion as his daughter about it. At this point in the story we find out that a body has been discovered on the marshland, which turns out to be a body that has been there for many centuries. As the story progresses, with Caron still missing, we learn about the teenage girl's life through her family and friends, and their efforts to find her. Here, the novel engages with aspects of everyday life that have an impact on everyone – friends, school, lovers, growing up with one parent, the epilepsy and its challenges, as well as the problem of climate change and the need to protect nature and protect Cors Caron. Meanwhile, Caron is on an adventure. Only clues suggest that she travelled back in time – to the period of the late 19th century when there was an intention to install a railway in the Tregaron area that would involve destroying the marsh. In this strange, parallel world Caron meets Twm, a hardworking and loyal young boy who strongly opposes the developments. This causes tension because the local people depend on the work that comes from building the line for their livelihoods. As Twm and his family offer her accommodation and care for her, Caron realises that it’s their duty to save the marsh and change the course of the future ... but is it all a nightmare? And what part does the body found in the marsh have in all this? I love the book's cover design, and the colourful pictures and images convey the wilderness of the marsh but also Caron's confusion. The author has undoubtedly managed to tell a good, multi-layered story – it’s easy to read, it grabs from the first page, and the dialogue includes the spoken dialect from the Tregaron area which makes the characters very realistic. With the Eisteddfod on it’s way to that area, there’s never been a better time to read this! Elin Williams (14 years old) A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Books Council of Wales. Publisher: Y Lolfa Released: 2022 Price: £7.99

  • Y Mamoth Mawr - David Walliams [adapt. Dewi Wyn Williams]

    *For Welsh review, see toggle switch* (suggested) reading age: 9-14 (suggested) interest age: 7+ Genre: #fiction #funny #history Book summary (information from BookTrust) When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster – a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole – she's determined to discover more, but when a chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, it sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the Arctic itself. The Ice Monster is an epic, loosely historical adventure (as explained in the back of the book, the dates don’t quite match up to historical facts but it’s more or less Victorian!). It is a bit of a departure from his previous work, all set in the present day. As with all of David Walliams’ books, it’s funny, easy to read and shoots along at a rocket pace. Great for adults to read out loud, brilliant for doing funny voices - and actually great for children to read out loud to adults, too. QUICK REVIEW BY NEL GUEST, YSGOL Y CREUDDYN Why I started reading... I have reviewed this book as it was recommended to me by my Welsh Teacher, Mrs Sioned Bevan. The book mentions an orphaned young girl named Elsi who lives on the streets of London. She hears people talking about a Great Mammoth and wants to search for more information. In the end Elsi finds it and something happens… The best bit... My favourite part of the book is when it was raining and Elsi climbed a water pipe to the roof of the museum and the whole crowd clapped and congratulated, that's when I enjoyed the biggest book because it was a fun experience. It seems to me that my favourite character was Dot the museum cleaning lady as she had found Elsi in the cupboard and did not call the guards and instead she made sure Elsi was OK and looked after her. The book stayed interesting because I wanted to know what was going on in the end because it was such an adventurous story. The verdict In my opinion I liked the book a great deal and was pleased that it was in the Welsh language so it was easier to understand. I think if you are looking for a convenient, adventurous, exciting and funny book this is the one for you!! Publisher: Atebol Released: 2020 Price: £9.99

  • Dwi eisiau bod yn Ddeinosor - Luned a Huw Aaron

    *For Welsh Review, see language toggle switch* (suggested) interest age: 3+ (suggested) reading age: 5+ Genre: #rhyme #healthandwellbeing #funny Yet more success for the Aarons Earlier this week, I was pleased to see that another book by Luned and Huw has had some mainstream recognition and has popped up on the shortlist for the Book of the Year Awards. That book was – 'Pam? ' – it scored very highly on my own personal best books list and I wish them every success in the competition. Read the review here. This is another book the dream team has released recently with Atebol. Doesn’t it just look awesome? It’s just so fresh, bright and modern looking – which just goes to show how far original Welsh books have come over the years. This is a better book than a number of adaptations currently on the market and is a great example of a perfect #original #Welsh language book. Dinosaurs, zombies and Frankenstein This book will no doubt appeal to children who are playful in nature. The book is funny, and just as well, because I think we need some humour more than ever. I'll have to buy another copy for my little cousin, because he’s definitely not having my copy! Don’t you think the scribbly-yet-impressive drawings are wonderful? Something I noted, was the large font, set against the white background looks good and will be easier to read for young readers. The rhyme is on-point, and as I've said before, I can see this as a darn llefaru unigol for the Urdd Eisteddfod! Believe in yourself In the first half of the book the little boy constantly puts himself down. He never feels good enough and compares himself to others. This is such an easy trap to fall into, and we as adults are just as guilty of doing it to ourselves too. Negative thinking like this leads to some of those self-sabotaging behaviours we could do without, and so it's important to try and keep a positive mindset at all times. I think the book’s main messages of 'accept yourself,' 'love yourself for who you are' and 'you are enough' are vitally important in today's competitive world, where there’s so much pressure on children to be 'successful. ' What’s the take-home message? The book manages to convey important messages without shoving them down our throats. It keeps the humour and light-heartedness throughout. For me, the main message is be happy in your own skin. At the end of the day, being nice, polite and kind is far important than anything else! Publisher: Atebol Released: 2022 Price: £6.99

  • Siani Pob Man - Valériane Leblond a Morfudd Bevan

    *For Welsh, see language toggle switch* (suggested) reading age: 6+ (suggested) interest age: 4+ Genre: #history #local #Wales #Sea This is a new book by Valériane Leblond and Morfudd Bevan. You may be familiar with Valériane's work after reading her lovely book The Quilt. This book, Siani Pob Man, is equally impressive and typical of Valériane's delicate and observant artwork. The colours on the canvas are reminiscent of the sand on the beach, and you’ll find some interesting information in the back of the book about the process of painting the illustrations. The author of the text is Morfudd Bevan, a curator at the National Library with links to the area. Before reading the story, I’ll admit, I didn't realise that this was a story about a real person! Siani Pob Man would often be seen sitting outside her whitewashed cottage on the beach, more often than not, with her chickens. A rather eccentric character, she became popular with visitors and would sing rhymes or tell the fortunes apparently. It’s so important that we remember individuals such as Siani Pob Man, as they are an important part of our local history. I can think of a few local characters from my own area who’ve left us, and I doubt that many people would even be aware that they existed at all. I’m pleased the author has decided to share this quirky little story, to ensure that the story of Siani Pob Man endures. Thanks to the author's diligent research and Valériane's artwork, Siani’s story comes alive and is shared with the rest of Wales, beyond the Ceredigion area. Reading the book is certainly a good excuse to visit New Quay next time I'm in the area. Publisher: Y Lolfa Format: Clawr Caled Released: 2022 Price: £7.99

  • Dirgelwch y Dieithryn - Elgan Philip Davies

    *For Welsh see language toggle switch* (suggested) reading age: 7+ (suggested) interest age: 6+ Gwales Description When Iwan, Mair and their friends spot a stranger in the empty house near the park, they know at once that something’s amiss. He must be a thief, and they need to hatch a plan at once to catch him. Join the friends on their summer adventure! REVIEW BY ELA GRIFFITH, YEAR 9, YSGOL Y CREUDDYN The book ‘Dirgelwch y Dieithryn’ by Elgan Philip Davies is a wonderful book full of adventure and fun. The book is great for families to read together or to read independently. In my opinion I would recommend for the 6 - 11-year age range because it’s short and easy to read. The story has been set in the garden of one of the friends and follows Iwan, Mair and his friends as they have had an experience that they have not had before. An unknown and strange new man has arrived, but there is something suspicious about him. Is he a thief? Is he a criminal? Is he a pirate? Their task is to find out and catch him! My favourite character is Mair because she’s a character like me. She loves adventure and is determined and assertive. She helps Iwan and his friends try to catch the stranger and keeps everyone safe! The only negative thing about the book is to start understanding the story at the start. As a pupil in year 9 I felt that the book was for quite a young audience. But when you're reading it you feel like one of the friends and on an adventure, yourself trying to catch the stranger. So read ‘Dirgelwch y Dieithryn’ and join Iwan, Mair and their friends on their adventure! Publisher: Y Lolfa Released: 2021 (1993) Series: Gorau'r Goreuon Price: £5.99 ISBN: 9781800991378 What is the Gorau'r Goreuon series? GORAU’R GOREUON: INTRODUCING THREE STORIES FROM THE PAST TO YOUNG AUDIENCES IN 2021 The Books Council of Wales is launching the first three titles of Gorau’r Goreuon (The Best of the Best), a selection of books for children and young people. Gorau’r Goreuon aims to introduce a selection of books that are considered classics in children and young people’s literature to a new generation of readers. Full article: https://llyfrau.cymru/goraur-goreuon-cyflwyno-tair-stori-or-gorffennol/ MORE BOOOKS IN THE GORAU'R GOREUON SERIES...

  • Dim chwarae, Mot! - Lawrence Schimel ac Elīna Brasliņa [Addas. Mari Siôn ac Elin Haf]

    Genre: #amrywiaeth #teulu #iechydalles Oed diddordeb: 0-3 Simple and colourful books that convey the diversity of our families. I thought I’d draw your attention to these cute little rhyming boardbooks for young children (I’d say under the age of 3). They’ve been translated from Spanish and I thought they were great examples of diversity in our children's literature. One book is about waking up in the morning, and the other is about bedtime. In Yn gynnar yn y bore, we see a little boy waking up early before his parents (something I’m sure you’re all too familiar with!) as we follow the boy, and his cat during their morning routine. In the second book, Dim chwarae, Mot! The girl and her dog are full of energy, despite it being bedtime – they’d much rather play than go to sleep! The books are unique in that they contain same-sex parents any and this fits in naturally as part of the story. Great! It hardly needs mentioning really, other than the fact that this is the first time I’ve seen it in a Welsh book. I’m just glad that the diversity in contemporary Wales is reflected in our books and that this normalizes the idea of 'mami and mami' or 'dadi and dadi' from a young age. Also available in English under the titles Early One Morning and Bedtime, Not Playtime! Publisher: Canolfan Peniairth Price: £5.99 https://siop.peniarth.cymru/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=445

  • Yn gynnar yn y bore - Lawrence Schimel ac Elīna Brasliņa [Addas. Mari Siôn ac Elin Haf]

    Genre: #amrywiaeth #teulu #iechydalles Oed diddordeb: 0-3 Simple and colourful books that convey the diversity of our families. I thought I’d draw your attention to these cute little rhyming boardbooks for young children (I’d say under the age of 3). They’ve been translated from Spanish and I thought they were great examples of diversity in our children's literature. One book is about waking up in the morning, and the other is about bedtime. In Yn gynnar yn y bore, we see a little boy waking up early before his parents (something I’m sure you’re all too familiar with!) as we follow the boy, and his cat during their morning routine. In the second book, Dim chwarae, Mot! The girl and her dog are full of energy, despite it being bedtime – they’d much rather play than go to sleep! The books are unique in that they contain same-sex parents any and this fits in naturally as part of the story. Great! It hardly needs mentioning really, other than the fact that this is the first time I’ve seen it in a Welsh book. I’m just glad that the diversity in contemporary Wales is reflected in our books and that this normalizes the idea of 'mami and mami' or 'dadi and dadi' from a young age. Also available in English under the titles Early One Morning and Bedtime, Not Playtime! Gwasg: Canolfan Peniarth Pris: £5.99 https://siop.peniarth.cymru/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=445

  • Y Pump - Various Authors [ed. Elgan Rhys]

    ♥ Tir na n-Og Awards 2022 Winner: Secondary♥ Genre: #fiction #YA #teen (suggested) reading age: 13+ (suggested) interest age: 14+ (some themes may cause distress but overall, we believe that these would be suitable for 14+) https://amam.cymru/ypump/cyhoeddi-y-pump-annoncement The series Innovative. Ambitious. And more importantly – authentic. These are only some of the words I associate with this project. As far as I’m aware, nothing like this has been done in Welsh, and this leads the way for how books should be published and marketed to teenagers/YA going forward. When the books were published, a considerable amount of marketing was done on social media, such as a new Insta page specifically for #YPump and the use of platforms such as AM to share the content e.g. playlists associated with the novels. The series, edited by Elgan Rhys, contains 5 unique novels about 5 very special young people. What is really exciting about the series, however, is that published, experienced writers have co-worked and co-written the novels with young people who have lived some of the experiences mentioned in the books. What a good idea - to have young Welsh writers nurturing and mentoring the next generation of writers. By working together in such a way, we ensure that the stories are honest and genuine, presenting real issues and experiences in a real and credible way (rather than having writers talking about subjects they have no experience of). There's nothing more cringe, than old people trying to sound cool and 'down with the kids.' Fortunately, there's none of that here, just the voices of real young people reflected on the pages. The element of collaboration between the authors is exciting, and something that should be done more, moving forward, particularly when tackling challenging topics. It’s also worth remembering is that the authors and editors were able to do all the collaborative work in very unusual circumstances in the midst of the pandemic and this should be a source of pride for everyone involved in the project. Who are the Five? The series follows the lives of five friends in Year 11 at Ysgol Gyfun Llwyd. It addresses some of the complexities of being a young person in this day and age. We follow the stories of Tim, Tami, Aniq, Robyn and Cat as they meet, and join together to form a crew of friends – Y Pump [The Five]. This is a group of young people who have been socially marginalized, as they may not have fitted the label of what is considered 'normal.' (an ugly word, I might add!) Each character gets their own 20,000-word novella (which I think is a good length for a YA novel - not too short, not too long). Each novella stands firmly on their own but, much like Y Pump, I feel that the series is strongest when they are together. Each one of the Pump are unique and special, and the novels shed light on some of the contemporary issues that are important to young people today, as well as being a celebration of the diversity that can be seen in modern 21st century Wales. Although themes such as mental health, race, gender, sexuality and depression are introduced to name but a few, the novels succeed in avoiding being preachy, and the experiences of the characters and their relationships are at the heart of each one. The novels are in the first person, and it’s fascinating to see the world through the eyes of the different characters, and how they interact with each other. Each character brings another perspective and dimension to the table. Here’s the order of each novella: 1. Tim – Elgan Rhys a Tomos Jones 2. Tami – Mared Roberts a Ceri-Anne Gatehouse 3. Aniq – Margin Elen Wiliam and Mahum Umer 4. Robyn – Iestyn Tyne a Leo Drayton 5. Cat – Megan Angharad Hunter a Maisie Awen Novels 4 and 5 are the standouts from the series in my opinion. Although it’s perfectly possible to enjoy any of the stories as stand-alones, the best way to enjoy them is as part of a series. You can get the books in a snazzy box-set if you want – quite the bargain at £25! Teachers – if you’re teaching Welsh in secondary school, please consider introducing these to your classes. Tir na n-Og Awards Congratulations to everyone involved in the project on your success at the Tir na n-Og Awards 2022. The judges felt that the series deserved to win, rather than one of the books individually, which I think is a first for the awards. Well done to the authors, co-authors, editors, mentors, marketers and Y Lolfa for taking a risk and giving the idea a chance. It was a privilege to be at the ceremony in the Urdd Eisteddfod, Denbigh. I could see how much the award meant to each of the ones present. I’m looking forward to seeing future projects from the #YPump writers. Publisher: Y Lolfa Released: 2021 Price: £5.99 each or £25 for box-set Elgan Rhys talks to the other authors about #YPump

  • Ynyr yr Ysbryd a'r Dylwythen Deg - Rhian Cadwaladr a Leri Tecwyn

    *For Welsh review, please see language toggle switch* (suggested) Interest age: 3-7 (suggested) Reading age: 6/7+ Genre: #picturebook #fiction #ghosts #friendship Boo! The cutest ghost you’ve ever seen is back, but I don’t think he’ll be winning any awards for being scary anytime soon! On his second outing, the young little ghost declares that he has no friends (bless him☹) and he’s sent out by his mother to go and find some! I’m sure we’re all familiar with that stomach-churning feeling of going somewhere new where we don’t know anyone. Fair play to Ynyr for giving it a go. Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, the people and animals are too scared of ghosts to even consider being mates with him. It ain’t easy being a ghost is it? But after he sees the Tylwythen Deg (fairy) struggling with some socks, he sees an opportunity to make a new little friend. The problem is, she's not interested at all in being friends! Does our see-through friend give up? Not a chance! It’s very easy to judge someone the first time you meet them, and sometimes, you have to give someone a second chance in order to get to know them better. Speaking from experience, one particular girl didn't have much to say to me when we started in uni, but over time, we became friends and now we’re married! Sometimes, perseverance is worthwhile, and I think that’s something that comes across in this story. It’s a mother and daughter team behind this series, and I was already impressed with daughter Leri's artwork from her earlier efforts in the Tomos Llygoden y Theatr series. Whilst those are pocket-sized booklets, the Ynyr yr Ysbryd series are huge in comparison. The large, A4 size does justice to the amazingly rich, warm illustrations that fill some pages. I get traditional, even classical vibes from the pictures, which remind me of children's books from days gone by. This is a simple story about friendship, kindness and perseverance, yet there is more reading than one would think. This is, therefore, a good one to read with an adult at bedtime. And much like the '007 will return' you see at the end of the James Bond films, it's good to see that Ynyr will be back yet again… Publisher: Gwasg Carreg Gwalch Released: 2022 Price: £6.50 ISBN: 9781845278274

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