30 Aug 2017


Today I bring you not one but two books from the Alma Books junior range neither of which was read as part of any challenge. 

Please click on the book's title for the synopsis. For an Alma Book interview with Che Golden click on her name.


FIRST SENTENCE {CHAPTER ONE}: It was a pretty house.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {PAGE 40}: He thought of the old lady again, the warm fire and her cracked voice. He thought lovingly of the sweet porridge she always used to make, with a bit of cream on good days and a sprinkle of raisins. As his stomach grew louder and louder, he laid his cheek against the sooty brick and cried.

MY THOUGHTS: With its refreshingly different resident (the occupant of Maya's new home certainly isn't any cute little fairy with glittery wings), its theme of togetherness, its healthy eating message AND its bite-size chapters that make for ideal bedtime reading, The Porridge Plot is a delightful story that should appeal to both boys and girls alike.

Marketed at those aged nine to eleven/twelve. Whilst I find this a useful guideline, as always it is dependent on so many other factors - not least of which is the maturity of the reader. For myself personally, thinking back to some of the books I read as a girl, I'm confident that I would have enjoyed this aged nine and younger.


FIRST SENTENCE {A REALLY UNUSUAL TREE}: When you first saw it, it seemed like a tree just like any other tree.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {PAGE 43}: "Where will you take the babies, seeing we don't want them?" she asked.

"To the families who ordered them in the first place," replied the first stork. "That's if they still want them, of course ... We've lost so much time because you shot at us that I dare say they've made other arrangements by now."

"And if they don't want them."

"We'll take them back to the warehouse until a new order is placed."

MY THOUGHTS: Originally published in Italian in the late nineties, unlike some books that have been translated I found this one to be well done ... but then I wouldn't expect less from Alma Books.

Quirky enough and yet somewhat archaic. I was instantly put in mind of Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree books so, whilst I did enjoy the book on one level, it did seem rather familiar and, when compared to the Faraway series, a bit, well, lacking.

That said ...

Doubtlessly a fantastical enough read for those who aren't perhaps as familiar with Enid Blyton's Silky and Moonface. And then of course there's always Quentin Blake's illustrations.


Brian Joseph said...

The healthy reading message is a good one for children. I think that not enough children's books address that issue.

I like the cover art.

Kelly said...

If the cover illustrations are any indication of what's inside, I think that would make them worth having. (and they do "look" like books for younger children)

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Attractive covers!

Anonymous said...

I,too like the cover art!
And after visiting Alma
Books' site, I think they
offer timeless and beautiful

Karen Alderman said...

Both sound adorable.

For What It's Worth

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I like the look and feel of the publisher site and the author interview was lovely.

Both books have great cover art, but then the advances in childrens book cover art in general, over the past few years, has been amazing.

Like yourself though, I seem to remember that at the age of nine, I was much further advanced in my reading skills and I was almost at the stage of borrowing my books from both the childrens and adult sides of the library, when my dad would sneak me out the odd Agatha Christie or Ngaio Marsh book, on his spare tickets!

In fact, when I compare 'The Porridge Pot' with books I see in the charity shop of a similar age grouping, this one does seem quite young in both appearance and language, although maybe the story line does upsell it a bit?

Thanks for sharing and I hope that all is well with you :)


Gina R said...

Though both have their appeal, my heart is warmed by the Memorable Moment shared from the Porridge book. ❤

Suko said...

This looks and sounds lovely. Wonderful review, Tracy!

kimbacaffeinate said...

These both sound lovely, and the first book appeals to me with its many messages.

Literary Feline said...

I like the artwork on both covers. And I like the memorable moment you shared from The Porridge Plot. It sounds like it has a good message to. I am glad you enjoyed it!