Pablo the Rescue Cat / Stupid Baby

Pablo the Rescue Cat
Charlotte Williams and Angela Perrini
Little Steps Publishing

What would you do if you were feeling just a little bit lonely? You might think of getting a pet and that is just what the little girl in this sweet story does. Off she goes with her mum to the animal shelter with the intention of finding something suitable.

As they walk around the shelter, she immediately falls for the pooches but quickly realises that leaving a dog home alone is a bad idea, so the helpful staff member moves on to the cat section and there, to her delight, the little girl finds the perfect moggy.

His name is Pablo and his previous owner has died.

WIth the adoption formalities done, Pablo can begin his new life and it’s not long before he’s starting to feel like one of the family. And so he remains; as the little girls grows up the friendship continues to flourish. No matter what mischief the animal gets up to, he’s won the heart of his adopter. for as she says, … “you rescued me too.”

Told through a rhyming text that occasionally creaks and scenes of feline felicity and domestic contentment, this gentle tale is a good introduction to what’s entailed in adopting a new pet. A percentage of profits from sales of the book will be donated to UK animal shelters.

Stupid Baby
Stephanie Blake
Gecko Press

Stephanie Blake’s rabbit Simon stars in a funny, somewhat anarchic take on new sibling jealousy.

Simon is far from pleased at being told to play quietly on account of the ‘tiny tiny little baby’ that’s been present in his home for a whole three days. Suppose he stays forever, worries big bro. who feels his own needs are being compromised.
When is the stupid baby going back to the hospital, is what he wants to know. But shock horror! The infant is there to stay forever.

That’s bad enough but come bedtime, Simon’s insecurity is evident. Suppose those big bad wolves lurking outside his window come in to attack him. He needs parental comfort in his hour of need but a rejection is all he receives from that quarter.

Suddenly though he discovers a most surprising source of succour/support …

Great for sharing with the very young around the time of a new baby’s arrival. Despite his bad-mouthing of the babe, Simon is an endearing character whose charms endure no matter what. Stephanie’s bold, bright illustrations are hilarious and splendidly expressive.

Mason Mooney Paranormal Investigator

Mason Mooney Paranormal Investigator
Seaerra Miller
Flying Eye Books

Aspiring paranormal investigator, Mason Mooney resident of the terrifying town of Grimbrook is determined to discover the cause of legendary freaky phenomena affecting the neighbourhood.

It all begins when he receives a letter from Iris a recent purchaser of Tanglewood Mansion telling of strange goings on in the old house and the threat of a curse written on her sister’s mirror.

Off he sets with his investigator’s gear on the allegedly fateful morning of 1st October; but his first impression of Iris is far from favourable and her big sister seems thoroughly unpleasant.

Luckily Mason is well prepared but things quickly ramp up a notch with the appearance of a new message.

Mason decides to hold a séance and is soon confronted by …

Then who should turn up but Mason’s worst nightmare, the cocky Trent Reilly and his Paranormal Society whose team Mason had failed to become part of.

The fact that Mason carries his heart around in a jar,

three cursed spirits to contend with and that deadline to beat, who will prove to have the real talent? Perhaps Iris herself with a single selfless action might just be able to break the heinous curse and save her sister?

But what of that involving Mason’s heart? A loophole maybe? But that’s for another time, for where one story closes, another one opens …

This graphic novel with its underlying theme of sibling jealousy, the combination of weird characters, lurid art, and an accursed setting, make for a decidedly spooky read,

I’m the Biggest / I Can’t Sleep!

I’m the Biggest
I Can’t Sleep!
Stephanie Blake
Gecko Press

Young rabbit, Simon has now grown considerably – he even stars in his own show on Milkshake 5 ,and here is engaged in a spot of sibling rivalry over the relative increase in height of the two brothers: Casper has grown a full 2 centimetres more than big brother Simon. Needless to say the latter is far from happy, exclaiming “No way,” in response to his Mum’s pronouncement. He even accuses her of giving Casper more food.

Having been chastised by both parents, he’s positively a-boil with fury and swearing revenge.

However, while engaged in a game of footie with his pals in the park later in the day, he spies Casper being bullied by a boy from his class.

‘Serves him right!’ is his initial reaction but then comes a change of heart. Perhaps he is still the BIG brother after all.

Good fun as all Simon titles are, especially for those grappling with being a big brother.

However, I prefer I Can’t Sleep! which I missed first time around. This story focuses on the positive – the comradeship between the two brothers.
Having both spent the day in the garden erecting a ‘MEGA GIGA-NORMOUS’ hut, when it’s bedtime Casper realises that he’s left his special blanket outside in the hut. Needless to say, he can’t possibly sleep without his blanky. It’s time for big brother to don his superhero gear and brave the dark.

It’s cold and damp as his little feet ‘pitter-pat’ run through the night, and pretty scary when he encounters a huge and hungry monster but he makes it back home clutching what he went for

and only too willing to regale his adventure to Casper till morning.

Stephanie Blake’s bold, bright illustrations are deliciously expressive showing just how the characters feel, her language too is enormously engaging and fun. Here she cleverly reveals the way in which big bro. is clearly in charge and little bro. eager to be his pupil.