Bug in a Vacuum by Mélanie Watt

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Melanie Watt has done a fantastic job combining a great children’s story with an underlying life lessons.  This book has fantastic, humorous pictures to go with the story of a fly that inadvertently gets sucked into a vacuum. In silly ways, the fly goes through the five stages of grief.  Parents can keep it simple for the little ones, or engage older children in discussion about the feelings we often go through when something bad happens to us. Perceptive readers will notice the dog experiencing loss only slightly less dramatically than the bug! I read this to my story time group and they were genuinely sad for this fly!  An interesting concept for a children’s book!  I will tell you that the story DOES have a better ending than the beginning of the book for the Fly!

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The League of Beastly Dreadfuls (The League of Beastly Dreadfuls #1) by Holly Grant

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A creepy Victorian house, secretive aunties, and a great escape combine in this debut that is part Mysterious Benedict Society, part Roald Dahl. Join the League. . . 

We meet Anastasia a average almost 11 year old who’s parents die in a freak vacuum accident and her great aunties come to take her to their home in St Agonys insane asylum. between a creature in the woods, attacking poodles, a biting gardener and being locked in her room at night Anastasia`s life is turned upside down but all is what it seems and Anastasia is about to learn how horrible the world can be.

The pacing both in action and humor is perfect, and the narrator not too clever for its own good. Full of adventure and excitement, The League of Beastly Dreadfuls is a fast-paced and highly entertaining read. The story mixes the perfect amount of dark and quirky with comic relief and enjoyable characters. The writing flows wonderfully and pulls the reader in expertly, making this an excellent choice for reluctant readers.  something strange is going on at the asylum. Anastasia soon begins to suspect that her aunties are not who they say they are……