The Land of Stories Series [A Review]

The Land of Stories Series, by Chris Colfer

The Wishing Spell, The Enchantress Returns, A Grimm Warning, Beyond the Kingdoms, An Author’s Odyssey, Worlds Collide

Image result for land of stories complete series

[Image courtesy of Hachette Book Group]



This has to be my biggest, funniest and most enjoyable discovery of the year!

I stumbled across the series because the paperback version of the last and final book was featured on the “New Arrivals” shelf at the local bookstore, and the cover caught my attention. It looks like what an Enid Blyton book looked like thirty years ago, and when I browsed through the other books in the series, the first chapter of the first book even read like one! The child in me decided to give it a shot, never mind that it’s been classified under Young Adult (and sometimes Middle Grade). I’m so glad I did!

Besides looking like a set of classic Enid Blyton children’s fantasy storybooks, the series even contained all the magical elements of  creations like Narnia, Harry Potter, His Dark Materials, Inkheart and classic Fairy Tales. And last but not least, the characters, the things that come out of their mouths, and the things that happen to them were so hilarious that I often burst out laughing even while reading in commute. 

Colfer definitely has a clever way with words. While some may view the jokes as cheesy at times, I love all of them! It’s been a while since I’d enjoyed so much magic, wonder, imagination and wit in a single series. Plus, the plot was simple yet intricate with sub-plots, and the pace was akin to watching a good animated movie.

The only regret that I have is that I devoured the books in digital format too quickly. I should have bought the hardcover box set and savoured every one of the six books. I can’t wait to share these books with my kid when she’s old enough to read them.

VERDICT: Adult fans of children’s fantasy stories, wait no more. Go read the books and have some fun! Fairy tales will never be the same again, ever.


The Paper Dolls [A Review]

The Paper Dolls, by Julia Donaldson


   [Image courtesy of Goodreads]


Both my daughter and I love this book.

Although the book was first published in 2012 (Donaldson is better known for The Gruffalo), I only discovered it when we visited the bookstore last week. And it has been our bedtime story since then.

I think it has got to do with the fact that there are pictures of interesting paper dolls on every page, and they look like children having a grand adventure. With my daughter going through her imitation phase, this is definitely a book that catches her attention.

I also like the catchy and rhythmic song sung by the paper dolls in response to every “danger” they meet. It’s so fun to read out loud that I don’t even mind repeating it a few times throughout the book.

Finally, even though the little girl who owns the paper dolls eventually loses them, Donaldson gave it a perfect ending and allowed them to live forever. I won’t spoil the story for you here. All I shall say is that it’s a beautiful story that can be shared between mothers and daughters.

VERDICT: If you are a mother with a young daughter, go get the book NOW!

For those who want to know a little about the story line, here’s an overview from

A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. They soon escape the clutches of the toy dinosaur and the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile, but then a very real pair of scissors threatens.

Need some simple fun? Press here. [A Review]

Press Here by Herve Tullet

herve tullet - press here

[Image courtesy of]

I ordered this from Book Depository and waited three weeks before it finally came in the mail (but then, what can I expect with good discounts and free shipping all the way from the UK?). It came at a time when my little one (I’m going to call her Little Lam from now on) was down with fever and a bad cough (a.k.a. grouchy-clingy-time) and I literally shredded the packaging to get to the one thing that I hadn’t exhausted in the house just to raise the spirits of both a sick child and a tired Mama. And it worked wonders.

It’s a picture book made up entirely of coloured dots and some instructions for the young reader on every page that make up some sort of interactive activity as part of the reading experience. It’s not a storybook, but because it’s such a simple book, I think it’s possible to make up some story along the way too if you’re reading it with your kid and have some creative juices to spare. Check you the book trailer here.

I had expected Little Lam to like the book but she actually loves it. Her smile widened with every page we turned, and she broke into laughter I hadn’t heard for a few days, somewhere in the book where we had to shake it to “mess up” the coloured dots. Another thing that I hadn’t expected was that she asked to read the book again and again and again and again and… well, you get the picture. I was expecting the novelty of it to wane after a few reads, but she still found it fun after we had gone through the pages for the umpteenth time. I ended up being the one who got bored and wanted to stop, and finally resorted to varying the “commentaries” and “instructions” in the book, which probably added to the “again” problem. 

It’s been a week since the book arrived, but Little Lam will still pull it out of her bookshelf now and then to request for a read, sometimes more than once in a day. 

VERDICT: If you’re looking to have some quality fun time with your kid, this is an excellent choice. It will probably work better with the younger kids for whom the novelty might last a while (Little Lam is two.). I’m not sure it’ll keep the attention of children (4 and above) after a few reads. Then again, you can always make up stories with your little ones throughout the book to keep the fun fresh. I think my SGD16 on this book was well-spent.