Anna Kemp, Book Reviews, Childen's fiction, Fiction, Matt Buckingham, Picture Books, Preschool Books, Uncategorized

Double #bookreview: Bright Stanley by Matt Buckingham and Dogs don’t do Ballet by Anna Kemp


Far below the waves a little fish called Stanley lived with the rest of his shoal. They were the brightest, sparkliest fish in the whole of the deep, dark sea. One morning Stanley woke up rather late. ‘Coo-ee! It’s me-ee!’ he called to his friends as usual. But the reef was strangely quiet!

EDIE Review:

This was a nice little story about a fish who is looking for his friends.

However, I did feel that the story was a bit flat, not really going anywhere. It has a clear plot line of Stanley looking for his friends and then finding them in the end, but there wasn’t enough action for me, personally.

The shark encounter could be seen as a bit scary to some children, depending on how they felt about sharks in the first instance. The lobster was a bit grumpy too! When the book finished, I felt like nothing much had happened and really wanted a little more form it.

However, it is a pleasant enough story to read – I just don’t think it is one I would go back and read time and time again.

The illustrations are lovely and the shiny fish parts are nice to look at and feel, for more tactile readers.

Buy the Book


Meet Biff, an adorable little puppy who will stop at nothing to become a ballet dancer.

My dog is not like other dogs. He doesn’t do dog stuff like weeing on lampposts or scratching his fleas, or drinking out of the toilet. No, my dog likes moonlight and music and walking on his tiptoes. You see, my dog doesn’t think he’s a dog. My dog thinks he’s a ballerina! A fabulous feel-good book about a small dog with a big personality and even bigger dreams.

EDIE Review:

This book is a great story for children who are afraid to pursue something because others say they can’t. All too often, children are dictated to by their gender, age or what is expected in society, so I really like that this book goes against all of that and shows that actually, you can do/be whatever you want to.

The humor in the story gives the book a real funny and age appropriate feel. By doing this, the author has drawn the reader into the story and captured the attention of a young audience. I really like the relationship between the little girl and her dog and how she really pushes for the dog to be included – even though the dad and the dance teacher are not very nice about it!

The story develops along at a nice pace, just enough to keep readers engaged. And I just love the sneaky following that the dog does!

A real feel-good story about achieving your dreams and not judging a book by its cover.

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