Friday, March 31, 2017

Review: Bubbles by Malcolm Howard and Steve Harrison

The Fabubbulous Story of 
Angelique's Nursery School
by Malcolm Howard 
Illustrated by Steve Harrison
Clink Street Publishing
Children Picture Book
59 pages
ages 4+

Angelique has long thin legs, long thin arms and a turned-up nose on which sits an enormous pair of spectacles. Her spectacles are so big that they look like magnifying glasses and make her eyes look very large. She normally wears black shoes, a blue dress and a red scarf, and she had just been awarded all her Certificates and Diplomas to become a teacher. But she needs a job. Returning to her home village at the foothills of the French Alps, Angelique finds her childhood school has closed! All she needs is determination, enthusiasm and ten pupils to re-open the school and realise her dreams. But Angelique soon realises that her daily adventures have only just begun.

Purchase from Amazon UK 

or U.S.


This tale holds a lovely mixture of magic and soap bubbles, which invites to imaginative adventure.

After finishing her education, Angelique returns to her childhood town and re-opens a school for young kids. But this isn't just any school. One of her shelves is lined with all sorts of funny named jars of soap bubble mixtures, but there's more to these jars than just their funny names. 

Soap bubbles are magical all on their own, but this story adds a sprinkle of real magic. They create dragons, dreams, and imaginative scenes--and at the end of the school day, it all disappears as the kids forget what happened. It's a wonderful mixture with tons of fantasy packed in, the kind which is sure to grab kids' attention and make them come up with adventure and dreams of their own.

The illustrations are colorful and a joy to gaze through. The lively creatures come to life, and invite young readers to glance through them again and again. The writing is easy to understand and brings the story to life. However, there is quite a bit of text on each page, making it a bit heavy for younger readers. I'd suggest this one first for kids ages four and up, and then see this as a read-aloud to be broken down into several 'reading sessions' and not all at once. Luckily, it's divided into days of the week, creating great points of pause until the next session.

Summed up, this is read full of imagination and perfect for a read aloud. It's sure to send kids into a fantastical dream world of their very own.

And here he is. . .

Now retired Malcolm Howard lives in Walton-On-Thames Surrey. Malcolm has enjoyed a varied career from being a part of the Queens Surrey Regiment, to moving to the French Alps where he set up a Ski High School, now part of the British Ski Academy, before returning to Surrey to work for the probation service. In his spare time he continues to lend a hand at the local Council as well as visit the mountains in France where his son still lives.

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