Monday, 30 March 2020

Kentishbookboy and Norfolkbookworm Read - 2020 book 3

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

As mentioned in the last post Paddington was Kentishbookboy's final read & review for his Year 5 reading challenge and one that I was very pleased to revisit. Treating myself to a chapter a day was also a nice way to spend some time not thinking about the current world situation. I'm about to check my shelves and the library eBook catalogue to see if I have more Paddington books to lose myself in!

A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond


Paddington bear had travelled all the way from Darkest Peur when the Browns first met him on Paddington station. SInce then their lives have never been quite the same...for ordinary things become quite extra ordinary when a bear called Paddington is involved.

Paddington has arrived in London completely alone after leaving his home in Peru. Once he is adopted by the Brown family we get to explore the familiar world around us from a bear's point of view as he explore life in the UK.


Paddington comes to England from Darkest Peru where things are very different and he has a lot to learn!
The Browns took a bug risk in taking him home with them as he was a stowaway.

It is hard to actually talk about a dilemma in Paddington as for me it was a purely comfort read, I suppose that the dilemma is of learning an entirely new way of life and coping in an environment that is completely new.


Family is a theme that runs through the book too. Paddington was very lucky to be adopted by the Browns.
Paddington always wants to do what is right but it barely goes to plan.
Paddington's friendship with Mr. Gruber helps him adjust to his life in London.

I think the best messages to take from this book are the importance of friends and family, or always trying to do the right things and importantly to always try new things with an open mind, even if they don't got to plan.


Michael Bond is very funny and skilled author.
This book was one of my favourites from the Yr 5 challenge. 5 stars + !!!

I'm pleased we read this one together, I read a new Paddington a few years back and was a little unsure of it as Paddington was doing modern things and for me the books are firmly stuck in that never-never land of the past. Reading the original has restored my love of the accident prone bear.  

I think that one thing struck me, and also Kentishbookboy's mum was just how much of the recent (wonderful) films was actually taken from the books!

Now that the school reading challenge is over we still plan on sharing books together by we might try a different format for the reviews, after all it is only a month until the sequel to the Umbrella Mouse is published.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Kentishbookboy Reads

In which the Kentishbookboy reads on while the Norfolkbookworm flounders!

I've seen so many social media posts go through talking about all of the time people are going to have for reading and catching up with TV series and the like during the current "situation" that I am now convinced that I am doing something wrong - I seem to be busier than ever right now and didn't even manage to keep up with the Kentishbookboy as he read and reviewed another book.

His school is now closed for the foreseeable future but on the very last day he managed to take in his 12th review to his teacher which completed her reading challenge. I'm sure that I'll be publishing that  here as a joint review soon, as it was for the first Paddington book and thanks to Norfolk Library's eBook catalogue I am reacquainting myself with the lovable bear.

Anyhow here are KBB's thoughts on his first Terry Pratchet book:

I always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with Pratchett's books so when KBB picks the next one I will have to try harder to read along!

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Kentishbookboy and Norfolkbookworm Read - Book 2 2020

War Horse - by Michael Morpurgo

This was Kentishbookboy's pick for his bingo chart "set before 1950" and I think he made a brilliant choice with this one, and although it is a while since I read it I can definitely add my thoughts to his as it is such a memorable book!

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo


In the deadly chaos of the First World War, one horse witnesses the reality of battle from both sides of the trenches. Joey tells of the truest friendhips surviving in terrible times. He knows the power of war and the beauty of peace. This is his story.

It has been said that the English love animals more than people and perhaps this book is one more example of this as Morpurgo tells the tale of the Great War from a horse's point of view. This unusual narrator does allow us to see the war from both sides and it is remarkable how much of the horror is told in a way that shies away from nothing but is not too horrific.


Joey has to face his fears and find ways of continuing as his life is constantly changing. From auction house to farm to war and losing his friends.

The dilemma of the book for me was how Joey could survive, and remain himself, while all of life happened around him. Being able to keep going in uncertain times and in situations where Joey has no control over anything are also dilemmas


Firstly, war is a big theme for War Horse. Also, another theme for this book is to never give up. Courage and determination describe this too.

The main themes I take from this book are the futility of war, the importance of friendship (in whatever form it is shown) and the need to remain true to yourself.


This book is really good yet quite sad in places. Despite this, it is a very thrilling novel and I personally recommend it to people who like history and fiction. Michael Morpurgo is a talented and legendary author. I rate it five stars.

I'm so pleased that Kentishbookboy is enjoying Michael Morpurgo's books as much as he is, I've long been a fan and it is nice to share a love of an author. The book War Horse has become a little overshadowed by the (fantastic) stage show and the (dreadful) film but it is a cracking read and a clever way to tell a traumatic history in a rounded way.
I am hoping that sometime soon there will be another tour of the War Horse show as I think that Kentishbookboy (and his mum) would enjoy it - I know that his nan and his great aunt did when I saw it with them!

As Mr Norfolkbookworm and I have been away for a while I think Kentishbookboy is steaming ahead of me with the reading, and if (as looks likely) schools close I am sure that there will be many more books read/reviewed over the coming weeks - even if the reviews change format for a while!

Monday, 2 March 2020


Book Bingo 2020 Progress

With two months of 2020 already gone Kentishbookboy has sent through his book bingo sheet to show me how he's getting on - and I think that he's already ticked off another box!

Kentishbookboy's reads are:

Set in another country: & on the list from school - Clockwork by Philip Pullman
A book on the list from school - A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
A book with magic in - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J K Rowling

A book set before 1950 - War Horse by Michael Morpurgo (not crossed off yet)

My reads are:
A book set in another country - The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley (set in Tokyo)
A book on the list from school - Clockwork by Philip Pullman
A book set before 1950 - Mrs Tim Carries On by D E Stevenson
A non fiction book - Difficult Women by Helen Lewis

So we're both ahead in our challenge at the moment...