It's difficult to 'browse' board games in the catalogue, so we're adding a few pictures below for you to get a quick idea of what we have available. If there's a game you'd like to borrow, either give us a call or send us an email and we'll be happy to get that to you!
Similar to board games, we know that sometimes it's preferable to browse the comics rather than search for particular titles in the catalogue. So here are a few photos of our shelves for you to have a look at. Naturally this is a snapshot in time, and we do have titles not shown as they're checked out, and any titles you request may already be checked out when you do...but we'll do our best to get you what you need as soon as we can! (Opening images in a new tab will give you readable clarity of the spine titles)
Grandpa’s Great Escape
By David Walliams
I was a fan of David Walliams as a comedy actor before I knew him as an author, but I was excited to learn he was writing children’s books. His style is quite similar to Roald Dahl with a more modern take on things, even Tony Ross’ illustrations are of a similar style to Quentin Blake. So if you like ‘The Twits’ or ‘The Witches’ you’re going to love Walliams’s writing. In a previous job I spent a lot of time listening to children read out loud and Grandpa’s Great Escape was definitely one of the most popular titles.
The book follows a young boy named Jack who is trying to rescue his Grandpa from a retirement home, which is ran by an evil matron. Grandpa used to fly planes in the war but sadly in his old age he has begun suffering from Alzheimer’s. Jack sneaks into the retirement home to visit Grandpa and after seeing a room full of medication to keep the residents asleep and a room full of coffins (!?) he decides it is time to help Grandpa break out. As you would expect lots of adventures and hijinks’ follow (no spoilers though, go and read it).
The book has everything you need for a perfect read. Jack the good guy trying to rescue his helpless Grandpa from the evil grasps of Matron Swine. It has adventures that include Spitfires, policemen and even tanks. It shares a great message for children through Jack learning to understand how to interact with his Grandpa because of his illness, he knows Grandpa is much more lucid when he thinks he is back in his war days so Jack uses this to help build their relationship. Most importantly of all the good guys triumph and the villains get their much deserved comeuppance. Children and adults alike will laugh, cry and cheer while reading this book and I cannot recommend it enough.
A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning
Most of you are aware of the children’s series ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ by Lemony Snicket. However, I don’t know if this is an ‘English’ thing or a ‘me’ thing but I had never heard of these books growing up. I remember watching the movie when it came out and the Netflix series but had no idea it was based on a book initially. So I did the one thing I hate doing, I read the book after watching the film. With no childhood interpretation to compare my adult reading too, I didn’t hold out much hope of enjoying the book, but I was very wrong. Even as an adult there were parts that I found amusing and after watching the TV show and knowing how it was all going to play out, I was still very much routing for the Baudelaire’s.
The book is centred on the Baudelaire children (Violet, Claus and Sunny) who tragically lose their parents and their home in a fire and are sent to live with their closest living relative, Count Olaf. The Count is not a good man and only has eyes for the Baudelaire fortune that Violet is set to inherit on her 18th birthday, and he will go to any lengths to get his hands on it. Unluckily for him though the children are incredibly intelligent and manage to foil most of his plans. Unluckily for the children, Count Olaf is also pretty clever and his master plan has all the bases covered…….. or does it?
The book touches on some sensitive topics, such as bereavement, but it does so in a way that adds humour and shows how lucky the children are to have each other.
I understand why this series is such a hit with children and parents alike as even at 30 years I still had a couple of laugh out loud moments and found myself getting frustrated when the grown up characters like Mr Po could not see through the Count’s false façade.
The Twits by Roald Dahl
So here we again, Lockdown part 3: the vaccine chronicles. As most parents now have the pressure of home schooling their children, I thought I would try and ease a little bit of the burden and do a series of simple book reviews for some of my favourite children’s books. If you are struggling with getting your little ones to read, hopefully you will be able to find something here that might peak their interest.
So here is my first review by my absolute favourite children’s author, Roald Dahl. Also one of my favourite illustrators, Quentin Blake does the pictures for most of Roald’s books, I think their styles match perfectly.
I know most people will have read The Twits at some point in their lifetime but I am going to attempt to review it without giving away any spoilers, because, if like me you choose to reread it as an adult there are always things you have forgotten.
The Twits is my all-time favourite book and has been since I was a little kid, I always wanted to try the frog prank on my little sister. The book contains my favourite quote, which I think is a lovely thought for children to be aware of at a young age. As a child the quote stuck with me and I always tried my hardest to see the best in people and look past their physical attributes.
“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely”.
The Twits is about a married couple who really don’t like each other much and constantly play cruel pranks on each other. Mr Twit is described as a foul and smelly old man with a bristly beard that he never washes and it is suggested Mrs Twit should grow a beard just like Mr Twits to hide some of her fearful ugliness. This couple take particular delight in the pranks they play on each other and regularly relish in the misery of the other person. Their pranks don’t just stay within their household either, as some unlucky little boys come to find out.
The Twits have a caged family of monkeys headed by Mugglewump (my favourite character) in their back yard who they mistreat and don’t look after properly. Mugglewump and his family witness some very cruel pranks done to the neighbourhood children and wildlife, the monkeys decide enough is enough and devise a revenge plan for the Twits with the help of the Roly Poly bird and some of his friends.
The book is full of mischief and even rereading it as an adult it takes me back to my childhood and I still thoroughly enjoy it, it is simply a tale of how it is better to always be kind, because the villain will always get their comeuppance in the end, in this instance it comes about in a hilarious way which is sure to have children (and adults like me) laughing out loud.
"Women, Race, & Class" was a volume we purchased in 2020 as part of the Library's commitment to improving the diversity of voices and opinions represented in our collection.
As a non-American - and in particular a white non-American - a lot of the history in this book was new to me, and all the more shocking for it. I had rather expected to pick at the book over time, but it was immediately fascinating and I ended up going home after work on a Friday and read the whole thing through in one night. It was really that good.
Ms. Davis is an academic of world renown, but her writing style is flowing and accessible; not at all as difficult to follow as you might fear from a Professor of her long experience. The examples she selects from history are perfect for illustrating her points, and many of the individuals spring to life from her way of blending context with quotations about and by those individuals. She does a marvelous job of shining a light on the evolution of feminism in the US together with voting rights, civil rights, and the way all these factors weave together to have a particular - and negative - impact on African American women in the United States.
It's a superb book but an uncomfortable one. It's impossible to read without feeling emotionally sick at the cruelty and injustice brought to life by the words of Ms. Davis. An excellent book, I'd recommend it to anyone at all, but in particular to women and to non-Americans who may not be very familiar with US history.