The Bookshop Girl by Sylvia Bishop

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Illustrated by Ashley King

The Bookshop Girl, with…

…and without whippet

Property Jones

Property Jones loves books. The smell, the feel of the pages, the little differences between them. She understands almost everything about them. Everything that it, except the words. Property Jones has a secret: she can’t read.

Property has managed to keep this secret despite living in a bookshop, the one she was abandoned in at the age of five. You see, Property’s parents left her there and disappeared. She was found by Michael Jones, a logical thinker, who seeing that Property was lost promptly put her in the lost property cupboard. Hence the name.

Six years later, Property, Michael and his mum, bookshop owner Netty, live there as a family. Times are hard but a competition to own the prestigious Montgomery’s Emporium of Reading Delights might just solve all their problems. They enter and await the outcome…

(But why is such a famous and esteemed bookshop simply being given away as a prize? Surely there must be a catch?)

Join Property and the Jones as they enter the most marvellous bookshop ever invented, tangle with some very bad baddies (BOOOO!) and spend time  with a really grumpy cat.

High Adventure

This is high adventure in gorgeously imaginative settings. The narrative is lovely: the book begins and ends with a chapter communicated directly to the reader which makes it a bit different. Sylvia Bishop has great warmth in her style and I enjoyed it very much. I’m sure that children will love it too.

The Bookshop Girl is a really fun mystery. It creates amazing images in the reader’s head that will be remembered long after the last page has been turned. This is a book to be read again and again, each time enjoying favourite parts and taking something new.

The text is nicely spaced out which will help give young readers a bit of room to take the story in. It’s illustrated (as all really good books are) throughout and Ashley King has done a brilliant job visually all the characters and exciting scenes. The Bookshop Girl has it all. It’s a wonderful choice for children aged seven years plus.


Thank you to Scholastic for sending me this copy.

Poodle Power! Mariella Mystery Investigates

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Mariella Mystery Investigates The Curse of the Pampered Poodle

by Kate Pankhurst



When Mariella and the rest of the Mystery Girls’ school give them a task- to do a presentation on something from Puddleford Museum’s collection- it could have meant putting detective work to one side for a bit…but no! They instead use it as an excuse for some extra sleuthing and take on the challenge of discovering the truth behind The Curse of the Pampered Poodle! Now the world is full (quite rightly) of pampered poodles, but this one is significantly different: many, many years ago Misty used to belong to Lady Penelope Winkleton, adventurer and founder of Puddleford Museum. Misty was given to her by a mysterious stranger (I like to think this happened on a train in the Orient, but that’s just me) who said she must

“remain forever devoted to it or terrible things would follow.”

poodle close up

Mysterious Poodle

Golly. And so when Misty died of old age, Lady PW had her stuffed in order that she could be forever adored. However, when Lady Penelope left her to go away on more adventures, bad things started to happen… and they always seemed to follow an incident where Misty was maligned in some way. A mysterious bark would be heard, then- DA DA DA- Disaster! No more so than the death of the intrepid Lady Winkleton at the hands (or more accurately, the teeth) of a tiger. Oh, bad luck. And so, Lady W’s fortune, including the enigmatic Misty, were left to the museum, where they remain to this day.

And to this day, Misty is associated with bad luck and reports of odd happenings. Well, lucky for us that The Mystery Girls are here to get to the bottom of it and find out if curses really do exist.


This is a really sweet book for children 7+ (although girls might enjoy it more as there are rather a lot of girls in it) who like a modern mystery. It’s gorgeously illustrated and written by Kate Pankhurst who I feel is living the dream by writing such joyful books and drawing cross eyed poodles for a living. The book is written as an diary-like account of the investigation, but also includes evidence sections, mini fact files and team member profiles. And of course lots and lots of  drawings. All elements bring the story together and make the book fun for a child to read on their own, with plenty of original content to entertain them and encourage them to enjoy getting lost in a book.


The story is both funny and exciting for young readers, firing up imaginations with sleepovers in museums and apparent cursed happenings. Refreshingly, the mystery is solvable for children who want to have the pleasure of reaching the correct conclusion along with Mariella. I think this is really important, as I always get frustrated with mysteries for children that are too twisty or even worse, add on extra characters at the last minute. Sneaky. This is just one of a whole continuing (I hope) series, but I chose this one for the poodle element- some of my dearest friends happen to be poodles you know.

GGGG- Gogogogo- Ooh, that was really rather good. I feel a warm and mysterious glow.