Friday, 24 April 2015

30 Days of Holly Blog Tour: Review + Guest Blog Post The Secret Kitten by Holly Webb and Sophy Williams (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)

So cuuuute!
1st April, Stripes Publishing, 128 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Content: cuteness, tissue needed 

Summary from Little Tiger Press
Lucy can’t help but feel lonely when she and her brother move in with their gran, leaving behind their old friends. Lucy wishes she could have a pet, but Gran isn’t keen on animals. A stray kitten catches Lucy’s attention, and she instantly falls in love with it. Where will the kitten go if she can’t find anyone to take her in? 

Nayu's thoughts
I've been a fan of Holly's work for a few years now, and I associate her with cute reads which always need tissues and The Secret Kitten was no exception, which made be asked to be part of the 30 day long tour (it's Holly's 30th animal story) a real pleasure, and an honour. 

The illustrations had me going aww, while parts of the story had me going waaa because some scenes involving the kitten on the streets (which is all I'll say without spoiling the story) touched my heart and made me want to adopt every single stray cat in the world. Sadly I can't do that, but I can tell you how uplifting Catkin's tale is. 

Catkin gives so much hope with a smidge of trouble to Lucy's life, although the trouble is her own fault, even though I understand why she didn't entirely tell the truth to several characters. Moving house and starting a new school are two tough experiences on their own, together they have Lucy struggle to adjust for a little bit. I had my suspicions about a character before Lucy connected the dots about them, as there are hints in the story about the ending, and it being a Holly book made me trust my instincts. I loved how a few times the story was told from Catkin's view, as it made her plight all the more touching. 

I do strongly advice you give cats catfood rather than human food, as their soft fluffy tummies can't digest it as well as the type made specifically for them. Oh and read this book, and other books in this cute series which gets more charming with each volume. I promise you'll fall in love with Holly's imagination! 

Find out more on Holly's website

Suggested read
Check out other books by Holly including The Reindeer Girl (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)

A Day in the Life of Holly Webb

Nayu here. It's such a pleasure to have Holly let us peek into her fun writing life, which sounds wonderful! 

I have three children, so my writing gets done during school time and in the evenings (and in the holidays I bribe them…) I take my younger two children to school, and then come back, in theory able to work between 9 and 3. Actually I potter about for ages making coffee and reading bits of the newspaper, and then go and sit down to work. I write in a tiny room that used to be the back half of our garage, but it’s quite big enough for a lot of books and a very comfy purple velvet armchair. 

Before I became a full-time writer, I could only write during my commute and in the evenings, and I still find that I’m most productive in the evenings. I’m still trying to retrain myself, but it isn’t working very well… But on a good day I can get a quite a lot done in the morning, which means perhaps I can reward myself by reading in the afternoon instead. Because all reading is obviously research, so I have no need to feel guilty about it. I do actually need to do quite a lot of research for some of my books anyway – most recently, about Snow Leopards in Mongolia!

Depending on how much work I have on, I work in the evenings after I’ve picked up the children, cooked dinner, discussed homework. My husband is also a writer, though he works in software engineering and writes books on programming languages that I don’t understand, so he often works in the evenings too, and we meet up later to moan, and collapse on the sofa.

Writing this has made me realise how my day is punctuated with cups of coffee! I do seem to drink a worrying amount of it, but (this infuriates my family) I usually only drink about half of each cup. So it’s not quite that bad…
Nayu: Thought this cute pic which I've had for a while was a fitting end to this cat themed post ^o^

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