Bertie and the Alien Chicken

Jenny Pearson, Aleksei Bitskoff. Barrington Stoke. (120p) ISBN 9781800901810

Bertie and the Alien Chicken

Bertie and the Alien Chicken

I asked for this from NetGalley as I’ve always loved Barrington Stoke and what they stand for when I worked in special needs education. Now that I’m a bookseller I love knowing that I can direct children and parents to these books which are tailored for their needs.

This is great but what is even better is that the stories are always brilliant as well.

Bertie and the Alien Chicken is no different here, we find Bertie being sent away to his Uncle’s farm for the summer holiday as his mum is going to America to work.

Bertie really want’s nothing to do with this as he believes it is going to be smelly and boring.

He couldn’t have been more wrong, OK not about the smelly bit but definitely about the boring bit.

After a gentle bit of ribbing by his Uncle things start to go very strange when he meets Nugget the talking alien chicken who is on a mission and enlists Bertie to help. At least it is only the fate of the planet that’s at stake nothing too important.

A fun little adventure ensues with a lot of silliness, but at it’s core it is a lovely little book that looks at exploring those more intangible things that are so important like feelings and how it’s so crucial to acknowledge them.

This story was superbly supported by the funny illustrations of Aleksei Bitskoff, lots of detail and humour really added to the whole experience.

It feels like there could be a sequel in the works which is great and I’d love to see more adventures with Bertie and Nugget.

I received this through NetGalley for an honest review.


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Magic Keepers: Crystal Chaos

Linda Chapman, Hoang Giang. Little Tiger. (160p) ISBN 9781788954402

Magic Keepers: Crystal ChaosThe first in a new series from Linda Chapman, and filled with really cute illustrations from Hoang Giang.

This sets up a new magical world based in Curio House, where Ava’s Great-Aunt Enid used to live and collected all sorts of interesting curios from around the world.

In her will Enid insists that all the curios have to be kept together and this is where Ava and her mum come in as they go to live in the house after Enid’s death.

With her dog Pepper and her new friends Lily and Sarah Ava falls into a world where they discover magic is real and that crystals do hold their own potential and energy.

They all have to learn how to use these powers rather SNAPPY as they accidentally let loose a scaled terror on the local fish population.

It is also a wonderful story of friendship and how everyone is different and have their own strengths and weaknesses but together they are better.

Fun and with a nice easy read I got through this in an evening and looking forward to seeing how the story develops.

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Indie Bookshops) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

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How Not To Be A Vampire Slayer

Katy Birchall. Scholastic. (272p) ISBN 9780702307966

How Not To Be A Vampire Slayer

How Not To Be A Vampire Slayer

I’ve been really lucky with what I’ve picked up to read recently, really enjoying them all and gradually working through my shelves I got to his just in time for spooky season.

This tells the story of Maggie (Slayer) and Sharptooth (Chosen One), who become friends rather than trying to kill each other.

Maggie Helsby goes to live in her recently deceased Great Uncle Bram’s house on the edge of Skeleton Woods and finds it strange that the house is surrounded by garlic and there are huge mirrors everywhere she turns, this is all before her birthright is explained to her.

Skeleton Woods are a forbidden place on the Yorkshire coast where nobody goes as it’s full of ghosts, ghouls, monster, and worst of all, vampires! Humans are repelled at the fringes of the forest as it is so dark and foreboding. The population of the local village have always kept away and heeded the legends, until Maggie goes in and finds out the truth of what is in the woods.

Full of enchantments, scary bats, creepy castles, swishing cloaks, and lots of hints about warlocks, witches, and other ghostly and ghoulish beings.

A wonderfully fun adventure all about friendship and getting past differences so everyone, vampire and human (but no cauliflowers…) can live together in peace.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Indie Bookshops) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

The Bronx Warriors (1982)

The Bronx Warriors (1982)

The Bronx Warriors (1982)

I was initially going to watch a couple Nicolas Cage films tonight as way of having a bit of a distraction from the world.

But as usual I thought I would use Reelgood’s Randomiser to pick a film for me and go with it.

It chose ’The Bronx Warriors’, an absolutely obvious rip off of ‘Escape from New York (1981)’ and ‘The Warriors (1979)’ and it carried that aesthetic brilliantly.

Let’s get this out of the way from the start, it was terrible, I had seen better acting from a plank of wood and overall it felt like an action version of ‘The Room (2003)’.

Trash, the leader of The Riders, walked around strutting like a peacock with intensely clenched buttocks.

The dialogue was really, really stilted which gave a really strange feel to every scene and every scene seemed to fall flat due to it.

The ‘action’, ok the action scenes were poorly choreographed with no section feeling as though there was any connection.

Light on special effects for what was described as a sci-fi film, and what there was was shoddy, but there was one where a lackey had been beat up and the injuries looked quite convincing.

In the end section there were a lot of reused scenes which reminds me that this was made on quite a small budget.

Almost forgot to mention the drummer playing through a sequence right at the start, just sitting there in the middle of nowhere while drama ensued around him, it was that kind of film.

Thanks Reelgood Roulette, will have to give you a go again as this was actually fun though not great.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.