Posted in Books, General

Stories of Wizards and Witches by Enid Blyton

— A Book Review by Inesh Shenoy 

I recently read a book called ‘Stories of Wizards and Witches’. This book consists of many many stories of magic and fantasy. It is an absolutely fabulous book. It is a story collection written by Enid Blyton. 

Enid Blyton was an English, children’s writer who lived between 1897 and 1968. She wrote over 700 books and they have been translated into 90 languages. The most famous among those books are the Adventures of Noddy, Adventures of the Wishing Chair, the Secret Seven, the Famous Five, and the Five Find-Outers. She won numerous awards and is regarded as one of the best authors ever. 

Inesh Shenoy of i3andCo showing off his copy of Stories of Wizards & Witches
Inesh Shenoy of i3andCo showing off his copy of Stories of Wizards & Witches

The Stories of Wizards and Witches has all sorts of magical creatures from fairies and unicorns, to wizards and witches, to pixie cats and elves. I remember our dad reading at least one story before putting us to bed every night when we were little. Since then, I have read this book again and again. Most of the stories also teach morals and good behaviour. 

The best part is that there are 25 stories in this book. And they are all about magical characters. I love anything that has to do with magic. There are also many illustrations all across the book by Mark Beech. This book is a wonderful book for bed-time stories. 

One of my favourite stories is The Strange Umbrella. It is about Tip Tap, a pixie who would always borrow others things, but never return them. Over time no one liked this and stopped lending their things to Tip Tap. One day he was going around asking for an umbrella, and of course everybody refused to lend him one. He asked Dame Trips if she would lend him her umbrella. When Trips told Tap she didn’t have one, he stole the umbrella that he found in her backyard. And then a lot of mishaps followed since the umbrella actually belonged to a mighty wizard. Read the book to find out what happens next, and many other stories! 

Enid Blyton’s writing is very fluent and in good English. It always transports you to a land of magic and wonder, and makes your imagination run wild. I hope you read this book and enjoy it as much as I do. 

Please tell us if you read this or other books by Enid Blyton. We love hearing from you. Stay safe, stay well. And keep reading. 

Posted in Books, Podcasts

The Magic Finger – by Roald Dahl

A book review by Iresh Shenoy

Hello! My name is Iresh Shenoy and I am seven-years-old. Today I am writing about the book ‘The Magic Finger’ by Roald Dahl. This book is illustrated by Quentin Blake. 

Listen to the review directly from Iresh Shenoy

Roald Dahl is the world’s number one storyteller. I have seen movies about his books too. They were ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘BFG’ (Big, Friendly Giant). 

The Magic Finger is about a girl called girl. We never get to know her real name in the story. The book is about this girl who has the power of the magic finger and a family whose children are the girl’s friends. The children’s names are Philip and William, and their family always goes to the forest to hunt birds and animals. 

Iresh appears quite pleased with his read of The Magic Finger

Every time the girl tries to stop them or gets angry about anything, she uses the magic finger. She can’t stop it. If she gets very angry with somebody about something, she uses the magic finger. 

The Magic Finger is a kind of super power. When she points her finger at somebody, a lightning like ray shoots out of her finger and makes some magical things. In school, the magic finger made her class teacher grow animal parts. When she is trying to stop the family from hunting, her magic finger turns their hands into bird wings!

My favourite part was when the family learnt their lesson. The girl tries to use her magic finger to save the birds from being hunted. She also uses her magic finger to turn the family into birds. But now it is the real birds who have hands and their guns. And now they are trying to hunt the family’s children! What will happen next? 

I think you should read this book because it teaches us that we should not hurt any animal. It is also funny in many places. And filled with surprises. 

Have you read any other book by Roald Dahl? How about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? If you like any other book let me know. I would like to read it too. 

See you soon! 

Posted in Books, Podcasts

Coraline – by Neil Gaiman

A book review by Inesh Shenoy

Hello! I am Inesh Shenoy and I am nine-years-old. Today I am writing about the book ‘Coraline’ by Neil Gaiman. This book is illustrated by Chris Riddell and published by Bloomsbury. 

Listen to this book review directly from Inesh Shenoy

Coraline came in a box set of three books by Neil Gaiman, and also had ‘Fortunately the Milk’ and ‘The Graveyard Book’ in it. You can read my review of ‘The Graveyard Book’ here and read my twin brother Ishaan’s review of ‘Fortunately the Milk’ here. After reading these three books, Neil Gaiman has become one of my most favourite authors. 

In the book, a family shifts to a new house with their daughter Coraline. This house used to have another section, which was removed in the past and covered up with a wall. But when Coraline opens the door, she sees that sometimes instead of a wall, it contains a mysterious passage to another place! 

Our resident Neil Gaiman expert is happy with his books!

Inside this passage there appears to be a house that is exactly the opposite of the house she lives in. It is like looking into a mirror, but for real! Even the neighbouring house is there, but everything is exactly the opposite of how it is in the real world!

Coraline enters this mirror dimension of her house and is surprised to meet her parents there! But she quickly realises that these are not really her parents as they have black buttons instead of eyes. These mysterious creatures had already captured Coraline’s mother and father, and now have captured Coraline too! They are not letting Coraline go back to the real world. 

Who are these mysterious creatures? Why do they want Coraline to stay with them? What is this mirror dimension? Can Coraline escape from there? Can she save her parents? Read the book to find out. 

My favourite part was when Coraline tries to find various ways to escape from the mysterious mirror world. It was like solving a large puzzle, one piece at a time, and it was it all very interesting. When I read this book, I felt very scared. The book is amazingly spine-chilling spooky. 

I think you should read this book as you will like it very much. It is scary, but much fun too. It also tells how Coraline is brave and fearless, when it most matters. If you read it, let me know.

Is there any other Neil Gaiman book that you have read? Or any other book that you would recommend me to read? Write to me!

Posted in Books, Comics, Podcasts

Chakra The Invincible – by Stan Lee

A book review by Ishaan Shenoy

Hello! My name is Ishaan Shenoy and I am nine-years-old. Today I am going to review the book, ‘Chakra The Invincible’ by Stan Lee. Yes! The same Stan Lee who is the legendary creator of Spiderman and all the Marvel characters! Chakra is illustrated by Jeevan J. Kang. 

Listen to the review directly from Ishaan Shenoy

The book is about a boy named Raju Rai, who stays in Mumbai. His parents are dead and he lives with his elder brother Sameer. Raju accidentally finds a super-hero suit created by a scientist, Dr Singh. This suit gives Raju super powers and lets him fly, shoot lasers, see the future, and even heal others! 

My favourite part is when he gets struck by lightning and sees the future: he sees Rio, Bangalore, Mumbai, New York, and many more cities around the world going up in flames. He sees the end of the world! 

Ishaan appears rather excited with the book

The villain of this story is Shatru Seth, who is also known as Boss Yama, the god of death. He wants to destroy the world and kill all the people. He wants to end the world. Raju knows that he is the only one that can stop this. But what can he, a small boy, do against the combined strength of Yama and his team of super villains?

This story is interesting because it takes place in Mumbai and India. Chakra is Stan Lee’s first Indian superhero. Also, there is a point where Raju’s brother Sameer joins the villains side, and unknowingly fights and captures Raju. What happens afterwards? 

Boss Yama has captured all the leaders of the world in one place, and plans to replace them with his own people. Can Raju as Chakra stop him and save the world? You have to read the book to find out.

While Chakra is created by the same Stan Lee that created Spiderman and all the Avengers, I did not like it as much as all the other Marvel stories. The Avenger stories are more interesting, surprising, and fun. But I loved it when Stan Lee appears in the book. I always like the parts when Stan Lee appears in the comics and the MCU movies!

By the way, ‘Chakra The Invincible’ was also made into an animated movie. Have you seen that on TV? I liked the animation as much as the book. After all, the story is the same.

I think you should read this book because it has action, laughs, and a little bit of suspense. If you read this book, let me know. I would like to know if you liked it. 

See you soon! 

PS: Are you looking forward to watching Captain Marvel this weekend? It is releasing tomorrow and we can’t wait to watch it in the theatre!

Posted in Books, Podcasts

Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman – by Francesca Simon

A book review by Iresh Shenoy

Hello! My name is Iresh Shenoy and I am seven-years-old. Today I am going to write about the book ‘Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman’. This book is written by Francesca Simon and illustrated by Tony Ross. 

Listen to this book review directly from Iresh Shenoy

Francesca Simon has written nearly 25 books about Horrid Henry. ‘Horrid Henry and the Abominable Snowman’ is number 16 in the series. My brother Inesh recently reviewed David Walliams’ latest book ‘The Ice Monster’, which is also illustrated by Tony Ross. If you have not read Inesh’s review, go and read it

Horrid Henry is a nine-year-old boy and he is very naughty. And very mischievous. Most of the time his mother says, “Don’t be horrid, Henry!” That is why he is known as Horrid Henry. Horrid Henry has a younger brother, who is a goody-goody boy, and is known as Perfect Peter. 

Iresh appear very happy from his read of the Horrid Henry book

Moody Margaret is Henry’s neighbour and most of the stories are about Henry troubling Perfect Peter or fighting with Moody Margaret. In this book there are four chapters. 

Chapter one is about a snowman competition. Whoever wins it will get free ice-creams for one year! And Henry decides to build the largest, meanest, biggest snowman. Does Henry’s snowman win him lots of ice-creams? 

In the second chapter, Horrid Henry is troubling his brother Perfect Peter. He offers Peter a deal and says he will not trouble him, if he will pay Henry some money. It is very funny. It felt like it was real. This was my favourite chapter in this book.

Chapter Three is about using make-up and giving people face-lifts. Henry sees Moody Margaret giving her friends face-lifts and think he can do a much better job and make loads of money. What happens is so funny that it has to be read!

Chapter four is about Henry meeting his favourite author TJ Fizz. The author is coming to visit Henry’s classroom to give them a book reading from Henry’s favourite books! But Henry has to behave and stay quiet in the class. Is Henry able to do this or does he get in trouble again?

Horrid Henry also comes as an animated series on TV. I have seen this same story of the author’s visit on TV also. I liked it very much. I think you should read this book because the stories are very funny and it feels real. 

Have you read Horrid Henry? Do you like it? If you read any other book, let me know. I would like to read it too. 

See you soon!

Posted in Books, Podcasts

The Ice Monster – by David Walliams

A book review by Inesh Shenoy

Hello! I am Inesh Shenoy and I am nine-years-old. Today I am writing about ‘The Ice Monster’ book by David Walliams. This book is illustrated by Tony Ross and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books.

Listen to the review directly from Inesh Shenoy

The Ice Monster is about a girl named Elsie who lives in an orphanage called Wormly Hall: Home for Unwanted Children. Elsie lives there with her 25 friends, who are also orphans. Miss Curdle who runs the orphanage is a mean old woman. 

Elsie knew she had to escape from the orphanage or she would never survive. So one night she manages to escape into the streets of London via the hole she scraped in the roof. 

Inesh poses happy with his copy of the Ice Monster

She keeps secretly visiting the Natural History Museum and there she becomes a friend of Dotty, a cleaning lady at the museum. One day she learns that a great ancient Mammoth was dug up and would be brought to the museum. 

When the mammoth finally arrives at the museum, Elsie goes to see it. She then manages to bring the mammoth back to life and that is when the adventure really starts. The mammoth (who Elsie calls Wooly) wants to go back to the North Pole. 

My favourite part of the story is when Elsie brings the mammoth back to life. The different things they do, from attaching wires to using hot air balloons, to bring the mammoth back to life is very interesting. 

Elsie, Dotty, and a group of retired soldiers decide to take Wooly to the North Pole. But they have to face Lady Buckshot who is a hunter and wants to kill the mammoth, and The Professor who wants to keep the mammoth and become famous. Even the Queen wants the mammoth back and sends her soldiers to capture it.

At one point of the story, one of the Queen’s soldiers shoots Wooly. Can Elsie save Wooly? If she does, can she save it from Lady Buckshot and The Professor? Can Elsie and her friends really take Wooly safely to the North Pole? What other dangers await them there? Read the book to find out. 

I hope you read this book because it shows how strong friendship can be, even between a 10-year-old girl and a 10,000-year-old mammoth. If you read this book, let me know. 

Have you read any other book by David Walliams? Which of them should I read next? Write to me. 

See you soon! 

Posted in Books, Podcasts

Dog Man – by Dav Pilkey

A book review by Iresh Shenoy

Hello! My name is Iresh Shenoy and I am seven-years-old. Today I am going to write about the book, ‘Dog Man’ by George Beard and Harold Hutchins. I’m kidding! Dog Man is written and drawn by Dav Pilkey! Dav Pilkey has also written Captain Underpants, Dog Man, and even Super Diaper Baby. Dog Man is published by Scholastic. 

Listen to the Dog Man review directly from Iresh Shenoy

Dog Man is about a cop and a dog and the book starts with the Police Chief getting a new couch. The dog always sits on the Chief’s couch and the Chief doesn’t want dog hair on his new couch. 

So the cop and the dog go out of the police station, but then they get blown up in a bomb blast by the evil cat Petey. They are both taken to the hospital, where the doctors fix the dog’s head to the man’s body! That’s how Dog Man is born! 

Iresh Shenoy poses with his copy of the book, Dog Man
Iresh poses with his copy of Dog Man

The evil cat Petey wants to rule the world. Can Dog Man fight and defeat Petey? Or will the evil cat win and take over the world? You need to read the book to find out! 

My favourite part of the book is when Dog Man saves all the dogs from the Pointy Thingies. The evil cat had captured all the dogs in a big cage, but the Dog Man manages to save them all. Can he also defeat Petey and stop his evil plans? 

I think you should read this book because it has a lot of action, suspense, and also a lot of funny jokes. I liked reading all the adventures of Dog Man and I think you will like it too. 

Have you read the Dog Man book? Did you like it? What about other books by Dav Pilkey? Have you read them? Which is your favourite story?

Tell me! I am waiting to hear from you. 

See you soon! 

Posted in Books, Podcasts

Fortunately The Milk – by Neil Gaiman

A book review by Ishaan Shenoy

Hello! My name is Ishaan Shenoy and I am nine-years-old. Today I am going to review Neil Gaiman’s ‘Fortunately The Milk’. It is about a family who wake up one day to realise that they are out of milk. The father steps out to get some milk and does not return for a very long time. 

Listen to the review directly from Ishaan Shenoy

The kids wait and wait for their father to come back with the milk so that they can have their cereals. As they wait, they get bored and start to play one game after another. Finally, the father comes back after what has been a very very long time, and tells them a big, long story about why he was delayed. 

Ishaan remembers just how funny the book is!

His story has everything from time travel to flying machines to aliens to dinosaurs! Fortunately, he saves the milk packet every time, and also claims to have saved the world! Is he telling the truth or just telling a long tale to hide the real reason why he was late in getting milk for the kids? 

This book came to us in a box-set of three books by Neil Gaiman, and also had ‘The Graveyard Book’ and ‘Coraline’ in it. All these books have been illustrated by Chris Riddell. The drawings are really nice and make the book more funny. My twin Inesh has already reviewed ‘The Graveyard Book’ and I hope that you have read it. 

What I like most about Neil Gaiman is that his books are always filled with great imagination. I think you should read this book because it is filled with lots of action and laughs. My favourite part in this book is when the father meets the brilliant Doctor Steg, who is a dinosaur scientist and has created a time machine! 

My brother Inesh has also read this book, and this is what he says: 

My favourite part is when the father escapes from the green globby aliens. I like this book because of all the time travelling and the jokes. I think you should read this book because it is funny, wacky and awesome. Or as ‘The Bad Guys’ would say, “Back-Flipping Awesome”!

Inesh Shenoy (@i3andcoblr)

I agree with Inesh! Fortunately The Milk is most funny and gives us a lot of laughs. I wonder if the story is really of Neil Gaiman himself, and that makes it even more funny! I think you will enjoy the book a lot. I know I did! 

If you have read this book or any other book by Neil Gaiman, tell me what you think of them. I want to hear from you.

See you soon! 

Our first week here was AMAZING!

Hi everybody!

It has been only a few days since we started writing and posting our reviews here. And your support through your likes and comments has been fantastic!

We are right now writing many more reviews for you. And we are reading a lot of books too. So be ready to read more from us next week.

Since today is a Sunday, we thought we will write about all the things that happened last last week. And also give some of you a chance to read the books we wrote about!

First of all, Iresh wrote his review of ‘Who Let Nonu Out’ by Anita Nair. It was liked by a lot of people. Then we were shocked to see this message from Anita Nair herself!

You should have seen Iresh jumping up and down in joy! We all jump happily when any of us get replies and comments, but this was really special! Anita Nair who is one of our most favourite authors writing to us saying she really liked our review is really amazing! We hope we can continue posting good reviews.

Next, Inesh posted his review of Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Graveyard Book’. And what do we see when we wake up the next morning? Neil Gaiman has liked and retweeted our tweet about the review!!! Can you hear us scream and dance with joy?!

Thanks to Neil Gaiman and many of his fans, our tweet got nearly 100 likes from people all over the world! And Baba tells us that it has reached nearly 65,000 people! We are so so happy!

We also posted three other reviews, about Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven series (by Ishaan), The Bad Guys series by Aaron Blabey (by Iresh), and the magical movie Mary Poppins Returns (by Inesh).

Thank you all very much for your support. We hope you will keep reading our reviews and also read the books that we recommend. Please continue to write to us. This really makes want us to write more.

Have a great Sunday! We are busy writing our reviews that will come to you next week.

Until then!

Posted in Books, Podcasts

The Bad Guys – by Aaron Blabey

A book review by Iresh Shenoy

Hello! My name is Iresh Shenoy and I am seven-years-old. Today I am writing about The Bad Guys series. The Bad Guys books are written by Aaron Blabey and published by Scholastic. It has lots of jokes in it and it makes me laugh very loudly!

Listen to the review directly from Iresh

What I know is that The Bad Guys series has at least eight books already, and I have read seven of them. I really like reading these books because they are really funny and very interesting for me.  I just can’t stop laughing when I read these stories.

Iresh is seen laughing loudly in joy while reading a book!
Iresh captured in a most happy moment, while reading one of The Bad Guys book!

The Bad Guys books are about the adventures of a Wolf, a Shark, a Snake, a Piranha and a Spider. They are real bad guys. They want to be good guys and help people. They try to be good guys, but everyone knows them as bad guys and are very scared of them. 

Iresh shows off his collection of The Bad Guys

Every time they try to help others, things go very wrong. The stories are really funny. Most times they are fighting with each other. Sometimes they are even trying to eat each other! 

Can The Bad Guys really become good guys and save the world? You need to read the books to find out! I really hope you read these books and have fun with them. I am now looking forward to reading book #8. 

If you have read any of The Bad Guys books, let me know what you think of these books. If you like some other book very much, please tell me. I would like to read it too.

See you soon!