Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Book Review: Minced Bits by Maneevak

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Author's Ink Publications (2017)
  • Language: English

My Review: 

Precision is the order of the day. Brevity is a trait to be revered. Succinct descriptions and crisp endings are attractive to a reader pressed for time.
Haikus are all the rage.
It is the era of nano tales and micro tales and flash fiction.

And with that point in mind, as the book blurb says too, "In this fast paced world where no one seems to have time to read a book with a precious tale, here's an anthology of micro tales for all types of readers. In a few words these tales will feed your soul in the modern way.", the book acts like a Social media page on paper: A Terribly Tiny Tale, or a Scribbled Stories.

A lot of the micro tales have been laced with that wit that makes it endearing to the reader. For instance, the book begins and ends with these tales, respectively:

My mind suffered from indigestion, writing was the only antacid available for me. And thus began my pen, spilling ink...


And my pen pauses, the indigestion I talked about is cured. 

It is this sort of attention to words and thoughtful messages that make such a book worth reading. There are many tales that have a surprising twist, leaving the reader emotionally evoked.
That said, there are an equal number of stories that are predictable too. There's an equal number of witticisms that seem forced as there are the ones that appear fluid.
What makes this a good read, is the fact that after an overdose of this genre on social media, it was surprisingly refreshing to read this on paper.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Book Review: Hellie The Hovercraft Elephant by Carrie Mortleman

About the book:

Title: Hellie The Hovercraft Elephant
Published by: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Published on: 15th April 2016
Pages: 38
Genre: Children's Book
Rating: 4/5
"I'm Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant and I'm ever so tall, I'm Hellie the Hovercraft Elephant and I never fall. I have fur that is fairy floss pink, and it's wonderfully fluffy and light. For although I am an elephant, I'm an elephant in flight!" Hellie the elephant has a very special skill - she can fly! But when she meets Queek the mouse, she learns that the power of friendship is the strongest superpower of all. Children will love flying with Hellie on this magical journey that blasts through fear and zooms into fun and friendship.

About the author

Ever since I started communicating with Carrie, she has been absolutely adorable and patient. Her chirpiness and gusto for life needs no explanation once you read her goodreads bio:
I am Carrie Mortleman and I know I can fly - I just haven't figured out how to do it while I am awake... yet.
As a published children’s book author & illustrator I have the most wonderful job of writing and illustrating rhyming children's stories. I adore the cadence and meter of a well written rhyming children's books and I grew up on Dr Seuss & Roald Dahl.
My current children's books feature the unlikely friendship of a candy floss elephant named Hellie (who can fly) and a sugar mouse named Queek (whose magic power is his fascinating mind and wonderful ideas for zany adventures with his best friend Hellie). My illustrations are composed of yummy foods that I make with the overenthusiastic help of my young daughters including jelly aliens, toffee space houses and a chocolate painted planet Mars. My books are delicious!
I am a proud Australian who is lucky to have lived in England, France & Spain. My 2 English daughters, my adorable fuzzy labradoodle and my mad Brazilian husband fill the house with music, raw passion and abstract creativity.
My home is now a sleepy little seaside town called Calafell which is South of Barcelona in Spain and I love soaking up the art and inspiration this country thrives on.

Social media:


My Review:

Carrie calls her books 'edible literature' because all the creatures and characters are appetizing. There's not an iota of doubt that the characters she has woven and mothered are adorable.
What do you look for in a children's book? It should first and foremost have the ability to glue your kid to it, second, it should leave scope for less interpretation considering as kids can hardly dig deep to that, and finally, to put across a point by the end of the book that passes the litmus test on the moral barometer.
This book contains all these three qualities, the first one being fulfilled partially by the impeccable and consistent rhyming scheme produced.

A slight quirk of the book which might raise some eyebrows is the fact that the illustrations aren't pure in that they are animated illustrations put across on backdrops of actual, real photographs.

So, you can't eat the book. Or, can you?
On the imagination scale, this book scores high too! All in all, it is a definite recommendation from my side to all you parents of little ones out there.

A side note: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. I usually assess a book apart from the writer, but make an exception when it comes to this particular genre of children's books. It makes sense to see the writer and the words as a single entity. Carrie is a very warm person and the warmth and positivity rubs off in her work too!

Links to the book: Amazon | Goodreads |

Source of the review copy: Author

To get your book reviewed, read my review policy here. And then contact me here.

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Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Book Review: Colorful Notions: The RoadTrippers 1.0

Would you give up your high-paying job and comfortable personal life to drive ten thousand kilometers across India? Just for fun!

Three twenty-somethings dare to do just that! While the two guys take turns to drive, the girl gives voice-over as they record their entire journey on a handycam.

Ab, Sasha and Unnati are ordinary youngsters, rendered special by the feat they accomplish. As they recount their adventures, I crave to live their journey all the more. They look at each other with a glint in their eyes, as if refurbishing those memories, as they narrate their spooky time at Bhangarh Fort, strange escapades at Wagah Border and Sundarbans, car breakdowns, wild animals, near-death experiences and highway robbers! It's nothing less than crazy.

I doubted if I'd ever have the gumption to create such experiences. So I did the next best thing - I penned a book about them, and their roadtrip.

Colorful Notions is a journey of three young hearts on the Indian terrain and into the inner recesses of their souls, giving a new perspective to relationships, love and life.

My Review:

There is hardly any doubt that the blurb of the book gets to you. There will always remain something charmingly attractive about the idea of a road trip. Or the idea of undertaking a journey around the country. Or the idea of recording your journey into something concrete. The plot of the book is all of these things combined, and more.
There was a sense of variety in the experiences, which also seeped into the writing, words and expression. It wasn't trite or platitudinous. 

At certain places, it was funny- like a Bollywood movie that's not really supposed to be a comedy but the cinematography could easily render it as one. The style of writing does not impose anything- neither the seriousness nor the fun- which is perhaps both a good and a bad thing. Good, because the reader gets to give his/her own mood to the book, but it does little in the story's favor to endear the book to the reader. 

The better part of the book, for me, was without a doubt, the journey and experiences. So diverse and yet so real. India, with its different colors made its presence felt in a travel fiction such a this, and that was a major, major highlight. 
The way it ended, however, was a departure from the way all the rest of the book was. I am still not sure if I liked the pace, but it was definitely a one-time read. 

[Review copy received by The Tales Pensieve]

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