Today, my focus for the Grunter Awards is on Children’s Books. Now, at fifty-seven, I don’t tend to read a lot of Children’s Books. One of the beauties, however, of being an Editorial Reviewer is I do get asked from time to time, to review a Children’s Book. I have read some absolute crackers this year and I would highly recommend any of these nominated books for your children, your grandchildren or even you, if, like me, you’re secretly a child at heart.My first nominee in the Children’s Book category this year is PRINCESS MATILDA’S MIRACLE by SUZIE JAY.What an absolutely delightful little children’s book Princess Matilda’s Miracle by Suzie Jay is. I left my childhood behind many, many moons ago, but I really enjoyed this enchanting story about Princess Matilda, who fell ill and went out to seek her Fairy Godmother for help.Suzie Jay’s writing is straightforward, easy to read and the story flows along quickly and easily. The small, but wonderful illustrations just add to this book’s immense appeal to children. I could certainly envisage sitting by my grandchildren’s bed and reading this story to them. I suspect the writer had an extra motive in writing this book. There is a clear parallel between the “black cloud” illness that affects so many of Princess Matilda’s village and cancer, and I guess more especially childhood cancer. This would be a lovely book to read to a poor child with cancer (or any illness really) in the hospital or at home undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatment.The simple, straightforward message one can take from Princess Matilda’s tale is to keep being positive, never give up hope, look for the best in every situation no matter how bad it seems and always, always believe in miracles.It is few books that can leave me with a smile on my face when I put them down, but Princess Matilda’s Miracle was one of those. Well done to the author and more power to your writing.The second nominee in the Children’s Book Category is MUDDY FACE by RACHEL McGRATHHaving read McGrath’s earlier version of this book, Mud on Your Face, aimed at I guess the eight to twelve-year-old market and being enthralled by the simple tale and the messages it contained for our young folk, I was keen to check out the bedtime story version of the book for the younger set.I was not disappointed. McGrath has trimmed the story down to a version that is more readable for that purpose and increased the illustrations dramatically. The illustrations match the story in that they are simple, but beautifully drawn, much like the characters in her story. This is a fun, enjoyable book for bedtime reading that imparts some very good life lessons about love, family, and teasing or bullying. I enjoyed this read as much as the original and commend McGrath on her idea to produce similar books suitable for different audiences. I can definitely picture grandparents and parents all over the world sitting at the bedside and sharing this beautiful work with their grandchildren and children.Another winner from McGrath. Great job!Our third and final nominee for top children’s book in this category is, BEDTIME STORYBOOK by MAY J PANAYI.Bedtime Storybook is a delightful, little book that would be absolutely perfect to read to those little ones as they are tucked up in bed. Each story is short enough to ensure that you will get through it at one sitting.The stories themselves are simple but sweet and each one has a little, not so hidden message for our kids, such as; being happy with who you are, fitting in and not being boastful. The language Panayi uses is perfect for the age group this book is aimed at.



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