Woods in the Books
Posted on February 23, 2020 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Book Review: Have You Seen My Trumpet?

‘Who thinks it’s too CROWded?’‘Who is chasing the PIGeon?’ Michael Escolier’s clever wordplay stands out in this beautiful hardcover picture book, encouraging kids to scour playful illustrations for answers that are slyly hidden within the questions themselves. Of course it is the disgruntled CROW who finds the boat too crowded. There’s runs the PIG as […]

Posted on January 19, 2020 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Book Review: Grandma and the Things that Stay the Same

Every Lunar New Year, Grandma would ask the same questions, wear the same “lucky” red, cook the same “lucky” food, give the same “lucky” amount, and invite the same “lucky” lions. Grandma and the Things that Stay the Same The year turns, the lanterns are lit, the table is laden. Food, family, and festivities: it’s […]

Posted on November 22, 2019 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Interviewer: What’s the best reaction you’ve had to your work?

Jim Kay: I’ve had a few letters saying they couldn’t get their children to read a book, but the illustrated version has finally got them reading. So I couldn’t ask for more really. It’s such a privilege. If you help one person engage with books, the hours, the solitude is worth it because you’ve hopefully helped somebody on a life of literary discovery.

It might sometimes seem like a new collector’s edition of the Harry Potter series is announced every year, whether it’s aimed at kids who have never read the books or the adults who grew up with them. But the two-year wait for the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire has resulted in a Harry Potter book truly worth owning for fans both new and old.

Posted on October 25, 2019 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Book Review: The Brilliant Oil Lamp

They pass by vegetable farms and forests and finally arrive at the new housing estate. The children gasp when tall buildings come into view. The apartments are stacked on top of one another — up to twenty stories high!

The Brilliant Oil Lamp

When Asha’s family moves to the new HDB flats in Toa Payoh, the first thing to do is set up the altar and light the brass diya, a beautiful oil lamp in the shape of a peacock that shines as though it were gold.

Posted on August 31, 2019 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Book Review: The House on Silat Road

In March, we hosted the authors of The House on Silat Road for a talk during the #BuySingLit Campaign. Si-Hoe S.S., the ‘real Sing’ whose memories form the basis for this book, recounted her most harrowing experience during World War II, as the family had to evacuate their home as bombs fell around them.

Posted on July 31, 2019 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Book Review: The Everyday Journeys of Ordinary Things by Libby Deutsch and Valpuri Kerttula

Every day we are surrounded by ordinary objects and services that have been on the most extraordinary journeys to reach us — journeys that are all happening RIGHT NOW. Take a look around you. What do you see? Where does it come from? How did it begin?

Once you start noticing these extraordinary journeys, you’ll never look at the world in the same way again…

Posted on January 19, 2018 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Elf Reads: Orion and the Dark

Orion and the Dark cover_o

About this book:

Orion is scared of … wasps and monsters and girls and sheds and storms and dogs and spiders and heights, but most of all he’s scared of the dark! Join Orion on an adventure as he faces his biggest fear and finds out it’s friendly!

Posted on January 12, 2018 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Elf Reads: The Lion Inside

The Lion Inside

About this book:

A mouse feels small and insecure and determines that what he needs to do is learn how to roar like a lion. He knows he has to act brave when he approaches a lion to learn how. In a hilarious turn of events, the lion is afraid of mice! The mouse comforts the lion, they become friends, and we learn that there’s a lion and a mouse inside all of us.

Posted on January 6, 2018 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Elf Reads: The Extraordinary Mr. Qwerty

Mr Qwerty

About this book:

Norman Qwerty is a man of many ideas, and none of them is the least bit ordinary. He’s quite certain that no one else thinks the way he does, and so he keeps his ideas to himself. But when his ideas get simply too big to hold in, Norman builds the most extraordinary thing! Soon, the beloved Mr Qwerty is never alone (unless he wants to be!), and the world will never be the same.

Posted on March 31, 2017 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Elf Reads: Maia and What Matters


About this book:

Maia is an impatient little scamp. When something pops into her head, she wants it. Now! Right this minute! Her grandma’s just the same and they get along like a house on fire. One day Grandma falls ill and loses her control over words. The grown-ups don’t seem to understand her, but Maia never loses sight of her strong, wonderful grandma and knows exactly what she means.

A beautiful and accessible book about the enduring relationship between a grandmother and her granddaughter in the face of illness and aging.

Posted on March 22, 2017 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Elf Reads: The Inquisitor’s Tale

Inq tale

About this book:

1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.

Join William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead. Told in multiple voices, in a style reminiscent of The Canterbury Tales, our narrator collects their stories and the saga of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.

Posted on February 16, 2017 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads

Elf Reads: The House on Palmer Road


About this book:
It is 1930s Singapore and war is raging in China and Europe. But for eight-year-old Sing and her nine brothers and sisters, life is carefree and fun at their wooden house in Palmer Road where they live with Mother, Father and Ah Seem. Join them as they go frog hunting, escape fierce guard geese, visit a ‘coolie room’, and head off on other exciting adventures in pre-war colonial Singapore.

This playful, fun-filled children’s book is based on the childhood experiences of 83-year-old first time author, Si-Hoe S.S., who is the ‘real’ Sing. In The House on Palmer Road, young readers will fall in love with the large but lovable family, and relive a magical though tumultuous time in Singapore’s past. Within the series of charming short stories, children will also gently encounter aspects of Singapore’s history through vividly-described landscapes, snatches of overheard conversations among the grown-ups, and the many people they ‘meet’, from itinerant hawkers to coolies and night soil men. The book is published with the support of the National Heritage Board.

Posted on October 21, 2016 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads, Woods in the Books

Elf Reads: The Gardener


About this book:
Lydia Grace Finch brings a suitcase full of seeds to the big grey city, where she goes to stay with her Uncle Jim, a cantankerous baker. There she initiates a gradual transformation, bit by bit brightening the shop and bringing smiles to customers’ faces with the flowers she grows. But it is in a secret place that Lydia Grace works on her masterpiece, which she hopes will make even Uncle Jim smile.

The Gardener is a 1997 New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of the Year and a 1998 Caldecott Honor Book.

Posted on September 22, 2016 by woodsinthebooks on blog!, Elf Reads, Woods in the Books

Elf Reads: The Cherry Tree Farm Story Collection

There’s something special about each and every book at Woods in the Books, but in our new blog feature, Elf Reads, our bookshop elves want to let you know what they love about the books on our shelves.

Today we’re starting with Enid Blyton’s The Cherry Tree Farm Story Collection.


About this book:
Start reading these stories, and you’ll start to wish you could live on a farm…
Benjy, Penny, Rory and Sheila are staying with their aunt and uncle at Cherry Tree Farm. They feed the animals, explore the countryside and search for the mysterious man who lives in the woods — and you can be sure that they get into mischief along the way.
The three Farm books, published together here, are firm favourites with Blyton fans.