Published 15.10.2020
by Kids’ Own

Our childrens’ book panel reviews are in!

We recently set up a book reviewer panel of children and are delighted to share our first reviews from Abby, Juliana, Róisín, Micheal and Éabha – with more to come! Excerpts from the reviews have been added to the books in our bookshop, letting people know what children really think of the books.

Read the whole reviews below or snippets of them on these book pages: Changed, Bouncing Away, Only a giant can lift a bull and Wiggly Woo agus a chairde.

Would you like to become a book reviewer for Kids’ Own? Reviews can be written, filmed or something else – get creative! Each published reviewer will receive a free Kids’ Own book as a thank you.

We love to hear what you think of our books! This helps us to reach out to new audiences, raise awareness about the value of publishing children’s voices, and get funding to make more books with children. Send your review to [email protected].

Handwritten review of Kids Own book
Handwritten book review of 'Changed', children's book by Kids Own Publishing


Changed – A book about the world

Thank you for letting me review these wonderful books. I hope you like my review as much as I like your books.

‘Changed’ is an incredible story that is all about the changes in these talented kids lives. I can’t imagine moving as far as these kids have or lost friends like they have. I know I haven’t met them but I believe that they are all very brave and kind.

The illustrations in this book are so abstract and different but beautiful in their own way. The illustrations are part of the story, without them the story is nice but better with art pieces. These pictures are so relatable to the story and poems in the book. The writing pieces are beautiful and so sweet. I have to say my favourite was the poor Angels by Anne. The reason because it rhymes wonderfully and is pretty, sweet, beautiful and kind. Anne is is so talented and I’d like see more from her creative imagination.

This book took me on an adventure to really realise that not everybody’s life is a good as mine. That not everybody has the same roof over their head for their whole life. I felt relaxed because of the words the kids used, and happy to know that the stories ended up with good endings. I would recommend this book to another reader because it’s helpful and the art is abstract and there’s pure talent in this book. I definitely did grow while reading this book – a total 5 star review.


Bouncing Away: The ups and downs of life and how to deal with them

‘Bouncing Away’ is a book about many different emotions that children feel and how they deal with them. It includes quotes about what makes them happy, angry, sad, excited, worried etc. It also includes illustrations which express how the children feel and what they like to do.

I really enjoyed reading this book. I found that it was very helpful if I ever feel one of these emotions. I thought that the illustrations were very expressive. For example, if there were a few quotes about anger, there would be scribbles that you could see were meant to express a child’s anger.

I loved seeing the drawings of things that bring the children joy. This made the book very open to many feelings and I think that it is very comforting for children who are often more worried or anxious than others.


Wiggly Woo Agus A Chairde

This beautiful book made by young children and their parents from Co Waterford is aimed at three to four year old children. This book is unique because the children have put in their own art work and added a personal twist to traditional rhymes. I really liked the Polish poem (How to talk to a dog, page 21) ad my friends from Poland could translate it for me.

The rhyme which particularly caught my attention is 1 2 3 4 5 (page 4-5). I really liked all the different coloured fish and their unique patterns.

There are a variety of educational elements in this book which includes a number of different languages and new words for children to learn. Also there is artwork for children which is created by children. The visuals and the writing go very well together as they complement one another and bring the rhyme alive.

I would recommend this book to another reader as it is fun and exciting.


Bouncing Away: The ups and downs of life and how to deal with them

This book is written by a group of Sligo children, age 8 – 12 in collaboration with writer, Lisa Vandegrift Davala and artist, Vanya Lambrecht Ward.

This book is about feelings and how we react when we feel different emotions. The book explores the feelings of happiness, anger, sadness and anxiety from the perspective of children. I found I could relate to the feelings though I found some of them were extreme. I found the descriptions given by the children very vivid, this made the book easy to understand.

I found the parts where the children mention their pets easy to relate to. The children expressed love and comfort from the pets, as a dog owner I empathised with this.

I found the drawings and writing complemented each other, making the story more visual and captivating. For example, when they were discussing what ‘doing different things can change how we feel’ (pages 18-27), the illustration on page 21 shows Jimmy’s experience of how playing football makes him feel happy. I find that playing football with my friends and team also makes me feel happy.

The educational elements/life lessons of this book is to be aware of our feelings and to know how to react to them.

I would recommend this book to young people as it raises awareness of our feelings and shows us that we can change how we feel through different experiences.


Bouncing Away: The ups and downs of life and how to deal with them

This book aims to help children deal with their emotions and understand how to manage their mental health. It was created by primary school children in Sligo who told stories about how they felt when they were experiencing different emotions. These short stories are nuggets of advice which help us understand that we are not alone.

WHAT I LIKED…. It made me realise that on the outside all kids may look very different but on the inside we all feel the same. Big, small, tall, short, skinny, fat, it doesn’t matter, we all share the same emotions of fear, anger and joy. I like that I could see some of my worries and feelings in the other kids’ stories. One comment really spoke to me when it said ‘sometimes I want to bite my sister’s head off when I get angry’. I too can get angry sometimes and I was glad to know that sometimes others can feel the same way too. I promise that I AM NOT A MONSTER, sisters can just be super annoying sometimes. I really liked that the book suggested ways to cope with our bad feelings. Many of the kids used drawing, music or sport, but the two most important ones for me were talking to an adult and hugging your dog. I firmly believe that every child should have a pet, preferably a dog … I’m not much of a cat (or a lizard) person.

OVERALL… I believe that this book deserves a 4.5 out 5 as it deals with many awkward topics in a simple way that all kids and parents can understand. I think it would be very useful for parents and help them understand how to listen to us and encourage us to talk about our feelings. But most importantly, if you really, really want to make a difference, do just one thing ……. HELP US DEAL WITH OUR FEELINGS – BUY US A DOG!


Only A Giant Can Lift A Bull

This book was published in the hopes that more kids will become aware of the dangers on a farm. Personal stories are told by kids along with pieces of advice from the author. Simon Coveney was inspired to put it together and share it with primary schools after seeing that the number of child deaths on farms had risen. This book aims to raise awareness in schools and put the message across to parents as well.

What I enjoyed about the book….

I liked how informative this book was and the fact that it used examples. I believe that anyone that reads this book would become very aware of the potential dangers on a farm. An example of what I learnt is that it is dangerous to climb on hay bales. One of the students mentioned that he was playing with his friends and fell through a gap. Now that could be very dangerous as he could have injured himself or gotten stuck. Another example showed how dangerous the vehicles on a farm can be. Another child described the moment a tractor started rolling towards a neighbor crushing his leg. These stories were interesting and they will definitely teach kids to be more careful when they are on a farm and that’s a good thing.

What I didn’t like and how to improve it….

I didn’t like how some of the stories were repeated throughout the book over and over. People were constantly talking about bulls, tractors and especially getting kicked by horses. As I kept seeing the same stories again and again I began to lose interest and I found it hard to finish the book. I think the author could have cut some of these stories out and replaced them with different examples. It made this book feel much longer than it actually was. It’s a kid’s book and it struggled to keep my attention.


I would give this book a 4 out of 5 since the author took stories from real people my age and I could connect and relate to them. I didn’t give it a higher rating because I found that the book felt too long to read and it needed different examples.