Browsing Category


Reviews of creative books. Illustration, photography, fashion, textiles and more. If you are a publisher or book author/creator, and would like to work with me, get in touch!

puffin childrens book reviews

books by

pass it on by sophy henn - book review » cardboardcities - creative lifestyle blog

all books ℅ puffin books

pass it on by sophy henn – £5.99

this is basically joy and gratitude in a childrens book, which, in my eyes, is always a good thing.

i don’t care how old you are, you need to read this book.

‘pass it on’ is essentially about finding happiness in the small things in life. which, really, are quite big and very important when you think about it.

the illustrations are as wonderful as the story, and i just love the colours and textures too.

as a 29 year old woman i felt touched by this book, and if i’d read it as i child i just know it would have been an instant favourite, and i honestly think it could have had quite an impact on me.

when you see something terrific...

pass it on by sophy henn

splash a smile and pass it on

pass it on by sophy henn - book review



max at night - book review » cardboardcities - creative lifestyle blog

max at night by ed vere – £6.99

max is now a recurrent character in ed vere’s books, and in this title, he needs to say goodnight to the moon before he can go to bed. of course, that’s not as easy as it sounds…

the story is delightful and heart warming and i could easily see this becoming a favourite bedtime book for little ones.

i adore the bold, graphic illustrations and the colour choices here are fantastic too. i really like how you get a sense of how tiny max is compared to the world he lives in ..a thing i’m sure we all identify with.

i often find myself wanting to do a illustrated story about ava (my cat) and the adventures she gets up to and this book is fantastic inspiration on how to do it right.

max at night - book review

book review » cardboardcities - creative lifestyle blog

max at night, a book review



chimpanzees for tea - book review » cardboardcities - creative lifestyle blog

chimpanzees for tea by jo empson – £6.99

this is totally a book i would have LOVED to have read as a child, and it really reminded me of books i did actually read as a child. i’m sure as soon as you’ll read this you’ll recognise the format of the ‘shopping list’ game, but this has definitely put a fun, whimsical twist on that. if like me you’re easily distracted you’ll be able to identify with vincent, the young boy who’s been given a list by his mother.

as i was reading this i couldn’t help but hear the voices of the characters in this book. it feels alive! the beautiful illustrations help bring it alive even further and you really do feel like you’re being carried along with the story.

fun for children and adults alike!

a childrens book review

chimpanzees for tea book review


book review » cardboardcities

a book review of chimpanzees for tea by jo empson

living with: hattie stewart & yuko shimizu | book review

books by

living with hattie stewart book review » cardboardcities - creative lifestyle blog

books ℅ roads publishing

living with hattie stewart – £11.99

living with hattie stewart is an art book made from 32 removable prints, with interview questions (and answers) throughout. i really like this easily digestible format, and it really lets the images shine. hatties work is bold and colourful and this certainly comes through!

though i’ve not seen her work in person, the colour looks very well reproduced and detail is well preserved. the semi matte, thick paper does an excellent job of letting her work ‘pop’ which is what is needed with this sort of artwork.

living with hattie stewart book review

living with hattie stewart

now, obviously i’m a fan of such colourful, graphic illustration, but besides that, i really enjoyed reading through the interview. they really can help you see further into someone else’s word and imagination. some of the answers are short and to the point, and others more in depth. i feel like i get a good sense of hatties personality through her answers, too.

in terms of reading, you’ll be done in no time, but the strength of a book like this lies in the artwork within. it’s definitely a book you’ll keep returning to for colour and illustration inspiration.

some of the questions asked: what is doodle bombing? what role does darkness play in your art? and: how important is humour in your work? …you’ll have to get the book to see her answers. no spoilers here.

living with hattie stewart | book review

advice to aspiring artists

living with hattie stewart, a book review

this book would be absolutely perfect as a gift as it’s affordable and immersive, yet easy to consume. personally i’m afraid to tear the pages out to remove as prints just looks so nice as is! maybe two copies would be best, eh?

living with yuko shimizu book review » cardboardcities - creative lifestyle blog

living with yuko shimizu – £11.99

like the above, living with yuko shimizu is a book with 32 removable art prints. i’d not heard of yuko before i’d received this book, but glad i now know of her work because it’s absolutely gorgeous. rich in colour and so much texture and beautiful lines. you can tell she’s inspired by her japanese heritage and i really love her modern yet traditional take on japanese artworks and making it her own with american and other personal influences.

living with yuko shimizu book review

living with yuko shimizu

her work in this book is a wonderful mix of muted tones and vibrant colours, and it all ties together beautifully.

this book doesn’t have an interview as such (though some of the words/picture captions may have derived from interview questions) but rather her intentions behind the pieces, or discussing her work as a whole. i found it fascinating to dive into her world a little, finding out about her process and personality. yuko really strikes me as a person that’s very curious and eager to learn, which i appreciate!

book review - yuko shimizu

yuko shimizu, a book review

illustration by yuko shimizu | book review

both of these books are fantastic in their own ways, but also as a pair. i like that although the general feel of the books is similar (with the removable prints) they are both individual to the artist within. i’d really love to see more of these books covering a range of artist an different artistic genres.

coming and going | book review

books by

coming and going by isabel minhós martins

coming and going by isabel minhós martins

℅ tate publishing

coming and going is a (childrens) book written by isabel minhós martins and illustrated by bernado carvalho.

it includes two things i’ve always been interested in: facts about animals and nature, and lots of colour. i would have loved this book as a child. at almost 30 now, i definitely do.

it shows how animals and humans travel the globe, and the essence of why. it’s certainly a book that makes you think about your place on this planet, and how you can be more aware of your (and THE) environment.

it builds up from telling us how humans started off travelling by foot, but over time the need to travel further and faster grew, and with that, the consumption of fuels and the impact on the earth.

'we move just like the earth moves'

coming and going book by isabel minhós martins

as you know, i’m a big fan of illustrated childrens picture books – mostly for the artwork if we’re being honest, but i often enjoy the stories too – and this one now sits proudly among them.

i like how this has been written, it flows well and has a good rhythm to it. it doesn’t talk down to a younger audience and i feel children (and adults) of various ages would like this book for both the words and illustrations. it’s wonderfully colourful and will spark your imagination, and hopefully encourage you to be aware of your immediate and global surroundings as well as to be observant of animals and their actions.

butterfly illustration in book

coming and going - a book written by isabel minhós martins and illustrated by bernado carvalho.

coming and going - by isabel minhós martins and illustrated by bernado carvalho.

what makes this book particularly striking to me is the collaged illustrations, and this style is so well to suited to childrens books. it’s graphic, bold, and stirs the imagination. and for fellow illustrators like me, makes me feel inspired to create.

do you or your children have this book? what do you think of the story? do you think the illustrations help bring it to life? let me know!