Reviews, Reviews By You

REVIEW – Alice In Wonderland – Edinburgh

When Alice sees a snappily dressed white rabbit holding a pocket watch, she knows today is not going to be like any other – an adventure is beginning!   Follow Alice down the rabbit hole and tumble into Wonderland – a place where everyone and everything seems to be stark raving mad and things keep getting ‘curiouser and curiouser’.
Our JumpJournos, 10 year olds Lily and Morgan were given tickets to go and see the stage show in Edinburgh. It runs till 31st December 2016 and tickets are still available here.

Alice in Wonderland – Review by Lily

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is an extra-ordinary book and this retake of it is brilliant.

It was so funny; I laughed basically the whole way through. I laughed at the props as well as the jokes.

The costumes were amazing and you could see all the work that had been put into them. All the costumes had their own personality as well as the actor’s personality.

The actors expressed themselves so well, it felt like I was in wonderland. The show had transported me into Alice’s world.


Alice in Wonderland

Photo credit Drew Farrell


My favourite character was the Mock Turtle because she was so sad and then happy. If I say the Mock Turtle was my favourite, then I have to mention the Griffin. The Griffin worked so well with the turtle but also the actors all worked in harmony. There were no problems or accidents on stage, the actors just worked together so well.

In the end, it was a great show.


Alice in Wonderland – Review by Morgan

It was a brilliant play and it felt like you were really in it. It was full of adventures and mysteries. Also when the crew had to swap scenery you didn’t notice them move. They just blended in with the play.

Alice in Wonderland

Photo credit Drew Farrell

At the end, they really connected with the play and were throwing confetti everywhere. It was an amazing play and I give it ****** stars because of everything and I can’t wait to see it again.


Our JumpJournos were given free tickets to see Alice In Wonderland – By Lewis Carroll, in a new version created and directed by Anthony Neilson, Composer Nick Powell – shown at the Lyceum in Edinburgh from  



Book Review — Write and Draw Your Own Comics


If you’d like to learn how to write and draw your own comics, but aren’t sure where to start, then the the new book by Usborne Publishing aims to help. They sent us a copy of their book ‘Write and Draw Your Own Comics‘ and we asked 12 year old Cat to take a closer look! 

You can buy the book directly from Usborne, or in your local bookstore. 





Toca Robot Lab Relaunch – Game Review and Interview

toco robot lab


Like many of our readers, we are big fans of Toca Boca. Their digital games are not made for boys or for girls, but for anyone who wants to play. 

The company regularly updates the apps to bring them up to date, and recently took a closer look at the Toca Robot Lab. Although the app was incredibly popular, with over 750,000 downloads, they realised that there was something that didn’t quite fit with their philosophy of gender neutral and child-centred design.

Our #jumpjourno Cat spoke to Rebeccca and Mathilda from Toca Boca to find out more.



Toca Robot Lab is FREE for a limited period  

Toca Robot Lab lets you build your very own robot with odd bits and bobs. Every time you play the game you can use different parts – choose the legs, body, head and arms and then let your robot fly around. 

Once you’ve built your robot, you can fly it around, collect the stars scattered around the testing area, and then get your Toca Robot Lab Report. There are no rules, no in-app purchases… you play the way YOU want to! 



Review of the New Minecraft Books


FamilyGamerTV brings you a review of the new Minecraft books, from Egmont. We were pleased to see that the publisher engaged the Minecraft community, with the likes of FyreUK being consulted on building projects. Also mentioned are builds by Salmon77, halfdemonandbu, sir_beret, geroom nefashus, Heaven_Lord, CrespoChimp and iHDVibeZz. 


Although the books are due to be released until early April, it seems some retailers will be getting theirs early so keep your eyes peeled in store (and soon after on eBay).




The official Minecraft Construction Handbook is packed with tips and step-by-step instructions from master build team FyreUK. There’s nothing that can’t be built in Minecraft, but with so many possibilities, it’s hard to know where to start. Readers can study how to construct houses, bridges, ships, floating islands and rollercoasters of the highest quality.

Phil and Matt, FyreUK, contributors to the Minecraft Constuction Handbook said:


“We’ve had an awesome time working on this book – we’re passionate about sharing Minecraft techniques and builds, whether through our YouTube videos or the Egmont books. We’ve worked on step-by-step guides for the Construction Handbook, detailing how to create some of the most amazing things in Minecraft. From multi-story houses, to bridges and much, much more, readers can learn techniques used by some of the best builders in Minecraft.”



The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas Review


The Boy Who Swam With Piranhas Review

By David Almond


This is a story about taking charge of your life (and fish!). It follows the story of young Stan and his journey to discovering the Stan he is destined to be.

The tale begins in his Stan’s home with his Aunt and Uncle. They live in a shipbuilding town, in a time when the main industry and provider of work is in decline . His Uncle tries to solve their problems by opening a fish canning factory in his home. He becomes so absorbed and crazed by this money making scheme that he does something so terrible that he drives our hero to run away.

Stan meets his destiny in the quirky world of a travelling fair. Here his hard working and gentle nature help to change the outlook of his adopted family from a downbeat and can’t be bothered attitude to a more gentle and sunnier outlook . Whilst working the hook a duck stall he meets with the legendary Pancho Pirelli who recognises a young himself in Stan inviting him to put his life in his own hands and fulfil his destiny.

The book generally kept a good pace, but was slow in parts. The ending of this story provided a heart warming feeling of hope that if we take risks and work hard, then maybe we can achieve what we desire. Stan is a nice, strong and likeable character,  with the villains being a group of heavy handed men with clip boards who do not like anything fishy or strange.

In a bold move the author invites the reader to decide if these villains should have their just desserts, and encourages one to look at the rest of the world and imagine the lives of many different people. While this fits the flow of the book I found it wanting and would have like a more formal ending so I could know a little more of Stan and his life. Perhaps there is room for a sequel?

Overall I thought this was a nice heart warming story with a good message. However, I think there were areas which could have been explored more and am a little disappointed that I am left wanting for more meat on this story.



Buy this book at Hive Books 

Review by Claire Lyons