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Book Reviews

Awards (not to show off too much)

Ralph is (not) a Superhero was shortlisted for the Gateshead Children's Book Award. Ralph is (not) a Vampire was runner-up (top 3!) for People's Book Prize and 'Highly commended' by The Scottish Book Trust, Royal Mail Awards. Ralph is (not) a Spy was nominated for The Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was a finalist for The People's Book Prize. Phew!

Here are some nice things people have said about Ralph . . .

Rob Scott's 'Top Ten' in The Sunday Post recommends Ralph is (not) a Superhero for everyone's Santa list!
The Sunday Post
'Written entirely in verse and cleverly illustrated, an engaging and upbeat story about a boy who is (not) a superhero'
Daily Record, Ralph is (not) a Superhero is ranked in the top 10 Children's Books for children aged six to eight.
'In 2011 this HAS to be my favourite 7+ book'  

'One of the best children’s books I’ve read in quite a while. It’s funny, witty, pleasantly moralistic and wickedly silly' Tots2Teens 

All those lovely people at Scot Mum  featured our book in their Children's Book Review section. What a lovely bunch! 

'Mystery, suspense, true facts, and some fun and games. We give this 4 stars (although we suspect the Bug will raise it to 5 once he is reading by himself)!' 

School Pupil Reviews: Send us yours!

Thanks to all the school pupils who have sent in their reviews of Ralph. Send in yours and we'll display as many as we can below. Additional thanks for all the five star ratings!

'I like Ralph is (not) a Superhero, because it is really funny. I read it lots and lots even under the covers when I am meant to be sleeping'  

Andrew, age 7

'To Corinne and El, your book was amazing. I think it is really cool than you can write in rhyme'  

Katie Dow, age 10.

'I really like the book, loved the way you've done everything in rhyme. Some bits were very funny'  

***** Maram Hart, age 10

'Your book was amazing and funny. Its amazing how you made the story rhyme'  

Rulchsaar Rafiq, age 9

'I thought it was great and you are fab at making everything rhyme. I hope you make lots more books!'  

*****Ailsa Bell, age 10

'I though it was really funny. You are really good at rhyming'  

***** Eilidh, age 9

'Dear Corinne, I loved your book! I thought it was soooo clever the way it all rhymed. I liked all the characters in it!'  

*****From Louise, age 10

'I think you are great at making books and you made some great rhyms. I want to read your book again' 

Gary W, age 10

'It was a great book. The rhyming was amazing'  

*****Cameron Mclean, age 10

'I think your book is great and it was really funny. It was good how you always rhymed. I know if I write a book I wouldn't be able to do that. I want to read it again' 

*****Sarah Wilson, age 10

'I really liked the book. I liked how it was in rhymes. That is cool'  

Craig Ewing, age 10

More reviews

'Quiet shy Ralph dreams he is a superhero one night and when he wakes up, everyone seems to think it is true. He is brave enough to stand on stage in front of everyone in school. He survives when the ceiling falls on him - without so much as a scratch. He rescues a cat stuck high up in a tree despite the fact he has always been petrified of heights - and furry creatures. However despite the fact he tells people he is not a superhero, no-one believes him. After a final daring rescue, he is a hero in everyone's eyes and Ralph begins to realise he is much braver than he ever could have believed. The book is written in rhyme and beautifully illustrated with colour pictures throughout. Great fun for both boys and girls aged 7 - 9 years old'

Rachel Timms author of Whatever You Want, MacMillan Bestseller, Amazon Top 100

'I found myself forcing Ralph is (not) a Superhero upon any small person I could find. The story is incredibly witty and engaging, with illustrations that just bring the narrative to life. It addresses a number of relationships in a child's life and the fundamental issue of -who am I?. Incredible depth so subtly delivered to the young reader, but well acknowledged by parents. Let's hope that Ralph is spurred onto more adventures, before my copy becomes too thumbed for words'

Tony Cook,, Former Editor of The Big Issue

Ralph Is Not A Spy - full review 

Maybe, but he's sure lots of fun!!

Review by The Mole, at, for full review, click here

Ralph plays chess. OK, but he plays so well he plays grand masters and beats them! The International Chess Academy want to know how he does it and sets out to kidnap both Ralph and his sister. McBond makes Ralph aware of the plan and so they set out to foil their plans.

I HATE doing this but in 2011 this HAS to be my favourite 7+ book particularly for boys.

Written entirely in verse there is almost 1 laugh per verse and with about 4 verses per page we are talking a serious measure of laughs in this book.  But hang on there, hold hard, the laughs are not restricted to the verses! The pictures don't just complement the telling of the story, they add to it with things not said in the words appearing in the pictures and making yet more laughs! The pictures themselves will appeal to the reader but are well detailed with plenty of humour and each one is an important asset to the book.

While a child will almost certainly enjoy reading and joining in, the younger spy would really enjoy having it read to them until the activities come along when they are sure to want to do them for themselves. And be honest, poetry should be read aloud to get the most from it, and I challenge adults to read it without joining in the laughter!

Add to that the number of activities for the young reader to get involved in through the book - cracking codes, designing spy gadgets, choosing aliases etc - and then the activities at the end of the book this book will provide hours of fun for the young spy during holidays.

This really has to be my favourite 7+ book for 2011!  Genre - Children's 7+

Ralph Is (Not) A Superhero

 'Rave Review!' Telford & Wrekin Council Library

'You are gaining a large following of fans here in Oxford. This splendid little gem appeals to a wide range for reading aloud, alone or together. Young people are enjoying the balance of humour with characters they easily recognise, written in a language they relate to... Corinne Davies cleverly engages readers with fun while leaving them pleased to have passed time between the pages. El Ashfield's illustrations enhance the upbeat text. When is your next book out? We can't wait'     

Stella Oakes, Assistant Director, Meadowbrook College, Oxford


'A modern, quirky, heart-warming story of a boy called Ralph who dreams of having super powers. Ralph isn't the most popular boy at school until he uses his super powers to win a poetry competition, survive falling buildings, save cats, score goals and of course to get the girl in the end. This is a lovely illustrated tale, which makes he point that any child can be anything that they want to be with positive thinking'   

L. Esslemont (

'A chapter book that you can't put down, my husband and I were fighting over who was reading the next installment of Ralph! Both girls aged 5 and 7 loved the book, at the end they asked me to find more Ralph books'    

Alison Stephen (


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