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Blog Tour Review: Big Sky Mountain: The Forest Wolves – Alex Milway

Today is my spot on the blog tour for ‘Big Sky Mountain: The Forest Wolves’ by Alex Milway. Thank you to Bonnier Books UK & Piccadilly Press for my spot on the tour and the Proof’s I received to review. My review for the first book in the series is here.

About the Author:

Alex Milway is a full-time children’s books author-illustrator and screenwriter. His books include Pigsticks and Harold (Walker Books) and, most recently, the Hotel Flamingo series (Piccadilly).  which has sold over 56k copies and was shortlisted for the Alligators Mouth Award. He is the founder of the This Book Is Funny! children’s book scheme working with schools and libraries and has huge experience running children’s workshops around the UK, in China and the US.

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There is never a dull day on Big Sky Mountain! Rain or shine, there is always something that needs doing. Rosa and Grandma Nan are busy building a bigger cabin when a storm strikes, and a host of animals descend for shelter. There is one unexpected visitor: a tiny wolf cub. This little wolf doesn’t seem like the scary, giant-fanged forest wolves that Rosa has heard about! Can the cub really be part of their pack? Rosa and Grandma Nan set off into the forest to find out . . .

A love letter to nature and the wild, inspired by Alex’s own childhood with his grandma, this is the second book in a new four-book series from the author of the Hotel Flamingo series. With around 60 two-colour illustrations and Alex’s brilliant animal characters this is a brilliant series that will span different natural environments and introduces the habitats and animals within them.

My Review:

I received a copy of ‘Big Sky Mountain: The Forest Wolves’ by Alex Milway in return for my honest review.This is the second book in the series, and it is just as great as the first.

Rosa is settling into her new life living with Grandma Nan in Big Sky Mountain and they have decided to build her a new bedroom.

Suddenly comes a terrifying thunderstorm, Rosa, Grandma Nan and some of the other animals all rush for cover in the cabin.

Then they hear a scratching at the door, and they discover a poor, lost wolf cub.

The next day their new adventure begins as they try to find the Wolf Cub’s family, meeting some new animal characters along the way.

Will they find the Cub’s family? Will Rosa learn anything new on her journey?

I love this series of books, not only are the books very funny and take you on an adventure, but they also have lovely illustrations to keep your child even more interested in the story.

I love the characters, especially Grandma Nan, and all the different animal friends they meet along the way.

There are a few messages in the story great for children of overcoming fears, trying not to judge and to always be helpful and kind.

I will be looking out for more adventures from Big Sky Mountain, as I have loved sharing the first two books with my daughter.

My Rating:

💜💜💜💜💜 /5

H Review (My daughter – age 8):

I love all the animals in this book and they make me laugh.

H Rating:

💜💜💜💜💜 /5

Overall, a funny and adventurous children’s book which takes you on a journey to meet the inhabitants of Big Sky Mountain.

Q&A With Alex Milway

Thank you for agreeing to take part in this interview with me as part of the Blog Tour with Bonnier Books UK, it is greatly appreciated.

Was there anyone in your life who was your inspiration to become an author?

Perhaps not a person, as such, but I can pinpoint the exact moment I wanted to create my own stories, and it was after watching a Studio Ghibli film – Laputa: Castle in the Sky – when I was 13 or 14 in the early nineties. It was one of those lucky encounters with the TV schedules. I was always on the lookout for animated films to watch, scouring the TV guide of the newspaper, and this was on at about 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. I taped it and watched it over and over again. I don’t think it’s ever been repeated on terrestrial TV in the UK. 

It massively affected me, being full of adventure, great characters, funny, airships, robots… It had everything, and I realised that it was exactly the sort of thing I’d like to make, but I didn’t know the best way of going about it. Originally thought I might go into animation, but one thing led to another, and I tried writing a novel. From that thought eventually came the Mousehunter, my first book.

How did you come up with the concept for the Big Sky Mountain Series?

The concept of Big Sky Mountain came about because I wanted to write a series about nature – about humans and their relationship with the environment and animals – but also about a relationship between a child and their feisty grandma. My gran was a very strong personality and loved roaming the Malvern hills, especially if we were with her. So this series is very much about me and her.

Do you have a favourite character in Big Sky Mountain?

I really like Little Pig the tiny owl – there’s something about small breeds of large animals that I love. My dog is a miniature schnauzer, but she still thinks she’s as important as all the big dogs out there, and can certainly bark as loudly. 

Schnauzers are bred to be guard dogs, always on the lookout, always letting you know if they see something, and as such my dog can get quite noisy at irrational things, such as aeroplanes high up in the sky. Little Pig is a bit like her. He is always having to overcome his fears, especially in The Forest Wolves, and that’s not easy for anyone. So I like him for that, he has to be especially brave to do his job, and protect Nan’s cabin.

Do you have any new works in progress at the moment?

Yes! There are two more Big Sky Mountain titles to come, and I’ve just finished two other books. One of those is very different to anything I’ve done before, so that was very exciting to work on. I probably should keep quiet about those for now though!

When you get the chance to read other authors, who are your go to authors?

I read a lot of non-fiction, (fiction often clouds my head with other voices and stories when I’m trying to write, and that complicates things no end!) so I tend to go for subject matter over author. History, nature, biography, I love learning about everything.

If you get a spare moment how do you like to spend your time?

I have way too many hobbies. I scratch-build models (often based on things in my books), I love to play instruments and music is a real passion and of course, I love going into woods and hang out under the trees!


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