The illustrations are bright, big, and vivid documentations of the words on each page. They are enough alone to make any child pick it up over again to make up their own story.
Alongside the beautiful illustrations, Cherie Zamazing has written a brilliant piece of imaginative artistry that will capture any audience. The literary use of onomatopoeia brings the story alive with words such as bubble, fizz, squawk, swish, and, swoop, highlighted in fancy large print amongst the sentences. Not only can this book be read and enjoyed, but it can also be used to highlight poetic usage in numerous ways.
A very cleverly formed, illustrated, and written picture book.
When a young boy accidentally knocks a painted fish pebble into the water, he cannot believe his eyes…
‘Suddenly, there was a flash of light and a bubble and fizz! Peter jumped back and saw a new colourful fish swimming around the fishbowl. Peter’s pebble had come to life!’
Cherie Zamazing’s charming illustrations perfectly capture a young boy’s wonderment as his creativity provides the magic for an adventure beyond his wildest dreams.
At the end of the day
As I read sincerely to my freckled face children.
Absolutely no sign apparent of the previous hours,
I spent pointlessly preventing chaos at the office.
I continually offer just one more short story,
As I consciously strive to sustain the moment,
And when a string of seven books is completed,
I struggle to not look into their angelical eyes
As I close up the last book and kiss them goodnight,
Then gently switch out the light.
To the kitchen I then quickly take flight,
Flick on the jug and casually search for the coffee,
Then I silently sit, with a steaming hot cup in my hand,
And strategically try to take in the silence.
Strangely I hear the fire flickering
And the clamouring of the fridge,
Then I notice one of the kids is snoring –
I remember, some say silence is golden,
Then strangely imagine my hair sprinkled silver,
With the house eerily silent and no-longer full,
So I say silence is not worth holding,
Instead I sincerely suggest, treasure the kids.
Author: Richelle M.F.
Author: Jennifer Probst
I have much respect for the women in this novel. When you embark on a journey through these pages you will encounter three women. All on the same journey, yet all on a different journey of discovery too.
Let's start with Sophia. A woman who has lived a life. It wasn't always the life she wanted but learned to adapt and enjoy what life was giving her. There was one thing that she hadn't done and that was travel. Like many of us, she put her life on hold for those she cared about. That is until now. But then again, her decision to travel is based around her daughter and grand-daughter. It is her choice, but once again is it for her family or for herself. Discovery....
Now to Franchesca. The typical career-obsessed mother/woman. But why? And will she break the habits of a lifetime? What really lies behind the need to control every aspect of her life? She wants Italy to bring Allegra to her senses, but is it Allegra that needs to be bought to her senses? Is it Allegra that has life decisions to be made? Discovery...
And, Allegra. I thought the novel put Allegra in a box of a stereo-typical teen. I was quite disappointed by Allegra's character. I thought there was so much more to Allegra than the stereo typical teen. Then there is the young man that she falls in love with. He has a different path that he is seeking and I became disappointed with the stereo-typical outcome of their relationship. I would have liked to have seen them play out in a different way, but I still really enjoyed the book. Did she find her way? Discovery...
As you may be able to tell, I enjoyed this novel except for some aspects of Allegra's character plot. I was impressed by descriptive writing which at times I felt was almost poetical. The words tantalized my mind, playing games with their sounds. It drew me into the book as I was enabled to 'see' the world in the pages due to the writing. I enjoyed the experience of reading this book. Jennifer Probst has a good future ahead of her, I would just like to see more uniqueness in some of the characters rather than what the world expects. Why? Because I have met some great teens and I felt Allegra had more to her!
Authors: Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler
Today I have a special guest - one of my students who for privacy reasons I cannot give you her name but I can assure you she is a very hard worker who likes reading, writing and maths along with spending time colouring in.
What is this book about?
The Giant helps the animals and then the animals help him back by giving him presents which are lots of clothes.
Explain where the scene is set?
He is all over the place and he was in the town.
What happened that you enjoyed the most?
He helped all the animals and got stuff from the animals
Who were your favourite characters?
My favourite characters are the fox and the giraffe, the dog and the bunny. The illustrations match well with the characters.
What did you enjoy the most about this book?
He bought himself new clothes and he found some clothes including some sandals in a bag on the side of the road.
We also found this on Youtube. Take a look, you can listen to the story here or purchase the book, it will be worth purchasing for your library.
Thanks to Youtube - Storyvison Studios UK
George is fed up with being scruffy. It's time for a new look and soon he's the smartest giant in town - that is until he bumps into some animals who need his help... and his clothes!
Take a look at some early drawings of George and his friends by illustrator Alex Scheffler, and read all about how Julia Donaldson came up with the idea for the story in this special 20th anniversary edition of the bestselling classic.
Author: Micheal Morpurgo, Read by: Jim Broadbent
Duration: 1hour 38 minutes
I am highly impressed by the reading of 'In the mouth of the wolf'. This book is classed as a juvenile reader which is where my interest in the content comes to hand. I am not sure if it is the narration or the story that has impacted me, or maybe it is the combination.
The narrator is fantastic and is bring across the message enclosed. His voice sounds the right age to fit the purpose. There have been many occasions, in my audiobook journey, that the narrator is not the correct person for the message within the novel. But this time around it was perfect. I got the impression I was listening to the actual storyteller! You find out in the last section who the story was about and that also sparked my interest.
As for the plot. I am left speechless. This man's story is told with perfection for the young reader. Although, it is also very timely and important that this is read by all ages. There was no watering down of the information and I found it to be written in such a way that there was respect for the main character/person but the importance of his story was still well told.
I have a couple of books on my bookcase by Michael Morpurgo which I have been meaning to read. Now I know that I will be opening those titles and many more written by Michael Morpurgo and I understand the popularity of his titles.
Author: Ethan Lou
Author: Joanna Nell
What better time to pick up a read that isn't overly harsh or dramatic! The tea ladies of St Jude's all have their own story to tell. They are fairly simple, average people. They all have their own little 'issues'. But, this is still an easy, heart warming read.
I don't leave this book with much to think over - and it is kind of nice and refreshing.
I have enjoyed the simplicity of this read. I like that there are books like this out there; I think we all need them in our lives and on our bookcases.
So I leave you with a simple - worthy of reading message and the description so you can choose for yourself.
The Marjorie Marshall Memorial Cafeteria has been serving refreshments and raising money at the hospital for over fifty years, long after anybody can remember who Marjorie Marshall actually was. Staffed by successive generations of dedicated volunteers, the beloved cafeteria is known as much for offering a kind word and sympathetic ear (and often unsolicited life advice) as for its tea and buns.
Stalwart has worked her way up through the ranks to Manageress; has been late every day since she started as the cafeteria's newest recruit. She doesn't take her role as 'the intern' quite as seriously as Hilary would like but there's no doubt she brings a welcome pop of personality. Seventeen-year-old , the daughter of two successful surgeons, is volunteering during the school holidays because her mother thinks it will look good on her CV.
Chloe is at first bewildered by the two older women but soon realises they have a lot in common, not least that each bears a secret pain. When they discover the cafeteria is under threat of closure, this unlikely trio must band together to save it.
Rick Stein At Home: Recipes, Memories and Stories from a Food Lover's Kitchen
Author: Rick Stein
I decided last year that each town/city that I visited would put a book into my collection. When I went on a girls day out to Gore last month, I picked up Rick Stein At Home. I had no idea that when I told friends about my now cookbook, that they would tell me they watch him on TV. I was just adding to my collection on my memorable moments bookcase. There is no need for Pandora charms or jewellery items when you can have a new book to treasure.... unless there are gifts heading my way then by all means don't limit the jewellery choices!
Why did I choose Rick Stein At Home over all the other cookbooks on offer that day:
Author: Mij Kelly and Charles Fuge
Today I have a special guest with me. She is one of my great students and she is going to help me tell you what we think of 'Friendly Day':
What was the book about? The book is about friendly day which is a day when they are not mean.
What was your favourite part? The mouse longed for friendly day in her cave meanwhile outside the dog still cried sadly.
What was your favourite sentence? My favourite sentence in the whole book was 'He tricked the cat, but now he sat and longed for friendly day. Meanwhile outside, the dog still cried. The bear gave him a pat.'
Who is your favourite character? It is the kittens because they look really cute.
Did you like this book and why? Yes because it is a good book and the animals are friendly and kind.
Hooray - It's friendly day!
A day for sharing a day for caring, when everyone is nice, when cow reads snail a fairy tale and cats do NOT eat mice.
A warm tale full of friendship, love and hugs!
Thank you to my friend and student for her input and thoughts of 'Friendly Day'.
Author: Maeve Binchy
A lovely friend handed me this book thinking I might enjoy it. I looked at the 637 pages and put it beside my bed in a TBR pile 😄
It was by no means going to be a quick read!
A few weeks ago I looked at the book. Went to walk away. And, looked at the book again. The cover was yelling at me to read it. But.... 637 pages, was I ready to take on the mission.
I took up the challenge!
Wow, what a brilliant piece of literature. I struggled to put the book down. There was no time to scroll through my phone over the past couple of weeks, I was reading. I had a job to do. A challenge to complete.
The challenge quickly became finding time for everything else. Every five minutes free was more page turning. It was like watching a movie with ads, but the ads were the little interruptions that life gave me (somethings need done). I quickly sorted through the characters. Found the ones that I connected with, funnelled through the ones that I thought less highly of, and became a part of Tara Road. Every character had their part to play in the ups, downs, successes and failures. There are no side-line characters on Tara Road.
Then in walks Marilyn all the way from New England. She wants a quiet place to escape but she also found her place in Tara Road. None of us are immune from the happenings on Tara Road. You either become a part of Tara Road or you go home. I became a spectator. I had no chance of leaving once the pages were opened!
If you want good read with so many aspects of daily life touched upon, then Tara Road is for you. I am sure you will find a place for you within the pages and encounter characters that will remain a part of your literary mind for years after adventuring down Tara Road.
Ria and Marilyn have never met - they live thousands of miles apart, separated by the Atlantic Ocean: one in a big, war, Victorian house in Tara Road, Dublin, the other in a modern, open plan house in New England. Two more unlikely friends would be hard to find: Ria's life revolves around her family and friends, while Marilyn's reserve is born of grief. But when each needs a place to escape to, a house exchange seems an ideal solution.
Along with the borrowed houses come neighbours and friends, gossip and speculation as Ria and Marilyn swap lives for the summer...
I came across this woman this morning and I have to say I am impressed with this video. I have to check out the rest of her videos but this one is worth watching.
Some good points are made in this clip:
Okay.... I'm going to pop over and check out some of her other videos and see if I think she is worth of putting on my subscription list.... I will be back!
I'm back 😀
Most of her other clips aren't focused around books but there are some good informative clips on her channel. This one you will need to take a look into and see if Elena Taber has anything you are interested in. I for one though, think this clip is worth watching. It is very inspiring and has some good points.
Hidden on the old oak bookcase,
Sits a million words unseen,
Wondrous worlds not yet travelled,
Mysterious plots pleading, to be unravelled.
Endangered characters fret in flattened pages
Calling courageously when I pass,
Boldly battling inside the covers,
Extinction evident, if they remain undiscovered.
Alice still chases her White Rabbit,
While he stupidly stresses over time,
“I’m late, I’m late” I hear him squeal,
Is his world really that unreal?
One day I’ll sit upon a wishing chair,
And free each character as I read,
But I need my White Rabbit to sit still,
So I can stop, search beyond covers, and save them all.
Author: Richelle M.F.
Here we have a historical novel packed with historical snippets of New Zealand. I was very impressed by the way in which the author interwove this history. It gave me an appreciation of the historical time when the New Zealand wars loomed. What I really liked, was the ability to connect with the characters in way that enlightened the history that I am familiar with. I have watched documentaries, read books and been taught at school about New Zealand's history. But, to read a novel where the historical connections are interwoven with characters that seemed real, gave me a new depth of appreciation of the history that New Zealand is rich with. Although this is an 'historical novel' I felt that historical undercurrent was respectful and for this reason I recommend picking up this book.
Credit also needs to be given to the manner in which historical depth is written into Kitty's character and Amber's (the little girl whom Kitty...). I turned page after page, never let down by the continued strength of the characters and the plot of this novel. I have since purchased two more of Deborah Challinor's novels to add to my growing TBR pile.
This is a small review this time, but I think it is all needs. The characters and plot speak for themselves once you've opened the pages.
The second riveting instalment in The Smuggler's Wife series by one of our leading historical novelists. "She was Maori, aged anywhere between three and five years old. Her dirty, matted hair hung past her shoulders, and sweet, heart-shaped little face was filthy." When Kitty Farrell is offered a trinket by a street urchin, her implulsive response will change both of their lives forever. It is 1845, and after four years on the high seas with Rian, her wild Irish husband, she returns to the lawless Bay of Islands and a country at war. Kitty and Rian must battle to be reunited as they fight for their lives and watch friends and enemies alike succumb to the madness of war and the fatal seduction of hatred.
Author: Petronella McGovern
I went from trusting every character to not trusting anyone!
How can fours mums be the problem? There are four of them for goodness sake. Surely one would have seen something. I know how easy it is to be distracted while kids play but all the mums are there. One of them surely should have seen something if one of the mums were the problem!?
The teacher is a genuine good guy, it can't be the teacher!?
The mother is so anxious about getting back to her daughter, counting every minute that she is away. It can't be the mum, it just can't be the mum. I'm a mother and I hated being away from my kids when they were pre-schoolers.... it can't be the mum!?
The dad.... he's at work. It cant be him!?
But then, all the cracks show in every individual. The little hidden things begin to form cracks in my initial thinking. How can I go from trusting everyone; to hearing the reality of everyone's individual lives; to not trusting any of them. They all have issues! But, does that make them a suspect or even a bad person. Who doesn't have something that they keep hidden - even away from themselves - locked in the past. Can we judge people for simple past anything? Normally I wouldn't, but this novel got me thinking. There was a missing child 🙅
So, I made everyone a suspect! Guilty until proven innocent!
The ending was fantastic, not at all what I expected (you have to read it to find out).
How can a child disappear from under the care of four playgroup mums?
One Thursday morning, Lexie Parker dashes to the shop for biscuits, leaving Bella in the safe care of the other mums in the playgroup.
Six minutes later, Bella is gone.
Police and media descend on the tiny village of Merrigang on the edge of Canberra. Locals unite to search the dense bushland. But as the investigation continues, relationships start to fracture, online hate messages target Lexie, and the community is engulfed by fear.
Is Bella's disappearance connected to the angry protests at Parliament House. What secrets are the parents hiding? And why does a local teacher keep a photo of Bella in his lounge room?
What happened in those six minutes and where is Bella?
The clock is ticking...
This novel will keep you guessing to the very last twist.
Author: Liane Moriarty
Here is my first read for the New Year. It was a lovely Christmas present that was very exciting to receive - like any book that I get put in my hand. I also found myself landed in hospital, followed by a week of doing little but reading. Thank goodness I am a reader. Thank goodness I have Christmas presents to read.
So, what did I think of my first read of 2022?
Let's start by commenting that typing 2022 feels really weird!
Anyway, 'Apples Never Fall' is a gentle read. I really appreciated the angle which author took and that it wasn't the 'usual' outcome. There were the twists that accompany any missing person novel. There was the complexity of the mysterious house guest. There was the husband, who of course had to have been hiding something. Then there were the adult children, that could go through every emotion and argument to leave you questioning.
It became more than a missing person mystery to solve. But for those of you who have followed my blog/reviews, you will know that I like to dig deeper than the plot and you will not be surprised. In this novel we are given, a mother, father (husband and wife), four adult children with different personalities and hang ups, a mysterious house guest, and a tennis profession that plays into every dimension of the story. The way in which the life of each character is interwoven to their personalities via the connections of each individual (made prior to the present) is interesting, dynamic and important. It grabbed my interest. Especially when the details of the mysterious house guest came to light. I could say "I saw it all coming" but did I? I don't think I did. I should have!
Every character influenced the final outcome. Every one of us influence final outcomes without realising it. Most of the time we never see the connections. We don't stop to think what influence today has made on any minor human being in our presence that day. But this novel connected this very idea and bundled it up into a really good read.
Then the ending was brilliant! I was left satisfied with an outcome and impressed by the weaving together of an ending in which, I closed the book feeling it was complete.
From the outside, the Delaneys appear to be an enviably contented family. Even after all these years, former tennis coaches Joy and Stan are still winning tournaments, and now they've sold the family business they have all the time in the world to learn how to 'relax'. Their four adult children are busy living their own lives, and while it could be argued they never quite achieved their destinies, no-one ever says that out loud. But now Joy Delaney has disappeared and her children are re-examining their parents' marriage and their family history with fresh, frightened eyes. Is her disappearance related to their mysterious house guest from last year? Or were things never as rosy as they seemed in the Delaney household?