Monday, 29 January 2018

Book Review: The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey

I borrowed this book from my local library after hearing good things about it, and I was really taken in by this crime thriller. I was amazed to discover that this is a debut novel for Sarah Bailey. I can't wait to read more from this author as The Dark Lake was really impressive.

Set in the town of Smithson in New South Wales, the story begins when a jogger discovers a body of a woman in a lake, with red roses scattered around her.
Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock is put on the case, along with her partner Felix.
When the identity of the woman is uncovered, Gemma realises that she used to once know the victim.
Rosalind Ryan used to attend high school with Gemma, although Gemma doesn't disclose too much about her relationship to her fellow officers. 
We slowly begin to find out about their past, and there are quite a few characters that have secrets that they don't want anyone finding out about, Gemma included.

Gemma is a rather complex character;  I liked her but at times, her actions made me question her morals.
I loved the voice she was given, and even though she wasn't perfect by any means, she's quite a real character, with a good heart deep down.
We get to know a lot about her, and I think that the author does a really great job of showing us who Gemma is, in both her personal and her professional lives.

I think that the story moved along at a really good pace, and there are a lot of layers that when put together, make for a very compelling read. 
If you've read The Dark Lake, I would love to hear what you thought of it. Feel free to let me know in the comments below. 

Saturday, 27 January 2018

New Release Children’s Books from DK & Penguin Random House Australia

Is It Warm Enough For Ice Cream?


This delightful board book encourages children to learn about the different seasons, and also teaches them many things about nature, for example, in which season leaves change colour, and when it is time to plant seeds in the garden. It also touches touches on topics including weather and animals.
It also explains just when it is ideal weather to eat ice cream! 
The illustrations in this book are so lovely and bright, and the text builds vocabulary and language skills in young readers.
It is available now and has an RRP of $16.99

The Little Book Of Duggee Hugs 

This book is ideal for a young Duggee fan! 
Join the characters from Hey Duggee as they come to realise that there isn’t much that can’t be solved with a lovely hug from Duggee! 
The book is a compact sized book, making it ideal for travel. 
It is available now and has an RRP of $12.99  

LEGO City: Busy Word Book

This book offers a fantastic way to introduce new words into your child’s vocabulary.
There are 26 different scenes in the hard-backed book, with over 500 easy-to-read word labels that describe objects (handcuffs, engine, claws, etc) buildings (hospital, garage, etc), vehicles (helicopter, crane, truck etc) and job titles (police officer, salesman, groundskeeper etc). 
The book is divided into four separate chapters - 
In The City, Emergency, On The Move, and Beyond The City.
It also includes a 'can you find' feature in each scene, where the reader has to try and find three small hidden objects in the scene.
Lego City Busy Word Book has an RRP of $19.99 

Monday, 22 January 2018

New Release Children's Picture Books from Penguin Random House Australia. 

Love From Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

This is a sweet little book told in rhyming verse that young readers will enjoy.
Peter Rabbit describes what love means to him, and the many ways it is expressed.
The book features original artwork from Beatrix Potter.
Love From Peter Rabbit has an RRP of $12.99
For further information on this title, head here

Peppa Pig - All About Peppa

This delightful Peppa-shaped board book explores everything there is to know about her, including how she most loves spending her time, and who she enjoys spending it with!
Featuring Mummy Pig, Daddy Pig, George, Madame Gazelle and more, this book is sure to entertain your little Peppa Pig fan! 
It has an RRP of $16.99
For further information on this title, head here

The Pink Hat by Andrew Joyner 

Inspired by the 5 million people (including many children) who marched in the 2017 Womens March across 82 countries, The Pink Hat celebrates girls and women all across the globe.
It begins with a knitted pink hat and follows its journey until it ends up on the head of a young girl who is marching for women's equality.
This is a book that focuses on equality and empowerment, and is definitely one you should add to your young reader's collection.
It has an RRP of $24.99
For further information on this title, head here

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Children's Picture Book Review: Snow Penguin by Tony Mitton, Illustrated by Alison Brown

Set in the chilly conditions of the Antarctic, an inquisitive (and adorable!) little penguin sets out to explore the wonders of the snow and sea surrounding him.
As he journeys across the water on an iceberg, he spots a huge blue whale with its calf, a school of orca, and a sea lion with her cub. 
Penguin soon realises that he is missing his family, and desperately wants to return home.
Once he is reunited with his family, he realises that returning home is the best adventure he could ever have.
This is such a sweet book, perfect for a bedtime story, with its rhyming verse.
It is out now through Bloomsbury, and has an RRP of $22.99
For further information on this title, head here

Friday, 12 January 2018

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid - The Getaway by Jeff Kinney 

This is book number 12 in the hugely popular Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series!
In The Getaway, Greg Heffley goes on a tropical island holiday resort with his family, as they all feel they can benefit from some chill out time.
However, it isn't long before they realise that this holiday isn't all that they had hoped it would be.
Stomach issues, sunburn, and venemous critters all put a dampener on their getaway. But will the Heffley's be able to enjoy their time away, or will it all end in disaster?

Released late last year through Penguin Random House Australia, The Getaway has an RRP of $14.99 and I am sure that there will be plenty of young readers reading this one these school holidays (including one of my daughters!)
For further information on this title, head here

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Book Review: Mercy Street by Tess Evans 

I was wanting a chase of pace from the last few books I'd read, and after seeing a recommendation about Mercy Street, it sounded like just what I was after.

George is a man in his seventies who lives alone after the death of his wife Penny a few years earlier.
He has no children, and although his sister Shirl visits him frequently, his days are quite uneventful.
He has a best mate named Redgum, who he catches up with at the pub over a few beers, but for the most part, George is quite lonely.
One Christmas Eve, George gets mugged by a group of young hooligans, and 19-year-old unemployed, single mother, Angie, comes to his rescue.

A short time later, Angie asks George if he can babysit her 5 year-old daughter Aurora Jane (Rory). At first, George is hesitant, but he feels like he owes Angie, so he looks after Rory.
It becomes a regular thing, and George looks forward to their time together. 
When Angie takes off on the back of a motorbike with her latest of bad choices in men, George is left to look after Rory. 
With the help of Shirl, Redgum, neighbours Mr & Mrs Nguyen, and Angie's friend, Bree, George manages to provide the stability and care that Rory needs.
But when an unexpected turn of events occurs, it could see George lose Rory for good..

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The cast of characters were so real, and I felt as though I was living alongside them in this book. 
It is a heart-warming story that I would highly recommend.