Monday, 26 February 2018

Children's Picture Book Review: 
Go Go And The Silver Shoes by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker

Go Go is a young girl who has three older brothers, Max, Walter, and Finn.
All of her clothes are hand-me-downs from her brothers. The only things that Go Go gets from the store are underwear and shoes.
So one day, when Go Go is able to choose any pair of shoes she wants, she opts for the most shiny, sparkly silver shoes.
They become her favourite thing that she owns.
One weekend, Go Go sets out for a picnic with her family, and she wears her silver shoes, despite her mother telling her not to.
It is there that something terrible happens that makes Go Go realise that perhaps she shouldn't have decided to wear her favourite shoes everywhere...

This is such a delightful book; I adore the illustrations and the story itself is unexpected and sweet!
I highly recommend this beautiful children's picture book.

It is available through Penguin Random House Australia and has an RRP of $24.99

Friday, 23 February 2018

Recent Releases From Empowering Resources

Empowering Resources are a publishing company that focus on producing books that are able to educate, empower, and nurture young readers. 
They touch on real issues that children and their families are faced with, including challenging and sensitive matters.
Their stories are great for encouraging conversations with your young reader. 

Today, I share with you the titles that are currently available through Empowering Resources:

Elliott's Rainbow Heart by Laura Wallbridge

Elliott is a chameleon that only likes to eat blue things. But one day, when he spots a beautiful peacock with a rainbow heart in the tropical rainforest, he strives for something more than blue.
The detailed illustrations are vibrant, and compliment the story well.
This book is ideal for those that struggle with new experiences, and challenges them to have a go. 

Free by Aleesah Darlison

Flynn is a young boy who is confined to a wheelchair.
One day, when he visits the park with his mum, he notices everyone else having a great time, and it saddens him that he can't play along with them.
But then he spots a bird, weightless and free, and he longs to be the same as the bird.

This is a deeply sensitive story that will inspire others to look beyond the current struggles they face, and live in hope for their own greatness.

My Super Special Granny by Jedidah Morley

Amelia Arbuckle shares a very special bond with her grandmother, but in a fortnight, she will be moving away and she knows that she is going to miss her granny so much.
So Amelia spends every day in the lead up to the move, with her granny.
Together, they have some amazing adventures and shares lots of happiness and laughs.
This book focuses on the special relationships that grandparents can have with their grandchildren, and the love they have for one another.

Marshmallow Dreamers by Naomi Hunter

Marshmallow Dreamers explores how identical twins, Max and Marli, use their fearlessness to scare off their frightful dreams.
The twins love to play together, creating imaginary worlds where they ride on their unicorns side by side.
But they don't enjoy going to bed as they have scary dreams. 
Together, they come up with a way to rid their night times of scary creatures.
Marshmallow Dreamers may be helpful for those with children who suffer with nightmares and/or night terrors. 

Where's Bear? by Sarah Elliott Smyth

Sophie is a young girl who enjoys playing with her best friend, Bear.
But one day, Bear goes missing! 
Sophie has to work up the courage to find Bear, but the Shadow Monster is lurking, and making it difficult for Sophie..
This book encourages young ones to be brave and to try their best to face their fears, even if they are frightened.

Finding Heaven by Naomi Hunter

Written based on the author's own personal experience after sadly losing her brother when he was aged just 6 years old, Finding Heaven is a story that reassures those that have lost someone in their lives that they are never lost or truly gone away.
Instead, they continue to live on in us. 
This book is a really beautiful story; Summer is a young girl who wants to find Heaven after losing her brother. It is very emotional and touched my heart, especially as I too lost a brother at a young age.

Even Mummy Cries by Naomi Hunter

Even Mummy Cries is a great book to show children that parents also experience sadness and bad days, and it reassures the child that they aren't responsible for these moments. It reinforces unconditional love and gently explains that everyone goes through tough times.

A Secret Safe To Tell by Naomi Hunter

A Secret Safe To Tell encourages children to share any confusing or hurtful feelings that they may be going through.

It centres around a young girl who has been mistreated by an older male. She is initially afraid to discuss her feelings with anyone, but eventually confides in someone she trusts, and by opening up and sharing her secret, she begins to heal.

Just Like Molly by Pippa Dowling

Just Like Molly is a very sweet story about a little girl who has an imaginary friend named Molly. They play together, and spend a lot of time together. But one day, Molly is nowhere to be found, and the little girl is devastated. But she soon discovers that there are other friends she can play with - all it takes is a bit of courage. 

You're Different Jemima! by Jedidah Morley

Jemima is loud, and she loves to dance and sing. But her classmates and teacher think that she is 'too different'. Then one day, a substitute teacher named Mrs Chuckles comes to teach Jemima's class, and she helps Jemima discover that her differences are what make her so special.

This picture book celebrates every child's individuality and makes them feel special about the differences they have to others. 

The Blobs by Christian der Kinderen

Bill, Betty and Bobo Bloomington survive on blueberries, and when they can no longer grow them on their land, they make the decision to leave. 
But when they arrive on an island, they notice that the inhabitants are yellow! 
They aren't used to mixing with other colours, so can they learn to get along and become a happy, safe community?

Running From The Tiger by Aleesah Darlison

When 11 year-old Ebony meets Teena, they become friends and over time, they learn how to trust each other with their darkest secrets. This story focuses on friendship and trust, with themes of domestic violence and courage entwined throughout, and demonstrates the importance of having somebody to confide in. 

Many thanks to Naomi from Empowering Resources for providing me with copies of the books to feature here. 
For further information on these titles, head to: 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Children's Picture Book Review: Yoga Babies by Fearne Cotton, Illustrated by Sheena Dempsey 

Yoga Babies is a fun book about a group of eleven babies who, as the title suggests, love to practice yoga!
Whilst the book wasn't written as a 'how-to' guide, the illustrations and text have been approved by a qualified yoga instructor. 

The book encourages young readers to keep active, have fun, and learn the importance of keeping calm through all situations and stages. 
The yoga babies are adorable and mischievous, and I think that the illustrations capture their antics perfectly.

Yoga Babies is available this February, and has an RRP of $24.99
For further information on this title, head here

Friday, 16 February 2018

Children's Picture Book Review: The Art Garden by Penny Harrison and Penelope Pratley.

Sadie dreams of becoming an artist one day, just like her best friend, Tom.
She adores colours and patterns, and wishes to capture all of the little things she sees, and turn them in to works of art.
When she sees Tom's work, she is happy and wants to create beautiful pieces like Tom's. But when she picks up her paintbrush, she just ends up making a big mess.
But when Sadie realises that she can create beautiful things in other ways, she is able to express herself fully and have fun whilst doing so.

The Art Garden encourages young children to explore various ways of expressing themselves, and to be accepting of themselves too.
It is available this February through EK Books and has an RRP of $24.99
It is recommended for young readers aged 4-8 years old.
For further information on this title, head here

Thursday, 15 February 2018

New Release Science Themed Books 

Women In Science (Level 3 Reader) 

This level 3 reader is suitable for those that are just beginning to read on their own and covers topics including scientists in ancient times, computer scientists, nobel prize winners, engineers and inventors, and more.
It features many female scientists and their roles, including Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, and Dorothy Hodgkin. Readers will learn about incredible inventions and medical discoveries that changed the world.

Women In Science has an RRP of $12.99

100 Scientists Who Made History 

From Hippocrates to Alexander Fleming, Stephen Hawking to Leonardo da Vinci, this book offers an insight into these remarkable people who shaped our world and made it what it is today.
This book contains many interesting facts about inventions, theories, and discoveries from chemists, biologists, physicists and pioneering programmers.

100 Scientists Who Made History has an RRP of $29.99 and is a great resource to have on hand for those who enjoy science. 

Both books are available now through DK Books.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Beauty & Lace Book Club Book Review: The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain 

This was such an engrossing read for me.
The story is told in the first person from 23 year-old Tess DeMello. She lives in Little Italy, Baltimore with her mum, (her only family) and dreams of becoming a nurse. The year is 1944, and Tess is engaged to Vincent, whom she has known for most of her life, and who lives next door and is studying to become a doctor.,
But after a series of events that take place on a trip away with her best friend Gina, Tess makes the decision to end her engagement and marry the mysterious Henry ‘Hank’ Kraft, a wealthy businessman and owner of a furniture factory. She reluctantly moves to North Carolina, in the town of Hickory where Hank lives..
Her dream of becoming a nurse is put on the back burner as Tess tries to fit in to Hank’s life. The townspeople treat Tess with suspicion, and I felt for her as she struggled to form friendships with them, and with Hank’s sister Lucy, and his mother.
Hank is often busy with work, returning home late, and leaving early. Their marriage lacks passion and love.
But Tess shows her resilience and determination, getting her nursing degree and adapting to the changes she is faced with.
A polio epidemic strikes Hickory, and Tess is amazed that the townspeople put together a polio treatment hospital in just three days. She convinces Hank to let her volunteer there, and loves being able to help others.
But Hank’s mysterious behaviours leave Tess questioning just who she has married, and she will stop at nothing to discover the truth.

I really enjoyed this novel. There are some great characters, but Tess was my favourite. I also liked her best friend Gina, and would’ve liked to have her featured more, particularly towards the end of the novel.
There is a lot that I didn’t mention in my review so as not to spoil it for other readers, but this is a book that is definitely well written and tells a beautiful story, so I would highly recommend it.
I enjoyed reading about the polio hospital, and surprised to read in the author’s notes that it was a real-life event. The author has researched this part of history very well, and it is evident in The Stolen Marriage.
Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia and Beauty & Lace for the opportunity to read and review.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Children's Picture Book Review: Perfect Petunias by Lynn Jenkins, Illustrated by Kirrili Lonergan 

Lynn Jenkins is a clinical psychologist (based in Newcastle), and has written Perfect Petunias for young children who have difficulty with making mistakes, and also those who find it hard to accept themselves and their flaws. 
In Perfect Petunias, the main character, Loppy LAC (which stands for Little Anxious Creature), is stressed that he isn't doing his homework to the standard he is supposed to.
Instead, he tends to focus on the things he hasn't done, rather than what he has accomplished.
When his friend Curly teaches him how to grow petunias, Loppy LAC realises that petunias grow in many directions and that there is no control over that.
Loppy gains an understanding that he needs to learn to accept things as they are and not try and control everything, and this in turn will help him lead a more happy and healthy life.

I simply adored this book, and I think that the message that Lynn is sending to the young reader is such an important one.

Perfect Petunias is out now through EK Books, and has an RRP of $19.99
Recommended reader age group is 4-8 years old, but it would be good for older readers as well. 

Friday, 9 February 2018

Children's Picture Book Review: Not Just A Book by Jeanne Willis & Tony Ross

This recently released picture book from Affirm Press demonstrates in a fanciful and fun way that a book is never just a book. 
Throughout the story, the reader is shown that a book is able to be used for many different purposes.
For example, a book can be used as a prop to hold up your favourite toy, it could be worn as a hat, and it could even be used to swat away a fly! 
The only limit is your imagination!!
And, of course, there is one special thing that books have the capability of doing...can you guess what it is?

This is an engaging book that will help to show your child that a book is always so much more than just words, pictures and characters. It will also help them to develop a greater interest for books and reading. 
Not Just A Book is suitable for young children aged 0-5 years old, and has an RRP of $24.99. For further information on this title, head here 

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Book Review: The Eczema Detox by Karen Fischer 

Australia has one of the highest rates of eczema sufferers in the world.  Most sufferers are sensitive to chemicals that are artificial, but natural food chemicals can also trigger eczema.
Healthy eating and regular detoxes can cause skin to flare up, causing itchiness and flakiness.

This book contains three programs that are suitable for a range of individuals from babies to adults with skin rashes including psoriasis, hives, dermatitis, eczema and rosacea.
It also contains over 50 recipes that are low in chemicals, including drinks, snacks, pasta dishes, soups, and more. 
The book shows you ways to help cut your total chemical load, and help to create clear and healthy skin from the inside out. 

Karen's previous book, The Eczema Diet, is the bestselling book about eczema on Amazon, and this one is sure to be as equally popular.

The Eczema Detox is available from Exisle Publishing and has an RRP of $34.99 
For further information on this title, you can head here

Saturday, 3 February 2018

January Wrap Up - What I Read...

Sometimes, due to lack of time, I don't get to write reviews for each book I read, so I thought that this year, I'd try to keep note of what books I read each month, and then write a wrap up at the end of each month (or thereabouts).
With the kids home on school holidays, January was a fairly relaxed month for us, which allowed me to get a fair amount of reading done.
Here is a list of the books I read in January:

* The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain (review to come)

* This Is Now by Ciara Gerarghty
* The Middlesteins - Jami Attenberg
* The Life We Bury by Allen Askens
* Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
* The Last Days Of Us by Beck Nicholas (review to come)
* The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein (review to come)
* Every Note Played by Lisa Genova (review to come)

I really enjoyed The Life We Bury. I happened to come across it on my local library's list of e-books and downloaded it, and it was a great page-turner.
However, the stand out for me was Every Note Played. I love all of Lisa Genova's work, and her latest is a new favourite. It is such an emotional story, and I am still thinking about it even though I finished it a couple of days ago.

So, there you have it, that's what I read in January!
I'd love to hear from you; share what you read in January in the comments below! 

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Children's Picture Book Review: No One Likes A Fart by Zoe Foster Blake, Illustrated by Adam Nickel

If your young reader enjoys a bit of potty humour, then they are sure to enjoy this newly released book from Zoe Foster Blake.
Fart is desperate to make some friends in the big, wide world, but he soon finds out that no one likes him, even if he is friendly and kind.
He tries his best to get close to both humans and animals, but they don't want a bar of him. And really, can you blame them?! :)
Is all hope lost for Fart, or can he be accepted for who he is?
You'll have to read it to find out!

No One Likes A Fart is available now through Penguin Random House Australia, and has an RRP of $19.99
For further information on this title, head here