Friday, 30 March 2018

Peter Rabbit Themed Books

Did you know that there is a new animated movie of Peter Rabbit? 
I saw it recently with our two younger daughters, and I thought it was a lot of fun! I'd love to hear from you if you've seen it!

Anyway, to coincide with the movie's release, there are some books that are available now, including: 

Peter Rabbit Battle For The Garden 

This delightful full colour picture book allows young readers to relive the movie magic!
When Peter Rabbit sneaks into Mr.McGregor's garden yet again, he is caught red-handed!!

RRP $9.99

Peter Rabbit Sticker Activity Book 

Featuring the adorable characters from the movie, including Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, this book contains activities, puzzles and lots of stickers to allow your young reader to create scenes straight from the movie!

RRP $6.99

Peter Rabbit - Based On The Major New Movie

This chapter book is perfect for any Peter Rabbit fan!
Inspired by the original Peter Rabbit tale, but with a modernised spin on it, readers will be able to relive the fun of the movie in this book. Over 140 pages of entertainment!

RRP $12.99

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Beauty & Lace Book Club Review: The Country Girl by Cathryn Hein

Do you enjoy rural fiction? If so, then The Country Girl is one that I am sure will appeal to you.

Food blogger Tash Ranger currently resides in the city, but after landing a major deal for a cookbook, she heads to her family home, located on a farm in rural Victoria.
Upon returning home, Tash goes to visit her best friend Maddie, who was tragically involved in a shocking horse riding accident years before.
Maddie was left severely injured as a result, unable to communicate, and trapped in her own body. 
We find out that Tash and Maddie had a falling out prior to Tash leaving for the city, and now Tash carries the guilt of that day and longs for things to be the way they once were.

Maddie's fiance, Patrick Lawson, is an old school friend of Tash's and when he hears that she has returned home, it isn't long before the two are reunited.
Patrick visits Maddie on a regular basis, and feels helpless and sad knowing that the life he promised Maddie will never be.
He starts to spend more time with Tash, making trips to the farm as she creates delicious recipes for her food blog.
Patrick begins to realise that Maddie wouldn't want him to put his life on hold for her, but he feels as though he is betraying her by hanging out with Tash.

As he begins to develop feelings, Tash also realises that she likes Patrick more than just a friend. 

But they both feel shadowed by Maddie's tragedy, and the pair don't know if they will be able to make things work between them..

I don't want to give much more of the story away, but I must mention that I really liked Tash's bubbly personality and her passion for food. Reading about the delicious recipes she made throughout the book got my mouth watering more than once! I would've liked to see the full recipes included in the book somewhere as they sounded so good!

Tash's grandpa 'Pa Star' was such a lovable character, and I really liked how he offered Tash gardening tips. I also admired his willingness to be featured on Tash's food blog.  
I liked her city friends, Ceci and Thom, who continued to offer support and love for Tash even when she moved to the farm. 
Patrick was another character I enjoyed reading about. I did feel that the choices he made were somewhat rushed and not fully thought out but I am glad with how the book ended.

This is a really lovely book about love, friends, and rural life, and one that I would gladly recommend.

Monday, 26 March 2018

Children's Picture Book Review: Pugs Don't Wear Pyjamas by Michelle Worthington 

One day, young Tom goes to visit his beloved Aunt Roz, who has recently got a new pug puppy named Ellie.
But he soon discovers that Ellie is no ordinary pug. 
Whatever Tom and Aunt Roz do, or wherever they go, Ellie is with them.
His aunt dresses Ellie up, and her friendly nature ensures that she is very popular on all of their outings.
But one day, Tom accidentally lets Ellie out and she escapes.
Can he help Aunt Roz find Ellie? Or will she find a new companion on her adventure?

Pugs Don't Wear Pyjamas is available now through New Frontier. It is suitable for children aged 3-6 years old, and has an RRP of $24.99

For further information on this title, head here

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Easter Croc- A- Pop! by Roger Priddy

When Croc misses out on his Easter eggs from the Easter Bunny, he goes on an adventure to see if he is able to get some from his friends.
But he soon realises that being grumpy isn't going to work in his favour, and he needs to implement his manners if he wants to be rewarded with lots of yummy treats this Easter!

With beautiful pop-up scenes and colourful illustrations, this delightful hard-covered book is sure to appeal to young readers. 

Easter Croc is available through Pan Macmillan Australia and has an RRP of $12.99 
For further information on this title, head here

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Children's Book Review - Play With Art (Available through DK Books)

Play With Art is a hands-on book that allows your child to get creative through art.
Many topics are covered, including chalk art, finger painting, shadow puppets, and paper crafts.

There are lots of projects included to keep your child entertained for hours and they can learn new techniques too.
Some of the activities are more suited for the outdoors as they can be a bit messy, but there are also other exercises that can be done indoors.

Each section of the book has a handy 'tools needed' list, which makes it easy for you to collect the materials needed for each project. (There are over 50 projects in the book).
The activities would be suitable for ages 4 and up.
My 7 year-old daughter has thoroughly enjoyed doing some of the activities in the book.

Play With Art has an RRP of $29.99 and is avaialble now.
For further information on this title, head here

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

 Tiggy And The Magic Paintbrush, A Series For Newly Independent Readers.

If your child adores the Billie B. Brown and Hey Jack! book series, then this new series by Zanni Louise is definitely one that you should check out.

The first two books released in the series are titled: A School Day Smile, and A Pet Called Nibbles.
They are both released this March through Five Mile Press. 

In A School Day Smile, Tiggy is off to her first day of school, but she is rather nervous as she doesn't know what to expect.
She has her secret magic paintbrush tucked away in her sock, but with Tilly's big imagination and her big feelings, can the magic paintbrush help her to make some new friends at school? 

In A Pet Called Nibbles, it is Pet Day at school, but unfortunately, Tilly doesn't have a pet to bring to class to show her teacher, Miss Green, and her classmates. 
But with her magical paintbrush, Tilly has the ability to bring her very own pet to life.. but will being a pet owner go without a hitch for her? 

Both of the stories are simple to comprehend and the illustrations are sensational. The wishy-washy watercolours that Gillian Flint has used  bring the pages to life. Tiggy herself is a very sweet-looking character; I adore her pink ponytails and knee-high socks!
These books are ideal for those readers that have just started to read independently, as well as for more confident and capable readers. 

The books retail for $12.99 each, and are available from March through Five Mile Press.
For further information on these titles, head here 

Monday, 19 March 2018

Beauty  & Lace Book Club Review: The Last Days Of Us by Beck Nicholas

Whilst Young Adult isn't a genre I generally opt for when selecting reading choices, I do quite like YA, and I thought the Last Days Of Us was such an emotional and enjoyable story...

Six months ago, teenager Zoey sadly lost her older brother Dan in tragic circumstances, and her life changed forever.
Unsure how to handle her grief, she partied hard, and pushed away her best friend, Cass, and  her (now ex) boyfriend Finn.  She chose to shut out her parents too.
But one day, after an incident that leaves her shaken, she comes to the realisation that she needs to try and get the pieces of her life back together, including Finn. 
Only now, Finn is dating Cass. 
When Zoey is invited along to experience a road trip with Cass, Finn, and Finn's cousins- siblings Luc and Jolie, she opts to go along.
The trip sees them travelling from Adelaide along the Great Ocean Road in a Kombi, as they head towards their final destination in Melbourne to see their favouite musician, Gray, perform live in concert. 

I felt for Zoey as she made quite a few bad choices that she knew were wrong and paid for them by losing the support and care of Cass and Finn.
I think that Cass in particular could have handled the situation better, having been friends with Zoey from quite a young age. 
My favourite character was Jolie, as she was such a bright and bubbly-natured young woman, with equal amounts of maturity and innocence thrown in. 

I would gladly recommend The Last Days Of Us to young adult readers that enjoy reading coming-of-age novels with a cast of teen characters. 

I received a copy of The Last Days Of Us to read and review, thanks to Harlequin and Beauty And Lace Book Club. You can check out my review on the Beauty And Lace website here

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Beauty & Lace Book Club Book Review: The Woman In The Window by A.J Finn

Dr Anna Fox suffers from severe agoraphobia, as well as anxiety and depression, and she hasn't left her home for ten months.
Haunted by the memories that overtake her mind, she is simply too afraid to venture outside her front door.
She spends her days chatting online in an agoraphobia support group, playing online chess, and looking out of the windows of her New York City home.
She also spends her days drinking, and taking more medication than has been prescribed to her, in order to try and drown out the circumstances that lead to the onset of her fears and extreme anxiety.
One day, she notices that new neighbours shift in.
Jane and Alistair Russell, with their teenage son Ethan, catch Anna's attention immediately, and she is drawn to the similarities of their life to that which once resembled hers.
One night whilst Anna is looking out of her window, she witnesses a tragic event that takes place at the Russell's, and is desperate to uncover just what went on there that night.
But can she trust that what she saw with her own eyes to be true, or is her imagination taking over, and leaving doubts in her mind?
More importantly, can Anna be believed given her mental and emotional state?

This book had me so drawn into it, I read it for hours on end (even when I got sore eyes!) I simply had to know what was going to happen!
At over 420 pages, it is a fairly long story but one filled with intrigue and highly suspenseful.
Anna's past is revealed in staggered stages, which added depth to the story, and reading about what caused Anna's condition was definitely emotional.
I think that A.J Finn has done a remarkable job in describing what an agoraphobic person goes through, and the effect that the condition has on one's life.
I would definitely recommend this book, particularly for those that have read and enjoyed Gone Girl. 

Thank you to Beauty & Lace and Harper Collins for the opportunity to read and review this book. You can see my review on the Beauty & Lace Book Club site here:

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Shout Out To The Girls - A Celebration Of Awesome Australian Women 

This is a lovely book that celebrates 50 Australian women that have achieved many wonderful things in life.
All royalties of the book go to The Smith Family, which is a reason in itself to get your hands on a copy of this book.
The women featured include athlete and gold-medallist Cathy Freeman, Jessica Watson, who at age 16 circumnavigated the southern hemisphere solo, Indigenous activist Oodgeroo Noonuccal, singer Olivia Newton John, breast cancer advocate Connie Johnson, and saint Mary Mackillop.

Shout Out To The Girls features brightly-hued illustrations by local female artists, and offers a lot of praise and encouragement for these amazing Australian women.
It is available through Penguin Random House Australia now and has an RRP of $29.99 
For further information on this title, head here

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Book Review: The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth 

Firstly, a big thank you to Lucy from Pan Macmillan Australia for the opportunity to read and feature The Family Next Door here on the blog.
I have read one of Sally Hepworth's other books, The Mother's Promise, previously and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I was really keen to read her latest novel.

At the beginning of The Family Next Door, we are introduced to Essie, who is over-tired, over-stressed and clearly struggling to adapt to life as a mum with 8 week-old Mia. A snap decision that she makes almost ends in disaster, but thankfully, no harm comes of it.

The story then skips to three years later; Essie is now mum to 3 year-old Mia and 6 month-old Polly, living with her husband Ben, and coping a little better with the pressures of parenting.
Her mother, Barbara, lives next door to them in their beachside suburb of Sandringham.
Other neighbours include real-estate agent Ange, who is married and has two sons, and Fran and Nigel who also have two children. 
The latest resident to call Pleasant Court home is Isabelle Heatherington, who has made the move from Sydney to the close-knit community in Melbourne supposedly for work purposes.
But the other residents are skeptical as to her reasons for making the move to a rather large 4 bedroom home on her own, particularly when Isabelle starts asking questions and behaving curiously...

Essie feels a strong connection to Isabelle when they are introduced, and it isn't long before the two women become friends.
However, as we soon discover, each of the women in the neighbourhood have their own motives for their behaviours, and their own secrets that they want to keep hidden.
But what lengths will each of them go to in order to keep them unacknowledged? 

The story is told in alternating chapters which I thought was great.
As we learn about Essie, Fran, Barbara, Ange and Isabelle, we realise that there are numerous different issues and struggles that each of the women face in their personal lives. 
Although the story centres around the females, it would have been interesting to have one of the male characters share their point of view.

The characters are all realistic and that makes the story even more engaging. There were a couple of little things that I predicted were going to happen, but quite a few surprise twists thrown in that I certainly didn't see coming at all!
I raced through the book in a matter of days as the element of intrigue and suspense kept me turning the pages. 

The Family Next Door is available now through Pan Macmillan Australia. For further information on this title, head here

Monday, 5 March 2018

Mr Bambuckles Remarkables Fight Back by Tim Harris (Illustrated by James Hart).

The students of 12B are back in this highly entertaining sequel! 
When their nasty new teacher, Miss Frost, arrives, she makes it her mission to ensure that all of the students of 12B are taught discipline, order, and respect.
But the students have other ideas!
They set out to get rid of Miss Frost, and replace her with their much-loved previous teacher, the mysterious and magical Mr Bambuckle!
But can the class pull it off without a hitch, or will they be stuck with Miss Frost forever?

Mr Bambuckle's Remarkables Fight Back is available now through Penguin Random House Australia, and has an RRP of $14.99 
For further information on this title, head here

Be sure to check out the first book in the series, Mr Bambuckles Remarkables too! 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Children's Chapter Book Review: The List by Patricia Forde 

This newly released fantasy novel is suitable for readers aged 12+ and explores the idea of standing up for yourself and for what you believe in.
It also focuses on the importance of language.
The main character is a young girl named Letta, who is an apprentice to the Wordsmith.
She is able to read all of the words that have been spoken, written or thought.
All of the other residents in Ark (the last safe place on planet Earth), are only able to speak 'List'. List is a language comprising of only 500 words. 
But when the Wordsmith disappears one day, Letta becomes the new Wordsmith and it is up to her to shorten the language of List even further.
However, when she meets a mysterious young boy who knows all of the words from the forbidden language, she has to choose whether to allow the language of List to be lost forever or follow the boy on to a path of freedom.. or banishment.
This is an ideal book for those who enjoy dystopian novels.

The List is available through Affirm Press and has an RRP of $16.99
For further information on this title, head here

Thursday, 1 March 2018

February wrap Up - What I Read

With February being a short yet busy month, I managed to read 6 books this month (and start on a 7th one).

This is what I read in February:

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Woman In The Window by A.J Finn
The Cactus by Sarah Haywood
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Still Me by Jojo Moyes
On A Beautiful Day by Lucy Diamond
and The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth (half-way through this one and really enjoying it so far!)

My stand outs for February would be Still Me (Me Before You is one of my favourite ever books), and The Woman In The Window (keep an eye out for a review of this one to be featured on the blog soon.)
So that's my wrap up. 
What did you read in February?