Tuesday, 31 July 2018

My Grandfather's War by Glyn Harper and Jenny Cooper

Eight year-old Sarah loves to spend time with her grandfather. He walks her to school every day, and picks her up in the afternoons.

They enjoy each other's company - playing, building things, and chatting together, but Sarah notices that her Grandpa gets sad sometimes.
Her father explains that her Grandpa once fought in the Vietnam War, and he warns Sarah not to ask any questions about it, and to leave her Grandpa alone when he is feeling down.
But one day, Sarah works up the courage to ask her Grandpa about the war, and as her Grandpa explains the time he endured in the military, she gains a better understanding of it.
Sarah discovers that her Grandpa was a brave young man, and that after all of these years, the war still has an impact on him. 

My Grandfather's War is a fantastic book that explores the topics of PTSD and the legacy of war in a sensitive manner. And with this year marking the 50th annivesary of Vietnam War's longest battle, Khe Sanh, this is a timely resource that is well researched. 

My Grandfather's War is available from EK Books and has an RRP of $24.99
It is recommend for readers aged 5-10 years old.
For further information on this title, head here

Friday, 27 July 2018

Spot's Tractor - Eric Hill

Another adorable Spot book has been released, and although this one does not have a lift-the-flap feature, it does have wheels that spin around on both the front and back cover, which is pretty cool!

In Spot's Tractor, Spot is helping out on the farm, and he has so many jobs to do. Feeding the hungry pigs, collecting eggs, and even milking the cows!
But will Spot be able to help a little lost lamb to find his mum? 

Spot's Tractor is out this July through Penguin Random House Australia. It has an RRP of $16.99
For further information on this title, head here 

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Book Review: Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton

Before I begin my review, I just want to bring up the magnificence of this book cover! Isn't it stunning?!
And I'm so pleased to say that the story is equally as mesmerising.
I'm opting to keep this review rather short as I don't want to elaborate too much, but read Boy Swallows Universe as it is well worth your time in my opinion.

Eli Bell is a young boy growing up in Brisbane in 1984.
He has an older brother named August, who  hasn't spoken in years.
Their step-father is a heroin dealer, and their baby-sitter is a man named Slim who was once a notorious criminal, sentenced to life in prison.
Speaking of prison, their mum is in jail. As you can imagine, Eli really has a complicated life, and is exposed to many things that a boy his age shouldn't be exposed to. But this is just the beginning!!
We are taken on a great journey as Eli tries to understand just what it takes to be a good person, and to learn some valuable life lessons from the people that he loves. 
This book kept me hooked in with its storyline. The characters are very well developed, and I was cheering for Eli all the way through. 
As I grew up in the 1980's, I really enjoyed reading about the things from this era; it bought back many memories, and it made me enjoy the story even more.
I agree with the claim on the back of the book that this is 'An Australian Classic In The Making.'
It has some moments that will make you laugh, and others that will make you cry.
I would highly recommend it, and look forward to reading more from Trent Dalton in the future.

Boy Swallows Universe is available through Harper Collins Australia this July and has an RRP of $32.99

Monday, 16 July 2018

Roald Dahl Board Books:

Roald Dahl's 1 2 3 

Count from 1 through to 10 and try to spot the enormous crocodile on every page in this first board book by Roald Dahl.
The thick pages make it easy for little hands to hold. 
RRP $12.99

Roald Dahl's Opposites 

This board book has a lift-the-flap feature for your young one to enjoy as they learn about opposites. 
This also features the enormous crocodile with his snappy jaws!
RRP $12.99

Both books are available now through Penguin Australia.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Book Review: When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger 

The hugely popular author of The Devil Wars Prada, Lauren Weisberger, is back with her latest novel, When Life Gives You Lululemons.
Emily Charlton (former assitant to Miranda Priestley at Vogue in The Devil Wears Prada, played by Emily Blunt in the movie adaptation), is now 36 years old, married to Miles, and is a publicity manager to the rich and famous.
But it is not all smooth sailing, as she has been losing a few clients to a younger, more popular publicity manager.
So when she finds out that Karolina Hartwell, a former supermodel, now married to US Senator Graham, and a loving mother to her tween step-son, is arrested for DUI, Emily takes the opportunity to help her out after Graham turns against Karolina.
Karolina is adamant that she wasn't drunk, and is desperate for Emily to help clear her name before she loses her step-son Harry.
Emily is used to city locations, so heading to the suburbs for this job is at first unappealing, but she makes the most of it, especially when she recalls that her longtime friend, Miriam lives close by.
Miriam is now a stay-home mum, but is looking at getting back into law, her former profession.
Emily and Miriam catch up, and Karolina is soon introduced to Miriam, and it isn't long before the three women become firm friends.
Together, they set out to take revenge on Graham. But will it be enough to clear Karolina's name once and for all?

This was a rather entertaining read, and I would recommend it as the perfect summer beach read, or if you are after a fun and easy story. It certainly made for a different, refreshing read from the books I have read of late.
When Life Gives You Lululemons is out this June. 

Monday, 2 July 2018

Book Review: A Month Of Sundays by Liz Byrski 

'Four women, their most treasured books, a lifetime of stories...'

For over a decade, Ros, Adele, Judy and Simone have been part of the same online book club, but they have never met each other in person. 
The book club originally had more members, but these four women, all aged in their sixties and seventies, are the only ones left.
One day, Adele invites the other three women to spend a month with her in the Blue Mountains after she is asked to house-sit her cousin's beautiful property.
She asks each of her friends to bring along a book for them to discuss together. But not just any book; the chosen book must be one that will teach the other members of the group a bit more about themselves.
But as we discover, each of the women is facing their own personal challenge, and they will not only learn about each other, but rediscover themselves.

Newly retired Adele is quite an anxious person, and doubts herself in many circumstances. She lives in Adelaide, is single, and has one son.

Ros is a widower who resides in Sydney. She has an adorable dog, Clooney (named after George of course!), and has a rather feisty temperament. She has been recently diagnosed with a medical condition that she is finding difficult to adjust to.

Judy lives in Western Australia and owns a popular knitting business which she is no longer passionate about, but is afraid to make a change. 

Simone is a yoga instructor for seniors, and lives in Tasmania. She has a mysterious past, and wants to try and piece together the events from her younger years in order to find peace.

I thought that A Month Of Sundays was a rather enjoyable read, and I liked how the friendships between the four women developed and became stronger over the course of the book.
The setting of the Blue Mountains provided a lovely backdrop - I could visualise the walking tracks and lush surrounds that the author described in great detail.
I found that I was more interested in learning about each of the women's personal journeys as opposed to the discussions that took place around their chosen books, but that is just my personal opinion. 
It was nice to see the women try to overcome their fears and/or face their challenges once they were encouraged by the other females in the group. 

I appreciated the way the women showed such care to one another; it was refreshing to read about female characters that held each other up instead of dragging each other down.
If you enjoy books about strong female friendships, then A Month Of Sundays is definitely for you.

Thank you to the team at PanMacmillan Australia for the opportunity to read and review A Month Of Sundays.

Released this July through Pan Macmillan, RRP $32.99