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Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Silent Tide by Rachel Hore

The Silent Tide

When Emily Gordon, editor at a London publishing house, commissions an account of great English novelist Hugh Morton, she finds herself steering a tricky path between Morton's formidable widow, Jacqueline, who's determined to protect his secrets, and the biographer, charming and ambitious Joel Richards. But someone is sending Emily mysterious missives about Hugh Morton's past and she discovers a buried story that simply has to be told… One winter's day in 1948, nineteen year old Isabel Barber arrives at her Aunt Penelope's house in Earl's Court having run away from home to follow her star. A chance meeting with an East European refugee poet leads to a job with his publisher, McKinnon & Holt, and a fascinating career beckons. But when she develops a close editorial relationship with charismatic young debut novelist Hugh Morton and the professional becomes passionately personal, not only are all her plans put to flight, but she finds herself in a struggle for her very survival. Rachel Hore's intriguing and suspenseful new novel magnificently evokes the milieux of London publishing past and present and connects the very different worlds of two young women, Emily and Isabel, who through their individual quests for truth, love and happiness become inextricably linked.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Mad About the Boy (Bridget Jones) by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy

When Helen Fielding first wrote Bridget Jones' Diary, charting the life of a 30-something singleton in London in the 1990s, she introduced readers to one of the most beloved characters in modern literature. The book was published in 40 countries, sold more than 15 million copies worldwide, and spawned a best-selling sequel, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. The two books were turned into major blockbuster films starring Renée Zellweger, Hugh Grant and Colin Firth.
With her hotly anticipated third instalment, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy, Fielding introduces us to a whole new enticing phase of Bridget's life set in contemporary London, including the challenges of maintaining sex appeal as the years roll by and the nightmare of drunken texting, the skinny jean, the disastrous email cc, total lack of twitter followers, and TVs that need 90 buttons and three remotes to simply turn on.
An uproariously funny novel of modern life, Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy is a triumphant return of our favourite Everywoman.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Herman's Letter by Tom Percival

Herman's Letter

What do you do when your best friend in the whole wide world has to move a long way away? Promise to write to each other ALL the time and to stay best friends FOREVER, that's what. But it's easier said than done - especially when your best friend seems to be having much more fun than you are ...Join Herman the bear as he embarks upon one epic journey to deliver a very special letter and to ensure that his friendship with Henry the raccoon really is FOREVER.

I loved this book - Herman is an adorable character and his friend Henry the raccoon is fantastic friend. It bought back childhood memories to me because when I was in primary school, my best (boy)friend moved from the midlands to Scotland and we wrote to each other for years -on our favourite Mr Men writing paper. Nowadays though, children who have friends who have moved away will keep in contact via skype or email. If I suggest to my children to sit down and write a letter they don't know what to do. However this book really shows the importance of letters to bring news. I also really liked that the letters were stuck in the book - folded over for little hands to open. They also look like real letters - address and stamp on the outside and stamped as if delivered. 

It is a beautiful book to give as a gift this Christmas and hopefully will encourage lots of children to start letter writing and sending them to friends.

Thank you to the publishers, Bloomsbury, for sending me the book to review. 

Practical Child Law for Social Workers by Clare Seymour and Richard Seymour

Practical Child Law for Social Workers

The UK legal system in the area of social work with children and families can be bewildering and complex and it is vital therefore that any textbook on the subject uses case law, case studies and research to critically-engage social workers and students alike. This book does just that - by examining, and putting into clear practical context, the current law and policy relating to social work with children and families. A guide for both students on placement as well as Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs) entering their first roles within children and families teams, Practical Child Law for Social Workers is essential reading for a fast-paced and complex area of social work.

I work within the Children's Services sector of a county council and although I do not work within a social worker role, I am regularly in contact with children and their families and therefore need to be aware of Safeguarding policies and procedures. I am also currently studying at university towards a degree in Early Years Studies and therefore have found this book to be a very informative and interesting to read.

The book is split into sections: Rights; Responsibilities; Relationships; Participation; Support; Protection; Substitute Care; Permanence; Independence; and Cooperation. All topics which are regularly considered within the role of workers who work with children and are covered within courses and assignments.

I found the book to be well laid out, with each chapter having clearly identified and presented objectives at the start of the chapter. The chapters all contain activities and legal case studies which relate to the chapter contents, along with research summaries and suggested further reading for each subject. 

The chapters are well laid out, text being broken up with summaries or activities to make practitioners think and reflect upon what they have read. The case studies are well chosen to illustrate the law discussed and referenced for readers who want to look more in depth. 

I think that this is a great book for anyone who is working within the safeguarding of children, child protection, family support or social work sectors. It is also great for university students although I do think that more in depth texts may be needed - however great as a first point of call when researching or planning  assignments.

I received this book through The Amazon Vine Programme. 

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Ella's Ktchen- The Cook Book - The Red One

Ella's Kitchen: The Cookbook: The Red One

Ella's Kitchen is the fastest growing brand in the UK baby food sector and this new title, Ella's Kitchen: The Cookbook: The Red One, is the first in a series of books aimed at creating nutritious, convenient food that kids (and their parents) will love. 100 yummy recipes to inspire big and little cooks, ranging from the easiest of snacks and light meals that can be rustled up in minutes to delicious and satisfying dinners. Interesting twists and clever shortcuts, such as salmon fillets baked in parcels and sweet and sour prawns, make life as easy as possible for busy parents. For weekends and holidays, when there is a bit more time available, there are leisurely breakfast recipes such as Blueberry Pancakes and more involved cooking projects such as a Pasta Weekend. With an emphasis on involving kids as much as possible, the book includes easy prep tasks throughout, as well as fun activities, from growing your own window-box plants to getting creative with vegetable prints. Colour-in pages and stickers also mean that kids will love it as much as their parents do.

Weaning and preparing food babies and young babies can be a minefield, one which first time mums can find a daunting and scary. There are so many different schools of thought - baby led weaning or the more traditional idea of introducing foods slowly, one at a time, with the consistency getting lumpier. However a parent decides to approach weaning, one thing is a necessity, a recipe book of inspiration - one which gives ideas of different tastes and textures to try, but that also offers inspiring presentation ideas; not endless bowls of mushed up food but also not one which makes shapes and pictures out of each meal.

The authors of the book, Alison and Paul Lindley, are the founders of Ella's Kitchen, who, over thirteen years ago, were parents to a baby, Ella, who, while watching their own child grow and become confident with food, left their jobs and created a range of foods for babies, toddlers and young children.

The book is well presented and layed out. It is brightly coloured and packed full of useful information and tasty recipes. As I have previously stated, there are differing thoughts to weaning and all parents should talk to their health visitors about current guidelines concerning weaning before deciding upon the road they will follow with their own child.

There is a great section on first foods for babies. It has lots of useful hints and tips - those tips that mothers find out by chance, written down ready for new mums, and lots of ideas for new tastes to try.  There is a section on going from mush to mash and also going on to 'proper' food. There are also hints and tips about allowing your baby to explore food and how to encourage them to try new things - making it look nice, interacting with your child at meal times and using all senses at meal time. 

The ingredients included in the recipes are all healthy and are easy to find in supermarkets and kitchen cupboards, something which is important when making up batches of food for the freezer. 

The book includes recipes for meals, but also snacks, which is often where new mums struggle for ideas.

Recipes are split into useful chapters: yummy lunches and speedy snacks; dee-licious dinners; perfect puds; scrummy treats; and hooray for the weekend. Each recipe has a 'what you need' section and also has quick and easy guides for: number of servings; prep time; and cooking time. There is a brief introduction to most recipes which describes the dish, along with suggestions for variations and suggestions for fussy eaters.  Some recipes have Ella's shortcuts, which mention Ella's Kitchen products which could be used to quicken prep time. There are also ideas in some recipes for steps which children could help with to encourage them to help prepare their own meals.

There is also a page at the back of the book of fantastic stickers for children. These are brightly coloured, as is the whole book. It is easy to follow and full of photographs of the food to help children choose what they would like to make.

I would definitely recommend this book as the perfect gift for new parents who are beginning to think about weaning. However, it is important to mention that parents should follow advice given by Health Professionals as recommendations can change (I know in the two years between my children weaning, recommendations did change). Although this book is by Ella's Kitchen it is not constantly pushing it's own products, only suggesting in some recipes, their own products for quickness, however instructions are always given for using fresh produce to make your own. It has lots of recipes and these will become firm favourites of children and can be used for years to come after weaning has been successful.

I received this book through the Amazon Vine Programme.

Puppy's First Christmas by Steve Smallman and Alison Edgson

Puppy's First Christmas

"Something weird is happening," cries Puppy. "Mum's going bonkers in the kitchen, and there are socks on the wall and a huge tree INSIDE the house!" "Relax," says Cat. "It's Christmas Eve - it's like this every year!"

This is a great book for young children. It looks at Christmas and the run up through the eyes of a puppy. Why do they bring a tree inside and decorate it? Why do they hang socks up at night? It is a lighthearted book which children will enjoy looking at again and again. The story is written in rhyme and is perfect for story time.

The front cover has a beautiful picture on it and the hat is a soft touch insert, a luxurious addition to the book. There is also a couple of pictures of Father Christmas and a dog inside which has the same soft flock feel, making the book tactile which young children will like. 

This would make the perfect gift in the run up to Christmas for young pet lovers to enjoy.

Thank you to the publishers, Little Tiger Press, for sending me the book to review.

Guest Post - Rachel Hore - The Silent Tide

I am very pleased to welcome Rachel Hore to my blog today. Rachel has published a number of books and her latest book, The Silent Tide, was released last month. 

I asked Rachel where she gets inspiration for her books: 

A novelist’s inspiration 
As a novelist, I am often asked ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ Although I’m secretly tempted to answer ‘from the ideas shop, of course’, or ‘I forage for them in the woods’, I understand what the questioner is getting at.  A novel is, after all a complex castle in the air, that floats like ectoplasm from the writer’s imagination.  It’s perfectly reasonable for the reader to wonder what inspired the whole creation in the first place.
There are novelists such as J.K. Rowling, who famously tells us that the entire concept for the Harry Potter books came to her fully formed during the course of a train journey. Lucky her. There is though something about long journeys – the boredom, the repetitive rhythm of wheels or marching feet - that allows the mind to roam free.  I developed the whole plot of my first novel, The Dream House, whilst driving from Surrey to Norfolk on one luminous New Year’s afternoon, but I was only able to do so because I’d spent some months previous brooding on its themes and the characters to carry them, and had written a few practice paragraphs to see where they would take me. I suspect that most writers have similar experiences to me.
Ninety per cent of the ideas within a novel are the result of hard work: research and reading, scratching one’s head, writing, much crossing out and rewriting.  Occasionally there might come that flash-of-a-kingfisher moment of inspiration - what Henry James used to call a ‘donné’, a ‘gift’ of an idea – that every writer craves. In my experience these are rare, come from unexpected directions, and there’s no point in sitting around idly and waiting for them to show up. You need to get going first.  One kingfisher moment for The Dream House struck when I happened to read in our local paper about a house full of curiosities whose contents were being auctioned off.  A house of treasures became the central motif in my novel, but this inspiration came only after I’d started work on the book.
Writers view the world around them - and read the books of other writers - like magpies looking for shiny material, but each will alight on something different that represents some subject or theme of special interest to them.  In my case this is often simply a setting with a rich sense of history: an old house, perhaps, or a church or a particular landscape. Whichever, it has to be somewhere where I can begin to picture characters for the past and the present narratives that I like to combine.  In my new novel, The Silent Tide, I chose as my main settings two London publishing offices, one contemporary, the other from 1950.  It was then possible to muse on the very different worlds of Emily and Isabel, the women who worked in them, albeit seventy years apart, and to construct a story to link them. However, the whole framework of the novel only grew bit by bit, and frequently only during the actual writing process. One particularly exciting revelation came very late, when I was three-quarters of the way through the book.  It was clear that I needed to know my characters thoroughly first before I was ready to receive it.

The Silent Tide (Simon & Schuster) is published on 12 September 2013 in paperback and eBook.  Her website

Thank you Rachel for visiting my blog today. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Happy Birthday Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly

You are cordially invited to a wedding at Purley Hall...

It’s the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s 'Pride and Prejudice' but it’s also a special year for Katherine Roberts and Warwick Lawton because they’re getting married.

But can Katherine put aside her fear about the future and can Warwick put his pen down long enough to actually make it up the aisle?

'Happy Birthday, Mr Darcy' is the fifth book in the Austen Addicts series - a light-hearted novella which follows 'A Weekend with Mr Darcy', 'The Perfect Hero' ('Dreaming of Mr Darcy'), 'Mr Darcy Forever' and 'Christmas with Mr Darcy'. The main characters Katherine Roberts and Warwick Lawton are due to be married at Purley Hall, where the romance began, a beautiful setting which will provide the perfect backdrop for the wedding, especially as the guests are being asked to dress in period outfits. With the perfect setting and day planned out, is everything and everyone ready for the wedding of the year??

I really enjoyed this book. It was great to return to Purley Hall for such a happy occasion  Through Connelly's prose it was easy to picture the scene and I would of loved to be part of the big day. It is evident throughout her books that she is a true Austen fan, with quotes and references to Austen's books throughout her stories, all of which make the stories more special. 

As the book is about the wedding of two main characters, it is great to catch up with many of the other characters which the readers have met throughout this series as they return as guests to the wedding. 

This book is part of a series and although it is great to read them in order, meeting each character and following Katherine and Warwick through their romance, this book could be read as a standalone. Although I am sure that if this is the first book in the series that you have read, it won't be your last as you will be buying the rest of the series and starting from the beginning. 

I am hoping that Connelly will be publishing the next installment in this fantastic series soon as I love these characters and can't wait to find out what happens next.

I received this eBook from the author in return for an honest review. 

Richard Scarry's Biggest Word Book Ever!

Biggest Word Book Ever

This really is the biggest word book ever - it's as tall as a toddler and packed with fun! Each beautifully illustrated spread is packed with Scarry's charming animal creatures enjoying Busytown, carrying out a variety of jobs, riding in their cars and trucks, trains and planes and generally enjoying life. Each spread contains key words for the animals, objects, actions and more. Learning has never been so much fun. Books have never been so big!

Re-released to celebrate  entertaining children for over fifty years, Richard Scarry's biggest word book ever is a 'huuuuuuuuuuuge' book. It is a book that toddlers or small children could hide inside! 

The book is crammed full of pictures which have items labelled - great to encourage young children to talk and try and new vocabulary. There are sections on Busytown, including shops and vehicles; the fire service; houses and homes; farms, including fruit and vegetables; construction sites; boats, the beach; and airports and aeroplanes. Most of the words are as we would say in English, however there are some 'Americanisms'.

There are hundreds of words within the book. The pictures can be used as a game with young children, testing their vocab in a fun way. Every time children look at the book they will spot different things in the pictures - rather than being a scene, they are busy pictures with lots of different illustrations within a page.

This would be great for a nursery,school or playgroup. Because of its size it would be difficult to share at a cosy story-time although is fantastic for laying on the floor and looking at in that way.

Thank you to the publishers, Harper Collins Children's Books, for sending me the book to review.

Sparkly Shoes and Picnic Parties (Amelie and Nanette) by Sophie Tilley

Amelie and Nanette: Sparkly Shoes and Picnic Parties

Amelie and Nanette are best friends, and have been FOREVER. Because there is nothing nicer than having a best friend to share your secrets and adventures with. 

Everyone will be charmed by the wonderfully nostalgic, delightfully innocent and enchantingly carefree world of Amelie and Nanette. Their lives are rich with adventure, sometimes good, sometimes bad (and sometimes a little sad) but always mixed with laughter. From riverside picnics and seaside capers to cake-baking marathons and dressing-up, there's an adventure around every corner. And, even when things go wrong, there's nothing so awful that their friendship (and a big hug) can't make better.

This is a beautiful hardback book which would make a beautiful gift for any young girl. As well as being a hardback book, the inside of the book is also of high quality;the inside of the front and back cover have an almost fabric effect print, giving the look of an old heirloom book. The story is printed in a style similar to that used in children's books from decades ago. The images have a twee style and the colours throughout are soft and pastel - reminiscent of French chic farmhouse design. It really is a beautiful book, and one which I think will still look classic in years to come.

The story is one of friendship and about choosing a pair of shoes!!! There is also pretty dresses and picnics with friends.  It is a lovely story and one which will be read again and again, being a favourite book to share with friends and peers. 

It would make a great gift for friends to give to each other and to be treasured for a long time to come.

Thank you to the publishers, Bloomsbury Children's Books, for sending me the book to review.

The Black and White Club by Alice Hemming

The Black and White Club

At Heavenly Hippo Wildlife Park the penguins have started up a new club...but only the black and white animals are invited. Feeling left out, George the Giraffe comes up with his own scheme.

This book bought a smile to my face as I read it. In today's modern world there are so many different nationalities, cultures and differences in appearances that this book is one that should be included in every school.

The penguins have started a new club; one where members are have to be black and white, or black, or white. However, George the Giraffe, felt left out and started his own club - after much consideration his club was the tall and short club, a club which everyone is able to be a member of.  

It is a great story, which can be used to explain to children how we can all be different but are always able to part of a club or team. It looks at differences and similarities in a child friendly way which is very important in today's society.

The story is well written and will appeal to children of nursery and reception age. The illustrations are beautiful and created by Kimberley Scott. Brightly coloured and accompany the story well. The animals have a cartoony style to them and will appeal to children. 

Thank you to the publishers, Maverick Art Publishing, for sending me the book to review.

Can You Dance to the Boogaloo? by Alice V Lickens

Can You Dance to the Boogaloo?

* Alice Lickens is the second UK recipient of the prestigious Sendak Fellowship and has just returned from her month in residence at Maurice Sendak's house in Connecticut USA * A feel-good rhythmical book that's a bright and fun read! * About getting up and moving - a book that celebrates music and dance * Bright and colourful illustrations using a combination of ink and lino prints This feel-good, get-up-and-move story is about breaking out of boundaries. It is designed to explore the get up and go every child has burning within them. The colourful creatures pick up instruments, gathering in number and dancing through the pages finishing off with a dancing-on-the-rooftops night scene. The rhythmical approach sets the pace to the jig and is complemented by the sounds of both the instruments and animals wraparound. Children can also learn the names and sounds of the instruments seen through the pages and join in, in their own way, with the veritable hullabaloo. Approximately 300 words Age range: 3-6 years

Children enjoy dancing and musical instruments and this book combines these with a great story. The book immediately introduces children to a range of musical instruments and the sounds they make. They are played by animals throughout the book. The rhythm of the story immediately gets the reader in the Boogaloo swing!

The illustrations include lots of animals, all playing instruments and dancing to the Boogaloo. I think that they have a tribal style to them which looks fantastic. There is so much inspiration and possibilities given by this book that I think it would make a great gift for children of all ages.

There are few words to the story but it is a good book to introduce children to sounds and dance. I could see my children's primary school using this story to encourage children to make up their own dance moves using the animals for inspiration and playing the instruments to make up their own beat.

Thank you to the publisher, Ben Cameron at Anova Books, for sending me this book to review.

Miss Dorothy-Jane was ever so vain by Julie Fulton

Miss Dorothy-Jane Was Ever So Vain - The Ever So Series

Dorothy-Jane thinks her good looks and stylish clothes make her popular. However when on her way to Hamilton Shady's Best Lady Competition, Dorothy-Jane must put aside her vanity to save the day.

This is the third book in the series by Julie Fulton: Mrs MacCready was ever so Greedy and Tabitha Posy was ever so Nosy have both been reviewed on this blog. As with the previous two books, the story is told in rhyme and is accompanied with fantastic illustrations by Jona Jung.

The story is about Miss Dorothy Jane who likes to take care of her appearance and when she sees a competition to find Hamilton Shady's Best Lady, where the winner will present a bouquet to the Queen when she visits, she decides to enter and takes a long time to decide upon the perfect outfit. Very carefully she walks to the competition, dodging seagulls in the air and cars driving through puddles, however as she gets to the park, where a dog is stuck in a pond - will she rescue the dog or go to the competition?

As with the previous books, this story is great, the rhyme will appeal to children of all ages and the illustrations accompany the story perfectly. I liked the story, it had it's own moral, as do all of Julie's story, and reminded us that man is animal's best friend. 

I am sure that this book will soon become a firm favourite of children of all ages, whether they read it themselves or listen to others reading to them. The story is a good story and the illustrations are the perfect accompaniment, Jona Jung has captured the fun and energy within the illustrations perfectly.

Thank you to the publishers, Maverick Arts Publishing, for sending me the book to review.

Ten Twinkly Stars illustrated by Russell Julian

Ten Twinkly Stars - Moulded Counting Books 10

This fantastic counting book with a sweet night-time story is perfect for parents to read with their toddlers before nap time or bedtime. As night falls around the world, count the twinkly stars as one-by-one they disappear over the sleepy animals' heads. A fantastic book for toddlers learning first numbers, Ten Twinkly Stars will help children learn to count down from ten as each sleepy animal goes to bed. With shiny stars that little fingers will love to feel as they count down. As each page turns one less star is visible helping to illustrate the concept of counting down. Also available: Ten Little Kisses and Ten Shiny Snowflakes.

I have seen a number of books by Caterpillar Books in this style and they are fantastic. Great rhymes which children will enjoy listening to and later reciting.  These books are very clever as the number of stars on each page decreases as the story counts down from 10 to 1 stars and I always marvel at the clever idea of how the book is put together.

This book instantly drew me to it as I have a thing for Owls, and these are so cute, but once you open the book there are lots more animals inside and are animals from all over the world: lions in the jungle, hippos in the swamp,lambs in the field and giraffes in the Savannah to name but a few. 

The illustrations are also beautifully drawn and would make fantastic images for any children's bedrooms. They have a child friendly appearance but are all lifelike too.

This would make a great gift this winter. The book has thick pages (not board pages) making it perfect for children's hands and not easily ripped. Children enjoy turning the pages of books themselves and this is a book that I would confidently let children have all the time (I have a special book shelf which contains 'precious' books that I don't want damaged and are got down to share together) but this is one that could be out all of the time.

Thank you to the publishers, Caterpillar Books, for sending me the book to review.

Richard Scarry's Best Lowly Worm Book Ever!

Best Lowly Worm Book Ever

Newly unearthed! The first new Richard Scarry book for over 20 years features Lowly Worm and all your favourite Scarry characters! Drawn and written by Richard Scarry and completed by his son, Huck Scarry, this beautiful book is packed with charm, humour and delightful pictures. Including a day in the life of Lowly Worm, Lowly on the farm, cars and trucks, planes and trains, numbers and a fun where's Lowly section. Scarry fans young and old will adore this charming and beautiful book!

I love books which have added 'spot the .....' on every page. This one has Spot Lowly on ever page. They are perfect for children and encourages them to look closely at each page, looking at the detail of each picture, and holding their attention. I know my children would continually pick these books off the shelf and find them together, although it often turned into a race of who could find it first.

I love the idea that this book was started by Richard Scarry and then completed by Huck Scarry many years later.

The book has many double page spreads, each of which concentrates on topics which children enjoy looking at or doing at school; Getting  up; Going to school; Good manners; Counting  A visit to the farm; Travelling on transport; Things I can do and Play Hide and Seek with Lowly. The pages are jam packed with illustrations and have so many talking points, making it perfect for circle time conversations or at those special one-to-one time. 

The only downside to this book is that it is American and therefore some of the words used are not what we would call them - however it is easy to use the English alternative and therefore I think it still a great book

A great book for schools and nurseries, however it would also make a great book for any child, especially those starting school for the first time this September.

A great book by Richard Scarry, and it is as good now and as relevant now as when the original books were released twenty years ago. 

Thank you to the publishers, Harper Collins Children's Books, for sending me the book to review. 

Sugarlump and the Unicorn

Sugarlump and the Unicorn

When Sugarlump the rocking horse wishes to see the world, a magical unicorn with a silver horn and sparkling blue eyes turns him into a real horse. But after trotting around the farm, galloping around a racetrack and even dancing at the circus, Sugarlump learns to be careful what he wishes for and realises how much he misses the children he left behind. Luckily the unicorn has one more wish to grant ...

The latest release by Julia Donaldson, popular author of, among others, The Gruffalo, What the Ladybird Heard, Sharing the Shell.

This book would make a beautiful gift this Christmas or as a birthday present. It is a special book with the addition of glitter to every page, making every illustration by the fantastic Lydia Monks sparkle and shine. The illustrations are a combination of hand drawn illustrations  which are combined with photographic images of 'textures' (e.g. the sheep's fleece, the hedge's leaves).

The story is written in rhyme, which children adore and includes Donaldson's famous 'choruses' which children quickly learn and can recite throughout the story.

I will admit that when I first saw the book I immediately thought it was a book that would appeal to only girls - with its feminine colours and girly theme of unicorns, however as soon as I started to read it I found that the book was definitely one which boys and girls will enjoy and will soon become a story-time favourite. Perfect for a bedtime tale or a story-time read both at home or at school or nursery.

The glitter is encapsulated on the page, meaning that readers are not left sparkling all day long (although that wouldn't be a bad thing) and that the book can be enjoyed for years to come.

The story is one full of fantasy and childhood dreams, and will be enjoyed by both girls and boys. It is another of Donaldson's fantastic children's books which is a must have addition to any child's library or book shelf.

I received this book through the Amazon Vine Programme.

The Very Snowy Christmas

The Very Snowy Christmas

It's the night before Christmas and Big Mouse and Little Mouse are putting up decorations. Little Mouse scampers out to search for holly but finds big white flakes falling from the sky. As Little Mouse's world is covered in snow he discovers strange things all around him.

This is a beautiful book which would make a lovely gift this Christmas time. A board book, which would be perfect for little hands to enjoy turning the pages, however the story is suitable for 2-3 years as it is a 'wordy' story.

The pages are brightly coloured, the illustrations will attract a child's attention and enable young children to tell other's the story before they are able to read the words. 

The story has only a small reference to Father Christmas and would therefore make a great gift for children who's family do not celebrate at this time. It is a story about snow and fun in the snow.

Thank you to the publishers, Little Tiger Press, for sending me the book to review.