# Sunday Morning for Kids #The way to Treasure Island by Lizzy Stewart

Is it possible to be best friends with a member of your family? Do you think it is easier to be friends with somebody who is similar to you in character or is your opposite?

# Sunday Morning for Kids is a variation on the meme started by Rae Longest at Powerful Women Readers.

I have recently discovered a wonderful blog Ragamuffin Books (All Things Children’s Literature) with book reviews and tips on how to write children’s fiction. I really encourage you to check out her posts on the importance of reading to children to help them develop their creativity, empathy and confidence at school.

The book I spent this Sunday morning reading to my little ones is The way to Treasure Island by Lizzy Stewart.

This is a sweet story of a girl and her Dad trying to find a treasure island and having a fun day together.

Matilda and her Dad are very different. In fact, in many ways they are the opposites -she is tidy, he is messy; she is fast, he is slow; she is quiet, he is loud. Naturally, they don’t always agree on how to do things. Despite this, they are best friends and have a lot of patience for each other. They complement one another: without Matilda’s ability to lead and pay attention to detail, her Dad would be lost, without Dad’s ability to notice exciting things, Matilda’s life would be so boring.

One day, they decide to spend a day at the beach. Matilda has a special map, but in order to follow it you can’t get distracted. They find a boat and set off on an exciting adventure. Although they do things their own way, in the end, they do discover the most wonderful treasure at all, that of each other’s company.

A delightful book with beautiful illustrations, this little book provides an example of a great father-daughter relationship.

Thank you to NetGalley and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books /Quarto Publishing Group for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Title: The way to Treasure Island
Author: Lizzy Stewart
Published by: Frances Lincoln Children’s books
Expected publication Date: 4th of June, 2019

  • Have you read The Way to Trasure Island? if yes, did you like it?
  • Is this the kind of book your little readers might be interested in?


‘Books live your life while you live theirs’ # ‘Reading quirks’ by the Wild Detectives

What is the strangest thing you’ve done for the love of reading?

I once read a book… half an hour at a time, 20-30 pages at most, for two weeks…in a bookshop! I’d come, read a bit, sigh at how expensive it was and leave… After two weeks somebody bought the book. Can you imagine my despair? I had almost finished it. Luckily, two things happened the following day: a new copy arrived and my pay check got through.

I just adored ‘ Reading Quirks’ by Javier García del Moral, Andrés de la Casa Huertas and Laura Pacheco and couldn’t help sharing this discovery with my bookloving tribe.

This is a series of vignettes on strange things we do for the love of books. The characters are cute and come from all walks of life. You are bound to find the situations described in this collection all too familiar:

Have you ever…

  • waxed lyrical about the merits of a book to a total stranger who might or might not have been interested?
  • been desperate because you lost a book you were just about to finish?
  • found irresistible the smell of a new book?
  • packed way too many books in a suitcase (and left out most clothes)?
  • liked the book so much that you felt sad that you were about to finish it?
  • realized you love somebody because they get your reading habits?

For some of them I thought: No, surely not. Actually, let me think…Yes, I have done that.

I know some of my friends are going to find these pictures irreverent. I love you for the respect you pay to your books and the way you treat reading not as a pastime, but almost as a religion.

My favourite vignette?

Have a great Friday and happy reading!

Thank you to Edelweiss and Deep Vellum Publishing for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Title: Reading quirks
Authors: Javier García del Moral, Andrés de la Casa Huertas, Laura Pacheco (illustrations)
Publisher: Deep Vellum Publishing
Expected date: October 8th 2019


Can’t beat the chemistry # Teen Tonic Tuesday

Have you ever made assumptions about somebody (because let’s face it: they are just a typical gamer/musician/teacher’s pet/nerd/book blogger), only to find out you were completely wrong and they are the sweetest/ smartest/ funniest person in the world?

Seventeen year old MJ (Macca, Mackenzie Jane) Olsen-Wang is a bit of an overachiever. She is in her last year of school and is also taking two university courses to help her get into a top medical program. She is studious, organised, focused…and totally clueless as far as reading people and subtle social clues is concerned. She fancies Jason, a fellow brainiac and her project partner, but she doesn’t really know how to go about it apart from being super-prepared with her science article notes.

Luke is her brother Theo’s roommate. He is a drummer and is failing Introductory Chemistry, a course Macca excelled at. Theo’s trying to help by insisting Macca tutor Luke in exchange for some drumming lessons for her friend Sally. Macca is extremely reluctant to do it. She has so little time and so many expectations (her own and her mother’s) to fulfil, and …what’s that? did he just party all night? what does he mean by ‘Forgot to bring my notes’ (doesn’t it really mean ‘I can’t be bothered’)?!?

‘Can’t beat the chemistry’ is a sweet and heartwarming story of an unlikely bond forming between two people who need a little help from each other to work out what they want from life. I loved the main characters, although Luke seemed a little too perfect, despite his difficult past and self-doubts. The double POV works really well in this novel, as it gives you an insight into how similar the protagonists are and how great they would be together.

There are some difficult issues touched upon in the novel:

  • overbearing, overdemanding parents who try to live their dream through their children
  • raising children with special needs and the strain it puts on the parents and siblings
  • dealing with a genetic disorder which runs in your family.

I really enjoyed this charming story with its great message of ‘caring about people, not their achievements’.

Thank you to NetGalley and Rhiza Press for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Have you read this book or is it on your tbr-list? What did you think of the main characters? What did you think of Rosie’s portrayal?

What do you think of parents who push their children study harder and do better in everything? Are they doing it for their children or for themselves?


It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be- J.K.Rowling

We do not need magic to change our world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves


This short and inspiring biography of JK Rowling, the writer who made kids fall in love with reading again, is well-researched and beautifully illustrated in an original paper-cut style. It gave me a much better idea of  the writer’s background, tenacity, determination and love of writing. I didn’t know about her mother’s MS illness and the profound effect it must have had on her family. I loved her words on the importance of failure which can help you strip away the inessential. I think a lot of teens will relate to her story of not being accepted into the university of her choice due to her less than perfect academic record.

The colour scheme and the illustrations in this book are just amazing and are so in tune with the text. I also loved the way JK Rowling’s quotes became marvellous word art.

This book isn’t just for fans of Harry Potter, who, no doubt, will be delighted. It has some valuable life lessons to offer to every  reader.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group /Francis Lincoln Children’s Books for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Title: J.K.Rowling: Boss the bestseller list like(Work it, Girl)
Author: Caroline Moss
Publisher: Quarto PublishingGroup
Date: 5th of March 2019

Five reasons why reading to children is SUPER important!

Reading to children is essential if you want to help them grow creative, articulate, emotionally well-adjusted human beings. Thank you to Ragamuffin Books for this wonderful post and lots of other useful tips. Please, check her website for book reviews and everything related to children’s literature.

Ragamuffin Books

We all know that reading to children is important and that we should do it. But do you ever wonder why it’s so important? Other than the fact that it will improve literacy?

See below to see some reasons and get motivated to start reading!

View original post 649 more words

# Sunday Morning for Kids #Patience, Miyuki…Appreciate the beauty of the moment…

This is a variation on the meme started by Rae Longest at Powerful Women Readers. Thank you to Carla from Carla loves to read for wonderful posts encouraging people to share old and new favourite children’s books.

The book I read today is the second story about a little girl called Miyuki. She is a lively child who wants to live her life to the fullest and like many children sometimes lacks patience.

She notices a little flower which is yet to bloom, as if it hasn’t noticed that the spring is already there. Miyuki would like to help it wake up, but it needs the purest water, so Miuki sets off on her quest. The story gets more and more magical as she has to speak to the clouds, the waterfall and the river to get a bucketful of precious water to wake up her little flower.

Miyuki gets a lot of help and the same advice: patience, Miyuki, sometimes you have to wait and appreciate the beauty of the moment which you might miss if you rush around.

I was really impressed by the beauty of the artwork in this book: delicate, sweet, and gentle. Absolutely delightful. The message is philosophical and might be easier to grasp for an older child.

My favourite quote:

Neither flowers nor anyone in the world deserves to be watered by tears.

Title: Patience, Miyuki
Authors: Roxane Marie Galliez,Seng Soun Ratanavanh (illustrations)
Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press
Date: October 1st, 2019

Thank you to NetGalley and Princeton Architectural Press for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

  • Have you read ‘Patience, Miyuki’ or the previous story in the series ‘Time for bed, Miyuki’?
  • How important is the artwork in a children’s book in your opinion?

Middle Grade Monday #The Rise of Winter by Alex Lyttle

Winter lives in a post-apocalyptic world with only two seasons: dry and rainy. Even her name sounds like something mythical. Some time ago, the world was almost destroyed by human careless activities. Winter keeps watching mountains that separate her country Nacadia from the Forgotten Lands full of toxic waste.

Winter’s mother died in childbirth and the only time Winter’s blind grandmother spoke about her father was to say that he died of a broken heart.

One day a strange thing happens: Winter begins to understand animal speech. Then, her world is turned upside down. She has to run for her life in the company of a wise Fox Vulpeera and a super-chatty raccoon Protin (one of my favourite characters in the book). She must reach the mysterious Cove where she has to undergo a ceremony that will make her (confirm) into one of the twelve Guardians Terra (The Mother Earth) has chosen to protect herself and all the living creatures. Each of the Guardians- four attributes (Strength, Speed, Agility, and Wisdom) for three Earth domains (land, water, and sky). Not everybody agrees with choosing Winter to be the Land Guardian of Wisdom and everybody is surprised when she is appointed the Terra Protectorum, the leader who must learn the magic powers of the rest of the Guardians, and use them to heal the hurting Terra.

Winter has a lot to learn, but her life is constantly in danger and there are lots of twists and turns in this well-written tale with a strong environmental message.

What I liked the most were the Guardians and their disctinct personalities. Winter herself is strong main character, both open-minded and caring. Initially, she refuses to accept the role of the Terra Protectorum because she doesn’t feel it is fair to accept it without knowing what responsibilites it will involve and whether she is really the best choice. I also liked Vulpeera’s family but don’t want to include any spoilers in this review. There is also a strong antagonist, which promises well for the continuation of the story.

The magic powers /abilities Winter has to learn are great and I wouldn’t mind having some of them in my real life. Describing all twelve of them would have been a tall task for one book, so I’m glad the author focused on just three.

I would have prefered to see a bit more of the worldbuilding. Cars, mass-produced books and electricity are just making (re-) appearance , so they must be living through tumultous times of rapid social and technological change. Yet, there is almost nothing to help you imagine their daily life: food, clothes, houses, transport, schools. There are other burning questions I would ask about people in this world: What do they know about their history? What do they care about? What is really there in the Forbidden Lands?

The narrative is really pacey and absorbing. After all, nothing beats a well-written story of self-discovery and adventure. So, yes, I am already looking forward to the sequel.

Thank you to NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for the DRC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Title: The Rise of Winter
Author: Alex Lyttle
Publisher: Central Avenue Publishing
Date: 1st of May 2019

Have you read The Rise of Winter? What’s the best middle grade book you’ve read recently?

#Sunday Morning For Kids #Tales From Nature by Magali Attiogbé

Tales from Nature: Bee

Join little bee as he gathers pollen from a flower, and makes honey with his friends. But what happens when the queen bee arrives? Introducing nature to little ones, Tales From Nature provides simple, entertaining storylines with an animal character as the focus. Bright and colorful illustrations are sure to engage young children as they learn about each animal’s day, from a cute description, to what it eats, and where it lives. Simple, engaging text explains nature in a playful way for little ones. Each page includes a window or a flap to encourage children to read on and discover more.

My thoughts: My greatgrandfather was a beekeeper, so I grew up with stories about bees. Springtime is the best time to let children discover these wonderful creatures. Magali Attigbe’s book is sweet and child-friendly and does a wonderful job of describing bees’ body parts, the process of nectar collection, life in a beehive and, of course, famous bee communication.

The text is easy to follow even for a toddler, while the illustrations are in beautiful bright colours and are sure to put a smile on your face.

Tales From Nature: Ladybug

‘Ladybug’ is another great title in this series. It follows the same pattern as ‘Tales From Nature:Bee’ by introducing children to the appearance, food habits and the lifecycle of this helpful little insect. The text is simple and accessible, which is important as the target audience is a 3-4 year old child, but the real strength of the book is the artwork with its bright and bold colours and delightful smiley creatures.

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for the DRC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Past is the greatest illusion… #The Couple by Sarah Mitchell

Whatever you think you know… you’re wrong.

Following a whirlwind four-month romance, lawyer Claire and hotel entrepreneur Angus are engaged to be married. Happy and successful, and ready to start their new life together, Claire and Angus find what they believe to be the perfect home.

But when Claire meets Mark, the man selling them the house, he looks eerily familiar. He looks exactly like the man she loved five years ago, the man she couldn’t bear to lose.

As Claire finds herself irresistibly drawn to Mark and crosses lines she never thought she’d cross, Angus’ behaviour becomes increasingly suspicious. Soon Claire doesn’t know whether she can trust Mark, Angus… or even herself.

My thoughts:

You’ve got to love an unreliable narrator- they make the most fascinating reads and the Couple by Sarah Mitchell is a great example of this.

From the first pages of this novel we get an uneasy feeling that Claire, who can turn her beauty on and off, Clare, who seemingly has it all including a great job with the Home office and a brand new rich fiance Angus, is not telling us the whole truth.

There is plenty of hints and small details, so easy to overlook, but the blurb did not lie- whatever you think you know and understand about Claire is wrong and the big twist will take you aback.

I loved the setting. Sarah Mitchell chose The Immigration tribunal as Claire’s working place to make sure we make our own opinion of Claire’s character and her choices of actions in life. Things are rarely black and white and she obviously has her own particular sense of justice. Claire is a strange mixture of strength and weakness, which is evident in her being so ready to give in to her obsession.

The Couple is one of the most gripping books I have read this year and I can highly recommend it to other lovers of mystery and thriller genre.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture publisher for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

Have you read The Couple or is it perhaps on your tbr list?

What’s the most interesting book with an unreliable narrator you have read?

# Teen Tonic Tuesday # Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell

Twin sisters Claire and Poppy are rising Internet stars thanks to their Mum blogging about their lives since they were born. Imagine all those cute but so embarrassing details open to strangers’ scrutiny just a click away.

One day their Mum sets up a Youtube channel for them and off they go making their own name and building up their own brand. While Poppy loves it and sees the fame as a way of gaining power, Claire, the geeky web designer part of the duo, hates the pervasive lack of privacy brought by their stardom.

When she meets a new boy during the school lunch hour, she can’t believe he doesn’t know who she is. For the first time in her life Claire has a clean slate and can finally satisfy her ‘craving for freedom and anonymity’.

I loved the way this book touches on many issues relevant to teenagers.

First, there is the issue of identity. People who read the blog think they know who Poppy and Claire are, but Claire is conscious of the fact that the image, the brand, is carefully constructed. So, she rightfully questions ‘If I am not that, then who am I?’

We are so much more than a mere sum of other people’s opinions and images of us.

Then, there is the issue of privacy and consent. Claire’s mother chose to tell her story in her blog because it was her life, but she also involved her children and imposed her choice on them.

Thirdly, the issue of family: how do I stand out? How do I fit in? Does my Mum prefer my sibling to me? and if yes, should I feel resentful? Am I being selfish if helping my sister achieve her dream makes me feel miserable? Is family more about shared genetics or years of shared life? Despite the dark secret and evident lack of communication, family relationships in this book do ring true.

There were quite a few twists in the story which made this book so gripping.
I loved the slow-burn romance: the getting-to-know-you-as-well-as-myself’ part opening oneself up to rejection and the sweetest delight of being really listened to and understood.

Although I did feel the ending was a bit rushed, and some of the secondary characters were flat and sketchy, this did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.
I found this book refreshing and original and would definitely recommend it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Amberjack publishing for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest opinion.

How do you feel about parenting blogs and parents sharing their children’s lives on social media?

#Sunday Morning Reading for Kids # When I look up by Ellen Delange and Jenny Meilihove

A sweet and dreamy book about a little girl who is looking up into the sky and thinking about all the beautiful things she can see:

a plane in the sky, fluffy clouds, butterflies, a shooting star, a kite stuck in a tree, tiny flower seeds flying away… and she wonders what she could do with them or where she would like to go.

Then, she realizes that all that makes her happy is right in front of her.

A beautifully-illustrated book with a wonderful text and a great message of using your imagination powers to wonder about the world around you, but also loving what you have.

Thank you to NetGalley and Clavis Publishing for the ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Title: When I look up
Author: Ellen Delange (text), Jenny Meilihove (illustrations)
Publisher: Clavis
Date: May 15th, 2019

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