Thursday, 27 December 2018

Mossbelly MacFearsome and the Dwarves of Doom

A bullied child, a dwarf set on revenge, ogres and dragons.....what more could you want from a book?

When we meet Roger he is gearing up for a fight with the local bully....enter Mossbelly MacFearsome and you get a different outcome.
Suddenly Roger is to be feared.  Mossbelly is a dwarf sent to find the Doomstone Sword and when his path crosses with Roger’s there begins this fast paced, adventurous story of a dwarf and a boy.  They must find and destroy the Doomstone sword or the human race will be wiped out. It is a race against time and against Mossbelly’s arch enemy Leatherhead Barnstorm. Roger has been chosen to be the destroyer of the sword and must go where Mossbelly goes.
Mossbelly has a unique way of speaking and there are miscommunications to make you laugh out loud.  There are Uber polite villains made from grave wax.  There are witchwatchers and girls with great skills in karate. It is a hilarious story of the fight between humans, ogres and dwarves.
I am now passing this story to my 10yo son who I think will love Mossbelly, his thunderous voice and the adventure waiting within the pages!

A brilliant funny story for anyone looking for an adventure!

The End of Advent

December 23 and 24..the end of a wonderful advent!

What an advent it has been! 75 books given in our house....not including those on Christmas Day or the book tokens to be spent in the new year.

We love books in our house and this has been so much fun.

The last 6 books in our advent were...

We have had some favourites return from previous years and the children love to see them back in the house.  The new books are already becoming firm favourites and I seem to be constantly adding to our collection.....my shelves are bursting at the seams.....

I am a planner by nature and am already thinking of ways to make next year’s advent slightly different.  It may be a scavenger hunt or a trivia quiz....it may be a shared advent with a few books wrapped together for us all to open.  I continue to search for and think of creative ways to keep advent fun and full of the Christmas spirit.

We did have some lovely book post this December and one of the best books I have ever seen arrived a few days before Christmas.  It is this beauty and I highly recommend everyone to have this on their shelves, whether at home or school. It is stunning.
When we first saw this larger than life book, we were just staring at the beauty of the art work on the front cover. When we opened it there were gasps of delight.  This goes above and beyond your simple lift the flap book.  It has flaps inside flaps, it has pull strings, moveable clothes, and items to pull out of the book.  I won’t give away too much more as it needs to be seen to be enjoyed.  My 7yo took to carrying it around with her for days, discovering new and hidden secrets in each character.
It is a wondrous book.  It would be brilliant for fairy tale topics in primary school, especially those looking at the “baddies”.

I am now planning blog posts for the new year and hope to increase my readership!
Happy New Year!

Saturday, 22 December 2018

December 20 and 21...and 22

I have been enjoying the time off work and away from the daily routine.  So much so that we are all being incredibly lazy! My two children were so ready for the break and they are loving time to play toys, read books, spend time with family and be in their own rooms.

We had a lovely first few days of holidays....we baked and cooked all day on Friday in preparation for a holiday open house today. We were so pleased to see so many friends and neighbours and we still have enough food to feed an army so it will be gifted to the Christingle service at church tomorrow.

Advents for the last three days have been wonderful. I am truly going to miss opening a book everyday.  This week has also been a big week for book post.  I bought some books from my editor at Armadillo magazine, including the new Lisa Thompson called a The Day I was Erased.  I had won a competition with Books for Keeps and it arrived.  Plus two more books needing to be reviewed for Reading Zone. Sometimes I feel a bit overwhelmed with books and hope I do them justice in reviews.   I tend to speak from the heart when reviewing books.

Part of my plan is to review my advent books on this blog in the new year as well as on Toppsta.
I am now thinking and making a plan for my blog for the new year and wondering how to make it unique and able to stand out in a crowded blogging world. Advent for me was what I wanted to begin with and I have enjoyed learning how to use the blog and thinking about what to write.  I am constantly learning about blogging and am planning to read more blogs to see what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully you will come back and visit to see what is happening in my world as a Reading Advocate!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Advent Book Photos



 All books have been welcomed into our home and will be read and enjoyed over the coming weeks!

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

December 19 Advent and Book Post

Last day of school for 2018.....and a reading break is needed!
I have been given so many wonderful books this month so far and I am so desperate to sit amongst them and truly enjoy them.

Today’s advents were...
I think most children will have a read a “Lulu” book at some time and she is a lovely little girl.  It is a simply written book about getting ready for Christmas and is perfect for those learning about some favourite family traditions.
The Great Pudding Race is an exciting adventure with the whole town coming together to rescue the Christmas pudding festival.  Animals and humans working together to create a wonderful heart warming celebration!
Agatha Oddly is new to me...I must admit I am unfamiliar with the author, Lena Jones.  This promises to be the first in a super-sleuth series so fingers crossed for more. The blurb on the back sounds quirky, funny and mysterious. I am really keen to dive into this book. A review will be posted once I finish it.

Today was also an exciting #bookpost day.  I love getting books in the mail....
I asked Nosy Crow for a proof copy of The Boy Who Flew by Fleur Hitchcock and it arrived today.  She is an amazing author and I have no doubt this book will live up to her high standards.





I also applied to review a book for Reading Zone.  They sent me The Great Race by Christopher Corr.  I am super excited about this one as it is stunningly illustrated.  Such bold, bright colours to tell one of the most famous tales from China.  My husband and I lived in Hong Kong for many years and this story is so important to the culture.  I feel very lucky that I was born in the Year of the Dragon.  
I already know how my review for this one will go and I haven’t even spent time on it yet. 


Tuesday, 18 December 2018

December 16, 17 and 18

December 16th Advents were...
I am the biggest fan of picture books and love getting some in my own book advent.  My children enjoy Paddington, more so since the films I must admit.  He is a lovely bear who gets into all sorts of trouble but has the biggest heart. 
Our newest Christmas book for the season is Mince Spies by Mark Sperring.  What a funny story....sprouts trashing a store and festive treats so they will become a more loved part of Christmas. Luckily Santa loves them and arrives in time to save the day.  The Mince Spies are brilliant and have pastry jet packs....love the creativeness behind the story.
Magical Pets, a Practical Guide is lovely and I would recommend sharing this book with younger children.  It has charming illustrations and lovely creatures to dream about.

December 17 book advents....

You can't go wrong with Mog.  In my previous school we were gifted a Mog stuffed toy to enjoy while we read his latest adventures.  Mog has been around for so long but he is still lovable and enjoyable. 
My daughter is now a huge North Police fan and although they are easy readers, she loves them and wants to re-read them over and over again.  I found the set of 4 on The Book People website and I think they were only £5. 
My book was Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson.  I have seen this book around for some time and love the cover, not to mention the catchy title.  I haven't started reading it yet but I am looking forward to it!  I will post a review on Toppsta over the Christmas holiday.

December 18....book advents....

Held up so graciously by youngest...who hates having her photo taken. 
Nuddy Ned was in last year's advent and my two howled with laughter each time we turned the page.  Nuddy Ned is of course, nude, and runs around the town.  It is a funny and silly book to share together at Christmas.
Christmas Fairy Tale Mix-up is by Hilary Robinson and Jim Smith.  It is similar to Mixed up Fairy Tales by the same author and Nick Sharratt.  My daughter enjoys flipping through and creating silly stories to tell at bedtime.  It is an endless book and has so much potential for using your imagination and twisting and spinning classic stories into something new.  I love the festive spin- Santa, elves, 3 little pigs- what more could you want?
My advent was the beautiful Have you seen my giraffe? by Michelle Robinson and Claire Powell.  It has been on my wish list for some time and I can't wait to get home from work to read it!

I am loving Book Advent- perhaps more than anyone else in my family.  It is taking a lot of willpower not to rip into the final few-  my chocolate advent calendar lasted less that 3 days before I gave up and ate the lot!

Saturday, 15 December 2018

December 14 and 15....

The end of a busy week....
Had a poorly daughter on Thursday and Friday and we cheered her up by visiting the local library....as though our advent books weren’t enough. 📚
She spent a long time browsing, reading blurbs, making piles, and enjoying the quiet!
Here is what she chose...
It is a great selection of chapter books, easy to read books and slightly challenging reads for her 7 years! She loves reading and can often be found reading early in the morning or late into the evening.  I love that she had inherited this from me, my mom, and my Nan.  We are all avid readers, not wanting to put books down and reading just one more chapter.

The last 2 days have given us some excellent Christmas advent books...
The Love Letter by Lucinda Riley is clearly not for children but I do enjoy reading her books!
This week I also devoured Snowglobe by the wonderful Amy Wilson.  I mean devoured as it was such an enjoyable book.  I wanted to keep reading and I was actually disappointed to finish.  I wanted more and hope to read more from Amy Wilson again soon.


Thursday, 13 December 2018

December 12 and 13!

Had a blast opening the last two days of book advents with my kids.

Yesterday we got.....
I must admit I am a big fan of Julia Donaldson and this book doesn’t disappoint! I love how The king is forced to get on with making his own fish and chips! What a lesson to learn...

My daughter really enjoys the North Police.  She did say they were too easy but she liked the stories.

Today’s books were
I love The Secret of the Night Train....an amazing read and one I hope my daughter picks up over the holiday season!
Aliens Love Panta Claus is old favourite in our house as is Kipper! You can’t go wrong with either of these titles- they are sure to delight and make you giggle. 

I also had #bookpost today! It was my #RR_SecretSanta gift.  Reading Rocks set up an online secret Santa and it was so much fun.  I was given an address and the information that my person teaches in Y5/6 and is currently reading The Nowhere Emporium.  I sent Frost Fire by Jamie Smith.  I hope they like it.
So today my secret Santa sent me a Christmas picture book. I haven’t read this one and I am looking forward to reading it this afternoon. 



Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Finally sitting down and catching my breath after a busy weekend spent visiting and spending time with family and friends.  I love this time of year and the joy it brings.  It reminds me though that we should carry this on throughout the rest of the year.  Visit friends and family often and enjoy the time and memories made.
I suppose I get a bit more sentimental at this time of year, as many of us do.  I am an only child and my Christmas days were spent by the fire (I grew up in Canada) and reading book after book! I am loving book advent and the joy of new books. Now I need my fire, Christmas tree and TIME.....
I am looking forward to being on holiday and devouring all my book advent!
Today was The Wild Robot by Peter Brown, Father Christmas Comes up Trumps and The Turkey that Voted for Christmas.

In 3 classes that visited one of my little libraries today I read The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt.  What a hilarious book! I loved reading it and putting voices to the three warriors.  I could imagine them subtitled with strange accents for more oomph! The kids loved it....the oldest ones “got” the humour more than the younger ones and I found that most enjoyable.  The younger ones just found it so funny that I said “bum” while reading.   I think this is a must have for school libraries and bookshelves in homes.  It cracked us up and made us want to hold a tournament of Rock, Paper, Scissors!

I have already felt tomorrow’s book and it is a hardcover picture book (guessing due to the size) and as picture books are my absolute favourite....I may not be able to sleep!


Friday, 7 December 2018

Thursday 6 December
Love the books from yesterday! They are charming, beautifully written and illustrated and enjoyed by the whole family.
I am a huge fan of Ross Montgomery and David Litchfield.  I haven’t read Space Tortoise and it had been on my wish list for a long time.  I loved it! The kids loved it!

Friday 7 December

Today is a lovely day in the book advent world! 
The Missing Barbegazi has also been on my wish list for a long time.  I can’t wait to delve in! Although my shelves are getting fuller everyday.

Christmas in Exeter Street is a firm classic in my world.  I have read it for years to classes as they come in to the library for story times.  They love trying to remember where everyone is sleeping.  The illustrations, especially the double page spread at the end, are simply stunning.  All ages enjoyed this book! 

Don’t wake the Yeti was a favourite in last year’s advent so we added it again.  Part of the joy of book advent is re-discovering old favourites and meeting new characters.  

Now I just need my holidays to begin so I can spend my days with my nose in all my books! 



Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Today was an excellent Book Advent!  I loved the Polar Bear Explorer's Club by Alex Bell and was so pleased to know there was a sequel!  As the first ended on such an amazing cliff hanger---I can't wait to dive in!  I might have to stay up all night to read! 

The North Police is a book with simple text and bright engaging illustrations.  I found a set of 4 on The Book People and thought it would make for a lovely set of stories to share.  My daughter quickly nabbed it and popped it into her school bag to read at school. She is turning into such a bookworm!

I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

This morning- December 4 brought the return of my son's fav....Father Christmas Needs a Wee.

My advent book was The Night Before The Night Before Christmas!  I know I will love it and I have brought it to one of my schools this morning to share with all classes that visit the library!

My daughter was gifted How to Catch Santa!  She can't wait to read along with it tonight.

Of course we also save time for How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T Smith.  It is my new Christmas favourite.  Looking through Twitter I can see so many people making the crafts and decorations.  One tweet was a box with the book and everything the child would need to make the daily crafts and decorations.  I am jealous and disappointed I didn't think and plan that far ahead.  It makes a brilliant advent gift.  I must be more organized with the crafts!  Perhaps today I can find time to gather paper, glue, scissors and dare I say it???  Glitter!

Monday, 3 December 2018

I love the start of Advent, the counting down to a festive time for family and friends.
We tend to get ridiculously busy this time of year but we try to keep stress levels down and a firm family focus.  All of us find reading helps this.  We take time every evening to share stories together, read favourites and share funny bits from books we are enjoying.
An advent book a day brings that sharing more of a festive feel and we all end up a bit more excited for the big day than we were before.

On Saturday we had our North Pole Breakfast...this was organized by our Elf on the Shelf who brought yummy treats, advent calendars and decorations.  Even though my two are getting older (10 and 7), the level of excitement is palpable and we love this breakfast tradition.

My Mom and Grandmother, now the ripe old age of 100, made the advent calendars hanging on the sofa.  These are hung on bedroom doors and a chocolate appears every evening.  I bought them each a Lego advent calendar as we are all huge Lego fans, and of course the book advents are wrapped and ready.

All advents are opened in the morning and we save the books for bedtime.  All day we can look forward to sharing a festive favourite.
I don't buy all new books each year (although it could easily be done with the brilliant choices each year) but use our favourites.  My son is already wondering where "Father Christmas Needs a Wee" is in his advent.


This is what we have been gifted so far....and yes the rumour was true!  I do have my very own Book Advent calendar this year.
I devoured "Through the Mirror Door" on Saturday as it was Day 1.  I am still reading "Moonlocket" so "Skycircus" will go on my TBR pile.  Today I opened "Kat Wolfe Investigates" and I am counting down until I get home to start reading!

I will post reviews of the books we read on this blog and on Toppsta!
Happy Reading



Five New Favourites

I have read so many amazing books recently!  My TBR pile is growing daily and I am loving this Golden Age of Children's Fiction. ...