Monday, October 16, 2017

Bookish - Ivy and the Inky Butterfly

Hey colour lovers,

I was intrigued with the byline 'A Magical Tale to Colour' when I saw the description of Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford.

Those of you who love colouring in books of the more complex variety (putting 'adult' before anything seems to change the connotations somewhat!). She has previous published Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest - which are intricate colouring in books.

In Ivy and the Inky Butterfly she combines exquisite pictures to colour in with a magical tale of Ivy who discovers a way into a secret world and embarks on a quest to follow the inky butterfly and return it safely to her grandfather's room of wonderful treasures.

The story has all the elements of magical places and talking creatures that make the adventure perfect for any little (or big) person with a fabulous imagination.

The book is printed on gorgeous, heavy, ivory toned paper which means that you can colour the pages in your preferred medium without worrying about going through the page.

I can see this being a gorgeous summer holiday project for reading and colouring so that it becomes a completely personalised 'self-as-illustrator' story. A great gift along with some really good watercolour pencils - my only trouble would be taking the leap into starting for fear of ruining it! (Thankfully my 8 year old son has no such fears).

Details - Penguin Random House and Virgin Books, October 2017 RRP $28.00 (plus many hours of colouring in!)

love you more than riding on a bumblebee with a magic mouse xxx

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Bookish - Van Life

Hey Adventurers,

The Atlas always talks about how he'd love to get a van or a bus and do it up and travel around so when I saw Van Life by Foster Huntington I requested it with him in mind.

When he first set eyes on the book I started to think maybe I shouldn't be feeding this ambition! The Atlas loves this book! It totally fuels his idyllic dream of being able to holiday anywhere any time and I think it definitely contributed to a 'mum's away let's hire a camper and go on a holiday' trip in current school holidays!!

The book is really well put together - each chapter highlights a different type of 'van' from VWs through to School Buses to plain old Campervans. There are heaps of absolutely stunning photos from all sorts of vans around the world (NZ features too - whoop!) and interviews about the adventures, durability/ mechanic-y stuff, and joys of van life.

This book would make a beautiful gift for any friend with wanderlust in them and a love of getting out on the road to adventures.

It is hard cover and the photos are very appealing, both geographically and the variety of interiors.

All the bases covered here!

Details - Hachette NZ, 10 October 2017, RRP $49.99HB

love you more than a fold out bed xxx

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Bookish - A Dog With Nice Ears

'I have this little sister Lola...'

And so begin the Charlie and Lola adventures. I have a special place in my heart for Charlie and Lola - I'm not sure if it's from working in the UK or my obsession with copying the accents when I was reading them, or the little clips we used to watch when some people in my life were smaller, or just the magic of what it is to enter the world of Charlie and Lola ....

I also love Lauren Child's illustrative style.

Her latest offering A Dog with Nice Ears does not disappoint.

It has all the charm and generally awesome-and-infuriating ness of Lola. This time Lola is determined they will get a dog. Her parents telling them it will not happen does not deter Lola in the slightest.

But will she get a dog and if she does what kind of dog will it be?

Beautiful and perfect for anyone with a Lola in their lives.

Details - Hachette NZ, October 2017, RRP $29.99 HB

love you more than a dog who sniffles instead of barking xxx

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Bookish - Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story

Kia ora Koutou!

I was really keen to review Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story by Gavin Bishop. I have been a fan of Bishop's illustrative style since Mrs McGinty and the Bizarre Plant (which was published about the time I was born!).

When this one arrived in the post it absolutely exceeded my expectations. As you know I love seeing books that tell our story and supporting books coming out of NZ. This is one of those wonderful, enormous, hardback books that are being published at the moment. It is wonderfully illustrated and tells tales of NZ from pre-Māori migration right through to keeping record of the Christchurch earthquake in 2011.

Every double page spread deals with different topics and they are laid out with heaps of illustrations and snippets of text. There is excellent use of Te Reo in the book as well which makes me really happy too! I can see this being a book that children will get lost on a page for ages and pop out with 'Mum did you know...' statements from the text.

This book would be a wonderful addition to your home library and as a teacher I know it is one of those ones that would be constantly being picked from the book corner during quiet reading time.

Congratulations to Gavin Bishop for this wonderful, wonderful book - a delight for children and adults and many thanks to Penguin Random House for picking it up and publishing it. One of my favourite this year.

Details - Penguin Random House, October 2017 RRP $40.00 Hardback and very large size.

love you more than a page of famous people who 'told our stories' (actors, dancers, writers, artists, musicians...) xxx

Monday, October 2, 2017

Bookish - Scarface Claw Hold Tight

Kia ora readers,

I was really excited to hear that another Lynley Dodd book had come out. There were many years when Hairy MacLary et al made up a good part of our reading times.

Dodd's books have that great quality of using rhyme flawlessly, including the odd extraordinary word (cacophony, caterwaul) and are very relatable to little people, she is also a skilled illustrator.  (And a kiwi! whoop!)

In Scarface Claw, Hold Tight Dodd achieves her usual delightful offering. Scarface Claw has chosen the wrong place to rest and he's going to have to hold on tight for the adventure that ensues.

A great addition to your Hairy MacLary books - I'm pleased that the publishers have kept the shapes of the book the same all the way through - makes them look happy as a family on the shelves!

Grab one for your favourite little person for Christmas I say!

Details -Penguin Random House,  October 2017 RRP $25.00 HB

love you more than Miss Plum xxx

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Bookish - Midnight Sun

Hello readers,

I just received Midnight Sun by Trish Cook I opened the book just after dinner and finished it before I went to bed.

The book is a YA novel following Katie's story. The story is told in first person. She has XP - xeroderma pigmentosum - a rare genetic condition that means she cannot go out into the sun or have UV light on her at all or she will die. Katie is 18 and everyone else her age is out graduating while she is living an upside down nighttime-for-daytime life with her dad.

Katie has spent her life watching the world go by and especially watching Charlie Reed who has walked past her bedroom window every day for the last ten years.

One evening Katie heads down to the train station to busk and she meets Charlie - in real life, and makes a terrible impression... so begins Katie's pursuit for normalcy. What is it to live a normal life when you cannot live a normal life?

The book is a typical YA romance in its style. It is really readable and the chapters are short. Initially I thought I'd read it fast and find it enjoyable but not too engaging. I must confess by the end of the novel I felt very invested in the characters and got quite emotional.

A great read for any young person who has felt on the fringes and misunderstood or thought that no one has it as tough as them. A book about taking chances and living as full a life as possible.

Details - Hachette NZ, September 2017 RRP $19.99

love you more than a love story xxx

Friday, September 22, 2017

100 Days - the final episode


So I actually made it all the way to the end of the 100 days challenge... Here are the last 10 days.

Some of the Christchurch 100 days participants help and exhibition in a local cafe which was really fun and the first time I've ever had work exhibited so I guess I could cross it off my bucket list - if I had one!

On the whole I feel like doing the 100 days project and some of the other creative stuff I've committed to this term has really kicked my general creativity onto the next level and that feels like a really good thing.

What creative happenings are going on in your world at the moment? Do tell

love you more than a finish line well crossed xxx