Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bookish - Finding


I'm enjoying squeezing in moments here and there to read. This year I am studying and working alongside my usual life so the time I have for leisure is precious and I am trying to guard it more carefully and use it more intentionally and joyfully.

Much better to lose an hour in a book than reading alarming things and social media rants online!

Finding by David Hill is a great novel that follows an intertwining of two whānau through seven generations.

The novel spans from 1886 through to 2018 and tells everyday mundane and extraordinary events of two Māori and Pakeha families. There has clearly been research that has gone into giving the book depth and plausibility.

Each chapter is told in the voice/s of a new generation and it is great to feel the link between the generations.

This sort of book makes me want to know more of the family stories that give me life.

A very readable novel. Suitable for competent readers of upper primary and beyond. A great way to delve into some of our history's events in a way that brings them to life.

Details - Penguin Random House NZ, May 2018 RRP $19.99

love you more than a wonderful discovery during a very near miss xxx

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Bookish - Kakapo Dance

Kia ora koutou,

I am always on the look out for New Zealand authors and topics in books to give to friends, near and wide, when they have little ones.

I think books are a fantastic gift and in the early years board books are worth their weight in gold. Little people go through rather a grabby phase and it's so good to still be able to share books with them without the heartache of ripped pages.

Kakapo Dance by Helen Taylor is a great size for sharing with little ones and the pages are nice strong card which makes them durable and the pages turnable. My favourite part of the book are the illustrations which remind me just how beautiful our birds are. They are brimming with life and colour and movement.

As I read it I was reminded how many of our birds we call by their Māori (original) names. I would love it even more if all the names were the Māori ones, I think it's such a great way for us to work towards more recognition of the names that were already given.

A fun, onomatopoeic, read aloud book for little birds who need to know we all dance and sing our own way.

Details - Penguin Random House, May 2018 RRP $15.99 BB

love you more than a tui on a kowhai tree xxx 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Bookish - You Are Awesome


How could I resist asking for a book called You Are Awesome? Turns out I am so glad I did. Matthew Syed author and former international table tennis champion has written this excellent, visually appealing and highly readable book.

In it he breaks down the difference being being average and being ordinary - and though there are plenty of big names scattered through out the book, he is at pains to paint the real story of how they got to where they are. There are sections of famous failures and what people see and what the reality is.

The book is a great exploration, at a upper primary to lower high school level, of the growth mindset. It has plenty of great tips along the way.

This is a book I will be recommending to our school library and encouraging my children and teachers I work with to read.

A timely, well written and challenging (must persevere more!) book to read.

Details - Hachette NZ, April 2018, RRP $24.99

love you more than a funny story about a bus to Norway xxx

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bookish - Valdemar's Peas

'sup peeps,

Hope your reading lists are looking as fulsome and inviting as mine. Is it just me or do other people buy books at a much faster rate than they can read them??

Valdemar's Peas was a requested title from Gecko Press who publish fabulous books for children. This particular title is an English translation of a Swedish book by Maria Jonsson.

It's simple illustrations and pared back text are one of those combinations in great children's writing that I find so clever. Valdemar and his little sister are eating dinner and Valdemar must eat his 'boring round and pointless' peas before he'll be allowed chocolate ice-cream... how will he get around this dilemma? Has Valdemar got the smarts to outsmart Papa?

A fabulous book that we have enjoyed several repeats of already at our place.

Details - Gecko Press, May 2018 RRP $19.99 PB

love you more than a Papa in a pinny xxx

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bookish - Ghost Boys


I was a bit worried about requesting Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes as I tend to find books and movies that cover racism extremely disturbing. I'm so glad I pushed myself though.

The book is Jerome's story, a 12 year old boy playing with a plastic gun in a park, before he is shot by police. The book alternates between his voice pre and post death and is his own journey of discovery as he meets other boys like himself.

I read the whole book, which is older fiction though not necessarily YA territory, in an evening. The chapters are very short and the narrative moves really well. I felt so challenged reading this book and within a day of finishing it I had recommended it to at least two people. It's a story of racial prejudice in law enforcement and the Black American children who have lost their lives because of it.

Instead of feeling angry and bitter this book is an exploration of what it means to bear witness and to face up to these things that happen regardless of how 'colour-blind' we may claim to be. It's hopeful and heartfelt and devastating at the same time. I consider it to be an incredibly important book and I will be recommending it to the school my children attend as a novel study book.

While it might seem as a New Zealander this issue is not particularly 'ours' reading the book felt like a real challenge to me. I came away from it thinking anytime I recognise a sense of fearfulness or stereotyping in the way I think towards a people group, that indicates thinking and experience I must challenge in myself.

As a mother raising two wonderful white boys this is a book I want to read with them as they get a bit older and to talk about these things. I think it's so, so important for any of us raising white children, especially boys, that we do all we can to help them realise their 'privilege' and to be able to humbly journey with that in the spaces they occupy in the world. We cannot let attitudes of entitlement and unchallenged perspectives of the world be their journey. Having said that I think this book is for everyone we all have something to gain from it.

It's so foreign to me to think of the police as anything other than a group of people or person that would help me. It would never enter my thinking to be frightened of them or worry that I might experience injustice at their hands - sadly that's because of my privilege not a universal truth.

I find racism so upsetting yet I am not without my part to play. I am sure I have offended, appropriated and lived in the spheres of my privilege unchallenged, arrogant and unaware. I hope and pray that I will continue to learn and I am very grateful for the beautiful book that is Ghost Boys and its invitation to me as a white woman on a journey.

Details - Hachette NZ, 24 April 2018 RRP $19.99 PB

love you more than a painful realisation you still have a way to go xxx

Friday, April 20, 2018

Bookish - Paper Dolls - When Harry Met Meghan

Top of the day to you,

Many, many, many moons ago I had a paper doll set of Prince Charles and Lady Diana which I adored. I have no idea how many clothing options PC had but Lady Di had a fabulous collection of dresses that I had many hours of enjoyment from.

A love of clothes and a good dash of nostalgia lead me to request Dan Evans paper doll book When Harry Met Meghan. The flaps of the book contain a Harry and a Meghan complete with simple stand and the pages have clothing ensembles, facts and (possible) facts to add to the experience.

The bodies of H and M have already be scored to make punching out easier but the clothing and tabs have had no such treatment so if you are planning to purchase one for your young royalist.

As a clothes lover I would have liked more outfits but I think it would take a very large collection before I was at clothing option capacity!! ;-)

A super fun gift for any royal-lover in your life or a great prize if you're planning to host a wedding party to watch the proceedings.

Details - Hachette NZ, March 2018 RRP $14.99

love you more than wedding dress options xxx

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Bookish - Eat Happy


How can anyone resist wanting a recipe book called Eat Happy: 30 minute feelgood food? This gorgeous hard covered recipe book by Melissa Hemsley is a real joy.

The recipes are designed with a focus on speed, easily accessible ingredients and promise to only use one pan or two - what's not to love? There are recommendations for substitutions should you find yourself caught short, or discover you are suddenly a vegan or vegetarian.

Melissa has spent many years in the food industry so she offers up a lot of tips and tricks along the way.

This recipe book feels like the perfect fusion between the way many people are trying to eat now - low sugar, gf and df options, using ancient grains and less refined ingredients - and also speedy, accessible ingredients that can be done without 43 hours following 15 different steps. It's doable, fast and driven by a clear love for fresh, seasonal, healthy ingredients that create beautiful flavours.

The book has ten chapters of food types - including sweets, thank you!, vegetable mains, bowl food... and there are also supplementary sections on using leftovers, how to make it work for you, making something out of nothing.

If you have a foodie in your life who never has enough time to cook and bake I think this might be a firm favourite.

Details - Penguin Random House, Feb 2018, RRP $55.00HB

love you more than little chocolate pots with only 5 ingredients xxx