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

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bookish - Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different

Heya :-)

I was SO excited to discover Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks was coming out. I already have a copy of the Rebel Girls book and I had felt a little sad for my boys that a similar thing didn't exist for boys.

I must say my boys have been very happy reading the girls' one and I like that they are being introduced to strong female characters in their lives (their mother falling into this category!).

One of the things I absolutely love about this book is the wide variety of ethnic groups and geographies and time periods represented. It is SO good for our children to read about all sorts of people whose lives and experiences are different from their own.

The stories are easily read and each one page story has a cool illustration that goes with it. The variety of achievement types is extremely wide too. The book features Taika Waititi - whoop! NZ represent.

I'm such a fan of these kind of books, of introducing children to heroes who don't fit stereotypes and who show them there is so much more to success and to the world than their experiences and point of view. For kiwi boys I think seeing heroes who aren't just sports stars is really important.

Both my boys pounced on this book when it came in the post and they have been reading different stories and showing me ones that have really struck a cord with them.

Details - Hachette NZ, April 2018 RRP $39.99 HB

love you like I love a collection of world changing men who never once picked up a sword or saved a princess xxx

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Makey - Wordy Sitching

Kia ora,

So I've been doing some more stitching. This is a quote from author of  A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L'Engle.

I just adore this quote and I enjoyed the process of stitching it.

I'm getting rather a collection of big and small wordy stitches... not sure what I'll do with them but I enjoy the process!

love you more than a sense of completing something xxx

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Bookish - The Squirrels Who Squabbled

Hi Squirrel Lovers,

I have really enjoyed reading The Squirrels Who Squabbled by Rachel Bright and Jim Field to many children already.

It has a lovely fast paced narrative and a sweet message. The illustrations are a great match to the text and move from beautiful page and double page spreads to more comic style action sequences. The rhyme scheme is solid as well.

It doesn't matter how grown up I get I will never stop loving the pleasure of a gorgeous picture book.

Details - Hachette NZ, April 2018 RRP $19.99

love you more than a waterfall rescue xxx

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Makey - Extrovert Introvert Quilt Top

Kia ora,

This year I am studying part time and for one of my assignments the tutor asked for a personal response to some of the material.

Well, that lead me on rather a journey and one of the things that has come from it is a series of quilts and mini-quilts, or at least they will be if I get them finished on time!

This quilt top is about the extroverts and the introverts and how both are powerful people types, both are beautiful and both are necessary.

The wild colours, which represent me - and many other extroverts all came from my stash, via off-casts of my dear friend Deb. Now that they are all mixed together I feel like I like them much more than I did individually.

What are you making right now?

love you more than a riot of colour xxx