How To Be An Amazing Volunteer Overseas – Rules Of The Road, Stories Of The Field By Susan E. Gibson #SusanEGobson #BarlowPublishing #NonFiction #Volunteering #VolunteeringOverseas

How To Be An Amazing Volunteer Overseas
Rules Of The Road.     Stories Of The Field
By Susan E. Gibson

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This is a comprehensive book that gives practical and very useful advice for anyone who has a desire to go overseas to volunteer. As an experienced volunteer myself, but in the UK and not overseas, I know the importance still, of what the author conveys and how it can be good to impart advice when so experienced in a variety of ways. Everyone who wishes to volunteer abroad will find this book helpful, practical and thought-provoking.
Please find out more in the blurb and full review below, as well as a bit about her. Thanks to Barlow Publishing for gifting me a copy of the book.

How To Be An Amazing Volunteer Overseas

Blurb

Do you want to travel and make a positive impact on the world? This book is designed for you. It will give you practical tips on how to decide what to do and where to go. It will help you to prepare for life in a new country where life is very different. And it will help you to make sure you help the organizations serving as your host rather than be a burden. This book has lots of stories from the author’s experience around the world. She started as many volunteers do, with no idea of how to help people on the ground. After a great many stumbles, she discovered the key to being a successful volunteer overseas: First, go to learn. Then you can help.

Review

The book starts with an interesting, thought-provoking foreward by Nobel Laureate – Professor Muhammad Yunus and then Susan E. Gibson writes about what she wants to tell people about volunteering overseas and why she has written this book in the first place. Throughout, she clearly knows what she is talking about and had so much experience to share.

She wrote it, at least in part because so many people want to volunteer overseas, especially students, but she also writes how other adults also have this desire. She herself has worked in many countries and has volunteered overseas too. It states in the book there are also TED Talks and You Tube videos on this, so readers of the book may also wish to take a look at these to back up the knowledge gained from the book further.

The book was written during the Pandemic of Covid-19 and she talks a bit about the changing world, which is useful.

The book also gets readers to learn about volunteering abroad and also prompts prospective volunteers to really question what motivates them and if they really, truly want to do this abroad or not. It ensures people don’t take this decision lightly. It encourages people to volunteer locally first so they can get a feel for what it is actually like to do that and what the impact on your life and other people’s lives actually is. It also goes into how certain useful skills can be learnt as you need to learn before you’re in a position to be able to actually help, even in a volunteer post.

The book is full of really useful advice and what to watch out for so you don’t end up somewhere that is unethical and will take advantage on the tourist just wanting to help. It also talks about goals when volunteering and about expectations and what skills are useful to share and what to do if you’re limited in your skill set ie what sorts of programmes may be open to you.

There are useful tips in how to plan your trip abroad and what you need to do in advance of arrival to your destination and how to adapt when you arrive into a new country, often with a different culture, different food etc and personal safety. The book perhaps could have gone further into personal safety aspects, but it’s a pretty good snapshot. There is also good parts about when you’re actually at work, forming relationships with different people etc.

By the end there is also advice in how to reconnect with people who were left behind at home and to re-establish a new routine back at home.

It’s pretty comprehensive and gives some good and useful advice that people considering going abroad can take forward with them to wherever they end up volunteering. There is also a good checklist at the back, which people may well like to use for when they do go travelling, along with a summary of the book and a glossary.

About the Author

SUSAN E. GIBSON has been involved in the non-profit sector for more than 35 years. She has worked and volunteered in 70 countries. In 1992, Susan went to Bangladesh where she got her training in microfinance at Grameen Bank from Professor Muhammad Yunus. From 1992-2001, Susan was a consultant providing technical assistance and conducting workshops in team building, communications and microfinance principles for NGOs, UN agencies and donor governments. Currently she is a philanthropist actively engaged with NGOs in the areas of refugees, human rights and education for girls. She serves on the board of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, which reports on challenging issues such as modern day slavery, climate change and women’s rights. The Foundation also offers pro bono legal support to NGOs seeking justice for victims of slavery and trafficking. Susan has served on the board of the International Rescue Committee (IRC-UK) 2012-18 and remains involved in refugee issues. She was Vice-Chair on the Carter Center UK board 2010-14 and was Co-Chair of the Human Rights Watch London Committee 2006-10. Susan was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and was based in New York in the 90s for her career in the development sector. For the last 20 years, she has lived in London, UK with her husband and teenage son. In July 2021, she and her family are starting a new chapter in Washington, DC. How To Be An Amazing Volunteer Overseas is her first book. Connect with Susan on Instagram @amazingvolunteer and AmazingVolunteer.com

#BookReview By Lou of From Sri Lanka With Love – A Tapestry of Travel Tales By Margaret L. Moore #MargaretLMoore #TSLPublications #NonFiction #Travelogue #Memoir #TravelMemoir

From Sri Lanka With Love
A Tapestry of Travel Tales
By Margaret L. Moore

An informative and gentle travelogue that will transport readers to many places from their armchair or wherever you read. Find out more in the blurb and the rest of my thoughts in my review.
I firstly, thank Margaret L. Moore for contacting me via the Contact Me option on my blog and requesting a review and gifting me the book.

From Sri Lanka with Love

Blurb

This book centres around a wonderful holiday my husband Douglas and I had in Sri Lanka in 2017, with friends George and Sylvia, exploring our immediate surroundings and travelling further afield in this wonderful island. Each day brought new experiences ranging from relaxing to exhausting, amusing to thought provoking, straightforward and the very opposite! The holiday provided an ideal opportunity to chat and reminisce about previous holidays we’d had with sons David and Andrew or cousins and friends. Our holidays have changed hugely over the years from simple caravan holidays in our Scottish homeland to jetting across the world, adapting to different climates and cultures. Journey with me as we holiday in Sri Lanka and recount tales from around the globe: Iceland, America, India, Hong Kong, Norway, Spain, Italy, London, Madeira, South Africa, Dubai, Canada, Austria and Australia My hope is you’ll feel you’re on holiday with me as you read.

Review

This is a book about when Margaret and Douglas wanted to go travelling on a holiday. They chose Sri Lanka as their destination and travelling to this destination doesn’t seem an easy process.

Margaret then regails the tale of what they did and where they stayed whilst in Sri Lanka and the animals and people they meet, including their guide, Janaka. The book may inspire people to visit and there are certainly ideas as to what you can do and how to explore Sri Lanka and perhaps what the tourist traps are. This isn’t without a bit of jeopardy, especially on the roads and on the sea, as well as a spot of illness. There is also a wedding to prepare for.

It tells of the different experiences to be had from riding on a Tuk Tuk to the chalet hut accomodation. There is also a bit of humour and excitement to be found about a beach, but also tells the sad tale of the rubbish around, highlighting that it is not just a UK problem and is indeed a worldwide issue. There is however, some cuteness at a turtle sanctury and there’s a bit more humour when they go fishing…
There is also interest to be had in the market places and the restaurants and some of the food they eat. The scenery also sounds beautiful and pretty atmospheric in some parts, such as at a World UNESCO site.

The book isn’t solely about Sri Lanka, it also goes into places to visit in Scotland and the rivers, castles and history for a bit and also makes reference to Hong Kong and a few stop over places and other places they’ve been to, such as Canada, Las Vegas and many other places. It sounds like it could be disjointed, but it isn’t. It all makes sense when you read it and still flows pretty well as she takes readers on a mammoth journey to different cultures, places of worship and climes around the world. There are some different histories to be learnt about certain places around the world, some of it is even a bit brutal, but nonetheless interestingly informative. Even though there are many places within this book, it always comes back to Sri Lanka and their love of this island.

The book goes into fairly comprehensive detail about everything and reads a bit like a friend would sit in conversation about their travels. There are also some very interesting photos throughout.
It took a few pages to get into, but it is worth giving this book a chance because it does have that pull factor that gets you into their travels. It’s a good book for reading all at once or for dipping in and out of. It may make people want to travel again themselves one day.

Links

https://facebook.com/MargaretLMooreAuthor 

https://tslbooks.uk/product/from-sri-lanka-with-love-margaret-l-moore/

#BookReview by Lou – The Unearthing of The Secret Garden – The Plants and Places That Inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett By Marta McDowell @martamcdowell @timberpress #NonFiction #Memoir #HomeandGarden #Gardens

The Unearthing of the Secret Garden –
The Plants and Places That Inspired Frances Hodgeson Burnett

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This is surely a must for anyone who remembers and liked/likes The Secret Garden. It is also a lovely book for people who like history, gardening and memoirs.
Find out more in the blurb and my review.

Blurb

Unearthing The Secret Garden

“Blooming with photos, illustrations, and botanical paintings, McDowell’s gorgeous book opens an ivy-covered door to new information about one of the world’s most famous authors.”—Angelica Shirley Carpenter, editor of In the Garden

New York Times bestselling author Marta McDowell has revealed the way that plants have stirred some of our most cherished authors, including Beatrix Potter, Emily Dickinson, and Laura Ingalls Wilder. In her latest, she shares a moving account of how gardening deeply inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett, the author of the beloved children’s classic The Secret Garden.

In Unearthing The Secret Garden, McDowell delves into the professional and gardening life of Frances Hodgson Burnett. Complementing her fascinating account with charming period photographs and illustrations, McDowell paints an unforgettable portrait of a great artist and reminds us why The Secret Garden continues to touch readers after more than a century. This deeply moving and gift-worthy book is a must-read for fans of The Secret Garden and anyone who loves the story behind the story.

Review

Unearthing The Secret Garden

Peel back the cover and enter the hidden entrance into the world of Frances Hodgson Burnett, a greatly celebrated author, and discover a world of gardens and writing and more and uncover some new information…
Unearthing The Secret Garden is a lovely and interesting book for gardeners, fans of Frances Hodgson Burnett and of course – The Secret Garden. The book seems well researched and well thoughtout. It’s part biograpghy and part about the plants that inspired Frances Hodgson Burnett whilst writing this much treasured children’s book, that has indeed become a much-loved classic that’s even inspired films.

The book provides a glimpse into her life and her gardens and the flowers she liked so well. The flowers are simply beautiful and there are even some useful tips, making this attractive to any gardener reading this book.

The book tells of how she was born in Manchester, England in 1849 and later became friends with Little Women series writer – Louisa May Alcott when her and her mother moved to the USA after the death of her father.

It tells of how she started writing young and yet hadn’t actually created her own garden until she was middle-aged. She infact created many gardens. There are interesting articles that have been reproduced for this book, which add a bit of depth and what’s even more special is, it of course adds her voice as it were, her first hand accounts. There are also photos of her gardens, including Maytham in the UK, how they are presently. The book tells of Maytham being inspirational for transforming for The Secret Garden, into being called Misselthwaite Manor.

There is much love and heartbreak that is shown in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s life, including family as well as the homes she lived in between the UK and US. It shows within times of upheaval and sadness, how gardens became a place of solace and brought something positive again into her life. The book also looks into her writing life and tells of some, perhaps lesser known books, which is a lovely touch and may inspire readers to explore those too.

It’s overall a fascinating read that has passion from page to page and you can tell that a whole lot of research went into creating this beautiful book that gives a sizeable glimpse into life – both personal and writing life and her gardens.

#Review by Lou – Art – Small Great Gestures By Francisco Llorca and Isabel Albertos #FranciscoLlorca #IsabelAlbertos @AllisonandBusby #ChildrensNonFiction #ChildrensBook

Art – Small Great Gestures
By Francisco Llorca and Isabel Albertos

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Art is a lovely introduction to art and artists through the ages that would sit well in the classroom and at home. Find out more in the blurb and review below.
First, thanks to publisher – Allison & Busby for gifting me the book to review.

Art

Blurb

For those who loved Little People, BIG DREAMS, this new series showcases the lives and achievements of amazing men and women.

 From the Renaissance to the present day, this inspiring book paints a vivid picture of the lives and works of eleven artists who stood out from the crowd and changed how we see the world.

 Beginning with Giotto in Renaissance Florence and ending with Banksy’s international street art, including Picasso in the Spanish Civil War and Frida Kahlo in 1920s Mexico, Art is a beautiful and entertaining book for budding artists everywhere.

Review

This is a lovely book that essentially provides an introduction to art. It takes young readers into the worlds of Giotto, Goya, Duchamp, Picasso, Warhol, Banksy and a few more besides. It gives a glimpse into the eras they lived in and what they are famous for and their painting styles. The book does this with a short paragrapgh and an illustration, with each artist taking up just a page each. Further interest can be found in photographs and self-portraits of the featured artists, so readers can see what they really looked like, which is quite respectful. There are also dates of their births and deaths to be found there. Of course certain artists are shown by their artwork instead, such as the elusive Banksy, so anyone hoping for a picture of what this graffiti artist looks like would be disappointed, but I am sure, not surprised.

This book is good for the home and for in classrooms as a tool into the introductory of art through the ages. It would sit well amongst other books of this nature as this showcases just a few artists, but perhaps some less “obvious” ones that are often chosen for this sort of book and not all ones that would instantly spring to children’s minds, so their knowledge in this way can be expanded further.

#ChildrensBook #Review by Lou – A Day In The Life of A Caveman, A Queen and Everything In Between By Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley @TheMikeBarfield @BusterBooks  @VenkmanProject @lovebooksgroup @lovebookstours

A Day In The Life of A Caveman, A Queen and Everything In Between
By Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Children will have so much fun with this non-fiction book. Find out more in the blurb and my review. First, thanks to Love Books Group for inviting me to review on the tour and for gifting me a book.

A Day in the Life (2)

Blurb 

A Day in the Life (2)A colourful and comical tour through history from cartoonists Mike Barfield and Jess Bradley.

The hilarious minds behind A Day in the Life of a Poo, a Gnu and You have teamed up once again – this time to give a taste of the daily lives of the people, animals and objects who made history.

Featuring a day in the life of early humans as they paint mammoths on the walls of a cave, a fierce gladiator battling in the Colosseum and the first woman in space. And not forgetting the animals of history – from an Egyptian cat (worshipped as a god, of course) to an albatross flying over Rapa Nui and a dog in the trenches of the First World War.

Readers can also discover the stories behind famous constructions, including the Great Wall of China and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, and delve into the secret diaries of a Viking, Isaac Newton’s cat and the wooden panel that became the Mona Lisa.

With over 90 entries told in the friendly, informative style of Mike Barfield and brought to life by Jess Bradley’s brilliantly funny illustrations, this book will have children learning and laughing as they go.

Review

This bold and vibrant book is split into 3 sections – Ancient History, Middle Ages and The Modern Age. The author and illustrator have this book pitch-perfect. Together they have mixed fact and humour to create a book that children will just love and learn something too. The layout is in comic/graphic comic layout, which is inspired for today’s generation. It’s fast and entertaining and cleverly has history sit side by side by the modern. There are the facts, but also then a page for a “Newsflash” and a page called “The Bigger Picture”, all corresponding to the main topic, before swiftly moving onto the next topic.

Children are naturally inquisitive, so have many questions and a lot of them are answered in this book.

This feels modern and is totally eye-catching. Children who like Horrible Histories will get much enjoyment out of this as they learn.

Schools could also use this as one of their resources for topics to engage children. There’s certainly plenty to be inspired by.

A Day in the Life (1)

#BookReview by Lou Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears by Jessica Bowers It’s a book with #ClassroomResources @rararesources #JessicaBowers #ChildrensBook #KS1 #KS2 #FacingFears #ChildrensWellbeing

Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears
by Jessica Bowers

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears is suitable for 4-7 year olds. It has a pages at the back for parents and teachers to support children through this story. There are also resources available for the classroom. Thanks to Rachel Random Resources for inviting me to the blog tour and for gifting me the book. Find out more in the blurb and my review.

Blurb

Fantastic Fin CoverCome and join Fantastic Fin as he grows his courage by embodying various inspiring characters and animals to face his fears!

Teachers, Parents and Carers can access the free Fantastic Fin Teaching Resource Pack available from the author’s website.

This is the first book in a series supporting children’s mental health by well-being author and psychotherapist Jessica Bowers. Ideal for children age 4-7.

Fantastic Fin Cover

Review

Fantastic Fin Faces His Fears tells the story, in rhyme, of a boy called Fin, or rather Fantastic Fin. He is a shy and anxious boy who finds a lot of life challenging. He then imagines he is different things like t-rex, a spy, a shark and many more to help him feel brave and overcome these life challenges he is experiencing. The pictures are big and bold with a hint of humour around the hope they provide as Fantastic Fin transforms and feels braver to confront his fears with all his might. At the end of the story there is a page of “Fantastic Fin’s Factfile”. It gives children some practical tips and there is also a page they can draw on themselves, to show how they feel when they face their fears and perhaps conquering them.

The book provides positivity and enough story that can also be woven into a greater conversation and topic of wellbeing or positivity. It can also be used as a conversation opener to find out what your children fear most and how they may face them and overcome them in a fun way. It can, as the story is also fun, be a way of also bonding and finding out more about your child and their emotions in a gentle manner.

About The Author

Jessica is a well-being writer with an extensive background in supporting both young people and adults with their emotional well-being and mental health. Jessica is a qualified Counsellor and Psychotherapist who trained at the Sherwood Psychotherapy Training Institute. Prior to this, she worked for over 10 years with young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Jessica consults with and writes for the wonderful Storytime Magazine, for their emotional well-being and mental health content. She has written a collection of well-being themed children’s picture books for 4-7 year olds, and Fantastic Fin Faces his Fears is her debut book. She has also developed some school workshops which offer emotional education aswell as offering author visits to read her books and poetry to EYFS and KS1 children. Jessica develops free activity and teaching resource packs around emotions and well-being themes which are available from her website at www.jessicabowers.co.uk .

Social Media Links –

https://www.facebook.com/jessicabowerswellbeingwriter

https://twitter.com/bowerswellbeing

https://www.instagram.com/jessicabowerswellbeingwriter/

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fantastic-Fin-Faces-His-Fears/dp/1527298868/

US – https://www.amazon.com/Fantastic-Fin-Faces-His-Fears/dp/1527298868/