#Review By Lou – Drinking Custard – Diary Of A Confused Mum By Lucy Beaumont @LucyABeaumont @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #DrinkingCustard #Memoir #Parents #Families #NonFiction

Drinking Custard – Diary Of A Confused Mum
By Lucy Beaumont

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Today I am on a blog tour for an entertaining non-fiction – autobiographical book – Drinking Custard – Diary of a Confused Mum. Discover more in the blurb and review below. Thanks first to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review on the blog tour and for Octopus Books for gifting a hardback copy of the book. 

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Drinking Custard Graphic 1About the Lucy Beaumont
and the Book

Known for her sharp, witty and surreal view on everyday life, Lucy shares the unpredictable craziness of being a mum in this brilliant and laugh-out-loud ‘mumoir’. Mums everywhere will recognise the madness of it all. From when Lucy was hospitalised with indigestion in her third trimester (blame the burrito), to when she was *this close* to slapping her hypnobirthing instructor, to fi nding herself drinking a whole pint of custard in one sitting.
Drinking Custard also captures Lucy’s marriage to comedian Jon, as they navigate Lucy’s raging pregnancy hormones and balk at pram prices together.

 

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Review

Firstly, Lucy Beaumont makes it clear she hasn’t written a parental advice book. As I read through the book, this is a book with humour and with anecdotes that parents may be able to relate to in their own lives.
There is about Lucy herself, who is also a comedian and her lifestyle as well as how she met fellow comedian – Jon Richardson, who she rubs up the wrong way from time to time. It’s really rather funny!

The way the book is set-out is fun, quick and easy to read for those busy parents. It’s easy to dip in and out of. It’s an entertaining enough book for something different to read to lift people’s mood.

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There are some serious moments too, about hormones, the changes within her body whilst being pregnant and the challenges of those night feeds. There’s also joy of reaching certain milestones too, between missing the life pre-baby. There’s the changes in conversations from Homes Under The Hammer exchanged to Paw Patrol and Bing etc. and the groups to join up to and progressing onto nursery runs.

The book is entertaining and seems to be an honest, yet humorous account of life and becoming and being parents.

 

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#BookReview By Lou Sticky Icky Vicky – Courage Over Fear By Alysia & Michael Ssentamu, Illustrated By Noor Alshalbi #StickyIckyVicky #PixelPublishingHouse #AlysiaSsentamu #MichaelSsentamu #OvercomingFear #6to10yearsReading #ChildrensBook #Parenting #Families

Sticky Icky Vicky – Courage Over Fear
By Alysia & Michael Ssentamu
Illustrated By Noor Alshalbi

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Readers meet Sticky Icky Vicky in what is an ultimately positive rhyming story about overcoming fears. A book suitable for 6 to 10 year olds.
Thanks to Pixel Publishing House for gifting me the copy for review. Find out more in the blurb and review below.

Sticky Icky Vicky

Blurb

Meet Sticky Icky Vicky, a girl who wants to get over her fear—once and for all

In Courage over Fear, the first book in the Sticky Icky Vicky™ series, authors Alysia and Michael Ssentamu introduce readers to Vicky, a fun-loving girl who doesn’t mind getting a little sticky and icky. She loves rolling down hills and playing in mud—but when it comes to water, Sticky Icky Vicky’s fear prevents her from joining in the fun. Then Vicky gets an invitation for a waterpark party, and she decides that she really wants to go—even if it means ignoring the Negative Ned voice in her head and getting over her fear.

With vibrant illustrations and catchy rhymes, Courage over Fear offers children an inspirational/loveable heroine who learns some valuable life lessons, such as:

● Courage                ● Positive thinking                  ● Goal-setting

Aimed primarily at readers aged six to ten, Sticky Icky Vicky: Courage over Fear is a reading experience that leaves kids believing that they, like Vicky, can get past any obstacle in their way.

Review

The book is rhyming, which makes it great for using for 6 to 10 year olds. It’s enjoyable for this age group and is a positive story that is conveyed well for this age group. The fact it rhymes makes the fear less daunting in a way and makes it seem more palatable to read as it is less heavy than it may have been otherwise, especially for the younger part of this age group. For the whole age group, the book can be used as a discussion opener with children who have similar issues to Vicky surrounding water.

The story starts with Vicky having fun with friends, but soon it is revealed that she has a fear of water, the reason being explained within the story. This then begins to have an impact on her life, especially, in this instance, her social life as her instinct is to decline an invite to a water park. Instead of doing this, she decides to be brave and confront her fear and the thoughts in her head, which materialise as “Negative Ned”. There are however more positive thoughts, which materialise as “Positive Ted” to combat the negativity.

The book can help children see that something is worth a try, even though they are fearful at first because it could be more fun than they first imagined. So, it could be used as a tool to help widen children’s interests and their world and build courage and resilience.

#Review by Lou – Everyone Is Still Alive By Cathy Rentzenbrink @CathRentzenbrink @Phoenix_Bks @RandomTTours

Everyone Is Still Alive
By Cathy Rentzenbrink

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Everyone is Still Alive is a moving, well-observed story about parenthood and more… It has wit and challenges and certain aspects made me think of hit tv show Motherland in someways.
Thanks to Phoenix Books for gifting me with the book and to Random T Tours for organising this and inviting me to review

Find out more in the blurb and my review below.

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About the Author

Cathy Rentzenbrink Author PicCathy Rentzenbrink grew up in Yorkshire, spent many years in London, and now lives in Cornwall.
She is the SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author of THE LAST ACT OF LOVE, which was shortlisted for the Wellcome Prize, and the acclaimed memoirs A MANUAL FOR HEARTACHE and DEAR READER. EVERYONE IS STILL ALIVE is her first novel.

 

Blurb

Everyone Is Still Alive CoverThe wise, witty and moving debut novel from SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Cathy Rentzenbrink
– exploring the deeper reality of marriage, parenthood and the way life thwarts our expectations.
It is summer on Magnolia Road when Juliet moves into her late mother’s house with her husband Liam and their young son, Charlie. Preoccupied by guilt, grief and the juggle of working motherhood, she
can’t imagine finding time to get to know the neighbouring families, let alone fitting in with them.
But for Liam, a writer, the morning coffees and after-school gatherings soon reveal the secret struggles, fears and rivalries playing out behind closed doors – all of which are going straight into his new novel . . .
Juliet tries to bury her unease and leave Liam to forge these new friendships. But when the rupture of a marriage sends ripples through the group, painful home truths are brought to light. And then, one sundrenched afternoon at a party, a single moment changes everything.
EVERYONE IS STILL ALIVE is the story of several families who live on the same suburban street, all
secretly struggling with the anxieties of the modern world whilst trying to maintain the illusion that
everything is fine. This is a novel about guilt, grief, working motherhood, the mental load, envy, fear and
status, but it’s also about love, friendship, community and how we figure out what really matters.

Review

It has a striking beginning in the prologue, with what people worry about. Juliet and Liam are parents to Charlie and have just moved house and discover they live across from Brian and Jim, who kindly introduce themselves.

The book deals with death and grief in the family as Charlie’s gran’s died. It leads readers into very moving depicitions of a family trying to be okay and deal with it all, especially with a child and Charlie has his own concerns and how he views granny as having being more fun than mummy. It then shows Juliet making an effort as Charlie goes to his new school and existing parents making an effort and Juliet integrating into her new life on Magnolia Road. Readers then get to know a bit more about Helen and Dan and their children, Daisy and Freddie and how Freddie needs his fidget spinner and how his parents are wondering what’s going on with his behaviour and tantrums.
Everyone Is Still Alive shows a little about some of the difficulties with bonding at times, as well as the joy and the social occassions, work getting in the way, the compromises, the stuff that some parents feel obliged to be in, such as PTA meeting. It shows the whirlwind of parenting, whether still together or co-parenting, as Lucy and Bas are and the issues and feelings and questions that throws up about what they really want.

There’s also a sudden incident that occurs in Juliet’s family that is sure to also keep readers gripped as it’s a matter of life or death.

It’s an insightful book into different people’s lives, emotions, kindness, relationships. It may even have people looking at their own lives.

There’s humour, honesty and emotion and many situations that families get themselves into, which are well-observed. It also shows a resilience, which I think may interest many readers. I also think if you like Motherland on TV, you may like this book.

Readers will find “The Credits” at the back have a fascinating insight into just how many people work on a book to get it out there into the public sphere so people can read it.

#BookReview by Lou – Tilda Tries Again by Tom Percival @TomPercivalsays @KidsBloomsbury #ChildrensBook #KS1 #Parents #Families #Preschool #Positivity

Tilda Tries Again
By Tom Percival

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Entertaining, fabulously illustrated well-told positive story that is great for pre-school, reception and primary 1 classes and for parents/carers etc to read and have fun with their children; as well as it having a deeper message that promotes positive wellbeing. This is a book worth getting excited about. Find out more in the blurb and my review.
Thanks to Bloomsbury Children’s Books for gifting me this book.

Tilda Tries Again

Blurb

Be open, be honest, be you! Big Bright Feelings for little people.

Tilda’s world is just as she likes it . . . until one day, it turns completely UPSIDE DOWN. All of a sudden, everything is topsy-turvy, and nothing feels right. Things that were once easy now seem incredibly challenging.

Can Tilda discover a new way to approach her problems and believe in herself?

Bold, bright and empowering, this is an inspiring story about coping with difficult situations. It’s the ideal book for helping children to build resilience and embrace a ‘can do’ approach to life.

Tom Percival’s Big Bright Feelings series is the perfect springboard for conversations about mental and emotional health, positive self-image, building self-confidence and managing feelings.

Review

Tilda Tries AgainIt’s bright, bold and greatly positive for young children. Not every day is going to be just as your children would want it to go, it isn’t possible and Tilda shows not only that, but that they can overcome that bad day and things can become brighter again. Tilda has her friends and toys and all is well with her world, but suddenly nothing feels right and for her, her whole world is turned upside down (literally, in the depiction). The pictures are all terrifically illustrated. They illustrate the narrative perfectly as children can follow both and it is a real attention grabber. The use in dramatic pictures and draining the colour out of the time when she is having a bad day, and bringing it back into full colour, when things get better only further, visually helps with the understanding of how she is feeling, when she is sad and happy. It captures children and their moods and interests very well.

 It is positive, entertaining and such a well-written story that children will relate to. What is so good is that Tilda brushes herself down and decides to try again. It also refrains from it being a sob story or self-centred story. It does in a fun way, promote reslience and that there will be a better day. It could also have a positive impact on children in a way that may just make them feel good inside and out and ready to try again, as Tilda does.

It’s well written for young children, with short sharp sentences, perfect for preschool and reception or primary 1 classes as fun and discussions can come out of this book. Parents/carers etc can also have so much fun reading this to their children and whatsmore is that it is properly positive and can also be used as a bedtime story, or just curling up having a quiet time together.

The Positivity Project – #Review by Lou of Understanding Kids – 3 books – The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking? What’s My Teenager Thinking? @TanithCarey @Summersdale @dkbooks @RandomTTours #parenting #UnderstandingKids

The Positivity Project – Understanding Kids
By Tanitha Carey
Rated: 5 stars *****

3 books – The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking, What’s My Teenager Thinking

I have something a bit different today and this is indeed a very exciting I have 3 short reviews on 3 books that create part of The Positivity Project, which I see as being highly exciting, totally worthwhile and exactly what people need right now, which is why I am excited to have been invited onto the blog tour by Random Things Tours and books gifted and what a treat there is in store. The 3 aforementioned books focus on creating positive children and adults. The books are best used by parents, carers, educationalists, counsellors. They are plain-speaking. There’s no challenging jargon. They are easy to follow. I have a quick overview of the books and then quick reviews and blurbs for each book in turn. Check out the layout of the pages as you scroll down too.

The books The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking, What’s My Teenager Thinking are the best, healthiest parenting books in a long time…. read further as to what you can find in them and why this seems to be the case… The books are simply incredibly amazing!!! They are some of the most exciting parenting books around right now, my fingers can hardly contain themselves as I write about them. I think they are the Must Read books if you’re a parent of a baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager. They will guide you through every stage.

Being a parent at any time can be a joy and yet challenging, especially in the age we live in. There are behaviours, influences, questions, social media, social pressures and so much more to deal with. These books are much more unique and nuanced than other parenting style books. These are, practical books that don’t pile the pressure of what the latest trend in parenting style is ie helecopter or tiger parenting etc. These books are stripped from all of this and creates something incredibly positive and rounded for parents to read as they bring up their children at all the different ages and stages of their lives. These books also, perhaps inadvertantly, shine a more positive light on future children and adults too as these books give a realistic, healthy look into childhood and teenagers and healthier ways to deal with them as parents. The books are suggestive, rather than preachy.
So many parents are going to find these books highly helpful and sensible. No subeject matter goes untouched. No subject seems to be too small or too big. They amazingly cover literally everything that can crop up at every single age-group in a dynamic, sensitive and most helpful way so parents can use them in their quest to have well-rounded, resilient children and teenagers, as well as helping themselves a bit along the way.

The books have all recieved high praise from key educationalists and psychologists. The books are developed to be used by parents/carers, but can also be used as a useful tool for educationalists and counsellors.
Today I bring you The Friendship Maze, What’s My Child Thinking, What’s My Teenager Thinking. Find out more about them in my reviews and the blurbs and then concluding in bullet points, what each book looks at in turn.

About the Author

Tanith Carey Author PicTanith Carey is a journalist and author who writes on the most pressing challenges facing today’s parents. Her writing has featured in The Telegraph, The Times, New York Daily News, and more. She also appears on TV and radio, such as Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, ITV’s This Morning, and Good Morning Britain.

The Friendship Maze

Review

The Friendship Maze Cover (1)Friendships, it can’t be assumed social skills and actually making friends is a linear process, nor should be taken for granted that this happens naturally, it doesn’t. The book starts off explaining a bit about friendships and then moves onto how sometimes what starts off as being good, can fall into difficulties. It has great tips on bringing up children to show kindness and developing friendships as well as giving some space for independence to grow. It shows that these skills are also something that needs to be taught and gives non-evasive, yet highly practical hints on how to do this.

The book  shows what can impact on social skills and what can in a negative way, with reality tv, puberty, pressure of cliques and social media and what can be positive and what can be negative. The book, as it does throughout, explains and sometimes has a scenario and then has bite-size bubbles with hints how parents can help their child or teen navigate through these times. Parents really can find that there is a helping hand at every stage, even how to have happier playdates.

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Blurb

Friendship battles among children have existed since the words ‘you can’t play with us’ were first uttered in the playground.

But the concern today is that unkind and excluding behaviour appears to be starting sooner than ever – even in nursery school.

Yet despite playing such an important part of their well-being, friendships are the area of our children’s lives that adults understand the least – but worry about the most.

By bringing together the latest social science on friendship for the first time for a UK audience, parenting author Tanith Carey peels back the mystery of children’s relationships so parents can guide their children better.

This bold analysis looks at the factors which have made the friendships of British children some of the most fraught in the world.

What’s my Child Thinking

Review

What's My Child thinking Cover (1)No one can totally know what their child is thinking, after all no one is a mind-reader, but it does give some pretty educated insights and how to handle them in a positive way.

To do this, the book asks the parent to take a few minutes to think about their own childhood and what their values are. There are some directional questions to aid in this process. There are some milestones for child-development given, before looking into child behaviours. It’s all broken down into age-groups and bite-size chunks. There isn’t any jargon to get your head around, it’s done plainly and simply.

The book jumps into what the child is thinking and verbalising, such as the word “no” and seeking that bit of independence of wanting to try to do something themselves. The book clearly explains these and then has a great way of how parents can respond. The book gives an informative chart of how to handle eating out, then goes onto behaviours such as hitting and wanting something, such as your phone. As well as detailing these behaviours and how to deal with them, it clearly states what to do in the long term, as well as in the moment, making this book excellent for longevity.

The book literally goes into every crevice of the child’s world and has a reassuring and healthy way of dealing with anything. Parents often say, there isn’t a handbook for bringing up children. This book comes pretty close. It’s one of the best and sound parenting books because of this and its roundedness and not focusing on any particular trend of a parenting style, which makes this book practical for years and years to come.

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Blurb

For this unique new book, Tanith and Angharad have pulled together the most important aspects of research and advances made in child development, which up to now, hasn’t been available to parents.

Designed for time-pressed parents, it allows mums, dads and carers to quickly and accurately interpret their child’s behaviour in the moment in more than 100 different challenging situations – and give the best science-based solutions, without having to wade through text and opinions

From tantrums, friendships (real and imaginary), sibling rivalry and having a new baby to sleep problems, aggressive behaviour and peer pressure, parents can quickly find a situation and understand exactly what their child is thinking, and the best way to respond. 

There are also practical survival guides dotted throughout which offer more detailed information and key principles to follow when dealing with more complex issues. These include shyness, coping with birthday parties, hitting and biting, travelling in a car and eating out. Complicated situations like separation and divorce are also included.

The book highlights the importance of working together as a team if you have a co-parent, and how it can helpful to seek advice from others if you are raising your child alone. There is guidance on how to decide what matters to you most in terms of values, along with reminders about why children react in the way they do, especially when they don’t yet have the words to explain. Feeling pressured to be the ‘perfect’ parent is also addressed.

What’s My Child Thinking? is the first parenting book that simultaneously brings together the thinking of both the parent and the child. It clearly explains how to decode a child’s behaviour, understand the psychology behind it and confidently find the best solution to resolve it. It shows that by tuning into your child’s innermost thoughts you can get a calmer, happier family life.

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What’s My Teenager Thinking?

Review

What's My Teenager Thinking Cover (1)Often parents find some of the most challenging times being when their small child becomes a teenager and there are even more and different things to navigate. I love that, again, this isn’t preachy and nor does it go into any parenting trends and is much more down-to-earth and more rounded than that. It’s another must have for any parent’s bookshelf. It serves as a practical guide and support, which is bang up-to-date and covers the very sort of world your teen is living in. I’m super impressed and excited for those with teens, that they can have such a book.

The book has a lovely, but easy to understand introduction to what is going on the inside of your teenager’s brain to the hormones it is producing. For the younger teens, it goes from needing the latest phone to addressing hygiene and body changes to FOMO to the changing friendships, crushes and social media, joining marches, moodswings and the more sinister side,. It also handles even more serious issues such as self-harm.It moves up in increments in age as some thoughts change or get deeper than at 13/14. So at 15/16 the themes continue, but extends to exam pressures to thoughts of certain people hating them. It focuses on sleep and shaving too, to wanting more of an allowance to sexual behaviours, dating, coming out as gay. It also handles when the teen wants driving lessons. At 16/17 it takes the themes further to consent, drugs, being worried about the future, anxieties and suicidal thoughts.

These are just a few of the meaty subjects within the book, that have been broken down to just a few pages, giving parents the support they need in a practical way. Each has a very realistic scenario, then segments of what your teen may be thinking and how as a parent you can respond in that moment and practical tips on how to in the long-term.

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Blurb

Are your child’s teenage years more challenging than you ever imagined?

Do you struggle to know how to respond when your child says: ‘I hate you!’, ‘Get out of my room!’, ‘My life is over if I don’t get these grades’ or ‘Do I look fat in this?’

Despite your best efforts to say the right thing, do you often find that your suggestions are seen by your teens as ‘criticism’ and your concerns about their well-being are viewed as ‘controlling’?

At a time when our teenagers face unprecedented challenges to their mental health, it’s more important than ever for adults to find better ways to understand and connect with adolescents. What’s My Teenager Thinking? by parenting author Tanith Carey and clinical child psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin, is a new kind of book that takes a unique approach.

  • It uses the best child and development psychology to translate adolescent behaviour in more than 100 everyday scenarios, many of which are not tackled in other parent books, including issues that have surfaced in lockdown.
  • Drawing on the best research in child psychology, development and neuroscience, each scenario offers practical, easy-to-access solutions parents can use both in the moment and the long-term.
  • It compressed the best science in a way that time-pressed parents can quickly and easily access when a problem arises, without wading through text.
  • Unlike other books which lump the teen years together, it looks at how the teenage brain and thinking evolves through the early, mid and later teenage years

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What the Books Look At:

The Friendship Maze…

  •  How has social media changed the way children relate to each other?
  • How do hierarchies form in every classroom?
  • Why are boys now just as like to engage in ‘mean behaviour?
  • Why do some children always seem to be left on the side-lines?
  • Are we too quick to call ‘bullying’?
  • Deal with classroom and social media politics.
  • Inoculate your child against the effects of peer-group pressure, cliquiness and exclusion.
  • Learn what’s really going on in your child’s social circle.
  • Bully-proof your child throughout school.
  • Work out when to step in and step out of your child’s conflicts.
  • Help your child make friends if they are stuck on the side-lines.

What’s My Teenager Thinking

  • Designed for parents of all adolescents, What’s My Teenager Thinking includes what to say when your teen says:
  • I am revising
  • Stop following me on social media
  • Everyone else plays this computer game
  • You never listen
  • You swear. Why can’t I?
  • I’ll tidy my room in a minute
  • I’m going anyway
  • Can my boyfriend sleep over?

What’s my Teenager Thinking? tackles real-world concerns including online safety, exam pressures, eating disorders, depression, alcohol, drugs, and sex and doesn’t shy away from hard-hitting themes such as porn, self-harm and suicide.

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#BookReview by Lou of #ChildrensBook – Sammy’s New Food Week By Charlotte Olson, Illustrated by Nick Roberts @suziebooks

Sammy’s New Food Week
By Charlotte Olson
Illustrated By Nick Roberts
Rated: 4 stars ****

Charlotte Olson writes Suzie and Sammy books. They are a visual aid for young children and are simple stories to help in certain situations.

I thank Charlotte for contacting me after word of mouth or word of tweet from children’s author Nikki Saunders. I thank Charlotte for sending me a PDF copy of her book.

Discover the blurb, review, website and social media links and other titles.
Available Now!

Sammy's New Food Week

Blurb

Follow Sammy as he tries a new food every day of the week. Monday, some yummy broccoli through to Sunday where Sammy tries some roast chicken.
You never know, you might like to try something new too, just like Sammy has!

Review

This is a fun book with bold illustrations and short book for young children and aimed primarily at those who find it challenging to try new foods. Each page has a friendly way, through story-telling and pictures of showing Sammy eating different type of food each day of the week from brocolli on Monday to apples on Wednesday to fish on Friday and many more all the way from Monday to Sunday. 

The book focuses on 1 topic and is written in a non-complex way, making it easy for children to understand and to follow. It’s also great for those with shorter attention spans.

It would make a great conversation opener and through Sammy being shown trying all the different foods, it could be used as a resource for parents and in a wider context of techniques, in nurseries and schools for encouraging children to give new foods a try in a gentle, non-invasive way.

Media Links and Other Titles

Website: suziebooks.co.uk              Twitter: @suziebooks

More Sammy and Suzie titles
Dressing Up Day
Moving House
Visiting Grandparents
Star Chart
New Food Day
Goes to a Funeral
Going to the Hairdressers
Bathtime
Going to the Seaside
Going to the Swimming Pool
Going to the Park
Toilet Time