The River By Tom Percival @TomPercivalsays @simonkids_UK #PictureBook #ChildrensEmotionsBook #Feelings #ChildrensWellbeing #ChildrensBook #Kidslit

The River
By Tom Percival

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today I am reviewing a book that covers emotions, nature and seasons in its picture book story – The River By Tom Percival. It would be great for any classroom, home, library. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Children’s UK.
Discover more in the blurb and my review below.

The River cover

Blurb

An exquisite, thought-provoking book to help children understand the idea of ever-changing emotions.

Rowan loves the river; it’s just like he is. On some days, it’s quiet and calm, on others it’s light and playful, and then there are the days when it roars along, wild and angry. But when Rowan goes through a particularly difficult winter, the river freezes – just like Rowan. Can Rowan find a way to release his frozen feelings, and allow the river to flow freely once more?

The wise and reassuring new picture book from the creator of The Invisible and Ruby’s Worry.

Review

The River provides a great story that has a unique way of showing different emotions. It uses the river and the main character – Rowan to convey them. Follow Rowan along the river and through the different seasons. It shows the path and behaviours of the river, such as freezing over winter, before becoming free again in the summer. The illustrations are beautiful and carry the story along very well, in a quiet, engaging manner.
The story conveys the message that the river is always changing, it can be angry and it can be calm and humans, such as Rowan also change in their moods too. The river is a clever tool in this story to illustrate that children have many emotions and that is also shown through Rowan.

It’s a bright, thought-provoking story that is short and sweet, pitched perfectly at young children from at least nursery into primary school. It would also be great for libraries and homes. It’s one that I highly recommend and can be used as a great story and discussion.

Other books by Tom Percival:
The Sea Saw
The Invisible

#Bookreview By Lou of One Camel Called Doug By Lu Fraser @_lufraser #SarahWarburton @simonkids_UK #picturebook #RhymingStory #ChildrensBook #BedtimeStory

One Camel Called Doug
By Lu Fraser
Illustrated By Sarah Warburton

Rating: 5 out of 5.

One Camel Called Doug is a rhyming picture book for young readers that I highly recommend. Today I have a review, thanks to Simon & Schuster Kids UK for gifting me a copy. Find out more about it in the blurb and my review below.

One Camel Named Doug

Blurb

A warmly reassuring rhyming story (with a fun counting element!) about how it’s ok to need a little alone time, from the author of the award-winning The Littlest Yak.

Doug the camel is all alone and sometimes he wonders whether one is enough (it makes playing hide and seek terribly tough…). So when at first one, then two, then three, then four more camels turn up (followed by a whole camel herd), Doug delights in the possibilities all these new friends bring. But when Doug is ‘all camelled out’ from all the excitement and it’s time to count down to bedtime, he takes just as much pleasure from the peace of being alone once again.

Lu Fraser’s warm, funny text is a delight to read out loud and is brilliantly illustrated by Sarah Warburton in the first book from this exciting new picture book partnership.

Review

One Camel Called Doug is a funny rhyming story that also involves counting. It starts with one camel, but there may be more, or it could be something else. Doug tries to figure out what he is seeing and how many you need for playing games like hide and seek or going on a bobsleigh or playing football.
It’s bright and vibrant with some hilarity in its illustrations.
It’s a beautiful book that brings camels alive in ways readers will find hilarious and will never have seen before.
Any nursery, library, home could have this in their possession to great effect.
It’s a book I highly recommend!

#Interview By Lou with Siena about her book Why We Walk, Illustrated By Shannon Wilvers @rararesources #Siena #ShannonWilvers #ChildrensBook #SummerRead #Summer #Walking #Nature #SienasStories #WhyWeWalk #PictureBook #GreatOutdoors #Outside

Interview with Siena
About her new children’s book – Why We Walk

It was a pleasure to interview Siena – the author of Why We Walk, a Canadian who writes stories for young children that are relatable and entertaining for children the world over. This one is suitable for 1-6 year olds. You will find out why it was written, her passion for people walking and the environment, how she puts her books together and how the writer/illustrator working relationship came about. Finally you will find a little about how Siena felt when her first book got published and how she had to convince her family.
First, find out about the blurb and then onto the 5 questions in the interview.

Blurb

Why we walk_coverWhen we walk we see things that we would have missed if we drove. Things like birds, cats, & squirrels. When we walk we have fun spending time together. We talk and learn how walking can help to care for our planet. Join Siena and her dad as they walk to school and discover every little step counts.

This is the second book in the Siena’s Stories series. The first book, The Dance of the Snow Tractors, was named a top book for children in the automobile category by Newsweek magazine.

Now onto the interview…

  1. You have a clear passion for walking and inspiring young children to get outside to walk, what inspired you to write the book – Why We Walk? Also, what is your favourite types of places to walk?

This book was my first idea for a book. It just came to me when my daughter asked me that simple question while we walked to school. I like to walk and really enjoy birdwatching. I walk almost daily for exercise and enjoy trying to find my favourite bird, the cardinal.

  1. What inspired you to care about the environment?

I grew up on a small island off the coast of British Columbia and learned about sustainability at an early age. I also saw the destruction of the land by the mine my parents worked in and the clear cutting of the old growth forest by a nearby logging settlement. It seemed like every year the clear cuts got closer and closer to my island and they were ruining the amazing view I had of the surrounding forest and ocean from my window. I will always remember waking up early to eat breakfast and watching all the stars in full view without the big city lights.

I also have fond memories of the many times Green Peace ships would visit our settlement and share their stories.

  1. Do you find that by writing children’s books about walking and how this helps the environment then rubs off on adults. I had a primary school teacher who had a passion for the environment in the 90’s and a lot permanently rubbed off on me and positively impacted my thinking. Do you think books like yours has a real impact for the longer term how children think as they grow into adults?

I have faith that children today are much more aware of how their parents polluted the planet and will take measures to combat climate change. My book will be a small reminder.  I also believe technology will help them along the way. I used to work in the power electronics industry and have first hand experience with solar, wind and micro hydro installations. They are becoming more affordable everyday. I tell my daughter that even small simple changes like LED lighting will make a huge difference over time.

  1. You have an illustrator – Shannon Wilvers. How did this working relationship come about and can you give a little insight into the process of you both working together to create a finished story?

I had come up with the idea for my book a few years ago but I cannot draw. I do collect original comic book art and have a side job selling movie memorabilia at comic conventions. At the various shows I met a local comic artist (Geof Isherwood) who also teaches art at a local technical school. I discussed the book with Geof and he introduced me Shannon who was his student at the time.

I use Microsoft Powerpoint to write the books. I create a slide and put in the text. Next, I insert a personal picture or a picture from the internet as reference for Shannon. When I am done, I send the file to Shannon. She creates a storyboard and we fine tune the art and text.

  1. Your first book – The Dance of the Snow Tractors, was named a top book for children in the automobile category by Newsweek magazine. How did that make you feel and how did you celebrate?

I was over the moon. I had a hard time convincing my family and friends that I was serious about writing these books. Newsweek helped bring them over to my side.

Why We Walk Full Tour Banner

Review By Lou of The Way From Here By Jane Turner @jane_turner9 @orionbooks @RandomTTours #BookReview #ContemporaryFiction #BlogTour #ReadingCommunity

The Way From Here
By Jane Turner

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Today is my turn on the blog tour with my review for The Way From Here, a book of parenthood, life’s transitions and friendship. Find out more in the blurb and my thoughts in my review below.
Thanks to Random T Tours and the publisher Orion for inviting me to review and for a copy of the book.

F The Way From Here Cover

Blurb

Four friends. A lifetime of choices. What comes next?

Kate had been so busy making a place in the world for her daughters, she had somehow forgotten to take care of herself. The life she’d ended up with was not the life she’d planned. Everything was…a compromise.

When Kate’s younger daughter Ella goes off to university, she realises her life has become consumed by the minutiae of family life. In her ’empty nest’, Kate starts to wonder: what now?

Decades after abandoning her university hobby of rowing, Kate gingerly joins a local ladies rowing team and rediscovers her passion for the pleasing rhythmic sensation of paddle slicing through water.

More than anything, though, Kate finds that the team of strong women bring new adventures and unlikely friendships she hadn’t even realised she missed having…

A life-affirming, uplifting story about eight fifty-something women who are all asking the same question about what is next in life for them – and starting to discover the answer together.

Review

The Way From here is told primarily from Kate and Beth’s perspectives, with interjections from Lesley. It begins with Kate taking her daughter, Ella to university. It has all the ingredients in the story that so many parents would be able to relate to when their children get to a certain stage and age in life.

The book quickly gets into the next stage, with Kate getting into a rowing club. The book gets right into the details of rowing, quite cinematically and for the uninitated in rowing, the author has thoughtfully written brief descriptions outwith the main body of the story, of rowing techniques.
This isn’t soley about rowing, so it’s still okay if that isn’t your thing. This is also about reaching a certain stage and age in life and being overlooked. It also shows how groups, even such as a rowing group, has its cliques. On the flipside, it is also about friendship and rediscovering what seemed lost and truly living again and navigating through the maze of another stage of life.
Readers are let into Kate’s psyche, moods and mental health state, really well in a way that you can totally sympathise with her and perhaps even empathise with her if you’re a reader of a similar sort of age. You really get into her head and her thoughts about her life and how she is feeling.
Kate, especially, is a character that truly pops off the page.
All in all though, readers can follow friends through ups and downs of a new phase of life as their nests become empty and they need to work out how to fill the void and find their place in the world again.

It’s a book, perhaps really aimed at an audience slightly older than I, but it is important to read books with strong characters who are that bit older, giving inspiration and a story of how life can be as we enter different stages in life. It’s told well and is both compelling and absorbing. It provides physical energy through the rowing and also through the pathways of life, that you go through with the characters, leading to a very realistic, mature and satisfying ending.

#Review By Lou of Meet The Grubblers By Sarah Louise, Illustrated By Amy Ashworth @sarahlouise_novels @thegrubblers @Random T Tours #BlogTour #ChildrensBooks #MeetTheGrubblers

Meet The Grubblers
By Sarah Louise
Illustrated By Amy Ashworth 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Meet The Grubblers Cover

 

Meet the Grubblers has cake, creatures and a magical world to explore in this positive adventure. 
Discover more in the blurb and my review below.
Thanks to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review as part of the blog tour.

Meet The Grubblers Back Cover

Review

Meet the Grubblers 3D ImageMeet the Grubblers is set against the pandemic, but also delves into a fantastic adventure. Emily is fed up of Ipad’s and calls over the internet and opens her curtains one day and is magically whisked on an adventure with a mysterious girl called Lucy, who in turn introduces her to The Grubblers, who are up to all sorts of antics… They are curious characters who bring humour and take readers further into a fantastical land, which is brilliant for escapism. Amongst the humour and cake, that features in the book, is mild trepidation as someone has captured Ada and it is up to Emily and Lucy, in this different land, to find her.
This is a positive story with an excellent ending.

You may never open your curtains in the same way after reading this story… There are perhaps more adventures than meets the eye for the imaginative readers…

On, perhaps an even more serious note, I think this is great, considering at the time of writing, Covid-19 has not totally disappeared and for the future as things move onwards, it’s an important reminder of its existence. The book, although set in a magical world for the most part, is also very relatable for children for what had happened in the world, as well as managing to be highly entertaining.

I highly recommend this very fun, entertaining book.

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#Review By Lou Don’t Panic! All the Stuff The Expectant Dad Needs To Know By George Lewis @georgelewiscom @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #DontPanic #BlogTour #Humour #NonFiction #NewDads #Parenthood #ExpectantDads #Comedy

Don’t Panic!
All The Stuff The Expectant Dad Needs To Know
By George Lewis

Dont Panic Graphic 4

Dont Panic Graphic 3 (1)

Dont Panic Graphic 2A must read for all expectant dads! This book has it all, along with plenty of humour from well-known comedians. Thanks to Random T Tours and Octopus Books for inviting me to close the blog tour with my review and for gifting me a copy of the book. Discover more in the blurb and my review below…

Blurb

Are you ready for fatherhood?

Don't panic TwitterWritten by award-winning comedy writer, George Lewis, DON’T PANIC! is destined to be
the next classic for new dads, preparing them for the confusing, emotional – and funny –
rollercoaster ahead.
From birth to pre-school, EVERYTHING new dads need to know is here. The book is
packed with useful tips, inside knowledge and hilarious real-life stories from George’s
friends and fellow comedians, who know exactly what it’s like to take your first steps as a
new parent, including, Adam Kay, Andy Parsons, Carl Donnelly, Elis James, Iain Stirling,
Ivo Graham, Jen Brister, Josh Widdicombe, Kerry Godliman, Matthew Crosby, Rich
Hall, Romesh Ranganathan, Russell Kane and Sindhu Vee.
Practical and emotional this is a book full of all the stuff your mates would tell you. Friendly,
accessible, informative and funny, Don’t Panic is the vital guide that reassures new dads
that they’re not alone, and demonstrates how helpful the experience of others can be.

Review

This isn’t your usual sort of parenthood or parent to be book. This has so much humour that dad’s would certainly relate to, as well as handy-tips, split into bite-sized chunks. There are even snippets that new mum’s would be able to relate to as well. It goes through everything from scans, the bump, changes, building up the nursery right through to nappy changing and bathtime. It also deals with baby loss.

The balance between humour and the serious is good and all is informative. What is good about this is that it has the input of so many well-known, well-liked comedians such as Rich Hall, Andy Parsons, Adam Kay, Josh Widdecombe and many more, so readers can see a mix of points of view and have their humour coming through too, which enhances the book.

The book reads well with the narrative of George Lewis and the comedians interjecting in with their experiences.

I highly recommend Don’t Panic to all expectant dad’s or even those who have just been through that stage, for a look back with a laugh.

About The Author

Don't Panic authorGeorge Lewis’s writing credits include Have I Got News for You, 8 out of 10 Cats, various
work for BBC Comedy, Radio 4, Dave, Comic Relief and his own weekly football column – Funny Old Game – in The Times. He has recently appeared on the Stand Up Sketch Show (ITV2), Top Gear Extra Gear (which he hosted), Celebrity Mastermind (which he won) and he presents the Britpopcast for Radio X. Before he became a comedian, he worked as a copywriter. He lives in Manchester with his wife and his two children, a boy and a girl, fourteen months apart.

Don't Panic BT Poster