Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Tuesday

The Little Boy Who Wouldn't Eat Cheesecake - Kids Book Review


It's time for another Children's Book Review.

Today it is a book for young children about a young boy who did not understand that something could taste good because of it's name.








We went to spend Sunday afternoon with our son and daughter-in-law and our 3 grandchildren.

Who was the most excited?

We were not sure - Matthew (almost 5) & Ruby (3) were very excited and so were grandpa and I.


Not long into the afternoon Matthew and Ruby asked if I had a new book to read with them because I had been hinting about it when we talked last week.

So we settled down on the couch as they always like to do one on each side of me and this time I got out my iPad instead of an actual real life book.



Disclaimer:  I received a free pdf copy of this book to read and give my honest review - this was in pdf form because the book was published in the US and we live in the UK.



So let's have a look at


The Little Boy Who Wouldn't Eat Cheesecake


You can see from the picture below that this book is very bright and colourful.






This is the front cover and it gives you a good idea of the type of illustrations throughout.



As with other Children's Books I have reviewed

SSHH Don't Wake The Baby! - Christmas Children's Book Review



I like to get our grandchildren involved in the reviews because if a book is for children then they are the ones it should be tested on.


Grandpa is the designated reader while we are on Face Time calls and nanny does the reading of new books when we are all together in the one place.

So the kids and I got comfortable on the couch and we opened the book in my iPad Pro.

Bigger screen for us all to see.

This was actually a treat for Matthew and Ruby because they do not do a lot on the iPad.

Meanwhile grandpa had got my phone and started to take pictures and very short videos







Inquisitive minds always want to know what's happening straight away so we stopped at the cover page for a little while to see what info we could get from the picture there as well as the cheesecake and chocolate cake you heard about in video above.







So let's start testing out the story.



It's definitely a family story, grandchildren hearing a true story from their grandpa which is all about the grandpa when he was a young boy with his mum and dad.








The book is about a story being told within a story.

You can see in this next video that Matthew and Ruby learnt something new at the very start of the story.







Later  about halfway through the story and Ruby was pointing out something about one of the pictures but I'm not going to give you too many spoilers about this story book.







There are some pictures that are like pencil drawings that show great expressions on the boy's face like this page below











Then we came to the time when Matthew told us he hadn't tasted cheesecake yet either.






So a brief discussion then took place about how we should have cheesecake for desert some time soon but we would have to do some careful checking of which cheesecake we could all eat together because Ruby and baby Sarah both suffer from allergies to some food products and dairy items are a big problem.



Now what do you think happened?

Did the boy ever eat some cheesecake?


At the end we have another type of food for the boy to have to think about but you need to read the story to find out what that is.







My Thoughts

I would say that this is a very enjoyable and relatable story for families to read together.

All children have to come across food they have never eaten before and then they will also come across people they have never seen before, places they have never gone to before and it can be hard for them to do some new things.

This is a gentle down to earth story that helps them see past their preconceived ideas or their uncertainty of accepting something new.


This book is written by Christina Myers who is a blogger friend and is illustrated by Katherine Carver

Christine wrote this true story because she often heard her father-in-law tell his grandchildren the story of this incident between him and his mother and father many many years ago when he was a little boy.



So Deciding thought on this book?


Yes it's a big Tick from nanny, grandpa and the grandkids.








Disclaimer:
I was given a free copy of the book to read and write an honest review but no other compensation.  
The views expressed here are completely my own.







Granny Franny's Big Red Bus - Kids Book Review



It's time for another Children's Book Review.

Today it is a book for young children about a granny and her grandkids going on an adventure.








We have always felt that books are very special to our family and share a love of reading but now that Fred and I have got to the "grandparent stage" we are once again looking at, buying and reading books that are suitable for young children.


So when I heard about this book and the fact that it was about a granny who liked to go on an adventure with her grandkids I was very interested to get a copy to read with our grandkids.


Disclaimer:  I did receive a free copy of this book to read and give my honest review.



So let's have a look at

Granny Franny's Big Red Bus



As with other Children's Books I have reviewed

SSHH Don't Wake The Baby! - Christmas Children's Book Review


I like to get our grandchildren involved but things did not go exactly to plan this time.


We had planned to visit them and sit on the comfy couch with them snuggled in beside us and have them make the big hard decision of

 "Who do you want to read this book to you today?"

But then 3 out of that family of 5 took sick with a nasty cold and so the visit was off.

I had told them we had a new book for them!

What were we going to do - once they know we have got something new for them they are always looking forward to seeing what it is.

Now any children find it hard to wait and this gang were already disappointed that we were not coming to their house so we decided we would read the story while on facetime like we have done other times.


Grandpa is the designated reader while we are on Face Time calls and nanny does the "Guess What I'm drawing today!" and we both do the jigsaw puzzles and the hunt the bear round out house and the other games we play.
We have loads of things that can be easily enjoyed together in these posts
10 Easy Ideas for Face Time with Kids
10 Easy Games to Play on Face Time with Kids


So Grandpa got himself comfortable in the chair at the kitchen table with the iPad on the table and lifted the book.





If a book is meant for that young age group then it should be tested with children of that age.

We have 3 grandchildren Matthew is almost 5 years old and , Ruby is now  3 yrs now and Sarah will be 1 in 2 weeks time but she was with her mum and not listening and watching with us this time.

So Matthew and Ruby were ready on the iPad for Face Time and ready to watch as grandpa read to them.






Well back to testing out the book.


It is an "off for an adventure" kids book with some lovely phrases for the kids to repeat after grandpa has read a page.

one of my favourites was the

thick, icky, sticky mud

can we all say that one quickly???

Can you spot it in the pic below?







We enjoyed the rhyming parts of the story as well as the bright, bold illustrations with lots of detail  which means that the children will enjoy coming back to the book for further readings as they will not have remembered everything of the story or the pictures from this first reading.


You can see from the pictures above that this book is very bright and colourful.

But what you don't know yet is that the illustrations are funny and there is a lovely character named "Thinkerbell" on the Big Red Bus. (There is a glimpse of her in the picture below)







Grandpa is as mad as me sometimes and really got into the swing of the story - that's why the kids have a hard job deciding who reads to them.


Here is the front cover of the book.

I love the details on the bus:

  • Reg GR4N  for Gran but there has to be a number on a reg plate.
  • Seaside Park, Zoo Playground - destinations for the story
  • Gransville - town location







Here you can see the back cover of the book

I just would have loved to have seen a picture of Sonia (the author) here but that's more from a grownup's perspective, kids probably aren't interested in this at the younger age.






Now the surprise in this book is that there are actually two adventures (practically 2 stories in one!)


So I have told you about this fun book which I believe would make a great gift for any family to read together but more especially where grannies and grandpas can enjoy it together with the grandchildren as we did.

Maybe our having to do it over facetime made it even better because it was a special treat just between us and the grandchildren.







This book is written by Sonia Beldom  and is also illustrated by Sonia and all this completed during the  COVID-19 pandemic.

Proceeds from this book are going to bus-related charities due to help with the fact that all private hire vehicles were off the road for a prolonged period of time.

You may also be surprised to find out that Sonia drives heritage London Routemaster double-decker buses at weekends (in between her other normal jobs).


So Deciding thought on this book?


Yes it's a big Tick from me and Fred and the grandkids.








Disclaimer:
I was given a free copy of the book to read and write an honest review but no other compensation.  
The views expressed here are completely my own.







Friday

How to Organise Books


Books, books and more books!!!!

My husband and I like to go on holiday to relax and READ.

So each time before we go we do something rather important.

We made sure we have decided on what books we are going to read.









Years ago we always had to come to an agreement over books before we could pack because we needed to pick 4-6 books that we both wanted to read and then we could share the books while we were away, simply because books took up weight in our luggage.









Now we take our kindles with us and we don't have to share any books at all so we can have completely different reading lists.
But we still sit down to make sure we have thought about the books we want to read and make sure we have them downloaded from the cloud onto our devices so that we can read what we want at any time regardless of WiFi.


Oh the joys of the kindle.

Even if we are still using our original old Kindles with our lighted cases which we absolutely love.








We have loads of ebooks and I'm usually keeping an eye out for good ebook offers so the amount of those on our Kindles are ever increasing.


By this stage you may be wondering why I am talking about books & ebooks when this is part of  my posts about Organising


Books in My Study


So what about the books on my bookshelves in my Study?


They used to look like this






but then after a good tidy up they look like much better than this and the bookcases and more details about the tidy up can be found at  Organized Bookcases

As you can see I have 4 bookcases here and they are still full plus a few small crates of books which I have decided I will give away when I finally get round to reading them.

The cupboards at the bottom of two of the bookcases do not contain books - they have folders, files puzzle books for Kids Work and Language study files and notes from our time learning Dutch while living in Belgium.


My husband did suggest one time that we could throw out all the books on the bookshelves and only have ebooks.



Sacrilege!  cried our oldest son who was with us at the time.



As for me I just said

"what if we want to read them again?"  


and 


"we haven't even read them all yet"




Bookshelves - categories

The farthest bookcase is all Christian Novels in alphabetical order by author except for the bottom shelf which contains Bible Study Books from all the years of leading youth groups & homegroups

The next one contains the rest of the Christian Novels in alphabetical order by author except again for the bottom shelf which this time contains our non-fiction Christian books.

On the third Bookcase the top 2 shelves are devoted to Bibles, commentaries, dictionaries and Bible info books.
The last shelf contains my complete Herron Collection of Agatha Christie novels - Red hardbacks.

On the last Bookcase I have family photo albums, cookbooks, other miscellaneous books that are special to me, my journals from when we lived in America and Belgium and some Dutch novels.


We did do a bit of a clear out when we were moving house last time but there are still many to keep so they needed to be sorted better on the shelves and an inventory made of them.







How do we remember all the books we have and not end up buying repeats?

The basic answer to this was mentioned above - I made an inventory of all my books.

This was not a quick easy job, it took quite some time but I was determined not to fall into the trap that my husband had done on various occasions previously - Yes Fred has been known to buy the same book twice!


How do we keep a note of what we have?


I make an inventory of all the real books we have.  (I'll cover ebooks later)



One solution for this is Spreadsheets.


A)  I have my spreadsheet of my list of the full set of Heron Books of Agatha Christie novels that I had collected over the years.
Each book contains 2 novels.




as you can see because I now know I have got the whole collection I really have this list to keep more info like the date each novel was written, the order no. of the novels and dates of movies made.

This of course is just a section of it here.



B)  I also have a spreadsheet of my list of Nelson DeMille Books. 
Fred & I have become quite the fans of this action thriller author and have most of his books in paperback.





Looking at his now I see I didn't fill in all the rest of the Y's  because we have now read all the books of his that we own.



C)  I have a spreadsheet for all the other books on the bookcases  (an excerpt from it is below)



but it needs updated now yet again although not too many new ones to add - mostly the ones our son buys us for Christmas & birthdays because he always buys a book "you can hold and turn real pages".




D)  Then when I had done all that I decided to make a spreadsheet of ALL the books of Agatha Christie in Chronological order.

That wasn't enough for me so I started adding in the DVD, Television, and cinema adaptations noting all the dates and whether I had watched them and which ones I had on DVD etc. - all colour coded of course.

I already had got 3 different Christie reading lists from various places online so I got most of my info on dates from these and which books had gone by different names in the UK and USA.




I think I got a bit carried away with my colour coding too.




Another solution for this is to use an App.


A couple of years after tackling those spreadsheets I thought maybe an app for my iPad would be a good idea to keep all the data there because I love my iPad.

Also perhaps easier to carry the info around with me on the iPad, to make sure WE remembered which books we already owned, rather than have it on spreadsheets.

So several different times I have had a look for apps and of course being the person I am I really only want a free app or at least one that is very very cheap.


Well I found a few apps and tried them out







but they seemed to be even more time consuming to put in all the data than my Spreadsheets were!

In fact some of the apps were not at all straightforward for inputting the data.




My Final Solution for this is the Spreadsheets


So I decided to go back to the original Spreadsheets and just keep updating as I buy more or  just when I'm sorting through the books.

I use Readdle Documents App on my iPad and I can keep copies of those spreadsheets there and of course it is easy enough to make a change to a spreadsheet on the computer and then save a new copy of that to the App.



Now I have to say it did take a lot of time to do these spreadsheets as I kept getting caught up in the


"Can I bear to part with this book?" 

and  

"Maybe I can find this book as an ebook"

as I went along.





Ebooks

I am still trying to finalize a list of all the ebooks we have - thank goodness Fred & I share our ebooks under the one account but as I go along I can save it as a PDF anytime I want for ease of quick reference and put it on the Kindle app on my iPad as well as into Readdle Documents.

See Agatha Christie and ebooks files:






However I have to admit that the list of ebooks will never be finalised.
We will never stop buying books!
But we do try now to get the majority of our books as ebooks so we are still buying books but they are so much easier to store! 

Of course the great thing about ebooks for the kindle is the fact that when you go to purchase an ebook in Amazon you get a warning if you have already bought it - I have been thankful for that feature too.








How do you organise your books?

Do you still like to have real books and enjoy turning the pages?

Or are you a Kindle devotee?

  




Tuesday

Looking for Books to Read - Stuck at Home & Need Help!


Are you stuck in the house?

If you are confined to home

             or self-isolating

                          or off work because the kids are ill

    or perhaps the weather is just too cold or stormy to get out

 then you probably want some books to read and hopefully not have to pay too much for them!



If So  

THEN 

This is the place to find all my posts on books I have bought or read or reviewed.



Just click on the pics or the Titles to find out more.



There are many Book Reviews on the blog by several authors and of different genres but a significant group of murder mysteries by Agatha Christie.








For a few other Reviews and posts on books see below:



TRAVEL

5 Travel Books about Northern Ireland




KIDS - 













If you are interested in finding out about some of my favourite authors have a look below:

Davis Bunn








There are also several short DEVOTIONALS based on

 Psalms, 

 God's Love,  

 Worship 

 Sunday Scripture

 Songs









Thursday

5 Travel Books about Northern Ireland - Need Help?


People are always telling me they Want to visit Northern Ireland.

People are always telling me they are partly Irish but have never been to see Northern Ireland or Ireland.

People used to walk up to me when we lived in America and say "I just love your accent - say something"





People are always telling me they love Ireland but unfortunately most of the time they think Belfast and Dublin are in the same country and only an hour apart.


Well for anyone who wants to visit

 Northern Ireland

 here are

 5 travel books

 which might be helpful.



PLUS make sure to read on to get the EXTRA TIP at the end.





Round the Hidden Coast of Northern Ireland from A to Z





We have a great coastline and plenty of it.

Rocky crags,  tucked away bays,  spectacular peninsulas and luscious golden sandy beaches.

Then of course we must not forget the ruins, churches and castles etc.




A Walking guide for Northern Ireland






We may not have the sunny weather of Florida and Spain but we still have great places to discover by walking.

Our mountains are not just talked about worldwide, they are even sung about.

Then of course we must not forget the Dams and reservoirs which are great attractions.




Rick Steves Snapshot of Northern Ireland






Rick Steves is famous for these snapshot travel books so probably a good one for short glimpses of many places.





Belfast Travel Guide 2020







This is a very up-to-date guide to Belfast.

You will need to think about where to stay, where to eat, and what other entertainment is on offer and especially where to get a coffee or a wee cup of tea.






Lonely Planet Pocket Belfast & The Causeway Coast






This one may be handy one to get instead of buying the two above for Belfast and the Coastal areas as it is a pocket edition.

Also it is in kindle if you don't want the pocket paperback version.



Don't forget your extra tip below






EXTRA  TIP


Most of us like to take lots and lots of pictures when we travel but don't remember to take enough notes so that we remember later just where that amazing picture or the strange picture was taken.
Especially if you are like me and you get your days and your meals and your places all mixed up when there are so many in that fantastic trip we took the previous year.

I that sound a bit like you then this extra book might be something to consider buying or if you are "crafty" maybe you could take their idea and make one from a notebook.  Mind you I think a lot of notebooks are so expensive these days that this turns out to be very reasonable in price.



I Don't Need Therapy I Just Need to go to Northern Ireland








Whatever you decide I do think you really need to come to

 Northern Ireland

 and

 see our beautiful

 WEE Country.






Disclaimer:
I do not benefit from any purchases of these books.