Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Over on Nayu's Crochet Dreams #30 Beauty & the Beast + Cadbury's Roundies

Love this Miku fan art!
There's book talk over on my craft blogNayu's Crochet Dreams today (about Robin McKinley's fairytale retellings) & my impressions of a new to me (and fairly new to the UK) chocolate from Cadbury's!! Go check them out! 
Have you tried these mega yummy biscuits???

Monday, 24 July 2017

Nayu's News #234 The Photobucket Issue

Me this morning (no idea which anime it's from)
This morning my craft blog, Nayu's Crochet Dreams looked absolutely fine. A few minutes later, and I had the most awful background ever, making my blog virtually unreadable thanks to the font settings having been set for my custom background. 
This was ghastly and very distorted.
I didn't know what to think. I checked my Blogger gadget, which seemed ok. I thought it may be an issue on the designer's end, so I messaged them but we are in very different time zones so didn't get a reply yet. However, I then Googled it, and it turns out this is a humungous issue for all who used Photobucket for free. Search on Photobucket, then check out the news articles to see what the problem is. 

To put it simply, Photobucket looked after images for free for many blog users (and other users too). They kept them safe in the internet. Apparently there have been emails about the change...but it was buried in a load of legal speak, so even if you read the email (I know I didn't, as I ignore Photobucket emails since I didn't think I used it much), you couldn't find the info unless you had oodles of time to read it. They now won't host for free, all the pictures are gone, unless each user pays $400.
Fairly sure many users will be feeling like this girl is.
That's is insane. I'm fortunate in that as far as I'm aware the only image I had on photobucket was my beautiful craft blog background: 
Having it as plain white isn't fun or my style. However, I got off lightly. There are lots of tweets about the Photobucket Issue, with bloggers having hundreds and thousands of photos that they need to change. I'd be devastated if I was in their shoes, which is why I don't mind having a white background for now until I can figure something out. It's a fairly low priority issue for me now, until I'm caught up with blog posts, but I know I'm one of the lucky ones. I hope that somehow Photobucket allows people to recover their photos so they can find another company to store and share their images on. 

If you've been affected by the Photobucket issue please do share what happened, and what you are now doing to resolve the issue. 

Not entirely all sunny now.
Other news - summer weather is no longer here. We are getting lots of rain, and had a storm last week, both which my body reacts bady too hence lack of blog posts recently. I'm doing them slowly! Unfortunately the Photobucket issue took up a chunk of time today, while I figured out what was happening. Lunch time now, followed with the usual afternoon rest anime session, then probably some gaming & reading!
 
Been listening to Aikatsu songs while I blog, including one of my favourites feature Kokone and Miyabi Love Like Caramaliser which can be found here on Youtube

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Huggabugs by Rachel Bryant (Children's, Picture book, 9/10E)

Smile!
 April 2017, Pegasus Publishers, 25 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Summary from Pegasus Publishers
Meet the Huggabugs from Weedy Wood! 

These little creatures can fly! They wear glasses too because they think they look nice!


One day the Huggabugs go to see Grandma Huggabug. They take her some eggs for breakfast. Would you like to find out what the Huggabugs do when they get to Grandma's house?

Nayu's thoughts  
It wasn't a surprise to read that Rachel wrote and illustrated this in the 1980s-I was drawn to the illustration style because ot reminded me of my childhood-I was an 80s baby. The huggabugs look warm, welcoming and indeed they are, taking good care of the grandmother huggabug. I like the values the book promotes about helping others who need it and being practical about matters. 

The huggabugs look adorable, especially with the pencil shading on their tummies which changes colour a bit, the way their noses match their colour scheme, their cute tiny wings (which they can fly in but don't) and the blades of grass-I draw mine in a similar fashion but never considered swiping down (so its like an upside down tick) on some of the tops so the grass looks bent from the wind. The only reason I had to lower the grade (I am sorry) is that the story felt a little disjointed to me, that it needed an extra sentemce or two to explain what was going on. Otherwise it's a fun read that will be cherished by many readers.

Suggested read

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter, Daro Sam, and Monnyreak Ket (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)

May 2017, Createspace, 48 pages, Ebook, Review copy, 

Book summary
When an accident made Martha's coat blue, her world turned upside down. She was no longer like the rest of the flock. She stood out and she didn't like it. She wanted to fit in. But a series of surprising events and the help of an unexpected friend showed Martha that being different could be a blessing, not a curse

Nayu's thoughts
The moment I saw Martha I fell in love with her because she is cute. I was captivated by the illustrations, which are by two Cambodian artists who Gabrielle met while staying there.

Thanks to reading Martha's story I learnt Martha is very kind. I felt sad when she ended up blue, as she was desperate to fit in with everyone else. Yet that's why I love her, because most people at some point in their lives, sometimes their whole lives, has something that is a bit different to other people. Martha encourages readers to see differences in a positive light-without her being bright blue the happy ending would have been more tragic. 

Martha learns not to judge others by their appearance or reputation, you should discover what people are like for yourself (unless they are a known criminal). I'm going to be rereading this any time I need a pick me up-the determination in Martha's face made me a little teary when she saves the day. I love this style of illustration, with the further away animals and objects being less detailed. Some of the distant sheep made me laugh because they looked like Japanese onigiri (rice balsl) with a touch of seaweed in the centre! 

Discover more about Gabrielle's Cambodian adventures on her website.

Suggested read 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Blog tour The Never-Ending Birthday by Katie Dale (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)

Check out the other stops on the tour!


June 2017, MacMillan Children's Books, 224 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Content: lots of mishaps and humour 

Summary from Pan MacMillan
Twins Max and Anni have had the worst birthday ever. Max has missed a vital goal in the football Cup Final and Anni has fallen out with her best friend. Feeling thoroughly miserable, Max and Anni sneak downstairs at midnight and light the candles on their untouched birthday cake and, as they blow them out, they make a wish . . . to redo the day!

When they wake up, their wish has come true! And this time Max and Anni aren't going to mess things up. But little do they realize that they are going to have to relive their birthday again . . . and again . . . and again.

Nayu's thoughts
Poor Katie was a bit worried as I really hated the film Groundhog Day, where a day gets repeared over and over. However, having loved Katie's previous book (see suggested read below), I wanted to read it. I'm so glad I did! This is the most enjoyable groundhog day like story I've ever read. So much goes wrong for Max and Anni, every single time they do over their birthday something more awful happens. They don't relive everything in the same way-because they learn from their mistakes they do their best to change the outcome. 

Before Max mentioned the butterfly effect I'd thought of it as a great description for what was going on. The idea is something like a single flap of a butterfly can change the course of something, so with both Anni and Max making changes in their repeated days a lot of stuff changes each time. I liked that they learned to be a bit moee grown up, and that what they think is happening may not actually be what is happening, for example what was going on with their parents. They ended up with wild explanations that thankfully weren't remotely true, something we are all guilty of from time to time. 

I liked how I got to know the full story behind Belle's behaviour (Anni's friend, not my cat, although with a similar attitude problem!) I was cheering the twins on as they worked hard to change events in the bizarre time loop they were stuck in, focusing more on helping others than being spoilt or shy.They learnt vital life skills, and won't want it to be their birthday every day ever again! 

Find out more on Katie's website

Competition time!



"For a chance to win your very own sparkly copy of THE NEVER-ENDING BIRTHDAY simply answer the following question: If you could re-do any day, which day would it be, and why? Email your answers to katiedaleauthor@hotmail.com

Suggested read 
Check out more of Katie's work in her previous children's book: Mumnesia by Katie Dale (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)


Monday, 17 July 2017

Over On Nayu's Crochet Dreams #29

Proud cat owner!
A brief catch up with what I've been up to recently as well as talking cats having spots!

One Ghost Too Many! by Gavin M Garza and Michael W Garza (Children's, 7 years +, 9/10E)


May 2017, Never Haven Press, 100 pages, Paperback, Review copy. 

Book summary
When Chase is dared to sleep over at the old Williams house, he stumbles into a haunting situation. The third grade is hard enough for him and his best friend Rosie and cousin Zach, but one night in a haunted house might be more than they can stand. The children discover a family secret that could free the entire town of Gum Springs from the Williams family curse forever. 

Nayu's thoughts 
There are few occasions when I'll read a ghost story because things spook me easily, but I received the opening chapter in my email which saved me from declining to review it just for being a ghost story. Rosie's spunk is awesome! I love how she is braver than her two male friends, how she is the one who gets them into what at first looks like supernatural trouble (it kind of is) but turns out to be a huge quest which is why this is book 1 of a series. 

The front cover is the spookiest picture you'll see-it creeped me out somewhat, and it seems the ghosts ate the title on the spine as nothing is there (slightly odd but I think I've a few other books like it.) 

The story gets rather scary despite being for younger readers so recommend this is read in daylight and not before bed if you are like me and scare easily. Nannie is a reassuring character to counterbalance the eerieness of her house. I'm sure the friends will have more adventures in it, and that they will see more action at the town fountain which was a lovely plot twist. Go check it out! 

Find out more on Michael's website

Suggested read
For older readers a story with ghosts in and a fun heroine is The Secret at Haney Field by R M Clark + Author Interview (Children’s, 9 years +, 9/10E)