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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Mariella Mystery Investigates the Spaghetti Yeti by Kate Pankhurst (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

Mariella is on the case!
 August 2014, Orion Children's Books, 176 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Content: lots of mystery and humour 

Summary from Orion 
Mariella Mystery (That's me!) - totally amazing girl detective, aged 9 and a bit. Able to solve the most mysterious mysteries and perplexing problems, even before breakfast.

Is there really a spaghetti-loving yeti stalking the woods next to Limpet Rocks Campsite? Mariella and the Mystery Girls are determined to find out.
 
Nayu's thoughts
There are no scary poodles in this 5th book of the series - phew! See suggested read for the explanation to that comment. Mariella and Co are back...as is her little brother who manages to be a tiny bit useful to the investigation of the spaghetti thief. Yes, someone was stealling spaghetti. I vaguely guessed the culprit, but the reason behind the crimes, and the method and sheer brilliance (or stupidity) of the events used to distract everyone while the spaghetti got nicked meant it didn't matter that I knew who it was before I got to the end. 

I love how Mariella relates everything to something mysterious and has to be solved, especially when the truth turns out to be far stranger than fiction. She won't have to hide spaghetti any more - although you might want to, just to be safe. I laughed and smiled on virtually every page. The story was definitely enhanced by the numerous illustrations pointing out every detail, imagined or actual, which were clues for Mariella to unravel. Although I don't enjoy doing camping, I love reading about it, so Mariella's holiday destination was another plus for this enjoyable story.

Find out more on Kate's website.

Suggested read 
To find out why I was so happy about the absence of poodles check out Mariella Investigates the Curse of the Pampered Poodle (Children's, 7 years +, 9/10E)

Monday, 29 September 2014

What are YOU reading? #237





What are you reading on Monday? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you post books completed last week and plans for upcoming books. Jump over to her blog and see who else is participating.



Read


A Guide To Sisters by Paula Metcalf & Suzanne Barton
Children's, Picture book
10E/10E
(A spot on hilarious read!)





Milly, Molly, Nuts and Raisins by Gill Pittar and Cris Morrell
Children's, 7 years +
8/10E
(This is a story of how not to look after mice!)





Dragon Jelly by Claire Freedman and Sue Hendra
Children's, Picture book
9/10E
(A story that both grossed me out and made me go awww!)





Dork Diaries Once Upon A Dork by Rachel Renee Russell
Children's, 9 years +
10E/10E
(Best DD story ever! Especially with the alternate fairytale reality...)





Jump! By Julia Dweck & Brian Allen
Children's, Picture book
9/10E
(A charming tale about going for it!)





The Reader by Amy Hest & Lauren Castillo
Children's, Picture book
10E/10E
(Go for a snowy adventure with this reader!)





The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
Children's, Picture book
10E/10E
(I adore how the quilt comes about – it's not a fabric quilt!)





Sophie's Lovely Locks by Erica Pelton Villnave
Children's, Picture book
10E/10E
(The ending surprised me a lot!)










Reread


Breakfast At Sadie's by Lee Weatherly
Children's, 11 years +
10E/10E
(With her mother ill & her aunt running off to the canaries for 3 weeks Sadie runs the family B&B by herself!)





Child X by Lee Weatherly
Children's, 11 years +
10E/10E
(The pain and anguish Jule's goes through on her father's at first mystery disappearance is hard to read about...)





Skin Deep by Laura Jarratt
Young Adult
9/10E
(Jenna's story about coming to terms with her permanent, horrific scar leads to finding herself again...)









Watched


Avatar the Last Airbender: Season 1
REWATCH! - English version
10E/10E
(Katara is the best character by far!)





Casualty
Medical drama, English version
9/10E
(The plot focused again on the staff rather than the background to the patients – I hope they keep doing this!)





Avatar the Last Airbender: Season 2
REWATCH! - English version
10E/10E
(Katara's still here, and I love to hate Azula, Zuko's sister...)





Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live
REWATCH! - Anime, Japanese version
10E/10E
(Naru & the other girls are getting serious about Prism shows since their first competition...)





Aikatsu
REWATCH! - Anime, Japanese version
10E/10E
(Ichigo, Aoi & Ran are in the semi-finals for the annual school competition where they can dance against top idol Mizuki...)





My Little Pony Equestria Girls
REWATCH! - Animated movie, English version
10E/10E
(Watching it is fun because there's so much crossover in the MLP Gameloft game!)





Pripara
Partial REWATCH! - Anime, Japanese version
10E/10E
(Finally Sophie gets to join Lala & Mireille! That episode makes me teary eyed!)









Craft, games & more
I've started another blanket (there is a purpose behind my lots of blankets, you'll just have to wait to see what that is)...



Game wise I've mostly played Littlest Pet Shop by Gameloft (yeah, I'm still rebuilding the super cute game)...



Cooking Dash by Playfirst remains a firm favourite, this 10E/10E game is so addictive I'm getting the last 5 stars so I can have a perfect completion rate.



I've discovered a cute new game which is a cross of Ice Age Village & Gardens Inc: From Rakes to Riches – it's called Animal Voyage Island Adventure, it's by Pocket Gems, it's 10E/10E, super cute, you get to save animals, grow food, cut through obstacles – I highly recommend it!




I did make some fudge this week to give to friends – no pics, but it's plain vanilla fudge which was happily devoured. Yes I ate some too ^o^





Sunday, 28 September 2014

Knightmare: Feast Fight & Damsel Disaster by Peter Bently (Children's, 5 years +, 10/10E & 10E/10E)

Book 2
Book 3


June & August 2014, Stripes Publishing, 160 pages (both), Review copy

Content: lots of humour, some boy humour, 
  
Summary from Little Tiger Press
Series Summary
Cedric Thatchbottom can’t wait to train as a squire, serving Sir Percival the Proud – a knight famed throughout the land for his glorious deeds. But this famous knight isn’t all he appears to be, and Cedric soon finds himself being run ragged around Castle Bombast by his new master.

 In Book 2 of the Knightmare series, there’s going to be a banquet at Castle Bombast. And not just any old banquet – the king and queen will be attending, and they expect the very best. Which all means more work for Cedric! But what will Sir Percy’s old enemy – Roland the Rotten – do when he finds out he’s not invited?

In Book 3 of the Knightmare series, a wealthy princess is visiting the kingdom in search of a husband, and Sir Percy has a plot up his sleeve to see off the other potential suitors. As usual, Cedric has a key part to play in his master's plan. Ugh! Dressing up as a maiden in silk bloomers wasn’t quite what he had in mind when he signed up to be a squire.

Nayu's thoughts
This series, despite having a boy as the main character (yes, I prefer girl characters), is utterly hilarious. Sir Percy is unbelievably insane when it comes to keeping up his public image (which isn't as high as he thinks). Poor Cedric has to think outside the box so much that there isn't a box to cover up/carry out Sir Percy's wild ideas. 

Cedric is certainly the one with the knightly attitude and bravery, which is clear in Damsel Disaster when there's a princess with almost more attitude than my cat - that's saying something! It was perhaps my favourite of the books because it had such a strong female character - the ones seen in book 1 were more of the simpering kind. Wearing a dress was the least of Cedric's problems, as was getting a message to a particular person in Feast Fight...which saw Cedric tracking down the most unlikely thief ever.

Both books made me smile on every page. Sometimes there was the occasional boy humour joke (my term) which made me go gross rather than laugh. I like the suggestion on the back cover to go to a particular page - I did this first, before reading the books through and spent all the previous pages wondering how events built up to that particular page. I hope that there will be plenty more books in this super fun series whose stories had brought a huge grin to this reader's face. 

Find out more on Peter's website.

Suggested read
Be sure to check out book 1, Knightmare: Life Stinks! (Children's, 5 years +, 10E/10E)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

The Liars and Fibbers Academy by Laura Foakes and Emma Taylor (Children's, 9 years + 9/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

Such a cool cover - including hot chocolate stain! (so much classier than coffee...)
May 2014, Candy Jar Books, 208 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Content: lots of humour & strangeness

Summary from Candy Jar Books
Think of a lie – double it – add a pinch of fibbing and ateaspoon of invention. Stir in a handful of clueless adults and a seemingly bonkers classmate, then sit back and wait for the pizza to rise. Danny Quinn isn't exactly lying when he announces that his sister has been reincarnated as a dog. No-one believes him though, so he is sent to The Liars' and Fibbers' Academy where he just learns to tell whoppers more convincingly. Aided by a girl who insists she's a mermaid named Derek, and Inigus Jowly, the school's mysterious caretaker, Danny is able to hoodwink his family until he finally learns the truth. But this turns out to be more outrageous than any fib he could come up with.

Nayu's thoughts
Now, I love mermaids. I wasn't sold on the girl thinking she was a boy (I did grow rather fond of her once I met her), but I was intrigued by a school for telling lies, so I turned the page and began reading. 

All of us, rightly or wrongly, have a perception (hopefully the correct word) of what a book might be like. Danny's story was nothing like I'd imagined it to be. Odd is an understatement of what goes on in his life. I'm not overly fond of mega odd things (please don't mention the evil that is Alice in Wonderland), but I found myself wanting to see what the truth behind the Academy was. 

Like the rest of the story, it wasn't something I ever imagined, but that just made this book full of lovely plot twists that made me go 'oh' in a good way. Occasionally I went 'oh' in a 'this is too weird for me' way, hence the not quite perfect grade, but all in all this is definitely worth a read!

Suggested read 
Ever wondered where supervillains go to school? Wonder no more! Simply read A Recipe For Disaster by Ardyth De Bruyn (Children's, 9 years +, 9/10E)

Friday, 26 September 2014

Nayu's News #145 An Unintended Quiet Few Days

Minus the freaky bunny I like her outfit

I seriously didn't expect to skip a few days of posting this week. Unfortunately I was attacked by migraine gremlins on Wednesday. On the plus side family returned from holiday across the pond, bringing some of my favourite American candy
and 
& an Italian brand which are square with a filling in the middle, all rather yummy. It was something to look forward to while I recovered. 


Having a flannel soakd with cold water on my forehead whe I have a migraine works feels blissful. I like her cute pjs & frilly pillow!
The day of a migraine is always spent in bed, where it's quiet-ish, I can keep the curtains closed and do what I feel like, which is never a lot. I get sensitive to light, noise, and moving, so being still is a must. I re-read some books, which were a comfort.

I've been sleepy tired & yawning a lot
It had gone by Thursday morning, but in it's place the post migraine fatigue kicked in. Being busy at work yesterday & today has not exactly helped matters. I've had strong brain fog/fuzzy head, and slow to take things in.
That sums it up! I may have memory issues, but I don't have amnesia. Or in some weird parallel universe like the nameless heroine in the anime Amnesia

I'm glad it's looking to be a quiet weekend I'm taking it easy, and getting lots of rest! 
Taking time out to rest & recover is essential after being ill, as well as being an occupation I have to do far more than I like!

Hugs for all those who suffer migraines and other tricky medical issues - hang in there, it will get a little better at some point. 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Happy Birthday Royal Baby by Martha Mumford and Ada Grey (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

  June 2014, Bloomsbury, 32 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Themes: birthdays, royal life, presents, party preparation, cake!

Content: lots of humour

Summary from Bloomsbury
The Royal Palace is in chaos yet again - not since the Royal Baby's birth has there been so much excitement! Why? Well it's the Royal Baby's first birthday, of course, and the palace is awash with activity!

There's the cake to think about, balloons, presents - and don't forget the bouncy castle and the Royal Baby's favourite game of Pin the Tail on the Corgi. The Queen may even do a spot of parachuting - it is a special occasion, after all. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/happy-birthday-royal-baby-9781408854822/#sthash.JvTVLEAf.dpuf
The Royal Palace is in chaos yet again - not since the Royal Baby's birth has there been so much excitement! Why? Well it's the Royal Baby's first birthday, of course, and the palace is awash with activity!

There's the cake to think about, balloons, presents - and don't forget the bouncy castle and the Royal Baby's favourite game of Pin the Tail on the Corgi. The Queen may even do a spot of parachuting - it is a special occasion, after all.

Nayu's Thoughts
I have a bit of an interest in Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as their son, Prince George, and this book was brought out for George which probably explains why the characters look every so much like George's real life family. It is such a delightful read, looking at the preparations for a birthday party which many readers can relate to, even if they aren't royal. Being royal means luxury items can be used, but what the royal baby (never named as George, probably for legal reasons) likes and dislikes is perfectly ordinary. You'll smile and giggle at all the pages which have lots going on in them and are easy to imagine happening to Prince George, as well as any baby approaching their first birthday.

Suggested read
Another royal read which again strongly hints it's about the Duke of Duchess of Cambridge is the fun sticker book: Usborne Activities: Royal Dolls House Sticker book (Children's, Sticker book, 8/10E)

Monday, 22 September 2014

What are YOU reading? #236





What are you reading on Monday? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys where you post books completed last week and plans for upcoming books. Jump over to her blog and see who else is participating.




Read


Maisie Mae Camping Is Not Very Ooh La La by Poppy Harper and Clare Elsom
Children's, 5 years +
10E/10E
(More hilarity from Maisie's funny family...)




Violet and the Pearl of the Orient by Harriet Whitehorn
Children's, 7 years +
10E/10E
(A fun start to a new girl detective series...)




Ever After High A Wonderlandiful World by Shannon Hale
Children's, 9 years+
8/10E
(Life in Ever After gets crazier than ever thanks to the Jabberwocky!)




Apple Cinnamon Swirl by Graylin Rane
Paranormal Romance
9/10E
(Book 3 in the Candy Man series tells the story of an ex soldier whose injuries means she struggles a lot mentally...)




Rainbow Beauty Strawberry Summer by Kelly McKain
Children's, 9 years +
10E/10E
(This is my favourite under 18 shop based series! Abbie and her sisters go through more than just keeping the salon afloat!)




The Christmas Chocolatier by De-Ann Black
Food Fiction
8/10E
(Lots of chocolate and other sweet treats in this read!)




The Christmas Tea Shop & Bakery by De-Ann Black
Food Fiction
8/10E
(Cake fancy dress alert!)




Rebecca Is Always Right by Anna Carey
Children's, 9 years +
8/10E
(Rebecca has a lot of drama going on in her life-and ends up being wrong as well as right about some issues...)




Lottie Biggs Is Not Mad by Hayley Long
Young Adult
10E/10E
(Given that I started by disliking Lottie and ended up in tears at the end, this is quite a read!)




What's Up With Jody Barton? By Hayley Long
Young Adult
9/10E
(Mega plot twist alert!)








Watched


Snow White and the Huntsman
Film, English version
9/10E
(Doing crochet gave me something to focus on through a lot of the film as it was quite dark, but fun!)




PriPara
(Some rewatching) Anime, Japanese version
10E/10E
(It is pure torture having to wait for new eps! Just like Lala I'm not giving up hope of Sophie joining her and Mireille as a trio!)





Avatar The Last Air Bender
REWATCH! - Anime, English version
10E/10E
(I don't know why by Katara is way more awesome than I remembered. Totally adore her spunk and outfits!)




Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream
REWATCH! - Anime, Japanese version
10E/10E
(Mion still isn’t quite a solid friend with Aira and Rhythm yet...)





Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live
REWATCH! - Anime, Japanese version
10E/10E
(I’m addicted to listening to the soundtrack ^o^)




Aikatsu
REWATCH! - Anime, Japanese version
10E/10E
(It’s nearly time for Ichigo to meet Sakura!)




Hotel India
Documentary, English version
9/10E
(I knew it would be a hard watch, but I’m still boosting myself up after the final episode which included when the hotel was attacked by terrorists who killed some staff & guests...)




Winx: Season 1
REWATCH! - Anime, French version
10E/10E
(These rewatches get better & better!)





Shugo Chara
REWATCH! - Anime, Japanese version
10E/10E

(I’m watching roughly 1 a day at the moment - adore the transformations!) 












Craft, Games and more
Because I’ve been needing to rest a lot this week due to not feeling great I haven’t gamed much. 



I’ve only really been on Cooking Dash by Playfirst, since it’s a mindless game as I know what I’m doing & do it on auto pilot.


I’ve managed a little bit of sewing...



... I’ve started the top part of the umbrella.



I’ve made some progress crochetwise for blankets....