Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Blog tour: Review & Guest Blog Post for The Strawberry Sisters #1 Perfectly Ella by Candy Harper (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

This captures the feel of the book perfectly
 April 2015, Simon & Schuster, 288 pages, Paperback, Review Copy 

Content: massives of drama and humour, tissues needed

Summary from Simon and Schuster
Meet the Strawberry Sisters!
Oldest sister Amelia wants to be Left Alone to have deep thoughts, so she's grown a fringe to hide under. Second up is Chloe who's sport-crazy and in training to be a wrestling star (this week anyway). Littlest sister Lucy is the cute one who's training an army of earwigs.Then there's Ella. The middle one who's still trying to work out what makes her 'perfectly Ella' and how to stand out in a house full of big personalities.
And now there's a new Strawberry Sister. Baby Kirsti who lives with Dad and his Finnish girlfriend. 

Along with her sisters and one very tired Mum who's struggling to keep it all together, Ella's small home is crammed with almost-finished homework, nearly-clean jumpers and a vampire bunny called Buttercup. With so much going on, life can sometimes feel totally crazy but the Strawberry sisters have a secret weapon against the craziness of the world they live in, each other.

Nayu's thoughts 
 This is a fantastic start to an ace new series about some sisters who are each unique characters. I adore sister based books, filled with lots of drama (some of the melodramatic kind), random sulks, temper tantrums, random acts of sisterly love, lots of humour, and some hardship. I enjoyed how these sisters took elements of the stereotypes for sisters (moody older one, sometimes bratty definitely mischievous youngest and the middle one) and made them their own. It meant that I never was entirely sure what Lucy was up to, as I guessed she would be scheming away some mischief but her true intentions took me by surprise later in the story. I'm so eager to have a volume with her as the centre character!  Amelia frequently made me laugh over her theatrical side, and then there's the star of this book, Ella. 

Ella is a bit like I used to be, in the way I wanted everyone to get one, and didn't necessarily have enough self-confidence to speak out and say how I truly felt when I was her age. I didn't have all that she had to deal with, which I feel makes her choices completely understandable as she hadn't had the life experience to know how to deal with the emotions churning around inside her. I love how Ella views everyone in her family, and how she tries to be different, but only by making mistakes does she learn how to really be true to herself. I'm glad she learnt sooner than I did that it's ok to be yourself. I'm looking forward to the next book, and hoping it will be told from a different sister's view! ^o^)

Ella’s Excellent Guide to Having a Whoopee

Nayu here! It's with great pleasure that I can present a fun post from Candy -  I mean Ella, all about what a Whoopee is (it's an extremely special kind of party, one which made me tear up in Ella's tale) 

1. Wait for someone in your family or one of your friends to do well at something. It can be anything really; top marks in a test, learning to swim, passing a music exam. Once we had a Whoopee because Lucy had managed not to be told off at school for a whole week.

2. Choose a present. Whoopee presents are always homemade. You might want to make a bracelet like Chloe or you could knit a scarf, paint a picture or even write a special letter like Amelia.

3. Decorate the bedroom of the person who has done well. Sometimes we use tinsel, but you could make paper chains or use balloons. Amelia’s instructions for how to make tissue paper flowers like we did can be found in the back of Perfectly Ella.

4. Prepare refreshments. Juice and biscuits are fine. Or you if you have time could use Chloe’s recipe for cupcakes. You will be able to find the recipe over at Luna’s Little Library ( from Sunday 26th April.

5. Time to party! Music is a good idea to get people in the right mood. We like playing games (charades and March of the Zombies) and we always chat about the reason we’re celebrating because that makes the Whoopee person feel really special.

6. Don’t forget to say ‘Whoopee!’ a lot.

7. Everybody in my family always helps to tidy up after a Whoopee (even Lucy) because that way we know that Mum won’t mind the next time we want to have one.

Nayu: A Whoopee sounds like so much fun! Who will you plan one for? 
Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on this fabulous tour!  

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