Thursday, 20 January 2022

Nayu's News #255 I'm In Twinkl's Top Picks For Book Bloggers!

 


Lately I am not super regular in book reading or reviewing, I am trying to change that this year. Due to the sporadic blogging it was a surprise when I was contacted by Twinkl, an international publisher filled with learning resources,  to say I'd been chosen to be featured in an article about book bloggers! How cool is that! 

I sent in a photo of my bookcase and some words which actually refer to my good friend Gina of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers who is all sorts of awesome despite being on a different continent. Here is the official info with the link to the article-I was asked to use the exact wording but I'm happy with it.

"I have been included in the most recent article <Twinkl's top picks for 
book bloggers> by the international educational publisher, Twinkl - you can 
read more here."

I even get a metaphorically shiny badge for my blog!!! It's so fancy!

It's a great way to start 2022 so thank you Twinkl!


Monday, 10 January 2022

Blog Tour: Clementine Florentine by Tasha Harrison and Mya Mitchell (Children's, 9 years +, 10/10E

 


6th Januray 2022, UCLan Publishing, 172 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

 Book Summary from UCLan Publishing

Clementine Florentine is an illustrated comedy for 8-12 year olds with a strong female protagonist who has a talent for poetry and a passion for Custard Creams. 

In an ingenious reverse ‘Parent Trap’, Clementine and her school nemesis Callum, have to work together to break Clem’s dad and Callum’s mum up, before they fall ‘in lurrrvee’ and the two poetry rivals end up step brother and sister!

However, an unlikely friendship with ageing punk icon Lyn Ferno and her chatty pet parrot Viv, helps Clem to start seeing things differently. But by then, is it too late to undo the damage she’s caused?

Nayu's thoughts 

At the moment I love humour, and since I happen to adore  Custard Creams I knew I would love Clementine's tale and I did!  I felt bad why she grew out of love with custard creams, and how that nemesis became the focus of her wrath for a while. When someone gets kicked in the teeth metaphorically it really hurts. Clementine's hurt is real, and she has no clue how much of a help she is to Lyn who is rather unique, and Viv adores Clem, who feels the same about her.  After all Clem did hide Viv in her room and something unmentionable then happened to her father which was utterly hilarious but at the same time I could feel the horror. 

The range of emotions are off the charts strong and relatable, from both characters and events. The car event sticks strongly in my mind, as it must have been dreadful and I sincerely hope Tasha never experienced this to put it into Clem's tale. The shame Clem feels when she takes things too far and gets told off by her father who she loves a lot bounced off the page. We all make mistakes, we have to live with the consequences of those mistakes. I am thankful Clem was able to mend bridges with her family and her best friend Rom who like Clem is one of a kind and brilliant. 

I felt sorry for Clem's father, he clearly works hard, struggles a bit as a single parent to two extremely energetic girls. There is a moment when he loses the plot (not the actual plot), and his actions shock Clem, but he apologises and they move forward together. It shows he is allowed to not get things right, which he does more than once (the walk...) and have strong emotions. Clem gains an insight into his feelings and she seems to take them on board by the end. Her passion for revenge did err into being spiteful, but essentially Clem is a kind girl and she finds ways to make it up to everyone. 

I had to smile as the proof copy had a paperclip illustration around every page number, perhaps a nod to Lyn's origins? Every illustration made me smile even more than from reading what was going on. Humour makes the world go round, although there are times which seriousness is needed and others will not always share a sense of humour, as Clem finds out. I did not expect her to learn to like her nemesis, but I did guess what would happen with Lyn which was beautiful to see. We can all have our confidence dented, it can often taken time and someone else to lift us back up and steer us on the path we are meant to be on. There had better be a book 2! I want to know if Clem's sister continues with her bow and arrow obsession, and if her greedy cat manages to lose weight.

Find out more on Tasha's website

Suggested read

If you love books about friendship check out You've Got A Friend by Judi Curtin (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)


 

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Over on Nayu's Crochet Dreams #63 Happy 2022!

Mizuki from Aikatsu! My fave chara ^u^
 

 Come find out what I've been up to recently, especially if you don't follow me on Twitter! It's an exciting start to the new year, all on Nayu's Crochet Dreams!

Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Mum, Dad, Can You Hear Me? by Despina Mavridou, Chrysoula Verikiou, Korina Marnelaki (Children's, 9 years +, 8/10E)

 

Gorgeous cover

December 2020, 44 pages, Paperback and Ebook, Review Copy 

Book Summary

Irene, is a 10-year-old girl whose parents are getting a divorce. In the midst of her confusion and helplessness, Irene turns to her diary to express her feelings and better process her parents’ divorce.

Nayu's thoughts

Divorce is almost never an easy scenario, especially when children are involved who may not understand the complexities involved. Using a diary is a great method of getting feelings out, although it isn't until Irene's grandmother reads the diary that the reason for Irene refusing to speak with anyone is understood. Irene has a lot of questions but feels she can't ask them all to her parents. Her father spoils her which her mother doesn't approve of, as well as later on having a girlfriend and not paying for Irene's ballet lessons.

 Irene confides everything to her teddy bear and her diary, something many children will be able to relate to. In the end her parents find out her feelings and are better able to help her with them. Irene has so many questions, it was sad watching her unable to speak out for fear of upsetting her parents. It's a reminder that children need reassurance during a divorce, that they think far more about the situation than some may realise.

The illustrations are adorable, with the pictures explaining the situation simply but in an emotive way too. There are some instances of grammar issues or when English expressions feel lost in translation and not used correctly, but overall the strength of the story is really important to children who have friends whose parents are going through a divorce, or children directly experiencing a divorce. 

Suggested read

A book for younger readers that looks at divorce is Living With Mum and Living With Dad by Melanie Walsh (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10 E)



Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Semeli To the Magic Bagel Land by Despina Mavridou, Chrysoula Verikiou, and Elena Zikou (Children's, 5 years +, 8/10E)


 

 June 2021, 26 pages, Paperback, Ebook, Review copy 

Book Summary

 One day her aunt decides to take her to the magic Bagel Land with her flying train. During the trip Semeli discovers new places, makes some new friends that might be a bit different than herself and in the end she concludes that Bagels taste better if you share them with your friends.

Nayu's thoughts 

Despina has create  a fantasy world where Semeli can travel anywhere on her aunt's magic train. Semeli is a fussy eater which frustrates her mother, her favourite food is bagels and she  just doesn't want to eat other things. Her aunt whisks her away are far away lands, where she meets and plays with new friends who look and sound different, but none of that matters because they have fun together. She decides to be less fussy as she wants to share her bagels with her friends. 

There are occasional places where the English felt a bit awkwards, in the land of bagels despite everything being made of bagels the illustrations looked like sweets. However the vibrant images do a fine job sharing the whimsical nature of Semeli's journey, there is a strong positive message about friendship and eating a variety of food too. Semeli is a charming child who simply wants to enjoy life. She adores her aunt who feels the same way too. 

Suggested read

For more food themed fun check out Lulu's Lunch by Camilla Reid, illustrated by Allie Busby (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)


 


Monday, 6 December 2021

The Light At the End of the Tunnel by Linda Weaver Clarke (Historical romance)


 October 2021, 167 pages, Paperback and Ebook

Book Summary

After coming to America and enduring several trials, Hannah realizes she can make something of her life by opening a hot chocolate shop. She soon finds that starting her own business isn’t as easy as she thought.

When Thomas finds out that Hannah's shop is struggling, he comes to the rescue with a clever plan. Will she agree to such an unconventional idea? Can he convince her to find room in her heart for one more person?

Nayu's thoughts

I have known Linda as an author for many years now, and while I haven't yet read her latest book, she has written a guest post for you to enjoy about it. 

Amidst Trials, is there a Light at the end of the Tunnel?

 

All of us have challenges in our lives and we feel so alone. We sometimes wonder if we are the only ones who are experiencing difficulties. Have you ever felt that each trial you have endured was so difficult that you wondered where the “light at the end of the tunnel” was? Many times we try to solve our own problems and don’t bother talking to anyone or asking for help.

 

“No matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.” ~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf

 

This was Hannah’s attitude as she tried to search for the “light at the end of the tunnel.” How many times do we search for that light, wondering where it is and hoping that the trials in life will soon end? Is God watching over us? Is He there when we need some comfort? In our darkest moment, does Jesus Christ know how we feel? I believe He does.

 

Set in 1844, The Light at the End of the Tunnel is a historical romance. Book Reviewer and Author Gail Pallotta wrote: “This romance wrapped around my heart as it took me into the struggles of Hannah, such a brave woman. The characters come to life on the page as Thomas falls for Hannah. However, Hannah is caught up in her day-to-day trials, and with her independent streak she only thinks of making a life for her and her daughter. Can Thomas get her attention and change her mind?”

 

After coming to America and enduring several challenges and trials, Hannah realizes she can make something of her life by opening a hot chocolate shop. She soon finds that starting her own business isn’t as easy as she thought.

 

When Thomas finds out that Hannah's shop is struggling, he comes to the rescue with a clever plan. Will she agree to such an unconventional idea? Can he convince her to find room in her heart for one more person?

 

“I enjoyed this sweet historical romance very much.  This story shows the western spirit of adventure in a young widow who has faced many hardships to come to this point.  This is a Christian book and a very engaging and enjoyable read. You will enjoy this heartwarming story of a strong woman forging a new life.” Sunnie Reviews

 

To buy this book or eBook on Amazon, visit https://www.amazon.com/Light-end-Tunnel-Women-Courage/dp/B09JJ97612.

 

Linda Weaver Clarke’s Author Blog: https://lindaweaverclarke.wordpress.com

Linda’s Audiobook Blog: https://familyfriendlyaudiobooks.wordpress.com

Linda’s Cozy Mystery Blog: https://cozymysteryseries.wordpress.com

Linda’s Historical Romance Blog: https://historicalromances.wordpress.com


Suggested reads

Linda has written many novels, some of which I have reviewed including Amelia Moore #7 The Lighthouse Secret by Linda Weaver Clarke (Audiobook, Cozy Mystery, 9/10E)