Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Review: Help Me Reader by J W Hurcomb & Jason Pacliwan (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)

Who could refuse helping such a cute little bear?
 July 2022, Independently published, Paperback and Ebook, Review copy 

 Book Summary

Help me Reader is an interactive children’s book full of fun! Salsa is lost and needs your help to find her way home.

Nayu's thoughts 

I was curious how a book could be interactive and how it's done is both clever and fun Salsa asks for help finding her way through various mazes, sometimes objects need to be counted too. I knew from the start it's an exciting read when the reader is asked to touch Salsa to say hello. The soft coloured illustrations are in a cozy vibe style which helps because the setting is night and darkness can seem a scary time. 

 Despite there being quite a few mazes within the tale they never felt repetitive and are not too hard to solve either. Salsa's journey home definitely takes unexpected turns and the warm welcome makes any fear she feels worthwhile. Feel the engaging nature of the book will encourage it to be reread multiple times. 

Suggested read 

For another night themed tale check out Daddy I Can't Sleep by Alan Durant and Judi Abbot (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)


Sunday, 28 May 2023

Review: Rita Wants A Dragon by Maire Zepf and Mr Ando (Children's, Picture book, 10/10E)


February 2022, Graffeg Limited, 36 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Book summary from Graffeg 

Meet Rita. She’s a little girl with very big ideas. When Rita gets cross she imagines she has a ferocious dragon that will make the world shudder with anger. But even the hottest tempers can be soothed and Rita’s mum knows just how.

Nayu's thoughts 

I, like Rita, want a dragon although not for the same reasons as Rita. Rita wants one to help express her anger and rage better when life takes turns she doesn't like. Anger isn't an issue I have these days but i feel my younger self could relate to Rita. These days I'm more patient if things go wrong, but it can be hard to express frustration when angry, and a big dragon does that perfectly.

  I like how the dragon is coloured similarly to Rita's clothes and hair. I like how eventually, once left alone Rita is reasonable and works out why she reacted the way she did and the way the story ends is utterly charming. I feel this will help talk about emotions with readers, how we may want to react all angry like a raging dragon but that isn't the best way to handle the situation. 

There is also a Welsh edition of the book!  

Suggested read 

For more dragon adventures check out Sir Scaly Pants: The Dragon Thief by John Kelly (Children's, Picture book, 10E/10E)


Thursday, 11 May 2023

Over On Nayu's Crochet Dreams #67 Medical Mayham


Mikuru from Aikatsu looking sweet

Find out why and how I caused chaos at a hospital and also in my home over on Nayu's Crochet Dreams

Sunday, 26 February 2023

Nayu's News #256 Getting there slowly


Tiffany (French name), Sakura's best friend in Cardcaptor Sakura

It's a slightly sunny day, I can see some blue sky through my window, along with rain laden looking fluffy clouds too. I'd been putting off this post for a while, but well today it'll go up. It's an apology for the lack of content the past few months. I've had a lot of life stuff going on, and needed time to regroup here and with emails. I am slowly catching up with a few belated reviews, so those will be incoming. While the main issue is still ongoing that I can't talk about, the others are hopefully being sorted soon.

Well, I'm on new medication for one thing, which makes me super tired, more than I am normally and has me going to bed a lot earlier at the moment. I'm hoping that will improve over time, but been a few weeks and not really much change yet. Just going to do things as and when I can, so watch this space! Thank you to regulars who do check in from time to time, it is appreciated. I will get there, I just don't do so well when everything happens at once! Hopefully the rest of 2023 will go better than the first 2 months have. 

Sakura and Kero, Cardcaptor Sakura

Tuesday, 6 December 2022

Review: How To Teach Grown-Ups About Pluto by Dean Regas and Aaron Blecha (Children's, Non-fiction, 10/10E)

 May 2022, Britannica Books, 112 pages, Hardback, Review copy

Book Summary

Pluto has not been a planet since 2006. But this tiny world still inspires people of all ages while sparking controversy. In this delightfully witty book, astronomer Dean Regas teaches you how to educate your grown-up about the cutting-edge science of space, most crucially the reason why Pluto is NOT a planet anymore.

Delving into the history of space discoveries, the key players who have helped our understanding of the universe (including the 11-year-old girl who named Pluto in the first place), and the ever-changing nature of science, this book will equip every reader with the tools they need to bring their grown-ups fully up to speed, and to sneak in as many amazing astronomical facts as possible. 

And there’s a handy quiz at the end so that you can check your grown-up has been paying attention!

Nayu's thoughts 

I am one of those grown-ups who likes to believe Pluto is a planet. As a child I grew up with it being a planet, so I was eager to read why it isn't. There is so much good information in this book, and yes it's possible to spend an entire book talking about Pluto! Even though technically it isn't a planet as what makes a planet's definition has been changed, to me Pluto will always be a planet. It was for a time, and therefore it can be in my mind!

I liked how clearly it was explained why Pluto was a planet, and is not one. Rather than black and white illustrations they are blue and white, in keeping with what Pluto looks like.Despite being 2D some of the pictures popped off the page and felt 3D, almost all had a sense of humour to them.  I learnt about planets in general, moons, various scientific beliefs that changed over time as technology provided new evidence that change previously known facts. There is a timeline dedicated to Pluto facts, quizes at the back to see how much info was retrained from reading the book, and a much needed glossary, more useful to those new to astronomical terms. 

This is definitely essential reading if you don't understand why Pluto technically isn't a planet any more, and perhaps you will will join my team who pretends it still is a planet. I'm stubborn and I don't care! But at least the youth will know what Pluto really is, a once upon a time planet which is still an important part of our solar system. Or galaxy. Or both. I can't remember the difference between the terms. 

Suggested read

If you love space check out When We Walked on the Moon by David Long and Sam Kalda (Non-fiction, Children's, 10E/10E)


Saturday, 5 November 2022

Review: The Gita for Children by Roopa Pai and Sayan Mukherjee (Children's, Non-fiction, Spiritual, 8/10E)

  October 2022, Swift Press, 304 pages, Hardback, Review copy 

Summary from Swift Press

The Gita For Children is an accessible friend, philosopher and guide, designed to, reassure, empower, and provide direction to young readers in an increasingly chaotic and morally topsy-turvy world.

The Bhagavad Gita has been on India’s must-read list for an incredible 2500 years (at the very least), and with good reason. Secular, liberal, and unfailingly compassionate towards human frailty, the divine song is a call to war against the most powerful and dangerous enemy of all – the one that lives inside our heads.

Pai’s spirited, one-of-a-kind retelling of the epic conversation between Pandava prince Arjuna and his mentor and friend Krishna is the best introduction to the Bhagavad Gita. Lucid, thought-provoking and brimming with fun trivia, this book will stay with you long after you have turned the last page.

Nayu's thoughts

Initially I was going to turn down reading this book, after all I'm Muslim rather than Hindu so why do I need to understand The Gita? However, I do like learning about other religions, understanding people is a step towards getting on with them (in theory), and I was curious about it. There are very few illustrations inside, which was a shame as they are gorgeous. 

There is a lot of explaining of the key essential parts of The Gita, which I appreciate is useful for those new to it. Some concepts were complex even when explained clearly. I liked how the explanations used were relevant for both children and teens, relating to homework and seeing friends. There are a lot of philosophies which are very similar in Islam, some were quite strange to me, and I didn't agree with all of them, but overall I feel I have a vague grasp on Hindu philosophies and why Krisna is believed to have fought the battle despite not wanting to fight his own family. 

Kindness and a sense of duty to others as well as oneself were the messages that came across strongly to me, and that people regardless of their spiritual inclination can appreciate how The Gita is a foundation for Hindus. It touches on ideas that I learnt about when I studied Pyschology at sixth form, different part of the self and how we can give in to certain thoughts or feelings or we can be stronger than them and do the dull tasks that are necessary in life. I do feel young Hindus will find this book invaluable to their spiritual journey, and other readers can broaden their knowledge which is never a bad thing. It's not a book I will peronally reread, but it is very good and I definitely recommend checking it out.

Suggested read

If you want to learn more about India check out A Jar of Pickles and Other Stories by Chitra Soundar and Uma Krishnaswamy (Children's, 7 years +, 9/10E, short 'n' sweet review)