#BlogTour! #Review – Go To Sleep by Marion Adams (@Marion_Author) @RaRaResources

Sarahs Shadow and Go To Sleep
I gave my daughter the decision of choosing which book she would like me to review for this tour. She decided to choose ‘Go To Sleep’ by Marion Adams as it has a sheep – I hope that’s okay!

Go to Sleep - From Amazon
Tansy the sheep can’t go to sleep. She’s forgotten how to do it! But when she follows the barn owl’s advice and starts counting sheep, she realises that something is wrong … The award-winning bedtime story with a humorous twist that children will love!

What do TWG and Baby TWG think?

My 4 year old daughter hasn’t always been one for sleep. Once she gets into the land of nod, she stays there for a good few hours unless I end up leaving the bed. So, when I had the chance to read a book about sleep, I grabbed hold of it with two hands and was delighted to read it to my little girl. Here is what she thought of the book:

Baby TWG: ‘I like animals! The sheep has a really boofee smile! I can count already so I didn’t need to learn that. I was too busy looking at the doggy to actually go to sleep but mumma made me laugh when she read it to me.’

TWG: I thought the illustrations were beautifully done and incredibly eye-catching and, whilst I knew my daughter wouldn’t drop off to the land of nod straight away, I knew she enjoyed the story due to the animals and my over excited way of telling the story. Easy to read regardless of the age, I think this is a lovely story for children of all ages.

Buy now from Amazon UK
Buy now from Amazon US

Marion Adams has been writing for as long as she can remember, usually for fun and
sometimes for money as well. She started her career as an in-house copywriter with a publisher and now works as a freelance proofreader and editor. It’s her dream job because she’s paid to read all day (and eat dark chocolate). Over the years, she’s written all kinds of things for both adults and children, some serious and some less so, with published work including magazine stories, articles, poems, plays and non-fiction books.
Marion lives in Devon, UK, and when she’s not reading or writing (or eating dark chocolate), she loves going for walks on the wild moors where her picture book Go To Sleep! is set.

Social Media Links –

Twitter // Facebook // Instagram // LinkedIn

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#BlogTour! #Review – London Hat Hunting Mission by Winnie Mak Tselikas (@OneDearWorld) @RaRaResources

London Hat Hunting Mission Full Tour Banner
Who wants to go on a mission?
Not just any mission….a HAT mission!

I am so excited to be kicking off the blog tour for the ‘London Hat Hunting Mission’, courtesy of RaRaResources and One Dear World. Here is my review from both me and my 4 year old daughter, Eva.

London Hat Hunting Mission - Front Cover
Four little Londoners, Hope, Jun, Lea and Parth, come from a different cultural background, are good friends living in London. They are travelling to the iconic places around the city in search of magic hats to cure Mr Globe’s headache.
 
The book is illustrated with a mix of real life photographs of iconic places in London and digital illustration so children can have a vivid visual experience of London and at the same time open up their world of imagination.

What does TWG think?

What a fun little book! I love how the author has used dolls to tell the story in the big city of London, crouching down to a child’s level straight away. Whilst children often follow their peers regarding other people’s lifestyles, skin colour etc, I am hoping that a lot of parents/guardians read this book and learn a thing or too while they’re at it! I read this book to my four-year old, Eva, and her response to the book was this:

‘I loved it! Their hats are cool and I loved how they went on a number 15 bus!’.

The fact that the dolls were of different skin colour wasn’t important to my daughter at all. It wasn’t that she ignored it, it was because to her, different skin colours aren’t a big deal. In her eyes, they were just four dolls looking for hats. Why can’t adults think like that?

I am a massive fan of London, so being able to go on a mission through the eyes of a child in London, in a book, blew me away and made me feel like a giggly child again. The only thing I would say about this book is that the story itself isn’t grabbing as I find that in most children’s books, the writing rhymes or has more of a beat to it. The content of the story is clearly important and gets the message across, but for me, I think it needs to be more adapted to grab the child’s’ attention.

All in all, ‘London Hat Hunting Mission’ is a fun read, ideal for a quality time reading session for both parent and child.

Buy now!

About the author.

Winnie Mak Tselikas is a believer in diversity. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she studied engineering, worked in commercial sales and in 2011 switched to education upon moving to London. There, she met her half-French, half-Greek husband and they had a son, who now has family in China, France, Greece, HK, the UK and the US. Winnie considers her son to be a world citizen rather than of a particular nationality or culture. Inspired by her family and London’s diversity, she founded One Dear
World and created the lovely adventures of Mr. Globe and the little Londoner dolls.

Social Media Links –
www.facebook.com/onedearworld
www.twitter.com/onedearworld
www.instagram.com/onedearworld

Giveaway – Win a hard cover book and one doll of the winner’s choice

*Terms and Conditions – Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner
will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by
Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to
select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data
given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be
shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter the giveaway!

#BlogTour! #Review – Steve and FranDan Take on the World by Ron Butlin (@RonButlinMakar) @LoveBooksGroup

steveandfran
IMG_0009Steve has had enough – enough of cyber-bullies, enough of adults messing up the world. Sharp-witted Fran and her brother worry-wart Dan feel exactly the same. And so, along with his dog Nessie, Steve and the FranDan twins leave town in the dead of night to start on the biggest adventure of their lives…

But if things were bad before, they soon get worse. Much, much worse. Some seriously bad men show up. Why have Steve and Dan been overpowered and led away as prisoners? Why are they kept tied up in the barn of a disused farm?

Having managed to escape, and with no way to call for help, Fran knows it’s up to her to mount a one-woman rescue

What does TWG think?

With a theme pretty close to my heart, ‘Steve & FranDan Take on the World’ is a book which took me back to a place in my life I would rather forget. Although, the topic of cyber bullying shouldn’t make people feel comfortable as it should do the complete opposite – make people feel Uncomfortable. It is about time an author for the younger generation, wrote a book about something which doesn’t get spoken about often, when it should. Damn right it should. Cyber bullying is a lot more popular than people seem to realise and no, not in a good way. I take my hat off to Ron Butlin for incorporating such a problematic in a way that children will take on board a lot easier.

Now, this book contains a lot of adventure and is ideal for keeping younger children gripped, despite the serious theme running through it. It is pretty clear that ‘Steve and FranDan’ isn’t aimed at adults, I mean, the storyline is incredibly far-fetched so an imagination is highly recommended. Even though I am well above the ‘recommended age’ for this book, I was still able to appreciate what this author was trying to do and the message it was trying to send.

Well done Ron Butlin!

Buy now!

#BlogTour! #Review – Here Come the Trolls by Ron Butlin (@RonButlinMakar) @LoveBooksGroup

TROLLS BLOG TOUR POSTER FINAL VERSION1 (1)
Delighted to be taking part in a ‘Trolltastic’ blog tour today! My review of ‘Here Come the Trolls’ and ‘Day of the Trolls’ will include my general thoughts alongside my four year old’s thoughts as well. Big thank you to the author and LoveBooksGroup for the copies of the books, and for inviting me to take part in the tour. Here is my review:

‘Day of the Trolls’ blurb.

Fart-Fart and all the trolls are back! Join them in the shopping mall where they go wild, causing havoc as they overrun the place. But when they follow sign saying All Trolls – This Way, things turn out very differently to what Flycatcher, Bumscratcher, SnotFace and the rest of them expected…

‘Here Come the Trolls’ blurb

Through gaps in the roof we didn’t repair through cracks in the walls we pretended weren’t there . . . the trolls have come creeping while we were all sleeping. Trolls on your chair, trolls in your bed–is anything worse than a troll on your head? What happens when your house is invaded by trolls–mischievous creatures who do nothing but cause havoc and mayhem? Find out in this zany and charming book which tells you how to get rid of them for good and make your house a troll-free zone!

What does TWG and Baby Garnet think?

Baby Garnet: I like the books because they have lots of funny bits in them. I like the colours of the covers too. I like the girl trolls in the book because they remind me of me, and other children will like them too.

(Views said by four-year old, Eva, written by mumma (me). )

TWG: Oh these books made me laugh! I had to read them out to my daughter as she is currently learning how to read (if the book doesn’t just contain the words ‘to, stop, no, yes and okay’, then she’s pretty much stuffed). Even as an adult, I still found myself laughing at the troll ‘Fart-Fart’. Yes, I am childish but seriously, how is that not funny? I think the author has done a brilliant job in writing a book which will appeal to most children, due to the hilarious personalities of the trolls (and their names). Of course we all know that children find little things and everything funny – this is why I truly believe that children will be laughing out loud at what the trolls get up to. Well, that’s if their parents don’t beat them to the laughter first!

I am a sucker for children’s books which rhyme, because I find that I am able to get into the spirit of the story as I read it out loud to my little girl. Personally, I really do hope that Ron Butlin gives the trolls more things to do as I wouldn’t say no to going out and purchasing more of these books for my daughter (that’s if I don’t nab them to read first!).

‘Here Come the Trolls’ and ‘Day of the Trolls’ are fantastic reads for every little person out there. It doesn’t matter if the children aren’t reading yet as, with these books, you have the perfect opportunity to read to your child and re-light your own childish tendencies with Fart-Fart and SnotFace. I even think these books are suitable for adults as well!

I must highlight the fact that both books were illustrated by James Hutcheson – what a fabulous job he has done! The illustrations worked perfectly well with the story by bringing the trolls cheekiness to life in a fantastic way.

Absolutely brilliant.

Here Come the Trolls – Buy now from Amazon
Day of the Trolls – Buy now from Amazon

#BlogTour! #Review – Perfectly Norman by Tom Percival @TomPercivalsays @KidsBloomsbury

Perfectly Norman Banner
Delighted to be one of today’s stops on Tom Percival’s blog tour for ‘Perfectly Norman’, published by Bloomsbury books. Huge thanks to Faye Rogers for inviting me to review such a fantastic children’s book.

norman banner

Norman had always been perfectly normal. That was until the day he grew a pair of wings!

Norman is very surprised to have wings suddenly – and he has the most fun ever trying them out high in the sky. But then he has to go in for dinner. What will his parents think? What will everyone else think? Norman feels the safest plan is to cover his wings with a big coat.

But hiding the thing that makes you different proves tricky and upsetting. Can Norman ever truly be himself?

A poignant yet uplifting story about individuality, with stunning artwork in a striking minimal palette from the author/illustrator of Herman’s Letter. Fans of Oliver Jeffers and Benj Davies will love it.

What does TWG think?

For me, reading and reviewing children’s books on my blog are such a delightful change of scenery. Most books I read cover a wide variety of in-depth, emotional, and often quite serious topics. Reading children’s books however, seem to enlighten the brain in such an innocent and eye-opening manner. ‘Perfectly Norman’ is one of those books, and then some.

Norman has always thought of himself as ‘normal’. But what actually is NORMAL? In Norman’s eyes, normal means he is just like everyone else with nothing out of the ordinary separating him from his peers. Well, until he grew a pair of wings of course. Can you imagine suddenly having wings? Being able to soar above the sky. Being the owner of more freedom than you ever thought possible. Being able to take flight whenever the situation arose. Sounds bliss really, doesn’t it? At first, the novelty of having a beautiful pair of wings wasn’t lost on little Norman, he took the situation by the wings and flew with it…literally. But being that ‘different’ came with a price. A price which a child should never, ever have to decipher.

Little Norman’s knee-jerk reaction was to hide his wings. Why? Because he was afraid. Afraid of what people would say if they were to find out about his wings. Afraid of the repercussions. Did hiding his wings help him? Well, let me ask you this; if you were the owner of something out of the ordinary, brought into your life out with your control (& yes, including illness related differences), which made you stand out differently to another person (aside from the obvious hair colour etc), would you feel happy about hiding those differences because you were afraid of other people’s reactions?

Would you? Because I certainly wouldn’t, and as someone who has to live my life with those differences, I most certainly dislike doing it.

Tom Percival needs a humongous hug, in my opinion. There’s a difference between an adult leaning more towards hiding things, especially as they’re able to understand more of the situation than a young child, but when a child feels that pressure – this is when people need to open their eyes and realise how much society needs educating.

‘Perfectly Norman’ is a beautiful, beautiful story about learning how to be yourself without shying away from the things which make you different. The things which make you, YOU. The language used in this story is perfectly matched to the topic of the story, and the illustrations completely blew my mind. Not only did Tom Percival write this magnificent story, he also illustrated it. Personally, I think he has done a truly fantastic job.

I read ‘Perfectly Norman’ with my then three-year old daughter (who turned four a few weeks later). Throughout the story, my daughter asked me questions such as; ‘why is the boy sad?’ and ‘why does he have wings and others don’t? don’t they want wings like him?’. It wasn’t a case of asking me why Norman was different, or laughing because he didn’t look like the other children. No. My daughter wanted to find out whether the other children wanted wings like Norman, AS WELL. In my eyes, that right there is the fundamental difference between a child’s mentality, and an adult’s mentality. As adults we, in theory, are more educated about certain situations than a child, and therefore more capable to direct our feelings towards those situations in a more logical manner. However, child often don’t receive the credit which they deserve, especially at times like these. Children understand a lot more than we seem to believe. They are aware of a lot more. They see situations a heck of a lot clearer than some adults often will. So, when a child comes up against a topic such as the one in ‘Perfectly Norman’, they will see it for what it is rather than spending ages deciphering every single point logistically, and often long-winded. Also known as – OVER THINKING EVERYTHING. Don’t get me wrong, not every adult (or even child) are like that.

Tom Percival’s children’s book is an extremely vital learning material for children of all ages, and yes, even adults. As soppy as this sounds, this book made me emotional because I could appreciate the sheer importance of the message which the author was trying to convey, and managed one hundred percent flawlessly.

‘Perfectly Norman’ is a beautiful, enchanting, eye-opening story which needs to be read by every single person out there. Such a joy to read, yet extremely emotional at the same time for those who can fully appreciate the sensitive topic.

Magnificent. My favourite children’s book of the year so far.

Thanks Faye Rogers & Bloomsbury.

Buy now

#BlogTour! #Review – One Summer in Tuscany by Domenica De Rosa @ellygriffiths @QuercusFiction

One Summer in Tuscany blog tour poster

tuscany
Rivalries and romance in a Tuscan paradise. A relaxing writers’ retreat? If only! Perfect holiday reading from Domenica de Rosa, author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series under the name Elly Griffiths. Previously published as SUMMER SCHOOL.

Patricia Wilson’s carefully composed ads for the writers’ retreat she runs at her thirteenth-century Italian castle promise so much. But while the splendour of their surroundings and chef Aldo’s melanzane never fail to wow the guests, huge maintenance bills and bad news from the bank threaten to close Patricia down. It’s make or break time for the Castello.

Each of her seven aspiring authors arrives with the inevitable baggage alongside their unpublished manuscripts. But this August something is different, and soon lifelong spinster Mary is riding on the back of Aldo’s vespa, and smouldering odd-job man Fabio has set more than one heart racing.

As temperatures rise, the writers gossip, flirt and gently polish their prose by the pool. But with ghosts, scorpions, and some unexpected visitors to contend with, one thing’s for sure: neither the Castello, nor Patricia, has ever seen a summer like this.

What does TWG think?

Set in Italy, ‘One Summer in Tuscany’ is an ideal book to take with you on your holidays, lay on the sun lounger and just relax. With a not to strenuous storyline, this novel allows you to go with the flow without being too heavy, or too complicated.

Be prepared for a lot of characters to come your way though! Although, with a beautiful setting such as Italy, I don’t think the prospect of multiple characters will annoy you too much!

What I found endearing about ‘One Summer in Tuscany’, was the fact that it was set in a writers retreat, as well as Italy. I have only come across that particular setting once or twice before, so it made a nice change to be able to watch the storyline unfold in a writers retreat. For me, it gave the novel more of a unique feel. Not only that, the chef, Aldo, was able to make my mouth water with a minimal amount of effort! Out of the gutter…please.

Whilst I am all for a calm storyline, I do enjoy a bit of bite. Something to sink my teeth into. Something to keep my interest. Don’t get me wrong, I was entertained by ‘One Summer in Tuscany’, I just needed a bit more…oomph to the overall storyline. I felt that the characters were well written and realistically developed. The setting was beautifully described, I just wanted to pack my suitcase and go live there. THAT’s how realistically written it was. The storyline was full of bounce in terms of happiness, without anything majorly traumatic.

Overall, it was a lovely, lovely read. I just wish it had that little bit extra. I cannot fault the author on the feel of the book though, that’s for sure!

Thanks Quercus.

Buy now from Amazon UK (Paperback follows 29th June)

#BlogTour. #Review – The Elephant of Frimley by Nicholas Rawls. @AuthorightUKPR

The Elephant of Frimley Cover

Two sisters and an elephant embark on an exciting adventure in this charming illustrated children’s book.

After the discovery of an elephant in their back garden, sisters Hannah and Emily make it their adventurous mission to return it back home. 

Originally written as a bedtime story for his two daughters, and beautifully illustrated by Louise Jewell, The Elephant of Frimley is a delightful and fun read that parents, primary school teachers and extended families will enjoy sharing with young children.

What does TWG think?

As soon as my three-year old daughter saw the front cover, she asked me a question; ‘Mumma, was is the elephant sad? Its eyes are dripping near the baby bit of her eye, why she crying?’.

Before I was able to answer her questions, I flicked through the book myself and tried to see if the story gave me any clue. Personally, it didn’t. The illustrations were delightfully drawn and completely different to other books I have read with my daughter, that’s for sure.

I still didn’t answer my daughter’s question, so I sat down with her and read the book with her, just to see what her thoughts were and whether her question got answered in its own little way. She adored the illustrations of the elephant the most. But, where the storyline was concerned, her little face began to frown when she couldn’t realise why the elephant was involved in certain things. Don’t get me wrong, it’s uniquely written and has a certain charm about it, and I adore the touching background story of it being written for the authors two daughters. Super cute!

It was a lovely, little book as far as the elephant was concerned, and as far as my little girl was concerned. She didn’t seem to find that answer for her question, nor did it keep her attention like other books.

I enjoyed reading something different with my daughter, even though it wasn’t really for us. I am sure many other children will adore the story as much as we adored the elephant.

Thanks Authoright.

Buy now.

The Elephant of Frimley Banner

Happy birthday to me! TWG turns ONE! #happybirthdayTWG #bookblogger #authors #firstbirthday

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AHHHHHHHHH!! Happy birthday to TWG! One year ago today, 15th March 2016, my first ever blog post was published. I even remember which one it was too – The woman who upped and left – Review. I didn’t even think anyone would read my reviews, let alone be following me a year down the line. It has been a surreal year for TWG and I have loved every single moment of it. Well, most of it!

This last year I have:

– Created a signed book collection of 35 books, containing novels from authors such as Lindsey Kelk, Jodi Picoult, Carol Wyer, Paige Toon, Sophie Kinsella, Michelle Visage, David Videcette, Mary-Jane Riley, Liane Moriarty, Sue Moorcroft, Sue Watson, Sam Carrington, Louise Jensen, Tilly Tennant, Sue Fortin, Jan Brigden, Laura James, Marcie Steele, Holly Martin, Sarah Morgan, Elli Darkins, Eva Jordan, Lisa Jewell, Cathy Bramley, Mhairi McFarlane, Susan Gander, Rosie Blake, Heidi Swain, Milly Johnson, Jennifer Bohnet, and Rebecca Raisin.

Huge thank you to the authors who have sent me those signed books as a competition prize or for another reason, thank you to the publishers, and thank you to the authors for signing those books so that they were available to buy. I feel extremely lucky and I will forever be grateful.

– Became friends with most of those authors above, AND MORE. A year ago I was in dream world when it came to authors tweeting me back. A year later, I am still in dream world when they do that and have to pinch myself when I am in conversation with them. Am I dreaming?

– Found some truly loyal bloggers to build brilliant friendships with. I also am so thankful to Joanne R for taking me under her wing at the very beginning, making sure that I wasn’t on my own in a huge group.

– Huge thank you to Anita Chapman for letting me know about Book connectors FB group! Without you, I don’t think I would have known anything about it.

– Received books to review from publishers and authors I have admired for many, many years. Every time I get book post it feels like it’s my birthday all over again. Thank you to Accent Press for being the first publisher to put me on their blogger list, and a huge thank you to all of the other publishers who continue to bless me with bookpost and book related things. Living the dream.

– This last year I also met Jodi Picoult. Another author who I have admired for many years and made me catch my breath when I met her, with fellow blogger Dee. Amazing experience.

There are so, SO many highlights from this past year, I couldn’t begin to list them all. I have been on several hundred blog tours, taken part in multiple cover reveals, been lucky enough to interview Jenny Colgan, Ali McNamara, Carol Wyer, Cathy Bramley, Andi Michael, Tilly Tennant and many, many more. My interviews are no longer called ‘interviews’, some authors know of them as interrogations! A fellow blogger, Lorraine, let me know that I was now the ‘blogger who made authors cry’ (in a good way), with my reviews. I don’t set out to do that (honestly)! A special thank you needs to go to Carol Wyer and Kim Nash. When I first started blogging, I had no idea about most things yet Carol became such a good friend in such a short space of time, becoming the support network and confidante that I treasured, and I still do. Carol stood by my side and championed me and TWG from the very beginning, and she still does to this day. I will always be grateful for your kind words and support Carol, you truly are one of kind. As for Kim Nash, you were the first publisher I ever spoke to directly (well, over e-mail) and we built a good friendship from that moment. Plus, you had copious amounts of patience with me when I kept pestering you! Thank you for believing in me now and today.

This last year has seen me read a total of 214 books (so far), with 154 books being from 2016 and 60 being my current total. I have been lucky enough to try so many new authors and fall in love with genres I never thought I would see myself reading. I have been made to feel included to various book groups on FB and this whole year has seen my blog posts being shared far and wide by bloggers. BLOGGERS, thank you for always sharing my posts, championing my reviews and being such stars. You are all incredibly wonderful and it’s a pleasure to become your friends. You all know who you are!

This year has also seen an article of mine get published on mental health and illness website, The Mighty. Within 2 weeks it had been shared over 3000 times. You can find my article here. I also have had one of my quotes published on the back of a paperback, with another one (or two) to be expected further on in the year. I have also found my quotes on publishers publicity pictures, and yes, a year later the feeling is still surreal with every new one. Thank you.

This post could go on forever, as there are so many people I would like to thank for helping my dream get on its way to becoming a reality. Reading books is my only respite from the hell of daily life and for that reason, I will forever be in authors debt for writing those books that allow me to travel to France, New York etc, or allow me to ‘work’ in various different places without having to worry about my P45!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to write and be involved in books/writing some way or another. I’m involved in books thanks to my blog. I just need someone to give me that break to change my life, and allow me to work freelance as a writer/publicist etc. It’s getting to a point now where the chances of me working outside are slim. Fingers crossed that 2017 allows me to get even closer to getting that job. Thank you all for following my blog, supporting me, reading my posts and just being you.

Lots of love,

TWG x

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#BlogTour! #Review #PilotJane by Caroline Baxter @IZZIpics @bigsunbooks @fayerogersuk

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Don’t you wish that you had a plane like THAT?! ^^^
I am super excited to welcome Big Sunshine Books to TWG HQ today! Based in Oxford, Big Sunshine Books are taking the children book genre by storm (or sunshine), and, as a mummy to a three year old, I am so excited that I am able to enjoy such beautiful books with her.
You can find out more about Big Sunshine Books right here.

Today, Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane are landing right outside TWG HQ for a re-fuel and a review. Enjoy!

plane

Information about the Book
Title: Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane
Author: Caroline Baxter
Illustrator: Izabela Ciesinska
Release Date: 8th March 2017
Genre: Picture Book
Publisher: Big Sunshine Books
Format: Paperback
Goodreads Link
Amazon Link

Blurb.

Join Pilot Jane, a fun and fearless airline captain, as she travels the world with her

best friend Rose, a high-speed passenger jet. Together Jane and Rose have exciting
adventures and form a perfect team, delivering their passengers safely to
destinations as far afield as Alaska and Australia. But when disaster strikes and Rose
falls ill, Jane is paired with ‘lean, mean flying machine’ Mighty Mitch. Can she still get the Queen to her party on time? Featuring a clever and courageous heroine, this
action-packed rhyming story celebrates ‘Girl Power’ and shows what you can achieve if you work together. Fasten your seatbelt and get ready for take-off!

What does TWG think?

My little three year old daughter was completely speechless when I handed her Pilot Jane. She loves planes, tractors, fire engines and so on, so when she spotted the pink plane she yelled; ‘Mumma!!! That plane is pink and flowery!!! I want one!’. If anyone wishes to manufacture a miniature version of this plane, please shout me when you do as she wants one haha.

Any children’s books that come through my letterbox always get given to my daughter first, as it’s really her reactions and thoughts that my children’s book reviews are based around. This time though, we sat on the floor with Pilot Jane in front of us, and I began to read the story out loud.

My first impression of the contents were the incredible illustrations, they are outstanding, eye-catching and so perfect to look at. I loved them. Eva is at the age where she finds a lot of things hilarious, even grumpy, funny faces and funny noises; so when she spotted Jane pulling a lot of various faces through the book, she was in absolute hysterics. Hats off to Izabela Ciesinska for the amazing illustrations. Such beautiful, beautiful work that makes the storyline jump off the page and into your imagination.

I’m also such a big kid at heart, so when I spotted the plane refuelling on cake, I just knew that Pilot Jane would stay in my mind for a long time to come. The rhyming storyline was fantastic as it was easy to read and kept my little one’s interest.

‘But once in the air, Mitch raced through the cloud.
He looped and swooped, feeling clever and proud.’

Now, what I truly love about children’s books is the fact that they’re always centred around a topic that will help to guide the children through their childhood, and sometimes even further. Pilot Jane shows children, with the help of a plane or two, exactly what team work is all about, even including the possibility of calm moments before the storm. Well, or the runaway plane in this case. Pilot Jane doesn’t hide away from the true meaning of team work, no. What she does is show the good with the bad by keeping it real and showing the children that sometimes you just can’t fix things or do things by yourself. Sometimes you do need a little bit of help, especially if your helper is on the same page as you and knows how to listen.

What a brilliant message to highlight in a story! Even as adults we take team work for granted!

I asked Eva what she thought of Caroline Baxter’s storybook, Pilot Jane and the Runaway Plane, here word for word, is her reply:

‘Mumma, it made me laugh cause the plane swooped and swished and the Queen’s tee-eye-ra (tiara) fell off. She was a grumpy bum! Can I have a pink plane soft toy like Rose? It can come to bed with me! Thank you for my book mumma, I love it, it’s super cool!’

Just like Eva, I loved this storybook and I believe that both children and adults will read it with a HUGE grin on their faces. Fabulous!

Big thanks to Faye Rogers and Big Sunshine Books for this fantastic children’s book!
Buy now!

#Review of Clover Moon by Jacqueline Wilson (@fansofjwilson) @RHKidsUK #CloverMoon

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Blurb.

Clover Moon’s imagination is her best escape from a life of hardship in poverty-stricken Victorian London. When tragedy plunges her into a world of grief, Clover realizes that everything she loved about the place she called home is gone. Clover hears of a place she could run to, but where will she find the courage – and the chance – to break free? And could leaving her family be just what she needs to find a place that really feels like home?

What does TWG think?

Ever since I can remember, Jacqueline Wilson’s books have been part of my life. When it came to writing book reviews at school, Jacqueline’s ‘The Lottie Project’ was usually the first book that I chose, and, 19 years on, it still remains one of my most favourite books. As a lot of you are aware, Jacqueline writes books aimed at children and young adults. However, given the topics her books cover, I am sure a lot of adults would still appreciate the literary genius that is Ms.Wilson.

As soon as I was given the opportunity to read ‘Clover Moon’, I grabbed it with both hands and snuggled up on the sofa with copious amounts of excitement bubbling as I began to read. ‘Clover Moon’ is set in London during the Victorian era; the poverty end in particular. Clover Moon is just a young girl. A young girl that has a lot of responsibility looking after her younger brothers and sisters, as well as the neighbours children. Before you even add poverty to the equation, Clover’s life seems very hectic already. In the Victorian era, people didn’t have the luxuries that we take for granted now; things like clothes, hot water, food and even medicines. Reading about Clover Moon’s life and the struggles that she had to face, opened my eyes in more ways than one.

Don’t get me wrong, I knew that life was very different back then, but when you’re focusing on one or two families, the reality of the situation becomes even more clear. When Clover faced grief head on, my heart went out to her. The little girls safety net and best friend was gone, and the only thing that poor Clover could guarantee now was pain.

Jacqueline Wilson has taken yet another harrowing topic, built a story with that topic in mind based on events from our history, and has written it in such an easy to understand way. Not only that, Jacqueline Wilson has kept the gritty reality at the forefront of the story, whilst explaining what younger children had to face and the options that they had.

I found a lot of the storyline quite hard to read in terms of emotion behind the powerful truth, yet it was delivered brilliantly.

Yet another exceptional book from the highly talented Jacqueline Wilson. In the 19 or so years that I have read Jacqueline’s books, I have never come across one that I didn’t like. Absolutely fantastic. Roll on her next book!

Thank you Penguin Books.

Clover Moon by Jacqueline Wilson is available to buy now from Amazon UK