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The Writing Garnet turns 5! Happy birthday TWG! #blogger #blogbirthday #TWGTurns5 #Awardwinningblogger

The Writing Garnet is officially 5 years old TODAY! When I started my blog back in 2016, I never envisioned it turning out the way that it has. It never even crossed my mind that my blog could turn into a multi award winning blog (yes, multi), nor did it cross my mind that my review quotes would make their way into physical copies of books or even on the cover of some. Without blowing my own trumpet, I am unbelievably proud of all of that. At the very beginning, my blog was created as my way of saying thank you to authors for writing their books which has allowed me to escape via their words, when things in my personal life have been difficult. It wasn’t created as a popularity tool (because clearly I wouldn’t have lasted 5 minutes had that have been the case), nor was it created merely to get free things because, in all honesty, I had no idea that that was even a thing when I first started.

Over the last 5 years I have met a wide variety of authors, met fellow bloggers, other like minded bookish folk, and found myself involved in a world that went beyond just loving books. I had never really had that before. I had never been able to sit and discuss books with people who had read the same book as I, nor would I have ever found the confidence to cart myself off to events such as Edinburgh Book Festival, Aye Write in Glasgow, or even more intimate events such as meeting the Orenda gang in Edinburgh (to name a few), if it wasn’t for a select few of people who, after ‘meeting’ through the online book world, have gone on to becoming real life friends (Jen, Mandie, Kelly, Joanne, Lainy, DC to name a few). Not only that, despite not having met them in real life yet, I have come to know even more people who I consider to be friends now, who one day I would love to be able to give them a hug (COVID permitting, obvs – special shout out to Liz B for being as true as they come). If I named each and every one of the people who I called friends and who I would do anything for, I would be here a while and would no doubt miss someone off so, to put it simply, if we talk, I adore you. Simple as, and I thank you for your kindness and support over the last 5 years.

For me, the highlight so far has got to be meeting Sue Perkins and Tom Fletcher as those were the times where I unintentionally embarrassed my little girl with my high pitched squealing and trampoline bounces. I think I was fair excited……. Would I have been able to meet them had it not been for my blog? Honestly? Probably not as I never knew events like that existed until I became a blogger. I have so many other authors, bloggers, publicists etc, that I would love to meet and I have everything crossed that that will become a reality.

I know blogging isn’t all about stats, but for the first time in ages I had a quick nose at the stats of TWG. In the last 5 years TWG has had:

160,424 views.
84,689 visitors.
1837 blog posts have been posted.


Also, I even worked out roughly how many books I have read over that time…..1270!!! Ermmmmmmmm, say what?

As I may have mentioned previously, 2020 for TWG wasn’t the greatest as, putting it quite bluntly, I was treated like dirt via the bookish community (not all of you, just to clarify), and it hurt me so much that I ended up retreating because I didn’t know what else to do because, as I have also said many times, I’m not the most popular of people and I don’t fit into the tight knit groups. I suppose my face doesn’t fit, so I knew that regardless of what I said and what I did, I wouldn’t have been believed which is unfair and incredibly hurtful. Because of that, my posts within the last year have been few and far between, however I still have been ‘here’ from afar and still able to keep my feet in the door so to speak. Again, I want to thank those who have stood by me, supported me, and been true friends during that time and continue to do so. I see you.

I am super shocked that my little, multi award winning blog turns 5 today. Yes there have been some ups and downs and confidence knocks along the way, and yes, at times I bit off more than I can chew and left myself over stretched. However the joys of anything in life is that you can learn from your mistakes and realise where you went wrong or what needs to change. There is only me running this blog and, even though I like to think that I can do everything, I physically can’t….I just wish it hadn’t taken me 5 years to realise that! Well, in all fairness it’s probably taken me over 20 years to realise that as I recently turned 31 but y’know, semantics.

Creating The Writing Garnet was probably one of the best, on the spur decisions I have ever made and I just want to thank every single author, publisher and publicist who have sent me countless books over the years and trusted me to review your books. I want to thank the organisers of book events of their hard work and dedication in bringing likeminded bookish folk together. I also want to thank each and every person I have come to know and admire for being true to themselves and becoming good friends of mine. I have your backs – you are all awesome. Major shout out to my fellow bloggers, and anyone who is thinking about starting a blog – you’ve got this! Just remember it’s okay to say no….

On that note, happy birthday to TWG! Heres to another year full of weird and wonderful books, intriguing debuts, and a truck load of reviews.

TWG x

arc · BabyGarnet · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books

#BabyGarnetTakeOver!! Check out the review of #PirateNellsTaleToTell by Eva, aged 7! @docherty_helen @ TDIllustration @midaspr @amberachoudhary @sourcebooks

Nell is finally a pirate!

And she has her trusty Pirate’s Almanac to help her sail the seas, even if the mean, greedy and ignorant Captain Gnash doesn’t like books on his ship. But when the journey gets rough and the captain is in trouble, it’s Nell and all her pirate knowledge that saves the day and leads them to the greatest buried treasure of all.



Hugest of thanks to Amber and Midas PR for inviting us to take part in the blog tour for such a fab little children’s book. Even though I know that I am perfectly capable of reviewing this myself (can i just add that it is a super fun, catchy read for all pirate children out there!), I decided to enlist the help of my own mini pirate; Baby Garnet, also known as Eva, my 7 year old daughter. Not only has she read the book word for word herself, she has also written her review all by herself too.

I really do think that both children and adults alike will be hooked on Nell’s adventure and the wonderful colourful pictures that the book contains. I’ll now hand my blog over to the Baby Garnet and I hope you enjoy reading her review as much as we enjoyed reading about Pirate Nell.



*********************************


Hi it is Eva here! I am doing a tour for this book ‘Pirate Nell’s Tale To Tell’ by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty which they are also the author and illustrator of the ‘Snatchabook‘ (I have not read that yet so I would love to have a try and see if I like it). It is also a storybook adventure.

What I liked about the book is Nell – I think she is nice. What I didn’t like was Captain Gnash because he curled his lip at Nell. Gnash was not impressed about Nell’s almanac which I do not know what it is, but it is part of the book. I am not being rude about the book at all, I just don’t know what it is because I have not heard of almanac. Please say what it is if you know what it is. The publisher of the book is sourcebookskids (www.sourcebookskids.com)

Did you lot know that Nell always wanted to be part of the pirate crew? She was also full of hope! Please say if you lot got a copy of the book. I know it is a strange time right now, so I hope the book keeps you happy like it does for me. A big thank you to Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty for making ‘Pirate Nell’s Tale To Tell’, because it probably cheered us up a lot – I mean a lot! The book is for ages 4 and up, and was dedicated to Ruth, Rose and Kathie, and also for librarians everywhere.

I hope all of you lot loved my review and are keeping safe.

Lots of love the Baby Garnet.


Buy now from Amazon

BabyGarnet · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books

#BabyGarnet takes over #TheWritingGarnet with a review of #TheDinosaurWhoPoopedTheBed by @TomFletcher and @DougiePoynter @PenguinUKBooks #childrensbooks

Light Pink Valentine's Facebook Post

Good afternoon everyone!! I have special visitor on the blog today. Some of you may have already read one or two of her reviews before, but if not, let me give you a little bit of background information on this ‘special visitor’.

The mystery guest today is a teeny, tiny SIX years old and I happen to know her extremely well as I gave birth to her. How nice am I! Whilst some of you may know of her as ‘Eva’, ‘Belley’ and goodness knows what else I end up calling her, some of you may know her as……..

#BabyGarnet!!

That’s right folks! Baby Garnet is stepping into the hot seat this afternoon (aka my chair!), to bring you a review of a book from one of her all time favourite series; ‘The Dinosaur Who Pooped….The Bed!’, written by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter, illustrated by Garry Parsons. I hope you will make her feel welcome (not too welcome though as I do want my chair back please and thank you!!!!). So, without further ado, I…..reluctantly….give my chair over to the one, the only, Baby Garnet!!!

(Sorry, here is some information about the book first!)

pooped

Danny and Dinosaur want to watch telly but Mum won’t let them until they’ve tidied their room.

So Danny thinks of a plan to make all the mess go away – he gets Dino to eat it all up!

But just when they think they can get away with it, there’s a rumble in Dino’s tummy – another EXPLOSIVE adventure is about to begin!

What does BabyGarnet think?

Hi baby garnet here! It was funny when the dinosaur pooped the bed haha, sorry about that I got carried away. I love Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter. I met Tom Fletcher about Christmas time, is that awesome?

I loved it when the dinosaur pooped everything (and don’t forget my is Eva). I loved that the dinosaur thought the bed was a burger! Well it’s funny isn’t it! I love it! I found that cleaning funny – why did they need to do that Tom Fletcher? Why? Give me an answer thank you haha.

I loved that the dinosaur had to poo!

‘the dinosaur pooped more than ever before all the mess they had cleared was now back on the floor,
shoes, pants, and teddies and soldiers and socks with smelly poo lumps filling Danny’s toy box’
(quoted from page 22)

1 more thing I am reviewing another one of Tom Fletcher’s books, I will be doing ‘A Dinosaur that Pooped a Princess’ on Wednesday next week. Hope you can see it! Oh, and Tom Fletcher you need to see it because it is your book. Ok Tom? Ok bye! ‘See’ you on Wednesday!
Love,
Baby Garnet

Buy now from Amazon.

Note from The Writing Garnet:

I hope you all enjoyed Baby Garnet’s little review! All being well she will be reviewing her next book on Wednesday next week but, should that be delayed, there will be another review from BabyGarnet as soon as humanly possible. If you enjoyed her hilarity, the purchase link is above for you to click!

arc · BabyGarnet · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books · Rararesources

#HomeAloneHarry, not if #BabyGarnet and #TWG have anything to do with it! @RaRaResources

Many thanks to RaRaResources for the tour invite, and to the author and creative team behind ‘Home Alone Harry’, for the ARC. Baby Garnet is teaming up with TWG today for a review of this wooftastic book!

Harry is a mischievous young dog, adored by his family, Dad and Mum, Maisie (8) and Max (5). When the family leave him on his own he creates chaos. Dad demands, “That bad dog must go!” Alone and sad in bed that evening, Max asks, “Can anyone help?” How will the Thunkies respond to his call?

What do Baby Garnet and TWG think?

If a book has dogs or any form of animal in it, Baby Garnet will love it! ‘Home Alone Harry’ is an easy to follow, educational yet entertaining read which teaches child (and adults), how a dogs personality works when they’re not thinking about their tummies.

A lot of households have a dog, but do owners REALLY know what makes a dog tick when they’re left on their own? We have a dog ourselves and leaving him at home on his own for the very first time was difficult, especially seeing as he paid us back with cheekiness whenever we got home!

I thought that this book was a brilliant way of showing children that having a pet isnt all cuddles and snuggles, it can also be a lot of hard work and sometimes even frustrating. Also, despite the obvious learning curve for both animal and human alike, the delivery of the book was positively enforced and showed that, even if things weren’t going well at first, with the correct ideas and a lot of patience, it wouldn’t take long for happiness to follow all around.

Here is what the Baby Garnet thought:

DOGGIES!!!!! Harry is just like my Barney boy, just a different colour. Barney gets sad too when hes not with us and I miss him. I want Harry to be real so i can give him hugs too! The pictures are awesome and the story was fun.

It’s safe to say that Baby Garnet and I, thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Harry and his family! I also have to agree about the illustrations – they are such fun and really make the story pop.

‘Home Alone Harry’ is an ideal book to read for a bonding time with your child. With easy to follow passages and colourful pictures, this story will entertain both children and adults alike, whilst also highlighting the fact that good things come to those who wait.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books

Seatbelts on kids, it’s time to head to Vroom-Town! #AMagicalVroomTownChristmas @VroomTown @BooksOfAllKinds

According to a countdown in town today, theres 49 sleeps until Santa comes to town, although for the engines of Vroom-Town, Santa seems to be heading their way much sooner!

I was so excited to have been asked to take part in the little tour for this fabulous childrens book, thanks so much to Linda from BooksOfAllKinds for asking me, and thank you to the author for sending me a copy of the book! Here is my review:

Vroom-Town is a wonderful place where all types of trucks live, work and have exciting adventures. All of the Vroom-Town books deal with social issues including bullying and the importance of friendship and kindness.
This magical Christmas story is a fabulous journey of excitement, fun, and adventure. The Vroom-Town trucks are all very excited when Santa Claus asks them to make him a new sleigh. Unfortunately, Terrible Terry and Bullydozer have other ideas! They sabotage Santa’s sleigh to make sure it won’t be ready in time to do his deliveries on Christmas Eve! Oh dear! Will the children get their presents? Will Terrible Terry and Bullydozer get their comeuppance? You will have to read the book to find out …

What does TWG think?

Even though my little girl, Eva, can now read independently, she asked me if I would read Vroom-Town to her, and of course I obliged! In all honesty, I think I was more excited than her because I just LOVED the look of the cover!

I hadn’t come across these books before, yet I was able to get to know the engines very quickly and easily, although there were a couple who certainly deserved to go on the naughty list this year!

It was a genius idea to turn a garage into a festive read, and the addition of Santa’s sleigh had my daughter very excited. She did notice the two engines, Terry and Bullydozer, who weren’t very nice and the fact that she was aware of it, just goes to show that the author cleverly incorporated the topic of bullying into her story in a way that children would be able to understand. Not only that, my daughter ended up talking about the ‘bad guys’ of the book even after we had finished reading it, because she knew that it wasnt nice to have done what they did. Like I say, cleverly written in the book, I’m very impressed.

Overall i loved the bright colours, the easy to understand storyline, and the festive cheer it delivered when it sprinkled its magic dust over us both. I thoroughly enjoyed it! My daughter did too, so much so she has even asked for all the other books for Christmas!

This was a lovely read, one that I would definitely recommend.

If you wish to buy a copy, head to the website now for all the purchase links and other activities:

Vroom-Town Website

arc · BabyGarnet · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books · Rararesources

#TWGReviews ft #BabyGarnet – ‘Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure by Emma Larkin @emmalarkinbooks @RaRaResources

Pardon the late review, but this evening I am delighted to be sharing my blog with someone a lot of you may already know; Baby Garnet aka my little girl, Eva. Many thanks to Emma Larkin for sending a copy of the book to review, and thank you to Rachel for asking us to be involved in the tour. Here is what TWG and BG think:

Izzy is a seven-year-old girl who lives in Ireland and loves all sport, especially Gaelic Football. Izzy plays football with her brothers on a regular basis in their back garden and dreams of playing for her county in the All Ireland Ladies Football Final in Croke Park when she is older.One day, Izzy puts on her great grandmother’s bracelet, which is made of old All Ireland medals that her great grandmother won a long time ago, and something unexpected and magical happens, which may make Izzy’s Croke Park dream a reality sooner than she expected…………….

What does TWG and BG think?

Izzy is just like most children; she wants to win at everything. Baby Garnet definitely agreed with Izzy’s way of thinking there, let me tell you!

The thing with that, as us parents know, is that when a child is determined to win at every game, they end up becoming very mad if they lose. (Baby Garnet is nodding her head here). Even though trying to make a child understand that it isnt all about winning, is no mean feat, it can be a little bit frustrating having to tell them that they cant win everytime. So, the fact that this book has a moral of the story to highlight winning and losing, is absolutely brilliant.

Not only that, the fact that the story is centred around football, something which a lot of children can get excited about, means that many children who read this book will end up being able to relate to it in one way or another.

I’m getting shouted at now as Baby Garnet wants to say something;

I really enjoyed the story, even if I am like Izzy and always want to win at things, mumma does tell me that it’s more important to try than win. Also, the colours of the pictures were pretty cool.

I think we both enjoyed Izzy’s story, and I thought the magical element was ingenious and definitely something to get children talking.

Buy now.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books

#BlogTour! #Review – #TheBearInTheFifthFloorFlat by #JohnFoley, illusion by Alice Hawthorn @quizzicalworks @Midaspr @mencap_charity

Blog Tour Banner-7
Many thanks to Amber from Midas Pr for the invitation to take part in the blog tour for ‘The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat’ by John Foley, illustrated by Alice Hawthorn. All profits from the sales of this book will be donated to Mencap. Here is my review:

Book Jacket

All profits from sales of this book will go to Mencap, the UK’s leading charity for people with a learning disability.

The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat is a moving, magical and charming tale exploring love, loss and happiness through the lens of a little girl and her extraordinary bear, teaching children the importance of change and how to recognise complex notions like grief.

For young Ruthie and her dog Scruffy the days are full of fun and laughter – until certain events change everything, and it seems that Ruthie will never be happy again. But fate can also be kind, and the sudden arrival of an extraordinary teddy bear begins to restore her happiness – and to save her life just in time for Christmas.

Inspired by a rather strange-looking teddy bear gifted to his wife by her 97-year-old father, so she had something to hug when he was gone, John will donate all profits from this book to charity. As the son of a neurologist who specialised in cerebral palsy, John often heard his father speak about Mencap and their invaluable work for people with a learning disability. Also, a very close friend who encouraged John to start writing, was, as a result of a deadly illness at an early age, deeply affected by a learning disability.

What does TWG think?

It makes a change to be reviewing a children’s book on the blog today, it’s not something that happens very often! As soon as I heard that John Foley’s book was associated with learning disability charity, Mencap, I knew that I wanted to put the book on my blog as it’s for such a brilliant cause.

I read ‘The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat’ to my daughter before bed, however I never excepted her to burst into tears at the loss of a particular four legged character. Now, my little girl is an animal lover and was over the moon to find that the book contained a scruffy little dog called, erm, Scruffy. I had absolutely no idea that the poor pooch would have a limited staring role in the book! Personally, I cannot see the association between Scruffy and the rest of the book and, whilst I am very well aware that learning about grief is a very important part of life, I did feel as though that was a little bit too cut throat…especially as there are different types of grief and Ruthie was about to embark on a journey which contained one of those types.

Now I’ve expressed that, Measly was a lovely little addition to the story, as was the character ‘Mrs Nosey’ which had my daughter giggling as she loved the name! I thought the storyline involving the teddy was incredibly cosy and enjoyable bedtime read. Kudos to John Foley for including the topic of separation also. A topic that was very sensitively dealt with, and simply written for children to get their heads around in their own little way.

‘The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat’ also included a little short story at the end called ‘Once bitten…Twice’. I know that this review isn’t about the short story, but can I just say what a hilarious little read that was!

Overall, my little girl Eva, enjoyed the story of ‘The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat’, and now wants her own stripey hat like Uncle Ted!

Buy from Amazon UK.

arc · BabyGarnet · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books · Rararesources

#BlogTour! #Review – Jay Jay and His Island Adventure by Sue Wickstead (@JayJayBus) @RaRaResources

Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite for Jay Jay and His Island Adventure, and thank you to the author for the ARC. Here is my review:

Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey. He is a Playbus. Find out what happens when he is invited to an island where the children have never seen a double-decker bus – and certainly not one full of toys!

Behind the story:

‘Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure’, was originally written for a Scottish book bus.

‘Play,Talk, Read’ was the project which visited remote areas if Scotland to encourage reading in the very young. It was a great success and the bus even visited the Shetland Islands travelling on a very small ferry.

The children had never seen a double-decker on their island before and certainly not one to play on.

However, the Scottish project was too busy with referendums and with the book ready and edited I changed the name of the bus from Benji, sending Jay-Jay instead.

The island on the cover of the book was based on a piece of mainland Spain which I have visited many times.

Cap D’Or is the promentory near to a little village of Moraira.

The villagers in Moraira invited me to read this book in their library and local schools.

The people in this little village were surprised to find that Jay-Jay was a real bus.

(Jay-Jay may not have got to Spain in reality but in my imagination he did and now all of the books are in the local library in both Teulada and Moraira.)

What does TWG think?

The idea of a play bus which takes books to children, is definitely a magnificent idea – Jay Jay is no exception.

My daughter was giggling at the fact that Jay Jay had hurt his ‘bottom’, despite trying to work out where a bus’ bottom was! She was so enthralled by the different activities on the bus, including digging for treasure in the sandpit. It really made the whole island adventure theme come alive.

From an adult point of view, I am delighted that the story was enjoyed by my little girl as she is a huge bus fan. However I would have liked the story to contain more details around what the children got up to, what books they read etc, as I felt that we read more about Jay Jay travelling to and from the island, than the actual play bus activities themselves.

All in all, Jay Jay and His Island Adventure is a colourful and fun read which gives children the gift of books.

Buy now.

About the author.

I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.
For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.

This story has now been followed by five more picture books.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.

Website

arc · BabyGarnet · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books

#BlogTour! #Review – Monty and the Ocean Rescue; A Plastic Disaster by M.T.Sanders (@montydogge). (Illus: Zoe Saunders)

Another children’s book for you all today. Many thanks to a fellow blogger who made me aware of the blog tour, and thank you to the author for the ARC. Here is my review of a puptastic book:

Monty, Cookie and the spangles are back at the beach for the fifth book in this series of childrens books.

When Cookie sees a splash in the water her newfoundland instinct to rescue takes over and she immediately heads out to help. When she returns the dogs get a huge surprise as they hear a desperate plea.

What follows is an adventure that could turn out to be their biggest and most difficult so far.

This is a gentle introduction for children about the issues of plastic pollution in our oceans and even features Sir David Attenborough.

What does TWG think?

This may look like a cute and fluffy read, but it’s one which packs a punch and a half with it’s very important message; ocean waste.

Now Monty and his friends may end up making you go ‘awwwww!!!!’, I mean, how could you not? But don’t let their cuteness deter you from what the author is trying to teach his little readers.

With rhyming words, snappy sentences, and beautiful illustrations, ‘Monty and the Ocean Rescue’ tells the story of some sea creatures who end up finding themselves stuck due to rubbish being dumped in the ocean. To some people, a little bit of litter here and there isn’t ‘a big deal’. Try telling that to tortoises who end up with straws being stuck up their noses. Try telling that to whales who end up being trapped at the bottom of the ocean thanks to plastic bags or rope. Try telling that to all of the other innocent sea animals whose lives are being cut short because us humans use their homes as our bin.

Imagine if someone came into your home and started dumping their rubbish all around your house – would you like it? Would you deem it to be acceptable? The chances are, no, you would not. So why do we do it to their home?

As adults, we are well aware of the devastation which plastics can cause, so teaching the younger generation is a very important step, once which is explained in a clear manner within this book.

I read this to my little girl yesterday. Shes five and absolutely ADORES dogs. Yes, her attention was on the illustrations and hearing about what the pooches were up to more than anything, yet it certainly caught her attention when she noticed that several of her beloved animal friends were stuck. She didn’t like it at all. She was worried that the whale was hurt and, even though she didn’t quite understand just how the animal may not have survived, she still understood that it was wrong to put rubbish anywhere else except in a bin.

I loved the rhyming words and the ease of which the important information hit home in a child friendly manner. Monty and Cookie were such fun and i think that the author has written such a lovely, lovely read. I highly recommend, especially as my little girl has now said that she wants the other books in the series for her birthday!

Buy now.

Signed copies can be purchased here:

About the author.

MT Sanders is a writer, blogger and author of the childrens book Monty and the Ocean Rescue.

An accidental career began after he took early retirement and began writing stories on social media about his five dogs. Life according to Monty Dogge soon attracted a huge following and led to invites to blog live from Crufts and other high-profile events.

In 2017 and 2018 Vuelio placed it in the top ten UK pet blogs and the still growing readership encouraged MT to write a book. I’m not a Pandacow was the debut children’s book released in 2017 and this has been quickly followed by four more to date.
MT and Monty spend the major part of their time touring schools across the country bringing the tales to life as children get to meet the star of the books.

The latest book is a real passion project for the author who is a huge supporter of conservation projects and a champion for animal welfare. It goes without saying that MT was delighted to receive a handwritten message of good luck from no other than Sir David Attenborough who features in the book.

arc · blog tour · book blogger · Book Review · childrens books · RandomThingsTours

#BlogTour! #Review – Harvey and the Moon Bus by Jill Stanton-Huxton (@JMStantonHuxton) @AnneCater @matadorbooks

Many thanks to Anne Cater for the blog tour invite, I am delighted to be reviewing ‘Harvey and the Moon Bus’ on my blog tour. Thanks also to the publisher for the ARC.

“Harvey is a grey cat with big green eyes and a long bushy tail, who loves wearing his favourite pair of blue dungarees. What a lovely sunny morning, Harvey thought, just the sort of day for an adventure.”

A beautifully-illustrated story about anthropomorphic animals who have a fantasy adventure together.

An underlying theme and moral message which is the importance of helping people.

A fantastical adventure story for children 5-7 years old.

Harvey sees his friends, Chester and Nelly, heading for the corner shop and boarding the Moon Bus, so he decides to join them. Harvey sits next to a grumpy grey rabbit. The Moon Bus takes off and flies through space and lands on the Moon and they all head off to The Moon Rock Sweet Emporium in Moon Crater Alley.

Harvey loses Chester and Nelly – so when he sees the grey rabbit heading for a nearby circus tent he decides to follow him, where he meets a small mouse called Gretel. But they only have 15 minutes to reach the Moon Bus before it leaves for the day!

Gretel tells him the magic mats on the Helter Skelter will take them to the Moon Bus really quickly. The magic mat flies over the cobbled streets towards a huge crater but Gretel falls out of Harvey’s pocket and starts plummeting to the ground. Harvey manages to grab her safely. As the Moon Bus is about to take off, Harvey uses the last of his three wishes to catch it and jumps on board.. They look out of the window and see the grey rabbit running along the runway after the Moon Bus… But will he catch it in time?

What does TWG think?

I read this to my little five year old before bed last night and, even though I said that I would only read a couple of chapters, I ended up reading her the entire thing. It’s safe to say that she certainly enjoyed it, especially as it contained animals!

The story of Harvey, the moon bus and his friends, was such a pleasure to read, however I did find that the general flow of the story wasn’t so seamless in terms of how it was told.

That aside, I thought that the theme of right from wrong was such a clever and well thought out addition to the book. My daughter was not amused that someone wasnt being nice, but she knew straight who the character was that made things better.

‘Harvey and the Moon Bus’ is the ideal bedtime story for both adults and children alike.

Buy now.