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The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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What’s New and Great at Pengiun Random House South Africa for Kids…

August 9th, 2017 · 1 Comment

Is there anything better than good reads… and good reads of kids, well those are the best of the rest. I recently attended Penguin Books South Africa’s launch for children’s books for kids reads over the next couple of months. As usual there were a bunch of books that I know my kids would love reading…

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Let me take you on a tour…

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Any function that serves hot chocolate to their book reviewers because they know that kids books really should be read with hot chocolate beside you…

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Let’s begin with the Ladybird books, which were there in all their adorable red and spotty glory… and is this not the most perfect ladybird cushion ever.

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Otherwise…

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Gotta say, “How cool is this book…” iDinosaur… that comes with an app… I am not one for gimmicks at all… but Hood 8 would literally die of joy if a dinosaur walked across his hand and out of the book he was reading. There is going to be a bug version too… look out for it. It gets a “galactically cool” from me!!!

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I passed on the Marvel comics…

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I was dashing to take a look at what they would be launching for Christmas…

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I think we are going to have to read our way through this very cool box set from Matt Haig…

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I don’t think we have read Matt Haig before, I know we are missing out on something!!!

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Could I just say Roald Dahl rebranding win… so much loveliness… Great big giant books, for great big giant stories… filled with all the loveliness that is Quentin Blake illustration.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda Wonderful Sticker Activity Book: Matilda is right up there with Roald Dahl’s most loved books ever, it is the story of a sweet little girl, who loves to read… tossed into the worst of the worst, only Roald Dahl could imagine, kind of schools. The formidable headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, is world famous for her dreadful punishments… but then Matilda discovers she has a friend and a secret talent, which together rescue her from her plight. If you haven’t read Matilda… stop and read it now. For Matilda fans of all ages there is now an activity book… it is too sweet… and I am just going to say: stickers!!! A double page spread of just glorious Quentin Blake Stickers. Otherwise, there is a wordsearch and spot the difference, codes and mazes, not to mention pages for wild creativity like design a pile of books that Matilda would like to read. It is sweet and for the child that loves Matilda it is perfect.

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George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl: This is the book behind the most amazingly awesome experiment book, Georges Marvellous Experiments, that we love so much. George’s very grouchy Grandma is there to keep an eye on him while his parents are out. George gets himself busy, looking for a cure for his Grandma’s insufferable bad mood. There is a fair amount of trial and error involved… a lot of our Roaldalian fun and of course the little guy comes out tops… after thwarting grandma and not succumbing to his parents exploitation either. Good fun, though I wouldn’t say good clean fun… because his concoctions do have some fairly messy results!!! The end of the book has a few fun pages, including a Revolting Rhyme.

The Penguin Random House Goody Bag

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Possibly the coolest goody bags ever… LIKE EVER!!! Stickers, posters, notebooks, samples, bookmarks, and books of course!!!

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Can I just say: The Magic Tree House Series…

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The Magic Tree House Series: And where have I been, an entire Magic Tree House activity kit? How have we never discovered these books… anyway, amongst the bookmarks and the stickers and all the goodies… was a map. Well Hood 8 was hooked and we have been grabbing every single Magic Tree House Book from the library ever since… I had to have eight kids before we found this series, something just for the two of us… unchartered waters so to speak. They are a huge collection of sweet adventures of an eight year old boy called Jack and his sister Annie, who discovered a tree house filled with books. If they open a book and wish they are there, they are magically transported anywhere in the world and anywhere in time… they go on a little adventure, but they always keep their treehouse book in their backpack, so that they can wish themselves home safely. Each book has nine or ten short easy chapters, so they can be read a chapter a day or as we read them, about five chapters a day… Great reading appeal for a se7en year old that is just into chapter books, right now we are alternating paragraphs through them. So far we have been to ancient Egypt, the Amazon, Ireland and the Caribbean and we have so many more to go. The books are all easy chapter books, there is another series the Merlin Missions that are for more advanced readers, which we haven’t got in our library and non-fiction Treehouse Fact Finders, that we will have to look out for. If you are into printables, activity sheet and just plain reading fun… then head over to their website, there are masses of resources for each book in the series there.

Choose Kind Journal by R.J. Palacio: This is divine… an “any year” page a day diary/journal… with the tag line: “Do one wonderful thing every day.” A stunning, stunning… page a day journal, with a question or a prompt to help you think about or do something wonderful every day. Lots of loveliness, lots of quotable quotes. Lovely paper to write on and stunning colours… and plenty of space to write every day. Ideas on every page to think about like: Give someone a chance to help you today; Write about a time when you felt happy for somebody else; Look out for students who react with warmth, what warm reactions did you observe?; How can you share sunshine with someone?… 365+1 pages of loveliness. I love this book, my teenage daughter loves it even more!!!

The BFG by Roald Dahl: This has to be one of the most whimsical, dreamy, lovely Roald Dahl stories of all time. The book begins when Sophie is unable to sleep she peeps out of the window and she captures the attention of the BFG… the Big Friendly Giant, who picks her up from her bed… terrifying for Sophie, not so terrifying if you are reading along. Luckily the BFG is the best kind of giant. The magic in this book is filled with the Giant’s wonderful pop-fizzling language… The BFG and Sophie are a formidable team on a quest to get rid of the wildly bad giants. Of course there is the true Roald Dahl funniness, and inventive plotting and planning, silly jokes and shocking villains, all in good fun. We haven’t seen the movie, so cannot say anything about it… but the end of the book is filled with a few activity pages… how to fill your dream jar, how to draw the BFG and such like. In the spirit of fun, this is such an enjoyable read.

Other Reads from Penguin Random House for Kids

BodyGuard Assassin by Chris Bradford: There is a new Chris Bradford out… in the Bodyguard series. My kids are huge Chris Bradford fans and you can read their interview with him, The Man Behind the Samurai Sword, here. This book was literally inhaled before it even landed on my desk… passed from kid to kid as they filled their Young Samurai hearts. Chris Bradford has mastered the art of a fast paced gripping story. In this, the fifth Bodyguard book in the series, we find the hero of the series Connor Reeves having to work with his rival, Jason… to protect Felix, the son of a frightfully wealthy Russian politician, Victor Malkov. This has a kidnapping, assassination attempts and the mafia, and most unlikely villain. Gripping, fast paced action all the way through and a shocking twist in the tale. Action, weapons, combat… and just the sort of potential movies my older boys would love to watch… meanwhile they are very happy to read the books!!!

I Funny: School of Laughs by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein and illustrated by Jomike Tejido: Can I just say this team of writers is prolific… the books just keep rolling out and my twelve year old loves them. As they roll off the shelf he reads them. They are fat books, feel like you are reading a grown-up book, but they are also picture rich and the chapters are short. Perfect for readers that are not super confident but are also way beyond beginner chapter books. In this book Jamie Grimm is a teacher, who happens to be in a wheel chair, is on a quest to save the school library. The new head master, who likes to be called coach has decided to destroy the library for a gymnasium. And the book is all about saving the library… in-between all sorts of regular middle school happenings including bullies. The jokes roll thick and fast throughout… on every page and every illustration… they will come back to you. If you have a middle schooler, who loves jokes, they will read this in a flash, it is heartwarming where the bullies definitely do not come out on top.

House of Robots: Robot Revolution by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein: The hero of this book is Sammy, he lives with his sickly little sister, his Mom, who is a robot inventor and his dad, who is a comic book creator. It sounds like a regular family, but their house is run entirely by robots. This as you can imagine, is great when things are going well… and not so great when they aren’t. Sammy is working on his science fair project and his mom is busy with a top secret invention. Sammy has to deal with the household robots “losing the plot.” There is also a new school yard nemesis that causes Sammy endless trouble in his day to day to-ing and fro-ing. All the pressures build up on Sammy… until… Sammy’s science fair project boosts his mother’s new invention unexpectedly. A great for middle schoolers, picture rich and quick and easy chapters… a heartwarming book with family values in a world full of robots.


All these books were given to us for review purposes by Penguin Random House South Africa. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely our own.

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