December 21st, 2016 · 6 Comments
I promised a week of books for our readers, settle in and enjoy… here come a series of book posts, beginning with a hugely anticipated, fills your heart with hope, kind of a book. I have been looking forward to reading A Child of Books since the beginning of the year… and it has finally arrived.
Before we get onto the book we have to ask the question, “Which book made you a child of books?” If you search for the hashtag #achildofbooks you will find hundreds of folk declaring the book that made them a child of books.
Let’s Meet the Book
A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston: There is a reason that this book has been so much anticipated… it is quite the most exquisite picture book, a story that captures the heart of little people and intrigues the minds of grownups. Really this book is a triumph. It is at first glance a dreamy story of a little girl, who comes from the world of stories… she invites a friend and they go off on an ethereal adventure past the serious people that have forgotten the world of books, over mountains, past castles, on top of clouds… you explore the world of stories and finally reach the key. Along with the lyrical words are the most incredible collage illustrations, created using the words from classic books. Here comes the intrigue, for example the ocean she floats on is a collections of quotes from The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle, Robinson Crusoe and the Swiss Family Robinson… the mountain they climb is from Peter Pan… all in all 40 classic children’s books were used to create the illustrations. You have to meet the illustrator, Sam Winston, over here and the author and see some of his remarkable illustrations, who has written so many favourite books, Oliver Jeffers over here.
Not to mention, this book arrived by special delivery… Yes, we get a lot of packages, but not a lot of them say “SPECIAL DELIVERY” on them!!!
The Book Case
I was sent this absolutely stunning book lover’s gift, packed with the most adorable goodies for a book lover, we were intrigued… stunning notebooks, amazing little post-it-notes, a feather pen, a sweet smelling candle, and tea of course… all sorts of things to help you enjoy your reading experience and then of course a special book… A Child of Books. The gift came via The Book Case, which is a subscription box for book lovers… have you ever heard of such a thing? If you are looking for an extra special gift for a book loving friend then this is the way to go… a delightful box filled with themed bookish love and a hot off the press book, is shipped each month.
A Child of Books
So I asked my favourite people, which books made them a child of books? Which was the book that turned them into book lovers and I thought they would all stumble and not be able to come up with just one book… but there was a spontaneous one title answer from each of them…
And for myself…
Forget the movie, read the book (which is true for every book ever!!!). Harriet the Spy was more than a book for me… it was the book in which I became me, I was the kid in jeans with a notebook, that roamed the neighbourhood with a notebook and pencil… not to mention so many tomato sandwiches. The thing is before I read it, I was the kid who did whatever the world presented to me, wore the clothes my mum bought, played the games we all played, read the books that I was told to read. Harriet the Spy gave me an opinion, that I didn’t know I had before I read it. In an age where little girls hardly wore trousers, let alone jeans, this was huge… Harriet the Spy was life changing for me, this book was my key to the world. After I read this book I became me, well me with a strong streak of Harriet.
So I am wondering does everyone have a book that turned them into “A Child of Books.” Stop by and leave a comment if you would like to share your own magical book…
This is not a sponsored post, I was not paid to write it and opinions expressed are as usual, entirely my own.
Tags: Brilliant Books
December 20th, 2016 · 2 Comments
And just like that we fell into holiday mode… fun times, late nights, beach walks and searching for a shady spot to read a book…
Lovely Links from This Week
- Oh my heart!!! Brilliant book box sets for miles… on Amongst Lovely Things.
- Advent is in full swing, but its never too late to get going, here is the perfect online LEGO every day fun…
- Fat Mum Slim and the best free printable calendars for 2017.
- And another Fun Advent Calendar for kids, is the colouring calendar on Activity Village.
- Oh Book Lovers… Get yourself to the Modern Mrs Darcy’s 2017 Reading Challenge already…
- Obviously, there are people the world over doing masses of reading, and if you are looking for something to read… then head straight over to Meet Me At Mikes list of book lists…
- This made me laugh out loud, not to mention feel pain for the pack rats that live with me, 25 Reasons You Might be a Minimalist on Be More With Less…
- And I wrote a post for Cape Gate Center: Tips for the most Relaxing Holiday Season Ever…
Book of the Week
This week I was thrilled to receive The Artful Parent by Jean Van’t Hul as a Gift from the author herself. I have been following her blog for years, it is packed with arty inspiration and if you are looking for ways to bring art and creativity into your home as part of your lifestyle, rather than as a once a week activity… then this is the place to follow along. She has heaps of wonderful inspiration to share and masses of experience in how to actually get stuff done.
The book is divided into two sections. The first section is how to prepare your space for art, and that includes ways to find time, how to create space for art, essential supplies and how to organise your supplies, and how to embrace the mess. I loved the chapter on how to encourage your young resident artists… and vital information on how to store, share and use the copious creations that are created. The second part of the books is devoted to heaps of art activities to inspire you, using all sorts of materials… indoor art, outdoor art, painting, clay, nature, science, recycle, making and creating art.
This book is packed with everything you need to know to create an arty home, from making your essential materials to projects to do with your kids, it packed with inspiration. And if you are looking for art to inspire you through out the year… then look no further than her other book, The Artful Year. Meanwhile, pop over to her sit and look at all the loveliness there… she is giving away a copy of her book to those folk that sign up for her Artful Parenting 101 E-Course.
We won a cell phone camera lens kit from Cape Point SA… how cool is that, we are going to have a lot of fun playing with this!!!
A Blast From the Past:
That’s us… Hope you are all have a fabulous week!!!
Tags: Fabulous Friday Fun
December 19th, 2016 · 6 Comments
It’s summertime, and everyone is in the mood for some roadtriping… A weekend or two back I jumped on a bus with a couple of my kids and headed out on a visit to the Southern most tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas. Everyone who has the chance should visit, it’s beautiful and wild and clear blue skies for miles… not to mention the Southern tip of Africa.
We traveled down south on the Friday afternoon…
And got there just in time for the most glorious sunset…
The Agulhas Lighthouse
On Saturday morning we visited the famous Aghulhas lighthouse, had a little visit in the museum and then made our way up the lighthouse tower…
It was well worth the climb, the view from the top was unprecedented…
And then this rock kestrel landed right next to us on top the lighthouse…
Turns out it was quite a bit higher than I thought it was…
The Southernmost Point
This folks is the southern most point of Africa, with the Indian Ocean to the East and the Atlantic Ocean to the West. The ocean is wild and rocky and you can totally see why they need a lighthouse in the area.
From the Cape Agulhas we visited the small town of Struis Baai, and the most beautiful beach on earth…
And too soon it Was Time to Head Home
It is definitely book season over here, summertime does that… too hot to do anything in the heat of the day except find a shady spot and read away… So let us bring you a post with our latest and greatest reads from Penguin Random House and you can look forward to an week of books on the blog next week…
What We Have Been Reading Lately
Totally My Kind of Read
The Story Cure by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin: This book arrived on my desk earlier this week and I immediately fell in love with it. Most books linger a little on my review pile before I dive in and read them… this book never landed on my review pile, I haven’t put it down. Let’s start with the fabric cover, it feels old and wise, full of images from children’s stories gone by and slivers of gold… it is a work of art that you want to hold in your hands. This book is an alphabetical list of ailments and each ailment has a story book cure. It is pure magic… The cure for being an only child: A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively; Not Wanting to Take a Bath: The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems; Hating Soup: The Tale of Despereaux… I love that the recommended books are all described in detail… from classical classics to recently published contemporary books. From picture books, through easy readers and chapter books all the way trough to young adult books. And the lists and lists of books for any obsession, you know when your child gets onto a topic and can’t let go of it, is just fantastic: dog books, fairy books, knight books, detective books, horse books, spy books and so many more. The book is written by a pair of bibliotherapists… I know, I had never heard of a bibliotherapist before… but what an apt career. I love the idea of providing a cure for all sorts of ailments with a book. This is the ultimate guide to finding the right book for the right ailment… the kind of book you want to have on your shelf and also want to lend out to all your friends at the same time. Packed with books you have read and loved, old favourites and books that are totally new and hot off the press. I am going to have to read their first book the Novel Cure as well now. I am totally hooked on this wonderful book, it goes straight on to my very select pile of books of the year. You can take a look at the authors’ website over here.
Just the Best Kind of Family Book Ever
Children Just Like Me, A New Celebration of Children Around the World, A Dorling Kindersley Book: When this book first launched in 1995, we had to have it… even though we didn’t have children yet… and all our kids have read their way through the pages of the first edition over and over again. We were so excited to see that there was a new edition coming out… it was a much anticipated book. And here it is stunning, beautiful… all the words of wonder… and we love it. Children from so many countries around the world, from continent to continent share all sorts of lovely details about their lives. How they say hello, a map of where they are in the world, a photograph of each child and their families… pictures and snippets about their everyday lives, the things they love to do, games they like to play, their homes and their favourite foods. Our entire family can’t help wandering their way through this book again and again. It is packed with fabulous photographs and interesting snippets to read. We keep just a handful of books on our coffee table all the time and this one made it onto the coffee table and it is there to stay. It is pure loveliness… a fascinating book to dip into and explore. This book is full of wonderful children to meet, children from around the world, different cultures, different world views… so much to explore and just so much to discover. We want our children to be citizens of the world and to do that they need to understand the world that they live in. This book is essential reading, to achieving that goal. You can look inside this book here.
A Natural Factual Book We All Enjoy
Wildlife of Southern Africa edited by Vincent Caruthers: A field guide to the animals and plants of the region brought to us by Struik Nature. Another new edition book and just as we have used the previous edition for school, this book is going to be loved and treasured, not to mention totally used on hikes, for nature study, for nature drawing, for quick identification. This book is the ultimate identification guide and because it is fairly compact, it can be tossed in a backpack when you go adventuring. And it has everything in it. Over 2000 plants and animals are described in this book, divided into specific animal and plant groups: birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, frogs, invertebrates and other creepy crawlies, as well as wild flowers, grasses, fungi and tree. Each chapter is colour coded for quick and easy identification when you are out in the field. There is a great introduction describing the different regions of Southern Africa plant and animal and how to make full use of the book. If you are trying to identify something, be it a bird or a tree… head for that section of the book and page through looking at the full colour illustrations until you find exactly what you are looking for. Each species has a map, to help you locate it; its name and latin name, as well as a few quick and pertinent facts, as well as the names of similar species. This is a great book for dipping into and learning amazing facts, each chapter is written by an expert in the field. As reference books go, it’s fabulous… for exploring at home to using in the great out doors this is an unbeatable resource. If you live with a nature lover of any age, they will love this fully illustrated book filled interesting things to discover on every page.
A Chapter Book of the Quick and Easy Kind
Middle School Dog’s Best Friend by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts: The Middle School Series is hugely popular for a reason, it is a great series for kids that are flying through easy readers, but a little bit overwhelmed by great big chapter books. The stories are quick and easy to read, the storyline is straightforward and easy to follow and they are heavily illustrated with nice chunks of cartoon pages to read as well. This book is the story of Rafe, who realises that his mum can’t afford to buy him the latest and greatest Gamebox Game for Christmas, so he decides to start a dog walking business to raise funds. The thing about Rafe is that he usually fails somewhat at all his first attempts, and then… well… just when things are starting to rock and roll, the competition arrives in town and they begin their own dog walking business. And competition is stiff… and his business takes a tumble. Then he spots his grandmother in the queue for free meals at the local soup kitchen and thinks that they are far worse off than he imagined. So he calls on his sister, Georgia, for strength and support… which could be dodgy, because she is not the most trustworthy little sister. Anyway, between the two of them they manage to work things out… and things aren’t quite as dire as they seemed and everyone lives happily forever.
A Teen Read of the Can’t Quite Put it Down Kind
Magnus Chase and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan: Rick Riordan is famous for bringing ancient mythology to life and in this series the readers are introduced to Norse Mythology. One thing about Rick Riordan is that his books are absolutely gripping and unputdownable… no matter how fat they are these books are inhaled in a sitting. This is the second book in the Magnus Chase Series… the story begins in book one, The Sword of Summer, where Magnus is killed on the streets of Boston. Most books do not end with the hero dying. In the world of vikings death is not the end and he finds himself in Valhalla and the adventure takes off from there. In the sequel, the god of Thunder, Thor, has lost his hammer and it has found its way into enemy hands and it is up to Magnus and his friends to retrieve it before the impending disaster strikes. Keep in mind that in viking times your weapon was far more than a piece of metal, it had a name it had a spirit and it was part of you were… to lose it was simply disastrous. A race against time, crooked and uncanny gods fighting to win at all costs… My older teen guys really enjoyed this, though I have to say if your kids are not quite ready to tackle gender issues and a gender fluid character, then stick to his earlier series and save this one for later.
We received all these books from Penguin Random House South Africa for review purposes. It is not a sponsored post and all opinions are as usual, our own.
Tags: Brilliant Books
December 16th, 2016 · 3 Comments
Tags: Thoughtful Thursdays
December 14th, 2016 · 2 Comments
We have never had two weeks worth of Giveaways back to back before… it certainly has been fun blogging these and feels like a party every day. I really want to thank all our readers for entering our GiveAways. The more you enter, the better opportunities we get to bring you more wonderful GiveAways. This week we were giving away Three sets of Double Tickets to a Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert of your Choice, as well as two Airstream Hampers and a Suzelle DIYary.
And a mug full of colours waiting to be chosen. I think my little people are as excited to take folks names out of the mug as you are to read them:
And the winners are…
- Double Tickets to a Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concert of your choice, as well as vouchers to Wine Tasting and a Tour of Groot Constantia: Sanna Dec 6, 2016 at 3:40 pm I would love the Cape Town Philharmonic And Heide Dec 7, 2016 at 10:09 am Lira, one of SA’s Greatest voices. It will be a magical evening. Charise Dec 9, 2016 at 10:37 am Prime Circle.
- An Airstorm Hamper from Just Fun Kidz: Debbie Dec 10, 2016 at 5:59 am Oh dear!! You guys are too good at reviewing things – I’m hooked! And Kim Muller Dec 13, 2016 at 4:26 pm My boys would go crazy over these!!!
- Suzelle’s DIYary from MapStudio: Marcia Dec 11, 2016 at 6:54 pm How absolutely fun! I would love to win it.
Thanks again to all our readers who stopped by and left a comment and of course thank you to our fabulous sponsors: Hippo Communications with Kirstenbosch, Just Fun Kidz and Mapstudio. I have a couple more fantastic GiveAways that I will be posting next week… come back again and take a peak, I think you are going to love them.
Tags: GiveAways and Swaps
We have had a lot of GiveAways over here lately and today is the last day to enter… I though I would pop up this reminder post, in case you missed any of our GiveAways… Click on the title above each image and leave a comment on the relevant post. Remember the more folk that enter the more sponsors love it, and the more wonderful Giveaways we can bring to you… enter away!!! We will announce all the winners tomorrow.
Enter Away… we are looking forward to hearing from all of you!!!
Tags: GiveAways and Swaps