What We Are Reading Right Now…

In honour of our Building a Library Project… I promised a week of books and there are going to be lots of reviews of the latest and greatest reads to choose from between now and next week. The books in this post were all published by Penguin Random House South Africa and given to us for review purposes.

Something to Do

Make Your Home by Germarie Bruwer and Margaux Tait: If you are into making things and up-cycling, and very achievable crafty projects around your home then this is the book for you. It may leave you scavenging for a pile of pallets, and begging your best friends for their old shutters, just saying. Practical projects like a gift wrapping station, and the cutest dress up trunk ever. There are woodwork projects and fabric projects and really quick and easy herb projects, like home fragrance in fifteen minutes… this one is a lifesaver. I may never make a deep buttoned headboard… but fairy lights from paper cups would be a win!!! There is so much variety in this book, even garden projects, it literally is the book for anyone who likes making things, on any skill level. All these projects work in and of themselves, but they are also great starting points to grow and create your own project from theirs. The instructions are clear, the list of requirements are very precise… and once you pick a project you literally can’t go wrong. This book is a great gift, a go to guide for something to do over a long weekend… we love it. Take a peak at their website: Homeology.

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Something to Make

50 Fat Quarter Makes Edited by Ame Verso: My maker girl sprang onto this book before it even landed on my desk… the book is exploding with post-it-notes, marking all the pages that have something she wants to make on them. I can see all my fabric bits and pieces are finally going to be put to good use. Fifty projects: funky pencil bags (and who ever has enough of those), cute doorstops, pillow case dresses, bags, organisers and you have to love the fabric baskets. There is a project for beginner sewers and more advanced sewers and everyone in-between. It is a lovely book, well laid out, photographs to show you every step of the way, the directions are brilliant. This is a book that is packed with inspiration and for those of us who are always a little nervous to begin a project, this book may well get us started. For beginners this book is perfect, every project looks achievable. In fact, I have a feeling that my kids won’t be waiting around for me to do these projects, I may well find a stack of little pencil bags and nesting baskets made before I finish this blog post.

Something Incredible

101 Kruger Tales by Jeff Gordon: If you have ever been to the Kruger National Park, then this book would be a most fabulous memento. For most South Africans, who can only aspire to heading for a game park, well the Kruger Park is the park of all parks. The book begins with an introduction to the park, a quick guide to what to find where and how things work. The introduction also provides essential insight into the South African-isms that you will find scattered throughout the incredible tales. Once you have found your footing, so to speak… read on read on… 101 Tales that we have been reading around the lunch table. The stories have been sent in by folk who have been there and have unique stories to tell. This book is founded on the saying, “You can’t make this stuff up..” stories that you can vividly imagine and yet could never have invented… pages and pages of photographs to prove the truth behind the tales. Snakes in radiators and R1000 spotted in the midst of a pride of lions. A giant snake lurching after a spider, no a bat, in a tent. Elephant charges, swimming zebra, and what to do if your gears break while driving around the park… well by this far into the book you would never ever get out of your car… so reverse back to camp, no matter how far away it is, appears to be the order of the day. The stories are short one or two pages long, very quick reads… some are sad, some are hysterically funny… all of them will make you wish you had been there. This is a great book for dipping into and reading your way through. And the book has it’s own website, where you can discover more amazing and incredible stories from the Kruger National Park.

Something to Savour

What a Way to Go by Julia Forster: This is the story of twelve year old Harper Richardson and how she longs for her divorced parents to just get back together again, That’s never going to happen. This book is about how she comes to terms with all of it, living in two homes, nobody talking to her because of her parents divorce and the fact that her folks are really not going to get back together again… a whole lot of hard stuff for a twelve year old to deal with. I guess it’s a tween read but I’m enjoying it, it’s funny it’s real and it is set in the eighties… really what more could you want for a read in a sunny spot on the couch. The theme is very relevant to kids of today. Kids deal with separated parents either directly or indirectly through friends and this book tells it like it is, poignant, hard, crazy – let’s face it parents can be totally mad when tossing around on the waves of a split-up. I think adults should read this book too and realise that kids are far more aware than most parents ever imagine, regarding what is really going on around them. Anyway, I like Harper, she is a kid that I really want to know better, she feels what she feels, and she says what she says… and through it all she remains witty, upbeat and feisty. If you have ever been twelve and especially if you have lived through the eighties, and you like a poignant funny read then this is a keeper. A perfect example of a good book is a good book whatever age it is pitched at.

Something to Enjoy

A Faraway Tree Adventure: The Land of Medicines by Enid Blyton: I have such fond memories of reading Enid Blyton and The Folk of the Faraway Tree Series as a child… and I love these Enid Blyton books that are a bright and colourful intermediate read for the easy reader who is not quite ready for chapter books. These books are perfect for my girls that are emerging out of easy readers… they are packed with bright colourful illustrations all the way, short chapters and not an overwhelming amount of writing. The series story is about a group of children who move to the country, and in the adjacent forest there is a magical tree. If you climb the tree to the very top there are a number of weird and wonderful lands that pass by. Of course every time the children visit a new country an interesting adventure happens. All your favourite characters are between the pages: Moon-face and Silky, Saucepan Man and of course Dame Wash-a-Lot. The children’s mum is ill and everyone is very worried about her. And as luck would happen, the country at the top of the tree is Medicine Land… perfect. Of course there is a little adventure and then everyone lives happily forever after. Perfect read for the beginner reader.

Something to Inspire

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Fynbos Fairies by Antjie Krog and Fiona Moodie: This is a collection of delightful poems for children. It opens up the imaginative world for little people with a love for the great outdoors. Fynbos is our local indigenous vegetation and unique to the Cape Floral Kingdom. This book has a poem for a number of the local plants and a fairy to go with each of them: the erica fairy, the pincushion pixie and of course the king protea elf. The poems are sweet, with just enough facts to peak a little interest… and include little facts about the tiny animals that live amongst the fynbos as well. My three youngest were intrigued and this book has been on quite a few hikes already, as their “guide book.” In fact they were inspired enough to draw their own fairies and write a poem each. A book that inspires my kids to write poetry gets full marks from me, one that becomes part of their game of life is a definite keeper!!!

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Arum Lily Fairies
White Arum Lilies
Blue water
Red Disas
Green frogs
Yellow bees just like me.

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Pretty Pretty Protea
See the pretty Protea fairy
Oh how she waves win the wind
How her hair flies
She helps pollinate every pretty protea
What luck for you and me.

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Disas hidden
In the stream
Fairies dancing
It’s a dream.

All these books were published by Penguin Random House South Africa and were given to us for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to write it and opinions expressed are as usual entirely my own.

3 Replies to “What We Are Reading Right Now…”

  1. Hay Christi, there are some real winners in that collection… a lot of reading has been going on over here. Lots of love from all of us!!!

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