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.