Can We Talk About Books… GiveAway Winners, And Our Latest Reads…

I often post book review posts, and inlude those books that we specifically review for publishers… books that we have enjoyed and would like to share with our readers. But I also think that often we read so much more and we read so much deeper, but I don’t get around to blogging about the books that we just read because…


So I thought I would start including posts on the books that we just somehow discover, something from the pile of se7enty books that we take out of the library each week (and what are we going to do when I library shuts down next week, till the end of the year?), books that we borrow and books that we buy… so here come a post that is packed with books that have sparked joy for us and that we thought you might enjoy as well…

Book I Loved Reading Lately

The Read Aloud Family by Sarah Mackenzie: This is the best book ever folks… I would say the best homeschooling inspiration, to get your year off to a good start, or to give your “middle of the homeschool year doldrums” a jump start… but actually this book is for ALL parents everywhere… reading aloud to our kids is critical, we all know that. But we don’t all know the exact “How and Why” of it… and not everyone knows that this is the one thing that can pull your family closer together than almost anything else… You can go on wild crazy adventures… far and wide, hilariously funny and solemnly sad… so many journeys you can explore between the covers of a good book. I am forever telling everyone to listen to her podcast, The Read Aloud Revival, but the book goes deeper and I cannot recommend this great read enough. Meanwhile, while she has a Premium Membership site that opens only once or twice a year… it is open right now for the long weekend… so if you are keen for your kids to meet real live authors online, and interact with illustrators… then now is the time to sign up. (Just a helpful little hint for you all, I definitely intend to sign up)!!!

Books on Our Library Pile This Week.

The Story Machine by Tom McLaughlin: This is a picture book that is so inspiring… Honestly I want to dash out and find a vintage typewriter. It is the story of a boy called Elliot, who discovers a magical machine that makes letters and words, only he doesn’t think he is very good at words… until he discovers that he can use words to create pictures to create stories… and then the stories flow, and flow and flow… this book is so inspiring, anybody can create a story. We loved this book!!!

The Flying Journey by Gerald Durrel: This is another book we have enjoyed from the library lately, even if it feels a little vintage. It doesn’t come close to one of our favourite books ever, by him: My Family and Other Animals, but was still a fun read that we read all together… Uncle Lancelot is looking for his brother, so he collects his niece and nephews and goes on an adventure around the world, in the most fantastic flying machine… and as he travels from place to place they discover and meet all sorts of wild animals. Interestingly enough, the children find that they can talk to the animals, so as they travel they keep a journal and interview the animals that they encounter along the way… fun reading for animal lovers and world travellers, even if they are only arm chair travellers.

Local is Lekker


So many folks ask us how we include South Africa themed books into our schooling, without using a South African specific curriculum, the truth of it is we take tons of books out of the library every week, and we make sure that our pile of books is packed with books relevant to the South African context. Fiction and non-fiction, picture books and chapter books… these books are no longer in the minority, they are filling our library shelves and they are lovely.


Florence and Watson and the Sugarbush mouse by Rob van Vuuren and Danielle Bischoff, and illustrated by Lauren Fowler: The amazing thing about this beautifully whimsical story is that it is written in three languages, and it is works! The story is packed with all that is local, it is about two honey badgers, Florence and Watson, who tell the story of Petal, a little striped mouse (streep muis), who doesn’t think she has any talents… turns out she is ideally suited to pollinating our beloved proteas and conserving the local fynbos. This is just magical and the illustrations delightful. You can meet Florence and Watson at their website here.

Able Seaman Just Nuisance: by Sherri L Rowe and illustrated Alex Zandria: The is the best children’s book about Just Nuisance that we have ever found… Funnily enough this is a story that so cries out to be read by children, and I can’t understand why there aren’t dozens of books about Able Seaman Just Nuisance published already. Anyway this is a story about a dog that joined the Navy and became more than a mascot to the men who served with him in Simonstown.

The book is well illustrated, with lots of photographs of real artefacts as well. The reading level is just a little more than “easy reader” and I read it to my kids, because it is a story about a local hero… that intrigues them and until now we haven’t known too much about him

Otherwise if you ever are visiting in Simonstown you can see a statue of the legendary Able Seaman Just Nuisance in the centre of town.

And there is a walk up the mountain side, totally worth all the stairs and the stunning views, if you would like to visit his gravesite.
Other Easy Hikes in Simonstown Include:

GiveAway Winners

We had two giveaways for our followers in July… and I have two more GiveAways this month. And you are going to love them both. Meanwhile here are the winners from July… look out for an email from us… and we will get your books to you ASAP…

Firstly, A Place to Land by Kate Motaung: and the winner is Lizanne: (Jul 24, 2018 at 7:40 am)
This book looks like something worth reading in that limited reading time I have! Would love a chance to try!
Hope you love it!!!


And our Madiba Day GiveAway: It is the absolutely beautiful Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson, and our lucky winner is Ann: Jul 20, 2018 at 11:15 am
What a gorgeous publication on such an important part of history for us to know and understand! We would love to win this!!
I am sure you will enjoy this one!!!


  • And the Book I am Dying to Read and Can’t Wait for it to Land: So I hope you all follow The Modern Mrs Darcy, because she is ALL about books!!! Books, books and more books. It is quite simple, I love her… ebooks, audiobooks, real books and her latest book: I’d Rather be Reading. The ultimate book for lovers of books… everywhere. I am thrilled to be on her review team, for her book about the reading life: @AnneBogel’s new book #IdRatherBeReading. Dash over to the book site to keep you up-to-date on her fabulous pre-order book bonuses and all sorts of reading fun. Stay tuned to
  • 2 Replies to “Can We Talk About Books… GiveAway Winners, And Our Latest Reads…”

    1. Oh Cat, thank you… I am really working hard on getting a book post out each week… and especially books that we just read from the library and, you know life!!! So glad you stopped by and left a comment… huge thank you!!!

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