Monday, 14 February 2011

An Alternative Valentine

Well Valentine's Day comes but once a year and what a shame. For it is, in my opinion something that we should constantly remember - our love for one another. So because I am against the commercialism that has overtaken today I am instead offering an alternative - a book to love.

In actual fact I have a number of books to love and, trying to keep in the spirit of the day, I have chosen cute and sparkly books! Sorry boys but your turn will come…

For my cute one first of all, the most appropriate for today is I Spy Something Wonderful by David Conway (published by Red Fox). With its cut-out heart front cover this will have an instant appeal to all little girls, couples with the oh-so cute picture of the deer family who could fail to fall in love with this story? The perfect story for a cold wintery day or with a cuddle at bedtime this is an ‘I spy’ story with so many lovely things to spot, but there is one very special thing to spot right at the end and a lovely novelty fold out too.

Moving on and I find myself once again drawn through the magic mirror with Ellie and Emma into the fun place to meet – Sparkle Street. With four new adventures to enjoy young fans and readers will love helping the friends with the problems they encounter. One adventure, Spells and Showers, finds them helping Wizard Stargazer cast a happy spell resulting in a riot of colour and sun shades rather than umbrellas! They must avert a potential catastrophe and prevent Rosa Bloom from having disappointed customers in Daisy Disaster. The Missing Mice cause a bit of a stir so Ellie and Emma must turn detective and then when Fairy Pink’s wand gets out of hand once again there are quite a few bubbles to deal with in Bubble Trouble (all published by Macmillan). Great fun, very pink, very glittery and perfect for a Valentine’s Day.

Finally, continuing the theme, there is no doubt that at one time or another every little girl dreams of being a hairdresser so they would be advised to read The Fairytale Hairdresser (published by Random House) and find out just how Rapunzel got her prince. A very amusing and clever take on a very old folk and fairytale. Full of vibrant colour, a sprinkling of glitter, lots of hair and a great adventure this is in fact a book that could be read by boys and girls alike.

I hope that you enjoy this sparkly, glittery alternative to hearts and chocolates and I hope to see you back here later this week!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Spirit of Adventure

It was with sadness that this week I read of the death of Brian Jacques. A quote on his website perhaps sums him up as a fearless writer with a brave heart. He was an avid reader and a brave adventurer. His work delivering milk to a primary school encouraged him to pick up his pen and write his now much loved Redwall series. without his passion, energy and enthusiasm we would not have had such a wonderful insight into the lives of his fantastic and fearless characters. Whilst we may no longer have Brian we can still have his books and we can continue to read and love them.

Being of an adventurous spirit is not something that comes naturally to me, I am rather a timid lover of my comforts but every now and again I like to surprise myself - even with books. Int he last two weeks I have read a large number from glossy girly books to funny magical and quite frightening thrillers. I have to admit that I have enjoyed them all and each has left me wanting to read more but also wishing I had the skill to be such a wonderful storyteller. Sadly I don't but I am an avid reader so it was with great interest that I delved into picture book territory, just for some light relief with the title 'It's a Book' by Lane Smith (Macmillan, 2011, 9780230753136) technically I don't think that I should be writing about it here in the Blog for as the back cover says

"Can it text? Blog? Scroll? Wi-fi? Tweet? No. . . it's a book."

However if I didn't tell you about it here then you perhaps wouldn't be able to share it with anyone and everyone or have the great big grin that I had plastered across my face after I had finsihed reading it!

I love it, it is simple, clever, enjoyable and it is a book! The premise is simple, an adult and a child, one reading a book the other with a computer unable to comprehend this new device. Soon something miraculous happens and whilst the detail of the actually far from detailed pictures reveals all there is much fun to be had. This is simply a simple story with simple pictures but one that is intensely clever, witty and as appealing to an adult as a child. I urge you to read it as soon as possible, perhaps even buy it and never ever part with it, or any other books in favour of a computer again!