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Showing posts from August, 2016

WRITING REVIEWS...

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I love reading...just about anything. It's a given. And so when opportunities pop up to get books (for free) read them and then write about them, I jumped at the chance.

At the moment I write reviews for Buzzwords and for Magpies. Both show case children's writing. For Buzzwords I receive picture books from one publisher - Working Title Press.  I do love picture books, at work it's my bread and butter....I read at least fifteen a week. Every week. Not all to the children, I have a bit of picking and choosing to do before hand, so I sit at my desk and read.
Picture books.

Sounds like an ideal job doesn't it. (This is called prep time).




For Magpies I receive a varied collection. Always for children, but over the years I have reviewed board books, picture books, junior chapter books, chapter books, YA novels and even a biography that I thought was more for adults (with perhaps a cross over into YA).

Reading is the easy part.

Then I have to think. Did I like the book, why…

A FAMILY AFFAIR....

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Everyone has one. Some of them are tiny...some are huge. Some are interconnected and stretched beyond recognition. Some are big and messy...others are perfected and just so. No matter where we are now, or who we are...we all started with a family.


 Every book has a family (or better yet- the lack of one).

How boring would Little Women be without our group of sisters (would also change the title)- but a family environment helps build the tensions and differences between Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy.

Pip- poor orphaned boy- is sent to Mrs Joe, his cruel sister. Would his life have been different if he had a happy home life, loving parents and a caring and gentle older sister?


 Imagine Lizzy Bennet without her gaggle of sisters? We needed to see her amongst Jane, the declared beauty of the family....as well as dull Mary and the foolish Kitty and Lydia.  Her parents of course are needed. We needed Mrs Bennet's 'woe is us' and concerns over her unwed daughters and their standing in t…

WHEN DO YOU STOP?

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We all read to our children...I'll take a step back and say we SHOULD all read to our children. To the majority of us it's natural to have a baby/small child in our arms and a book in the other. And we read to them.


It's a huge part of my job. I read to babies...I read to toddlers....I read to preschoolers...I read to school-age children. In fact I'll read to anyone and everyone. There are several library users who have limited sight and like help choosing their audio books. I enjoy reading the blurb out loud....most times putting on voices as I go along. (who doesn't?)

And by now we all know how good....important.....VITAL it is to read to children.


Reading to babies and toddlers comes naturally to us...but we tend to get to an age when we stop reading to our children.

Usually this is when they are able to read by themselves. When they can enjoy a book alone.

But why do we stop reading out loud to them?

At work we read to children all the time...and we don't …

WE NEED A SETTING....

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Recently I read a 'best selling psychological thriller' and even though I was told the story was set 'just out of Manhattan' I honestly couldn't tell. I have never been to Manhattan, or anywhere in the United States, so I would have liked a bit of description...a setting as you will.  The story could have been set any where and basically anytime.

However Manhattan itself wasn't the central setting, the main character's home town and the area surrounding it was. In fact this was such a major part of how he became who he was, how the 'supernatural' aspects came about that it was vital to the storyline.  And I so couldn't see it.

There was hardly any description at all. Nothing that I could see or feel so I could begin to understand his character...


Not that I wanted pages of description. Paragraphs of purple prose describing the wooded hills and the meandering stream...but I needed something.

It is so easy to do. We all know when we watch a TV sh…

GRANDBABY ARRIVES...

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Yes, for those of you who have been hiding under a rock and I have yet to find you to tell you...we have become proud grandparents.

Pretty exciting for so many reasons. We do have Little Miss, but we missed out on her baby years. She was three when we first met her...and a wary child is different to a baby that is learning everyone, and every thing, for the first time.


We met her yesterday....and as big sister says 'she's adorable'.

So much comes back to you...how your arms know how to hold a baby...how you instantly start to rock when she begins to cry.

A baby's skin is so very soft and there is that smell...that fresh new scent that is pure baby.


And this week we have the added joy of having Little Miss stay with us. This means the routine of packing school lunches and snacks, dropping her off at school (today with swimming stuff) and picking her up afterwards. There is the reading each night, the maths...and a bit of fun.

This of course has led to some interesting …