Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Book Review: Mrs Mo's Monster by Paul Beavis

mrsmosmonster_FrontcoverOne day there was a knock at the front door.

Mr. Mo was gardening, so Mrs. Mo went to see who it might be...

A monster with a one-track mind meets his match in an elderly lady called Mrs Mo. With Mrs Mo’s help, the monster is surprised to discover that he can do more than he ever thought – but that’s not the only surprise Mrs Mo has in store…

Mrs. Mo's Monster is a fun and energetic picture book that both children and adults will enjoy. The illustrations are lively and full of life with occasional starker images which perfectly reflect the monster's behaviour and eventual change in attitude. 

Throughout the book Mrs. Mo demonstrates limitless patience and encourages the monster to try new things and by doing so the monster discovers that there is something else he can do besides "crunch, munch and chew". There is also an emphasis on using good manners which is something I'm always reminding R about.

I found the ending to be particularly amusing and I'm sure other parents will too.

Get your copy here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Month By Month: 3/12

Simple and achievable.


You love playing mini golf and you did so well with just a little help from Dad.

Playing with the cat before he became our cat. We had four kittens running around our backyard that afternoon.

You love spending time with Stilton and giving him lots of cuddles.

1/12
2/12

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Mr Stilton + Cat Beanbag and Blanket

A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to be adopted by a kitten. The story of how it came about is a bit complicated but let's just say that it wasn't the first time that he'd paid us a visit and I don't think I could have made him leave even if I'd tried/wanted to.


I'm loving having him around especially when R is at school. He's such a funny wee character and he absolutely adores R. It melts my heart seeing them together and R is over the moon at finally having a pet.

With an extra family member comes extra sewing opportunities! Stilton has taken quite a liking to R's beanbag so I decided to make him one of his own as well as a little blanket to go with it. I get the feeling that he's going to be one spoilt cat.


I made the bean bag out of some cotton drill that I had in my stash. It was very easy to make and I love how it turned out. It would be great for babies/toddlers too.


I adore the cat fabric that I used for the front of the blanket and it matches perfectly with the spots. I backed it with black fleece so it's nice and snuggly.


They've both been given Stilton's seal of approval.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

The Fool and the Dragonox by Jacob Gowans
(Prequel to A Tale of Light and Shadow)

Enter Atolas, a world where swords and daggers both extend life and end it, where magic is feared by all but a few, and where feuds and friendships influence kingdoms and courtships. In The Fool and the Dragonox, a prequel to A Tale of Light and Shadow, we meet Henry Vestin, his best friend Ruther, his sister, Maggie, and the love of his young life, Isabelle Oslan, as they begin an adventure that will help define their ongoing friendship..

The Fool and the Dragonox is a short YA fantasy novella which introduces us to the protagonists in Jacob Gowan's new series, A Tale of Light and Shadow.

It is very short as far as novella's go but it definitely makes up for that in substance. The story is full of action from beginning to end and draws you right into the characters world. It's extremely easy to read and I really enjoyed the author's no nonsense writing style and his ability to create an entertaining story with believable characters in very few words. The characters are young and somewhat impetuous but that just makes them more relatable and exciting to read about.

I can't wait to find out what sort of adventures our heroes will have in A Tale of Light and Shadow.

Rating: 5/5
Shadow Mountain Publishing
February 26, 2014
Source: Netgalley

Monday, March 17, 2014

Murder of Crows (The Others #2) by Anne Bishop

Murder of Crows (The Others, #2) After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside's shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.


The much anticipated sequel to Written in Red is finally here!

Murder of Crows picks up where we left off in Written in Red. In this book the focus is less on the individual characters and more on the Others as a whole and dealing with a series of violent events between the Others and humans that could ultimately affect the entire world.

The book feels a bit rushed - everything happens very quickly and is resolved almost too easily. There is no build up throughout the book so you know exactly what's coming and it makes the ending feel a little flat. If I hadn't read Written in Red first and loved it, I would have had a hard time connecting with the story and characters.

Overall I was a quite disappointed. It was still a good read and really well written, but I felt like a lot of the humour which I loved from the first book that stemmed from Meg's daily interactions with the Others was missing and Meg, who did so much growing and developing in Written in Red, didn't make any further progress. The only character that seemed to develop further was Simon and his feelings towards Meg.

I'll be interested to see what the third book in the series will bring.

Rating: 4/5
Published March 4th 2014 by Roc

You can find my review of Written in Red here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Claude at the Beach by Alex T. Smith

Ever wondered what animals get up to while their owners are away? Perhaps this book will enlighten you or at least have you laughing out loud.

Claude at the Beach is a bizarre and hilarious illustrated chapter book about an adventurous dog and his sock companion - Sir Bobblysock. It's the third installment in the series but don't let that put you off as it can be read as a stand alone book.

On this particular day, Claude and Sir Bobblysock decide to go on vacation to the beach. Claude packs his suitcase with an odd assortment of things (underpants, whipped cream in a can, sticky tape, some slightly squished sandwiches - you never know what might come in handy) and so the adventure begins.

Their vacation certainly doesn't lack excitement that's for sure. They rescue a man from being eaten by a shark, attempt to order an ice cream in french, win a sand castle competition and go on a hunt for pirate treasure - while still making it home before Mr and Mrs Shinyshoes return from work.

It's a fun, action packed story perfect for both boy's and girls. The chapters are short and sweet and it would make a great first chapter book for preschoolers. I loved the quirky illustrations and comical characters - it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Rating: 5/5
Peachtree Publishers
April 1, 2014
Source: Netgalley

Friday, February 28, 2014

Month By Month: 2/12

Simple and achievable.


Our first monarch butterfly.

One of the kittens from down the street came to visit. You loved petting and playing with it.


Highlight of the afternoon: watching the concrete mixer across the street pouring cement.

An outtake from our photo shoot the other day. You thought you were hilarious.

1/12

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Crochet: Plain Ribbed Beanie

Even though Summer appears to have only just arrived, I've been working on some of my winter projects starting with a hat for me.


I didn't want anything fancy, just a basic beanie to keep my head warm on our frosty morning walks to school. As you can see, it actually fits R but this is one hat that he's not having - I'll be whipping up another one for him.


I love the look of the ribbing and I'm glad that I decided to add it. It also makes the band extra cushy so it should keep my ears nice and warm.

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