DINO KNIGHTS By Jeff Norton – Book Review

The girls received DINO KNIGHTS by Jeff Norton to review last week, a fun fast-paced middle-grade series. Illustrated by George Ermos throughout with some rather cool Dinosaurs! This fast-paced chapter book series will appeal to fans of How To Train your Dragon and Beast Quest, one of Eva’s favourites! Published by Awesome Reads, DINO KNIGHTS is available to buy now.

DINO KNIGHT by Jeff Norton

Dino Knights

Orphaned stable boy Henry Fairchild stops a vicious T-Rex from attacking his master, Lord Harding. Henry’s selfless act of bravery gains him an invitation to join the brave Knights of Panterra, AKA the DINO KNIGHTS. He finds himself on a daring rescue mission with the DINO KNIGHTS to save Lord Harding in an attempt to prove himself. Lord Harding has been attacked and kidnapped by a flock of pterodactyls though. Henry’s bravery is tested to the limits!

DINO KNIGHT illustrations by George Ermos

Jeff Norton

Jeff Norton is an award-winning Author of Metawars, Memoirs of A Neurotic Zombie, Stomp School and Alienated. He applies his trademark world-building and smart humour throughout each book. We have been lucky enough to meet Jeff Norton and own several of his books and love every one of them. Each one really appeals to the girls sense of humour!

DINO KNIGHT illustrated by George Ermos

Eva’s Thoughts

Eva thinks Harry is really cool and brave and loves how quickly the story moves along. She was astounded by the amount of different dinosaur species throughout the book too. As a big fan of adventure stories she absolutely loved DINO KNIGHTS. She agrees fans of Beast Quest will enjoy DINO KNIGHT too and was over the moon after reading the book to discover it will be a book series and a film. She’s already pestering me to find out release dates! I think it’s safe to say Jeff Norton has written another brilliant children’s book that encourages a love of reading, both girls enjoyed and finished the book so quickly.

Does this sound like a series your child would love too?

Tony Hawks – The A to Z Of Skateboarding Blog Tour

Tony Hawks has been mistaken for Tony Hawk the American skateboarder for 20 years. It is made clear on his website he is an English comedian and author. Yet he still receives messages from Tony Hawk fans, so one day he decided to write back in a pompous tone, goading his correspondents any way he can.

Tony Hawks - The A to Z of skateboarding

The A to Z of Skateboarding

I received a copy of A to Z of skateboarding for this blog tour full of entries on Pain, Disappointment, Underachievers, Quorn and the Vatican. Along with plenty of skateboarding tips from someone who knows absolutely nothing about it out of mischievousness. Perfect for fans of Joe Lycett’s Parsnips Buttered and The Timewaster Letters by Robin Cooper.

Tony Hawks

Tony Hawks - Author and Comedian

Along with being an author, aTony Hawks is a radio and TV comedian who makes regular appearances on ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue‘ , ‘Just a Minute’ and ‘Have I Got News For You. He also wrote the Sunday Times bestselling Round Ireland With a Fridge which has sold more than 8y0,000 copies and been made into a feature film. His Second book Playing The Moldovans At Tennis has sold well over 100,000 copies.

The Worry Box Children’s Book Review And Craft

We received The Worry Box to review in time for Empathy Day, a day aimed at reading books to understand one another and to share feelings, thoughts and perspectives highlighting the power and importance of empathy.

The Worry Box Book & Craft

The Worry Box

The Worry Box is a lovely children’s book that encourages children to share their worries to overcome them. Written by Suzanna Chiew and illustrated by Sean Julian, this Little Tiger book is perfect for children aged 3 to 6 years.

The worry box

Mental health is an important topic which thankfully is being discussed more, however, children’s mental health still has a long way to go. Place2Be revealed that 2/3 children worry ‘all the time’. It is important to encourage children to open up and share their feelings, thoughts and worries.

The worry box - empathy day

The Worry Box is perfect for children who may be dealing with anxiety or feeling nervous. Murray bear has lots of worries, his sister invites him to the waterfall but he cant stop worrying! What if the waterfall is too loud?Or what if he’s not very good at climbing? And what if all his friends laugh at him? Milly, Murray’s sister, encourages Murray to make a Worry Box to keep all of his worries in. Can the Worry box really help him?

Murrays Worries`

Creating Our Own Box For Worries

The girls decided after reading the book, that they needed to create their own Worry Box, just like Murray. This is such a lovely simple craft for young children too.

Worry Box Craft

You will need

  • A box
  • Scissors
  • Glue/Sticky Tape
  • Paint/Paper ( We used wrapping paper)
  • Stickers/Labels/Decorations

We taped our box shut and I carefully made a slit along the top for the worry notes to go through. Next, we wrapped our taped box in wrapping paper, ensuring the paper was taped on the sides so the base was flat and the top was clear for cutting the slot. Then I carefully cut through the paper in the same place as the slot for notes. The girls then took over completely adding name labels and stickers! It took us less than 15 minutes to create our own box for worries.

Can you think of any other books for Empathy day?

The Path Keeper Book Tour

I received The Path Keeper by N.J Simmonds, the first book of the Indigo Chronicles to review. A mixture of fantasy and historical romance, I simply couldn’t put this book down!

The Path Keeper Book Cover

This book does come with a mental health trigger warning and contains sexual scenes. These will resonate with older teens (15+) and adults alike.

Mental health & sexual scenes warning.

The Path Keeper

What if our lives were mapped out before birth? Does anyone have the power to change their destiny?

Ella hates London, she misses her old life in Spain and struggles to get over her past. Then she meets Zac. He’s always loved her but isn’t meant to be part of her story., not now or ever. Ella doesn’t realise that Zac’s secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense. A world full of danger, lies and magic. The Path Keeper is a passionate tale of first loves, second chances and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?

I absolutely loved The Path Keeper and will definitely be looking out for the rest of the Indigo Chronicles. N.J Simmonds writing just flows so well, piecing the story together bit by bit so you just can’t put the book down! Zac and Ella are such interesting characters with so much going on with each of them both in the present and the past. I’m not the greatest fan of romances but this is just so different.

N.J Simmonds

N J Simmonds Author

Natali Drake writes under the pen name of N.J. Simmonds and has written articles for various UK newspapers and online publications. In 2015 she cofounded the online magazine The Glass House Girls and is a regular contributor. Originally from north London, she now divides her time between her two homes in the Netherlands and Spain with her husband and two daughters.

The Amber Maze By Christopher Bowden – Blog Tour

I’ve been reading The Amber Maze by Christopher Bowden which I was sent in exchange for my honest review.

The Amber Maze Cover

The Amber Maze

A mysterious key found down the side of an antique chair in a Dorset cottage begins a search for answers. Hugh Mullion is determined to unlock the secrets of this unknown. No one knows how long the key has been there or what it opens but Hugh begins to investigate for himself.

During his search for answers, Hugh unlocks the secrets of a troubled life of a talented artist. Destined to be hailed a neglected genius fifty years too late, suppressed by a dark secret he could never escape.

The mysterious trail takes Huge from Edwardian Oxfordshire to 1960’s Camden Town where the ghosts of the past are finally laid to rest.

Christopher Bowden

Christopher Bowden is the author of six novels, each with a colour theme and lives in South London. The Amber Maze is his most recent novel, published in September 2018. His previous books have been praised by Andrew Marr, Julian Fellowes, Sir Derok Jacobi, an Shena Mackay.

My Thoughts

The Amber Maze draws you in from the start with the mysterious key being found. Bit by bit secrets quickly unravel throughout the story in an enchanting way. I loved the idea of a secret at the heart of The Amber Maze and was pleased the secret wasn’t spoilt until the very end. I had hoped for a slightly different outcome although this may be more due to my preference for thrillers! Overall I did enjoy The Amber Maze, it is definitely a page turn for mystery lovers. I love the colour theme idea behind Christopher Bowden’s novels, especially The Purple Shadow. I will definitely have to

The Amber Maze Blog Tour

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour posts!

Miles Kelly Mini Playbooks Review And Giveaway

We were sent Miles Kelly Mini Playbooks range to review this week. Written by Sarah Parkin and Designed by Rob Hale. Each Mini Playbook has a story, playmat, pop-up building and over 20 press out pieces. There are currently 6 books within the Miles Kelly Mini Playbooks and we have 3 books to offer one lucky winner! Read on and enter below.

Miles Kelly Mini Playbooks

Miles Kelly Mini Playbooks

Currently, the six Miles Kelly Mini Playbooks available include Farm, Animal Hospital, Fire Station, Castle, Airport and Garage. These fantastic books encourage reading and learning through play.

Miles Kelly Mini Playbook - Animal Hospital

Mini Playbook Fun

Each storybook follows a character at work, explaining the different tasks they do each day. Once you’ve read the story and learnt the tasks, it’s time to play and act out the different roles! There is a handy guide to setting up and using the book inside too.

Animal Hospital Instructions

Each book turns into a square playmat with a road, pop-up building and relevant scenery. The buildings all have doors that open, allowing your press-out characters to go in and out easily.

Miles Kelly Animal Hospital Mini Playbook

Animal Hospital Playmat - Miles Kelly Mini Playbooks

Inside each pop-up building, there is plenty of space to move characters around. Both girls enjoy setting up these books and playing out the roles. Izzy especially loves animal hospitals and this was definitely her favourite. Reading about Sam the Vet’s adventures at work and then playing Vet kept Izzy busy for hours!

Castle

The Castle Mini Playbook follows Cedric the knights adventures in a medieval castle. The Castle comes with a Dragon, knights on horses, a Lord & Lady, Musician and more, the girls quickly got lost in this Mini Playbook.

Castle Miles Kelly Mini Playbook

Fire Station

We read about Firefighter George’s adventure at work, then we set up all the pieces. The girls had hours of fun playing as firefighters, rescuing cats from buildings and putting out fires. This Playbook comes with a fire engine, fires, barriers and various firefighters.

Fire Station

Airport

Jack is on his first visit to the airport in this storybook on his first family holiday. Learn about what goes on in an airport then fold out the playmat, pop up the building and play! I love how the aeroplanes go together for this playbook making them 3D.

Airport

Farm

Follow Farmer Sam around the farm as he cares for all the animals. Farms are very busy places with lots of jobs to do, press out the pieces and help Sam look after the animals. With cute farm animals and a shiny red tractor this Playbook is amazing.

Farm

Garage

Learn about mechanic Matt’s adventures at work in this storybook before getting busy helping at the Garage. Help wash cars, change tyres, repair engines and become a marvellous mechanic for a few hours.

Garage

The Mini Playbooks fold back down after being played with. This makes the Mini Playbooks easy to store until next time. Simply flatten the press-out pieces and store them inside the building safely too. We are really impressed with the Mini Playbooks as they are so easy to set up and clear away. They certainly kept the girls occupied and having fun for hours at a time and the enjoyed building a few at a time and connecting the roads on the playmats to create their own little town.

Miles Kelly Mini Playbook Giveaway

As promised, we have 3 Miles Kelly Mini Playbooks to giveaway to one lucky winner*! The winner will be able to pick any 3 titles from the 6 available, simply enter the giveaway below and keep an eye on your emails.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Winner will be notified within 24 hours of the giveaway closing and will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be picked.

Which 3 Miles Kelly Mini Playbook titles would you pick?

Magic Pie – Children’s Book Review

We were sent Magic Pie by Robyn Embrey to review* last week. This beautifully rhyming, magical adventure is a lovely book for children. Published by Pegasus and available on Amazon. We always enjoy reviewing children’s books like this, that just flows so well.

Magic Pie - Robyn Embrey

Magic Pie

Magic pie is all about a little boy named Olly who tries to make a magic pie. He tries but with no luck. His mum finds him and explains real magic lies in a box of pixie dust beneath her bed. Olly embarks on a magical adventure where he meets a genie, a rabbit and fairy.

Olly making magic pie

Olly just wants to make Magic Pie,
One to make him magic, one to make him fly.

But he might just find where real magic lies instead,

With a box of pixie dust, beneath his mummy’s bed.

Magic Pie – Robyn Embrey

Our Thoughts

We love reading this book and have already read it a few times. Its rhythm flows beautifully making it fun to read aloud. From the start, the girls listened intensely to Olly’s magical adventure. You could see they really enjoyed it throughout.

Magic Pie colouring pages

Both my girls have tried to make magic potions before, as have most children. Mixing all kinds of ingredients in little pots so I found Olly’s magic pie making quite amusing.

Magic Pie Blogger Pack

As reviewers, we also received some colouring pages, bookmarks and pixie dust, which the girls really loved! Magic Pie is already a favourite read for the girls and I can really see why. Olly has so much fun on his magical journey. When he returns, he knows that one day he’ll show his sister the magic that lies beneath mummy’s bed too. We would love to see more children’s books by Robyn Embrey as we thoroughly enjoyed this one!

About The Author

This is Robyn Embrey’s first Children’s book she has published. I have followed her on twitter for a while and know she has worked hard to create this fantastic children’s book. Below is a short ‘about me’ from Robyn herself.

My Children live in a world only confined to the limits of their imaginations. With so much inspiration around me in day to day life, I started to write down their adventures. With the support of my long-suffering husband, my faithful friends and a little creativity, Magic Pie and other stories started to keep me awake at night. The only way to get some sleep was to write them down

Robyn Embrey

Have you heard of or read Magic Pie yet?

*Whilst we were kindly sent this book for a review, all opinions are our own and honest.

Princess Ponies -The Lucky Horseshoe Book Review

The Princess Ponies series by Chloe Ryder is full of stories that are empowering, uplifting and full of empathy. Jeff Norton kindly sent us an author copy when we responded to his tweet sharing the release of Princess Ponies – The Lucky Horseshoe. We decided that since we love to review books, we should review this too!

Princess Ponies - The lucky horseshoe

Princess Ponies – The Lucky Horseshoe

The Lucky Horseshoe was released in time for St. Patrick’s day. This beautifully illustrated book comes with a lovely magic horseshoe collectable charm. There are several books in the Princess Ponies adventure series, each with a different charm to collect.

Collectible magic horseshoe charm

Chloe Ryder wrote the Princess Ponies series as an alternative for adventure-loving girls to Barbie and Disney Princesses. The main character Phillipa (Pippa) is a head-strong action heroine who strives to save the day. Eva especially loves a storyline full of adventure like this.

Pippa lives in the land of Chevalia. She is having terrible luck at school on St. Patrick’s day. To make it even worse, Pippa is alerted by Princess Stardust and the Pirate Ponies that the troublemaking Divine has cast a spell to steal all of Chevalias good luck too.

Princess Ponies Book Review

Pippa sets off on a journey across the high seas, on The Jolly Horseshoe, in search of a way to win the ponies’ luck back. During this journey, Pippa and her friends meet cow sharks and discover a mysterious island. On this mysterious island, a new pony may be able to explain how to turn their luck around.

Eva’s Thoughts

Eva said she really enjoyed reading The Lucky Horseshoe. She said it has some really cool characters from humans, ponies and cow sharks! The storyline is full of adventure and kept Eva absorbed throughout. She loved the ending and now wants to read the rest of the series!

Making Happy Work – Book Review

I was kindly sent Making Happy Work to review written by Mick Timpson. This book is a beginners guide to navigating the modern world with meditation. As someone who suffers anxiety and depression, meditation can be really helpful. Modern meditation is the art and science of being more aware of yourself, others and the wider world.

Making Happy Work

Making Happy Work

Mick Timpson has created a self-help book to take you on a meditation journey. This journey is broken down into eight parts. Step-by-step, Making Happy Work teaches you to meditate. Teaching you that the key to making happy work is not what you do in life that matters, but how you live through your life.

I know I often stress over the things I do or don’t do in live but reading Making Happy Work makes it easier to look at things from a different perspective.

We have all become a little disconnected from who and what we are. Living in an increasingly chaotic world, struggling to survive, let alone thrive! Unfortunately, we are doing so at the expense of being. If we make time to stop, notice, and learn to be, we can reconnect and link our being with our doing. We can learn to be and do differently. Making Happy Work gently guides you through how meditation works, practising meditation and different techniques.

Focus

Meditation helps you find direction and purpose in a chaotic world. Learning to slow down and Be instead of just Doing makes a world of difference. This practice of purposely focusing on the present moment at any time and place, observing and accepting without judgment, expectation or attachment reduces stress and anxiety. In turn, this allows you to focus on what really matters and that is being happy, having purpose, resilience, creativity and wellbeing.

Have you tried meditation before?

The Baby Detective Blog Tour

I received The Baby Detective by Sarah Norris to review, a parenting book unlike many others I’ve read. This book doesn’t dictate what is the right or wrong way to care for your baby. Neither does it tell you which parenting style to go with, instead, it gently guides you through caring for your newborn.

The Baby Detective

The Baby Detective

Sarah Norris gently guides you through investigating what the problem is and why it is happening. With 25 years experience as a maternity nurse caring for hundreds of new mothers and families Sarah developed a new method. The unique AIM (Assess, Investigate, Modify) method to help parents solve the challenges any new parent may face.

Sarah Norris

A Unique Parenting Book

New parents can often feel confused and overwhelmed with unasked for advice, tips and tricks to care for their newborn. This book encourages parents to use their own tuition rather than telling them what to do. This book will give you the confidence to care for your new baby with confidence. Solving each challenge you face from sleeping, feeding, routines and winding.

Different Case Studies

Each case study is unique and as a parent of 2 daughters myself, I’ve faced most of these problems. Looking back at my own experience these problems sometimes took month to solve due to conflicting advice, especially with Eva. Sarah’s explanations of looking for clues as to what affects your baby is fantastic for new parents. I honestly wish I had a book like this to hand as a new parent. Everything a new parent will face with their newborn is covered. From environmental factors, biological states,temperamant and emotional response.

Record Keeping

Sarah explains how record keeping can help new parents keep track and solve problems. From feeds taken, winding times and issues, sleep patterns and issues, nappy changes, Sarah makes record keeping seem a breeze . She also goes on to explain whilethis can be reassuring it can also increase anxiety at times. If this happens she explains what to do in that situation. This kind of book would have been helpful when I had Eva. I became obsessed with weighing Eva weekly until she was over a year old. Because she was born at 4lb 14oz, then dropped to 4lb 4oz due to jaundice, I was constantly worrying. Record keeping can be useful, but it needs to be kept simple and not become obsessive as Sarah explains.

How To Be Your Own Baby Detective

Rather than tell you which problems may arise with a newborn Sarah explains situations she has faced with new families. With each challenge the parents face The Baby Detective explains how to assess the situation, investigate the problem and make modifications. This method can be applied to big and small problems even those minor day-to-day issues.

Planning

The Baby Detective covers planning ahead using AIM. This can be applied to family gatherings at home, medical appointments or treatments. It can also be applied to Social events away from home, foreign holidays and as baby develops. This in depth look at planning helps you plan aheadwith ease to suit you and your babies needs.

Winding Your Baby

An in depth look at winding, why your baby gets wind, anatomy of babies stomach will help you understand what is going on with your little one. This will fill a new parent with confidence instead of leaving them feeling clueless. With an extensive look at winding techniques that will help your baby you will quickly become a winding expert!

Useful Tools And Equipment

As a new parent all the baby products everywhere can be really overwhelming. You can feel really unsure what will actually be useful day to day and how to use them. Sarah looks at each tool and why you may need it, reasons it can be useful. She also explains how not to overuse items like pacifiers and tips for sensible use. Each item is fully broken down again, filling a new parent with confidence that they are doing the right thing to comfort and care for their newborn.

What Is Normal

As a new parent knowing what is normal for your baby can be very confusing and scary. Again Sarah gives an in-depth look at every part of a newborn. From skin colour, umbilical cord, eyes, arms, feet, noises and crying. The Baby Detective also looks at head shape, appetite, wind, hiccups, breathing and temperature, febrile convulsions and sleep. A look at birthmarks, urine, feaces and constipation, menstrual blood in baby girls and skin rashes will leave you confident in caring for your newborn.

Where and How To Get Help

As you face new challenges you may require support and have no idea where or how to get help. Sarah makes this easier for new parents by point5ing out exactly where to get the help you need and how. From other peoples opinions, hospital, community midwives, health visitors, GP’s, consultants, maternity nurses and support groups. Whatever help you need, Sarah Norris has compiled an extensive list to make finding help easy.

Emergency Action

We have all faced a newborn screaming, having a total meltdown whilst feeling overwhelmed and exhausted ourselves. Sarah offers some fantastically useful advice and suggestions for this situation. Sarah provides comforting ideas for your baby, an emergency routine to reset and calm a baby. These aren’t long term solutions but will help you get back on track and continue with the AIM method in desperate times.

Genuinely Helpful Parenting Book

Having read The baby Detective, I love Sarah Norris’ way of looking at caring for a newborn. I remember too well how stressful those first few months with Eva were. I never felt confident that what I was doing was right and everyone felt I should try their way. It’s very overwhelming and stressful but The Baby Detective would make that time much easier for any new parent. I genuinely couldn’t recommend this book more, it’s unlike any other parenting book I have read.