Crochet Learn It. Love It. Book Review

I received Crochet Learn It. Love It. By Tracey Todhunter to review. As most of my readers already know I love crochet, so I couldn’t wait to review this book. I have to say before I explain any further, if you are looking for a comprehensive beginners guide to crochet then this is definitely it!

Crochet Learn It. Love It

Crochet Learn It. Love It.

The book contains a mix of essential crochet skills, patterns, tricks and tips to ease you into a life of learning and loving crochet!

Chapter 1 – Essential Skills

Essential Skills covers everything you need to know starting with different yarn types and weight. I was pleased to see a Ball Band explanation, something I haven’t seen anywhere else before. With different types of hooks available, basic accessories and even luxury accessories explained, any beginner is sure to feel knowledgeable.

Essential Crochet Skills

This handy book shows you all the essentials from holding and tensioning the yarn via various methods. It also shows you how to hold the hook, make a slip knot, foundation chain, count chains, work into chains and fasten off. All explained in great detail, accompanied by photos making it easy for any beginner to learn Crochet.

Basic Stitches

There is a great guide to basic stitches which will help you get started on most projects. To make this easier there is a full explanation on how to understand crochet stitches to help you make sense of your work and pick up on any mistakes, a huge help for any beginner. I remember looking at my first crochet attempts and having no idea what I was looking at or if it was correct. This book puts your mind at ease as you learn making it much more enjoyable.

Basic Stitches

Confidence Building

Crochet Learn It. Love It makes reading patterns and charts a breeze and explains measuring AND adjusting your tension! From joining yarn to working neat stripes, stripes with a difference and shaping your work, you’ll feel like a pro in no time.

You’ll find yourself knowing how to finish your work, different blocking methods, tapestry needle stitches, crocheted, slip stitch and conceal crocheted seams enhancing your work. I’ve been crocheting at least 2 years now and I had already learned so much from this book, without even passing this first section!

Quick Start Projects

There are several quick start projects throughout the book. These consist of quick and easy patterns which require little yarn. Each project states the finished size and tension along with the items you’ll need. These are items such as yarns, crochet hook sizes, yarn needles, buttons etc.

There is also a list of abbreviations and techniques used in the pattern along with the page no within the book to help you with stitches. Following pattern notes you can find the pattern itself with photo’s to guide you. Compared to other crochet books I’ve read I genuinely felt that I could try each project. This would have been perfect when I first started out. With such great explanations and notes you are filled with confidence to complete each project. I’ll definitely be making a few of these once I’m done with my current Crochet Projects!

Chapter 2 – Working In The Round

Working In The Round

Moving on to the second section you quickly learn how to work in the round. Learn the foundation ring, magic ring and finger wrap methods to start. This section will quickly show you how to crochet circles and spirals along with a gorgeous ‘sun in the center’ pattern to show off your new crochet skills!

Sun In Circle

Blocks and motifs are great for making various pieces and are also worked in the round. This books explains how to make a plain granny square block, granny motif, granny triangles and granny hexagons. These are useful from cushion covers, blankets, cardigans and more. You will also learn to crochet a circle or flower in a square. There’s a lovely pattern at the end of this section for a granny square cushion similar to the one I recently made too.

Granny Triangle

I love granny squares as they are nice and easy but I decided to try a granny triangle for the first time. I found the pattern easy to follow and can now tick it off my list of things to learn!

Granny Triangle

Learning tubular crochet can make things quite fun. Luckily this book makes it simple to learn with some fab patterns to go with it! This handy guide makes crocheting a beanie or Amigurumi fox a piece of cake

Chapter 3 -Stitch Patterns

Stitch variations really can change crochet, from working into just a front or back loop, extended stitches and alternate loops, this book covers it all. This is something I hadn’t found in my other books either and Tracey Todhunter explains it all so well.

Stitch Patterns

I was surprised to find so many beautiful stitches and patterns to go with each stitch enabling you to create impressive crocheted pieces instantly! It really is quite an extensive list for a beginners guide and will no doubt make falling in love much easier.

Chapter 4 – Finishing Touches

Finishing touches such as buttons, holes, edging stitches and more are explained in great details with some fantastic techniques shared. Whether finishing crochet work or adding a touch of crochet to a pillowcase or similar, you can use these finishing touches to pretty up just about anything!

Finishing Touches

Each section is bursting with enough crochet knowledge that you feel confident taking on new projects. I may not be a complete beginner but I still learned a good few tips and stitches. The patterns throughout are simple to follow and will have you falling in love with crochet in no time!

Chapter 5 – Taking Your Skills Further

The Final chapter shows you a few more advanced skills such as tunisian, broomstick and hairpin crochet. I will be attempting the Tunisian at some point as this guide looks much easier than other’s I’ve looked at. Detailed step by step photos with explanations make each technique seem doable.

Taking Your Skills Further

A Fantastic Guide To Crochet

Honestly, Crochet Learn It. Love It. is a fantastic guide to crochet and makes it so easy to learn, you really will love it! You can learn so much from this fab little book and I know I’ll be using it for reference in future. There are a good few stitches in the book I’ve yet to try. I can’t wait to speed through my current projects and try them.

Driftwood By T.L. Wright – Book Review

I ordered Driftwood to start off my reading challenge this year. T.L. Wright is a lovely lady I occasionally chat to on Twitter and an amazing author! I really couldn’t wait to get started with Driftwood, the front cover is gorgeous!

Driftwood

As part of my reading challenge this year I vowed to read as many books by authors that I chat to as I can. Last year I read Free and What’s Mine by the lovely Fiona Morgan. To start off this year I wanted to begin with Driftwood and I am so pleased I did. This is a book that will no doubt be re-read too which isn’t something I do often!

Driftwood

Driftwood begins with a beautifully worded poem that instantly draws you in. This stunning gothic romance is simply amazing. You can’t help but notice T.L Wrights unique style of writing that entrances you.

Several stories cleverly combine into one as we meet each character. Each character has a unique story but one which pulls them all together in an enchantingly haunting way. With several references to certain bands (I won’t give the game away!) cleverly placed I found myself fangirl squealing a bit. Not something that usually happens in all fairness haha!

Driftwood back cover

An Amazing Read

Driftwood is unlike anything I have ever read. You instantly find yourself lost in the words, living and breathing each one which isn’t always the case. It’s been a long time since I came across a book like Driftwood. I honestly can’t wait to read the sequel and any other work written by T.L Wright.

I couldn’t recommend this more if you love a slightly darker and in-depth read. The way it is written is absolutely beautiful, I can’t stress that enough!

I’m now going to be hunting for more books like this as it has helped spur me on with my reading challenge. I have already managed 3 books this month which is great after years of barely picking up a book. It is becoming part of my self-care routine now to read for an hour a day at least.

Have you read anything this year? Does Driftwood sound like a book for you or have you read it before?

Free By Fiona Morgan – Book Review

I’ve read Free by Fiona Morgan* over the last fortnight. Since Izzy started reception I’ve felt less guilty about reading. I’ve always been passionate about reading but with 2 kids I found it hard to make time. Children’s books have been the main reads over the last 8 years! Now I get more me-time I’ve spent my afternoons enjoying a few chapters with a hot chocolate! 

Free By Fiona Morgan

Fiona Morgan is a lovely author who I chat to on Twitter, I wanted to show her some support by giving her books a read. I have her first 2 books which you can buy as paperbacks from Amazon or download on Kindle.

Free & What's Mine by Fiona Morgan

Free

Free is the first book Fiona has written and I have to admit I was a little sad to finish it! It’s one of those books where you get to know the characters so well you actually miss them. 

Ava’s boyfriend Nathan has convinced her she is useless, incapable of being independent in anyway and regularly beats it into her. She seems to push his buttons whatever she says or does and causes Nathan to get angry! After a chance meeting with a guy called Neil who is completely different and so understanding, Ava plucks up the courage to leave Nathan. One day after a beating she calls Neil and makes her escape. 

You can’t leave me!

Leaving an abuser is never easy and Nathan is extremely persistent when it comes to pursuing Ava, causing both Ava and Neil mental anguish. Nathan is adamant Ava is his and she can’t leave him or live without him. The long-buried memories of Neil’s father are brought back in to focus as he helps Ava. Caught up in uncertainty and physical violence, Ava and Neil’s growing tender love is put to the test! 

Perfectly Captured

Fiona captures every angle so perfectly throughout the book and you can’t help but feel the storyline. For someone who has lived with an abuser and witnessed it on several occasions. I’ve seen and heard so many similar stories that Free feels like real life. From thoughts & feelings to actions, everything is spot on. I’m not usually a fan of Romance Thrillers. I prefer thrillers but Free doesn’t go overboard on the romance side and I found myself wanting to see how their relationship developed! 

I’m looking forward to the girls going to school tomorrow so I can start reading What’s Mine! I’ve managed 7 books so far this year and hoping to make it 8. With captivating storylines like Fiona’s, I may even top that!

Fiona Morgan - Author of Free

Do you like romance thrillers? Have you heard of Fiona Morgan’s books before? 

*This is not a sponsored post. 

Night Of The Living Ted – Book Review

Eva read Night of the Living Ted written by Barry Hutchison and illustrated by Lee Cosgrove this week. Aimed at 7-9 years, Eva was sent a copy to review by Stripes publishing. This funny fright for Halloween night is available in paperback on Amazon for £5.99.

Night of the Living Ted - Book Review

Night Of The Living Ted

Night of the Living Ted is the first of a hilarious new series from award-winning author Barry Hutchinson. Lisa-Marie & her step-brother Vernon pop into town in search of a birthday present for their dad. They discover a Create-a-Ted shop offering free Halloween Bears! 

That night the shopkeeper brings the bears to life for nefarious purposes but Vernon’s bear, Grizz doesn’t want to be a slave to humans. Grizz wants to rule the world! Having converted the shopkeeper’s Stuff-U-Lator into a machine for turning living matter into stuffed bears, he begins to prowl the streets. Can the children and Bearvis save themselves and the world from being stuffed?

Eva’s Thoughts

Teddies come to life and Invade the town! When Vernon makes a bear, it ends up coming to life in this funny but spooky story. Suddenly an army of evil teddy bears is on the loose. Perfect for readers who enjoy a good scare, and just in time for Halloween, one of my favourite times of the year.

My favourite part is when Vernon & Lisa-Maries mum & dad are turned into a frog and a slug. Vernon & Lisa-Marie need to learn to stop arguing long enough to help battle the beastly teddy bears and save everyone. It’s a really great book that I really enjoyed reading.

Does this sound like the perfect Halloween read for your child?

The Secrets Tree – The Hounds Of Penhallow Hall

The Secrets Tree is the fourth book from The Hounds of Penhallow Hall series. Written by Holly Webb, illustrated by Jason Cockcroft & published by Stripes/ Little Tiger, this mysterious series is aimed at 8-10-year-olds. Eva was kindly sent a copy to review. You can buy paperback copies from Amazon for £5.99.

The Secrets Tree

The Secrets Tree

The Secrets Tree series is perfect for dog-lovers and anyone who desires some mystery and magic! Set in the atmospheric Cornish coastal setting, rich in history an legend…

Polly & rex are in search of a new ghost dog whilst celebrations are in full swing at the stately home. They come across a dog’s head carved in a door down the old stable block. They also wake a terrier called patch, only for him to run away. Polly & rex find him hiding in a hollow tree and find themselves on the trail of an even greater mystery. Inside the tree is a coded message! Can Polly & Rex unravel the mystery of the dog’s young master and his brother?

Eva’s Thoughts

Eva enjoyed reading The Secrets Tree but found it a rather quick read as she has become quite a bookworm! She really loved the story being based around dogs. As Eva has moved on to books such as the Harry Potter series recently, she likes a little more mystery. She thinks children who love mysteries will really enjoy the  Secrets Tree and it will encourage them to love reading mystery series like The Hounds of Penhallow Hall. Having read several books by Holly Webb now, Eva thinks she is a fantastic author and loves discovering some of the 100+ books HollWebb has written.

If you have a mystery-loving reader who also loves dogs then this book is definitely perfect. They will be sure to love the Hounds of Penahllow Hall series. 

Have you heard of the Hounds of Penhallow Hall series before?

Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack Join Gymnastics – Book Review

We received Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack Join Gymnastics (RRP £8.99) to review. Written by Gemma Coles, this colourful children’s book is inspired by relatable real life class experiences. Izzy loves showing off her ‘yoga’ so I knew she would love this book, Eva also has an interest in gymnastics. We sat down together to find out more about Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack when they joined gymnastics for the first time.

Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack Join Gymnastics

Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack Join Gymnastics

The illustrations by Anthony Charles are simple but effective and the girls found them really fun to look at as we read the story. Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack are superstar gymnastics but the book takes us back to their very first lesson. As most children are when starting a new class, Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack were very nervous.

Feeling Nervous

The other children quickly show their excitement at having new classmates and introduce themselves to Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack. As each child showed off their gymnastic skills Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack still Felt nervous. They soon joined in though with lots of encouragement from coach Gemma Gym. In no time at all they were having so much fun they both forgot to be nervous.

Having Fun

Bendy Wendy and Jumping Jack soon realise they have special talents of their own just like the rest of their new classmates. They become superstar gymnastics and love going to their gymnastic class each week and learning new skills.

Joining In

The girls really loved this story with its fun illustrations and cool gymnastics throughout. There are so many positive messages throughout the book and I love how encouraging it is for children. Whilst it is about gymnastics the same worries apply to all new situation for children and adults alike.

 

Head Over Heels About Gymnastics

Head over heels about gymnastics also offer a tutorial DVD or App and a book containing everything you need to know about developing a range of essential gymnastics skills. Head over to their website to find out more!

 

St Grizzle’s School For Girls, Goats And Random Boys – Book Review

St Grizzle’s school for girl, goats and random boys is written by Karen McCombie and Illustrated by Becka Moor. Published earlier this year by Stripes (An Imprint of Little Tiger Group) is available in paperback for £5.99. Perfect for children aged 7-9 years St Grizzle’s is a hilariously quirky book.

St Grizzle’s Series

St Grizzle's

Eva loves to read books that are funny and a bit quirky and she is currently loving books based around schools. I remember enjoying similar books at her age. We’ve been hunting out new series for her and we were sent St Grizzle’s school for girls, goats and random boys. The title caught Eva’s eye because it had such a silly name.

As soon as Eva had started reading she was giggling away. The main character, Dani is packed off to a strict girls boarding school while her mum heads off to the Antarctic to study penguins bums! St Grizelda’s school for girls turns out to have had a drastic change of teaching style. Dani and her mum realise the school is in chaos with no rules, craziness and a goat!?

Dani feels homesick but has to wait for her mum to make alternative arrangements. Whilst she waits the madness begins to warm Dani’s heart. The quirky characters throughout the story kept giggling throughout the story. She loved Dani and after reading the teaser for the second book in the series she couldn’t wait to read more! She loved the illustrations throughout the book making sure to show me each one. Luckily I have a copy of the second book St Grizzle’s school for girls, ghosts and runaway grannies for her to review next week. Check back to see what Eva thinks of the next book and to find out more yourself!

Do you know a child that would love this book too?

Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide

Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide by Emma Yarlett is another fabulous book published by Little Tiger. A fantastic book for children aged 3-6 years. Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide is a gorgeous hardback for £12.99. We received a copy from Little Tiger to review and I knew from the second I opened it we would thoroughly enjoy it! Who doesn’t love Monsters and Dinosaurs?? (We’re still a little unsure about the Dino Doo-Doo Nibbles though!)

Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide

Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide

Nibbles the book monster managed to escape from his first book back in 2016 and now he’s back munching his way through The Dinosaur Guide! Fantastically written and illustrated by award winning author and illustrator Emma Yarlett this excellent book is full of excitement.

Nibbles: The Dinosaur Guide

Nibbles, a wild book monster finds his way into The Dinosaur Guide! A book munching, mischief making monster, Nibbles needs to be returned to his cage. The Dinosaur Guide is full of fantastic information about different species of dangerous dinosaurs.

Somehow Nibbles keeps escaping whilst causing havoc, munching his way through dangerous dinosaurs throughout the book. He just about manages to nibble his way away from the terrible Triceratops, Diplodocuses and Velociraptors! Nibbles then faces the most dangerous of all, the terrifying Tyrannosaurus Rex!!

This book is hilarious and so much fun to read! We loved the nibbles on the corners of the pages and holes through the pages. The book is full of fun flaps to lift too. This is such an interactive story which kept Izzy’s attention throughout. Nibbles destroys chunks of the pages but there are still plenty of dinosaur facts to learn too!

I would definitely recommend this book, it is such a cheeky, funny, colourful picture book. It is bound to capture the attention of any child. Even older children will enjoy it, Eva(7) loved it as there are several amusing jokes throughout the story.

 

 

Stomp School Book Review

We received a copy of Stomp School from Little Tiger Books written by Jeff Norton and pictures by Leo Antolini. The front cover is colourful and full of fun looking Monsters ready to stomp. Aimed at toddlers this fantastic book is all about creativity and destruction, 2 things toddlers LOVE!

Stomp School

Stomp School

Rikki, a little Kaiju (Japanese for a strange breast) is determined to build biggest, best city ever. He couldn’t wait to show his daddy but baby brother Torik wants to play too. Poor Rikki couldn’t stop Torik from stomping, crushing and smashing the city to pieces. Which of course Izzy found hilarious, what little monster wouldn’t?

Stomp, crush, smash

 

When Rikki gets upset and Stomps his dad decides it’s time for Stomp school, where little monsters go when your favourite monsters go to work. The first day at Stomp school starts and Rikki just wants to go home and build. Instead he stays and builds with Miss Bronte the whole class, ALL day!

They all work hard to build the biggest, best city ever… then of course everyone decides it’s to stomp, crush and smash it.

Smash

Poor Rikki is sad he still doesn’t get to show his daddy the biggest, best city ever and stomps himself. Miss Bronte tells Rikki it’s time to paint what they had built before stomping. Rikki paints his biggest, best city ever to show his daddy.

 

Rikki

Relieved to be able to show his daddy his hard work Rikki joins in having lots of fun, stomping, smashing and crushing the city to pieces. He proudly shows his daddy at the end of the day and heads home looking forward to returning the next day.

 

Our thoughts

We love Stomp School as it is such a fun book with a relatable story. Eva read with us and mentioned she feels like Rikki sometimes. Izzy is Torik as she smashes Eva’s creations down. She also saw the funny side and decided next time Izzy smashes down her tower she will join in and enjoy the stomping and smashing too! Izzy just loved the idea of stomping and smashing things.

With fun peek-through holes and flaps to lift this is a really fun story to read and stomp to together! Stomp school is available now from Little Tiger Press Books for £6.99. A great addition to any little ones bookshelf.

Looking for new books for your toddler? Check out our review of 10,9,8 Owls Up Late by Little Tiger Press too.

Jungle Jam In Brazil Review & Giveaway

Jungle Jam in Brazil is an inspiring music based story where Mikey the monkey and his friends take a trip to Brazil! You may remember our review of Jungle Jam from last year when Eva also braved the camera for the first time to give her thoughts too! Jungle Jam in Brazil is the second book in the Jungle Jam series. We received copy to review and have a copy to give away too!

Jungle Jam in Brazil

Jungle Jam in Brazil

Mikey the monkey and his friends go on an exciting adventure in the second book by Noam & Louise Ledermen – Jungle Jam in Brazil. They head to Brazil to play huge show trying new things along the way.

Gina the giraffe is anxious about her trip & trying new things. Each time Gina the giraffe gets nervous her friends help her through. As someone who suffers from anxiety I found the storyline quite comforting. I’m certain any children with anxiety will find the story helpful and uplifting. I know I’ve been anxious about the same things as Gina before.

Gina the giraffe is anxious

It can be scary going on a plane to a new country, trying new food, doing new things & performing in front of an audience. With friends by your side it can be much easier to do & try new things though. Gina is encourage by her friends which helps ease her fears.

Jungle Jam in Brazil is a fabulous book for children. With bright colours & rhyming sentences Jungle Jam in Brazil is sure to bring a smile to any child’s face! Jungle Jam had a fun activity in the back for children and Jungle Jam in Brazil has one too!

Activity page

Fancy winning a copy for your little one? Enter the competition below to win a copy of Jungle Jam in Brazil!*



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*The Winners email address will be passed on to the publisher to arrange delivery.