Book Club

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Book Review: Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen

Water For Elephants 

by Sara Gruen

When I read the first page in Water for Elephants I felt the magic waiting to be read. I must admit that I always read the books before a movie, however this time I done it the other way round and I was so intrigued by the movie I just had to get the book. As all book lovers know, the book is way better than the movie with it having so much more detail and other bits going on that aren't made into the movie.

The book opens with a forgotten and alone old man living in a nursing home. This man is Jacob Jankowski. He begins to tell his story on how he became part of the most spectacular show on earth. Jacob Jankowski jumped a train when his life became nothing at just the age of twenty-three, but it turned out to be not your average train, but the train of The Benzini Brothers in the Depression-era America.

Jacob has kept his circus secret for seventy years and finally wants to get it off his chest. He tells of a beautiful woman he falls in love with, the grafters, freaks and a heroine who weighs 2500 pounds. But not everything about the circus life is magical which Jacob Jankowski soon discovers, and a lot of twist and turns come to light.

This is a must read book for anyone who likes an adventure, loves animals and wants a love story.

Written by Kara (@about_a_book_x)

To buy the book click here


Book Review: Mum by Morty Sey & Scott Chegg


by Morty Sey & Scott Chegg 

Mum is a fast-paced rhyming book perfectly describing the absolute chaos of the school run. My children enjoyed the familiarity and really appreciated the humour of the mum trying to coax the children into getting ready in the morning yet everything going horribly wrong.

The story has a well thought out hidden message about taking the time to listen to others which concludes with a twist at the end that my children really weren't expecting.

This made the book a wonderful change from the predictable bedtime stories that we usually read.

The colours and illustrations in the book are unusually quirky. In particular, the mum’s birds nest hair had my boys giggling.

This is a cleverly written and wonderfully different book that both children and adults will find appealing, it will definitely be a firm favourite on the children’s bookshelf. 

Written by Jennine (@sugarmousemama

To buy the book click here. 


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Book Review: The Colour Monster

The Colour Monster 

By Anna LLenas 

Published by Templar

This lovely pop up book was a gift from my Daughter's (ungodly) Godmother for her second Birthday. It was a fantastic choice as my Daughter instantly loved the pop up images. I did have to reign her back a little from tearing them apart, but I believe there is a regular version available without the pop ups available.

The book tells the story of the Colour Monster, who's feelings are all mixed up. It goes on to help him explain what his feelings feel like, and which colours represent them. it's an incredibly simple, but effective way of introducing young Children to emotional intelligence. 

I was really quite amazed by the impact it had on my Daughter, at only just two, she became able to vocalise feelings like scared and sad, and also recognise them in others. I also used some of the parts of the story when she was having tantrums, such as 'lets try and be like the calm monster ahhh', which incredibly, sometimes really got through to her. 

At one point she was requesting the book to be read multiple times a day, which is always the sign of a win. I really would recommend this book, both as a gift, or for your own Children. it is suitable for a wide age range. from toddlers just beginning to grasp emotions, to older Kids. It opens up topics of conversation and introduces complex ideas is a manageable format.

Even as an Adult, I can really gain from reading this book with her. Concepts such as needing all the emotions to become a whole, and recognising fear being something we overcome together etc, were really helpful to me.

As you can tell I love the message of the Colour Monster, and it's a welcome addition to our little Library.

Review by Jo @intrepidbebe

To buy click here.


Review: Apple Tree Yard

Apple Tree Yard 

By Louise Doughty

Basically the story is about Yvonne Carmichael (who is the narrator) she has the 'perfect' but boring life. Married, lives in A detached house at the End of a suburban cul-de-sac, two children, two cars, two good careers kind of life. She randomly meets a bloke (who is fishy AF by the way) and has a slightly sordid affair; lots of sex in public and not a lot else. Then something tragic happens and her whole life is ruined. It's all very BBC drama (I am fully aware this was on the BBC and I can totally see why)

The story it's self is good, I knew this idyllic life was going to be ruined, I knew the unnamed lover was not to be trusted, I wanted to see the demise of the narrator. However I didn't like the narrator. I found her very 2D and a massive cliché that has been over done in the media and literature.  Doughty has tried to add depth: her son, who she loves very much has bipolar, her husband had an affair, she is pissed because she had to work harder raising two kids and doing her PhD, but I feel it's all just mentioned in passing. 

The worst bit is that ending is totally flat! The court case builds, there is moments of suspense but her life never fully falls apart. Everything that happened to her in the story is truly traumatic, but she sounds like a smug middle aged lady warbling on about her lover. 

I feel I am being unfair, I enjoyed the book a lot. The story is great, there are quite a few shocks; I constantly felt like 'how is this all going to go so bad' and there are real moments that highlight how skewed the legal system is against rape victims (there is a couple of paragraphs that left me feeling sick). I just have no feelings toward Yvonne Carmichael. But then maybe that's the point, she is a scientist maybe she is meant to be a very clinical person? I would love to know what other people thought maybe I'm just being hard on the woman! 

Review by Amy @kittyandpip

Buy the book here.

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