Monday, 12 February 2018


Author: Joseph Bruchac
ISBN: 9780152064556

Hi Everyone

We are back into our school year here now and my students are off to a great start.  The enthusiasm is great to see, and I am pleased to have them all back on board.  To start the year off I read Sacajawea before assigning it to one of my own kids.  Yes, I still assign books to my kids to read; especially when I have enjoyed one that I think they will enjoy.  This book comes from the Sonlight Curriculum which uses novels as text books.

Sacajawea, by Joseph Bruchac, is one of those books that happened to surprised me.  I was expecting a book all about Sacajawea.... in your face writing about Sacajawea.  Even the cover gives that impression.  I was wrong in such thinking!  Don't judge this book by the cover it gives it no justice.

I felt like I was sitting around a camp fire with William Clark and a child, then in the alternating chapters in a tent watching Sacajawea about her tasks as she talks to the child.  It was an interesting voice to be reading and relating to.  It took me far beyond the story of Sacajawea and into the history of all the participants of the events.  There were highs and lows; freedom, capture, and return to freedom; a balance of good and bad.  The plot was well put together and the characters captured me amongst their stories.

Overall I give this little book a very high rating.  I really enjoyed it.  Maybe that is because it was beyond what I expected, or maybe it was a genuine good read.  I think it was a genuine good read but you read it as see what you think.  Leave me a comment if you have read it and recommend it to other young readers too.


Discover the expedition that put Lewis and Clark on the map, and the remarkable woman who made it possible.

At just seventeen years old, Sacajawea had already been kidnapped, gambled away to a french trader who wanted her for his wife, and was pregnant with her first child.  But her greatest challenge was about to begin.  As Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark started their journey to forge a path from the Mississippi River tot he Pacific Ocean, Sacajawea served as their guide, translator, and peacemaker.  Join these intrepid explorers as they establish trade with Native Americans; navigate uncharted territory; battle wild animals, warrior tribes, and disease; and live to tell the tale.

In alternating chapters told in Captain William Clark's and Sacajawea's voices, with authentic excerpts from Clark's journals, this is the true story of the legendary young woman whose wisdom beyond her years, bold spirit, and bravery made the historic expedition a triumphant success.

This was available from: Sonlight CurriculumAmazonBook depository and Fishpond

Happy reading

Friday, 9 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 6

Hi Everyone,

We did it!  This is the last stanza of Desiderata.  What a beautiful, thought provoking poem. I am pleased I have taken the time to think about each stanza, day by day.  

Now, I leave you with this last work of art.  Be cheerful.  It isn't always easy, life brings it's ups and downs to the table every day.  But at least we can a least try to be a little cheerful each day, after all it is sometimes contagious.

Happy reading

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 5

Hi Everyone

What are you being hard on yourself for?  Chill out and let the world unfold around you for just a minute or two.  It may just clear your mind enough to get you through.

We have one more day to go and we have completed Desiderarta!

Happy reading

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 4

Hi Everyone,

We are working our way through this terrific piece of literature now.  Part 4, only a couple more days to go.  What do you get from this stanza?  There is quite a bit to think about in this stanza.  One thing that I think we could all take on board from time to time is our imaginings.  How often do we worry about things which never end up happening?  Come on, we all worry far to much!

So relax today, maybe grab a book πŸ˜€

Happy reading

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 3

Hi Everyone,

Part 3 of Desiderata we are half way.  

Okay leave me a comment below about what you get from today's stanza.  The main thing that jumps out for me is being not blind to the virtue around you.  My mother always taught me there was something good to see in everyone and everything, sometimes you just had to look hard to find it.  She was a beautiful woman with a beautiful heart and this is one message I remember her always enforcing.  So, if you can't find anything special in today's stanza take away my mothers advice and find something good in someone or something today - even if you have to look hard to find it.

Happy reading

Monday, 5 February 2018

Deiderata - Part 2

Hi Everyone

Today we have Stanza 2 of Desiderata.  How easy it is to compare oneself to another, even as children.  I often hear children comparing themselves with the achievements of others in their classes and activities.  What age do we start the comparison trap?  What age do we intend to end the comparison trap?

Happy reading

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Desiderata - Part 1

Hi Everyone,

I thought it was about time to bring you another poem and while looking through one of my favourite poetry resources, Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorisation by Andrew Pedewa, I found the Desiderata.  I have heard of this before but never looked at it.  I am quite impressed by this piece of poetry but it is quite long. 

So, I thought we could have a stanza a day that way we can ponder the words as they still have as much meaning as they did back in 1927 when it was originally written by Max Ehrmann.

I have also noticed that I haven't told you about the resource, Linguistic Development through Poetry Memorisation, so I will give you a review of that after I have finished bringing you Desiderata πŸ˜€

I leave you now to ponder the words in stanza 1 and wish you all a brilliant day.

Happy reading

Monday, 29 January 2018

Booktuber of the month

Hi Everyone,

I am amazed at how quick January always moves by here.  We have Christmas, New year, school holidays (our summer break) and planning for 2018.  This year we have seen the most beautiful summer in... forever.  Yes, I seriously mean that.  We have had one of the best summers on record.

Anyway, to this this months Booktuber...

I have been scanning through some of the Booktubers who take the time to review children's books too.  There are plenty of Booktubers who review the latest books, especially young adult genre books.  But what about children's books, after all it is children that I teach and I have to say I really enjoy children's literature.

On my travels through the world of Booktubers I have come across Words of a reader and really like her channel.  She seems honest and genuine.  I say this because in this book haul she has even included a Little Golden Library Book.  I smiled with the memory of my Little Golden Library Books.  I still have many of them in my tutoring room and the kids still enjoy reading them - after all these years!

Click any one of the above links and you will be transported over to her Youtube channel.  Do take the time to look in on what she is reviewing, she has quite a wide range of reading.  I like the reviewers who keep their content wide, after all the whole family reads.  I have subscribed to her channel so I can keep checking in on what she has to show us.

Happy reading

Sunday, 28 January 2018


Author: Eleanor H. Porter
ISBN: 978-0786181407

Hi Everyone,

Oh my goodness!  I love this little Gem.

I loved the movie as a child.   I still enjoy the movie.  But the book is the best!

I was impressed by the characters in when compared to the movie.  Most were the same and as I have watched the movie a few times now I was able to almost hear their voices πŸ™…  The only thing that I found different was the way in which Pollyanna loses the ability to walk.  There is no sneaking out to a fair and then falling while climbing back in the window in the novel.  I actually like the novels idea better it kept Pollyanna good, sweet, and innocent in comparison to sneaking out of the house.  Other than that most of the book was the same.  I wonder why movies so regularly take away the innocence of a novel?  I found Pollyanna just a treasure in character and plot, there was no real need to change her/it for a movie... in my opinion anyway.  But, I still love the movie none the less.

Overall, I am so pleased I read this.  I should have read it years ago 😊


"Oh, Aunt Polly, I don't know how to be glad enough that you let me come to live with you!" As soon as the orphaned Pollyanna arrives in Beldingsville to live with her strict and dutiful maiden aunt, she begins to brighten up everybody's life. The sick, the lonely, and the just plain miserable all fall under her spell and are transformed--until one day something so terrible happens that even Pollyanna doesn't know how to feel glad any more. First published in 1913, the tale of Pollyanna and the "glad game," the game of finding a silver lining in every cloud, is one of the most popular and enduring children's stories of all time.

Description from:

This was available from: Amazon

Happy reading

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Today's quote

136 years ago it was different than today 
for the women of the world

Hi Everyone,

Google tells me today is Virginia Woolf's 136th birthday!  Born in 1882...that seems like so long ago and yet her books are still read today.  Isn't that just amazing.

Virginia Woolf was famous for her writing and was also in many movies.  Take a look over at her Wikipedia page, here is the Link.

I read and studied her novel, To the Light House.  I notice it is one which I never reviewed for you.  That may be because I found it quite a 'different' sort of read.  I can remember reading and re-reading trying to get a grasp of what we were studying at the time.  Maybe I should go back a re-read it again, but this time for pleasure.

If you have read To the Light House and enjoyed it, leave me a comment.  If I get inspire by you all I will pick it back up again, and this time review it.

Happy reading

Friday, 19 January 2018

Hollow city

Hollow City
Author: Ranson Riggs

Hi Everyone,

I really enjoyed the first book, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and I have now finished Hollow City which is the second book in this trilogy.  I kind of cheated and listened to this one, but I am so pleased I did.  The audio was fantastic.

The narration of this audio made the book was just perfect for bringing alive the characters.  I would have done this in my own little mind, but in this case I think the audio did a better job than I would have.  I give credit to the presentation of the audio version which I purchased through Kindle as an add on to the book.

Now to the plot.  Also fantastic!  I have enjoyed both books and where the author is taking me is unstoppable.  I have to read the next one too, I can't be left stranded now.

The presentation is also something that gives this trilogy life.  The characters are very unusual but the pictures, which look like photographs, enable the reader to envision the characters the way he has.  Very clever!  And as for these peculiar little kids I am impressed by the imagination behind the creation of each one.  They all fit into the plot in their own unique way.

Overall, a series I am pleased I didn't disregard, like I was tempted to when I first came across it.  I have enjoyed this book even more than the first, and the movie.


This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises. Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerizing) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

Description taken from:

This was available from: Book depositoryAmazon and Fishpond

Happy reading

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2)

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The fellowship of the ring

The Fellowship of the Ring
Author: J. R. R. Tolkien
ISBN: 978-0-261-10235-4

Lord of the Rings Part 1

Hi Everyone

I have finally finished The Fellowship of the Ring.  Like any classic, it has a lot of depth to the plot, characters, and world building.  I often felt like I was reading and reading but going nowhere, only to be suddenly taken by world and characters again as I travelled through he pages with Frodo and his hobbit friends.

The world which J. R. R. Tolkien develops, is the captivating asset of this novel.  The story is about a hobbits journey as he tries to destroy the ruling ring of power but I found the world being developed around him, as the author started the hobbits journey that proceeds in the next two novels, intrigued me more than the plot.  I have watched the movies and I can't help but watch the world behind those either.

I loved the characters.  It all started with The Hobbit... I could read about the little hobbits and never grow tired.  I thought the dark riders were a little dull.  In the movies they seemed to be much more lively, dark, and scary.  I didn't find this matched up with my imagination while reading the novel.  I  often find it interesting that 10 people can read a book and all get a different vision.  We all watch the same movie on screen but not so in our heads while reading.  This was the case for me when it came to envisioning the hobbits, dark riders and wizards.  My head just didn't go the depths of character creation which the movies did.  So, if you read this and envision the characters different from the movies, leave me a comment I would love to hear how you imagined them.

Overall, a good read.  A long read!  But a good solid classical novel.  Just like any classic I have picked, they far out weigh the language, structure and style of today's books and I had to keep reading till the end to get a fill grasp of the plot. I have the next two books here to read, but I will take a break from the Middle-earth for a while and read some of the lighter books awaiting my eyes.


In the sleepy village in the Shire, a young hobbit is entrusted with an immense task.  He must make a perilous journey across Middle-earth tot he cracks of doom, there to destroy the Ruling Ring of Power - the only thing that prevents the Dark Lord's evil domination.

Thus begins J. R. R Tolkien's classic tale, which continues in The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

This was available from: Amazon, Book depository and Fishpond

Happy reading

Monday, 8 January 2018

Traitor - The case of Benedict Arnold

Traitor - The Case of Benedict Arnold
Author: Jean Fritz
ISBN: 978-0-698-11553-8

Traitor: the Case of Benedict Arnold

Hi Everyone,

I have had a fantastic Christmas break and holiday!  I have biked, walked, and read my way through the last 10 days and it was just brilliant.  So, there will be a few updates coming your way as I take in all that I have been reading.

I finished this just before I headed away on my summer break.  It is part of the Sonlight Curriculum program which I am always impressed with.  So when I picked this one from the list awaiting my reading, I was a little sceptical.  

What was that come, did I over come my scepticism?

Actually, by the end I did.  It started off good and my boy quickly wanted more.  I got half way through and got a little stuck on the length of history; my son didn't he was still enjoying it.  Well, some people's history is not shortπŸ˜ƒ and it doesn't read like Benedict Arnold left his mark on history over night.  In fact it reads like quite the opposite.  He wanted fame and acknowledgement but never got it to the degree that he demanded.  There was actually a few places that I agree with him, he was short changed a little.  That was until he crossed over and went to the side of treason instead.

It was actually quite good to read this side of history.

What I do like most about the Sonlight Curriculum is that they base learning around 'living books', that is novels not text books.  This is where I struggle a little with Jean Fritz writing, this book included.  From time to time I felt like I was reading a text book.  But... It did just remain on the novel side.  Jean Fritz seems to writes in depth history novels for kids/young adults, and I have to give credit to the author because although it did seem a little text booky, my son loved it!  Jean Fritz writes for kids/young adults, and accomplishes good results with that audience, this book included (in our house anyway).


Benedict Arnold always carried things too far.  As a boy he did crazy thing like climbing atop a burning roof and picking a fight with the town constable.  As a soldier, her was even more reckless.  He was obsessed with being a leader and the hero in every battle, and he never wanted to surrender.  He even killed his own horse once rather than give it to the enemy.

Where did the extremism lead Arnold?  To treason.

This was available from: Amazon

Happy reading

Friday, 22 December 2017

Let's eat

Let's Eat
Author: Nadia Lim
ISBN: 978-0-47340-018-7

Hi Everyone

Here is my latest recipe book investment and it hasn't taken me long to fall in love with it.  


This books ticks the boxes in many ways in our house...
  • It's full of healthy recipes.  Okay there are a few that aren't 100% good for you but we all need a little of these treats especially with Christmas about here. But over all there are 100+ recipes and most are on the healthy side.
  • Allergy awareness.  Most recipes have DF (Dairy free)/GF (gluten free) stated on each page.  But to add to my happiness they have substitutes for each where possible.
  • The pictures!  I am a picture girl.  My recipe collection must all contain pictures and if possible a picture for every recipes.  Box ticked πŸ˜€
  • Hard cover - perfect. 
  • No dust cover - these just annoy me they end up tattered
  • Ribbon - some one should create their recipe book with more than one ribbon because we all need to highlight several recipes sometimes 😏
Oh yes...  the recipes I have tried so far, especially the bountiful bars, are delicious!

So, do you still have a present to get someone?  You don't have much time left 😢 I recommend this one for anyone who can never have too many recipe books.


Here are over 100 favourite recipes that I cook over and over again for friends and family, including everyday healthy meals and more indulgent 'special occasion' dishes.  You're guaranteed plenty of happy cooking and eating with the likes of pumpkin pie pancakes, my Malaysian chicken rendang, comforting meatball and chicken bakes, jelly-tipped ice creams, plum and white chocolate short cake, delicious, colourful salads and healthier baking.  There are no fancy, hard-to-find ingredients or tricky techniques, just recipes that will make you proud as punch when you bring them to the table.  All the recipes have nutritional analyses and there are lots of gluten-free and dairy-free options.  Enough said, now lets eat!

This was available from:  Whitcoulls, Paperplus, Fishpond and Book depository

Happy reading

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Today's quote

This quote is special in many ways because I believe every child blooms in their own time, when given someone who encourages them and believes they can along side them.

Happy reading

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Twenty-five December Lane

Twenty-five December Lane
Author: Helen ward
Illustrated by: Wayne Anderson
Narrated by Imelda Stauton
ISBN: 978-1-84011-684-7

Twenty-Five December Lane

Hi Everyone

Here is a precious little Christmas book for you to read to any little person.  Actually you can put on the audio CD and listen along with them.  

I've read this book with my students and we have all enjoyed it.  Now I have just listened to the Audio CD, so I could give an honest opinion, and I am impressed!  It is so well read and the music is just perfect, I was transformed into the story.  I think I have just been shopping at 25 December Lane.

What I like the most about this book is the words.  I love good words!  I love poetry especially when the words entice me.  This book isn't a piece of poetic rhyme but it is a piece of play with words that I find genius.  Often children's books come with basic vocabulary and it can make them a little dull to read; easy but dull.  The language in Twenty-five December Lane is descriptive and tantalising to the tongue and ear. I was able to see, hear, and feel every page in the book by the vocab.  

Here is a page from the story:

The toys continued to roll and
scuttle into the enormous sack.  
They rattled and pinged
and squeaked and whistled
until the floor, and ceiling,
the long, long counter and every self
was cleared into the bulging sack
as if by magic.
The girl looked on in dismay.
"Oh please," she said,
"Not that one..."

Overall, I have enjoyed every bit of this book.... The story, illustrations, language and the CD narration.  It is a complete package of joy.


It was the strangest shop she had ever seen, and she couldn't recall having seen it before.  As she pushed open the narrow door, a bell on a spring rang. A little breath of Christmas slipped past her, and into December Lane and up to the dark grey clouds...

This was available from: Book depositoryAmazon, and Fishpond

Happy reading

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Priscilla and the great Santa Search

Priscilla and the Great Santa Search
Author: Nathaniel Hobbie
Illustrated by Jocelyn Hobbie
ISBN: 978-0-316-08347-8

Priscilla and the Great Santa Search
Hi Everyone

I went to library to see what I could pick up for reading with my students and I came home with a couple of great little books.  I have to comment that there were not a lot of books at the library which had story that didn't revolve around shopping, presents, and Santa.... Interesting. 

One that I did bring home had the most fantastic illustrations. We spent more time picking things out of the pictures than reading the book πŸ˜€.  But the story was also very well done.  The most distinguishable aspect I liked about the writing of this story, was the rhyme.  Four lines to each and a rhyme pattern that stood out and made it a great teaching point.  The first two lines rhymed, then the last two lines rhymed.  Above all though, the story remained interesting; a very clever piece of literature.

Although this will appeal to girls and boys, it is very girly and of course me being a girl I loved it.  I laughed at the pictures and enjoyed the plot right to the final page. 

So, I think you really should look at some of the pictures to see what I am talking about:


See, aren't they just brilliant!
I smiled the whole way through.

There we go the start of my Christmas reading and I know they are children's books, but that is what Christmas is for! Reading to children!  Enjoying a good book, especially one you can smile through, and just spending time together.


When Priscilla and her best friend Bettina eagerly join the other holiday shoppers to see Santa at the mall, they realize they are looking at not one, but several fake Santas! The girls are inspired to head to the North Pole in search of the real Santa Claus.

Will the Fifty-Year-Storm keep this curious duo's biggest holiday wish from coming true? Priscilla and the Great Santa Search captures all the magic of Christmastime and the spirit of a child's fascination with the almighty Santa Claus.     
Taken from: Amazon

This was available from: AmazonBook depository and Fishpond

Happy reading

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Today's quote

Hi Everyone

It is getting closer and closer to Christmas, and at times we can get busy running around the circle instead of looking to the middle of it and knowing where to sit in a hard to find quiet space.  I have found through the past few years of the 'ultra busy' time in my life, that without finding that quiet space things fell apart - and that's not always pretty 😁.  So, as we approach this Christmas, I recommend you stop in the middle and ask the why's of what you are doing.  A simple question to ask, but without knowing your 'why' it is much harder to reach your ultimate goals.

There you go my little thought for the day to go with my favourite poet's quote.  I think Robert Frost will remain my favourite poet for a long time yet, as his poems and quotes always make me think beyond his written words.

Happy reading