Tag Archives: books

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson

When fellow blogger Isabella from Notting Hill Yummy Mummy contacted me to ask if I would like to review her debut novel featuring a mummy blogger, I immediately said yes.

The Beta Mum, Adventures in Alpha Land by Isabella Davidson

Here is the book blurb.

When Sophie Bennett moves from a quiet sleepy suburb of Toronto to glitzy west London, she doesn’t know where she has landed: Venus or Mars. Her three-year-old daughter Kaya attends Cherry Blossoms, the most exclusive nursery in London, where Sophie finds herself adrift in a sea of Alpha Mums. These mothers are glamorous, gorgeous, competitive and super rich, especially Kelly, the blonde, beautiful and bitchy class rep.

Struggling to fit in and feeling increasingly isolated, Sophie starts ‘The Beta Mum’, an anonymous blog describing her struggles with the Alpha Mums. But when her blog goes viral, she risks ruining everything for herself and her daughter. How long will it be until they discover her true identity? Is her marriage strong enough to survive one of her follower’s advances? And will she ever fit in with the Alpha Mums?

Sophie, Michael and 3 year old Kaya relocate from Canada to London when Michael is offered a new job. Nursery consultant Edward helps them secure a place for Kaya at exclusive Cherry Blossoms nursery. But shy Sophie feels very isolated away from family and best friend Emma.

So first day of term sees Sophie and Kaya encountering a crowd of beautiful stylish yummy mummies waiting at the nursery gate. Sophie even recognises faces from magazine covers. Sophie plucks up the courage to introduce herself to one of the mums, Kelly but she is totally ignored.

A few weeks on and still Sophie hasn’t managed more than a quick hello with any of the other mums. And Kaya isn’t settling in well either. The nursery assistant suggests that Sophie organise a playdate. When Sophie tells Emma how she is struggling to fit in, Emma suggests that Sophie write a blog about it. And that is how Sophie started her blog The Beta Mum, all about her adventures in Alpha Land. She gets 28 views and a comment on her first post and is hooked on blogging. She keeps all her posts anonymous, but one night accidentally mentions Cherry Blossoms in her post. Her blog goes viral. Will Sophie be able to keep her identity secret from all the Alpha Mums? And who is Cyberdad – a Cherry Blossoms father who read her blog and is now frequently emailing her?

The Beta Mum is available on Amazon, currently priced at £9.99 in paperback or £3.99 in Kindle format. I loved this book and could so relate to the storyline. I do hope that there will be a follow-up to The Beta Mum, but in the meantime, do check out some of the posts on Notting Hill Yummy Mummy.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I have received a free advance PDF copy of the book “The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice” by Katarina West  to review. I was looking forward to this, having read Katarina’s previous novel “Absolute Truth For Beginners” back in 2015. To find out more about the author you may visit her website or blog.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

Here is the book blurb.

Meet Irene Nylander, a frumpy housewife from Finland… and a yo-yo dieter. She feels trapped in an unhappy marriage, looking after her domineering mother-in-law and living vicariously through romantic movies.

Meanwhile, in Florence, Mimi Kavanough’s star is rising. She has the body of a Barbie princess, the iron will of an army sergeant – and Hollywood in her sights.

On her fiftieth birthday, Irene discovers her husband is having an affair. Devastated, she prays for a way out: she wants to die.

In heaven, a mischievous angel called Aaron hears her prayers. He decides to make Irene and Mimi swap bodies.

How will the two women cope with their unexpected, and very different, second lives? And will Aaron’s meddling get him evicted from heaven?
What will happen if he has to transform into a human being and live on Earth?

This book is set over the course of a fortnight commencing 23 June. It starts with Irene heading to Helsinki for a night out to celebrate her 50th birthday with her best friend Saara after more rudeness from her mother-in-law Horrible Harriet. But Saara doesn’t show, giving an excuse about working late. Irene decides to go to the restaurant alone, but then she spots her husband Henrik, who is supposedly on business in Stockholm. Instead he is having a cosy intimate meal with Saara. Irene rushes out and back to her car, just praying to die, as her life is so unhappy.

Meanwhile up in Little Heaven, prankster punk angel Aaron has already caused havoc that day by pretending he spotted a demon. Now he realises Irene needs help and he says Jump as her car is just about to crash.

At the same time, Hollywood star and model Mimi is enjoying herself on a yacht near the Italian island of Monte Cristo when she hears a voice in her head saying Jump. It makes perfect sense to her, as she jumps into the sea.

And just like that Irene and Mimi swap bodies. But what will happen to Aaron, since angels are not permitted to meddle with humans like that. And how will Irene and Mimi get on in their new lives? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

This book is available on Amazon and is currently 99p in Kindle format. I loved this book with its mixture of fantasy and chick-lit. It is the first story in the Angel Aid series, so I’m really looking forward to book 2.

And the author is hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway 10 Amazon Kindle copies of The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice. Open worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice by Katarina West

I’m participating in the book tour and you may like to check out some of the other blog stops on the tour.

13 June, Tuesday

Rocksprings Crafts

14 June, Wednesday

The Cosy Dragon

Creative Misfit

15 June, Thursday

Hall Ways

The Writing Desk

16 June, Friday

Joyful Antidotes

Mademoiselle Women

17 June, Saturday

Linda’s Book Bag

18 June, Sunday

Novel Gossip

19 June, Monday

Yet another blogging mummy!!!

20 June, Tuesday

Sarah Smiles

Leila’s Bookshelf

Kraftireader

22 June, Thursday

Hello Booklover

Katarina West

You can find Katarina West on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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The Embers of Enchantment by S D Davieson – book 2

Regular readers of my blog may remember that when son1 reviewed the first book in The Embers of Enchantment series in April, I mentioned that we had also received a free copy of the second book. My son has now read this too.

The Embers of Enchantment by S D Davieson

Here is the book blurb.

Darkness has awoken once again within the shadows. Three unlikely Welsh teenagers and a young dragon fall mysteriously into each other’s lives as destiny is forced to intervene. Dylan and Heulwen discover they have abilities not heard of in centuries. Emyr now has his own personal demon to battle. Seren falls, literally into Dylan’s, Heulwen’s and Emyr’s lives.

Will the legendary prophecy of The Chosen Five come to pass?

We can all only hope.

Without them, creatures of darkness will have the power to destroy us all!

The Embers of Enchantment by S D Davieson

This is what son1 had to say.

This is the sequel of EMBERS OF ENCHANTMENT. I rated it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It is another good book where Lizzie-Ann discovers the chosen 5:
Dylan, Heulwen, Seren, Emyr and Emyr’s unhatched dragon egg 🐲

Come and get it now 🎁

Once again he has kept it brief, so I’ll add some more details. The first chapter begins with a recap of the last chapter of book 1, but continues to reveal Emyr discovering that his mother was a black witch. Dylan and Heulwen experience a weird mental connection and transfer on the way to see Emyr, that hasn’t been heard of in centuries. They then all become friends with Seren and have another strange magical experience with orbs of light. Heulwen senses danger with regards to a stranger but Seren protects them with a spell. Emyr hating magic, runs off. The others then head to Lizzie Ann’s cottage but are chased by something menacing. Lizzie Ann reveals that they are part of the chosen 5 and conjures up more magical orbs of light which seek out the 5, the 5th being Emyr’s unhatched dragon egg. The next day they commence their magical training with Lizzie-Ann beginning by entering a stone circle and vanishing in thin air.

To be continued. I’m eager to read more, but parts III and IV haven’t been published yet.

The Embers of Enchantment Destinies Entwined Part 2 is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. Both son1 and I enjoyed this book.

And to find out more about the author you may visit his website.

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MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter plus giveaway

I have received a free e-copy of the children’s book Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Martha the Blue Sheep by Gabrielle Yetter

Here is the book blurb.

When an accident made Martha’s coat blue, her world turned upside down. She was no longer like the rest of the flock. She stood out and she didn’t like it. She wanted to fit in. But a series of surprising events and the help of an unexpected friend showed Martha that being different could be a blessing, not a curse. Martha, The Blue Sheep is a story about acceptance, tolerance and diversity. It’s a charming story to inspire children not to be just one of the flock, but to celebrate being an individual who brings richness and colour to the world.

My mum had a phrase she used to quote at me as a child when I just wanted to do what other children were doing. I was embarrassed about the idea of being different from the crowd. She would say “All we like sheep” and this story follows that theme.

Martha had been born a white sheep but an accident with a paint pot resulted in her becoming blue. Being shy, she was unhappy to stand out from the flock like this. So she often hid and got quite lonely. Whilst hiding, she heard whimpering and rescued a baby wolf from the path of a tractor. The father wolf was very grateful and uses Martha’s blue coat as a distinguishing feature to tell the other wolves to keep away from attacking Martha’s flock. Finally Martha was pleased with the individuality of her blue coat.

Martha the Blue Sheep is available on Amazon, currently priced at £6.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A beautifully illustrated picture book.

Plus I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a paperback copy of Martha the Blue Sheep to 1 lucky winner. Open to UK and US only.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay

I have received a free e-copy of the book Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Devil in the Countryside by Cory Barclay

Here is the book blurb.

Devil in the Countryside is a story about the most famous werewolf investigation in history, brimming with intrigue and war, love and betrayal, and long-kept vendettas. It’s 1588, the height of the Reformation, and a killer is terrorizing the German countryside. There are reports that the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg has returned to a once-peaceful land. Heinrich Franz, a cold and calculating investigator, is tasked with finding whomever — or whatever — the killer might be. He’ll need all the help he can get, including that of a strange hunter who’s recently stumbled into town. Though they’re after the same thing, their reasons are worlds apart. And through it all, a priest tries to keep the peace among his frightened townsfolk, while a young woman threatens his most basic beliefs. In a time when life is cheap and secrets run rampant, these four divergent souls find themselves entwined in a treacherous mystery, navigating the volatile political and religious landscape of 16th century Germany, fighting to keep their sanity — and their lives.

This is a fictional story but based on an infamous historical event when a German was tortured, tried and sentenced as a werewolf back in 1589. Spoiler alert – you can read about it on Wikipedia.

The story is set in 1588/89 in Bedburg, Germany, at the height of the Reformation. It starts with Chief Investigator Heinrich Franz inspecting the victim and murder scene, who was discovered by farmer Karl Achterberg. Is it the work of the legendary Werewolf of Bedburg? Under torture, Karl accuses his neighbour Peter Griswold of creeping around at night and black magic and of being a Lutheran. Peter refutes these claims, implying Karl is being petty because he rejected Karl’s proposal for his son Martin to marry Peter’s daughter Sybil.

Catholic Georg Sieghart, a hunter and former soldier is also trying to find the werewolf, but with the sole aim of killing him. Meanwhile young priest Father Dieter Nicolaus finds himself struggling with his pure thoughts after meeting 16 year old Sybil, daughter of Peter Griswold. The victim is identified as Dorothea Gabler, best friend of Sybil and girlfriend of Martin. Another murder is discovered, this time a prostitute Josephine whom Georg was keen on.

More characters keep getting thrown into the mix. Different classes of society. Catholics and Protestants. Someone is arrested, but then there is another murder. There’s certainly lots going on in the town of Bedburg.

Devil in the Countryside is available on Amazon, currently priced at £10.21 in paperback or 99p in Kindle format. An interesting read with plenty of twists and turns which got me thinking. The author is currently writing a sequel, so I’m wondering which of the characters it will be following.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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The Kazak Contract by Paul Purnell

I have received a free e-copy of the book The Kazak Contract by Paul Purnell to review.

The Kazak Contract by Paul Purnell

Here is the book blurb.

James Ballantyne travels to Kazakhstan on a minor diplomatic assignment. A simple task, but he falls for the glamorous aide Ocksana Petrova, sent to guide him through the process. Fate leads him to the rescue of a US special agent who is the target of assassination by the Kazak authorities.

What should Ballantyne do? Should he be led by duty or compassion?

Events force his hand and he recruits smugglers to get the agent away from Kazakhstan. The escape route is dangerous and it becomes clear they are being monitored every inch of the way. Is his new love, Ocksana, behind the surveillance? Or has his own team been infiltrated?

Getting out of Kazakhstan alive will draw upon all of James’s military skills, and a lot of luck. With ambush and deception along the way, will he make it to the border and safety? How can he protect his lover? This journey through a wild country stretches every nerve.

James Ballantyne works for the British Foreign Office and is sent to Kazakhstan to secure a major energy deal. He is met at the airport by Ocksana Petrova, the Energy Minister’s personal assistant. Secretly, Ocksana is also working for the Bureau. At his hotel, James starts chatting with Bill Hammond, an American businessman , who hints that Ocksana’s role is to sweeten the deal. Bill invites James to join him in a card game, but he can see Bill is being set up to lose. He leaves and heads to bed, but is woken by a shot. He dashes down the corridor and finds that Hammond has been shot by one of the other gamblers. Hammond is taken to hospital and when James visits him the next day, Hammond begs him for help to flee, asking him to track down Gilda for assistance. Meanwhile James sleeps with Ocksana. Does she have true feelings for him? And will he help Hammond?

The Kazak Contract is available on Amazon, currently priced at £7.99 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A great story which I highly recommend.


Here is an extract from the book for you to read.

This is an excerpt from Chapter 14 where the fugitives (including Ballantyne and the smugglers) are confronting the pursuing Special Branch Team. One of the smugglers, a girl called Gilda distracts the enemy while Ballantyne takes on the group.

“Picking a spot about four hundred metres from the target, he waited for the shot which would set off the trap. She fired two shots, one after the other. Within a second, a burst of automatic fire lit up a man standing beside the first car in the ditch. He fired six single rounds into the flame, remembering to keep his aim down as the gun jerked in his hands. Then he dived to the right and watched the effect.

Someone shouted, but he could not catch the words. A second shadow moved towards the ditched car and he fired again. This time he thumbed the automatic lever and sprayed a long burst into the moving shadow. A cry from the dark outline told him he had hit someone and he moved to a new spot, awaiting Gilda’s next shot.

She fired again and sparks flew upwards like a small firework; some piece of car body had taken the hit. Again, a burst of firing replied to her shot, but this from the third car and from two weapons. The aim was wild, and he realised they were simply returning fire to saturate the area.

OK. Keep it up, more the merrier.’

They wasted at least two magazines that way. He took up another position and prepared to respond to Gilda’s lead when he felt a snick as something touched his elbow. Looking down, he realised a bullet had just passed him, catching his jacket. He knew at once what it was. It was a high velocity round, and it changed the game. Down there was a sniper with some sort of night lens, and he was on to him.”


About the author

Based in London, Paul Purnell has worked for over forty-years as a Criminal Law barrister. After serving five years stationed in Germany with the British Army, Purnell began his career as a trial lawyer prosecuting and defending in serious criminal cases across the country. Later he was appointed Queen’s Counsel, a role which has seen him engaged in court cases both across the country and to far flung destinations including the Cayman Islands and Kazakhstan. His extensive experience and understanding of the criminal world has provided the inspiration for his short stories and his latest Jack Ballantyne series. When not writing, or in court, he enjoys racing around the country on his motorbike and spending time with his three children and grandchildren.

Previous titles include a series of well-received short stories; The Hireling (2015), Scaramouche (2015) and The Storm (2016).

Website: http://paulpurnell.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/purnell14


I’m participating in the blogtour. Do take time to browse round some of the other posts.

The Kazak Contract by Paul Purnell

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Courting Chaos by Lynne Barron

I have received a free e-copy of the book Courting Chaos by Lynne Barron to review. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Courting Chaos by Lynne Barron

Here is the book blurb.

What happens when London’s longest reigning rake decides to make mischief?
Born of scandal and raised in squalor, Miss Harry O’Connell turned her back on her feckless, frivolous father and carved out a life for herself in the working-class neighborhood of Wellclose Square. She’s a creature of habit, a stickler for schedules, a keeper of secrets, and a woman adamantly opposed to wasting so much a single minute – let alone a spare shilling – on useless endeavors, sentimental nonsense or impossible expectations.
Opposites attract…
With three men standing between Phineas Griffith and the nearest title, he was perfectly content to float through life on a wave of mistakes, mishaps, coincidences and luck. Two unfortunate accidents and an apoplectic fit later, the new Viscount Knighton finds himself saddled with a decimated estate, a mountain of debt and two sisters in need of launching into Society in tandem. There’s really nothing for it but to woo and wed an heiress post haste.
Orbits align…
An unwelcome visit from the Earl of Dunaway sets in motion a convoluted chain of events that put Harry on a collision course with the handsome fortune-hunter. And wreak havoc with her meticulously managed, precisely timed and exactingly organized life.
Worlds collide…
Phineas cannot afford the luxury of falling in love with a prickly, pragmatic and penniless woman. Harry hasn’t the time or inclination to dally with a charming rake when all her considerable talents are aimed at laying waste to all the Earl of Dunaway holds dear.
And chaos ensues.
Some forces are greater than gravity and some chances worth taking. Can these two star crossed-lovers find the wherewithal to risk it all for a happily-ever-after that defies all odds?

This is book 2 in the Dunaway’s Daughters series set in 1821 London, featuring six sisters. Miss Harry O’Connell is the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Dunaway, whom she shuns and puts about a tale of different parentage, whilst plotting his downfall. So the story begins with Harry escaping out her backdoor without money or bonnet when she sees the Earl’s carriage pulling up, and missing her weekly visit to the Montclaire Museum. She usually sticks to a rigid schedule of appointments. Instead she meets her sister Kate and the latest news sets her secrets in a spin. Kate persuades Harry to attend sister Madeline’s coming-out ball that evening, where she meets Phineas, Viscount Knighton.

Phineas is a rake who has just come into the title and now finds himself saddled with huge debt. At the same time, he needs to launch both his sisters into Society. The only answer seems to be to find an heiress to marry.

Predictably Harry and Phineas are attracted, but Harry doesn’t have time for a dalliance with all her scheming and busy schedule. And Phineas can’t afford to fall in love with penniless Harry. What will happen?

Courting Chaos is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.09 in Kindle format. This is a nice Regency romance story and brought back happy memories of my teenage years when I used to read lots of historical romance from our local library, before moving onto other genres.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Teaching Children to Clean

I’ve tried hard to suggest to my boys that they should tidy one game up before getting another out and that they should put things away at the end of the day, but my words always seem to fall on deaf ears, so when Schar Ward contacted me, to see if I would like a free e-copy of her book “Teaching Children to Clean” to review, my answer was definitely yes please.

Don’t get me wrong, they both do a few chores. Son1 usually brings the bins back after the dustmen have been. And he pairs up clean socks. And they both sometimes remember to put their plates in the dishwasher, son2 is better at this than son1. But they were horrified when we got them involved in washing-up on holiday recently, a task that I can remember regularly helping with myself from age 3.

Teaching Children to Clean by Schar Ward

Here is the book blurb.

By the time a child is sixteen, they should be able to clean every room in the house–Schar Ward

This book contains step-by-step instructions for teaching children and teenagers to clean an entire house. Plus many other life skills such as doing laundry, loading a dishwasher properly, and making a bed.

Cleaning is not an option, it’s a necessity! If your child doesn’t learn, it’ll plague them the rest of their lives. According to the latest research, teaching your child to clean may be the most important thing you ever do for them! You want your child to learn basic life skills, but finding the time for accomplishing this seems to get more difficult each day. What’s the answer? A new approach, that practically does it for you! You’ll find it in these pages and even more:
* The research on children & cleaning
* Proven tactics to get the job done
* Chore charts for every age
* Room evaluations for easier cleaning
* What tools they need
* Safe green cleaning solutions, you can make yourself
* Checklists for detailed cleaning in every room
* How to clean appliances
* How to do laundry, set the table and everyday chores
* How to take care of pets
* Fun cleaning games

Knowing how to take care of yourself in your everyday environment is a skill no one should be without!

my son's untidy room

This is usually what I see in both my sons’ rooms and it tends to start spreading round the rest of the house, so I dived into the book to see how to change my tactics as my current approach is obviously not working.

I’ve picked up lots of tips from this book, so I’ve started by ordering 4 drawstring bags from Amazon – 2 white and 2 black. I have hung one of each colour in my sons’ bedrooms and explained that they are for their dirty laundry. White for white clothing and black for coloured clothing. Hopefully eliminating the need for me to pick up their dirty laundry from all over the floor. And if that goes well, I hope to progress to them bringing the full bags downstairs and then to them loading the washing machine, a task that son1 has carried out occasionally. However, so far son2 has put nothing in the bags, but son1 is remembering to use them sometimes.

The book has certainly highlighted why my current tactics haven’t been effective. And I like the room evaluation guide for making the rooms cleanable. Making beds is something the boys have been taught but ignore. However for instance the book suggests making it easier by moving the bed away from the wall, so that will be my next plan for son2’s room.

One area of the book that is not for me is the chapter on making my own safe cleaning solutions. I certainly don’t have time for this, so I’ll be sticking to buying my usual brands, although I do like the idea of pretending we’re making magic potions.

I think the younger your children, the more you will get out of this book, particularly with regards to cleaning games. I don’t think a game would win my boys over, when they would much rather be on their gadgets.

I do plan to attempt to implement some chore charts and it is a very useful starting point that the ones shown in the book can be downloaded here.

Also it is great that other life skills have been included too. I know this is going to be hard work as far as my boys are concerned, but hopefully I haven’t left it too late to get them to adapt. And I’ve learnt quite a few things myself too, so it is not just all about children.

Teaching Children to Clean is available  on Amazon, currently priced at £15.95 in paperback and is also available in Kindle format. A very useful parenting guide, aimed at those with children age 3-16. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Kids on Trump by Marie Korman and Freida Raj

I have received a free e-copy of the childrens’ book “Kids on Trump” by Marie Korman and Freida Raj for son2 to review. To find out more about the authors you may visit their website.

Kids on Trump by Marie Korman and Freida Raj

Here is the book blurb.

WARNING-This is not a book about politics! This is a book about the power of children and all individuals to create change in the world by bravely taking action to have their voices heard. Regardless of who you voted for in the 2016 election, this book will provide you with a reflective perspective that is filled with comic relief and inspiration like only kids can deliver! This book is for parents and children alike. Parents will fight hard to keep tears of laughter from rolling down their face and children will learn practical tips they can implement immediately to become empowered and create change in the world around them.
So regardless of how you feel about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or anyone else who ran in the 2016 presidential race, fasten your seat belt and enjoy the roller coaster ride, as you discover if kids think Donald Trump is “Tremendous” or a “Total Disaster”!

Kids on Trump

We initially got this book for son1, but his brother was interested to read it too, as they were both aware of the US election campaign and result. They both giggled away whilst reading this book and read snippets out to me. But son2 got more involved with the activities, so he has taken over the review. The book asks a series of questions about President Trump to 10 children aged between 5 to 16. We are introduced to each child and then get to see their answers, some of which are hilarious. In between each child, is a related exercise, some of which are quick whilst others are longer-term projects. The book also includes some of the childrens’ artwork.

Son2's answers

Son2 wrote out all his own answers to the questions of which I’ve shared one page here. As you can see, he does have rather a negative opinion of the President. I love his answer about voting for Pink Sheep instead.

And he has drawn a picture of Donald Trump.

Donald Trump

Kids on Trump is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p in Kindle format. Both my boys and I found this a very funny read. It reminded me of the old TV series “Kids Say the Funniest Things”.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Guest post: A Little Bit Naughty by Jane Evans

Guest post by Jane Evans, author of “Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club”.

Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club

I’d like to think I was a rule follower at school, not a rule breaker; pretty much every report card I got during my primary years contained the word conscientious.  Back then, I didn’t even know what it meant but I knew it was good because my parents would reward me with a big smile and a hearty “Well done!”

To be honest though, my conscientious exterior probably had more to do with the fact that I grew up in the UK in the 1970’s, a time when corporal punishment was still dished out daily, even to primary-aged kids.  I tell my 8 year old daughter this and she just looks at me like I’ve stepped out of the Victorian age.  Couple this with the fact that I had a headmaster who was actually called Mr Fear (I know it’s like something out of a Roald Dahl book but it is true), I think my well-behaved nature had more to do with survival than being an inherent goodie-goodie.  I was genuinely terrified that I would be summoned to his office for a stern talking to, or worse still, six of the belt.  Ouch!

Despite my best efforts, I was not a perfect saint at school.  Thank goodness!  I remember an early attempt at honing my hair-dressing skills in Primary 2.  Aged 6, my friend Elizabeth and I decided to give each other some rather stylish (or so we thought) fringes.  Armed only with the rather blunt, round-tipped scissors that are standard fair in any primary classroom (anyone who’s ever used these will know that they do not cut anything well) we happily hacked away at each other’s hair.  Until our teacher caught us in the act.  I can’t remember the punishment – to be honest, I think the teacher thought that our dodgy haircuts were punishment enough.  On reflection, I think I got off rather lightly with a slightly wobbly fringe– Elizabeth clearly had far better scissor skills than I as her hair took months to look anything vaguely like normal again.

Perhaps my worst offence at school was over the Lord’s Prayer.  I’d learnt it by rote, off by heart, over years of having to say it over and over and over.  Or so I thought.  But when I was finally asked to write it down, aged 9, it became apparent that I had (ahem!) misheard some of the words.  I remember (yet another) terrifying teacher, Mrs Brown, a stern woman who had yellow teeth and even yellower fingers from chain-smoking Benson & Hedges, calling me to the front of the class and asking me to recite my version to my assembled classmates.  “Our Father, who art in Heaven, Harold by thy name …”  It’s no great surprise that she stopped me right there.  The class howled with laughter as my face burnt with shame.  For punishment, she made me write out the correct version ten times and got me to lead the class in its daily recital for months after.  To this day, I still cringe when I hear it.

It was only when my daughter Grace started school that I began to remember my own school experiences afresh.  It’s fair to say that, overall, I had a fairly easy ride.  Yes, I got into trouble from time to time but I, for the best part, enjoyed school, loved to learn and found it all pretty straightforward.  But now, through the eyes of my daughter, I began to see how different every child in a standard class could be, with some finding school far trickier than others.  Despite these kids having their own individual talents, they’re often the ones who end up getting into trouble, for not listening, fidgeting, daydreaming or other more challenging behaviours.

With a bit more time on my hands now Grace was at school, I decided to start writing again.  I ended up doing lots of research on specific learning difficulties (the umbrella term used by schools for dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and ADHD) and it became clear very quickly that, while there were a lot of great books out there for adults and teens, there wasn’t much for younger, primary-aged children who wanted to read a good story about kids they could easily identify with, characters they could easily see themselves in.  Real kids with real challenges.   Not princesses or ace footballers but real kids, just like them.

And that’s when Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club popped into my head, a story about three friends each of whom have a specific learning difficulty.  In class, Vera is constantly being told off for daydreaming.  But it’s her daydreaming that fuels her imagination and allows her to take her and her friends, Harry and Max, on the most wonderful adventures.  The message of the story is plain and simple; that we’re all good at something and that we all deserve a chance to shine and be accepted for who we are.  My hope is that Vera and her friends will help those kids that feel a bit different.  And that can only be good.  As human beings, we all seek to feel understood.

I wish someone had told me this at school.  Who knows, I might have been less scared and even dared to be a little more naughty!

Your Stories Matter

And you may read our review of Jane’s book here.