Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

Green Gold by Gabriel Hemery

Today I am absolutely thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for Green Gold by Gabriel Hemery

In 1850, young Scottish plant hunter John Jeffrey was despatched by an elite group of Victorian subscribers to seek highly prized exotic trees in North America. An early letter home told of a 1,200-mile transcontinental journey by small boat and on foot.  Later, tantalising collections of seeds and plants arrived from British Columbia, Oregon and California, yet early promise soon withered. Four years after setting out, John Jeffrey, and his journals, disappeared without a trace.  Was he lost to love, violence or the Gold Rush? Green Gold combines meticulous research with the fictional narrative of Jeffrey’s lost journals, revealing an extraordinary adventure. 

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There is something quite exciting about plant hunters. It’s a subject that I have been interested in for some time. I have come across hunters such as Sir Joseph Banks, Sir Joseph Hooker and Ernest Wilson. I’ve admired the botanical paintings and adventurous spirit of Marianne North, her own contribution to the history of plants and their native habitat being incredibly valuable. Yet I had never heard of John Jeffrey.  Therefore this partly fictional/partly historical record is filled with fascinating insight and takes us back to the past and a time when travelling to North America would have been fraught with danger.

Jeffrey’s journals have never been recovered but meticulous research through archives such as those held in the library of the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh has enabled Gabriel to piece together Jeffrey’s journey from the time he left the UK until his disappearance.  Of course we may never know exactly what happened but through this combination of fact and carefully considered fiction we are able to gain an insight into the treacherous journey that John undertook.  The wonders he witnessed, the hardships he suffered and the life changing relationships he forged. It would seem that those who sent him on his journey had little appreciation for what he was to face.  He was very young and although had a good knowledge of his subject could not have been adequately prepared for the world he was thrown into.

Anyone interested in botany and the history of plant hunters will find this a fascinating read.  Gabriel brings the realities of these dangerous expeditions to life and by giving John a voice has brought him and his legacy to light in the twenty-first century.  John Jeffrey collected ‘at least 400 plant specimens and seeds of 199 species‘ during his 10.000-mile expedition route across North America.  These include trees that are now part of the British landscape.  John Jeffrey as well as many other adventurers risked their life to find new and exciting species of plants and it’s wonderful to be able have a glimpse into their worlds through books such as Green Gold.  An unusual style of writing that is refreshing, thought-provoking and made me want to discover more about John Jeffrey.  There is also rather helpfully a further reading list at the back of the book so I look forward to exploring some of the recommendations there.

I’m delighted to have discovered Gabriel and look forward to now reading his first book The New Sylva.

Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.

About the author

Gabriel Hemery

1-5Gabriel Hemery is a tree-hunter, forest scientist and published author. As a young researcher he led a seed-collecting expedition to the walnut-fruit forests of Kyrgyzstan, and in his career as a hands-on scientist has planted tens of thousands of trees in plantations and experiments across Britain. Gabriel played a lead role alongside other prominent environmentalists in halting the sell-off of England’s public forests. After leading the Botanical Society of the British Isles as its first Director of Development, he co-founded the environmental charity Sylva Foundation, since leading it as Chief Executive. His first book The New Sylva was published to wide acclaim in 2014. He lives near Oxford in England.

You can follow Gabriel on Twitter at @GabrielHemer

Gabriel has an absolutely fascinating website: GabrielHemery.com

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Green Gold is available in eBook and Paperback and is published by Unbound.

 

 

 

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Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories

The Garden of Lost and Found by Harriet Evans

This evening I’m thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for the latest novel by Harriet Evans, The Garden of Lost and Found.  From the moment I held it in my hands I knew I was in for a wonderful journey.

I adore a novel that features a house that is almost a character in itself.  They have such presence and there is something there, something that sucks me in, captures my imagination and whisks me away.  I am a homebody and I totally get the way we can become ingrained in a building.  Every memory clinging to bricks and mortar, every inch bringing new life and memories.  Of course the memories can’t always be good and even Nightingale House has had it’s share of tragedy.  This is a wonderful epic tale of love lost and saved, betrayal and trust, all wrapped up in a families history and even it’s future.  The house plays a big part but it is in the garden where memories are forged and generations come together.  The Garden of Lost and Found.

We begin in 1918 with Ned burning a painting, but not just any painting,  his most famous painting.  A painting whose story is ingrained throughout the pages of the book.  Why did he burn it? What madness possessed him.  It was all that remained of them. The children lost to them.  But how, when and where? It was incredibly enticing, I couldn’t stop reading, at times with tears, also anger but also with hope.  What a wonderful tale Harriet has created, almost as artfully as a painter bringing a canvas to life. I could see each character in my minds eye. They whispered their story through her words so I couldn’t turn away until I reached the very end.

Pure, wonderful escapism. Harriet wonderfully merges the difficulties faced by each of the women in this story.   From the 19th century right through to present day we watch the story of this family unfold.  Juliet, our modern day mum is going through a time of great change and upset.  As she tries to cope with all that it thrown at her she returns to the home of her grandmother and a house that holds many secrets; secrets that are now ready to be known. At times I read in horror at what was endured by the characters, and it was heartbreaking yet wonderfully moving.  A tale filled with love, courage, hate and bitterness but more than all of that it is a story of the importance of those who came before us and the hope that love can save the day.

This was a wonderful read that I consumed in a long weekend and thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

Thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.

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Synopsis

Nightingale House, 1919. Liddy Horner discovers her husband, the world-famous
artist Sir Edward Horner, burning his best-known painting The Garden of Lost and
Found days before his sudden death.

Nightingale House was the Horner family’s beloved home – a gem of design created
to inspire happiness – and it was here Ned painted The Garden of Lost and Found,
capturing his children on a perfect day.
One magical moment. Before it all came tumbling down…

When Ned and Liddy’s great-granddaughter Juliet is sent the key to Nightingale
House, she starts a new life with her three children, and opens the door onto a
forgotten world. The house holds its mysteries close but she is in search of answers.
For who would choose to destroy what they love most? Whether Ned’s masterpiece – or,
in Juliet’s case, her own children’s happiness.
Something shattered this corner of paradise. But what?

About the author

Harriet Evans

Harriet Evans Author PictureHarriet Evans is the author, Going Home, A Hopeless RomanticThe Love of Her Life, I Remember You, Love Always, Happily Ever After and Not Without You. Before becoming a full time writer Harriet was a successful editor for a London publishing house. She lives in London with her family.

You can follow Harriet on Twitter at @HarrietEvans

and on Instagram at @harrietevansauthor

 

The Garden of Lost and Found was published in hardback by Headline Review on April 18th 2019. It is also available in eBook and Audiobook.

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5+, 7+, Chapter Books, Children's Fiction, Tales Before Bedtime Juniors

Tales Before Bedtime Recommends – Isadora Moon Has a Sleepover by Harriet Muncaster

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Isadora Moon is special

because she is different.

Her mum is a fairy and her dad is a vampire and she is a bit of both.

When Isadora is invited to stay at her friend Zoe’s house she’s excited – she hasn’t been to a sleepover before! There will be midnight feasts, and staying up all night, it’s going to be so much fun!

And while she’s there, Isadora and Zoe are going to work on their cake for a baking competition at school. But will they be able to resist adding a sprinkling of magic to their creation. . . ?

With irresistible pink and black artwork throughout by author/illustrator Harriet Muncaster and a totally unique heroine with an out-of-this-world family, this is a beautiful, charming, and funny series of first chapter books. Perfect for fans of Claude, Dixie O’Day, and Squishy McFluff, Isadora Moon is the ideal choice for readers who want their magic and sparkle with a bit of bite!

This is another delightful Isadora Moon story that is perfect for sharing with your young book lovers or for emerging independent readers to try on their own.  I’ve adored these books right from the very first Isadora Moon Goes To School, not only are they beautifully presented but Isadora is such a sweet little vampire/fairy that you can’t help but fall in love with her.

About the author

Harriet Muncaster

A1v4OWu4yHL._US230_Harriet Muncaster is the author and illustrator of the Isadora Moon series of young reader books, published by Oxford University Press. So far Isadora Moon has been translated into nearly twenty different languages, including Spanish, Italian, Romanian and Japanese, and is available as an audio book.

Harriet has also published picture books with Penguin US, Harper Collins US, and Parragon Publishing. She won the Blue Hen Book Award for her first picture book I am a Witch’s Cat, and was highly commended for the MacMilllan Prize while studying for her second Illustration degree.

Harriet lives with her husband and daughter near some beautiful countryside in Bedfordshire, England.

 

 

Adult Fiction, Blog Tour

#Zero by Neil McCormick

Today I’m delighted to be on tour with the rather fabulous #Zero by Neil McCormick and oh my, is it the craziest road trip going.

Zero is a drug fuelled, burnt out pop star who has one of the most recognisable faces on the planet. Every second of his life is played out for the fans to watch, every moment perfectly choreographed for the best publicity to keep him shining, keep him (and those around him) at the very top. Yet in reality he’s hit rock bottom and suddenly wants nothing more than to escape it all, to disappear into obscurity whilst running towards the woman he loves. The only problem is that the woman he loves just happens to be a world-famous actress currently filming in the depths of the jungle, who is old enough to be his mother, and reported to be cheating on him with her current co-star.

Undeterred, Zero escapes the clutches of his entourage and keeps on running, trying to make his way across America without being killed, kidnapped or recognised.  As he steps away from the bubble of life at the top he begins to search for the young Irish boy with the big dreams he once was. The boy who is disgusted with what and who he has become and questions if he truly deserves the adoration that comes with his success. What follows is a crazy, drug-fuelled week with a whole host of characters, each screwed up in their own individual ways but all instrumental in his pilgrimage to find himself again.  Zero wants to gain back a sense of worth, a sense of control and most of all a sense of freedom.

#Zero is a story about fame, selling your soul to the devil (your manager) and finally finding what really matters. It’s a story that highlights just how far we have gone with social media in a world where fame has become a form of ownership, where there seems to be no boundaries on privacy. Power comes in many forms.  I remember reading that it was once believed that each time your photograph was taken a little piece of your soul was captured and stolen.  I think that there is some truth to this.  Being in the public eye, constantly photographed, filmed and shared all over the internet with no off button, must, at times, be all consuming.   Yes  Zero lives a life that most people only dream of but I think Neil has written a novel that shows that more often than not the reality is a far cry from what we dream it all be.  Zero is a major success but those around him are not people who care and love him but simply see him as a product rather than a person.

Neil McCormick knows a thing or two about the music business (see about the author below).  His previous book Killing Bono (originally published as I Was Bono’s Doppelganger) which Elton John was quoted as calling ‘The best book I have ever read about trying to make it in the music business.’.  Well #Zero seems to me about surviving once you’ve made it. Isn’t it the dream of so many kids? The adulation, the money, the popularity, the making a mark on the world, perhaps even giving yourself some form of immortality.  Yet #Zero shows just what it can cost.

There is not much that is beautiful about Zero’s life but within this novel, beneath all the drugs, sex and hedonism there is a rather beautiful message and the last few pages were incredibly moving but oh. my. god. the ride getting there was a blast.  Funny, fast and furious. This is an awesome read.

Thank you to the wonderful Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.  Such an amazing read.:)

 

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Synopsis

Zero is the latest craze. Young, sexy and brilliant, he is a multi-hyphenated (singer-songwriter- rapper-producer) superstar for the digital generation. According to his publicist at least. He’s also a narcissistic, insecure, hyperactive, coke-snorting, pill-popping, loud-mouthed maelstrom of contradictions skating over the thin ice of terminal self-loathing.

He has touched down in New York with his sycophantic entourage for the launch of a new single/album/movie/tour. It is countdown to Year Zero. But the boy at the centre of the media feeding frenzy is cracking up. Inside the echo chamber of his own skull, he isn’t sure he deserves all the attention, doesn’t even know if he wants it anymore and is being driven half-mad by the mysterious absence of the love of his life.

As the crucial hour approaches the young star cuts and runs, setting off on a wild trip across America pursued by paparazzi, fans, fortune hunters and his Mephistophelian manager, Beasley. He’s about to find out that when you have the most famous face in the world, you can run… but you can’t hide.

About the author

Neil McCormick

1-6Neil McCormick is the Daily Telegraph’s chief pop and rock music critic. He is an author, radio pundit and television presenter, with his own music weekly interview show, Neil McCormick’s Needle Time, broadcast on Vintage TV. His memoir, Killing Bono (originally published as I Was Bono’s Doppelganger) was turned into a feature film in 2011. He lives in London.

You can follow Neil on Twitter at @neil_mccormick

#Zero is published by Unbound.

For those of you wishing to purchase via your local independent bookshop the ISBN no is: 9781783526628.

Or you can purchase on all online bookshops such as Waterstones.

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Adult Fiction, Blog Tour

Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow

Today I am so happy to be taking part in the blog tour for Baxter’s Requiem by Matthew Crow, an unforgettable novel that I thoroughly recommend.

Baxter and Greg are coming together a lifetime apart.  Both have suffered heartbreaking loss. At ninety-four, Baxter knows that time is no longer on his side.  Old wounds begin to resurface and he knows there is one thing he still needs to do.  At just nineteen, Gregory’s time is just beginning but already he is weary with life after the death of his younger brother.  He’s struggling to make sense of his world and has lost hope for the future. Both men need each other to move on and learn to say goodbye. For Baxter this means a trip to France and a final goodbye to the man who never came home. For Greg it’s the opportunity to see what it means to survive heartbreak and that even after the worst has happened, there is still a life out there waiting for him.

This is a stunning novel with a beautiful love story at the heart of it.  Baxter is such an intriguing character.  Matthew writes his story with care and grace.  I found the relationship between Baxter and Thomas touching and for me it portrayed the meeting of two soulmates perfectly.  Thomas’ fate is shown to us gradually through the story and although incredibly sad, Baxter’s love and his need to have Thomas remembered left me feeling hopeful.  Remembrance is important and this novel shows us how vital it is to continue to talk, write and read about the past and the people we have lost.  This is really the only way to keep them alive.

Now, so late in the day, his wounds had reopened.

Names he had not mentioned in over sixty years danced on his tongue, daring to be spoken.  Names of people that he loved.  People that were silenced; their ashes swept clean.

Inside of him were names that deserved to be heard.

Inside of him were names that deserved to be known.

There will always be hatred and evil in this world, history continues to teach us that, but  the memories we hold will give us hope and remind us that there is always something worth living for.  Love is indeed a beautiful thing and the light from it can never be extinguished, no matter how dark the days may be.

The world he had seen that day did not exist in the world he had known before.  The noise was too loud.  The horror was too succinct. How, he thought as they disembarked at camp, could a world so full of love be privy to such vast and unyielding hatred?

Baxter’s Requiem is a book to remind us that cruelty, a lack of acceptance or understanding still continue to cause loss, heartbreak and unimaginable pain even today.       And yet there is empathy, kindness and most of all love to be found in the most unlikely of places.  With Baxter we have learned the peace that can be found in facing our past and also helping others along the way. He and Gregory have also shown that you really are never to old (or young) to make a difference.

There is so much love and kindness in the pages of this book.  From  Suzanne, the hardworking Manager of Melrose Gardens Retirement Home, Baxter’s lifelong friend Winnie (thank you Matthew for writing such an awesome school Librarian :), to Ramila who is tough as nails but hands a lifeline to Gregory without even realising it. I absolutely adored every word of this novel and I look forward to seeking out more from this inspiring young author.

Thank you so much to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of the blog tour and for bringing wonderful Baxter into my life.

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Synopsis

Mr Baxter is ninety-four years old when he falls down his staircase and grudgingly finds himself resident at Melrose Gardens Retirement Home.

Baxter is many things – raconteur, retired music teacher, rabble-rouser, bon viveur – but
‘good patient’; he is not. He had every intention of living his twilight years with wine, music
and revelry; not tea, telly and Tramadol. Indeed, Melrose Gardens is his worst nightmare –
until he meets Gregory.

At only nineteen years of age, Greg has suffered a loss so heavy that he is in danger of
giving up on life before he even gets going.

Determined to save the boy, Baxter decides to enlist his help on a mission to pay tribute to
his long-lost love, Thomas: the man with whom he found true happiness; the man he waved
off to fight in a senseless war; the man who never returned. The best man he ever knew.

With Gregory in tow Baxter sets out on a spirited escape from Melrose, bound for the war
graves of Northern France. As Baxter shares his memories, the boy starts to see that life
need not be a matter of mere endurance; that the world is huge and beautiful; that kindness
is strength; and that the only way to honour the dead, is to live.

Baxter’s Requiem is a glorious celebration of life, love and seizing every last second we
have while we’re here.

About the author

Matthew Crow

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Matthew Crow was born and raised in Newcastle. Having worked as a freelance journalist since his teens he has contributed to a number of publications including the Independent on Sunday and the Observer.

He has written five novels, Ashes and My Dearest Jonah – the second of which was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize for Literature – and two book for young adults, In Bloom which was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and the North East Teen Book Award and listed in the Telegraph’s Best YA of 2014 List – and Another Place​.

Baxter’s Requiem was published in September 2018 by Corsair, an imprint of Little Brown.

You can follow Matthew on Twitter at @matthewcrow

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Adult Fiction, Review

The Strawberry Thief by Joanne Harris

I first read Chocolat by Joanne Harris in 2001. I remember it so well because it was the book I took on my honeymoon.  Back in those days there was no social media and more often then not a book would be chosen by simply browsing in a book shop or Library.  Even now, that is something I still get great pleasure from.  The cover is always the first thing I notice when I go into a bookshop.  The displays may be there to entice me with prominent positioning and ‘Books of the Month’, but it’s the the cover image that will call out to me and prevent me from walking on by.  Although I have only a very vague recollection of buying Chocolat,  I know that it was purchased at the airport as I browsed amongst the shelves whilst awaiting our flight.

It was the paperback version but still had the glorious purple cover which sparkled with magic and images of golden eggs.  ‘Try me…test me…’ read me…    I have to admit I’m not sure of I had seen the film at this time but I feel that the book came first for me although that may simply be because I have read it so many times.  As our flight took off on route to New York I began a journey to Lansquenet.

I leant that first copy of Chocolatpurchased all that time ago at the beginning of my own exciting journey,  to a friend.  Unfortunately both the friend and book are now long gone but when I realised it would not be returning to me I searched online for another edition with the same cover.  I found a small hardback first edition which I now treasure.  Sadly the friend was not so easy to replace but like that lost paperback I will always have a place in my heart for her.

So now nearly eighteen years later I am thrilled to return to the village of Lansquenet and the characters that found their way into my heart.  Of course I have returned many times before, repeatedly with Chocolat and also with The Lollipop Shoes and Peaches for Monsieur Le Curé,  but there is something wonderful about a new story. The turning  to the first page, not knowing where it will take you.  Even so, these characters have meant so much to me over the years that I was slightly nervous as to what may now hold for them.

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The Strawberry Thief

Everyone is different.  Some of us are just more than others…

Vianne Rocher has settled down.

Lansquenet-sous-Tannes, the place that once rejected her, has finally become home.  With Rosette, her ‘special’ child, she runs her chocolate shop in the square, talks to her friends on the river, is part of the community.  Even Reynaud, the priest, has become a friend.

But when old Narcisse, the florist, dies leaving a parcel of land to Rosette and a written confession to Reynaud, the life of the sleepy village is once more thrown into disarray.  The arrival of Narcisse’s relatives, the departure of an old friend and the opening of a mysterious new shop in the place of the florist’s across the square – one that mirrors the chocolaterie, and has a strange appeal all of its own – all seem to herald some kind of change: a confrontation, a turbulence – even, perhaps, a murder…

This is a very welcome return to Lansquenet and it’s inhabitants.  I have missed their stories, the smell of chocolate and the whispering of the wind. This time the story focuses on Narcisse, Reynaud, Rosette and a mysterious new visitor to the town. A visitor who brings change, something that Vianne fears.  What do I remember of Narcisse from the earlier books?  Not a great deal.  He ran the flower shop, was kind to Roux and offered him work when others turned their back and he didn’t see eye to eye with the local Curé.  Yet I felt a sadness when he died, that feeling you get when you wished you had gotten to know someone better when they were alive.  He was always in the background, just out of sight.

Upon his death he leaves a wood to Rosette.  It is a place that is incredibly special to her in a way that only Narcisse understands.  Yet that very action causes anger and mistrust amongst his surviving family.  They are suspicious of his motives and eager to see the confession he left behind.  But the confession is for the eyes of Reynaud only.  His old adversary and someone who has more in common with him then he thinks.

Right within the very heart of the story, Vianne remains fighting to keep her family together.  Constantly on guard of the wind and what it might bring… or take away.  Narcisse’s death brings with it a mysterious stranger to the town of Lansquenet, a stranger not unlike Vianne herself.  Yet the wind begins to blow and stirs up hidden danger, accidents and an unknown force that threatens to tear apart her carefully protected life.

As always I fall into Joanne’s story with ease, returning to Vianne’s life is like a warm hug or a soothing cup of hot chocolate. Her writing is beautiful and as I read I can hear each syllable resonating through my head.  I imagine the audio books are wonderful too, like listening to an old friend.

If you have yet to discover these books then I would recommend starting at the beginning with Chocolat.  Of course it’s not vital but I do think you’ll get so much more from the stories.  I think it’s time I returned there too, back to the beginning and with the hope that before too long we may return there again for another new story.

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Other recommended books by Joanne Harris

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Blackberry Wine

What if you could bottle a year of your past? Which one would it be? Which time of year? What would it smell like? How would it taste?

These are the questions which began Blackberry Wine: the second volume of my “food trilogy” and the story of Jay Mackintosh, a writer of pulp fiction with one literary success to his name and a dwindling grasp of reality. Trapped between an unresolved past and a humdrum present, suffering from writer’s block and the beginnings of alcoholism, Jay has lost his bearings.

But the accidental discovery of six bottles of home-brewed wine, a legacy from an old and vanished friend, seems to hold the key to a new beginning, a means of escape, and a final reconciliation. For there is something magical about this wine; something which brings the past to life, an agent of transformation. Under its influence, time can work backwards and the dead return to life – as Jay finds, when, on impulse, he gives up his glamorous London lifestyle and escapes to a half-derelict farmhouse in a remote village in Gascony, where two mysteries await him; a ghost from the past whom no-one else can see, and Marise, a reclusive widow with ghosts of her own…

Published in 2000, Blackberry Wine is another favourite of mine that I return to again and again.

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The Little Book of Chocolat by Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Try me…test me…taste me…

Joanne Harris’s Chocolat trilogy has tantalised readers with its sensuous descriptions of chocolate since it was first published.  Now, to celebrate the much-loved story of Vianne Rocher’s deliciously decadent chocolaterie, Joanne Harris and Fran Warde have created the ultimate book of chocolate lore and recipes from around the world, bringing a touch of magic to your kitchen.

 

This is a stunning recipe book filled with incredibly mouthwatering recipes.  Now THIS would make the perfect Easter gift.

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Joanne is currently busy with a book tour to coincide with the publication of The Strawberry Thief.  Visit Joannes website here for more information and to see if she will be coming to an event near you.  I am very much looking forward to seeing her talk at the Chiddingstone Literary Festival in May.

You can also follow Joanne on Twitter at @Joannechocolat

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Thank you for taking the time to visit Tales Before Bedtime today.  Joanne Harris is a writer of enormous versatility and writes in many genres.  Which of her novels is your favourite?

 

Please do share the Tales Before Bedtime love on Twitter, Facebook etc. and follow the blog by clicking the tab to the right.

Thank you.

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2+, Children's Fiction, Picture Books

Meet The Penguins by Mike Brownlow

Meet the penguins! They really want to make some new friends.

But does anyone want to play?

When two penguins arrive from a faraway place and want to make friends, the other animals do not want to play with them. If only they would give the penguins a chance, they might discover how wonderful they really are!

A funny story about welcoming others – brilliantly written and illustrated by best-selling author of Ten Little Superheroes, Mike Brownlow.

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These little penguins are SO ADORABLE!  and yet it would seem that no-one wants to play with them.  Everyone they meet is rather unwelcoming and are either too busy, too concerned about mess, think they won’t understand or simply don’t even see them.  As the story progresses our little penguins become more and more downhearted.  Will there ever find someone to play with?

The illustrations are beautiful, bold and colourful. They are delightfully funny (I especially love the giraffe!) and there is much to discuss on each page.  The story also raises plenty of questions to ask of our young readers and reminds us (even us adults) that saying yes and making time for others can lead to lots of fun with new and old friends.  It’s a great story to share and also to help children begin to look at word formation and recognition with repetition and just a small amount of text on each page.

Meet The Penguins has been published by Oxford University Press and is now available from all good bookshops.

You can follow Oxford University Press on Twitter at @OUPChildrens

About the author

Mike Brownlow

Now I first discovered Mike through one of his first books Little Robots which went on to become an animated show on CBeebies, with the voice talents of Lenry Henry, Sue Perkins, Mel Giedroyc,  Martin Clunes, Emma Chambers and Su Pollard.  You can read more about this on Mike’s website here.  My son and I absolutely loved watching these funny little robots.

He has written many books to share with young book lovers and contributed Ten Little Bookworms to the selection of World Book Titles on offer this year. He understands how important it to learn to read and his books help us to instil a love of books from a very early age. Everything changes when we learn to read. We learn empathy, gain knowledge and nourish the imagination. It’s how minds connect and people understand each other. We need literate citizens more than ever.’ – Mike Brownlow

Find out more about Mike Brownlow by visiting his website here.

You can follows him on Twitter at @mikebrownlow1