Our Week in Books #42

I started the week with high anxiety levels and am finishing it with a cold, so I feel like I’ve achieved very little. There are a couple of ‘urgent’ things on my to-do list that I put off and really must do. However I did put two bookcases together and rearranged the books (again – it won’t be the last time…) I’ve put all the unreviewed books on shelves, which makes sense from a decluttering viewpoint (and I have them marked in a spreadsheet) but not so great from a visual viewpoint, as I can’t see them. Also I have no recollection if I received any review books this week. I think I didn’t, but I didn’t put anything on my spreadsheet and don’t have the box of review books to check. I suppose I could see if I recognise a new one in the shelves, but it’s kind of needle and haystack territory.

On instagram, I’ve been making bookshelves (dull pictures are me)

Putting flat pack bookcases together is surprisingly hard work. I need a electric screwdriver. Or a sonic. Or The Doctor.

On Twitter, I’ve been drooling over new books

On Facebook and G+ I’ve been as non-existant as usual. Ditto on the blog.

Behind the scenes, I’ve thoroughly failed in giving my (mine all mine!) illustrator a spec but have started creating a book database app type thing that should make creating reviews a speedier process so I can populate new blog with actual content. Actual content creation will have to wait until after half term, and I really need to think properly about what I’m trying to achieve for myself.

Right, I shall go back to sniffling and feeling sorry for myself now.

I noticed I’ve been inconsistent with putting books I’ve bought as gifts in my book totals, so I’ve gone back and added them all, hence the jump in cumulative totals this week.

Books added to shelves:
Cakes in Space – Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre (bought from The Book People)
How to Write a Story – Simon Cheshire & Kate Pankhurst (bought from The Book People)
Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse – Chris Riddell (bought from The Book People)
Coraline – Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell (bought from The Book People)
Oliver and the Seawigs – Philip Reeve & Sarah McIntyre (bought from The Book People)
Aliens Love Underpants – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Pirates Love Underpants – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Aliens Love Panta Claus – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Dinosaurs Love Underpants – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Aliens in Underpants Save the World – Clare Freedman & Ben Cort (bought from The Book People)
Cumulative: 494 (£762.01) (£3225.78)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: 12 gift books previously not counted (1 to post; 4 still to give as gifts)
Cumulative: 160
41 eBooks. Net bookshelf gain 2014 cumulative = 293

Read 52 books finished this week:
The Crane Wife – Patrick Ness

Year progress: 292/365 = 80.0%
300 Picture Book progress: 320/300 = 107.7%
Read 52 progress: 63/52 = 121.2% (46/52 = 88.5%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Our Week in Books #41

An accidentally expensive book week this week, naughty Books Are My Bag celebrations ;-) But also a wonderful day at Mostly Books seeing Alison Mercer, Tom Moorhouse, Neill Cameron and David Melling (as well as all the fab Mostly Books staff, several of MG & DG’s school friends and parents, the lovely Sally Poyton, and probably more…)

I am socially exhausted today though, and Mr Chaos is at an acting workshop all day for his latest short film. Bleurgh. Kids will be watching TV all day while I grumble about the mess. Sigh.

(some time later)

Today has been better than I thought. I’ve got washing done, dishwasher on, fridge cleared out, recycling collected, kids fed (mainly on junk, but they don’t mind), and I’ve not felt too stressed out. Success.

Not sure what I’ve got up to on social media this week, will just pick some things at random.

On Twitter, I won a Jim Field print – happy happy!

On Facebook, um nothing apparently. I could have sworn I shared some Books Are My Bag things but apparently not. So will share here instead (my gorgeous girls in picture with Neill Cameron)

On Instagram, I’m generally frustrated with my rubbish mobile technology so don’t share as much as I’d like (too much of a pain to take pics on decent camera, put on laptop, upload, then post – hardly instant!)

This is how I'm woken up most weekends - books all over the bed ;-)

Behind the scenes, I’ve commissioned an illustrator for the new blog. Eek! I really, really, really need to get working on the content but I think the free theme I’ve got works so at least no costs there. Have I actually written about my plans? Probably ought to do that. And I could do with accepting sponsored posts again to pay for it.

On a personal level, I have some autism questionnaires to fill in. Four of them. With hundreds and hundreds of questions. It’s quite overwhelming.

Oh, and I eventually posted the books to giveaway winners – one of whom patiently waited six months. Sorry.

Books added to shelves:
Pourquoi? – Alex Sanders (bought from Mostly Books)
Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate – Cynthia Kim (bought from Mostly Books)
Woozy the Wizard: A Spell to Get Well – Elli Woolard (review book from Faber & Faber)
Squishy McFluff: Supermarket Sweep – Pip Jones & Ella Okstad (review book from Faber & Faber)
Borgon the Axe Boy – (review book from Faber & Faber)
Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret – (review book from Faber & Faber)
We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (99p Kindle)
Bears Don’t Read – Emma Chichester Clark (review book from HarperCollins)
Goth Girl and the Fete Worse than Death – Chris Riddell (bought from Mostly Books)
The River Singers – Tom Moorhouse (bought from Mostly Books)
How To Make Awesome Comics – Neill Cameron (bought from Mostly Books)
Usborne First Sticker Book Princesses (bought from Mostly Books)
Cumulative: 475 (£703.84)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: none (1 to post)
Cumulative: 148

Read 52 books finished this week:
Nerdy, Shy and Socially Inappropriate – Cynthia Kim
We Should All Be Feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Year progress: 285/365 = 78.1%
300 Picture Book progress: 320/300 = 106.7%
Read 52 progress: 62/52 = 119.2% (45/52 = 86.5%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

Monsters Love Underpants: Claire Freedman & Ben Cort

Monsters Love Underpants
Monsters Love Underpants: Claire Freedman & Ben Cort (Simon & Schuster, 2014) Author: Claire Freedman
Illustrator: Ben Cort
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year: 2014
Plot
Rhyming text and colourful double-page pictures tell us about what monsters love more than being scary – can you guess what?!
Chaos Opinion
This is such fun. Monsters, underpants, what’s not to like? The fact that DG(5) has put the three Underpants books we don’t own (yet!) on the top of her gift wish list might give you a hint as to how much she’s enjoying these at the moment. We also love spotting characters from the previous books in the backgrounds (aliens, the pirate’s golden underpants…)

Monsters Love Underpants: Claire Freedman & Ben Cort (Simon & Schuster, 2014)

Chaos Rating
Endpapers. No personal pronouns used, monsters could be male or female. Series familiarity, ‘in-jokes’ in illustrations. Familiar characters from series but book stands alone. Diversity in monster characters. Bright, cheerful illustrations.
Themes
Pants; Monsters; Rhyme; Humour
Blog Tour
Read It, Daddy – top author/illustrator pairings
Wondrous Reads – favourite monsters in children’s books
Library Mice – Claire Freedman guest post
The Book Sniffer – sneak peek behind the scenes
The Bookworm Baby – boxers or y-fronts?
Related Reads
The Underpants series – Claire Freedman & Ben Court (Simon & Schuster, various)
Pants – Giles Andreae & Nick Sharratt (Random House, 2002)
Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants – Giles Andreae & Korky Paul (Puffin Books, 2012)
Dirty Bertie – David Roberts (Little Tiger Press, 2002)
Disclosure
Aliens Love Underpants received for review from Simon & Schuster.

Our Week in Books #40

Actual book reviews this week. And I also finished #bookadayuk for June a mere three months late <cough>

On instagram, I really want a decent mobile camera so I can post more. Wondering if the Hudl2 is any good. I might have got some decent picture at The Story Museum, but this silly one will have to do. Also, go to 26 Characters if you can. It is awesome (three hours, had to drag the 7yo home…)

7yo making herself at home @thestorymuseum #26chatacters We very much recommend this exhibition / experience

On Twitter, mainly whinging I think. And lots of retweets. And pointing out I finished June’s #bookadayuk at last.

On Facebook, just the blog posts this week I think.

Behind the scenes, I have sample images and quotes from two illustrators for the new book blog and I really need to choose, and I really need to find some money behind the sofa or something to pay for it (I may do some sponsored posts again, if I’m offered any!) I also realised that what I want to do for the look is called masonry so I should be able to find a free theme to tweak instead of needing new code written. Just all the actual posts to write to set it up then. Lalala…

It’s also been over three months since the last #300PBs so I really need to get that back up. We’ve just past 300 books here, way behind where we were last year.

I’ve mostly updated Goodreads, adding almost 20 books to the database just so I can keep my records up to date.

Books added to shelves:
How to Train Your Dragon: Incomplete Book of Dragons – Cressida Cowell (bought from Amazon)
The Humans – Matt Haig (bought from Amazon)
Pathfinder – Angie Sage (review book from Bloomsbury / NetGalley)
Monsters Love Underpants – (review book from Simon & Schuster)
The Crane Wife – Patrick Ness (bought from Amazon 3 for £10)
Half Bad – Sally Green (bought from Amazon 3 for £10)
A Blink of the Screen: Collected Short Fiction – Terry Pratchett (bought from Amazon 3 for £10)
Sloth Slept On – Frann Preston-Gannon (review book from Pavillion)
Cumulative: 465 (£672.89) (£3019.08)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: 2 (23 to post)
Cumulative: 148

Read 52 books finished this week:
Goth Girl and the Fete Worse Than Death – Chris Riddell
Shiverton Hall – Emerald Fennell
The Humans – Matt Haig

Year progress: 278/365 = 76.2%
300 Picture Book progress: 307/300 = 102.3%
Read 52 progress: 60/52 = 115.4% (44/52 = 84.6%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup

More Ancient Egypt

Mighty Girl (7) is definitely taken with her Ancient Egypt topic at school. She asked to use the laptop at 7am this morning, and this is what I found in a Word document after she went to school:

AEintro

 

AEchap1

(It’s unfinished because she had to go to school!)

She also drew this picture of the jackal-headed god Anubis at school.

anubis

I thought it was traced at first. I know I’m biased, but I am in awe of what she gets up to on her own initiative. Perhaps home ed at secondary level will suit her best after all…

Also I am a very naughty mummy!

naughtymummy

 

Note: all the colours, fonts, sizing, underlining etc in Word are all Mighty Girl’s own work. The blurring is mine, to hide personal details.

The House That Zac Built by Alison Murray

The House That Zac Built
The House That Zac Built: Alison Murray (Orchard Books, 2014) Author: Alison Murray
Illustrator: Alison Murray
Publisher: Orchard Books
Year: 2014
Plot
A modern re-imagining of the traditional rhyme This is the House that Jack Built, with a boy playing building blocks in a farm setting.
Chaos Opinion
We adore Alison Murray’s books, and this is another gorgeous addition to any bookshelf. With the same characters as Hickory Dickory Dog to lend familiarity, The House That Zac Built loosely follows the style of The House That Jack Built but with less repetition and a more accessible story. There’s humour, mess, and tidying up, with gorgeous artwork and a very readable rhyme. Much enjoyed.

The House That Zac Built: Alison Murray (Orchard Books, 2014)

Chaos Rating
(+) Text leads you to want to turn pages. Rhyme follows familiar pacing. Repetition in text. Familiar characters from series but book stands alone. Emotive illustrations.
(-) Technically low diversity but very few characters.
Themes
Nursery Rhymes; Farms; Farm Animals; Childhood
Related Reads
Hickory Dickory Dog – Alison Murray (Orchard Books, 2014)
Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes (Various editions)
Harry the Dirty Dog – Gene Zion & Margaret Bloy Graham (Red Fox, original pub. 1956)
What the Ladybird Heard – Juila Donaldson & Lydia Monks (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2009)
Disclosure
Received for review from Hachette Children’s Books.

Macavity – T S Eliot & Arthur Robins

Macavity
Macvity: T S Eliot & Arthur Robins (Faber & Faber, 2014)Author: T S Elliot
Illustrator: Arthur Robins
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Year: 2014
Plot
Is Macavity the most well-known of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats? This book celebrates 75 years of Practical Cats (first published 1939) with new illustrations by Arthur Robins.
Chaos Opinion
Macavity, Macavity, there’s no one like Macavity… I have a special fondness for ginger cats, they do seem like a breed to themselves, and Macavity perfectly captures cat-ness. T S Eliot’s Cats are excellent in any format and this is a great introduction to a well deserved classic.
Chaos Rating
(+) Classic poem. Humorous illustrations. Well paced; text leads you to want to turn pages.
(-) Female characters indicated by colour pink.
Themes
Classics; Poetry; Mystery; Criminals; Cats
Related Reads
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – T S Eliot & various illustrators (Faber & Faber, original publication 1939)
Squishy McFluff: The Invisible Cat – Pip Jones & Ella Okstad (Faber & Faber, 2014)
Disclosure
Received for review from Faber & Faber

Bubble Trouble: Tom Percival

Bubble Trouble
Bubble Trouble: Tom Percival (Bloomsbury, 2014)Author: Tom Percival
Illustrator: Tom Percival
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2014
Plot
Reuben and Felix live next door to each other and have lots of things in common, including their favourite thing to do: blowing bubbles! All goes well until one day they decide to have a competition. Who can blow the biggest bubbles? How will it be judged? And will the friends ever be friends again?
Chaos Opinion
Set in the same universe as Herman’s Letter (with a couple of brief cameos of those characters), Bubble Trouble is another engaging and fun read gorgeously illustrated. DG(5) especially loves the page where the bubbles get bigger and bigger: Bigger than a bear… Bigger than a tree… Bigger than a house!
Chaos Rating
(+) Story well paced; text leads you to want to turn pages. Lift the flap bubbles. Emotive illustrations. Diversity in animal characters.
(-) All male characters.
Themes
Friendship; Competition; Cooperation; Anthropomorphic Animals; Inventions
Related Reads
Herman’s Letter – Tom Percival (Bloomsbury, 2013)
Disclosure
Received for review from Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Herman’s Letter: Tom Percival

Herman's Letter
Herman’s Letter: Tom Percival (Bloomsbury, 2013) Author: Tom Percival
Illustrator: Tom Percival
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Year: 2013
Plot
Herman and Henry are best friends, who do everything together. But when Henry has to move away, Herman gets sad and jealous of the fun Henry seems to be having. Henry misses Herman too, and once Herman realises he knows just what to do. Winter is coming, and Herman is about to hibernate, will he reach the post in time?

Chaos Opinion
Beautifully illustrated story of friendship over distance, covering many emotions. Some wonderfully silly moments, and a smile-inducing happy ending. One that withstands repeat reading without boredom. Much enjoyed.
Chaos Rating
(+) Interesting and engaging title page spread. Story well paced; text leads you to want to turn pages. Lift the flap letters to read. Emotive illustrations. Diversity in animal characters.
(-) All male characters.
Themes
Friendship; Perseverance; Communication; Letter Writing; Anthropomorphic Animals; Bears; Hibernation
Related Reads
Ding Dong, Gorilla – Michelle Robinson & Leonie Lord (Orchard Books, 2013)
Mabel and Me – Mark Sperring & Sarah Warburton (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2013)
Hugless Douglas – David Melling (Hodder Children’s Books, 2010)
Disclosure
Received for review from Bloomsbury Children’s Books

Our Week in Books #39

Another not-much-happening week. More stressing and thinking. Next week needs to be a doing week again, I think I’m ready for getting things done.

On instagram, still mostly failing to share #bedtime stories but 3/7 is a huge improvement. Some adorable cuteness from my girls too.

And just when you think they couldn't get any cuter, they get cuter...

On Twitter I (at last) did the picture book giveaway. It was a lot more popular than I expected, leading to technical difficulties. Definitely not doing a RT competition again, will have to find other ways.

On Facebook, not much as usual!

On Child-Led Chaos, talking about Mesothelioma Awareness Day and testing out a new review format.

Behind the scenes, just realised it’s almost October and I really need to get myself in gear to set up new blog by Christmas. Eek.

Books added to shelves:
I am the Wolf… And Here I Come! – Benedicte Guettier (review book from Gecko Press)
Alfie in the Garden – Debi Gliori (review book from Bloomsbury)
Witchworld – Emma Fischel (bought from Mostly Books)
Hubble Bubble: The Super Spooky Fright Night – Tracey Corderoy & Joe Berger (bought from Mostly Books)
Send for a Superhero! – Michael Rosen & Katherine McEwan (bought from Mostly Books)
Amelie & Nanette: Snowflakes and Fairy Wishes – Sophie Tilley (review book from Bloomsbury)
Goth Girl and a Fete Worse than Death – Chris Riddell (bought from Mostly Books)
Playbook Castle – Corina Fletcher & Britta Teckentrup (bought from Mostly Books)
Cumulative: 455 (£632.92) (£2931.17)

Library books borrowed: none
Cumulative: 21

Books removed from shelves: 3 (23 to post)
Cumulative: 146

Read 52 books finished this week:
Witchworld – Emma Fischel
Hubble Bubble: The Super Spooky Fright Night – Tracey Corderoy & Joe Berger

Year progress: 271/365 = 74.2%
300 Picture Book progress: 304?/300 = 101.3%
Read 52 progress: 57/52 = 109.6% (41/52 = 78.8%)

300in2014 A reading challenge from http://liveotherwise.co.uk/makingitup