Recently my daughter had a book fair at her school and if you know me very well you will know that I was very excited!

However nothing really seemed to engage her,( apart from the animal stationary of course) and although the selection was ok, we found it hard to find a suitable book that she and her brother would enjoy.

Then we came across this Minecraft sticker book – definitely, a big hit in the house as my two are mad crazy on Minecraft.

Excited to get it home, the children loved this book. Being autistic books like this are great as they are full of simple activities and facts; for example, amongst the stickering little tips and tricks were told to help us improve our game.

Minecraft Sticker book features pages of endless sticking fun, simply read the instructions (or ask an adult to help) and sticker away. Follow the recipe to create things like fishing rods, find out all about the different potions and characters.

The only thing we found hard was that the stickers were not numbered so it could be difficult to find the correct block/sticker for that specific page.

Therefore, the Minecraft sticker book is good for creative children, plenty of stickers, tiny bit of writing and lots of pages for imaginatively stickering.

If your child is an aspiring Astronaut, then this is the book for them.

The book is jam-packed with things you need to know about space and has over 70 flaps for you and your children to lift.

The first page of the See Inside Spacecraft and other Space stations novel is the contents on the left-hand side with a list of 1-15 different categories. Subjects like what’s a space station, early spacecraft, the International Space Station and Mission to Mars among others can be found in this book. The rest of the page starts off with the first page ‘What’s a space station.’

It is full of engaging pictures, colours, information and flaps, with this book there will not be a dull moment and will give hours of fun reading.

It is also interesting for the adults too as there is information that we may not know, for example, I did not realise just how big the international space station is!

My children love reading this book, they are both autistic as well, so at times it can be hard to get them to read but facts books like this are a winner. The flaps help to keep them interested. Occasionally some of the information can be a bit long for them but I tend to just summarise.

See Inside Space stations and other Spacecraft book is a hardback so you do not need to worry if your kids are a bit heavy-handed as it cannot be destroyed easily.

The author has researched this well and has used a space expert – Libby Jackson to ensure what she has written is correct.

The book is suitable for children aged 6+ – however, if your child is younger and adamant, then they may enjoy looking at the pictures, pointing out parts and lifting the flaps.

Usborne also provides a few internet links, which means that once you have completed the book; you can extend your research and find out more online.

A fantastic children’s book all about Space

Andy and Terry are back with their fourth book in the treehouse series.

They have been working hard and have successfully added another creative 13 storeys to their treehouse. Andy and Terry now have a ninja snail training academy, life-size snakes and ladders game and a high-tech detective agency.

It’s Andy’s birthday and he is..well we don’t actually know. Andy is in the process of telling us, but he gets distracted and forgets to tell us.  He’s hoping that Terry has planned a big surprise for him, unfortunately, Terry has forgotten, and Andy tries to jog his memory.

However, when pages 34 appears without no Mr Big Nose calling them on the 3D Video Phone, the boys get concerned. Luckily, they have a high-tech detective agency so the boys get to work on the Mystery of Where Mr Big Nose is.

Andy and Terry are hot on the tail but along the way Jill is found sleeping in her house, she has been put in a deep sleep – a new mystery for the boys to solve.

The boys put Jill in a glass coffin and set off to find a Prince to give Jill the kiss of life, however, en route they find Vegetable Patty whose mission is to kill all the vegetables. Can Andy and Terry stop Vegetable Patty? Will, they find Mr Big Nose and awaken Jill?

But the biggest question of them all is will they get their book to Mr Big Nose on time?

The 52 Storey Treehouse is another fantastic, adventurous read. There is never a dull moment in that treehouse (I would hope not with 52 floors.)

The treehouse series are very good for children, the text is short enough to be engaging and not long enough to be boring. The illustrations are just as funny, making it a truly, engaging book. The author is obviously very creative and imaginative. I wonder what Andy and Terry get up to in the next book; The 65 Storey Treehouse

The 52 Storey Treehouse is the fourth book of the treehouse series and you can buy them individually or as a set. I personally recommend getting the set as the adventures are unique, funny and appealing.

 

 

Unicorn Embroidery Kit

When my friend posted that Usborne has released some embroidery kit, I knew I had to try them out. They looked really good and would make fabulous gifts for birthdays or Christmas.

The kit comes in a small box with all the parts, included are a needle, 3 lots of different coloured thread, embroidery hoop and the cotton fabric containing the design, and a book explaining everything.

The book contains a step by step guide on how to thread the needle, how to do different stitches and a new one on me was the French knot! Can you tell I don’t do much embroidery?

The design is how it looks in the box and it is a great introduction for children to get started. The book is very simple and the design is quite basic.

I found the instructions very easy to follow, occasionally the thread did get stuck and I had to pull on it a bit harder to get it through but apart from that it all went swimmingly.

Unicorn embroidery kit is suitable for children aged 7 upwards, however, they still need adult supervision as the hoop is slightly fiddly and the needle is quite sharp and even I as an adult managed to stab myself a couple of times!

Although the kit is primarily for kids, don’t let you as an adult stop you from doing some. It’s very basic so you do not have to think about what you are doing and can be quite therapeutic.

Therefore, this kit makes a great gift or treat. It’s simple and easy to use and it is a great way to introduce your children to a new hobby.

The third book in the 13 Storey Treehouse Series

Welcome back Andy and Terry with yet another jam-packed book full of adventures!

They have both been very busy adding another 13 storeys to their treehouse! The new floors include an active volcano – the only way to toast those marshmellows to perfection. The World’s scariest rollercoaster, followed by Jet Propelled Chairs and plenty more.

This time Terry invents a special machine that will help them get their book to Mr Big Nose on time, but when the machine kicks them out, how will Andy and Terry get back in time to complete their book?

We say hello to some new characters including Bill the Postman (he died in the last book in the Maze of Doom but mysteriously turns up) and Professor Stupido who uninvents everything.

Prepare to laugh out loud for the next instalment of the series, where do they come up with their ideas.

In the 39 Storey Treehouse,  Andy and Terry break down the fourth wall and talk to us the audience. It is a nice touch as we begin to feel like part of the book. A unique invitation to an amazing treehouse! There is also a bit of repeition as well but that is not a bad thing as it will be remembered well.

The 39 Storey Treehouse is very funny, the ideas and what the boys get up too are far from realistic, but it works. A great way to engage children and ensure they pick up and read a novel.

I highly recommend the 39 Storey Children for any children aged 6-9. This is the third book and I thought I would get bored as there are 7 novels in total based on the same idea, but I am not. I’m very intrigued as to what will happen in the next book; The 52 Storey Treehouse!

A funny, creative, imaginative read.

 

 

 

Murder Mystery meets Scooby Doo

Nate and Sara are on their way to Regano to get married. On the way, they stop off at a diner, where a man who looks really ill, begs them for a life. He says he will pay them £500 for a lift as he is desperate; the storm is on its way.

However, when they are forced to stop and check in at a motel on the way, they discover the guy who is named Syl did not make it. Nate dumps the body in the forest but gets the shock of his life when 1, they find 2 million dollars in his backpack and 2, when the body is found outside the motel. Syl had dragged himself up from the forest, half-dead but still alive.

Soon everyone at the motel knew what Nate and Sara had done. Syl needed hospital attention but with the storm hitting hard, there was no way that an ambulance was going to make it anytime soon. Will Syl make it through the night and what’s his story? Why does a lonely man have 2 million dollars stashed away?

As it seems that Syl might not make it through the night and everyone agree to split the money evenly; however there is a traitor amongst them. Will they all get out alive?

Cold Kiss was short but sweet. It wasn’t very long but it did not need to be either as it did the job and told the story

This book had a  few unanswered questions, for example, I get the feeling Sara is young as 1, she lists off a reel of things she could do when she was 21 and 2, she is going away to get married to Nate, which suggests the parents do not approve. But the unanswered question for me is that she ended up at that motel for a few days; why did her parents not get worried and send out a search party?

I guess they could have been when she had been at the motel and due to no signal and the storm it was hard but I’m really talking about later in the book. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers so read the book and you will know what I am on about.

Despite this, Cold Kiss was an interesting read. It was a murder mystery that at the time made me feel like I was in the game Cluedo. Cold Kiss was an ok and engaging read.

 

Andy and Terry are back with their second book. This time they a built 13 more storeys onto their treehouse making it 26 floors in total!

The new floors include a skate ramp with a crocodile pit hazard, a maze of doom so complicated that people have never finished it, a mud-fighting arena, and plenty more! Wow, that sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Andy and Terry set to work on their novel, this time they decide to tell us how they met. Andy tells the tale of a boy who lived far away in a tall tower. His parents would not allow him to do anything because it was dangerous until one day a fire in the bedroom caused Terry to inflate his underpants and land him safely in the water. These self-inflating underpants saved his life. Terry was relaxing in the water when suddenly a boy on a peddle boat stopped by him; it is Andy!

Halfway through the story Terry interrupts – it’s the sharks, they are sick because they ate Terry’s underpants!

In Chapter 4 we hear Jill’s story of how she rescued all of her animals and her encounter with Captain Woodenhead.

Are Terry and Andy able to help the sharks become well again? Does Jill’s tale end happily?

The 26 Storey Treehouse is very creative and engaging. The idea is to get children more into books and reading. The ideas are funny, a bit out there and realistic.

However, they also try to appeal to the adults, as the adults must read it too; for example, they have an ice cream serving robot named Edward Scooperhands (obviously from Edward Scissorhands)

Therefore, I would recommend The 26 Storey Treehouse to children aged 6-9 years old. The book is very funny, text and illustrations. The sentences are not too long either. The book is told from a point of view of a child, which the children who are reading can identify with.

An enjoyable read for children. The 26 Storey Treehouse is the second book out of 7, you can buy them individually or as a set. I am looking forward to finding out what Andy and Terry get up too in the next book – The 52 Storey Treehouse.

Everyone loves Oliver, he’s kind, caring and successful! His wife Alice is also lovely, together they work very well. Oliver is an author who writes children’s books and Alice is an illustrator. She has illustrated plenty of Oliver’s books. To the outsider, they have a perfect life.

One day Oliver hits Alice when news of this breaks; everyone is shocked. Lovely Oliver hitting Alice, no way! Why did Alice hit Oliver?

As Oliver begins talking about his life, starting from the day he hit Alice, flashbacking to his younger and school years, where we understand who Oliver is and why he is like that.

Unravelling Oliver is a clever psychological thriller,  I love the way that we are getting into the story, a big secret is about to be revealed and then bam, it is stopped by a new chapter and by a new character perspective.

Each chapter is a different person, where we hear their side of the story. How they met Oliver, what they thought of them and their experience. Eventually, they entwine with each other until they make sense.

Unravelling Oliver is quite short for what it is, but it doesn’t harm the book in any way as the story is just the correct length.

I was a tiny bit disappointed with the end as it was big build up, I would have thought he had done something more serious, even though what he did was still very naughty.

Therefore, Unravelling Oliver is a cleverly written psychological thriller, that will keep you entertained; definitely one for your reading list.

 

 

I love Usborne Books as they are high quality and keep my children engaged. They might be a little bit pricier but in my eyes, definitely worth it.

My two children are autistic and sometimes getting them to read is a challenge; which is why the Usborne reading series is perfect.

Usborne has a great reading programme designed to help and encourage children to read. Series one is for a beginner, series 2 for the more confident reader and so on.

We have books from the reading series 1 and 2, there are lots of titles to choose from and the sentences are short but sweet; which is just what my children read.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great books out there but my children struggle with the long sentences.

In books such as Pirate Pat, the idea is that you read one page and then your child reads the other, the words are simple; such as ‘tap tap tap’

The illustrations are also colourful and interesting.

The books we have are

The Wish Fish

A man goes fishing and pulls out a magic fish that will grant him 3 wishes. His first wish was to be rich, his second to be richer and the next one to be even richer. However, the fish saw that the man was being too greedy and took back the wishes, making them poor again. Moral of the story is to not be greedy.

The Genie in the Bottle

A man was fishing when he came across a bottle, he opened it and a genie appeared. The genie had been stuck in the bottle for some time and was rather rude. The man tricked the genie to get back into his bottle.

The Whale and His Throat

One day a whale went around and ate everything, until one day he ate a man. The man jumped up and down and banged around until the whale said he would release him. In the time it took the whale to get to land, the man had made a filter out of his raft and left it in the Whale’s throat. Now Whale would not be so greedy.

The Dragon and the Phoenix

An old tale, a dragon and a phoenix find a pearl. One day it is nicked and the Queen of Heaven took it. The Phoenix and the dragon confronted her but it fell into the river making it shiny. Both the dragon and the phoenix lay around the river to protect the pearl.

The Enormous Turnip

A farmer notices that the turnip has grown massively and thought it was time to take it out. However, it would not come out and he needed assistance from lots of people and animals to help get it out.

Usborne Books has plenty of titles for you to choose them and are designed to help support your child when learning to read.

Usborne books run a great school programme too, for example, if you were to hold a sponsored read at your school, then you could raise lots of money for books for your school’s library!

You can buy the reading level series one and two in a box set, Track down your nearest Usborne Books organiser local to you.

Marcus’s book was a hit, it was a bestseller and he had Harry to thank for that. Marcus now had the life of a celebrity, everyone saying how much they enjoyed his book. The only thing is he seems to have forgotten who his real friends are.

One day Marcus was having a terrible time, his publisher wasn’t being very patient. Marcus had signed a deal for two more books but he began to have writer’s block. Instantly he called Harry for help.

Harry was a college professor and met Marcus that way, he could tell that Marcus Goldman had potential and so he gave him extra writing lessons.

Goldman flew from New York to Somerset and stayed in Harry’s beautiful house, Goose Cove; hoping to find inspiration for his book but nothing came.

Until the remains of a body of a young woman were found in Harry’s garden. Harry is immediately arrested but maintains his innocence. Marcus knew this and weren’t heave and earth investigating, trying to find the real killer and then he found it – Harry had an affair with a 15-year-old girl…

Much to everyone’s annoyance Goldman starts his own investigation, determined to prove that Harry is innocent. Somerset is a small town where everyone knows everyone and dredging up the past on something that happened 33 years ago was not a good idea.

The case was strange, a woman who lived on the edge of a forest, saw a young girl in red being chased by a young man. Deborah Cooper called the police straight away to report this. The girl then turned up Deborah’s house, Deborah called the police again but after she was shot through the heart and Nola had disappeared; her remains were found a couple of miles away. The two police officers on the scene were baffled – no witnesses, no evidence nothing. One woman dead, the other missing. Due to lack of evidence the case was closed for 33 years,

However what Marcus discovers is a trail of deceit, corruption, and secrets that have been buried. Is Harry innocent? Does Marcus find the real killer?

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair has a great storyline, one that kept me really intrigued. Just when I thought I figured out who killed Nola – the 15-year-old girl, the author takes the book in a completely different direction and throws me off guard. Turns out I was half right in the end! We meet a lot of lovely people as they talk about their encounter with Harry and what they thought of him.

The book begins with Marcus where we find out about his success and what drove him too it. The book goes back and forth from past the present as Marcus talks about his life and his relationship with Harry until they find the remains of the young girl. This is when we find out about Harry’s life.

During this book, there are quite a few interesting twists. The only downside I would say that the book is very long, over 500 pages. At times it can be a bit too descriptive but that did not put me off – it just took me a little longer to read.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert affair has its chapters start backwards, which is quite unusual, and it has an eye-catching cover.

 

Therefore, add this book onto your reading list, as it is a great psychological thriller.

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