The Worm and the Bird by Coralie Bickford-Smith

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A new, beautifully illustrated picture book from the bestselling author of The Fox and the Star, winner of Waterstones Book of the Year 2015.

Via Goodreads

Deep below the earth, Worm dreams of having more space. There’s not much room down there.

Above, Bird waits, through sun and rain and wind.

As the day goes on, will they both find what they are looking for?

From the author of The Fox and the Star, this is a book about searching and hoping, and how the smallest moment can be beautiful.

Absolutely beautiful cover, and gorgeous illustrations. A somewhat dark tale about the importance of devoting time to the things that really matter.  It’s a bit about mindfulness and the desire for solitude too I think.  I may even be seeing the story though adult eyes and it will mean something completely different to a child!  Poignant and layered and a little bittersweet (at least if you are an adult), it’s added to by the use of metallic ink both on the cover and inside.  It is  just so beautiful!

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The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A beautiful children’s book about the friendship of a Fox and the Star that guides him through a dark forest.  Fox looks for food, runs with rabbits and dances in the rain until the sky goes dark and suddenly everything starts to change around Fox.  So he sets out to find the light again which carries Fox a journey lit by courage, newfound friends.

Via Goodreads

Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and the art of William Blake, The Fox and the Star is a heartwarming, hopeful tale which comes alive through Bickford-Smith’s beloved illustrations, guiding readers both young and grown to “look up beyond your ears.

The art work is amazing in this book, anyone from young to old will find the beauty in this story.   When you handle the cloth bound hardback, it feels like a beautiful old edition of a children’s classic that has been handed down for generations.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

How can you not be pulled into the cover of this book?  I’m telling you, the cover art is just a glimpse of what you will find in the pages of this dark compilation of tales!

I should tell you that this is considered a graphic novel and has won many awards including: Bram Stoker Award Nominee for Best Graphic Novel (2014)Milwaukee County Teen Book Award (2015)Lincoln Award Nominee (2017)Green Carnation Prize Nominee for Longlist (2014)Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards for Best Graphic Album-Reprint (2015)  Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Graphic Novels & Comics (2014)IGN Award for Best Original Graphic Novel (2014)

There are five tales told though the most bizarre and chilling graphics that I couldn’t stop reading until I reached the end!  The artwork is magnificent.  If I had words to describe these tales to you….fairy-tales gone all wrong….would be it. Delightfully creepy reading guaranteed that is for sure!

Photo of my copy:

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The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall

 

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book was the best book I read in 2017 by far!  It is going to be my pick for book club in June!

Willow Havens, a 10 year old girl is a little obsessive over the fear that her mother will die.  Given the fact that her mother does happen to be the same age as most of our grandparents…Polly is anything but old and boring.

Polly, is a cantankerous, take-no-prisoners Southern woman who lives to shoot varmints, drink margaritas, and antagonize the neighbors and she sticks out like a sore thumb among the young modern mothers of their small conventional Texas town. She was in her late fifties when Willow was born, so Willow knows she’s here by accident, a late-life afterthought. Willow’s father died before she was born, her much older brother and sister are long grown and gone and failing elsewhere. It’s just her and bigger-than-life Polly.

Willow has no inkling to Polly’s past life before she came into the world.  It’s her goal to find out the clues before…you know…her mother dies! Willow wants to know – why did Polly leave her hometown of Bethel, Louisiana, fifty years ago and vow never to return? Who is Garland Jones, her long-ago suitor who possibly killed a man? And will Polly be able to outrun the Bear, the illness that finally puts her on a collision course with her past?

This is a very highly recommend read! I loved every second of it!

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

My book club wanted to read a classic and this was what was chosen.  To many of us it was a struggle…

I had never read the actual version of this book, I had a ‘downed’ version for younger readers.  To my surprise, it was pretty challenging to read.  There was just SO MUCH DETAIL!  I do recommend readers to at least try to read any version of this classic tale, or even watch a film adaption!

VIA Goodreads –>

One of the most beloved books of all time, Pride and Prejudice-Jane Austen’s most popular book- has been resonating with readers since it was first published in 1813 and has been adapated many times for television, movies, and books.

When headstrong and independent Elizabeth Bennet, one of five sisters, is required to find a wealthy husband, her encounter with the arrogant Mr. Darcy leads to one of the most entertaining and satisfying courtships ever imagined. Beyond the romance, Pride and Prejudice is a book full of humor and wit that is also a commentary on upper-class social manners at the turn of the nineteenth century.

 

The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I am a fan of Charles Dicken’s amazing writing.  We read this for our Christmas theme for book club and it didn’t disappoint!  I read this as as e-book and highlighted many lines through out.  Dicken’s just has a way with words that is so poetic!

We discussed the essence of the actual cricket and the many meanings we thought it had through out the story for each character.  It was a great discussion!

The Watcher by Ross Armstrong

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Rating: ♥ ♥

It started so well. Several pages in and the legend on the cover that said “The Girl On The Train meets Rear Window” had a ring of authenticity. Our prime protagonist Lily is supposed to be a keen birdwatcher although she does little of that with her binoculars, preferring to spy on the residents of adjoining apartment blocks. She regales her husband Aiden with her take on their daily lives. Or does she? Careful here. Spoilers to be avoided. But then she sees something suspicious in a neighboring tower block and keeps it to herself. I just could not connect with Lily as the story progressed. Is she being watched without realizing. By whom? Why? Nobody, it appears, wants to listen to Lily’s developing paranoia. She keeps a journal, it seems to be addressed to someone. But who? Will we ever find out?

There are some heart-stopping moments, particularly toward the end, which is just as well, as I was struggling to complete the book. Overall, it’s good although I found much of the plot irritating.