Poems For Children By Susan Kassabian (Book Review)

The toasty summer’s breeze dances through my long untamed hair as I sit in the garden having a tea party with my beloved friends. Mum is in the kitchen cooking dinner, Dad is watching Gladiators on the telly and my Brother is up in his room playing computer games. I am happy and content as I pour Pink Panther some more tea and set about making another daisy chain. I open my eyes and see a tower of dirty laundry and dishes eagerly waiting for my expertise. Lovely! I am back to the present.

This week I am reviewing a book that took me back to my childhood. The fantastic people at Romo Press have sent me a copy of Poems For Children By Susan Kassabian. Thank you and as always much appreciated.

Kassabian is the author of the prize-winning children’s novel, The Mummy Of Mulberry Avenue which I will also be reviewing soon on my blog. I am beyond excited as she is currently working on a sequel and a second book of poetry. Read till the end for an exclusive offer! A FREE BOOK!

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Poems For Children was just the breath of fresh air I needed. So often I get caught up in being an adult, paying bills, working, cleaning, an endless mundane list of stuff that needs to be done, unfortunately. But when I curled up on the sofa with my boys and we read Poems For Children, I was reminded what it was like to be young and carefree. Kassabian really captures the innocence and how small things are extremely important to a child like saving up for glitter crayons or being told a secret. Oh, they were the days weren’t they dear reader.

Kassabian writes the imagination of a child beautifully. They see the world so differently to adults, it’s a place of wonder and magic with adventure round every corner. Being an adult and growing up sucks really doesn’t it? We wake up one day and instead of having chocolate cereal for breakfast, we are faced with a glass of green liquified slop. Mmm Yum. That is why I love the use of imagery Kassabian employs. It reminded me that the child in me would not be seen dead eating anything that wasn’t coated in sugar before 8am.

I found myself asking, how is it that little things like bubbles or balloons would always turn a bad day into a good one when I was younger? Why doesn’t it have the same effect now? When I read May-Day Garden Fete I kept questioning when did it all stop? When did I stop having fun by simply throwing hoops to win a can of cola or having a go on the tombola? When did it get all so serious? It’s strange isn’t it. But I didn’t get the chance to think for too long as I had my eldest wanting to read more and then go for a kick about in the garden. Maybe that’s what the problem is. Thinking too much. Something all adults do to an extent that it should be an Olympic sport.

I really admire how poetry such as this can open my eyes and make me see beyond the black and white. To see the colour, the spark that life has to offer. How imaginative and interesting the world can be. In The Coat On The Door, the coat one minute looks like a ghost and then suddenly a witch. The same theme appears in The Mark on the Wall, are they claw marks or a creepy smile? It’s bliss to read and to know that life is what you make it. Sometimes we just need a child to remind us that.

Poems For Children appeals to children because it handles a lot of first experiences, for example death of a much-loved pet. Yet it still manages to keep it lighthearted, like the innocence of a child which fitted perfectly. In My Goldfish I had to have a little giggle at the last two lines as I could see my younger self thinking something similar.

I hope she doesn’t dig him up,
I wouldn’t like to feel
I’d gone to all that trouble just
To give a cat a meal!

It’s not only relatable to children but to adults aswell because they have those memories too. They can share with own children as they read along. These poems are all about life as a child and I was instantly transported back to my childhood, the excitement of going to a theme park, the morning rush to school, being left out of a party, wanting the same bag as your friend, tasteless school dinners with hidden grey hairs, being chosen to be Joseph One in your school’s Nativity play, just everything you can think of that is the PVA glue holding together your childhood.

My favourite poem has got to be The Night-Takers,

The Night-Takers

The Night-takers come in the deep of the night,
When darkness has gobbled up all of the light,
Through gaps in the floorboards and skirting they creep,
And make off with children who won’t go to sleep.

Those children who stay up at night eating sweets
And reading by torchlight snug under sheets,
When dark gathers round them they’d better beware
Lest the Night-takers carry them off to their lair.

They’d better make sure that their fingers and toes
Are safe under covers for everyone knows
That the Night-takers’ jaws have a terrible bite,
They’ll snap them right off if they’re not tucked in tight!

Those children who like to remain wide awake –
I hope they’re not easily scared for their sake,
That scratching they hear at their windows and doors
Just might be the sound of the Night-takers’ claws!

 

Child me would be hiding under the duvet, camped out with a torch, cookies and a good book in fear of being snatched away in the dead of night. I kept thinking of Roald Dahl as I read this poem. He never fails to make my spine shiver like in The Witches, and this poem did exactly that. I love it! Kassabian knows how to write for children and does an exceptionally good job seeing the world through their eyes. Colourful, intrigued and dangerous!

I give Poems For Children By Susan Kassabian a Five out of Five paw rating.

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Thank you for reminding me so much of my childhood and how much creativity there still is in the world. I will now spend less time worrying about silly things like the washing up and instead will make more mud pies with my boys. To remember what it feels like to be a kid again and have some fun. I can’t thank you enough, I feel like my younger self has thrown a snowball dead centre at my face, shocking my system into remembering how much fun and innocent life can be.

See for yourself dear readers, grab a copy here and relive your childhood. I will be waiting in my den I made in the lounge and yes, you are invited to my tea party.

Poems for Children

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https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poems-Children-Susan-Kassabian-ebook/dp/B071VPTGG6

 

The fabulous people at Romo Press are giving my readers an exclusive offer. You are offered the chance to get Susan Kassabian’s prize-winning novel, The Mummy Of Mulberry Avenue FOR FREE! How awesome is that dear readers?! All you have to do is leave a review of Poems For Children on Amazon. Simple and a free book! What more could you ask for! Click here to order yourself a copy.

 

The Mummy of Mulberry Avenue

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Susan Kassabian

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susankassabian
Website: https://www.themummyofmulberryavenue.com

 

I am off to play Pooh sticks with my boys and then after hop to the corner shop for some penny sweets as we are having a feast in the garden with Batman and Spider-Man.

 

Hop hop wiggle wiggle

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The Woman Behind The Waterfall By Leonora Meriel (Book Review)

Do you remember what it was like to be a child? Imagine for a moment if you will dear reader how your seven-year old self used to view the world. Every tree was a new place to climb and nothing but sun, fresh air and fun took up your day. Life was so, so much more simple. We were innocent and young, with not a single care in the world. Well…except little things maybe, like how long would our daisy chains last before they slowly withered and died? However even then we managed to turn that into a positive. More of a reason to make more daisy chains and set up a shop in the front garden! How did we do that? It was so easy to put the world to rights. Our parents were our heroes and we wondered how could they be so brave and fearless. But what happens when their mask slowly starts to slip and children are exposed to the horrors and darkness of the world. The fairy tale crumbles away and children start to realise that there is no prince charming to save them, there is no happy ending. Is there?

I have a captivating book for you this week dear readers. One that speaks from a young and carefree heart slowly drowning in a cold black sea of despair.

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Thank you to Leonora Meriel for sending me a copy of her book The Woman Behind The Waterfall. I was intrigued after reading her guest blog post which you can read here. A lot of the themes spoke to me and I do love a bit of magical realism. How can you not? It’s a snow globe of opportunity. All you have to do is take hold and be willing to shake things up a bit. Watch the chaos descend into pretty white calming snowflakes. Bliss.

Set against the gorgeous backdrop of western Ukraine, The Woman Behind the Waterfall tells the story of how one day seven-year old Angela sees her mother crying. Angela wonders why her mother is so sad and if can she help. Along with her nightspirit and grandmother, can Angela show her mother a way back to happiness? She soon uncovers untold family secrets but will she be quick enough to save her mother from an ill-fated end?

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The strong themes presented in this book made me realise that I am not as alone as I once thought. Depression is a big taboo topic and is often swept under the rug. There is much more awareness of mental health nowadays, however people do tend to turn a blind eye and are unsure of how to handle the situation should it arise. When people see Lyuda, Angela’s mother they look away and pretend not to notice. It is clear she is struggling with depression and turns to alcohol for comfort yet no one is sure of how to address it. The odd few people help her out now and then but she is mostly left alone with only her thoughts to consume her. Which speaking from experience, is not good. Lyuda struggles to come to terms with the way her life has turned out. The heartache weighs on her heart every day and she can no longer see through the thick fog consuming and clogging her throat, slowly choking her to death on faded memories. She blames herself and her choices. It is so incredibly hard to pick yourself up out of this vicious circle. It becomes natural to you, like breathing. You no longer know how to function without thinking these things. I appreciate Meriel for getting Lyuda’s character spot on, making her real. The feelings she has, how she sees things are all relatable to anyone who has suffered with depression and even suicidal thoughts. I applauded it as it’s extremely raw and realistic. You no longer feel quite so alone, there are people out there who feel just like you do.

“Why did I not die that night? she thinks, shaking her head. It would have been so easy. It would have been like breathing in and breathing out again. Just breathing in and then disappearing with that last breath, that simple movement of air.”

The love the grandmother, daughter and granddaughter all had for one another made my heart hurt. Three generations of women all bound to one another, two struggling to see the joy in life while the other is fighting to bring them back and see the world through her innocent eyes. It reminded me how sometimes we need the younger generation to give us a slap to remind us that life is what we make of it. That there will be tough days but we are not alone. Not ever. We have the trees, the wind, the flowers, all around us is life. So we should just close our eyes, take a deep breath and go for it. Live our life with joy and happiness. We all have something to live for, ourselves. We own us that much.

“There is happiness all around, I tell her. It is in every flower. It is in every breath.”

It is such a pleasure to read a story that not only can I relate to but also feel a part of. The narrative switches from first person through the eyes of Angela, to third when looking back on Lyuda’s past memories. Normally I would find these sort of changes confusing or question not sticking to the one narrative style, however it fitted perfectly with the flow of the story. In true magical realism form I was being transported from person to animal to reader to person. Effectively executed as I felt like I was floating up out of my body and watching parts of the story take place from above.

“I will break the rope. I do not know how I will do this but I know it is what I must do. The river is flooding with the tears of my generations.”

I adore the use of imagery especially when it’s done well in writing. Meriel’s stole my breath away. I could feel the warm soft soil beneath my feet, smell the honey cake cooking in the kitchen mixed with the fumes of fresh white paint. I heard Angela laughing as she played in the garden and the sound of the river cascading gently in the distance. One of the many things I love about reading is immersing myself into the writer’s world. How I can tell if they have fully captivated me is if I feel a gentle breeze on my face because the character has stepped outside. It’s a rare thing to find these days in any new authors I discover, but congratulations Leonora Meriel, you have passed my test and are indeed a talented writer. *Raises glass*

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I give The Woman Behind The Waterfall By Leonora Meriel, a Five out of Five paw rating.

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I was gripped and overcome with emotion for the love these strong women had for each other. The burdens they bore alone for so many years broke me. Going to need a week to recover I think, lots of doughnuts and tea should do it!

A big thank you again to Leonora Meriel, your book had me in tears. Beautiful. Grab yourself a copy here. I plan on reading The Unity Game in the not too distant future too.

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Check out the links below for more information on the author. Enjoy!

Leonora Meriel

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Website : www.leonorameriel.com

Tweeter : @leonora_meriel

 

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The Bear Cub Bakers Boolino Book Review

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Did someone say cake? Baking? Bears? Yep, you read that correctly dear reader. Bears baking! I have the most exquisite children’s book review for you today. Grab your aprons, wash your hands and get ready to do some baking. I totally give you full permission to lick the spoon. Let’s bake!

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Thank you to the lovely people at Big Sunshine Books and Boolino for sending me a delicious copy of The Bear Cub Bakers By Caroline Baxter and illustrated By Kathi Ember. We loved loved, loveddddd Pilot Jane And The Runaway Plane By Baxter and illustrated by Izabela Ciesinska, so couldn’t wait to hop off on another adventure.

Deep in the forest is Miss Betsy Bear’s baking school where cubs come each spring to learn how to bake a number of mouth-watering treats. Spoons at the ready, it’s time to BAKE!!!

I am a big, big fan of anything to do with baking. One of my favourite things to do is bake and I love involving my boys. Trust me, it’s worth the extra mess to see how happy it makes them. (Flour in one’s hair is so in fashion these days anyway.) They enjoy exploring different textures, learning how to weigh ingredients and combining it all together to make a tasty treat. The Bear Cub Bakers introduces children to the joy that is baking with a delightful tale of six little bears baking up a tray full of yummyness (Should so be a word!) and at the end one special baker wins a great prize. A great way to encourage children to take part and get involved, showing them that hard work and determination pays off. With CAKE!

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Baxter has a way with words and had made a truly gorgeous story. Her rhyming skills are a joy to read as it involves the reader in the story. You can’t help but smile as you read/sing along. The way she describes the noise in the kitchen and the smells got us drooling and by the end we were a pair of very hungry bears. Lucky there is a special Miss Betsy Bear recipe for Bear Buns at the back to satisfy your cravings. We fully enjoyed making them and of course devouring them. There wasn’t a single crumb left. We might have licked the plate clean. Might have.

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The illustrations work perfectly with the story. The writing and pictures combined was a heavenly feast for our eyes. The detail is such a pleasure to see and has been thought out thoroughly. My boys really loved just looking at the pictures and pointing out the tiny details. We are now on the look out for our own bee egg timer.

If you are missing the Bake Off (I totally am!) then this book is perfect for you and your little cub. Literally think Bake Off but with Bears! Now, who wants some cake?

I give The Bear Cub Bakers a Five out of Five paw rating. Baking! Need I say more? Yum!

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Get your paws on a copy today, click here and before you know it you will be a master of buttercream frosting. Just think of all the wondrous things you will be cooking up and eating! Everyday can be a tea party.

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Don’t forget to also check out Piolt Jane And The Runaway Plane By Caroline Baxter. Another little treat that you will both love. Click here to grab a copy and jet off on an adventure to new horizons with friends today!

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Before you go, also check out Big Sunshine Books and Boolino. Books, books and more books to your heart’s content. Let’s keep on promoting reading from a young age, making it fun and enjoyable. So many stories and characters to meet. It makes me happy to see my boys so involved in their reading. Bookworms and proud! So, so ridiculously happy.

 

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Hop hop wiggle wiggle.

 

Posted in art, arts, Bake, Bake Off, baking, being a writer, Big Sunshine Books, blog, blogger, book, Book Blog, Book Blogger, Book Review, Book Reviewer, Booklover, books, Books are my thing, Books For Children, Bookworm, Bookworms, Boolino, Boolino Book Review, cake, Caroline Baxter, Children's Book Review, Children's Fiction, creative writing, discovery, everyday life, Family, Family blogger, Family Life, Family Life Blogger, Fiction, follow me, friends, fun, Fun Children's Books, happy, Honest Blog Post, Honest Book Review, Izabela Ciesimska, Kathi Ember, learning, Let's Talk About Books!, life, Life As A Mother, Life With Two Boy's, Lifestyle, opinion, Pilot Jane And The Runaway Plane, Pink Plane, positive, reading, social media, story time, talk, talking, The Bear Cub Bakers, Toddler, toddler life, Uncategorized, wordpress, writer, Young Children's Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dreaming Key : A Story Of Poetry By Jordan Toney Review

Have you ever wondered what your dreams mean? Why do we dream? How does our body shut down to recharge but our mind can escape to new worlds twined with parallel universes with the odd sensation of day-to-day life thrown in randomly? How is that possible? We are asleep but a small part of us is conscious. It’s fascinating. Dust off your dreamcatcher dear readers and let’s explore the mystery that has baffled brains for centuries. Dreams.

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A big shout out to the dream weaver himself, Jordan Toney for sending me a copy of The Dreaming Key : A Story Of Poetry. I was excited to take another moonlight dip, swan-diving again off the top of a cliff into the creativity abyss. As I have said before in my previous reviews of this author, it’s extremely difficult to discover a true craftsman these days who takes pride in their work. So rare! I have a very strong feeling that if you were to cut Toney (I’m totally against violence of course, I can’t bring myself to squash a bug!) he would bleed ink and his words would naturally flow out onto the page and proceed to start waltzing with one another. It’s hypnotising to read, a real struggle to tear yourself away. Much like a child who has discovered a kaleidoscope for the first time. So, so pretty and shiny.

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The Dreaming Key : A Story Of Poetry tells of a wizard who must perfect the Dreaming Key otherwise the whole kingdom will be troubled with nightmares. One day a man goes to the wizard and tells him that the kingdom is in ruins and plagued by nightmares as the spells and wards that once protected them have ceased. The wizard gives him a clear crystal locket which when turned, causes the whole kingdom to be shrouded in sleep. There will come a time when it will be broken as nothing can last forever. The poems in the book are of the kingdom’s dreams. To be trapped in your dreams would be heaven yet your own personal nightmare. Never should the two entwine otherwise you would struggle to discern reality from the dream.

‘But even nightmares cannot be held back forever.’

Toney is fascinated with dreams. Some of the poems in this book are dreams he has had while others are invented. The reader has an open invitation to take a stroll amongst his dreams, to witness his fears and passions. He is letting it go, letting it be free for all to see. (hehe I did a little rhyme!) Toney wants the reader to truly feel something. As he points out in his introduction, they have all the power. Are we scared of our dreams? Why? Do they reveal the true face of what is holding us back in life? We as humans want to be noticed, loved, happy and free. Our dreams show us our desires and at the same time our own hell. It’s only natural that we want to feel something. It’s human nature yet we suppress it as it doesn’t fit into society’s law. It is through poetry, literature, any form of art that we can truly escape. Toney reminds the reader that its ok to feel scared or alone. Just feel something, express it and don’t hold back. Take something from it away with you, nurture it, love it, let it grow and see how remarkable life can be.

‘Let me spread my emotions around,
Like pebbles mixed into the sand
And watch as I form the tapestry
Of poetry in motion.’

Poetry isn’t just about rhyming couplets, haikus and repetition of words for dramatic effect. It’s about so, so much more that often goes unappreciated with today’s modern society. Toney is passionate about what he does and hopefully that will in turn transpose onto the reader who will open their eyes and admire poetry for the inspirational language that it is. It’s like the pineapple on a cocktail stick at parties. People tend to avoid it if possible and go straight for the sausages and crisps. It’s a rare taste that only a number of people enjoy. You either love it or hate it. However I hope in today’s society that this black and white view can be overcome and expanded upon. I can dream.

‘If you chose to see the unseen,
And hear the unheard,
Would it seem so strange
To witness the mushrooms bloom?’

I have a few favourites in this book, it was difficult to pick just one. In Then There Were Dragons, I was flying through the skies on their backs and looking at the world below. Plus DRAGONS! I love dragons! I could really relate to A World In My Mind. As writer I want to note down constantly my thoughts and feelings about the places I visit, my experiences, just everyday life. The art of writing is that the whole world is our canvas. Never in short supply of imagination. It’s torture yet utter bliss. Dragon And Owl made me ugly sob. My heart melted into a big gooey puddle with all the emotions for the love their friendship shared. Just thinking about it is starting me off again, I need a tissue.

‘The owl knew deep down,
That yes one day she’d die.’

By the end you have a load of questions brewing around in your brain. Is it possible to communicate with each other through our dreams? Have we all met each other in our dreams and are great friends but just don’t know it? Is that why we get that feeling of deja vu? So many possibilities. I love it!

‘And though I may drift upon dreams, I am yet made of something
more real than the simplest imagination.’

I give The Dreaming Key : A Story Of Poetry a Five out of Five paw rating.

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I was left feeling connected and not so alone. Always a good feeling to realise that, “Oh I’m not quite so mad after all”. Also Hope. Hope that in this crazy world we live in, that there is still some humanity left and we can live out our lives in peace while taking pleasure in the arts of the world. It’s a delightful little read and allows you to escape the noise that is currently happening around us and to just sit back and indulge in some fresh air of the poetry world. Beautiful.

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Grab yourself a copy here and enjoy some breathtaking poetry that is a dream to read. See what I did there. Bad pun I know, but I had to! Also don’t forget to check out Jordan Toney’s other books, Ellipsis: Poems Of Disasters and Pause/Silence/Laughter: And Other Plays, just click on the titles to find your next exciting new read.

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Links For Jordan Toney

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804f1924823f1b2e4b53f058a715ff4c_amazon-amazon-logo-clipart_510-171 Author Page : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jordan-Toney/e/B01MV7UNN2/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

 

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Posted in art, arts, be who you are, be yourself, being a writer, blog, blogger, book, Book Blog, Book Blogger, Book Review, Book Reviewer, Booklover, books, Books are my thing, Bookworm, creative writing, discovery, dreaming, dreams, Ellipsis Poems Of Disasters, everyday life, fear, Fiction, Honest Blog Post, Honest Book Review, Jordan Toney, learning, Let's Talk About Books!, life, Lifestyle, Love, opinion, Pause/Silence/Laughter: And Other Plays, people, play, poem, Poetry, Poetry Collection, public, reading, Review, reviewer, The Dreaming Key : A Story Of Poetry, Uncategorized, wordpress, world, writer, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Toddlyworld Books-Boolino Book Review

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Have you ever imagined what it would be like if your child’s story books came to life? Jumping out of the page and dancing around the room singing with your child? Who hasn’t! We can enjoy a quick (hot) cuppa while they have a wee jig. Thanks to the magic that is Toddlyworld this is now possible. Interested in taking a new musical journey about discovery and learning with your child? Read on dear reader and don’t forget to bring your tambourine!

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Thank you to the lovely people at Toddlyworld for introducing us to the magical world of Toddly and Toddlybear. Also a big thank you to the awesome people at Boolino for giving us this opportunity to review these wonderful books. These bright, colourful board books get children enthusiastic and involved in reading. They tell the tales of Toddly and Todldybear’s adventures, learning and discovering about the world around them. We received 4 books from the series, Summer, Spring, Numbers and Stars By Stanka Wixted. All new fascinating discoveries for my little monsters.

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The books are ideal for 2-5 year olds. There are small paragraphs so there’s not too much writing to overwhelm them and the text is bold, easy to read. The illustrations pop and  are fun to look at. The CD compliments and completes the whole package. What more could you ask for from a children’s book. Perfection.

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We live in a world were technology is forever evolving. Our children are leaning how to use computers and iPads in school, some of them are better computer whizzes than me. By moving with the times yet still staying faithful to the written language, Toddlyworld are engaging children’s learning experience with their use of musical audiobook CDs. It’s a pleasure to see and I highly approve of mixing the old tradition with the new.

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There are 3 tracks on each CD, a song, the audiobook and a lullaby. The perfect balance for young children. The song gets them excited and ready for the story. Then the audiobook whisks them off on the adventure. At the end the lullaby helps calm your little ones down after all the excitement. Something that’s always appreciated as a mother, as you never really know the power of the lullaby until you have children. It’s like magic how it can hypnotize your little monsters into needing a doze. Bliss. I also think the CD will be great for children who are struggling to read. They won’t miss out and be disheartened because they will get to hear the stories too. Toddlyworld has thought of everything.

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The sound effects really help children picture themselves in the adventure along with the vibrant illustrations in the book. They can hear the sea or the birds and feel absorbed into the story. It enhances their experience and they can be apart of Toddlyworld with Toddly and Toddlybear.

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Our favourite song was the Number song. We have been learning more about numbers lately and as soon as we hit play, my son was dancing about counting up to ten. I strongly believe these happy experiences really improve a child’s ability to learn. They will remember how much fun they had and will want to expand their knowledge. The more positivity that is shown, the more open they are to learning new things. These books help tremendously with this with their use of songs. It gets them up and involved helping them remember. And of course who doesn’t love a good sing-song.

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We loved learning how Toddly remembers what the numbers look like. It’s a lot easier for children to have a silly fun way to remember things than a serious approach. Our favourite number was Zero as he looked like a doughnut. It then of course made us hungry for doughnuts. We might have had a cheeky one after we finished the book. Might have…

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I also like the little morals in some of the stories. In Spring Toddly and Toddlybear eat too much chocolate and feel sick. Mummy is cross and they realise what they did was wrong so they offer to help with the spring cleaning to say sorry. Teaching children manners at a young age encourages them to continue it through to adulthood. Something I am always striving to teach my son, manners cost nothing.

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Fun, full of music and learning I give the Toddlyworld Books a Five out of Five paw rating.

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We had lots of fun exploring Toddlyword. My son found Toddlybear cheeky and giggled at his funny voice. As I type now he is still singing the Numbers song! Happy and learning, this Mummy Bunny highly approves.

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Click here to discover more and if you are interested in buying a copy of
Summer, Spring, Numbers and Stars click here and add some music to your story time.

 

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Toddlyworld have a ton of new exciting stuff coming your way,  inspiring stories and videos for your children to enjoy. Check out the video below.

Discover more on the links below!

https://toddlyworld.theofficialwebshop.com

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Don’t forget to also check out Boolino, so many books with so many adventures and characters just waiting for you. A click away! My kind of heaven.

http://www.boolino.co.uk

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Pause/Silence/Laughter: And Other Plays By Jordan Toney : Review

A pause speaks volumes which is an ironic thing considering what a pause actually is. A temporary stop, a rest, frozen mid-life for all to see yet you are still in motion. You hesitate and stop yourself because doubt and uncertainty has clouded your mind. Silence is an old friend you don’t get to visit often, offering a cup of tea and shoulder to cry on. And laughter is always with you, waiting for the most inappropriate times to make an appearance. These three aspects of life trend to be hiding in the background yet keeping us company when we need it most. They are always waiting for the lights to be slowly lit so they can have their moment centre stage in the spotlight and tell their story.

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A big thank you to Jordan Toney for sending me his collection of plays Pause/Silence/Laughter: And Other Plays. I hugely encourage you all to check out his work and bask in his artistic vision. Another favourite author has been added to my list! This is what I love about the writing community. You never know when you are going to discover something new and exciting. Writers who have the same passion for literature as you and just want to show the world their creativity. Go, explore and dive into something new today, your imagination will love you for it.

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Pause/Silence/Laughter: And Other Plays is five thought-provoking short plays that force you to ask yourself a ton of questions, which I think personally is always a good thing. Are we capable of time travel? Do we ever deal with the loss of a loved one? Will the past always be our future? Are we all secretly connected to each other through our dreams? And what happens when the world decides to leave you behind?

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Pauses, silence and laughter are key characters. Toney uses them effectively and with great flair to really set the atmosphere on stage and engage the audience. Like the secret ingredient to your signature dish, you have to get it just so or the flavour will be off. Yet fear not reader, there is no harm of that here as Toney is in his element, his kitchen if you will and he is the head chef. Allow me to say now, my compliments to the chef. *Raises glass* Let’s tuck in to this divine five course meal shall we?

In Photographs the main character Billy is struggling to come to terms with the events of his life up until this point. He reaches out to the audience asking them questions, desperate for answers that will satiate his need to remember. Something we can all relate to. My heart shattered as I read the scene were Billy is talking to his mother. I was a mess, tears tumbling down my face accompanied by loud ugly sob noises.

‘Can you hear me? (Pause) Everyone else can see her, right? (Pause) I want to hold her and tell her the world is going to be fine.’

It reminded me that even though we grow up, we can easily revert back to being a scared lost child needing the monsters to be chased away. When we are young our parents are our world, our everything. The thought of losing them and being left alone is too much to bear but it is unfortunately something we all go through. The ugly harsh reality of the world we live in. Toney’s portrayal of this loss of innocence is bewitching to read and extremely relatable.

‘You’re all SITTING there watching me go through this and what does any of it mean to you’

The audience is just the spectator, watching and not doing anything. Something so true and real in the world we live in. We sit in our comfy homes, warm and fed while thousands of miles away there are people with no roof over their heads starving. The truth of it is, what can you do about it all? You can only do what you can and be a decent human being; show some humanity in times like these. You feel helpless and know it’s happening but again can’t click your fingers and make it all better. Toney holds up a mirror to the audience showing them how helpless we all can be. We tend to just watch and not do anything about it. It’s intense writing and I love it.

Pause/Silence/Laughter reminded me a lot of an old black and white silent film. So much is said through body language and actions. No words are needed to tell the story and it’s spectacular to read. Within seconds Toney sets the scene for the madness that sets in after losing a loved one. His characters all have secrets and struggle to come to terms with them, causing them to lose patience and break down exposing the audience to their weaknesses. It reminds the audience that we are all only human after all.

Ever had a dream where you are continuously stuck in an annoying, frustrating loop that you can’t seem to break out of? That’s what The Clown And The Train Station reminded me of.  You play out the same day over and over again (much like life at times) with no hope of freedom. The ticking of the clock is a constant reminder that although we may feel stuck we are always moving forward. We are all guilty of living in the past and have struggled to move forward. It’s human nature and one of our downfalls in life.

Silent plays are beautiful because we can escape the noise that follows us everyday and just enjoy the silence. Sometimes words are not needed to tell a story, you can see with your own eyes the pain and love in someones actions. Our bodies speak louder than our voices ever could.

It’s strange to think that we live everyday sometimes not even knowing who the people are who live down the road. A world full of faces yet we don’t know their stories. Although we are all different and unique, we have similar tenderness. We all have regrets in life, some people choose to accept it while others dwell on what could have been. The characters in  Alack Alack desperately want to feel something, to be understood and to connect. We have all had that feeling of not being understood. Remember being a teenager? One of toughest parts of growing up can be trying to find out who you are and to be accepted by society. We all want to find someone to relate to, to be remembered and not forgotten.

‘In some way, we all meet the same fate. Some worse than others, and some peacefully. Is it all a matter of luck? Of fate? No, none of that.’

Life is a matter of different choices, yet we will all die one day. It’s inevitable, impossible to not encounter. A morbid thought but if we make the most of our time in this world and talk to each other, it will be a life well lived and loved.

I could feel my heart pounding away, trying to burst through my chest with every page I turned in Shelter. The audience are showed a world where the end is near, bombs dropping, people dying and everything covered in radiation. Toney is a master at creating panic and at the same time building the suspense. He shows how even in the darkest of times we can still find the humour and take the time to laugh. How the little things in life are important and when faced with the end of the world, all that really matters is the love we have for one another, our family, our friends and our pets. Again I had tears in my eyes at how terrifying the world can be at times. It’s heartbreaking.

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All five plays present the audience a number of questions for them to ask themselves. Things to reflect on and think about. I admire the way Toney has used monologues as his characters express so much emotion through dialogue. It’s poetic and makes the characters on stage relatable. It could so easily be us up there, saying these words, naked for all to see with no need to act or pretend. The afterlife is a strong present theme that asks the audience what they believe. Is there life after death? Is this all there is? Toney connects the audience and allows us all to relate to one another. Our desire to feel connected and not so alone is accomplished. It’s bliss and works wonders for the mind. Overall it’s an interesting work of theatre that gets you thinking and runs you through a whirlwind of emotions leaving you breathless yet yearning for more.

I give Pause/Silence/Laughter: And Other Plays By Jordan Toney a Five out of Five paw rating.

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It had me captivated from start to finish. I would pay good money to see this on the stage and to just soak up that raw atmosphere of human existence. Grab yourself a copy here and see for yourself. Let your mind become the stage for five extraordinary plays dealing with time, memory, love and connection through dreams. Sit back, relax and get ready for scene one. The curtain is about to rise.

Next on my list is The Dreaming Key: A Story Of Poetry By Jordan Toney. I am really loving this writer’s work, his style and use of imagery is astounding to read. Discover more about Jordan Toney on the links below. Enjoy!

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Links For Jordan Toney

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Ellipsis Poems Of Disasters By Jordan Toney (Review)

Have you ever imagined what the end of the world would be like? Will fire fall from the sky? Rivers turn to blood and a blanket of dust and bone cover the lands? Have you ever asked yourself the morbid “What if? What would happen? What would it be like?” Questions flood your brain with no sure way of uncovering the answers. Or is there…

Thank you to Jordan Toney for sending me his wonderful poetry collection, Ellipsis Poems Of Disasters. If you haven’t already you need to check his work out. It’s so refreshing to read a piece of literature that feeds my imagination. It’s extremely rare these days to come across a genuinely creative piece of writing. I have been starved for some inspiring poetry since my university days. So when I received Ellipsis Poems Of Disasters I was more than excited to once again swan dive into the mysterious world that is poetry. I resurfaced feeling revived and refreshed from my self-indulgent dip wanting to put pen to paper and unleash my imagination.

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Ellipsis tells of the disaster that is the end of the world. A collection of poems showing the reader the apocalyptic outcome of it all. Yet still portraying raw emotion, the real fears of the human race and our self-destructive nature to the very place we call home.

‘…We thought we knew then, something was amiss
But we did not heed the warning signs.
We looked up and cried out to the lightning.’

As we know an ellipsis is cutting out what’s not necessary, the waffling if you’d rather. Dots in a line. Toney does this perfectly. Told in nine chapters, Toney immerses the reader in his world where panic, fear and loss are strong characters we encounter as we roam the familiar landscapes of Earth. Trust me when I say this dear reader, you are going to what to read this hidden gem.

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The way Toney has set out each poem in this collection really adds to the suspense. You can’t help but want to continue reading as soon as you finish each poem. You get greedy and want more and more, if you are like me I HAD to finish it in one sitting. I didn’t want to put it down and that’s rare for me to do these days. Extremely rare. I savoured every last detail as I reached the inevitable end. Living in the moment and experiencing it for what it is rather than overindulge and be left bloated. I still crave more but that’s the beauty of the end isn’t it. It’s never truly over as it’s open to interpretation. You can continue the story in your head, it never just…Ends. Got to love literature and its writers.

I am a big admirer of imagery. It can be a very hit and miss concept in poetry or writing in general. Writers can use too much and confuse the reader or not enough leaving the reader starved. Toney does neither of these. He not only sculpted the vision in my mind, but hijacks my senses allowing me to have a front row seat as the world burns to a crisp.

‘Houses were falling down like snow.
Doors and walls folded up like playing cards.’

It’s strangely enchanting and hypnotic. To feel the ice prickle at my skin while the ground shakes at my feet with each page I turn. The panic and chaos painted in my mind allowing my imagination to heighten what Toney has already set in motion. It’s definitely an experience and the poetic nature of it makes it that much more delicious.

I enjoyed reading the clever little hints at how today’s modern society are always watching but never noticing. We live in a world where smartphones and electronic devices are glued to our hands. We are constantly looking down, living life through a screen, watching but never taking in the natural beauty of what surrounds us everyday. Most people can’t leave the house without their phones and I am guilty as charged for this crime. Yet on the odd occasion I have managed to leave the black mirror behind, there is a sense of bliss when I’m not plugged in. A sense of freedom and peace, no noise and nonsense. Ellipsis made me realise that if the world was to end; ironically we would all probably find out about it on twitter before looking up to the sky and seeing the big ball of burning fire-death hurtling towards us. We are becoming a race of hunched over, square eyed synthetic flesh that will one day wonder why we always looked down and never up.

‘The news stations all seemed to ignore
The fact that everything was upside down
And they talked and talked
Nonsense on screen
While the whole world watched
Instead of noticing the world was on fire
And burning.’

It sends a slight chill down my spine at how real and relatable these poems are. If the end of the world happened, would we notice? These poems make you ask yourself so many questions and draw you in to the fact that this could one day become a reality. Who knows…

I give Ellipsis Poems Of Disasters a Five out of Five paw rating.

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I loved it. The imagery, the suspense and the sheer fear of the end. Toney is a master of his craft. My bunny paws applaud you, Sir and look forward to reading more of your work. Next on the list is Pause/Silence/Laughter: And Other Plays, a collection of short plays. My inner thespian is already excited and waiting in the wings.

 

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You can buy a copy of Ellipsis Poems Of Disasters here. Go ahead and enrich your mind with some breathtaking poetry. Also check out Jordan Toney’s other works here. More people need to be exposed to Toney’s writing and the absolute pleasure of reading his work. I am all about supporting authors and their talent, share the love and lets keep the world alive with creativity. Discover more about Jordan Toney on the links below. Enjoy!

 

Links For Jordan Toney

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instagram-Logo-PNG-Transparent-Background-download jtoneysloth22

925898b903a4d9182622fda48f870f66_welcome-to-our-room-with-a-twitter-logo-clipart-png_1139-926 jordantypefont

804f1924823f1b2e4b53f058a715ff4c_amazon-amazon-logo-clipart_510-171 Author Page : https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jordan-Toney/e/B01MV7UNN2/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

 

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Posted in arts, being a writer, blog, blogger, book, Book Blog, Book Blogger, Book Review, Book Reviewer, Booklover, books, Books are my thing, Bookworm, Bookworms, chat, creative writing, discovery, Ellipsis Poems Of Disasters, everyday life, fear, Fiction, Honest Blog Post, Honest Book Review, Jordan Toney, learning, Let's Talk About Books!, life, Lifestyle, my life, my world, opinion, people, poem, Poetry, Poetry Collection, public, reading, Review, reviewer, shareing, social media, story time, talking, The End Of The World, twitter, Uncategorized, wordpress, world, worry, writer, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment