Guest post —The Everything Machine by Ally Kennen

Three kids let loose with a top-secret magical machine with a mind of it’s own . . . What could possibly go wrong? Olly, Stevie and Bird have just had a very special delivery. It’s a machine that has a name, can speak and is able to print anything they want it to. How about a never-ending supply of sweets and a cool swimming pool in the shed, for starters? But is getting everything you’ve ever wished for all it’s cracked up to be?

Book review — Death at the Seaside by Frances Brody

death-at-the-seasideNothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton feels like she deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.

Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend.

Book review — Rose in the Blitz by Rebecca Stevens

rose-in-the-blitzIt’s the night before Rose’s mum re-marries. Rose can’t sleep for worrying and nor can her muddled Great-Aunt Cosy, her namesake. Rose sees the old lady leaving the house and runs after her to the London underground. Their empty train stops in 1940, in a war-torn London broken by the Blitz. Here, Rose witnesses great romance and impending sacrifice. Tragedy will surely follow – unless she can change what happens next …

Book review — The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell

the-penguin-lessonsSet against Argentina’s turbulent years following the collapse of the corrupt Perónist regime, this is the heart-warming story of Juan Salvador the penguin, rescued by Tom from an oil slick in Uruguay just days before a new term. When the bird refuses to leave Tom’s side, the young teacher has no choice but to smuggle it across the border, through customs, and back to school. Whether it’s as the rugby team’s mascot, the housekeeper’s confidant, the host at Tom’s parties or the most flamboyant swimming coach in world history, Juan Salvador transforms the lives of all he meets – in particular one homesick school boy. And as for Tom, he discovers in Juan Salvador a compadre like no other…

Book review — The Foolish King by Mark Price (illustrations by Martin Brown)

The Foolish King Jacket1It’s not often that something really different lands on my desk, but The Foolish King really caught my eye. It’s estimated that chess is played by 500 million people in 167 countries, and The Foolish King is perfect for children to learn how to play one of the world’s most popular games and keep them entertained for hours. In both book and app format (on which more below) this is a really interesting way to make chess more exciting and accessible for children.

Welcome to our blog. We are a mum and daughter who love books, and love reading books together. So, we thought we would share our thoughts on some of our favourite books. We’d like to hear what you think too, and any suggestions of new books for us to read.

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