Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Parenting and Famlies

My Daddy is a Monster Natalie Reeves Billing 5*#Review @BillingReeves #Ilustrator Lisa Williams @RandomTTours #BlogTour #BookReview #kidlit #ChildrensBooks #MonstrousMe #MyDaddyisaMonster

The Monstrous Me collection are split perspective books looking at situations from other points of view, helping children develop a sense of balance, roundedness and wellbeing. Readers can literally and figuratively, turn the story on its head, and look at the very same situations from different angles. In this second book, ‘My Daddy is a Monster’ a curious little boy is convinced his dad is a monster. But, is he really? When we look through his dad’s eyes, we see a very different story.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The second in the Monstrous Me series sees things from a man’s perspective. Daddy is happy to share the domestic duties and parenting, but his children don’t appreciate his efforts. Then you can flip the book over and see how the kids see their daddy. This book helps children to see things from both sides, appreciate that there is more than one way of seeing something.

Rhyming text and vivid fantasy illustrations engage children who love to use their imaginations. It’s a read that appeals to children and parents with multi-layered humourous situations familiar to parents.

My grandson loves these books because of the monsters, so he learns as he laughs.

Natalie Reeves Billing


Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction.
Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.


Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting.
Her new book, My Mummy is a Monster (part of the Monstrous Me collection) will be available in March 2020 and Carry Love in June 2020

Connect with Natalie on Twitter

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Blitz, Childrens Books, Friendship

Wombat & Jones: The Great Banana Mystery Arran Francis 5* #Review @wombatandjones #Narrator Alison Campbell @rararesources #Audiobook #review #Friendship #kidlit #teamwork #problemsolving #Summer #SaturdayMorning

Wombat and Jones are excited to attend the famous Boris Beaker’s banana bread baking class and like many other friends in town they can’t wait to get to work on making scrumptious banana bread. However, there’s just one problem — before class gets underway, Boris discovers that all of the bananas have gone missing!

​Boris Beaker and his disappointed students know there is no chance they can make banana bread without this key ingredient, but Wombat isn’t willing to give up that easily. Putting her investigative skills to the test, she gets help from her trusty sidekick — Furlock Jones — and together they attempt to solve The Great Banana Mystery.

Wombat & Jones: The Great Banana Mystery is a funny tale about friendship, problem-solving, and teamwork. Simple mistakes and jumping to conclusions can happen after all, but Wombat & Jones try their best to put it right and learn from them. 

Wombat and Jones Google Play Apple Books

I received a copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a humorous story designed for children in the four to six age group. The colourful and comic characters draw the reader into the story. The narrator brings the characters to life. The overemphasised accents help the children differentiate between the characters.

This story follows Wombat and Jones as they look for the missing bananas. It helps children to understand that not everything is as it first appears, not to jump to conclusions and to trust in your friends.

You could use this story as a problem-solving exercise for your children this summer, rather like a treasure hunt. It’s fun to listen to with vivid characters and an engaging narrator.

Written by author Arran Francis, creator of multiple series for BBC’s CBeebies Radio, and has worked as an audiobook producer on behalf of MacMillan Audio, Audible and Harper Collins. He launched Wombat and Jones Audio in 2019 with the aim of writing children’s novels to be released exclusively in audiobook format.

The audiobooks for the Daisy May’s Daydream Parade and Wombat & Jones series were released last summer with further books in the series and standalone titles being scheduled for publication in 2020.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Friendship, Parenting and Famlies

Gloria The Summer Fun Bus Sue Wickstead 5*#Review @JayJayBus #kidlit #ChildrensBooks #Summer @rararesources #BlogTour #Fun #BookReview #PictureBooks #playbus #GloriaTheSummerFunBus

Gloria is a special Playbus.

She is painted with bright colours that makes her stand out. Now she is ready for a summer of fun, but will Max enjoy the adventure.

Why don’t you join in the fun, too?

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Sue Wickstead Shop

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

This is a lovely story about Gloria, who is an old bus. She’s converted to a playbus and visits different areas so that children can play on her. The illustrations are bright and fun, and the text is easy to read and understand. Great for reading with younger children or for older children to read by themselves.

Max and his family visit Gloria the playbus, but he’s too old for playing on the bus like his younger brother, or so he thinks. After refusing to join in, he makes a mess and then lots of noise. He realises no one is judging, and that he’s having fun.

This is a fun way to learn that you shouldn’t dismiss things without trying them first.

Sue Wickstead is a teacher and an author and writes children’s picture books with a bus theme. She has also written a photographic history book about the real bus, which is where her story writing began.

Sue once worked with a playbus charity based in Crawley. This led her to write the photographic history book about the project. The ‘Bewbush Playbus’ book was published in 2012.

Sue then began to write a fictional tale about the bus. ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name and has now been followed by more picture books which all indeed have a bus connection as well as links to her teaching journey.

Gloria is the most recent book and is based on the summer play-schemes which operated during the school holidays providing a safe place for children to meet and to play.

Award winning author

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Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Daisy Daydreams Bus Rhymes and Jokes (Open to UK Only)

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*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Giveaway Links above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Parenting and Famlies

My Mummy Is A Monster Natalie Reeves-Billing 5*#Review @BillingReeves #Illustrator Lisa Williams @RandomTTours #kidlit #ChildrensBooks #MonstrousMe #BlogTour #BookReview

The Monstrous Me series is a split perspective book looking at situations from another point of view to help children develop a sense of balance, roundedness and wellbeing. Readers can literally and figuratively, turn the story on its head, and look at the very same situations from different angles. In this first book, ‘My Mummy’s a Monster’ an inquisitive little girl is convinced her mum is a monster. But, is she really? When we look through her mummy’s eyes, we see a very different story.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts...

This book teaches children to see things from someone else’s perspective. The rhyming text is easy to follow with situations familiar to both children and parents. Bright and comical illustrations complement the text perfectly.

The first book shows how the children think Mummy is a monster. The second shows the same story from Mummy’s side. It helps the children appreciate that everyone sees things differently, and every point of view is valid.

Natalie Reeves Billing

Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction.
Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.


Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting.
Her new book, My Mummy is a Monster (part of the Monstrous Me collection) will be available in March 2020 and Carry Love in June 2020

Connect with Natalie on Twitter

Posted in Audiobook Review, Blog Blitz, Book Review, Childrens Books

Daisy May’s Daydream Parade -Treasure Island Arran Francis 5*#Review #Illustrator GillianFlint #Narrator Annette Chown @wombatandjones @rararesources #ClimateEmergency #AudioBook #Review #Fantasy #Adventure #ChildrensBooks #KidLit Ages 5-8 #BlogBlitz #BookReview #MondayBlogs

Eight-year-old Daisy May is the writer and star of her very own TV show, Daisy May’s Daydream Parade, which broadcasts live and exclusively in her imagination. 

​In the latest episode, Daisy May finds herself on a desert island where she discovers a map that leads to buried treasure, but what appears to be a simple quest to find riches soon turns into a roller-coaster ride as evil pirates, grumpy gorillas, and a fire breathing dragon stand in her way. However, when travelling across polluted ocean waters and trash covered beaches, Daisy May soon realises that the hunt for treasure can wait – there’s a much bigger issue in need of urgent attention. 

​Written by Arran Francis, multiple series creator for BBC CBeebies Radio, Daisy May’s Daydream Parade audiobooks show how 8-year-old Daisy May confronts her real life problems in the stories she writes as she floats off into her daydream adventures.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this audiobook from the author via Soundcloud in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An exciting often humorous adventure, teaching life skills to five to eight-year-olds. It also highlights the danger of pollution to the earth in a captivating way. Daisy meets various animals and people on her quest, to find the treasure, some good some bad. As her adventure continues, Daisy realises saving the earth and its inhabitants is more important.

The writing style has engaging visual imagery and vivid characters, which will appeal to the intended age group. The clear narration captures the story’s atmosphere and ethos. This story makes learning about new things and the dangers of pollution, fun and something everyone can do.

Having previously written series for BBC’s CBeebies Radio and worked as an audiobook producer on behalf of Harper Collins, MacMillan Audio and Audible, author Arran Francis launched Wombat and Jones Audio in 2019 with the aim to write children’s novels to be released exclusively in audiobook format.

Debut novels for the Daisy May’s Daydream Parade and Wombat & Jones series were released last summer with further books in the series and standalone titles being scheduled for publication in 2020. 

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Bookstagram, Childrens Books

Breaker Annemarie Allan 4* #Review @aldhammer @cranachanbooks @lovebooksgroup #Lovebookstours #kidlit #ChildrensBooks #Paperback #Enviromental #Disaster #Breaker #CommunityAction

An environmental disaster. An undersea adventure.

 Tom and Beth are not happy when they move to Scotland and find themselves facing a rainy, windswept beach, a house that’s falling to pieces, and a school full of strangers.

 But when an oil tanker crashes into the Bass Rock, their small seaside town is shaken to its core and Tom and Beth suddenly find themselves in a race to rescue the local sea life and save their new community from environmental catastrophe…

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I received a copy of this book from Cranachcan Publishing in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An easy to read adventure story set in Scotland, with a clear message about the environment and how easy it is to damage natural balance. Tom and Beth are unhappy about moving to a coastal town in Scotland. Short of things to do and friends, they encounter an eccentric professor, who is an inventor. Threatened with an environmental disaster when a tanker runs aground, the professor’s inventions offer the only source of hope. Tom and Beth realise that protecting the environment is everybody’s job and help the professor, as he battles to avert a devastating oil leak.

Breaker gives young readers, and adults, the chance to experience a contemporary adventure. The story has a pacy, exciting plot, believable characters and an important environmental message.

Annemarie Allen

Annemarie Allan’s first published novel, Hox, won the 2007 Kelpies Prize and was shortlisted for both the Scottish Children’s Book of the Year and the Heart of Hawick book awards. Her third novel, Ushig, a fantasy based on Scottish myths and legends, was shortlisted for the 2011 Essex Children’s Book Award.

 She writes for both adults and children and her novels and short stories range from fantasy and science fiction to historical and contemporary fiction, taking their inspiration from the landscape and culture of Scotland, both past and present. Annemarie lives in Prestonpans, near Edinburgh.

Posted in Book Spotlight, Childrens Books, Motivational, Parenting and Famlies

A Lesson for Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies by Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino & Illustrated by Sally Huss @SallyHuss #Bookbuzz #KidsBooks #BookTweet

A Lesson for Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies

Learning was everything to Mrs Emerson. So when a new student was brought into her classroom, Mrs Emerson was delighted because she discovered that this young man knew something that everyone needed to know. She told her class that Jack was just like everyone else, except for one thing – he had food allergies. “Would you like to explain that to us, Jack?” Jack proceeds to educate us all. This book is endorsed by Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT), MedicAlert® Foundation, Elijah Alavi Foundation, The Love for Giovanni Foundation, No Nut Traveler, and Food Allergy Zone.

Amazon UK

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino is one of America’s foremost personal and corporate development consultants. She is the creator of The Best Ever You Network (or Best Ever You), a leading multimedia provider of lifestyle and self-help content. While participating in the Harvard Business School for Leadership program, Elizabeth serves as a Leadership Advisor for the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute.

In 2020 Elizabeth joined Sally Huss to create the best-selling children’s book A Lesson for Every Child: Learning About Food Allergies. Living with life-threatening food allergies for many years, Elizabeth added her personal experience and her expertise to the project. She also sits on several boards of organizations and foundations that bring awareness to this life-threatening condition.

Elizabeth is also the best-selling author of Percolate – Let Your Best Self Filter Through (Hay House Publishing). elizabethguarino.com.

Author/Illustrator Sally Huss creates children’s books to uplift the lives of children. She does this by giving them tools to overcome obstacles; by helping them value themselves and others; and by inspiring them to be the best that they can be. Her catalogue of books now exceeds 100.

“Bright and happy,” “light and whimsical” have been the catchphrases attached to the writings and art of Sally Huss for over 30 years. Sweet images dance across all of Sally’s creations, whether in the form of children’s books, paintings, wallpaper, ceramics, baby bibs, purses, clothing, or her King Features syndicated newspaper panel “Happy Musings.”

Sally is a graduate of USC with a degree in Fine Art and through the years has had 26 of her own licensed art galleries throughout the world. sallyhuss.com.

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy

Five Minutes, Alfie Lily Mae Walters 4* #Review @LilyMaeWalters1 #JackFoster #Illustrator #kidlit #ChildrensBooks #Fantasy #Dreams #Rhymes #BlogTour #BookReview #PictureBook @rararesources #RachelsRandomResources

Alfie snuggles down in bed,
dreams still in his little head.

He dreams he’s a king going out for a ride.
“A dragon sleeps in front of the gate,” they cried.

How will they succeed in waking him up?
By helping each other and lots of luck.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Lovely illustrations complement the story, which is written in short rhyming verses, beautifully. The story focuses on Alfie, a small boy, who always likes to spend five more minutes in bed. In his five minutes, Alfie dreams he is a King. His dream features a friendly-looking dragon, who is blocking the castle gate.

The story is fun and teaches children not to give up at the first setback, to be brave and always treat others kindly. Perfect for reading to young children who will enjoy the rhymes and the brightly coloured illustrations, as will those children who can read.

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honour of her beloved grandparents who also stare in the Josie James series.


She is married with two teenage children, and two huskies that are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.


Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local  places and even her old school in her stories.


Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Spotlight, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Magic, Science Fiction

Starchild Book Three: The Healing Stone Vacen Taylor @VacenTaylor @rararesources #promo #BookSpotlight #fantasy #friendship #adventure #quest #kidlit #ChildrensBooks #TheHealingStone #Starchild #BookBloggers #RachelsRandomResources

A riveting ice adventure full of incredible challenges, bravery and friendship.

When they escape the attacking forces, Mai, Akra, Kalin know they must find a way to purge the evil of the dark peddle that has consumed Long.  But as the news of the Underworld king spreads, gloom and fear begin to sweep over the lands.

The children must face a dangerous adventure across the ice to reach the healing stone. Once they reach the stone they must face the truth.

Have they made the journey in time to save Long ⸺ or is he lost to the Underworld forever?

#Starchild #TheHealingstone #BlogTour

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Vacen Taylor

Vacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements.  A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).

Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018.  The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.

Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.

She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.

In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.

What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.

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Giveaway to Win all 4 books of the Starchild Series by Vacen Taylor (Open INT)

Click on this Giveaway link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Friendship, Parenting and Famlies

Sparky The Dragon Bus Sue Wickstead 5* #Review @JayJayBus #ChildrensBooks #PictureBooks #KidLit #Inclusion #Mobility #playbus @rararesources #BlogTour

SparkyTheDragonBus

Sparky isn’t your typical double-decker bus.

Behind the dragon and magical paintings, she’s full of fun and adventures for all children. Jump aboard to find out what makes Sparky so special

Back Cover

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Free 3D bus template with book orders from Sue Wickstead’s website or direct message to the author – https://www.suewickstead.co.uk/

#SparkyTheDragonBus

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

#SparkyTheDragonBus

My Thoughts…

Sparky transforms into a very special playbus for all children. Sparky is a little worried about being different from the other buses in the station, even though she is secretly proud of her new colourful paintwork. When she meets her new passengers, it all makes sense.

The’ Sparky The Dragon Bus’ story is based on a real play bus in Glasgow. Apart from her new interior and bright paintwork, Sparky has another feature, which she realises, means all children can enjoy her facilities.

This story shows the importance of inclusion, and how it can be achieved in a play environment. The illustrations complement the story and will appeal to those children not yet able to read themselves.

My grandson and I enjoyed reading this diverse, inclusive, beautifully illustrated story together. ‘Sparky The Dragon Bus’ is a lovely motivational addition to the Jay-Jay Bus series of children’s books.

#SparkyTheDragonBus
Sue Wickstead

I am an author and a teacher and have written six children’s picture books, all with a bus included somewhere.

Having been able to share my first book, ‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus’, it was time to think about writing a book for younger readers.

While visiting a local school the children were writing stories about a journey, we read Jay-Jay’s book and then I remembered a book that I had written some years before and I read this to the class too, and they loved it.

The original story was based on a walk with my class around the neighbourhood of Bewbush, Crawley. The walk had led to map work and sequencing. Then together with the class I wrote an imaginative adventure.

The events we imagined were put into a class book. The book was shared with many classes and it was always a favourite.

Now years later I decided it was time to update, improve and look at publishing the book.

There is indeed a walk around the district of Bewbush. and following the publication of the book I went back to see if and how the neighbourhood had changed.

‘Oh, I see you have written a book without a bus!’ commented a friend.

But, look through the pages and you will see there always has to be a bus!

The neighbourhood of Bewbush was a new estate built in Crawley town in the 1970’s. The area was built without any shops, school or safe places for children to play. It was an area of high need and was supported by a special playbus which offered a much-needed playgroup venue.

I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share my stories. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

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