Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Childrens Books

Daisy DayDream The Nursery Rhyme Bus Sue Wickstead 4* #Review @JayJayBus #ChildrensBooks #KidLit @rararesources #DaisyDayDream #PlayBus

Daisy was a happy red bus who loved travelling the busy streets of London. When newer and shinier buses came along, the older buses like Daisy began to disappear. Would Daisy become one of the forgotten buses, or was something else planned for her?


Amazon UK Amazon Waterstones WHSmith Foyles Barnes and Noble

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


My Thoughts…

A lovely story about an old London Bus who is rescued when she retires from service and turned into a playbus, with a nursery rhyme theme. I like how this story is based on a real bus, who became a playbus, featured in the ‘PlayDays’ series that I used to watch with my children, in the 1990s. When I was given the opportunity to read this with my grandson, I couldn’t resist.

The illustrations are colourful and reinforce the text well. They have a retro quality about them, that I like, and fit well with the upcycling theme of the old London bus. The story flows and has a good amount of detail. It is slightly too long for my grandson, not yet four, but for a slightly older child, or one who loves books it is perfect.

I haven’t read any other books in the ‘JayJay Bus’ series but this is a standalone read, so that was fine. The only negative, it shows men rather than men and women fixing – up the bus. Whilst, this is only a small point, I do feel that is important to reflect gender equality and diversity in children’s literature.

An enjoyable read for children and their parents and grandparents.


I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.

For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.

I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.

‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.

This story has now been followed by five more picture books.

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

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram

Giveaway to Win 1 x Paperback copy of Daisy Daydreams bus rhymes and joke book (UK Only)

Click on this link to enter – Giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  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 Book Review, Childrens Books

Bloom – Nicola Skinner 5*#Review @HarperCollinsCh @skinnerwrites #ChildrensFiction #Environment #WeekendReads #BankHolidayWeekend

A beautifully written, incredibly original and wickedly funny novel for readers of 10 and older – BLOOM is for everyone who has ever felt like they didn’t fit in, and for anyone who has ever wanted a little more colour and wildness in their lives…

Sorrel Fallowfield is growing up – in a REALLY surprising way…

Sorrel Fallowfield is so good at being good that teachers come to her when they need help remembering the school rules – and there are LOTS.

Luckily, Sorrel doesn’t have any trouble following them, until the day she discovers a faded packet of Surprising Seeds buried under a tree in her backyard.

Now she’s hearing voices, seeing things, experiencing an almost unstoppable urge to plant the Seeds in some very unusual places… and completely failing to win her school’s competition to find The Most Obedient Child of the School.

And all that’s before flowers start growing out of her head…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Childrens Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

An entertaining, environmentally orientated story aimed at children from ten years onwards, the important themes it explores come across effectively, resonating with the reader.

The plot is complex, filled with messages about the importance of green spaces, not building on the green belt land we have, the power of corporations, and the damage they can do. On a more individual level, there is an exploration of friendship, and its importance, and how it has to be nurtured to survive. Diversity is also a theme, as is the importance of family, however, it exists.

The need to be different and speak out, rather than saying nothing just to fit in, is perhaps the most dominant theme of this story, and in a world where the young often feel powerless this is a theme worth promoting.

The beauty of this book is that it delivers its messages in the guise of a magical story, with complex characters who demand a reaction from the reader. Sorrel is easy to empathise and admire, whilst the controlling, blinkered headmaster has little to recommend him. Full of vivid imagery, you can easily imagine the setting and action, which is vital in any book.

Perfectly pitched for the age group, and also enjoyable as an adult read, this is a must-read.

Posted in Animal Welfare, Book Review, Childrens Books

Mr Dog and the Rabbit Habit – 5*#Review -Ben Fogle- Steve Cole- Illustrator- Nikolas Ilic @HarperCollinsCh @BenFogle @SteveColeBooks @nikolas_ilic #childrensbooks #childrensfiction #animals #dogs #rabbits #conservation

A brand new young fiction series by TV broadcaster and intrepid explorer Ben Fogle, inspired by his real-life animal experiences…

Co-written with best-selling children’s author Steve Cole and illustrated throughout with beautiful black and white illustrations by Nikolas Ilic.

You can always count on Mr Dog to help an animal in trouble…

When a mother rabbit is captured in a trap, he ends up playing bunny sitter

But someone wants rid of All the rabbits, not just this one, and time is running out for Mr Dog to save them…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins Children’s Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

A refreshingly different children’s illustrated story with wonderful relatable animal characters and an important message, delivered in easy to understand bite size pieces, about animal conservation and welfare. The fun illustrations reinforce the text and make this book suitable for younger children too.

This adventurous and fun story has believable characters with recognisable animal characteristics. It should be a favourite of both children and adults lucky enough to read this book too.

The plot although necessarily simple does have a couple of twists and doesn’t fall into the trap of becoming too sinister or cliche for the intended audience. It deals with contemporary animal husbandry and conservation issues in a readable and understandable way.

Mr Dog is the star, and he is an instant hit with me. Adventurous, clever, courageous, fun and kind, he has desirable personality traits that resonate with children and he makes a good role model.

An enjoyable read for children and their adults and the makings of an important, yet fun series.

Posted in 7 Days of Books, Book Review

#7DaysofBooks #Read #Reviews #bookblogger #amreading @Jolliffe03 #JaneHuntWriter

What I’ve read and reviewed over the last seven days.

Click on the link on the image for the full review.

I received a copy of these books from the publishers via NetGalley in return for honest reviews.

Click for Review
Click for Review


Posted in Book Review

The Bandit Queen- 4* Review – Natalia O’Hara and Lauren O’ Hara

The bandits give their queen treasure, tigers, mischief and mayhem. But sometimes a little girl needs something more…

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

Even though I only read the Kindle version of this book, the beauty of the illustrations is evident. This is the story of a mischievous little girl who is kidnapped by bandits, who make her their queen. She has lots of opportunity for rebellion but finds out that belonging is more important. There are dark themes to this story but ultimately the bandit queen learns what is really important and that family is found in many forms.

The story is in rhyme and will hold children’s interest. The moral of the story is clear but delivered in a story like way making it understandable to children of this age group. For maximum enjoyment, I suggest you read the hardback picture book to really enjoy the colourful illustrations.

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House Children’s UK – Puffin via NetGalley in return for an honest review.




Posted in Blogging Community, Book Spotlight, New Books, Press Release

New Release – The Dragon Children: The Prophecy.- Children / YA Fantasy

 As a lover of dragons-

here’s a children’s book worth reading:

The Dragon Children-The Prophecy

– a Children / YA fantasy.

I’ve shared the press release below:

Manchester Based Lawyer releases Debut Fantasy Novel to Raise Money for Make-A-Wish ® UK31d348fd-db9a-48f4-843a-78b59c06aec6A Manchester based lawyer, Hannah Byrnes is set to release her debut children’s and young adult fantasy novel ‘The Dragon Children: The Prophecy’.

A devotee of J.R.R Tolkien, J.K Rowling, C.S Lewis and Philip Pullman, Hannah has always enjoyed stories of magic, destiny and adventure. The Dragon Children: The Prophecy is her début fantasy novel aimed at readers over the age of nine.The story centres around two children, Bridget and Kai, whose destiny it is to teach Mankind the wisdom of Dragons.

Due to her love of all things magical, Hannah will be donating 100% of the royalties from sales of the book to Make-A-Wish® UK who grant magical wishes to children and young people living with life-threatening conditions. Charity Registration Nos. 295672/SC037479

Released 13th February 2015.

You can order a collectors edition by clicking here.

Blurb - Flower

31d348fd-db9a-48f4-843a-78b59c06aec6Once a generation, two children are born whose destiny it is to share the wisdom of Dragons with Mankind. Bridget and Kai were both born with a star-shaped birthmark, and find themselves in Dragonsreach caring for a nest of Royal Dragon Eggs.

There is talk of a Prophecy where Dragons rule the skies and Mankinds faith in Magic is restored, but when disaster strikes the dragon eggs are lost and the children are separated. The outlook is bleak.

Only if Bridget and Kai can meet again, the dragon eggs found and the Iron Queen defeated – can the prophecy be fulfilled.

Author Bio - FlowercKakV2QE5SopZzI4W7-mhYvIfTsAs a girl, Hannah wanted to be a knight. She would spend many an hour on the backs of ponies or chasing boys with her pink She-Ra sword and telling her friends stories of magical lands. Her teachers thought that creativity should be put to good use. She travelled the world with a Choir meeting royalty and presidents from far away places. She was always in school plays and appeared on TV aged 9 and many more times after that.

Passionate about justice, her first published work was featured in an anthology for International Women’s Day. Hannah studied law and gained a 1st class, and was called to the Bar after receiving a full scholarship and supported many disabled people to assert their rights. A real life knight!

But then one day, quite out of the blue and during a very difficult year, she started dreaming of Dragons. Before long she had written a whole book about them.

Hannah Byrnes:
Website | Facebook | Twitter

Make-A-Wish ® UK – Charitable Donations

Hannah is donating all the royalties from the book to help Make-A Wish grant magical wishes.

Hannah has committed to raising at least £5,000.

Make-A-Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.

The charity was founded in the UK in 1986.

Registered charity number: 295672/SC037479

If you would like an advance copy of ‘The Dragon Children: The Prophecy’ to read, review or feature please contact Kris Barnes of Authoramp.

Hannah Byrnes is also available for interviews and guest blogging.

Posted in Book Review, New Books

5* Review The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter Randa Handler

The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter

If you want your pre-schooler to understand the true meaning behind the Thanksgiving celebration this is the book for you.

Beautifully illustrated it tells the story of a young girl’s Thanksgiving experience in 1941. Through pictures and conversation with her mother, Takari learns about the Japanese Thanksgiving.

When Takari accidentally damages the Thanksgiving platter an heirloom from her Japanese grandmother her mum seems unreasonably angry. It is only when her puppy Ruffles has a similar accident, Takari realises her mother was stressed and didn’t mean to upset her.

She is sent to play with Little Sparrow and learns about making corn bread as it was made on the first Thanksgiving by the Wampanoag. When she finds out Little Sparrow and his father are spending part of their Thanksgiving at the veteran hospital she helps too and realises the true meaning of Thanksgiving is sharing and helping others especially those less fortunate.

A lovely way to help your children understand Thanksgiving is more than a Turkey dinner.

The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter

The Thanksgiving Dinner Platter

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Randa Handler

Jane Hunt Writer First Steps

View all my reviews