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 Review, Bookstagram, Childrens Books, Fantasy, Parenting and Famlies

Isadorn the Unicorn and the Sloppy Dragon Anglea Castillo #illustrator Indira Zuleta 4*#Review @fairygirl28 @LoveBooksTours #BlogTour #Bookstagram #BookReview #FindingYourVoice #PictureBook #ChildrensBooks #KidLit #SaturdayMotivation #WeekendReads

#IsadorntheUnicornandtheSloppyDragon

What’s a frustrated unicorn to do? Dunfer the Dragon has just moved into the cave next door, and Isadorn’s perfect world has been turned upside down.
Not only does he make growling noises all day and night, he’s just burned down her favorite rosebush! Can Isadorn figure out how to talk to Dunfer about her problems? Or will her magical unicorn world be ruined forever?

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

#IsadorntheUnicornandtheSloppyDragon

My Thoughts…

A beautifully illustrated, thoughtfully written picture book for children. The main theme of the story is conflict resolution and finding your voice to express how you feel when someone does something that hurts you.

The story is easy to follow, as are the messages it conveys. There is an information sheet at the end of the book, outlining the story’s main points and how to relate them to problems your children may have.

There are also discussions points for a child to discuss with their adults.

A lovely picture book to read with your children, or for them to read alone if older. The theme of finding your voice is well described with useful pointers to make the process easier.

Visit my #Instagram account jolliffe01 for more images of this lovely book #bookstagramtour

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Friendship, Motivational

She Ran Away From Love Mawson 4*#Review @MawsonBear @OdysseyBooks @rararesources #PictureBook #Grownups #SelfHelp #BlogTour #Motivational #BookReview #SheRanAwayFromLove #FridayReads #RachelsRandomResources

#SheRanAwayFromLove

The Light of Love pours down on Frilly. It shines so brightly that she quails and runs away. Upset with herself for feeling scared, she wakes her good friend Mawson and pours out her confusions. She wants to learn how to be bold and is convinced that she can do this by going on a quest. With muddled help from Mawson, she sets off into the great Out There. But is a quest to find oneself really the answer?

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

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My Thoughts…

When I agreed to review this story, I thought it was a children’s picture book, although I did wonder at the title, which seemed an odd one for a child’s story. I enjoyed the themes considered, and the emotion conveyed but thought it was in many ways more appropriate to adults, or older children. Then, looking at the card that accompanied the book, I realised it is intended for adults or grownups.

The second in this series of picture books for grownups, it reads as a standalone. It explores the concept of, who you are, and of being true to yourself. Frilly Bear is scared by the idea of love because she doesn’t understand it. She is awed by the power it has over her. Frilly feels she doesn’t know who Frilly Bear is. Her physical quest to find herself is eventful, but not entirely productive. Frilly finds sharing her fears, and thoughts, with a sympathetic bear Mawson, far more rewarding. Acceptance of herself brings contentment.

The book uses charming and engaging photographs of Frilly, Mawson and friends to illustrate the story’s message. The text is simple, sometimes headings, or rhyming phrases. It complements the images and illustrates the quandary Frilly experiences, and the self-realisation she achieves.

Rather like a colouring book for adults, this book invites you to escape and explore adult issues in a blue sky childhood way of thinking. It is original, and refreshing, with a wide target audience.

#Mawson

Mawson, a big-hearted, soul searching teddy bear, is here to help. He is one of this bright world’s few Writer-Bears. He speaks about Being One’s Best in a world that is often baffling – and not only for bears. He is often muddled about things (well, he is a bear). But he is always confident that things are going to turn out All Right.

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Posted in Animal Friends, Blog Blitz, Book Review, Childrens Books, Parenting and Famlies

Home Alone Harry Jerry Rhodes – Rachael Messiter – Illustrator Nicky Hill 5* #Review @TalkingPaws @rararesources #JerryRhodes #NickyHill #KidLit #PictureBook #Family #Dogs #AnimalBehaviour #Education #BlogBlitz #BookReview #HomeAloneHarry

#HomeAloneHarry

Harry is a mischievous young dog, adored by his family, Dad and Mum, Maisie (8) and Max (5). When the family leave him on his own he creates chaos. Dad demands, “That bad dog must go!” Alone and sad in bed that evening, Max asks, “Can anyone help?” How will the Thunkies respond to his call?

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

#HomeAloneHarry

My Thoughts…

The family dog or dogs are an integral part of many households, but dogs are pack animals, and many integration problems arise from the dog being unclear about their role in the family.

This beautifully illustrated and cleverly written picture book uses a team of cartoon characters, each with a specific role to help educate a family about their dog’s behaviour when they leave him home alone.

The story is fun to read for adults and their children, and the advice is delivered in bite-size amounts. Using illustrations and short written paragraphs, making the narrative easy to understand.

I like the positive ethos of this story, which reinforces the idea, that things are not always perfect the first time. Sometimes, you have to work at understanding how someone thinks before you can live or work together in harmony.

A well written and engagingly illustrated picture book. Delivers advice in a fun, easy to understand way, about living with our animal friends. I look forward to the next book in the series.

#HomeAloneHarry
Jerry Rhodes AUTHOR

Jerry Rhodes’ life-long research and teaching is the inspiration behind ‘Home Alone Harry’, this first book in a series for children featuring the cartoon characters, Thunkies®. After completing his degree and teacher training at Oxford University, Jerry’s career as a school-master was cut short by polio. He changed course to a management career in industry, discovered his talents for creativity, and formed his worldwide consultancy to collaborate with international organisations. A special project with Philips led to the discovery of ‘Thinking-Intentions’, to which he has now given the playful name, Thunkies®. Jerry writes his books from his weather-beaten old farmhouse in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds.

Rachael Messiter AUTHOR

Rachael Messiter, a Dog Listener, uses the approach known as Amichien® Bonding pioneered by Jan Fennell. Rachael has her own practice, Talking Paws, based in Staffordshire. Previously she lived with wolves for close on two years in Colorado, USA, to learn how packs work. She has identified a group of issues that dog owners experience that are due to the well-meaning but flawed behaviours of owners, rather than ‘nuisance’ dogs. How to properly avoid and resolve such troublesome issues will be the theme of each book in the series Thunkies® love Dogs.

Nicky Hill ILLUSTRATOR

Nicky Hill is an illustrator and storyteller from Winterbourne near Bristol. Her artwork is featured throughout the Thunkies® Love Dogs books, bringing a bright, vibrant style that captures the imagination. A great lover of animals both wild and domestic, Nicky also illustrates and writes her own series of books about ‘The Wotton Pack’; a group of inquisitive pooches who spend their days and nights having many adventures. She currently lives with her own pack of three dogs in Wotton-under-Edge, a small town in Gloucestershire, where she also co-runs the shop called ‘The Collective’.

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

Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure Emma Larkin 4* #Review @emmalarkinbooks @rararesources #childrensbooks #kidlit #ladiesgaelicfootball #blogblitz #bookreview #Ilustrator #PaulNugent #RebelinKerry

#IzzysMagicalFootballAdvneture

Izzy is a seven-year-old girl who lives in Ireland and loves all sport, especially Gaelic Football.

Izzy plays football with her brothers on a regular basis in their back garden and dreams of playing for her county in the All Ireland Ladies Football Final in Croke Park when she is older.

One day, Izzy puts on her great grandmother’s bracelet, which is made of old All Ireland medals that her great grandmother won a long time ago, and something unexpected and magical happens, which may make Izzy’s Croke Park dream a reality sooner than she expected…

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

My Thoughts…

A lovely family story, about believing in yourself and your dreams, and practice makes perfect.

Izzy regularly plays Gaelic football with her three brothers, and despite trying hard, is often on the losing side, which is frustrating and makes her unpopular with her teammate brother. Banished to her room, when she has a tantrum, she finds her grandmother’s bracelet, and then with a little magic, she sees what the future could be.

The characters are relatable, the adventure full of magic and motivation, and the illustrations follow the action beautifully. The introduction to Gaelic football is interesting, for those who are not familiar with it, and the story is pitched appropriately for the intended age group.

I read the electronic version of this, but the illustrations are clear and still enjoyable.

#EmmaLarkin

My name is Emma Larkin, and I am the founder of “Emma Larkin Books” and “Rebel in Kerry Press”.  I have recently written and published my first book “Izzy’s Magical Football Adventure”, and I hope to write many more books about Izzy and her adventures in sport. As may be evident from the name of my publishing imprint, I am a “Rebel in Kerry”!  This means that I am originally from County Cork in Ireland, which is known as the Rebel County, but I moved to Kerry (another county in Ireland which neighbours Cork) in 2006 and have been happily living in Kerry since then, with my husband and four children. My husband is a Kerry native and we live in North Kerry, near Listowel, where my husband is from and is an area which is rich in literary history! 

I have always enjoyed reading and writing. Writing essays was my favourite part of primary school!

In my spare time, I love to run. I am very involved in my local park run in Listowel. I also coach ladies’ football at underage level with my local ladies’ football club and did attempt to play ladies football for a few years with my local “Gaelic4Mothers&Others Team”! I may not have been the greatest football player, but I could run! And it was an hour each week where I could exercise in a fun environment with a fantastic group of women, who I remain friends with to this day.

My inspiration to write this book was my grandmother, Maureen Hennebry, née Cashman. She was on the Cork camogie team which won the All-Ireland Camogie Championship three times in a row between 1939 and 1941. She came from a family rich in GAA history, the Cashman’s of Blackrock in Cork, and is even mentioned in the following poem by the famous Irish poet, Patrick Kavanagh:

Camogie MatchPatrick Kavanagh 1905 – 1967

Bright shone the sunlight on Peggy and Doreen

Wild swung the ash sticks.  Be careful astoreen;

Josie is getting into her stride now,

Kathleen is hurling with all her Cork pride now.

A shout from the side-line: Mark your man, Kathleen Cody.

Kathleen pucks it.  I tell you that puck was a dotie.

The game is exciting, it is indeed really,

Maureen Cashman is tackling the bold Ide O’Kiely …

In hindsight, I am in awe of the fact that my grandmother and her teammates played camogie at such a high level at a time in Ireland, where a woman’s role was predominantly to be a wife and homemaker. Which comes to my reason for writing this book, my grandmother was my inspiration to write it, but my reason for writing it was to encourage all young girls to play sports. It is crucial for our wellbeing and development and we need to make it as normal for girls to play sport as it is for boys. The growing popularity of women’s sports in Ireland and further afield is so encouraging and we need to continue to develop this. As the current 20*20 campaign says, “if she can’t see it, she can’t be it”. I hope that my book can in some way help to normalise girls playing football and that both boys and girls will enjoy reading about Izzy’s adventures!

Visit the following websites for more information;

20*20 campaign – www.20×20.ie

Sport Ireland – www.sportireland.ie

Ladies Gaelic Football Association – www.ladiesgaelic.ie

Camogie Association – www.camogie.ie

Women in sport – www.womeninsport.org

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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…

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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.