Month: October 2018

Halloween Blog Blitz: Do Bugs Wear Shoes?

Today I am part of the blog tour for the children’s book Do Bugs Wear Shoes? by Addie Broussard and Anthony Puttee.  This one just came out October 16th.  I share my review today!

Book Description:

A colorful, fun-filled book packed with answers to all your silliest bug questions!
Learn what happens when a bug goes to space, to school, and to the gym. Find out if bugs have feelings like people do.

Discover robot bugs, dancing bugs, bugs that poop and so much more!

Filled with illustrations, photographs and interactive videos, Do Bugs Wear Shoes will have kids laughing and learning as they discover awe-inspiring facts about the insect world. This beautifully designed book is organized into colorful two-page spreads that each focus on a different question, making it easy and fun to read for children and big kids alike.

BOOK EXTRAS include videos and printable worksheets for extended learning. Great for educators and at-home learning.

PLUS, vote on the world’s most beautiful bug!

**Recommended for ages 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and up.

Don’t miss out on the chance to bug out!

Authors: Addie Broussard and Anthony Puttee
Published: October 16, 2018
42 pages

Reviewed by: Jessica
Date Read: October 27, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:

This is a fun colorful children’s book about bugs that answers the questions kids may have.  It is aimed for ages six and up.  If you have a child in your life who is ‘all about bugs’, then this is the book for them!  There are a lot of facts that kids and adults will learn while reading this fun book, including the true definition of a bug and differences between arachnids and insects.

There is a mix of drawings and real photographs throughout.  The reading experience is enhanced as there are videos that can be watched via a website.  There are also a couple of pages that offer more resources to learn more.

This is a book I would have enjoyed as a child.  If you have a possible future entomologist in your life, buy them this book: They will love it and will want to learn more!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Authors:

Two Umbrellas is an educational publishing company that fuses education and storytelling.  We offer books and activities to help parents and educators empower tomorrow’s leaders.

Our founders, Anthony Puttee and Addie Broussard, love to travel.  Anthony’s favorite trip was to Antarctica and he has included some of his personal photos in this book.  Addie has traveled solo around the world. While in Portugal, she encountered a unique insect, which inspired a children’s book called The Beedog, which was published in 2018. The idea for Do Bugs Wear Shoes came from a playful team meeting on a rooftop in Mexico.

Contact Two Umbrellas:
Twitter @TwoUmbrellasPIs

A Spooky Tale: A Walk with Our Teacher by Sue Wickstead

In the spirit of Halloween, I am sharing about this children’s book today.  Though not ‘scary’, young kids will love this one!

Author: Sue Wickstead
Published: October 10, 2017
40 pages

Book Description:

When the teacher decided to take the class out on a walk the children did not want to go…
What could POSSIBLY go wrong?
Why did the class not feel well?
Read the book to find out.

A fictional tale based on a real class walk around the neighbourhood. Where would your walk take you?

I will be sharing a mini-review of sorts for this children’s book:

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

This short picture book is one that younger kids will love.  They will quickly turn the pages to see what the class runs into next!  I found myself wondering what creature they will meet in their walk.  It is a fun, quick to read picture book, but not scary at all.

The illustrations are very well done.  I read this on a kindle paperwhite, so I didn’t get to experience the pictures in color. I can imagine how bright they are in color. 

Do yourself a favor and buy your young kids this one; they will surely enjoy it!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

About the Author:

Have you ever been on a Playbus?

Not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey, exciting though this is, but a bus stuffed full of toys and imagination!

When my two children were young, they attended a playgroup on such a bus and as a volunteer I became involved with the committee running the project. The bus really got into my blood and became a work of the heart. I ended up painting the bus as well as working in the groups and raising the profile of the project and its work. As part of the committee and later as a play-worker, I was involved in raising necessary funds to replace the old bus with a newer project. It really was a fun journey to be involved in.

I taught in the local school for over 20 years but during this time I remained involved with all aspects of the playbus project in my spare time, assisting in fund-raising events, as well as working voluntarily in after school play clubs and holiday play schemes.

I left teaching to write the history book about the original bus.

I now work as a supply cover teacher and have been able to tell the many children I meet and teach about the bus as well as show them the photograph. The children were always curious and asked lots of questions about the playbus. This led to me telling a story which I eventually wrote down.

Jay-Jay is the fictional story to go with the factual project.

Over the last few years I have been able to share the fictional story in each school I visit. I always leave a book behind as I go in case they might like a closer look.

I have also been asked by the schools I’ve worked in to provide some work for the children around the book. This has led to me producing a scheme of worksheets to support the story.

In addition, I have undertaken author bookings and I always love sharing the story book and most of all love the feedback and book reviews which the children give me. Many of their comments and opinions I have been able to use on my website blogs.

I have other book ideas in draft or indeed still in the telling but for now I can turn my attention to the next part of my bus journey!

Contact Sue:
Twitter @JayJayBus


Blog Tour: Love Punked

Today I am one of the stops on the blog tour for Love Punked by Nia Lucas. I will be sharing an extract from the novel.

Book Description:

When her life is irrevocably altered by a post-Rave tryst on her mother’s floral patio recliner, Erin Roberts’ long-standing relationship with Humiliation takes her down a path that’s not so much ‘less well trodden’, more ‘perilous descent down sheer cliffs’.

Armed with a fierce devotion to her best friend and the unrequited love for the boy she might have accidentally married at age seven, when Erin falls pregnant at sixteen, life veers off at a most unexpected tangent.

Her journey to adulthood is far from ordinary as Erin learns that protecting the hearts of those most precious to you isn’t balm enough when your Love Punked heart is as sore as your freshly tattooed arse.

Whilst raising football prodigies and trying not to get stuck in lifts with Social Work clients who hate her, Erin discovers that sometimes you have to circumnavigate the globe to find the very thing that was there all along.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

“EARTH TO ROBERTS! Jesus woman, you gonna write on my bloody shirt or what?”, I am jolted out of my slightly nauseous daydreaming by Gio Romano, brandishing a marker pen and pointing at his graffiti-scrawled shirt.

Today is the last day before study leave starts and my peers have all lost the proverbial plot. Teacher’s cars have been egged and ketchup’d in the car-park, leading to two of my classmates being led away in handcuffs following their arrest for criminal damage after the ketchup stripped the paint off the cars. Well played lads.

There has been a water fight which saw an entire corridor of art-displays ruined and another five of my peers being frog-marched home under suspensions and the pièce de résistance was the arrival of the two ambulances which were required when another group decided to try stacking the picnic benches on the hockey field. They managed to make it to five benches high before the pile collapsed on them and the resultant crush injuries required paramedics.

The remainder of the Class of ‘96 are now sat under armed guard in our common room, Mr. Gibson threatening bloody deaths to anyone who so much as farts out of turn.

“You ‘kay Roberts? You look well peaky?”, Gio’s face is scrunched up in concern which surprises me.

As a rule, I avoid Gio Romano. After being at school together for our entire childhoods and adolescence, the coffin nail in our fractious association was that night at the Under 18’s Disco last year, when he and Daniel McNamara rode roughshod over my fragile teenage ego. He always makes a point of taking the piss or catcalling me on the bus, winking at me like he’s hilarious when I retaliate.

Gio, the grandson of Italian immigrants, has become a little bit of a heart-throb this year though. He’s by far the most physically matured lad in Year 11, he’s over six feet tall and whispers abound about an alleged six-pack. He’s also got the olive skin and dark curls that give him a bit of an edge on his more doughy, rural peers. To me, he will always be annoying Gio Romano who used to pick his bogies in Mass and whose willy I reluctantly observed in the home corner at playgroup when we were four. He’d cried when I’d dropped my own knickers and showed him my fairy. To be fair, I think he was expecting a woodland creature with wings. They were probably tears of disappointment.

He still considers Daniel McNamara to be his ‘best mate’ and on the school bus, my ears prick up when I hear him reading aloud Daniel’s letters to the lads. Daniel is loving life in New Zealand, a surfer apparently and in possession of a tanned, blonde girlfriend whose photo elicited whoops from the lads.

Today though, our interaction is a continuance of what I can only describe as a ‘thawing’ in our association. I think that Adam has said something to Gio, I’m actually certain that he has, because it’s often Adam AND Gio who wade in when the comments directed my way get too bawdy or the girls looks become too vicious.

Right now though, he’s not wrong. I do feel peaky. In fact, I feel proper poorly.

“Gio, I don’t feel very well”, as I stand to run to the nearby loo, I am astonished to see that the common room carpet has also decided to come for a little jog with me. In fact, it’s jogging very fast towards my face.

When I start to come round, my body is gently bouncing, as if I’m on a horse. I can’t open my eyes right now because they are too heavy and it’s too hard but I’m definitely riding something. I can feel something warm and firm against my cheek, strong supports against my back and under my knees and I can smell something nice, like herbs and lemons.

I think I’ve got on that bloody horse with Humiliation Palmer-Smart.

Then my horse speaks, “Don’t you chunder on me Roberts, we’re nearly at sick bay, don’t you bloody hurl on me now”, it turns out that when horses speak, they do it with Gio Romano’s voice.

I find the energy to prise open one eye and peer out like a tortoise.

“Gio?”, I think that Gio Romano is carrying me.

“Roberts, you wanna be grateful I caught you back there. Your face was headed right for that floor and honestly, you can’t afford to get any uglier”

I’ve thrown up all over him before I even realise what’s happened. To be fair, he doesn’t stop moving nor does he drop me but he’s not happy,

“FUCK’S SAKE ROBERTS!! That is pure rank”. I’m not listening though, the darkness has claimed me again.

About the Author:

I am a UK based author of Contemporary women’s fiction who is passionate about telling the stories of strong, sympathetic, entertaining and engaging female characters and the lives that they lead. My Welsh heritage and my life as a practising Social Worker with teenagers and their families heavily influences my work as does my love of all things 90’s and an adolescence spent immersed in clubbing culture.

Contact Nia:
Twitter @BooksNia