Tag: 5 stars

Blog Tour: Children’s Book Review: Barty Barton: The Bear That Was Loved Too Much

Today I am part of the blog tour for Sue Wickstead’s children’s picture book Barty Barton: The Bear That Was Loved Too Much. I really enjoyed this on and I am sharing my 5 star review. For those of you in the UK there is also a giveaway going on!

Book Description:

What happens when we outgrow our teddy bears?

Should we let them go?

Thomas loved his teddy bear, but over the years, Barty had become tatty and old.

However, Barty was no ordinary teddy bear, and he wasn’t about to give up on being loved.

Title: Barty Barton: The Bear That Was Loved Too Much
Author: Sue Wickstead
Illustrator: Jo Anne Davies
Published: October 27, 2020
38 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: June 10, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Jessica’s Review:
Barty Barton is just the cutest children’s book! We all had that most favorite toy when we were kids, but what happens to said toys when we grow up? This is the question that Barty Barton faces as his owner Thomas grows up and starts a family of his own.  Is Barty to worn out from Thomas’ love as a child for the new and upcoming generation? The answer is no if Mum/grandma has anything to do with it! 

I really enjoyed this short children’s book and thinking about some of my favorite toys growing up.  I really enjoyed the illustrations that are well done. I liked how the illustrations show a toy pillow bus, which references Wickstead’s picture book series about various buses.  Both children and adults will enjoy this picture book for different reasons and will leave a smile on your face. 

There are pictures of the **real toys** that the toys in the book are based off of. We also get to see pictures with Mum (the author herself) her son ane his young child. I always enjoy seeing how Wickstead’s stories seem to come from actual people, toys, buses, and events.

Wickstead’s picture books are recommended!

Purchase Links:
Website (UK)
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes and Noble

About the Author:

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 (ten to date) which all indeed have a bus connection as well as links to her teaching journey.

Gloria is the most recent bus book and is based on the summer play-schemes which operated during the school holidays providing a safe place to play and to meet other children. (published 2020)

‘Barty Barton; the bear that was loved too much’ was also published in 2020. Barty was written for both her son and grandson.

Some of Sue’s books have been entered and shortlisted in ‘The Wishing Shelf Book Awards’, her book ‘A Spooky Tale’ was a silver medal winner in 2019. It is a story written with her class in school and is aimed at the younger reader.

Contact Sue:
Twitter  @JayJayBus
Instagram @jayjaybusbooks

Facebook: Playbus Page

**UK Only Giveaway**

Win a Lego bear and some teddy bear colouring sheets, plus a few more goodies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box 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 passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for 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.

Book Review: In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

In Five Years
Author: Rebecca Serle

Published:  March 10, 2020

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 25-28, 2021

Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Kohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.

But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.

After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.

That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.

Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.

Jessica’s Review:

Dannie Kohan has her life planned out and her 5-year plan is headed straight in the direction it should be going: She just got a very important job and her boyfriend proposed to her. She goes to bed very happy. But then she wakes up in a different apartment with a different ring on her finger, and a different man in the picture!  And what’s shocking is that it is the same night but five years in the future!  After an hour she awakes again back in 2020, but she can’t get this dream out of her head as it did not seem like a dream.  She made a note of everything and then moves on with life… until four and a half years later Dannie still isn’t married and she meets the man from her long-ago dream/vision/ what was that she experienced!?!?!? After meeting said man, Dannie becomes determined to keep her vision from becoming reality. But life has its own plan for Dannie and those around her.

Wow, don’t let the book description fool you, the ‘time travel’ element is an important part of the novel, but this story is about love and friendship.  And it becomes heart-breakingly apparent where this novel will go.  And the reader better get ready for a roller coaster of emotions that they will feel and possibly cry or at least tear up for.

If you are afraid that In Five Years will be a cheating/ love triangle romance story, it is not.  It explores fate, life, friendship and romantic partnerships that leave you thinking about long after you have finished the novel.  This emotional journey will let the readers know who is important to them by the end of reading, and they might just want to reach out to someone after reading this one. 

In Five Years is one every reader should read. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Book Review: The Seance in Apartment 10 by Ambrose Ibsen

The Seance in Apartment 10
Ambrose Ibsen

Published: February 17, 2018
186 Pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

When Tori moves into a studio at the rundown Lamplight apartment complex, she gets more than she bargained for. The faucet leaks, the water heater barely functions and the lack of air conditioning makes the summer nights brutal…

But worst of all is the dark presence that stalks the building.

When she and her friends play around with a Ouija board, Tori learns first-hand why the living have no business communing with the dead. Something sinister is roused in the process, and her life begins to spiral into madness soon thereafter. She suffers terrible nightmares, hallucinations, and feels as though she’s being watched at all hours of the day.

And that’s only the beginning. If the spirit has its way, it’ll consume her completely.

With a terrifying specter on her trail and only a few cryptic clues about the building’s curious past to aid her, Tori searches desperately for a way to get rid of the spirit.

What has escaped from the underworld will not go back so easily, however.

Kim’s Review:

Ibsen loves a creepy setting and he’s so good at them! The Lamplight apartment complex just sounds scary. Cheap, sure, but dang! It’s not like anyone would be surprised to find creepy stuff happening in apartments like that. The story is pretty straightforward, but it is scary! I also like the uniqueness of it. While there were familiar elements, like the Ouiji board seance, the story was still new. There were times when I had to tell Ivan to come sit with me because I was downright scared while reading.

I think my only real criticism, which isn’t even enough to bring my rating down, is that I wanted to know a little more about that demonic entity. Other than that, the setting, the characters, the action, it was all awesome! Ibsen seems to get horror and I’m definitely going to read more of his books!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK