From dark to light by Isabella Murphy

This book review fits in nicely with my previous blog post. Although it’s not about a strong female character, we need to take time to celebrate it was written by a (very) young female! And that clearly is something to celebrate.

This is an adorable story about a pumpkin seed, who wishes he could be out in the light.

It is a very carefully told tale that is equally exciting and fun to read. My children all enjoyed the story.

What I found interesting was the story is told as the seed. If teachers are wanting to teach their children how to write in first person and also develop their classes understanding about growth then this book would be a go to.

I don’t want to write too much as I don’t want to give the storyline away however I will say I loved that no matter how Pumkers sisters treated him, he was so glad that they were going to the same family, which is very heart warming. Again, my children loved this and found it relatable.

The illustrations were beautiful some seeming rather surreal but it worked and looked fantastic. There was so much to talk about just by looking at the pictures.

Share this book with your little ones!

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

You can purchase the book here:

I give this book 4 lilies out of a possible 5!

4 out of 5 lily


Great books for strong girls!

Don’t get me wrong, but too often I’ve gone to a book shop or library with my daughter and struggled to find amazing books with strong female lead characters.

I’ve always enjoyed reading books with great female characters but since having a daughter and since attending my daughters EYFS graduation where she declared “When I grow up I want to be a mummy who works.” Made me step up my game.

My daughter knows and understands that women don’t need to stay at home after having a family, she has hopes and dreams of achieving something. She understands she can have it both ways like her mummy.

So, I wanted her to be able to read stories to learn positive messages about being a strong female.

My next few posts will focus around books, in particular picture books which show great female characters.

The first book I’ve chosen to write about is ‘The paper bag princess’ by Robert Munsch.

The beautiful Princess Elizabeth lives in a castle and is engaged to marry Prince Ronald. One day, a fire-breathing dragon destroys her castle, incinerates her belongings, then flies away with Ronald. Since all her clothes are ruined, Princess Elizabeth dons a paper bag and sets off to save her prince.

An absolute must read for every girl from birth through forever…I am a huge believer in a girl knowing that she can rescue herself and anyone else who needs it – if they want her help. This book reinforces how to be resourceful, have confidence, and know when to walk away.

It’s so important for children to be exposed to feminism through their reads. The paper bag princess you did a good job showing the princess isn’t always the one who needs saving, so we should stop assuming that.

I rate this book 4 lillies out of a possible 5

4 out of 5 lily

The Best Picture Books of 2017

Happy New Year!

Clearly I love reading but when I’m in a book shop the first place I have to go is the children’s section. The colourful front covers and the catchy titles always have me hooked. That’s why I’ve decided to share my personal list of the 5 best picture books of 2017.

5.‘Bee and Me’ by Alison Jay

Bee and me is a picture book with no words. This book is not only entertaining; it also teaches readers/listeners about the importance of bees in our world. When a lonely girl in the city befriends a bee, the magical, fantastical journey begins. As the story evolves and the bee leaves for the winter, the girl makes friends with a boy in her building and the fun continues in a city changed by the bee. Alison Jay’s lush oil painted illustrations enhance the magical quality of the story, but in a note at the end, she clearly explains the need to invite bees to our gardens and cautions children not to touch them. I highly recommend this book.


4. ‘Do Not Open This Book’ by Michaela Muntean

I saw “do not open this book”, so of course I had to open it. This book is fun but a little mean. However, makes up for it in the end by thanking the reader for their help with the story. It’s a challenge to kids (ok, me) who you know are so curious that if told not to do something, they will do it. It is about how to write a story and shows how powerful words are.

3.‘Douglas, You Need Glasses’ by Ged Adamson

Nancy and her dog Douglas enjoy playing in the woods, but as it becomes clear that his nearsightedness is causing problems, she takes him to the eye doctor. Readers will be amused by the dog’s inability to identify anything on the eye chart and the many choices he has in trying to find the right frame. As anyone who has worn a pair of glasses for the very first time will attest, everything looks completely different once you have a way to improve your vision. The funny text and the illustrations, created with pencil and watercolor, provide a reassuring message to anyone facing his/her first visit to the optometrist.


2. ‘I Don’t Want Curly Hair!’ by Laura Ellen Anderson

A book about curls, swirls, and hair. It was such a fun, hilarious, and cute book.
It is about a little girl with a giant head of curls (really, a mega giant head of curls). She doesn’t want the curls, she wants straight, pretty, easy flowing  hair. So she tries out all sorts of, mostly hilarious, ways to get her hair to be straight. From piling big books on her head, to having friends help her out, to hoping that gravity will help her. Will any of her trick work out?
The art was just fabulous, colourful, and fun. I just love how much detail there was in the curls. I can’t imagine how much work that must have been to draw each curl, and then also in different colours of red/orange.
All in all, a sweet book, perfect for children, but also adults. I would highly recommend it to everyone.

1.‘Oi Cat!’ by Kes Gray

Poor Cat has been instructed that cats sit on gnats – it’s the rules! But Cat doesn’t enjoy the gnats biting his bottom – perhaps HE can change the rules like Frog and Dog have done? What else can a cat sit on?
This brightly coloured and wonderfully illustrated book is full of animal rhymes that you wouldn’t expect: Racoons and macaroons, armadillos and pillows, alpacas and cream crackers. So many animals, so many rhymes. You would think by the third book of essentially the same premise, that there would be no rhymes left but nope they keep on coming. It helps introduce new animals to children and adds the odd bit of classic potty humour.

When I first fell in love with writing

I have always been surrounded by books. Growing up we didn’t have much money but that didn’t stop me. I would ask mum to take me to the library. I would always choose the most books possible – 12. My mum would always say “But you’ve read this one before” or “We’ll be back again in a few days do you really need so many?” And each time I’d still get my selection of books.  For me a library was like a sweet shop. There were old classics that I’d have to get time and time again, there would be new ones I’d just have to get, there would be ones I’d heard about, and even ones that I’d never noticed before but somehow they had always been there.

Reading was my way to escape my every day life and my way to learn about new things and explore ideas I’d never heard of. As a lover of books I naturally started writing myself. I would write in my diary, newspaper articles, lists, poems, stories , songs , comics. The list could go on. The list can go on. So many things have happened in my life but one thing that has remained a constant is my love of reading and my passion of writing.

I think its now my time to share with you my life, things I love and of course some snippets of my writing and my simple cartoons.