5 Ways to Share the Happiness of Books with your Child ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

5 Ways To Share The Happiness Of Books With Your Child And Lay The Foundations For Literacy #IfShesHappyImHappy

5 Ways To Share the Happiness of Books

I recently introduced a regular feature #IfShesHappyImHappy and this week I’m talking about sharing the happiness of books with your child.  #IfShesHappyImHappy is all about the cycle of happiness – you being happy, making your child happy and it coming full circle to make you happy again!  You can read it here if you missed it.

5 Ways To Share The Happiness Of Books With Your Child And Lay The Foundations For Literacy #IfShesHappyImHappy

Laying Foundations

I’m passionate about encouraging children to read.  Laying a good foundation in literacy really does have its advantages – increases vocab, increases interaction and increases bonding.  With enjoying books comes the joys of bedtime reading and mini libraries.  You don’t need much to instil a love of reading into your child – just grab a book, and away you go!  These books (see the picture below) hold such a special place in my childhood and the warm, fuzzy feeling I got when our daughter began to read about Silky, Moonface and Saucepan Man in The Magic Faraway Tree was beyond words.

5 Ways To Share The Happiness Of Books With Your Child And Lay The Foundations For Literacy ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

Encouraging reading

  1. Read the book to your child ~ From an early age, we read to our daughter every single day.  As a newborn, it doesn’t matter if you read them something that’s not a board book or that goes way over their heads; the point here is that reading to them is a bonding experience and increases their vocab, laying vital literacy foundations as they grow.
  2. When your child is old enough to read themselves, give them the books you read (and that were read to you).  We did this when my Mum unearthed some of my childhood favourites (as seen in the picture above).  My copies are well-loved and that just adds to the charm for me.
  3. If you don’t want your own copies to be used, consider borrowing from a library or buy another copy.  But also consider that charm of seeing your child read the very book that you read and that was read to you.
  4. Ask your child what their favourite part or character is.  And then tell them yours.  Our daughter was amazed that I had read the same books that her Grandma had now given her!
  5. Do a ‘Create Make Do’ activity around your child’s favourite book from your stash of ‘oldies’ (or if they haven’t got your stash, choose their favourite from their own collection).  Perhaps a puppet show, thinking of a different ending to a chapter (what could happen in the next chapter now?), a new take on a pivotal point in the story…

The only limit, as they say, is imagination!

 What happy memories have you got of reading to your child(ren) or being read to when you were a child?   What was/is your favourite childhood book?  And your child’s?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere



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Time for a dose of happiness in #HighlightsofHappy blog linky #39 ~ because life’s for the good stuff

It's time for a dose of happiness in #HighlightsofHappy 39 blog linky because life's for the good stuff. We Look Back On The Week With Gratitude

Your weekly dose of happiness…

Let’s spread the happiness!

It’s a common phrase isn’t it?…

“Bad things come in 3’s”

or words similar to that!

So, let’s flip it because everyone deserves a little happiness … (you know how I love to spread happiness and turn a negative into a positive with positive thinking !)

Let’s spread that happiness and find 3 things to be grateful for (or even more… well, why not?!)

It's time for a dose of happiness in #HighlightsofHappy 39 blog linky because life's for the good stuff. We Look Back On The Week With Gratitude

In my weekly feature, I look back over my gratitude journal because that’s the great thing about gratitude and using my gratitude journal – it gives me the opportunity to look back and be grateful all over again 🙂  And that’s what I do here, in my weekly feature, I look back and on my #HighlightsofHappy.

I round it off with one word that sums up my happy…  why not do the same?

If you’re a blogger, why not share your happy post from the last week or so in the linky below?

If you’re on instagram, why not tag your happy snap #HighlightsofHappy and link up your pic in the linky below?

If you’re on twitter, why not tweet your happy with #HighlightsofHappy ?

If you’re all 3, why not do all 3??  The linky is below. (To link your insta happy snap, simply click on your insta pic, copy the url and paste into the linky tool!)

(If you join in with my #HighlightsofHappy community on instagram, I post up my favourite snaps every Monday on instagram.)

…so what’s been making ME happy?

Last week my word was ‘hols’ and I’m carrying on that theme this week 🙂 …

 Lazy days ~ whiling away the time, mooching around, in each other’s company but in our own space.  Just pure bliss!
Catching up with friends at an easter egg hunt.  So nice to see our girls pick up where they left off a couple of months ago.

and this…

Time to read my book every single day!

Our new garden gnome, Mr Wotziname!  He puts a smile on my face everytime I see him!

~ MEET MR WOTZINAME ~ After deciding that a corner of the garden needed brightening up, this cheeky looking little fellow found his way into the car! Mr Wotziname: loves gardens (but not so keen on gardening!), loves stripes, sunshine, sunglasses, and swimming! Dislikes being left on the shelf in the seasonal section of @georgeatasda . So now we’re just waiting for the sunshine to come back… and a Mrs Wotziname! 🌞☁ . #HighlightsofHappy #MyHappyCapture #LifeCloseUp #TheMagicinEveryday #MakeMeSmile #Happy #HappinessEverywhere #CapturingtheDay #CaptureMyPositive #MyDarlingMemory #livingfearlesslyauthentic #happylittlebuttons #gnomeneedsahome #outdoors #gnomesneedhomes #cheerfulchappy #outdoorliving #needaMrsWotziname

A post shared by carol cameleon (@carol_cameleon) on


So that’s my happy and my happy word is ‘lazy’ for obvious reasons!  I’ll have to get back to reality very soon but for now, I’m savouring every second 🙂

How about you?  I’d love to hear about your ‘happy’ in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere using #HighlightsofHappy

Go on, share your happy with me!

Thanks 🙂


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Book review ~ One Third Stories

Book Review One Third Stories Help Your Child to Learn A New Language

Book Review ~ One Third Stories

When I heard about One Third Stories – ‘a story that starts in English and ends in another language’, I was intrigued.
Book Review One Third Stories Full Help Your Child to Learn A New Language 2
The people at Boolino asked which language I would like to review and I chose the Spanish because I thought it would be a good starting point.  Those episodes of Dora the Explorer must have given our 7 year old a good grounding for Spanish surely?…


Seriously though, not being a language expert, I also thought Spanish might be one of the more straight-forward languages.
So that’s what I thought, but I was also interested to see how our daughter would approach it and how she would react.
She loves reading and happily reads fluently alone.  And so I had little doubt of her capabilities.  As I said, she’s also seen her fair share of Dora so I thought she would already have a feel for the intonations of Spanish as a language!  A logical conclusion to draw perhaps?!


The unboxing

What made me smile on reading this book was her realisation that some of the book was in a different language!
When we opened the parcel, she read the cover and I explained what it was.
Curious, she began to read and by page 4  she came across a Spanish word which was very cleverly woven into the text.  Having been through phonics, sounding out and blending with her, it was fascinating to hear her do the same with the Spanish word.
Book Review One Third Stories Full Help Your Child to Learn A New Language Reading
I did have to jump in and tell her how to pronounce ‘si’.  But due to the accompanying pictures, the word meaning was pretty self-explanatory within the context of the story.


Does the concept work?

Having the Spanish slotted into the text didn’t slow the story down at all, which I thought may have been the case.
A very clever concept that works brilliantly with competent, engaged readers (or at least a 7 year old and her mum!).  I can see how this book (and no doubt others in the series) would aide in actually introducing a different language and therefore learning new, basic words.


My thoughts

Based on our experience and our daughter’s reaction, I would highly recommend this book.
Not only for the general concept of ending in a different language but also for the sheets of ‘flash cards’ that come with it.  On one side you have the Spanish and the other is the English.  A great idea to enhance visual learning.  What also impressed me about this book visually was at the start, the numbers were introduced alongside clear drawings of the number of the relevant item, so the child can count them and work out what the Spanish word is for themselves.  The package also came with a free audio book download which is a great idea for the pronunciations and also a cute Spanish fact file that you can see here.
Book Review One Third Stories Full Help Your Child to Learn A New Language With Fact File

One Third Stories came with a cute Spanish Fact File


With an RRP of £14.99, there is value for money because you do get a fair amount for your money – a good quality, sturdy story book with flash cards.  My initial thoughts were that it’s a little bit pricey, but when I considered the concept a little more; that this series could engage with your child and ease your child into a new language, I do think it’s worth it.


What language would you consider buying for your child?  Tell me in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 🙂

*I was sent this book for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own (and my daughter’s!)


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Will this book help your child fall to sleep?

When we received a package from Vicks as part of their #VicksTricks campaign, we were intrigued by the book inside.  The title of my blog post for their campaign was ‘I’ve Got a Trick Up My Sleeve’ and so did they, it seems!

Their ‘trick’ was a book entitled ‘The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep: A New Way of Getting Children to Sleep
by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin.

Will this book full help your child fall asleep Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin Vicks Tricks bedtime reading parenting virtually all sorts

And what an intriguing book.  The idea is to read this book to your child who doesn’t want to or won’t sleep, at bedtime.  I found it quite challenging to read because of the style.  By that I mean that parts were in italics (which you say in a soft, slow voice) and bold (which you say ‘in character’ and animate your voice etc).  To accompany the book were 3 finger puppets, to use alongside the book, to really bring the book alive.

Will this book puppets full help your child fall asleep Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin Vicks Tricks bedtime reading parenting virtually all sorts

We love a bedtime story in our house, we always have and in all honesty, we’ve never really had any issues with our 7 year old wanting to go to bed or to sleep.  I’ve mentioned before how she asks me to read 7 pages and then she reads the rest herself by torchlight..

So to be asked by our daughter to read the whole lot came as a surprise.  A nice one though!  It felt very odd not to be reading the whole 7 pages and our daughter didn’t even manage to read the rest herself!  Why?  Because by about page 4, she was curled up in bed, with her teddies and duvet around her, heavy-eyed and ready for sleep.  She usually sits up next to me in bed, snuggled up under her duvet holding a teddy.  So was this coincidence?  Well, we will never know but in any case, the concept of the book is really clever!

Have you come across this book?  Do you find bedtime challenging?!  Tell me in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 🙂

This post contains affliate links which means that if you buy something from this page, I get a little happiness too, at no extra cost to you.  Thanks 🙂


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Join in with #HighlightsofHappy on Instagram 27 ~ share your happy!

Join in with highlights of happy 27 instagram blog linky blog hop blog party gratitude happiness share sunset skies winter days bookworm reading herbal tea

Anyone who follows me on Instagram will know that I started out posting a few smiley faces using random objects.

What started out as a totally random moment turned into a lightbulb moment… to share our #HighlightsofHappy on instagram!  I love how the little HOH community is growing.  Please spread the word and we’ll get even more happiness being shared 🙂

To join in, simply post a pic of your ‘happy’ on IG and remember to tag it #HighlightsofHappy (so we can all find it!)  It’s open all week and every Monday I will choose my favourite to showcase on IG and in a dedicated blog post…

As long as it’s your happy and you’d like to share it, then go ahead!  Branching out into making smiley faces is optional 😉

If you’d like to, you can also include a line or 2 telling us why it makes you happy :

Don’t forget that it’s also the opportunity to link up your favourite IG happy pic to the blogpost (by copying the url of the photo you choose in your instagram).

Thank you so much for helping to spread the happiness by sharing your highlights and I’ve got an exciting giveaway for a #HighlightsofHappy in 2017 which goes live on 6th February so if you’re not already subscribed, whizz over to the right hand sidebar so that you don’t miss it 🙂

Here are my favourites from last week…


@jerseykay1 shared this beautiful shot of a pastel pink sky


Reminding us of the beauty of a crisp, winter’s day from @becomingaSAHM


Ellen from @babiesbiscuitsandbooze shared this cosy pic of her sharing a book with her son.  Magical moments!


Sharon @aftertheplayground made my tastebuds tingle with this warming photo…


Thanks so much for sharing your #HighlightsofHappy on instagram everyone 🙂  Please do come back for more next week…

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The joys of bedtime reading

Our daughter loves to read.  She always has done.  From back in her first year at school when her phonics learning grew before our very eyes, with sounding out, blending, understanding, expanding her vocab… She’s always thrived in her literacy.

I’ve never held back in my passion of reading with children.  Our daughter is proof that by reading to them every day, then with them, as they learn to read, their literacy goes from strength to strength.

One way that we’ve continued to instil books into our girl’s daily life is with the fabulous old-fashioned bedtime story.

bedtime reading 2 literacy parenting imagination

I’m sure that the vast majority of households with young children build this into the evening routine.  But what about when your young child is growing at an alarming rate both physically and mentally?  What when they don’t want you to read to them or even with them any more?

I knew it would come some day and at 7 years old, that day inevitably came.  However, every cloud as a silver lining!  Why?  Our daughter now asks me to read my book while she reads hers, “Let’s read in our heads, Mummy!”  I’m more than happy to oblige with this because it gives me some down-time and chance to read a few pages to!

And after ‘lights out’, the torch goes on.  At first, she did this on the sly but soon realised that she wasn’t being told off for not going to sleep straight away and now reaches for her torch when it’s lights out.  And so her little bedtime reading adventure continues for a little while longer each night.  I remember myself that there’s something about being immersed into another world, while tucked up in bed, reading by torchlight.  It takes the magic and imagination to another level…

She often reads the same books that I did, such as the Enid Blyton Magic Faraway Tree books.  And that to me, is the most magical thing about the bedtime reading.  I distinctly remember all those wonderful characters literally coming alive from the pages of the book.  What a wonderful time and what wonderful memories!

How did you feel when reading the bedtime story out loud disappeared from your child’s routine?  Or do you still have it, but in a different way, like us?  I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment (below) or tweet me @AllSortsHere.  And come and say hi on social media ~ 


Thank you 🙂


Who else could I share this post with but the #DreamTeam, given that it’s bedtime reading?…

3 Little Buttons

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Follow Carol Cameleon Writer & Blogger extraordinaire’s board My zen 🙂 on Pinterest.

#PaperyPeep ~ mini libraries, colouring tables and a little collage

It’s been a while since I joined in with Papery Peep so here’s a collection in pictures (mainly).
I’m starting off with the main blog pic; our daughter left this little lot on the table just as you see it here.  A perfect photo opportunity!  I love the cat, don’t you? 🙂
 I’ve shared a few pictures on instagram lately of our girl’s reading matter…
It’s a daily occurence for her to come downstairs to breakfast with a book under her arm or in her hand.  In between mouthfuls and general chat, she always reads a book.  I can’t remember when this first happened but we’ve never discouraged her from bringing a book to the table.  Sometimes our days are so busy in the week that the ‘only’ reading she does (apart from at school, which I don’t get to savour!) is at breakfast and bedtime.
I truly hope she never loses her love of reading.  Strange really – I embrace that she can read to herself but a part of me misses sitting down every day like we used to and me reading to her.  I think that stage is withering out now…  But strange because I embrace with pride this newest phase of her reading journey 🙂
On to the pic below and who in the UK remembers the Griffin savers dictionary?  The you got free when you opened a Midland Bank young savers account?! (Showing my age!!)  Our daughter has claimed mine, which I don’t mind at all.
You can just about see the cat diaries top and bottom in the end column there.  Chosen by our daughter, of course (had to be cats!)  The ‘best mummy ever!’ card totally melted my heart and is on the wall next to my desk.  The final picture is of the Message in a Bottle postcards.  I’ve been involved in the launch of this book for children and it’s coming to end now…
Finally, it’s been while since Stephanie from Lifeat139a very kindly sent me this book as a random act of kindness.  And it’s been a good few months since I finished it.
Our little girl was at a birthday party, hubby was at work that same afternoon and I took myself into the garden to read ‘Missing, Presumed’ by Susie Steiner.  I chilled out and got stuck in.
This was definitely one of those books that I found very hard to put down due to its readability.  Each chapter effortlessly flowed into the next, with questions being raised and left unanswered from the beginning.
I didn’t make any notes when I finished this (which is what I would normally do when reviewing a book) and because it’s a while since I read it, I’m not going to attempt a ‘review’.  Suffice to say that I felt a little lost when I’d finished it (you know it’s a good one when that happens) and there was satisfaction at reading it quite quickly – around 3 weeks.  (Unlike Jocelyn at The Reading Residence who seems to get through one in 3 days!)
Aside from wanting to thank my virtual friend for kindly posting it out to me, I genuinely feel it deserves a good mention.
Pop it on your reading list!


Have you been writing, reading or even colouring recently?  Do you remember that dictionary?!  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere


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This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something from clicking on a link from my blog, I get to receive some happiness too… at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks..

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children (with discount code) ~ Review


A while back, I introduced you to Kiki ~ a friendly, lovable bird from ‘Message in a Bottle’, which is a personalised book for children.

And I shared a sneak peak of the book when I received it on YouTube.

Today, I’m sharing a review of the book.



When I unboxed it, the colours immediately appealed to me and I knew they would appeal to our daughter too.  She’s 6 years old and absolutely loves, loves, loves reading!  Do you get that she loves to read?! 🙂

There really is something about the feel of the book, both physically and aesthetically.  It’s pure quality.  I initially read it through myself and the tingles I felt when I saw our girl’s name AND address in print in the book were amazing!


When I told her I had a surprise for her, she was excited.  And when I told her it was a very special book, she asked me why it was special.  So we sat down together and she read it to me.  I was looking over her shoulder and I felt her excitement at seeing her name and address printed in the book.  The bonding experience was so special that first time (and beyond!)

The story starts when Kiki the bird finds a bottle adrift.  The bottle of course has a message inside and although Kiki doesn’t know where she needs to take it for safe delivery, she knows she must try.  So the journey begins as we follow Kiki flying the day and night, stumbling upon friendly creatures who help the tired and brave bird to reach her destination.  There are few hairy moments when Kiki loses the bottle from her grasp.  But she gets the treasured bottle back of course and I think it must be quite obvious that the bottle reaches its destination, thanks to Kiki and her friends.

What an adventure for the friendly animals and for us!

My favourite parts were – Being introduced to Kiki.  It’s not difficult to warm to our feathered friend and she so desperately wants to get the bottle to us!

The lovable, colourful, sometimes cheeky characters!

Delivery of the message in a bottle to our girl.  🙂

Our daughter’s favourite parts were

The jungle spread and she was surprised to see it in the book because she coloured a print-out of an early scene.

The crab! 🙂


So after we had read the book the first time, I asked our daughter why she thought it was a special book.  Her answer?

Because it’s for me and I helped to colour it.

This is a special book.  You can truly feel the passion behind it, after coming from initial concept, through the Kickstarter launch campaign, to print…  amazing!

The over-riding reason this book is so special though? – it’s for the child you want it to be for… it’s bespoke, it’s personalised, it’s a special gift.

And here’s a 15% discount for the first 10 people to visit the Message in a Bottle website and buy the book!  How amazing is that?!  The code is 2M315N.  Just click here to redeem it but be quick – remember it’s the first 10 people from my blog who get the discount!

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki sunset

How can you not love Kiki?


You can follow Kiki’s journey with Message in a Bottle across the World Wide Web!





And you can spread the word by pinning from my Message in a Bottle board on Pinterest


*This is a review post but all opinions are my own.


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Time for some happy in my #HighlightsofHappy #5

It’s a common phrase isn’t it?…

Bad things come in 3’s

or words similar to that!

So, let’s flip it (you know how I love to turn a negative into a positive!)

Let’s find 3 things to be happy and grateful for!

(or even more… I mean, why not?!)

3 is it your magic number highlights of happy 5 gratitude journal grateful happiness positivity positive thinking me time reading relax

In my new weekly feature, I will look back over my gratitude journal and bring to you my #HighlightsofHappy , which is great because it gives me the opportunity to look back and be grateful all over again 🙂

I will then round it off with one word that sums up my happy.

So, what am I happy and grateful for this week?

Well, oodles actually!

  • For time for me to read a book ~ ‘Missing, Presumed’
    was sent to me as a random act of kindness by fellow blogger Stephanie at Lifeat139A.  I had been ‘saving’ it for a time when I could really get my teeth into it.  When our little girl was at a sleepover and hubby was at work, I seized the opportunity and got totally enthralled in this book.  Watch out for a review but for now, safe to say it comes  highly recommended by me!
  • For a nap! ~ Yes, a nap!  After I’d read a big chunk of the above book, I took the chance to rest my tired eyes and had a little rather large nap!
  • For our little girl running in to join her friends at a birthday party ~ … not even looking back…
  • For another birthday party that our little girl was invited to ~ she saw a bunch of her old friends from her old school.  It was nice for me to catch up with a few of the parents who I used to see on the school run too.  It was also great to be able to say how much our daughter loves her new school too.
  • That I had a new book delivered ~ I’ve decided to read a series and I’m loving it!  But I won’t tell you yet which series because I don’t want any unintentional spoilers…!
  • For a lovely fish tea ~ found in the bargain bin. Even better!
  • For making time for reiki and recharging my crystals.
  • For a random trip to a science pop-up ~ after a shopping trip for new school shoes, we wandered past the Cosmos science roadshow which was just brilliant.  We plan to revisit over the new few weeks.  Look out for the blog post in the near future!

So that’s my happy this week and WHAT a lot to be happy about!  I love that looking back over the last week in my gratitude journal results in this 🙂  My word of the week is ‘me’ because of my precious me-time which is definitely a highlight 🙂

I’d love to hear about your ‘happy’ in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere using #HighlightsofHappy

Share your happy with me!

Thanks 🙂


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The Reading Residence

Captain Pug book review #AdventuresofPug

Welcome to my ‘Captain Pug’  book review!

Captain Pug 1 review book for children Bloomsbury publishing Dog who sailed the seas fiction Laura James Eglantine Ceulema

Here we have a lovely little tail tale which follows Pug and Lady Miranda on a  nautical adventure.

The first thing I noticed was that, given it’s a book for children, at 124 pages long, it doesn’t take long for the author Laura James to build up Pug into a lovable character.

You see, Pug is afraid of water and isn’t very keen when Lady Miranda turns him into a seafaring Captain for a day!

Nonetheless, he perseveres and we come to the point when Pug faces his fear of water.  A fear that Lady Miranda is unaware of.  This worries Pug.

We now learn that when Pug gets sad and worried, he gets hungry.  As luck would have it, his nose leads him to an unattended picnic basket, which he falls into…

And so the adventure really starts… with a Pug-napped Pug!

The story moves on at a good pace, which is great for children.  James’ story-telling kept the attention of our little girl (aged 6), who loves a good book.

And what good story for children is complete without good illustrations?  They appear on every page and help to move the story on.

Captain Pug 1 review book for children Bloomsbury publishing Dog who sailed the seas fiction Laura James Eglantine Ceulemans literacy reading

One of our favourite parts was when Pug finds himself the captain of a boat in a rowing race.  He’s very worried about being on the ‘open sea’ but there’s no food to calm his nerves.  He barks and barks, which the crew take to be him ‘barking orders’ and row faster!

The speed worries Pug even more, but with no food on paw hand to calm him down, he barks more, which makes the oarsmen row even faster…

Will Captain Pug and his crew win the boat race?

I’ll leave it there for you to find out for yourselves!…

The final verdict from us?

A heart-warming, slightly farcical story for children; as we follow a pug who faces his fear.  Beautiful, colourful, quirky illustrations and endearing characters.

The right length to enable a good adventure to unfold.

A portable size too – perfect for little(ish) hands and to slip into a bag for an adventure on the move!

And a good price… published by Bloomsbury and available from Amazon
for £5.99

Join the conversation #AdventuresofPug

And include @AllSortsHere in the tweet!


And in January 2017…

Cowboy Pug is coming!  Yeee-haaa!

We’re looking forward to reading a new adventure with Pug 🙂


We were sent this book to review but all opinions are my own. See here for my full disclosure policy.
Also, this post contains affiliate links.


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