The Library Archives and a Love of Books

Our little girl has a love of books and was really excited to browse the books at her school’s week of hosting the travelling book fair.  She had been promised a new book from us and after a quick perusal of the shelves, made a bee-line for What the Ladybird Heard Next
by Julia Donaldson.

The library archives and world book day reading literacy history books 2

This surprised me a little because she tends to be much more into chapter books than picture books these days.  She even got a new book storage cushion for Christmas!

It must be the very clever rhymes and therefore the rhythm of Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len’s misdemeanours!..

We’ve just recently moved house and joined the local library.  With our little girl enjoying reading so much, we were keen to get registered as soon as possible.

The ‘switch over’ from our old library got me to looking at the history of our old library accounts.  You might call them ‘the archives’.

The library archives and world book day reading literacy history books 1

You can just about barely (!) see in our little girl’s account that she has borrowed 289 books since she joined as a baby.  And that’s not including the books she’s got a home, some of which she has read over and over and over again!

Thankfully, the world of books is still at her fingertips and she loves to go along with us and using the machine to take out and return books.

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Do you visit your local library very often?  What does your child like best about it?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments below 🙂 

*This post contains an affiliate link which means that if you happen to purchase something from the link you click, I get to have a little happiness too! 🙂 

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“Look through the windows” ~ poem #WonderfulWorldofWriting

Poem ~ “Look Through The Windows”

As I republish this poem in the UK, it’s the time of year that many, many young people are starting school, on whatever level.  And as you read this poem, I believe that the words speak for themselves…

Wonderful World of Writing blog writing linky poem look through the windows and see demolition school learning knowledge 2

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Once upon a time someone took a brick,

Some cement and a trowel and then bit by bit…

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They stacked one brick, then two, then three bricks then four,

On top of each other and then took some more…

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They built some more walls until

there were four,

Added a roof, some windows, a lockable door…

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The building was ready, but who had the key?

They looked at each other saying, “not you or me!”

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“How do you get in?” they wondered aloud,

And looked at the building standing tall and proud…

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Then someone came along with a book and a pen,

Opened the door and said, “Let’s get started then!”…

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And then there followed a sight to behold,

More people walked through the door, I am told…

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It was a doorway to learning, a place to strive,

To do your best, be your best from the age of ’bout five…

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The adults were people, teaching what they knew,

Mr Price, Mrs Hoy, to name one or two…

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They had a yearning to teach all that they knew,

Mr Hunt, Mrs Croxford, the school grew and grew…

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Mrs Hucker, Mr Salton, the school was still growing

With a thirst for knowledge and appetite for knowing…

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Mrs Duckmanton, Mrs Molesworth and others no doubt,

My memory’s foggy, who have I missed out?

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Friendships were cemented, the knowledge was too,

Now the digger’s in the playground and the rubble is too…

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The skyline is changing, it’s a moment in time,

“Do not enter – demolition site” reads the sign…

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Now we look back but ahead to the future,

As the school welcomed a new Head called Miss Luter…

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And through the years we’ve seen staff come and go,

The school moved to a new site “as we learn then we grow”…

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It’s seen so much learning, this building half crumbled

“The end of an era” the old school has mumbled…

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But look through the windows not yet broken and see

Happy memories belonging to you and to me…

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By Carol Cameleon 2016

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Got some writing to share? Tweet your post direct to me @AllSortsHere using the #WonderfulWorldofWriting or #www hashtag and I’ll retweet!

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Prose for Thought

How the seed was planted for my childen’s book series ~ The Friendly Little Trolls

I recently launched my ‘The Friendly Little Trolls’ funding campaign and now I’d like to share with you all how the seed was planted for my children’s book series…

The Friendly Little Trolls FLT Fizzle and Wizzle children's book series reading learning Long logo 300 dpi

My passion for writing, particularly in rhyme, has never left me.  Once I get in the flow, I often feel that there’s no stopping me!

‘The Friendly Little Trolls’ was much the same.  After countless occasions of reading to and with our little girl (6), not to mention the children’s books I read when I was younger, one day a little vision (a little seed) came into my head.

The Friendly Little Trolls Fizzle and Wizzle morals childrens stories books book learning educational kickstarter planted a little seed

There are 2 friendly little trolls,

Do you know their names?

Fizzle is the girl and she likes to play games.

She has fluffy pink hair which is curly wurly,

Fizzle the troll is very, very girly!

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So, there were the characters (or one in the rhyme above in any case).  I played around with the names for the Trolls and settled on Fizzle and Wizzle because like looking for a new home, the names just felt right.  Also, the idea was (and still is) that they zapped germs with a ‘fizz’ and a ‘wizz’.  A few of the other names just didn’t flow…

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The next stage in my creative process was the adventures they could have.  It was important to me that they couldn’t be seen by grown-ups and that they were friendly with a little bit of cheek thrown in for good measure 🙂

Seeing as my artistic abilities are generally limited to stick people (and I didn’t see Fizzle and Wizzle as stick people!), I approached an illustrator with my brief to create 2 friendly looking ‘trolls’.  It’s amazing how she just ‘clicked’ with my brief and created Fizzle and Wizzle (and other characters besides).  This was exactly what I was looking for and you can see one of her later illustrations on the front cover of ‘The Dentist’ book…

Fizzle and Wizzle The Friendly Little Trolls book series for children visit the dentist

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Let’s have a recap.  We have:

    • The initial idea, you could call it a ‘concept’
    • The stories in draft
  • The visual characters

Next, we have a plan which is all encompassing of a major project and too much to share in a blogpost.  I’d like to hold some of it back to keep a surprise element for future blog posts.

Although I will share that the first book in the series of 6 includes a ‘brushing teeth’ ditty 🙂

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I’d be interested to hear how this compares with writing projects that you’ve had or have on the go.  I found that F&W just clicked into place in the creative process.  It was difficult to stop the flow at times!  What have you worked on where the flow keeps flowing?

If you’d like to get involved, just follow this link.

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A novel book storage idea

When our little girl unwrapped a cushion from her Grandma and Pop for Christmas, she was really excited… and so was I!

Book cushion a novel book storage idea reading nook library organisation

Having been to a Christmas Fayre, my lovely Mum saw these brilliant cushions that double up as a novel book storage idea!

When our little girl saw that her cousin had a similar cushion, she was even more excited.

When she unwrapped 5 new Rainbow Magic books, she slotted a couple into the little pockets on her new cushion.

What a neat idea!

The cushion now flits between her reading nook and her bed, as do the cats most days.  I’m convinced that the cats enjoy a read when she’s not there!  She’s even been known to take it in the car with her over the Christmas break!

Our little girl chose to spend some of her Christmas money on a Rainbow Magic bookmark, which arrived just after Christmas.

What I love is that our little girl is being so very patient (mostly) because she’s pre-ordered another Rainbow Magic book for delivery in March…

Whereas I… well I haven’t got a lovely book cushion but I have managed to explore our new (to us) library and brought a couple of books home 🙂

To be perfectly honest, I was really disappointed with ‘Shadows of the Workhouse’ by Jennifer Worth.  Having devoured a couple of her other books, I had high hopes for this one but just couldn’t get past the first couple of chapters which seemed more like character studies than the interesting insight into history that I was expecting.

So I tried a different genre, recommended to me.  This one is by Liane Moriarty ‘Big Little Lies’ and I am enjoying it.  It’s hard to put down and I’ll hopefully report back in a few weeks 🙂

“Thinking Outside the Box” ~ poem #WonderfulWorldofWriting

“Thinking Outside the Box”

WonderfulWorldofWriting poem poetry imagination creation making creating www writing thinking outside the box

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I’m faced with a challenge,

What should I do?

Looking round for an answer,

I haven’t a clue…

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The box shows a picture

Of a quaint little place,

As I take a look at my

Team mate’s expectant face…

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We unpack the box,

There’s pieces galore!

The instructions are spread

All over the floor…

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We build the base first

With that piece and this,

With a click and a push

There’s something amiss…

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I break the news gently

That something is lacking,

That we’ll send it back

And that someone needs sacking!…

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But no problem, no worries,

No stress, don’t you see?

Says my team mate of 6 years,

My child prodigy…

WonderfulWorldofWriting poem poetry imagination creation making creating www writing thinking outside the box 1

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We can build our own thing,

With these here building blocks,

We’ll be creative;

We’ll think outside of the box!

WonderfulWorldofWriting poem poetry imagination creation making creating www writing thinking outside the box 2

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By Carol Cameleon 2016

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Got some writing to share? Tweet your post direct to me @AllSortsHere using the #WonderfulWorldofWriting or #www hashtag and I’ll retweet!

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Prose for Thought

“It’s a nice thing to do!” ~ poem #WonderfulWorldofWriting

“It’s a nice thing to do!”

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Excitement is building, Christmas is here,

Our little girl’s smiling, she’s got an idea…

With a box, some paper, felt tips and some glue

She’s making a present ’cause, “it’s a nice thing to do!”

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So who is it for, this personal piece?

My parents, my sister or a lucky niece?

There’s no doubt about it, she’s having fun

Making a present for a special someone…

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As she finishes up, she tells me, “it’s done!”

And ta-da! This present is second to none…

It’s for Santa Claus, Father Christmas or is it Saint Nick?

The man in the red suit.  What’s his name? Take your pick!

Santa Father Christmas present gift gratitude giving craft hand made kind photobomb cat

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It doesn’t matter who’s name’s on the gift tag, you see

What matters is the idea to give lovingly.

She set to, making something straight from her heart

She gave her time and her effort… what great things to impart!

Santa Father Christmas present gift gratitude giving craft hand made kind

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By Carol Cameleon 2016

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Got some writing to share? Tweet your post direct to me @AllSortsHere using the #WonderfulWorldofWriting or #www hashtag and I’ll retweet!

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3 Ways to Breath New Life into your Writing

Writing ~ How I Breathed New Life Into My Writing By Chatting To A Like-minded Friend, Brainstorming And Setting Goals And Plans

3 Ways to Breathe New Life into your Writing

Of late, not a great deal of ‘hardcore’ writing has taken place at Virtually All Sorts.  I’ve chilled out for a couple of weeks and in that time, an amazing thing happened…

Writing ~ How I Breathed New Life Into My Writing By Chatting To A Like-minded Friend, Brainstorming And Setting Goals And Plans

Well a few amazing things happened really but these are what kicked it all off:

I hooked up with a friend one night.  

She had asked for a chat about the best way to approach getting her book(s) published, knowing that I’ve published a few ebooks myself.  She’s in a similar position to mine with Fizzle & Wizzle (my children’s book series) and boy, did I need that chat.  Perhaps a bit naively I thought it would be plain-sailing with F&W.  I really believe in my children’s series and that’s why I was convinced it would be funded and in print by now… but never, ever give up!

Renewed vigour

Anyhow, our chat gave me a renewed vigour to give it all a kick back into touch.  Not only that, but while kicking F&W back into touch, I came up with yet another idea for a book and started brainstorming that too!  A completely different genre.  It’s so true that when you step away for however long, you then come up with lots of ideas and your ideas just keep flowing!… 🙂

Making plans

So, after this lovely chat, we got our heads together for our respective projects, made firm plans and then my friend popped her shades on, declaring that the future was so bright and I toddled off, my writing box precariously balance between my elbow and my hip while I coaxed it into my car boot.  It could have ended in tears, but thankfully it didn’t…

So although not much hardcore writing did take place over the summer, quite a bit of brainstorming and revisiting did!

So have you worked out the 3 things you can do today to breathe new life into your writing?

Get together with a like-minded friend, brainstorm, make a plan.

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Has this happened to you – have you taken a step back from something and found a new approach when you least expected it – writing or otherwise?
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Somewhere to learn, to grow, to play ~ poem #WonderfulWorldofWriting

Wonderful World of Writing blog writing linky poem school transform cot to desk learn grow play learning growing playing

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In a recent Wonderful World of Writing post, I shared how our little girl uses her ‘Imagination Station’ and here’s a short poem about how it came to be…

Somewhere to learn, to grow, to play…

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Once upon a time you were a little bear

Born 3 weeks early, you were tiny with no hair,

You slept in your cot through the night, give or take

And rarely did you stir, not a noise did you make…

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The cot was your cousins’

And has a tale or two to tell,

Many a time between you all it’s

Heard the ‘odd’ scream or yell!

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Lost dummies, stuffed teddies

Wedged ‘tween mattress and frame,

I’d nudge your Daddy, “Your turn!”

Or at least that was my aim…

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Fast forward a few years

And now you’ve started school,

“I know!”, I shrilled with a brainwave,

And went to fetch the rule…

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With measurements to hand,

We got some wood chopped and changed,

Then spread a layer of blackboard paint

And when dry we re-arranged…

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Your playpen came down,

Your baby toys given away,

Your cot transformed into a desk,

Somewhere to learn, to grow, to play…

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By Carol Cameleon

Originally published under MummyBearsBlog but with a brand new school term on the horizon, I thought it would be nice to look back at how much our little girl has grown physically and mentally.  Her desk is truly a place ‘to learn, to grow, to play…’

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Join in with #WonderfulWorldofWriting and link up with any genre of writing… I’ll share every post on twitter and other social media.  Tweet your post direct to me @AllSortsHere and I’ll retweet (it’d be great if you could use #WonderfulWorldofWriting too!)

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Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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What’s your blog made of? ~ poem #WonderfulWorldofWriting

WonderfulWorldofWriting blog writing linky poem whats your blog made of blogging

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What’s your blog made of?

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Is it about sugar and spice and all things nice,

Or a confessional of a particular vice?

Is it lifestyle, parenting, writing and more,

Or reviews and comps and giveaways galore?

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Have you so much to say that you post every day,

Or are you less frequent to come out to play?

Do you follow your stats with an eagle eye,

Or go with the flow with no ‘wherefore’ or ‘why’?

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And how about linkys, do you take part in one,

Or even run one for double the fun?

And blogging support – it’s second to none,

It’s addictive, it’s social, it’s oh-so-much fun!

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With humour and truth and bare-your-soul posts,

A dose of self-help, ‘how to’s’, ‘meet your host’,

The techy bit’s done, SEO and short lnks,

We’re ready to schedule or hit publish, me thinks…

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But wait – one final edit, one final ‘tweak’,

The ingredients are mixed now, you need a good heat,

In an aga or retro eye-level grill,

The method won’t matter, it’ll still fit the bill!

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‘Cos whatever makes our blogs, whether newbie or star,

We write from the heart we are what we are,

And that’s what matters, don’t aim to be ‘pro’,

Just blog what you want to and go with the flow!

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By Carol Cameleon 2015

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Join in with #WonderfulWorldofWriting and link up with any genre of writing… I’ll share every post on twitter and other social media.  Tweet your post direct to me @AllSortsHere and I’ll retweet (it’d be great if you could use #WonderfulWorldofWriting too!)

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A Letter from Buckingham Palace … yes really!

Once upon a time a little girl (our little girl!) received a letter from Buckingham Palace.  And here’s why…

A letter from Buckingham Palace monarchy The Queen royalty royal family royal baby birthday school parenting envelope 1 edit final

Once upon a time there was a little girl in her first year at school.  She loved going to school and learning about all sorts of things…

One day, in her school book bag, her mummy came across a picture of London which the little girl had coloured in.  Her class had been asked to colour in pictures of The Queen and London because they were learning about the monarchy and the Queen’s birthday.

When her mummy said what a beautiful picture it was and how neatly she had coloured it in, the little girl told her mummy that she would like to send it to The Queen for her birthday.

And so, together with her mummy and daddy, the little girl wrote a short note to The Queen to say “Happy Birthday Ma’am!”

Soon after the little girl had posted the birthday card to Her Majesty, she visited London with her mummy and daddy and it happened to be the same day that the new Royal baby, Princess Charlotte was born!

While in London, the little girl visited Buckingham Palace (barely an hour before the announcement of the royal birth was officially made on the easel!).  She also visited Big Ben, Horse Guard’s Parade, Trafalgar Square and Covent Garden.

The little girl sent a postcard to her teacher telling her that she had visited London.  The postcard had a photo of The Queen on the front.

A few weeks passed and life carried on as normal.  Then, one day the little girl received some rather special post through her letterbox.  The envelope was postmarked ‘Buckingham Palace’ with the Royal Crest.  The little girl opened the letter and the opening line read:

Dear ‘Little Girl’,
The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your message which you sent on the occasion of Her Majesty’s eighty-ninth birthday.
The remaining contents advised that The Queen had been interested to learn that her class had been learning about the Royal Family, and some lovely, glossy, informative leaflets about the monarchy were enclosed.  The letter was signed by The Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting.
Needless to say, a copy or two several copies  were taken of the original letter ‘just in case’ and a copy was taken into school the next day.  The original will most definitely be framed to keep it safe while on display 🙂
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