Read a Book Day ~ are YOU well read?

Read A Book Day Are You Well Read Reading Challenge

I love the idea of Read a Book Day! 

There’s the obvious excuse of getting stuck into another world, with your nose inside a book.  There’s also the perfect chance to look back on my reading goals and how I got back into reading.

I also love that this Day has prompted me to look back before my reading challenge has finished for the year because I’m not one to wait until new year to start new things and set new goals.  Why wait?  I also love that the picture in this blog posts is of a dog reading a book – suggesting that anyone can get involved and read.  So come on people, read, read, read…!  I set myself a reading challenge of 12 books this year and I’m very pleased that I’m ahead of target.

Read A Book Day Are You Well Read Reading Challenge

Having looked at my ‘read’ shelf on GoodReads I saw 3 books that had particularly given me that pick-up-a-book-and-can’t-put-it-down feeling!

 

You know that feeling, I’m sure.

 

There’s also the feeling of being lost and not knowing what to read next because nothing seem sappealing after such a good read.  Well the 3 that gave me both of these feelngs were:

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

 

Pop them on your To Be Read pile!

I’m not going to review them simply because I’m not very good at reviewing books.  I think I’m too subjective and would much rather discuss them in a facebook group like Bookish Mamas.  Talking of which, I must thank Lucy, Jess and Naomi for establishing this great group.  They’ve encouraged me to actually read again.

 

I had intended to gather all of the group reads, take a picture and publish it on instagram and on here but I only ended buying my own copies of a few before turning to my library.  I love a visit to the library don’t you?

 

As for next year?  I’m going to stick with 12 books as my goal becuase it’s clearly working and puts me under less pressure.  Now I’m off to find my cosy throw, pop the fairy lights, chillax and get all hygge 🙂

But first, tell me what’s your best read of the year so far?  Or what’s on your TBR pile?  I’d love to know.  Tell me by commenting below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 

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A new chapter in our reading journey

A

A new chapter in our reading journey

Just last week, we returned some books to the local library (mine and our 8yos).  I love visiting the library with her.  I always have.  It literally opens up a whole world of imagination.

On this visit though, she said she was running out of books to read.  She’s read all the Rainbow Magic books, all the Harry Potter books and various other series.  So, we asked the nice man behind the desk what level would be suitable for a fluent nearly 9 year old to read.  And we were shown the Teenage Junior (TJ) shelf while being told to leave the Teenage Advanced (TA) section for now.  I could almost feel our daughter’s disappointment as she looked at the 4 shelves of the TJ section.  Not many books there when you’re used to browsing through what seems like a whole world of imagination.  Still, we can order books in from other branches and I’m sure they’ll have some sort of reading challenge to keep her going through the summer.

A New Chapter in our Reading Journey

Magical memories as we enter a new phase

While she browsed, I sat on the little toddler seat next to the board books and had a little think to myself.  The days of reading out loud to her, the same books over and over and over again came to me.  The days of her sounding out her first school books, learning phonics and learning to blend the sounds.  Magical memories.

We still have a bedtime story and I’ve recently got the reading bug again and started reading actual books again – partly for my own relaxation but partly to encourage her to continue.  With all the distractions in our childrens’ lives, reading can easily be put on the back-burner.  So at bedtime, because she now reads chapter books with few (if any) pictures or drawings, we only read a couple of pages.  Her school has a 20 minutes a day reading challenge.  She easily manages this because she reads at breakfast too but we incorporate into her bedtime routine, which I love and so does she.  So after I’ve read 2 pages and kissed her goodnight (on her still oh-so-soft cheek) and showered her with a hundred kisses all over her beautiful face, I give her 20 minutes.  She often uses this time to read to her teddies and role play.  She clearly needs this little bit of time to process the day.  Long may it continue.

Times to cherish

Then we often have the panic of her losing her unicorn bookmark among her duvet and the handful mountain of teddies.  It’s the one she cut out from a template in a magazine.  There are 2 others but it has to be the unicorn one.  Eventually, all is still and I often pop up to our room for something and can hear her little voice being narrator.  It’s these times, after a busy day, that I cherish and I never want to end.  But I know they will.

Until they end, I’ll continue to indulge us both in a quick read and then let her enter her own world with her teddies, the characters from the book and feed her imagination as she slowly drifts off to her dreams for the night, wherever they may take her.

Has your child run out of reading material?  Do you use your local library?  I’d love to kmow!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .

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Ideas to keep your kids reading over Summer

Ideas To Keep Kids Reading Over Summer Parenting Boredom Buster Activity

Ideas to keep your kids reading over Summer

When I was at school (all that time ago!), I remember when I went back after the long Summer holidays and it felt really odd to write again!  And this was waaay before we all had phones glued to ourselves and were texting all the time.  We generally had no need to write.  It’s the same with reading isn’t it?  It’s easy for our children to get out of the habit of reading over the summer break – no ‘carpet time’, no reading buddy to read to, no guided reading, no excitement of choosing a book from the library, no reading record to update…

oh wait!

We can do all of these things out of the school environment and maybe, just maybe make it even more fun than it is in school!  You should know that I’m passionate about literacy in our children and firmly believe in the building blocks it gives them in all areas of their learning.  But I’m always open to suggestions and I asked some fellow bloggers for their ideas on keeping kids reading over Summer.  Some of them I had already thought of (great minds think alike eh?):

Ideas To Keep Kids Reading Over Summer Parenting Boredom Buster Activity

Make your own books

Karen from The Mini Malpi says: How about making their own books?  My son has always enjoyed doing this and, now he’s started to learn to read and write, he could add his own words.

I’ve got fond memories of our now 8yo doing just that and I’ve still got them tucked away in ‘memory corner’!

 

Engagement is key

Claire from This Mummy Rocks suggests getting your child to choose their favourite book:  Use Pinterest to find engaging activities to link with the book or relating topics. Keep referring back to the book and re-read. Bring the book to life.

And let’s face it, there are so many ways to do this.  We just need a little extra inspiration by way of Pinterest as Claire says!

 

Make it personal

Emma at The Family Hub says that personalised books can be great for engaging little ones so much fun to be part of the story!

 

Make it fun!

Carla-Marie from Bump2Baby suggests making the book buying process fun: let them choose and have an hour no electrics – reading time only!!

 

Contact the author

This is one of my favourites and something I’d never have thought of.  Adam from You’ve Got All This To Come says: Get in touch with the authors on Twitter- ask a question or leave a comment, they’re usually willing to reply!

 

If all else fails…

And THIS from Jess at Tantrums to Smiles says: A reading den! Both my kids love a good den so sometimes I will set up a reading den in a shady bit of the garden. It can be as simple as a sheet over two chairs with a few books inside a jug of cool icy squash and a few biscuits. We have a lovely time reading together, enjoying a cold drink and getting out of the sun for a bit!

Our daughter has a little den in her bedroom which she chooses a book from for bedtime reading but i’m going to do this in the garden too.  Book, biscuits and bonding time.  Bliss!

It’s similar to Sarah’s idea from Digital Motherhood: Go to the library and let them pick as many books as they like. When you get home sit down with a drink and a snack and look at the books together.

Have you got any more ideas?  I’d love to hear!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .

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The reading bug – a rare species?

Reading bug Bookworm Read Books Library Wellbeing Self Care

 The reading bug has well and truly bitten round here lately

I say ‘lately’ but it’s now May and I started reading again in January.  I was striving for some me-time, for some screen-free time (though I’m still toying with an e-reader of some form!) and to read something that’s, frankly, not blog-related!
Reading bug Bookworm Read Books Library Wellbeing Self Care

Yes, the reading bug has been a rare species around here.

I found a way to get back into reading when I stumbled upon Bookish Mamas (a reading group on facebook), got stuck into the first read and I was off!  I started reading that first book part way through January which gave me 2 weeks to finish it before the live discussion.  On average, I had to read 25 pages a day to be finished for the discussions.  And I did it! 🙂  I find that giving myself the goal of reading 25 pages a day works really well and spurs me on.  It’s manageable and I also feel like I’ve achieved something!
My book challenge is to read 12 books in 2018, so a book a month.  I’m smashing it and I’m loving it and actually addicted.  I’m something of a bookworm again.  The inconvenience of mundane, every day life can get in the way but I’ve managed to find time for my books.  I’ve only had to abandon one book because I wasn’t feeling it.

The library – an endangered species?

My current read, “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah is a library book.  We live in a small (but developing) town and I wasn’t sure if I’d have to pay to reserve a coy.  I didn’t, so I utilised my local library and am now whizzing through it!  I used to love taking our now 8yo to our library and love that I’m supporting our local again.  I love to do this because I feel like
Our 8yo is seeing me read every day/night and she does the same.  She’s got the reading bug too and what a great hobby to have!  We’ve just had the most glorious Bank Holiday weekend in the UK and I’ve taken a dive right into my reading.
When I was growing up, it was rare for my Mum not to have a book on the go.  In fact, I’d like to bet that there was never a time when she didn’t.
It’s such a great hobby to have.  There are so many genres out there; fact or fiction, long or short, different formats.  However or wherever you choose to read, whatever genre or format, it doesn’t matter!  In our fast-paced digital world, with so much online, isn’t it lovely to have a chance to slow down, even to stop, to breathe and to escape.

Let’s get reading!

Have you got the reading bug?  Did someone close to you read a lot when you were younger?  Do you like to read in front of your children to encourage reading?   I’d love to hear from you!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere. Thanks.
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5 ways to get back into reading

5 ways to get back into Reading Wellbeing Read Books

5 ways to get back into reading

 I’ve always loved reading.  I can remember sitting on a bean bag in my bedroom one Sunday afternoon aged around 8, reading The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton.  I was totally absorbed in this magical story, my imagination working with the words that Blyton weaved, meeting all the magical tree folk.
As I grew up, I remember reading the box sets of St Clares and Mallory Towers.  Then there was Judy Blume and Sweet Valley High.  There came a time when I started to read some of the books that my Mum read (and still reads today) but I found the genre (war-time sweethearts tales and the like) too predictable.  They were probably the latter day version of what is today referred to as ‘chick-lit’ (which I’m not drawn to either!)
At A-Level English, I loved studying the themes of a play, poem or story and picking it all to bits.

Being inspired by reading to a child  

Then I had our now 8 year old and of course, I read children’s stories instead.  But this intrigued me too.  How the use of rhyme and rhythmn completely entranced her (and me), how she would ask for the same stories over and over and over again!
I was inspired to write my own children’s series which is still waiting in the wings for a publisher.
As I was saying, due to the time restraints of having a growing baby, working and keeping a home (and blog!) ticking over, reading just never happened for a good few years.

When it all changed

That has all changed this year though.  I stumbled upon a post on instagram from Lucy of Mrs Hs Favourite Things.  She was holding a book which was a read in the Bookish Mamas facebook reading group.  With just a couple of clicks on my phone, I was back in the swing of reading again.  And I love it!  I even like the fact that I’ve given up on the latest group read because when I really don’t like a book, I don’t see the point in going through the pain!  But I love that it’s opening up new genres to me.  Books that I wouldn’t even have considered, I have read since January.  I’ve got back into my GoodReads account, have a long list waiting to be read and bought a delicious new book last week – The Mitford Murders.  Don’t you love the feel of a crisp new book?
And I’m even ahead in my reading challenge!
5 ways to get back into Reading Wellbeing Read Books

So if like me, you’ve let reading slack because of ‘life’, here are 5 ways to get back into reading

Join a reading group  – Bookish Mamas on facebook is a great place to start.  It’s useful to find one that does discussion threads on the books too, which helps to make sense of a book you didn’t get and also gets you involved if you did like it!
If you don’t enjoy a particular book, accept it, give it up and browse some more titles.  This happened to me just this month.  I was trying hard (too hard?), to get into the group read and ended up getting too distracted by all the things I could have been doing instead.  Not exactly condusive to a relaxing read so I gave up and started a shorter book which means that I’ll hopefully be finished in time for the next read!
Take part in a reading challenge.  I’m sure you can do this on your own or as part of a reading group challenge.  But I’m doing it through my GoodReads account.  I love that it’s a little community and that my reading list is ever growing due to the numberous recommendations that pop up every time I go on!  But that’s spurring me on to read even more 🙂
Set aside time for reading every. single. day.  Because that’s how habits are formed.  For me, as part of my screen-free commitment, having something to do apart from those little jobs around the house for half an hour before bed, means I get my reading time in.  Tricky if you’re got a very good book though!
Try different genres.  There are 2 sides to this.  The book that I abandoned was a memoir and not a genre that I’ll rush to again but now I know!  And I gave it a go!  And that’s what I love about getting into reading again as part of a group.
If you’re on GoodReads and would like to be my friend on there, I’m Carol Cameleon 🙂   It might be an idea to add a comment below so that I know who you are!
Do you enjoy reading?  Did you have a lapse and how did you get back into it?  Got any recommendations?   I’d love to know!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere. Thanks.
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Diary of a bookworm

Diary Of A Bookworm Reading Relax

Diary of a bookworm

 

I came across this fun post from Jo Tracey and thought I’d join in.  I absolutely love getting absorbed in a book, sometimes ‘lost’ in a book and I do my utmost to read a bit of my current book every day.  I’ve recently rekindled this habit and I love it!

Diary Of A Bookworm Reading Relax

So here we go:

 Do you have a specific place for reading?

I’ll read anywhere comfortable but on an evening, preferably a weekend, cosied-up with a drink on the sofa, footstool out. 🙂

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

A bookmark our 8 year old made for me.  (I’m not a 2 book person so this works fine.)

Do you eat or drink whilst reading?

Quite often.  Depending on the mood (and book) or season, it’s either herbal tea, hot choc and snacks and/or chocolate!

Music or TV whilst reading?

Rarely the TV because it’s too distracting.  Maybe some light music low in the background.

One book at a time or several?

Definitely one!

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

I can read anywhere but tend to vere to people-watching if I’m in a public place which obviously isn’t ideal for hardcore reading!

Read out loud or silently?

Silently.  But I still read to our 8 yo and it’s strangely nice to hear the pronunciation of the words and brings it more to life!

Break the spine or keep it like new?

Break it in, enjoy it, savour it!

Do you write in books?

Nope!

What books are you reading now?

‘How to Stop Time’ by Matt Haig.  And loving it!

What is your all-time favourite book?

I might’ve known this question was coming up and I can never answer it…  though I’ve just finished ‘The Secret of Nightingale Wood’ which was February’s read in the Bookish Mamas facebook group.  I read it very quickly, which is rare for me and I loved the theme for various reasons.
I also love Pride and Prejudice.

Give up or read on if you don’t enjoy the book?

I’ve been known to give up.  In fact I decided to read, instead of watch, Game of Thrones.  The first one was okay but I gave up on the second one after a break and I couldn’t get into it at all.

Would you lend your books?

Totally!
How about you?  Are you a book worm?  If you are, why not join in?  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere. Thanks.

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How a group activity can grow your child’s confidence ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

How A Group Activity Can Grow Your Child's Confidence #IfShesHappyImHappy It's About You Being Happy, Making Your Child Happy, It Coming Full Circle Making You Happy!

How a group activity can grow your child’s confidence

I recently introduced a regular feature #IfShesHappyImHappy and this week I’m talking about a group activity that our daughter enjoys and has helped to build her confidence.  #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.

How A Group Activity Can Grow Your Child's Confidence #IfShesHappyImHappy It's About You Being Happy, Making Your Child Happy, It Coming Full Circle Making You Happy!

Expressing themselves

Our daughter’s 7 and typically, she loves to dance and sing.  Very soon I’m sure she’ll be singing into a hairbrush.

For now, she loves to express herself by dancing and singing.  And so when she got a place in the cheerleading club at her school, I was really pleased.  She’d been asking to go, to join in with her friend.  And she loves it!

I even found some cheerleading pompoms in Poundland.  Of course, her eyes lit up when she saw them and off she went.

Age range

What I love about her little cheerleading group is that not everyone’s her age.  The group of around 15 range from 6-11 years old I think.

There’s a boy from her class who joins in just as eagerly as the rest, and she’s always shattered afterwards so the teacher is clearly getting  a lot from them!

And it’s turned into a family affair.  Oh yes, one rainy Saturday, we were all up on our feet waving pom-poms around and strutting our stuff to the cheerleading moves!  I was shattered, I can tell you…

Seeing their confidence grow

A few weeks ago, they did a little performance for us which was lovely to see.  As with anything, we’ve been building her confidence by using encouraging words, by telling her well done and by playing music in the house which she generally sings and dances to.  Her confidence has been growing and growing.  It was great to see her performing to the songs with her friends.

Whichever way you look at it, this group activity is good for our daughter and though it doesn’t need to be cheerleading, an activity like this could be good for your child too…

And #IfShesHappyImHappy

  What group activities does/did your child do that helped their confidence grow?   Please share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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.
Genius!

 

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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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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