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.
 This post contains affiliate links.

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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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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!

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And in January 2017…

Cowboy Pug is coming!  Yeee-haaa!

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

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We were sent this book to review but all opinions are my own. 
Also, this post contains affiliate links.

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Meet Kiki from Message in a Bottle ~ personalised book for children

Meet Kiki ~ a friendly, lovable bird from ‘Message in a Bottle’. 

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

She’s relaxing in front of the sunset, thinking about her travels around the world and looking for her next adventure…

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

But why is she going around the world? 

Because she’s got a very important journey ~ to deliver a message in a bottle to a very special person.  What a very helpful bird she is!

And you can help Kiki by getting involved and getting behind the launch team for Message in a Bottle ~ a personalised book for children.

Over recent weeks I’ve had the privilege of watching Kiki develop from a hand-drawn sketch to the wonderful colourful character that she is now 🙂

ttle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki splash

How can you not love Kiki?

During the launch process, I popped some colouring-in sheets under our little girl’s nose (you can get yours by pledging your support on Kickstarter.

Her eyes lit up and she began to inject some colour into the sheets.  As she coloured, we had a chat about what the sheets were for.

I told her about Kiki’s task and how the little bird was going to get a special message to a very special person.  I love the work in progress here, don’t you?

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

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I’ve been excited to be able to show our little girl illustrations by Tuire Siiriainen as the book has been tweaked.  Myself and other members have given great feedback which has enabled the team to bring Message in a Bottle to what you see here on Kickstarter.

I love that Kiki (lovely little Kiki!) is ready for an adventure;

an adventure with an important goal…

Now we’ve got an important goal… to help Kiki get that message delivered.

Help her now!  You can even get a soft toy of Kiki… can you even imagine?…

Message in a Bottle has been produced with love by the very talented team and it’s now live on Kickstarter.  There are lots of different ways to pledge your support for Kiki and the Message in a Bottle book.

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

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

Facebook

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

As they say, ‘don’t delay, get involved today!’

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

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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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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 🙂

The Imagination Station ~ #WonderfulWorldofWriting

WonderfulWorldofWriting blog writing linky nursery rhymes books by a little bear aged 5 primary school learning education literacy

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This week, the last in our little bear’s Reception year at ‘big’ school, I’m not penning a poem (like I did last week).  Instead, I’m handing the spotlight over to our little bear (aged 5) and her imagination station!

Hubby and I are passionate about reading to our little bear.  She has a desk that will grow with her as she goes through the various stages of development in literacy at school.  When I was blogging as Mummy Bear, I wrote this poem about changing her cot into a desk.  And she uses this desk daily.  At this stage of her life, she uses it for colouring, writing, sticking, crafting ~ being creative.  As she goes through school, I’m sure it will be used for more ‘focussed’ activities…

As the end of Reception approached, we began to sit at it (me/hubby teetering on the edge of a little chair!) while doing her homework.  This meant that it needed a good tidy up but it has also put her in the homework mindset.

Her desk gives her ready access to all things creative, ready access to all things that fuel a 5 year old’s imagination and this is what she came up with.

nursery rhymes book writing literacy inspired creative humpty dumpty wonderfulworldofwriting 1 edit collage

As I was pottering around, she asked me how to spell the odd word.  But really, the majority of this is her own work.  And that’s what makes me oh-so-very-proud 🙂

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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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