‘The Most Ungrateful Girl in the World’ giveaway

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Sep 032019


She may not look like me at all, but if there is one thing miss Olivia has inherited from her mama it’s my love of books. Just like her twin brother she absolutely loves to read and if I let you you’d even find her walking to school while reading a book. When I stumbled upon this new Petra James title Olivia immediately put her hand up to read and review it and she has given it the big thumbs up:

Izzy Winkle is the most grateful girl in the world. At least, she was until a red polka-dotted hot air balloon floated past her window, and out came a competition flyer that fluttered right through her window. That is when the trouble really began. Izzy decides to enter the ‘Most Ungrateful Girl in the World’ competition, surely she must be the best at something? She becomes even more determined to win when the Department of Manners asks her to go undercover to spoil the competition. Now, everywhere girls are being ungrateful as they dream of being crowned The Most Ungrateful Girl in the World (RRP $16.99) and take out the big prize.

But how can Izzy Winkle, the most grateful girl in the world, compete against Fib Girl who holds the record for the tallest story ever told? (At least, she says she does) How can she win against Bad Word Girl, whose favourite word is ‘Bumfuzzle‘? How can Izzy beat Nit Girl, who hasn’t washed her hair for six months? The only thing Izzy is sure of is that there is going to be a lot of trouble, bad manners and fun!

I thought that ‘The Most Ungrateful Girl in the World’ is a great book, it was very funny. I think the ages 8+ will really like this book, or anyone with magnificent manners!

Reviewed and written by Olivia (10)

To find out more about Penguin Books Australia, to browse the range and to order your favourite books online visit www.penguin.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘The Most Ungrateful Girl in the World’ hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page an enter, good luck!

Eight Lives giveaway

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Apr 012019

In some less-than-fabulous situations it can be rather hard to try find anything positive, but I try anyway. A few weeks ago a mistake from an unexperienced hairdresser meant I had to return to the salon for a second 3-hour stint so the owner could (hopefully) correct their error as much as possible. Instead of focussing on the hair disaster I decided to stay upbeat, soak up the ‘bonus’ hours of quiet at the hairdresser the week after and settle into the chair with this exciting new Affirm Press read:

Like many other thrillers Eight Lives (RRP $32.99) starts with a death. In this case a dedicated and promising young doctor named David Tran is the unlucky one and you might think this book is just another search for a mysterious murderer. Think again…

Eight Lives combines suspense with science, you slowly get a (novice) understanding of the project David was working on and how his research ultimately led to his death. Don’t be scared by medical terms like mAbs, antibodies, a cytosine storm, hybridoma, immunology and other insider lingo, author Susan Hurley expertly talks you through it all and before you know it this medical thriller has you on the edge of your seat.

We delve deeper into David’s death, as seen through the eyes of five main characters. We discover how David, a former refugee, found his way to Australia and became a doctor in search of a life changing drug. We meet his assistant Rosa who watches his discovery take shape and knows all the fine details, his childhood friend and fellow doctor Miles who is forever in debt of David, his sister Ly who sees the little Vietnamese boy and loyal brother as well as the smart Australian doctor and Foxy, the man who looks after the rich and who is to help limit the PR damage David Tran’s death will cause. Each of the five characters plays a different role in Tran’s life, death and discovery and as the chapters continue the pieces of this complex puzzle are slowly falling into place…

I admit that initially I was a little overwhelmed by the scientific angle of this book, but I read on and loved how the suspense grew and simply had to know what happened! Every chapter you think that maybe you understand but the end still took me by surprise. Eight Lives is a fantastic thriller that was hard to put down.

To find out more about Affirm Press, to take a closer look at ‘Eight Lives’ by Susan Hurley and to order a copy online visit www.affirmpress.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘Eight Lives’ hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck.

Nov 252018

From when she was very little miss 8 has always loved picture books, but it has taken her a while to warm to novels. Our bookcase is full of great novels (the twins can’t ever have enough books) but nothing really grabbed her. Until she discovered Judy Moody that is…

In this wonderful kids’ book series author Megan McDonald, together with illustrator Peter H. Reynolds, sends 8-year old Judy Moody on all kinds of exciting adventures that young readers will love. In Judy’s latest adventure she takes a closer look at her family tree and discovers something VERY interesting…

Grandma Lou comes over to help Judy with her family tree homework assignment. After hearing about her British ancestry Judy, with her big imagination, believes she is actually related to the queen and instantly adopts her new royal status. From now on everyone will know her as, and treat her like, a real queen. She is so excited to tell the class!

But just before Judy’s big reveal her biggest class enemy Jessica shares her family tree and there are an awful lot of similarities… So who is the real queen? Find out the truth in Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party (RRP $11.99).

Juliet (whom we sometimes nickname Judy Moody or Judy Attitudy) really enjoys the Judy Moody books and they’re a great bitesize book for a rainy afternoon. Long enough to use your imagination and really dive into the story and at the same time short enough to hold the attention of a young reader while the illustrations keep it fun and light. We have quite a few already and will definitely keeping adding to our collection.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at the Judy Moody series visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

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Sep 182016

Pan Macmillan Australia

One of the bonuses of staying with my family during our holiday is that we are spoilt with two extra pairs of hands to help out and entertain our tribe of five. Thanks to my lovely mum I don’t have to do any cleaning, washing or cooking which is a total treat. I even had a chance to put my feet up and relax with a good book, now that is a luxury! Once I started on Meredith Jaffé‘s debut novel I didn’t want to put it down:

The Fence

It all starts when busy career woman and mum-of-four Frankie moves in next to Gwen and Eric, an older couple who have lived in the street for decades. Keen gardener Gwen likes a good old-fashioned neighbourhood where neighbours live closely together, look out for and care for each other, just like the olden days. Then there is Frankie who is going through a marriage crisis, is disillusioned by her house-husband’s infidelity and wants privacy. The two characters don’t get along and there only seems to be one solution: The Fence.

In both homes a lot is happening: Eric is starting to becoming worryingly forgetful and Gwen’s beloved garden is slowly dying, she is devastated that the new fence will require removal of some of her favourite trees. Frankie marriage problems deepen, her children and dogs run amok (hence the need for a fence) and an unplanned pregnancy is the last thing she needs. Both women blame the other for everything that is going wrong in their lives. The fence was meant to separate their lives as much as possible but in many ways it actually links them even more than before, especially when the children take a liking to their neighbour Eric. In the end it is an unfortunate accident that changes the course of both their futures which leaves the question: Was the fence the solution or the problem?

One of the things I very much enjoyed about The Fence was how it is written from both Gwen and Frankie’s prospective. The differences between their generations strongly impacts their opinions and actions which I found fascinating. Strangely enough I can identify with both women and have things in common with both of them which made this novel a real joy to read. I can’t wait to see what Meredith has in store for us next!

To find out more about Pan Macmillan, to take a closer look at The Fence (RRP $32.99) by Meredith Jaffé and to order a copy online visit www.panmacmillan.com.au.

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Mar 222016

Pan Macmillan Australia

As a busy mum of five I rarely have a quiet moment to myself. Some days it is a struggle to find time to wash my hair or to go to the toilet by myself, let alone sit down and read a book. So, when I get asked to review a new read, I always put my hand up as it is a perfect excuse to put up my feet and relax for a few hours. Last weekend’s ‘mama time’ came from the hands of Australian author Kim Lock:

Like I Can Love

‘Like I Can Love’ is a story about love in many different ways. Between best friends, between mother and child, between a man and a woman and husband and wife and how all these blend together throughout life. It is also a story about pain and healing and the battle between right and wrong, between losing and finding yourself.

For as long as they can remember Fairlie and Jenna have been best friends. Even through they were opposites in many ways the two girls have always been inseparable, until Jenna has a fallout with her mother and is knocked off her socks by Ark. Slowly the girls start drifting apart and Jenna appears to have found a new life as a devoted wife and mother to little Henry.

Then, seemingly out of the blue, Jenna takes her own life and Fairlie is determined to find out what happened to her closest friend for her to make such a desperate decision. It isn’t until she receives a letter from Jenna in the mail, together with a key to a rented storage unit. Tucked away in an old apple box she finds the answers to the mystery of Jenna’s death but also to the mystery of her own roots and proof that life (and love) is full of surprises.

It turns out that behind closed doors Jenna’s husband Ark was far from the gentleman he portrays to be, nor was Jenna not the blissfully, happy mother she hoped to become. And then there is Jenna’s mother, who still suffers from a heartbreaking decision made many years ago, a decision that changed fate for Jenna and for Fairlie…

‘Like I Can Love’ is beautifully written, Kim Lock skilfully jumps between past and today, between the two friends and between notes, letters, recollections of the past and current events. The fact that the story is being told from many different angles keeps the mystery alive until the end so I simply had to finish to find out the truth. If you are looking for a touching story that really tugs at the heartstrings this is it.

To find out more about Pan Macmillan, to take a closer look at Like I Can Love (RRP $29.99) by Kim Lock and to order a copy online visit www.panmacmillan.com.au.

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Dec 132015

Pan Macmillan Australia

Christmas Countdown – Day 13

As you may have seen on the blog we recently took the kids out for a lovely morning of cherry picking in the beautiful Adelaide Hills. Although we have lived in the foothills for over six years this was our first time visiting a PYO cherry farm, I can’t believe we hadn’t done this before as it was so much fun! If I hadn’t read this lovely new summer read by best-selling author Trish Morey I would never have thought of going there but I am so glad we did:

Cherry Season

When I read the introduction to Cherry Season and saw that the story was based just around the corner in the Adelaide Hills I knew I had to read it. In a way it felt like I was there as American backpacker Lucy arrived in Adelaide and discovered the gorgeous little towns, admired the amazing scenery and met the special people that live in this wonderful part of South Australia. I recognised many of the locations mentioned the book and remembered seeing them myself for the first time when I moved to Australia back in 2006, what a lovely way to be transported back almost 10 years ago.

When free spirit Lucy lands herself a temporary job as a cherry picker at one of the cherry farms she has no intention to stay on after the season ends. She enjoys living in the moment and is not one to settle down for a boring life of repetition and planning ahead. Falling in love with hard-working farmer Dan was never her plan. It wasn’t exactly what Dan was dreaming of either, all he really wanted was a steady and reliable farmer’s wife.

As the season continues Lucy becomes part of Dan’s welcoming family and she starts to see that staying in one place, especially one as stunning as the Adelaide Hills, is not all that bad. At the same time Dan learns to let go a little and he comes to love and appreciate Lucy’s spontaneity. It may be the end of the cherry season but it is by no means the end of this blossoming romance.

To find out more about Pan Macmillan, to take a closer look at Cherry Season (RRP $29.99) by Trish Morey and to order a copy online visit www.panmacmillan.com.au.

For your chance to win a copy of Cherry Season enter our giveaway below:

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Sep 042015

Pan Macmillan Australia

As a busy mum I don’t often get time to sit down with a nice book and my feet up, a few pages here and there is all I can fit in and that’s okay. But what do you do when you start on a new read and it’s so good you can’t stop? Read it until 3am of course, like I did when I got my hands on a copy of Vanessa Diffenbaugh‘s latest release:

We Never Asked for Wings

‘We Never Asked for Wings’ (RRP $29.99) is guaranteed to grab your attention from page one. Letty, a young and single mother of two, has always been able to count on her parents to do the majority (read all) of the parenting for her. When both grandparents unexpectedly pack up their bags and go back to their home country Mexico panic takes over and Letty leaves her children behind, alone…

The long journey across the border is a time for Letty to reflect on her life and make tough decisions, it is time to step up to the plate and become a ‘real’ mum. The time that follows will become a learning curve for all, while Letty is trying to get used to her new role as an involved and responsible mother her children Luna and Alex are seeing a new and vulnerable side of their mum. Add to that the discovery of Alex’s real dad, puberty, new love, financial struggles and more and you will see why We Never Asked for Wings is such a real and honest read. Life is not always easy and things don’t always go as planned but you have to keep fighting to make the most of it.

To find out more about We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, published by Pan Macmillan, and to order a copy online visit www.panmacmillan.com.au.

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