A Kids Book About… Review

You may have seen these eye catching books advertised online, on display in shops or libraries and wondered what they were. These books are conversation starters for children, each books tackles a challenging topic or abstract concept and discusses it with the reader and the child. These are books designed to be read together, they are there to facilitate a conversation about tough topics.

The books use simple language and are written in a first person perspective from the author as they discuss what the topic is and how it has affected them. The books focus on typography and colour to help tell the story, there are no characters other than the author, and at the end of the book is a space to write notes and sometimes there are questions they can be asked and discussed.

We make kids books that matter. There are no dragons, silly bears, or cute tales about princesses. Only the challenging, empowering, and important topics that kids experience every day. Kids’ lives are complicated, and our mission is to help kids and their grownups have honest conversations about things that matter.

akidsbookabout.com

The books cover a range of topics from racism, death, feminism, cancer, empathy, body image, anxiety, and depression. While these are quite heavy hitting topics, children are not stupid nor are they blind to the way the world works around them.

A Kids Book About series are great ways to start a conversation – the books do not pull punches, they are written by people who have experience and knowledge about the topics, and the authors are honest with their experiences. Regardless of the topic the books try to place the power in the child’s hands – letting them know that they have the knowledge now, that they can seek change, and that they can have hope.

Despite the heavy subjects, A Kids Book About series are quite optimistic in their portrayals of topics and are amazing resources for when children ask questions that are hard to answer. I would really recommend picking up one of these gems and giving them a go – who knows, you may learn something.

Read and Rated: January 2021

First month of 2021 saw me reading quite widely and consuming a bunch of different genres! Hopefully the start of the year, saw your enjoying a bunch of books too. So scroll on down to check out all the books that I read in January, rated.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Happily Ever After & Everything In Between by Debbie Tung

First book of 2021!

I am a big fan of Debbie Tung and Happily Ever After does not disappoint. Made up of cute comics about her relationship with her husband, Tung illustrates personal and quiet moments that feature in her day to day life. These quiet moments are so lovely, as they are often the funnier or more intimate representations of her relationship.

Continue reading “Read and Rated: January 2021”

Hyped Up? Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU PRETTY will tell you to…
love sex, hate sexism,
protect your goddamn energy,
life is short, dump them,
And that you owe men nothing, least of all pretty.

Florence’s debut book will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women’s flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity.

WOMEN DON’T OWE YOU PRETTY is an accessible leap into feminism, for people at all stages of their journey who are seeking to reshape and transform the way they view themselves. In a world that tells women we’re either not enough or too much, it’s time we stop directing our anger and insecurities onto ourselves, and start fighting back to re-shape the toxic structures of our patriarchal society.

Florence’s book will help you to tackle and challenge the limiting narrative you have been bombarded with your whole life, and determine feminism on your own terms. After all, you are the love of your own life

Taken from book blurb

The Hype

Currently Women Don’t Owe You Pretty has a long reservation list at my library. After processing the book and checking out the blurb, not only was I intrigued but I began to see it pop up all over the place.

I am seeing a lot of hype about Given’s book on the internet and have had a few conversations with people who has read the book who rave about it. After having researched the book, I figured that it would be perfect to use my not often used, Hyped Up feature!


“Up until now we have been bombarded with the same stories that either make us subconsciously hate ourselves or hate others. It’s time to change the narrative, and the power lies in your hands. Consume diverse content. Reinvigorate those tired taste buds.”

Florence Given, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty.

The Verdict

Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is so incredibly worth reading!

From front to back the book was so engaging and relevant! A number of issues are covered over the course of the book and are broken up into very easy to read chapters. You can devour this book in one sitting or you can return to it chapter by chapter and ruminate on the issues raised, how they affect you, and what you can do with your new knowledge.

While the content is by no means new or revolutionary, the accessible way in which Given communicates these issues really speaks to a wide audience. Seasoned feminist pros, people who need a refresher, people new to the idea of feminism, people who don’t want to feel so alone with modern issues, or people who want to better themselves by reading about privilege and how to view the world outside of the toxicity that clouds certain topics. As the blurb says, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty is for people at all stages of their journey.

Towards the end of the book, I found out how old the author is and it pulled me up. I did think, how could someone that age have valid insight into these issues BUT THEN I realised that no, this is exactly what the book is talking about – I need to stop and push through my ageist prejudice and view these from an objective viewpoint. Given’s age doesn’t detract from the validity of her book and comments.

Do yourself a favour, pick up Women Don’t Owe You Pretty and discover for yourself how the book deserves the hype. You’ll thank yourself ❤


Have you read Women Don’t Owe You Pretty? What do you think – do you agree with me or do you think the book is over hyped?

Read and Rated: October

I haven’t been quite as productive as September but I’ve been hitting the non-fiction books a lot more this month so it all evens out. So here is a quick rundown of the books I finished during the month of October.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Skincare: the Ultimate No-Nonsense Guide by Caroline Hirons

Firstly I am going to say that I have no clue who Caroline Hirons is but I did find their Skincare book quite informative. I could have done without the near constant references back to her YouTube channel but Hirons spelt out skincare issues in easy to understand language and included a lot of helpful pictures.

I have been trying to get a better handle on my skin which has always been a nightmare, so this book was very informative in helping my choose products that would suit my skincare needs – which were also detailed in the book. Win-win!

Continue reading “Read and Rated: October”

Romance Recommendation: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea

by T.J. Klune

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 12 hours 12 minutes

Series: N/A

Genre: Fantasy. QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.

Read as an: eAudiobook


My Thoughts

The House in the Cerulean Sea had me messily sobbing while driving on the freeway.

Thank goodness it was always on my way home from work, otherwise I would have spent the day an emotional and red mess. The emotions that this book inspire are so wholesome and loving yet so cutting and sharp.

The feels, people!

The emphasis of this beautiful book is family. However it also looks at hate and how the fear of the unknown can foster contentious and angry feelings which breed to hate and violence. The fact that the books is about an ‘orphanage’ of magical children too dangerous to be housed in normal facilities only adds to the poignancy.

My god the feels, people!


“Just because you don’t experience prejudice in your everyday doesn’t stop it from existing for the rest of us.”


Continue reading “Romance Recommendation: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune”

Romance Recommendation: Tit for Tat by R. Cooper

Tit for Tat

by R. Cooper

Tat never expected a future. A lower-caste Luudi who left her planet and made a new home with a group of idealistic humans, she spends her time looking out for new family and working in secret to rescue refugees from a neighbouring country. She is content with what she has, if sometimes lonely.

Then a Pros arrives their tense little border town. Although mostly human, the Pros were genetically engineered to look perfect and to offer pleasure, both physically and psychically. Beautiful, sophisticated Cin is no exception, which is why when she approaches Tat, Tat knows it can’t be personal. Luudi are big, strong, purple, and impervious to psychic influence—making Tat the safest outlet for someone like Cin. Tat says yes with no expectation that Cin would ever want more, while convinced the danger will eventually drive Cin away.

But the Pros can take care of themselves, as well as any quietly heroic Luudi who catches their eye—if only that Luudi would let them. Tat has spent so long helping others find a future, it doesn’t occur to her to seek out her own even when her silence might cost her the one she wants.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 114 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: F/F Romance. QUILTBAG. Sci-Fi.

Read as an: eBook.


My Thoughts

Tit for Tat is an emotional yet action packed sci-fi romance. The book focuses on a rag tag group of people who work together to help refugees escape from a fascist country that looks down on keent – an allegorical take on all of the worlds ‘non-normal’ individuals.

While the book is not focused on these actions and missions to help people escape to better lives, they are still present. While not being overtly homophobic or including any discriminatory language, the book does tackle the feelings of people fleeing from terrible treatment. While certainly the majority of the content is romantic in nature – the book packs no less of an emotional punch for it’s content.

I absolutely adored the characters of Tat and Cin – the way that they initially interact and then painfully circle each other was so heartwarming and yet equal parts heartbreaking. As with most of R Coopers work, I found myself falling in LOVE with all of the characters.

Everyone was so just so nuanced and beautiful!

Also I am SO glad that there was an extra short, Into the Net, featuring Fiya and Rhiel. When I reached the two words, The End, I was so sad that I had missed the seeing the culmination of these two and their relationship. Thank goodness for this additional story where we see these two get their shit together. Or as much as you can without giving them a whole novel (like I would love).


Enjoyment Level

Put simply – I adored this book. It took me a few attempts to get into the story (I blame not being a Sci-Fi reader) but once I was in, I was hooked! I am so glad that I read Tit for Tat on a day off because it meant I was able to devour it in almost one sitting.

I know that R. Cooper has another sci-fi book that they have just released, Taji from Beyond the Rings, and now I am looking at devoting a whole day off to it as well!


Recommendation

If you are looking for a story that features a f/f love story between an alien and a not-so-human, then look no further because Tit for Tat is the book for you. Not only does it features Lesbians in Space* but it features a heartwarming story full of communication issues and fighting fascist regimes.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an entertaining and emotional romance read!

*Okay, so while no one explicitly identifies as lesbian, it was too fun not to include 😋

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Romance Recommendation: Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter by R. Cooper

Hottie Scotty and Mr. Porter

by R. Cooper

To help out his sister, Scott moved to the small town of Montgomery, where there isn’t much to do and no one for him to date. Well, there’s one other openly gay man in town—Henry ‘Cole’ Porter, a widower who runs the school library, but after one drunken night together, Cole has kept his distance. Scott is used to that. He spends a lot of time working out, and from the slow way he talks and the frat house atmosphere at the fire station where he works, it’s easy to assume he’s stupid. Most people are happy to admire his body and assume that’s all he wants from them, and deep down, Scott is too afraid to try asking for more.

Which is why Scott has been secretly pining after Cole for months when some of the town’s nosier residents decide Cole has been single long enough. They have a plan to throw every professional gay man in a thirty-mile radius Cole’s way, whether he likes it or not. Their list of candidates doesn’t include Scott, and Scott’s insecurities prevent him from stepping forward—even when it seems as though Cole is asking him to.

Cole is everything Scott isn’t; highly educated, stylish, with refined tastes. He’s also stubborn and sarcastic, and not nearly as smart about the workings of his own heart as people might think. It might take a lot of the wrong men for him to realize the right one has been in front of him all along.

Taken from book clurb

Length: 112 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Romance. QUILTBAG. M/M Romance.

Read as an: eBook.


My Thoughts

The first time I read Hottie Scotty and Mr Porter, I was five books into my R. Cooper binge. However this book left the biggest impression. The characters and the emotions the story evoked in me were so very powerful; I laughed, I cried, I hugged a pillow while silently sobbing for Scotty’s sense of self worth.

Evoking emotional and somewhat angst filled moments of bittersweet joy, are what R. Cooper excels at. Throughout her books there is a common theme of hurt feelings and the deeply resonating emotional turmoil misunderstandings can create. Hottie Scotty and Mr Porter tackles self worth and explores this in such a subtle and beautiful way. Scotty’s feelings are not discussed, rather characters pick up on behaviours and defence mechanisms, and work around them.

The romance in Hottie Scotty and Mr Porter is hard won and worthwhile. I loved seeing the two romantic leads together as they each figured themselves and each other out.


Enjoyment Level

I loved this book so much, I couldn’t wait more than 3 months before reading it again. Last year I became a fan of R. Cooper and so far in my journey reading her back catalogue, Hottie Scotty and Mr Porter is my favourite.

I am no doubt going to read Hottie Scotty and Mr Porter for a third time, and may throw in a re-read of For Better or Worse which tells the story of two firefighters who work with Scotty in Montgomery.


Recommendation

If you are looking for a beautiful QUILTBAG romance that has just enough emotional angst to tug on your heart strings, then I would 100% recommend Hottie Scotty and Mr Porter.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an entertaining and emotional romance read!

Book review comment ender

How I Broke Up with My Colon by Nick Seluk (The Awkward Yeti)

How I Broke Up with My Colon

by Nick Seluk; The Awkward Yeti

Fascinating, bizarre, and educational true-life medical stories retold in cartoon form by the creator of the bestselling Heart and Brain book series.

Mysterious illnesses. Freakish injuries. X-rays revealing something weird that got stuck in your foot. These strange but true stories are among the 24 medical tales retold in hilarious fashion by New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Nick Seluk. Featuring fascinating stories submitted by people all over the world, How I Broke Up with My Colon is an educational and highly entertaining tour through the bizarre workings of the human body.

Taken from book blurb

Release Date: March 24, 2020.

Length: 192 pages.

Series: Stand alone.

Genre: Graphic Novel.

Read as: an eBook.

Sourced: NetGalley.


My Thoughts

How I Broke Up With My Colon is different take on the short story/biographies format. Inside the graphic novel you will find funny medical stories illustrated by Nick Seluk who is better known as The Awkward Yeti.

Continue reading “How I Broke Up with My Colon by Nick Seluk (The Awkward Yeti)”

Long Lost Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie

Long Lost Reviews Icon

The Perfect Rake

Anne Gracie.

She ran from a brute…

Fleeing violent tyranny, Prudence Merridew escapes with her beautiful younger sisters to London. One of them must marry—and fast. To act as her sisters’ chaperone, Prudence invents a secret engagement to a reclusive duke…But when the duke arrives unexpectedly in London, she needs his help to avert disaster.

...into the arms of a rake

Aristocratic Gideon, handsome, rakish and with a strong frivolous streak, casually hijacks Prudence’s game, awarding himself a stolen kiss or three along the way. Used to managing sisters and elderly men, Prudence is completely out of her depth with a charming, devious and utterly irresistible rake. And her plot goes terribly—if deliciously—awry… 

Taken from book blurb

I class this book as a long lost review as I have literally lost the book.

Continue reading “Long Lost Review: The Perfect Rake by Anne Gracie”

Dewdrop by Katie O'Neill

Dewdrop

by Katie O’Neill.


From the author of The Tea Dragon Society comes Dewdrop, the delightful children’s tale of an adorable axolotl who cheers on his underwater friends as they each bring their talents to the pond’s sports fair! 

Dewdrop is an easygoing, gentle axolotl who enjoys naps, worm pie, and cheerleading. When the yearly sports fair nears, he and his friends—Mia the weightlifting turtle, Newman the musical newt, and three minnows who love to cook—get ready to showcase their skills to the whole pond! However, as the day of the fair gets closer, Dewdrop’s friends can’t help putting pressure on themselves to be the best. It’s up to Dewdrop to remind them how to be mindful, go at their own pace, and find joy in their own achievements.

Taken from book blurb

Length: 40 Pages.

Genre: Picture Book. Fantasy.


My Thoughts

So cute!

Dewdrop is an adorable picture book from Katie O’Neill that lets young readers know that you can only please yourself. Coupled with a cute art style, Dewdrop communicates its sweet message in an easy to understand and entertaining story.

Continue reading “Dewdrop by Katie O'Neill”