Who is Fitzy Fox?!

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Poor ol Fitzy Fox is at the stage of his life where he is having an identity crisis ( something of which most of us can relate!) He has spent his whole life thinking he is a a dog! However everyone calls him Fitzy FOX!!!  So who is F.F?!

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Righto! Fitzy Fox realises there is only one way to solve this dilemma (drumroll please)….visit the land of the Fox!! Yes roll out the red carpet Queen Elizabeth and Prince William….Fitzy Fox is on his way!!!

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Join Fitzy Foz as he explores Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Notting Hill on the hunt for his true identity. He also has a taste of good ol traditional British food! (what will he think?!)

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Will our four legged friend find out who he really is?…..

This gorgeous debut from Amelia Trompf is based in Melbourne…so if you are a Victorian (and a fan of gelati and veggie burgers! ) you will find some familiar places amongst the pages! Also a shout out to the ultra talented Jennifer Bruce who really brings Fitzy Fox and his adventures to life with these gorgeous bright illustrations.

You can  find more about Amelia and Jennifer here and discover some ultra cool Fitzy Fix craft activities. Highly recommend this gem, and especially love supporting Australian talent.

As he is another furry friend who has struggled with his identity..I know Paddington would approve of this one!

5/5 marmalade sandwiches.

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Today’s brew : Harrod’s ‘English Breakfast’ tea 

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Little Wing by Katherine Battersby

I have a fun fact to share with you all…I am a bird lover..I feel absolute sheer joy when I see a bird land in my bird feeder..breed of bird doesn’t matter..I will quite happily go and have a chat to a family of pigeons.

So let me tell you when I had the pleasure of receiving a copy of ‘Little Wing’ by Katherine Battersby no one could wipe the smile off the face of this bird lover! First a rabbit (Squish Rabbit) now a book loving bird (Little Wing)…this lady was on my wavelength!
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Little Wing is not just any bird…he was the world’s smartest animal! Yes my friends, this smart cookie of a bird had been reading his whole life.

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He had learnt many skills from these books…in fact he was a jack of all trades…a handy feathered friend to have around!

However despite this wealth of knowledge and many skills… Little Wing was yet to discover that he was a bird! .Little did he know…those ‘flappy things’ as he called them could help him zoom and soar around the sky! What adventures he could have!!

One day Little Wing spotted a smilier looking animal in the sky (with the same clacky bit, fluffy stuff and flappy things) and set on a mission to follow it. However first he had to figure out how to get up in the air….yes you guessed it…back  to the books!!

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Little Wing has a big challenge ahead of him….will he be able to figure out how to fly from his books? Or is this something he has to do on his own?

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Join Little Wing on this journey of self discovery to help him figure out who is and where he belongs.

This is such a beautiful gem and will resonate with adults and children. Learning is a fun adventure, spread your wings , be true to yourself and enjoy it.

5/5 Marmalade sandwiches!

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Today’s brew: ‘Writer’s tea’ from Literary tea co!

I was lucky enough to meet a super cute plush version of ‘Little Wing’ this weekend at the Brisbane Writers Festival! ‘Alphabet Zoo was set up as the ‘Island of Books’ ..children could explore Little Wing’s Island and help him find himself in the world! He had plenty of  eager friends exploring his island…including me! 🙂

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If you would like to find out some more about the very talented author/illustrator Katherine Battersby you can send her a tweet here @kathbatt

You can also keep tabs on here at her blog ‘the well read Rabbit’ and her website
If you haven’t already discovered ‘Squish Rabbit’ (goodness you need to get out more!)
let me introduce you to these gorgeous books..trust me you need Squish in your life!

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The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli

I love watermelon. Yes I can probably admit here and now that I have an addiction to the glorious sweet, juicy and refreshing pink melon. Who knew that something that is 92 percent water (there is a fun fact for you) could taste so delightful.

As you can imagine I was pretty out of my mind excited (over the moon!!) when I discovered this picture book. I secretly believe/know that Mr Greg Pizzoli wrote it with me in mind (but shh that’s our little secret) .

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I have a question …have YOU ever swallowed a Watermelon seed…and realised when it was far too late…there you were enjoying this glorious , yummy treat (Chomp, Slurp, Chomp!) and  swish… gurgle..off the seed goes into your belly…

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Have you then gone to bed in fear wondering what this means…will you wake up in a few weeks with leaves sprouting out your ears?! Well this my friends is the book for you. This is your ‘go to guide’ when swallowing one of those little black slippery suckers.

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Join this watermelon loving crocodile on his little seed swallowing adventure. You will adore the bright popping illustrations and notice a very clever colour scheme being used. It is perfect for young children and they will get a real giggle out of the expressions and reactions from the crocodile after he swallows the pesky seed (panic stations!!)

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Will this melon loving crocodile be forced to give up the treat he most enjoys?! You better grab a slice of watermelon, a copy of this book and get ready to find out.

You will love this one!!!..a sweet show stopping gem.

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5/5 marmalade sandwiches

Today’s brew…a recipe for ‘Watermelon Iced Tea’ 

Here are some fun facts about this ultra cool ‘Watermelon Seed’ creator Greg Pizolli

Greg Pizzoli is an author, illustrator and screen printer from Philadelphia.

His first picture book, The Watermelon Seed,  was the 2014 recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award.

Greg’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Communication Arts, 3×3 Magazine and he’s won two Portfolio Honor Awards from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

He also has some very cool picture books , one of my favourites ‘Good Night Owl’, so check them out quick sticks!

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Also if you are into some fav author cyber stalking like myself Greg can be found on twitter here @gregpizzoli

Gary by Leila Rudge

Gary is one positive pigeon….in fact he is in my eyes a little feathered champion. You know that feeling when you watch an inspiring movie…and you leave thinking ‘I can achieve anything!!!!’….(insert air punch here) Well ‘Gary’ creates this feeling in a picture book form.

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I could tell this was one cool dude when I first spotted his amazeballs, blue knitted beanie (which I have no doubt he knitted himself). Then I learnt that he keeps a scrapbook! And he is a devoted scapbooker…(unlike me who has completed one page and the rest is sitting in a ‘to do’ pile)

Gary is a racing pigeon…however unlike the rest in his flock…Gary can’t fly. There are no racing ribbons or medals on Gary’s mantelpiece.

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You learn very quickly that Gary does not let this set back stop him from having awesome adventures. He listens, learns….and uses this knowledge to his own advantage. ….and before you know it Gary has momentos galore to add to his scrapbook!

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You will love going on this adventure with Gary. The illustrations are tip top and it has such a great message for all of us, adults and children.

We all need a Gary in our lives, strongly recommending this one!

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5/5 marmalade sandwiches

Today’s brew :’Beam me up Scotty’ from West End Tea Co

I also like to give the authors/illustrators a mention because they constantly make my day with their amazing creations. I did not realise that the awesome talented Leila Rudge resides in my end of the world (Australia!!!) …I will give you Poms a shoutout because she was born on your turf. She has also written and illustrated some absolute gems, one of my favourites is ‘Ted’

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You can read about her more here and if you would like to cyber stalk her (don’t say I never give you anything) ..you can find her on Instagram @leilarudge

What noise comes from a giraffe? By Craig MacLean

I love giraffes…..their super long necks and tongues…the fact that they sleep standing up…their amazing long, lush eyelashes!! ..they are such fascinating creatures. I also read this morning about some research conducted in Europe where they discovered they spend their evenings humming to each other…(article is here if you are as fascinated as me!)

I also have a few other delightful giraffe related links I will provide at the end of this review.

So my love of this long legged creature led my eyes to this gorgeous new book by Craig MacLean ‘What noise comes from a giraffe’ .

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Some fun facts about this Author/Illustrator is that he a graphic designer/art director turned filmmaker. He owns a production company called Mr Smith that specializes in TV commercials and online content. Also proud to announce he is a fellow Aussie! (gosh we have some awesome talent) #aussieaussieaussie

What do I love about this book? First up it is bright and gorgeous and as soon as children (or adults such as I! )see this cover, they will want more. The title is also asking a question…which would be a great start to a storytime session…Now what noise do you think a giraffe makes?! (insert many creative answers here!!!)

Turning the pages we are greeted by many familiar animal friends and their iconic noises…..each time asking the questions ‘But what noise comes from a giraffe’ ?! This is wonderful repetition which will have the audience joining in very quickly.

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I am not going to spoil the book for you and tell what noise our lovely long legged friends make…(no it’s not a hum! ) however you are in for a treat! I also love that the author’s daughter Molly has solved this mystery for us.

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I can’t wait to use this one in storytime it will be an absolute hoot…or should I say hum…or ….(Molly insert answer here!!!)

You can also have a sneaky peak of the book trailer here

Enjoy, this one it is tip top.

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5/5 Marmalade sandwiches

Todays brew: Packs a Peach from T2

 

P.S Giraffe related links as promised.

Do you fancy having breakfast with a giraffe hanging his head through your window?! (I do!) This place ‘Giraffe Manor’ looks absolutely amazing. Packing my bags ASAP.

In my opinion…we ALL need a motivating giraffe in our life. Penny , a super talented local artist from Brisbane, has created Giraffe and his two friends…as a result…lots of beautiful inspiration from the worlds tallest mammal. Trust me, have a look pronto.

This is one of my favourites!

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No, No, Gnome! By Ashlyn Anstee

I have always loved a garden gnome…..little creatures having adventures around gardens….painted differently to express their unique personalities. I also love my garden and take delight in attempting (sometimes successful!) to grow pretty flowers and my own fruit/veggies.

My favourite day at work is Friday…this is when the courier arrives with the boxes of new books . I was very excited when I opened the top box to find this gorgeous cover looking out at me.

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We meet this little Gnome at ‘Greenthumb Elementary’ (great name, can I enroll?!) harvest day….and gnome although his best intentions, (and this can happen to any novice gardnener!)…get’s a little carried away… (No, No, Gnome!!). Despite the teacher’s attempts to assign him different tasks,  gardening isn’t proving to be poor little Gnome’s forte.

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This has made his popularity with the other students take a rather large dive….what can Gnome do to make it up to his classmates…..

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I absolutely adore the illustrations in this book, they are so bright and eyecatching. The story really does highlight the joy in gardening and growing/ harvesting your own food. Also by showing how you can learn from your mistakes.

There is so much you could do with this book, it is a great one to encourage children to get outdoors and create their own garden. Also to learn about plants, different fruit/veggies and explore where we get our fresh produce.

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I am saying Yes, Yes Gnome to this one! I will be buying a copy of this one to add to my own picture book collection. I will also be using it during storytime and work, which I know will be a hit. Also on the publishers website there are some activities/colouring sheets related to the story. Children can learn about garden tools and fruit and vegies in the garden.

This super talented author/illustrator also has another children’s book called ‘Are we there yet’ (also a gem)

And if you would like to follow her in the twitterspehere and maybe give her a pat on the back for creating this gorgeous book!! .. you can find Ashlyn  @ashlynanstee

5/5 marmalade sandwiches for this beauty!

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Today’s brew.. Pineapple, Almond, Coconut Green tea from my recent trip to Maui…absolutely delightful

 

Elvis and Me by Gillian Wills

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Meet Elvis, an ex- bedraggled racehorse with haunted eyes, a glint of pride and plenty of attitude. Now meet Gillian, a talented musician and educator…who knew straight away that there was a place for Elvis in her life.

A few sentences on the front of this book written by Kristina Ollson (author of Boy, Lost) immediately drew me to it…..

‘This Elvis has all the swank, beauty and heartbreak of his namesake. A book for anyone who cares about animals –and music’

Animals and music…that is me in a nutshell so I snatched this up quick sticks. I was not disappointed. Earlier this year I read another book called ‘Saving Baby: How One Woman’s Love for a Racehore Led to Her Redemption’ by Jo Anne Normile and Lawrence Linder. It was the reading of this book that made me aware of some the horrible behind the scene realities of horseracing. Therefore reading Gillian’s memoir cemented further the effects that horseracing has on these animals, and what Elvis’s fate might have been without Gillian’s determination, loyalty and unshakeable bond of love. You would think finally fulfilling your lifelong dream of owning a horse would be a time of frivolities and taking leisurely rides through picturesque locations. Wrong. The bond Gillian wanted desperately to have with her new friend, was not handed on a silver platter.

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I love reading books that stay with me…that have me thinking about them a long time after I have read the last word. Also the ones that change the way I see things….for the better…and push me to kick those rose tinted glasses to the curb. I challenge you to read this book…and sit back and have a think when we are immersed in all the glitz and glamour of the Spring racing carnivals.

I fell in love with Elvis and his journey in this book, it is definitely one for your bookshelf or a gift. Thank you Gillian for sharing your story, it is one I won’t forget. When I save my own Elvis one day..I will be sure to let you know. Inspirational..read this one..and thank me later.

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5/5 marmalade sandwiches