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.


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.


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…..


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.


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!


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



Every bookshop has a story…..

Book lovers everywhere…..stand to attention!!…..rejoice!!!….I have stumbled across the book that should be at the top of your Christmas list ( yes the one in the bold writing so the jolly man in the red suit can’t possibly forget it)

Title: The Bookshop Book

Author: Jen Campbell

Image-3 This fascinating and unputdownable book takes the reader on a magical journey through the doors of bookshops around the globe. Pack up your bag and don’t forget your marmalade sandwich under your hat, your whirlwind bookshop tour includes Europe, Africa, North America, Central/South America, Australia and Asia.  Amongst the section on each bookshop you will also discover ‘chats’ with different authors, describing their fondest memories of bookshops.These talented bookshop lovers also the answer to the question…..’If I were to open my own bookshop…..’, one I have also now asked myself. (and I betcha bottom dollar you will be too)


And if I haven’t tempted you enough…wait there is more! Who doesn’t love a ‘bookish fact’ ?! You will find the lovely little titbits of delight hiding amongst the pages. You will dazzle your friends and family with your newfound literary and bookish  knowledge. Image-4 If you are like me and enjoy reading more about authors and their inspiration around their writing you discover the author of this book Jen Campbell. She has also written another equally entertaining novel ‘Weird Things Customer Say in Bookshops’ and works in a antiquarian bookshop. She lives in the lovely land of Big Ben, Paddington Bear and Jane Austen. You will find her website here and she also has her own youtube channel where you will find some book tours and book chitchat. The question I have for this talented pommie is, when is the bookshop tour? Count me in! 🙂

Absolutely loved this book. 5/5 marmalade sandwiches.



Today’s brew : Hula Dance, Tropical blend of fruit, flowers and coconut 

River Read Bookstore & Cafe, Noosaville

Recently I spent a delightful week in Noosaville and discovered a lovely bookshop. Upon the disastrous realisation that I had not come armed with enough books, I went on the hunt..and I was delighted with what I found. riverread1

This lovely treasure trove ‘River Read Bookstore & Cafe ‘ with great atmopshere  is situated at 1/6 Thomas street, just a stones throw away from the picturesque Noosa river and surrouned by an awesome eclectic selection of shops, cafes and restaruants.


It features a great mix of new and secondhand books, also some lovely gifts, wrapping paper and cards. I was excited to discover they stock one of my favourite whimsical  stationary brands ‘An April Idea’ , the principal illustrator is a local Brissie girl. It is great to see shops supporting local talent. River Read, also bosts that it serves ‘the best coffee in town’, I however cannot vouch for that as I am a tea drinker (which they also serve and was tip top!)  Great spot to kick back and peruse your new purchases.


Hidden away in the far corner of the shop is my favourite section, the children’s books. My love for bookshops had made me quite a harsh critic  and I find many unfortunately lack a quality children’s section which also doubles as a space for children to enjoy/explore and choose the little gems they want to take home. Here they have created a lovely reading nook for children, with a great selection and I loved the whimsical butterfly lanterns hanging from the ceiling.


You will also notice the attention to detail the decorator (gold star for you!) has taken when fitting out this shop. One of the highlights is the beautiful ‘I love books’ banner hanging from a window behind the customer service desk.


When you walk in the door, you are also greeted with a trio or bar stools and wooden bench where you are welcome to  perch and browse the many options hidden amongst the shelves.


This should be on your list if you are visiting the lovely Noosa or Sunshine Coast. A delightful place to be. Definitely somewhere I can see Paddington, hanging up his coat and buried in a  quiet corner surrounded by books, a cuppa tea (who knows he might even branch out and try the best coffee in town?! ) and a tasty marmalade sandwich.

4/5 marmalade sandwiches