Fairy Tale Friday- The Runaway Pancake

I am very familiar with this fairy tale so it brought back very fond memories.

One morning, a woman mixed up some pancake batter to make a big pancake for her seven children. They fought over who should have the first bite. The eldest child said they should have the first bite, the youngest said they should have the first because they needed to grow. As the pancake heard the arguments, it wriggled and flapped and jumped out of the pan. the children were too busy arguing to notice it.

The mother screamed at them to catch the pancake, but the pancake was too fast to catch. It past a hare who demanded that it should stop for it to eat. The pancake laughed and said it had ran away from seven squabbling children so it could run away from it. It rolled past a goat who wanted to eat it and once again, the pancake managed to escape seven squabbling children, a hare and the goat. The pancake then approached a fox who it also managed to outrun.

Finally, the pancake came to a river. There was a pig at the river who offered to carry it across the river. The pancake rolled onto the pig, the pig took the pancake halfway across the river and then turned, tossed the pancake and ate it whole! 🙂

This gave me gingerbread man vibes but it’s a story that I’m still so fond of! 🙂

An extract from A Year Full of Stories, by Angela McAllister, illustrated by Christopher Corr (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2016)

 

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Shelfie By Shelfie #3

I decided to complete another one of my book shelves for Beth’s Shelfie by Shelfie book tag.

The idea of the tag is that you share a picture (‘shelfie’) of one of your shelves and then answer some questions about them.

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1.) Is there any reason for this shelf being organised the way it is or is it purely random?

As ever, it’s a bit of a random one. On the right side, it’s my next 10 ‘real’ books. On the left side, it is my proud collection of my best friend from school, Alex Bell. I have several copies of her books! 🙂

2.) Tell us a story about one of the books on this shelf that is special to you i.e. how you got it/ a memory associated with it etc.

The Ninth Circle by Alex Bell has a fond memory attached to it. I was (and am) so proud of Alex’s book releases. The Ninth Circle was her debut novel.

3.) Which book from this shelf would you ditch if you were forced to and why?

Ooh, I guess the Dorothy Koomson short story. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s a short one and I’m not overly sure if it’ll make much of an impact on me?

4.) Which book from this shelf would you save in an emergency and why?

Tough one. I love all of the left side. I think I’d have to go with Gobbolino, The Witch’s Cat. I have a fond memory of reading that book as a child. I haven’t re-read it yet as I’m scared it won’t measure up but I have a special edition for when I am feeling brave.

5.) Which book has been on this shelf for the longest time?

The Ninth Circle

6.) Which book is the newest addition to this shelf?

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang.

7.) Which book from this shelf are you most excited to read (or re-read if this is a favourites shelf?)

I’m excited about a lot of the books on the right. I am looking forward to A Spark Of Light by Jodi Picoult as I’ve heard some great things.

8.) If there is an object on this shelf apart from books, tell us the story behind it.

My mug! I got this present from a child in July last year. He knew about my love for rabbits and he knew I had a lop earred, brown rabbit. The mug is perfect because it looks just like my rabbit ❤

9.) What does this shelf tell us about you as a reader?

I am a supportive friend and have lots of exciting books coming up!

10.) Choose other bloggers to tag or choose a free question you make up yourself.

There’s so many that I’d like to tag, so I’d just say if you want to do it, please do and leave me a link if you do! 🙂

This Week In Books #144

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

NOW

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Late to the party, I know, but I am loving this book! I need to find time to read it but I’ve had such a busy week so far!

THEN

Without Merit

Not my favourite Colleen Hoover book, but addictive all the same!

NEXT

The BFG

I’m a bit early to be starting this book as it is the kid lit choice for this month. However, I know my week will be full next week so I’m jumping ahead!

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Ten Books I LOVED With Fewer Than 2000 Ratings On Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s list is all about those hidden gems. The books we loved but that aren’t rated that highly on the wonderful website that is Goodreads. Here are mine!

These ratings are accurate for the time in which I scheduled this post!

1,466 Ratings

Bird

Oh, this is a beautiful and unique read. I wish more people would read it!

1,596 Ratings

The Wrong Boy

Another gem that I think should be read more widely. It’s a WWII book that I think has gone under the radar. It’s incredible.

223 Ratings

The Quietness

How can this book have not even 1000 ratings? It’s such a wonderful piece of YA historical fiction. I adored it.

427 Ratings

Jasmyn

You may know Alex’s name from Frozen Charlotte and The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club – both wonderful books but this fantasy adult fiction is still worth a read! 🙂

367 Ratings

Cross My Heart

Argh! Another wonderful WWII read that deserves to be read! This one broke my heart.

1,233 Ratings

A Kiss in the Dark

I really enjoyed this book from Cat Clarke. If you’re into deeper YA then I’d pick this one up!

130 Ratings

The Madness

This makes me sad. Less than 200 ratings for a wonderfully written book!

548 Ratings

Boy In The Tower

This book absolutely gripped me and I still think of it four years after reading it! 🙂

1685 Ratings

The Last Leaves Falling

This book is truly moving and has its space on my favourites!

289 Ratings

Indigo Donut

Another favourite of mine! I really enjoy Patrice Lawrence’s writing. Highly recommended!

Let me know about your favourite low-rated books on Goodreads!

Without Merit

Without Merit

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Previously reviewed by the same author:

Slammed series

Hopeless duology 

Standalones

Synopsis:

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her – until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines, when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Thoughts:

I have been meaning to read this book for ages, so I’m glad I found the time to fit it in. I’m very much trying to get through some backlist books this year and this was one of them. I had heard mixed reviews about Without Merit, so I was intrigued to get into the story and find out what it was all about. Whilst I can see why some would have issue with this book, I found it to be highly addictive and interesting to read.

Merit Voss lives with a very dysfunctional family. She is also pretty dysfunctional herself. The trouble is, Merit is keeping so many secrets from family members. There’s only so much she can take. The story opens with Merit searching for a trophy. She has a bit of an obsession with collecting trophies that she hasn’t earned. She comes across a good looking guy called Sagan and has a bit of a moment with him. She later finds out that he is unavailable but very close to home. The story follows Merit as she watches her family from the sidelines, never really feeling part of the family. When Merit reveals the family secrets she has to deal with the consequences of her actions..

Merit is an incredibly intense and confused character. She goes through so much and becomes resentful of her family. It takes Merit a while to realise how affected she’s been by her past. I really respected that part of the story. Merit’s mental health is all over the place but she’s not prepared to acknowledge that. It’s so realistic. I think she will be a character that many readers will be able to identify with.

There is so much going on in this story. Perhaps a little too much? Sometimes I couldn’t believe that the family were having such bad luck. I know there’s dysfunctional families but this one really did experience so much…There are many themes in this story and although Colleen Hoover is a great writer, I thought if there had been a focus on just a few themes, it would’ve been a deeper read.

That said, this book did hook me from the start. I loved Merit’s story, I liked and disliked characters. I wanted everything to be okay for Merit. It’s definitely one to check out if you’re a fan of the author.

Would I recommend it?:
Yes! 3.5 stars

Whilst this wasn’t my favourite book by Colleen Hoover, I devoured it and was moved by the story which is tough to read at points!

A Week In The Life Of A Primary School Teacher- Time to reflect!

Every Sunday (hopefully) I shall be posting a personal post about my life as a primary school teacher. I currently work at a primary school teaching 7-9 year olds. I have worked for two years with 6-7 years, 1 year with 7-9 and now I’m returning to my favourite age! My training posts on this subject were really successful and so therapeutic for me, therefore I’ve decided to continue posting on the topic. I will not be naming any children, or the school where I work. If personal posts aren’t your thing then feel free to skip these posts. I won’t mind! Bookish goodness returns as normal Monday-Saturday!

This week was better. Many thanks to the lovely people on my last entry that reminded me to think about the good parts of the job. It does have plenty of positives and I had been having a cracking half term until the OFSTED visit. I need to remember that they’re not why I do my job. I do my job because I love working with children, helping to shape young minds and that no teaching day is ever exactly the same. It’s good to be reminded of that. I guess you have to experience the lows to recognise how great the highs are.

My week was quite unremarkable really. We came to the end of a topic and the children have enjoyed it! We’ve auditioned for our musical which is happening in about a month. A lot of rehearsals will be in my future!

I now have a week off (well, a week not working, we all know what teacher life is like!) and I’m thinking of taking time to reflect on how I move forward in the next term and a half. I know I need to put some more effort into my teaching as I’ve become very relaxed, but I’m going to think about how I can do this without burning myself out. Self care is very important, which is why this post is coming to you late. I’ve been out on a walk, I’ve napped and I’ve read. After a day of writing 15 reports yesterday, I felt like today needed to be a day of rest and that’s exactly what it’s been!

This weekly post will return on 3rd March!

Talking About ‘Love, Iris’ with Bibliobeth!

Love, Iris

How did I get it?:
It was a present!

Synopsis:

Tess has a secret – one which is going to turn her life upside down in just nine months’ time.

The only person she can confide in is her beloved grandmother. But Iris is slipping further away each day.

Then chance brings a stranger into Tess’s life.

Gigi’s heart goes out to Tess, knowing what it’s like to feel alone. She’s determined to show her that there’s a silver lining to every cloud.

As their unlikely friendship blossoms, Tess feels inspired to open up.

But something still holds her back – until she discovers Iris has a secret of her own. A suitcase of letters from another time, the missing pieces of a life she never shared.

Could the letters hold the answers that Tess thought lost for ever?

CHRISSI: I knew you would initially be unsure of reading this book. What was it that made you unsure?

BETH: Ah, you know me too well. I’m afraid to say that one again it was the cover that was initially a turn off for me. I have to be compelled to pick up a book and a beautiful cover can be the magic moment where I’ll pick it up and want to read the blurb on the back. I’m afraid with Love, Iris, if I ordinarily saw it in a bookshop, I wouldn’t even pick it up to read the back. I would (wrongly) assume that it wasn’t going to be the book for me. I’m glad that reading books with you as part of our “Talking About” series is making me pick up books that I wouldn’t normally and being pleasantly surprised as a result!

BETH: Interspersed amongst the story are Tess’ letters to her developing baby. Did you enjoy these and what do you think they added to the narrative?

CHRISSI: Great question! I did enjoy the letters to her developing baby. I think they made Tess really relatable especially to prospective mothers. You could sense Tess’ insecurities about motherhood but also her growing bond with her developing baby. I thought that was really sweet.

CHRISSI: Discuss the novel’s varying depictions of marriage. What kinds of relationships seem most likely to fail or succeed? Ultimately, do you think marriage is seen as a positive or negative in the story?

BETH: Such an interesting question. Okay, so we have various relationships in the book – we have the older generation of Iris and her husband who were very happily married compared to Gigi and Richard who have been married for years and have three grown children together but recently Gigi has been feeling unhappy and taken for granted and decides a period of separation would be a good idea. Then there is Iris’ grand-daughter Tess who is pregnant but not in a relationship and her mother Donna who has raised her as a single parent. I don’t think you can ever predict what relationships will fail or succeed to be honest and I also don’t think marriage is the be all and end all. As Gigi has shown, you can be married for years and then realise you’re not happy and personally, I supported her decision to bail out if she wasn’t content. You never know what’s going to happen in the future and how your relationship with your partner will evolve (or not evolve which is sometimes the problem!) On a personal level, I’ve been with my partner since 2002, we aren’t married and have no plans to do so and we are perfectly happy. I don’t think marriage is always necessary to ensure a successful relationship.

BETH: Tess has quite a difficult relationship with her mother, Donna. How do you think this developed as the story continued?

CHRISSI: She really did have a difficult relationship with her mother. I think it developed into a sort of understanding throughout the story. As Tess began to lose Iris, and become a mother herself, I believe it made her want to sort things out with her own mother. I think losing a close friend or family member gives you perspective and makes you want to sort out issues that could be in relationships. I don’t think Tess and her mother will be the closest, but I think their experiences brought them together.

CHRISSI: Did you have a favourite character? If so, who and why?

BETH: I can’t choose! I have so many favourite characters in this novel. I loved our main female leads – Tess, Gigi and to a certain extent, Iris (although I would have loved to know even MORE about her life). I felt that as characters they were all personable, easy to like and I found myself rooting for their happiness from the very start of the story.

BETH: What effect does keeping secrets have on each of the characters? What about when they reveal these secrets?

CHRISSI: I feel like both Tess and Gigi’s secret was better for them when it came to light. Tess was hiding her pregnancy and although her boyfriend was a bit of a turd about the pregnancy, her life was definitely on the up after the secret was revealed. Gigi wasn’t happy in her marriage. I think she had kept it secret for so long to keep up the happy family vibe with her children that she clearly adored. Even though it was tough for her to leave her marriage and upset her children, it was the best thing for her. No one wants to stay in a relationship like that. Life may have been a little messy for Gigi, but the future could be brighter. Iris… oh I loved that character. She kept so many secrets about her brother Tom from her family. I wish we could have known more from Iris. Secrets was definitely a common theme in this story but mainly love, family and self-discovery.

CHRISSI: Discuss whether you agree with Wilf’s entreaty to Iris that ‘love is the simplest thing in the world.’ How do the relationships in the novel support or contradict this statement?

BETH: Wow. Tough. It is and it isn’t is my answer! I think it can be very easy to fall in love with someone – after all, it doesn’t take much effort and is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world. However, I think staying in love with someone can be very difficult, both of the individuals have to make a concerted effort with each other otherwise they can end up in a stagnant place where they take each other for granted, much like Gigi and Richard find themselves. Also, being in love with someone where the feelings aren’t reciprocated as strongly can be quite dangerous because you open up your heart enormously and leave yourself vulnerable to becoming very hurt.

BETH: Would you read another book by this author?

CHRISSI: I would! I thought this was a great read! 🙂

Would I recommend it?:

BETH: Of course!

CHRISSI: Of course!