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ACRBA - Rebecca's Dream and a review of Suzannah's Gold [Sep. 4th, 2014|12:21 pm]
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1st - 5th September 2014



Rebecca's Dream



(Even Before March 2014)



By



Carol Preston



About the Book





Rebecca Oakes is thirteen years old when her mother, Suzannah, dies in the small town of Marengo, New South Wales, in 1873. With her older brother and sisters soon involved in their own lives, Rebecca is left alone to care for her ageing father. But Rebecca has a dream for her own life. She wants to make a difference to the world around her; a world where it is hardly possible for a woman to get an education, where women have no rights, no vote, no voice. Rebecca will have to fight the systems of her time if she is to achieve her goals. She must find the courage to stand against sexual and religious prejudice, and resist the pressures of even those close to her, in order to make her way towards her dream, influenced by one man who hates her, who will do anything to thwart her plans, and another man who loves her, and will do anything to make her happy.




Rebecca’s Dream is the second book in the Oakes Family Saga. Background notes and discussion questions are available for book clubs.



About the Author








Carol lives in Wollongong with her husband, Neil. She is a psychologist and has a part time private counselling practice, as well as being an author and speaker. Carol enjoys spending time with her children and four grandchildren, as well as bushwalking, gardening and holidaying overseas with her husband. One of her hobbies over many years has been family history research. It was this research which started Carol on the journey of writing novels.


Her first trilogy is about the Oakes Family; Suzannah’s Gold, Rebecca’s Dream and The Price of Peace, which takes the reader from 1838 when her great great grandmother, Suzannah Casey was transported from Ireland, through to the end of the First World War when Suzannah’s children and grandchildren are involved in the battle, not only to survive the war but to survive the waiting at home. The first two of these have recently been re-released by EBP. Carol’s fourth novel, The Face of Forgiveness, is about two young women who are transported to Australia in 1839. The most recent of Carol’s novel is a series based on her mother’s family, which begins with the First Fleet of convicts to Australia. These include Mary’s Guardian, Charlotte’s Angel, Tangled Secrets, and Truly Free.


For more information about Carol’s books and her other interests she can be contacted on her website: www.carolpreston.com.au, on her Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/writingtoreach


or her Amazon author page: www.amazon.com/author/carolpreston




Review
I haven't read Rebecca's Dream,yet but will be reading and reviewing it later this year. In the meantime here is the review for the Suzannah's Goldwhich should really be read first.suzannah
Four and a half stars. Transported from Ireland to Australia, Suzannah undergoes a lot of hardship in her life. Suzanna encounter’s Caroline Chisholm and it is lovely to see the influence this woman had on young lives in the colony. There are the struggles of life in a new colony, the racism that exists between the early convicts and settlers and the Chinese, as well as the Aboriginal people. It also shows a lot of the religious prejudices that abounded between Catholic and Protestant. What a shame people had not been able to leave the attitudes behind when they came to the new land. But then we are not really so different today.
This book gives an interesting look at Australia in the 1800s and the early colonisation of New South Wales. Based on some of her ancestors’ stories, this novel has the ring of authenticity. Suzanne is an extremely likable and resilient character with a faith that underpins her actions. By contrast George, the man she marries, is weak and allows circumstances to overwhelm him much of the time. There is a love story or two involved but it may not quite turn out as readers expect and yet the end result is so fitting given the character of Suzannah. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel which involved me in a gamut of emotions from laughter, tears, frustration and anger at times. I will certainly be reading Rebecca’s Dream by the same author in the near future.
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A Stunning Australian picture book - The Croc and the Platypus [Aug. 13th, 2014|09:19 am]
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croc

Using The Owl and the Pussycat as inspiration and model, Jackie Hosking has written a rollicking Australian version featuring a croc and a platypus. As you might expect in an Aussie rhyme, the croc and platypus 'trundled off /in a rusty old Holden ute,' and what else would you expect them to take with them but 'some damper and tea in a hamper?' I think Australian children, parents and teachers will love this book with its Aussieisms. For those not used to our Australian colloquialisms there is a glossary at the back.

Jackie Hosking is an expert with rhyme and it works exceptionally well. One reservation is the page where croc and platypus are heading towards 'the great ochre pebble/In the shape of a hill.' This page needs to be read carefully to get the right emphasis and rhythm. When I gave this book to someone unused to poetry their comment was 'that page doesn’t flow. It doesn’t rhyme.' It does, but it needs to be read correctly to bring it out and keep the rhythm.

The illustrations by Marjorie Crosby-Fairall with their outback Australian colours are simply stunning and add to the text beautifully. I loved the expressions on the faces of the animals especially the sheep with their questioning looks when the croc and the platypus want to buy a fleece. This book is a lot of fun to enjoy and will certainly find a place in many homes and schools.

Now to find out a little more about this great book I asked Jackie a few questions.

I believe it is based on the Owl and the Pussycat, why did you decide to write an Aussie version? Was this a favourite poem of yours as a child?


When I set out to write The Croc and the Platypus I was inspired by Claire Saxby who had done another rewrite of the classic, There was an old Lady who swallowed a fly. The idea of writing a uniquely Australian story while sticking strictly to the rhyme and meter of The Owl and the Pussy-Cat really appealed to me because, I loved that story as a child, my grandmother used to read it to me all the time, and I love writing in rhyme and meter. So initially it began as a writing exercise to see if I could write a completely new Australian based story that was as much fun as the original that didn't sound forced or disjointed.


Why a crocodile and a platypus rather than any other animals?


Firstly the animals had to fit the meter. There had to be a one syllable animal and a three syllable animal whose stress landed on the first syllable. I couldn't have used an echidna, for example because the stress falls on the middle syllable which would have mucked up the rhythm. I also wanted animals that had a similar feel to The Owl and the Pussy-Cat. Platypus seemed like an obvious choice to me as both words contain the syllable 'pus' and the crocodile, being reptilian is also a hunter, like the owl and as unlikely a friend to the platypus as the owl was to the cat. Plus it could be shortened to one syllable.


What gave you the most pleasure writing this book?

Unforced rhyme, in my opinion, is such a pleasure to read. It adds another layer to the story that if done well, is so satisfying for both the writer and the reader. The whole process of writing this book has been pleasurable. Everybody's input has only helped to improve it and of course Marjorie's illustrations are exquisite. I could not have hoped for a better collaborator.


What do you hope children, parents and teachers will take from this book?

Fun! Fun! FUN!! Everyone needs a bit of nonsense in their lives. I also hope that the book reminds readers just how beautiful Australia is.


Did you have any input into the types of illustrations and the colours?


Roughs were shown to me throughout the process, so had I felt the need to make suggestions I certainly was given the opportunity but I knew I was in good hands. Marjorie is amazing - I absolutely love what she has done. The colours, I think, are perfect.

Thanks Dale!
My pleasure Jackie.

Now if you want to follow the rest of this book's blog tour, here is the information you need.



Aug 11 - Aussie Reviews

Aug 12 - DeeScribewriting Blog

Aug 13 - Write and Read with Dale

Aug 14 - Children's Books Daily

Aug 15 - Stories are light

Aug 16 - Kids' book Book Review

Aug 17 - Pass it on



Marjorie Crosby Fairall on Facebook | TheCrocAndThePlatypus.com | Jackie Hosking on Facebook

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Reviews of Three Books from Walker Books [Aug. 12th, 2014|11:36 am]
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Donfinkle 2

Written by Choechoe Brereton and told in rhyme this picture book reminded me a little of the perfect rhymes and use of language of Lynley Dodd in her Hairy Maclary books. Donfinkle is pleased with the home he is building. But then ‘down swoops Flooble’ who does nothing but criticise, causing Donfinkle to change his house design. Then a Mooble arrives with other ideas about how Donfinkle’s house should look. Again Donfinkle changes his house. And so it goes on with various oddly named and illustrated creatures adding advice that is often contradictory. The result is, as you would expect, a long way from what Donfinkle intended for his home. Donfinkle reverts to his original ideas but then he is in for a surprise from those who had previously come to criticise. This is a charming book that illustrates the principle that sometimes a person has to trust their own instinct and not listen to others too much. The illustrations, as you would expect from Wayne Harris, complement the text perfectly. Donfinkle and the other oddly named creatures are cute and playful looking. I loved the expressions on their faces. This book is a thoroughly enjoyable bit of fun that has at its heart a message children and adults may need to hear.


what happens next

One morning on the way to town Little Ellie asks her Granny to tell her a story. So Granny begins a story about Grandma Bear and Little Bear. Granny tells Little Ellie that these bears who are not ‘ordinary bears’ wear ’hats and red gumboots and even go on adventures.’ Little Ellie wants to know ‘What happens next?’ This question is repeated throughout the story. While reading this to a child, it would be good to stop at the end of the page and get their ideas of what happens next before reading on. After a time Little Ellie and Grandma change roles. When they meet a big brown Grandma Bear and a Little Bear, it is Grandma who asks ‘What happens next?’ The last pages are a delight. This is a book about imagination and telling stories and one that cries out for children’s participation. Written and illustrated by Tull Suwannakit this would be a welcome addition to any home or library.

russian

The Alex Rider books have been very popular but I admit this is the first one I have read. In a way that is not such a bad thing as this is a prequel to the other books. It tells the story of Yassen Gregorovich, whose mission is to kill Alex Rider, the fourteen year old spy. But before we get to that point, the book goes into details about Yassen’s earlier life and gives the reader a clear picture of events that helped shape him into the person he became – a cold blooded assassin. This is a book about life’s hard times and circumstances and the way a person chooses to respond to them. It is an interesting look at what changes a young boy into a killer. While it was face paced enough and held my interest, I have reservations about the age group this book is intended for. I found it violent and too graphic, so wonder about the wisdom of giving it to young people to read. Not having read the other Alex Rider books, I don’t know if this is the usual fare or more violent than the others. I’m assuming the book is largely aimed at a male market so perhaps that is why I respond negatively to the violence. The incidents involving Russian roulette which is played out a couple of times in the novel were enough for me. But to be fair, I am not the intended audience and nor is crime and spies my usual reading matter. I would be interested to hear how others who have read the other Alex Rider books have responded to this novel.
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Roses are Blue - Interview with Sally and book review [Jul. 24th, 2014|08:52 pm]
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Today I am pleased to welcome Sally Murphy to my blog and be part of the blog tour for

roses
Welcome Sally.

Sally has answered a few of my questions about the book.

Why the name Amber and then all the other colour names?


I’ve always liked the name Amber, and it went well, I thought, with Rose, meaning ‘yellow rose’. Yellow roses are seen as symbols of friendship and positive thoughts. Amber is, ultimately, optimistic, so I feel she suits her name.

The other colour names didn’t come so easily. Initially I thought it would be fun if Amber had friends whose names all started with the same letter – so it was Amber and Amelia and Amy and Abby (I think). However, not only was this confusing for readers, but in early drafts I got a bit confused myself. Su, from Walker Books, suggested I find another way to link them, and then I thought of colours.



What effect do you hope this book will have on children who read it?


I hope they will feel sad with Amber, but end the story feeling that there is hope both in Amber’s life and in the world in general. I really want reading my books to be a positive experience for readers. It took quite a bit of work to ensure that there was enough hope in Amber’s story.



Were you ever embarrassed by a parent or sibling?


Given that they’re probably reading this, I’ll have to say no. Only joking – of course I was. Mums are meant to be embarrassing sometimes. And I was the youngest of six children, so I think each of my siblings at some point did something to embarrass me. But you know what? I’ll bet I embarrassed them more. I was a bit cheeky, a bit loud, and, being younger, didn’t always know when I was embarrassing them. So if you’re reading this family – sorry.



Did you know how this novel would end before you wrote it? Or did you consider any alternate ending?


Not really. I knew it would end with hope, with a sign that life would go on, and possibly get better, for the Rose family. I didn’t know about the art contest, or Leroy’s role, or even the cupcake party. I didn’t really consider an alternate ending, but the ending did get stronger as I worked on bringing those different aspects together.

Thanks so much for the questions Dale, and for having me on your blog.


My pleasure Sally and now to my review of Roses are Blue

This verse novel, which tells the story of Amber and her mother who has been in an accident and is now in a wheelchair, is a heart-warming story that is simply and beautifully written. Last Saturday I read Roses are Blue and cried my way through it. I so felt for the young Amber and her decidedly mixed feelings. This book also shows the hierarchy that goes on in schools – if you are part of the ‘in’ crowd or not. I liked the pictures of family loving and supporting each other from Aunt Fi who leaves her job to help care for her sister and her family and the loving relationship between Amber and her young brother. I liked the use of colours for names of Amber’s friends. This is an easy to read verse novel which I read straight through in one sitting. It is one that effortlessly draws readers into the story and stirs the emotions. The black and white illustrations by Gabriel Evans add to the overall effect as they perfectly capture the feel and emotions of the story. This is a gem of a book and one destined I suspect to do well again in CBCA awards.



roses are blue




Tuesday, July 22nd Karen Tyrrell
Wednesday, July 23 Alphabet Soup
Thursday, July 24 Kids’ Book Review
Friday, July 25 Write and read with Dale
Saturday, July 26 Diva Booknerd
Sunday, July 27 Children’s Books Daily
Monday, July 28 Boomerang Books Blog
Tuesday, July 29 Australian Children’s Poetry
Wednesday, July 30 Sally Murphy

@SallyMurphy | Sally on Facebook | SallyMurphy.com.auSally book covers
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Better than a Super Hero - book review [Jul. 22nd, 2014|08:14 am]
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21st - 25th June 2014




(Wombat books 1 May 2014)



By



Belinda Francis, illustrated by Kayleen West






About the Book



Who is better than a superhero? Find out about Jesus as you explore what he did and who he was. And most importantly how Jesus really can be your best friend!



About the Authors






Belinda Francis

Award winning journalist turned children's author Belinda Francis worked in newspapers, magazines and electronic media for ten years in South Africa before she and her family immigrated to Queensland.



Shortly after arriving in Australia, her elder son was diagnosed with ASD and she devoted the next few years to his early intervention, which with God's guidance, has paid off miraculously. Her second son, who had been born ten weeks prematurely, is now healthy and strong – evidence of yet another miracle. She and her family recently celebrated the arrival of their third child, a much-prayed for daughter.



While raising her children, Belinda wrote Better than a Superhero, her first published book, and threw herself into the local church and community. She runs the Sunday school program at her church campus.



Belinda is passionate about raising children up in God's kingdom and excited about the ministry opportunities the book will undoubtedly open up.






Kayleen West

An award winning artist, her work hangs in private and corporate collections in France, United States, Italy, and the Australian Embassy in Ireland and in government collections in Australia.




Although an initial childhood dream was to write and illustrate for children, Kayleen was encouraged to venture into a career of an exhibiting fine artist and later a graphic designer.

Returning to her original passion in 2009, Kayleen is now a published children's Author and Illustrator working on her third children's book and writes Christian content for magazines and blogs.



Kayleen is the author and illustrator of Without Me? (Wombat Books, 2013) and the illustrator of Better than a Superhero (Even Before Publishing, 2014).

For more information: www.kayleenwest.com.au


My review

• I love the concept of this picture book, the title and the bright primary colours throughout. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? It promises so much fun! The text is simple and reads well and brings the reader quickly and firmly to the idea of a Creator. The divinity of Jesus with God as His Father is explained simply as is His mission. I like how it explained His mission. But I found one important aspect missing - the cross. One presumes then it is up to the parent to explain how Jesus made sure ’nothing d could get in the way of us knowing his father,’ and to mention the cross and resurrection. This book is a good tool that could open areas for discussion and I’d suggest that’s what it needs an adult to explain and fill in the blanks with references and more of the bible stories.

• I liked the way the text differentiated between the usual role of a king which kids would probably be familiar with in fairy tales and other books. It gives a great and clear picture of who Jesus is and the illustrations are a delight. My reservation with this book is the illustrations of Jesus and I admit I’m not often a fan of illustrations of Jesus. I realise this is a personal thing, but I didn’t like the cartoonish style, even though it was probably in keeping with the other illustrations. I also though t it could be confusing when you have illustrations of Jesus to then say, ’you might not be able to see him.’ A couple of quibbles in what is otherwise a delightful book with a good clear message that is pitched at a child’s level of understanding and is a good introduction to the person of Jesus.
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Head to Toe- book review [Jul. 9th, 2014|02:03 pm]
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head to toe

Published by Acorn Press April 2014

It’s hard to know where to start in reviewing this book, as there is so much to read and consider. It really helps put a lot of things into context. This is an insightful look into a leadership model for Christian society. It clearly shows what a great change this meant for those early male followers of Jesus. For them to follow Jesus meant a move downward in importance. It identifies how men in the Mediterranean world at the end of the first century were called by Jesus to a different model of leadership, taking them from a model as lead-as- dictator to one of leader- as- servant. Reading this book could well change your thinking or at least cause you to look at lives and incidents in the New Testament with fresh eyes.


This book follows through the lives of many New Testament men starting with Zechariah, father of John the Baptist. It raises some interesting thoughts about John and his ministry that I had not considered before. It also covers not just the well know men such as Paul, Peter , John and James but some of those who only make brief biblical appearances like Simeon, Gaius, Crispus and others.


Christianity brought about huge changes and cost. For the disciples, especially any who were the eldest son in a family, walking away from family responsibilities was a huge step and brought great dishonour. These followers of Jesus were ‘exiled from their household and thus suffered a loss of identity and status.’ Because of this the Romans at Antioch first labelled them Christians – that is ‘belonging to the household or tribe of Christ.’


‘Travel was regarded as somewhat deviant behaviour in those days.’ For people of today’s society who are often used to being able to travel at will without needing a reason, other than pleasure, it seems strange to think a person had to have a legitimate reason to travel, like going to the temple in Jerusalem or to visit family. I guess I’d never thought before that while they were travelling with Jesus, the disciples had not been earning any money and so had no finances of their own to buy anything. No wonder they looked at Jesus blankly when he told them to give the crowds something to eat!


The chapter devoted to male leadership in the early church brings up the point of headship and how that meaning is often wrongly interpreted as having authority, when in reality Christians, both men and women, are ‘to emulate the coordinating, representative and self sacrificing role of Jesus as head of the church. This carries no sense of authority or privilege.’ Obviously these couple of sentences need to be read in context not only of the whole chapter about headship but in the context of the ideas set forth in the book.


Yet somehow over the years we have got away from that model and have a different idea of headship. I particularly liked the thoughts expressed in the last two paragraphs of this book. At the end of the book there is an appendix of all the men mentioned in this book and the biblical or other literary references to each one plus , for those who would like to delve deeper, a select bibliography of texts.


I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It made me think. This is a book to read, share with others and re-read. Recommended.
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Historical Fiction [Jun. 2nd, 2014|11:22 am]
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is introducing

Charter to Redemption

(Even Before Publishing 1 May 2014)



By



D.J. Blackmore




About the Book

At the close of 1821, the penal colony of Newcastle looks to be every bit as black as it's painted. Emma Colchester charters a ride to Australia with a promise of marriage to a man she has never met. But appearances aren't always as they seem. And with a commitment unavoidable Emma learns that shackles are not always forged from iron. Tobias Freeman longs for redemption and hope. After a rough journey to New South Wales, Tobias learns the rations, the regulations, and the reprisal. But neither Emma nor Tobias expect the repercussions.



About the Author



D.J. Blackmore grew up in the wine growing region of the Hunter Valley, New South Wales and is currently based in Central Queensland.

She draws inpiration for her historical fiction novels from her love of age-old crafts such as spinning and cheese making. She considers being the mother of five, her greatest achievement.







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my review

The time is 1821 and Emma Colchester is on her way to Australia, specifically Newcastle, to marry Gideon Quinn, a man she has never met. When she meets him, Gideon is not at all what she is expecting. But before Emma gets to Newcastle and she meets the man she has promised to marry, disaster strikes.
She is saved by the convict Tobias Freeman. Even that situation is not without its problems, for she finds herself attracted to Tobias. Not only are they of different classes with her being the daughter of a clergyman while Tobias is a convict, despite the attraction she feel for him she feels obliged to honour her promise to marry Gideon Quinn, even though he has been dishonest with her. As the book goes on it is revealed further, Quinn is not at all as he initially seemed in appearance or character.
It was a refreshing change to see a historical novel not set in Sydney and I liked the historical setting of Newcastle for the novel. I also liked the characters of Emma and Tobias, even though at times I found Emma’s behaviour a little hard to understand. She had plenty of pluck and I liked the way she refused to let convention dictate her actions and pitched in at the hospital. Gideon, was one who through the course of the novel, shows his true colours.
One thing I found hard was some of the wrong paragraphing and mistakes that had been allowed to creep in. At times this made it a little harder to read. That quibble aside, I enjoyed the story. Those who like historical novels and romances should enjoy this book. I’ll be interested to see what this author writes next.
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A Fun Quest [May. 28th, 2014|01:18 pm]
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kelseyWhat a delightful book. This is a very easy to read book for children around 8 years of age. It gives the story of Kelsey, who with her parents, goes over to Pakistan where her father is intent on helping the people rebuild after floodwaters have destroyed homes, lives and families. Kelsey is not at all happy about leaving her Nanna or Chantelle and her other friends.

Her Nanna, who they keep in touch with by email and Skype, devises a story about Amy Jo, a porcelain doll and her adventures. Amy Jo wants to finds someone to love her. I loved the juxtaposition of Kelsey’s life and the changes she undergoes with the story being created by Kelsey and her Nanna for Amy Jo.

Meanwhile Kelsey finds her attitudes towards Pakistan changing after she makes friends with Shakila. The contrast between the life Kelsey and her family have lived in Australia and life in Pakistan is brought out effectively. This book is a joy to read. It is one that presents friendship, kindness, love, family relationships, compassion, courage and self sacrifice, in a natural, and positive way. I also loved the way in this novel, Kelsey was reading another book which is also a favourite children's book of mine recently. Very clever. Yes, Rosanne Hawke does mention what the other book was in her note at the end.

This is a gently humorous but thought provoking book that should make it on to many home bookshelves and school libraries. Highly recommended.
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(no subject) [May. 24th, 2014|03:06 pm]
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19th - 23rd May 2014



is introducing



About the Book

Women are most likely to express their deepest thoughts to a trusted friend. At its best, prayer is simply that; a conversation with a friend who is never too tired, too busy or too pre-occupied to listen and respond.



From personal prayers to prayers about family,friends and the wider world, interweaved with Scripture and thought provoking quotes, this inspirational resource helps women of all ages to genuinely connect with God,and build and maintain a strong prayer life.



About the Author




Marion Stroud has written 3 children's books, and 23 non-fiction titles. She lives in Bedford UK the town in which John Bunyan wrote his famous Pilgrim's Progress. She is a cross cultural trainer for Media Associates International [www.littworld.org] which works to help Christian writers, editors and publishers write and publish culturally appropriate material in the 'spiritually hard places' of the world. You can contact marion at www.marionstroud.com


My review
Honesty and heartfelt emotion are two of the keys to this book of prayers from Marion Stroud. I loved the way this book include prayers, Bible verses, and quotes from famous people like John Bunyan,. Seneca, Elisabeth Elliot, Martin Luther King Jnr, Harper Lee (from to Kill a Mocking bird), Dale Evans Rogers, T.S. Eliot, Dietrich Bonheoffer, Leo Tolstoy, and the wisdom inherent in the quote by Ruth Bell Graham regarding teaching the bible. Even though not in her class, I could associate with the quote from Mother Teresa.
The book is split into sections that take you through the varying stages of a woman’s life. The topics covered include: A woman within, A woman and marriage, A woman and her children, A woman and her friends, A woman at work, A woman and her family of Faith, A woman and the Wider World, and a Woman growing older. There were a number that particularly resonated with me including A Different Kind of Fast. I especially liked the fast from criticism and the fast from fear. What's in a Name? made me think about my own name and my life. One that particularly struck me was Just another man, which looks at the pressure and responsibility congregations put on their pastors. It deals with the unrealistic expectations they often have to try and live up to which can in some cases produce the response detailed in the prayer, Just Another Man? It is sad but true that we load too much onto our pastors and expect them to be perfect when in fact they are not.
This is a book that will encourage, challenge and support women in the issues they face in their lives. I’m not usually into prayers written by others but I have to say I loved this book and found it encouraging and challenging as well as uplifting. Being practical and beautifully presented this would make an ideal gift or a special female friend or family member.
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The Old Revisited [May. 19th, 2014|02:36 pm]
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Pinocchio

The text is the original unabridged version by Carlo Collodi translated in 1926 and the illustrations are by Robert Ingpen. It is interesting to read a little about the author and learn that the story was initially written as a serial over two years. Because it was initially created as a serial it is a story when Pinocchio goes from one escapade to another. Given that the original story was written between 1881 and 1883, it should perhaps come as no surprise that the story is moralistic and also darker than what to many is the later more familiar Disney version with a talking cricket called Jiminy. In this original version of the story Pinocchio kills the talking cricket fairly early in the piece, so he is not a major player in the story as he is in the Disney version.

I had mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand it is a beautiful presentation volume. The illustrations by the Australian illustrator Robert Ingpen are, as you would expect, magnificent. Most of the 36 chapters start with a two page colour illustrations with other colour illustrations scattered throughout. For the artwork alone, this is a book that would be treasured because the illustrations are so beautiful.

However, I admit aspects of the story concerned me. It seemed that Pinocchio was inconsistent in behaviour, almost as if the author was a bit confused about him. Or maybe that was a result of the story initially being written as a serial and having to keep readers following along each episode so there is a lot happening. Despite these reservations, this book will I am sure find a place in many homes and libraries. It is always interesting to read a story as it was originally intended, before it was altered to meet the demands and attitudes of the times.

Published 2014 by Walker Books Australia
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