Forthcoming Publications

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Review of

100 Ways in 100 Days to Teach Your Baby Maths: Support All Areas of Your Baby’s Development by Nurturing a Love of Maths by Emma Smith

4.5star.jpg Children's Non-Fiction

Babies seem to be born with an amazing number sense: understanding shapes in the womb, being aware of quantities at seven hours old, assessing probability at six months old, and comprehending addition and subtraction at nine months old.

Did you know this? I didn't! How about:

Maths ability on entry to school is a strong predictor of later achievement, double that of literacy skills.

I didn't know this either! I think most parents are aware that giving your children a good start in literacy - reading stories, teaching pen grips, singing rhymes - gives children a solid foundation when they start school. But do we think the same way about maths, beyond counting? I don't think we do, in part because so many of us are afraid of maths. But why are we? Most of us use maths in daily life without realising and it follows that giving our children a similar pre-school grounding will be just as beneficial. Full Review



Review of

Locked Out Lily by Nick Lake and Emily Gravett

4.5star.jpg Confident Readers

Lily is, or was, or has been, very ill, and to give her parents relief she's been told to stay with her grandma for a few days. The parents need the relief as Lily's baby sibling is just about to be born – a child Lily swears she hates already and wants nothing to do with. But on tracking back home for word of her parents (and her plush toy so she can sleep) she finds stony-eyed simulacra of her parents, and the babe-in-arms, already installed. These devilish interlopers need to be ousted to get the family back intact, even if it's not the family Lily wants – and all she has to help her in the task are some talking animals – Crow, Mole, Mouse and Snake. Full Review



Review of

The Shadow Of The Gods by John Gwynne

5star.jpg Fantasy

The Shadow Of The Gods is the first installment of the Bloodsworn Saga, set in the era of the Vikings in the shadow of Ragnarok, when the Gods have battled and their bones lie scattered for all to see. This story is the ultimate in High Fantasy, and John Gwynne certainly does justice to the genre, with mythical creatures, archaic language and battles galore. This is a thick book, with an intricate plot and fascinating characters that are woven together to create a wonderfully realistic and gritty world in which our heroes must do battle. Full Review


Review of

The Stoning by Peter Papathanasiou

3.5star.jpg Thrillers

In a town sleazy enough to make sh*tholes elsewhere look glamorous in comparison, a teacher has been transported across town at night in a shopping trolley, and she's been taped to a tree and she's had rocks bowled at her as if she were the world's tallest cricket stumps. When she's discovered by the town gossip everyone, including the local cops, are quite confident the culprit has come from the immigrant detention centre the place is reluctantly home to. An arson attack on that shows the feeling – and it's only fair, is the general opinion, for the occupants are often setting their own fires in protest at their conditions. Cue the arrival of George Manolis, a higher rank from the city, to sort everything out. Because such an aggrieved, insular community is really going to welcome a Greek-heritaged city boy laying down the law... Full Review



Review of

Everybody Toots! (Everybody Potties!) by Justine Avery and Naday Meldova

4star.jpg For Sharing

Toots, trumps, farts. Whatever your word for them, find us a child that doesn't find them irresistibly funny. Funny to talk about and joke about, that is. But horribly embarrassing if you let one go at the wrong time. In class, say, when everyone will hear it and everyone will laugh. At you. Justine Avery's latest entry in her Everybody Potties! series takes aim at any shame associated with tooting and gently and calmly, with the familiar humour attached, explains that tooting is perfectly normal. Everybody does it: Everybody Toots! Full Review



Review of

I Know You by Claire McGowan

4star.jpg Thrillers

Then: Casey returns from a walk with the baby, Carson, and comes across three bodies, almost a whole family taken down.

Now: Rachel is out for a walk with her dog, Brandy, when she comes across a body in the woods. Full Review



Review of

The Rabbit Factor by Antti Tuomainen and David Hackston (translator)

3.5star.jpg Crime

Meet Henri. With a mind so much more focused on maths and calculations than it is other human beings, he's perfect for his job in the insurance company – until they decide he's not a team-member, that they'd prefer everyone to be all open-plan, holistic and keen on stupid-as workshopping. This is when he finds his brother has died, having a heart attack while busy changing his Volvo's radio channel, and has left Henri everything. Unfortunately (or otherwise) that 'everything' is just an adventure park, and nothing else. YouMeFun is so not what Henri wants to occupy his mind, but he perks up a little when he sees huge holes in the finances – it runs at a steady money-moving pace, despite some desultory staff ideas, but loans have been made out and the amount vanished. Fortunately (or otherwise) some people are quickly on the scene to explain that missing money – it's been turned into a gambling debt that has also now been inherited by Henri, and the activities of these guys are not conducive to getting a cheap life insurance plan... Full Review



Review of

Her Perfect Family by Teresa Driscoll

5star.jpg Thrillers

The novel begins by introducing you to Gemma, who at first instance appears to be your average student, faced with the familiar horrifying realisation, at the eleventh hour, that her graduation outfit is all wrong. Suddenly, Gemma receives an eerie message stating He is not who he says he is…, paving the way for the sinister tone that remains throughout the novel. In a twist of events, and after a change of outfit, Gemma is shot in the midst of her graduation ceremony. With Gemma then in a coma, what follows is a complex whodunit with a list of suspects that continues to grow the further you read. Full Review

You can work your way through the newest review, category by category, starting here.