GOSHAWK SUMMER BY JAMES ALDRED
A New Forest Season Unlike Any Other
Hardback published by Elliott and Thompson 29th July 2021
The woods holds its breath, the only sound the begging of chicks and the gentle breeze sieving through the trees. The forest hasn’t been this quiet for a thousand years. In early 2020, wildlife cameraman James Aldred was commissioned to film the lives of a family of Goshawk in the New Forest, hs childhood home. He began to plan a treetop hide in a remote site that would allow hi to film the Gos net, the newly hatched chicks and the lives of these elusive and enchanting birds.
Then lockdown. And as the world retreated, something remarkable happened. The noise of our everyday stilled. No more cars, no more off-roaders, no more airplanes roaring in the skies, no one in the Goshawk woods – except James.
At this unique moment, James was granted a once in a lifetime opportunity to keep filming. And so, over Spring and into Summer, he began to record his experiences in a place empty of people but filled with birdsong and new life.
Amidst the fragility and the fear, there was silver moonlight, tumbling fox cubs, calling curlew and, of course, the soaring Goshawks – shining like fire through one of our darkest times. A Goshawk summer unlike any other.
Goshawk Summer A New Forest Season Unlike Any Other is a new book by James Aldred, who is the author of The Man Who Climbed Trees.
Goshawk Summer is filled with a lovely diary of events from the wildlife cameraman James Aldred. He takes readers through lockdown in spring 2020 at the New Forest in England, with his camera capturing a wild goshawk landing on a nest. While James is in the New Forest during Covid there isn’t a soul there apart from James.
His passion for filming all types of animals takes him to East Africa to a cheetah family, baby cubs and lions.
As we all know it was really difficult keeping children occupied during lockdown.
During lockdown, James takes his three boys out into the empty landscape bringing with them their bows and arrows with them.
There are many lovely dates set in his amazing diary inside this book that James tells readers all what he see, and all the exploring, watching and filming that he did.
James Aldred, is a well known cameraman who has worked with the famous David Attenborough.
ABOUT JAMES ALDRED
James is an Emmy winning documentary cameraman specialising in wildlife and filming at height. Passionate about filming in the rainforest canopy, he has spent the last 20 years working regularly with the BBC and National Geographic to explore and help document the wonders of this tree.
You can find James on Twitter
To buy link
MARIA’S ISLAND BY VICTORIA HISLOP
ILLUSTRATED BY GILL SMITH
Hardback published by Walker Books 3rd June 2021
A powerful and enchanting tale of love, separation and stigma.
My name is Maria Petrakis. This is the story of my life.
Inspired by the bestselling novel. The Island, and retold as a story for children. Maria’s moving tale of how her fate was bound to the Cretan island of Spinalonga is full of friendship and family, courage and hope. Above all, it is the perfect story for our time.
Maria’s Island by Victoria Hislop is the most highest level of interest for children of 8 years plus. This marvellous book has fabulous creations of illustrations that children with love to study and take in all the details of all the characters.
Although this book is aimed at 8 and overs I absolutely adored it. I have to say that Maria’s Island is my top favourite book by author Victoria Hislop.
With our own emotional times with coronavirus and death, and with now so many having to isolate, this book the story of Maria’s Island is quite an emotional book with Leprosy. Our own doctors and nurses caught coronavirus and died , it’s the same in this story, where not only people were catching it but nurses too caught Leprosy.
If I could have given Maria’s Island by Victoria Hislop more tan 5 stars I would have been very happy to have done so, as I found this book went to the extra mile of being very educational, being part fictional, part true, with history and geography blended throughout this amazing easy read children’s book. I absolutely loved reading and taking in every word. Further more I believe that this book it very suitable for adults like me to have the pleasure in reading.
I would urge all parents and schools to read and discuss about the terrible events that took place in Maria’s Island.
About the story.
Rita lives in London but she half Greek. Every summer she goes with her parents on a long journey by plane and a boat to the island of Crete to visit her yiaya that is Greek for grandma. Crete became part of Greece in 1913.
Rita and her parents stay in Agios Nikolaos in her grandma’s apartment overlooking the the beautiful sea. Her grandma teaches Rita a Cretan dance.
Rita’s mother asks Rita’s grandma if she would come to live in England with them, but it’s far too cold for her in England and she has far too much to look after Crete. Rita doesn’t understand what her grandma has to look after.
Rita wants her grandma to take her on a bus to the village. While they are at the village her grandma points out where she used to live as child with her parents.
It is while they are alone together Rita’s grandma Maria, openly talks about living in Plaka with her parents and family. Maria tells her granddaughter Rita how lots of people including her family were effected by a disease Leprosy. And anyone that became effected by Leprosy was immediately taken away by a boat and sent to an island known as Spinalonga.
Maria’s friend Dimitris who was like a brother to her, he first caught Leprosy, being sent by boat to isolate on the small island Spinalonga. Then her mother caught it and was taken away to the island too. Unfortunately it was long before Maria was sent to Spinalonga. Way back then it was the law that anyone infected with the disease were all sent to Spinalonga to stop the spread of Leprosy.
I found this extremely educational as I knew nothing about Leprosy until I read Maria’s Island by Victoria Hislop.
I loved every single word written inside Maria’s Island and totally adored all the illustrations by Gill Smith. This is a real must buy, must read.
About Leprosy in the 21st century
Leprosy is one of the world’s oldest diseases. It is caused by bacteria that effects the nerves of the hands, feet and face. If left untreated it can cause pain, disfigurement and result in permanent disability. There is now an effective cure, but millions of people around the world are still disabled by the consequences of Leprosy and are subjected to discrimination and social exclusion, like Eleni, Dimitris and Maria in the story. This prejudice also makes people fearful of coming forward for diagnosis.
My special thanks to
I have to say with my hand on my heart a mega big thank you to walker Books for sending me this wonderful book Maria’s Island to read and review ❤️
About author Victoria Hislop
Victoria Hislop read English at Oxford, and worked in publishing, PR and as a journalist before becoming a novelist. She is married with two children.Her first novel, The Island, held the number one slot in the Sunday Times paperback charts for eight consecutive weeks and has sold over two million copies worldwide. Victoria was the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2007 and won the Richard & Judy Summer Read competition.
Her second novel, The Return, was also a Sunday Times number one bestseller, and her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. A short story collection, One Cretan Evening, was published in September and both a third novel, The Thread is published in English in October and in Greek in November 2011.
She is also an ambassador for Lepra, as the world’s first Leprosy prevention organisation. Lepra is an international charity that has been on the forecourt of prevention, treatment and management of Leprosy since 1924.
CONFESSIONS FROM THE QUILTING CIRCLE BY MAISEY YATES
Paperback published by Mills and Boon 8th July 2021
Stitching their family back together one truth at a time.
The Ashwood sisters have never had anything in common. Except their ability to keep secrets. But when their grandmother dies they must all return to their hometown to clear her estate and face up to the reasons why they all left.
Lark has been running away from her past for years. But now finally she must face up to the secret she’s been hiding and the man she’s never stopped loving?
Hannah spent her whole childhood dreaming of escaping and she plans to leave as soon as she can. Until she comes face to face with the only man who’s ever been able to distract her.
Avery has built the perfect life in her hometown. But can she carry on paying the price of perfection? Or will the support of her sisters help her find a different version of perfect?
The Ashwood family must learn to heal. But first they must learn to trust each other like never before.
I dearly loved reading this story of three very different sisters and the the delightful things that they find in their late grandmother’s house.
I found the Confessions from the Quilting Circle a very unique story.
For anyone who is creative and loves knitting, or sewing or cross stitch, or painting you all will adore reading about Ashwood sisters. Even if you don’t have a sewing or painting hobby I just you will fall in love with story about loss and new beginnings.
What the story is about
When the greatest loved grandmother, Adeline Dowell dies, the Ashwood sisters are very sad, as they all had a lot of fun staying with their grandmother when they were young. Addie had taught all her grandchildren to knit, paint and to quilt, but she didn’t teach their mother as a a child anything.
Now all three sisters had grown up they led very different lives. Avery the oldest was very organised, being very neat and orderly. Hannah the middle sister moved to Boston and was a professional in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. And Lark was the youngest the real flair for art, just like her grandmother.
The miner’s House that their grandmother lived in had a little candy shop at the front, but now their mother and the three sisters have to sort out their grandmother’s belongings. They find boxes of fabric and beads. Lark has the business idea of turning The Miner’s House into a craft Cafe.
I found Confessions from the Quilting Circle a beautiful read. I have read some hot romance novels by Maisey Yates, but never a page-turning contemporary romance story, with so many secrets that I was shocked when I found out, the biggest secret.
My very special thanks to Mills and Boon for sending me the paperback, and a hobby craft quilting butterfly and a gorgeous iron on or sew on butterfly motif.
ABOUT MAISEY YATES
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Maisey Yates lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon. She feels the epic trek she takes several times a day from her office to her coffee maker is a true example of her pioneer spirit.
In 2009, at the age of twenty-three Maisey sold her first book. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of sexy alpha males and happily ever afters, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Maisey divides her writing time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light sexy contemporary romances set practically in her back yard. She believes that she clearly has the best job in the world.
You can find author Maisey Yates on her website
To buy link
ALL OUR HIDDEN GIFTS BY CAROLINE O’DONOGHUE
Paperback published by Walker Books 27th MAY 2021
ISBN : 9781406393095
Amazon to buy link
The Cards hold the truth. Be careful what you ask !
Maeve Chambers doesn’t have any special gifts. That is until she finds a dusty old pack of tarot cards, giving uncannily accurate readings to everyone around her.
But when she reads for her ex-best friend Lily, a strange card appears in the deck and everything goes wrong. Lily doesn’t come to school the next day, or the next, and Maeve knows she’s been taken somewhere the police will never find her. Only the cards and something older, something even more powerful can bring her back.
I love tarot card reading stories as I bought a lot of tarot cards for my daughter, which we are both so in to . I have used a lot of them that appear in the story here on my website along with the book.
This novel maybe for 14+ year olds but I loved it, and I can safely say it’s certainly suitable for the older generation to read.
Maeve Chambers is at St Bernadette catholic girls school, costing two thousand euro a term. Maeve, gets detention after she threw a shoe at a teacher and is led to the Chokey, a long deep cupboard. She is ordered to clean out the cupboard.
While Maeve is in the cupboard listening to a Walkman she stumbles upon some tarot cards. Once she takes them home Maeve learns as much as she can in how to deal with the tarot cards and what each one means.
As soon as word got around the school that Maeve, did tarot card reading all the pupils wanted Maeve to help them predict their future.
Lily O’Callaghan and Maeve once we’re best friends but had grown apart. You should always be careful for what you wish for. As when Maeve does a reading for Lily it goes horribly wrong, Maeve tells Lily ‘I wish you would disappear’.
Everyone in the whole school becomes concerned when Lily doesn’t attend school. And to make it worse Maeve knows one of her tarot cards are missing. I was wandering could there be a connection? And will they find Lily O’Callaghan?
MY THANKS TO
I would like to thank Walker Books for sending me this spellbinding book to read and review.
ABOUT AUTHOR CAROLINE O’DONOGHUE
Caroline O’Donoghue is a journalist and author. She has published two adult novels, Promising Young Women and Scenes of a Graphic Nature, and is currently working on a collection of personal essays exploring her experiences of feminism and witchcraft. She has a regular column in The Irish Examiner, and has written for The Irish Independent, Glamour, Buzzfeed and Vice, among others. Caroline also hosts Sentimental Garbage, a podcast in which she reviews commercial women’s fiction titles with other authors. All Our Hidden Gifts is her first novel for young adults Visit Caroline on
❤️ Easy Classics
WAR AND PEACE LEO TOLSTOY BY GEMMA BARDER
Illustrated by Helen Panayi
Paperback published by Sweet Cherry Publishing 24th June 2021
To buy asa single copy
PIERRE is nothing like his confidant, handsome friend ANDREI. He is awkward and shy and when his father dies and leaves Pierre a vast FORTUNE, suddenly very popular.
As WAR rages on the edge of Moscow and the charming young NATASHA catches the eye of both friends, Pierre must decide what he wants and who he is.
Can Pierre finally find happiness, and will Nastasha decide where her heart truly lies?
I read War and Peace as a stand-alone book and not from the box collection, however after reading and enjoying War and Peace as a standalone single copy, but I would love to have this beautiful box collection.
I love reading this quick easy classic children’s book, War and Peace, as I haven’t never read the full length book. So for me this children’s book was very easy to read and for children there is lovely big Writing. I found the whole story easy to follow too, and what I loved even more there’s a free audiobook code to scan to hear the story and not many books have a free audiobook with it. This book and others in the collection that can be bought separately, they are all a real must read, smart buy!
About the story
Pierre and Andrei are two different men. Pierre Bezukhov is good at making conversations. But his friend Andrei Bolkonsky who is tall and handsome is married to someone who he doesn’t love.
When Pierre’s father, Count Bezukhov, dies, Pierre becomes one of the riches young unmarried men in Moscow. But now he has become rich every one is suddenly inviting him to balls ever night and then there was families that wanted him to marry their daughter and Anatole Kuragin’s sister was one of them who wanted to marry Pierre. It was very clear that Helene seems only interested in marrying him for his money and his status.
War rages against Napoleon and the French army. Moscow feared fir their homes and their loved ones. Russian generals ordered families to leave Moscow as the French are invading. Pierre is captured by the French army.
I would like to thank Sweet Cherry Publishing by surprising me by sending me this wonderful book to review and I do love surprises!
All books can be bought on amazon separately.
Or There is a lovely, beautiful new 10 complete collection to this new easy classic collection for children from ages 7+ and I think you will all agree with me this box collection is a must have.
Each book in this fabulous box has its own free audiobook code! All the books are illustrated by Helen Panayi.
The complete adorable box set
Inside this 10 box set Easy Classic Epic Collection includes
War and peace Leo Tolstoy.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Brothers Karamazov ISBN 9781782267850 is published in October 2021. That I have no picture for.
Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
A Hero Of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
To find out more about sweet Cherry Publishing about these books and more visit
About author Gemma Barder
Gemma Barder lives in Market Harborough, Leicester, with her family and a mischievous cocker spaniel. She started life working in children’s and pre-teen magazines before moving into the world of publishing. She’s now a freelance writer full time and writes activity books, treasuries, novels and storybooks for children, as well as publishing her own magazine. Gemma writes a wide range of children’s books for Sweet Cherry, with more projects in the pipeline.
Blow, Wind, Blow, by Author Dom Conlon and illustrator Anastasia
Paperback published by Graffeg Books 29th June 2021
The buy link
Chase Wind through the ocean, fields and mountains as, from zephyr to gale, she carries seeds and stirs seas, enriching the world and breathing life.
Blow, Wind, Blow! is told the language of poetry all about the weather. It a very educational story for young children that explains in a easy way how wind is useful in some ways, like getting washing dry on a line. It also explains what it’s like to ride a bike on a blustery windy day with the leaves of trees lining the path and roads. There is a lovely page that shows what happens when hurricane forms. Inside this book will show all children how wind effects almost every aspect of our daily lives with moving windmills in Holland to irrigate land and crops, flying kites in Paris, sailing boats in the Pacific, creating sandstorms in Chad and Sudan and hurricanes in Florida before settling back down to the gusts we encounter at home.
I loved how the story is illustrated with incredible artwork by Anastasia Izlesou and completed with fascinating facts about the wind and definitions of some of the more complicated language used in the text.
Most of all I love the insides of all books by Graffeg and how each book that is bought from Graffeg has its own decorated page for children to write their name.
I would like to thank graffeg books for sending me Blow, Wind, Blow paperback to read and review.
About Dom Conlon
Dom Conlon has also published many other books
Leap, Hare, Leap ! published July 2020
Swim, Shark, swim ! published February 2021
Blow, wind, Blow! Published June 2021
Shine, Star, Shine! Publication is October 2021
Dom Conlon is a poet and author, published by Troika, Graffeg, Ladybird, Bloomsbury, The Emma Press, and HIMSELF! He uses poetry to inspire fiction and non-fiction stories about everything from the tiniest of details to the broad brush-strokes of the universe. He’s a frequent guest on BBC Radio and was chosen as one of the key poets to celebrate the national Make A Difference campaign through poetry.
You can find Dom Conlon
About Illustrator Anastasia Izlesou
Anastasia Izlesou is a multidisciplinary illustrator and designer from the UK. Using a mix of digital and traditional media, she creates vibrant work full of bold natural elements. Her inspirations range from natural sciences, literature and folklore to everyday items and objects of kitsch. The White Hare, published by Griffeg, was Anastasia’s first published book, followed by Leap, Hare, Leap ! and Swim, Shark, Swim! in this Wild Wanderers series. Anastasia is based in Bournemouth .