Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall

‘On the highest rock of a tiny island at the edge of the world stands a lighthouse. From dusk to dawn, the lighthouse beams, sending its light out to sea, guiding the ships on their way. As the seasons pass and the waves rise and fall, outside, the wind blows; inside, the lighthouse keeper writes, and the rhythms of his life unfold. But change is on the horizon…’

This book was absolutly beautiful.

I honestly can’t get over how beautiful this book is. The story and the illustrations both by Sophie Blackall, were equally amazing.

Caldecott Medal Winner Sophie Blackall has done a wonderful job with this book. The writing has a real lyrical quality to it and was perfectly complimented by the gorgeous illustrations.

This wonderful story tells a tale of hope, love, wonder and changing times, that will be adored by young readers and their families.

It is books like these that make me wish I had a child to share it with. Luckily for me I have quite a few young readers in my extended circle that will be getting a copy of this wonderful book.

I loved this book more than any other children’s book I have read in recent times. The story itself was heartwarming and educational and the illustrations were just divine.

I will be genuinely surprised if a more stunning book is published this year.

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall is a must have for all young readers and their families.

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February TBR…

It’s that time again… TBR…

I had a good reading month in January, reading 8 books (4 books from my TBR). I am aiming smaller this month hoping to read 4 or 5 books in February. I am also hoping to read at least 1 Shakespeare Play, and 10 fairy-tales from The Brother’s Grimm.

As usual this TBR is bound to change, so this is what my TBR looks like at the moment.

So without further ado here is my February TBR:

The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein

Smoky The Brave by Damien Lewis

Siren’s Wave by J.A. Hazel

Grind by Edward Vukovic

Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth

Stranger Than FanFiction by Chris Colfer

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Everless by Sara Holland

Clean by Juno Dawson

Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

I guess we will see how I did in my February Wrap up. I hope you all have a great reading month, As usual keep your eye out for reviews.

Untill next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

January Wrap Up…

Welcome to my January Wrap Up. I had a good reading month, finishing 8 books (4 books off my TBR). I also received 4 ARC’s this month, and I continued my new goal of reading 1 Shakespeare play, as well as 10 Brother’s Grimm fairy-tales.

I have reviews up or coming up for these books so as usual this is just going to be a brief run down on each book I read.

Without further ado, let’s get into my January Wrap Up…

Harry Potter: Hogwarts A Movie Scrapbook by Jody Revenson: I loved this book. It was filled with awesome photographs and amazing behind the scenes information. Not to mention all of the removable treats that littered the pages of this book. This is a must have for all Harry Potter fans.

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass: This book is a collection of novellas and bonus content that accompanies The Selection series. I really enjoyed this book. As with most collections some stories were better than others but overall I found myself really getting into these stories. I am thinking I may need to re read the entire Selection series now. If you love the Selection series this book is a must read.

The Book Of Daniel by Jeff Apter: This book was amazing. As a fan of Daniel Johns I knew I was going to love this book. I didn’t expect to be so moved by it. With amazing insights, interviews with Daniel and his friends and family, as well as great photographs, this book is a must have for all Daniel Johns fans and all music fans.

Saving You by Charlotte Nash: This book was absolutly beautiful. The story was compelling, the characters were real and flawed, and it had a genuine emotional kick. I didn’t want this story to end. I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this amazing book. If you are looking for a great Australian read, this is the book for you.

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley: This book was absolutely heartbreaking. This amazing memoir takes the reader on an emotional journey through conversion therapy and how this practice affected so many people’s lives. It was hard to read at times and even harder to come to terms with the fact that it is still happening today. This book was a real eye opener.

The Librarian Of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe: Based on the true story of Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus. Translated by Litit Zekulin Thwaites. This book was absolutely mesmerising. It was heartbreaking and compelling. I didn’t want to put it down. It was an emotional journey reading this book but it was so worth it in the end. A must read for everybody.

The House Of Second Chances by Esther Campion: I absolutely adored this book. The writing was beautiful, the story was compelling and the characters were real, flawed and relatable. You don’t have to have read Leaving Ocean Road in order to love this book but if you have there are plenty of Easter eggs for you to enjoy. I am sad that I have finished this book. I want more.

Landscape With Invisible Hand by M.T. Anderson: This was a strange book for me. It was a bit choppy in its flow and there were a lot of stop start moments yet I really enjoy it. I couldn’t get over how beautiful the writing is. The writing has a real lyrical feel and the descriptions, especially those of the art were absolutely breathtaking. I will definitely be reading this book again.

Shakespeare: I read 1 Shakespeare play in January. I read the following Shakespeare Play This Month:

The Two Gentlemen Of Verona

Brother’s Grimm: I am happy to say that I completed my goals of reading 10 Brother Grimm Fairy Tales in January. I read the following Tales this month:

The Tailor In Heaven

The Peasant In Heaven

The Moon

Eve’s Various Children

The Poor Boy In The Grave

Clever Grethel

Our Lady’s Child

Gambling Hansel

Hansel And Gretel

Master Pfriem

Iron John

That’s it for my January Wrap Up. I hope you all had a great reading month. Let me know what you guys read this month in the comments section.

Until my February Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

Bat vs Poss by Alexa Moses

‘Meek the possum and her sisters three are happy living in the sprawling paperbark tree – until the day Squabbles the bat moves in. 

Meek lives with her three sisters, a gaggle of birds, lizards and other creatures next to a tumbledown terrace house. Everyone shares the space, and life is pretty sweet until the day a rude and messy fruit bat named Squabbles moves in – and demands everyone else move OUT. Will Meek be able to get rid of Squabbles, or is there a way for everyone to get along?’

This book was beautiful.

Alexa Moses has done an amazing job with this book. The story is sweet and warm, with lots of learning situations. Her amazing story has been perfectly complimented by Anil Tortop’s vibrant illustrations.

I love reading stories that are about Australian animals. Animals that young Aussies know and have even seen. Anil Tortop has brough these wonderful animals to life with her bright and colourful illustrations.

This book is going to be much-loved by young readers and their families. With the lyrical, rhyming writing, this book is perfect for read aloud story time. The fun and entertaining story, with the amazing, detailed illustrations will make this book one children will want to read over and over again.

It is books like these that make me wish I had children to share them with. Luckily I have many young readers in my life that will be getting a copy of this amazing book.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book. If you have a young reader in your life get them copy of this book. They will thank you for it later.

Bat vs Poss by Alexa Moses is a wonderful story about sharing and making friends that every young reader should have on their bookshelf.

Marge And The Secret Tunnel by Isla Fisher

‘Life with Marge is NEVER boring! Even shopping for new shoes turns out to be an amazing adventure, especially when the lights go out and the children are stuck in the shop! And when Jakey decides he’d like to visit Australia, Marge has the best idea ever. She and the children will dig a tunnel and visit a completely different country…’

This book was great.

I am a huge fan of the Marge In Charge books, and Marge And The Secret Tunnel didn’t disappoint.

I love the fact that there are three fantastic stories in this book. I means I can read from start to finish or pick a story and just read the one. Having multiple stories makes this the perfect book for bed time reading. You can read one amazing story each night.

Eglantine Ceulemans’ awesome illustrations perfectly compliment Isla Fisher’s story and add an extra layer to this amazing book. The illustrations really help to bring the characters and the wacky scenes to life.

One of the great things about Isla Fisher’s Marge In Charge books is that they can stand alone. You don’t have to have read the first one in order to have read Marge And The Secret Tunnel.

If you have a young reader in your life, this book would be the perfect addition to their bookshelf. With humor, love and adventure radiating off every page, I can see this book being a favourite of many young readers.

Marge And The Secret Tunnel by Isla Fisher is the perfect book for young readers and their families.

Favourite Picture Books

Welcome to another Wacky Wednesday. Today’s topic is Picture Books. The following list contains some of the most beautiful picture books that I have just fallen in love with. I hope you guys enjoy this list, and maybe find some recommendations from it.

Anzac Day Parade by Glenda Kane, Lisa Allen: This beautiful book takes place on Anzac Day when a former soldier meets a young boy who wants to hear stories about the war. The story is told in rhyme and the illustrations are absolutely beautiful. This book is a must have for all Australians, regardless of their age.

Butterfly! We’re Expecting You by Libby Hathorn: I can’t even describe how wonderful this book is. An amazingly beautiful children’s book that takes a journey through a backyard discovering birds, bees and of course a butterfly. Reading this book made me wish I had children to share it will. If you have a child in your life, you absolutely have to get them this book.

A You’re Adorable by Buddy Kaye, Fred Wise, Sidney Leppman: OMG OMG OMG. I grew up hearing this song, so I was over the moon when my mum found this book. The book is perfect, the illustrations are fantastic and it comes with a CD performed by the amazing Justine Clarke. OMG OMG OMG.

Do Not Open This Book by Andy Lee: This book was amazing. The story was fun and entertaining, It kept you turning the page all the way to the very end. The amazing illustrations by Heath McKenzie were bright and engaging and perfectly complimented the story being told. If you have a little one in your life, they will love this book.

After The Fall by Dan Santat: Who can say no to a book with Humpty Dumpty on the cover. I was intrigued by this cover so I purchased the book. I am so glad I did. This book is a sequel to the much-loved Humpty Dumpty tale. I love the message off this book and the illustrations were absolutely beautiful. This book is a must have for young and old.

Santa Is Coming To Sydney by Steve Smallman: I love this book. There aren’t very many Christmas books set in Australia, and the ones that are usually take place in the Outback. I loved getting to see areas I know and love depicted in this book. I know these books have been released with many cities as the focus, so if you are look for an amazing story with awesome illustration, find a book from the Santa Is Coming collection that appeals to you.

Knock Knock Dinosaur by Caryl Hart: This book was awesome. The bright sparkly, bold coloured writing captured my attention straight away. Thankfully the story being told was as bright and joyful as its illustrations. This book is a must have for all young readers and their families.

The First Hippo On The Moon by David Walliams: David Walliams can do no wrong in my opinion. I absolutely loved this book. The story was sweet yet thoroughly entertains and once again Tony Ross has knocked it out of the park with his amazing illustrations. This is the perfect book for people with little ones in their lives. If you havent yet picked this book up, do it now.

Bouncing Bouncing Little Joeys by Lesley Gibbes: This Aussie Christmas story is absolutely perfect. An amazing Aussie story with fantastic illustrations. I adored this book and I would recommend it to all parents regard less of the time of year.

I Need A Hug by Susie Linn: This beautiful children’s book follows Boo the bush baby as he travels around the Zoo looking for a hug before he goes to bed. This book is so sweet it will make your teeth ache. A must have for all parents.

Well that’s it from me. Let me no if you have read any of these books or if there are any amazing picture books that you think I should take a look at.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

January TBR…

It’s that time again… TBR…

I had a great reading month in December, reading 12 books (4 books from my TBR). As I am on holidays for most of the month I am aiming for at least 10 books in January. I am also hoping to read at least 1 Shakespeare Play, and 10 fairy-tales from The Brother’s Grimm.

As usual this TBR is bound to change, so this is what my TBR looks like at the moment.

So without further ado here is my January TBR:

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass

My Family And Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

The Book Of Daniel by Jeff Apter

The Librarian Of Auschwitz by Antoni Iturbe

Harry Potter Hogwarts Movie Scrapbook by Jody Revenson

A Keeper by Graham Norton

All The Hidden Truths by Claire Askew

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Between Shades Of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I guess we will see how I did in my January Wrap up. I hope you all have a great reading month, As usual keep your eye out for reviews.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

December Wrap Up…

Welcome to my December Wrap Up. I had a great reading month, finishing 12 books (4 books off my TBR). I also received 4 ARC’s this month, and I continued my new goal of reading 1 Shakespeare play and 10 Shakespeare Sonnets, as well as 5 Brother’s Grimm fairy-tales, and 3 ‘books’ from Les Miserable by Victor Hugo.

I have reviews up or coming up for these books so as usual this is just going to be a brief run down on each book I read.

Without further ado, let’s get into my December Wrap Up…

Bat vs Poss by Alexa Moses: This book was beautiful. I loved getting to see all the Australian animals in this story. I also loved the message or sharing and community that this story teaches. The illustrations in this book perfectly compliment the story. This book is perfect for all young readers and their families.

Dear Santa by Samuel Johnson: This book was awesome. I laughed, I cried and I laughed some more. I loved the whole idea of this book and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. Let me tell you it didn’t disappoint. These wonderful letters were perfectly written and made for a truly wonderful reading experience. This book is a must have for every Australian.

The Tales Of Beedle The Bard: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling: This book was everything I had hoped it would be. These amazing stories were perfectly complimented by Chris Riddell’s illustrations. I didn’t think this book could get any better but the addition of the illustrations really added an extra layer to an already awesome book.

A Map Of Days by Ransom Riggs: I loved this series, so I was equal parts excited and nervous about reading this book. Turns out I didn’t need to be, it was fabulous. I loved getting to catch up with the peculiar’s and seeing them journey through America was awesome. Setting this book in America made for a fresh new adventure for the reader. I am so glad I read this book. If you havent read this book. Do it now.

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle: I have mixed feeling about this book. I didn’t enjoy it, just not as much as I thought I would. I didn’t love the characters and it was very fast paced so I found it difficult to connect with the story. The writing was beautiful, so I really enjoyed that. Like I said mixed feelings. I am planning on reading it to see if my opinion changes.

The Tattooist Of Auschwitz by Heather Morris: This book was utterly amazing. It was an emotional roller coaster of a read but so worth the journey. This is easily one of the best books I have every read and I truly believe everyone should read this book at least once in their lives. A must read for everyone.

The O’Sullivan Twins At St Clare’s by Enid Blyton: This is the second book in the St Clare’s series and I loved it. I actually enjoyed this book more than the first one. I liked the characters more and that made it easier to stay interested in the story. Enid Blyton’s books are a classic for a reason and this book really proves why.

The Naughtiest Girl In The School by Enid Blyton: I loved this book. I have been making my way through Enid Blyton’s classic and as I had never read this book I kept putting it off. Now I wish I hadn’t. It was wonderful. Great characters, funny story and beautiful writing. I cant wait to read more books from this series.

Brer Rabbit Short Stories by Enid Blyton: The last of my Enid Blyton books and unfortunately I didn’t love it. I was into it at the beginning but then it just got boring. The stories were all the same and it just didn’t have to magic of the other Enid Blyton stories I have read this year.

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall: This book was absolutely beautiful. Sophie Blackall did a fantastic job with this book. The story was wonderful and easy to read and the illustrations were utterly perfect. I don’t have a bad word to say about this book. This book is a must have for all young readers.

Calm The F**k Down by Sarah Knight: I really enjoyed this book. As somebody who suffers from anxiety I could really relate to the situations in this book. I found the who layout of this book and the tips and exercises to be really accurate and I cant wait to put them into practice.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo: I can believe I finally did it. After what feels like forever I have actually finished Les Miserables. Let me tell you it was so worth the many many reading hours. This book is truly a masterpiece. Everything about this book was perfect and I can understand why it is named as a book to read at least once in your life. Utter perfection.

Shakespeare: I read 1 Shakespeare play and 31 Sonnets in December. I actually finished reading Shakespeare’s Sonnets this month. I read the following Shakespeare Works This Month:

The Third Part Of King Henry The Sixth

Sonnets 135-154

Les Miserable: For those who don’t know this novel, it is broken up into character sections with each character section containing ‘books’. Within each of these books are chapters. These ‘books’ come in various sizes, it is just the luck of the draw really. I was lucky enough to finish Les Miserable this month. I have read the following ‘books’:

Jean Valjean

– Book 5: Grandson and Grandfather

– Book 6: The Sleepless Night

– Book 7: The Bitter Cup

– Book 8: The Fading Light

– Book 9: Supreme Shadow, Supreme Dawn

Brother’s Grimm: I am happy to say that I not only completed my goals of reading 5 Brother Grimm Fairy Tales in December, I well and truly surpassed it. I read the following Tales this month:

Snow-White and the Seven Dwarfs

The Shoes That Were Danced To Pieces

The Boots of Buffalo-Leather

The Six Servants

The Lord’s Animals and the Devil’s

How Six Men Got on in the World

The Two Travelers

The Ungrateful Son

The Three Languages

The Poor Man and The Rich Man

The Stolen Farthings

The Shroud

The Valiant Little Tailor

That’s it for my December Wrap Up. I hope you all had a great reading month. Let me know what you guys read this month in the comments section.

Until my January Wrap Up…

Happy Reading…

❤ Gem

The Ice Monster by David Walliams

‘This is the story of a ten-year-old orphan and a 10,000-year-old mammoth…

Read all about it! Read all about it!

ICE MONSTER FOUND IN ARCTIC!

When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster – a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole – she’s determined to discover more…

A chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, and sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the heart of the Arctic!’

This book was amazing.

In my humble opinion, David Walliams can do no wrong. In his biggest Middle Grade novel yet, David Walliams takes the reader on an epic adventure.

David Walliams has an uncanny knack of not only creating amazing stories but absolutly wonderful, diverse characters. The characters in this story are truly a mixed bag. From sweet and kind, to weird and wacky, there is a character in this story for everyone to relate to.

Unlike his previous books, The Ice Monster takes place in 1899. I wasnt sure how I felt about this when I first started this book, but after a few chapters I absolutly loved it. I loved getting to learn new things about a time and place that was unfamiliar to me.

One of the greatest things about the characters in this book is that they prove that heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Adult, Child, Male and Female, these wonderful characters not only entertain the reader but surprise them as well.

The Ice Monster is perfectly Illustrated by Tony Ross. His illustrations perfectly compliment David Walliams’ story and add an extra layer to this already fantastic book.

I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book and I cannot wait to see what David Walliams comes up with next.

The Ice Monster by David Walliams is a joy to behold and a must have for all Middle Grade readers.

Bookmas 2018 Day 12…

On the twelfth day of Bookmas gemsbooknook gave to you…

My Top 12 For 2018:

Now some of these books were included on other lists this Bookmas, but given that this is the Best of 2018 I couldn’t resist repeating some of these amazing books.

So without further ado lets jump in…

Escaping From Houdini by Kerri Maniscalco: I absolutely loved this book. I love the two previous books in this series and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. Thankfully it didn’t disappoint. I loved getting to catch up with Audrey Rose and Thomas and I thought the idea of a floating carnival as the back drop was brilliant. I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book.

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff: This book was mind-blowing. I honestly can’t describe just how amazing this book was. This whole series was an absolute joy. This book was everything I had hoped it would be and more. I laughed, I cried and I spent the entire book on the edge of my seat. I absolutely loved this series and I am genuinely sad that this is the final book.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: This book was fantastic. I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. This book is an absolute must read for everyone. It is brilliantly written, powerful and utterly gut-wrenching. If you havent yet read this book you need to do it now.

Wundersmith: The Calling Of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend: I honestly don’t have the words to describe how much I loved this book. It was absolutely Wunderful. This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it didn’t disappoint. I am totally in love with this series. I want more.

That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger: This book was amazing. I honestly couldn’t put it down and have already lent it to my sister. It was raw, emotional and at times confronting. The topic was perfectly handled and I truly believe this book should be read by everyone.

Sisters And Brothers by Fiona Palmer: I absolutely loved this book. This is the second book I have read by Fiona Palmer and she is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. This book is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, with a fantastic plot and truly wonderful characters. I will be reading this book many times in the future.

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen and Owen King: I honestly don’t have the words to describe how amazing this book is. Masterpiece is the only word I can think of. I am a massive King fan and this book is the reason why. It was perfectly woven, with amazing characters and a really wacky plot line. If you havent read this book yet, do it now.

Differently Normal by Tammy Robinson: I absolutely loved this book. I was engaged with the story and the amazing characters from the start. This book is equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking. I couldn’t put this wonderful book down and I am still sad that it ended. This book should be on the top of everyone’s TBR.

Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer: I absolutely loved this book. I honestly couldn’t put it down. I was captivated from start to finish. I honestly can’t describe how this book made me feel. It was so emotional, real and heartbreaking. This is a book that I believe everyone should read.

Floodline by Kathryn Heyman: This book was absolutely fantastic. I was captivated from the first page and I didn’t want it to end. The story being told was so emotional and utterly human, that it was easy to forget you weren’t actually living it. I honestly don’t have a bad word to say about this book.

Diagon Alley: A Movie Scrapbook by Jody Revenson: I adored this book. It was over flowing with fantastic information and behind the scenes secrets, as well as leaflets, stickers and really awesome fold out posters. This is another must have for all Harry Potter fans. I am totally in love with this book.

Millionaire Mountain Climber by Laura Boon: I loved this book. It had a great plot, awesome characters and a breathtaking setting. It really is everything you want in a romance novel; sweet, sexy and fun. I didn’t just read this book I devoured it. I am so excited to read the next book in the Romancing The Alps series.

Well that’s it from me. Let me know your favourite books of 2018. I hope you enjoyed this years Bookmas posts, I definitely had fun creating them for you. I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas, filled with lots of books.

Until next time…

Happy Reading…

MERRY CHRISTMAS…

❤ Gem