Sunday, September 18, 2016

ROALD DAHL 100th Celebratory Blog Tour (Feature and Giveaway): MATILDA by Roald Dahl (MG)

Happy Sunday to you all!
I am so very happy to be a part of this 'Celebratory Blog Tour' for Roald Dahl's 100th birthday!
SO many fond childhood memories when it comes to his books... I remember for a short period of time trying to use all of his made-up words in everyday lingo - it didn't work very well and annoyed my 3rd grade teacher, lol! Maybe I'll do better now... 

by Roald Dahl
Original release date: 1988
New paperback release date: February 11th, 2016
Published by Penguin
Genre: Middle Grade to Everyone
Format: Paperback


Matilda is a little girl who is far too good to be true. At age five-and-a-half she's knocking off double-digit multiplication problems and blitz-reading Dickens. Even more remarkable, her classmates love her even though she's a super-nerd and the teacher's pet. But everything is not perfect in Matilda's world. For starters, she has two of the most idiotic, self-centered parents who ever lived. Then there's the large, busty nightmare of a school principal, Mrs. ("The") Trunchbull, a former hammer-throwing champion who flings children at will and is approximately as sympathetic as a bulldozer. Fortunately for Matilda, she has the inner resources to deal with such annoyances: astonishing intelligence, saintly patience, and an innate predilection for revenge. 

She warms up with some practical jokes aimed at her hapless parents, but the true test comes when she rallies in defense of her teacher, the sweet Miss Honey, against the diabolical Trunchbull. There is never any doubt that Matilda will carry the day. Even so, this wonderful story is far from predictable. Roald Dahl, while keeping the plot moving imaginatively, also has an unerring ear for emotional truth. The reader cares about Matilda because in addition to all her other gifts, she has real feelings. 


MATILDA will always hold a special spot in my heart in more ways than one... not only was it the first Roald Dahl book I've ever read, and then became one of my most favorite childhood re-reads; it is also a favorite that my family and I can share with my dad. 

First, let me be honest - my dad is not a reader. Nor has he ever read Matilda, or any other book every (except the Bible). His love for Matilda originated from the movie starring Mara Wilson, Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman... the latter two being some familiar faces to him from television already. He was very intrigued to see these characters in such a film and needed to see the movie again without any interruptions. And since then, anytime the movie was on television, dad did what he could to watch it in its entirety. 

Now, a quick reminder, my dad is not a reader *laughs*... finding out that the movie is based on a book was mind-blowing to him. He comes from a generation where those things are separate - it's either a book or a movie and that's that. He's heard of movies being "based on books" which to him meant they took the idea of the book and did something similar, but it's not the same. And then I started talking about the book... he's was intrigued, shocked and giddy with excitement to finally be able to talk about something we had in common other than family, food and the newscasters poor choice in hairstyles or clothes on the local news channel. We connected in a way that we had never connected before - and discussed things we never imagined we would have ever talk about: character development, how accurate the adaption is/was, Matilda's abilities and how they came to be and where they may have come from, how and why the author wrote the story and why they chose to make it into a movie, etc. 

At first he saw Matilda as just a silly little girl and compared her to the likes of Home Alone - a funny movie with lots of kid pranks and dumb adults. But with further discussion, he began to see her strength and humor, and the struggles she goes through from being different... 

My father will never read Matilda. And I'm okay with that. What matters most now is that he admires my love of books, and how important they are to me. And though he admires it, he still doesn't completely understand my love of books, he is not a collector or hobbyist. But, after our in-depth discussion of Matilda and seeing how a book can make you think, create discussions and build your imaginations, he has a new understanding and respect for those who do love books. He no longer sees our books as "throwing away money on dust collectors" and this makes my heart happy. If only we could get all non-book-lovers to realize how much our world comes from reading... and to stop saying "just watch the movie".

And now, I am really looking forward to seeing dad's next surprise... my son is currently reading Matilda for the first time, and hasn't seen the movie in its entirety yet. He's hoping to watch it with his grandpa so they can talk about it too! 

*A paperback finished copy of MATILDA was sent to me by the publisher for an honest feature. All thoughts here are my own.


(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales is not to be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)


Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children's stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie.

Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach - when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.

Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film.  Roald Dahl’s popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans. 

Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.

The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.

On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that Roald Dahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.


September 5 Peace Loves Books - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Excerpt
September 5 - The Compulsive Reader - Danny, The Champion of the World Review 
September 5 - The Starry Eyed Revue - James and The Giant Peach Review
September 6 - Ex Libris Kate - The Witches Review
September 6 - Cracking The Cover - The Magic Finger Feature - Short Review and History 
September 6 - Lost In Lit - The Witches Feature - Revisiting The Witches as an adult 
September 7 - Cozy Reading Corner - Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator Excerpt 
September 7 - The Plot Bunny - The Magic Finger Review 
September 7 - Lilli's Reflections - The Twits Excerpt 
September 8 - The Irish Banana - Matilda Review 
September 8 - Ticket To Anywhere - Danny, The Champion of the World Excerpt
September 8 - Cuddlebuggery - Quentin Blake's Illustrations of Roald Dahl's Books Feature
September 8 - Beth Fish Reads - Going Solo Review 
September 9 -  Ravenous Reader - The BFG Excerpt 
September 9 - Paper Cuts - The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me Excerpt 
September 9 - The Lovely Books - The Witches Excerpt 
September 9 - A Glass of Wine - James and the Giant Peach Excerpt
September 10 - Novel Novice - George's Marvelous Medicine Excerpt 
September 10 - YA Bibliophile - Fantastic Mr. Fox Review
September 10 - Watercolor Moods - The Magic Finger Feature - Collage
September 11- Jessabella Reads - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Review 
September 11- Who R U Blog - Charlie and the Glass Elevator Feature - Trivia
September 12 - Belle of the Library - The Twits Review 
September 12 - Book Mania Life - George's Marvelous Medicine Review 
September 12 - The Book Swarm - Danny, The Champion of the World Excerpt 
September 12 - Book Belles - James and the Giant Peach Feature - Book to Movie
September 13- Roald's birthday! - Brittany's Book Rambles - Matilda Excerpt 
September 13 - Roald's birthday! - Mundie Kids - The BFG Review
September 13 - Roald's birthday! - Read Now Sleep Later - Boy Excerpt
September 13 - Roald's birthday - Consumed By Books - Matilda Excerpt 
September 13 - Roald's birthday - I Am A Reader - James and the Giant Peach Excerpt 
September 13 - The Novel Life Lessons that Roald Dahl has taught me feature
September 13 - The Book Rat - Esio Trot Excerpt
September 14 - Belle's Bash - The BFG Excerpt
September 14 - WinterHaven Books - Esio Trot Excerpt 
September 14 - A Book and A Latte - The Magic Finger Excerpt
September 14 - Hello Chelly - Matilda Feature - BookBags
September 14 - Loving Dem Books - Youtube Feature
September 15 - Writing My Own Fairy-Tale - George's Marvelous Medicine Review 
September 15 - The Book Bandit -The Giraffe, and the Pelly and Me Review
September 15 - Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile - Esio Trot Review
September 15 - Coffee, Books and Me - Top Ten Reasons You Should Read Roald Dahl's Books
September 16 - Undeniably Book Nerdy - Boy Review 
September 16 - Supernatural Snark - James and the Giant Peach Review 
September 16 - My Friend Amy - Going Solo Excerpt 
September 16 - The Quiet Concert - Danny, the Champion of the World Review 
September 17 - Book Briefs - Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator 
September 17 - Andi's ABCs - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Feature - ABCs
September 17 - Just Another Rabid Reader - The Magic Finger Review 
September 17 - Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia - Roald Dahl Feature - Food Feature
September 18 - Bumbles and Fairy-Tales - Matilda Feature - Reading With Dad
September 18 - Addicted 2 Novels - Esio Trot Review 
September 18 - Pure Imagination - Fantastic Mr. Fox Excerpt 
September 18 - Green Bean Teen Queen What Roald Dahl Means To Me Feature
September 19 - Bookiemoji - The Witches Excerpt 
September 19 - Shooting Stars Blog - Roald Dahl Feature - Etsy Products
September 19 -  Alexa Loves Books - Matilda Feature - Style Files
September 19 - Nightly Reading - Matilda Review

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #151: THE MAGNOLIA STORY by Chip and Joanna Gaines, Mark Dagostino (A)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This is where we get to 'spotlight' the books that we are anxiously waiting to be released!!! The ones that we are dying to get our hands on and read into the wee hours of the night!!!

by Chip and Joanna Gaines, Mark Dagostino
Expected release date: October 18th, 2016
Published by Thomas Nelson (HarperCollins)
Genre: Adult Lit
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook


"Are you ready to see your fixer upper???"

These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTVs Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like Who are these people? What's the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? Be renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America's new best friends. 

The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today. 

They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day. 

In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover: The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby. Joanna's agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children. When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck. Joanna's breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home. Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple. Memories and photos from Chip and Jo's wedding. The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do. The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way. 

And yet there is still on lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny?
"Oh yeah," says Joanna. "He was, and still is, my first fixer upper."

Why I'm waiting on THE MAGNOLIA STORY... 

First... have you seen their show??? 
It's rare to find people that seem genuinely caring, sweet, funny and loving on tv! I really enjoy watching fixer-upper reality shows - I like seeing the before and afters, the creativity, the odd pieces of furniture some use to show the houses once they're ready to sell; but this couple not only accomplishes all of that, they do it in such a fun and loving way - I'm always smiling along with them and feel like they could be my bestest friends.

Next... I'm honestly not a 'reality tv' show kind of person. The drama either seems to fake or it totally stresses me out. This is one of those rare shows where I feel like I can say that I'm a fan and would really like to know more about them as a couple, their business and any other tidbits that they're offering to share with us.

And lastly.... is Chip really as funny in real life as he is on tv???
I think he is, lol! Probably more goofy than they try to portray him to be! 

Well, don't hold back - what are you waiting for this week??? 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review: OXFORD ROALD DAHL DICTIONARY Edited by Susan Rennie

by Roald Dahl 
Contributor and Editor Susan Rennie 
Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Release date: June 2nd, 2016
Published by Oxford University Press 
Genre: Middle Grade - Everyone
Format: Hardcover


This is not an ordinary dictionary. After all, you wouldn't expect an 'Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary' to be ordinary, would you? 
Lots of dictionaries tell you what an 'alligator' is, or how to spell 'balloon' but they won't explain the difference between a 'ringbeller' and a 'trogglehumper', or say why witches need 'gruntles' eggs' or suggest a word for the shape of a 'Knid'.

All the words that Roald Dahl invented are here, like 'biffsquiggled' and 'whizzpopping', to remind you what means what. You'll also find out where words came from, rhyming words, synonyms and lots of alternative words for words that are overused.

Oxford Children's Dictionaries are perfect for supporting literacy and learning and this is the world's first Roald Dahl Dictionary from the word experts at Oxford University Press. With real citations from Roald Dahl's children's books and illustrations by Quentin Blake. The Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary will inspire and encourage young writers and readers. 


Happy 100th birthday, Roald Dahl!!!

And what better way to celebrate this day than with a new book!
But not just any book! A DICTIONARY with all of all the ridiculous, silly words that Dahl ever used in his books!

This book is not to be read from cover to cover since it is meant to be used as a dictionary. It not only has all of Dahl's made-up words, but many additional words that Dahl used in his writing and what he meant them to mean. Many of us forget that most words aren't meant to be taken so literal... However, my children and I did read the majority of it in chronological order, and although it is not a story to follow along, it was very amusing to come across all the amusing words we have grown to use, love and admire. 

Filled with Quentin Blake's illustrations - the perfect touch to make you feel right at home in Dahl's stories and worlds. Where I was able to reminisce all the memories I have reading Dahl's books and my children were able to recall recent readings and add more of Dahl's books to their "soon to be read" lists.  

Our favorite part was that the dictionary comes with instructions in how to use it - implying that "only interesting words are allowed in it" and that the pronunciation of a word can be misleading to what it may actually mean. 

A fun book for everyone! Especially Dahl-followers who want an in-depth knowledge of how and why the author used the words he used... gobblefunking at its best!!! 

*A hardback finished copy of OXFORD ROALD DAHL DICTIONARY was sent to me by the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts here are my own.


Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer and screenwriter of Norwegian descent, who rose to prominence in the 1940's with works for both children and adults, and became one of the world's bestselling authors. 

Dahl's first published work, inspired by a meeting with C.S. Forester, was Shot Down Over Libya. Today the story is published as A Piece of Cake. The story, about his wartime adventures, was bought by the Saturday Evening Post for $900, and propelled him into a career as a writer. Its title was inspired by a highly accurate and sensationalized article about the crash that blinded him, which claimed he had been shot down instead of simply having to land because of low fuel. 

His first children's book was The Gremlins, about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore. The book was commissioned by Walt Disney for a film that was never made, and published in 1943. Dahl went on to create some of the best-loved children's stories of the 20th century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and James and the Giant Peach

He also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending. Many were originally written for American magazines such as Ladies Home Journal, Harper's, Playboy and The New Yorker, then subsequently collected by Dahl into anthologies, gaining world-wide acclaim. Dahl wrote more than 60 short stories and they have appeared in numerous collections, some only being published in book form after his death. His stories also brought him three Edgar Awards: in 1954, for the collection Someone Like You; in 1959, for the story "The Landlady"; and in 1980, for the episode of Tales of the Unexpected based on "Skin".

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday#150: BRIGHT SMOKE, COLD FIRE by Rosamund Hodge (YA)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.

This is where we get to 'spotlight' the books that we are anxiously waiting to be released!!! The ones that we are dying to get our hands on and read into the wee hours of the night!!!

by Rosamund Hodge
Expected release date: September 27th, 2016
Published by Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Re-telling
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook


When the mysterious fog of the Ruining crept over the world, the living died and the dead rose. Only the walled city of Viyara was left untouched.

The heirs of the city's most powerful - and warring - families, Mahyanai Romeo and Juliet Catresou share a love deeper than duty, honor, even life itself. But the magic laid on Juliet at birth compels her to punish the enemies of her clan - and Romeo has just killed her cousin Tybalt. Which means he must die. 

Paris Catresou has always wanted to serve his family by guarding Juliet. But when his ward tries to escape her fate, magic goes terribly wrong - killing her and leaving Paris bound to Romeo. If he wants to discover the truth of what happened, Paris must delve deep into the city, ally with his worst enemy... and perhaps turn against his own clan. 

Mahyanai Runajo just wants to protect her city - but she's the only one who believes it's in peril. In her desperate hunt for information, she accidentally pulls Juliet from the mouth of death - and finds herself bound to the bitter, angry girl. Runajo quickly discovers Juliet might be the one person who can help her recover the secret to saving Viyara. 

Both pairs will find friendship where they least expect it. Both will find that Viyara holds more secrets and dangers than anyone ever expected. And outside the walls, death is waiting. 

Why I'm waiting on BRIGHT SMOKE, COLD FIRE... 

First! It is a Romeo and Juliet retelling!!!
Yes, I'm one of those girls! But, I'm more into the whole tragedy of their story than the "romance" of it...

Next - I'm not sure, but rumor has it that their are necromancers? Reapers? Not zombies, but people are being brought back to the dead somehow... I am not a zombie person! I do NOT like the Walking Dead or anything zombie-like; but for some odd reason, this book intrigues me... 

And, lastly - I'm in love with Rosamund Hodge's writing!
Have you read Cruel Beauty??? A Beauty and the Beast fantasy retelling!
Have you read Crimson Bound??? An amazing rendition of Little Red Riding Hood!!!
You MUST!!!

SOOO, what are you waiting for???

Friday, July 29, 2016

Blog Tour (Guest Post, Review and Giveaway): DOUGLAS, YOU NEED GLASSES! by Ged Adamson (C)

by Ged Adamson
Release date: May 17th, 2016
Published by Schwartz & Wade (RandomHouse)
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Format: Hardcover, eBook 
Format reviewed: Finished hardcover from the publisher.


Meet Douglas, a dog with a big problem: he needs eyeglasses but doesn't know it, and his bad eyesight tends to land him in some pretty hairy situations. 

Readers will laugh along with the new picture book character Douglas as he chases a leaf that he mistakes for a squirrel, walks through wet cement because he can't see the warning sign, and annoys the neighbor's dog by mistakenly eating out of his bowl. And when Douglas's owner Nancy finally takes him to what is clearly an eyeglass store and Douglas asks, "Why are you taking me to a shoe store?" everyone will be giggling.

After an eye exam confirms that Douglas needs glasses, and Nancy helps him find the perfect pair, readers will rejoice with Douglas as he sees all the amazing things he's been missing!

Both kids and parents will laugh out loud - and may even recognize themselves! - while reading this utterly irresistible, hilarious picture book. 


* * *



Probably the most frequent question people ask me is "Is it ok to draw birds with teeth?"
My answer is always the same: "Why would anybody draw a bird without teeth?"
The way you illustrate things says a lot about how your mind works. The things you draw represent your aesthetic leanings and your artistic influences. Every artist or illustrator has stuff they really like that inspires their work in a big way. These influences can last a lifetime or they can simply be a passing phase, it doesn't matter. No man or woman is an island and it's impossible to build a Donald Trump wall that stops other people's stuff getting into your work. And who would want to? 

It's a common thing that when people take up drawing or painting or any creative pursuit, they start off imitating something else. Your influences are everything at this early stage and usually, you will gravitate towards one of them and simply copy. This isn't a bad thing - it's almost a necessity because if you're lucky the process of imitation will teach you how to get to your own style. Other influences will be added and mixed. The more you do, the more those different influences will keep crashing together until they form something new: art that's yours and nobody else's. 

There's a whole load of things that go into my own style of drawing and writing. I was lucky enough to be a kid before the Internet. I say 'lucky' because the downsides of having so much instant choice at your fingertips are: 
1. You tend to look at the same kind of things and never encounter stuff that might spark some new ideas and thoughts. 
2. It's harder to be bored. Boredom as a kid is a great thing. It can make you use your brain and explore new territory. 

In that distant pre Internet age, you were stuck with what was scheduled on TV and what was available in your immediate environment. So some of the most memorable things from my childhood that kept me amused are not kid-related at all. What I wasn't drawing, I was watching telly and quite often it would be a programme that was thrown into the listings to fill a gap. Like an old public information film about what to do when a pipe bursts - or an episode of an ancient animated series about chess strategy. TV oddities like these seemed to occupy strange and forgotten worlds and, as a child who was obsessed by the past, they held a strong fascination. 

But there was one thing that, for me, made a wet Tuesday afternoon absolute heaven and that was watching an old British movie. But it had to be a certain kind of British movie. What I really loved were Ealing comedies - The Man In The White Suite, Kind Hearts and Coronets, The Lady Killers, I loved them all. But occasionally there were Norman Wisdom films too, Morcambe and Wise features and Will Hay pictures from the 30s. Here was humour from a different source and it seeped into mine and my brother's own sense of what makes something funny. 

Another British film favourite were the St Trinians movies. These always started with a title sequence illustrated by Ronald Searle from whose original comic strip the series was adapted. 

Ronald Searle is one of the most influential illustrators/artists of the last hundred years. His draughtsmanship alone was incredible and his output was staggering. Searle's characters - famous of not - are instantly recognisable as his. His humour is dark but never vicious. His love of Victorian architecture and ornamentation is evident everywhere in his work. There are so many illustrators, including myself, who have taken that aspect of Searle's work and mixed it into their own. 

A big American influence of mine who was a contemporary of Ronald Searle's is Charles Schultz. 

It's hard to put across how much I loved Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy when I was a child. They were the best thing in the world. I literally dreamt about them. We amassed a large collection of Peanuts books in our house. We were all fans including my dad. In contrast to the simplicity of the art, there was a sophistication to the humour that kids and adults appreciated pretty much in the same way. That's another aspect of the genius of Schultz - his humour didn't work on two levels (like we're always hearing the Pixar movies do for instance); both children and adults could sympathize with Charlie Brown's insecurities and Linus's curiosity and sense of right and wrong. Through the Peanuts books we had at home, I loved to trace Schultz's development as an artist and the evolution of his style. It intrigued me that the 1950s Charlie Brown and Snoopy looked so different to their 19802 counterparts. 

Every Christmas there would be a new Giles annual in our house. Giles was a hugely popular cartoonist for the Daily Express. Being a Conservative newspaper, it wasn't one we took ourselves but Giles was so loved by us, we bought his annual anyway regardless of who was paying his wages. 

The cartoons centred around a large beleaguered family. They were very Middle England, Southern - whilst we were Northern, working class. But they were so well drawn - in the human sense as well as the artistic sense - it was easy to like them and laugh at their predicaments. But the things I particularly loved about Giles was his mastery of landscape and the portrayal of our uncompromising British weather. Nobody could do a rainy street in so perfect a way as him. His study of the gardens and backs of suburban houses covered in deep snow, overseen by black bare branched trees rivalled anything by Lowry in my opinion. Somewhere in this scene would be the dad working on his boat saying something (usually about the gran) to one of the kids. The gag was rarely memorable but, to me, the art itself was breathtaking. 

I could mention even more strange and wonderful things that have lodged in my brain and given me inspiration over the years but to mention them all would turn this into a small book. So the next time you’ve created something, remember to thank all those little influences that collaborate in your brain to make you who you are.

* * *


OH how I wish I had this book when my oldest, who is now 12, had to get glasses!
You see, we didn't know that my son needed glasses at such a young age - he was having some problems engaging in certain activities, etc. But not even his doctors were aware that it may have been an eyesight problem. It took us a whole year to discover that he needed glasses! And by then, my son had learned to identify things by shapes and colors... he's now been wearing glasses since he was 4 years old, and will have to wear them for the rest of his life! He's not the only one in our family to have to wear glasses, so he's not alone now - but, it would have been so very nice to have a dog named Douglas to help him transition and accept that he wasn't the only one that had to wear glasses at his age... 

The story is so sweet, fun and humorus! Douglas gets into a bit of mischief because of his bad eyesight - something that we can all relate too! His 'hooman' does that best that she can, but soon realizes that her pup needs more help than she can give. Which is something that I can relate too! It's so hard, especially as a parent, to admit that something may be wrong with your child or anyone else that you love dearly. Being able to accept them as who they are is very important - especially if there is a way to help them improve their way of living. 

What I love about this book the most is the watercolor pictures - they give you exactly what and how the dog sees the world. Vibrant and colorful, and yet, a little blurry and shadowy, exactly how one struggling to see correctly would probably views the world - great blobs of colors!

My older boys, 12 and 10, really enjoyed the story - they thought it was cute and funny. And enjoy reading it, over and over again, to their littlest brother who is now 2 1/2. Littlest brother loves the "so funny part" and all the bright "pretty colors". 

Definitely a book for everyone!!! 

*A hardcover copy of the book was sent to me by the publisher for an honest review.
All thoughts are wholeheartedly my very own. 

* * *


(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)

* * *


Ged Adamson is a writer and illustrator. His first two books, Elsie Clarke and the Vampire Hairdresser and Meet the McKaws, are both published by Sky Pony Press. A third, Douglas, You Need Glasses! will be published in May 2016 by Random House. He sees two books published in 2017 - Shark Dog in Summer 2017 and published by HarperCollins and I Want to Grow will be released in Fall 2017 by Boyds Mill Press. 

His cartoons have appeared in magazines such as Punch and Prospect, in books and on film. He's been a storyboard artist and a caricaturist. He also works as a composer for TV and film. 

He lives in London with his partner Helen and their son Rex. 

Links: Website / Instagram / Twitter

* * *


Don't forget to enter the amazing giveaway, and leave a comment!!!
Imagination Designs
Images by LabyrinthofDreams