#BookReview: The Christmas Guest by Daisy Bell #MPBooks

A wonderful heartwarming tale for Christmas featuring a very cute puppy!

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The Christmas Guest book coverTitle: The Christmas Guest

Author: Daisy Bell

Publisher: Quercus

Genre: Contemporary, Christmas,

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Description:  When Teddy runs away from home a week before Christmas, he is confronted by a cold, scary and oh, so big world.
Then he finds the Woods family.  With their kind hearts and cosy cottage, Teddy forms a special bond with Claire and Ben, but it’s in little Emily that he finds the best friend he needs.
But Emily is ill, and raising a puppy is hardly a priority for her stressed parents.  If only he can prove to them how much happier he can make them all, Teddy might just find his forever home this Christmas…

My Review:  I love this book!! It’s like the perfect tale for Christmas, and reminds me of all those heart warming Christmas movies! A puppy finds himself alone in the cold countryside just a week before Christmas. He decided to run away from home, to have a great adventure, but now he feels terrible, cold and lonely, until he meets the Woods family.

This book has such a heart warming story that it’s perfect for any age to read it. Told in the first person with the puppy being the narrator it begins with a quick prologue of the puppy being all alone and beginning to regret its decision to run away. This is then followed by the first chapter, titled ‘Eight Days Until Christmas’, every chapter after that is another day before Christmas. The whole story takes place over the course of just one week but every day is filled with so much happening.

Teddy, as the puppy later becomes known, is a very cute little puppy but is also untrained and doesn’t understand the human world that well. He finds himself on the doorstep of the Woods family home and desperately wants to be a part of their family, but the family have problems of their own and he can’t help but create all sorts of trouble in the way that puppies do. There is something really fun and unique about the story being told from the point of view of the dog and it’s this that really makes the book a fun read. It also puts an interesting perspective on the way humans do things and our interactions with pets and in particular dogs.

As the story progresses you learn about Emily, the Woods’ daughter and how sick she is. Teddy knows he is supposed to be the family dog, but with Emily’s illness the family find it hard enough to take care of their daughter and Teddy has an uphill struggle to convince the family that he is meant to be their dog. I won’t reveal more of the plot but the way the story plays out is just lovely and also very engrossing. Not only does Teddy have to deal with getting the family to accept him but there are also moments with other animals, especially a cat named Martha which led to some funny things happening in the story. There is a lovely backstory to Teddy’s previous life in the first chapter which makes you laugh but also feel for this poor puppy who just wants to be loved and accepted.

I loved reading this story right until it’s lovely end, the fact that so much happens in just one day really drove me on to continue reading and although I wasn’t sure I was going to be that into the book when I started reading it, I soon found I couldn’t put it down, desperately wanting to know what would happen next. The story has some lovely and funny moments, especially when Teddy observes things that humans do or say without understanding them. There are also some tenser, sadder moments which keep you reading until the end to see if things do work out the way you hope.

Although the ending is predictably happy, I really didn’t mind with this book and there are still moments when you don’t know what will happen. The overall story is such an uplifting one though, it’s like the perfect Christmas tale. It not only puts a smile on your face but also makes you tear up at the end too. The book is perfect for any age to read as there’s nothing at all offensive and I think many ages will enjoy this story. Part of me wishes it would be turned into a film just so I could see the cute puppy and the lovely tale unfold!

At the back of the book there’s a Christmas interview with the author, with Christmas related questions, along with recipes not only for human Christmas treats but dog ones too, and how to make a dog toy which is just a wonderful extra to get before Christmas! There is also an added piece of text talking about the history and comeback of the Christmas jumper which I have to say I found interesting as it’s fascinated me how they are popular again after being laughed at when I was young.

I would recommend to anyone who wants the perfect book to read for Christmas. There is nothing bad I can say about this book, it’s a funny, cosy and a heart warming read and perfect for anyone but especially those that love animals. It’s also one of those sort of ‘Christmas miracle’ type stories which make you smile and with a tale told from the point of view of the puppy, it’s just such an amazing and lovely read! Plus the cover is just too cute!!!
-Thanks to Bookbridgr and the publisher for a free copy.


Do you love the cover? 😀

Do you enjoy books with animals in them?  How about books with Christmas?  Would you like to read this book?  Please let me know your thoughts I’d love to hear from you 🙂 

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#BookReview: J K Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Volume Three: Amazing Artifacts #MPBooks

An amazing and fun book looking at the artifacts of the Harry Potter universe!

Movie Magic Volume three book coverTitle: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Volume Three: Amazing Artifacts

Author: Bonnie Burton

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s non-fiction, Activity

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Description: From wands and racing brooms to a case full of beasts, the wizarding world is full of enchanted objects and magical devices. With this interactive book, go behind the scenes of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and all eight Harry Potter films to learn how the myriad artifacts of the films were lovingly designed and crafted.

Detailed profiles of everything from the Golden Snitch to Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes and Newt Scamander’s magical case include blueprints, concept illustrations, unit photography and more. Jam-packed with bonus inserts throughout, including stickers, removable extras, lift-the-flaps and many other fascinating items, this book takes young readers on a thrilling tour of the magical artifacts of the wizarding world.

My Review: This is such a stunning book and perfect for any Harry Potter fans! This hardback book is around A4 in size, though a little wider, and is beautifully embossed on both the front and back covers with some glossy images and shiny gold text and embellishments. Inside the book is filled with glossy and colourful pages filled with some text and lots of images.

Colourful pages with lots of pictures and text

‘Amazing Artifacts’ is the third book in the ‘J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic’ series and focuses on the objects found throughout the Harry Potter films and ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’. Beginning with a quick introduction which tells you the different roles and departments that go into making props for the movies (which is really interesting), the book then focuses on the objects from Fantastic Beasts before moving onto those found in Harry Potter. Each page contains an objects, or type of object along with snippets of text about it. There are wonderful photos of the objects as well as moments in the films when they are used as well as illustrations and sketches. I really enjoyed this book, you learn about how the objects were made or how a special effects were used to make things look a certain way, such as the way they made the Philosopher’s Stone sparkle in the film. Every page is really interesting to read and because the text is in snippet form it makes it fun and easy to read.

A booklet with some illustrations sits inside the page! 🙂

A lot of the pages have additional extras attached to them. There are pieces of paper or card stuck into some pages such as Harry’s Hogwart’s acceptance letter from the first movie, which you can unfold and read (you even get to know who really signed it), and a short booklet version of the beginning of ‘The Tales of Beedle the Bard’, to name just two of the many things you can find in this book! I really love books with these little extras stuck in, it makes it so much more fun and makes this book feel so much more special than one which would only have text and pictures.

There are stickers in this book for you to use wherever you want too, as well as a paper A4ish sized painting of Dumbledore stuck to the inside back cover which you can place on your own wall or not. It’s actually got a frame around it and made to look like an old painting! There’s also tips on how to make your own wand at the back of the book which is a great little extra for keen Potter fans.

Another example of some of the extras found inside this book.

Overall this is a really amazing book and great not only for fans of the films but also for people interested in how movies are made. I’d also say that although this book is aimed at kids, any age would enjoy reading this. A great book and one of an entire series I can recommend!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What are your favourite artifacts from the movies?  Would you enjoy reading this book?  Let me know any thoughts you have and please don’t forget to follow My Peacock Books in these places and a big thank you if you do 🙂

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#BookReview: J K Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Volume Two: Curious Creatures #MPBooks

A fun activity book with an amazing insight into some of the creatures from the Harry Potter universe!

Movie Magic Volume two book coverTitle: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Volume Two: Curious Creatures

Author: Ramin Zahed

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s non-fiction, Activity

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Description: Thunderbirds and Nifflers, house-elves and Hippogriffs – J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World abounds with magical creatures of all kinds. But how does a Bowtruckle come to life on the big screen? Is an Occamy a snake or a bird? And what’s the truth about Mooncalf poo? Featuring detailed creature profiles, stunning artwork and captivating insights from the making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and all eight Harry Potter films, these pages reveal everything fans want to know about how these creatures were created. Jam-packed with bonus material – pop-ups, lift-the-flaps, removable posters and other goodies – this book offers young readers a thrilling backstage pass to the wizarding world.

My Review: This is such a stunning book and perfect for any Harry Potter fan. This hardback is heavy and beautifully embossed with glossy images of al the creatures on the front and some lovely shiny gold embellishments. The book is filled with thick glossy pages with some wonderful photos and sketches as well as some text and fun extras attached to the pages.

‘Curious Creatures’ is the second in the ‘J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic’ series of three books and shows lots of the creatures that were part of the Harry Potter’ and ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ films. Arranged in chapters according to film and what type of creatures they are, each page or double page is filled with some beautiful images and some great information all about that particular creature.

Colourful images among the text and the cute Niffler!

Beginning with creatures from ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ you are introduced to characters such as the Niffler, Murtlap, Mooncalf and Nundu, to name a few, before focusing on those found in the ‘Harry Potter’ films like the Centaurs, Thestrals, various Dragons and the animals like Hedwig and Crookshanks. Each creature or animal is introduced with interesting facts mentioned such as what the creatures do in the films and more importantly how they were animated or used in the films.

There are some stunning images throughout the book. Each creature has a photo or picture of it along with various other photos from the films or illustrations of the creatures including some interesting sketches of some of them which look like early sketches by the designers to show different versions of each creature or the various movements of them. Along with the images is some fun snippets of text all about the creatures, from information about their habitat and various appearances in the films to the most interesting information on how they were put into the films. I had no idea that so many of the CGI animations started as real-life models that had to then be scanned into a computer before they could be animated. It’s interesting to learn which of these creatures were CGI and which were animatronic (robotic versions). I also really enjoyed learning about the real animals used for the various roles such as Hedwig and how long it took to train some of them. All of these pieces of information are very interesting and easy to understand in the snippet style used in each page.

A pop-up image from the book

Each page is colourful and arranged in a way that is fun, but there are also lots of little extras which are stuck into this book. It’s this aspect that I enjoyed the most as I’ve always loved books with added extra bits to look at and touch. A lot of the extras are little pieces of paper or cards attached to the pages by a small corner and include some fun extra information or illustrations. There are also flaps to lift and explore and even some pop-up details, all of which go to make this book extra special. Inside one page featuring some dragons there was a small booklet of various dragon illustrations and one page even has a mini section of a newspaper to look at! Two pages have sheets of stickers which feature a selection of the creatures that are in this book and the inside of the back cover holds a removable poster of some medicinal plants from the movies that weren’t featured in other parts of the book.

This book is amazing and even as someone who’s not a huge Harry Potter fan I am mesmerised by how stunning and interesting this book is. I recommend this to anyone who’s a fan of the films or just interested in them and how the movies were created. This really is a lovely gift for any age and one that will really be enjoyed.

Some more great images from the book with some of the fun extras attached.

-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy (as part of ‘J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: Movie Magic Collection’).


What do you think of this book?  Do you like the creatures in the world of Harry Potter?  If so which is your favourite?  Let me know I’d love to hear from you

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#BookReview: God Answered Me True Story Chapter One by Marsha L Ceniceros #MPBooks

A compelling, interesting and gritty true life story.

God Answered Me True Story Chapter One book coverTitle: God Answered Me: True Story Chapter One

Author: Marsha L Ceniceros

Publisher: Marsha L Ceniceros

Genre: Non-fiction, Autobiography

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Description: Incredible story and insight into the world of child maltreatment. This is a book series of the survival of child maltreatment, bullying and hate. This is a must read true story of actual events.
Marsha L Ceniceros is an American writer, born in Indianapolis, Indiana and raised up in Southern California. A high school drop-out, she attended four high schools, and left home at fifteen. Her favorite saying. “To understand the present state of affairs of a child, teen or an adult, one must see the past of their difficulties.” A fiction and non-fiction writer, with an incredible story and insight into the world of child maltreatment.

My Review:  This is a tough, dark and gritty book to read but I found myself compelled by Marsha’s story. ‘God Answered Me: True Story Chapter One’ is the first part of this autobiography which I hope will go on to recount all of the author’s tale. Although this is the first chapter, given the title, there is an introductory sort of prequel to this called ‘God Answered Me: True Story’.  The introductory book is very short and I didn’t enjoy it as much as this one but it’s good to read to understand key aspects of this book such as who the authors parents are.

The first part of this book talks about the authors parents in more detail before moving on to living in Indiana and all that occurred there. Reading this part of the book was especially compelling given how young the author was at the time. The life she experienced is hard to read at times due to just how dark the things that happened are. I won’t go into any detail but there is a string of abusive behaviour and a deep lack of love in the home from the parents and some of the things, especially those that are done by both parents, just seem unbelievable at times. It’s a very different experience to one I’ve lived but I somehow couldn’t stop reading.

As the tale progresses we learn more about the authors family, some of her siblings and things that happen between them and to them. The third chapter in this book veers away from the main story, set in the 60s, and talks about a specific sibling named Pamela. While her story is also interesting to read I didn’t personally like the way the book veered off course into future events, I would have preferred a more linear tale but that’s just my preference. What happens to this sibling though makes for very tough reading, especially towards the end of this.

The grittiness and dark life led by this person is horrible to read but compelling. The things that happen in this book often feel like something you see in a shocking movie. But what makes this book so interesting to read is that it’s a true story of the life the author and her family lived.  The story isn’t one made up for entertainment, these events really happened. The abuse and particularly some of the violence described makes for very tough reading and there are graphic descriptions of some of the violence which some people may find difficult, but in an odd way it was this that compelled me to read on, to find out if the story has a happier ending. There are lighter moments in the book despite all the sad ones and I especially enjoyed the interesting accounts of some spooky and creepy things happening in the house in Indiana.

The last chapter of the book is far from the last chapter in the authors life and I’m not sure I like the way the book ends as it ends on an abrupt and kind of sad note. It does make you want to read further though so I’m looking forward to ‘Chapter Two’ of this series. The book has abuse and violence in it as well as a couple of uses of the s swear word and brief mentions of drug abuse.  I wouldn’t recommend this for young readers given the dark content, however some mature teens could handle reading this.

Though I found the book hard to read in parts because it jumped about in a way I don’t like the overall tale is just so different from anything I’ve read before that it kept me going throughout and I would read this book again.  It’s not a book that is easy to read, there are parts of the story that are difficult to read and sad, but it is also a very interesting autobiography and I am eager to read more of this author’s story.


Would you enjoy reading a book like this?  Have you read or know of books about abuse, is it hard to read a book like this?  Let me know any thoughts you have and please don’t forget to follow My Peacock Books in these places and a big thank you if you do 🙂

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#BookReview: J K Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Volume One: Extraordinary People and Fascinating Places #MPBooks

A brilliant and very fun book for Harry Potter and film fans!

Movie Magic Volume one book coverTitle: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Volume One: Extraordinary People and Fascinating Places

Author: Jody Revenson

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s non-fiction, Activity

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Description:  Featuring all eight Harry Potter movies and the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, this magical book is the ultimate insider’s guide to the films from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World for young fans.

From the gilded halls of Gringotts and Hogwarts to the New York City of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, each page of this book delivers a fun, interactive experience for young readers as they discover how the extraordinary places and fascinating characters of the wizarding world took shape on-screen. Filled with lift-the-flaps, stickers and other engaging inserts, this engrossing book overflows with captivating facts about the movie magic used to create a world fit for witches and wizards. Including insights from the actors who played Harry Potter, Professor Dumbledore, Newt Scamander and many more, this book is a must-have for young fans of the Wizarding World.

My Review:  This is an amazing book that’s just perfect for Harry Potter fans! This hardback is around A4 in size although wider and is beautifully embossed with shiny gold details and glossy images on both the front and back cover. Inside are thick glossy, and heavy, pages filled with colourful pictures and lots of little things to pull out and look at.

‘Extraordinary People and Fascinating Places’ is the first book in the ‘J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic’ series and is all about the various characters from the films as well as key locations from the movies, explaining how they were made for the film, with lots of interesting details I just didn’t know. There’s a great introduction at the start of the book explaining a few details about how the films were made, including a quick diagram of where everything in Hogwarts is (drawn by J. K. Rowling herself!). After this the book focusses on ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them’ followed by the Harry Potter books.

Some lovely pictures among the text.

Each page or double page spread features one character or a location such as Diagon Alley. There’s a few pieces of text, arranged in small snippets, among the pictures that explain the character or location in the movie and some fun facts about them. Some of the facts for the people include quotes from the actors about their characters or information about how a certain look was achieved. I had no idea about the issues Daniel Radcliffe had with some glasses and contacts and it was really interesting to read this and so many other facts. The places have information such as how sets were built and if they were based on a real location or were filmed somewhere real. I especially enjoyed finding out where all the various classes at Hogwarts were filmed, there’s a surprising amount of different locations! Not every character in the movies is given a whole page but most of the important ones are and the others are mentioned on a pull out page near the end of the book.

Another page in the book featuring a flap to open 🙂

Each page is filled with lots of photographs from the films and off-set as well as some illustrations, including some simple sketches. Many of the pages also feature extra things such as flaps to lift, fun things to turn (the sort of things when you pull a flap in a pop-up book it reveals something) and lots of pieces of paper stuck in with extra things to look at such as posters. I especially enjoyed the newspaper with the removable postcards hidden behind it and there was even a booklet with a storyboard of one of the scenes of Harry Potter, which looks like it’s the real story board as it’s even stamped! These little bits are stuck into the pages by a small flap and just make this book so much more fun and very special. There are stickers too and on the inside of the back cover there are two death eater masks slotted into a pouch which look really creepy and you can just attach some string and wear them.

Some more fun extras, here is a storyboard booklet.

I can’t believe the quality of this book and how fun it is to read. I think anyone interested in Harry Potter or even how the movies were made will really enjoy this book. It’s so lovely it’s like a gift on its own which I recommend but it’s also part of a series of books and I’d also recommend them!
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: J K Rowling’s Wizarding World Movie Magic Collection #MPBooks

An impressive 3 book collection for any Harry Potter fans!

J K Rowling Movie Magic CollectionTitle: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: Movie Magic Collection

Authors: Jody Revenson, Ramin Zahed & Bonnie Burton

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Non-fiction, Activity

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Description: Featuring all eight Harry Potter movies and the upcoming movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, these three magical books are the ultimate insider’s guide to the films from J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World for young fans.

My Review: This is a wonderful set of three amazing books that are perfect for any Harry Potter fan! These three hardback books each come beautifully embossed with some lovely glossy images on the front and back cover and some shiny gold detailing like the title. Inside each book, around A4 in height though wider, is filled with thick glossy colourful pages filled with lots of interesting pictures, facts and little extras!

The J. K. Rowling Wizarding World Movie Magic collection is filled with three volumes at the moment: Extraordinary People and Fascinating Places, Curious Creatures and Amazing Artifacts. Each book explores a different aspect of the Harry Potter universe, and crucially details of how the worlds were created for the movies, and covers not only all eight Harry Potter films but also Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The three book set seen here in order.

Each book starts with a brief introduction about general details of producing the films before going into more detail about individual things. The books have a contents page and they all start with ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ before covering the Harry Potter films. I’ve reviewed each of these books individually (so look out for those reviews coming shortly to this blog) so I won’t go into too much detail now but here’s a brief description of each book:

Volume 1: This book shows details of all the various people in the films such as Harry, Ron, all the Professors at Hogwarts, Newt Scamander, etc. There are brief descriptions of the characters as well as sometimes the actors opinion on playing them or an aspect of something they had to do. There is also a lot of information on the places in the films such as details of creating Diagon Alley or where all the different classes from Hogwarts were really filmed (a wide variety of locations which was interesting to read!)

Volume 2: This book is my favourite and explains how all the creatures in the films were made. It shows the creatures from Newt Scamander’s suitcase as well as all the various Harry Potter creatures. It not only shows lots of images from the movies but lots of sketches of the creatures too and goes to explain how they were created. There are a lot of interesting facts such as which creatures were computer generated and which were not and it’s interesting and quite fascinating to learn about some of the detail the Creature Workshop went to create things such as the Centaurs.

Volume 3: This book talks about all the various objects from the films. There’s a lot on the different wands that were created as well as interesting information on things such as the Philosopher’s Stone, what they used in the film and how they got it to sparkle for example (as on film the gem used really doesn’t!). It’s a great third book to the series and even goes on to explain how you can make your own wand at the end of the book!

Every volume is filled with beautiful images, photographs from the movies as well as illustrations and even concept sketches of various things. I love looking at the pictures alone but each page or double page also has lots of snippets of text which give you pieces of information about how things were made or more details on the characters and things. This snippet style of information makes it easier and far more fun to read than a standard type book.

Each book is also filled with hidden extras such as sheets of paper stuck in by the corner on various pages , or booklets or removable things, there are even pages with pop-ups! These little extras such as a booklet showing sketches of some of the creatures or some removable postcards or removable playing cards is really what makes these books so fun! I’ve always loved books with extra flaps to open and things to see but this set of books really feels special because of it.

An example of these extras from Volume One

Each book also contains some stickers and on the back inside cover of each volume there are things to take out and keep. Two books have posters you can hang up and one book has two removable death eater masks which just look really creepy!

I can’t recommend these books enough for any fan, of any age, of the Harry Potter universe! It’s also an amazing set of books for people who are interested in how the movies were made as there’s a lot of interesting facts about how much it took to do just simple things on set and I can’t believe how much the Graphic Department print for just a few seconds of screen time! This set of three books is really worth it in my opinion, and as long as there are things to talk about the Harry Potter world and films I could see even more books in the future! A really great gift I can really recommend.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


I’ll be reviewing each book in more detail over the next few days so don’t forget to check the posts out, but in the meantime, what do you think of this impressive collection of books?

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#BookHaul: Bookbridgr December 2017 #MPBooks

A quick Christmas book haul 🙂

Just a quick post today, as I’m not at home long enough to post something longer, to show you a lovely Christmas book I’ve received from the kind people at Quercus Books via Bookbridgr.  I’ll be reading this book right away.  I’m trying to finish off all my outstanding books on my tbr pile before Christmas – at least the ones I’ve promised to review for others, but this book just has to go first as I can’t stop cooing over the cute little puppy! 😀   So expect a review for this book very soon, it’s just sooo cute, and what’s more exciting is it’s told from the point of view of the puppy! 🤗🐶😍😍

 

Such a cute puppy!!!

The Christmas Guest by Daisy Bell – When Teddy runs away from home a week before Christmas, he is confronted by a cold, scary and oh, so big world.

Then he finds the Woods family.  With their kind hearts and cosy cottage, Teddy forms a special bond with Claire and Ben, but it’s in little Emily that he finds the best friend he needs.

But Emily is ill, and raising a puppy is hardly a priority for her stressed parents.  If only he can prove to them how much happier he can make them all, Teddy might just find his forever home this Christmas.


 

What do you think of this book?  What books, if any, have you recently received and are excited to read? 🙂 Tell me, I love hearing from you 🙂  Don’t forget you can also find me in these places: 

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