Yes that’s right, My Peacock Books is officially a year old…Or at least it was a year old on the 8th April but I was so caught up in stuff I didn’t realise! Sorry for being late and for generally being less involved with the blogging community recently but I wanted to celebrate getting my blog to a one year mark 😀
The photo challenge for this week is the word smile and I can’t help but smile every time I see one of these guys in the town or city. I know plenty of people see pigeons as pests but I’ll never forget the hoard of pigeons that flocked around me when I visited Trafalgar Square in London as a child. Pigeons are banned from there these days but back then there were stalls set up that sold cups of seeds just so you could feed the delightful and often silly birds.
Hello everyone. I hope you are all well and having a great February. I’m sure plenty of you know or if you didn’t might have spotted that I’ve been less active than usual. I’ve reduced my posting schedule to just three a week (going out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday), been slow to reply to comments and I’ve not been around much on everyone else’s blogs. No it hasn’t been a love of the Winter Olympics that’s kept me away, although I will admit that I am a fan of watching both the summer and winter Olympics. First I’d like to apologise for being away for quite a bit. Things have been a bit uphill in my personal life lately. Apart from planning a move and the stress and complications of that and other things, I’ve had a bit of an accident too which has put me in a bit of a low mood recently.
So the first month of January feels as if it has flown by and I’ve been very busy. Not only have I managed to post a lot of stuff on my blog and get back to pre-scheduling most posts, but I’ve also been busy in the offline world. My time with blogging is going to be hampered a little bit though over the next month as I’ll be away for a bit, but I’ll still keep reading (I just can’t help but love reading!) and do my best to not let it look like I’ve disappeared. To those kind friends who worry, don’t worry, I’m not pushing myself or anything, I have a lot of pre-saved posts all ready to go so you might not even notice I’m gone! lol In the online world I also have some more exciting news to share but I want to save that until a little later when I’m sure everything’s going well. So anyway, on to what’s happened in the last month…Read More »
Today I am bringing you a picture which I think sums up the word silence very well. With what looks like civilisation so far away, there is a great silence near this water. The only thing you hear is a breeze in your ears but it’s a beautiful silence otherwise and the perfect place to take a moment to yourself and breathe 🙂
Christmas is coming,
The goose is getting fat,
I won’t be eating it,
I’m vegan that’s a fact.
That’s right, apart from learning something about me (though I’m more vegetarian than vegan as I can’t quite give up a little milk in my tea) 🙂 , it’s also Christmas soon and with a week to go before the big day, most of us are frantically shopping for Christmas presents. If you’re somebody who’s still struggling to find something for a loved one then fear not for I’m bringing you my list of recommended reads to gift to yourself or a loved one this Christmas! The following are a selection of books, and activity kits I believe would make an excellent gifts this year 😀
For those of you looking for something with a Christmas theme to read you can’t go wrong with these titles (click on the titles to see more about each book and in some cases pictures too):
This is the perfect book to curl up on the sofa with. It’s set at Christmas and is all about the lost puppy who’s looking for his forever home and just happens to appear on the doorstep of a family who seem perfect…He just needs to convince them that he’s meant to be their dog.
It’s a heart warming story and told from the point of view of the puppy it’s the perfect book for any age to read and definitely one to read this Christmas 🙂
This book begins on Christmas day and also ends on Christmas day too and is the perfect magical adventure to immerse yourself into this year. Although written for children this book has an appeal even for adults and teens and is all about Number Thirteen, a groundling (a mix of fox and human boy) who lives at a horrible orphanage but one day is forced to do something brave and this sets him on his destiny and helps him discover who he really is.
This amazing tale has a Christmas setting in part of the story. Again a book written for children however it’s set in 1940s Poland, during the war and is all about Karolina, a doll who is given a heart and comes to life thanks to a kind Dollmaker. Together they find a bond and try to help their Jewish friends whose lives are slowly being destroyed by the Germans. The book has magic and an uplifting end however it is honest about the treatment of the Jews during the Holocaust and will make you cry.
For those of you looking for some great Christmas picture books then I recommend these:
This pop-up book is exquisite as its title suggests. It’s an amazingly detailed and beautiful book to open up at Christmas time and one which will be treasured for years. The basic Christmas story is told however its the beautiful pop-ups that capture your heart. Far from being plain the paper craft is stunning and you have to see it to believe it so please take a look at my review to see some amazing pics!
This is such a beautiful story of two cardinal birds who nest every year in the same fir tree. Red and Lulu love their tree but one day when Red is off looking for food, something happens to their tree and they are separated and Red must go on a journey to find Lulu. It’s the perfect Christmas tale and has such beautiful illustrations everyone will love.
If you’re looking for some great non-Christmas themed reads then you can’t go wrong with these great titles:
I know this is one of my favourites so I’m mentioning it again but if you really want the perfect fantasy escape then you can’t go wrong with this book. Lazlo Strange is a librarian who is obsessed with a mythical place called Weep, a place who’s real name has been stolen. He finds an opportunity to travel there and to discover the truth but there are a lot of mysteries surrounding the place including blue skinned Gods. It’s just an amazing epic fantasy but not so much a fantasy with blood, gore and fighting as one of a more beautiful immersive tale.
This also has a magical feel to it although is far less of the high fantasy and more a magical tale of the mysterious Caraval. When sisters Scarlett and Tella receive an invite to Caraval, a one a year magical performance, a sort of old-fashioned circus, they decide to visit. But Tella soon disappears and Scarlett must find her by winning the game. But nothing is quite what it seems at Caraval…This book has magic and is a wonderful tale with lots of twists you’ll be surprised until the end.
Julius Zebra by Gary Northfield
This (so far) three book series is the perfect set of books to give someone who enjoys a laugh. Aimed at kids and filled with really silly pictures and a silly story, it’s all about Julius Zebra and his adventures in ancient times. This series has become a favourite of mine and it just made me laugh so much I think it’s the perfect gift for anyone who wants something funny this Christmas.
-In Rumble with the Romans we’re introduced to Julius who lives in Africa until the Romans kidnap him. He has to fight as a gladiator to win back his freedom but with lots of slapstick humour and silly animal antics from Julius and his friends you do wonder if he’ll make it.
-In Bundle with the Britons Julius and his friends find them selves in ancient Britannia and must fight against the Britons but things don’t go according to plan.
-In Entangled with the Egyptians Julius and his friends wind up in ancient Egypt where Julius is mistaken for a Horse God! But will he admit to the mistake or enjoy the fame and luxuries it brings?
This stunning and very heavy book is filled with amazing illustrations and wonderful stories. The tales of the Norse myths told in this book are exciting and very engaging and although written for kids many adults have themselves enjoyed this book. I love the artwork in this book and the whole atmosphere the myths produce, it’s definitely one I’d recommend for anybody interested in a bit of mythology.
Classic Tails by Eliza Garrett
If you’re interested in the classics or want to try reading them for the first time why not try a simple illustrated classic instead. These books make great gifts, they contain some very fun illustrations and some funny stories, adapted into animal versions. The Great Catsby, Pugs & Prejudice and Romeow & Juliet are suitable for all ages while The Picture of Dorian Greyhound is a little darker but perfect still for older teens and above.
If you’re looking for non-fiction books I’ve read a few but for me these are definitely worth considering for yourself or a loved one.
This brilliant 3-book set is filled with pop-ups, flaps and lots of little extras to keep you and any Harry Potter fan engaged. Each book covers a different aspect of the Harry Potter universe and features all the details of not only the props, creatures, etc. you can find but how they were created for film. there are lots of interesting facts about the filming of the Harry Potter universe of movies, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them. Click on the title above to see more about each individual book.
This book is a great one to give to teens who are worried about social situations like school or who are feeling a little alienated or lonely. Not only does the book provide some key information on how to better make friends and deal with social situations but it also talks about things you can do and be aware of in yourself like how you can make yourself appear open or closed to other people or how to better get along with others when you meet them. It’s something I would have loved reading as a teen and can help someone with confidence issues.
And if you’re thinking of a more activity based gifts this year then how about these:
This fun kit is designed to help kids create their own play and with everything to get them started including how to come up with ideas it’s the perfect kit to keep them busy this year. It’s a really fun box of things and it’s something I would love getting at Christmas and using right away!
Why not combine a the fun activity of looking for Wally and his friends with all the fun or colouring too? In this small and handy travelling size collection you get pages and pages filled with scenes from the famous books with virtually nothing coloured in. Not only is it a chance to put your own spin and colour on the classic scenes but while colouring in you also see lots of details you may have previously missed. It’s a great book for any age and comes with an added poster to colour in too!
So that’s it for this post and I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my personal recommendations for Christmas this year. I will be doing a best of 2017 post where I speak about my ultimate favourite books of the year but this is my list of top books to gift yourself or a loved one this Christmas.
What books and gifts would you recommend for Christmas? Are there any in my list that pique your interest? Let me know I’d love to hear from you. You can also find me in these places 🙂 :