Book Reviews to start off 2019…

granma reading charlie the cheeky spider to maria and heather

Book Review by Jill Smith©Jan19

Title: Charlie the Cheeky Spider

Author: Brian Dale

Illustrator: Jennifer Scicluna  

Publisher: Possumwood Publishing

brian dale
charlie the cheeky spider back cover

Charlie was born with his many brothers and sisters on a quiet, still night, in the light of a full moon. His mother noticed he was different right away. He kept asking questions and was never still. He grinned a cheeky grin. So that’s why she called him Charlie. He was impish and liked to play tricks on his family. He was growing bigger and he realised it was time to leave home, so he wove threads into a parachute and jumped into the air. He was blown a long way from his country home to the suburbs and he landed on a window sill.

charlie the cheeky spider cover

He was ready for more adventures, so he crawled inside. There he found a family to live with and he happily introduced himself, to Mr and Mrs Pan and Junior Pan. He was a talking spider and loved to hear Mrs Pan scream, and he was especially fond of her chocolate cake mix that was left all over the bench and floor when she’d run in fright. This is just the first of many adventures.

I can imagine Brian or any teacher reading this book to a group of school children and having them enjoy it when Charlie went – Creepy crawly, creepy, crawley, creepy, crawley … boing!

jennifer scicluna charlie cheeky spider illustrator

This is a charming chapter book for young readers about a very cheeky spider. The illustrations by Jennifer Scicluna are carefully matched to the story and I must say Charlie is a cute cheeky spider. I’m giving my signed copy to my granddaughters and I’m sure they’ll love it.

granma reading charlie to the girls
far away and further back patrick burns cover

And now for something completely different – a memoir with a difference.

Book Review by Jill Smith©Jan19

Title: Far Away and Further Back 

Author: Patrick Burns

This is a collection of anecdotal short stories about one man’s working life and journey around many countries.

patrick burns current pic

His life in business as Human Resources rep for a large company would seem innocuous at first, but, as in all aspects of living, the people around him and the journey he takes to become the person he is in each point in time, is the story.

The memoir is not in chronological order but that enhances the jigsaw frame as each story contributes to the whole picture of who Patrick Burns is and how he faces each stage of life. From being a small boy at a birthday party and being charmed by the host, to enduring family visits with his grandparents who are literally from another age. Having unpleasant interviews in China with a zealous Police Inspector, with a definite, will I get out of here feel. Then the recollections of his early expat days when he moved from England to live in America.

His stories are enchanting and I’m sure he relates his adventures with gusto to those he speaks to. This book is just like a conversation, and one I’m glad I had the opportunity to read.

There are more reviews to come! I’m reading more great books so stay tuned.

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About jillsmith

I am an author of SciFi Books 'Dual Visions' and it's follow up 'Vashla's world' now retitled Book 1 and Book 2 of the Ancient Alien Series, as I've written the third in the series currently titled Travellers. I also write book reviews, articles and short stories. As a member of The Ten Penners, I've written six short stories in a collaborative our anthology for children called Fan-tas-tic-al Tales (released 2009), and nine stories including a novella in Mystery, Mayhem & Magic (released 2017). They are both available in hard copy and on Amazon as ebooks. I blog to showcase my work. My book reviews appear in PIO (Pass It On) and e-Writeabout. I'm a happy Grandmother to two beautiful girls, wife of the ever tolerant Clive, mother of our son Simon. I lead a busy life.
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