spaghetti with the yeti

Egmont have published Spaghetti with the Yeti in September and they sent us a copy to review. It is the first in a new picture book series from Adam and Charlotte Guillan and is a rhyming tale around a little boy called George who sets off to find the yeti with a tin of spaghetti.

Of course George doesn’t know what a yeti looks like and every time he meets someone that could be who he is looking for he discovers he’s wrong again.

Lee Wildish has illustrated the book and the pictures are packed with lots of things to look at. In fact the girls will get the book out just to look at the pictures.

I read the book first time to the girls and they loved it. They thought the story was funny and now I am encouraging them to read it themselves as the words are simple and easy to follow, perfect for Year One read-aloud time.

 A great book for pre-schoolers, Reception year and Year 1 children who are practising their reading as it’s a fun book with a simple read aloud style

The buddah in the atticI loved it.

I have just spent 3 weeks lazing around on holiday and one of my favourite holiday pastimes is reading as I rarely get time to read and get engrossed in a book properly. As a member of the BritMums Book Club, I asked to be sent a copy of the Penguin paperbook with the intriguing title The Buddah in the Attic by Julie Otsuka.

It was brilliant. It was the kind of book you pick up and don’t put down until the last page. The kind of book you find yourself thinking about even when you’re not reading it and it also has an enormous historical and humble message that unless you read it you won’t ever know about it.

So what’s it about? 

It’s based on true stories, between the two world wars a group of young, non English speaking Japanese women (I think the youngest was 12) travelled by boat to America. They were picture brides who had been corresponding with their so called husbands and they were excited at the prospect of what their new life would hold. They’d been sent photos of gardens, beautiful houses and were made promises of wonderful lives for ever.

Reality, they find, is completely different as they step off the boat and meet a man who looks nothing like the handsome photo and realise he doesn’t have a house net alone a garden.

The story is told in a collective fashion each telling their own memoir but wrapped up into one thread which is simple, captivating and heartbreaking to follow.

They tell of the work they had to do, the children they gave birth too, the racism they came across and their experience of the United States during that time.

A book that will leave it’s mark on your soul.

I can’t wait to pass this book on to the next reader but at the same time it’s a book I’d like to keep on my bookshelf because of the beautiful way it is told and because it touched me so deeply.

Read it, you’ll love it and yes that’s me reading by the pool *sigh*

poolside camping la briquerie

snuffles and the cloud peopleThe online community is a funny old place, I’ve been online now for a good 10 years and have used various forums for all manner of topics from Trying to conceive to camping advice to making the perfect buttercream for cakes.

Sometimes you meet and chat with people that stay in your life for a long time after even if it is reduced to snatched conversations on Facebook thanks to busy lifestyles.

I met Sula van Lelyveld online and we were part of a vibrant group of women spanning continents and enjoying all sorts of conversations as we supported each other in real life.

I always remember Sula being a bookworm with lists of books she was working her way through, it was always a joy to chat with her in South Africa as I stared out of my dull window a million miles away.

Sula has spent a great deal of time writing a book, a book for children and she was surprised at how many edits can go into 1000 words but after years of work her book is finally completed.

snuffles and the cloud people1

Her mum, Annice Whitehead is a talented artist and has completed an in-depth study of Ikebana floral art which is utterly breathtaking. Annice has drawn some beautiful images to accompany Sula’s words and I’m sure you will agree that they are stunning.

snuffles and the cloud people

The story focuses on a dragonfly who goes by the name of Jewel, Jewel notices his friend Snuffles the warthog looking very upset and Jewel discovers that Snuffles is unhappy as there are no muddy puddles to play in. Jewel thinks immediately of the Cloud People and sets off to ask them for their help.

The Cloud People include some delightful characters that represent various forms of cloud, some are unable to help as their clouds are too high or too icy but Jewel doesn’t give up and manages to find a way to make it rain for Snuffles with the help of the Cloud People.

snuffles and the cloud people

An excellent child’s story that also is enormously useful in helping the children understand the different cloud formations and the story of rain, something they will come across in the school curriculum at some point.

I love to read a good story to the children and I am really pleased that there is so much hidden learning in this tale too, my girls are learning something new without even realising it and that has to be the best way.

snuffles and the cloud people1

Our verdict: We loved it and would thoroughly recommend it. It’s currently available to download onto Kindle on Amazon for only $3.02 and it will make you smile.

Read Sula’s blog too, full of books, gardening, travel and parenting all the way from South Africa.



As of 1st July Google reader is no more, the end of an era. In all honesty I never personally got to grips with it but many readers used it and many of you may have read Mari’s World from your reader.


So what to do now? Look for Google reader alternatives. I have discovered BlogLovin which I LOVE, all you have to do is click the follow button and add all your other favourite blogs and presto, you have all your reading material in one place. It is so easy to use and really cuts down on my time as I have grouped my blogs into different categories and can visit and comment directly from BlogLovin.

What’s new in Mari’s World? Well the tab at the top has grouped posts where to make life easy you can find all the recipes in one place, all the travel posts and all the toy reviews too.

Mari's World header

Google reader alternatives


Facebook – Great British Housewife – please pop by and like if you haven’t yet



You Tube



or you can subscribe to have the posts arrive in your inbox in the box on the sidebar.

Mari’s World has been going 3 and half years now and has come a long way from the tentative start, your comments are always appreciated and every like, follow or share means the world to me so I thank all of you for being so supportive whilst I learn more and more every day

Thank you, I hope you’ll stick around.

the girl with a brave heartI absolutely love it when Barefoot Books send us one of their books to review because I know I’m going to be reading a beautiful story with gorgeous illustrations in it and The Girl with a Brave Heart is no exception.

This story is a tale from Tehran by Rita Jahanforuz who is also a well known and highly respected singer in Israel. she tells the story of Shiraz who doesn’t think of herself as brave at all but one day she drops her ball of wool from the balcony and has to muster all her courage to go and retrieve it. Her ball of wool lands in a neighbour’s garden and the old lady turns out to be a very unusual person indeed.

My girls were gripped to the story line and as I put it away and kissed them goodnight they asked if we could read the same story the following evening too which shows just how much they enjoyed it.

This book also carries a message to young readers, one of being a nice person, a kind person and these qualities will one day be repaid whereas if you choose to be a spiteful and selfish character this may also come back on you.

The hardback version of The Girl with a Brave Heart retails at £10.99 or you can choose the paperback for £5.99

Barefoot Books is the brainchild of Nancy Traversy and Tessa Strickland who started in 1992, they were young mothers with four children between them. They wanted to create meaningful, creative careers where they could make a difference in the world, while also keeping their children at the centre of their lives. For over twenty years, they have created bright, colourful books for children that combine beautiful artwork with captivating storytelling. “Our books capture the imagination, spark curiosity, inspire creativity and instill a respect for cultural, social and ecological diversity.”

Disclosure: Barefoot Books sent me a copy of The girl with a brave heart. they didn’t ask me to review it, I did because we loved it so much