Posted in 5*, Blog Tour, Debut Book, Young Readers 5-9

If you love reading with your little ones, this would make a lovely addition to your bookshelf – The Problem with Poppy by Emma Sandford

My Review

A lovely illustrated children’s story aimed at children 4 years and up. In this story we meet Poppy the Porcupine and Rory the Tiger who both live in the Sumatran rainforest which is one of the last places that tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans still roam together in the wild. I learnt whilst reading this story about both the rainforest and porcupines and their ability to hear being much stronger than their eye sight.

This story has a strong theme of friendship running throughout as initially Poppy is upset as she is lonely and doesn’t have any friends due to her spikey exterior and when she has the opportunity to make a friend she accidentally scares him away. I think it is really important for children to understand feelings and emotions from a young age and this story carefully crafts in fear and courage.

I loved the language used and the combination of words and illustration that will help younger readers to understand the words they aren’t sure on whilst offering a bit more of a challenge to the readers who are slightly older. The words are in a nice clear font with great spacing and I loved the descriptions and colours used throughout. I can’t wait to read the next one in this trilogy and see if we get to meet new animals in the rainforest or revisit Poppy & Rory.

Book Blurb

Poppy the porcupine has always wanted to make a friend, but her defensive nature prevents her. When a young tiger cub stumbles upon her one day in the rainforest, she reacts badly and scares him away.

Determined to change her ways, she sets out to find him, but little does she know that the tiger cub is about to have a problem of his own. In the face of danger, will Poppy find a way to save the day?

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author

Emma Sandford is a Liverpool-born author and businesswoman based in Cheshire. For many years, she has wanted to write a children’s book that draws on her own experiences and helps young children overcome personal issues. One day, inspiration hit her: she realised that a porcupine has a very obvious defence mechanism where it shows its quills, stamps its feet and chatters with its teeth when feeling threatened.

Unfortunately, due to traumatic events in her life, Emma has also been defensive in situations where she didn’t need to be, and was frightened to let people get close to her. The Problem With Poppy is a fun way of teaching kids that while everybody has a natural defence mechanism, there is a time and a place to use it. By the end of the story, Poppy has learnt this valuable lesson and she makes a lifelong friend in the process.

Emma is planning on writing more books in the future that have similar important messages for youngsters. Watch this space!

Social Media Links

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Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to help with the cover reveal and for all the wonderful books you invite us to read.

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Thanks for visiting Love the Smell of a Book today and I hope you have a great day!

Kel x

Posted in Adult Fiction, Blog Tour, Historical Fiction

Kicking off the weekend with my review for Mrs England by Stacey Halls

My Review

Set in the early 1900’s against the damp backdrop of West Yorkshire, we meet Ruby May who after surviving trauma as a child relocates to become a Nurse Maid to the England children. Due to her previous family emigrating it is necessary to find a new family and she is keen to settle into her new role even if it is in a very remote location compared to London.

Quite quickly as you read you become wary of the family and the strange relationship between Mr & Mrs England and the strange looks that pass between the staff. Nurse May works hard to prove herself and keep sending money home to look after her poorly sister and you get to see the true strength and determination behind her character as the story unfolds. Filled with vivid descriptions throughout the book, it makes it easy to visualise the mill and its remote location.

Throughout this story I couldn’t decide if Mr England or Mrs England had the strangest behaviour and as their secrets continued to unravel I found my opinion constantly changing. As the secrets come to light, Ruby is pushed to find her inner courage and we learn more of what happened in Ruby’s early life as she becomes worried about history repeating itself.

Another powerful and enthralling ready by Stacey Halls that leaves you keen to keep reading and discover the truth behind the deception and secrets.

Book Blurb

Mrs England is a gripping feminist mystery where a nanny must travel to Yorkshire to a grand house filled with secrets. For there’s no such thing as the perfect family…

‘Something’s not right here.’
I was aware of Mr Booth’s eyes on me, and he seemed to hold his breath. ‘What do you mean?’
‘In the house. With the family.’

West Yorkshire, 1904. When newly graduated nurse Ruby May takes a position looking after the children of Charles and Lilian England, a wealthy couple from a powerful dynasty of mill owners, she hopes it will be the fresh start she needs. But as she adapts to life at the isolated Hardcastle House, it becomes clear there’s something not quite right about the beautiful, mysterious Mrs England.

Distant and withdrawn, Lilian shows little interest in her children or charming husband, and is far from the ‘angel of the house’ Ruby was expecting. As the warm, vivacious Charles welcomes Ruby into the family, a series of strange events forces her to question everything she thought she knew. Ostracised by the servants and feeling increasingly uneasy, Ruby must face her demons in order to prevent history from repeating itself. After all, there’s no such thing as the perfect family – and she should know.

Simmering with slow-burning menace, Mrs England is a portrait of an Edwardian marriage, weaving an enthralling story of men and women, power and control, courage, truth and the very darkest deception. Set against the atmospheric West Yorkshire landscape, Stacey Halls’ third novel proves her one of the most exciting and compelling new storytellers of our times.

Available to purchase here

Meet the Author

Stacey Halls was born in 1989 and grew up in Rossendale, Lancashire. She studied journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and has written for publications including the Guardian, Stylist,Psychologies, the Independent, the Sun and Fabulous. Her first book, The Familiars, was the bestselling debut hardback novel of 2019, won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the British Book Awards’ Debut Book of the Year.

Many thanks for the invitation to read and review your latest release.

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Have a great day

Kel x