Review: Dinosaur Flap , Dinosaur Snap: Jeanne Willis & Peter Curtis

Dinosaur Flap The Oviraptor                                     Dinosaur Snap The Spinosaurus

Jeanne Willis & Peter Curtis                                      Jeanne Willis & Peter Curtis

Macmillan Children’s Books                                  Macmillan Children’s Books 

ISBN:  9781509850341                                           ISBN: 9781509843466

RRP $14.99                                                             RRP $14.99

Descriptions:
Meet Dinosaur Flap
: a nervous Oviraptor, in this brilliant rhyming story, part of the collectable The World of Dinosaur Roar! series, in association with the Natural History Museum.

Poor Dinosaur Flap just can’t settle down for a nap – she’s always worrying about protecting her eggs. But with a little help from a friend, will she ever be able to relax? With a fantastic rhyming text written by series creator, Peter Curtis, and award-winning author, Jeanne Willis, Dinosaur Flap! The Oviraptor is perfect for preschool children.

Inspired by the classic picture book, Dinosaur Roar! by Paul Stickland and Henrietta Stickland, this colourful series introduces a cast of authentic dinosaur characters to very young children and is approved by Dr Paul Barrett of the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London. Each book also contains a pronunciation guide as well as a spread of simple dinosaur facts, making this the perfect gift for young dinosaur fans!

Discover more Jurassic tales with: Dinosaur Boo! The Deinonychus, Dinosaur Roar! The Tyrannosaurus rex, Dinosaur Stomp! The Triceratops, Dinosaur Munch! The Diplodocus, Dinosaur Snap! The Spinosaurus . . . and more!

Meet Dinosaur Snap, a mean Spinosaurus, in this brilliant rhyming story, part of the collectable The World of Dinosaur Roar! series, in association with the Natural History Museum.

Dinosaur Snap is a big, bad, bossy giant. But, after trying to creep up on Dinosaur Whack, trying to terrify Dinosaur Flap and trying to eat little Dinosaur Squeak, Snap realizes that he can’t use his spiky scariness to bully and bother the other dinosaurs, not when Dinosaur Roar is king. With a fantastic rhyming text written by series creator, Peter Curtis, and award-winning author, Jeanne Willis, Dinosaur Snap! The Spinosaurus is perfect for preschool children.

Inspired by the classic picture book, Dinosaur Roar! by Paul Stickland and Henrietta Stickland, this colourful series introduces a cast of authentic dinosaur characters to very young children and is approved by Dr Paul Barrett of the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London. Each book also contains a pronunciation guide as well as a spread of simple dinosaur facts, making this the perfect gift for young dinosaur fans!

Discover Jurassic tales with: Dinosaur Boo! The Deinonychus, Dinosaur Roar! The Tyrannosaurus rex, Dinosaur Stomp! The Triceratops, Dinosaur Munch! The Diplodocus, Dinosaur Flap! The Oviraptor . . . and more!

My View:

Perfect first reading/re-telling books for the pre-schooler, you know it’s been well received when your child says – “Can you read this again?” and then points out that the back cover shows you more books you can collect in the series and then names all the dinosaurs in that series. 😊

A hard-wearing cardboard book, very reasonably priced, makes a good birthday party gift – who doesn’t love dinosaurs at this age? 4-6 years).

Enjoy reading this fun rhythming book with the child in your care, start collecting this series today, we are.  I am off to source the rest of these books.  

https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781529051827/dinosaur-stomp-the-triceratops/

Review: The Chase – Candice Fox

The Chase

Candice Fox

Bantam

Penguin Books Australia

ISBN: 9781760896799

RRP $32.99

Description:

When more than 600 of the world’s most violent human beings pour out from Pronghorn Correctional Facility into the Nevada Desert, the biggest manhunt in US history begins.

But for John Kradle, this is his one chance to prove his innocence, five years after the murder of his wife and child.

He just needs to stay one step ahead of the teams of law enforcement officers he knows will be chasing the escapees down.

Death Row Supervisor turned fugitive-hunter Celine Osbourne is single-minded in her mission to catch Kradle. She has very personal reasons for hating him – and she knows exactly where he’s heading …

My View:

Over the past few weeks, I have read 3 books that I am prepared to say are the best reads of 2021. Each are in different categories, each is memorable, remarkable, enjoyable, well written and coincidentally written by an Australian author. Each is an immersive read – you will not want to put these 3 books down; you will not want the stories to end.

This is the second book.

Don’t pick this book up and expect to read a few chapters and then go to bed…uh uh. This book won’t let you rest until you have finished reading. It is fast paced, character driven (oh how I loved the two protagonists), engaging, enticing, enthralling, exciting and I absolutely loved reading this engaging book.

I believe this to be Candice Fox’s best work to date. How is she going to surpass this one? I can’t wait to find out.

PS I do believe the movie rights to this book will be snapped up soon (if not already).   

I do have one bone to pick with Candice though, since I finished reading this, I have not been able to pick up another crime/thriller read and they are my favourite genre.  I have a serious book hangover 😊

Check out what other book reviewers have thought of this read – I think you will find they all agree with me.

Review – The Emporium of the Imagination – Tabitha Bird

The Emporium of Imagination

Tabitha Bird

Penguin Random House Australia

ISBN: 139781760895914

Description:

From the author of A Lifetime of Impossible Days (winner of the Courier-Mail People’s Choice QLD Book of the Year Award) comes this beautiful and uplifting story, that will make you laugh and make you cry.

Welcome to The Emporium of Imagination, a most unusual shop that travels the world offering vintage gifts to repair broken dreams and extraordinary phones to contact lost loved ones.

But, on arrival in the tiny township of Boonah, the store’s long-time custodian, Earlatidge Hubert Umbray, makes a shocking realisation. He is dying . . .

The clock is now ticking to find his replacement, because the people of Boonah are clearly in need of some restorative magic.

Like Enoch Rayne – a heartbroken ten-year-old boy mourning the loss of his father, while nurturing a guilty secret.

Like Ann Harlow, who has come to the town to be close to her dying grandmother. Though it’s Enoch’s father who dominates her thoughts – and regrets . . .

Even Earlatidge in his final days will experience the store as never before – and have the chance to face up to his own tragedy . . .

‘Prepare to immerse yourself in wonder, childish delight and dark, dark trauma in this unique novel from a new and important Australian literary voice.’ Australian Women’s Weekly on A Lifetime of Impossible Days.

My View:

Over the past few weeks, I have read 3 books that I am prepared to say are the best reads of 2021. Each are in different categories, each is memorable, remarkable, enjoyable, well written and coincidentally written by Australian authors. Each is an immersive read – you will not want to put these 3 books down; you will not want the stories to end.

This is the first of those 3.

This is the second book written by Tabitha Bird and sadly I missed the first but this read has convinced me to hunt down and read “A Lifetime of Impossible Days”. THIS book is remarkable; evocative, magical, heart breaking, encouraging, community building…life affirming…glorious! Fabulous! Poignant – you will tear up a little at times. It has so many themes woven into this magical narrative – the biggest takeaway for me is about missed opportunities and righting mistakes, about misdirection’s and false starts and getting back on track, about doing what you are passionate about, loving who you love, caring for the community – you never know what someone else’s life looks like inside the façade they present to the world.   It is never too late to mend, heal, follow your dreams.  

And it is about grief – all consuming, overwhelming, life changing, grief.  Grief in all its forms, grief that is intense, grief that changes how we live, and the intimate, personal grief for oneself, the for the child within that has been pigeonholed, held back, controlled…this book cuts those chains and releases the soul to be what it is destined to be.

A superb read!!!

Guest Review: Invisible Boys- Holden Shepperd

Invisible Boys

Holden Sheppard

Fremantle Press

ISBN: 9781925815566

Rachel’s View:

A gritty, authentic and emotional story of three teenage boys grappling with their identities in a country town. With heart-wrenching honesty, a dash of humour and all-to-real descriptions of rural life that are both beautiful and devastating, Invisible Boys is the kind of book you can get lost in. Holden’s multi-award winning YA novel has been called a “once in a generation” debut, exploring the crushing feeling of being made to feel like an outsider in the place that should be your home. It’s raw, angst-ridden and at times will have you cringing at the situations the characters find themselves in, but ultimately the undeniably relatable sense of aching is tempered with hope. #invisibleboys

Guest Review: Stalking Claremont – Bret Christian

Stalking Claremont
Inside the Hunt for a Serial Killer  
Bret Christian
ABC Books
Harper Collins Publishers Australia

Rachel’s Review:

An incredibly gripping, insightful and compelling look behind the scenes of Australia’s longest-running homicide investigation.

I was absolutely hooked by this fascinating exploration of the horrific crimes and subsequent decades of investigations to catch the murderer that terrorised Claremont.

This meticulous probe into the high-stakes police work, bumbling mistakes, and relentless focus on innocent suspects was riveting. With broad strokes reporter Bret Christian paints a vivid picture of Claremont in the late 1990s, a world that in many ways feels so familiar and yet, in others, so far removed from my own experiences as a young woman in Perth just a decade later – testament to how much we were changed as a town when three women’s lives were cut short. Piecing together what we remember from the last 20 plus years of media coverage with all the things the public never knew, including how the case was eventually cracked, this is a considered, detailed and well-researched ode to three Perth women whose names will never be forgotten – Sarah Spiers, Jane Rimmer and Ciara Glennon.

Tempeh Red Curry : Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1 – Dr Rupy Aujla

Doctors Kitchen 3-2-1

Dr Rupy Aujla

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9780008395414

RRP $34.99

Tempeh Red Curry

PREP 10 MINUTES/COOK 20 MINUTES

2 tbsp coconut oil

200g tempeh (or firm tofu), broken into 2cm pieces

160g red onion (about 1 medium), thinly sliced

1 tbsp red curry paste (or any curry paste)

50g piece of root ginger (about 5cm), grated

160g mangetout or sugar snap peas

160g asparagus spears, roughly chopped

2 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

400g tin coconut milk

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

TO SERVE

juice of 1 lime

20g fresh coriander, chopped

30g unsalted peanuts, chopped

1 Melt half the coconut oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat, add the tempeh and fry for 3–4 minutes until browned all over.

2 Remove and set aside, then add the onions to the same dish with the rest of the oil and sauté for 3–4 minutes.

3 Add the curry paste and ginger and fry, stirring, for 2 minutes until coloured.

4 Add the mangetout, asparagus, peanut butter and coconut milk, season with salt and pepper and simmer for 7–8 minutes.

5 Return the cooked tempeh to the dish for the last 2 minutes of cooking.

6 Serve with the lime juice and garnish with the chopped coriander and peanuts.

Malaysian-style Kari – Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1 – Dr Rupy Aujla

Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1

Dr Rupy Aujla

Imprint: HarperCollins

ISBN: 9780008395414

RRP: $34.99

“There is one lentil dish I find myself craving more than any other, and it’s this one. The umami blend of soy and fish sauces ripples through the sharp ginger and aromatics of cinnamon and star anise. This is a pleasure to cook and addictive to eat.”

Malaysian-style Kari

PREP 10 MINUTES/COOK 45–50 MINUTES

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp brown mustard seeds

1 cinnamon stick

1 star anise

120g shallots (about 2), finely chopped

8–10 curry leaves (optional)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

25g piece of root ginger (about 3cm), grated

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce

160g aubergine (about 1 large), cut into 1.5cm chunks

200g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

200g dried split yellow lentils, rinsed

400ml boiling water

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

10g fresh coriander leaves, to serve

1 Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the mustard seeds, cinnamon, star anise, shallots, curry leaves (if using), garlic and ginger and stir for 2–3 minutes until the oil and spices are fragrant.

2 Add the turmeric, soy sauce, fish sauce, aubergine and tomatoes, season and cook for a further 5 minutes before adding the lentils and stirring for another minute.

3 Add the boiling water and simmer for 35–40 minutes until the lentils are soft. Remove from the heat and either stick-blend or mash the mixture with a potato masher to create a lovely, thick dhal.

4 Serve the dhal scattered with the coriander leaves.

Cook’s tips You can use cooked lentils from a tin – reduce the amount of boiling water by two-thirds and the cooking time (once the lentils are added to the aubergine, etc.) to 10 minutes.

Tempeh is a fermented soybean product packed with protein, dietary fibre and vitamins. It originates from Indonesia and has a dense and chewy texture, as opposed to tofu’s silky, smooth texture. I know tempeh isn’t everyone’s favourite ingredient but trust me, it’s because you haven’t experienced it at its best. The flavours in this dish are phenomenal and the texture of tempeh suits this method of cooking.

Chicken Gumbo: Doctor’s Kitchen 3-2-1 – Dr Rupy Aujla

Doctors Kitchen – 3-2-1

3 fruit and veg, 2 servings, 1 pan

Dr Rupy Aujla

Thorsons

Harper Collins Australia

ISBN: 9780008395414

RRP $34.99

Description:

In his new book, bestselling author and medical doctor Dr Rupy Aujla introduces his simple 3-2-1 formula, making it possible to easily cook healthy meals every day. Following on from his two best selling cook books, he builds on his message that the most important health intervention anyone can make is what you put on your plate.

Containing over 100 recipes that offer a streamlined cooking process whilst ensuring health benefits to optimise wellbeing, 3-2-1 is an easy-to-follow health prescription. This daily dose of fresh ingredients, quality fats, whole grains and plenty of fibre lowers the risk of disease. Guided by scientific evidence, Dr Rupy’s core principles of healthy eating remain the same – keep plant focused, eat lots of fibre, plenty of colourful vegetables and whole foods.

As a busy doctor, Dr Rupy knows that one of the main reasons people choose not to cook at home is lack of time as well as the effort to cook it. Each recipe is cleverly formulated to require only one pan, minimising the cooking process and using as little equipment as possible – the majority only require a knife, chopping board and a cooking dish.

Dr Rupy’s practical and easy-to-use book promises delicious, flavourful dishes that consistently look after our bodies, helping to beat illness by optimising our food choices. This is a prescription to fill yourself, one plate at a time.

The holy trinity of celery, pepper and onion is the hallmark of Southern American cooking and this blend of vegetables with oregano and paprika is the epitome of comfort food. I adore this dish, with its hit of spice and indulgent chicken flavour.” p 202

Chicken Gumbo

PREP 15–20 MINUTES/COOK 25 MINUTES

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

300–350g boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4), diced into 3cm chunks

160g celery (3–4 stalks), finely diced (reserve the leaves to garnish)

160g deseeded green pepper (about 1 large), finely diced

160g onion (about 1 medium), finely diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

½ tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp dried oregano

generous pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tbsp tomato purée

1½ tbsp corn flour

1 vegetable stock cube

450ml boiling water

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

15g fresh dill, chopped, to serve

1. Heat half the oil in a casserole dish over a high heat, add the chicken and cook for 4–5 minutes until brown all over. Remove and set aside on a plate.

2. Reduce to a medium heat and add the rest of the oil to the same casserole dish along with the celery, pepper, onions and garlic and fry for 5 minutes.

3. Add the paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper and tomato purée and season. Cook for 1 minute, then return the chicken to the dish.

4. Stir in the corn flour, crumble in the stock cube and add the water to the dish. Cover and simmer for 10–15 minutes until thickened.

5. Remove from the heat and serve the gumbo scattered with the dill.

***Variation If you want to make this veggie, swap the chicken for a tin of kidney beans and some chopped okra.