A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals – Lucy Ruth Cummins

A Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals – Lucy Ruth Cummins

A Hungry Lion

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I have had this book for a while now and It has taught me a very valuable lesson: **ALWAYS READ A BOOK YOURSELF BEFORE READING IT TO YOUR SMALL CHILD!!** I was shopping one day and found this book in dymocks. I don’t know if I was in a hurry or just not paying attention, but I should have thought (FROM THE DARN TITLE MEL!!!) that perhaps this is slightly inappropriate for the little ones. A DWINDLING Assortment of Animals. Sigh.

So as any other somewhat slightly intelligent person can figure out from the cover, there is a lion in this book, and there is a dwindling assortment of animals. As in, there are a lot of animals, and then there are not so many animals. One guess as to where they go…. But there are a few twists and turns to this book, don’t start complaining I’m giving away the story for you… The lion’s dietary preferences do not spoil the story here.

Anyway, there I was sitting with my (then 2 year old) son on the couch reading this book, he was extremely excited about the fact that there was a lion. I on the other hand, was silently regretting my choice of children’s book purchase, and wondering if I could suddenly take it away without a tantrum. HOWEVER, he BLOODY LOVED IT!!!

I’m not sure if he was just at the age where he didn’t really understand that a lion EATS other animals, or if he just didn’t care. He thought it was the funniest book he had ever seen, and proceeded to make me read it to him 5 more times in the next hour.

So a year on, he certainly does understand that lions eat other animals now, but he still loves this book. He enjoys finding and pointing out the animals as I read them out, he loves the twists the book takes, and he LOVES the ending!

The only thing I don’t like about this book is after we read it my son goes around the house yelling “HEY! WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?!!”.

Would we recommend A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals?

Yes, but only to children who are not sensitive to the food chain and the “cycle of life”!

If you enjoy A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals, you may enjoy:

Dinosaur Roar   The Everywhere Bear


Charlie Chick Wants to Play – Ant Parker and Nick Denchfield

Charlie Chick Wants to Play (Charlie Chick Series) – Ant Parker and Nick Denchfield


Charlie Chick Wants to Play

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Oh that Charlie Chick! How cute he is! What is it about pull the flap books that toddlers and young children love? I remember back to my childhood, I loved all the Spot and other pull the flap books. Even though I knew what was behind those pieces of cardboard, it still made me so excited to look underneath them. Oh to be young again! I’m afraid I don’t quite get that excitement anymore. Thankfully my son does!

Charlie Chick Wants to Play in this instalment of the Charlie Chick series. However, his ball is missing! “OH NO” my son exclaims! He has to go and find it, and meets some friends along the way.

Even though my son is 3 and a half. He still loves this book. Full of animals, colours, and a fun adventure for little Charlie Chick, he loves reading it. I have found him numerous times reading it to himself (he has memorised most of the words, it’s very cute!), and he always has a lot of fun pulling the flaOliver Charlie Chickps. I am surprised that it has not been destroyed yet.

Would We Recommend “Charlie Chick Wants to Play”?

Yes, its an extremely cute, short and fun read, especially for the very little ones!

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Aus for sending us Charlie Chick Wants to Play. As you can see, it is much loved! Although now has drool stains!

It is available for purchase at Pan Macmillan HERE or check your local bookstore.

About the Authors:

Nick Denchfield is a talented paper engineer who creates fabulously intricate pop-up books. His work is admired for its wit, invention and ingenuity. Nick is the creator of the staggeringly successful series, illustrated by Anne Sharp, which includes DINOSAUR PARK and MAGICAL BEASTS. He lives near Reading with his family.


Ant Parker studied Visual Communications at Bath Academy of Art where he learnt about etching, drawing, bookbinding and animation. He then spent ten years doing editorial illustrations as well as making fish in boxes, teaching bookbinding, and gardening before beginning to illustrate children’s books. Ant lives in South London during the week and in Sussex at the weekend.

If you enjoy Charlie Chick Wants to Play, you may enjoy:

It's a Little Baby   The Everywhere Bear   What the ladybird heard on holiday   Dinosaur Roar


Dinosaur Boo The Deinonychus – Jeanne Willis

Dinosaur Boo The Deinonychus (The World of Dinosaur Roar Book #2) – Jeanne Willis

Dinosaur Boo

5 Stars (5 / 5)

As I have mentioned before, my son is a dinosaur freak! He is also crazy about books, so no surprises that this one is extremely popular and well read!

Dinosaur Boo is a mischievous little rascal, scaring the other dinosaurs in the land of Dinosaur Roar! He goes around yelling “Boo!!!” at everyone, until he finally meets his match.

Do we recommend Dinosaur Boo?

Oh yes indeed we do! This is my 3 year old son’s absolute favourite book in the World of Dinosaur Roar series so far. And depending on the day, is his FAVOURITE book! He LOVES to (loudly) yell out “BOO!!” whenever Dinosaur Boo does, and gets extremely upset if I don’t read it to him again, and again and again. I have hidden it from him a few times when we have read it 50 times that day!

I think its absolutely fantastic. The story is really cute and I love the rhyming, and the illustrations are vibrant and colourful. Like the others, it contains a page at the end full of dinosaur facts, this one is on the deinonychus. This series is a great way to introduce dinosaurs to kids, or in our case to learn specific facts about dinosaurs that my son already knows about. Or to dinosaur novice parents, introduce the dinosaur, and it thankfully includes a handy section on how to pronounce it to your child 🙂

Many thanks to the author via Pan Macmillan for a copy of Dinosaur Boo for us to enjoy together, which has already been read at least 100 times! At least!

You can order your copy HERE  at the Pan Macmillan Australia site, or check out your local bookstore.


If you enjoy Dinosaur Boo The Deinonychus, you may also enjoy:

Dinosaur Roar   It's a Little Baby



Dinosaur Roar The Tyrannosaurus Rex – Jeanne Willis

Dinosaur Roar The Tyrannosaurus Rex (The World of Dinosaur Roar Book #1)

Dinosaur Roar

4 Stars (4 / 5)

Now, my son loves dinosaurs. Yes, I know a lot of 3 year old kids love dinosaurs. But my son LOVES dinosaurs.

He only wants to wear dinosaur clothes, dinosaur socks, and dinosaur shoes… He takes two toy dinosaurs with him wherever he goes, and goes up to random people saying “This is my tyrannosaurus! This is my spinosaurus!” “Look, this is my allosaurus!”.  He constantly corrects me if I get my dinosaurs wrong, because “Mummy you don’t know dinosaurs, that’s a VELOCIRAPOR!”. He has a giant blue dinosaur skeleton next to his bed that takes up half his bedroom, and only wants to watch dinosaur movies/tv shows. He is dinosaur MAD!

So Pan Macmillan must have had a clairvoyant moment when they sent me this book.

Dinosaur Roar – The tyrannosaurus rex, is part of the Dinosaur Roar series. I guess its like a spin off from the original and much loved (especially in our dinosaur house) classic Dinosaur Roar. Its set in the World Of Dinosaur Roar.

Dinosaur Roar the Tyrannosaurus Rex obviously loves to roar. Loudly. This delightful little book introduces some other characters, Dinosaur Munch, Dinosaur Boo, Dinosaur Squeak and Dinosaur Honk, when Dinosaur Roar interacts with them, or roars at them really. It also has a section at the end with facts about the tyrannosaurus rex.

Did we enjoy Dinosaur Roar – The Tyrannosaurus Rex?

This book is cute and perfect for my 3 year old with its rhyming and beautiful colourful illustrations of the different dinosaurs. My son just adores this book, and this, and the other books we have in the dinosaur boo series, are among the most requested books in his collection. He loves pointing out how the tyrannosaurus rex has sharp teeth and tiny little hands, and calls him the LIZARD KING! He knows almost all of the words off by heart now.

I think this book is really cute. However, the story just doesn’t flow quite as easily as the others in the series, and out of the series it is my least favourite. However it’s not up to me! My son loves it! And that’s all that matters.

Big dinosaur thanks to Pan Macmillan and the author for sending me a copy of Dinosaur Roar – The Tyrannosaurus rex for my son and I to read and enjoy together. And for bringing a HUGE smile to his face!

You can purchase Dinosaur Roar the Tyrannosaurus rex HERE or leading children’s books retailers.

If you enjoy Dinosaur Roar the Tyrannosaurus Rex, you may enjoy:

It's a Little Baby


Maternity Leave – Julie Halpern

Maternity Leave – Julie Halpern

Maternity Leave

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I think any new mother would appreciate this entertaining, relatively accurate (in my experience anyway) portrayal of early motherhood.

This story commences when Annie is in labour. She has a little baby boy they call Sam, and thus begins her journey, day by day through the first few months of motherhood. The highs and lows, the grossness and the laughter..

I really enjoyed the format of this book. It is journal entries along with Facebook statuses and email correspondences between Anna and her family and friends. This made it extremely entertaining and easy to read. The chapters are set out in days, and they are quite short so its easy to put it down and pick it up again later (great for when you are busy with the kids!)

It had some extremely funny moments and I could really relate to most of it (except for the part where she gets her husband to squirt her bottom with water while she poops on the loo whilst breastfeeding her baby at the same time – I can’t say I could relate to that!). But it really had a lot of other moments where I would go “YES!!! THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT WAS LIKE!”.

I related to Annie SO MUCH! I felt we would have been good friends! We had such similar experiences! I too have an older cat who has shared a big chunk of my life with me. I also love Buffy and Battlestar Galactica is my FAVOURITE SERIES! I am a complete nerd too!

I have read some reviews of this book describing how it doesn’t describe motherhood accurately, and portrays Annie as borderline depressed. I don’t necessarily agree with this. Annie’s experience was so similar to my own, and I would not have classed myself as depressed. It’s hard work suddenly having a tiny person to be totally and utterly responsible for. A total culture shock, and I was not one of these magical mothers who took to it straight away. It took me MONTHS before I had a bond with my son. It is not unusual to not have an instant connection the child you suddenly have in your arms and sucking on your boobs!

The first few months are HARD. They are filled with amazing highs but incredible lows, and sleep deprivation… I enjoyed that this book didn’t skirt around this issue like others do. And the humerous approach was really refreshing. I only wish I had read this 2.5 years ago, when I was up at 3am trying to get my screaming son to latch onto my boob whilst crying my eyes out, wondering if things ever get better.

Would I recommend Maternity Leave?

Yes, I would recommend it to any new mother, and any mother-to-be, who wants a pretty accurate portrayal of some of the difficulties of having a newborn. I would actually say its good for the new dads and dads-to-be to have a read through also, to gain some understanding of just how difficult it is to be a new mother when they go back to work. Overall an enjoyable and entertaining read!

Many thanks to Pan Macmillian and author Julie Halpern for a copy of Maternity Leave to read in exchange for my honest review.

Add to goodreads


Pan Macmillan | AMAZON | AMAZON AU

If you enjoy Maternity Leave, you may enjoy:

 Mindfulness for Mothers


Mindfulness for Mothers – Rebecca Ryan

Mindfulness for Mothers – Rebecca Ryan

Mindfulness For Mothers

Well… What a little gem of a book this was!

There was once a time in my life not so long ago when I was on a bit of a search for answers. What am I doing here? What is the meaning of life? It led me to take up meditation. I went to classes, read books on mindfulness and ‘being in the moment’. I even attended not one, but TWO, ten day silent meditation courses in the Blue Mountains. I was in the meditation zone, so to speak… However, as it so often does, life got in the way. I became a mMindfulness For Mothers 2other, and the ten day silent solitude is but a memory, some wonderful memory from a time in my life where I could go and pee without someone dragging along at my heels. Where I could duck to the shops for groceries without dragging along a nappy bag, a toy truck and a 15kg screaming toddler… Meditation for me now mostly feels like a memory.


Mindfulness for mothers reminded me that we can find stillness in simple moments. Brief moments are all I have during the day now it seems!

I enjoyed that the book wasn’t too hippy or airy-fairy. Ryan made some excellent observations and quoted some scientific studies and facts without sounding like some doped up hippy love child. And I really appreciated that.

I love that the meditation exercises are EASY and absolutely realistic!  I especially love the one about being still with your SLEEPING baby!

Coming from another mother, I found I could relate easily to almost everything she was discussing. She gets the time restrictions and STRESS that having a small baby can bring. But this makes it all the more important to take some time out of our heads!

I thought this book was fantastic. It has a place next to my bed to remind me to take time out and be still. And I will be sure to have it handy if I have another baby!

Mindfulness For Mothers 3

Would I recommend Mindfulness For Mothers?

Yes for any Mum with a small child! Or a big child for that matter! I am sure that many of the exercises will be beneficial for just about anyone! And the cover! GORGEOUS!

A Great mothers day present idea!

Many thanks to the author Rebecca Ryan and PanMacmillan Australia for a copy of this beautiful book in exchange for my honest review.

5 Stars (5 / 5)





Rebecca Ryan

Rebecca Ryan is a yoga and meditation teacher specialising in pre- and post-natal yoga. She enjoys sharing her passion for meditation with other mothers, whether long-term meditators or newbies, and encourages her students to allow mindfulness to seep into their daily lives.

Rebecca lives in Melbourne with her husband, two children and her dog, Sammy.


It’s a Little Baby – Julia Donaldson

It’s a Little Baby – Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb (Illustrator)

It's a Little Baby

One of the best things about having a book blog is the opportunity to review new children’s books with my son! Oliver has only recently turned 2 years old, and he loves to read! (I wonder where he gets that from..?) We read together numerous times every day and he just loves turning the pages and attempting to mimic the words when I say them.image

It’s a Little Baby is an absolutely delightful lift the flap book with gorgeous illustrations and a cute poem/song that my son just adores!

“Somebody’s hiding. I wonder who. It’s a little baby and he’s waving at you.” The babies do different things on each page under the flap, such as waving or clapping, and the child is asked to mimic the actions of the baby. It is accompanied by a song online that is available through the website or by scanning the QR code on the back cover.

Oliver has so much fun pulling the flap and seeing what the little baby is doing! He constantly yells “BABY” when he pulls the flap to see the baby. He also loves the illustrations of the dog, cat, and other animals that are throughout the pages, and he enjoys pointing, waving and dancing with the babies. He likes the accompanying song and dances and twirls aroimageund the room whenever I play it. It is his go-to book at the moment and is constantly produced whenever I ask him to “grab a book to read”.

From my perspective I think its adorable. The baby illustrations are so cute and I really love seeing how much fun my son has with it. My son is slightly behind in his speech, so I love anything that encourages him to say words and copy actions. This book is now known as the “baby book”!

Would I recommend “It’s a Little Baby”?

Absolutely! I have no doubt that any young child will love this book with the fun rhymes, gorgeous illustrations and fun book flaps revealing cute little babies! The only thing that I don’t like about it is that I have to read it to him at least 20 times a day!

5 Stars (5 / 5)

No hesitation! 5 Stars! Fantastic book!

Many thanks to PanMacmillan Australia for a copy of It’s a Little Baby in exchange for an honest review from Oliver and myself.

Release Date Australia: 23rd February 2016

Release Date UK: 11th February, 2016


Purchase (Aus) 

Julia DonaldsonABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Julia Donaldson is the outrageously talented, prize-winning author of the world’s best-loved picture books, and was the 2011-2013 UK Children’s Laureate. Her books include What the Ladybird Heard and What the Ladybird Heard Next, Tyrannosaurus Drip and the modern classic The Gruffalo, which has sold over 13.5 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over sixty languages. Julia also writes fiction as well as poems, plays and songs and her brilliant live children’s shows are always in demand.

iconwebsite   icongoodreads


Rebecca Cobb is rapidly establishing herself as one of the most talented names in picture books. Since graduating from Falmouth College of Arts in 2004 she has published a number of well-received books with Macmillan, including the heart-breakingly beautiful Missing Mummy and the critically acclaimed Aunt Amelia.

iconwebsite   icontwitter


No Rain Today – Kristen Iten

No Rain Today

No Rain Today

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I love finding books to read with my son. Being 2 years old now, he is beginning to understand and comprehend the meaning of books a lot more, and he just LOVED No Rain Today!

No Rain Today is the story of a little cloud who got very upset because nobody liked his rain. Not the squirrels, or the cats. And even all the little children stay inside because they don’t like it when he rains on them. So he decides to hold in his rain to make everybody happy. But it has some unexpected consequences.

First of all I thought the illustrations in this book were just divine! The cats and the squirrels were especially cute and I think the illustrator David Overholt is extremely talented!

My son absolutely loved the little cloud! I loved watching him react to the illustrations! He was very upset to see when the cloud was upset, and he loved the animals and the little girl! And he was super cute trying to say “Umbrella”.

I really enjoyed the positive message this book conveys! I took it as the importance of being yourself and not holding back, but there are also many other subtle meanings such as the importance and beauty of rain, that playing outside, even in the rain can be a lot of fun, and I am sure that “don’t hold in your rain” can also be a metaphor for “Don’t hold in your pee!” I will be sure to use this as we toilet train!

Would I recommend it?

Absolutely for any toddler, or young child. We had a lot of fun reading this book together!

Many thanks to author Kristen Iten for a copy of this book for my son and I to review!



As founder of k10conceptions, Kristen works tirelessly to produce high quality children’s literature. As a child she experienced firsthand the wonder that is a parent reading to their child. Now as a mother herself, she has committed to providing unique stories that parents around the globe will use to build lasting family memories of their own.

Kristen started her writing career as a freelance writer. Most of her time was spent writing informativKristen Itene nonfiction content. “That was pretty unfulfilling on a creative level,” she remarked. “There was the satisfaction of a job well done when I would finish a piece, but as a whole, the job became such drudgery that I began to question whether or not I even enjoyed writing.”

She soon realized that she was writing the wrong kind of material. “When I switched over and began to write from the imagination things really began to pop!” Kristen is now a successful author with several children’s books awaiting release. She manages k10conceptions and is working to build a vibrant community on facebook that supports parents in their efforts to find creative and developmental playtime activities for their children.


iconwebsite   icontwitter   icongoodreads   iconfacebook


Pros and Cons of Having a Late Walker

My son is a late walker. At 20 months of age he is still yet to master crawling or standing up on his own, let alone walking or running around. There is nothing physically wrong with him apart from being “Hypermobile” – Or extra flexible. He is just a late walker. This has its good side, but most definitely has a bad side…

Lets take a closer look at the pros and cons of having a late walker…


I don’t have to chase after him!

IMG_0933This is probably the number 1 positive thing about having a late walker. HE CAN’T RUN AWAY FROM ME!!!!!

In fact, I am lucky enough to have one of these children that I can put down in one spot, duck to the loo and be fairly confident he will still be in that same spot or in the general vicinity when I return. I know many parents who would kill for that!

Plus, its a lot safer having him not running away. Kids can be fast little critters, and I have watched many a mother have to sprint to chase their child to prevent them from getting into some sort of trouble. My child’s version of running away is bum shuffling at an extremely slow speed to get where he wants to go. I don’t even have to rush to catch him! I can finish my cuppa!


The Guns

Yes, my arm muscles are looking pretty damn awesome! Having to constantly lift a 13kg sack of potatoes has its advantages I guess..


Childproofing Can Wait a While

Yeah, my son couldn’t even get himself to the cupboard easily, let alone get into it or on top of it… While other mothers were frantically childproofing everything in sight, I got to do it later. And steal the best child-proofing ideas.


Saving Money

Do you know how much a pair of decent toddler’s shoes cost nowadays??!!! I can probably put him through university with the money I’m saving on shoes!


 The Cat is SafeIMG_0936

My son loves our cat… Loves to pull her ears, grab her tail, chew on her face… Thankfully the slow bum shuffling allows her plenty of time to escape when he sets his sights on her… Although she is getting old and doesn’t move fast – so she is in for a rude shock when he finally does start to chase her on his feet!



Patience is a virtue apparently… And I’m getting REALLY good at it…



The Embarrassment of Bum Shuffling

Yes, having a bum shuffler is EMBARRASSING!!! Not because they are slow to walk, but because when they shuffle across the floor they look like a dog that’s wiping its bum on the ground.


Other Mothers

Yes, fellow bum shuffling mothers can most probably relate to the annoying and sometimes downright rude comments of other mothers. Much of the time they don’t mean any harm, but you still want to wring their necks!

Here are a few examples I have encountered:

  • “Oh look at him shuffling around there. He moves well doesn’t he? For his age?”

“He’s 19 months….”


  • “My sisters friends cousins sisters friend had a child who butt shuffled. He was autistic. You better get him checked.”
  • “Oh just put him on the floor love, he will figure it out.”
  • “You mother him too much. Stop picking him up.”
  • “Well your obviously THAT kind of mother…”  WTF!??

And my personal favourite:

  • “He will get there in his own time…” Yes, but what about in the meantime!!???



With his limited movement and hypermobility comes constipation… I don’t think I really need to say more. It sucks!



You can probably guess. He sees all the other children (many who are younger than him) running around, climbing play equipment, sitting in chairs, etc etc. He DESPERATELY wants to be part of it. He doesn’t understand why he can’t. He isn’t able to comprehend that he will get there eventually, he just knows he is not there now. Its HEARTBREAKING!

FrustratedIt is also incredibly frustrating for me watching him not being able to do things the other kids do. We have some friends who had their child a year after mine. A WHOLE YEAR! And already they are starting to pull themselves up on furniture and will no doubt be walking soon. It feels like my son is over a year behind all the others. It makes me think, have I done something wrong as a parent? Do I not push him enough? (mind you we are currently doing 2 hours a week of intense physical therapy so I highly doubt my motivation is an issue). WHAT HAVE I DONE WRONG?

Absolutely nothing! I just have a child who doesn’t know how to walk, he hasn’t figured it out yet. Hopefully he will soon.

Mel xx


Do you have a bum shuffler??

A child with hypermobility or  is ultra flexible??

Anything you can add to my list??

Feel free to make a comment 🙂