Christmas Gift Guide | All the Beautiful Books!

My Christmas shopping is progressing surprisingly well this year.  I hate rush-shopping so have been steadily ticking items off my list for the past few months.  The kids gifts are a different story however.  The only presents locked in and ordered so far are books.  And that makes me so excited!  I LOVE ALL THE BOOKS!

If you’re in New Zealand you only have until the 8th of December to get your Book Depository orders placed to ensure delivery before Santa comes, so get that plastic cranking!

Here are the books that will be under the tree at our house this year {so far lol}

 Christmas Gift Guide Books - Mummy Blog New Zealand

Oh No, GEORGE! By Chris Haughton

Animalium By Jenny Broom

The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm By Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm

The Elephant and the Bad Baby By Raymond Briggs

Roadwork By Sally Sutton

Dear Zoo By Rod Campbell

The Ocean Alphabet Book By Jerry Pallotta


2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards

2014 New Zealand Post Book Awards


I am so happy to be part of the blogging team promoting the New Zealand Post Book Awards again this year.  Ethan and I had a blast reviewing some of the Junior Fiction finalists last year and with baby Nixon on board this year we are all set to discover some of New Zealand’s awesome picture book authors and illustrators as well!

The finalists have been announced here, this is seriously an amazing collection of books!

My early picks for my boys would have to be;

Hunting Guide_9781775535126_cover

The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing
Paul Adamson
Random House New Zealand
ISBN 9781775535126 pb
RRP $34.99
Target age 8+

How do you stalk a trout? How do you skin a rabbit? How does a bullet work? This is a beginner’s book of hunting and fishing for all ages, featuring the where, when, what and how of our most popular hunting and fishing pursuits. From rabbiting to duck-shooting, possuming to large game, eeling to whitebaiting, The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing in New Zealand will give any budding hunter the basic skills and knowledge for a lifetime of adventure.


Felix and the Red Rats
James Norcliffe
Random House New Zealand, Longacre
ISBN 9781775533245 pb,
9781775533252 eb
RRP $19.99 pb & eb
Target age 9+

When David’s uncle comes to visit he sets off a bizarre series of events. Things become complicated when the pet rats turn bright red. David senses that somehow the rats are connected to the story he is reading, and becomes convinced when the colour red becomes contagious. A parallel story sees Felix and his friend Bella shifted into a strange land where they must solve a riddle that puts them into great danger. How will they escape home?

Toucan Can - Front cover

Toucan Can  
Juliette MacIver & Sarah Davis
Gecko Press
ISBN 9781877467530 hb,
9781877467547 pb
RRP $34.99 hb, $19.99 pb
Target age 3 to 6

Toucan can do lots of things!
Toucan dances!
Toucan sings!
Toucan bangs a frying pan!
Can YOU do what Toucan can?

A tongue-twisting, ludicrous rhyme full of escalating hilarity and off-the-wall characters. It will have you tripping and flipping and dancing and singing. If Toucan can, you can!

Machines and Me - Boats cover

Machines and Me: Boats
Catherine Foreman
Scholastic New Zealand
ISBN 9781775431596 pb
RRP $14.00
Target age 0 to 5

Boats with motors,
boats with sails,
boats to go out watching whales.

Children love machines! The Machines and Me series of four simple, well?written stories has a bold, clean illustration style perfect for pre-school children, by the award-winning author/illustrator Catherine Foreman.

I have really important things to do

yes.   I do.

I can’t currently commit to writing (and by writing I mean finishing) a post right now as I am far to busy

  1. being in bed.  Yes it is 8pm, a mere smidgeon of a Thursday night but Dave is at work, there is nothing on TV and everything I need is in a 2.5 foot radius
  2. perusing a very important text.  One that will change my life and my waistline and I know this because I paid $60 for it and its cute little companion book aka Pocket Guide.    Yeah, Dave better put a grate over the shower drain because Posh Spice is coming to town and that biotch be skinny yall
  3. watching Real Housewives of Atlanta S1E3.  Mmmmhmmm
  4. dabbling in a little bit of that Twilight series, I don’t know what it’s called but I’m up to book 3, or should I say .PDF #3, if you’re a REAL greenie you save trees and read books on you laptop…..get with the program hippy.

Writers Workshop: My Current Read

Here we go again, I love Kat’s blog prompts!  Today I have chosen…….

1.) Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

“That’s why women with long legs and dyed hair, the bottle blondes of this world, travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to be in Cannes, even if only to spend the whole day on the beach, hoping to be seen, photographed, discovered.  They want to escape from the trap that awaits all women: becoming a housewife, who makes supper for her husband every evening, takes the children to school every day and tries to dig up some dirt on her neighbours’ monotonous lives so as to have something to gossip about with her friends.”

I swear that was a random selection!  A very poignant selection nonetheless considering that probably the only people who will read this will be a handful of ‘mommy-bloggers’ (like myself), so who’s going to be the first to get fired up about Coelho’s sweeping generalization?  Or is he right? 

Lets see how I fit the bill:

  1.  It’s 8.30pm I am in bed.  It’s too cold to be anywhere else when hubby is away and there is nothing on TV (no we don’t have a TV in the bedroom)
  2. I am wearing flannel PJ’s with sheep on them.  See above IT’S COLD….and I live in NZ people!
  3. I wore no make-up today :::gasp::: I know, I hear ya. It was wasn’t pretty but hey kiddo was home marginally ill again and we live on a farm and I am not The Pioneer Women.  Ethan tells me I’m beautiful anyway and I tell myself that surely this counts for something right?
  4.  I am sending kiddo to kindy tomorrow no matter what because if I have to endure another full day of Mr 4.5yo Perfectionist’s crying over everything he does that is less than worthy of hanging in MOMA I’m not sure all the happy pills in the world will be able to save me.
  5. I talk about my kid WAY too much.

So well, hmmm looks like I am definitely a housewife.  But trapped?  I have never thought about it that way (not since the days of breastfeeding when I was literally trapped and my life was segmented into the TWO HOURLY feeding cycle  – yes it is true and it lasted one year!).  All I can say is that we all have choices and claiming entrapment doesn’t really cut it if the only things tying you down are your apron strings.

So, do I like this book?  Yes, the reviews of it are shit, but I love Coelho’s writing.  This book rationalizes the behaviour of  each nutbar character in a very comprehensive and compelling way.  Can I put it down?  Yes.  It’s not as good as last months read ‘Our Lady of the Forest’, which I loved and highly recommend.  Unless you are a Coelho collecter I would say get this one from the library rather than buy it.

The Feminine Mystique: Chapter 1

I have been meaning to read this book since my Uni days as a sociology major, in fact hindsight wonders how I managed to past my feminist papers without reading this?  Anyway, I googled ‘Housewife syndrome’ today just for kicks and lo and behold it is (or was at least) a real condition, treated with a delightful mix of drugs, group counseling and probably a healthy smattering of shock therapy.  Some days I feel like shock therapy sounds like a great idea. 

Any-who, for all of the housewives out there,  here is a link to the first chapter of The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, 1963  Wiki

The Feminine Mystique: Chapter 1.

Mid-semester break reading list

Because reading for pleasure has sadly been replaced with ‘reading for a boring accounting degree’ in the last two years, I embraced my new Part-Time Student status with reckless abandon and checked out three novels from the library yesterday.  I have two weeks off before the semester resumes, well the first week is actually gone but I have already finished a book, so we will see how far I get. 



Debbie Macomber – Susannah’s Garden

OK, I have finished this book finally.  Tara left it here after her visit in January, and it is a bit of a yawn-fest so I left it to gather dust for a few months.  Definitely an easy read, cute middle-American characters, my Nana would like this book.   2/10





Polly Williams – The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy

I am currently reading this little number and I love it.  British housewife humour, very Bridget Jones, very dry and lets face it….who doesn’t want to be a yummy mummy?






Carl Hiaasen – Nature Girl

Shame on me for picking this book as I have ridiculed Nathan on more than one occasion for his appreciation of Hiaasen’s writing.  It’s so Florida and so non-literary, there’s no class or beauty in Hiaasen’s words, but I guess I might have enjoyed his story telling a little bit :::::maybe?::::  I’ll let you know.





David Guterson – Our Lady of the Forest

This was a random pick, but I have read his book Snow Falling on Cedars and that was awesome, very compelling.  This will be the last read as it just doesn’t look that riveting, you know, because you always judge a book by its cover right?