Sunday, 13 December 2015

The Imaginary by A.F Harrold

Review of The Imaginary by A.F Harrold

I recently received a copy of The Imaginary by A.F Harrold to review and when it first arrived I wasn't sure I would really like it as it looked quite different from the books I normally enjoy but I decided to give it a go and read it with Mum as my bedtime story over the last week-I was really surprised but after a few chapters I couldn't put it down.

'Rudger is Amanda's best friend. He doesn't exist, but nobody's perfect.
Only Amanda can see her imaginary friend - until the sinister Mr Bunting arrives at Amanda's door. Mr Bunting hunts imaginaries. Rumour says that he eats them. And he's sniffed out Rudger. Soon Rudger is alone, and running for his imaginary life. But can a boy who isn't there survive without a friend to dream him up?'
I thought this book was fantastic- I liked the way Amanda created whole new world's with her imagination and how this was her huge strength in the end. I loved the loyalty that Rudger shows to Amanda and how even though you grow up and out of imaginary friends you can still see them again when you really need to if you try hard enough. I loved the idea that when a child doesn't need their imaginary any more there is somewhere for them to go until someone does need them.

The illustrations in the book were beautiful, really descriptive and are worth a good look on their own, I kept turning back to look at them in between reading the story. I liked the way the words on the page also reflected the story - such as when there was a power cut and the words were in white written on a black page so you felt like you were there in the power cut.

The story was really quite scary in places and kept your attention as you wanted to know what happened next and the ending was really dramatic. I think this is definitely one of the best books I have read this year and would really recommend it to anyone age 7+ up to any age at all - my Mum really enjoyed it too so I think it would appeal to nearly everyone who enjoys a good book.
 I just wish I had an imaginary friend now!

You can order The Imaginary here

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

I haven't written much recently because we have been very busy the last few weeks and I know we have got lots of things coming up in the next few too. Like everyone else we are getting in to the Christmas spirit. I am really liking seeing all the Christmas lights going up as it makes the school run more festive and I love this time of year with all the parties, nativities and carol concerts so you can imagine how excited I was to be invited to go to Wyevale Garden Centre with my family for Tea with Father Christmas.

When we arrived we were greeted by an Elf and shown to our table in the garden centre restaurant, there was lots of things set up on the table to keep us busy including colouring, chocolate coins and Christmas crackers. So we pulled the crackers and put on our hats and did some drawing while we waited to see what would happen next.

The Elves came round and introduced themselves to everyone and asked if we had been good this year (I was honest and said I had been most of the time but not all even though Lottie said she had!) and then they brought our food out.We had been able to choose beforehand what we would like to eat and Lottie and I both had chicken goujons, chips and beans while Mum and Dad had a 'Festive Sandwich' which actually turned out to be an afternoon tea with cake and mince pies, tea and coffee - the cake was really nice (I had to try my Mum's piece- just for research though!) 

After we had eaten we were given a Christmas biscuit to decorate, we got a Christmas tree shaped biscuit and a bag of icing and some sprinkles and got to work making some yummy creations.

Soon it was time for Father Christmas to make his appearance so we were all given bells and sang jingle bells to welcome him, when he arrived he looked very jolly and all the children queued up to see him. He was very nice and friendly and chatted to us all (although Lottie was a bit scared) and didn't even mind when Sam tried to pull his beard!- We did stop him very quickly just in case he wasn't the 'real' Santa!!

At the end of the visit we were allowed to chose a gift- there was lots of lovely things to choose from and it was really hard to pick but I chose a set where you dig for Gems and Lottie picked a Mermaid doll which she loves. The Gems set is really good and I think it will be something I can use for quite a while as I have only dug out one gem so far even though I have used it quite a few times.

I really did enjoy our visit- Santa and the elves were really good, the food was nice and we had lots of fun- this is a really great way for the whole family to spend an afternoon together and get in the mood for Christmas.

Bookings can be made at many different Wyevale Garden Centres across the country and details can be found here