Category: Books

Book Review: Simon Sidebottom 2, Too Cool For School

Book Review: Simon Sidebottom 2, Too Cool For School

Nearly six months ago I wrote a book review about “A funny thing happened to Simon Sidebottom“.  My son still lists this as one of his favourite books – although he did draw the line as dressing up as the character for book week.

So I was very pleased when the second book came out and was eager to get it for him.  The second in the series is called “A funny thing happened to Simon Sidebottom 2, Too Cool For School“.  Yes – it is quite a long title.

Now to give a quick update my eldest son is nine, loves technology, science and screens, and most of the time will refuse to do much outside of these topics.  While he used to enjoy reading it is now a battle where I buy multitudes of books and he may read one of them (thankfully my youngest son, aged 7, loves to read).

About two weeks ago I walked up to him with the new book while he was laying on the couch playing his iPod.  To my surprise he put it down straight away and opened the book.  This alone is a massive win and a credit to the author, P. Crumble, of how good the first book in the series was.

As per the first book this one once again is a Choose your own adventure style book with quirky font, funny images, gross jokes and crazy nicknames.  The first thing I heard from him was laughter followed by an explanation that the principal, Mr Smart-Fells, gets called Mr Fart Smells and the teacher, Miss Graff, gets called Miss Giraffe.  This is the perfect sort of humour for my boys who spend a ridiculous amount of time discussing bodily functions and smells, as well as crazy songs and names for everything.

The second massive win, and credit to the author and illustrator, is that my son then proceeded to take the book with him to his brothers karate lesson where he normally stares at his iPod for the hour.  He then proceeded to read the book for the first 30 minutes.  I think I nearly fell over from shock – he chose the book over the iPod.

Now I can’t tell you much about the content as the only things I have gotten out of my son so far were the funny names of the staff at the school, that Simon still calls his sister Snot Face and “it is really good” (his exact words when I asked what I should write in my review).  However if you have children around my kids age who are obsessed with this type of humour then I highly recommend it.  If it can get my son away from screens for nearly an hour straight in one go then it is a big thumbs up for me.

I look forward to any other books released by this author.

Book Review: A funny thing happened to Simon Sidebottom

Book Review: A funny thing happened to Simon Sidebottom

Today I have decided to do a review on a children’s book.  Now I haven’t read the entire book but feel I can review this through the eyes of my children.

Currently in our house we are trying to reduce the use of screens.  We have recognised we are becoming a little too reliant on them but for my children in particular, especially the eldest, it is becoming the constant go to.  So as a result we are increasing screen free time.  To assist with this I have been buying more books for the boys and trying to find ones that are a little different or focus on topics the boys are interested in.

One that I bought for my 8 year old is called “A funny thing happened to Simon Sidebottom” by P.Crumble.  I was purchasing some other books and this one was at the counter.  It is the first in what I hope is going to be a series as it has been a big hit.  This book is a choose your own adventure but unlike the ones that were around when I was younger this book has quirky images and is very funny with humour aimed exactly at my boys (think gross jokes about bodily functions and dangerous stunts).  Even the font used in the book is fun and easy to read.  My boys are seven and eight and I highly recommend it for children in this age range. In the four days since he has had the book I believe he has read every version of the story at least twice.

Tonight in our quest for less screen time the three of us were making pizzas for dinner together.  As they were cooking the boys came up with a plan to read the book aloud and at each decision point we took it in turns to decide which way to go.  No screens and reading as a family happily at my sons choice – this book is a big winner for me and if there is a second I will definitely be buying it.



Book Review: Buddhism for Break Ups

Book Review: Buddhism for Break Ups

I separated from my husband nearly two years ago now.  It has been a roller coaster ride that was made more difficult by the fact we have two young boys.  Kids are amazing in how quickly they can adapt to situations but Mothers guilt is a shocking thing that attacks us all.

At Christmas my brother bought me Buddhism for Break-Ups by Mishel Laurie as a bit of a light hearted gift to go with my other present.  He thought I might be interested or at least read that instead of falling asleep on the couch in front of the TV.

I am not sure that he knew that I have read books previously on Buddhism as it is a topic that interests me given that I believe and agree with many Buddhist principles and beliefs.  When I started reading this book I was unsure what to expect having listened to Mishel Laurie on the radio and knowing her as a comedian.  Would this book be a comedy full of laughs or a serious look at Buddhism?

What I found the book to be was an interesting, amusing and informative account of the end of Mishel’s 19 year marriage and how she looked to Buddhism for answers.  How she applied Buddhist philosophy to her situation and used it to navigate the minefield that separation can be.

What I really liked about this book is that each chapter covers a different philosophy or component of Buddhism.  each chapter covers what the philosophy is and means, how Mishel applied it to her situation and, what I really liked, a self reflection section at the end.  I found it therapeutic at the end of each chapter to ask myself the questions and think how it applied to me.

Like Mishel I had been married for a long time, had two young children and questioned for a long time whether I was doing the right thing.  Probably the biggest difference was I believe in many ways my relationship was the role reversal where I was more like her ex-husband.

It is definitely a book that I recommend for people going through a separation or who are struggling accepting a separation that has already occurred.

I am now reading Mishel’s next book – Buddhism for the Unbelievably Busy, so I wil give you my thoughts on that once I have finished it.