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Showing posts from April, 2016

Choose Your Days by Paula S. Wallace

Insightful. Sad. Beautiful.

Old Bear is the keeper of time and keys. When she was born, Corky was given a calendar for all of her days. It was time sensitive.

Corky is also given two lists - one for her dreams and one for her things to do. 

Old Bear gives her a key, and whispers a instruction:
"Choose your days, make them sunny or fray," 

Corky grows up to live her life with purpose, making every day count. Even when she is a little bent and gray, she continues to fill her day. Life becomes meaningful. 

Paula S. Wallace, who happens to be both the writer and illustrator, has captured Corky's journey onto adulthood with such beauty and simplicity, a feat that is quite rare to accomplish. Writers tend to want to add in frivolous works and illustrations to document that time. 

One of the most heartbreaking moments of the book was when Corky takes a few coins from her purse and writes to Old Bear, asking him for a bit more time. 

"For work undone. For play postponed.For music u…

Frank and Laverne by Dave Whamond and Jennifer Stokes

There are always two sides to every story. 
A dog's side. And a cat's side. 

Meet Frank
Protective. Has a stuffed fish named Eugene. 
Loves to chase squirrels in the yard. 
Has a Great Dane as a nemesis.
And one best friend to love - Laverne the cat.

Meet Laverne
Has a typical can't-be-bothered, feline attitude.
She wants to steal Eugene, but a flea-brained pug seems to always be standing in her way.

Each character's story is written from their own perspective in a diary-like format complete with a detailed daily log, interspersed with text and illustrations. The log covers a week of their lives. The writing is absolutely brilliant. Poignant and relatable perspectives that want to make you laugh-out-loud. I really enjoyed reading this book and I predict it may be one of my favourites to pick up during reading time this season. 

Described as a book that is saturated with verbal and visual humour. 
Rich vocabulary, onomatopoeia, and the play on opposite points of view make this a sm…

The Artist and Me by Shane Peacock and Sophie Casson

Inspiring. Thought-provoking. Storytelling that Sparks Change. 

What better than International Day of Pink to draw attention to a book that speaks of anti-bullying. The Artist and Me is a thought-provoking picture book that tackles the thorny causes and effects of bullying, with honest writing, fiery illustrations, and an uncommon perspective on one of the world's most well known artists, Vincent Van Gogh.

Van Gogh was an eccentric fellow who loved painting pictures that spoke of truth. He was considered a difficult and emotional, and always seemed to have a hard time fitting in. He always remained an outsider because of his eccentric way of seeing the world. 

Living in Arles, France, in the 1880s, he was mocked for being different. Inspired by these events, The Artist And Me is the fictional confession of one of Van Gogh's bullies -- a young boy who adopted the popular attitude of adults around him. This should be a lesson to everyone, a reminder of how much kids absorb from bei…

What is not yours is not yours by Helen Oyeyemi

Imaginative. Enchanting. Impressive story-telling. 

Helen Oyeyemi, seems to be the writer that can do no wrong. The award-winning author of Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox, has released another wonderful new piece of wiring that incorporates intertwining short stories that weave an that stays with you long after you have put the book aside. 

Keys play an integral part in Helen Oyeyemi's stories. Whether literally or metaphorically, they engage and command attention. 

Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation.  There's a key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret: the keys in this extraordinary book not only unlock elements of the characters' lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side. 
What Is Yours Is Not Yours starts off with a story called Books And Roses. There is a key that opens a secret garden, a library and plays a crucial connection in two lovers hearts. 

I loved learning about Barcelona's tradition of Books and Roses 
Sant J…

One Plus One Equals Three by Dave Trott

Punchy Stories. Touching Anecdotes. Though-provoking conclusion. 
How do you make something out of nothing?  Referred to as A Masterclass in Creative Thinking, One Plus One Equals Three is a series of short bite-sized essays, each with a lesson at the end.  The "thoughts" represent inspiring anecdotes  This is not your everyday business book. It's not one longwinded story trying to get to a singular message. Dave Trott's book is about shorter stories, that have a point to them.  It has insights that are digestible. 
I love the story about "When Thinking Gets In The Way". It's a reference to Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook who earns around $26 million a year. She gave a talk on what women need to do to get to the top of their profession. 
She said they needed to learn from men. Not that men are smarter, they're not. She said that it wasn't men who were holding women back. 
It was women holding women back. 
The story goes on to su…

Paper Zoo - An Activity Book

Adorable. Fun. Educational. 

Create Collage Animals with your kids with this FUNtastic activity book by Oscar Sabini.

Splash with a hippo.
Roar with a lion.
Laugh with the mischievous monkey.
Walk with the dashing bear.
Fly with the Toucan. 
Stomp, stomp, stomp with the elephant.
Smile a big wide smile when you see the crocodile pass by.

Included in the activity book is a stack of colourful paper to make the animals come alive, so your little ones can enjoy lots of giggles while you teach them about life at the zoo. 

Paper Zoo is published by Princeton Architectural Pressand distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar (Creative and Social Media strategist, decor enthusiast and book lover, who also writes for a branding blog:, as well as a lifestyle blog: T: @SukasaStyle)

For advertising opportunities on SukasaStyle and SukasaReads, contact

Spark Joy by Marie Kondo

There's tidying up, then there's the KonMari way of tidying up.

When the #1 New York Times best-selling book The Life-changing Magic Of Tidying Up was released, I was curious and skeptical about whether Marie Kondo's book really did what it claimed to do. Unfortunately, I missed picking up the first book; but when the new companion book Spark Joy came out, I managed to snag a copy. Would this book change my life? Would it help me never to relapse into clutter again? I was indeed intrigued. 
Keep only those things that bring you joy.The theory is that once you have experienced what your home feels like when it is completely tidy then you will never want to return to clutter, and this powerful feeling will empower you to keep it tidy. 

There are 6 Basic Rules Of Tidying
1. Commit yourself to tidying up
2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle
3. Finish discarding first
4. Tidy by category, not by location
5. Follow the right order
6. Ask yourself if it sparks joy

Tidying up is not a haphazard …

Seeing Red by Lina Meruane

Unsettling. Intense. Literary prose at its finest.
Part biographical. Part fiction. Part horrifying. Seeing Red by Lina Meruane is a novel that takes you to the inner sanctum of your worldview and shatters it, forcing you to see the world around you from a brutally honest perspective. 

The story takes you through Lina's life as young Chilean writer recently relocated to New York for doctoral work, where she suffers a stroke that leaves her blind and increasingly dependent on those closest to her. 

No one can really know what's going on in Lina's head, and most times she cannot really be forthright in telling those around her each and every thing that she is thinking. Here, she is having a conversation with her lover, Ignacio: 
And might I know why you weren't answering the questions? I heard Ignacio say tensely, cracking his knuckles. How am I going to explain things about you that I don't even know? Do you think I'm psychic? I can't tell what you are thinking,…

Into The Snow by Yuki Kaneko. Illustrated by Masamitsu Saito.

Told from a child's point of view,Into The Snow is a story of discovery and independence. 

Into The Snow is a celebration of one of my most dreaded seasons of the year. But, why should a kid be a pessimist like moi? Yuki Kaneko's debut children's book explores the optimism and fun that a child experiences while playing in the snow. 

The illustration exhibits the sheer joy that the child feels looking outside his window. Notice, how brilliantly illustrator Masamitsu Saito has drawn this particular scene. Without showing the face of the child, the emotion evoked is so powerful. Curiosity, wonder and excitement. 

The storytelling is simple and straightforward. It really is the illustrations that up the ante in this book, and add drama and intrigue. The artwork is unusually unique, created with oil pastels, gouache, acrylic colure, and colour pencils.

Into The Snow focuses on honing and celebrating the child's independence. This makes this children's book intriguing. The c…