Wombat & Wow

If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know I loved Daisy May’s Daydream Parade so I was eager to listen to Wombat & Jones. And I wasn’t disappointed. What fun! Again, the author’s BBC CBeebies Radio background is very evident and this is razor sharp.

Young listeners (ages 3-5) will love it but, with my mum hat on, I promise the parents will enjoy it too. No screechy shouty voices here. Just crisp and clear characters with very distinct accents so they’re easy for everyone to distinguish between.

The writing is strong. Who doesn’t love “a wombat called … errr … Wombat”. And “Badger, the giraffe, who wasn’t a badger at all” is bound to make you smile.

There’s a moral, but it’s not overdone, and at 50 minutes it’s perfect for a car journey.

Enjoy 🙂

Blurb

Wombat and Jones are excited to attend the famous Boris Beaker’s banana bread baking class and like many other friends in town they can’t wait to get to work on making scrumptious banana bread. However, there’s just one problem — before class gets underway, Boris discovers that all of the bananas have gone missing!

Boris Beaker and his disappointed students know there is no chance they can make banana bread without this key ingredient, but Wombat isn’t willing to give up that easily. Putting her investigative skills to the test, she gets help from her trusty sidekick — Furlock Jones — and together they attempt to solve The Great Banana Mystery.

Written by author Arran Francis, creator of multiple series for BBC’s CBeebies Radio, Wombat & Jones: The Great Banana Mystery is a funny tale about friendship, problem-solving, and teamwork. Simple mistakes and jumping to conclusions can happen after all, but Wombat & Jones try their best to put it right and learn from them. 

https://www.wombatandjones.org/thegreatbananamystery

Author Bio

Arran Francis is the creator of multiple series for BBC’s CBeebies Radio and has worked as an audiobook producer on behalf of MacMillan Audio, Audible and Harper Collins. He launched Wombat and Jones Audio in 2019 with the aim of writing children’s novels to be released exclusively in audiobook format.

The audiobooks for the Daisy May’s Daydream Parade and Wombat & Jones series were released last summer with further books in the series and standalone titles being scheduled for publication in 2020.

More Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds

I listen to audiobooks every day while walking the dog, so what could be more appropriate than a book about dogs! I reviewed the first book recently, and enjoyed it although I was a little surprised to find out it was actually about the house hunt process (like an episode of one of those TV series) rather than life in rural Ireland. Book 2 is about settling in and I absolutely LOVED it!

★ same narrator

★ same dry humour

★ more (and more) dogs

I laughed, I worried, and I want more.

Book cover

Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds 2 – Still living the dream in rural Ireland

Nick and Lesley’s desire for a better life in the countryside was a long-held dream. Unforeseen events and a leap of faith forced that dream into reality, but moving to rural Ireland was only the beginning of their story.
Foreigners in a foreign land, they set about making new friends, learning the culture and expanding their collection of chickens and unruly dogs. But their dream home was in desperate need of renovation, a mammoth task they attacked with the aid of a DIY manual, dwindling funds and incompetent enthusiasm. With defunct diggers, collapsing ladders, and shocking electrics, what could possibly go wrong?
Will their new life live up to expectations, or will the Irish weather, dangerous roads, and a cruel twist of fate turn this dream into a nightmare?

Purchase Links 

Here is the audio link. It is available in ebook and paperback, but I haven’t read it in print format. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0844YCGSS/

Author Bio

Author Nick Albert

Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.
In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in 2020.

Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.

A great audiobook for Dora The Explorer fans

I’ve been listening to The Handmaid’s Tale on my recent dog walks, but I fancied something lighter on this rather grey, gloomy, morning. Cue Daisy May’s Daydream Adventure. This was a random choice – I hadn’t listened to a sample (and I’m fussy about narrators), so I had no preconceptions, but it’s a goodie. The narrator is really crisp and clear with just the right combination of pace and enthusiasm for the pre-school listener. Chapter lengths and the overall length are just right too. The author’s BBC CBeebies Radio background is very evident.

If we weren’t in lockdown I’d recommend it for a car journey! There are good messages about pollution, but they’re not rammed down your throat in a preachy way.

Overall, if your kids like Dora the Explorer, they’ll love Daisy May.

Blurb

Eight-year-old Daisy May is the writer and star of her very own TV show, Daisy May’s Daydream Parade, which broadcasts live and exclusively in her imagination. 

​In the latest episode, Daisy May finds herself on a desert island where she discovers a map that leads to buried treasure, but what appears to be a simple quest to find riches soon turns into a roller-coaster ride as evil pirates, grumpy gorillas, and a fire breathing dragon stand in her way. However, when travelling across polluted ocean waters and trash covered beaches, Daisy May soon realises that the hunt for treasure can wait – there’s a much bigger issue in need of urgent attention. 

​Written by Arran Francis, multiple series creator for BBC CBeebies Radio, Daisy May’s Daydream Parade audiobooks show how 8-year-old Daisy May confronts her real life problems in the stories she writes as she floats off into her daydream adventures.

Fresh Eggs & Dog Beds

I love audiobooks, especially when dog walking and especially non-fiction, so this was a double tick as soon as I saw it. I particularly love memoir narrated by the author themselves, but understand that’s a big task and not for everyone (certainly not me anyway). In fact the narrator was excellent – I’d definitely look out for anything else by him.

At times I forgot this was non fiction and was looking for a plot. Then again, as a memoir, I was expecting some life lessons, but it’s a pretty straightforward linear account. It is a little slow – five chapters before they even think of moving to Ireland and way more before they actually make the purchase – it’s a bit like watching one of those “Home or Abroad” or “Move to the Country” property search TV shows! If you enjoy those shows, this lets you see “behind the scenes” and you’re going to absolutely love it. It could have gone straight from his health wake up call/ redundancy into the action, but I guess by taking the slow road it’s left plenty of scope for book two. I wasn’t rolling around with laughter, just a gentle smile but, as a light, easy listen, I definitely enjoyed it and am looking forward to book two.

Blurb

Nick and Lesley Albert yearn to leave the noise, stress and pollution of modern Britain and move to the countryside, where the living is good, the air sweet, with space for their dogs to run free. Suddenly out of work and soon to be homeless, they set off in search of a new life in Ireland, a country they had never visited. As their adventure began to unfold, not everything went according to plan. If finding their dream house was difficult, buying it seemed almost impossible. How would they cope with banks that didn’t want customers, builders who didn’t need work, or the complex issue of where to buy some chickens?

Author Bio

Nick Albert was born in England and raised in a Royal Air Force family. After leaving College he worked in retail management for several years before moving into financial services where he quickly progressed through the ranks to become a training consultant. As a very passionate and reasonably talented sportsman, Nick had always wanted to use his training skills towards creating a parallel career, so in the mid 1980’s he qualified and began coaching sport professionally. After a health scare in 2003 and in search of a simpler life, he and his wife Lesley, cashed in their investments, sold their home and bought a rundown farmhouse in the rural west of Ireland – a country they had never before even visited. With little money or experience and armed only with a do-it-yourself manual, they set about renovating their new home, where they now live happily alongside a flock of chickens, two ducks and several unruly, but delightful dogs.
In 2017 Nick was signed to Ant Press to write a series of humorous memoirs about his life in rural Ireland. Fresh Eggs and Dog Beds (book one) was published in September 2017 and soon became an Amazon bestseller. Book two in the series was published on 1st June 2018 and book 3 in August 2019. Book four is due out in early 2020. Nick is also the author of the twisty thriller, Wrecking Crew, the first in a series of books featuring reluctant hero Eric Stone.

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https://www.facebook.com/NickAlbertAuthor/

Twitter @Nickalbertautho

Eternal Seas Audio book launch!

You may have spotted that Eternal Seas has been made into an audiobook narrated by the very talented Chris Dickins. If you haven’t seen it already, here is a taster for you …

It’s just been on tour and got so many amazing reviews that Chris and I have both been overwhelmed! A huge thanks to all the bloggers who participated 🙂

Here are just a few snippets, but if you’d like to read the full reviews, the links are below.

“Five stars from me – a thoroughly enjoyable story and a well written fantasy novel that suits an audio book perfectly – very highly recommended!!” Donna’s Book Blog

“I had thoroughly enjoyed reading the e-book version of this story and was intrigued to discover if I’d enjoy the audiobook version as much – and I did! … he is very talented at bringing the story to life in the imagination of his listeners. He uses his voice to make it clear just which character is talking and his use of expression, intonation and volume is exemplary. I can easily imagine children being as enthralled as I was by how he relates the story and events, capturing you and taking you into the heart of the action packed adventure.” Splashes Into Books

“I absolutely adored this audiobook for children aged 7-12 (ish).  I think it’s a brilliant introduction to fantasy writing for young children …. The audio itself was extremely well narrated, by Christopher Dickins, who did a brilliant job of using a range of voices so the characters can be distinguished between easily – I feel this is important for young children who find it more difficult to focus on audio. ” Like Herding Cats

“There is a an ease and sense of geniality to his voice that is extremely pleasant. His voice work is great, providing a nice cast of characters. His work is extremely similar to that of David Tennant. Tennant, often recognized for his work on Broadchurch or Doctor Who, is a truly wonderful narrator and voice actor. Dickens, at times, sounds eerily similar and with equal skill.” World Geekly News

“when the sleep timer kicked in, I was still wide awake and ended up just setting another timer so I could keep listening. The audiobook was as hard to turn off as the book was to put down when I read it. Chris Dickins was the perfect choice – he is certainly talented when it comes to different voices. He really injected the full sense of adventure into the story, and I just felt swept along with it.” Mai’s Musings

“The narrator was really great! He gave each character a really distinctive voice, which is an element of audiobook narrating that can be done really well or really… not. But this narrator got nicely into the heads of the characters, and portrayed their attitudes through their words. It builds up a lovely picture of the characters and scene when the narrator does their job well, and I’ll always be appreciative of a good narrator!” The Treasure Within

“a nice easy listen to fill a couple of hours. Something you can so easily lose yourself in, it brings a smile to your face as you are swept up along the way.” Zooloo’s Book Diary

“Christopher Dickens has a pleasant, easy to follow voice, perfect for this genre and age range. He conveys the change in characters and atmosphere well and does so in a way where you know which character is speaking before the speech tag comes – a fantastic quality in a narrator. I don’t have kids, but I found Mr Dickens relaxing, and a great storyteller.” Radzy Writes & Reviews

“the narrator is easy to listen to and his voice doesn’t sound too mature to be narrating from the point of view of a 12 year old boy.” Birdies Bibliotecha

“a brilliant book which is very well narrated” Black Books

“This is one of the best audiobook narraters I’ve come across. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for more audiobooks from him, and of course for more books in this series.” This is my bookshelf

Here are the links to all the reviews.

Radzy Writes http://www.vainradical.co.uk/blogs/eternal-seas-blog-blitz/
Zooloo’s Book Diary http://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/audiobookreview-of-eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees-rararesources
Herding Cats https://likeherdingcatsblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees-audiobook-tour/
World Geekly News http://worldgeeklynews.com/books/eternal-seas-book-review
The Treasure Within https://thetreasurewithinblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/eternal-seas-a-sea-faring-adventure-story-blog-blitz/
donnasbookblog https://donnasbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/blogtour-bookreview-for-eternal-seas-by-lexi-rees/
Birdie’s Bibliotheca https://birdiesbibliotheca.com/2019/04/23/eternal-seas-a-review/
Splashes Into Books https://splashesintobooks.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/eternal-seas/
Mai’s Musings https://maitaylor567291325.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/eternal-seas-lexi-rees-audiobook/
This Is My Bookshelf https://thisismybookshelfblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/blog-tour-eternal-seas/

 

Huge thanks again to everyone, and to Rachel’s Random Resources for hosting the tour!