Wednesday 12 February 2014

Adventuring In The Book Bag…

It is International Book Giving Day this week, so I have books on the brain! Are you taking part? Let me know what you are doing.

It has been quite a while since I did one of these posts! This is what we have been reading recently…

Half Spoon Of Rice by Icy Smith, obviously genocide is not an easy topic to talk about with kids but I feel like this book did it well. It follows the story of a little boy who was taken by the Khemer Rouge, separated from his family and forced to work in the fields. His journey explains how they were not allowed to talk, worked really long days and lived in constant fear and how they only got a half spoon of rice to eat each day. When he eventually reaches freedom there is talk about seeing lots of dead bodies but they are not show graphically. This is a page where a solider is hitting a child and another where the boy has pulled a leg off a frog to eat it. 
Despite the grim topic and somber artwork there is a happy ending and he finds his family again! There are also author notes at the end of the book which talk about actual prisons and a handful of photos so you can take the discussion further if you wish.
This is definitely one of those books where you need to consider the personality and age of your child, Ebi-kun is eight and a half now, we read it together the first time and he had some questions, then later he read it by himself a few times. At one point he told me how lucky he was to live the life he does, I have to agree with that!
Available on Amazon and The Book Depository (free international shipping)

Next in the book bag is Gold Of The Gods by Bear Gyrlls, Ebi-kun could not put this book down! I have finally found something to replace Beast Quest! He took this on holiday with us and started it when we got to the elephant sanctuary, when he wasn't elephanting he had his nose stuck in this! It is an exciting (of course, it is Bear Gyrlls we are talking about) book about Beck Granger, who is the youngest survival expert in the world and it include special tips on how to survive in the wild - you know, for when you plane crashes in the Amazon jungle…

Available on The Book Depository (FREE international shipping)

And talking of Bear Gyrlls, I have just finished his autobiography Mud, Sweat And Tears. Great book, really interesting to learn that he isn't Mr Macho and how he really struggled at times. I had no idea he failed to get in the SAS first time round or exactly how gruelling the selection process is and then from how he broke his back but picked himself up and went on to climb Everest. He also has a junior version of the book, which Ebi-kun has got but hasn't read yet, I imagine it has been toned down somewhat for the kids version. If you are looking for a motivational book to read then this would be a good choice.

Available on Amazon and The Book Depository (Free international shipping)

Ebi-kun got The National Geographic Kids Infopedia 2014 for Christmas and it has been a big hit, he is forever reeling off random facts about polar bears, rocks, holidays around the world and coral reefs, to name but a few. It is one of those books you pick up, dip in and read a few pages and then get inspired to learn more. It covers no end of information and of course has stunning photography!

Available of The Book Depository (Free international shipping)

Last but not least, I want to give Exploring Angkor by Sun Heng Meng Chheang & Huot Sarith a mention, we picked this up at the National Museum in Seim Reap and also saw it at the airport shop. If you are visiting Angkor with kids it is a must buy, sadly I can't find any online retailer and it doesn't have an ISBN number. It is a great kids book, well written and broken down so a child can read it without getting bogged down too much with all the history details and stories, which happens in a lot of the adult books about Angkor. Plus it has photos and cute illustrations. Ebi-kun  gives it a thumbs up!

What are your kids reading at the moment and what about you? Got any good book recommendations to share? pop them in the comments please!


  1. What is being read is a bunch of schoolbooks; the others are just waiting in queue forever it seems. But I can recommend Cressida Cowell's dragon series for sure. Her plot handling is incredible. Another writer, if you go for Indian history at any time, is Subhadra Sen Gupta. We have 'Let's go time traveling', 'Girls of India: A Mauryan Adventure' and 'The secret diary of the world's worst cook'. The middle one is the best of these, but it is part of a series of three, written by different authors, each about a different time period in Indian history.

  2. Cressida Cowell is the How To Train Your Dragon author isn't she? We have some of her books. I will look into the others!

  3. I grabbed the Grylls bio at the library and read it over the weekend. Good (fast) read. Thanks for the recommendations!

    1. happy you liked it! I would have thought JI would be into his kids books


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