The First Book Reviews of 2020… And a New Initiative!

Hello dear Readers!

My apologies for the radio silence here on the blog during the end of 2019. As you might already know if you’ve been keeping up with my posts here, I had a baby in October 2019. That means that the end of 2019 was what people have been calling the “fourth trimester” of my pregnancy journey, and the first three months of my son’s life. I wrote recently about how chaotic and difficult these first three months were for me, but I am proud to report that I am feeling back to myself now and have settled into a remarkable and wonderful bond with my son that I truly can’t imagine my life without! 

This means that I am also feeling up to reviewing books now that my writer’s voice is coming back. I did manage to read many books during my first three months with my son, but I didn’t have the energy to review them at the time. Ironically, I was able to read 56 books in 2019 (Remember when I set my Goodreads goal to 1 book back in the beginning of 2019 because I was so afraid I wouldn’t have much time to read at all? Haha!), which I am very pleased about, but I haven’t set myself a specific goal for 2020 because, of course, having a baby is something that takes up A LOT of time! That being said, I have managed to finish some books in 2020 already…although, some of them have been children’s books that I have read to my son. This got me thinking, though, that maybe it would be a worthwhile endeavour to review some children’s books here on my blog and on Goodreads because, despite the fact that they are short and quick to get through, not all children’s books are created the same and there is a lot to be said about them. I thought perhaps parents might find it interesting to read these reviews when deciding which children’s books to spend their money on, and so I decided that it’s high time to start a new reviewing initiative here on my blog, focused completely on my thoughts (and occasionally my son’s too) on the children’s books that are now a huge part of my life. I’m going to call this new initiative JNG & Dorian Lee Review and I hope you will all enjoy it! 

Below you’ll find a few recent reviews, of both “adult” books and children’s books I’ve gotten through recently… And, as always, thank you for reading and continuing to support my humble efforts on this little space of the Internet! xox

The Oxford Inheritance by Ann A. MacDonald

A lot stranger than I expected it to be…and a little bit muddled all around. But still somewhat entertaining!

❥❥❥ (out of 5)

Christmas on Primrose Hill by Karen Swan

Pure Karen Swan magic! This heartwarming, hilarious, sexy and sweet novel is an instant favourite! Absolutely perfect to cozy up with during the winter season!

❥❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

The Perfect Present by Karen Swan

This is a very different type of book for Karen Swan, but I loved it! It was full of mystery and intrigue, and although I didn’t always like Laura as a main character, by the end I grew to love her. 

My Favourite Quote:

“This was what it was to be a mother, she saw – pride and fear intermingled with something fierce and tender all at once. Something complicated, something universal, but uniquely theirs all the same.”

❥❥❥❥ (out of 5)

My First Book of Animals / Colours / Numbers by Emma Hill

This collection of introductory books for young children is really conveniently designed, but not altogether relevant. 

The physical construction of the book is quite ingenius, since the fold out style means that the books can be propped up on the floor beside your baby or even within their crib, allowing them the opportunity to look at the bright and vibrant pictures on their own and independently. These books are also a lot of fun to read with your child because they provide an opportunity to elaborate on the animals and colours (for example, “Orange is Mummy’s favourite colour!”), and to actually count out the numbers. I also decided to tell my son the words for the animals, colours and numbers in French as well as English, so there is an opportunity to incorporate second language learning into this reading experience.

That being said, I did feel that the selection of objects in these three books was not really that relatable or relevant to my child. For example, pages about “six toy soldiers” or a flower being the selection for the colour pink, rather than an object that is consistently pink such as a flamingo, seemed a bit random and made me think that my son will not necessarily grasp a full concept of colours or numbers from these books. I prefer some of the books I’ve seen that focus on objects that children see in their every day environments as they are easier to refer to and seem to teach more relevant information.

❥❥.5 (out of 5)

The Serious Goose by Jimmy Kimmel

This children’s book is really funny and cute! I found it to be a lot of fun to read with my son because it is short, with a simple concept. The text/font is also extremely large, and I feel that older children around the ages of 1 to 2 years will be able to follow along with the story very easily. The colours are also vibrant but not overwhelming, as Kimmel chooses to mainly use whites, blacks and oranges and avoids bombarding the reader with too many colours.

My one critique is that I don’t think this book is interesting enough to become a classic. It’s sweet and adorable, but nothing overly special, so I don’t think it will go down as a memorable story in my household.

❥❥❥ (out of 5)

JNG (& Dorian Lee)

Girl (& Baby) with a Green Heart

2 Comments

  1. Aww I love that you’ve decided to start reviewing children’s books too! I think that as your son grows up, it will be so interesting for you to look back on a the adventures you had with him reading together. I’m looking forward to seeing those posts ❤️

    1. JanilleNG says:

      Thank you so so much! 💚 I’m looking forward to all the reading I’ll be doing with him and having this record of the books we enjoyed together.

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