REVIEW: How To Catch The Easter Bunny by Adam Wallace and Illustrated by Andy Elkerton

Published: 1st February 2017

Publisher:  Lake Press

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback Picture Book

RRP: $12.95

3.5/5 Stars  

Is this the year you’ll be able to catch the Easter bunny in action? Start an Easter tradition with this fun and funny children’s book, from the New York Times bestselling creators of How to Catch a Leprechaun!

-I’ve been working long and hard
with all my peeps and crew.
We’ve made the eggs, and now I’m here
to bring them all to you!-

How To Catch The Easter Bunny  by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton is a surprisingly cute and hilarious little book. Wallace and Elkerton have delivered a perfect Easter themed book for any child (or child at heart) who has contemplated, and even attempted, catching the Easter Bunny.

The first thing I noticed about How To Catch The Easter Bunny  was the explosion of colour. Featuring full double page illustration spreads, it is impossible not to notice the use of strong, bright and bubbly colours that perfectly identify Easter and the fun loving vibe this book gives off on every page. This is in turn is paired with Wallace’s simple and playful text that seeks to leave the reader laughing along with the narrator.

You want to catch me for my eggs,

and magic basket too,

but I’ve been hiding Easter treats since 1962!’

The second thing, was the unusual choice of narrator. Given the title of the book, I was rather surprised to realise that it was in fact the Easter Bunny himself, or E.B as he prefers to be called,  narrating the story – a point that does lend itself to a hilarious adventure and some interesting fourth wall collisions.


I switch my size, from two feet tall to something small and grey.

Your Easter spirit is so strong,

you see me straight away.

I leave so many EASTER TREATS,

no children will be sad.

But when they see that I’ve escaped,

they’ll all be hopping mad!

The Easter Bunny takes us through all the traps set for him along the years and how he always manages to escape. Featuring such daring attempts as the simple carrot trick, to the more outlandish cannon candy and ‘Bunny Tumbler 2.0’, How To Catch The Easter Bunny is sure to leave everyone with a small on their face and hop in their step.

To purchase a copy of How To Catch The Easter Bunny , visit the following online retailers:

Booktopia | Book Depository | Amazon AUS | Amazon UK | Amazon US | Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Wordery |



REVIEW: Barefoot Investor by Scott Page

Published: 22nd November 2016 / 1st August 2017 (updated Version)

Publisher: Wiley

Pages: 248

Format: Soft cover, non-fiction (2016  version)

RRP: $29.99

4/5 Stars 

If you’re like most of us, you spend your whole damn life working for everyone else: the bank, your spouse, or your kids – it’s rare that you carve out some time to stop and focus on the vitally important questions. You know, the one’s that are critical, but not urgent, like: “Why am I still in this job? Wasn’t this supposed to be a stepping-stone? Why do some people seem to be doing better financially than me? Will I end up eating home-brand bangers and watching Family Feud in retirement?Am I on the right path?”Together we’re going to answer these questions. I’ll give you a step-by-step plan that will clear away the cobwebs of doubt and give you clarity and confidence. But to get the most out of it, you need to do your part: sit uninterrupted in an easy chair, with a biro, a cuppa and a Tim Tam or two.To be truly happy you must be in control of your financial life – or lack of money will control you forever. So in this book, I’m going to step out my plan — a plan that’s allowed me to tread my own path, and will allow you to do so too.Over the years I’ve successfully taught this plan to thousands of people, from elite athletes to single mums on Centrelink. I’m confident it will work the same for you as it did for for them.I understand how busy life is. The average visitor to my website stays for around 2.38 minutes (or so my web geek tells me)… and I’m asking you to spend an afternoon with me?!So at the start of this journey together, I want to honour your commitment, and that’s why I’ll make this promise to you: You will be able to buy everything you need, while achieving your number one goal: whether that be dumping your debts, radically paying off your dream home, or retiring with dignity. You’ll achieve it without using a strict budget, or living like your poor old Aunty Mavis. Above all, I’ll give you the freedom to tread your own path.Sounds like bulldust, right?All I ask is that you keep an open mind. Read this book in your comfy chair, enjoy the bikkies, and follow all the instructions.Trust me on this: as you begin to see the plan working, your confidence will soar.

As a bookseller, this is a book I both love and loathe. I love it because it’s so easy to read and understand, offers some great advice and is so easy to hand sell. I loathe it, because, in recent months, Scott Page and his finance book The Barefoot Investor has become one of the MUST have finance books, not only here in Australia, but all around the world. Thus, I spend a good proportion of my day fielding questions about this particular title and explaining to people that we are once again sold out. All of which is to say, The Barefoot Investor is a fantastic finance book for anyone looking for a book to get their money back on track.

The older I get, the more I start to take aspects of my life a hell of a lot more seriously, especially when it comes to money. Back in high school, we learnt about depreciation and percentages and taxes etc, but I feel like perhaps there should have been an entire class dedicated to life skills and money management for the everyday person. In the current world/climate, it is so easy for people to fall into money traps and make bad decisions that can haunt you for the rest of your life. Sometimes those money mistakes turn into bigger financial woes that can see everything you know and love come crashing down. While I’m not in any of these dire situations, I knew it was time for me to start getting ahead and learning as much as I could about financial stability, superannuation, shares, credit ratings etc.

I read this book a few weeks ago, and while there are giant chunks of this book that aren’t applicable to my situation, I found it really useful and a great starting point to get my financial stability not only back on track, but ahead!

Scott Page is a financial guru that has spent years helping people out of their money debts. The Barefoot Investor is a straight shooting, hold no bares book about money and how to handle it better for the everyday person. In easy to understand language, he breaks down credit, debt, daily budgeting that isn’t strict or limiting, shares, superannuation and what you should be doing to get ahead in life financially.

His strategy is easy to follow, with weekly-turned monthly ‘dates’ set aside for you to look at your money situation and make sure you are on track. He gives out practical advice and even uses everyday situations and examples to show how to implement his ideas into your lives no matter your living situation.

Having read The Barefoot Investor from cover to cover in the space of a couple of hours, I can see why this book has taken off. It’s easy to understand and offers practical advice to people from all walks of life and financial situations.

All in all, I do recommend this book to anyone who looking for help or simply to better understand some of the more confusing aspects of finance in a clear and decisive manner. The Barefoot Investor is a great starting block to get your confidence back on side and get your money situation back on track so that you too can live a more stress-free and happier lifestyle.

For anyone looking at learning more about their finances, I strongly encourage you to take the Open2Study free Financial Literacy course. This course covers the basics of financial literacy in broken down easy to understand snapshots to help you understand some much bigger and broader terms, concepts and financial problems. To learn more about this course, visit Open2Study.


To purchase a copy of The Barefoot Investor, visit the following online retailers:

Amazon Aus | Amazon US | Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Barnes & Noble | Booktopia | Book Depository | Dymocks | QBD |


REVIEW: Die Hard Christmas by Doggie Horner and Illustrated by JJ Harrison

Published: 24th October2017

Publisher: Insights Editions

Pages: 32

Format: Hardback Picture Book (Purchased)

RRP: $24.99

5/5 Stars

A delightful Christmas storybook for adults based on the action-packed Die Hard movie

All John McClane wants for Christmas is to reunite with his estranged family. But when his wife’s office holiday party turns into a deadly hostage situation, he has to save her life before he can get home in time for Christmas!

The unconventional fan-favorite movie Die Hard is now an illustrated storybook—complete with machine guns, European terrorists, and a cop who’s forced to rely on all his cunning and skills (and the help of a fellow officer) to save the day. Based on the classic “Night Before Christmas” poem and filled with whimsical illustrations, this cleverly reimagined homage is destined to become a holiday classic.

Contains adult material including violence and strong language. Reader discretion is advised. Ho-ho-ho.



Die Hard is the Christmas movie in my house (followed closely by the 1994 version of Miracle of 34th Street). So much so that it doesn’t feel like Christmas until we’ve watched at least the first movie. Thus, it comes as no surprise about how excited I was to learn about, and then pre-order, this brilliantly quirky and amazing Christmas book for adults.

Die Hard Christmas by Doogie Horner and illustrated by JJ Harrison is exactly what you expect it to be. An illustrated copy of the 1988 Die Hard movie, presented as a picture book for adults. Written in rhyming verse, in a style that mimics The Night Before Christmas poem, Horner’s adaption of the movie is pretty much spot on, minus a few scences and the odd character. The book reads as a complete story that is neither rushed or incomplete and the echoing of the christmas poetry creates a beautiful and somewhat hilarious contrast between what is happening in the story and on the page at times.

Don’t be fooled by the picture book format, rhyming verse or the concept however,Die Hard Christmas is the ultimate picture book for adults this year; with it’s blood, bombs, machine guns and “yipee-ki-yay ….” slogan it is most certainly not for kids, and remains as close as it possibly can be to the movie we all love and adore.

JJ Harrison’s illustrations are bold and cartoon like as they take on the iconic 1988 movie and bring it on to the page. What I love most about this book is perhaps the way in which Horner and Harrison have created the ultimate Die Hard fan book that is both true to the original, but also with a tiny spark of creativity and their own take on the story without compromising or dishonouring the original story. All the known characters feature heavily in the book, and Harrison has done an outstanding job at making them both easy to recognise and somehow, sutbly different as well.

All in all, Die Hard Christmas is the book that fans of the franchise have been waiting almost thirty years for without even knowing it. It’s the ultimate book that answers the age old questions as to whether Die Hard is a suitable Christmas movie (a big resounding fat YES from my family!) and it’s honesty and originally are sure to make this book a much love Christmas classic in it’s own right.

If you are looking to buy Die Hard Christmas for a loved one this Christmas, I wouldn’t delay. Online book retailers appear to be selling out of this gem quickly, and with Christmas just around the corner, I wouldn’t leave it too long!




To purchase a copy of Die Hard Christmas, visit the following online retailers:

Print = Amazon USAngus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Barnes & Noble  | Boffins Books Aus   Booktopia | Book Depository | Dymocks  Ebay (Aus)  |   Indigo (CA) |


REVIEW: No One Likes A Fart by Zoe Foster Blake, Illustrated by Adam Nickle

Published:13th November 2017

Publisher: Penguin Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia

Pages: 32

Format: Hard Cover Picture Book courtesy of the publisher

RRP: $19.99

4/5 Stars

A sweet, funny story about accepting yourself and finding a friend who loves you just the way you are. Mostly, though, it’s about a fart. And fart jokes. Loooots of fart jokes.

Fart is excited! He’s desperate to make friends and have fun. But no one likes a fart. Not even a fart with a heart. Too smelly. Too embarrassing. Too gross.

Zoë has written lots of grown-up books, none of which mention a single fart. She is the mother of two little people and a cat with a permanently cranky face. She wants it known that despite writing this book, she still doesn’t like farts, even if her husband Tooty McFluffson refuses to acknowledge this.

In full disclosure, I adore Zoe Foster Blake’s adult rom-coms. I’ve gobbled each and every one of them up and my eyes were glued to the Australian Tv-Series adaption of The Wrong Girl. So needless to say when this picture book turned up as a review copy from the publisher, I was both intrigued and confused as I wasn’t aware Foster Blake had moved into picture books.

Move over Aaron Blabey’s Pig The Pug, there is a new Australian picture book making waves this Christmas. In just over two weeks since Zoe Foster Blake’s first foray into picture books was launched, Australian shoppers have gobbled up No One Likes A Fart and made it possibly one of the most popular and biggest picture books to have this Christmas. Having been sent a copy from the Publisher, Penguin Random House Australia, I can totally understand why.

Everywhere you look these days, there are picture books filling the shelves of bookstores trying to engage children, particularly young boys to read. Books with titles featuring the words ‘fart’, ‘bum’ and ‘spew’ are taking over the shelves at an alarming rate, and yet it’s this latest edition from Zoe Foster Blake that is taking the booksellers and shoppers by storm this Christmas and rightly so.

No One Likes A Fart is a comprehensive story about a Fart whose life has just begun (yes, he gets farted on to the pages) and who is looking to find some friends and find his place in the world. Through a bunch of trials and misunderstandings, Fart is wafted through houses, buses, cafes and even back alley’s unable to find anyone to like him for him – bad smell and all. Rejected on all accounts, Fart is forced to come face to face with some hard truths about himself and the world at large, until he meets Burp, a girl much like himself and his new best friend.

What I loved about this book was not only how Zoe Foster Blake’s text and Adam Nickel’s illustrations complement each other so effortlessly, but also how poignant this story is and how they conveyed it with just the right amount of humour and seriousness. Here is a story about fitting in, learning to love and accept yourself for who you are and the often painful realisation that the world isn’t the nicest of places sometimes. It’s a book perfect for young and old and filled with some typically gross toilet humour (it is a book about farts after all), it is sure to leave readers of all ages laughing.

Zoe Foster Blake’s text is rather simple and effective. With sentences tending to consist of easy to understand language and shorter and snappier sentences. It’s printed in black bold text that is both clear and well placed around the pages. Adam Nickel’s illustrations are full double page illustrations with bold black outlines and typically consist of a more drab, but appropriate, sepia style colour palette of brown, orange, poo-green and blacks. The little farts themselves are presented as clouds with stick arms and legs and the most expressive little faces that make you want to hug them if they weren’t just drawings in a book.

No One Likes A Fart is a poignant book that relies on the right balance of toilet humour to entice young readers into its pages where a more serious, but perfectly balanced message of self-worth, respect and acceptance await their little ears and eyes. It’s the type of book, children will keep reaching for and will form an integral part of bedtime stories with a soundtrack of laughter thrown in for good measure.



To purchase a copy of No One Likes A Fart, visit the following online retailers:

Penguin Random House Australia | Amazon AUS | Amazon US | Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Booktopia | Book DepositoryDymocks | QBD |

To learn more about Zoe Foster Blake, visit the following social media pages:

Author Website  | Penguin Random House Australia | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

To learn more about Adam Nickel, visit the following social media pages:

Illustrator WebsiteInstagram |



REVIEW: Sapphire (Bratva Jewels Book One) by JA Low

Published: 30th July 2017

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Pages: 256

Format: Ebook (ARC courtesy of the publisher for review)

RRP: $5.99

4/5 Stars 

An unconventional love is tested to its limits in this completely immersive dark ménage suspense, for fans of JL Perry and Pepper Winters.

Mateo is used to being in the spotlight, he craves it in everything he does . . . except when it comes to his love life – that is firmly in the closet.

Tomas shuns the spotlight, the one he was born into, he wants nothing to do with it or his high-flying family who now reject him for his choices in love.

But Tomas’ and Mateo’s carefully constructed lives are turned inside out when they discover a beautiful, battered woman on their doorstep. The woman with the sapphire eyes has no memory of who she is or how she got there. Can they help her remember before the men who are after her find her first?

The first standalone book in the BRATVA JEWELS series from the author of the DIRTY TEXAS books, JA Low

I’ve previously read J A Low’s The Dirty Texas series (rock-star romance) and really enjoyed her books, but nothing could have prepared me for Sapphire. Sapphire is the kind of book that you fly through because you are so gripped by the world and characters that you simply can’t put it down. It’s the kind of book that asks the reader to go in open minded and is confronting as all hell, but it’s a story that needs to be told, and one that will leave the reader feeling rewarded, charmed and with a different outlook on life. In short,  Sapphire is amazing and I’ve never read anything quite like it.

Sapphire is the first book in what is currently a duology (Diamond is set to release October 29 2017). Although it’s a lot darker than J A Low’s Dirty Texas Series, Sapphire is easy to read and the kind of book you find yourself racing towards the end of only to want to start reading it again almost immediately.

Sapphire is very much a darker romance than J A Low’s previous Dirty Texas Series. While the romance is still just as hot – possibly even more steamier and sexier in this book – the narrative itself deals with the dark underbelly of sex trafficking and the women who find themselves trapped in the industry after being kidnapped. It deals with the Russian Mafia, kidnapping and manipulation of and by sex workers, but it does so by putting a human face and emotion to a very ugly side of humanity. While these aspects of the story are confronting and very much in your face, J A Low, has expertly navigated a complicated story and brought her trademark warmth, heart and whit that we’ve seen and loved in the Dirty Texas Series previously to the page once again.

Sapphire is also a Male-Male-Female (MMF) romance. It’s the first MMF book I’ve read to date and I absolutely loved it, but for some this unconventional romance might push boundaries a little too far. I really enjoyed the way we were introduced to Tomas and Mateo and the way their relationship was not only established but it felt real, so much so that when Zoe was introduced to the story and later their relationship it felt fluent and natural. The resulting narrative is then not only engaging as we get to see how a relationship consisting of three main players in navigated firstly in the home, and secondly by those in the know (Eg. family members), but it also makes for one hell of a sexy romance that leaves little to the imagination.

J A Low has done an amazing job bringing the characters to life in this book. While the main players – Tomas, Mateo, Zoe and our resident  Mafia villains Nikolai and Dimitri – are louder and larger than life, the secondary characters of Gracie and Zoe’s Mum are equally hilarious and engaging and add some light comic relief and casualness to the story that helps break up some of the more darker aspects.

I really enjoyed the romantic suspense elements of this book, and I honestly had no idea where the story was going to go whilst reading. J A Low has created an expertly paced and succinct novel that is sure to leave readers content for the time being, but equally wanting more and more – I know I can’t wait to read Diamond, the follow up novel that releases October 29!

All in all I highly recommend Sapphire for anyone who likes their romance with an edge, or is thinking about trying some of the darker romances on the market. In fact Sapphire would make a great introduction to the broader genre as it balances the darker elements with just the right comedic relief and warmth we know J A Low excels at. What’s more the story is fresh and invigorating and it reads effortlessly – I know I was hooked within only a few pages!-  I’m really excited to see what is next for J A Low.

To purchase your own copy of Sapphire, visit the following online retailers:

AMAZON (US) | Booktopia | Google Play | Ibooks (AUS) | KOBO

To learn more about J A Low, visit the following social media sites:

   Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |



REVIEW: Corpselight by Angela Slatter (Book 2 in the Verity Fassbinder Series)

Published: 11th July 2017

Publisher: Jo Fletcher/Hachette Australia

Pages: 376

Format: Paperback courtesy of the publisher

RRP: $32.99

5/5 Stars

‘Simply put: Slatter can write! Beautifully, stylishly, accurately. She forces us to recognise the monsters that are ourselves’ – Jack Dann, award-winning author.

Sequel to VIGIL, this fast-paced urban fantasy is perfect for fans of Harry Dresden and Kinsey Malhone.

Life in Brisbane is never simple for those who walk between the worlds.

Verity’s all about protecting her city, but right now that’s mostly running surveillance and handling the less exciting cases for the Weyrd Council – after all, it’s hard to chase the bad guys through the streets of Brisbane when you’re really, really pregnant.

An insurance investigation sounds pretty harmless, even if it is for ‘Unusual Happenstance’. That’s not usually a clause Normals use – it covers all-purpose hauntings, angry genii loci, ectoplasmic home invasion, demonic possession, that sort of thing – but Susan Beckett’s claimed three times in three months. Her house keeps getting inundated with mud, but she’s still insisting she doesn’t need or want help . . . until the dry-land drownings begin.

V’s first lead takes her to Chinatown, where she is confronted by kitsune assassins. But when she suddenly goes into labour, it’s clear the fox spirits are not going to be helpful . . .

Corpselight is the sequel to Vigil and the second book in the Verity Fassbinder series by award-winning author Angela Slatter.

Verity Fassbinder is back in Corpselight and ready to protect the ones she loves not matter the cost.

I came away from Vigil (book one in the Verity Fassbinder series) feeling content but a little bit disappointed that the book didn’t punch me emotional as I expected it to. Well I can say full heartedly that not only did Angela Slatter comes back with a kick arse book to match her hard as nails heroine Verity Fassbinder, but she completely delivered on the emotional  smack down and the fast paced action thriller style writing that we all know and love her for.

Corpselight is a fast paced, fantasy based, action adventure crime thriller that is sure to leave you on the edge of your seats. Once again it’s mythology based, dark and twisted and features all our favourites from the the first book (Vigil) and some soon to be new favourites!

This is a book I could not put down. I started it one lazy Sunday morning and did not stop reading until I’d finished the book that night. It was that captivating and mesmerising that I couldn’t help but throw myself into the world of Briseyland (Slatter’s re-imagined Brisbane) and all the craziness that goes on there.

I’m not going to rehash the plot in this review, as I truly believe this a book that is best experienced. What I will say however was that this book…. it was everything. The characters felt like family and oh-so real that I simply wanted to cover them up in cotton wool and protect them from everything that went on. I was internally screaming at some of the decisions made and their emotional journeys moved me. I was literally on the edge of my seat reading hoping like hell they would get their happy-ever-after that they oh-so-deserved.

For those who had read my review of Vigil, you’d know that while I really enjoyed that book I felt like the characters were inaccessible on an emotional level. While I laughed at their larger-than-life attitudes and humour, I didn’t connect with them the way I wished I had. Well, I can tell you, I 100 % connected with the characters in this book. Verity is still a hard task master who knows when and how to get a job done no matter the consequence and yet this time around she was also vulnerable and more human. She opened up to the reader and I defy anyone not to sympathise with her with the shit storm that is thrown her way time and time again in Corpselight.

Unlike Vigil, Corpselight centres around Verity and those near and dear to her. The crimes deeply impact her band of merry misfits and as such the book is so much more powerful and punchy because of the direct connection. There is no where for Verity to hide on the page, no armour for her show pony behind. The world she inhibits is laid bare before her and the consequences are astronomical. Because of all of this I felt Verity was much more clear as a character. She is more vulnerable and has so much more depth, which in turn makes her both more human and not, all at once. I loved it.

David plays a more pivotal role in this narrative as well. While I wasn’t impressed with the one-dimensional love interest in book one, David truly redeems himself in book two. I’m no longer as suspicious of his motives, and I’m impressed with how David turned into a truly unexpected sidekick who constantly surprises. With Bella and Verity’s past romantic history and all the illusions of what they meant to each other in Vigil, I was desperate for those two to end up together again. But after seeing what Slatter had in stall for David and Verity in Corpselight and the shit storm they had to survive, I’m equally happy with the current outcome and terrified for the third book in the series.

We get lot’s more of Zvezdomir ‘Bela’ Tepes and Ziggi, as well as the Norn Sisters, all of who play a pivotal role in Verity’s life and the narrative so far.

Once again Corpselight is very Aussie in tone and character. That’s not to deter international readers, as the story is still very universal and easily accessible; but until I read this series I didn’t quite realise how much I missed, and lacked for that matter, a sense of Australia  in my fantasy. This series is truly one of a kind.

All in all I can not fault this book at all. For the entire 400 pages I was totally and utterly glued to the pages and mesmerised for the story. Slatter’s writing is not only flawless, but it packed one hell of an emotional punch this time that I physically broke out in Goosebumps as I raced my way to the books conclusion. I can not wait to see what happens next in the third instalment of the Verity Fassbinder series.



To purchase a copy of Vigil, visit the following online retailers:

Print – Hachette Australia | QBD | Angus & Robertson’s Bookworld | Booktopia | Dymocks

Ebook – Amazon AUS | Google Play | Ibooks AUS | KoboBooktopia



To learn more about Angela Slatter, visit the following social media pages:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Hachette Australia | Goodreads |


REVIEW: My Brother Tom by Michelle Worthington and Illustrated Ann-Marie Finn

Published: 1st March 2017

Publisher: Wombat Books

Pages: 32

Format: Soft-cover Picture book (Purchased)

RRP: $14.99

5/5 Stars

My Brother Tom is a story for older siblings of premature babies, to help them make sense of what is happening at a difficult time. Royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to Life’s Little Treasures Foundation in the name of Tom Worthington Walker.


My Brother Tom is an astoundingly beautiful and heart moving picture book by Aussie Author Michelle Worthington and illustrator Ann-Marie Finn.

I stumbled across My Brother Tom in the bookshop at the most recent CYA (Children Young Adult) conference in Brisbane earlier this year. I picked the book up without reading the blurb and was instantly moved to tears by the story and the illustrations and simply HAD to buy the book. For what Michelle Worthington and Ann-Marie Finn have created here is not just a picture book about premature babies, but an emotional journey and experience through a child’s eyes. My Brother Tom is an emotional and visceral experience that is sure to tug at heart strings as the narrative is not only heartbreaking, but heart-warming as we witness a story that seeks to explain and reassure a child and their family at large about the many complications surrounding premature birth.

My Brother Tom seeks to explain in a child’s own words what is happening all around them when a younger sibling is born prematurely. Thus the stories targeted audience is older siblings of premature babies, but the books appeal and audience is in fact a lot more wider and far reaching than simply that.

On a personal note, I’m not an older sibling of a premature baby. As the eldest of four girls, I’ve never witnessed this happen to someone else. But I am constantly reminded by my family at large at the fear that being born premature creates. You see, I was born prematurely myself and this book allowed me to see first hand the overwhelming experience my parents talk about. It enabled me to understand and experience the fear and uncertainty in what felt like an honest and raw way, and it put into perspective just how earth shattering the whole long experience must have felt like for them.

Michelle Worthington is an award winning author who speaks openly and honestly about life’s biggest and sometimes more unexpected challenges in this book. Her story is simply in delivery but packs one hell of a strong emotional punch. I particularly love that she chose to tell this story through the eyes of an older sibling and to explore how it would feel to witness your younger brother living in hospital and fighting for his life each day. It’s clear from the story, and the information in the back of the book that this story means the world to Michelle Worthington as all royalties are donated to Life’s Little Treasure’s Foundation in honour of her son, Tome Worthington Walker.

Ann-Marie Finn’s illustrations capture the heart and soul of Michelle Worthington’s narrative in My Brother Tom. Blue and darker colours dominate the majority of the book (until the happier resolution where yellow and lighter colours take over the pages) and I was really moved by the positioning of the characters and Finn’s illustrations. The cover illustration (pictured above) is also the opening page illustration and the only image in the entire book where either parent’s face is facing the reader. This distance, and the emotion conveyed through their body posture and language  allows for the sibling to take the story on as their own, but also allows for greater freedom and vulnerability of the story as a whole. Every single image of each double page spread is simply astoundingly beautiful in its own right, but when combined with Michelle Worthington’s story, it becomes something more vulnerable and honest. Something so tangible and perfectly imperfect.

My Brother Tom is an ideal starting point for anyone who has wondered what it really feels like to have a child/sibling born premature, and it’s a great discussion starter for what is often regaled as a hushed conversation that we don’t speak about in public.

My Brother Tom is a story with a hole lot of heart. It’s honest and real, and the families vulnerability really shines through on the page. It’s both heart breaking and heart warming at the same time, and is a book that left me astounded yet again by the power of picture books. It’s a picture book that transcends the realm of picture books, and it has universal appeal that will speak to readers of all ages, family backgrounds and structures regardless of whether they have or know of any babies born prematurely.

You can purchase a copy of My Brother Tom via the following online retailers:

Booktopia | Bookdepository | Amazon US | Wombat Books | Ebay |


To learn more about Michelle Worthington, visit the following social media sites:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | PINTEREST | Youtube |

to learn more about ann-marie finn, visit the following social media sites:

website | Wombat Books Australia | Facebook |