Book Reviews,  Parenting

Give the gift of reading!!! {Christmas Gift Guide}

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some gift guides, brand spotlights and some GIVEAWAYS as part of my Christmas Gift Guide series for 2018. Today we kick off with the first post in the series!

It’s no secret that I love to read, and my kids love to read…hence the creation of the #BookReviewFriday series every week! I have been so blessed this year to receive the most fabulous books to read and review, so it’s no surprise that I am doing a book guide as suggestions for gifts this year! Whether for yourself, your spouse, your kids….I really hope you’ll be wrapping up some books to go under the Christmas tree this year! I’m going to share some exciting new releases, as well as a recap of some of the books that I (and the kids) have loved this year!

The Room on The Broom Cookbook – Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The Room on the Broom Cookbook is jam-packed with spellbindingly delicious treats, healthy snacks and simple meals – all inspired by the bestselling picture book Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Make your own cheese wands, creepy crawly crackers, roasted dragon or even witch and chips. With twenty-three recipes specially designed for adults to use with children, easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions and lots of hints and tips on what to do next, The Room on the Broom Cookbook is a great way to inspire an interest in cooking and baking.

So I love my family, makeup, macarons…..and cooking! I don’t cook a lot though, because my mom lives with us and so she does most of…okay 99% of the cooking. I do miss cooking though, because it’s something I really love doing. My stack of cookbooks are testament to this fact. Addison also really enjoys helping me in the kitchen, but we honestly don’t do it often enough. The kids are always concerned: What if Ma dies??? What will we eat? Who will cook? I usually roll my eyes….because they seem to forget I do also cook that 1% of the time. *insert eye roll*

When Pan Macmillan kids sent this book to me…I squealed in delight. Addison herself was so excited and immediately made a list of the items she planned to make. This book is an amazing keepsake item….it’s filled with beautiful illustrations, and recipes that are really interesting sounding for the kids! This would be an ideal gift for your kids…and also ensure you spend some quality time together.

Rabbit and Bear Series – Julian Gough and Jim Field

In this laugh-out-loud funny story, a rabbit and bear discover that things are always better when they’re shared with a friend.

Bear wakes up early from hibernation. If she can’t sleep, then at least she can make a snowman. 

Rabbit has never made a snowman, but he definitely wants to make one that’s better than Bear’s. 

However, with an avalanche and a hungry wolf heading his way, Rabbit soon realises that it might be nice to have a friend on your side. Especially when it comes to building snowmen.

A tale of friendship, gravity, and just a little bit of poo.

There are 3 books in this series: Rabbit’s Bad Habits, The Pest in the Nest and Attack of the Snack. This is such a delightful series and Joshua read these books flat-out in under a week. They’re just under 100 pages per book, so quite a feat I thought. It’s really an easy read and the humour???….I wouldn’t even let Joshua read with his dad, because I could not miss a page of this myself! When I told him that the 4th book was in the works…he immediately wanted to know when we could pick it up!

His only complaint though, was that the illustrations are in black and white (I think they’re brilliant!), whereas the cover is in colour. He was very annoyed that Bear is black in the book and brown on the cover. I don’t know why that bugged him so much. lol. I would guess that a child upto age 9 would enjoy this series.

You’re called what

I reviewed this book previously….I think it’s really educational and so fun. Go check out my review over HERE if you missed it.

The Everywhere Bear by Julia Donaldson

The Everywhere Bear

This is one of the first books I ever received from Pan Macmillan and I actually ended up donating it to my son’s Grade 1 class. They have a real Everywhere Bear, with the book, that goes home with a different child every few days and gets up to all sorts of adventures. Joshua has been praying to get the Everywhere Bear again to bring home….ahhh bless him.

This is just a really cute book and I absolutely loved the illustrations and the rhyming story telling. Is there anything better than rhyming sentences??? If you missed this review, you can find it over HERE


So seeing as I started and ended this post with books by Julia Donaldson….it’s only fitting that I have a Julia Donaldson book giveaway for FOUR of you! I have 4 SIGNED COPIES of The Cook and the King up for grabs!

What is The Cook and the King about?

There once was a very hungry king
Who needed a cook like anything . . .

. . . but the king is very fussy; he tries all the cooks in the kingdom, but no one is good enough. Then he spots Wobbly Bob. Maybe Bob can whip up his
favourite dinner? But how will Bob be able to cook for the king when he’s scared of . . . well, everything?! Discover how the hungry king helps Wobbly Bob face his fears on a cooking adventure across the land and sea.

A big thanks to Pan Macmillan Kids for providing these books for the giveaway!

How to enter:

  1. Name your favourite Julia Donaldson book in the comments below.
  2. Make sure you’re following Pan Macmillan and An Ordinary Gal on Facebook.
  3. Not a requirement, but it would be great if you tagged a friend on the Facebook post. 


  1. This competition is only open to readers residing in South Africa.
  2. The giveaway will run until 17:00pm, on Friday, 30th November 2018, with a winner being selected at random shortly afterwards.  I will announce the winners of my giveaway on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, so make sure you follow me on all 3 social media platforms so you don’t miss the announcement.
  3. If no reply to my email has been received within 72hrs, a new winner will be selected.
  4. Ensure you complete the necessary steps to validate your entries. I have no choice but to disqualify any incorrect entries received.
  5. Please allow 2 to 4 weeks for delivery.




I’m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife...obsessed with my family, makeup and books!


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