The Amazing Human Body Detectives by Maggie Li Review

bodydetectivesMy children are growing up and with age comes curiosity. Why do they dream, what is a brain and why are their eyes blue? These are all questions that my youngest has bombarded me with in recent times. Of course I answer him but sometimes relating biological facts in a way that a young child can grasp and understand is remarkably difficult. Thankfully I was recently sent a copy of The Amazing Human Body Detectives by Maggie Li to review and we’ve been perusing the pages to see if they can offer a better insight for a small inquiring mind.Photo 26-07-2015 14 27 50

Maggie Li’s brand new book is aimed at kids aged five and above and it’s packed with fun pictures that illustrate various parts of the human body, what they do and why they do it. On the front cover there is an embedded magnifying glass that can be used at various points throughout the book.Photo 26-07-2015 14 28 09

My son was initially quite reluctant to look through the book with me, he just didn’t seem overly interested for some reason. However once we’d removed the magnifying glass and opened the pages he was immediately hooked! He loved the images and none were scary or intimidating. He was so impressed with any new found facts we discovered that he took the book away to show to his siblings.Photo 26-07-2015 14 29 15

We didn’t read the book from beginning to end, I chose instead to let my son pick out the pages that appealed to him. This means we’ve still got plenty to explore as and when he wants too. I asked him why he likes the book:

‘Because it shows things that are inside you and because the pictures have lots of parts and I like the magnifying glass.’

Photo 26-07-2015 14 31 48Would I recommend this book?

If you are looking for a child friendly book, beautifully illustrated but still able to answer some complicated questions then this is a great book to purchase. Perfect for young ones to read with an adult or older kids to read on their own.

Could it be improved in anyway?

Quite a minor complaint but once the magnifying glass is removed from the front cover where it is secured with clear tape there is nowhere within the book to keep it. I can see this getting lost quite quickly. Although the book isn’t unusable without it.


Publisher: Pavilion Children’s Books (11 Jun. 2015)

ISBN-13: 978-1843652977

RRP: £9.99


Atlantis Books Santorini

The blue and white churches of Santorini are a quintessential ‘Greek’ image, despite being almost solely confined to this one small island. I have visited the island before and I was recently fortunate enough to go back.


This photo was taken in the small town of Oia which is famous for it’s sunsets. While I was there I saw an advert for a local literature festival organised by the Atlantis bookshop. When you see events advertised on holiday they are usually due to happen a week or two after you get home, but on this occasion we were there at the right time. 🙂

The bookshop itself is like a fairytale store come to life. From the street you descend a small staircase which leads into a small cave house (the shop itself). From floor to ceiling every surface is covered in books, you could spend hours and hours just perusing. The staff are all very helpful, friendly and willing to give advice.


The idea for the bookshop was conceived by two English students Oliver and Craig, when they spent a week on the island in 2002. The shop finally came to life in 2004 and the full story can be read on their website

They also publish books through Paravion Press. I adored the small books which come with an airmail envelope, ready to post to friends back home. These books also have an empty page at the front for you to write a message on, I bought several just for myself!


There was a real buzz about the place with talks and music continuing until late into the evening.


On my second visit I noticed some very small books that had been made to look like a match book. They could be bought individually or four in a larger match box.

For some reason I didn’t buy any of these (I blame the sun messing with my judgement!) and I regretted it as soon I got home. I’ve rectified my mistake and ordered myself a set from All these mini books and written and handmade on the island of Cyprus.

If you like the idea of writing or producing your own book or zine there is a self publishing fair at Quad in Derby this Saturday. It is free to attend and will include talks and workshops.


Auberge Du Chocolat Book Review

It’s no big secret than I am a huge Chocolate fan, particularly homemade chocolates. When I was heavily pregnant with my last child I spent quite a few weeks in hospital. I was feeling rather sorry for myself as you might imagine but was instantly lifted when my husband arrived with a big box of homemade ganache chocolates. So when Auberge Du Chocolat arrived in the post, I felt just as excited at the prospect of many more delicious creations.

Aside from the recipes I hadn’t anticipated the book containing other useful information. I am personally familiar with subjects such as bean variety, but as this knowledge is not terribly widespread I was pleased to see it covered here. There is also a good amount of information on basic chocolate preparation techniques. There is even a chapter dedicated to making beautiful presentation packaging, how about a box made entirely from chocolate!

There are also no less than 6 chapters of recipes covering:

Dipped Chocolates


Moulded Chocolates

Flavoured Chocolate

Dairy-Free Chocolates

Chocolate and Children

I found it extremely hard to pick which recipes to try out, they all sounded so delicious. I eventually settled on the following.

Black Tie Strawberries

These have to be the smartest fruit around, dressed in their little chocolate tuxedos they are ridiculously cute and mouthwatering. The recipe takes literally minutes to follow and you’re left with beautiful strawberries worthy of any dinner party.

Cinnamon Truffles

I’m not exactly sure what went wrong with this recipe but I ended up with something akin to chocolate flubber. My impression is that this wasn’t entirely correct. However we soldiered on and eventually ended up with slightly flat versions of the truffles from the book. In all honesty I wasn’t overly keen on them but my husband couldn’t seem to get enough. So I’ll put that one down to personal preference.

Next on the list? Lavender Cups or Dulce de Leche or maybe Marzipan Ganache, there’s too much choice!

Would I recommend this book?

If you want to make your own chocolates, particularly to give as gifts then this book would be hard to beat. Despite my slightly odd result with the Cinnamon Truffles there are pages dedicated to common problems so if at first you don’t succeed… It’s beautifully presented with wonderful photography and would make a yummy gift in itself.

Could it be improved in anyway?

I found some of the recipes a little scant in their writing style and they jumped slightly in places. Other than that it’s hard to find many faults.


Publisher:New Holland Publishers Ltd


RRP: £16.99