Archives for posts with tag: Music

Perhaps it is a sign of my age, and it is a development of language, however, I really can’t see the purpose of the current use of the phrase ‘myself’, instead of the simple use of ‘I’ or ‘me’. If it is a development of language, then it isn’t one that I like.

I often feel that the speaker is trying to distance themselves from whatever they have said or done. A form of making themselves a third person. Which, to be honest, makes me question their motives.


I am also finding the phrase ‘at this / that point in time’ extraordinarily irritating. Surely it is obvious that the speaker is referring to a point in time – and it would be better to just state ‘at this point, I…’


Lastly and more worryingly, I have noticed a propensity for children’s publishers to ‘double up’ their punctuation. Often using an exclamation mark and a question mark together – a sort of marriage of punctuation.

It has always been clear to me when a question has been asked, whether it needs emphasis or not. Where, if it hadn’t been a question, an exclamation mark might have been used.

There are also instances where a single punctuation mark is duplicated. Which is also unnecessary – and on a basic level untidy.

We are now starting to use punctuation without respect for the language or the reader, and I am finding this colours my enjoyment of books. Particularly those written for younger readers.

It is interesting, I don’t find it happening with quality writing (whether for children, teenagers or adults) – more often it is found in the type of book that I refer to as ‘Candy Floss Reading’. A notation I give to Children’s books that should only be read by a child as often as they eat candy floss in a year. Not often. That is unless, of course, there is some other reason why they are reading them…

I know that Mr Brown would certainly have questioned me should I have started to marry punctuation and he would certainly have put a neat red line through ‘in time’ and further have corrected my use of ‘myself’. I can imagine his red mark and the questions at the bottom of the essay – in his wonderfully clear red handwriting.

After reading this, perhaps, though I don’t really believe it, I, (myself), am a grammar snob. If so, I think I am quite content with that!

Thanks to Charles Schulz for the above cartoon…


Published by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

This is so much more than a story book. Beautifully illustrated it relates the story of Isabelle and her friend and companion, Pickle her dog. Vibrant and a superb gift it details the four seasons as they occur throughout their adventure.

What really makes this a superb volume is the music. Each page has a button which when pressed plays a small excerpt of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons to go along with the story. It brilliantly allows young people to experience a gorgeous piece of classical music mixed with a lovely narrative and beautiful illustrations. The rendition is as good as many CD’s I have heard play; it is not a ‘noisy’ book – it does not fit into that genre – the book plays music.

I am pleased to note that there are to be more books like this produced by Frances Lincoln Children’s Books. I am hoping that the next piece will be either, the Nutcracker or perhaps better still, the 1812 – what fun to have a book with cannons!





Published by Chicken House

Not yet Published at time of going to Post: April 2016

I don’t read the blub on proofs, quite intentionally. They can spoil a story, or lead me to think I don’t want to read it for some reason or another. There have been several proofs over the years that I have loved, but would not have read if I had realised the subject matter. This was one such. I enjoy music, but I don’t have a large selection and I know very little -it is a rather eclectic mix of CDs too – most are bought because of the memory the music invokes, not necessarily the music itself. I haven’t been to many rock concerts either, and those I have were a long time ago…

Love Song is about music. It’s about boy bands, and their fans and begins with a description of a meet and greet – which reminded me of an event I helped monitor when I worked in Harrods – Aerosmith were due to come to sign their album, and I was pulled in to help with the crowd. For some reason I’m always put at the end of the official line to tell the late comers they were too late…and typically on this occasion that is what happened. There were two school girls there who had bunked off school, I remember…almost hysterical with excitement, but willing to wait to just see them.

They were late.

Very late.

So late the store had closed by the time they came, and the two girls with a long queue of hopefuls were still hanging around behind me. Aerosmith did the right thing though, and insisted on seeing everyone, which resulted in one of my two running  down the line afterwards to thank me, tears pouring down her face to tell me he had spoken to her…her favourite member had spoken to her… It was quite an evening, and having heard their latest hit so many times, I actually began to enjoy the music….

So Love Song starts with an occasion I could relate to – though thankfully we didn’t have a fire…there is music, beauty, handsome boys with that smile, and a brilliant description of relationships burgeoning and falling away…

To be honest, I loved the book – it has a list of the music that is mentioned in the story and I think it would be quite something to listen to some of it whilst reading it.

Enjoy this – it is lovely and has the right ending too…

As to the cover, it wouldn’t have encouraged me to read the book (apologies to those concerned), but working as I do with the belief never ‘to judge a book etc.’, I have found a gem – a real gem of a story.