Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Book review "Christmas Stories" by Michael Morpurgo

I have to hold my hand up and say with pride that I am a complete bookworm and the "rules" about children's books being for children don't really apply, in my opinion. I believe that if a book is well written, it will appeal regardless of the age range it is aimed at.

So there are many authors with books on the bookcase in Compostgirl's bedroom which I enjoy reading : Philip Pullman, Alan Garner, Michael Rosen, Elizabeth Gouge; to name but a few. Many of the books in Compostgirl's collection are books I owned and read as a child and teenager and have passed on to her and I still enjoy re- reading them, today.

I have long been a huge fan of the author Michael Morpurgo; Compostgirl has read pretty well all the books he has written and owns nearly all of them and I often pick one up and read it with great pleasure. I find his writing to be moving and realistic and very engaging. So I was delighted to be sent a review copy of  "Christmas Stories" by Michael Morpurgo

This is a collection of three of his existing Christmas stories, along with a fourth NEW story "The Goose is getting fat".

This is how the publisher's website describes the collection:

The Best Christmas Present in the World: A mysterious letter in a secret drawer brings one night in the Great War vividly to life. Writing home from the front, a soldier has an incredible story to tell.
On Angel Wings: A singing of wings, a glorious light, and a sudden beacon of brightness? It can only mean – can it really? – a visit from the Angel Gabriel himself...
The Best of Times: When the Prince and Princess marry, joy rings out across the land. But all too soon it fades away and a shadow hangs over the royal palace. As Christmas approaches, Prince Frederico must find a way to warm his new bride’s aching heart.
The Goose is Getting Fat: – A NEW STORY! Gertrude the goose is getting bigger by the day, and Charlie is proud to look after her. But as Christmas approaches, the thought of the grizzly fate awaiting her fills him with sadness. Can he save Gertrude from the Christmas dinner table?
Four very well know illustrators (Emma Chichester Clark, Sophie Allsopp, Quentin Blake and Michael Foreman) have provided beautiful illustrations  - indeed I delighted in the pictures as much as I did the words.

All four stories are wonderful - I won't say any more as I do not want to spoil the stories but they are really lovely.

Although titled "Christmas Stories" this book could be read and enjoyed at anytime. If Compostgirl were still a toddler this is exactly the book I would buy her for Christmas. As it is *I* loved reading it and I hope some of you will, as well. 

This book is a ( sturdy) paperback, beautifully illustrated and priced at £14.99 It is aimed at children aged 5+ years old 
(but this 50+ year old loved it, too!)

With thanks to Egmont publishers for sending me a copy to review.


  1. I still enjoy reading some of my old childhood books too.

    1. I do as well :) I actually turn to them when stressed - reverting to a better time in my life, perhaps?

      Compostgirl loves reading my old books, which is a welcome point of nice contact between us


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