Book Review: Big Words for Little Tongues, by Iris Hambling and Stella Karaman

cv_big_words_for_little_tonguesIris Hambling is a speech therapist of some repute having worked in education and
hospital clinics for 46 years. She also has qualifications in Specific Learning Disorders and SPELD. She has been in private practice for 30 years and has written several therapy

Stella Karaman qualified as a speech therapist more recently and works within the education sector. She has also had experience in hospital clinics.

I found this book particularly interesting as having been part of a number of children’s lives watching them develop over a number of years. Language has always been a fascinating subject to me and having two children of my own and now 6 grandchildren from 14 years of age down to just under a year old I have had a lot of years to observe the repetition and mimicking of adults that is part of the child’s learning progress.

I sat down with Abby aged 4 with this book slowly going through the pages with her reading the words and watching her reaction. At times she looked at me as though I was stupid and with this “I know this stuff” look on her face. As the words and pictures became harder for her, we played a game to help her guess what they were. I found the whole experience quite fascinating.

Next I sat down with Quinn aged 11 months. Quinn looked with interest at the pictures and at me sounding out the words for her. Not having much in the way of language skills yet, this book was probably a bit beyond her comprehension, but I definitely think as time goes on and we keep repeating the words and pointing to the pictures she will get the idea fairly quickly. It’s amazing how such a small person does actually communicate their wants and needs.

I believe the most important thing an adult can do when speaking to a child – either reading a book or communicating day to day things, you speak clearly. A lot of adults mumble, so it’s no wonder some children mispronounce words or use them in the wrong context. I can see this book being a very good tool for parents and teachers to use with other methods of communication.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Big Words for Little Tongues
by Iris Hambling and Stella Karaman
Published by Xlibris
ISBN 9781483659879

Book Review: Tropic of Guile, by Sue McCauley

This book is available in all formats, from selected bookstores and online.
We have a hardback copy of this book to give away – check our Facebook page for details.

Sue McCauley is a cv_tropic_of_guilerespected New Zealand writer. I have read a number of her books over the years and always enjoyed them. Tropic of Guile was no exception.

I found it very hard to put down – the story enthralled me. When I find a book like this, no matter how many pages or how small the print is, I just mow through the pages.

The story starts in New Zealand: Christchurch to be precise. Hannah arrived in New Zealand for her OE from Portland, USA, working as a barmaid. She then met Alexander Louis Mason, who is close to Hannah’s father’s age. They have two small children, Liam and then Amy. Alex, a businessman of some wealth, decides to move the family to Fiji to start a new business venture. After being granted a 7-year-residency, they rent out their house in Christchurch to start a new life in Fiji. Fiji has been in some turmoil because of unrest and the government being over thrown by Brigadier Rabuka.

Alex loves the South Sea Islands and as a result they have, as a family, holidayed in most of them: Samoa, Rarotonga, Tahiti and Fiji, on a number of occasions. Alex has promised the Fijian government he is going to bring much needed jobs and tourism back to Fiji by building an underwater aquarium. Tourists fled Fiji after the coup and even with cut-price flights and packages they are slow to come back to the holiday paradise.

The family arrives in Nadi just 5 months after the coup. The airport is lined with armed soldiers. Kaikoso Island, where they are headed to set up their base, has been under European ownership since whaling days, and is largely undeveloped. Their home for the next 7 years was to be a house on four hectares of beach front land.

The story that unfolds is in one sense fascinating and in another shocking. We discover that Alex is planning to separate Hannah through whatever means he can from their children. The political turmoil in Fiji helps his cause because of a corrupt and archaic legal system. Mental and physical cruelty are part of his ploy to rid himself of his wife and gain complete control of their children. My heart pounded at times for Hannah, willing her to either shoot Alex or somehow find a way to win and get out of this tawdry ugly marriage, fighting for her own life and fighting for the life of her children.

The friendships that Hannah makes as a result of what unfolds are what help hold her up during the roughest times. These friends are Fijian and Fijian Indian, as well as ex-pats like herself.

Sue McCauley in my opinion is a genius – I just love the way she uses words to paint a very realistic picture. The pain and outrage I felt on Hannah’s behalf felt very real at times.

Highly Recommended.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Tropic of Guile
by Sue McCauley
Published by Xlibris
ISBN Hardback: 9781483683195
ISBN Paperback: 9781483683188
ISBN13 eBook: 9781483683201