Friday, 12 September 2014

Stanley and the Hot Air Balloon Giveaway!

Stanley and the Hot Air Balloon is a children's book written by Kate Bruning, a visual feast of crocheted creatures and magical, miniature worlds.  The Greedy for Colour blogger and Simply Crochet pattern creator - who just happens to be my younger sister - has been crafting and creating ever since she was a little girl (not all that long ago really, because that would make us really, really old!).  Stanley is a small rabbit whose love of adventure sees him escape in a hot air balloon at nap time.
Kate is a brilliant writer and in Stanley, she has combined her skill for words with her prodigious creative talents.  Each page is illustrated by real-life images of Stanley, his mother and the world in which they live.  All the sets* have been put together and photographed by Kate, a combination of crochet, painting, paper craft and more.  The actual text on the page is a glorious kaleidoscope of colours and fonts, helping to guide young readers with expression and excitement in their reading.  Kate has also included her patterns in the book so you can make your own Stanley and his hot air balloon.
Kate is always making something and loves nothing better than giving her wonderful creations as presents.  Our house is filled with beautiful, thoughtful custom-made gifts from a beautiful painting of a field of poppies (made for me during my community project last year) to Jono's favourite companion, his crocheted rabbit Bernard, Stanley's older and larger cousin.  In Tom's bookshelves is a stunning embroidered piece marking the occasion of his birth, pillowcases on our bed a wedding present many moons ago, while Sophie sleeps under a divine quilt handcrafted by her Auntie Kate.
I asked the kids to share their thoughts of Stanley with you, an endorsement from children who are picky readers and know quality when they see it, even when it is made by someone who they love and adore - or love in a door, as Auntie Kate would say:

Tom - It's creative and it isn't like any other books I've seen.  It's been great having an auntie being an author.  My school librarians can't wait to get a copy of the book (which we will donate next week).  Auntie Kate, you are the best!

Sophie - It sounds awesome and I like the way she put in extra details. I also like how she made words look different . The best bit is a funny bit……where the mum says no words not a peep! On the first page before it starts it has a picture of Stanley in the hospital when he was a baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AUNTIE KATE IS COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jonathon- Jono says he likes the moons and stars!  Also he likes the baby's in the nursery.  But he loves the whole book because it makes him feel good!

I'm delighted to offer you the chance to win a copy of Stanley!  
All you have to do is tell me - in 25 words or less - about your favourite childhood book and the title of the book you are reading now.  
This giveaway is worldwide and entries close Monday 22 September 2014.

PS If you miss out on the giveaway, Stanley is available here.

* Behind the scenes post of making Stanley blogged here.

This competition is now closed.  
Congratulations to Squiggling About for the winning entry!  
Thank you to everybody who entered and shared their favourite childhood books and the title of the books they are reading now - I loved hearing everybody's answers!


  1. I had no idea you and Kate were sisters! I read your blog, but never put it together. Yes, I'm a tad slow :) I love Kate's book! It is a hit with my family and my youngest grand-daughter does that baby squeal talk stuff when we look at it! Kate, and all the family, are so talented! The costumes she just made from their auction thing were so cute! I bet her mind never stops when she sleeps!
    Didn't mean to ramble on about Kate on your blog! I do enjoy your blog :)
    Hope you are having a nice week.

  2. Your sister is a one of a kind, Lucy, This is just unbelievably creative and cute!! I'd love to win the book and here's my entry: My fave childhood story was The Adventures of Mr Pinkwhistle. Oh how I loved that book. I was overjoyed recently to find the same edition copy of the book at a Vinnes for 20c and snapped it up. On reading it I had to agree with my sisters all those years ago: I don't get it...!

  3. Hi! I'm a new reader, having found your blog through your sister's blog. :-)
    I love to read! This is a love that I did not fully realize until I was near ten years old. But I remember the first book I really got sunk into. A Wrinkle In Time. I fell so hard for that book! The idea of traveling through time and space. (Yep, I am also a major Dr. Who fan as well!!)
    Currently I am reading the second book in the Outlander series, and I am in the middle of the Harry Dresden series, as well as about to read the final book in the Wheel of Time series.
    I'm an avid crocheter, and have so many different projects on the hook right now! LOL
    I'll enjoy reading you blog. Have a lovely day!

  4. What a lovely giveaway, Lucy! Your sister's book looks absolutely gorgeous, just the kind of thing my children would love.

    My all-time favourite children's book would be the Milly Molly Mandy series. Its depictions of a little girl living the simple life with her loving family was something I found very appealing as a child, especially because my own childhood was hectic, and we moved around a lot. Upon rereading the books as an adult I was pleased to find the stories and accompanying pictures still have their heart-warming charm.

    At the moment I am rereading stories by Katherine Mansfield. xxx

  5. Where did I come from!!!!! I found it gross and fascinating all at once. I must buy it for my kids. Hey maybe kate could make stanley a MRS and create her own version!!

  6. I dont really have a favourite childrens book as i used to avoid them favouring comics like the Dandy or Beano. I was contiually being told off at school, 'sarah must read more' from the nuns that taught me. I now love reading and both my kids love books and am reading 'The Miniaturist'. I am sure if there were more books like Stanley when I was younger it would have inspired me to read it looks like a visual feast x

  7. Hi, am a big fan of both of you, wish I could be a sister in your clever, colourful and creative family. Currently reading "Lost and Found" by Brooke Davis which is heartbreakingly beautiful. Had a few favourite reads as a child, one that springs to mind is National Velvet. Go the Pie, such a gallant horse.

  8. My favorite childhood book was The Secret Garden. I loved that book. I loved Mary opening up that garden and it blooming and then she and Colin blooming. I don't think I have a favorite picture book. But, as an adult, I read a lot of children's books..I am a teacher and Patricia Polacco would be my favorite author...and just and aside I adore The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. It's almost an adult Secret Garden. I just finished reading The Maze Runner trilogy, and am deciding what to read next, although I have also started The Glass Castle..I am very eclectic in my reading tastes...I would love to share Stanley with my students...

  9. So gorgeous! What a wonderful giveaway! My favourite childhood book is, The Secret Staircase by Jill Barklem. The world of Brambly Hedge is still a huge inspiration to my creative process.
    And right now I'm reading Simplify by Joshua Becker. So many good tips for simplifying one's life! xxx

  10. Ohhhhh my gosh - serious divine!!! My fave childhood book was The wishing Chair. I must have read those books hundreds of times and the thought of them still makes me smile. I'm reading one now to my youngest and he loves it too xx

  11. My favorite one was Cinderella. I remember how my mum read it over and over again. The Disney film was my favorite too!

  12. My favorite book from my childhood til now is Harry Potter series. I got the first book of the series as my 10th birthday present and it changed my reading habit ever since. I'm currently reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

  13. A great opportunity, thank you very much! Well ... my favorite book as a child was 'Gulliver's Travels' so I'm definitely a dreamer: I imagined the Lilliputians and everything that surrounded them. :) Currently, twenty-seven now, I'm reading 'That Awful Mess on Via Merulana' Gadda Italian author.

  14. My favorite childhood book was Ariel, the Little Mermaid, I think. When I was still a kid, I've wanted to be a mermaid :)) Now, I love the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.

    Kimberly Camille Tiu

  15. Favourite kiddy book (and still is), Anne of Green Gables. I read it over and over, just lovely. Currently reading ANZAC girls. Absolutely riveting.

  16. My favourite childhood book was 'The Water Babies' - I had an old chapter book style version with colour drawn pictures...Well actually I still have it and now my daughters are enjoying it too. I loved the magic of the story, the feeling of wonder and how even a naughty (or thought to be naughty) child could be redeemed and live a wonderful life beyond the chimney. Now I am reading Songs of My Life by Susan Dintino - a wonderful relatable story of a woman growing older and all the unexpected happenings within ageing and family. Thank you for the opportunity to link to your site and see another wonderful inspirational site and the chance to win such a wonderful prize.

  17. The Magic Faraway Tree.....we made up our own countries depending on our mood and whether "boys" were allowed to play. Currently I'm reading A Knights Tale...mindless historical reading

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  19. Amazing giveaway,thank you for the chance to win.Love the books,from my childhood and now still.I am happy that my daughter share my love.Now when she reads on her own after she finish I read after her.There is many lovely children books,love reading them,they are so different now,so colorful and cute.Fav for both of us is Diary of wimp kid,so funny,we laugh together and talk about it.From my childhood is all that fairy tales,later Disney movies,Cinderella,Snow white,Beauty and the best...maybe for all that romantic stories and good beating evil.Also Little red riding hood,love that little girl.Have a lovely new week.