Blog Tour: The Little Mermaid & Other Fairy Tales Illustrated by Minalima

IMG_0645You first step in to the House of Minalima because of Harry Potter, but you stay because you fall in love with Eduardo and Mira’s work. When I first met Eduardo 3 years ago at MCM Comic Con, I saw myself turning a bit into a stalker. I just kept coming back to their stand and talk more and more about Harry Potter, and the fact they were working on the first Fantastic Beasts movie. When Eduardo told me that he and Mira will be opening a pop up in London for their art work I got so excited.

I was there that first week the pop up opened and I’m still going there now. However, nowadays House of Minalima isn’t a pop up anymore but a London Harry Potter related landmark.

Everyone who knows me has also endured me talking about House of Minalima non stop. Sometimes I think House of Minalima is my home away from home. Me and my best friend just love going in and support as much or as little as we can. Even when we don’t have much money there is something affordable there, and everything is so beautiful.

But enough of Harry Potter because I’m here to talk to you about Minalima’s new venture. In 2015 they brought out their first Illustrated classic, Peter Pan. It was the most beautiful illustrated book I have seen. Their illustrations where so stunning and the interactive pop ups really added to the story. Since then they have brought out The Jungle Book and Beauty and The Beast. All equally stunning.

When Shrina from Harper Collins 360 invited me for the book launch and to be part of the blog tour I couldn’t contain my excitement. First of all, as you have noticed, I LOVE Minalima. Secondly, I love The Little Mermaid! Get those two things together and is a disaster for my bank account!

During their book launch for The Little Mermaid & Other Fairy Tales, Mira told us that when they decided to tackle these childhood classics they were never thinking about only one book but to make a shelf of stunning books for the everyday household. Well, I’m so behind this and I’m so happy that currently I have all four. (Thanks Katie!)

The book launch party was so nice! One of the floors at House of Minalima was nicely decorated for the launch with loads of the illustrations from the book and other sea related props. Looked so good! Also we got given the most amazing gift bag with a copy of the book, a cardboard print, a set of 20 bird postcards and some Hotel Chocolat caramel chocolates (that were so delicious and have since found its way to my stomach!)

The Little Mermaid & Other Fairy Tales includes 12 stories in total:

  • The Little Mermaid

  • The Ugly Duckling
  • The Swineherd
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes
  • The Red Shoes
  • Thumbelina
  • The Steadfast Tin Soldier
  • The Little Match Girl
  • The Snow Queen
  • The Princess and The Pea

  • The Tinder Box
  • The Nightingale

The illustrations are so gorgeous and the pop ups are amazing. Is the type of book that they want to advertise for kids but no way I’m going to get my kids near that book. This is a pop up book for adults!

Also during the launch party it has been shared with us that one of the floors of the shop is going to be turned into Fairy Tale land to celebrate all the books that are out already and the ones to come. One more excuse for me to come in! #SorryNotSorry

Overall, I think the book is absolutely gorgeous and I’m gonna keep throwing ma dollar at Minalima for the unforeseeable future. As should you. Next one, The Secret Garden which comes out just in time for my birthday.

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Rating: ★★★★★

You can purchase the books and prints online at minalima.com or in store at House of Minalima, 26 Greek Street, Soho, London (Open everyday, 12 pm to 7 pm).

Thanks so much to Shrina Patel, Harper Collins 360 and Minalima for the copy of The Little Mermaid & Other Fairy Tales in exchange for my honest review.

Life is the bubbles!

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

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Blog Tour: Trafficked Girl by Zoe Patterson (Mild Spoilers)

IMG_0532.JPGWARNING: This book contains child abuse, sexual abuse, rape, suicide, drugs, alcohol and self harm.

SYNOPSIS BY HARPER NON-FICTION

Abused and ostracized by her mother, humiliated by her father’s sexual innuendos, physically assaulted and bullied by her eldest brother, when Zoe Patterson was taken into care at the age of 13, she thought she was finally going to escape her suffering.

Then social services placed her in a residential unit known to be ‘a target for prostitution’, and suddenly Zoe’s life was worse than it had ever been before.

Zoe had been at Denver House for just three weeks when an older girl asked if she’d like to go to a party, then took her to a house where there were just three men. Zoe was a virgin until that night, when two of the men raped her. When she told her social worker what had happened to her, she made a joke about it, then took her to get the morning-after pill.

For Zoe, the indifference of the staff at the residential unit seemed like further confirmation of what her mother had always told her – she was worthless. Before long, she realised that the only way to survive in the unit was to go to the ‘parties’ the older girls were paid to take her to, drink the drinks, smoke the cannabis and try to blank out what was done to her when she was abused, controlled and trafficked around the country.

But in her heart Zoe was always a fighter.

REVIEW

There are times you just know that a book needs to be read, and Trafficked Girl by Zoe Patterson was just one of those books. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a easy read at all, I had to make sure to take breaks so I didn’t get too emotionally drained. However, Zoe never had a break, the abuse just kept coming. So after years of being silenced and overlooked, the least I could do is read her story.

Zoe’s story starts at a very young age. Whilst still living at her parent’s house, she recounts the abuse she suffered at her mother’s hands. She was treated worse than her brothers, constantly being humiliated and beaten up by her mother. The one person who should love her unconditionally and keep her safe made her home-life a living hell.

By the time she was 13 years old, Zoe’s self-esteem was so bad that she started to believe she didn’t deserve anything good in life. Feelings that only got worse when she finally was taken from home and put into care.

Thinking that she would finally be free from her mother’s abuse, she showed her bruises to her teacher and with that she was taken into Denver House. However, the abuse just got worse, when she naively went to a ‘party’ with the 15 year old girl in her care house. Little did she know, that the girl had just sold her to two men, and that’s when 13 year old virgin Zoe was first raped by two men. After that night, afraid of what could happen to her if she didn’t obey the girl’s demands, she kept being sold to have sex with men all over town and further afield.

When we think of girls being trafficked for sex, we usually assume they have been kidnapped in a foreign country and trafficked around the world in the worst possible conditions. In Zoe’s case she was trafficked in her own English town. While she should be taken care of by Child Protection Services, instead she was being sold off for years on end and her pleas for help weren’t taken seriously.

That just intensified in her head what her mother has always told her, that she was worth nothing and that no one cared.

Zoe doesn’t shy away from telling us exactly how she suffered at the hands of her mum and later of all the men that abused her. She doesn’t shy away from how she was feeling physically and emotionally during all of the abuse. She doesn’t shy away from how all of this has led her to numb her pain with alcohol and self harm.

While reading the book, I found it hard to understand how could people in the care house do nothing for this girl. How could they know what was going on and let it keep happening?  She begged for help and instead of understanding, she was laughed at and humiliated further.

My heart broke for Zoe, and her story. This isn’t the kind of story you read expecting a magical happy ending. This is the kind of story you read to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

One thing that I would like Zoe to know is that I see you, I hear you, and none of what has happened is your fault. You did all you could to save yourself, adults just failed you.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Trafficked Girl by Zoe Patterson will be available in paperback on the 22nd of March and you can pre-order now on Amazon (affiliated link).

Thanks Harper Collins and Rosie Margesson for sending me a paperback copy of Trafficked Girl in exchange for my honest review.

*FangirlSince1988 xxx

Blog Tour