Big Panda and Tiny Dragon – James Norbury

Hello Loves!

Happy Sunday! I hope you’re all well and enjoying this typically autumnal weekend. 🍁

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book and felt the urge to blog about it straight away but here we are. I just couldn’t wait to share this beautiful book with you all. I had no idea it existed until I saw the pretty cover. Naturally and unsurprisingly, I left with arm fulls of books to add to my ever increasing shelves that I’m barely making in a dent in. However, I read this first and I haven’t been able to stop talking about it since. I’m here to share with you today the stunning book of love, courage, hope and friendship: Big Panda and Tiny Dragon by James Norbury. I hope you fall in love with this just as much as I have.

What’s it all about?
This book definitely has The Boy, The Fox, The Mole and The Horse vibes but it’s stunning and heartfelt in its own right. Inspired by Norbury’s volunteering experience with the Samaritans, this gem of a book follows Big Panda and Tiny Dragon, two unlikely friends, that follow the seasons sharing hope and lessons for us all to learn from.

Throughout the book there are a series of conversations, sometimes silly, sometimes serious, which show a range of emotions and fears. The words of wisdom within this little book are all inspired by Buddhist philosophy and spirituality which gave Norbury hope during difficult times. I personally believe in fate and I found this book at this point in time for a reason. It gave me the heartwarming hug I needed. I’m passing this hug (virtually) onto you.

Big Panda and Tiny Dragon embark on a journey through the four seasons of the year together. Whilst on this journey, the journey of life, they get lost more often than not. This is something we all can relate to – whether it is getting lost on a journey of losing ourselves in times of doubt and question. However, it is what Big Panda and Tiny Dragon find when they are lost that makes the journey that little bit more special. They discover beautiful sights they have never seen before and would never have seen if they had gone the right way. Good things can come from mistakes we make.

“My head feels like this storm sometimes,” said Tiny Dragon.
“If you really listen…you can hear the raindrops splashing on the stone. It’s possible to find a little peace, even in a storm.”

It isn’t just the words that aid this beautiful story but the drawings too. I always appreciate things like this because I am not artistic in any way. Norbury’s use of bold brush strokes, the fluffy, cuddly Big Panda and the small, wiry Tiny Dragon, the meadows, lakes, forests and hills mean that each page is as beautiful as the last.

Big Panda and Tiny Dragon explore the thoughts and emotions surrounding hardships and happiness. This connects every single one of us together, reader or not. Whilst they see the offerings of nature through the seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, they learn to live in the moment and to embrace those gifts of nature. Big Panda and Tiny Dragon also learn how to be at peace with uncertainty and how to find the strength to overcome life’s obstacles. They do it together. These conversations show us friendship, inner wisdom and self acceptance.

Final Thoughts
This book felt like a breath of fresh air. It’s been so easy for us to feel overwhelmed with life pausing and starting up again. We each have been tested and tried in our lifetimes and sometimes it is easier to give up. This little book has the biggest heart and is there for you when you need it. Read it cover to cover, look for your favourite conversation, find the lesson that suits your current experience. The series of vignettes mean that you can read this however you want to really. It is there as in inspiration, a reminder that not all is lost. Pause. Breathe. Enjoy. Look at life in a positive way.

I just have so much love for this book. It reminded me of me, of the most amazing group of family and friends I’ve got around me. Like I said at the beginning, I found this book for a reason and I’ll be spreading the message of this book near and far. I adore the drawings that bring the lessons to life too. All I keep thinking now is, I really want my own Big Panda and Tiny Dragon. To finish my review, my favourite quote.

“Some people are like candles. They burn themselves out to create light for others.”

With so much love to you all but especially to my candles…

Big love xxx

Left & Found – London

Hi Everyone!

I hope you’re all well and have got your umbrellas handy! ☔️ The weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse but not to worry. It helps things grow after all. Today’s post is all about my first instalment of Left & Found. If you’re unsure as to what my little project is, please see my other post: here!

I was in London last weekend so I saw this as the perfect opportunity to spread a little happiness and start my Left & Found project.

To be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect. However, I had one goal and that was (and still is) to bring a smile to someone’s day. Who wouldn’t want to find a free book? I figured that if someone didn’t want it, they’d just leave it for someone else to find. I had four books to leave and that’s exactly what I did.

Whilst I spent Saturday mooching around, the first book I left was at Bank tube station. This station, like the others really, gets quite busy so I hopeful that this would get picked up quite quickly.

The second place where I left a book was outside the stunning Westminster Abbey. Again, there were crowds of people here from all over the world. The building is absolutely breathtaking too!

Thirdly, I left my next book not too far from here actually. I decided to take a walk to Buckingham Palace and found the perfect spot along the way. This time, outside the Queen’s Gallery which is currently showing a Leonardo Di Vinci exhibition.

My last one was possibly my favourite stopping place. I was lucky enough to have tickets to see Wicked the musical. It’s just such an awesome show! I highly recommend it. Anyway, it seemed the perfect place to leave a copy of the book there for a lucky finder.

I did happen to notice on my way back to Kings Cross that the books had gone which was such an exciting prospect! I really hope whoever found them loved them and have had some ‘me’ time for reading.

Fast forward a couple of hours later when I checked my inbox. There was an email! I can’t lie, I let out a little scream. My heart leapt as I read it. Someone found a book AND loved it! This is all I ever wanted.

“We spotted a little gem by the stage door in which we had waited for the stars of the performance the previous night… The book is now in the hands of a 10 year old avid reader and now life long Wicked fan.

Thank you for your lovely gesture, and we will pass it forward once we are finished.”

This book was picked up by the lovely Meggan and her daughter on their weekend adventure in London – just like me! Since then, it’s made it’s way to Liverpool. Megghan, if you’re reading this, thank you.

Fingers crossed I hear from others who have found these books but even if I don’t, I’m really pleased with the start of this project. I can’t wait to see what happens next! 😊

Here’s to the next instalment of Left & Found. I’ll keep you all updated.

Big love all. Xx

Left & Found – my next project!

Hello Lovely People!

I hope you’re all good and having a restful time, reading plenty. I wanted to share with you an idea and a plan I’ve had recently. It’s linked to the new banner at the top of this post so that’s a bit of a giveaway!

So I was thinking about all the books I donate to charity, which is a lot. However, I also thought about how I want to do more random acts of kindness too. Thus, the Left & Found project was born! Basically, I want to leave books in places I’ve visited for someone to find and enjoy for themselves.

I’ve been doing some research too. I remember hearing something about Emma Watson leaving books on the subway for people to find which she absolutely did! Also, I’ve learnt that in London there is such a thing as Books on the Underground – more information here! There are branches around the whole world it seems!! Books on the Move are doing something so amazing. Obviously, these are all based on transport. Whereas I’ll be leaving mine wherever I end up on my travels.

Early followers may also remember why I even started blogging in the first place. I wanted my own little internet space to call home, but it was reading 60 Postcards by Rachael Chadwick that really showed me the power of social media. Information about that here.

I’ve got a few city breaks coming up and my plan is to leave books dotted around the city for people to find, read and pass on. I’ve put little cards on them (laminated of course) for the people who find them to hopefully get in touch. I’ll keep you all posted too, my beautiful blogging friends.

The first five books I’ve got to hide are shown below. I’ve gone for a right mix because I just don’t know who will find them.

Regardless, I’m really excited about just sharing a little bit of happiness! What do you think?

I’ll update you with where I’ve put them. Can’t wait! Let me know your thoughts – I’d be so grateful.

Big love all xxx