A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars is a beautiful book inside and out, I mean have you even seen that cover? Talk about stunning! Luckily the story matches upA Jigsaw of Fire and Stars is a beautiful book inside and out, I mean have you even seen that cover? Talk about stunning! Luckily the story matches up to it or I'd have been really disappointed. This is the story of fourteen year old Sante, a young girl who was adopted into a travelling family circus after they found her washed up on a beach as a baby in a box full of treasure. Sante knows very little about where she came from apart from having a recurring nightmare about a shipwreck but when her path crosses with someone she remembers from her dream secrets start to unravel and Sante finds herself in danger.
At a time when there is such a huge refugee crisis I think it's incredibly important to have more books like this one, books that touch on some of the horrific things that can refugees suffer, the way they are so desperate to escape their current situation that they will give every last penny they have for the chance of reaching somewhere better and how unscrupulous criminals prey on them and abuse their trust. This book does touch on some darker themes such as people trafficking and also underage sex work but it doesn't go into graphic details and is still suitable for a younger audience. It would be very easy for this kind of story to become too dark and depressing to read but Yaba Badoe has lightened it up & just enough with a touch of magical realism. Her writing is rich and evocative and I was completely drawn into Sante's world.
I think I would have liked the story to be a little longer, just so we could spend more time with Sante and her adopted family and seen more of their life travelling and entertaining tourists for money, they had quite a unique show thanks to the abilities each of the performers brought to the tale and I would have loved to spend more time on that side of things. I also would have liked more time devoted to Scarlett's story but I really enjoyed the way Sante was able to communicate with the ghosts of her birth family and was able to help them get vengeance for the way they died.
A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars was a fantastic debut from Yaba Badoe and it's definitely left me interested to see what she writes in the future. I'd love to read more in this vein from her in the future, especially bringing into play more of the Ghanian mythology and the magic we saw from Sante here.
Source: Received from Zephyr in exchange for an honest review...more
I have to admit I've never made anything like this before but I love trying out different crafty projects so as soon as I saw these Game of Thrones maI have to admit I've never made anything like this before but I love trying out different crafty projects so as soon as I saw these Game of Thrones masks I wanted to try them. This book includes all the pieces you'll need to make a Lannister Lion Mask as well as a wall mount that the mask will sit on when not in use (so it'll look like you have a lion's head hanging on your wall!). The only things you'll need to make the mask is glue (I used a pritt-stick) or double sided celotape and for the wall mount you'll also need a pair of scissors. The book comes with very clear instructions that you should read carefully before getting started.
It recommends starting by making the mast and the first thing you'll need to do is carefully pop out the 26 pieces needed to make it. The pieces are marked A to Z and you use them in alphabetical order (be careful because the lettering is the same for the pieces to make the wall mount but they have different symbols on them so you need to make sure you have the right pieces!). Start with piece A and make all of the required folds (there are instructions in the book to help you know what types of folds are needed - valley or mountain). Then you'll see lots of small numbers on the inside of the piece and you basically need to join the matching numbers together using the tabs on one side. The best thing to do is to hold the piece in shape until you know exactly how it's supposed to fit together, this can be a little fiddly but once you have it figured out gluing it in place is very straightforward.
Once you've connected all the parts from piece A you can fold part B and glue them together, gradually add each letter until the mask is complete. It takes time to complete the project, especially if you've not done anything like this before, but I managed it easily on my own so as long as you're careful you shouldn't have any problems. The important thing is to make sure all the tabs are fully glued in place before you move on to adding the next piece or you'll end up finding it starts to fall apart later (I'm talking from experience there!).
The completed mask looks absolutely incredible and I'm thrilled with it. There is a strap that has to be adjusted to your personal requirement so the mask will only fit one person but once you have it lined up it's really comfortable to wear and would look great for Halloween or a fancy dress party.
The second part of the project is making the wall mount for the mask to stand on and I have to admit I found that part more fiddly than making the actual mask! It has slightly less pieces (I think it was 18 rather than 26) but they fit together to form a ring and I found it awkward trying to attach both sides together at the end but again with a bit of patience I was able to do it without any help. Once you've connected the pieces you have to attach them to the baseboard (included at the back of the book) and again I found it hard to get the ring into the exact shape I wanted. In the end I found the easiest option was to hold the mount in place using bulldog clips and then once I had the whole thing where it needed to be I was able to tape it in place.
The wall mount on its own doesn't look particularly impressive but by the time you add on the mask it makes a brilliant piece of wall art! I had so much fun making this and I love the results so I definitely think I need to collect the rest of the set.
The Game of Thrones official 3D mask and wall mount books, published by Carlton Books, will be available at all leading book retailers and www.carltonbooks.co.uk at a price of £14.99. The Stark Direwolf and Lannister Lion books will be available from 10th August, with the Targaryen Dragon and White Walker books will be available from 7th September....more