The Boy in the Dress

The boy has been asking me to set up a vlog for him for ages, but with all his after school clubs, and activities it can be difficult to find time to sit down and work out what he wants to talk about. We decided that Childrens Book Week is an ideal opportunity for the boy to talk to you about a few of his favourite books.

The Boy in the Dress is a book written by David Walliams, and is the 3rd of David’s books that the boy has read. He is really enjoying the exciting and engaging way David Walliams writes, and is excited to read more. Here is a short video of what he thinks of the book.

If this has made you smile, or inspired you to buy yourself a copy of this book, then it is available from bookstores now RRP £6.99,  there is also a link below.

Disclaimer, we were not asked to review this book, it is one we have read and enjoyed and wanted to tell you about.

We're going on an adventure

Horrid Henry is 20!

Yes its true Horrid Henry turns 20 this year, and he hasn’t aged a bit since Francesca Simon wrote the first book back in 1994. With over 20 million books sold, I think there must be at least one copy in every UK house.

Horrid Henry

The celebrations this year include the release of a special 20th anniversary edition book. The book includes brand new material, and 20 things you didn’t know about Horrid Henry. The book also contains 4 stories, Horrid Henry’s Perfect Day, Horrid Henry’s Dance Class, Horrid Henry and Moody Margaret and Horrid Henry’s Holiday. This book comes with a fun peep through cover, and the boy finds this style of book east to read. With illustrations to break up the text they are not intimidating for the reluctant reader.

henry is 20

With so many books in the Horrid Henry series there must be something for everyone, from fact books joke books and early readers. Horrid Henry is truly timeless, and I know that both the boy and me enjoy the humour from Henry’s stories.

Horrid henry’s 20th Anniversary Edition book is available now from bookshops and online RRP £4.99. For your chance to win a copy of this great Henry giggle packed book enter your details below.

Horrid Henry 20th Anniversary Edition

Terms & Conditions:
The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn by randomly.
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and no alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please alow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.

Disclaimer we were sent a copy of this book to review the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

Deadly 60 Bizarre Beasts

Deadly 60 Bizarre Beasts is the latest in the Deadly 60 series of fact books. The boy has always enjoyed these books and this one is no exception, filled with lots of nice and nasty beasties.

deadly 60

The other books in the series are Reptiles & Amphibians, Mammals, Minibeasts, and Fish, squid and jellyfish. each book is RRP £4.99, and is packed with interesting facts and bright coloured photos. There is plenty in the Deadly 60 fact book to keep the boy interested and he has enjoyed finding out more about all sorts of creatures. With chapters like wacky weapons and bizarre bodies, this fact book has lots of the information you would expect from Deadly 60’s Steve Backshall and the deadly team.

Disclaimer we were sent a copy of this book to review, the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

House of Secrets

House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini is the first book in a new series and “It’s going to be EPIC!”

Chris has worked on some pretty impressive films, from iconic productions like the Harry Potter series, to classics like a night at the museum. While Ned has written for TV as well as being a bestselling author. So the pair should know a thing or two about action and adventure.

House of Secrets

The book starts by setting the scene of the Walker family, Brendan, Cordelia and Eleanor “Nell” a typical American family? They are looking for a house, and nothing seems to be right. Will 128 Sea Cliff Avenue be all that it seems. It could just be a house on a cliff, or maybe there are darker secrets inside its termite ridden doors? When the house is not the “small, termite ridden, squat in a wood full of bears” the family are surprised. Dr Walker, and his family are set to move in, but Brendon keeps seeing things, or are they real?

The story so far has been gripping, and with a nice mixture of general family life and a hint of the story to come, I can imagine the boy will be hooked enough to want to read more of this book. I want to find out what the family secret “Incident” is that has led them to buy Kristoff House.

House of Secrets from Harper Collins is available now to buy from bookshops, and online for RRP £6.99 with a recommended reading age of 9+.

If you would like the chance to win a copy of this action adventure book, which J.K Rowling describes as “A breakneck, jam-packed, roller coaster of an adventure”, then fill out your details below.

House of Secrets

Terms & Conditions:
The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn randomly.
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and no alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please alow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com
Disclaimer we were sent this book for the purpose of review, the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

The Story of the World Cup

Today we are reviewing this fun new book, the Story of the World Cup by Richard Brassey from Orion Publishing RRP £4.99. This book is a great little fact book full of everything you might like to know about the game of football, and the World Cup which will dominate our TV in just one months time.

the story of the world cup

From the origins of the game in and how it got its name right up to the greatest World Cup scorers and famous players this is a great little book. I particularly love the little Mini story of Pickles and the stolen cup, I am sure that this book will keep even the non football lovers reading. I know the boy likes football, but cant understand his friends who are mad on it. But then I don’t think they understand how mad he is about Fencing!

So if your children want to find out more about the Story Of The World Cup, or even the previous book The Story of The Olympics, then why not pick up a copy. Here is the boy explaining what he likes about the book in his short Vlog, Enjoy.

If you would like the chance to help us celebrate Children’s Book Week and win a book to inspire your children, then we currently have a giveaway for How to catch a star, and Bing which you can enter from our review pages.

 

Disclaimer we were sent this book to review and keep, the opinions remain our own and have not been changed.

Bing by Ted Dewan

I am starting my Children’s book week reviews with Bing by Ted Dewan.

These fun, Bright toddler focused books are a series of books being relaunched this spring, first published in hardback over 10 years ago. Bing is being brought back to life in these great paperback editions, which parents and toddlers will love.

Bing Something For Daddy

The three newly published titles include “Something for Daddy” “Bed Time” and “Get Dressed” RRP £6.99 and we have been looking at Something for Daddy. This book tells the tale of Bing the Bunny who wants to make a special gift for Daddy. With his cuddly friend Flop, Bing sets out creating something special in a way that toddlers and parents will identify with. I love the bright pictures clear words, and sticky Goo that fills this book, and I am sure that we have all been in the kind of creative sticky situation that Bing finds himself in “It’s a Bing thing!”

bing

Share the ups and downs of everyday life in this playful pre-school series from award- winning picture book creator Ted Dewan, ahead of Bing’s TV debut later this year.

I can imagine that Bing will make a successful transfer to the TV screen with the bright illustrations of this cute little fluffy character. If you would like the chance to engage in a bit of a Bing thing then why not enter my giveaway below to win a copy of each of these new paperback books from Harper Collins.

Bing by Ted Dewan

Disclaimer, we were sent a copy of this book in able to bring you this review, our opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

Terms & Conditions:
The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Gleam app randomly.
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and no alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please alow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.

 

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

National Childrens Book Week 12th – 18th May

This week I am celebrating National Children’s Book Week which takes place from 12th to the 18th May. I don’t usually need an excuse to share books with you, and am looking forward to sharing a few of our favourites this week along with some new titles to get everyone reading.

Children’s Book Week is all about celebrating your favourite books, authors, and illustrators! From comics to mysteries, from magic to history…you can find anything between the pages of a book!

National Children’s Book Week events have been taking place across the world for the last 95 years, and are a celebration of everything written and illustrated in the world of books. Why not join in and tell me about your favourite finds, childhood memories or just your latest book your little ones are reading. I would love to hear all about your books, and in return will be giving you the chance to win some new books along with some classics. so keep your eyes peeled for lots of wordy fun this week.

Why not start by entering my giveaway to win a copy of How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, one of the boys favourite authors.

My first giveaway is now live win all three of the new paperback Bing books.

childrens book week

You are never to young or old to find a discover a love for books!

How to Catch a Star

How to Catch a Star is celebrating its 10th Anniversary, and we were asked to join in the celebrations. So would it be bad to confess that we haven’t read how to Catch a Star before today? I hope that Oliver Jeffers doesn’t mind, but we do have a soft spot for two of his other books. I love “The way back home”, and the boy says his favourite all time picture book is “The Great Paper Caper”.

How to Catch a Star is the charming story of a small boy who dreams of having a star as his friend, he sets about on an exploration of the world in pursuit of his new friend. The story explores where you would have to look? In the sky, how tall would you have to make yourself to be able to reach a star? The illustrations are simple yet executed beautifully in the retelling of the story and have a charm about them that we have loved from Oliver’s other books.

how to catch a star by oliver jeffers

I was intrigued to find out that Oliver creates not just the stories for his books, but also the artwork. This is somewhat unusual as far as I know, as most writers are just that writers. This might also explain why his stories have such a seamless feel to them. If you would like to find out more about Oliver then visit his website at www.oliverjeffersanniversary.com  where you can read about his stories, the inspiration behind them and all about the man himself. You will also find activities to download, posters, and even puppets to make and play out your favourite stories.

how to catch a star 10th aniversary

We have loved reading this book and would like to share the story with you too. I have a special 10th Anniversary copy of How to catch a star which is available now for RRP £12.99. The winner will also receive a little packet of their very own stars to share the magic with their children.

Simply fill in this rafflecopter for your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer we were sent a copy of the 10th anniversary book as part of a press pack to keep, as well as a copy to giveaway. The opinions remain my own and are unchanged.

Terms & Conditions:
The giveaway is open to the UK only
  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn by the Rafflecopter randomly.
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the Rafflecopter, and no alternatives will be offered.
  • The prize will be posted by me, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please alow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
  • For a simple guide to  Rafflecopter, please read Di Coke’s Rafflecopter Guide

Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com

New Minecraft handbooks

There are two Minecraft handbooks, Combat and Construction, available now for RRP £7.99 from Egmont publishing. As soon as the boy spotted them in Waterstones last week, he didn’t stop talking about them. I was hoping to keep their arrival a surprize for our two weeks at home, but in the end I had to tell him. Each day waiting for the postman was like torture, and after a few problems the box finally arrived.

The boy couldn’t even wait to get the tape of the box he was so excited, and he wasn’t disappointed either. These Minecraft books just like the ones we reviewed earlier in the year, are a Minecraft fan’s dream. Despite the distraction of his favourite TV programme, he was soon nose buried in a copy of the Minecraft Construction book.

Minecraft handbooks

There are now four of these handy sized books, with The beginner’s handbook and redstone being the first two. The combat and construction books follow on from the first, and have a great mix of hints, tips, and visual information. Who am I kidding! I know very little about Minecraft, I know you build things, and I know the boy loves it like lots of other 8 year olds.

minecraft fun

Even I can appreciate that these books are detailed enough and simple enough for anyone to follow. The boy convinced me that we would have to have a go at building together, and if I could work out how to make the x-box do this it would have been a lovely way to spend an afternoon. However, it turned out that the boy would have to build on his own for now. Sparked by all the fantastic buildings from the contruction handbook, he enjoyed his afternoon of creations and made a fantastic castle. Not quite the mansions of the Minecraft construction book, but still pretty impressive.

reading about minecraft

We even found a Minecraft Dragon, and now I know all about what it takes to slay and Ender Dragon! Not that I will be doing anything like that to a fellow dragon. The boy says that these books are “Epic” and didn’t disappoint, despite the wait. Its just a shame he cant use them as part of the school reader scheme, but we will be studying them to use for his cubs readers badge instead.

minecraft construction
These new Minecraft books are a great gift, and one that I think we will be getting the boys cousin for his birthday later in the year. Minecraft handbooks are all available now for RRP £7.99 each, look out for offers, as our local Waterstones was doing buy one get one half price. There are also some great Minecraft days in Waterstone across the country so keep your eyes peeled at your local shop, or on the Egmont Facebook page for more information.

Disclaimer we were sent these books for review and the opinions remain our own.

Packing for Hospital

Packing for hospital is just like packing for a holiday. Ok so the destination may not be quite so exciting, but the boy was actually looking forward to it, me? not so much. I had been stock piling a few of the boys favourite things, as well as some new items for review, to keep him interested, I didn’t want to hear “I’m bored!”. So here are a few of our recommendations, and a few surprise finds of our brief stay.

Books

books

Yes we have lots of books, and they are defiantly in the case. The boy chose to take his current reading book which is Mr Stink by David Walliams, RRP £6.99 This is the 4th of David’s books that we have read, and I can thoroughly recommend them all. Gangsta Granny has a tough ending, and one the boy wasn’t quite ready for so if you have a younger child or one who is a little sensitive, this may be one to leave till they are older. Billionaire boy, and The Boy in the Dress are proper laugh out loud, the characters are brought to life in amazing detail, repeating characters common to all the books are fun to spot. We have a soft spot for Raj the shopkeeper, and the toilet roll puns!

Joe and the race to Rescue by Victoria Eveleigh is a Orion book that the boy chose, RRP £5.99 it is a different story to one he would normally chose, but I think he liked the look of the cover. This book is one for all animal lovers and while I know girls enjoy pony books, I will be encouraging the boy to enjoy different books. This way he can decide what he likes and doesn’t like.

When his family’s farm floods, Joe comes to the rescue with the help of two brave Shire horses, in the final instalment in the brand new pony trilogy from Victoria Eveleigh, author of the Katy’s Ponies series.

The Quirks in circus Quirks by Erin Soderberg from Bloomsbury RRP £5.99, looks like another good fun read. This story tells the tale of a family, but no ordinary family as the title might imply.

The Quirks are a rather special family with rather magical powers and, sometimes, when the Quirks are involved things don’t quite go to plan!

 

This is Erin’s first book for children aged 7-9 and is packed with the type of adventure you need to keep this age group of children interested. A book packed full of family life with a smattering of huge, hairy, twisted, sticky secrets! I think the boy will enjoy this book as it is based in small town America it will open up some new topics of discussion.

Puzzles

puzzles

We took a selection of puzzle books, including a new Deadly 60 Activity book from Orion books. Priced at RRP £4.99 and with lots of interesting facts and puzzles, full colour pictures, this will always be a winner with both Deadly 60 fans and puzzle fanatics.

I bought myself a mixed puzzle book, and it has been a long time since I have enjoyed some quiet time to sit and just think. I was looking forward to doing a couple of Sudoku, and was surprised that the boy wanted to join in and help. It turned out he understands the process of thinking behind Sudoku and was disappointed there went any in his comic. Bingo Granny had bought the boy a magazine called Adventure Time and a huge flower pen, she wanted to keep him occupied while he was away from home and the free toy that came with the magazine was a kit as it fired small plastic discs. I’m sure it wont be a long-lasting toy, but boys seem to really enjoy this kind of thing! These types of magazines are perfect for holidays, as you wont need to bring a whole library with you!

Games

games

Game number one to come with us was of course Dobble, RRP £12.99 (if you are quick you still have the chance to win the game here) This is such an easy and fun game, and the boy was quick to encourage both Dad M and his new friend O to join in with a few games. Having this game in a tin means it was easy to pack and you wont end up with a tatty crushed box at the end of your trip.

We also packed Brain Box Maths by Green Games RRP £12.99, this was something Santa had invested in for Christmas and a way to encourage the boy to think about all sorts of different maths problems I knew it would be a hit. We were sent Inventions Brain Box game last year and enjoyed the easy to follow concept of memorizing the information on a card then being asked a question to see how much you can remember. The boy challenged his friend O to a game, and was surprised when he was beaten. (He isn’t used to loosing well, and this went down badly) I do think this game will be one we enjoy though as it has some interesting facts and is well-balanced for adults to play with all ages of children.

Snacks

fruit bowl snacks

Finally packing food, OK! I knew that the food in hospital would be ok for the boy as he is used to eating pretty much everything. I would have to fend for myself, but having a few handy snacks for in-between times is always a good idea. Whether you are packing for a day out or a week away I think both fun and healthy snacks are a must.

Luckily Fruit Bowl came to our rescue. This is a brand I have been buying for the boys lunch for a long time now, and we particularly enjoy the yoghurt covered fruit flakes. As a mum I like to try and choose more healthy snacks and will choose these or cereal bars. We were very excited to see the New Sea Shapes and Jungle Animals, these are little gems of the snack world and are now a firm favourite of everyone in the family. They have the amazing fruit flavour of a sweet and as one of your five a day with no added sugar, are a better option.

Fruit bowl’s new peelers also went down well, the boy was excited to tear these apart, and the Strawberry peeler only lasted seconds from the jiffy bag! Have a look on the website to find out more about which supermarkets are stocking which Fruit Bowl Snack here. And keep your eyes peeled in Sainsbury’s and Waitrose for the New Sea and Jungle shapes as they are a big hit!

Disclaimer, we have been sent some of these items for review, the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.