Book Review ~ ‘Outdoor Things to do’ #BoredomBuster

Anti Boredom Book Of Brilliant Outdoors Things To Do Andy Seed Bloomsbury

 Book review ~ ‘Outdoor Things To Do’ book

The most obvious point of The Anti-boredom Book of Brilliant Outdoor Things To Do book is that it encourages children to go outside.
That’s one box ticked.
But what if you haven’t got a particularly big or ‘gardeny’ garden?  You know, the ‘backyard’ type garden that is concrete and doesn’t lend itself to much adventure?  The garden without any grass.  Well, there’s always the local park.  Sometimes though, it’s nice to just hang out at home and potter around isn’t it?
 And for days like that, this book also lends a hand!
How?  Because it’s also got a section on indoors rainy day activities.
Another box ticked!
Anti Boredom Book Of Brilliant Outdoors Things To Do Andy Seed Bloomsbury

Looking for inspiration for those “I’m bored” moments?

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Book Review ~ ‘Clever Tykes’ storybooks

The Impressionists Boolino Art Book Review Moonlight Publishing

 Book review ~ ‘Clever Tykes’

Clever Tykes storybooks aim to inspire positivity, resourcefulness and enterprising behaviour in their target market of 6-10 year olds.  And let’s cut to the chase because in my opinion, they all do just that.  Back in January 2017 every primary school in the UK was gifted a set of these books which is fantastic and means that Clever Tykes books have the potential to empower a lot of our children… the future generations in fact.  No mean feat but utterly possible with this little collection!
Book Review ~ 'Clever Tykes' Storybooks

Let me walk you through it

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Art Book Review ~ ‘The Impressionists’

The Impressionists Boolino Art Book Review Moonlight Publishing

Art Book Review ~ ‘The Impressionists’

Boolino got in touch to ask if I’d like to review a book about the group of artists known collectively as the Impressionists.  And I thought it would be fun to read an arty book because our daughter had been learning about Van Gogh.  (Though I didn’t realise he was an Impressionist until we read the book!)

The Impressionists Boolino Art Book Review Moonlight Publishing
So, quite apart from being artists, what or who were the Impressionists?

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Book review ~ One Third Stories

Book Review One Third Stories Help Your Child to Learn A New Language

Book Review ~ One Third Stories

When I heard about One Third Stories – ‘a story that starts in English and ends in another language’, I was intrigued.
Book Review One Third Stories Full Help Your Child to Learn A New Language 2
The people at Boolino asked which language I would like to review and I chose the Spanish because I thought it would be a good starting point.  Those episodes of Dora the Explorer must have given our 7 year old a good grounding for Spanish surely?…

 

Seriously though, not being a language expert, I also thought Spanish might be one of the more straight-forward languages.
So that’s what I thought, but I was also interested to see how our daughter would approach it and how she would react.
She loves reading and happily reads fluently alone.  And so I had little doubt of her capabilities.  As I said, she’s also seen her fair share of Dora so I thought she would already have a feel for the intonations of Spanish as a language!  A logical conclusion to draw perhaps?!

 

The unboxing

What made me smile on reading this book was her realisation that some of the book was in a different language!
When we opened the parcel, she read the cover and I explained what it was.
Curious, she began to read and by page 4  she came across a Spanish word which was very cleverly woven into the text.  Having been through phonics, sounding out and blending with her, it was fascinating to hear her do the same with the Spanish word.
Book Review One Third Stories Full Help Your Child to Learn A New Language Reading
I did have to jump in and tell her how to pronounce ‘si’.  But due to the accompanying pictures, the word meaning was pretty self-explanatory within the context of the story.
Genius!

 

Does the concept work?

Having the Spanish slotted into the text didn’t slow the story down at all, which I thought may have been the case.
A very clever concept that works brilliantly with competent, engaged readers (or at least a 7 year old and her mum!).  I can see how this book (and no doubt others in the series) would aide in actually introducing a different language and therefore learning new, basic words.

 

My thoughts

Based on our experience and our daughter’s reaction, I would highly recommend this book.
Not only for the general concept of ending in a different language but also for the sheets of ‘flash cards’ that come with it.  On one side you have the Spanish and the other is the English.  A great idea to enhance visual learning.  What also impressed me about this book visually was at the start, the numbers were introduced alongside clear drawings of the number of the relevant item, so the child can count them and work out what the Spanish word is for themselves.  The package also came with a free audio book download which is a great idea for the pronunciations and also a cute Spanish fact file that you can see here.
Book Review One Third Stories Full Help Your Child to Learn A New Language With Fact File

One Third Stories came with a cute Spanish Fact File

 

With an RRP of £14.99, there is value for money because you do get a fair amount for your money – a good quality, sturdy story book with flash cards.  My initial thoughts were that it’s a little bit pricey, but when I considered the concept a little more; that this series could engage with your child and ease your child into a new language, I do think it’s worth it.

 

What language would you consider buying for your child?  Tell me in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 🙂

*I was sent this book for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own (and my daughter’s!)

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Will this book help your child fall to sleep?

When we received a package from Vicks as part of their #VicksTricks campaign, we were intrigued by the book inside.  The title of my blog post for their campaign was ‘I’ve Got a Trick Up My Sleeve’ and so did they, it seems!

Their ‘trick’ was a book entitled ‘The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep: A New Way of Getting Children to Sleep
by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin.

Will this book full help your child fall asleep Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin Vicks Tricks bedtime reading parenting virtually all sorts

And what an intriguing book.  The idea is to read this book to your child who doesn’t want to or won’t sleep, at bedtime.  I found it quite challenging to read because of the style.  By that I mean that parts were in italics (which you say in a soft, slow voice) and bold (which you say ‘in character’ and animate your voice etc).  To accompany the book were 3 finger puppets, to use alongside the book, to really bring the book alive.

Will this book puppets full help your child fall asleep Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin Vicks Tricks bedtime reading parenting virtually all sorts

We love a bedtime story in our house, we always have and in all honesty, we’ve never really had any issues with our 7 year old wanting to go to bed or to sleep.  I’ve mentioned before how she asks me to read 7 pages and then she reads the rest herself by torchlight..

So to be asked by our daughter to read the whole lot came as a surprise.  A nice one though!  It felt very odd not to be reading the whole 7 pages and our daughter didn’t even manage to read the rest herself!  Why?  Because by about page 4, she was curled up in bed, with her teddies and duvet around her, heavy-eyed and ready for sleep.  She usually sits up next to me in bed, snuggled up under her duvet holding a teddy.  So was this coincidence?  Well, we will never know but in any case, the concept of the book is really clever!

Have you come across this book?  Do you find bedtime challenging?!  Tell me in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 🙂

This post contains affliate links which means that if you buy something from this page, I get a little happiness too, at no extra cost to you.  Thanks 🙂

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‘Scrambled Heads: A Children’s Guide to Mental Health’ ~ Review

Mental health.  It can be a very sensitive subject to approach.  Taboo even.
And it can be especially tricky to talk to our children about.
If you let it.

 

But here’s a helping hand because Emily Palmer has written ‘Scrambled Heads: A Children’s Guide to Mental Health
which was inspired after her own struggles with her mental health as a child and young adult.
For a start, what a great title!  It sums up very well the subject matter, I feel.
And with simple, colourful pictures, it’s such an easy read – a coffee table book that you can read in one sitting when the moment or need arises.Scrambled heads white childrens guide to mental health wellbeing book review young minds virtually all sorts
Apart from the simple illustrations, what really grabs me about this book is that it’s engaging.  It’s reassuring.  It gives useful advice in a non-aggressive and non-patronising way (very important for children, especially young adults).
‘Scrambled Heads’ normalises mental health, which is vital for everyone.

 

I say everyone, because when you first read the sub-title ‘A Children’s Guide to Mental Health’, you might think, as I did, that it’s aimed purely at children.  But when you consider that this book can be read by anyone of any age, so children, their siblings, their relatives, their friends and their parents, that covers a lot of ground!

 

What’s worth remembering is that many, many children have parents who have mental health issues and this book could help them to understand their situation better.   This would have been a very handy book when I had depression.  Books are one of 5 ways you beat depression.
The length of the book is just right for picking up off the coffee table, bedside cabinet, shelf or wherever and having a quick recap as the need arises.

 

The price is very reasonable too at £5.99.  And with 10% of the profits of the first edition being donated to ‘Young Minds’, it’s even more reasonable and a small price to pay, I’d say.

 

If I could change one thing, I would put a little less emphasis on visits to hospital and medication, and more emphasis on cognitive therapy.

 

Although it doesn’t actually refer directly to medication it has pictures that are open to interpretation.  And when it comes to mental health, I suppose it’s heavily open to interpretation on all levels.  Such as how someone looks compared to how they’re feeling.  And that’s just for starters.

 

Overall, given the complexity of the subject of mental health, I do think that this book does an extremely good job of not alienating anyone, not patronising anyone, not making anyone feel ‘odd’ and above all, not being flippant about what is a very serious subject.

 

I would encourage our 7 year old to read this at some point as and when the need may arise, as a useful aide to understanding mental health.

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I was sent this book at a discount for the purpose of a review but all words and opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliates links which means that if you purchase something from this page, I get a little happiness too.  At no extra cost to you.  Thank you.

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Are you looking for the perfect gift?… (and a giveaway with a difference!)

 So, you’re looking for the perfect gift?  That special something for that special someone with a little bit of ‘something’ different?  A little bit special?  A little bit unique?
Rest up your feet and look no more.  Because I have the perfect present for that special child in your life…
and yes, as the picture below says, I have a giveaway with a difference!
message-in-a-bottle-discount-code-giveaway-personalised-book-for-children-blueberry-and-pie-publishing-launch-team
 You can read my review here, and you can see my unboxing of my Message in a Bottle parcel below…
In the unboxing I was so excited to find the postcards that you see in the picture above.  I love that they’ve got the airmail mark around the edge because that’s the main theme of the book – the lovable bird called Kiki HAS to get the personalised message to the special someone, even if that means travelling far and wide to do so!
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 I was even more excited when I turned the postcards over and on the back I saw a discount card for 15% off the book!
And then I thought I would give my lovely readers a treat.  “How wonderful would it be for them to be able to enter a giveaway to win one of these postcards through the post?” I thought.   (Imagine a postie dressed up as Kiki the bird for authenticity!) WITH a discount code to use.  At the time of this post being published, the code can be used in time for Christmas, but really it’s ideal for anytime of the year, for any occasion!
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So yes, the review post has 15% off for the first 10 ‘grabbers’ and this post is a giveaway for a different discount code which involves you giving me your postal address (to be given when the winners are drawn) and then 4 of you receiving a postcard with the discount code on the back!  Wonderful!  As with all my giveaways, I’d like to point out that your mailing address (and of course your email address) will not be passed on to any 3rd party.  That info is in the T&Cs (see giveaway below) but because this is a giveaway with a difference, I felt the need to state it here too 🙂
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 When the lucky winners receive their postcards with discount codes, all you have to do is refer to this blogpost again and click here to redeem!  Easy peasy!  The giveaway is open to UK entrants and ends at 12am on 21sh November 2016. Good luck to you!
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Just for fun, which postcard would you like to receive – the owl or Kiki the bird? I say ‘just for fun’ because there’s no guarantee you will get your chosen one – but I’ll see what I can do! I’d love to know!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something from clicking on a link from my blog, I get to receive some happiness too… at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks..

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children (with discount code) ~ Review

 

A while back, I introduced you to Kiki ~ a friendly, lovable bird from ‘Message in a Bottle’, which is a personalised book for children.

And I shared a sneak peak of the book when I received it on YouTube.

Today, I’m sharing a review of the book.

message-in-a-bottle-discount-code-insert-1-personalised-book-for-children-blueberry-and-pie-publishing-launch-team

 

When I unboxed it, the colours immediately appealed to me and I knew they would appeal to our daughter too.  She’s 6 years old and absolutely loves, loves, loves reading!  Do you get that she loves to read?! 🙂

There really is something about the feel of the book, both physically and aesthetically.  It’s pure quality.  I initially read it through myself and the tingles I felt when I saw our girl’s name AND address in print in the book were amazing!

message-in-a-bottle-insert-1-miab-personalised-book-for-children-blueberry-and-pie-publishing-launch-team-copy

When I told her I had a surprise for her, she was excited.  And when I told her it was a very special book, she asked me why it was special.  So we sat down together and she read it to me.  I was looking over her shoulder and I felt her excitement at seeing her name and address printed in the book.  The bonding experience was so special that first time (and beyond!)

The story starts when Kiki the bird finds a bottle adrift.  The bottle of course has a message inside and although Kiki doesn’t know where she needs to take it for safe delivery, she knows she must try.  So the journey begins as we follow Kiki flying the day and night, stumbling upon friendly creatures who help the tired and brave bird to reach her destination.  There are few hairy moments when Kiki loses the bottle from her grasp.  But she gets the treasured bottle back of course and I think it must be quite obvious that the bottle reaches its destination, thanks to Kiki and her friends.

What an adventure for the friendly animals and for us!

My favourite parts were – Being introduced to Kiki.  It’s not difficult to warm to our feathered friend and she so desperately wants to get the bottle to us!

The lovable, colourful, sometimes cheeky characters!

Delivery of the message in a bottle to our girl.  🙂

Our daughter’s favourite parts were

The jungle spread and she was surprised to see it in the book because she coloured a print-out of an early scene.

The crab! 🙂

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So after we had read the book the first time, I asked our daughter why she thought it was a special book.  Her answer?

Because it’s for me and I helped to colour it.

This is a special book.  You can truly feel the passion behind it, after coming from initial concept, through the Kickstarter launch campaign, to print…  amazing!

The over-riding reason this book is so special though? – it’s for the child you want it to be for… it’s bespoke, it’s personalised, it’s a special gift.

And here’s a 15% discount for the first 10 people to visit the Message in a Bottle website and buy the book!  How amazing is that?!  The code is 2M315N.  Just click here to redeem it but be quick – remember it’s the first 10 people from my blog who get the discount!

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki sunset

How can you not love Kiki?

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You can follow Kiki’s journey with Message in a Bottle across the World Wide Web!

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

And you can spread the word by pinning from my Message in a Bottle board on Pinterest

 

*This is a review post but all opinions are my own.

 

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Captain Pug book review #AdventuresofPug

Welcome to my ‘Captain Pug’  book review!

Captain Pug 1 review book for children Bloomsbury publishing Dog who sailed the seas fiction Laura James Eglantine Ceulema

Here we have a lovely little tail tale which follows Pug and Lady Miranda on a  nautical adventure.

The first thing I noticed was that, given it’s a book for children, at 124 pages long, it doesn’t take long for the author Laura James to build up Pug into a lovable character.

You see, Pug is afraid of water and isn’t very keen when Lady Miranda turns him into a seafaring Captain for a day!

Nonetheless, he perseveres and we come to the point when Pug faces his fear of water.  A fear that Lady Miranda is unaware of.  This worries Pug.

We now learn that when Pug gets sad and worried, he gets hungry.  As luck would have it, his nose leads him to an unattended picnic basket, which he falls into…

And so the adventure really starts… with a Pug-napped Pug!

The story moves on at a good pace, which is great for children.  James’ story-telling kept the attention of our little girl (aged 6), who loves a good book.

And what good story for children is complete without good illustrations?  They appear on every page and help to move the story on.

Captain Pug 1 review book for children Bloomsbury publishing Dog who sailed the seas fiction Laura James Eglantine Ceulemans literacy reading

One of our favourite parts was when Pug finds himself the captain of a boat in a rowing race.  He’s very worried about being on the ‘open sea’ but there’s no food to calm his nerves.  He barks and barks, which the crew take to be him ‘barking orders’ and row faster!

The speed worries Pug even more, but with no food on paw hand to calm him down, he barks more, which makes the oarsmen row even faster…

Will Captain Pug and his crew win the boat race?

I’ll leave it there for you to find out for yourselves!…

The final verdict from us?

A heart-warming, slightly farcical story for children; as we follow a pug who faces his fear.  Beautiful, colourful, quirky illustrations and endearing characters.

The right length to enable a good adventure to unfold.

A portable size too – perfect for little(ish) hands and to slip into a bag for an adventure on the move!

And a good price… published by Bloomsbury and available from Amazon
for £5.99

Join the conversation #AdventuresofPug

And include @AllSortsHere in the tweet!

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And in January 2017…

Cowboy Pug is coming!  Yeee-haaa!

We’re looking forward to reading a new adventure with Pug 🙂

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We were sent this book to review but all opinions are my own. See here for my full disclosure policy.
Also, this post contains affiliate links.

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Meet Kiki from Message in a Bottle ~ personalised book for children

 

Meet Kiki ~ a friendly, lovable bird from ‘Message in a Bottle’. 

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki sunset

She’s relaxing in front of the sunset, thinking about her travels around the world and looking for her next adventure…

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present world

But why is she going around the world? 

Because she’s got a very important journey ~ to deliver a message in a bottle to a very special person.  What a very helpful bird she is!

And you can help Kiki by getting involved and getting behind the launch team for Message in a Bottle ~ a personalised book for children.

Over recent weeks I’ve had the privilege of watching Kiki develop from a hand-drawn sketch to the wonderful colourful character that she is now 🙂

ttle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki splash

How can you not love Kiki?

During the launch process, I popped some colouring-in sheets under our little girl’s nose (you can get yours by pledging your support on Kickstarter.

Her eyes lit up and she began to inject some colour into the sheets.  As she coloured, we had a chat about what the sheets were for.

I told her about Kiki’s task and how the little bird was going to get a special message to a very special person.  I love the work in progress here, don’t you?

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present work in progress

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I’ve been excited to be able to show our little girl illustrations by Tuire Siiriainen as the book has been tweaked.  Myself and other members have given great feedback which has enabled the team to bring Message in a Bottle to what you see here on Kickstarter.

I love that Kiki (lovely little Kiki!) is ready for an adventure;

an adventure with an important goal…

Now we’ve got an important goal… to help Kiki get that message delivered.

Help her now!  You can even get a soft toy of Kiki… can you even imagine?…

Message in a Bottle has been produced with love by the very talented team and it’s now live on Kickstarter.  There are lots of different ways to pledge your support for Kiki and the Message in a Bottle book.

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki reading

And follow Kiki’s journey with Message in a Bottle across the World Wide Web!

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

And you can spread the word by pinning from my Message in a Bottle board on Pinterest

As they say, ‘don’t delay, get involved today!’

*This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.

 

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