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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‘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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Morse Toad personalised chocolate cards (with discount code)

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Morse Toad is a great concept.

Firstly, who doesn’t like to receive nice post?

And who doesn’t like to receive chocolate?

Well, I love to receive both!  And I love to write poems too, so this is what I’d like to say about Morse Toad…

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When you want to say ‘thanks’ or ‘congrats’ or ‘well done’,

Morse Toad chocolates are second to none!

They’ve a list of occasions you might want to use,

There’s bound to be one that you’d like to choose!

With an option to add a heart-warming snap,

You can personalise your delicious, chocolatey pack.

And ordering’s easy with one or two clicks,

With delivery choices, just take you pick!

Morse Toad have thought of it all, and more…

The chocs go through your letterbox, straight through your door,

It’s great value for money; you can see from their shop,

Stay in your PJ’s, don’t shop til you drop!

And what about the chocolate?  Well that’s yummy too,

If you’re lucky, the receiver might leave some for you…

The best Belgian chocolate, so smooth and so scrummy,

There’s an edible greeting card for everyone’s tummy!

Morse Toad is available all year round,

But read on for a discount to get more for your pound!

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Yes, Morse Toad are very kindly giving you a 10% discount by using the code “HappyToadmas”

(expires 25th December 2016 which is of course Christmas Day!).

You can hop over (like a Morse ‘Toad’!) to Morse Toad’s message service to see their range, which would make great secret Santa presents, and there’s something there for your family too, befitting all occasions (as the poem above suggests!)
chocolate Christmas cards and stocking fillers: something for Mum, Dad or your friends.

morse-toad-messaging-service-chocolate-personalised-cards-gifts

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 I created an unboxing vlog because Morse Toad very kindly gave me a discount for the purpose of this review and I chose the ‘Awesome Box’ for our daughter.

The reason being that we love to be positive and use empowering words in our house (and I secretly blatantly knew she would share her chocolatey stash with me us!).   I chose to add a picture of her with her cousins and this was great value at an extra £1.  That in itself is awesome, to add an even more personal touch and sending a strong message that they are all awesome.  When you order, the website says that you can take the picture out and pop it in a frame.  I thought that would be a lovely and unique touch and was intrigued to see how this would work.

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When we received the parcel, this was my favourite feature.  You could easily slip the picture out of the box and pop it in a frame!  What an awesome idea…

The packaging appears to be sturdy enough to drop through a high letterbox without breaking up.  And there’s even a note on the box to keep the package out of the sun!  Once opened, there is  plastic cover that slots easily over the chocolate pieces.

Mine (or our daughter’s!) package arrived within 2 days of placing the order (which was done in the evening) and here’s her favourite part of it:

The picture of her with her cousins, the letters and hearts and the really yummy chocolate!   (all of it then really!)

When she saw the box with the picture inside, she was really excited and said she wanted to put the picture in a frame next to her bed.  How lovely!  She read the words and I took a moment to reaffirm to her that is awesome, so are her cousins and so are we!  Keen to have some chocolate, she took the sturdy plastic cover away (which was easy to do) and pointed out 2 pieces to have.

We both decided it was really smooth, yummy and most importantly, chocolatey!  Highly recommended! (and Daddy agreed when it was his turn to sample his pieces.

My favourite part:

Watching our daughter’s face when she opened the box to see the picture, letting her read the message and telling her that she IS awesome!

And also showing her that she could take the picture out.

Some other good points to note:

The chocolate does not contain alcohol and is kosha accredited. It does not contain eggs, and is gluten free.  This is good, quality chocolate and I’ll bet that not many messages stay in tact for long.  If they do, someone has very good willpower!

What I would change:

If I could change one thing about the packaging, it would be to put the chocolate pieces in a ‘rigid’ tray within the box.  By that I mean something to keep the pieces in their rightful places.  Not only would this stop the remaining pieces from rattling around, it would keep the message making sense (in the early stages when not too many pieces are gone!)

But really, this is a great value-for-money product.  I can see this will become very popular once word gets around.

Don’t forget to use your discount code HappyToadmas and follow Morse Toad on social media:

Visit their website and follow them on instagram, facebook, pinterest and twitter.

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

 

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Panda Vita Organic Baobab powder ~ Review & discount code

Panda Vita contacted me to ask if I would like to review their organic Baobab powder and I immediately agreed because anything that is 100% natural and unprocessed has got to be a good thing.

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Firstly, I was impressed with the packaging.  It came in a modest sized envelope which not only means less waste of course.  But it also means I wasn’t battling with unnecessary parcel tape to get to my ‘loot’.  (You can see my ‘unenveloping here’.)

The envelope has a rip off seal at the top but then to keep the powder fresh, you have a zip-lock type seal which is a fantastic idea.

As the PandaVita website says, Baobab powder is a tasty and nutritious powder that dehydrates naturally inside the baobab fruit. The fruit grows on magnificent trees in AFRICA. It has a delightful citrusy flavour and is an excellent source of Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium. It also a high fibre content.

On opening the packet, I set to, making a drink.  I was intrigued what it tasted like in water alone, and added the correct mix to the water.  At first, I wasn’t sure how quickly, if at all, the small lumps would dissolve.  But I’m pleased to say they were gone rapidly with a good ‘whisky’ type mix with a normal teaspoon.

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So, with some trepidation, I sipped my drink.  I say ‘trepidation’ because after seeing the small lumps, I was warey that it may be quite powdery on my tongue.  And you know what?  It wasn’t!  The citrussy taste came through quite strongly (but not overpowering) and this may have taken the texture away.  I tried levelling the teaspoons the next time and sure enough, not so strong and actually very pleasant.

I didn’t actually find time to do any baking with the baobab powder but can imagine that it would be a nice addition and give any recipe a little ‘twist’.

I did find time to sprinkle a little on my daily cereal (oh how I love my breakfast!).  With a bit of a stir, I enjoyed the twist in the taste and I liked knowing that I was giving my day a kick start with the baobab.  Great feeling!

While I can’t say that I noticed my energy levels increase (I may have to give it more time), I can say that I recommend you try this organic powder.  At £4.99 for a 50g packet, I’d say it’s worth the money and I’d be prepared to use it daily.  And Panda Vita are very kindly giving you a 15% discount by using VAS15 (no expiry date).  You can shop their range of products here.

And you can follow Panda Vita on social media:

Visit their website and follow them on instagram, facebook, pinterest and twitter.

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

 

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Pure Chimp Super Tea ~ Review

Are you a tea lover?

Great!

Have you ever tried green tea?

If the answer’s yes, read on for a product that may interest you.

If the answer’s no, read on for a new experience just for you!

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Pure Chimp is packed full of 100% natural goodness.

Yes it’s true, it’s all goodness that goes into this green tea.

Just one teaspoon serving is the equivalent to 10 cups of regular green tea.

So, start your day the Pure Chimp green tea way and you’re off to a good start!

It’s grown under cover for the last two weeks before picking, which fills it with extra goodness.

The tea leaves are then carefully ground down to form a fine powder which ensures that you consume all of the natural goodness!

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But how do you make it?

You simply mix 1/2 a level teaspoon (around 1g) with hot water, juice or smoothies.  It can also be used in baking.

What’s it like?

When you open the packet, there is a really fine powder of velvety green just waiting for you to dip your tea spoon into.  It had the look and feel of quality as a small cloud of the powder got airborne (and didn’t make me sneeze, hurray!).

I mixed it well, though I didn’t make it frothy like it suggests you can on the packaging and I found it needed a good dollop of honey to take the powdery texture away.  I do like things bitter, however Pure Chimp was a little too bitter for my tastebuds, even with the honey.  I do try to avoid sweetening my drinks, for health reasons and also because I don’t really like the sweet taste.  For that reason, I was reluctant to add more than a dollop of honey, though I needed to really, for taste.

For those who don’t mind adding to make their drink sweeter or don’t mind the intense texture of the power, this drink is ideal for that 100% natural goodness that comes with green tea.

Pure Chimp have a good range of products available at reasonable prices  (the Super Tea retails at £6.95) and I was impressed that this simply came in an envelope too.  No over-the-top unnecessary packaging, which is good to see.

You can follow Pure Chimp on social media:

Visit their website and follow them on instagram, facebook, pinterest and twitter.

 

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

 

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Our Jam Packed movie adventure ~ #BoredomBuster Review

 

When this box came through the letterbox, I was very excited…

jam-packed-make-create-do-inspire-imagination-boredom-buster-activity

I had been expecting my Jam Packed Craft movie adventure box… well strictly speaking it was for our little girl but I was looking forward to joining in too.

I immediately loved the colourful outer layer and it caught our daughter’s eye too.  She wanted to know what was inside and so did I!

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Containing everything we needed to make a home-made movie adventure, the box really and truly was jam packed with craft supplies!  That said, as the activity went on, I was really impressed with how little waste there was and that we had to use the box itself.  What a great idea!

Inside we found:

chalks for the clapper board (I think that’s what it’s called…!)

crayons for decorating the stage, curtains and audience

paint for the ‘stage’ (though our little girl preferred to colour it in and decorate it with the glittery star stickers supplied)

glue, a template for the ‘screen’, a film strip and even… get this

POPCORN!  Yes, really!

So there really was everything we needed.

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First she coloured in the curtain surround

hoh-jam-packed-make-create-do-inspire-imagination-boredom-buster-activity

Then she created the film strip and couldn’t decide on Sleeping Beauty or Jack and the Beanstalk…

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There was the popcorn preparation

hoh-jam-packed-collage-make-create-do-inspire-imagination-boredom-buster-activity

…which intrigued our daughter because she had never heard popcorn popping in a microwave before.  We all tucked in to what was delicious popcorn!  Seriously, it’s one of the best I’ve ever tasted (5 stars here!).  And left a handful for the audience!

Next came the all important audience and setting the scene

hoh-jam-packed-setting-up-make-create-do-inspire-imagination-boredom-buster-activity

Before the show itself… (see below for the vlog!) #Exciting!

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This activity took the best part of an afternoon to create, which was just the right amount of time.  There were full instructions which were a little tricky to follow at the beginning with cutting the template out.  But really, our daughter had little input from me.  Then she was off creating!

Jam Packed Craft boxes are  ‘little boxes bursting with big ideas’ and this was certainly bursting – full to the brim!  I loved that this was a fresh idea for an activity.  There are adventure boxes and mini kits available.  I love the Fairy Door and bracelet mini kits – I know our daughter would too!

I for one have never seen anything quite like it before and that makes the adventure boxes worth the retail price of £12 (if this box is anything to go by) because you don’t have to add anything to the box at all.  Just imagination and perhaps a nice cuppa to go with the popcorn! 🙂

We had so much fun and it was great for bonding.  Although our daughter was quite happy to be left to her own devices for the colouring and sticking parts.

The creation is currently on her desk because she’s so proud of it and she even cut her first very short vlog (possibly the shortest vlog in the history of vlogs!… but it’s a good one!)

She’s clearly a star in the making because when she had cut that one, she vlogged another (including an alternative version of ‘Fe Fi Fo Fum’.  And we’ll just skirt around me forgetting the storyline!.. 🙂

From our experience, I’d highly recommend Jam Packed Craft boxes for those boredom buster moments, or any moment in fact!

You can follow Jam Packed Craft on social media to keep up to date with their products and to get some inspiration:

Visit their website and follow them on instagram, facebook and twitter.

 

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

 

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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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The BFG by Roald Dahl ~ review and giveaway

Welcome to ‘The BFG’ review and giveaway!

BFG review giveaway win book roald dahl big friendly giant dream jar film movie puffin books exclusive material reading adaptation

If you’re looking for a heart-warming story that feeds the imagination of children and adults, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl is the book you need.

Why?

Well, where do I begin or I should say where to we begin, because our little girl aged 6 loved this book and read it page by page, slowly but surely all by herself.

I admit to being a little concerned about the weird and wonderful words that the BFG uses.  Our little girl was a little confused by them but when I explained the reason for these words, she simply said, “Doesn’t he [Dahl] know anything?”  There’s no answer to that!

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I had never before known the background behind The BFG and the foreword by Lucy Dahl (Roald Dahl’s daughter) gives us a beautiful, cherished insight into how Giant Country came to be.

A lovely touch in the book is an interactive section at the end, where you can learn how to draw the BFG and also draw your very own dream in your dream jar. Here is our little girl’s, which turned out to be a clown pouring water over a cat’s head… she was very proud of it!

BFG whats your dream jar 2 draw your dream 1 review book roald dahl big friendly giant dream jar film movie puffin books exclusive material reading adaptation

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Now on to the story:  If you’d rather not know too much detail, keep scrolling to the film trailor and giveaway at the bottom.

We begin at the orphanage where Sophie is wide awake at The Witching Hour (when giants snatch and eat human ‘beans’ (beings!).  She sees the BFG, who also sees her and promptly pops his huge hand through the open window and takes her from her bed.  He takes her to Giant Country to stop her telling everyone that giants really do exist.  The rational being (if giants have rational…) that if human beans find out about giants, they would be hunted down and Giant Country would be no more…

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The story unfolds and Sophie learns all sorts of weird and wonderful facts about the nasty giants.

It’s not too long until the BFG tells Sophie about the dreams he catches in his dream jars.  And Sophie has a wonderful idea.

To stop the giants snatching even more human beans, they decide to re-construct the giants snatching children from the orphanage that Sophie lived before meeting the BFG.

We are taken on an enthralling trip to London and Buckingham Palace, where the BFG ‘plants’ the dream that they hope will help them, into the Queen’s bedroom.  Then Sophie finds herself perched on the Queen’s windowsill until Her ‘Majester’ wakes up.

After realising that her dream of the children being snatched and the giants was in fact real, the Queen meets the BFG in an hilarious yet touching moment and they discuss the way forward over breakfast.

Helicopters are rounded up and follow the BFG and Sophie (tucked inside his ear) to Giant Country where the giants are all in a deep sleep… except one.  When the her ‘Majester’s’ Armed Forces attempt to tie a rope around one of the giant’s arms, he wakes and an unlikely weapon is used to stun him!

The BFG and Sophie are branded heroes and The Witching Hour ends forever….

Hurray!

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There are so many lovely moments in the story but here are our favourites:

One of my favourite parts was the chapter ‘The Author’ which I found so very clever and just perfect.  I won’t go into it any more here, but will let you enjoy the moment for yourself.

Our little girl enjoyed when the BFG meets the Queen:

Will it be repulsant snozzcumbers, Majester?, the BFG asked. [when The Queen asks him if he would like some breakfast]

We’re both looking forward to seeing this part in the film.

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Other favourite parts were:

Enjoying a beautiful friendship blossom between the BFG and Sophie.

BFG’s protection of Sophie.

Sophie sitting in the BFG’s ear when travelling around.

It’s endearing how The Queen is kept ‘regal’ in the story.

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In summary: Quite simply a perfect story which is everything a story for children should be ~ full of occurrences that are not explained because our imagination ‘explains’ them for us.  Like when the giants don’t wake up even when one giant is ‘stunned’ by a secret weapon.

In all honesty, I’m not sure who’s more excited about seeing the film adaptation more – me or our little girl.  But one things for sure – the film of The BFG offers the perfect solution for those inevitable cries of, “I’m boooored” in the Summer holidays (and beyond…)  and the perfect chance for family time.  Because children and adults alike will love the book and the film! 🙂

I just hope they’re not serving up ‘snozzcumbers’ at the cinema!…

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Here’s a trailer for the film…

And don’t forget to go and download your Roald Dahl party pack now, ready for 13th September! 🙂
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Now onto the giveaway, which is open to UK entrants only and ends at 12am on 22nd August 2016. Good luck to you 😉

For future giveaways, subscribe to my blog.  Subscription box is in the right hand sidebar under ‘Follow my blog by email’ >>>>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was sent a copy of this book free of charge to review but all opinions are my own. See here for my full disclosure policy.

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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Whizz Pop Bang science magazine ~ review and giveaway

Welcome to THE Whizz Pop Bang magazine review and giveaway!

(with offer code too!)

whizz pop bang awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning 2

Question: What do you get when you cross a 6-11 year old child with an “awesomely amazing science” magazine for kids?

Answer: Learning galore in an interactive environment.  Which means happy children and parents too! 🙂

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When our little girl (aged 6) showed an interest in science, we decided to try Whizz Pop Bang science magazine.  We had seen it advertised on social media and knew that she would love to get something just for her, addressed to her, through the letter box.

We felt that she would likely learn (without realising) and it would encourage her away from a screen.

It sounded like a win-win to us.

And it was.

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We were very impressed with Whizz Pop Bang.

whizz pop bang reading awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning 2

Whizz Pop Bang is aimed at 6-11 year olds (and appeals to older readers too!).  The first issue that she got was about volcanoes.  This really appealed to me in all honesty!  They’ve always fascinated me and one of my favourite subjects at school was geography.  By reading this issue with our little girl, I refreshed my memory and learnt new volcano facts too!

In fact, I looked forward to reading the magazine on my own terms after her bedtime!

whizz pop bang volcano model awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning 2

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 Our little girl is rapidly approaching 7 and some of the terminology needed explaining but she did really well with her phonics sounding out and blending and needed little help with the bigger words.  In my view, the longer words are a bonus because our children can never read too much and it has helped to expand her vocabulary as well as learn facts about science.

Another thing that I loved about the magazine is that it encouraged questions too.  In my view, our children can never ask too many questions (okay, maybe except at bedtime!..)  We tell our little girl to always ask questions.

whizz pop bang magnifier awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning

I’m not entirely sure how the creaters and designers have done it, but they have managed to create a magazine that’s fun, factual and age-appropriate to it’s target market.  Getting the balance right between keeping the age range of 6-11 year olds engrossed is tricky but they’ve done it.

Maybe it’s the regular sections the magazine has:

Puzzles

Competitions

Interviews with experts relevant to the particular issue

Activities (we were inspired to create an insect hotel!)

‘Ask’ Y – where robot Y answers childrens’ questions (our little girl has thought of lots already!)

Quiz (with answers on a separate page!)

whizz pop bang eggs awesome science magazine for kids children experiment activities interactive educational subscribe review giveaway quiz puzzle expert interviews parenting learning 2

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When the Minibeasts issue came through our door, our little girl was at school but at home-time, the TV didn’t get a look in!  As soon as she saw that she had a new issue of Whizz Pop Bang to read, she wanted to get stuck in!

We really enjoyed the pepper experiment and she couldn’t wait to tell daddy all about it 🙂

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The magazine is a very welcome addition to our household and there are plenty of experiments to spread out over the month…. to keep you going until the next issue!  As the website says, the magazine contains:

✓  Hours of educational fun each month

✓ Exciting experiments to try at home (I’ll soon be blogging about the pepper experiment and the pitfall trap!)

✓  Expert science writers

✓  Engaging layout and illustrations

✓  Gender-neutral content

✓  Linked to the National Curriculum

✓  No advertising

✓  No screens

36 printed pages of good wholesome science fun!

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It’s very reasonably priced too, at £2.92 per magazine when an annual subscription is ordered.

And for one lucky reader of my blog, the amazing team at Whizz Pop Bang are giving away a 3 issue bundle (see the rafflecopter giveaway below).

Not only that, I’ve also got an offer code relating to a paid subscription which entitles the bearer to one free magazine on top of your subscribed issues.  Simply go to the subscription link for the magazine website by clicking this link

and enter the code FREEBIEVAS

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You can find Whizz Pop Bang on Twitter @WhizzPopBangMag,  FacebookYouTube and don’t forget their website. 

Go and say hello! 🙂
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Now onto the giveaway, which is open to UK entrants only and ends at 12am on 18th July 2016. Good luck to you 😉

For future giveaways, subscribe to my blog.  Subscription box is in the right hand sidebar under ‘Follow my blog by email’ >>>>

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own. See here for my full disclosure policy.