Tag Archives: books

Top Children’s Titles For Christmas Stockings

22 Nov

Today I wanted to share some more fantastic publications from the fabulous Top That.

I’ve featured some of their Christmas titles here on the blog already. Now I wanted to share some others we were sent. All would be perfect for children’s stockings this Christmas.

The first book is that of the wonderful ‘Yappy Happy Dilly Dog‘ probably the most exciting book my toddler has ever had. Dilly Dog is a puppet. Simply put your hand inside the puppet and Dilly dog comes to life making this a truly exciting story for an almost 3 year old.

20121122-124804.jpg

The story is fun and exciting and the puppet makes it that bit more engaging. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever seen Harley this engaged in a story… Ever. Its his favourite for sure. I highly recommend it to toddlers and Pre-schoolers.

20121122-124851.jpg

The next book was for our Little man. At 12 years old Little man attends a special school for children with Autism and Aspergers. His choice of book is normally something that is based on fact as opposed to fiction. However, the book ‘Monster Mayhem Doodle Wars‘ is a book of a different kind, its a fantastic doodle book.

20121122-124929.jpg

Little man has difficulty with drawing and colouring because of fine motor skills. However this book involves no colouring (not if you don’t want it to that is)! All that’s needed is for you to doodle. Little man has honestly really enjoyed doing just this… Doodling!

What’s awesome is there is no right or wrong way to doodle and this sits well with little man. His been doodling without any encouragement from me which is awesome.

Monster Mayhem is all about monsters competing in the monster games (the equivalent of our olympics)! The fact that it includes a section on wrestling made it all the more appealing for my wrestling obsessed son.

20121122-125029.jpg

This book isn’t thin and flimsy. There are almost 100 pages to doodle on and will keep kids busy for months to come. Also included are a few sheets of colour in stickers. Of course the little man prefers to keep these colour free which is totally cool with me. Again I would highly recommend this book to children with a bit of inner creative flare. Its also another great idea to add to the list of toys and ideas for buying a child on the autism spectrum.

Lastly it was another doodle book that Alice was sent. ‘Popstar Doodles‘ is a real girly treat that Alice went loopy for. This awesome doodle book allows children to create outfits fit for pop stars and pop groups. Whether this be a hip hop group or a pop princess this book features them all. What’s more there are also a number of patterned pages included in this book. Kids can therefore cut out different patterns using them for the different outfit designs across the book.

20121122-125116.jpg

Again like ‘Monster Mayhem’ this is not a flimsy book and again it is packed full of pages allowing lots of creativity to be unleashed.

20121122-125202.jpg
The children were each happy with the books they received from Top That.

I am honestly yet to be sent one book from ‘Top That’ that my children are even sightly not keen on.

Advertisements

Beautiful Books From Top That Publishing

24 Oct

When I saw that ‘Top That Publishing PLC‘ were looking for reviewers I couldn’t wait to volunteer! You see top that have a fabulous range of beautifully illustrated children’s titles that myself and the children have totally fallen in love with.

They say that first impressions are everything! Well, you wont be disappointed with ‘Top That’. One of our books was sent gift wrapped in the prettiest Christmas paper, finished with beautifully tied ribbon. Once opened we did not only discover a beautiful Christmas tale but the added addition of some Christmas silver coins and festive wrapped chocolate balls… A lovely thoughtful touch.

20121024-125433.jpg

The titles we were sent were as followed…

The Froobels Fun Things To Make And Do
The Froobels Little Jack Potato And The Big Suprise
Santas Sleigh (With Pop Out & Build Sleigh)
When I Dream Of Christmas

I was particularly excited to receive ‘The Froobels Fun Things to Make and Do‘ book and as expected it came packed with crafting inspiration. We are planning to make pasta pictures and potato stampers this week thanks to the creative ideas given. The book also comes with over 400 stickers (that you will find in the back pages of the book). Of course the toddler was excited at discovering these as most little people are, Harley is no exception when it comes to sticker mad toddlers.

20121024-125639.jpg

20121024-130732.jpg

Little Jack Potato is a mini book containing a cute & engaging tale combine with questions to further encourage children to become involved in the story. What was really interesting was how I’d just introduced Jacket potatoes into the toddlers diet. He loves them and I’d been hearing the word Jacket Potato for a week or more when the book arrived. He instantly took to the book purely because it was based on a Froobels character called Jack Potato. Harley totally enjoyed the story and remained engaged throughout.

20121024-125544.jpg

This book also contains a number of stickers which I showed Harley once we had completed the story. (Otherwise his attention would have certainly been lost sooner).

Press Out and Build – Santas Sleigh is so much more than a book its a creative construction set designed to keep ones mind busy for hours. Not only does this come with a beautifully illustrated Christmas tale but also a pop out card construction kit that needs colouring in then slotting together.

20121024-133212.jpg

20121024-133340.jpg

However, this may sound simple enough, but things are not always as they may first seem. Trust me, this isn’t one for smaller children! It’s incredible fiddly and much more complex than one may first think! There are many pieces and once complete the constructed sleigh measures an impressive 4 ft long.

The recommend age for this book is 7+ but be prepared to put in the time to help you your construct the sleigh.

20121024-133557.jpg

Currently my daughter is busy colouring in the many reindeers to pull the sleigh and when she’s finished we will be putting this up together. Note… The making of the sleigh as well as our projects from the Make and Do title will be displayed and shared on my sister blog Mummy of many Talents.

Lastly, there was that beautifully gift wrapped book “When I dream of Christmas” This is a delightful paperback with stunning illustrations throughout. Its certainly one designed to put the family in the mood for Christmas and its been Harley’s choice of a bedtime story on a number of occasions since we first received it.

20121024-125716.jpg

As a family we would highly recommend ‘Top That’ books. Each of the above titles has offered fun, enchantment and magic in its own special way. Its so easy to get children to open there imagination when being read a book from the Top That collection and I’d return again and again.

We will be doing some of the crafts from the Make and Do book and sharing these on the blog Mummy of many Talents in the next week. We will also be sharing our pop out and build sleigh over there too.

Disclaimer: We were sent the books from Top That in-order to share our thoughts and opinions. All words are honest and that of my own. I was not paid to write the review.

Little Man’s Kitty has a seizure

29 May

So, if any of you read my post “I don’t feel like me anymore” you will know that I’ve been feeling a little down in the dumps and a tad stressed lately.

I wasn’t to sure what was happening, was I falling into the grips of depression, would I therefore be reliant upon my old friend “Mr Prozac”

Feeling a tad guilty I took a little “Me Time” and I went to Brighton on Sunday (just for the night) returning Monday evening. Preparations were in place for the children and that of our 2 cats and the 4 kittens (in which 2 are due to shortly be re-homed).

The night away really was needed! Just to have time to think and clear my head if anything! I’ll share my one nights break and those thoughts and feelings in another post, now isn’t the time, as on my return something else took place, something I’ll now share with you.

Mind you… This is no happy event! It’s one that I myself and the children found extremely distressing!

One of the four kittens, the weaker of the four, the one who’s always been that bit behind her siblings, had a seizure.

I was cleaning the kitten area when I noticed that the kitten was not running around and jumping about like the others, next thing I knew, she was trying to get back in the kitten enclosure and instead of slipping under its door as she normally would she had instead put her head through the bars and become stuck! However, she wasn’t distressed which I found strange, she just seemed to stare blankly. I freed her head and she sat there for a moment before accidentally stepping into the water bowl. I approached her and she started shaking, at first I thought she was shivering as the water was cold, then she fell to the side of the enclosure. My instant reaction was to pick her up and dry her quickly. Suddenly I realised this was something more serious! She dribbled and before I knew it her mouth was foaming heavily, she had a seizure right there in my arms.

All three children are extremely fond of the cats and the kittens, little man loves his Bella who is the mother of the litter. Little man was very nervous when Bella first had the kittens, his anxiety levels were off the scale as he worried about Bella and her new litter constantly.

It was a great relief for him to watch the kittens thrive and as they grew he became reassured all would be OK. Of course, I did well to remind him that the kittens were healthy, the likelihood of them becoming sick as the weeks went on was small!

I guess both the little man and his sister worried more due to the fact I needed to intervene a little and help Bella attend to them in way of feeding. Bella came into heat pretty quickly (when the kittens were almost 3 weeks old) and during this period she feed them less, requiring me to help by way of bottle feeding 4 hungry kittens. Initially one of the tabby’s was what one would normally refer to as the “runt” of the litter, then I noticed the kitten in question got pushed out more during feeding time and even it’s mother would sometimes become a little rough when grooming it.

Have you ever read the book ‘All cats have Aspergers’? (I’d highly recommend, little man loves this book)! My point is, looking back the kitten in question displayed some quirky behaviour, such as not mixing well within the group, being a tad bullied and sleeping in a corner with its face buried in amongst the side of the kitten box while the others huddled together. When all running around the room displaying some crazy speeds, this one joined in only a handful of times, and when she did it wasn’t long before she took herself of back to the enclosure and into her corner.

It’s strange as little man brought up that book and asked me “Do you think all cats really do have Aspergers? As our little black kitten seems to have it more!” I couldn’t help but smile, as in a way little man was displaying more awareness for his own “condition” and the fact he literally felt all cats had Aspergers was actually quite lovely. I wondered if this was the reason he connected with them so well, they have all become somewhat therapeutic in the way we often hear about horses and dogs when it comes to autism.

My daughter Alice-Sara, is also brilliant with the animals of the house, she’s like the zoo keeper who keeps them all in check as she goes about feeding them.

With this you can just imagine the total upset within the household when the kitten violently shook and cried out. I did a terribly job of remaining calm for the sakes of the children, fellow cats and the kitten itself. I just felt helpless and scared, extremely unprepared to witness such a worrying situation. I now know I should have laid her on the floor, removing everything that could harm her, instead I held her firmly and with tears streaming down my cheeks I tried reassuring her, through now I understand she would have had no idea what was happening.

By now Little man was standing at the door way with eyes so wide and watery I could almost see within them, that of my own reflection! He spoke just 3 words… “she’s dying mum” before fleeing the room. I wrapped her in a blanket as she continued to have accidents after the actual seizure, then throwing on my shoes I darted to my neighbours, rudely banging on her door at 11pm.

Thankfully we have one of the nicest and kindest neighbours you could wish for, a women who actually used to babysit me as a child. Inviting myself, daughter and kitten inside, she called the emergency vets which happens to be miles away and well beyond my reach (in my head I’m running of a list of those people I can call to collect me and whisk us off down there). However, having spoken with the vet and given the fact the kitten is by now no longer having the seizure, instead laid in my arms not fully together, I’m given the advice to keep a close eye on her throughout the night! Instructions are to keep her in a dark safe room away from others (including other animals) if she has another seizure, I must call again, otherwise it’s vets in morning… especially if she still wasn’t walking, using the litter tray, eating and drinking, generally not acting herself.

It’s now 3.30am, the children are in bed, little man having only just settled, I’m writing this on my iPhone as I lay in bed surrounded by pitch black darkness and a very weak kitty who remains very confused with very little awareness of what’s happening around her. Am I worried? Yes!

So, yes… I was home just a few hours before this happened, god I’m so thankful this didn’t all occur when I was away.

Thankfully I got a great nights sleep in Brighton, as I won’t be having any whatsoever tonight.

And to top it all off… I’m sun burnt… Really… Really… sun burnt!

20120529-040911.jpg

20120529-041004.jpg

#HAWMC DAY 18 – Inspiration

23 Apr

Stories can be used to establish social routines (using ‘fill in the blank’ procedures) and improve the ability to make social judgements. They may also be useful in helping others better to understand the child’s perception and responses.

 Children With Autism & Aspergers Syndrome: A Guide For Practitioners & Carers (By Patricia Howlin)

 The above statement is one made in one of many books I own that covers topics relating to the autism spectrum.“Children With Autism and Aspergers Syndrome – A Guide For Practitioners & Carers” was one of the very first books I acquired on the subject and I will still often refer to it from time to time. So, naturally when day 18 of the #HAWMC was set with the prompt “Pick a random statement from a book and write about it for 15 minutes” this was my first port of call. 

 There are hundreds upon hundreds of statements made within this particular book, so, why this one?

 I feel it’s important to highlight the above to other care givers, especially those with a newly diagnosed child. Yes, this is a life long condition that cannot be cured. Nonetheless, there are things that you can do to help your child develop better social interaction and communication skills, along with important life skills with the use of some commitment and good old-fashioned creativity.

 When my own son was first diagnosed, I didn’t really get sat down and given all the answers, if the truth be told no one really has them to give. Yes, I was sat on a chair amongst an entire room of professionals and all though I was asked that question… you know the one “Do you have any questions” I just didn’t know where to start, I just remember having plenty. I was therefore sent on my way with a folder of bits and pieces and a very jumbled mind. 

 It wasn’t in-till long after the little guy was diagnosed that I attend something called the “Early Bird Plus” designed for both caregivers and teaching professionals caring for or teaching a newly diagnosed child. Now although “Technically” Little man wasn’t exactly newly diagnosed, I still wanted to attend and have some of those unanswered questions answered! 

 It was during this course that I was first introduced to the simple yet effective idea of visual prompts and clues. With this I didn’t only discover ways to formulate routines, making them visible to Little man so he remained aware of what was happening when and where, but they also still play a big part in Little man’s daily bathroom routine enabling him to better do things in sequence (though sensory sensitivities remain a huge factor we are yet to improve)!

 There are many ways to use these visual aids (kinda like the visual symbols used for PECS). They are also very easy to create or if you don’t fancy that they can be found normally on a string of websites and are mainly free to download. 

 I designed and created a great visual aid for use in the bath room and that of the bedroom. Although he reacted in the way I expected when introducing the aids I soon discovered he was using that of the one in his bedroom to help him formulate his bedtime routine! Ok, he remains an extremely poor sleeper, though he does follow the chart removing the symbol cards that I attached to some Velcro dots, placing them in the pocket I attached to the bottom of the chart. He now uses a written reminder he keeps within on of his many organisers. Nonetheless, the bathroom system remains in place and although his very tactile defensive his got the sequence going and is trying much better than before.  It’s my view that any positive improvements within this area really need to be fused over with lots of praise being given to the child.

 So, how else can we use pictures and words as a visual clue and symbol to teach our children the basics in making the right social judgements as-well as good communication and interaction skills to formulate good friendships?

 Some may have heard of social stories which are a great way of getting a child on the spectrum prepared somewhat for an unfamiliar situation such as a trip to the dentist or even a fun day out at a theme park. 

 You can easily make up a pretty effective social story with no more than an exercise book and some pens! However using photos (if available) of the places that you plan to visit and those people you are visiting (of course with their given permission) can really help a child with autism or aspergers feel more prepared with the situation and therefore calmer on the day! Lets face it, who likes visiting the unknown? Those with autism have difficulty regulating their emotions and that of anxiety can trigger a number of undesirable reactions both during the lead up and that of the day. 

 Little man is growing up, his heading up to secondary school (lucky for us this is one that is attached to his current independent special school). People find it difficult to understand that many of Little Mans sudden outburst are caused by anxiety. I think this is not only because Aspergers is known to be the “hidden disability” but more the fact he can come across (at times) rather street wise, especially more so now. The truth is he is improving with the help of his school, his friend next door and some social modelling from others, but his still more than likely to say the wrong thing, something inappropriate, generally considered social unacceptable. But there are times I do wonder maybe they got it wrong then bang… something happens, a meltdown, over intense conversation on his special interest and the inability to shut off. Then there’s his all nighters and inability to switch off. That’s the thing, your child may have problems with social skills but as they grow they can often act a certain way for a chain of different social situations. I’m not stating Little man is socially correct all of the time but his learning. One thing I do try empathise & encourage is for Little man to be himself as he has at times totally moulded himself in a certain way to fit more comfortably into certain social groups and gatherings. He maybe a success but once home he off loads and he will normally have a hell of a lot of bottled up stress need releasing. It’s important that he knows how to behave for an array of situations but to reframe of hide who you are by either going into oneself coming across as a bit shy or maybe even a loner to avoid running into difficulties or act a way because it gets you liked by others, both something  Little man engaged in during mainstream, I can tell you from a parental perspective that this isn’t anything other than a disaster waiting to happen. 

 As many a parent of a child on the autism spectrum can probably vouch, we as parents are presented with that bit more reason to worry when it comes to our children growing up and therefore having to experience new things as they embark on their journey to adulthood. Something like visuals and good social modelling are of the up-most importance and will in time become a natural way of life and acquired parenting skills that we will find ourselves doing with little if any thought at all.

 You know your child and will learn what works best for them and you as a family. As mentioned earlier within this post, Little man no longer uses visual symbols for within his room but now uses words, just as you or I may write our schedule of order of events in a personal diary or organiser , this works and if even he remains awake till 3am with school set to kick of a few hours later, his still able to do those important steps to prepare for bed from brushing his teeth to putting his clothes in the wash. As for preparation for a new situation, we don’t always get things right (those that read about our Butlins holiday at Christmas will more than agree that it didn’t go smoothly) yet at times things go much better than maybe they would have if the effort to prepare Little man wasn’t made. I did the social stories with pictures, but he sees things very black and white so its important to have visual reminders of “Real life” places, people, etc this helps him to formulate some kind of image and expectation. The only danger of this is to be careful not to overdo it as spotted difference or unexpected changes could make the hard work go to pot!

 Lately, I’ve tried to be more creative with how we do the above. I’m agree he knows he sees thinks differently and thinks and processes information a tad different from his age peers. I’m also aware that as his grown his not welcomed anything that causes him to stand out so I’ve tried to continue with the preparation while making it more fun, age appropriate and fun. Last week why searching the App store on my iPhone 4S for some type of daily planer and social story maker, I found Comic Book. As you do, I had great fun playing around with it and trying different things. I created the picture below of my toddler Harley, and sisters new baby Riley. It has a number of stickers with great phrases, themes, colours, fronts and more. After testing it with the toddlers pics, I felt assured that this would be a great fun addition to my social preparation tool kit and Little man agreed it was pretty cool. Maybe with the doctor’s permission  you could snap a few pics during the next appointment and use this for your comic strip! For me, this is an App that will provide more than just good fun. 

 Other ideas are that of video recordings of places you may visit, memory books of the places you have been to before or even use small visual cards, laminated and hole punched and added to a curly key chain key ring and attach to your child’s belt loop. This is perfect for non-verbal children as they can use the symbols as a way to communicate their basic needs such as using the toilet while at school instead of become frustrated or upset. Again all these are easily made and need not cost a fortune.

 I also mention in another of my recent #HAWMC post about the brilliance of Pinterest, I’ve created a great Autism and Sen board that’s packed full of ideas to help your child in the areas discussed and many more… Yes, total pin head here! 

Below are some ideas on creating and using visual aids. These are taken from the autism & Sen board on my Pinterest and original author also included with these pins

from the blog rockabyebutterfly.blogspot.com

from the blog carrotsareorange.com

from the blog etadventures.blogspot.com.au

 Visuals may not seem appropriate right now, you may feel your child doesn’t need them? Remember at some point in our life we all require the use of prompts and instructions as-well as organisation… a work timetable or organiser. When we experience anxiety concerning an upcoming situation or event we form a mental picture which isn’t always easy for a child like mine! Early intervention is the key so if your child could do with a little prompt or preparation, why no give visuals and social stories a try? 

Story Telling With The Easter Bunny

5 Apr

If you’re looking for one great alternative to the “Typical” Chocolate Easter Egg, then I have it right here !

Abigail the adorable floppy eared bunny is the latest addition to the Hallmark ‘Story Buddy’ range.

The super soft, super cute Abigail joins her friends ‘Watson’ the Racoon, ‘Cooper’ the Bear and ‘Jingle’ the Husky as the fourth addition to an already fabulous range of Story Buddy’s and what’s more Abigail isn’t just an adorable bunny but she’s also a female one, making her the first girlie buddy of the range.

Story Buddy’s are more than just your “Typical” cuddly toy, but an interactive, innovative friend, designed to bring the magic to your child’s story time.

Like all buddies, Abigail comes complete with her own beautifully illustrated book “Abigail and the balance beam’s” that tells the story of how Abigail tries to make her mother extra proud of her by performing gymnastics.

As yourself or child read aloud specific passages from the book, Abigail will suddenly start to interact, creating a totally magical reading experience

Unfortunately, things have been a little hectic here what with us all being unwell at some point or another, the decorating of more than one room and my Mac becoming buried someplace within in the mess of it all, we therefore didn’t get to film this one! However, leading up to Christmas last year, we did review Abigail’s super cute racoon friend Watson via video in which your more than welcome to have a peek if desired.

An unwell Alice-Sara was pleased to have her story buddy to cuddle last week

Abigail truly is an adorable bunny with a lot to say. My daughter Alice-Sara 9, fell in love with her instantly, she’s also proved something of a big hit within the family as the toddler can hardly contain himself and therefore keep his hands to himself.

Dressed in her pretty pink dancers custom, she’s not only innovative but pretty stylish too.

Lot’s of fun can be had with Abigail and any of her friends, plus you’ll never become bored, not when Hallmark have created a range of additional story books especially designed for each character and priced at 5.99 each.

If that’s not exciting enough, those with iPads and iPhones can download the fabulous free app from the app store to accompany the adorable bunny. The app includes a short animated story that can be played aloud through the app’s internal narrator or even recorded by a loved one to add a special personal touch to the story telling experience. Also included on the app, are a selection of child-friendly puzzles and interactive games that allow your child to dress up Abigail, just like in the story book.

Its official, we are a Story Buddy loving household, what with our latest addition ‘Abigail’ the Bunny who is now housed alongside Watson the Racoon and Cooper the bear, don’t be too surprised if you find some more lovely story buddies moving in during the year as there are new releases planned for later in 2012.Harley the toddler with another of the buddies ‘Cooper the Bear’

These really are genius, a hit with all three of my children, with each owning a buddy of their own and enjoying reading alongside them regularly.

These are also great for the child on the autism spectrum and those with special educational needs. It was Little man who put Watson to the test during our video review last year and I found it helped to install confidence when reading aloud.

Cute, innovative, interactive, fun, educational and doesn’t rot your little ones teeth, what more could you ask for in an alternative Easter gift?

Abigail the Bunny can be brought in branches of Hallmark as-well as online and falls into the same price racket as her fellow buddies at just £19.99

Check out the Hallmark website & Facebook Page for more information or simply click below to watch the promotional advertisement from Hallmark!

The Newly Released Phillipa Kinckerbocker Glory

26 Mar

Reading is an important life skill that should be achieved as early as possible in a child’s life. All my children love books, and my toddler is no exception to this!

Harley has many picture books and he loves nothing more than a bedtime story.

When choosing a book for Harley, I look for big bold bright illustrations, ones that will capture his little imagination in an instant, and it’s my opinion that this is what I found in the children’s picture book “Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory”

Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory is a delightful picture book by children’s author Sarahjane Funnell. Although it is primarily aimed towards children aged 3-6 years, Harley age 2 is already a big fan!

It’s not surprising really, considering this is a story about ice-cream, one of his favourite things at present.

At first glance this may seem a very girlie read, what with its use of pretty pinks and princesses throughout, however, not one to stereotype I read to Harley with an open mind.

Both the exciting storyline and wonderful illustrations had Harley smiling from start to finish.

The book is the perfect length for a toddler and I found it held Harley’s attention better than most stories we’ve read in the past. Its simple but magical and that’s what makes it great! I’d highly recommend the book Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory to parents of both young girls and boys, as a great addition to the bedtime story cabinet.

Check out the short book description below

Short description: Phillipa loves ice cream. She loves ice cream, almost as much as she loves her pet cat Little Miss Whiskers. Little Miss Whiskers is her fluffy white cat with a purple collar and bell. She doesn’t like Ice cream at all but loves nothing more than to curl up into a ball and fall fast asleep on the end of Phillipa’s bed.

One day Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory and Little Miss Whiskers embark on a deliciously exciting journey. Through a secret tunnel, they enter a magical dreamland where they find the Ice cream castle and discover every flavour of ice cream imaginable. The Ice cream castle seems like a dream come true but will it be just how Phillipa imagined? With all that ice cream, will she and Little Miss Whiskers ever want to go home?

Read this fabulous story to find out just what happens next in this deliciously delightful adventure…

This is a truly magical adventure for all little girls and boys who love to eat ice cream.  🙂

You can get hold of a copy of Phillipa Knickerbocker Glory from www.phillipaknickerbockerglory.co.uk, Waterstone’s, WH Smith and other selected book stores from today… Yes, this delightful children’s picture book has been officially released as of today (26/03/2012)

Visit the books website at www.phillipaknickerbockerglory.co.uk

Published By: Gibson Publishing
Price: £7.99
Release Date: Monday 26th March 2012

A Mothers Day Competition

15 Mar

Evening all, just popping on to with a treat for all you lovely mothers that read the blog.

In celebration of Mothering Sunday the Lovely Daniela Sacerdoti, author of Dreams & Watch over me, has given me 3 copies of her book to give away to 3 of my lovely readers.

If you’re really lucky this Mothers Day, you’ll me able to engage in a bit of “Me Time” and why not do so with a good book!

I’ve Included a little about the title below, which I’m sure will be enough to get you entering!

Eilidh Lawson’s life has hit crisis point. Years of failed fertility treatments, a cheating husband and an oppressive family have pushed her to the limit. Desperate for relief, Eilidh seeks solace in the only place she’s ever felt at home – a small village in the Scottish Highlands. There, Eilidh slowly begins to mend her broken heart but soon learns she is not the only one in the village struggling to recover from a painful past. Jamie McAnena, Eilidh’s childhood friend, is trying to raise his daughter Maisie alone. After Maisie’s mother left to pursue a career in London and Jamie’s own mother, Elizabeth, passed away, he has resigned himself to being a family of two. But sometimes there is more to a story than meets the eye. Despite their reluctance, curious circumstances keep bringing Jamie and Eilidh together. For even when it seems all is lost, help can come from the most surprising places.

An ethereal and beautifully written debut novel, Watch Over Me is a poignant story about letting go and moving on – with a little bit of help from beyond the grave

The Novel published back in November 2011 and has received some great reviews! Check out the Good Reads website, were it displays a glowing 5 star review with some brilliant feedback.

To enter for your chance of winning one of three copies, simply do the following

Leave me a comment telling me why you, or your mother, deserves a little me time! You must leave a contact with your comment, either email or twitter to ensure I can contact you if you win.

For extra entries

Tweet: “#Win a copy of watch over me with clairelouise82 & @danisacerdoti” Adding the URL of this post, then comment to let me know you have done it by leaving your twitter handle.

Use any of the share buttons within this post (I extra entry for each) Please remember to leave a separate comment for each to validate your entries.

Competition will close at 11.59 pm on the 2nd April 2012 will the three winners being contacted soon after.

Visit Daniela Sacerdoti Blog HERE.

‘Watch Over Me’ is RRP at £11.99 and can be purchased online at Amazon for £7.70 (paperback) or £5.49 in Kindle edition.

 

T&C

Open to the UK only, those entering must following all the rules to validate their entries. Email or twitter handles should be left with all comments. There will be 3 winners drawn randomly. Winners will be contacted by either email or twitter and will have a time period of 72 hours to respond to the winning notification, those who fail to do so, risk a re-draw. The prize is as stated and there is no prize alternative. Details should be sent to the email address in the blog side bar, which will be forwarded on to the prize provider to dispatch.

Harley & Peppa Go To Playschool

28 Feb

Oh, we received a rather special gift for the toddler last week. The postman knocked at our door with a very special delivery, in a big white cardboard envelope and addressed to Harley himself.

How excited he was to open the envelope and discover a very special Peppa Pig book! Yes, this wasn’t just any Peppa Pig book, but a personalised Peppa Pig book, titled, “Peppa Pig and Me – Harley and Peppa go to playgroup”

This is a truly special book for a truly special boy

The beautifully presented paperback story book is filled with brilliant personalised touches making it really exciting for little Harley.

This includes cartoon styled illustrations of Harley with Peppa pig, which have been cleverly generated from the details I gave when ordering the book. His name also appears throughout the story.

Harley displayed an almighty smile upon his face as I read him the story of how he spent his first day at playgroup amongst Peppa pig and all her amazing friends. He never lost interest once, keeping his attention throughout the time I was reading.

He was so adorable as he kept nodding his head and saying “Peppa pig hold Harley hand”

I was dead impressed with this book, a Ladybird publication that is beautifully illustrated and worded from start to finish.

It’s easy to order your personalised story which is available from the awesome site Buyagift.com, all you have to do is give a few details that help describe your child’s characteristics, and if desired a small personalised message, which in my opinion makes a lovely touch.

I’d highly recommend this book, and it could prove the perfect alternative to a chocolate egg this Easter.

The book is priced at £14.99, to find out more visit Buyagift.com who sell a huge range of truly unique gift ideas, from personalised books to gift experiences including pampering days which i actually wouldn’t mine this mothers day (though I’m sure the pocket-money of three little ones wouldn’t cover it)! A mum can dream, can’t she:)

Discover the extreme world

26 Oct

Discover the extreme world

Wow, Little man is completely taken with this book and in all honesty so am I. Many children no longer add books to their Christmas list, but it’s great when they do!

It’s been well documented that children on the autism spectrum enjoy reading reference books and prefer doing so over a story book.

Many children with Aspergers syndrome are reasonably good with facts and process and store such information better than if it was fiction. Many gain a greater enjoyment when learning and discovering new and exciting facts or scientific theories. Little man is no exception, that’s why I jumped at the chance of reviewing this delightful hardback, ‘The extreme world’ in association with the discovery channel. All though this book isn’t centred around his all time “special interest” in buses, trains and other forms of public transport, I knew it would still provide him hours of entertainment (well, not in one go, lets remember his concentration level differs from most).

Little man is a child that like many others on the autism spectrum, he processes information on a much better level when text is combined with visual stimulation in the way of images or illustrations. This book wasn’t short on images, the type that gets ones brain working overtime.

There were a total of six sections within this book, all covering specific areas, all extreme as one another!

Section (1) ‘Active earth’ This section offers a host of fascinating information, such as, the ends of the earth; the mightiest mountains; ultimate volcano’s and more.

Section (2) ‘Awesome animals’ which surprisingly turnout to be one of the Little man’s favourites, talked about; the gross factor; deadly defence; strange babies; wicked assassins and loads more besides.

Section (3) ‘Incredible science’ was Little man’s preferred section overall. Issues here covered, Strange brains; black holes; the birth of the universe (which I loved) and lots more.

Section (4) ‘Ultimate machines’ Here you could read about dramatic dragsters; rocketing away; jet power; the force of water and more.

Section (5) ‘Super humans’ One section I myself very much enjoyed. Topics such as the amazing human body and the things we can do as human; ultimate jobs; brilliant brain waves and more could be found within this section.

Section (6) and the last sections of the book, ‘History Revealed’ A really informative section in the book that shared content on the living dead (mummification) which rose a lot of questions from Little man, hero’s & villains; war and peace; rat-atouille (the black plague) and even crawl killing (documenting the death penalty and the belief and punishment for witch crimes).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The cover of this book is very appealing and really catches your eye with a 3D effect and metallic colours. From the front to back cover this book offers some pretty amazing content.

What’s great is the fact the text within the book is kept short and sweet, yet extremely interesting and right to the point, just opening the first page makes you want to go on to explore more!

Each and every page is packed with cool images surrounded by interesting and readable text.

When I asked Little man if he liked it (Once he had finally taken his head out the book so to speak) he stated,

“Mum, I really like this book, I’m defiantly taking it to show and tell at school on Friday”

‘Discover the extreme world’ is a look into our awesome planet as you’ve never seen it before! This fantastic hard back is brought to us in association with the ‘Discovery Channel’ and ‘Miles Kelly’ publishing Ltd and has a RRP of £17.99 and can be brought from all good bookstores.

Would I buy it! Defiantly, I wouldn’t have to think twice either!

If myself and Little man could give it more than the top marks of ***** 5 stars then we would.

Somebody call Watson!

24 Oct

Story Buddy

 It’s a sure sign that Christmas is fast approaching as the Santa’s Little helpers get busy! Yes, it’s all fun and games in ours as we meet Watson the fabulous Racoon. 

 Watson was here on official business, his mission, to make story time magical!

 This awesome little Racoon, who goes by the name of Watson is part of Hallmark’s brand new & exciting, ‘Story Buddy’ range of interactive cuddly toys. 

 Each buddy is beautiful made, each containing a very magical, yet clever innovative technology, that wont fail to impress the kids.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 This is the first toy on our Santa’s Little helpers list, that I feel cannot be done justice with words alone. With this in mind I decided it was time to get vlogging (for those of you who haven’t got the first clue what I’m going on about, “Vlogging” is a team used for video blogging)

 So… Here it is!

How, cute is that!  Watson is not only adorable, but as you can see his an extremely clever Racoon.

 The Magic inside Watson is actually innovative playback technology which prompts Watson to speak & join in once the trigger passages are read out (trigger passages are highlighted green within the story book provide).

Story buddy’s are due to hit Hallmark stores this month (October 2011) There’s currently three story buddies to choose from (more to come in the New Year)! These are, our lovely friend, ‘Watson’ (the inquisitive racoon,) ‘Copper’ (the playful bear) & the Limited edition ‘Jingle’ (the Husky especially for Christmas) Each Buddy comes complete with its own awesome story book, plus

for those who wish to expand there reading skills further additional books can be bought for Watson & Copper.

 Hallmark have also developed they’re own  App for ipad, ipods and iphone. 

This app tells the story behind each buddy, plus more. 

Download the app free from itunes.

 Our Verdict 

 Seriously what is there not to like here. Watson is magical and all the children love him, including my 11-year-old who is on the autism spectrum

Kids rating 4 star****

 As a parent, I love the story buddy range, not only are we looking at an educational toy that will encourage children to read, but this special buddy’s help families bond and enjoy time together create childhood memories. 

 The stories are great helping the development of imagination and creative thinking.

Big thumbs up.

At £19.99 this is an adorable toy with innovative technology that I’m used to seeing in the higher end of the market, displaying a scary fat price tag. 

4**** stars from mum

Click HERE to get yours

Additional books priced at £5.99 at most Hallmark stores.

%d bloggers like this: