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Jamaica My Island Home
Jamaica My Island Home
by Dr Adrian Mandara
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book - but may not be quite what you expect, 14 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Jamaica My Island Home (Paperback)
Not exactly what I expected anyway. It seems to be written as a reader for young children who live in Jamaica. I was buying it for a school library in the UK for children to learn about Jamaica or show off something of their heritage. Some of the text is therefore not really relevant (I love my island home ...) and it doesn't give much information about Jamaica at all because it is aimed at a very young reading age. However, it is a very visually appealing book, so I'm hoping it will gain attention.

Singalong Christmas Party
Singalong Christmas Party
Price: £4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, awful but irresistable! A family favourite..., 25 Nov. 2012
We got this album a few years ago and, along with volume 2, it is a firm family favourite in the run-up to Christmas (and occasionally in July). It is 'crowd singing' with additional silly noises, bells clanging, French hens clucking and the odd singer slightly behind the others, but it's upbeat, chirpy and cheerful, rather like a night down the pub with some really rather good singers who manage to keep the pace going.

The songs are familiar - traditional Christmas carols, Christmas hits past. Yes, it's probably awful from a strictly musical quality point of view and if you are looking for traditional carols sung by choirs, this is NOT for you. But if you want to dance round (or on) the kitchen table or you want your kids to learn some proper Christmas songs you can share (as opposed to the dreadful efforts they teach in some schools now), then this is for you.

Guided Meditation For Achieving Mindfulness
Guided Meditation For Achieving Mindfulness
Price: £2.37

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Check out the voice before you buy, 24 Mar. 2012
I find the voice on this very difficult to listen to. The woman has a deep voice, but a very slow American drawl and I actually laughed when I first heard it. It almost sounds like the file needs to be speeded up a bit. Several goes and I just can't get used to it so I've deleted this meditation. It might suit others but make sure you listen before you buy.

Billionaire Boy
Billionaire Boy
by David Walliams
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.94

8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly entertaining on a boring day, 20 May 2011
This review is from: Billionaire Boy (Hardcover)
I was more than a bit disappointed with this book. My son got it as a present for his 8th birthday and I'd say it was OK at a push, vaguely entertaining and more than a little gimmicky. It's the kind of book you might best borrow from the library and then never bother with again.

Before this book, we had just read the 2nd Harry Potter book and there is no comparison. One is pure storytelling, enthralling, exciting, challenging both in its ideas and its language. The other feels a bit like a slightly socially inept child running on in a way they think will be funny to their classmates when it is all really a bit lame. The story idea is fine (rich boy has everything except a friend) and could have made a much better story book. There are hints of a few deeper ideas about friendship and loyalty, but these are not really ever fulfilled and instead there are pages of pretend 'rude words' and stupid school dinner menus (dog spit sauce) that are a bit of a drag and not really very funny. My son was vaguely entertained now and then, but some of the jokes were above his head while much of the content was below his level of humour.

If your child struggles with listening to anything very meaningful or long, this is probably OK. Any book is better than no book (maybe). But if you or your child want more from a story, look elsewhere.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 10, 2011 7:44 PM GMT

The Apex Examiner Microscope
The Apex Examiner Microscope
Offered by Apex Microscopes
Price: £64.00

82 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great first microscope for 7 year old, 5 Feb. 2011
I bought this for my 7 year old son as a first microscope.

I read various guides but the most useful hint was NOT to buy too powerful a microscope because we aren't looking at bacteria here, we are looking at dead flies, sticks, stones, frosty leaves, whiskers from the cat (dropped not pulled!), sugar and fluffy bits on the nit comb (is it a nit or is it fluff?? Remarkably useful for parents!). This microscope is perfect for this.

You can hold things under it or fix flat things under the 2 clips to hold them still, you can look at things that aren't remotely flat (like stones), it's fairly robust (gets carted around the house a lot), it has a good light and it's easy to use so the kids can just get on with it on their own without a nagging parent telling them to be careful all the time.

It's the best present I've bought for a long time. And even better, I have quite a lot of fun with it myself when he's out...

The Secret of Kells [DVD]
The Secret of Kells [DVD]
Dvd ~ Tomm Moore
Price: £5.99

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly beautiful animated film, 16 Dec. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Secret of Kells [DVD] (DVD)
I took my kids (age 13 and 7) to the cinema by chance one afternoon and this was the only thing on. Since granny is Irish, we thought we'd go in and I'm so glad we did. It is one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. My 13 year old girl was entertained, my 7 year old boy was enthralled, I was captured by the beauty of the animation.

It was very slightly scary in a few places (for a 7 year old) but it has a good, solid, old-style story with wonder, forbidden friendships, duty, fear, growing. Even those who don't follow the younger ones into an enchanted world (I confess I did), can appreciate the animation. I could not get over the way the celtic designs were woven into the scenery, the trees, the mists. And the songs and Irish poetry made it a true feast for the eyes and ears and one I won't forget in a hurry.

In fact, Granny is getting it for Christmas because we told her so much about it!

Magic: New Stories
Magic: New Stories
by Sarah Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT by J K Rowling! But a great book for older teenagers nonetheless, 4 April 2009
This review is from: Magic: New Stories (Paperback)
I got this for my daughter because it had J K Rowling listed as first author and she'd bookmarked it. Don't be fooled. JK only wrote the foreword.

However, this is a fantastic collection of modern British stories, suitable for adults or older teenagers (not my 11 year old!). I'm glad we got it but find the listing of JKR as first named author to be more than a little strange.

How To Read A Church
How To Read A Church
by Dr Richard Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £27.00

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating subject and well written book, 4 Jan. 2009
This review is from: How To Read A Church (Hardcover)
I'm no church historian and not religious in any way, but I found this book totally absorbing and fascinating as an explanation of the imagery and decoration found in churches. I found the book by accident, borrowed an old paperback copy to read and then decided to treat myself to this beautiful version which has many more photos and illustrations to help you see what Dr Taylor is describing.

The book covers all sorts of information about the saints, carvings, pictures and symbols you might see in a church, their stories and what the images may have meant to the people making them or looking at them in a time when most people couldn't read. The book is very easy to read and quite fascinating. There is also a list of saints, their stories and the ways they can be recognised in pictures/carvings and there is a useful glossary of terms. These make the book perfect as a reference as well as great to read as a whole.

I've rarely been tempted to write to an author in praise of a book (and I've read a lot!), but this was an exception.

My only small gripe is the lack of explanation of non-Christian symbols and carvings in churches (green men, woodwoses, little pagan figures etc) that often crop up in early church designs before we were 'fully integrated' :-)

My Naughty Little Sister (BBC Audio)
My Naughty Little Sister (BBC Audio)
by Dorothy Edwards
Edition: Audio CD

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For boys too!, 5 Nov. 2008
I sure don't know why this is billed 'for little girls' because my 5 year old son loves it. He loved the stories from age 3 and still loves to listen to them. I have a feeling he associates with the naughty little sister - she's a bit naughty and gets really angry sometimes, but at heart she's a nice kid.

I loved these stories when I was a child and it's great to see that they still appeal. They have a timelessness - just about being a child in a world you don't quite understand always. Not sure how much they would appeal to those very young children who appear to have been brought up on Harry Potter (at 5??) but you never know, it might give them a step back into a gentler, more appropriate place!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 31, 2010 12:05 AM BST

Every Last Cuckoo
Every Last Cuckoo
by Kate Maloy
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 5 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Every Last Cuckoo (Hardcover)
I got this as a present from a friend who knows the author via Readerville.

It is the story of Sarah, whose husband dies suddenly, and about how her life, as an older woman, gradually picks up again in a very unexpected way. There is an array of interesting characters, from all walks of life, and the way they affect each others' lives - ultimately for the good of Sarah - is great. It is also set in a place not very familiar to most British readers - the big woods in North America and the relationship of Sarah and her husband (before he dies) with this wild place is part of what makes it so different.

It is ultimately a hopeful book, but never ignores the sadness and tragedy that can affect people's lives.

I really enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone who likes a good tale.

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