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Lorna Corner (Yerres France)

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Eric Carle's Animal Flash Cards
Eric Carle's Animal Flash Cards
by Eric Carle
Edition: Cards
Price: £11.40

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, 17 Mar 2013
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Beautiful, colourful illustrations on good quality card which is hardy enough for small hands! A perfect gift for any child.

There's A House Inside My Mummy (Orchard Picturebooks)
There's A House Inside My Mummy (Orchard Picturebooks)
by Giles Andreae
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 28 Mar 2011
This is a great book to help prepare your first child for the arrival of the second. The story, written in rhymes, has colourful illustrations, and explains things from a child's perspective (I love the part where Child 1 is trying to find a window into Mummy's tummy so he can say hi to the new baby). Things like Mummy being tired and eating weird things are dealt with too. Really quite excellent overall.

Waiting for Baby (New Baby)
Waiting for Baby (New Baby)
by Rachel Fuller
Edition: Board book
Price: £3.99

1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Eh?, 28 Mar 2011
Didn't get this book. There's no story - just a series of pictures with questions underneath. As such, I didn't find it at all helpful in preparing my daughter for the arrival of a new baby. There are much better books on the market.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 15, 2012 8:28 AM BST

The Hand That First Held Mine
The Hand That First Held Mine
by Maggie O'Farrell
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply excellent, 15 Jun 2010
I remember going to an open day at Durham University where the presenter (from the French Lit dept.) said that once you have read all of the books by any given owner, you in a sense 'own' them. Although I am perhaps not arrogant enough to claim any kind of ownership of another person, I did like the idea of having all the books ever written by somebody under my belt, and have been 'acquiring' authors ever since. Maggie O'Farrell is one: I love her work and have thoroughly enjoyed every single word she has written until now.

This new book is no exception to the rule: it's beautifully crafted, with two contrapuntal storylines weaving in and out of each other and brought together nice and neatly at the end. The emotions are perfectly portrayed and the characters appealing. I don't know any other writer today who is able to spin a tale of true love effectively, without sounding wishy-washy or turning on too much schmaltz.

My only beef with the text is that some of the lines Innes' is given sound a little unwieldy in his mouth - and that I found Elina's behaviour with her baby slightly terrifying and perhaps a little OTT. But not enough so to put me off the book! This is definitely a recommended read.

Isa and May
Isa and May
by Margaret Forster
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.25

3.0 out of 5 stars Original idea, not so original content, 15 Jun 2010
This review is from: Isa and May (Hardcover)
What sold this book to me was the subject: I don't believe I have ever seen another book focusing on the relationship between grandmothers and their grandchildren. But somehow, I found the way it plodded forward, interspersed with findings from the main character's research about the self-same subject, quite tedious. These findings seemed to be pretty much regurgitated facts; I did not find having them recounted to me as part of this story added anything to the book. I did like the characters, especially both grandmothers, but the main character struck me as largely unrealistic in that she made her decision to keep her 'accidental' baby without ONCE worrying about how she was going to support it, even given the break-up which ensued with the father, and her own status as a student. The whole story seemed forced rather than inspired; large sections of text seemed to be there more to fill the pages than to move the story forward. I would rate this therefore more as a book to borrow from a library than to buy and keep, as I don't think I will read it again.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
by Mem Fox
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet!, 15 Jun 2010
This is a lovely book with gorgeous illustrations.

The story flows well, and is the perfect length for bed-time. I think my daughter and I both get equal enjoyment from it!

Great read, great gift too.

French Kissing
French Kissing
by Catherine Sanderson
Edition: Paperback

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unconvincing 'fiction'; as bland as bland can be., 26 Oct 2009
This review is from: French Kissing (Paperback)
Oh Catherine, Catherine, Catherine. Where did it all go wrong? I loved your blog - LOVED it - and read it faithfully from the time I discovered it on Expatica (i.e. before you were famous) until its sad demise at the end of September. Your posts were often (and I don't use this word lightly) EXQUISITE, my favourite of all time being the piece about your daughter throwing up a heart-shaped Cornflake during a taxi ride to the airport on Valentine's Day. It was a moment perfectly captured, full of character and mordant wit. The same scene, recycled into 'fiction' here, but without the Valentine's connection or the heart-shaped cereal, has no zest or bite: it adds nothing to your text and typifies the lacklustre tone of every single page.

Oh, and to quote your last blog post: 'every scene and every last shred of dialogue' is invented in this book? Please. The scene I just described was real, just as pretty much everything and everyone else you describe is real: 'Sally' is clearly you; 'Lila' is clearly your real daughter; 'Anna' is clearly your best mate Meg; 'Rendez-Vous' is clearly Meetic, and nearly all of the dates you recount have mirroring pieces with REAL MEN IN THEM on your blog. Even Sally's thoughts on details like the guy whose Rendez-Vous/Meetic pic has half his ex-girlfriend's cheek on it, or your comments about 'caterpillar' facial hair on other men's pics are plucked right from your blog.

I'm so sorry this book isn't better and I can't write the glowing review I'm sure you'd prefer to read, but your words just irk me too much: how can you have the arrogance to say Sally/you (in another recycled blog quote) is so good at French that she's often mistaken for a native speaker, and then put an erroneous circumflex accent on 'sâli' (no; it's 'sali') just as you did on 'compôte' in 'Petite Anglaise' (NO, it's 'compote'; and while I'm at it, p. 61: should be 't'inquiète pas' with no S too...)

In case anybody is about to jump in and tell me this book is evidence of Cath's fabulous writing talent, here are a few examples of the contrary: does this sound like a natural dialogue between a mother and a father?: 'Her dreams are usually populated with princesses and unicorns, judging by what she tells me when she wakes up in the morning'. Of course not. Real people would say 'Her dreams are full of princesses and unicorns. That's what she tells me when she wakes up in the morning'. Sigh. And here's an excellent sentence construction for you: 'at the end OF one OF our OF late rather stilted fortnightly phonecalls...' Somebody get the poor girl an editor!!!

Catherine. Call me a troll, as I'm sure you will on your Facebook, but I love books too much to give this one any credit. Short pieces work well for you; rehashing your life in 'novel' form does not. So 'adieu' and not 'au revoir'; I'm afraid I won't be reading you again...
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2010 6:23 AM BST

Two Caravans
Two Caravans
by Marina Lewycka
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Juicy and fun, 10 Jan 2009
This review is from: Two Caravans (Paperback)
This is a great read; the characters are well-defined and Lewyzka's writing is full of fun. DOG is the best character and his comments are so apt they had me laughing out loud. As a native of Sheffield, I also found the comments about visionary 'Vloonki' very amusing. Will now go on to read 'Tractors' for more of the same...

A Perfectly Good Family (P.S.)
A Perfectly Good Family (P.S.)
by Lionel Shriver
Edition: Paperback

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing compared to her other books, 10 Jan 2009
Having thoroughly enjoyed other books by Lionel Shriver, notably the excellent '...Kevin', I bought this with enthusiasm and was quite disappointed. Although it is well written and has memorable characters and a few memorable lines which have stayed with me, I felt it was a bit slow overall and nothing I cared about really happened.

Wheels on the Bus (BBC Audio Children's)
Wheels on the Bus (BBC Audio Children's)
by Michelle Durler
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £4.08

137 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for kids, not too annoying for adults!, 10 Jan 2009
As a British parent living abroad, I bought this CD to expose my daughter to the kind of songs in English I listened to myself as a child. I have not been disappointed: there's a good choice of classics and the recordings are typical BBC quality. Definitely a good buy (as is the sister CD 'Incy Wincey Spider' I also bought. Only one criticism: not quite sure why 'Wheels on the Bus' is on there twice?
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2014 8:08 AM BST

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