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Lullaby Land. Songs of Childhood, by Eugene Field. Selected by Kenneth Grahame and Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
Lullaby Land. Songs of Childhood, by Eugene Field. Selected by Kenneth Grahame and Illustrated by Charles Robinson.
by Eugene Field
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.10

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever, 22 Aug. 2014
I have the original version of this book - it's Edwardian with the art-nouveau Robinson illustrations which still evoke images of the old, deep South of the United States. It's not at all like the picture on Amazon - mine is hardcover with a lady embossed in gold-colour on the front. This is a compilation taing poems from several of Field's poetry volumes - with the poems inside actually selected by Kenneth Graeme who wrote Wind In The Willows. This book is so old (my copy is now over 100 years old but still going strong - not a page coming loose, unlike some modern books) it was obviously compiled before Grahame wrote Wind In The Willows, as his authorship of an earlier book is mentioned insitead.

Right - to the poems. Well, all I can say is that these are the most beautiful, funny, sweet, adorable poems - and they are not just for children, although I'm sure anyone's children will love them. If you've grown up with these poems (as I have) or are new to them as an adult, you will fall in love with them too. There's the tale of Wynken Blynken and Nod in a "wee one's trundle bed", exotic birds, the nighty-night train, chocolate that grows on trees, toy soldiers, calico cats that come to life and fight with toy dogs in the night, moonbeams and primroses and all manner of wonderful, beautiful lines to read to your little one (or yourself!) to ensure sweet dreams.

There is also an element of sadness that runs through this book, but don't let that put you off - it was a fact of life in the Victorian times that many children died in infancy - infants who enchanted their Mothers as they played with their toys or ran through the garden, only to fall victim to the perils of the time - no anti-biotics, rudimentary health care, pollution, those kinds of things. It's heartbreaking to read the few poems here that deal with that subject - I don't think anyone can read them without shedding at least a few tears. But the word "death" is never once mentioned - just sweet little lines about how Mother's darling fell asleep to be awakened by an Angel, how Little Boy Blue's toys are now gathering dust on the shelf after he "kissed them and put them there" so many years ago, telling them not to move until he comes back. Perhaps the saddest poem is "Telling The Bees", where a little girl who used to amuse her family by talking to the flowers in the garden, is suddenly gone one day, never to return. The flowers droop with sorrow as they realise she is never coming back, and it breaks not just her Mother's heart but also that of her Grandfather who dies soon afterwards - but with a smile on his face because in death "he has found his little one's resting place." The Mother of the lost little girl performs what must be an old Victorian custom - "telling the bees" about Grandfather's death (he keeps bees in the garden). I'd never heard of this old custom before - maybe Victorians thought it was a way of the dead going back to nature?

This book not only has the most wonderful poems, but also the brilliant Robinson illustrations - the little fat children in their bonnets and petticoats, Wynken Blynken And Nod fishing for the stars, the night-time train etc all brought to life in a way that cannot fail to make you smile, even though they're all in black and white.

This book really is superb - if you only buy one poetry book in your life, make it this one. It's not just sweet and sad, not just great poetry and illustration, it's a marvellous record of a long-gone age in history. It rises far, far above the likes of Dr Seuss and Harry Potter. I'd never part with my copy - not ever.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 11, 2015 6:53 AM GMT

Wynken, Blynken and Nod
Wynken, Blynken and Nod
by Eugene Field
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.16

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most beautiful poems, 22 Aug. 2014
This is, quite simply, one of the tenderest, most beautifully worded, evocative poems ever written for children. Eugene Field was a Victorian author who wrote many more beautiful poems - I urge you to seek out the rest of his books. Children will be enthralled by tales of magic, faraway lands, exotic birds and trees on which chocolate grows - my siblings and I knew these poems off by heart when we were young. This is the perfect poem to lull the little ones to sleep and give them sweet dreams - it certainly used to for me!

Kiss Me Once
Kiss Me Once
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: £4.40

3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The worst Kylie album EVER!!!!, 16 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Kiss Me Once (Audio CD)
I never, ever thought I'd say this about a Kylie album, but this is absolutely terrible. There's not 1 even half-decent track on this album - nothing that could stand even near Confide In Me, Better The Devil You KNow, or Can't Get You Out Of My Head. Kylie has dumped her old manager and moved to Rihanna's record label, and obviously the mature pop princess has tried her hardest to be the cutting-edge, Rihanna-clone she believes her new label want her to be.

But the rubbishness of this album has been reflected in its chart placing, and the shameful placings of its singles. A Kylie comeback album should go straight to no 1, and the singles from it should glitter like her previous jewels - I Was Gonna Cancel? sorry, Kylie, but I think that's what the record executives will be saying very soon. She was a massive hit on The Voice - eclipsing anything Dannii ever did on X Factor - then she comes up with the worst album of her career, this great big pile of steaming dog doo-doo.

One track has 40+ year old Kylie singing "Bounce bounce bounce" repeatedly - not only does it sound as sexy as root canal surgery, but it's also extremely immature. Why has Kylie regressed to that sort of c**p when she can do so much better? It's obvious throughout this appalling abum that Kylie wants to reinvent herself alongside Rihanna and Beyonce, but she couldn't be further from both with this album. PLEASE, PLEASE Kylie - go back to what you do best - brilliant dance-pop, and leave the 'bounce bounce bounce' to the lesser artistes.

Twiggy Model of 1966 IPAD CASE
Twiggy Model of 1966 IPAD CASE

5.0 out of 5 stars Great item, 15 Aug. 2014
Great item - nice colour picture on the front. It stands out, it's really original - a fun, funky little case that's well worth the money. Looks a lot better than the bland, everyday cases you get in the hops. I love it.

Pixie Lott
Pixie Lott
Price: £7.71

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album of the year!!!!!!, 15 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Pixie Lott (Audio CD)
Make no mistake, this is a FABULOUS album! I love it! It's better than "Young Foolish Happy" (which was great) and ranks alongside "Turn It Up" as one of her best albums. There's the fantastic, funky hit "Nasty" with its James Brown sample and those sexy horns, and other stompers like "Kill A Man" and the touching "Champion".

This album shows those stupid X Factor wannabes how it's done. It has so much personality, so much drive, such fantastic pop, that it just kicks Cher Lloyd, James Arthur, Ella Henderson, Leona Lewis et al to the kerb. Simon Cowell must be choking with envy because he can't lay any claim to Pixie's career.

Even if you only buy one album this year, make it this one. It is IMPOSSIBLE not to dance to this album - "Nasty" is easily the best single of the year. This album must make Cheryl Cole weep for days. And so she should - it makes the trite rubbish Cole puts out look like a child scrawled it in crayon at nursery.

Cheryl Cole does not deserve to be a star. She is not famous for her music, but for her yawn-some, oft-publicised personal life. Pixie is a star - a fantastic singer and songwriter as well as a great role-model for young British women. This is the work of a mature artiste but at the same time it's fresh, hip, funky, original, and damn catchy. I think Pixie should be REALLY PROUD, not just of this album but of herself. Well done, girl - you're a true super-star!!

Amy Winehouse - The Biography 1983 - 2011
Amy Winehouse - The Biography 1983 - 2011
by Chas Newkey-Burden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is cheap, cash-in rubbish!!!!!!, 15 Aug. 2014
Starting at the beginning - this is one of those maddening biographies that start with the end of the story. The first chapter covers Amy's death but not the medical reasons behind it. I wanted to get to that chapter in the end, after I'd read the rest of her story, but this is a messy, jumbled book with little real fact or continuity involeved.

This was released soon after Amy's death, evidently to cash in, the way Freddie Mercury biographies spilled out after his death. It's obvious that the author is a fan of Amy's, but he writes like a childish, teenage fan, where Amy can do no wrong, where her binges and fights with Blake are simply evidence of a good night out, where other artistes who criticise her descent are just jealous.

This book was obviously not researched further than watching her on Never Mind The Buzzcocks. I saw that episode and it was a car-crash - even host Simon Amstell stopped making jokes and urged Amy to get help as she slurred her way through the show. Yet this author says it was just Amy showing her 'obvious wit' and that other artistes just wanted to be as funny as she was. Sorry, mate, but she WASN'T funny. She was Sid Vicious reincarnated, only female, and she made horrifying viewing But this author constantly bigs up Amy's drunken, drug-addicted behaviour as if it was all just a laff and everyone else was just jealous of her - so there!

Covering Amy and Blake's story, it's obvious that this author only saw the stories in the Daily Mirror and rehashed them. Blake's quote about introducing Amy to hard drugs is much further into the book, when surely it should have been nearer the start of their story? We're told that Amy turned to drink and drugs after her first album, but not WHY. We're constantly told how in love Blake and Amy were, then all of a sudden told that Amy (supposedly) just dropped Blake when he came out of prison and no longer contacted him - again, WHY? Why build up such an inter-dependent relationship, reporting how desolate Amy felt when her husband went to prison, only to then dismiss it with a few words about how Amy didn't bother to contact him on his release and went on holiday instead? There's also no mention made of the omnipresent Mitch Winehouse's failed singing career, how he was constantly grabbing publicity for his own 'career' (of sorts) and releasing albums on the back of Amy's name? Mitch Winehouse told the world about Amy's personal struggles, her addictions, her romances - oh, and then he added how he'd introduced her to Frank Sinatra's music and he had a singing voice himself and did you know he's releasing an album?

Amy Winehouse caused her own destruction. She had a massive talent and a sparky personality, but she loved to play up to the tortured torch song image, telling everyone what a self-destructive individual she was. In reality, she got herself hooked on drugs and drink - she picked up that first drink, she made the decision to try some of Blake's drugs. She smoked and drank and drugged away her own talent and, ultimately, her own life. Even Blake got help in the end, but not Amy. That would have ruined her torch-singer image, you see. This book tells us how Amy was in a sober period of her life when she died - if that is so, how come she died of alcohol poisoning? This book doesn't tackle this - it's obviously too contradictory for this author/fan to tackle.

This book is a pile of rubbish - it's just well-known press quotes about Amy repeated ad nauseum. It's like the author has just copied out all the quotes from the newspaper - there's nothing new here, no obvious research, no investigation into Amy's obviously troubled psyche. It's just an immature author saying "I don't care what she did or what she wasted or what a bad role-model she is to young women - she's dead good, right, and she was just having a good time, so there!"

The definitive biography of Amy Winehouse is still to be written. This is certainly NOT it - it's just a cheap, immature, useless attempt to cash in on the cuircus surrounding her death. Avoid at all costs.

Supermodels (21st Century Lives)
Supermodels (21st Century Lives)
by Liz Gogerly
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wafer-thin and unoriginal, 15 Aug. 2014
Beware, there's not much to this book - it's basically well-known press pictures with some brief, much-familiar filler-text. Each page even has a little section saying "For more information about XX, go to" and then lists the book's own website - on every page! Why couldn't there just be 1 box on the front-page saying this? And it was good that Twiggy is included, but rather thanincluding a picture of Twiggy at the height of her fame - the book is called "Super Models" after all - we get a picture of a 60-odd year old Twiggy (who's still beautiful) in among young and glossy pictures of all the others!

It's also good that this book includes 2 male models, but they're hardly what you'd call SUPERmodels. Who would name Jamie Dornan and, um, that other one (not David Gandy) when they mention supermodels? No, that accolade belongs to the likes of Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Grace Jones, Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell, and Kate Moss - and, now, Cara Delevigne and Jourdan Dunn. Lily Cole is not famous enough to earn the title, and Jean Shrimpton isn't even included - yet Jean was huge (not quite as big as Twiggy) in the 60s, yet I've never noticed any influence of Lily Cole in the modern-day fashions and culture.

So if you want a basic, wafer-thin book that repeats everything you've ever heard in the papers about Kate Moss, then, fine, this is the right book. If you want a more in-depth look at the people in the centre of the world of fashion, then this isn't really worth the money.

Welcome To The Jungle
Welcome To The Jungle
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the next big thing ......., 15 Aug. 2014
This review is from: Welcome To The Jungle (Audio CD)
I really wanted to love this album. I'd heard Braveheart and Louder and thought they were quite good, a bit different, so I bought the album. However, I was sorely disappointed. It's not that it's a bad album - it's just not a particularly good one, either.

The songs all sound the same pretty much, running into each other and so quickly losing any freshness and originality. What made Braveheart so different doesn't make all the songs different - this album feels really like a half-hearted effort. One of those albums where the few good tracks have already been released as singles and the album - weak filler - is released on the back of that.

Neon Jungle are not the next Spice Girls - far from it. They are not even the new All Saints. This album should have been hard-hitting, edgy, gritty, an indication that British girl-bands are re-emerging and can take on anything the Americans can hit us with. However, it's none of those things. It's not bad, not rubbish - just non-descript, and perhaps that's the worst thing.

Into The Groove
Into The Groove

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant track!! You must get this!!, 9 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Into The Groove (Audio CD)
This is a fab CD. You get 3 tracks - Into The Groove / a version of Everbody / Shoo Be Doo Be Doo one from Like A Virgin album.

But Into The Groove is the one that shines brightest. This track is available on later versions of the British release of the Like A Virgin album, but I've heard that Americans still can't get it except on CD singles like this or compilations. (And downloads (yuk!), of course).

Into The Groove is one of the best, greatest tracks not just of Madonna's career but of the 80s. It's not just fantastic 80s pop/dance, it's era-defining, and it's ruddy GREAT!! When it was released, in the mid-80s, Madonna was by then a part of our culture like "Kiss Me Quick" through a stick of rock. Miley Cyrus might hog every headline today, sticking out her tongue (again!) and wearing next to nothing (again!) and using foul language (again!) but let's face it, who thinks of her music when they think of Miley Cyrus? No-one! Same with Cheryl Cole, Katy Perry - we could all tell you who they're dating, what skimpy dress they last wore, who they just fell out with, but when was the last time you heard someone so into their music that they took it everywhere with them? Never, right? Well, it was so different with Madonna in the 80s - not only was she on Sony Walkmans, but I can remember people bringing their ghetto-blasters outside with them on summer days, and tracks like Into The Groove, Like A Virgin, Holiday, Material Girl blasting out onto the streets. And no-one complained - we wanted to hear it! In the '80s, Madonna was EVERYWHERE!!

This track was part of the soundtrack to Madonna's hit move Desperately Seeking Susan - yes, there was a time when a great cinematic future was predicted for Madonna. She was young, vibrant, confident, unafraid to be a forthright, independent, yet ultra-feminine woman. She was beautiful without forcing a stick-insect body-image onto us. EVERY teenage girl wanted to have a rag or strip of lace tied in her wavy hair, wanted 2 armfuls of bangles, and wore several necklaces. We wanted to go to school wearing cut-off tights, lacy tops, psychedelic jackets, and 3 pairs of earrings in each ear. (But schools were a lot stricter with their uniform policy back then, LOL!).

But underlying it all, what created such a giant in fashion, cinema, popular culture, was the MUSIC! Without such brilliant, bold, danceable pop songs, Madonna wouldn't have got anywhere. Her music, you see, was good enough to back up everything else she did - it meant she could ride over the controversy she caused (she did a lot more for feminism than Rihanna and Miley Cyrus ever will). And Into The Groove is possibly the best track Madonna released both in the '80s and in her career. It makes 'Wrecking Ball' sound like something trotted out in a primary-school end-of-term play.

If you don't have this track in your collection, then I'm sure you'll regret it. When they look back to the '80s, this has well-justified its place on the world's soundtrack.

Stargazer Face and Body Glitter Stars Spectrum Party Festival Rave
Stargazer Face and Body Glitter Stars Spectrum Party Festival Rave
Offered by Online Beauty Ltd
Price: £2.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's OK, 9 Aug. 2014
Just a quick review - just to warn you that this product, when it arrives, is TINY!! Yes, the stars look very nice in their pot, but you'll only get 1 application at most out of it. If that's all you're after then it's fine - undoubtedly they'll look good when stuck on face / body.

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