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noc "noc" (Dublin, Ireland)

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Welcome to Mamoko
Welcome to Mamoko
by Aleksandra Mizielinska
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.09

5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and entertaining, 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Welcome to Mamoko (Hardcover)
This is a lovely, charming book. I bought it for my (almost) two year old and I'd say I have had as much, if not more, fun following the various stories. The illustrations are intricate, funny and colourful. This is a great idea for a book. At first I was a little disappointed that there were only 8 double-pages. However, there are so many stories that, if you count these separately, there is much more substance to the book than one might think at first glance. It's a clever idea and an inspiring one too. For an older child, trying to recreate their own version in a copybook (i.e. a series of pictures with stories for each character) would be an interesting exercise for example. I'm really happy with this purchase and I will look out for more titles by these creators.


Room
Room
Price: 4.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting, 15 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Room (Kindle Edition)
I put off reading this book for a long time, despite glowing recommendations from friends, because of the setting and horrible situation the characters are in. However, when I finally braved it, I couldn't put it down. It's a beautiful, well-written, heart-warming book full of interesting observations made possible by the author's brilliantly conceived use of the perspective of a five-year old boy who has never set foot in the outside world before. It is a very touching study of maternal and filial love and, ironically, how good people can be to each other. Don't be afraid to read it. It's a great read.


Lowepro Passport Sling Shoulder Bag for Camera - Mica
Lowepro Passport Sling Shoulder Bag for Camera - Mica
Price: 41.05

5.0 out of 5 stars Roomy, discreet and good-looking, 8 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This was a great buy. It does exactly what I want it to do. I can use it on holidays to carry my hand-luggage e.g. everything I would normally carry in a handbag (including my kindle) as well as my camera and accessories, a bottle of water etc. I rarely use the extended capacity you get by unzipping the back but it is extremely useful to have that option on occasion while being able to reduce the size of the bag to make it more slimline when I don't need it. The bag is comfortable to wear with a good, moveable non-slip pad on the strap which is also adjustable. Most importantly, my camera (Sony DSLR with Tamron 17-50mm lens with various small acessories (filter, cleaning equipment etc)) is well protected and easily accessible to me so that I can take pictures and put it away again quickly.

I love the colour and the look of this bag. I would use it just as a normal bag let alone a camera bag. Yes it is not completely waterproof but I have used it in the rain without any major problems. Unless it was a torrential downpour or you were out for a very long time in the rain I don't think this would be a problem, and , if you are spening that long out in the rain with your camera I'd imagine a more sturdy backpack designed for hiking/ outdoor photography would suit better. This bag is really for street use and works very well for this purpose. Sometimes I would like to have a backpack because I get backpain sometimes when I have too much weight on one shoulder but having my camera accessible at a moment's notice (which it wouldn't be in a backpack) is more important to me. I don't like to go around with my camera dangling around my neck all the time.

When I'm not out and about this bag stores all of my camera equipment - filters, chargers, cleaning accessories and so on. I think it is ideal for the amateur DSLR enthusiast and if you stop using it for your camera you can just remove the padded 'box' insert which is attached to the inside of the bag by velcro, and just use it as a normal bag. This bag was exactly what I wanted both in functionality and looks. I love it.


Total Yoga Collection - 4 Disc Box Set [DVD]
Total Yoga Collection - 4 Disc Box Set [DVD]
Price: 7.34

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 3 Feb 2014
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I've only tried Original and Earth so far but I am disappointed in this box set. I thought it looked like good value and it is, in terms of quantity of discs, but not necessarily in terms of quality in my opinion. The video looks dated - especially Original. I also found the instruction very dry; it's delivered in a deadpan monotone that isn't very encouraging or motivating. While I am still in the early stages of learning yoga I know enough both through practice and by reading the likes of Donna Fahri and Erich Schiffman (I especially recommend Donna Fahri who is brilliant) that it's not always a great idea to rush through sequences of poses too quickly. There doesn't seem to be much depth to these. You hardly have time to make any 'enquiries' of the pose and some of the transitions seem a little awkward to me and don't flow all that well. It felt like mere gymnastics/ callisthenics rather than the more hollistic yoga that I am interested in.

Earth was easier and better I thought than Original. Maybe when I get better at yoga I will change my mind on these and maybe I will get to like them. Maybe the other two discs are better. But for now I am disappointed and can't recommend this. I think there are better dvds out there with nicer production too which is not unimportant.

(I notice some other reviewers recommending Louise Soloman's Yogalates series and I would agree - they are miles better, more satisfying and enjoyable to work with than these I found).


River Cafe Pocket Books: Pasta and Ravioli
River Cafe Pocket Books: Pasta and Ravioli
by Rose Gray
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I wanted, 3 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love Italian pasta dishes but I was getting bored with the repertoire we had and needed some new ideas. I did buy a small pasta book before but only made one recipe out of it and was disappointed when I examined the recipes in detail - they were more American than Italian it seemed to me. Anyway, having looked through a few other pasta books, and not wanting another big glossy tome with more lifestyle photos than recipes, I was delighted to find this. The recipes are beautiful, simple for the most part and very effective. Also, while they include instructions on making fresh pasta they don't focus unduly on this like some other books do, recognising that dried pasta has its well-deserved and time-honoured place in the kitchen! Though I have salivated over nearly all of the recipes, so far I have only made two but both were easy and very tasty (penne with sausage and ricotta and orechiette with broccoli and pancetta). Also, many of the recipes are extremely quick to make which is perfect for two working parents who survive mainly on one-pot meals that can be cooked ahead. Sometimes you just want pasta and not always with bolognese! A simple, helpful, classy and compact little book.


Vital Baby 200 ml 3 Stage Trainer Cup (Blue)
Vital Baby 200 ml 3 Stage Trainer Cup (Blue)
Offered by BestBuyUk
Price: 9.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Broke on first use!, 3 Nov 2013
I was delighted when I found a cup with handles that had different tops so the baby could use it as a sippy-cup, a control-flow drinking cup and then an open cup. My 14 month old normally drinks out of a glass but I have to hold it for him so I was hoping to get a cup he could manage himself that could convert to an open cup when he had the hang of it. I really liked this one - looks nice and appeared to be exactly what I was looking for. On our first use yesterday he dropped it on the floor and a HUGE crack destroyed the cup completely. What a waste of money! Not fit for purpose. Do the makers of this cup not realise that babies drop and throw cups? It needs to be made of stronger plastic with perhaps a stronger shape too. Extremely disappointed. Will be avoiding this brand from now on.


The Spinning Heart
The Spinning Heart
Price: 3.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A world patched together through the eyes of its inhabitants, 21 Oct 2013
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This was a quick and engaging read and interestingly written from the perspectives of a host of different characters in a small town in Ireland post economic crash. On the surface it could seem frustrating that we only get little vignettes each told from a particular character's point of view and no character's voice is revisited once their 'chapter' is over. The overall effect is that we never truly get to know the full story, the full history of the characters, what their real motivations are or what they are really like as people. The reader has to piece together events and draw his/ her own conclusions just like any of the characters in the book. This is the way the world is. We all make judgements without ever being able to know the full story. We feel a natural affinity and sympathy for some people and are repelled by others, but then, occasionally, we are given pause when we get a glimpse of things from their perspective and our opinions might shift a bit.
The spinning heart is like a metaphor for the confusion and pain that people cause others and are caused themselves through lack of understanding and through an inability to put themselves in someone else's shoes. This is quite a sad and, at times, unsettling book but an insightful and inventive reminder to try to be compassionate towards others just as the author is towards his characters no matter how disagreeable they might seem at first glance.


Throwing the Elephant
Throwing the Elephant
Price: 7.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 14 Sep 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I don't regret book purchases often but this was a big disappointment and I wish I'd never bought it. It told me nothing I don't already know and that isn't basic common sense . It wasn't funny; it was very mildly amusing at first but really just consists of one metaphor laboured relentlessly over the course of an entire book. Not worth the time or money. This was a decent idea wasted. A book on strategies for dealing with different types of difficult managers would be helpful to many but this isn't the one.


Moomin's Little Book of Numbers (Moomin (Drawn & Quarterly))
Moomin's Little Book of Numbers (Moomin (Drawn & Quarterly))
by Tove Jansson
Edition: Board book
Price: 3.53

5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite in the series, 4 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I got this along with the other books in the series on colours, words and opposites. They are all beautifully illustrated with contrasting colours on the different pages and bright, charming scenes. I also like that each book ends with a bedtime scene. 'Numbers' finishes with 'lots and lots of stars' to get the child into the right frame of mind at bedtime! :) This is my favourite of the four books I have. I like that the featured objects are scattered/ placed naturally into the scene i.e. not just arranged in floating piles or pyramids like in so many other 'numbers' books. They are picked out in contrasting colours to make it easier to see them. Though having the objects in orderly piles might help a child to visualise smaller and bigger amounts of items, I think this more naturalistic approach gives a good opportunity to count the objects with your child in a more interesting way as they have to make sure they get all of them and don't miss any.

My baby was only five months old when I got these books for him - his first books - and he really loves them. I didn't expect him to show so much interest but he gets genuinely excited when I take them out to 'read' them with him and, as he's too young to understand them, I can only attribute this to the skill of the illustrators in knowing how to attract and excite the infant eye.


Moomin's Little Book of Words
Moomin's Little Book of Words
by Tove Jansson
Edition: Board book

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely series, 4 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I got this along with the other books in the series on colours, words and numbers. They are all beautifully illustrated with contrasting colours on the different pages and bright, charming scenes. I also like that each book ends with a bedtime scene - a nice touch helping to give the child the 'right idea' if you're reading them at bedtime. I'm not entirely sure about the inclusion of the word 'paint' in this one though. I found it a little abstract. A child who is young enough to be learning their first words is probably unlikely to be old enough to be using paint or to know what it is. Shell is also a little abstract for a baby but we do live near the sea so I suppose it is possible that my son might get to know what a shell is at a young age.

My baby was only five months old when I got these books for him - his first books - and he really loves them. I didn't expect him to show so much interest but he gets genuinely excited when I take them out to 'read' them with him and, as he's too young to understand them, I can only attribute this to the skill of the illustrators in knowing how to attract and excite the infant eye.


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