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Reviews Written by
Michelle Moore (Dartford, United Kingdom)
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The Mammoth Book of Street Art: An insider's view of contemporary street art and graffiti from around the world (Mammoth Books)
The Mammoth Book of Street Art: An insider's view of contemporary street art and graffiti from around the world (Mammoth Books)
by JAKe
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Insight, 21 Oct 2012
I approached this book as someone who with no real knowledge of street art. I do have a book about the Slinkachu's mini people, a concept which I love, but that was my limit. This book managed to give me a glimpse into this artform, and I enjoyed finding out a little more.

There is a large selection of artists featured, from around the world. Each one has a short intro, and then some colour pictures of their work. Some have only a page, whilst others have more. There's a wide range of styles, some of which I found rather amazing, whilst a few seemed more like traditional graffiti.

For someone with no knowledge, it gives an interesting glimpse at the street art on offer, but it would also make a good collection for those already interested.


The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies (Mammoth Books)
The Mammoth Book of Slasher Movies (Mammoth Books)
by Peter Normanton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.59

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Guide for the Casual Fan, 21 Oct 2012
I've just read the reviews on the US site, and there seems to be some annoyance about the films included. I came to this book as a casual fan of horror films, and the selection of films didn't seem a big deal to me, I simply enjoyed it for what it was.

In his introduction, Peter Normanton clearly states that this is not a comprehensive list, despite having over 250 films listed. By the end of his research, he had over 1000, so he's tried to come up with a good selection. One thing I did notice is that sequels don't get their own entries, but are simply mentioned under the original film. I'm sure a whole book could be written about horror movie sequels, but don't expect to find them here.

The films included are in alphabetical order, with basic info, a synopsis of the story, and some background information, such as whether they were banned, or notes on filming. They're also given a 'splatter rating'. It seems important to point out that these are 'slasher and splatter' movies, which means a lot of zombie type films are included.

There are a few little extras, such as an overview of the genre, information on some of the directors, and a list of 'video nasties' which were banned.

I enjoyed looking up the films I've watched in the past, as well as finding some I'd like to try.


The Paper Dolls
The Paper Dolls
by Julia Donaldson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Destined to be a best seller, 21 Oct 2012
This review is from: The Paper Dolls (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly, I must reiterate what the previous reviewer said - we also originally saw this book in Waterstones, and it came complete with the paper dolls to cut out and use. This version does not state they are included, so I'm assuming it's a Waterstones' only addition. It is a shame it's not included, because it was a lovely addition.

As for the book itself, it is lovely, and ticks every box to make it a bestseller. It's a charming story, tapping into imagination and memories, and there's just enough repetition to allow younger children to join in. The illustrations are delightful with some lovely little touches.


The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Pop-up Edition
The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Pop-up Edition
by Clement C. Moore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.08

3.0 out of 5 stars Not for younger children, 20 Oct 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a very nice version of this book, but it isn't a traditional 'pop up' book, and is too fragile for younger children. The pictures are mainly black silhouettes, with red and green accents. There are cut-outs throughout, such as looking through a window on one page, and the view back through the window on the next. The one pop up is at the end, and is rather delicate, pretty and fragile.

This would make a nice present for a book lover, and something to keep, but it's not something you'd give a younger child.


Green Board Games Brainbox Horrible Science Blood and Guts
Green Board Games Brainbox Horrible Science Blood and Guts
Price: 7.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Good fun for a 10 minute game, 20 Oct 2012
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is basically a memory game, but with an educational twist. The idea is that you spend a set amount of time looking at the card, and then there are some questions to answer. Using this general principle, it's possible to work out your own version of the game, focused on the age group etc. The makers, however, suggest two ways to play, one for two people, and one whilst playing on your own.

It comes in a strong box, with a magnetic lid, and a timer is included. Each card covers a different subject, such as heart and lungs, the brain, muscles etc. The questions vary from remembering a medical fact to remembering how many people are on the card. This particular one is from the Horrible Science people, and has their usual fun twist.

This is a great box to have around when you need a 10 minute game, and would probably be handy to have in a class room. My only concern would be that after a time the same cards would crop up, and would therefore be easier to answer.


The 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Practice Book with Assessment Tests (Ages 10-11)
The 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning Practice Book with Assessment Tests (Ages 10-11)
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Age Appropriate Practice, 20 Oct 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having been through the 11+ process, I know how important it is that children are used to the types of question asked, and have a chance to practice them. However, if you use practice papers when they're younger, it can feel too much, and discourage them.

CGP have produced practice books for various age groups. The first half takes you through the various types of questions, with some practice ones. This means you can either use them to see if your child understands, or use them to explain how they work.

The second part has 7 assessment tests, with a mix of questions, which increase in difficulty. They can be timed if you wish, 40 mins is recommended.


Philips DCM2055 Micro Music System
Philips DCM2055 Micro Music System
Price: 97.11

109 of 114 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Choice of CD or ipod, but sound control doesn't make much difference., 20 Oct 2012
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Usually when choosing something new such as a stereo, I will carry out some research, comparing spec and prices etc. As this is a vine review, it means I haven't had a chance to do this, and so I'm not sure how it compares with other players.

From our point of view as a family, we are very pleased with it. Firstly, it is a CD player, with a motorised door which glides up and down. Secondly, an ipod or iphone can be attached to the front and played through it. Basic controls work thorough the remote, and you also have full access to the ipod, to change songs etc. As well as this, there is a USB and MP3 connectors, for other models. Finally, there's an FM radio, and reception was fine. Unfortunately it's not a DAB radio, which would have been a nice addition. However, you should be able to play a radio app on your ipod. I will edit this review when I check.

Added: I can confirm that radio apps work well, as does spotify, youtube etc. I've also tried my ipad, and it's quite cool to be able to watch a video whilst playing it through the speakers.

Onto the sound - I've seen other reviews state that the sound isn't suitable for a large area, and is better in a small room. We, however, have no concerns with the sound, and it's loud and deep enough for both myself and my teenage daughter! I do have one issue with the sound though - this player boasts Digital Sound Control and Dynamic Bass Boost, but we really couldn't hear a difference. It's only a small issue, as the sound certainly seems adequate for this price range, but if this is important to you, you may be disappointed in the results.

The stereo itself has a nice appearance and size, and it's light and easy to move around. As digital downloads are becoming more popular, we do use MP3s more than CDs, so it's nice to have the two options in one. We are quite happy with the product and the price, but would recommend.


Goldilocks
Goldilocks
by Allan Ahlberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.74

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully presented book with a fun concept., 23 Sep 2012
This review is from: Goldilocks (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There is a wonderful concept behind this book - Allan Ahlberg has taken the story we all know, and then developed some variations. There are The 33 Bears, including teenage bears who don't see anything because they are dawdling in the woods; The Blim, a version set in the future with lots of funny words children will love; and The Furniture, telling a side of the story no one considered before. Finally there's a version with lots of extra characters, and then the story of Goldilocks alone.

There's plenty for children to enjoy, and parents will appreciate the cleverness as well. The stories are short and yet richly told, and would be a joy for bedtime reading.

Added to this is the actual quality of the book, as it includes sections to pull and change, and the illustrations are charming.

As an added bonus, in the middle of the book is an extra small book. The idea is that the town have gone to see the play of the story, and included is the script. Within this little book the charming illustrations, and warm touches of humour continue. My daughter surprised me by reading that book first, and we both loved the detailed pop up within it.

This book would make a wonderful present, and seems suitable for a range of ages - younger children will enjoy having it read to them, whilst older ones will enjoy discovering the little surprises. Plus I also suspect adults will enjoy it too. ;)
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2012 7:01 PM BST


Doodlepedia
Doodlepedia
by DK
Edition: Paperback
Price: 6.79

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, but not very good for travel, 23 Sep 2012
This review is from: Doodlepedia (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The idea behind this book is to encourage creativity whilst learning. It's a rather large book, which whilst providing good value for money, does mean it's not as portable as it could be - I'd like to see a smaller version for travel.

There is a variety of activities within the book including the following:
Basic colouring
Drawing a reflection
Facial expressions
Inventions
Mazes etc
Some of the pages ask you to follow instructions, such as finding squares and colouring them purple, whilst some are left for your own creativity, and this makes it suitable for quite a range of ages. It's good quality paper, which should hold up will to crayons, pen or pencils.

The added extra in this book are the included facts, covering a range of subjects. Again, this makes it suitable for various ages, as they can be used to learn, but they can also be ignored.

Not as portable as I'd like, but good value for money - very useful to keep children amused when you want them away from the TV or computer!


The Odds
The Odds
by Adam Perrott
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.74

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Undecided, 23 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Odds (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I'm still a little undecided about this one, but I do believe that younger children will enjoy the humour. The Odds are a family of Meddlers, who like to cause trouble. Whilst out meddling, Mr Odd discovers some strange people who seem to be one step ahead of him, and he uncovers a plot against them.

There's a good introduction to the Odds and meddling at the beginning, so children should have no trouble understanding the concepts, and there are excerpts from their meddling manual throughout, which adds a nice touch. I found it more quirky than funny, but I do think it will appeal to younger readers. Unfortunately I can't persuade my 8 year old to take a look, so I can't tell.

Why a I undecided with my review? Mainly *because* I can't persuade my daughter to take a look, as she's a good reader, and especially likes funny books. Also, the younger Odds do cause a lot of trouble, especially at school, and as a parent, I'm not so keen on that aspect.

I'm sure it will stand up against some of the other books published for this age group, but is worth a try if your child shows an interest.


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