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JETech® APPLE CERTIFIED USB Sync and Charging Lightning Cable for iPhone 6S/6/5/5S/5C/SE, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Mini - 1 Meter 8-Pin, White
JETech® APPLE CERTIFIED USB Sync and Charging Lightning Cable for iPhone 6S/6/5/5S/5C/SE, iPad 4, iPad Air, iPad Mini - 1 Meter 8-Pin, White
Offered by JEDirect UK
Price: £5.25

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Atrocious cable, 30 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Broke after second use: plug part stayed embedded in Ipad and the rest of the cable came off when I tried to unplug it. Then I was able to see how poor the craftmanship of this product is. Simply not fit for purpose.

I found JETech communication very convoluted, confusing and unhelpful (asking me for my address again, telling me they had sent an email that I never received, saying that they had sent a replacement when they hadn't... problem remains unsolved after weeks of emails going backwards and forwards pointlessly)

Recommendation: avoid.
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Timeline
Timeline
by Peter Goes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It took my breath away..., 29 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Timeline (Hardcover)
I came across this book just by accident while looking for other children's history books. I am not sure why I haven't seen it more in shops, newspapers, best books lists, or why it hasn't been given more of a publicity platform as it is simply magnificent. To say it is beautifully drawn and coloured is an understatement: it flows visually, like time itself, like a black river across the pages from beginning to end, from the beginning of first life forms to the 2010s. It is amazing how different one chunk of history on that black time river may look and feel from another (yet all consistent in graphic style) and how instantly immersed and transported to that time, place, mindset you feel. Some double-spreads look immediately very turbulent whereas others have a more ethereal feel but nevertheless movement is everywhere as befits a creation about time and its ever-changing byproduts.

Peter Goes' style is somehow drained of colour, using mainly black ink on sepia-ish or grey-ish backgrounds, but each double spread has a unique colour tone and aspects that render them quite unique and relevant to the world and era rendered. The effect is both subtle and suprising, breathtaking. The whole book is packed with visual detail, yet as all of history is more or less being covered here, text is more like a trigger or a shortcut into more reading elsewhere and further interest in the subject. Which is a good thing, both for children reading about certain historic events for the first time or for those of us that have long forgotten stuff learned at school. Hidden in the plethora of facts and images, you will find funny detail and anecdotes, the curious, the glorious and immortal in humankind but also its darkest deeds forever populating that black river of History (9/11 and Charlie Hebdo are included in the book!)

Buy it. Read it. Learn and remember. Here are the dreams and nightmares that make us.

Very jealous that it wasn't me who created this wonderful book.


First Class Murder: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery
First Class Murder: A Murder Most Unladylike Mystery
by Robin Stevens
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible meddling detectives, 18 Aug. 2015
My nine-year-old and me have read all three books together and we have enjoyed some of the most exciting parent-child bonding time through this series. When we read the first one, it struck me as a crossover between Malory Towers, Agatha Christie and a touch of Carola Dunn's meddlesome detective aficionado Daisy Dalrymple. Irresistible, bold, irreverent and funny as Robin Stevens' own Daisy is, the stroke of genius and originality is the creation of the narrator Hazel Wong. More reflective and armed with the viewpoint of the outsider and the 'different', in the middle of all the trepidation, the fun and laugh-out-loud moments, she brings in references to deep and sensitive issues like racism, historic backdrop, exclusion and fitting in or hints of bullying, never heavily layered on the story but rather like subtle splashes here and there -to occasionally stop and take stock.

Yes, this third book is the best yet. The danger with detective stories is that they run the risk of being structurally quite the same. Robin Stevens' books though seem to have been getting better as she delivers new cases. Setting them in totally different spaces or 'worlds' makes them also fresh and, having to create a full adventure within the limited confines of a train in the third one appears to somehow have channelled Miss Stevens' imagination into the creation of a plethora of possibilities where the assortment, colour and excess of the characters was concerned. Or staging a few impossible escapes including the heroines' most memorable, hilarious one yet! We have never enjoyed reading a book aloud so much, there were so many voices, accents, attitudes and airs to be rendered!

Also, like in a musical fugue, some elements, characters, themes from the previous books have been recurring, running and reappearing throughout the three cases. In "First Class Murder", more are introduced (new ones), some old ones are extended, new depths, variation and surprise thrown into them... and more questions and mystery cast upon others. We have learned to recognise Daisy and Hazel's idiosyncrasies (oh, those times when Hazel is eyeing a tray of something sweet), their obligatory squabble per book... we can see their 'moments' coming and they make us smile, or laugh. We are now very intrigued about 'M', about Hazel's extended family... about so many other things. We must be bound to be treated to a fourth one, mustn't we?


Strange Weather in Tokyo
Strange Weather in Tokyo
by Hiromi Kawakami
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bigger than the sum of its parts, 7 Jun. 2015
Exquisite story that feels much more dense than its number of pages as each new chapter introduces a new landscape, a new mood and a different season, treating us to an almost self-contained mini-story, mini-adventure. In a way, "Strange weather in Tokyo" is like a photo album, a sequence of episodes and vignettes in someone's life that are much more than the sum of its parts.

Thematically, it is pretty much about one thing: the gaping chasms that exist between nearly all the characters in it and how the movement of time burdens them (us) as much with memories of what was as of what could have been. Whether this is Tsukiko's ex-boyfriend, ex-would-have-been-boyfriend, her ex-teacher or her own mother, every single one of them wears their aching solitude as a mantle, yet the various episodes are sprinkled with delicious humour in spite of the regrets and the grudges.

In the middle of all, food and drink, almost religiously described and represented, are the glue and the social redeemer amongst drifting souls in their constant attempts to surmount pain and loneliness to find each other.


KS3 Maths Test Practice Workbook - Higher
KS3 Maths Test Practice Workbook - Higher
by CGP Books
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No answers included. Let down by CGP for the first time., 29 Mar. 2015
We have bought and used endless amounts of CGP books both for home-schooling and to assist with school work. We have found them all really good, comprehensive and excellent both to teach and further children's knowledge. This one, however, was a disappointment and quite annoying as it comes without answers. Irrespective of the content of the tests, I don't see why answers could not be included (even if this meant a higher price) as now we have to chase the separate book and wait for it to arrive. Arghhhh....


Solarbot - 6 in 1 Construction Kit - Solar Powered Robot, Airboat, Helicopter, Plane, Trike or Windmill
Solarbot - 6 in 1 Construction Kit - Solar Powered Robot, Airboat, Helicopter, Plane, Trike or Windmill
Offered by MadMolly
Price: £11.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't work, total waste of money, 25 Jan. 2015
Ours simply didn't work and we know that a friend's didn't either. My daughter was really excited while building it and then it all came down to a very sudden anticlimax. Very poor product: think Kinder Egg's little assembly toys -but with a much different price tag.


This One Summer
This One Summer
Price: £7.59

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A summer is a summer is a summer, 29 May 2014
This review is from: This One Summer (Kindle Edition)
This is a beautiful, beautiful book. It has the sound and color of summer, it has haunting double spreads in deep indigo-violet blue that submerge you and transport you to the hidden thoughts and feelings of a child entering adolescence. It has the crunch of flip-flops on gravel, the pitter-patter of summer rain, the swishing of bicycle rides with your summer best friend, the brushing of glorious trees and lush wilderness, the whooshing of the sea.

Meet Rose Wallace and her holiday friend Windy in Awago Beach. Two very different girls but both on the verge of their teenage years. They watch R rated horror dvds, they swim together, have outdoor night meals together with their families, talk about their developing bodies and face the alluring but unfathomable sea and sky in the same way they face the alluring, unfathomable, forbidding world of secrets of the adults and young adults that surround them. Inevitably, they get entangled in the middle of all these people and their shenanigans, but they also get systematically excluded by everyone. Then they eavesdrop. Try to put things together, understand the unexplained and know the untold. Rose reacts in a sulky, broody way - her only smiles seem to come when her semi-crush Dud speaks to her, Windy in a totally unrestrained, effusive, hyper way.

I am new to Jillian and Mariko Tamaki's work, but words and pictures work in perfect symmetry. Simple and captivating. There is the fleeting lightness and fragility of milkweed and also the contained turmoil and pain not just of her own but of those surrounding young Rose. Teenage mannerisms are flawlessly observed and rendered both in speech (lots of syncopated speech packed with 'likes' and 'keys') and mirrored by the sketchy (oh so recognisable) body postures. In this way, worldly chores like washing your hair with your friend become epic and majestic because it happens in the sea and that sea is almost transcendental and you are going to be a teen only once.

It is difficult to put an age recommendation bracket to this book; what is perfectly fine for one child at age 11 or 12 may not be for another one until they are older. It contains talk about sex (including a reference to oral sex) and strong language in parts. It is totally an intrinsic part of the story though and of Rose and Windy's discovery and wonder at whether things are right or wrong, if they should be done, if they are allowed to use certain words. Each child is different and their parents can decide. It does not deter from the fact that all the subjects addressed are observed sensitively. Through images, through words, Jillian and Mariko capture poetically, achingly, the boundless confusion and beauty of becoming a teenager. There are the things you know and then there are the things you have to guess, to eavesdrop to know. You can eavesdrop in this book. And you can remember too (if you are a bit older).


11+ English Multiple Choice Practice Papers: Pack 1 (First Past the Post)
11+ English Multiple Choice Practice Papers: Pack 1 (First Past the Post)
by Eleven Plus Exams
Edition: Paperback

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For those that want to move out of their comfort zone, 8 Jan. 2013
There are four very good tests enclosed in this pack. It's very good that they are all extracts from classics ("The Count of Monte Cristo", "White Fang", "Around the world in 80 days", "20,000 leagues under the sea") and it is very good that they appear to raise the bar in terms of complexity in relation to a lot of other publishers' papers. However, I would start somewhere else (like Bond, where children can progress from accessible to more difficult) and stay there for a while building their confidence, then move on to these as a way of extending a child's practice out of their comfort zone when they are already very good or even proficient.

We found some inconsistencies in this set though. We found, as mentioned, higher than usual difficulty where the reading comprehension aspects of the tests are concerned: my daughter (aged 9, soon 10) felt very disheartened with the understanding of the content both due to the great number of unknown words she found as well as the more convoluted, long-winded and elaborate construction of the sentences typical of 19th century, or turn of the century, works. It helps if children are familiar with the backstory. But how many 9 year olds know about Edmond Dantes today? Still, she excelled where grammar, spellings and punctuation where concerned, she found them easy, or even easier than in some other books she's done before. So, first part taxing, second part... a doddle.

I'm sure we will be buying the other sets from First Past the Post, as overall they are very good and they also provide a code for you to check online how other people fared with these tests and compare your child's results against them. However, considering this set is only Pack 1 and it sets a very high and challenging standard, be careful not to throw this at a child that is still in the early stages of 11+ practice.


Dixit Odyssey Card Game
Dixit Odyssey Card Game
Offered by Games Lore Ltd
Price: £28.33

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love it but it is "Dixit" all over again, 19 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Dixit Odyssey Card Game (Toy)
When I saw this and all the amazing publicity shots that go with it, I thought we had to get hold of this new, presumed overhauled version of the much-loved and much-enjoyed "Dixit". It did look like a very different game, a radical new take, a proper, stunning odyssey with all kinds of surprises along the way.

It isn't. I was disappointed to discover -much as we love it here- that this is pretty much "Dixit" again. The track to follow and win the game is linear this time (but there is still the same objective of reaching 30). The voting cards are very nice, sturdy, and look very different from the previous voting tokens, but it is pretty much a question of form rather than content. If anything, this time you are more likely to be spotted at your secret voting because pegs are inserted in the too wide holes of the voting cards and are often easily seen by other players when you try to hold them in place.

The other difference: you can vote for up to 2 image-cards giving you more chances of getting it right but also diminishing your score. Players -other than the narrator- who get a vote on their proposed image-card also score 1 point. So, scoring is the biggest change, and yet it is not revolutionary at all, it's tiny tweaking.

If you already own "Dixit" maybe you will feel somehow cheated (you can use your old game and just mildly change the voting and scoring rules and you've got "Dixit Odyssey"). I felt let down too that only 84 new cards come with this game that can be played by up to 12 people (ideal for parties) and very soon we had to re-enter the already used cards by adding them to the bottom of the fast dwindling pile (before even the first game was over!). You will need an expansion very soon.

As a standalone game, it is as great as "Dixit" was, it will make you laugh, it's original, beautiful and inspirational. Some people may think it is an improvement on the first game. For me, and coming and judging from my experience with "Dixit", well, "Odyssey" just isn't new at all, and I had to drop one star from its rating for that reason.

Anyone that owns "Dixit" and is looking for something as great and exquisite but absolutely different and unique, check "Fabula" out, it has the same team behind.


Stories from Shakespeare
Stories from Shakespeare
by Anna Claybourne
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step into the wondrous world of Shakespeare, 19 Aug. 2011
I bought this a few years ago at a Summer Fair when my children were far too young to read it and I was unable to resist it. It was a great concept because the plays were adapted to narrative style without simplifying or trimming too much. The true essence of Shakespeare's plays was there in full glory. The illustrations were rich bursts of colour jumping out of the beautifully textured, deeply contrasted pages of what appears to be gouache paintings: some are bright and light, some are dark and ominous and submerged in washes of mystery.

Now aged 8, my daughter has spontaneously picked up this book from the shelf -I found her in bed with it- and read it voraciously this summer over two or three days. Story after story. Non-stop. There is magic, there is drama, there is love, there is tension, there is action, there are funny bits, how could a child not like this?

When asked which story is her favourite, she says she likes all of them (with maybe a slight preference for "Hamlet"). I couldn't be more pleased. To top it all, she has come up with a game where players take turns at reading one or two lines from any story and the other players have to guess what play the quote is from.

Now that she knows the stories, we are moving on to Manga Shakespeare, the graphic novels/plays where the stories have been re-set in different times/historic contexts/countries but the original Shakespearean language has been preserved.


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