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Scouts: Who They are and What They Do (A Ladybird book)
Scouts: Who They are and What They Do (A Ladybird book)
by David Harwood
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scouting 1907-1971, 20 Aug. 2014
This book was first published in 1971 and appeared 14 years before its Girl Guide equivalent. It covers the history of the scouting movement from Baden-Powell's days through to the commencement of the seventies.
Scouts are shown sailing, swimming, fishing, climbing and even appearing in a folk group with a girl guide! The text is written by David Harwood who took at least one of the photos which were then 'painted' by John Berry. Obviously some of the illustrations were not initially photographs such as the young 'BP' observing a rabbit in the countryside.
The back endpapers illustrate all the then available proficiency badges and the last two pages describe the international scouting movement. At this time there was still no mention of girl scouts.


The Rupert Annual 2015: No 79 (Annuals 2015)
The Rupert Annual 2015: No 79 (Annuals 2015)
by Egmont Books Ltd
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rupert Annual No 79 - A Slim Specimen, 7 Aug. 2014
Positives (Bill Badger's Brightspots)
(1)Attractive front cover.
(2)Lovely wintry endpaper by John Harrold.
(3)Sequence of seasonal stories.
(4)Clear and informative contents page.
(5)Four stories as regularly appeared in the 60's and 70's.
(6)The new Stuart Trotter story is interesting and avoids all the discrepancies and inaccuracies of last year.

Negatives (Hubert Hippo's Howlers)
(1)The front cover is similar to an inferior version/amagamation of the 1960 and 1965 covers.
(2)Only one set of endpapers.
(3)Virtually no puzzles and activities.
(4)The back cover is poorly drawn with Algy Pug apparently suffering from a severe bout of mumps and Edward Trunk has
succumbed to a possibly fatal case of elephantiasis.
(5)No Follow Rupert page.
(6)The image on the title page is just part of the front cover.
(7)The front cover does not incorporate images from the other stories as has been the tradition. (just from one story now)
(8)The town in the Christmas tale is never named - surely it is Nutchester?
(9)The window display in Mr Hound's toy shop is wonderfully described but drawn as if there is a power cut.
(10)There is no uniformity of design of the title pages of the four artists' stories.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2014 7:22 PM BST


Well-Loved Tales: Cinderella (Ladybird Easy Reading)
Well-Loved Tales: Cinderella (Ladybird Easy Reading)
by Vera Southgate
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £5.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Tale, 25 July 2014
This is a well-known story from almost everyone's childhood and frequently performed on stage as a pantomime. The text is the classic one and not the Disney version. The illustrations are enchanting and due to the three balls that 'Cinders' attends there are some lovely ballgowns that young children who enjoy dressing-up will find delightful.
The pictures in other books in the series are probably more exciting and imaginative such as those in the Gingerbread Boy, Enormous Turnip and Big Pancake tales. The anthropomorphic stories allow the artist (usually Robert Lumley) to display his considerable talents more widely in tales such as Chicken Licken and The Musicians of Bremen.
This is definitely a magnificent example of Ladybird Books at their best but many will hanker after the rarely seen Animal Stories such as The Wise Robin and The Sleepy Water Vole.


The Policeman (Easy Reading Books)
The Policeman (Easy Reading Books)
by Vera Southgate
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Probably not PC account of a PC, 18 July 2014
This book has dated more than most in this 20 issue series. The front cover which shows a police man using a police box ("In most towns there are police boxes on the streets".) which virtually any reader under 50 would call a Tardis now. This Ladybird book has probably been parodied more online (and possibly in print) than any other title in about the approximately 800 that have been issued.
This is probably not only due to its content appearing dated as the two authors refer to eight hours a day being spent by a policeman (only one page mentions policewomen) on the beat rather than being concealed from the public doing paperwork but because some of the illustrations do not appear drawn to scale. Page 13 appears to show an eight foot copper and page 27 illustrates what appears to be a toy police car escorting a large army vehicle.
The series as a whole began in 1962 and the final title was published in 1973. They are in the "Easy Reading" range which was an excellent idea as it involved real life rather than over simplified accounts and pictures of home life which showed images of girls in frocks and hair ribbons performing tasks such as baking or bed-making with a smiling mother while boys in shorts and Start-rite shoes helped a pipe-smoking father to clean the car or rake leaves.


The story of our churches and cathedrals (Ladybird 'Achievements' books)
The story of our churches and cathedrals (Ladybird 'Achievements' books)
by Richard Bowood
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Ladybird Book, 16 July 2014
This is a quality book which was first published in 1964. It is concise but contains details of church architecture from Saxon times to the twentieth century. The full page illustrations are superb and are almost entirely of genuine churches such as Salisbury Cathedral, Romsey Abbey, Bradford-on-Avon Church and Earl's Barton Church Tower rather than generic pictures. They are by Robert Ayton and very much in the style of the wonderful calendars and prints today by Trevor Mitchell.


Cocky the Lazy Rooster Ladybird Books
Cocky the Lazy Rooster Ladybird Books
by Noel Barr
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Galline Games, 9 July 2014
This is the ninth book in the tremendous Nature Series by Ladybird. It tells how Cocky grew from a small chick on a farm to become the most important rooster and 'cock of the walk'. He has many farmyard duties which include solving the squabbles of the hens and making sure that the chicks are safe. However, his most important job is to wake the farmer up each morning with his loud crow. One day Cocky notices the weathercock on the church steeple and decides that as that cock doesn't do any work, then he doesn't need to either.
Life on the farm becomes very difficult with chicks running under the feet of all the farmyard animals, the hens laying eggs all over the place and the farmer and his family oversleeping. After the farmer has given him away, Cocky comes to his senses and escapes from his new coop and gets back to his old farm, narrowly escaping a roaming fox on the way. Ben, the farmyard dog, advises him to make himself useful so Cocky ensures that he wakes the farmer on time the next morning and life is back to normal with Cocky realising that everyone has to do their share and that even the weathercock tells everyone the wind direction.


Thursday's Children: A Frieda Klein Novel (4)
Thursday's Children: A Frieda Klein Novel (4)
by Nicci French
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Fourth 'Daily' Segment of the Frieda Klein Saga, 12 Jun. 2014
I found this easily the most enjoyable and riveting book in the Nicci French series and it is the fourth book featuring the psychotherapist Frieda Klein. They have appeared annually so I am already looking forward to the fifth book which should feature the word 'Friday' in its title and appear in 2015 if the current pattern is continued.
The strengths of this book are the descriptions of the characters and the locations. As there is a recurring cast of characters the reader knows them all quite well as they all return with varying amounts of appearance. Sandy,presumably deliberately, is not particularly fleshed out and does not engage in the same way as characters such as Chloe, Sasha and Josef.
However, the character of Dean is beginning to become more than irritating, it is actually becoming intrusive and completely unrealistic, even in a work of fiction such as this.
After 23 years Frieda returns to Braxton, the sleepy Suffolk coastal town where she spent her first 16 years. The story grips and develops at a pace that is neither rushed or laboured. The denouement is slightly disappointing as it involves something other than police procedure or intuitive deduction by Frieda but the involvement of a character that is threatening the very fibre of such a strong series. The married couple that are Nicci French have created a series that is immeasurably superior to the countless plethora of detective, serial killer, mass murderer, style books that cover the shelves in every bookshop and library. Everything (apart from Dean) is just right - the underground rivers of London and their connections to the Thames, the haunting and realistic depiction of London - often on a windswept or rain-pelted night , even the end-papers with sketch maps of London featuring relevant underground rivers in the style of a casual artist such as Klein herself.
Thank you so much Nicci French for another gripping tale - but please don't drag the Dean thread much longer as it is beginning to dominate the stories in an insidious fashion and I'm not sure that this is what you intend and I don't believe it is what the reader enjoys either.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2015 11:25 AM BST


Harry's Games: Inside the Mind of Harry Redknapp
Harry's Games: Inside the Mind of Harry Redknapp
by John Crace
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy Harry.........The Truth?, 23 Mar. 2014
This book appeared in 2013 which was the same year as Redknapp's latest "auto"biography which was ghost-written by the well-known sports and feature journalist Martin Samuel. This book is very different in tone but covers the same events and is written by John Crace who has much in common with the better known Hunter Davies. They are both newspaper columnists and feature writers, they are both supporters of Tottenham Hotspur and, most bizarrely, they have both been philatelic columnists. In Davies' case it was about 30 years ago and in the days when his philatelic publication was actually a weekly one (which must really date it!) and in Crace's case his monthly column is still on-going and he manages to mention most months his passion for stamp booklet panes - surely as limited and isolated a passion as collecting bus tickets or the cellophane wrappers of greetings cards.
Many of the same sources for both books are quoted such as John Williams who Redknapp signed for Bournemouth in the days when philately still had a weekly stamp magazine and Redknapp was commencing his career in football managing.
Due to the investigative nature of this book many sources are reluctant to put their heads (and in particular, names) above the parapet. Crace investigates the contradictions of Redknapp's career - wheeler dealer or football genius, hard-edged business man or financial innocent, fiercely ambitious or content to be driven by Kevin Bond from his luxurious Sandbanks mansion in Millionaire's Row to a relatively close football club in London or Hampshire?
As in Redknapp's latest autobiography, the same names occur, Booby Moore, Billy Bonds, Frank Lampard, Peter Crouch, Jermaine Defoe, Steve Claridge, and the same football chairmen who have had success and failure with Redknapp at the helm.
The author finds it difficult to pin Redknapp down - is he tactically naive? simply a master of the one-liner? an expert at giving a soundbite out of an open car window?
Certainly it cannot be denied tat if Redknapp arrives at a club as a director of football or assistant manager then the manager should get ready to vacate his office and car-parking space. The chairman should be prepared for a tumultuous ride which invariably leads to the club where Harry has been employed suffering financial woes - most notably in the cases of Bournemouth and Portsmouth.
Crace comes to the view that Redknapp is one of the game's greatest survivors but the jury is still out as to whether he would have been a successful England manager (he was certainly the public choice as Keegan was but that ended in tears) or whether it would have been a step too far. His trophy cabinet contains very little apart from an FA Cup with Portsmouth and an Associate Members' Cup with AFC Bournemouth. He has never managed at the highest level but undoubtedly is charismatic. This book needs to be read in tandem with his autobiography in which Redknapp tries to justify various issues that Crace addresses such as not appearing to appreciate the genius of Gareth Bale immediately and comparing the scoring potential of his wife with Darren Bent.
Redknapp is undoubtedly an enigma - he is involved in local charitable causes but was one of the first managers to want a percentage of players' fees when sold at a profit - surely that is what the much despised agents collect when they hawk their players around the clubs? This is a fascinating read but it is probably far more difficult to pin Redknapp down than it is to stick a booklet pane into a stamp album!


Collecting British First Day Covers 2013
Collecting British First Day Covers 2013
by Adrian Bradbury
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Attractive British Cover Dictionary, 6 Mar. 2014
This is a well-produced but increasingly expensive compilation of British commemorative and definitive first day covers and their values in today's philatelic market.
The print is relatively small but a huge amount of detail, postmarks/handstamps and pictures of covers is included or rather packed in! Many covers appear to be extremely expensive but the huge number of modern covers with their equally enormous range of hand stamps and the equally massive total of new issues reveals that modern collectors cannot be beguiled into buying every issue or paying increasingly unrealistic prices.
A few years ago covers for new issues were well under £10 an issue but £20 per new issue is not uncommon. This is not just due to cover producers but the number of stamps in an issue and the value of the stamps in the issue. This catalogue is very well produced but it is sad to see how the number of issues has increased out of all proportion to the disposable income of potential cover collectors. Back in the 70's it was possible to purchase each handstamp, now it is virtually impossible to even illustrate each one!


The Official Everton Matchday Programme Book
The Official Everton Matchday Programme Book
by Sport Media
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Programme Perfection, 27 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a new way of enjoying football nostalgia. Instead of ghost-written "auto"biographies or collections of newspaper reports, this book looks at the history of a football club through its official mouthpiece and team list - the once humble football programme. This is often now called the "official matchday magazine" and hopefully other clubs will have similar books published.
This book basically comprises of covers and articles and photos and statistics taken directly from the programmes over the years.
Having collected occasional copies of the Everton programme in the late 60's/early 70's when the programme began to contain photos and eventually colour and clubs began to employ public relations officers, this book is a fascinating sporting, social and historical collection. Some of the extracts selected seem rather weak and there appears to be a totally random choice of various statistical pages included but these are minor quibbles as this is a most enjoyable book of memories, past joys and even regrets.


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