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50 Science Things to Make and Do (Usborne Activities)
50 Science Things to Make and Do (Usborne Activities)
by Kate Knighton
Edition: Spiral-bound

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, compact introduction to 'sciency things', 10 Jan 2014
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I bought 2 copies of this book: one for a 9yr old who isn't studying science in school yet and my 6 year old who's experience with science is so far limited to variations on the baking soda and vinegar 'explosion'.
Both kids are delighted with the book. There's enough variety in it to provide interest but almost everything is simple enough and child-friendly enough to do with a pre-schooler present (I have a 3 year old who's very interested in it all) and manageable for someone who's never studied any science subject.

Pros:
1. The compact design and ring-bound pages make it easy to store and use and great to keep beside you as you work (bigger books take up too much space in the work area).
2. Colourful step by step illustrations help engage kids and keep you on track while helping.
3. The variety of activities is great - introducing things like magnetism, hydro power, wind power, studying our environment/nature, optical illusion, sound vibrations, memory, crystal formation, DNA, light, how our brains read, etc. Some of the activities are ideal for 'demonstration' for smaller kids while others are very 'hands-on'.
4. Each activity has a 'what's happening' explanation of the science to help us science-ignorant parents help our kids understand and to encourage questions/learning.
5. Just about everything you need for these activities will already be in your home except for a VERY strong magnet and a magnifying glass (I got one of those big colourful kids ones and it was a huge hit!).

Cons
1. The compact design means smaller text so if you've got sight problems you might want a larger book.
2. The step by step is clear but without a separate list of what's needed, you do have to read through each activity carefully before gathering the necessary materials.
3. As already said by other reviewers, there are other similar books with more activities in them so if you feel your child/you will want to do more or have more choice, this may not be the book for you.
4. If your child is already studying science, the activities in this book may be a little too basic for him/her

Overall, this was exactly the book I hoped it would be and my 6 year old is giddy with excitement over every activity in it (we've tried several since Christmas and he's reviewed the book many many times!). The 9 year old is suddenly very keen on science as a result of receiving the book too.
As a first introduction to science I think it's pretty great and small enough that the information isn't overwhelming.


Danny Bhoy - Live at The Festival Theatre [DVD]
Danny Bhoy - Live at The Festival Theatre [DVD]
Dvd ~ Danny Bhoy
Offered by The Happy Zombie
Price: 3.25

3.0 out of 5 stars Great fun but not his best, 10 Jan 2014
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This DVD will provide a few laughs though probably not have your sides aching. There's a lot of repeat material from Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow (if you watch it) on TV and it's definitely not his best work but still good fun.


Andrew James 2 Tier Spice / Herb Rack Wall Mountable or Kitchen Cupboard Storage
Andrew James 2 Tier Spice / Herb Rack Wall Mountable or Kitchen Cupboard Storage
Offered by Andrew James UK LTD
Price: 17.95

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, 4 Dec 2012
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Great product. Comes with screws etc. to attatch to a wall or inside a cupboard. Fits standard size spice jars (swartz-type) and slightly bigger ones too. This has really helped save my (already limited) counter space and my herbs are now neatly organised and easy to find.


Andrew James 1 Tier Spice / Herb Rack Wall Mountable or Kitchen Cupboard Storage
Andrew James 1 Tier Spice / Herb Rack Wall Mountable or Kitchen Cupboard Storage
Offered by Andrew James UK LTD
Price: 9.95

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, 4 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great product. Comes with screws etc. to attatch to a wall or inside a cupboard. Fits standard size spice jars (swartz-type) and slightly bigger ones too. This has really helped save my (already limited) counter space and my herbs are now neatly organised and easy to find.


Tyrannosaurus Drip
Tyrannosaurus Drip
by Julia Donaldson
Edition: Paperback
Price: 3.46

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 13 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Tyrannosaurus Drip (Paperback)
My 4 year old son got this 'from Santa' as he's crazy about dinosaurs. He LOVES it. It was read in his montessori class to children aged 2 1/2 - 5 years and they all really enjoyed it too.

It's another gem from Julia Donaldson with funny illustrations and wonderful fun rhymes that flow so beautifully and easily no matter how tired you are reading it to your child at bedtime!

The story is about a duckbill dinosaur egg that accidentally ends up in a tyrannosaurs nest and when it hatches, the t-rex family are full of disappointment and critisism for the baby duckbill dinosaur, calling him 'Tyrannosaurus Drip'. He tries to fit in but simply can't so he runs away and finds himself drawn to the water, discovering he can swim! He's welcomed by a herd of duckbill dinosaurs who are full of encouragement and little Tyrannosaurus Drip can't believe it when he looks into the water and realises that he's not a tyrannosaurus at all but a duckbill dinosaur. One night a storm blows a tree across the river, allowing the t-rex family to cross to the duckbills (whom they want to eat) but little Tyrannosaurus Drip scares them by pointing out their own reflections in the water and they jump with fright, breaking the fallen tree trunk, falling into the water and being washed off down a waterfall. In the end, Tyrannosaurus Drip is the hero and lives happily ever after with his new name 'Duckbill Drip'.

If I had a complaint about the story it's that I don't like the idea of the 'running away from home' bit but it's not enough to take from the sheer delight this book brings. I've read it maybe 100 times by my son's request in less than a year and I'm not bored of it yet!


Scholastic Reader Level 2: Inside a House That Is Haunted (Scholastic Reader - Level 2 (Quality))
Scholastic Reader Level 2: Inside a House That Is Haunted (Scholastic Reader - Level 2 (Quality))
by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Edition: Paperback
Price: 2.42

5.0 out of 5 stars A certain favourite, 13 Oct 2012
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I've bought too many halloween books for my kids but this one's a favourite!
The illustrations are colourful, quirky and fun.
It's easy and fun to read - easy for a listener to follow whether or not they're looking at the pictures.
It's full of your usual halloween 'characters': monster, spider, ghost, cat, haunted house, bats, owl, mummy and skeleton so your child can familiarise him or herself with them without anything creepy about it.

The story flows quickly (it's one of those stories you can read so fast you end up taking a dramatic big breath at the end of a paragraph!) and can't help but bring a smile and a giggle. Maybe not ideal for the excitable child at bedtime but very enjoyable nonetheless.

It starts with 'Here is a house that is haunted' and an illustration of a house in starlight with broken shutters etc. and then the fun starts...

'Here is a hand that knocked on the door outside a house that is haunted.(picture of a green frankenstein's monster-type hand)
'Here is the hand that knocked on the door...and startled the spider that dropped to the floor inside a house that is haunted'.

As the story goes on, with a delightful illustration to match each new action/character the knock startles the spider, the spider drops to the floor and frightens a ghost who wakes up and cries 'boo', surprising a cat that screeched 'mew', who shook up bats that flew through the air , which jolted an owl that called 'who, who's there?', spooking a mummy who ran with a shriek, rattling a skeleton who moved with a creak, waking a monster who stomps on huge feet, who throws open the door to hear 'trick or treat!'...
...giving all the startled creatures such a fright they run out of the haunted house!

I enjoy reading this book every bit as much as my son (almost 5) likes to hear it. I'm looking forward to him learning to read it for himself as I'm sure it'll give him great satisfaction then too.

Another plus for me is the size of the book - it's close to A5 so easy to take along if you need something to keep your child occupied in a waiting room and I'm sure it'll help when it comes to my son reading it for himself.


Ghosts in the House!
Ghosts in the House!
by Kazuno Kohara
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.08

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost too simple, 13 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Ghosts in the House! (Paperback)
While the artwork for this book is certainly different and the idea behind the story is really sweet, I found it a bit too simple - even for small kids. There's only a few lines (about 18 sentences) of reading so it's really about showing your child the images and letting them take what they want from that but even that felt a bit 'blah' for me I'm afraid.
The story flows very poorly from page to page so reading it is a bit disjointed - especially when you have to stop to look at the pictures (sometimes the pictures tell you things that the text doesn't so you *have* to look at them) - I'm never a fan of having to turn a page to finish a sentence if it wasn't a 'natural' place for a pause in reading.
I can't see this becoming a regular read in our house. I think the best I can hope for is that when the kids are learning to read for themselves it might be good practice for them.


Ten Timid Ghosts
Ten Timid Ghosts
by Jennifer O'Connell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 2.37

5.0 out of 5 stars So sweet, 13 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Ten Timid Ghosts (Paperback)
This is such a sweet book!
Nothing fussy or scary at all in this book - just harmless halloween chuckles and a bit of seasonal fun in learning to count (backwards).
The illustrations are fun and interesting enough to take a moment to look at after reading.
The text is very legible (helpful for bedtime reading by night light!) and the story is simple and quick to read (also a plus at bedtime).
It's not a very strong book for kids who are rough at page turning but I suppose if you're in that situation, stick with board-back books!!


Scary, Scary Halloween
Scary, Scary Halloween
by Eve Bunting
Edition: Paperback
Price: 4.11

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No fun at all, 13 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Scary, Scary Halloween (Paperback)
I read several online reviews before deciding to buy this book for my son (4yrs). Unfortunately it was a big disappointment - no fun at all. I'd skip this one if you're considering it. There are so many better titles out there that have more exciting/sweet/quirky images and more interesting reading. This story is empty of any character or real appeal - nothing to latch onto as a reader or listener.
My son loves Halloween almost as much as I do and knows all the usual 'characters' and symbols well but for some reason this book made no sense to either of us and held little if any interest.
The images are rather strange (like someone painted over photographs) and slightly creepy. The story is basically a list of a handful of scary creatures (seeming creepy and sinister) passing by as told by a cautious mother cat to her kittens. Trouble is, on first read, you don't understand that point of view until the end and even then I had to explain it to my son, who by that stage just wasn't interested and ended up asking more questions rather than offering the 'oh, so that's it!' I half expected! The sinister feeling doesn't go away once you realise it's just kids in fancy dress scaring the cats as they go trick-or-treating, you just feel a bit let down.


The 13 Nights of Halloween
The 13 Nights of Halloween
by Guy Vasilovich
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book!, 13 Oct 2012
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This book is a gem as far as I'm concerned!
I bought it in hardback and I'm so glad I did because it'll need to last through hundreds of readings!
Filled with lots of recognised halloween sympbols: witches, bats, skulls, vampires, goblins, ghosts, corpses, eyeballs, werewolves, demons it's fun to read and provides a bit of a giggle and none of the 'ick' or scariness of halloween.
The illustrations are wonderfully quirky, colourful and fun.
The text is easy to read (even by a bedtime night light!).
Sure to be a favourite for years to come.


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