Profile for Mrs. Sba Francis > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Mrs. Sba Francis
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,525,489
Helpful Votes: 156

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Mrs. Sba Francis (Carmarthen, Wales)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
Napisan Germicidal in-wash Stain Remover with active Oxygen fot Whites and Colours Non-Bio 500g
Napisan Germicidal in-wash Stain Remover with active Oxygen fot Whites and Colours Non-Bio 500g

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent product, 7 Sep 2011
I have been a fan of Napisan for years. It's excellent for removing stains and whitening up old tablecloths, bed linen etc, as well as nappies, clothes and anything that just needs a really good freshening up. Use for soaking things in water over night, or add to your washing machine powder.


Usborne Sticker Atlas of Britain and Ireland (Usborne Sticker Atlases)
Usborne Sticker Atlas of Britain and Ireland (Usborne Sticker Atlases)
by S.R. Turnbull
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hours of fun!, 15 Mar 2009
This has been a great sticker book for my 3 year old daughter. We have done pages together, but she also loves to just match the correct sticker to its picture on her own. It has created lots of conversations about where we live, and where her cousins and grandparents live, as well as places we have visited. She now has a list of places she wants to visit, too. For early interest in geography and the wider world, as well as lots of plain old sticker fun, I highly recommend this book.


Benjamin and the Box (Picture Lions S.)
Benjamin and the Box (Picture Lions S.)
by Alan Baker
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Humour, 23 Sep 2006
This sweet story is packed with gentle humour and lots for young children to look at. Benjamin the Hamster finds a wooden box marked 'Fragile' and decides to break into it using a variety of tools, from a screwdriver to an axe, and finally dynamite, before the box opens and he discovers something very special inside. The illustrations are charming - please don't be put off by the age of the book.


The Defiant Child: A Parent's Guide to Oppositional Defiant Disorder
The Defiant Child: A Parent's Guide to Oppositional Defiant Disorder
by Douglas A. Riley
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.49

101 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Calm and Reasoned Response, 2 Feb 2003
Dealing with a child who seems to be constantly pushing the barriers is an exhausting way to live, and Dr Riley's book has been of immense use in trying to calm the entire family situation down. Using accessible language and calm, measured tones, Dr Riley takes the frustrated parent step by step through processes designed to not only initially quieten a situation, but deal with the issues in the long run.
Don't be put off buying the book if you feel that your child is not an ODD kid; many of the measures are firm and reasonable enough to deal with kids who are excessive in their behaviour, without maybe being oppositional. The layout of the book is such that a parent can choose the methods that seem most suited to the child and the behaviour.
We were most impressed with the book's no-nonsense approach to child rearing. Too many books seem to take a wishy-washy approach to children who drive the parents mad, somehow attaching the blame to the parents. Dr Riley asks you to look at the family situation, but also points out that many children are just oppositional, it's a part of their nature, and blame is not to be attached. Instead, he offers practical ideas on how to deal with the situation you are in.
I would recommend this book not just to parents, but to teachers of defiant children as well.


Terror in the Toilets (Graveyard School)
Terror in the Toilets (Graveyard School)
by Tom B. Stone
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Ghostly Toilet Humour, 28 Jan 2003
When I was expected to read this story to my son, I must admit my heart sank at the rather grim title, and the garish front cover - a toilet papered Mummy in sneakers. Naturally I expected trash of the lowest order, but in all fairness I now have to admit that as children's 'horror' goes, this one isn't too bad at all!
The story is fast paced and reasonably scary: a ghost is haunting the boy's new toilets, freezing doors, emitting a ghastly stench of burning, rotten meat, and behaving in a manner suitable to Poltergeist. Alex and his friends have become personally involved in this terror, and become rather reluctant ghostbusters. The scary parts are suitably interspersed with some entertaining (to children, anyway)toilet humour and the whole thing comes to a satisfyingly grim conclusion with the appearance of an ancient coffin in the middle of the loos.
So, why not 5 stars? Because the ending was unsatisfactory. We do not find out who the ghost was, or why exactly he was haunting those loos, other than that they had been rebuilt over his grave. The explanation that when alive he must have been a troublemaker was disappointing, and on finishing the novel we were left feeling rather unfulfilled and flat.
Nevertheless, as entertaining and light reading goes, do not be put off by the name and cover, but sit back and enjoy the ghostly antics.


Down with the Romans (Coming Alive)
Down with the Romans (Coming Alive)
by Stewart Ross
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Meek Boudicea?, 28 Jan 2003
This novel is a fairly interesting overview of Queen Boudicca's revolt against the Romans in the first century A.D. The language used is reasonably challenging for a 7 year old, and the added glossary at the back further expands the vocabulary. My son enjoyed the story and the 'strange names' of the Celts and Romans, and as an introduction to Roman and early British history, the novel worked well.
My main gripe with the novel was the rather 20th century, politically correct view of Boudicca towards a massacre of the Romans - she wanted fairness and mercy, qualities I certainly would never have associated with an ancient Celtic woman who was obviously gutsy enough to rule over a tribe of Iceni warriors. (Naturally,the wishes of the Iceni warriors won out, and massacred the Romans certainly were).
An author's license is all very well, and granted, there are few enough details for the author to want to add his own and pad out a sketchy story, but must all history be rewritten to suit the slightly more anxious palattes of modern parents? Enough airbrushing - let the children get to grips with heroes and heroines who weren't all lily-livered do-gooders.


The Mick Inkpen Treasury
The Mick Inkpen Treasury
by Mick Inkpen
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beuatiful book, 15 Jan 2003
Mick Inkpen is a perennial favourite in our house, and this book is a beautiful addition to the Inkpen collection we are building up. As ever, Inkpen's illustrations are a delight, the expressions on his character's faces capturing so well the feelings of everyone, from little boys to roaring dragons. For both children and adults, his style and humour keep us returning night after night with great pleasure. I love all the stories, but must admit that "Bear" is my personal favourite. We bought the book for our 4 year old, but I notice that my 7 year old is sneaking it into his room at night, after his brother is asleep, so I guess Mick Inkpen really does manage to appeal to nearly all ages!


The Story of Tracy Beaker
The Story of Tracy Beaker
by Jacqueline Wilson
Edition: Hardcover

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real kid's kid, 15 Jan 2003
Tracy Beaker is a real life, believable 10 year old - she's offensive, defensive, loud, obnoxious, occasionally violent, and totally lovable. If she was real I think we'd foster her!
The novel is a warm look at life as a child in care, with all the ups and downs, loves and hates that that engenders. In no way is Tracy a Pollyanna character who can see the best in every situation, but she is a gutsy and intelligent girl who just deals with all the situations that life throws at her. And this is where she is so endearing to other children - she IS naughty (sometimes, she's horrendous!), she DOES get into trouble and spends time in the quiet room - she does many things that my son could identify with, and she suffers the consequences, just as he has to! She is a child who other children can relate to. And like they have to, she just gets on with it.
The ending is open, with no decisions made, no new life to go to - but there is the hope that this will happen. And indeed, how else could Jacqueline Wilson end it? Life has no certainties in reality, no sure-fire happy endings, but it does have lashings of ups and downs and ladles of hope - and so does the novel. I - and my son - heartily recommend it!


The Green Hawk
The Green Hawk
by Aeres Twigg
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable - but what interest group is it for?, 15 Jan 2003
This review is from: The Green Hawk (Paperback)
I read this book with my 7 year old son over three nights - we enjoyed it as it is set in Carmarthen and we have just moved to the area, but I found that there were to many unanswered questions for me too fully enjoy it.
Mark is about 10 years old when he finds The Green Hawk, an ancient brooch from Roman times. The brooch comes with it's own ghost, an increasingly unpleasant Roman boy who tells Mark a bit about old Carmarthen. And that, of course, should be the main premise of the story - an overview of Carmarthen history and the build up of the ghost's suspicious behaviour. Where then, does the school inter-sports come into it? It seems to me that Aeres Twigg was not exactly sure what kind of a novel she wanted to write, and what kind of a child she wanted to aim for. Both my 7 year old and I lost interest towards the end of the story, as the details of the races seemed to have no bearing whatsoever on the mystery of Cellus and the brooch.
We both wanted to know who Leo was exactly; and what was the importance of Llansteffan and the estuary to Cellus? Did Rhys himself work out what Cellus was like? And did Mark, really? The novel is a reasonable read, for 7 years and up, but I would not heartily recommend it.


The Qumran Mystery
The Qumran Mystery
by Eliette Abecassis
Edition: Paperback

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A New Perspective, 8 Jan 2003
This review is from: The Qumran Mystery (Paperback)
For those of us who are fascinated by Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, this novel is a must, though more because of the interesting perspective Abecassis places on the Scroll mystery itself and the birth of Christianity, than because it is a great novel, or a particulary gripping thriller. The characters are somewhat one dimensional, the conversations heavy, the dialogue unrealistic - but having said all that, I still found the novel hard to put down. This is due to the utterly fascinating premise that Christianity was a sect of the Essenes, and would have occurred anyway, whether or not there ever was a Jesus. Add to this the idea that the Essenes still live, and still live at Qumran, and the reader becomes philosophically involved in a journey through his own and the author's beliefs. If you enjoy a murder story, and you are interested in the Scroll mystery, I would recommend this novel.


Page: 1 | 2