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Reviews Written by
C. L. Reichardt "vumba" (Johannesburg)
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Easter Cooking (Usborne Activities)
Easter Cooking (Usborne Activities)
by Rebecca Gilpin
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the best cookbook of this whole wonderfuls series, 12 Mar. 2010
This is a marvellous book, and probably the freshest of the excellent cookbooks in this series. As ever, the presentation is beautiful, and as I turned each page, I felt, "I must try that"! If it can evoke that response in an (admittedly somewhat childish) adult, imagine how a child would feel! I can't wait to get going on these recipes this weekend with my kids! BUY IT!


How to Draw Princesses and Ballerinas (Usborne Activities)
How to Draw Princesses and Ballerinas (Usborne Activities)
by Fiona Watt
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but aimed at older kids than most of this series, 4 Mar. 2010
I agree with the other reviewer that this is aimed at older kids than many of the other titles in the How to Draw series - my guess would be that this would appeal to 8-10 year old girls. The advantage of pitching at a older age group is that the projects aren't as 'babyish' as some of the others in the series, and so have more chance of holding adult interest. However, despite being well explained, I thought that some did require a modicum of artistic ability, which could be a challenge if you're completely devoid of creativity and/or in a rush and/or can't give your child undivided attention. This book uses a good range of techniques, involving paints, crayons, pencils and chalk/pastel and it's not exclusively aimed at drawing as there are also some collage projects. I particularly like the ballet-themed projects, but could see the appeal of virtually all of the proposed activities.


Fairy Things to Make and Do (Activities)
Fairy Things to Make and Do (Activities)
by Rebecca Gilpin
Edition: Misc. Supplies

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another (very girly) winner from this tried and trusted range, 4 Mar. 2010
These books seldom if ever disappoint, and this is a lovely book. Worth noting that it is extremely 'girly' (unsurprising given the subject matter) and probably only one or two of the activities would appeal to their brothers (suggest that you buy one of the 'boy themed' titles for them!). Some of the activities (such as making wands and tiaras) would be good birthday party activities provided that you were willing to do some advance preparation, and this book would be ideal fallback for a playdate when the weather turns nasty! One cynical question which applies to this whole wonderful series - where on earth are we parents then meant to display all these works of art (and that's not even taking into consideration what comes home from school)???!!!


Halloween Activities (Seasonal Activity Books)
Halloween Activities (Seasonal Activity Books)
by Fiona Watt
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!, 4 Mar. 2010
I am a complete sucker for these Usborne activity books, and this is another winner! One thing that I particularly like about the Activity (as opposed to the wonderful Things to Make and Do) series is that the activities include some simple baking/cooking recipes as well as craft-based activities. This book as excellent as it provides the opportunity to make a skeleton costume, witch's outfit and mask (as well as tips on facepainting) as well instructions on making a pumpkin lantern and some recipes for Halloween goodies - as well as some painting/craft projects. An all in one package that's ideal for keeping the kids busy, particularly if the weather is awful outside. It's worth noting that several of the craft projects in this book are also a little simpler than in other Make and Do books, which is particularly good for small kids - buy it!!!


Monster Things to Make and Do (Usborne Activities)
Monster Things to Make and Do (Usborne Activities)
by Rebecca Gilpin
Edition: Paperback

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good as always, 4 Mar. 2010
A good book that follows the Usborne Things To Make and Do formula - perhaps that's the only problem, as it is a little formulaic and maybe not as imaginative as some of the other titles in this wonderful series. I agree with the other reviewer in that kids couldn't do most o these without adult assistance, but when isn't part of the beauty of these books that parents get to enjoy doing the activities with their kids? Will probably appeal more to (tom)boys than girly girls just by virtue of the subject matter. Worth having if (like me) you're an Usborne junkie, but probably not the best title to start with if you're new to these books


Funnybones
Funnybones
by Allan Ahlberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why did it take me so long to discover this book?, 23 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Funnybones (Paperback)
I love this book, almost as much as my 3 year old son does. Another reviewer is quite correct ... the alliteration of the "dark, dark house" in a "dark, dark" street" is instantly memorable! I also adored the idea of skeletons having to resort to scaring each other because there was nobody else around! This is one book you won't mine reading time and time again - highly recommended!


Diggers Sticker Book
Diggers Sticker Book
by Alice Pearcey
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful - buy at least 2!, 23 Feb. 2010
This review is from: Diggers Sticker Book (Paperback)
My 3 year old son adores this book! It is beautifully designed and cleverly presents a wide range of scenarios in which diggers might be deployed (from a farm to an underground mine, as well as more conventional options in between). The stickers are removable (within the limits of the adhesive), which is nice, particularly for small children who don't always put things where they want to first time around. Would make a great alternative to a party pack for boys (certainly better than nutritionally valueless confections jammed full of sugar deritives and E numbers!)


I Can Draw People (Usborne Playtime)
I Can Draw People (Usborne Playtime)
by Ray Gibson
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful for children and adults alike!, 23 Feb. 2010
Like the companion "I can draw animals" title, this is absolutely brilliant. The genius of these books is how simple yet effective the presentation is, and the way that they teach children to build up drawings from basic shapes (a technique that they can then apply to other subjects). The subject matter is also well chosen, and will appeal to girls as well as boys. An ideal gift, perhaps combined with a drawing pad and some nice pencils?


I Can Draw Animals (Usborne Playtime)
I Can Draw Animals (Usborne Playtime)
by Ray Gibson
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A godsend for the artistically autistic!, 23 Feb. 2010
I can't draw to save my life, and even my daughter (then 5) realised how hopeless I was - devastating, as she shows signs of becoming a gifted artist and felt that I was letting down the side! This book is fantastically well presented, and the way that it teaches children (and adults) to break an object down into its basic shape elements not only teaches them to reproduce what's in the book, but ultimately to draw new items for themselves. I love this book, and would suggest it as an ideal present for small children


50 Science Things to Make & Do (Usborne Activities)
50 Science Things to Make & Do (Usborne Activities)
by Georgina Andrews
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully painless, enjoyable intro to science, 23 Feb. 2010
Brilliant introduction to science presented in such a way that they kids will only register that they're having enormous fun! If only more kids were exposed to this sort of book early on, we would not have so many problems with them grasping scientific principles in the future (I know, having struggled for five years with the distressingly limited appreciation of basic science exhibited by mining engineering undergraduates!). Parents will enjoy learning new and interesting things to, and it should go some way towards answering those tricky , "Why does it ... when...?" questions that children love to wrongfoot their parents with (correct answer: "Let's go and find out together"!). Most of the materials required are also fairly basic, so you shouldn't have to incur huge cost to undertake most of these activities. Another big advantage is that this book is not gender-specific, which is useful if you have both boys and girls (since some of the other titles in the brilliant Things to Make and Do series tend to focus on one gender)


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