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sally tarbox (aylesbury bucks uk)
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5 x Plastic Extruding Syringes Dough Plasticine Mold Crafting Tool---Random Color
5 x Plastic Extruding Syringes Dough Plasticine Mold Crafting Tool---Random Color
Offered by RSE-shop
Price: £1.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Icing with Play Doh!, 1 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My 2 year old granddaughter was thrilled when these arrived, to go with the Playdoh and shape cutters.
Five differently coloured extruders, each with a cut out design at end. I have to say that apart from the one with lots of holes (which creates lots of little 'worms') the result is largely the same for them all. But the patterned ends are great for stamping embossed patterns with!
Also they require a little strength to fully depress the 'syringe' so a tiny tot needs a grown up to help. But we've had such fun with them, including sorting out which colour top goes with which extruder (!) that I can only heartily recommend them.
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Acabou
Acabou
by Tim Green
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars "Why me, for God's sake?", 1 Jan. 2016
This review is from: Acabou (Paperback)
The author was a commercial pilot, transporting equipment into Mozambique. While innocently changing some US dollars to pay for a meal, he was arrested for having fake currency and thrown into a notorious jail. Here he experienced both the best and worst of mankind: friendly cellmates and bullying guards. He describes the filthy conditions, the horrific 'medieval' punishment cells, and the fear and powerlessness he felt in the first weeks when he had no access to his wife or the outside world.
A shortish (153p) book, written in a clear narrative, the author interposes his own story with sections by his wife, at home in S Africa and struggling to help her husband.
It's an OK read; obviously a terrible experience for Mr Green, yet somehow lacking in the literary skill needed to deeply engage the reader.
Maybe *2.5


The Descent of the Lyre
The Descent of the Lyre
by Will Buckingham
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "I give you my son...may you and the holy saints do with him what you will", 30 Dec. 2015
I was immediately caught up in this story, right from the introduction where the reader is invited up a vividly described forest path in the Bulgarian Rhodope Mountains to a chapel. Among the frescos is an image of a saint, his wrists bandaged and a guitar over his shoulder.
The story of the (fictional) saint, Ivan Gelski, is beautifully told; from his youth under the brutal Ottoman regime, taking him across Europe. The reader sees parallels (at times) with Christ; elsewhere with Orpheus, the musician of mythology whose home was in this part of Bulgaria.
Utterly different and beautiful; a recommended read.


The Hen Who Dreamed she Could Fly
The Hen Who Dreamed she Could Fly
Price: £5.03

3.0 out of 5 stars "At the nexus of fable, philosophy, children's literature and nature writing", 27 Dec. 2015
Quite a charming little book, suitable for anyone from about ten up.
For a child, this will be read as an adventure tale, as we follow battery-farm chicken, Sprout. She longs to sit on her eggs and hatch them into babies, but "she couldn't so much as touch her own eggs, not even with the tip of her foot." And as Sprout gets old and exhausted, her future looks precarious...
But Sprout's courage and urge to achieve something in life lead her out into the world...
The adult reader will pick up on numerous deeper themes: motherhood, self-sacrifice, racism among others.
As I say it has a certain charm, but for me personally the short sentences and anthropomorphic characters failed to keep me riveted and though it was only 134 p (much of that simple b/w drawings) I was glad to get to the end.
Probably *2.5


My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain
My Fathers' Ghost is Climbing in the Rain
by Patricio Pron
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars "The memories I'd decided to recover, for me and for them and for those who would follow", 26 Dec. 2015
In a seemingly largely autobiographical work, the author describes his return to Argentina after years in Europe, living in a drug-fuelled state of forgetfulness. Just beneath the surface lurk hazy memories of life under the 1970s terror.
But as he visits his seriously ill father in hospital and trawls through his papers, he starts to unravel mysteries of their shared past.
As he observes: "Children are detectives of their parents, who cast them out into the world so that one day the children will return and tell them their story so that they themselves can understand it... they can try to impose some order on their story... then they can protect that story and perpetuate it in their memory."
The author does a convincing job of conveying the uncertain recollections, whether it's having missing chapter numbers or in quoting from a text where numerous words are illegible. The whole feeling of life during those years, and its legacy both on the adults and those who were just children, is dramatically captured.


Lingo: A Language Spotter's Guide to Europe
Lingo: A Language Spotter's Guide to Europe
by Gaston Dorren
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "The stories about Europe's scores of languages are compelling", 24 Dec. 2015
An interesting tour around the languages of Europe, from Faroese to Armenian to sign language to Esperanto. The author looks at why some tongues remain untouched over centuries while others change out of all recognition; considers dying languages, looks at the work of various linguists and introduces a plethora of odd and interesting linguistic facts.
As he writes in the introduction, it is "a guidebook of sorts, but in no sense an encyclopedia...it is intended as the French so enticingly put it, as an amuse-bouche."
Generally a light and entertaining work - even those who are knowledgable on the subject of languages will find plenty here that they were unaware of.


Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller
Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller
by Jackie Wullschlager
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars "He seemed ...to live in a world peculiarly his own, all his ideas, thoughts and actions differing from those around him", 20 Dec. 2015
The reader comes away from this work with a vivid picture of the great Danish author. From his lowly birth, son of an illiterate washerwoman, his early love of music and theatre, his shyness yet profound self-belief which prompted him to leave home to make his fortune in Copenhagen aged only 14, Wullschlager conducts us through his life.
Despite his fairy tales and enjoyment of the company of children, Andersen was far from being merely the naive and child-like personality which some attributed to him. Using his diaries and accounts of those who knew him, the author shows his often depressive and difficult character, and his constant craving for approbation - "We are suffering a good deal from Andersen" wrote Charles Dickens when the latter came for a lengthy stay.
Andersen's work (not just fairy tales but novels, plays, travel works, poetry, and latterly tales aimed at a more adult audience) are shaped by events in his life, and in exerpts from his writings Wullschlager points out the parallels between them.
With a number of b/w photos of Andersen and important places and people in his life, this leaves the reader with a feeling that s/he knows and somewhat understands the writer. Most enjoyable and interesting.


Drown
Drown
by Junot Diaz
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars The experiences of a Dominican Rep immigrant family, 14 Dec. 2015
This review is from: Drown (Paperback)
Short and deceptively simple stories, following the members of a Dominican republic family, and set both there and in their new home in New Jersey. Adulterous, bullying father, resentful mother and the principal narrator, younger son Yunior; the stories are glimpses into their lives, and the fact that they are not in chronological order adds massively to the impact. So as we see the unhappy household in the USA ("I'd written an essay in school called MY FATHER THE TORTURER, but the teacher made me write a new one. She thought I was kidding"), the final chapter that tells of Father's decision to bring his family over, after many years abandonment has a bitterness rather than the heart-warming feeling it might otherwise have conveyed.
Great writing.


Plastic dough rolling pin
Plastic dough rolling pin
Offered by neatsales
Price: £1.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Rolls out Play-Doh a treat!, 9 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Plastic dough rolling pin (Toy)
Purchased to go with Play Doh; it absolutely fits the bill, small enough for little hands.
Very fast service, can't fault it!


Play-Doh Classic Colors Play-Doh (Pack of 4)
Play-Doh Classic Colors Play-Doh (Pack of 4)
Offered by Zob 'n' Saf
Price: £6.47

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rolling, cutting, stamping ...endless fun!, 9 Dec. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Granddaughter is just coming up to two, so I decided to see what she thought of Play-Doh. It's still got the lovely 'cakey' smell that I recall from my own childhood 50 years ago!
I was tempted initially to spend out on one of the fun factory kits, but in the end found that I already had various cutters and plastic knives in drawer, so just bought the dough, a cheap little rolling pin and some extruders (haven't got them yet) to 'pipe' the dough.
This set gives you plenty of Play-Doh: red, bright blue, yellow and white, and we've been playing with it all afternoon. A value toy if ever there was one!
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