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Alison (London, UK)

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Fairy Friends [With Sparkly Stickers] (Tinkerbell)
Fairy Friends [With Sparkly Stickers] (Tinkerbell)
by Disney Storybook Artists
Edition: Paperback
Price: £2.48

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality colouring book, 13 Oct 2012
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This has very few stickers, yes they are sparkly but really just a few added to beef up what is a pretty poor quality colouring book.
It uses that rough, yellow hued paper, the kind that wears out your felt tips, so not the best. I would have expected at least smooth white paper of better quality for the price.
You can find so many large colouring and sticker books in even your local pound shops that beat this.

I have seen actually seen another disney fairies sticker book in WH Smith that while at £6.99, is not cheap, (paying for the brand), it was far superior to this in quality and amount of stickers with "scenes" to put them on.

Lalaloopsy Doll Mango Tiki Wiki
Lalaloopsy Doll Mango Tiki Wiki
Offered by Kinderspieleland
Price: £29.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun doll, 1 Oct 2012
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
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Just caught onto these Lalaloopsy dolls as was looking for something for my 3 year old. Yes I know they say from age 4, but really there is nothing about this doll that would be unsuitable for 3 years upwards.

I like the fact they have a little story behind each one, taking on the characteristsics of the "material" from which they were "sewn", I like that they have varied skin tones, and they are quite original in look and design.
As lots of people have noted, a great rethinking of the traditional rag doll.

Mango Tiki Wiki has brown complexion and dark hair in such a cute design.

I think some people get put off because they are all moulded plastic but actually I find this adds to their appeal. There are plenty soft bodied rag dolls on the market. Because they are moulded plastic they can give them varied hair colours and skin colours.
I love the button eyes (for that "just sewn" effect).
Its Just nice to see some positive dolls out there (for boys and girls as they have boy dolls too!).
These aren't precocious like the "teen" and "tween" dolls and products we are having thrusted upon our daughters, and many (for example "Dot Starlight" - A scientist) are positive role models...

A piece of fun, but they are very appealing, even more so when you see them "in the flesh".
I think they're good quality nice toys anyway.

Fair Trade Handmade Recycled Rag Rug Large 6 x 4ft
Fair Trade Handmade Recycled Rag Rug Large 6 x 4ft
Offered by Lastminute Deals
Price: £27.55

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely rug, 1 Oct 2012
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Beautiful rug!
I haven't ever seen one like this in the shops as the colours are so bright and cheery. I have often found other rag rugs a bit dingy.
Its lovely quality, really well made.
I saw another reviewer describe it as thinner than they expected but can't say I find this to be the case? This does have a nice natural cushion to it, it's not paper thin or anything.
We have it on our Laminate floor in the Living room and it is lovely and warm under foot. (Just put a non slip rubber grip mat underneath).
Bought this to replace another rug that took the brunt of our Potty training toddler! Happy to have this as it would be washable for any "future accidents" . Could quite easily fit in our washing machine, even this 6ft size one.

Really cheers up any room. We'e ready for another Grey english winter now.

Children's Stories From Africa [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Children's Stories From Africa [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Nandi Nyembe
Offered by supermart_usa
Price: £8.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice Authentic collection., 18 Aug 2012
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This is a nice collection. It must have been a TV series, (I am presuming from South Africa?) with traditional African children's stories, i.e. why Elephant has a long trunk, etc etc.

The female storyteller is very engaging and, my two year old really loves watching this..
Filmed in a TV studio but with the stage set to look like the outside of a traditional house in a traditional country village. The storyteller is Zulu and introduces children to her language too, i.e. saying hello and goodbye etc.

Each tale is accompanied with some pictures (like showing the page from a book), but mainly with the storyteller recounting the story. There are also sections with young children accompanying in traditional song and dance in the studio, which really are lovely too.

Highly recommend this for any lovers of african tales. The only thing that lets it down is the slightly dated looking film quality, but this is not a big hindrance. Don't expect some some big budget production, but the studio setting and decor, costumes etc are really good. Similar to any BBC children's production.
Introduces your children to traditional african story-telling. For anyone who only knows the tales from the Tinga Tinga animated CBBC series ! Really nice to see.

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
by Kadir Nelson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.26

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!, 15 May 2012
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I could buy up every book that Kadir Nelson has illustrated, cut out the pages and frame them all over my home. That's how much I love this mans work!

I am in awe at the beautiful images of humanity that he captures, the way light falls on skin, the glint in an eye, he just creates beauty.

With regards this book, it is just a simple sing song of the gospel/campfire favourite that has now surpassed any particular Religious denomination or creed and can just speak for humankind. The "He" of the original can be translated to whatever you wish it to be. Each page is a refrain from the song.
Like most of Kadir Nelson's work this book is another beautiful portrayal of African people thankfully adding to the still sadly limited portrayal of black people in children's publishing. He shows a mainly african-american family seen through the sons eyes, but with multi-cultural additions, as most families are in this day and age.

It is a lovely book. My two year old has already made this one of her nightly favourites, joining in with every page.

Just buy this for the superb illustrations, and then go and order every other book he has graced with his art, you will not be disappointed!

Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous memories, 15 May 2012
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This review is from: PETER'S CHAIR (Paperback)
I have a vague memory of seeing this book and having it read to me as a child in the 70's and was thrilled to come across it again.
The first in Ezra Jack Keats series "A snowy day" and this one that followed it were the first US children's books to portray an african american child as the leading character, and to show a multi-cultural Brooklyn of the 1960's. Perhaps why it was so memorable to me as a child in England.
Possibly better known across the pond, where the author is cherished, it would be wonderful to see the series more widely available here in the UK, especially when I find it can still be difficult to find positive/main images of black people in children's books.
I would recommend every one of this authors books, simple tales lovingly told.
Just introduced them to my two year old daughter and hope they will stay with her too.

Tinga Tinga Tales: Why Lion Roarrrs!
Tinga Tinga Tales: Why Lion Roarrrs!
by Tiger Aspect
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written, 15 May 2012
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I Love the Tinga Tinga series for the wonderful animations, enchanting stories, and fun characterisations but the company behind that sadly misses the spot here when it comes to compiling into written stories.
They seem to have tried to translate the animated version so literally that the page is full of dialogue with little clarification as to who has said what. Almost like reading a comic book. It makes for awkward reading when trying to read out loud to a small child and I end up interjecting "said Lion", "Said Hippo" etc etc.. to make it intelligible. They are very poorly written.

Might be Ok for older children who can read it themselves but the TV series is aimed at Pre-schoolers, so this isn't really the case.

Buy these Tinga Tinga Books for the fab artwork and fun stories but be prepared to elaborate a bit when reading it to your children.

I would recommend the African folks tales series by Mwenye Hadithi (Greedy Zebra, Lazy Lion etc..) as a far better written version.

A Bed of Your Own
A Bed of Your Own
by Mij Kelly
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A children's classic in the making, 15 May 2012
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This review is from: A Bed of Your Own (Hardcover)
This book, as with the others in the series ("Atchoo!" and "Where's my Potty?") Are some of the most entertaining pre-school reading I have encountered. Up there with the likes of Giles Andreas' ("Giraffes can't dance", and "The Chimps of Happytown"), in terms of humour, quality of writing, warmth and cleverness.

Written, like the others in such a delightful, out-loud readable, poetic form, this story again recounts the tale of Susie Sue, who attempts to go to bed only to find she has a lot of unwanted company in the form of the cow, horse, sheep and goat from previous tales unwilling to tuck down in their own beds.
The story unfolds in the most humorous fashion as each animal appears from under the covers complaining about their inability to sleep due to the thoughtlessness of the others. So Susie Sue leads them back to their own bed, tucks them in and then explains how it is not just going to bed but falling asleep that is the trick, only to fall asleep in their bed as part of her demonstration. The animals return the favour by carrying her back to her own bed, explaining how each creature has their place to sleep.....the final page exclaiming Susie Sue asleep in her own bed........ AS YOU SHOULD BE TOO !

The illustrations are beautiful, humorous and warm and add so much to the story, my two year old can't get enough of this book, well all three of these authors efforts. And I can't get enough of reading them.

These should become children's classics and I can't recommend highly enough.
Not only being great "tools" to deal with toddlers issues (Potty training, manners, bedtimes) they are books that will stay with you through childhood and be long remembered, and I can't think of higher praise than that.

In the Land of Shak Shak Tree
In the Land of Shak Shak Tree
by Jade Small
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Caribbean storybook., 17 Dec 2011
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A very nice book in poem form about a young childs' journey from cold, rainy England to Barbados, home of his family, for a holiday, and all that he encounters (think it is a little boy? but could be either which is nice)

The reminder of Barbados, "land of shave ice and the mango..... and home to the magical Shak Shak Tree" refrains throughout, interspersed with the childs' adventures accompanied with full page illustrations that really capture caribbean culture and characters so well.

A Shak Shak tree is so called because it produces large long seed pods that make a great "Shak Shak" sound when shaken, like a maraca, and much loved by children.

A Really great book for any UK born children of Caribbean heritage (not just bajan!) as it captures so much of the feel and the pictures are really full of fun, colourful detail. All children will enjoy picking out the comedy.
Our daughter is half Bajan so will be lovely for her to relate to this as she grows up (she is only a toddler now)

One thing, I came upon the book at the end of a few pages of searching for caribbean children's stories, and almost missed it. I wonder why when it is such a lovely book?

The Princess and the Pea
The Princess and the Pea
by Rachel Isadora
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.79

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Artwork., 17 Dec 2011
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Rachel Isadora's reworking of classic European fairy tales are worth purchasing for the artwork alone.

Not a great deal is added to the story, other than it being set in Africa, and the writing is little and to the point, suitable for pre-school onwards, but the gorgeous illustrations and beautiful portrayal of African people, colour and vibrance is a pleasure to behold.

Great for children of African heritage (and I mean by that the wider African diaspora) and everyone else too.
Where so much of childrens culture is dominated by Eurocentric/western images and thought, it's great to have a twist on things and give Afrikan children a chance to see themselves and african culture given focus and perspective at last.

I am also happy to see characters portrayed with their hair in locks too, as my child has, and many of rachel Isadora's books do so.

Really, a great book for all young children and parents tired of the same old images and stories being trotted out.

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