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Profile for Mrs. S. R. Wray > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
Mrs. S. R. Wray "Sarah Wray - writer of teen fiction" (Belfast)

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Desktop Henry Vacuum Cleaner
Desktop Henry Vacuum Cleaner

1.0 out of 5 stars No suction at all, 25 Jan. 2011
The desktop Henry Vacuum cleaner is cute and makes a noise, so if you just wanted it as a toy then it would be fine. Ours was intended to clean our desktop - which it claims to do, but sadly, it doesn't. The toy has no suction at all (at least ours didn't - some people seem to be happy with the suction, so maybe they're hit and miss as to whether you get a working one). If you're looking for a working desk vacuum, based on my experience, I'd say - look elsewhere.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars The wheels on the bus..., 10 Nov. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I run a parent and toddler group, and each week we have 'singing time'. I have a large bag of props for singing time, but didn't have a bus (for The Wheels on the Bus go round and round - a very popular tune with the wee ones). I bought this over half term and it was a huge hit. It's a lovely bright cheery looking bus, soft and cuddly, and big enough to stand out in front of the group, but not too big to fit in my bag - I think The Wheels on the Bus is going to be even more popular now!


Little Tikes Country Cottage Primary
Little Tikes Country Cottage Primary

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lasts forever!, 10 Nov. 2010
I run a parent and toddler group, and I went to a large toy shop chain a few years ago looking to buy a playhouse. A woman overheard me asking about them, and offered me one that had been in her garden for years and that her children had now outgrown. It was this little Tikes Country Cottage. It took me quite some time to scrub off all the green stuff that had grown on it after years of being outdoors, but once I did, the house was in perfect condition - as good as new! It has now been used by our parent and toddler group for years as well as two other groups who use the same room and it's still going strong, and still really popular with all the pre-school kids who attend. If you have to buy it new, it's quite an investment, but at least you can rest assured that you're getting a quality item.


Dance on Broadway (Wii)
Dance on Broadway (Wii)
Offered by Revolution Media
Price: £3.29

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lots of fun - great songs, 8 Sept. 2010
My kids tried to talk me out of buying this game because they'd read bad reviews on gaming websites. I really wanted it thought because it looked like a lot of fun on the TV advert, and it has the kind of music I love to sing and prance about the house to. Well, we were both right (although I was more right!) because I've had a blast playing this game. The songs are brill! It has some of my favourite songs from Cabaret and Chicago and Little Shop of Horrors, as well as other songs that I didn't know so well, but have now become favourites. The dance moves vary from pretty gentle and easy to quite tricky and strenuous (although some of the same moves appear in different songs, so you get the hang of them) and I find I play for about an hour at a time and work up quite a sweat (lovely) which means it's exercising me too.

From a gaming point of view, I can see why the kids dissed it - the graphics are pretty blocky, and there doesn't seem to be any way of saving high scores, so there's no sense of competing with yourself or progressing. But I don't care about that. All I wanted was to dance to my favourite songs, and I can do that so I'm happy.


Life Signs: Hospital Affairs (Nintendo DS)
Life Signs: Hospital Affairs (Nintendo DS)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I preferred this to Trauma Centre, 8 Sept. 2010
I'm about two thirds of the way through this game and I'm really enjoying it. The operations are a minor part of the game and hard enough without being impossible (unlike in Trauma centre, where I found the operations to be frustratingly difficult). The rest of the time you go about talking to people and showing them objects to trigger responses from them. Sometimes if you show the wrong object at the wrong time it can change the course of the story, so you have to think carefully about what you're doing. I like the stories and the characters, and there are random little mini-games that pop up and are quite fun (like fishing, or catching snakes).

Also, some games, including ds games give me a kind of motion sickness (nausea and headache) but this one doesn't which is a huge bonus for me.


One Day
One Day
by David Nicholls
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.29

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't like it at first, but it really grew on me, 4 Sept. 2010
This review is from: One Day (Paperback)
At first I didn't like this book - both the characters annoyed me, especially the posh idiot, Dexter, and although I quite liked the lacking-in-self-confidence-but-funny northern lass, Emma, I didn't feel that deep of a connection with her. Perhaps that's how it is in life though, it takes a while to form a connection and years to really know and love a person and as the years (or chapter) passed, I did start to care about both characters and by the end of the book I was genuinely upset (actually I was crying like a colicky baby). The book had some very funny lines as well so I can honestly say, 'It made me laugh, it made me cry.... And at the end of the day, what more can you ask for.


Derwent Inktense Watercolour Pencils Wooden Box - Set of 72
Derwent Inktense Watercolour Pencils Wooden Box - Set of 72
Price: £84.80

39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use - great results, 27 Aug. 2010
I won a wooden box set of these inktense pencils (my box only has 40 pencils) from a competition on an online art website. I have done one drawing/painting with them (I tried adding it as a customer image to this Amazon page so hopefully it will appear soon). I'm not an artist, I just like drawing/painting for fun, and I was just back from a holiday in Old Nice when my prize arrived so I had a go making a picture from one of my holiday photos.
I found the pencils really easy to use, and the effect when I went over the drawing with a wet paintbrush was stunning.
I would recommend trying out the effect of adding water to the pencils on a bit of scrap paper first, as the colours sometimes look quite different after they've been wet.
The outlining pencil is perfect for sketching and doesn't run when wet.
I had fun playing around with making washes with lightly drawn pencil and lots of water, and making very intense bold colours with dark shading and only the tiniest bit of water. I'm looking forward to trying different styles and subjects with these pencils and would recommend them to anyone, even rank amateurs like me!
The wooden presentation box is very nice too - looks and feels like quality, and the pull out drawers make the pencils very accessible while keeping them neat and in order.
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Making Whoopies: The Official Whoopie Pie Book
Making Whoopies: The Official Whoopie Pie Book
by Nancy Griffin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Recipes all in American, 19 Aug. 2010
I won this book from a magazine free draw, which was quite exciting. It is a cute little glossy book with a lot of background info about Woopie pies and 16 recipes at the back. I thought, great - I'll make some of these with my kids. Then I saw the ingredient lists. I can cope with the Americanisms like confectioners sugar for icing sugar, and all purpose flour for plain flour, but the problem is with other ingredients - vegetable shortening (a common ingredient in American baking, but not readily available here) and marshmallow fluff which was in all the recipes and I've never even heard of it. My teenage son told me you can get it off the internet, but who wants to go to the bother (and expense) of buying ingredients that way? Ah well. I guess it will go on a shelf and get forgotten about. I wouldn't recommend it for the recipes, but if you want a fun book about these new trendy cakes, go for it. (You could always get British recipes off the many foody websites based in the UK)


Alias Grace
Alias Grace
by Margaret Atwood
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book but I didn't like how it ended, 11 Aug. 2010
This review is from: Alias Grace (Paperback)
I found this book to be a very enjoyable read - I got in to it very quickly, and was pretty gripped. Except... about two thirds in I guessed what was going on, and I really hoped I was wrong, or it was a double bluff so when the big reveal came I was a little disappointed. (Although I will concede there was some ambiguity over whether things really were as they seemed, but it was so ambiguous that it didn't satisfy my desire for a further twist. I have said in the past that I like books that leave you guessing a bit at the end (like The Life of Pi) but I just felt this book's ending to be unsettling and unfulilling.) Lots of other people seemed to like it though, so maybe it's just me being picky.


Lord Sunday (The Keys to the Kingdom, Book 7)
Lord Sunday (The Keys to the Kingdom, Book 7)
by Garth Nix
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Garth Nix - Back on Form, 15 Jun. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I wrote quite a bad review of the penultimate book in the series so I felt I should redress the balance by saying the series finale was very good. Action packed and exciting from beginning to end. I was slightly confused trying to remember everything that had gone before - perhaps I should have re-read the series to refresh my memory before tackling this one, but saying that enough came back to me for me to follow it reasonably well. I liked the ending - I thought it was fitting and it made sense. My only slight criticism was that Arthur's anguish over the fate of some of the people he was close to could have been emphasised more, but on the whole, I was happy and relieved that this book was a return to form for Garth Nix and a very enjoyable read.


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