Little Girl Who Lost her Name

Personalised Children's BooksI was really hoping to write this post last week, as it was National Book Day but time got away on me and we read the most delightful book, the Little Girl Who Lost her Name by David Cadji Newby.

It all starts with a little girl who wakes up in the morning to find that her name has gone AWOL and this is where the adventure begins.  She goes on a mission to find the letters of her missing name, each letter has a fantastic character and illustration including a Miserable Mermaid and an Ant Eating Aardvark plus a few more.

I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but my daughter worked out halfway through the book that it was in fact spelling her own name.  The look of surprise and excited was brilliant.

The books were officially launched last week and can be personalised for Boys and Girls.  I honestly think they would make a brilliant present (£16.99).

 Disclosure:  I received a copy for review purposes


Bud & Roo’s Spectacular Adventures – The Beach by Jessica Valentine

Fostering a love of reading

I do love a book that inspires a bit of Art.  Bud & Roo’s Spectacular Adventure is about two doggies who dig up treasures and sniff their way to where it has come from.  The Author, Jessica Valentine wanted to create a book that her 5 year old could read on her own from front to back and feel good about reading a whole book on her own and she’s done just that.  Madame who is also 5 and has just started reading can read it from front to back and was also inspired to do this picture based on the Artwork.  Isn’t it brilliant?


Reading with Kids


Kill me now!

Just the other night, I was having a right moan about how painfully dull, the reading scheme books are from school and quite a few parents came back in agreement.  I particularly felt for those parents with several children and have been subjected to the same books year after year after year.

So, who’s up for the challenge?

This is not a reflection on our school, this tends to be across the board.  I do appreciate they’re a necessary evil and her readings coming along nicely, but someone somewhere must be able to write a better scheme than what’s on offer.  I wonder if Jessica’s up for the challenge?

Luckily, we have a huge collection of books at home to supplement what comes home and still manage to foster a love of reading.  Again, I must emphasize, this is not a dig at our school.

I’m looking forward to seeing what Bud & Roo get up to next.

Do you have any other books that you’d recommend for this age group?

Disclosure:  We received a copy of this book for review purposes.



My Top 5: Slow Cooker Recipe Books for Christmas

If you’re looking to buy someone a Slow Cooker Recipe Book for Christmas, these are my all time favourite 5.  I have quite a collection of Slow Cooker Recipe books but I always find myself going back to these ones again and again.

Slow Cooker Recipe Books

1)      Ultimate Slow Cooker Book Over 100 simple, delicious recipes by Sara Lewis

2)      200 Slow Cooker Recipes by Sara Lewis

3)      200 More Slow Cooker Recipes by Sara Lewis

You’ll notice the first 3 are by the same author Sara Lewis, I would recommend absolutely any book written by her.  I’ve rarely had a duff recipe and she’s given me the confidence to go beyond Stews!

There is a little overlap between the first two, but if you’re buying a gift the first one is much nicer looking but has half the number of recipes.

4)      DK The Slow Cook Book by Heather Whinney

The reason I love this book is because for each recipe there is a slow cooker method and the traditional method.  So, if I forget to put food on in the morning, there is still time to rustle up dinner.  I also love the fact that it has a Recipe Chooser at the beginning of the book, choose the type of meal Vegetarian, Chicken, Pork etc and it lists, with pictures a selection of meals.

And finally,

5)      Soups for your Slow Cooker by Diana Peacock

We’ve tried quite a few recipes out of this book; Chinese Pork and Noodle, Mixed Fish and Vegetable and Chargrilled Red Pepper and Tomato.  What we found is that many of the recipes are more substantial than soups and are meal in themselves.

Happy Christmas!






1 in 3 children in London do not own a book!

I was absolutely horrified to read in a paper a few weeks ago, that 1 in 3 children in London do not own a book!  One child, when asked to bring a book into school, brought an Argos catalogue as this was the only book in the house. Bloody hell! I believe this stems to busy parents, economics and the advent of technology.  Kids prefer an X-box/Playstation to a book any day.  I’m not pointing fingers, as working parents ourselves, we’re guilty as well but personally I think this is very sad.

My hubby and I are not book worms, it’s not that we can’t read we just don’t read a lot, we prefer online magazines, newspapers, twitter and blogs.  I also belong to a book club and have done so for 10 years but to be honest I rarely make it through a book.

However, ever since Madame was very young we’ve always emphasized reading and read her 3 books every night religiously, unless it’s a really long one then maybe only two.   Even when we can’t be arsed and skip a few pages, sadly she’s at the age now that she pulls us up on it!  As an ex-teacher you’ll be amazed at the benefits of reading to your kids for a mere 10 minutes a night.  Sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox now!

Like with anything, including wine, moderation is the key.  I’m an IT consultant who works in education and have done so for the past 10+ years.  I don’t know how many times I’ve said that technology is to compliment what you’re doing and not to replace.  My daughter is 3.5 and is a complete whizz on my iphone, I have it loaded up with games, music and videos for her…but the difference is they all have an educational element, she’s none the wiser.  You won’t find Angry birds on my phone.

Nothing compares to breaking the spine on a new book, turning the pages and losing yourself!

This weekend, we sorted out Madame’s reading corner.  I was inspired by Trapped in North Jersey.  We’re very limited on space but I think it’s perfect.    They’re picture ledges from Ikea (115cm) and only £8 each, bargain! What do you think?