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My children's favourite film at Christmas time, we bought this double DVD a number of years of ago, my eldest ran over to it and said "mammy mammy look it Father Christmas!" He had only previously watched The Snowman and of course read the book many times over so I purchased it. Now of course my youngest loves it to bits and my children love me telling how when i was a child, we (my whole family in cousins) used to sit and watch this every Christmas Eve. Many happy memories associated with this film.
The Snowman:- The film is adapted from the Raymond Briggs book The Snowman which was written back in 1978. It's the story of a young boy who wakes up to snow covered fields and builds a snowman. at the stroke of midnight the boy wakes up to look at the snowman he has built when it turns around looks straight them. As the story enfolds the watcher sees a beautiful friendship blossom with the Snowman playing games with the boy. By the end of the story the Snowman takes the boy to the annual Snowman Party, introduces him to Father Christmas and brings him back home. The end of the film has such a sad ending, my five year old was tears when it shows the snowman melted away and the little boy standing next to it with a scarf in his hand. The film itself is introduced by David Bowie in the attic of the farmhouse where the above took place.
Father Christmas:- This animated short tells the story Father Christmas of how he spends his time throughout the year right through to Christmas Eve. Now it may not be to everyone tastes as it features Father Christmas smoking cigars, drinking, gambling and dancing about Las Vegas showgirls. Now my children weren't really fussed about it and instead loved watching the reindeer's. The film also does not follow the Snowman story fully at the Snowman Annual Party. But all in all it's still a good short cartoon with laughs a plenty.
Brilliant films and British Animation at its best classic films for all the family.
I bought this kettle when it first came out, i had already bought one from an online green site and i thought it was faulty so i sent it back and got a refund. Turns out it wasn't faulty but a design flaw and a dangerous one at that.
Bit of background we drink a heck of a lot of tea and coffee, we already used eco and energy efficient products and this was the next step on the ladder. My partner and i thought great spend the extra money and get this model. As soon as bought it tested out filled the main tank up pressed the button at the top to only boil the amount we wanted. All going fine (or so we thought), swtiched the kettle on, a good few minutes later it was finally started to boil. As it did we noticed cold water started to leak form it , not good. Then as were pouring the boiling hot water out it sprayed everywhere luckily we didn't burn ourselves.
The same thing happened with second we bought after that we gave up and converted back to old kettle we had. So not only did it try to burn it took four times as long to boil the water, thus using more electric. Crazy.
It was a good concept to make an eco kettle but just very badly designed. It has not stopped me or my partner buying eco products were just waiting for a better design to come about.
I bought this bread maker back in January 2009 and it has been fantastic not a single problem with it. I originally had a Panasonic one but it was a nightmare and eventually it broke just after my guarantee ran out. I bought the Cookworks one out of Argos for £25 in the sales but it normally about £47.89. It also comes with a recipe book which is quite good especially with the jam making.But follow the instructions when you first use it and oil the bread pan that way the coating will stop the bread from sticking in the future. This simple thing will make life so much easier, after that just bung the ingredients and off you go. It also has a function where if say for example you wanted make sun dried tomato bread as it going through the kneading process it beeps at you when to add the extra ingredients e.g garlic etc and then its carries on doing it thing. Fantastic.
Over the years the bread maker has been used at least twice a day for bread making, with each loaf coming out near enough perfect. Over the summer months we used it for making jams and chutney (so yummy), have yet to make a cake in it but its on the list. The machine is so versatile from making various types of dough within 1hour and 40 mins, to having a hot 2lb loaf ready to eat within 3hrs. My partner used to make pizza dough from fresh taking about 2hrs to make; now we just place it in the bread machine go out come back an hour and 40 minutes and its done ready to go in the oven.
These are the technical details courtesy of Argos:-
* Bakes 1.5lb and 2lb loaves.
* 12 programmes.
* 3 crust settings.
* Fast bake and ultra fast bake.
* Fast bake 1 hour 40 minutes, ultra fast bake 58 minutes.
* 13 hour programmable delay timer.
* Viewing window.
* Add ingredients signal.
* Jams and cakes.
* Non slip feet.
One of the main problems i have found it that the kneading paddle sometimes gets stuck in to bread pan. This is easily rectified by placing hot water from the kettle straight onto it.
On average it costs about 35p to make a loaf of bread based on my calculations so economically is cheaper than buying a loaf from the shop. But its gives the added advantage that you know exactly what is going into your food. so it has saved us an absolute fortune already.
This is quite a large book with thin paper pages, it has an attractive lovely bright blue background (the henhouse) and a very cute lovable picture of a mother and her six chicks on the the front cover.The story is beautifully composed, well illustrated and very eye-catching and is quite a good follow up to its predecessor Dora's Egg's.
The story begins with Dora (the mother hen) looking for her breakfast when suddenly she looks around inside the hen house and her chicks have vanished into thin air. The story then shows Dora's looking for her lost little chicks around the farm whilst introducing the the reader to the other animals living there. As she searches for her lost brood, she asks the other animals if they have seen her chicks but they are all far too busy to assist her. At the end of story Dora finds all but of her chicks but what has happened to her last chick hmmm.
Although the story is geared towards 2-6 years its actually thought provoking, it actively encourages the child to think about they actions. For instance the overall theme not wandering off alone without telling an adult first. Other topics included were being careful on the roads, its shows a chick about to run across a road without looking both ways. Being careful around the water, climbing high structures and generally encouraging the child (chick) to be aware of its surroundings. In the midst of this the author introduces the concept of counting and identifying the farm animals. For instance each page shows Dora counting how many chicks she has as well as encouraging the young reader to find the hidden chick(s).
The illustrator has placed an incredible amount of detail into the pictures and the animals themselves are beautifully drawn, the colour of the horses are wonderful. This is a book made for sharing as the words are quite small, so really needs an adult or a older child to read it to the them and the pages are quite fiddly at first for small hands. But apart from that the story is lovely and well worth the read, perfect for any time of day!
Published by Little Tiger Press
Author:- Julie Sykes and illustrated by Jane Chapman.
I recently purchased this book for my friends 18 month old son and i must say it is fantastic, the magical look on his face as he opened it was well worth queueing for in Waterstones. As we read the book together his little face lit up with anticipation and excitement with what was coming next. What did the little mouse's reindeer look like?Will the mouse ever find his reindeer? With its vibrant colours and simple story structure it really helped focus his attention. By the end he fell in love with the story and we read it over again, much to his enjoyment.
Over the years i have purchased other books from this range for my children and never been disappointed, in fact "That's Not My Dinosaur" is still my five year old's favourite touchy feely book.
Not only are the books beautifully designed with young children in mind it allows the young reader to feel different textures and use their imagination as to what an animal may feel or look like. In addition it also feeds their imagination as to what may happen next and allows them to explore the story more intimately. My friends son became quite emotional as he worried the little mouse may never find his reindeer.
The book itself is quite chunky and is made out of durable thick cardboard, enabling to child to turn the pages with little or no difficulty. Excellent i think for dribbling babies and sticky little fingers.
I would quite happily recommend this book to any young child as i strongly believe this particular type of story and book encourages the child to develop a love of reading from an early age.
This book has 10 pages.
Published by Usborne in 2007 and written by Fiona Wells