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mickr

mickr
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Member since: 08.02.2010

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      13.03.2013 15:12
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      A great magazine at a great price for Moshi fans

      Moshi Monster Magazine


      My little one absolutely loves Moshi Monsters, a craze that began online and has now grown immensely world wide, with Moshi clothing, accessories, merchandise, toys and so much more. Now I do not profess to know everything about Moshi Monsters, though my little one certainly thinks she does! She is obsessed with the unusual looking little creatures!

      Although I thought that maybe she was too young for the magazine, she was desperate to have it. She has a star chart when she does things like tidying her room, so when she reached a certain amount, I let her choose her own magazine and surprise, surprise, she chose the Moshi Monster magazine. I still stick by that it is too young for her, though she has chosen it a few times and loves looking through it.

      I am using issue number 25 as a basis for this review.

      The glossy cover varies, though it is not the most fetching cover ever seen, though it is eye catching to fans of this craze. It is a 50 page magazine which is a good length and is only £2.99 which is cheaper than most magazines. It also comes with a number of free gifts, and usually they seem to be along the same lines such as some Moshi sweets, mash up cards, online codes and such like.

      Inside the magazine is what you might expect to see in a childrens magazine, though obviously all Moshi related. You generally get the following;

      Daily Growl: Moshi Monster news and competitions
      Moshling pictures sent from children online as well as Moshi Fan photos
      Posters
      Cooking pages
      Information about certain Moshi Monsters
      Quizzes and challenges
      Comic strips and other stories
      Puzzles which match those found on the online game site
      Giveaways
      Craft pages (though not many)
      How to draw Moshlings
      Jokes

      There are also a certain amount of advertising for Moshi Monster items and online goodies though it is not an overabundance.

      In my opinion, although the magazine is a little too old for my five year old, it is still a fantastic magazine for youngsters and it has a lot of things to do to keep them entertained. My little one does find a lot to do, though I have to read the stories and help out with the puzzle pages, though this is not a bad thing - it keeps up both entertained for quite a while!

      My little one absolutely loves it, even though some bits are aimed at older children. I don't suppose Ill be buying Peppa Pig magazine again now. They grow up so fast!

      Recommended!

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      12.02.2013 16:07
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      Not one of the best in the set

      Project X - What's that noise?


      'What's that noise?' By Chloe Rhodes is part of the Oxford Reading Tree Range in a sub category of 'Project X'. It is a series well used in Primary Schools and is of the green book band level which is approximately age 5-6 years old.

      This book is 16 pages long which 8 mini chapters. This book does not follow a fiction based story. The 'chapters' are as follows;

      1. A Noisy Start: This is two pages and looks at a baby crying
      2. Shh Im Sleeping: A two page chapter about sleep noises
      3. Feeling Noise: This talks of deaf people a noise
      4. Breaking Glass: Talks about the human voice
      5. Lift Off: This chapter looks at a rocket flying into space.
      6. Under the sea: This looks at the Blue Whale.
      7. The Biggest Bang: This chapter looks at volcanos.
      8. Making a Noise: A one page chapter which has a spider graph of the noises found in the book.

      On each page is a noise-o-meter which shows how many decibels each noise can get up to.

      Although this is an interesting book, I really don't think it is a great book for a learning to read set. There are a lot of difficult words in this book, and my little one found it quite 'boring' (in her words) as there was no story to it.

      I think Oxford Reading Tree books are great, and am starting to like some of the Project X books, though this one is not at all recommended by me.

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        12.02.2013 15:45
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        A great game for youngsters

        Moshi Monsters: Where's Moshi (Game)


        My little one has become a fan of Moshi Monsters recently and therefore has managed to acquire a number of different Moshi Monster games and collectables from various family members. One particular game is a game based upon 'Guess Who', a game I am very familiar with from my own childhood!

        The game comes with two game boards which are bright orange in colour. Upon each game board are 24 flip-up cards, each with a different image of a Moshi Monster on them. There are also four little white pegs which slot into little holes in front of your chosen Moshi card (ie: The one your opponent has to guess).

        The aim of the game is to guess your opponents chosen Moshi by asking questions such as 'does your Moshi have a tail?' and 'Has it got two heads' and such like!

        The game is well made, if not a little flimsy. It is also smaller than 'Guess Who'

        It is a game which can appeal to Moshi Monster fans as well as those who are not fans. It is fun to play and children can get quite inventive with their questions. It also teaches children about the process of elimination.

        The game can be found on Amazon for £5.30 which is a very reasonable price.

        My little one loves this and I fully recommend it.

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          08.02.2013 12:45
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          A great opening series to a wonderful series as a whole

          Ultimate Force Season 1


          Ultimate Force is a series originally seen on television on the ITV channel. Season 1 came out back in 2002 and contains six episodes.

          This DVD can be found on Amazon for as little as £1.74 which is great value.

          The main cast include;

          Ross Kemp: Sergent Henno Garvie
          Jamie Draven: Jamie Dow
          Tony Curren: Pete twamley
          Danny Sapani: Ricky Mann
          Elliot Cowan: Jem Poynton
          Sendhil Ramamurthy: Alex Leonard
          Alex Reid: Captain Caroline Walshe
          Jamie Bamber: Lieutenant dotsy Doheny

          There are also a few others in the cast list, and all fit brilliantly together to create this team of actors and characters. There is not one actor in which I feel is out of place.

          Ultimate Force follow the missions of Red Troop Special Air Service lead by tough and charismatic leader Henno.

          The episodes include;

          1. The Killing House
          A great opening episode full of action which see Red Troop take command of a bank siege.

          2. Just a Target
          Another great episode where the SAS try to uncover an anti-globalist sniper suspected of carrying out an assassination attempt.

          3. Natural Selection
          Possibly one of my favourite episodes in this series where ten new hopefuls face their toughest challenge yet; a three day combat survival course, though it does not all go to plan when two soldiers are found murdered.

          4. Breakout
          Red Troop are called to a pharmaceutical lab where three Chechens have broken in to an area where scientists are working on a vaccine for a deadly form of anthrax.

          5. The killing of the one eyed bookie
          What an episode title! It just shows some of the humour found in this episode and all the others! Jamie is ambushed and kidnapped by Terrorists in Northern Ireland and against all orders, Henno ensures a chase.

          6. Something to do with justice
          The finale of the season which is fantastic. Henno and Tramley are kicked out of the regiment for disobedience whilst the others are sent on a classified mission to Bosnia.


          A fantastic opening series to this wonderful action filled set of episodes reaching over 300 minutes in all. Full of action, humour and adventure, this series is a perfect start to the series as a whole.

          The only extras on the DVD are hardly worth it; Series one and two trailers.

          There is some infrequent, yet strong language and some moderate references to sex and nudity. There is also a lot of violence. The series is classified as a 15.

          Recommended!

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        • The Woman in Black (DVD) / DVD / 19 Readings / 18 Ratings
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          08.02.2013 12:07
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          A subtle yet good ghost story

          The Woman in Black DVD

          My other half was desperate to see this at the cinema and since then, we bought it on DVD in the Blockbusters Sale for only £3.00. Amazon have it at the moment for £4.99.

          The Woman in Black is based upon the classic ghost story by Susan Hill, and tells the tale of a young lawyer (played by Radcliffe) Arthur Kipps who is sent to a remote village, leaving his young son behind, to attend to the affairs of the recently deceased owner of Eel Marsh House. The reception he receives from the village community is anything but welcoming, and only one resident supports his work up at the old house, though when left to his own devices at the house, Kipps starts to wonder whether there is more to the townsfolk and their feeling of him being there.

          It is not long before Kipps begins to uncover the town's tragic past and tortured secrets, and his fears escalate drastically when local children start dying in mysterious ways. What has this got to do with the strange woman in black that keeps making herself known to him? And just how much time has he got to find a way of breaking the cycle of terror before everything he holds dear is taken away from him.

          The storyline is more of a subtle ghost story and is very well presented. I am not usually one for ghosts stories, though this one has depth to it and a well rounded storyline in which keeps the audience on the edge of their seats from the word go. It has a number of jumpy moments, though I would not say that it was particularly scary - more the thought of it than the story itself.

          The main cast include;

          Daniel Radcliffe ... Arthur Kipps
          Misha Handley ... Joseph Kipps
          Sophie Stuckey ... Stella Kipps
          Roger Allam ... Mr. Bentley
          Ciarán Hinds ... Daily
          Liz White ... Jennet

          There are a whole host of smaller parts, all of which are played well - especially some of the child parts. The main cast is very small though in this village setting, it works wonderfully and creates a brilliant feel to it. I was unsure as to whether I would like Radcliffe in this film as I know him well from the Harry Potter films in a primarily child role, and here he is playing an adult role, though he pulled it off quite well. Perhaps not my first choice in the main lead role, though he worked on his part and it came through wonderfully.

          The special features on the DVD are minimal with mainly interviews with the main cast and directors. Daniel Radcliffe also reads a ghost story written by the winner of a competiton and photo galleries and story boards and trailers are also the main special features. Nothing really worth shouting about, though worth a watch once.

          Recommended!

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            06.02.2013 11:54
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            A great Project X learning to read book.

            Zak and Zee - Jeanne Willis


            As many of you may know from reading some of my recent reviews - my youngster has recently taken off with learning to read, and therefore we have recently bought and have been given many young reader books, a number of them from the Oxford Reading Tree which is a set of many different books which are used in a lot of primary schools across the UK.

            Recently I have also been shown an online website where you can find many of these books and other in ebook form absolutely free. The website for this is as follows;

            www. http://oxfordowl.co.uk

            This is a fantastic site and all the ebooks on here are absolutely free. I wish I had come across this before buying so many books! Though my little one does love her books so I guess that is the main thing!

            Thank you to broxi3781 for pointing me in the direction of this site.

            Back to this particular book.

            As mentioned, this book comes under the Oxford Reading Tree books, though it also falls into the subcategory of the Project X books. It is of the blue book band which I believe is aimed for the ages of 5-6.

            As with all the books in the Oxford Reading category, this book mixes easier phonic words with harder words which helps the child gain confidence by knowing some words, though also helps them learn others without feeling overwhelmed.

            Zak and Zee are two little bugs. Zee is a smaller bug with bad eyesight and tries to talk to Zak, though he will not answer him.

            The whole story is written in rhyme and is very catchy. An excerpt includes;

            "Zee Bug's eyes were very small
            He did not see well at all"

            Both myself and my youngster enjoyed this book. We both found it quite funny, especially when you find out why Zak is not answering Zee, and the rhyming really helped my youngster concentrate. We have a number of the Project X books and I have had differing views on them. Previously, I have personally preferred the usual Oxford Reading books over the Project X ones, though this one has restored my like of these books.

            The book is 16 pages long which is a great size for this age.

            Other books in this series include;

            The Race
            Bug Hunt
            What do Bugs Eat?
            Ant's Bug Adventure

            A fantastic early reading book, recommended by both me and my youngster!

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            • The Santa Clause (DVD) / DVD / 22 Readings / 21 Ratings
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              06.02.2013 11:29
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              A great Christmas Family film

              The Santa Clause


              I know, I know! Thinking about Christmas movies with so many months before Christmas comes around again is silly, though whether it be Christmas or not, The Santa Clause movie is simply a must, especially if you love the humour of Tim Allen who stars in this fantastic film.

              The film centres around Scott Calvin, who amazingly has the same initials as Santa Clause himself! Scott is a single father who is quite detached from his young son and almost forgets that he is having him overnight on Christmas Eve. His son, Charlie, is not overly looking forward to spending time at his dads house, and after a terrible Christmas Eve dinner, Scott tells him all about Santa Clause and is annoyed to find out that his mother and her new husband have already told him that Santa does not exist. Of course, Christmas Eve is a night of magic and when Scott and Charlie hear a strange noise on the roof, they go out to investigate, only to scare Santa in to falling from the roof. Coerced by his young son, Scott puts on Santa's coat in an attempt to deliver the presents in the sleigh, and inadvertently takes on the role of Santa permanently.

              A year later, Charlie still believes that his father is Santa, even though Scott puts it all down as a dream, though come Christmas again, Scott finds himself putting on weight and growing a beard as the naughty and nice list shows up at his house...

              The main cast of this film include;

              Tim Allen ... Scott Calvin / Santa Claus
              Judge Reinhold ... Dr. Neil Miller
              Wendy Crewson ... Laura Calvin Miller
              Eric Lloyd ... Charlie Calvin
              David Krumholtz ... Bernard the Elf
              Mary Gross ... Miss Daniels
              Paige Tamada ... Judy the Elf

              There are also a lot of smaller characters within the film, each great in their individual performances.

              The storyline is so funny and entertaining for all of the family and it is a barrel of laughs from start to finish. The cast is fantastic and Tim Allen carries this film as he carries everything he is in - with spectacular results.

              If you have never seen this film before then come next Christmas I fully recommend it.

              This film is the first in a trilogy and can be purchased for as little as £3.00 online and in stores. If you want to purchase the whole box set then you are looking at the reasonable price of around £8-£10.

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                30.01.2013 13:45
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                A decent book from the Oxford Reading Tree range, though not the best

                Project X: The Noisy Day - Tony Bradman


                Project X Books are part of the Oxford Reading Tree range.

                Our little one loves reading and has loads of books on her shelves. Recently we have bought and been given lots of early readers books, a lot of them from the Oxford Reading Tree selection as they are brilliant early reading books and are often used in schools. This particular book was given to us by a friend.

                'The Noisy Day' Is a green book band book at stage 5.

                The book is 16 pages long and is full of wonderful images which look as though they are computer generated images. This makes the whole book feel different to the usual ones. I am not keen on these particular books in the set, though my youngster loves them as they look 'more real' in her words.

                Other books in this set include;

                Tigers Drum Kit
                Be Quiet
                What's that noise?
                Click bang Pop!

                As you can see, this set covers stories which focus on different noises. There are many other sub-sets within the Project X group, and most of them follow the same characters so children get to know who is who, which is something else my little one likes about these.

                The story follows the character of Cat who is finding the day very noisy. Through the story, Cat looks for a quieter place.

                The front and the back of the book have little activities to help children understand what they are reading.

                This book is a little too hard for my daughters stage of reading though we read this together - me reading the hard words and my daughter reading those she knows. Even doing it this way, she is able to pick up words she did not know before which is great.

                An excerpt from the book;

                'It was quiet in Cat's bedroom as she lay in bed asleep. Then she heard her sisters SHOUTING! And her clock went BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!'

                My little one really likes this book, though I would say it is more for ages of six/seven upwards depending upon their reading ability. I also think this book is good, though the story is a bit disjointed and I am not a fan of the type of pictures seen in this. Personally, I prefer the usual Oxford Reading Tree books to this particular Project X set.

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                  30.01.2013 12:52
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                  A great book for early readers

                  Oxford Reading Tree: Stage 3: Snapdragons
                  The Singing Bird - Monica Hughes


                  Our little one is learning to read and is coming on leaps and bounds. We have had to get a whole host of different books recently as all she wants to do is read! Recently we have bought a lot of Oxford Reading Tree books which are brilliant for children learning to read as well as those who are a little bit more advanced. They come in many different stages for differing ages and levels.

                  This particular book was given to us by a friend and so is a little more advanced than what our daughter is at, though we have still made use of it through reading together.

                  It is a stage three book and comes as part of a set of six which include;

                  Grandma's Glasses
                  Presents for Baby
                  Melting Snow
                  New Blue Shoes
                  A House for Hedgehog

                  The book is 16 pages long and has reading aids at the front and back to help your child understand what they are reading.

                  The book is simple and is about a king and his bird. It is not the usual type of book which we have found in the Oxford Reading Tree range and so takes on a slightly different form in the story and images. Saying that, though, the story is good and the images are colourful and lovely.

                  Although I said above that it is a little too advanced for our daughter, she is still able to read over half of it alone and picks up certain words form some very subtle repetitiveness in the book. In my opinion, though, children learn more in reading when a book is mixed with words they know and are easy with harder words.

                  Words which this book look at include;
                  happy, everyone, little, lovely
                  Mixed with easier words such as 'up' 'and' and 'lot' etc.

                  My little one really likes this book and is excited when she is able to pick up new words. I think this is also a lovely book and enjoy reading it with my youngster.

                  Fully recommended for early readers.

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                  18.01.2013 21:02
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                  A great story for youngsters to learn to read

                  Oxford Reading Tree: Stage 3: Snapdragons
                  Melting Snow - Linda Strachan

                  As my youngster has now started to learn to read and is taking off brilliantly as she ALWAYS wants to read, we have had to buy quite a few books of late. We were lucky to find a whole set of books from the Oxford Reading Tree which is a recognised set of books in many primary schools. Within the Oxford Reading sets, there are many sub-sets (ie: Snapdragons, Biff Chip and Kipper, Songbirds) as well as many stages in different age ranges. These books can get quite expensive to buy though they are great books. Unfortunately our local library does not have many early reading books so Ebay it was, and we were able to buy quite a few for a decent price.

                  This particular book is apparently aimed at the age 4-5 in stage three. It is part of the SnapDragon range of books which also include; "The singing bird" "New blue shoes" and "A house for Hedgehog".

                  The story takes place in the snow. Everyone goes out to make a snowman, though when the sun comes out, the snowman begins to melt which makes the children feel sad. The rain then comes and the snowman melts away even further. Their mum cheers the children up, though, by making snow-man ice lollies for them.

                  The words are a mix of ranges in this book, and obviously harder than the past couple of stages. The main focus words in this book are; "got" "make" and "our" though there are also many harder words which children may need help with such as "melted", "snowman" and "smaller".

                  The story is very entertaining and quite sweet and my youngster loves it, especially with the recent snow we have been having. It is also accompanied by some wonderful pictures throughout.

                  The book is 16 pages long which is just the right length at this stage of reading.

                  At the front and back there are reading aids for the parents to help the children get involved with what they are reading such as conversational topics.

                  Both myself and my youngster love this book and have read it a lot recently with the snow around!!

                  Fully recommended.

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                    18.01.2013 20:54
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                    A great book for early readers

                    Oxford Reading Tree: Stage 2: Snapdragons
                    Don't Jump on the Bed, Fred! - Leonie Bennett


                    As my youngster has now started to learn to read and is taking off brilliantly as she ALWAYS wants to read, we have had to buy quite a few books of late. We were lucky to find a whole set of books from the Oxford Reading Tree which is a recognised set of books in many primary schools. Within the Oxford Reading sets, there are many sub-sets (ie: Snapdragons, Biff Chip and Kipper, Songbirds) as well as many stages in different age ranges. These books can get quite expensive to buy though they are great books. Unfortunately our local library does not have many early reading books so Ebay it was, and we were able to buy quite a few for a decent price.

                    This particular book is apparently aimed at the age 4-5 in stage two. It is part of the SnapDragon range of books which also include; "What is it?" "The Animal Party" and "The best sandcastle".

                    The story is about a little boy called Fred who loves jumping. He jumps on everything and is warned by his parents that he could get hurt. His parents are always trying to stop him and eventually come up with a great idea - they buy him a trampoline.

                    The words are a mix of ranges in this book, most being able to be read straight off by stage two children, though some will need some work with parents perhaps reading along with them. Some focus words in this book include; "can" "I" "dad" "like" though there are some harder words also such as "jumping" and "Stairs".

                    The story itself is simple though exciting for young children and is combined with some lovely, funny images.

                    The book is 16 pages long which is just the right length at this stage of reading.

                    At the front and back there are reading aids for the parents to help the children get involved with what they are reading such as conversational topics.

                    This book is entertaining and has a great story for youngsters learning to read.

                    Fully recommended.

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                    • My Dad - Monica Hughes / Junior Book / 15 Readings / 14 Ratings
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                      18.01.2013 20:32
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                      A great book if not a little too hard for the very young

                      Oxford Reading Tree: Stage 1+: My Dad - Monica Hughes


                      My youngster has recently started reading and so we have hunted around for various early reading books for her to practise at home. A number of books which we have bought recently are from the Oxford Reading Tree set which is a set commonly used in primary schools. These books have various levels and stages so your child can move up at a reasonable pace.

                      Stage 1+ books are aimed at 4-5 year olds, though this is obviously dependant upon your childs reading ability.

                      'My Dad' is a 12 page book with reading aids at the front and back. It gives the parents ideas of how to interact with the book with your child to make the experience more fun as well as enable the child to think more about what they are reading.

                      What is the book about?

                      The book is about Dad as the title suggests. Through the book, Dad puts on one item of clothing after another with someone down a hole shouting 'Hurry Up!'. At the end, Dad is ready and jumps into a fire engine.

                      A simple story though enough to entertain a young child who is learning to read. You are also unsure exactly what he is dressing up for until the end so this brings excitement for the child.

                      This, I feel, is more a book in which a parent reads WITH the child in a lot of words unless the child is either advanced or older as there are some quite hard words such as 'trousers' and 'jacket'. A typical page reads;

                      "Dad put on a big jacket"
                      "Hurry up!"

                      The book is part of the stage 1+ snapdragons set alongside titles such as 'Where is baby?' and 'Breakfast'.

                      My youngster likes this book though does get fraustrated with the harder words as she is at the point where she wants to read everything herself and some of these words are just too difficult for her young age which falls into the age recommendation of the book.

                      A fun and short reading book with a simple story and great, colourful images throughout.

                      Recommended for young children who are confident with their reading - perhaps more so 5-6.

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                      11.12.2012 14:54
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                      A great soft toy from Poundland

                      Poundland Christmas Cuddly Toys

                      Every time we go to our local shopping centre, we find ourselves visiting PoundLand to pick up a few little bits at cost price. Some items are not actually cheaper here, though other items are perfect, especially for small stocking fillers and cheap decorations at this time of year.

                      Not everything in Poundland is of great quality, so you do have to watch out, though these cuddly toys are great, and worth more in quality that £1.00 - not that I am complaining!

                      There are a few different cuddly toys from Poundland which include; Snowman, Reindeer and puppy - all wearing bright red scarfs for the Christmas period. They look really attractive, and my little girl wanted one straight away when she saw them. We ended up buying one of each for our youngster and for our niece and nephew who were with us at the time.

                      Each toy has soft stuffing inside, not that I have seen it as each toy seems quite durable and has not ripped at all yet.

                      As said, my little one loves her toy (which happens to be the reindeer) and it is sitting under our Christmas tree as we speak. Not only a great little cuddly toy, but a lovely addition to the Christmas decorations also.

                      I would certainly give this high recommendation due to cost, durability, attractiveness and softness.

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                        15.11.2012 10:32
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                        A great early reader book

                        Read at Home - Dad's Birthday


                        Our youngster has recently started to learn to read, so we have a whole host of different books to help her read at home. One of her favourite sets are from the Oxford Reading Tree and feature the characters Kipper, Chip and Biff.

                        This particular book is probably not for the very beginners in reading, though once children have started to understand phonics then this is a great book to work on.

                        'Dad's Birthday' is a level 1 reading book and the third in the series, which include 'Funny Fish' and 'Silly Races'.

                        The Oxford reading Tree books are used in 80% of primary schools.

                        This book is 20 pages long and are filled with some lovely pictures to get children to talk about what is happening in the book and not just what the words are telling you. To give you some idea of the level of reading skills needed, here is a small excerpt from the book;

                        "It was dad's birthday. Dad had a cake. He had a bike. He got on the bike...."

                        The story is simple, though along with the pictures, it makes a great early readers book.

                        At the end of the story, there are two pages to talk with your child about. The first is a discussion page which invites children to think about what they have just read, and the second page is a fun matching game.

                        Our youngster loves this book though finds some of the words a little tricky. I would say that this book is perhaps aimed for confident five year old readers upwards.

                        Recommended.

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                        14.11.2012 13:32
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                        A lovely little addition to a Moshi collection

                        Moshi Monsters - Moshling Backpack Buddy Iggy

                        Yet another accessory that we came across whilst shopping that my younger just 'had' to have. Luckily, she had saved some pocket money and was able to buy this backpack buddy for £2.99. This is a much better price than the one on Amazon at the moment which is £19.99!!

                        Basically this is a little keyring which looks great hanging from a childs school bag. Iggy is one of my little ones favourite moshlings and is a pinky-purple colour with wide smiling eyes and a mischievous mouth. The Iggy on this backpack buddy is made of soft material and is reasonably durable, though my little one has had it hanging from her backpack for a couple of weeks now and due to the rain, the backpack plus Iggy have seen better days. I was able to sponge-wash Iggy, though was not keen to put it in the washing machine. Therefore, Iggy did not look as good as new after its swim in a few puddles, though my youngster still loves it.

                        The keyring part of this backpack buddy holds securely to the backpack.

                        This is a lovely little stocking filler for Christmas, though do look around for prices as what we paid was fair enough, though paying what Amazon is asking for is extortionate!

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