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Sunday, 22 July 2012

London 2012 Olympic Games - The Official Book

London 2012 Olympic Games: The Official Book: An Official London 2012 Games Publication
The Olympic Games comes to London in 2012 and London 2012 Olympic Games The Official Book is a stunning illustrated guide to the world's greatest sporting event and essential reading for sports fans everywhere. Packed with glorious photography and expert analysis of the star athletes and their prospects at the Games, The Official Book is an authoritative and comprehensive preview of the 30th Olympiad. The book features a guide to each of the Olympic Games sports and venues, a brief history of the Games and the competition schedule to ensure you won't miss a moment of the Games. Whether you are watching the Olympic Games live in London or from the comfort of your own living room, this is the preview for you.

The Official Book for the London 2012 Olympic Games. There is a foreward written by Sebastian Coe KBE and is a great companion to the games this summer. However, unlike many of the other books published in the build up to the games, it does not mention the Paralympic Games.

There are sections on all the Olympic venues both inside and outside London. A full games schedule is also included - which also list the venues they are based in. All the games included within the Games are detailed in the book and include information on the disciplines key facts; countries/teams to watch along with star athlete in that discipline. There is a detailed explanation to the discipline and its history within the Olympics. The explanation to the discipline is detailed and will make a good armchair companion to any Olympic enthusiasts.

There is a section entitled 12 for London 2012 which are 12 unknown youngsters who will be debuting in London 2012's Olympics. The final section is all about current Olympic Games records which make interesting reading and great material for any quiz lovers!

I would recommend this as the best companion to London 2012 that I have found - it will guide you through each event and also give you those little facts which are pulled out in quizzes.

Thank you to the publishers, Carlton Books, for sending me this book to review. 

Deadly 60 2013 Annual

Deadly Annual 2013 - Deadly! 1

A year packed full of adventure in the first ever DEADLY Annual! Containing brand new material from Steve Backshall, this is a fierce, fun and fact-filled compilation of quizzes, puzzles and activities featuring deadly animals from around the world.

Deadly 60 is a big hit in this house and anything about it is also a big hit!

The annual follows the same format as any annual - lots of features, puzzles and photographs all on the same theme - the deadly animals of the world. 

There are lots of beautiful photographs and facts about some of the most deadly animals in the world - a great starting point for any  animal fans or for anyone interested in these animals. There are also reports from some of the treks and expeditions carried out by the team.

In summary, this would make a great gift for any Deadly 60 fans or budding zoologists.

This annual is part of a new range of books by Orion from the Deadly 60 team.

Thank you to the publishers, Orion Children's Books, for sending me the annual to review.

Cudweed in Outer Space by Marcus Sedgwick

Cudweed in Outer Space - Early Reader

Cudweed encounters aliens and a time machine in this funny, quirky story, perfect for beginner readers, from the bestselling Raven Mysteries team, Marcus Sedgwick and Pete Williamson.

A great early reader book which will appeal specifically to boys. I know that when my son was beginning to read longer story books other than Horrid Henry and Beast Quest books I found it difficult to find books to interest him in the same way. However this book would have been perfect for him and would of captured his imagination

It is about a boy who builds his own spaceship and goes on his own adventure. It is full of fantastic illustrations by Pete Williamson who captures the essence of the story perfectly and will also capture a childs imagination while they read the story.

These Orion Children's Books Early Readers are fantastic. Just the right level for children who are gaining confidence in reading alone.Would also make a perfect book to share at bedtime, reading a chapter, or two, a night.

Thank you to the publishers, Orion Children Books, for sending me the book to review. 

To Turn Full Circle by Linda Mitchelmore

To Turn Full Circle
Life in Devon in 1909 is hard and unforgiving, especially for young Emma Le Goff, whose mother and brother die in curious circumstances, leaving her totally alone in the world. While she grieves, her callous landlord Reuben Jago claims her home and belongings. His son Seth is deeply attracted to Emma and sympathises with her desperate need to find out what really happened, but all his attempts to help only incur his father's wrath. When mysterious fisherman Matthew Caunter comes to Emma's rescue, Seth is jealous at what he sees and seeks solace in another woman. However, he finds that forgetting Emma is not as easy as he hoped. Matthew is kind and charismatic, but handsome Seth is never far from Emma's mind. Whatever twists and turns her life takes, it seems there is always something - or someone - missing.

When I pick up a book published by Choc Lit Publishers I know I will be reading a fantastic story and this book is no disappointment.

This is the first novel written by Linda Mitchelmore and is a brilliant debut novel. The book is written in a style which does not include much description but concentrates more on dialogue and the story. 

It features a strong family theme and also tells the story of a small fishing village.  The main character is a strong female who wants to make her own way in a male dominated times.

This is the first book in a trilogy and I am definitely looking forward to reading the next instalment by Mitchelmore.

This book would be the perfect book to be added to any holiday bag this summer or to pick up to relax in the sun for a lazy afternoon spent reading!

Thank you to the publishers, Choc Lit Publishers, for sending me the book to review.

Team GB and Paralympics GB Activity Handbook

Team GB & ParalympicsGB Activity Handbook

 Join the great team of Olympic and Paralympic athletes as they prepare for the London 2012 Games. In this fantastic handbook, you'll find lots of photos and facts about your favourite star athletes, along with puzzles, activities and creative ideas to make you into a world-class fan! There are also stickers to decorate the pages and a colourful poster to put on your wall and show your support.

A fantastic book for the young fans of London 2012, who want to learn about it before it all starts on Friday.
There are five sections to the handbook: Sports files; Team GB; Hall of Fame; Puzzles with Pride; and Stickers and Poster. The information contained is rather scarce and does not cover all Olympic events and disciplines but do give children an insight into some of the popular events. There are space for information to be added by children - including how many medal are won by teams in both The Olympics and The Paralympics. There are sections on some of Team GB's famous stars and also has space to record their achievements in the games. Previous Olympic stars from Great Britain are also included within the file.
This book would be a good gift for children who are interested in the Games, but I think that after they have read the file and get into the Games a bigger table will be requested to record all of the medals rewarded during the Games and Paralympic Games.
Thank you to the publishers, Carlton Books, for sending me the book to review.

Adventures in Parenthood by Denise Van Outen

Adventures in Parenthood
In her second parenting book, Denise van Outen recounts, with her trademark warmth and honest, down-to-earth attitude, the joys and challenges of motherhood following the birth of her daughter Betsy with Lee Mead. ADVENTURES IN PARENTHOOD tells the trials and tribulations of those first 18 months of parenthood, when everything is new. Denise believes it's important to be open and to share as a new mum - she has spoken out about breastfeeding and being a working mum in the press - and this book does exactly that. Denise draws not just on her own experience, but also those of her non-celebrity friends. Some of her Twitter followers have also added their own advice and experience. This frank and honest account from Denise is a great holiday read for any new parent who is wondering if anyone else is feeling the same way they are - the answer is usually yes!

There are many celebrity books out which are trying to get people into a new craze or are trying to say they are the new chef, stylist, make up artist etc. However, this book is not one of those. It is Denise Van Outen sharing her 'diary' about the first 18 months of her daughter's life and her personal feelings about the trials and tribulations that lots of new parents go through every day.

The book is one which new, first time parents or parents who have more than one child will find informative. There are many hints and tips and tried suggestions for many of a newborn babies milestones. Each chapter also ends with 'words from my twitter followers' which show that they are real problems/difficulties which affect everyone and gives some really good ideas which have helped others in the same situation.

This is a book which can be dipped into to any time to 'research' a specific time in an infants development or could be read front to back as a diary/book. It is a good read which will be a perfect gift for a new time mum.

Thank you to the publishers, Headline, for sending me the book to review.

666 Park Avenue by Gabriella Pierce

666 Park Avenue

Welcome to New York City, where the socialites are witches. Jane Boyle has been living a fairy tale. When her boyfriend Malcolm proposes, Jane can't believe her luck and decides to leave her Paris-based job as a fledgling architect and makes a new start with him in New York. But when Malcolm introduces Jane to the esteemed Doran clan, one of Manhattan's most feared and revered families, Jane's fairy tale takes a darker turn. Now Jane must struggle with newfound magical abilities and the threat of those who will stop at nothing to get them. Welcome to "666 Park Avenue".

When I read the synopsis for this book I was unsure if it was my kind of book, however I did read it and was pleasantly surprised. There are lots of books on the market which involve witches, vampires and the like which i do not enjoy, however this book is unlike any of those and is a good read. 

I did think that the story started slowly, with a girl falling in love with a mysterious man, who whisks her away to New York to live. However before before they do, they visit her grandmother her brought her up to find her dead, and a letter for Jane which reveals a family secret. When they reach New York, Jane finds herself in a strange house with the Doran clan who also have a secret and are a powerful family. It was here that I felt the story really got going  and I felt that the story got interesting just before the book ended - however it has left me wanting to read the other two books in the story.

The scene is set for a very glamorous lifestyle and I am intrigued to find out more about the  Doran clan and their powers within New York and beyond. I am sure Jane's life will be changing forever.

Thank you to the publishers, Canvas Books, for sending me the book to review.

The Odds by Adam Perrott

The Odds
 Have you ever put down a drink, gone to do something else, and come back to find the drink is nowhere to be seen? That's the Odds. Mrs Odd, Mr Odd and the twins, Edgar and Elsie are a family of Professional Pranksters. They delight in making mischief, and playing tricks on each other, or on the unsuspecting residents of the town of Trott. But they meet their match in the Plopwells - a seemingly unflappable couple whose dastardly plans make the Odds look like a bunch of goody-goodies. Can the Odds work together to defeat the fiendish pair?

A book which children of all ages will be wanting to become a character from. 
The Odds are a family of professional pranksters, who spend all day, every day playing tricks on unsuspecting members of the public. 

The story is brilliantly written and will have children giggling their way throughout. The author, Adam Perrott, also writes jokes for professional comedians and in this book you can see his humorous side is evident throughout the story.

It is a good read for children aged 9+ because this is quite a long story, however it is perfect for a bedtime story to share, reading a chapter (or two) a night.

The story also includes illustrations by Tom McLaughlin, very clever pictures which convey the mischievous Odd family perfectly.

Thank you to the publishers, Stripes Publishing, for sending me the book to review.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Horrid Henry's Sports Day by Francesca Simon

Horrid Henry's Sports Day - Horrid Henry Early Reader

Horrid Henry hates sports day. And he hates the cross-country run more than any other event. But just as he is heaving his weary bones to the starting line, he has a wonderful, spectacular idea of how to win the race.

As any Horrid Henry fan knows, where ever Henry is, there is bound to be trouble! And the school's annual sport's day is no exception. Horrid Henry uses all of his devious plans to win the race and lets no one else have the cup!

This story was originally published in Horrid Henry Gets Rich Quick but has been re-released as a standalone book in the popular Easy Reader series by Orion Children's Books.

It is a fantastic book to give to children, especially this time of year when sports days are happening, as well as the London 2012 Olympics. It is  just right for children who are growing in confidence in their own reading ability and want to read 'grown up' books. However there are still plenty of pictures in this book too - with fantastic illustrations by Tony Ross who captures the story perfectly in them.

Thank you to the publishers, Orion Children's Books, for sending me the book to review.

Mr P's Naughty Book by Francesca Simon

Mr P's Naughty Book - Early Reader

AARDVARK: shouts at BAKED BEANS: drops on cat KETCHUP: decorates mother with Mr Punishment has the perfect punishment for every naughtiness in the world and every day his telephone rings with parents desperate for his advice. But Mr Punishment never seems to get it quite right - with chaotic results!

Francesca Simon is best known for her very popular Horrid Henry series, however she also has a number of other books out, which are also great reads for children of all ages. This is one such book. 

The book is about Mr Punishment who writes his own book on punishments for parents to use on their children, however his ideas are little confused!

Children will enjoy this book. It is full of humour and the laughter will be heard when reading this book.

The story is great, but the illustrations are just as good - they capture the story perfectly and add that little extra to the book. The illustration of Mr Punishment is very similar to that of a mad scientist - and is just as I imagined him while reading the book.

Orion Kids have a great range of Early Reader books which are suitable for children who are beginning to gain confidence in their own reading ability and are enjoying reading books rather than picture book style books. 

This book is a perfect book to give to any child who is beginning to read books themselves, but is also perfect as a story to share with a group of children at story time.

Thank you to the publishers, Orion Kids, for sending me the book to review.

Everything Oz by Christine Leech and Hannah Read-Baldrey

Everything Oz: The Wizard Book of Makes & Bakes 

Follow the Yellow Brick Road and get swept along by the cyclone force of Everything Oz, where dreams are brought to life. The classic tale of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum provides the inspiration for this spell-binding and creative collection of 50 makes and bakes, ranging from a Dress-up Dorothy Doll and Toto's Dog Jacket to the Tin Woodman's Heart Garland, Cowardly Lion Hand Puppet and Squashed Wicked Witch Cupcakes. The authors of the ground-breaking craft book Everything Alice, Christine Leech and Hannah Read-Baldrey, have interpreted this perennially popular tale in their own unique way to create all the projects in this latest book in the Everything - series, which is filled with yet more original and playful ideas for the eclectic craft lover. This enchanting book perfectly captures the magical essence of this faraway land. Everything Oz is brimming with new and innovative craft projects to eat, drink and wear, so slip on a pair of Ruby Slippers and accompany Hannah and Christine on their journey towards the Emerald City. Every crafter will enjoy this book, because, because, because, because, because - of the wonderful things it does!

 I have previously reviewed Everything Alice on this blog and loved it. When I saw the authors had another book being released this year, I was eagerly awaiting its publication.

In this book we are transported to the Land of Oz and Dorothy's trip along the Yellow Brick Road to visit the Wiz. Now I have an added love of this, each festive period my husband loves watching the movie and when I was at high school, I performed in the school's production of The Wiz, which was an adaptation of the famous classic and flicking through this book bought back happy memories of these.

The book follows a similar format to Everything Alice and starts with a comprehensive list of both craft and cookery essentials.

There are so many different types of crafting projects included in this book, something for anyone who loves crafting or cooking.

The book starts with a dress up Dorothy and Toto rag doll to make, delicious looking cakes, ideas for an Oz inspired party and great ideas for the Toto's in anyone life. There are some beautiful emerald hairpieces to make in the book - I am sure my daughter would love these and this is one project I will definitely be looking at trying in the future. I also like the dangling scarecrow and twisting tin man puppets which I will be pulling out on a rainy day for my two children to try - they look great!

There are projects suitable for all levels of crafter and all ages of crafter. It would be a great book to add to your book shelf and could be got out on a rainy day to be dipped into for a rainy day project.

There are lots of templates included in the back of the book and a directory of suppliers and inspiration ideas for budding artists.

The book is jam packed with ideas and projects for all ages and abilities and lots of the projects could be adapted to include what you have in the home or can get. The projects in the book could be used to make gifts for others or to be used for fund raising events.

In summary, it is another fantastic book from Leech and Read-Baldrey, jam packed with fantastic projects which will transport you to the wonderful land of Oz.

Thank you to the publishers, Quadrille, for sending me the book to review.

Hey Presto by Nadia Shireen

Hey, Presto!

Presto is a very talented magician, so when he and his friend Monty join a funfair and start a magic show things look good for our duo. But fame goes to Monty's head, and soon Presto loses his friend and his show! Will true friendship prevail? And will there be a touch of magic in the air?

a beautiful book which is suitable for young children. Filled with beautiful pictures which accompany the story perfectly, this book will appeal to both girls and boys of all ages.

The book has a great message - friends are there in both the good and bad times and should be kept by your sides through thick and thin. 

Thank you to the publishers, Jonathan Cape, for sending me the book to review.

Tart it up! by Eric Lanlard

Tart it Up!: Sweet and Savoury Tarts and Pies 

 Pies and tarts are the ultimate comfort food. Whether sweet or savoury, elegant or hearty, they are great for relaxed entertaining, family get-togethers and even weekday suppers. In this irresistible book Eric Lanlard, AKA Cake Boy, demonstrates how to make the best pastry and shares his favourite recipes for sweet and savoury tarts and pies. His recipes include classics with a twist plus ideas inspired by his travels, using deliciously imaginative flavour combinations. In the first part of the book, Pastry Basics, Eric shares his professional expertise and provides step-by-step instructions for making every type of pastry - shortcrust (sweet and savoury), puff, almond, chocolate and brioche. There is a wealth of helpful baking hints to ensure a great bake every time. Savoury Tarts & Pies features such classics as a 'Proper' Quiche Lorraine and a Cider and Pork Pie plus attention-grabbing treats including Fig, Lardon and Dolce Latte Tart and Lamb and Moroccan Spice Pie. The chapter ends with a selection of quick bakes using ready-roll pastry (for when time is short) and a delicious collection of accompaniments including salsas, chutneys and vegetable side dishes. Sweet Tarts & Pies will bring some of Eric's trademark glamour to the dessert course - including a Strawberry Tart 'Royal', Exotic Fruit Meringue Crumble Pie and an Apricot, Honey and Pistachio Tart. Sweet pies include an Old-fashioned Apple Pie, Ginger Pear Frangipane Pie and a Classic Blueberry Pie. Once again there is a selection of quick bakes for desserts in a dash and a choice of accompaniments, including flavoured creams, spiced fruits and the perfect Creme Anglais. With foolproof recipes for tarts and pies that look and taste great, this wonderful book is a great way to bring some of Eric's culinary magic into your kitchen every time you bake.

 As seen on Channel 4, this book is an accompaniment to the popular series.

The book starts with a fantastic, easy to follow pastry basics masterclass. There are easy to follow instructions for Shortcrust Pastry; Brioche Pastry; and Puff Pastry, along with instructions on lining a tin and blind baking. 

The remainder of the book is in two sections: Savoury Tarts and Pies and Sweet Tarts and Pies. Each section is jam packed with recipe ideas for both vegetarian and meat eaters, and include ideas for any occasion. 

The recipes are clearly set out with suggested portions per recipe, average preparation and cooking times. There are comprehensive, yet detailed preparation instructions and often include helpful tips to aid preparation further. The recipes are all accompanied by photographs of the finished dish - these photographs are fuss free and feature just the finished dish, no smiley faces round a table included in this book, which seem to be popular in recipe books lately. These photographs sum up the book perfectly - simply, rustic ideas that would be suitable food for any home.

I think this would make a great addition to any kitchen library and will be one picked up frequently for a meal suggestion.

Thank you to the publishers, Octopus Books, for sending me the book to review.


Paddington's guide to London

Paddington's Guide to London - Paddington 

 A bear's eye view of London as told by the classic, best-loved character from Darkest Peru. Paddington unveils his adopted home as only Paddington can. From the station itself (the start of it all) and on through all the major London destinations (with some surprising detours en route) this is a guide certain to entertain and enlighten the whole family. With plenty of anecdotes and stops for refreshments along the way, Paddington's London will guide visitors and London dwellers alike, young and old, families, couples, friends and solitary explorers to a London that is rich, exciting, fascinating and fun.

For anyone visiting London this year, this is the must have guide, for those of certain age of course! 

The book gives a bear's eye view of London and includes all the main 'touristy' sites of London. it is written by Paddington in the style of a travel writer and is a recount of a trip Paddington took with Mr Gruber. There are lots of facts included within the book and also lots of tips for if you travel around London visiting the areas within the book. 

Each area included in the book has its own chapter and they all begin with a hand drawn map of the area.. The chapters are full of photographs, of course including Paddington - he has certainly visited lots of London's attractions.

There is also a chapter on travelling around London and also contact information for travel information. There are also addresses for all the destinations Paddington visited during the making of the book.

It is a great book for children who are visiting London this summer, for both first time visitors and for people who have visited London before. There are lots of little facts and information that I am sure regular visitors to London haven't heard before. 

I would recommend this as the perfect little travel companion for a trip to the capital this year.

Thank you to the publishers, Harper Collins Children's Books, for sending me this book to review.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Thke Offical Team GB and Paralympic GB Annual 2012

The Official Team GB and Paralympics GB Annual 2012 (Annuals 2012)

There is something for every young sports fan in The Official Team GB & ParalympicsGB Annual 2012. It contains profiles of many of the top British gold medal contenders, including Jessica Ennis, Sir Chris Hoy, Rebecca Adlington, Phillips Idowu, Ben Ainsley, Ellie Simmonds and Sarah Storey, and a variety of word and picture puzzles and quizzes, all based around Team GB and ParalympicsGB. There is also a wacky comic strip adventure featuring Team GB mascot, Pride the Lion. And, bringing all the stories and features to life, are a selection of top action moments caught on camera by the world's top sports photographers.
Another great guide for young Olympic fans. This book concentrates on the British Olympic hopefuls but also includes small sections on venues, coaches and also on golden memories of previous games.
It is an annual and does follow that format with puzzles included as well as facts and figures.
it would make a great accompaniment to the book previously reviewed on this blog, The Fact File.
There is plenty of interesting facts to included in this book and also lots of inspiration for children to achieve highly in sports. It is perfect for children to read in the build up to the Games.
Thank you to the publishers, Carlton, for sending me this book to review.

The London 2012 Games Fact File (Carlton)

The London 2012 Games Fact File: An Official London 2012 Games Publication

This London 2012 official junior book contains everything young readers need to become true Olympic Games and Paralympic Games experts as they study the easy-to-follow Games event analysis, star athlete profiles, and absorb the brilliant action photographs.Illustrated with 100 amazing images and appealing to junior fans, this fantastic book looks at each of the major events as well as profiling of all of the tournament's star athletes including Usain Bolt, Tom Daley, Rebecca Adlington, Chris Hoy and Ellie Simmonds.Readers will meet Wenlock and Mandeville, the official London 2012 Games mascots, and be entertained by the special features on the venues, great Games moments and amazing facts.The official London 2012 Games Fact File is the essential companion for junior fans and will keep them entertained throughout the Games.
This is a great book for any young sports fans who are looking forward to The London 2012 Olympic Games. It is jam packed full of facts, figures and dates that any true fan need to know about the games.
The book introduces Wenlock and Mandeville, the mascots to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the story behind their creation. There are also some of the most famous olympians and paralympians introduced in the book.
The book gives a brief description of all the London 2012 venues and includes some did you know facts that will impress in any quizes.
Each of the Olympic and Paralympic sports are listed in the book and the medals avaliable in each discipline before the events are discussed in a little more detail with the lowdown on venues, dates and medal oppurtunities. The athletes to
watch are also highlighted.
There is a very clear competition schedule included for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games included - ideal to ensure you catch the events you are interested in, or to watch new sports.
The book is a fantastic guide for The Games and would be perfect for children or adults of any age to have to hand throughout the events. It is full of facts, figures and photographs. My children will definitely be keeping this book close by to read up on the events before they start.
Thank you to the publishers, Carlton, for sending me this book to review.

Me and my sister by Sinead Moriarty

Me and My Sisters

There's more than one way of being a modern woman, not that the Devlin sisters would admit it ...Harassed mum Julie used to be the easy-going one, but now she is struggling to keep sane. She needs support, but how could her sisters understand? After all, their lives are perfect. One drunken mistake is jeopardising everything lawyer Louise has worked so hard for. For a control freak like her, being out of control is terrifying. Despite herself, she too needs her sisters. And gorgeous Sophie's perfect designer lifestyle is falling apart at the seams. She can hardly bring herself to tell the other two the trouble she's in. The Devlin sisters think they have little in common. They might just be in for some big surprises... ( taken from waterstones product page )

One thing you can always guarantee when you pick up a book by Sinead Moriarty is that the book will be full of women with a story to tell and this book is no exception!

The book follows the Devlin sisters who all have their own lives, each one different to the others, full of their own day to day challenges and goals.  Julie is mum to three boys; Louise is a lawyer, who lives to work and when she finds out she is pregnant assumes that the baby will fit around her high powered job. The third sister, Sophie, appears, to the outsider, that she has everything - a gorgeous husband who has a highly paid job, the show house home, and a beautiful daughter. She is then dealt a cruel blow, when her husband loses his job and they are forced to move in with her parents while they get back on their feet.  The book follows the three sisters as they deal with what life has dealt them and I loved the journey  that each sister goes through in the book.
Sinead Moriarty has addressed the issues each sister goes through in a real life way. The issues are all feasible in today's society and the sisters actions are all realistic and could happen.   The characters were all modern day girls, characters which you may see in everyday life.

The sisters were all great characters who I would love to have been friends with and I really enjoyed following their lives through this 'life changing' period they all had. 
A great read for all Sinead Moriarty fans or for anyone who loves a good family saga read. It is a great book to add to any holiday bag this summer!

Thank you to Waterstones  and the publishers, Penguin, for sending me this book to review.