• Winnie the Pooh: Exploring a Classic at The Victoria and Albert Museum

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Book Review: Molly Mischief My Perfect Pet by Adam Hargreaves

Adam Hargreaves is best known as the illustrator and author of the Mr Men and Little Miss series of books over the past 30 years. Molly Mischief is an entirely new character and she is cheeky, determined and mischievous- everything you want a little girl to be. This is the story of Molly’s trip to the zoo where she ‘borrows’ various animals to try out at home.

We loved this story it really made my five year old laugh and it brightened up bedtime. The illustrations are great and very accessible and the font was easy enough for the five year old to attempt to do a bit of reading himself. The book got a big thumbs up from our five year and I thorough enjoyed reading it too.

You can find out more here

Disclaimer: We were given this book for review purposes

Book Review: The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes

I’ve started the countdown to Christmas and have been looking for perfect gifts for people who have everything. Its a tricky one as i’ve got a reputation for finding great gifts but this year i’m quite stuck.

Fortunately earlier on in the year we were sent these fantastic Colouring Books by Noisy Crow who have been collaborating with The British Museum. I’ve reviewed some of their other books and they are just great, they would have been perfect for me as a child or as a mum reading to my child. However, these colouring books are even better as they meet the criteria for doing something crafty and mindful, they’re useful and interesting.

You can chose from either Fabulous Flowers & Perfect Patterns or Amazing Animals & Beautiful Birds. Both are illustrated by Rachel Cloyne who was inspired by objects in the British Museum collections. Her illustrations are real works of art in themselves, but brilliantly once you’ve coloured them in you have a card and an envelope (each book makes 24 cards)!

colouring card

A card to colour

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a history/ museum loving creative friend then this is it. You can find more information here

 

 

Book Review: Angel’s Great Escape- A Christmas Story by Kirstie Rowson and illustrated by Kristyna Litten

angels great escapeAt this time of year its a good idea to start building a bookshelf of Christmas stories for the children. I have a friend who wraps up the books and they act as an advent calendar which is a great idea. From experience it is best to be organised well in advance as it takes the stress out of Christmas and so i’m already focussed on gathering our books with a view to creating a book advent calendar this year. Angel’s Great Escape is definitely included!

The book tells the story of Angel and her decoration friends who are trapped in a box in the home of the mean family who live in the same street as the good family. Angel and her friends need to escape on Christmas Eve in time to meet Father Christmas. This is a delightful, original Christmas story with beautiful illustrations. One of the problems I tend to find with Christmas stories is that they are either too long, too short or simply retell the same story. Angel’s Great Escape is a perfect length for 5- 8 year old bedtime reading and its original with nice quirky illustrations.

The first book from the independent publishing company And So We Begin which was set up by Kirstie Rowson Angel’s Great Escape sets the bar high, we cant wait to read more from her.

You can find out more about the book here

Disclaimer: We were sent a review copy, this hasn’t influenced our opinion.

Book Review: Izzy Gizmo by Pip Jones and Sara Ogilvie

If you’re looking for a new book with a determined, strong female role model then this is for you. I love this book personally, Izzy is living my childhood dream and doing loads of things I’d have liked to do. She is an inventor and has adventures based on her inventions.

There is a strong message behind the story about resilience and trying again which is really appealing at the moment in our household as I try to encourage my five year old to not give up at the first sign of something going wrong.

Izzy Gizmo has been created by Pip Jones who is responsible for Fifi’s favourite series Squishy McFluff and illustrated by Sara Ogilvie who is one of Booktrust’s Best New illustrators and has brought a brilliant character to life here. This is a colourful, well presented and fun picture book and it comes as no surprise that its shortlisted for the 2017 Sainsbury’s Children’s Book Awards.

You can find out more here

Disclaimer: We were sent this book for review

Day out at Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire

Paradise Wildlife ParkWhen you drive through Broxbourne Woods you wouldn’t think that within the hornbeams there is a whole wildlife park with dinosaurs, a train and a speedway museum but thats exactly the beauty of Paradise Wildlife Park.

We visited Paradise Wildlife Park on one of those typical British September Sundays,  the park was buzzing with people enjoying themselves. We were given a map of the site which had times of all the shows. The bird show was nearby so we headed over and what a treat it was. The staff were clearly well informed, it was a small enough audience to really feel part of the show and the birds were close and impressive.paradise wildlife park

One of the things which Paradise concentrates on is its big cats and there are plenty to look at and learn about. The big cat area is really great as its wheelchair/ pushchair friendly and allows you to have a look at the cats from lots of different angles. We loved spotting the baby jaguar which was absolutely adorable.

baby jaguar

 

 

There aren’t just big cats though, there is loads to see. Inside the reptile house we got to meet a special turtle and ask the keeper questions. We saw otters, wolves, penguins, pigs, sheep and all sorts of things!

The great thing about Paradise Wildlife Park is that when the kids get bored of the animals there are loads of other things to do. My kids loved the different playgrounds and in particular the slides which kept them amused whilst we had a chance for a sit down and a cup of tea. We went on a little train ride and spotted dinosaurs and we even visited a speedway museum.snow leopard

The absolute joy of Paradise Wildlife Park is that although it is busy, there is so much to do that the queues for things are very short. There are plenty of toilets, places to sit down and eat and its not so massive that it wears you out. Its fairly easy to park and you can by pass the shop on the way out which is always a winner for me as it prevents the end of day meltdowns. We had a fabulous time and will definitely return soon as there is so much going on. If you are looking for a great stress free day out in Hertfordshire then we would highly recommend a trip to Paradise Wildlife Park.

paradise wildlife park

otters

slide

Fun on the slides