Monday, 8 December 2014

Review - The Book With No Pictures by B J Novak


What an appealing book cover!  Well, not exactly, but it is a little intriguing isn't it?  Shall we see what's inside?  Go on then....

Hmm.  So far I'm not convinced this is the right book for my 4 year old, but let's give it a chance.  So, I have to say all the words in the book, out loud.  No matter what they say.  Ok, I can do that...


Oh!  The 4 year old's face lights up, neither of us were expecting that!  From here it gets worse (or better, if you're the child!), with not a single picture throughout but lots of silly words and phrases taking their place.  A bit like this...


Like most parents, I thought books for young children (who can't yet read) required pictures.  But here the words act as pictures.  Even if the child isn't able to read it they can see the style of text and recognise it as a 'sound effect' word which will be read to them in a silly way!  

I honestly didn't expect us to enjoy this book as much as we have, but it really works and entertains both the child and the reader.  I don't think it's one we'll be taking with us on the train or to the dentist's waiting room any time soon though!

B.J. Novak is best known as an actor, writer, and producer of “The Office” in the US.  The Book With No Pictures has been an instant hit in the US, prompting a reprint quantity of 500,000 copies within three weeks of publication.  This book is best read out loud and you can see B.J. Novak's hilarious reading of the book in the video below. 

We have one copy of The Book With No Pictures to give away, enter via the Rafflecopter form below.  Good luck!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

A Year in Photos - Weeks 48 & 49

 23rd - 29th November
Meeting Santa
A bit stuck up
"I made a comic!"
Watching a classic - Superted!
Admiring himself in the door handle
Practicing a dance

 30th November - 6th December
Outdoor play at Mottisfont
An advent calender of books
Feeling festive
A onesie & film afternoon
The first mulled wine of the year
Row row row your boat
Fun at Winchester Science Centre

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Winter at Mottisfont

We visited Mottisfont back in the summer when the gardens were full of butterflies and bees.  This time, they were filled with winter sculptures, snowflakes and icicles, as part of The Nutcracker Christmas event, running until 4th January.

Inside the house were twinkling fairy lights, a huge Christmas tree, large wooden puppets and a selection of mechanical toys, which The Princess and The Pickle enjoyed looking at.  


Back outside was an impressive display of giant sweeties and lollipops!  We also discovered the cellar which we had missed last time.

We love Mottisfont's wooden play area, despite it being a whole lot muddier this time and almost losing a shoe or two in the mud (we must remember to take wellies next time!)


We enjoyed a stroll through the walled garden, which is very peaceful at this time of year being 'out of season' and a little further away from the main attractions. 



We left Mottisfont feeling very festive and decided to put our tree and decorations up as soon as we arrived home!  We look forward to visiting again soon.

Linking this post up with the following blogs...
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

We were provided with a family ticket to Mottisfont.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Our Top Books for Christmas!

Is It Christmas Yet?
Written by Jane Chapman, Published by Little Tiger Press
A lovely, festive story about Ted being very excited for Christmas, much to the frustration of Big Bear.  Ted wants to help get everything ready but his good intentions don't always go to plan.  
Parents and little ones can relate to this story – there is so much to get done in the run up to Christmas – choosing and decorating the tree, wrapping up the presents and baking the cake, but so much excitement too. The large ‘sound effect’ words are very effective, such as “plop!” and "splodge!”, when the bears are baking. The book is beautifully illustrated with heart-warming pictures of the two bears hugging and having lots of festive fun together.

The Dinosaur That Pooped Christmas 
Written by Tom Fletcher and Dougie Poynter, Illustrated by Garry Parsons, Published by Random House
Along with the rest of the pooping dinosaur series (The Dinosaur That Pooped A Planet and The Dinosaur That Pooped The Past), this fun picture book is bound to leave any young child in fits of giggles and talking about poo for the rest of advent at least!  All about a greedy little boy who thinks he can never have too many toys, until Santa decides to teach him a lesson.  One half of McFly (or a third of McBusted) have really set the bar for Christmas stories here.  Dinosaurs, Santa and poo - what more could a 4 year old want in a book?!  

You can win a copy of all 3 of The Dinosaur That Pooped books, scroll down to enter the competition! 

A Scarf and a Half
Written by Amanda Brandon, Illustrated by Catalina Echeverri, Published by Maverick Arts
Little Lionel gets a scarf from his granny for a present, but is so disappointed that it’s not a football, he throws it away in frustration as all he wants is something that is fun. However, with the help of his friends, he soon discovers that he could have more fun with a scarf than he could possibly have imagined!  

Trickster Tales: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Written by Russell Brand, Illustrated by Chris Riddell, Published by Canongate
Never in a million years did I imagine buying a book written by Russell Brand and actually letting my children read it!  Sitting on the front row of Bournemouth BIC in hysterics watching one of my favourite comedians, yes.  Reading a book to my kids said favourite comedian had written, probably not.  Yet, minus a few borderline words and phrases, I think he just about gets away with it!  
With his use of words and style of writing, you can almost hear Brand telling the story in his own characteristic tones.  The book follows the traditional tale of the Pied Piper, with contemporary twists along the way.  With his somewhat eclectic use of the English language, there are often asides in the text and also a glossary to explain meanings in a way children will understand, such as "Pompous: Thinking you are top notch and that your blow-offs smell like flowers".  This book is Brand through and through - bold and entertaining.

Peter Rabbit:  Happy Christmas!
Published by Puffin
Part of the animated series, along with The Peter Rabbit Club and Secret Treehouse Sticker Book, this is a lovely Christmas story for any young Peter Rabbit fan.  Following the style and theming of the current TV series, this book is a festive and familiar read with well known characters.  Follow Peter and his friends as they try to make a special delivery.  When something goes wrong, Can Nutkin come to the rescue in time?   
This is a sturdy board book with glossy pictures - perfect for infants and preschool children this Christmas. 

To win a copy of Happy Christmas, as well as The Peter Rabbit Club and Secret Treehouse Sticker Book (containing everything from colouring pages to maps, memory games, puzzles, plus 150 stickers!), scroll down to enter the competition. You can also sign up to the Peter Rabbit Club newsletter here!

The Beaver and The Elephant
Written & Illustrated by Keith Lemon, Published by Orion
If you're a fan of Keith Lemon, this book will be right up your street!  Of course, your kids won't (or at least shouldn't) have a clue who Keith Lemon is, but this book is indeed suitable for children.  There are three stories, all following the adventures of two friends, Beaver and Elephant, with appearances from Mr Sweaty Fox and even Keith Lemon himself!  Illustrated as cartoon characters within photographic scenes, Beaver and Elephant have lots of fun throughout the stories.  They go on holiday, shop for new shoes, and snuggle "underneath their One Direction duvet covers watching Christmas Top of the Pops".  Along with all the silliness, the stories also have very good morals and the book has become my little boy's current favourite, with the best line being "POOOOOOPAAAAAR", which can be constantly heard like an echo throughout our house.  Thanks, Mr Lemon! 

A Treasury of Animal Stories
Written by Holly Webb, Published by Little Tiger Press
This book contains a collection of short stories about animals, along with facts about the animals, snippets of information about the author and her own pets, tips on writing and adorable illustrations throughout.  It's a hardback book with ribbon bookmark and the Christmas themed stories make it a perfect gift for primary school children.

A Very Pirate Christmas
Written by Timothy Knapman, Illustrated by Russell Ayto, Published by Egmont
A Very Pirate Christmas tells the tale of the dastardly Eyepatch Jim and how he tried to steal Christmas with the help of his crew of scurvy pirates.  The book is full of amusing illustrations and rhymes such as "They climbed aboard that flying sleigh and did a dreadful thing... They tied poor Father Christmas up with gift wrap and with string!" and would make a great gift for any little pirate lovers!

Why not count down to Christmas with books?  They last much longer than a chocolate calendar!  They don't all have to be brand new books, you could scour the charity shops for preloved bargains, throw in some cheap activity books from the supermarket and even bring down from the loft the long forgotten Christmas books from previous years which the kids will love rediscovering! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway