The Wombles of Wimbledon

We live close enough to Wimbledon Common, to go and visit it on occassion and have a good walk around it. When walking in woods with younger children however, it is good to often have some sort of purpose (having said that, they love running around, picking up sticks, climbing up trees and exploring regardless).. so.. recently we have been reading The Wombles of Wimbledon Common books. It talks about the Wimbledon Common Windmill, the Goluff (aka Golf) course and Queen’s Mere pond. It was exciting to visit the common with these locations in  mind and to see whether WE could spot a Womble…

Here is how we did – how many did you spot?!

If you are not familiar with The Wombles, do check out the stories, they are making for a great chapter book for us at bedtime at the moment (the kids are aged 5 and 7yrs). Really sweet!

Check out these affiliate links for book info US readers read about The Wombles here , UK readers here.

 

Gingerbread Man Books

Sooo with us being in FULL Christmas Baking mode…. we are making all sorts from Vanilla Kipferl to Gingerbread Men. We ALSO love to read lots of Christmas books at this time of year (we have a number of “Christmas books” list for you to check out – one set here, and another set here, with our favourite Christmas Movies here)… but today’s topic of excitement, are these GINGERBREAD MAN BOOKS. Who knew that there were SO MANY different ones. Lots of fun reading to keep you busy through December. Simply Wonderful.

I have popped them all into one handy (affiliate) “list”, as well as included some quirky Gingerbread men products for you to take a peak at, just click on the links below for full info.

gingerbread man books

Check out the full book list here for US Readers

Check out the full book list here for UK Readers

Non-Fiction Books for Kids – #RealWorldAdventures #NNFN

national non fiction monthIf you know about our family, you will know that we ADORE picture books. When my kids where born, Picture Books was something that I really splashed out on. We were lucky to receive lots of baby items clothes and toys as hand me downs, so I felt I could go crazy on the books. The kids adore books now, and as they are getting older (4yrs and 6yrs), it is really interesting to see how their interests are developing.

Today we are supporting National Non-Fiction November. This is the Federation of Children’s Book Groups’ annual celebration of all things factual. Born out of National Non-Fiction Day, 2014 marks a new departure, with the whole month now being a celebration of all those readers, authors and illustrators who have a passion for information and facts.

National Non-Fiction November is an ideal time to invite a non-fiction author for an event at your local school, library, or youth group. You can find details of many non-fiction authors at Contact an Author and Authors Aloud. FCBG groups also have access to a dedicated directory of non-fiction authors who are keen to visit groups for events. Find free resources here.

As part of this, I wanted to share some of The Boy’s favourite non-fiction books. His love for non-fiction is something that I love about him – he is so interested in the world and the things around him, he loves to pour over these books and take it all in – always asking questions and sharing facts he has learnt (personally, I love to “escape into the world of fiction”, so we are quite different in this respect). We have some lovely Atlases that he enjoys browsing, a great book on the Human Body and a number of science books.

non fiction for kidsBut the thing that he seems to really enjoy is history! Which is a common interest he shares with his father. So we were very chuffed to receive the Usborn History of Britain collection from a friend – 10 books looking at different periods of Britain’s history.  (It is quite pricey, but do shop around, The Book People had a GREAT offer on it).

Peronally, history is NOT my strongest subject, so I am enjoying reading these book WITH The Boy. A great way for us both discover things about Britain – from the Anglo-Saxons, right through to the Second World War and modern Britain.

As with all Usborne books – it is well written and it contains a mixture of good facts, but also quirky anecdotes and illustrations that will help make history interesting for kids.

51HHVyjAZBL._As it is National Non-Fiction Week and this year’s theme is the First World War, I thought I would highlight this particular book in the set.

The book lays out the background to the War – the clash of Empires and the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Maps show how Europe was divided at the time. A good example of making life during the war interesting is the book sharing extracts from popular songs at the time (Goodbye Dolly Gray), explaining nicknames such as “Tommies” and myths such as the Angel of Mons. Of course it also talks about the hardship of war, about the losses and the sadness and how so many lives are affected. But also about the small miracles of war, such as the Christmas Truce. Showing the human side of the parties involved.

This only touches on the information within this 60 odd pages book on the First World War. It is jam packed with so much, looking at so many different aspects of the war (including, what happened to wounded soldiers after the war), that any child working on a history project, probably has all the information they need at their finger tips.

Multiply it by 10 books and you have an excellent representation of Britain’s history all in one place.

I am really enjoying revisiting my own history knowledge through my children and their wonderful non fictional books.

Great Crochet Reference Books

A couple of years ago I challenge myself to learn how to crochet. I succeeded and was very pleased with myself. 2 years on, and I find, I don’t have the time to keep crocheting and as I was never “proficient” (just happily good enough), it is easy for me to forget things along my crochet journey. Luckily, I quickly pick it all up again. But I always have to go and search for things on the big wide web again, which is a bit of a hassle.. and take extra care with the US and UK terminology.crochet books for beginners

Along comes the approx A5 sized A Little Course in Crochet by DK books. Just perfect. The focus is less on projects (though they do have some from little crochet balls, to stretchy shopping bags, to cute baby cardies), but on technique. Lots of GREAT detailed photographs, showing step by step how to complete certain stitches and patterns. It helps you understand “worded patterns”, but also how to read Crochet Diagrams. I will be hanging on to this one for sure…

 

Crochet Book Guide And then there is the A4 sized Crochet Book from DK books. This books is different in that the it is far more comprehensive and contains 80 projects in addition to looking at techniques and different types of yarn. The book above feels more like a great reference book, with some lovely little projects, whilst the larger book feels more like a book for the crocheter who wants to go to the next level and try out lots off different kinds of projects, though it still has lots of detailed photographs and help with explaining how to read patterns.

Disclaimer: I received these books from DK for review

Mummy & Me (Books)

I do LOVE books, whether it is picture books for the kids or craft books for me or a relaxing read at the end of a long day. I love browsing through a new book with a cup of tea in hand!

51DVKiu7YvL._SX342_ So when a publishers asks me if I fancy reviewing a couple of books for them, how can I  say no? Along came Mummy & Me Craft by DK books. Craft books always interest me in particularly, as I am keen to see if they have “the basics”, as well as a variety of crafts and something to surpris me. This book has approximately 20 projects or so. Split into 5 sections:

  • Paper
  • Wool
  • Junk
  • Felt
  • Paint

I would say that these are the basic craft materials I would use with children. So a big tick. I also like that each section is introduced with an “educational” part about “where paper comes from”/ “what is junk”? etc etc.

I would say that I am familiar with most of the craft projects in this book, having made many myself with my kids already over on Red Ted Art. Which also means that ILIKE the crafts in this book – from Magazine Beads, to paper boats, to Juggling Chooks. A good set of varied projects to do together and build on skills.

51YkX2xAFoL._SX342_Similarly there is the Mummy & Me Cook Book. Again Cooking with Kids is something that we enjoying doing as much as possible. So I am always looking for new recipes and ideas that can involve the children.

Again, there is a good does of “education”, discussing and working through what things are – a la: “what is pasta”? “What is rice”? “What are peas”? etc.

A great way to teach kids about what we eat and how it is produced. I am keen to try the fish cake recipe, as well as the chocolate truffles!

Disclosure: DK PR sent these books to me free of charge