Our Jacky Ha-Ha Girls Book Club

Jacky Ha-Ha by James Patterson a top selling author, is a perfect read for girls age 9+.  Packed full of fun and jokes as it follows Jacky Ha-Ha’s day to day life in which she can’t help cracking jokes and seeing the funny side in everything.  She turns any dull moment into a laugh sometimes without thinking it through but is this just a cover for the emotions she is feeling inside?  We were sent a bundle of books and goodies to hold a girls book club at home and my 9yr old Miss M was excited to invite a group of her school friends round.

“With her irresistible urge to tell a joke in every situation – even when she really, really shouldn’t – twelve-year-old Jacky Ha-Ha loves to make people laugh. And cracking wise helps distract her from thinking about not-so-funny things in her life, like her mum serving in a dangerous, faraway war, and a dad who’s hardly ever home.
But no matter how much fun Jacky has, she can’t seem to escape her worries. So one starlit night, she makes a promise to keep her family together… even if she has to give up the one thing that makes her happy. But can she stop being Jacky Ha-Ha, if that’s who she really is?”

The girls all arrived rather excitedly and couldn’t wait to share their thoughts on the book.  They were all enjoying what they had read so we started off by having a little chat, talking about some questions from the prompt sheet I had been sent such as:

  • How did Jacky get her nickname?
  • What are some of your talents?
  • Have you ever stuck up for a friend in the way Jacky sticks up for Meredith?

It was lovely hearing the girls chat and discuss things that we wouldn’t have otherwise and they all seemed to have fun, being inspired by what others said which led them to think of other things to say.  It certainly seems to help reiterate the story line of the book and got the girls to think about parts of their life they may not have otherwise.  They also recalled funny bits they remembered which set them all off in giggles!

Although the book is quite lengthy, it is broken up with black and white images on most pages which the girls enjoyed and helped maintain their interest whilst reading.  Ideal for girls from 9 to 12 years old it is a busy story line but one with meaning and depth behind it.

Once the discussions were over it was time for some fun.  The girls happily did their word searches and coloured the props for the Jacky Ha-Ha photo booth, whilst sucking lollipops and enjoying a refreshing glass of lemonade.

The photo booth was a huge success and they posed in various ways whilst giggling together.

We really enjoyed the Jacky Ha-Ha book club and would definitely like to hold another in the future.  The girls weren’t sure what to expect at first but found it fun and loved that they were all reading the same book.  It certainly helped the girls bond and reinforced their love of reading!

I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. [I have received a voucher in return for writing this post]

Finding Dory – Book of the Film

Disney Pixar Finding Dory Book of the Film from Parragon books tells the sequel story to the Finding Nemo film that was a big hit a few years ago.  We haven’t seen the film Finding Dory but the children were exciting to receive the book and get reading.  My 8yr old read it herself over a a couple of weeks and really enjoyed it.  She then passed it to her younger brother age 6 who was really keen to listen to the story and we happily read him a couple of chapters each night before bed.

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Forgetful Dory is very happy living in the ocean with her friends, Marlin and Nemo. But one day, memories of her long-lost parents come flooding back to her. With the help of old friends and new, including Hank the septopus, can Dory finally discover her past?

The story follows Dory on her adventures where she meets old friends such as Destiny the whale who recognises her and helps tell her about her past.  She finds many friendly faces along the way in this exciting adventure.

In the centre of the book are 8 full colour picture pages which really help bring the story to life.  Mister B, my 6 year old really enjoyed looking at these to remind him what the characters looked like and retell the story in his own words.  The chapters are short meaning you can easily pick the book up and just read a few pages or a few chapters if you have more time.

wp_20161221_15_09_57_proBoth children have enjoyed the story and found it fun to read and listen to.  For any fans of the Finding Nemo or Finding Dory films then this is the perfect book to keep them entertained and read about all the fishy friends having fun together.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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Read and Play Dinosaur Activity Pack – Review

The Read and Play Dinosaur Activity Pack from Miles Kelly has been a huge hit here with 5yr old Mister B.  It really is packed full of activities that have fully engaged him and he has returned to the pack time after time.

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The box opens out to reveal a pile of contents including a story book, an activity book, a puzzle and two precut sheets of accessories.  What’s really clever about this box is that the flaps and the inside all contain things to do which you’ll see further down the review, but also the box is a great place to store everything at the end of play.

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We started reading the story book ‘Rex gets a Scare’ which is perfect for young children with full colour pages and lots to look at which also keeps my 5yr old entertained as he likes to tell me everything that he sees going on through the pictures.  The story follows Rex, a large green dinosaur who shouldn’t be scared of anything but finds he gets scared by flowers and bees.  He has lots of dinosaur friends around him though to support along the way.

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The activity book is packed full of puzzles and games that my little boy loved from mazes, dot to dot, spot the difference and even a fun ‘Scramble and Slide’ game that he loves to play.

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The box itself opens up to become a dinosaur play scene.  There are some press out sheets to create dinosaur models of Rex and his friends which we sat and made together.  My little boy could then play with his model dinosaurs on the play scene which he really enjoyed.miles-kelly-dinosaur-7

The flaps of the box fold over to reveal a couple of board games, ludo and draughts.  The counters for these can be popped out of one of the pre cut sheets and my little boy loved the dinosaur discs.  Prior to this my little boy wasn’t aware of the rules of draughts but it is now a game he enjoys and happily plays.

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One of his favourite parts of this set was the puzzle.  I think because it was round it had extra appeal, but it is also a really good thickness that will last unlike a lot of puzzles in book sets like this.

Overall I think that the Read and Play Dinosaur set is excellent and has been thoroughly enjoyed here along with being packed with good quality pieces that have been well thought out and are perfect for young dinosaur fans.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

 

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The Incredible Intergalatic Journey Home Book

The Incredible Intergalatic Journey Home is a personalised children’s book that encaptures children’s imaginations as they see themselves magically travelling through space in a bid to find their way home.  The key to these book’s success is the personalisation with your child’s name used as the key character in the story and also the book really does take you right to your own doorstep.

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The book is printed on high quality paper and and story covers over thirty full colour  pages full of images to get your child talking.  My little boy always picks up on everything going on in pictures and loves to tell me what is happening before and after we read the pages.   This story follow two friends, you child being one of them and his name can be seen throughout.  At one point he see’s his name in stars across a page in the book which is a really nice touch.  We found the whole story engaging and my little boy was imersed in what was going on and intrigued as to what was going to happen next.

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The Incredible Intergalatic Journey Home follows the journey of the two friends trying to make their way back home, coming across lots of fun intergalatic filled adventures along the way including aliens and other creatures who try to help them get home.  The book is clever in that as they approach earth, the pictures incorporate a map of Europe, then as they zoom in on where you live, there is a recognisable icon of a landmark in the region where you live. In our case we had the Eden project as we live in the South West of the UK.  The next page then zones in on a map view of your actual street which is really quite cool.  Mister B didn’t notice it at first but as soon as I started pointing out the top of Morrisons and our road, he really got excited and couldn’t believe our actual house was in the book!

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This book is exciting, engaging, fun, full of colour and most importantly personalised which children just love.  You know it’s one of those books they will come back to again and again and will cherish over many years.

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My 5yr old Mister B loved his Incredible Intergalatic Journey Home book as I would imagine any child would. Being personalised makes it really special and a long term keepsake and being able to show a child where they live in a book like this is great recognition for the future.  I think these books are lovely and so well made but the ultimate thing has to be what the child thinks about them, but fortunately I’m able to say that my little boy just adores this book, loves the personalisation and the story line just keeps him entertained.  This is partly due to seeing his name but for him the full colour pictures just captivate and draw him in, he does love books though but I can honestly say this is a hit and would most probably be with any child!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

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The Little Boy who lost his Name – Personalised Book Review

The Little Boy who lost his Name is a beautifully illustrated book that is personalised to the name of your child over almost thirty pages of a fun adventure.  Personalised books have always gone down well with my children so I thought this would be perfect for 5yr old Mister B to try out.

WP_20160219_14_59_31_ProThe book tells the story of a little boy who wakes up and has forgotten his name.  He heads out on a mission to find it, and along the way meets various characters who he chats to and they end up giving him a letter in the hope that he finds his name.

Mister B didn’t twig at first that the letters where going to spell out his name but he was incredibly excited that he was coming across letters in the book that were the same one’s as in his name.  We got to the end of reading the book and he said ” The boy’s got the same name as me!”,  Bless him!

lost nameThe book really is a lovely read, a fairly long story for personalised books and one that keeps the child intrigued, eager to see what the next letter will be.  The book is high quality, well made and a great addition to any bookcase.  Mister B loved his new book and I truly believe this is a well thought out, fun way of personalising a book that kids will love especially when they discover that the child’s name is the same as their own!

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Also available in as ‘The Little Girl who lost her Name’, these books make fantastic gifts and a book to treasure for little ones, we loved it, why not check them out for yourself.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Happy by Pharrell Williams – Book Review

Happy by Pharrell Williams is a song most people will know, it’s definitely been one that’s been very familiar to me over the last year or two.  Even my children know the song’s familiar tune from school disco’s and my daughter knows many of the words.

A book has now been released aimed at children and basically consists of the words of the song.  It has a happy feel to it with pictures of children dancing around.

happy pharrell williams 2The book is hard back and of a lovely quality.  The children love singing through to the words and dancing around the room, especially if you put the song on for them to listen to as well!

happy pharrell williamsThis book has a feel good vibe, just like the song, it gets kids active as they interact with the book by singing and dancing.  If your kids love the song, then get the book for some added fun!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the book in order to write an honest review.

Christmas 4000 Sticker Activity Book – Review

Christmas 4000 Sticker Activity Book from Parragon is the perfect way to keep kids occupied over the festive season.  With a jam packed book bursting with pages to keep little ones entertained and an exceptional array of stickers in the middle, every child will be keen to dig in and explore what there is to do.

Christmas stickersThe multitude of pages really does cover every kind of activity, from colouring to dot to dot, mazes, spot the difference, various drawing activities as well as loads of pictures for you to stick your stickers!

Christmas stickers 3If your kids love stickers, then they certainly won’t be disappointed.  There are many pages in all different sizes and shapes, but importantly they are brightly filled with festive images to create wonderful pictures with. I love the little gingerbread men skiing as well as a full set of stickers to recreate a nativity scene, including Mary, Joseph, shepherds, kings and of course baby Jesus.  My little boy was particularly fond of these as he has recently perfomed his first nativity at school, so was excited to show me the scene on paper with these stickers.

Christmas stickers 2This book is action packed and has hours of activities in it, well worth getting to fill any spare time over the next few weeks!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the sticker book in order to write an honest review.

Red Fish Yellow Fish Little Learners Book – Review

Little Learners is a gorgeous new range of books from Parragon aimed at babies and toddlers. With different styles of books in the range from nursery rhymes, peek a boo books and simple colour/shape recognition books, we were given a colours book to see what they were like and share our thoughts on this new series of books.

red fishRed Fish, Yellow Fish is a board book, with really thick solid pages, perfect for little fingers.  What I really like, that I haven’t seen before is the finger holes at the bottom right corner of the book, which makes it much easier for little ones to hold and turn the page.

This is a colour recognition book, which gives the opportunity for little ones to learn and practice their colours.  It also focuses on sealife, so the child also gets to learn about animals that live in the sea, thus learning two things at once.

red fish 2I like the simple, cute drawings that are bright enough to catch little ones eyes and draw them into the objects.  With creatures such as crabs, starfish, octopus and many others to look at, all put into pairs of different colours, there is lots to learn, and this makes it a great starter book for little people!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the book in order to write the review.

Kids Don’t Come With A Manual – Book Review & Giveaway

Kids Don’t Come With A Manual is a newly released parenting guide by Carole & Nadim Saad, the parents of three children, from who they’ve gained experience and put their knowledge into a self help manual for parents to use as and when they need it.

kidsThe book is broken down into chapters, then each chapter into tools, a smaller section you can simply flick to should you need guidance in that area.  This makes the book easy to digest as you simply pick out the bits relevant to you.

Kids Don’t Come With A Manual really does cover every aspect of dealing with a child from listening to a child, how to talk to a child, dealing with bad behaviour, connecting with your child etc.  One chapter that really stood out for me as I feel it’s relevant to my family is “How to prevent power struggles and other issues”, in particular Tool No 6: Diffusing Whining and Arguing.

This is something that I do have issues around with my eldest and this book not only suggests how to diffuse whining, but then suggests techniques and ideas to follow if they are not working, it almost encourages you to keep at it in certain ways to ensure you don’t back down, stand your ground but keep calm at the same time.  I’ve definitely picked up some ideas to try out and I’m sure it’ll only be in the next day or so I get a chance to test them out.

I do think this book is well written and presented, the layout has been thought out and it’s nice to have easy to go to pages rather than having to read large chapters at a time.  For me this makes it a book I’m more likely to go to, as and when I need to.  The book is jam packed with information, there really is something for every situation and parenting dilemma.

I have one copy of Kids Don’t Come With A Manual up for grabs for one reader, just fill in the gleam form below:

Kids don’t come with a manual

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and the book was sent to me in order to write the review.

Barbie in Princess Power Book & Jigsaw Giveaway x3

Barbie in Princess Power is the latest guise of Barbie and one that has been hugely successful with my daughter.  Princess Kara acquires a magical power after being kissed by a butterfly that gives her the power to turn into a superhero allowing her to prevent disasters and save the day!

The Barbie in Princess Power Jigsaw and Book set from Autumn Publishing is perfect for young Barbie fans to read about the adventures of Princess Kara using her superhero powers to save the town.

barbie princess powerThe book is written in comic book style, with full colour pages and lots of illustrations to help guide you through the story.  Miss M who is 7 and and able reader, enjoying reading this herself especially at bedtime.

barbie powerA 60 piece jigsaw is included in the set which is an exceptionally high quality puzzle, the best I have ever seen.  The pieces are incredibly glossy and strong and Miss M couldn’t wait to get started.

barbie princess power 1The jigsaw is a brightly coloured image of Barbies Kara and Corinne in their superhero costumes flying through the sky.  Miss M thoroughly enjoyed completing this and did it herself.  On the back is a equally glossy black and white picture which is designed to be coloured in and wiped clean so you can keep redoing it in any colours of your choice.  Miss M just enjoyed the challenge of doing the puzzle of the picture on the back.

barbie princess power 2We loved this Barbie in Princess Power Jigsaw and Book set and are pleased to offer our readers the chance to win 1 of 3 copies in a giveaway!

Just enter through the gleam widget below:

Barbie in Princess Power Jigsaw and book

All reviews are my own opinions and I received a Barbie box set in order to write the review.