‘Bumbelinda’ Secret Garden Book Launch

Tucked away in hustle and bustle of South London is a beautiful little secret garden that I was lucky enough to visit the other day for the launch of he lovely new book ‘Bumbelinda‘ that has just been published by the lovely Kate Bodell.

I arrived at the launch to be greeted by a beautifully decorated garden within a local primary school and a group of friendly faces that welcomed me and pulled me into the group that exuded the excitement and passion they had for the launch of Kate’s first childrens book.

Kate is a writer and illustrator based in South London who is a teaching Mum of two that has used all her experiences with children to put together the amazing picture book – Bumbelinda.

We were treated to a reading of the book by Kate herself and with an audience of little ones it was going to be a tough nut to crack!

We all settle in the sunshine whilst Kate introduced us to Bumbelinda, the fairy that has turned all those preconceived pink and fluffy images of fairies on their head with her scruffy appearance and toilet humour.

Bumbelinda being different to your stereotypical fairy means that this cute tale also appeals to little boys that might sometimes overlook the magic of believing in faries can bring!

When a very excited little girl stumbles across Bumbelinda she soon finds the task of getting her two wishes grated a pretty tricky one and I will let you all find out if she manages to convince Bumbelinda to make them come true!

Kate has poured so much love and effort into this wonderful book and this shines though in each and every detail.

The book is full of fun and as you turn each colourful page there is a cleverly hidden message about friendship and following your dreams.

I actually see Izzy very much in this story and this is probably why she was so taken with the story, along with the boys who love her cheeky character and her love of the word ‘poo’.

*collaborated post

What The Ladybird Heard At Rose Theatre Kingston:Review

We all have a favourite books from our childhood; one that brings back memories and even into our adult life can evoke feelings from times and places around that very story.

The beauty of finding your favourite book in this day and age is the fact that many of the classics are adapted for the big screen or stage, allowing you to enjoy the story in a completely different way.

A favourite in our house at the moment, especially with Frankie is What The Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson. Frankie first came across this fantastic book whilst covering it at school and was lucky enough to play a part in the school assembly that we all loved watching.

You can imagine his excitement when I told him we would be going to see the show on stage at the Rose Theatre in Kingston.

The Rose Theatre is a new discovery for us and we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived to the super friendly staff in a lovely bright and spacious reception that lead onto a cafe full of scrummy treats and a small play area that was perfect to keep restless fingers busy.

After a quick look around we made our way to our seats inside the theatre. It had a really laid back feel to it and the children were invited to grab a cushion and take a seat right in front of the stage or settle in their seats if they wanted. Actually as sad as this may seem the seats were a pretty big highlight for me as they were the usual retractable kind but came in a double seat which saved the continual chair banging throughout the show!

The colourful set had the whole audience of little people gazing at the stage with anticipation of the start. It wasn’t long before the lights dimmed and the charters took to the stage. The tale of the two cheeky robbers who were out to steal the farmers prized cow started to unfold and with the use of extremely clear props…my favourite was the goose made from a watering can, catchy tunes and bundles of audience participation the children were keeped engaged for the whole 55 mins which is no mean feat when there is such a young audience.

During the show the children were encouraged to join in with animal noises, sing and mimic the actions to songs and try to spot the elusive ladybird which seemed a favourite with them all. There was also plenty of slapstick style comedy thrown in which is always a hit with my lot!

The characters were warm and friendly and really drew the children in and made a great connection with them. Frankie took a real liking to the naughty robbers whilst Oscar was pretty taken with the jolly farmer.

At the end of the show we were lucky enough to be able to take to the stage for a chat with the characters and the children got to try their hand at using some of the amazing props.

Frankie was over the moon the meet his favourite character ‘Lanky Len’ and Izzy was in her element to get five minutes on stage as this is her absolute dream.

We had a fantastic afternoon and highly recommend this show as a half term treat for all the family.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Themed World Book Day With Party Delights UK

World Book Day is one of the favourite days of the school year for my lot…well and for me actually. I love going through all their most loved books and choosing which characters they want to become.

There has been a huge variety of different characters chosen over the years and I have to say some have been easier to create than others. One author that is always top of the list though is Roald Dahl.

He brings back so many found memories of my childhood and I would get completely immersed in his tales, from the shenanigans of the evil Witches to the heart felt adventures of The BFG to the trials and tribulations of the mischievous Twits and the troubled life of darling Matilda.

His thought provoking tales have bought so much enjoyment to myself and my family over the years that it would be rude not to honour his work on such a special day.

On paper as well as on screen Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is alway a hit and the boys were lucky enough to be sent a Charlie Bucket and Willy Wonka outfit each from the lovely people at Party Delights UK.

They are certainly the people to go to to get kitted out for World Book Day, and its not only the children they have thought of, there is also a section for the teachers too.

There are way to many costumes to list on here but there are some firm favourites such as Harry Potter, David Walliams, The Gruffalo, Alice In Wonderland and many more.

Frankie was thrilled will his costume that had all the finer details that are often left out such as Willy’s cane, a super cute bow tie and of course the spectacular top hat.

Oscar’s Charlie Bucket outfit came complete with authentic grubby patches and a little attachment inside the jacket to hold the all important golden ticket!

Head over and take a look yourselves at the fantastic range and get your little ones kitted out in style for this very special day.

*We were given these outfits for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinions.

Celebrating The Small Things:Week One

When I first started blogging it was a subject I knew very little about, and to say that I went into it blindly would be an understatement; but through the encouragement of family and friends I began my blogging journey and haven’t looked back since.

Over the past few years my blog has gone from strength to strength, it has now become my full time job and has bought me and my family some of the most amazing opportunities and allowed us to meet some wonderful people…some of which I would now class as good friends.

My blog is a place that I come to when I want people to find out about a great day out we have been on, somewhere I can give advice on great new products I have tried out or to celebrate big milestones in our lives; but as the New Year sets in and we naturally evaluate the different parts of our lives I have realised there is one area I have really overlooked when it comes to writing…The Small Things.

There are so many small moments in our lives that we take for granted or miss all together, moments that although may seem small and insignificant they give us great pleasure and we should learn to cherish and show our gratitude for them all.

I have decided to now do a weekly post highlighting all those little moments that would normally pass me by as a document to look back on in years to come and remember fondly.

Brotherly love: When it comes to the youngest two its always been a bit of a love hate relationship, with the latter certainly being more predominant, so when a special moment such as Frankie requesting to take his little brother out to share his birthday treat is an occasion that should be marked.

Lego: This may seem like a strange one, but the wonderful world of Lego has bought us all so much joy since Christmas in many ways. It dominated the youngest two’s christmas lists this year but has brought the whole family such pleasure and brought us together for some much needed quality time as we all muck in trying to make the next creation.

Storytime: Its been more than a few years since Izzy has requested a bedtime story, and to be truthful its not very often she willingly picks up a book! So after buying her the fantastic Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls it has been an absolute pleasure to see her engrossed in reading and sharing what she has learnt about a whole host of ‘kick arse’ women.

Magical Christmas Books By Red Shed

One of the best ways to get your children’s imagination running wild is through reading and Christmas time is a wonderful time to share the magic with a book.

We were asked to review some books from Red Shed and were over the moon when our parcel of beautiful books popped through the door.


The first one number three picked out was a heart warming story called ‘Socks For Santa’ about a little boy who was desperate to share his Christmas cheer by getting a present to Santa.  His journey was not as easy as he had hoped for!

The illustrations were bright and cheery and she loved sharing the story with her younger brothers.


Next up was a book that explains the true meaning of Christmas in a fun way that younger children will be able to understand.  With number four taking part in his first nursery play this book was perfect to help him get to know the story of the Nativity.


I love the addition of the pop out stable at the back of the book where the children can set up and play with their very own nativity scene.

My favourite book from our bundle though was ‘The Little Christmas Tree’.  The beautiful story of the animals from Emerald Wood coming together to decorate the last forgotten tree is bought to life with a spectacular pop up Christmas tree.


My usually boisterous three year old sat patiently with me adorning the tree with all the pretty decorations and bringing the characters to life with the little cardboard animals.


This one is going to be a favourite that will be bought and and loved for many Christmases to come!

A book really is a gift that keeps on giving and any one of these would make a wonderful present that any child would love.

 

Nemo And Giraffe Book Review

  
Pets in our house is a weekly topic.  Usually consisting of one of the children asking for one, and me saying no!  With a large family and both my husband and I having allergies to a lot of animals a fish is our limit.

My lovely Mother saved the day last year by getting a dog so that the children can have a furry friend at her house.  They were completely over the moon and love her to bits, but as children do number four can be slightly to affectionate and tries to drag the poor thing around by her tail, dress her up and just be continually in her way.

When I was approached by aspiring author Lee Hunter to review her new children’s book Nemo And Giraffe I jumped at the chance as the ethos behind the first in a series of books she is hoping to publish is about building positive relationships with pets.

  
Her background as a childminder for under fives with a house cat herself started her on the path to encourage children to treat animals as equals and understand that we can all be friends no matter what we look like or where we came from.

I sat down with number four to share this story with him the other day.  He is quite fussy when it comes to books as he has a few favourites that tend to get read time and time again, but he was drawn to the brightly coloured, cute charters drawn by Lindy Damen. Lee has set the book out so that it is very easy for the children to build a rapport with the main characters Nemo and Giraffe. He quickly grasped the idea Lee was trying to get across about us all being different and I could then relate to to ourselves and the animals in our life that he comes across.

I would highly recommend this book which you can easily pick up on Amazon for a very reasonable £4.99. You can follow Nemo and Giraffe on Twitter and Facebook. We will be following them and waiting for their next adventure.

I was sent Nemo and Giraffe in a PDF format to share with my children. All of my reviews are of my honest opinion and I only take on products that are relevant to myself and my family.

Sharing The Love On World Book Day

In our house there is always a big dilemma about costume choice in the weeks leading up to World book week.  It’s not unusual for around twenty characters to be considered and rejected before we finally choose.  Thankfully this year I only had one to dress and we finally came up with Wanda ( Where’s Wally’s girlfriend) without to many problems.

This got me thinking about the whole concept of World Book Day and reflecting on a family holiday in The Gambia when I was a child.  I remember being astounded that the children there could not go to school unless they had their own pens and paper.  Being a fairly typical ten year old child who’d moan and groan every morning about getting up for school, I remember being shocked by the Gambian children’s hunger for learning.

The memory of those children inspired me to search for a charity that supplies books to Third World Countries; and my search lead me to the Book Bus.  This fantastic organisation supplies children’s books to countries such as Zambia, India and Malawi.



I’m not sure how much they understood but from now on we will donate to The Book Bus each World Book Day as a reminder of just how privileged we are and that we mustn’t take our access to education and a good book for granted.

If this entry feels a little worthy, check in tomorrow for the antidote – the children and I are off to IKEA, I can feel my stress levels rising already!