Saturday, 19 August 2017

Book review - Super Rabbit and I Can't Sleep by Stephanie Blake

Today I'm sharing two lovely picture books by Stephanie Blake.

Super Rabbit tells the story of Simon, a little rabbit that thinks he is a Super Rabbit. With his mask and his cape he heads out to find some villains. It's a simple story with bright, bold illustrations and plenty of opportunity for expressive reading, a lovely book to share with your little super heroes.

Super Rabbit by Stephanie Blake

I Can't Sleep! introduces us to Simon's little brother Casper, who suddenly realises one night that he has lost his blanky. Super Rabbit Simon bravely goes out into the dark to find blanky for his brother. Again it's a great one to read aloud to your little one, perfect for bedtimes as they snuggle down with their own blanky or teddy.

I Can't Sleep by Stephanie Blake

I received these books to review. Amazon links are affiliate.

Monday, 14 August 2017

The Great British Wildflower Hunt

If you are looking for something to do with the children over the summer holiday, why not take part in the Great British Wildflower Hunt? It's a great way to get out and about with the family, and as well as being fun, it's easy and completely free. The outdoors is a key part of all children's experience, and taking part in the hunt is a great way to re-connect with nature.

You can sign up online here at The Great British Wildflower Hunt. The hunt has been split into two sections - Towns and Cities and Countryside Walks. Once you have registered you can choose which hunt you'd like to try, download a Spotter Sheet and go out hunting. You can submit your results online, and earn points according to how rare the wildflowers are that you have found. For example a buttercup will earn you one point, while a common spotted orchid will earn you three points.

A recent YouGov poll for Plantlife showed that 70% of people want to know more about the flowers growing around them, and I know that I definitely fall into that category. The children will often ask the name of a particular flower when we are out and about and I only know a very few - the hunt is a great way to boost your botanical knowledge as you learn together as a family. Each Spotter Sheet contains a selection of wildflowers, with a clear photograph of the flower alongside a short description with distinguishing features and likely spotting location.

There's a map on the website where you can see what has been spotted in your local area, and I was really interested to look up and see what people have found near to where I live. The the top five flowers that have been found most often, so far, are white clover, meadow buttercup, cow parsley, red clover and oxeye daisy.

The Great British Wildflower Hunt
Photo credit James King

Some wildflowers are only just coming into their best, and over the next few weeks you can keep an eye out for yarrow, rosebay willowherb and blackberry, as well as a few invasive non-native species like butterfly bush and Himalayan balsam.

The Great British Wildflower Hunt is run by Plantlife, a charity dedicated to protecting the UK's native plants and helping more people enjoy them.

"If you do know about wild flowers, this is a really easy way to share that enthusiasm with the younger generation," says Plantlife's Dr Trevor Dines, "I learnt so much from my parents and grandparents, and that generosity of spirit is what we want to encourage."

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Book review - Poppy and the Blooms by Fiona Woodcock

Poppy and the Blooms is a new picture book for young children by Fiona Woodcock, published by Simon and Schuster.

"When a group of zesty wildflower characters discover that the last green space in the city is about to be paved over, they decide they have to act! Find out what these skateboard loving little characters decide to do in this gorgeous new addition to our picture book list and second title from Fiona, the wonderful creator of Hiding Heidi."

Poppy and the Blooms book review

Poppy and the Blooms tells the story of Poppy and her flower friends. One day they find out that the last park in the city is about to close, and they go on an adventure to find the park. It's not a very pleasant journey but they still manage to find ways to have fun, and when they finally arrive at the park they show that even something very small can make a huge difference.

It's a very sweet little book with lovely illustrations to share with your toddler.

I received a copy of this book to review. Amazon links are affiliate.

Friday, 14 July 2017

The average cost of a baby's first year

This fun infographic breaks down the average costs and needs for a baby in their first year, and it's a fascinating look at the costs that you can expect when you have a baby, and a reminder of how it all adds up! 

I hope that you find it interesting!

The average cost of a baby's first year

Infographic source - Busy Bees Child Care. Discover your local Busy Bees Nurseries.

Monday, 24 April 2017

David Walliams to read the CBeebies Bedtime Story

On 29th April 2017, author, actor, comedian and presenter David Walliams will make his debut on CBeebies Bedtime Stories in the first of three stories that he has recorded for the channel.

Tune in to hear him read "The Bear That Went Boo!" - the story of a cheeky polar bear cub who lives at the top of the world surrounded by snow and ice and loves to go Boo!

David Walliams also has a new book to be published in May. "World's Worst Children 2" is a collection of short stories featuring five beastly boys and five gruesome girls, illustrated in full colour by Tony Ross. I'm looking forward to sharing it with my children!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

How does birth order affect your career path?

As the oldest in a family of three, and knowing how different I am to my siblings, I'm fascinated by how birth order can affect personality. A recent study released by Disney has shown how the order in which children are born can have a significant impact on their future career. The research was commissioned to celebrate the close sibling relationship between Anna and Elsa from Disney’s film ‘Frozen’ and was led by psychologist Emma Kenny.

 The research showed that first born children were 29% more likely to become astronauts, and also tended to gravitate towards science and engineering careers. Middle children were more likely to become a company CEO, perhaps because fighting for attention as a middle child leads to competiveness, flexibility and diplomacy.

The incidence of Olympians is also 41% higher amongst middle children than might be expected from an average family. Younger children are proportionately 50% more likely to head towards a career in classical music, and the perfectionist and mature personality traits of only children appears to make them more likely to choose careers as artists.

 Families with a larger number of children than the average were more likely to produce explorers, like Christopher Columbus who was one of five siblings, and sea captain Sir Francis Drake who grew up as one of twelve.

Anna Hill, Chief Marketing Officer at Disney comments: “Frozen’s Anna & Elsa are two iconic siblings Disney is celebrating, with this research we seek to acknowledge the positive differences between siblings and the strong and lasting influence they have on one another.”

 Psychologist Emma Kenny comments: “The research conducted over the last month has shown that birth order is a significant factor in determining employment role types between siblings - overall there are far more typical cases than exceptions. As with Disney's film Frozen, the destiny of two siblings can be very different, however all siblings have an innate bond which should be celebrated.” Disney’s smash hit Frozen film celebrates the relationship between princesses Anna and Elsa, two sisters with vastly different personality traits and champions a new kind of true love story between two siblings.


Video source - Frozen Siblings Day from Taylor Herring on Vimeo.

*This study analysed the family structures from a random sample of 550 participants and results of the statistical analysis were found to be significant amongst each group. 

*The study analysed the proportion of each type of sibling in each sample group and compared this against what would be expected in a normal family to determine if the results were representative and therefore demonstrated a significant difference 

*The Average UK family has 2.44 children 

*Average family statistics were drawn from The Office of National Statistics 

*In some instances, family size was also found to have an influence, for example, in the scientists and engineers sample, scientists were found to come from much larger families than average (4.66 children rather than 2.44 in the average family). A similar effect was observed in the sample of artists.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Book review - The Lost Kitten by Komako Sakai

The Lost Kitten is a new picture book from Japan's leading illustrator, Komako Sakai. The story is about a tiny stray kitten that turns up on Hina's doorstep. Hina and her mother take her in, take her to the vet, make her home and learn to care for her. But then one day the kitten goes missing.

It's a very sweet little story, and the illustrations are beautiful. They really bring the characters and their emotions to life. It's a lovely book to share with your child.

I received a copy of this book to review.
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