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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Play-Doh Shuffle card game

At four and a bit Linus really loves games. He says that he wins every game because he knows how to cheat!
I was intrigued by this Play-Doh game. It's a simple pack of cards with different pictures of Play-Doh  creations on. The simple aim of the game is to match the cards up. The twist is that each match is created by the person so it can be anything from fire engines and strawberries are both red to creating a story that connects a castle with a water melon.
With no wrong answers there's a lot of scope for using your imagination and having fun.
We like to play these games when out and about. We were recently commended in a restaurant for playing games and not using phones or tablets for entertainment.
I must confess to letting the side down as I'm writing this blog post whilst sat at a cafe table having just played the game.-D'oh!
Shuffle seem to have a range of card games out. Our next to try is Nerf. If we like it I'll blog about it some time.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

This Is A Ball by Beck & Matt Stanton

A while ago I was reading The Book Chook's blog. It's an Australian blog and in this instance gave a top ten of children's books.
From memory there were several I was familiar with but one that stood out as being unfamiliar and sounded interesting.
At the time of reading the blog my uncle was in Australia and asked if I could think of anything for Linus' birthday that he could buy there.
Fast forward and here we are reading "This is a Ball". It's an almost perfect book for Linus, it's funny, irreverent and interactive.
The front cover starts the book off and it continues throughout with contradictory silliness and reader's commentary along the way.
I found myself reading it in the style of one of Ronnie Barker's Two Ronnies solo officious characters.
The only downside, and it's not a criticism, is that it has a relatively short shelf life so needs to be read sparingly. If we kept reading it every other day Linus would soon get fed up of it. He did ask for it repeatedly when we first got it though. The latest read was about the tenth time and still lots of fun.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Slug Needs A Hug

Author Jeanne Willis is quite a prolific children's writer, with a range of writing for a range of ages. Poles Apart and Ready, Steady, Jump are two we already know and love. I'll probably get to Poles Apart in a future post.
Illustrator Tony Ross is even more prolific, notably illustrating Horrid Henry. I must confess that I haven't heard of Dr. Xargle which was a series of books written by Willis and Tony Ross between 1988 and 1993. Even more strange is that this was turned into an animated series and Dr. Xargle was the last voice work of the late and especially wonderful British comedian Willie Rushton. I've never seen or heard of it, YouTube throws up nothing more than the intro. I shall make it my blog duty to uncover it somewhere and watch it for you (or maybe just for me and Linus!).
With such a distinct back catalogue between them it's nice to see that they haven't phoned this one in and it really is a wonderful book. The title goes some way to telling the tale, a baby hug wants a hug from his mum. He seeks out advice from other animals who offer their assistance. The rhyming story is funny enough but the illustrations enhance it to a fabulous picture book.
It's an easy rhythm to read and Linus likes it. He especially likes disclosing why Slug's mum doesn't do hugs. I won't spoil the plot, but you may be able to work it out for yourself without the book. Although it is well worth a read.
This is one book I could see quite easily translating to a stage show, I'd quite like to play the goat if anyone's casting.
Alongside this, for story time tonight, we also read Mr. Forgetful (Roger Hargreaves) and Pass It On (Sophie Henn).