The Ultimate Tickety Toc Sticker and Activity Collection

The Ultimate Tickety Toc Sticker and Activity Collection is a new book from Igloo Books. It features Tommy and Tallulah and their friends from Nick Jr’s popular show.

Ultimate Tickety Toc Sticker and Activity Collection

The Ultimate Tickety Toc Sticker and Activity Collection book has over 150 stickers as well as puzzles, games  and activities within it, and is perfect for preschoolers.

Within the book there are various activities made from card that you can can pop out from the pages and assemble. We tried the birthday card and gift box. Here’s the result :

Ultimate Tickety Toc Sticker and Activity Collection

I really like Ultimate Tickety Toc Sticker and Activity Collection. I found that the activities are kept simple and with Tickety Toc being as popular as it is it’s something which will have a lot of appeal to kids – it’s the kind of book I could leave H to and she wouldn’t get frustrated by it and want me to help her (for certain activities).

The book has a Join The Dots puzzle which H really enjoys doing, as well as a maze. There’s plenty of colouring in and putting stickers in the right space, as well as general decorating of things.

There are some games in the book as well which makes things fun. Once you’ve assembled the card activities you can rip out the pages which makes things easier. Considering how competitive H is this appeals, she enjoys playing games and having something she’s made at the end as a prize is quite appealing.

You can buy The Ultimate Tickety Toc Sticker and Activity Collection at Amazon, currently at a bargain £3 (but out of stock) – if your child is a fan this would be something they’d love – and there’s enough activities in there you wouldn’t run out either – head over here. They’re also available from Asda.

We were sent a copy of the book for review, all opinions are our own. This post also contains an affiliate link.

Jump Up and Join In With Carrie and David Grant

Jump Up and Join In With Carrie and David Grant is a new series of books and an app – read on to find out more.

Jump Up and Join In with Carrie and David Grant are a series of books created to encourage children to learn various aspects of music – rhythm, quiet, loud and much more. – H and I were invited to Egmont’s offices to preview an app based on the first book ‘Lion’s Speedy Sauce’.

Jump Up and Join In

We received a copy of ‘Elephant’s Birthday Bells’ in our goody bag, a book we’re already familiar with – all the stories are based around music and rhythm with a CD at the back (so you can play and read along) as well as a song. We’ll follow this up with a review of the first two books but this event was to launch an accompanying app for the first book, ‘Jump Up and Join In – Lion’s Speedy Sauce’.

We got to meet Carrie and David – and they’re both really lovely (and yes, I didn’t mention David’s eighties pop career in Linx, I was very well-behaved) and I had a quick chat with Carrie about music.

Jump Up and Join In with Carrie and David Grant

What appeals to me about the Jump Up and Join In books and the app are how you can come at the book from various angles – children all learn differently and there’s many entry levels into the books – be it listening to the CD’s or looking at pictures or playing the app to name three, and Carrie and David recognise this, having experienced different kinds of learning with their children. We’ve missed Carrie and David’s Pop Shop due to H’s age, but I like what they’re doing. Shows like Zingzillas came after them – and we spoke of an appreciation of Yo Gabba Gabba and shows which come at music differently.

It doesn’t have to be high energy nursery rhymes all the time (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but y’know).

Jump Up and Join In - H at Egmont Books

For me, the proof this is our kind of thing came with H singing the ‘Ella Elephant’ song a day after we listened to the Jump Up and Join In CD for the first time – so I’m looking forward to updates on the app to include the other books.

Next week we’ll follow this up with a review of the app, but on first glance I’m impressed. H liked having the story read to her, though wasn’t as keen to have her picture taken (I have no idea why she was shy!) – you can add yourself as a character to dance with Carrie and David. The activities involved playing the bongos to a rhythm, and happily David told us that you can’t get it wrong, even the worst score would get a bronze star so your child doesn’t feel like they’ve failed.

Jump Up and Join In - Carrie and David

We’ll also be reviewing the book we received – and as David said, when children are learning and having fun they’ll learn so much more. I agree, and have sung scales with H for the first time ever – but more on that very soon. Right now I’d recommend you keep an eye out for the app which is released on Monday and is currently Apple only, though there was talk of more versions being available possibly.

Thank you to Egmont for the invite, and thank you to Carrie and David for being there to explain it all – you’ve gained two big fans here! 

We Love Books – Goodnight Little One by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Little OneWe’ve reviewed a Margaret Wise Brown book (‘Runaway Bunny’) a while back which H loves, so having the opportunity to review this book was one I jumped at.

‘Goodnight Little One’ was published for the first time by Parragon in 2012 and is a lovely calm book, perfect for night time reading. Lots of simple lovely rhymes with each animal in the story, the last line of each verse ‘little (animal) close your eyes’ until you get to the little child at the end.

It has a lovely slow pace to it and is already one of H’s new favourite books. If you’re looking for a beautifully illustrated  book which will appeal to 3-6 year olds, then this is one to consider.

We Love Books at Mum Friendly

We received a copy of this book as part of the Parragon Book Buddy blogger book review club that has recently been launched. All opinions are our own and honest.

We Love Books – Things You Never Knew About Dinosaurs by Giles Paley-Phillips

Things You Never Knew About Dinosaurs

H is entering a fabulously non-girly phase in her life, with a love of monsters and dinosaurs, so this book is perfect for us right now.

It’s funny, it has silly rhymes and makes us all laugh – ‘Did you know that dinosaurs, are still around today? They didn’t die off long ago, they never went away’ then goes into everything that dinosaurs actually do these days.

The illustrations are fun and there’s a lot to talk about on each picture. Did you know dinosaurs like to rollerskate, doing the Highland fling, starring in movies, and sailing the seven seas?

It’s a fun book, and one that has been receiving a nightly read since BritMums – it is released properly in the UK in August 2013, so keep an eye out on Parragon Books!

We Love Books at Mum Friendly

We received a copy of this book as part of the Parragon Book Buddy blogger book review club that has recently been launched. All opinions are our own and honest.

Let’s Get Dads Reading To Their Kids Campaign from Booktrust

The UK’s leading reading charity Booktrust launched the ‘Get Dads Reading’ campaign, challenging dads to match mums in reading with their children. Read on for more information… but first, have a watch of an introductory video by James Patterson.

UK dads trail far behind their partners when it comes to reading to their children. A new poll, carried out for Booktrust by Opinium, reveals that just 13% are the main reader with their child, with a quarter of fathers saying that the demand for them to work late means that they do not have time to read together more often.

These findings are a major concern as a father’s involvement in their child’s early reading is proven to boost academic success, leading to improved social and emotional wellbeing. To fight this crisis Booktrust is launching a major campaign to raise awareness of the importance of dads as reading role models for their children.

Further research, commissioned by Booktrust from the Institute of Education, sheds more light on this hidden crisis. A series of in-depth interviews reveals that many fathers see reading as a female domain, and are working in isolation, rather than sharing practices and drawing on the networks available to mothers. When they do read to their children, fathers favour their daughters over their sons, reading to them for longer, and more often.

Booktrust is calling on dads up and down the country to match mums’ efforts in reading with their children. To launch the campaign Booktrust’s patron, HRH, The Duchess of Cornwall and bestselling author James Patterson – 2010 Children’s Choice Book Award Author of the Year and founding partner of the Booktrust’s Children’s Reading Fund in association which his publisher Random House – will this afternoon visit a thriving dads reading group to see how dads and their children benefit from sharing books. At the moment, research shows that at formal literacy events for children, only 10% of the parents attending are dads.

The research carried out for Booktrust by Opinium surveyed 1,016 parents of children aged 0-11 – and also reveals that:

43% of mums read to their child everyday in comparison to just 26% of dads.

The top reasons dads give for not reading with their children more often are:

1. I get home from work too late (26%)
2. I feel too tired (22%)
3. I feel like I read to my child enough (19%)
4. I don’t have enough time (18%)
5. My partner likes to do the reading (12%)

37% of dads claimed to read to their child everyday – but only 19% of mums reported that this was the case.

Commenting on the research, Viv Bird, Booktrust Chief Executive, said:

‘The most crucial thing for dads to understand is that if kids see their dads reading they’re more likely to enjoy it themselves. There is evidence that boys are slipping further behind girls in reading – and this emphasises how important it is that dads are positive role models to their sons as well as their daughters when it comes to reading.’

James Patterson – who started writing for children in 2005 in order to encourage his son to read and has developed his own website, ReadKiddoRead, to help dads find books to read with their children – adds:

‘If we can get children reading and enjoying books, we open up a whole world of possibility to them. I believe that dads have a huge role to play in encouraging their children to read. We need to give fathers the support they need in reading to their children. If I can help dads to understand their role in making books and reading more important in children’s lives, I’ll be a happy man’

As part of the Booktrust campaign dads will have access to a whole range or resources and guidance about how to get the most out of reading with their children. A host of celebrity dads – Booktrust’s ‘Dads Army’ – including James Patterson and Dan Snow will lend their support to the campaign. See and #dadsreading.

Books For Bugs

Books For BugsH is a bookworm – she has an entire Billy bookcase from Ikea full of books (and some toys, to be fair), but I’ll never tire of buying books, and I’m always on the lookout for quirky titles and different ones. I used to be a Barefoot Books Ambassador a couple of years ago, but had to give it up – so if you know the kind of books they do, you get the idea of what we like.

Somehow, I stumbled across Books For Bugs (I can’t remember how!) – they’re based fairly locally to us and do some fairs, and their website and shop is based on selling affordable books to parents. I bought some in their recent sale which arrived today for presents, and they fit perfectly into the kind of books we love. Add to this there’s loads of phonics books (and yes, I do still have concerns about H and her starting school this September, despite her doing really well at her private nursery preschool) and you can buy them at a good price (all their board books and story books are just £2.99 each, no matter how high the RRP), PLUS there’s reviews or short summaries of the books on each page to help you choose.

Their shipping price is really reasonable, and the books arrive well packed and quick – all in all I’m really happy with the service we received and highly recommend them to you – keep up to date with them on Facebook for any sales or deals that might be happening too – they’re running competitions when they hit a certain number of followers!

We Love Books – The Somethingosaur

The SomethingosaurThe Somethingosaur is a new book by Tony Mitton, which was released on the 6th June 2012.

It’s the story of an adorable little creature (The Somethingosaur) who hatches from his egg and finds he’s separated from his mummy, but actually he has no idea who his mummy is.

You know the story by now; it’s an old familiar tale; told in many ways – but what makes this great is the rhyming – it felt like the really good nice simple sentences structured not a million miles from a Julia Donaldson book – and was really enjoyable to read (and if you’ve a keen reader then it’s possible that by the second read they’ll already be finishing your sentences for you).

The pictures are lovely too – and make me want to make a Somethingosaur doll… it’d be too cute!

There’s a happy ending of course, it’s a lovely book which was a delight to read and look at. Tony Mitton (the author) and Russel Ayto (the illustrator) have done a marvellous job!

The Somethingosaur is a HarperCollins Children’s Book, available now with a rrp of £10.99, hardback only.

I received a copy to review, all opinions are mine.


We Love Books – I Love Kipper

Those wicked Book People dropped by Shaun’s work again, and as well as getting the pack of ten Julia Donaldson books (we’ll talk about those another time), we picked up our first Kipper books by Mick Inkpen – a name we weren’t familiar with, but the books look so lovely we had to try.

As it was, the risk was worth it – Kipper has all kinds of adventures – you get ten books for £10 – so that’s £1 a book too which is extremely reasonable. Mick Inkpen has also written and illustrated the Wibbly Pig books which I’ve seen, but we don’t own – and both sets of books now have tv shows.

The books you get in the I Love Kipper bag are : One Year With Kipper, Hide Me, Kipper!, Kipper’s Toybox, Kipper and Roly, Kipper’s Christmas Eve, Kipper’s Monster, Kipper’s Birthday, Kipper’s Snowy Day, Kipper’s Beach Ball and Kipper. They come in a sturdy plastic carry bag too, which is handy for keeping them all together.

I Love Kipper books by Mick Inkpen


The books? Each is a beautifully illustrated story about things Kipper has done – H will choose two or three to read after lunch and is engrossed – the books are targeted at the age range 2-5, so perfect for her.

The tv series? It looks like it’s not currently on CiTV, so we’ll have to look out for a DVD or some YouTube footage – I suspect it’ll also go down very well…

We Love Books – The Ultimate Baby and Toddler Q&A Book – Netmums

The Ultimate Baby & Toddler Q&A I remember back when we were preparing for H to come into this world, and one of the first things we did was nipped to Mothercare and checked all the baby books. I had no idea what to buy, and opted for a hardback book which I thought would be useful. I guess it probably was, but it was pictures and words and actually, once H was born it was never opened.

A more useful book was the ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ book and the follow-up ‘What To Expect – The First Year’ – but there was a lot in there, and it covered everything – to the point it was overwhelming.

Add to that a Miriam Stoppard book my sister gave me which had me in tears when I’d read a page as everything felt so terrifying, and really it was the internet which gave me the support I needed and information I wanted.

Which is where this book comes in. This is exactly the sort of book a new mum should have – it doesn’t go into a lot of detail, but you don’t need that – there’s plenty of places that cater for that. I found that other people’s experiences and advice (even if I pretended I didn’t need to hear it, I just needed to be ready on MY terms) were what helped me the most when I was trying to ‘get it right’. So you have fifty questions with answers from the experts, and additional comments from Netmums contributors – or should I say, parents who know, and have been through it.

The Ultimate Baby & Toddler Q&A - taking notes

“ah, so that’s what mummy’s trying to do when I have a bit of a screaming tantrum. Bwahahaha”

It’s again very much the kind of book you can dip in and out of like ‘Toddlers – An Instruction Manual‘ by Joanne Mallon – and there’s different perspectives on each question – there’s never a 100% correct way to do something, and it’s reassuring to know others understand or have done things in a way you wouldn’t have thought about – which to me is what communities like Netmums are about.

The book is put together by Hollie Smith a freelance journalist who has already written six books for Netmums.

As for us, I wish we’d had it sooner! The toddler section is a lot smaller than the baby one – so I’m going to be doing the neighbourly thing and passing the book onto my next door neighbour who will definitely get a lot out of it with her seven month old. I’d highly recommend the book, regardless!

I was provided with a copy of the book for review. (which has since been passed on to next door!)

We Love Books at Mum Friendly

Be A Parent, Not A Pal

Joanne Mallon - Toddlers An Instruction ManualHave you bought the excellent ‘Toddlers: An Instruction Manual’ by Joanne Mallon yet? Do you really need another reason to buy it? It’s full of useful advice from parents, and isn’t just one perspective on dealing with a toddler; it’s many – and as I’ve said before, we’re already putting some of the suggestions into practice – and coming up with brilliant results. Even moreso, you know you’re not alone!

Joanne has kindly let us have another extract from the book – and we’ve opened comments below – let us know what you think, or come and post on our Facebook Group!

Be a parent, not a pal – why you are not your child’s best friend, and never will be.
I really despair when I hear parents referring to their child as their “best friend”. You are not their best friend, nor they yours, and if you honestly think that that’s the case, both of you need to get out more.

Why would a three year old want to be best friends with a 30-something woman? Why would a grown man get his friendship needs from a little kid? Your child needs a parent, not a best friend. They can go to nursery and make plenty of friends. But at home, they need a parent, and they need you for that.

You might think that you stepped into the parent role when you had your baby, but did you really? I think that we only fully step up to the parenting role once our children start challenging that role – when we have to be strong enough to say no to them, and set boundaries.

Many of us find it hard to discipline our children – it smacks too much of being the boring grown up, when we might not feel particularly grown up at any age. Also, this issue can cast a shadow back to our own childhoods, especially if our parents treated us in a way that we didn’t like. Shouting at children and smacking them was much more acceptable to previous generations than it is right now. We have to find new ways of doing things and forge our own path.

So however you choose to do things, you’re doing your child no favours if you choose to be a chum rather than what they need – a parent who can make the hard choices, say no when they need to and always provide a strong foundation of unwavering love. Friends come and go, but family is for life.

From: Toddlers: An Instruction Manual (c) Joanne Mallon 2011

You can buy the paperback here and the Kindle edition here. Thank you Joanne!