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Monday, June 3, 2013

Scholastic childrens books : Review and giveaway

Alternative title : How to ensure you have time for wine and Facebook during the upcoming winter school holidays.

Miss7 wasn't much of a reader when she was younger.  She loved books, but she really didn't like sitting still and being read to.  She preferred to pretend she was reading to a class, and would make up great babbling stories based on the pictures in her books.

Which was awesome when The Twin Tornado were a captive, non-walking audience, and Mummy needed a quiet wine coffee.

Like their big sister, the Twin Tornado love pretending to read to their class of amassed Barbies and plastic army figures, but they also like being read to.  Mostly because they can covertly scribble on the carpet or decapitate a cheap discount shop faux Barbie while I'm reading.

These days Miss7 happily reads to the Twin Tornado, oblivious to their wall scribbling and doll massacres, just like her Mum.

The main thing is that they are reading / being read to - which is so important for their development.

The other main thing is that I have gone full circle and I am once again able to rely on Miss7 to entertain her siblings in an appropriate manner while I have a quiet beverage - which is so important for my sanity.

Scholastic sent me three of their latest kids books to review :

(Scholastic Australia)
RRP $24.99

Mstr4 is all about monsters at the moment, equal parts fascinated and deathly scared.  He's never resembled his father more than while sitting on the floor, mouth agape, a bit of dribble coming out of one corner, mesmerised by this book.  (In his father's case, it's while watching televised sports).

How to Catch a Monster is a great story about a boy catching a monster (duh), and how they become friends.  Particularly useful if you have a monster phobic Mstr4 like I do.  After reading this book he immediately grabbed my pyjama pants, tied them around his neck a la superhero cape, and took off to find his own monster.  Which was very cute, until I found my pants in the front garden.  Our young, single, male neighbour looking at them in a confused manner.  Clearly he doesn't like pink and black flannellette cows.

This is a hardback book - which I love for heavy handed kids.  Like Miss4 who claimed to be using it to whack the crap out of an invisible monster that was allegedly sitting on her brother's back.  The story itself is long enough to hold the attention of slightly older kids like Miss7.  It was perfect for the age range of my kids - 4 to 7 year olds.

(Scholastic NZ)
RRP $15.99AU

Flash likes to do all the things a dog does, from chasing sticks to chewing shoes; digging up the garden to hiding bones and chasing cats.  The Twin Tornado loved the rhyming in this book, and after a few reads they were joining in.

A great book for 1 - 5 year olds who like to participate in the reading process, as the rhyming is easy for younger kids to pick up on.

Of course now I'm constantly being subjected to whiney begging to get a dog.

(Scholastic Press)
RRP $13.99

Remember that old chestnut "10 Green Bottles"?  This is like the modern day version.  Much cooler, much better, much more creative.  I loved the different reasons each hooting owl left the group.  Seriously better than singing about bottle after bottle accidentally falling (and far less traumatic for a wine lover like me).

10 Hootings Owls is a beautiful, brightly illustrated book that's perfect for kids 2-5 years old.  It helps with early counting too, so it's a totally entertaining and educational gift option.

This was The Feral Threesome's favourite.  The Twin Tornado in particular loved this one so much that I donated it to their Kindy class.

Because I'm a giver, and also I am desperate for them to learn something other than the bloody Bubblegum song.


Thanks to Scholastic, I have three sets of these new Scholastic releases to give away.

Perfect timing with the upcoming winter school holidays where herding the kids outside to jump on the trampoline or ride a bike is not an option.  Unless you have good anchor points to tie them down, lest they blow away.

For your chance to win

1.  Follow this blog with  Blog Lovin'.
I'm all kinds of freaked out by all the rumours about Google removing their RSS feed subscription service.  So let's just pretend you couldn't live without my sarcastic tales of poorly parenting and follow me over there.  Just in case Google does screw with my subscriber feeds.

2.  Comment below with your favourite childrens book when you were growing up.
Mine was The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.  Followed closely by The Yellow Pages phone book.  Really.

Entries close midnight (WST) Tuesday 11th June

The fine print:
  • Entry is open to Australian and New Zealand residents only
  • Maximum one (1) entry per person
  • Entries close midnight (WST) Tuesday 11 June
  • Winners announced on the blog Wednesday 12 June
  • Three (3) winners will each receive the above books
  • Winners have seven (7) days to respond before I become more whiney than usual, then conduct a re-draw


  1. My favourite book was a large collection of stories from Hans Christian Andersen. It was like my bible - I read a story from it every night!

    PS I am already a follower on Bloglovin :)

  2. I loved The Magic of the Faraway Tree and also the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books - I can't even remember how many times I read those books.
    Have the best day and at least you have a great way to keep them amused indoors during winter although they will probably be tired of those stories by the time school holidays come around in which case you are going to be looking for something else to keep them amused indoor - sorry, no suggestions !!!!
    Have a great day !

  3. I loved Roald Dahl books as a kid - Matilda, The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory were my favourites. Now I read them to my kids.

    I already follow you on Bloglovin' :-)

  4. I am Following this blog with Blog Lovin'.

    My favourite book was The very hungry caterpillar. I still remember how my mum use to read it for me before bedtime and later I use to read it for my little brother.
    Along with this I use to love every page of my mum's recipe book because she use to cook yummy dishes for us from that book.

    1. You had me at recipe book - congrats, you are one of the winners!

  5. I am following with Blog Lovin'.

    It is so hard to choose my favourite book as a kid, but I did have a lot of Love for May Gibbs' Snugglepot and Cuddlepie - even though I found the banksia men to be really scary. To this day, I still don't like banksia cones much!

  6. I am following with blog lovin'
    My favourite book growing up was, 'Bump in the Night' as I could 'read it'. I had memorised the words and it made me feel like I was a reader- just like my 3 bigger sisters.
    russellcathryn at yahoo dot com dot au

  7. I loved reading The very hungry caterpillar with my sisters

    saekae at bigpond dot net dot au

  8. I was a huge fan of all of Enid Blyton's books. I also devoured the old set of encyclopaedias we had. It was full of black and white photographs and illustrations. It smelled old too.

    I follow.


  9. The 10 hooting owls book looks great, my little guy would go crazy over that I think! (He loves being repetitive!)

    My favourite book growing up was a special english nursery rhyme book that stayed at my nanna's house. She would read it to me until I was old enough to read, and then I would read it to her. That's definitely what started my love of reading!

    1. Yay for nana's - mine let me have at her china collection for playing tea parties.

      Congrats - you are one of the winners!

  10. Loved and still love to read The Giving Tree, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Guess How Much I Love You and The Going to Bed Book

  11. I've just signed up to this Bloglovin thing, so now I'm following you!

    Growing up I loved reading a series of books called Encyclopedia Brown which was about a boy detective who would solve all sorts of mysterious happenings in the neighbourhood.

    Cheers! Sharon Fawcett

    sharon7999 at yahoo dot com

  12. Wacky Wednesday & Green Eggs & Ham by Dr Seuss! They were such great books that got me interested paying attention to the words and pictures as a whole.
    My kids absolutely love them as well so I guess they timeless books (like all Dr Seuss stories!)

    1. Oh I follow via BlogLovin :)

  13. I used to dream about the lands at the top of the Faraway Tree and I'd also make up my own lands too, I also loved The Wishing Chair books too....

    I follow on bloglovin


  14. The Famous Five... turned me into the journalist I became because I wanted to investigate, question and point fingers at whoever looked guilty. I was young and energetic, lol.

  15. I was a huge fan of of the Jolly Postman, i loved sneaking a peek into the mail each character received. I guess I have always been a little nosey.

    1. I hear you - I'm quite "inquisitive" myself! Congrats, you are one of the winners!

  16. Anything Beatrix Potter. I am old school. And old. LOL. I still have the whole set given to me each birthday and christmas by my Grandma through the late 70s and early 80s :)
    Pam -

  17. Amelia Jane by Enid Blyton followed closely by the Secret Seven!!!

  18. I loved anything Mem Fox and Rohald Dahl, although in truth I would have a go at reading anything and everything. The librarians thought I was wonderful :-)

  19. I loved reading the Famous Five by Enid Blyton.
    Thanks for the change to win some fabulous new books :)


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