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The Rainbow Blots | Review and Giveaway

12 March 2021

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Disclosure - We received a copy of The Rainbow Blots for the purpose of this post. Any thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links.

Red and yellow and pink and green, orange and purple and blue. This is part of the rainbow song that we all know. We think this song teaches us the colours of the rainbow when in fact they are not the correct colours at all. The Rainbow Blots is a beautiful children's book that not only teaches us the correct colours but in the correct order too. 

The rainbow Blots


The story begins when Mummy Rainbow lowers down her blots to the ground and encourages them to go and have fun. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet explore the world and along the way they tell us about each other and what the love. Red Blot loves to play with red things. He tells us four of his favourites including a rose, strawberries, cherries and his red car.

The rainbow Blots


Not only does the book encourage us to learn the colours of the rainbow it is also a lovely introduction to colours for younger ones. The bright, bold illustrations are eye catching and lots of fun too.

The author of The Rainbow Blots Carlie Wright has composed a nursery rhyme which is accompanied by 2D animations of the characters from the book. It really does help bring the story to life. 

The rainbow Blots


The Rainbow Blots is a beautiful story with fun illustrations and will make the perfect story book for little ones. If you would like to be in with the chance of winning a copy of The Rainbow Blots all you need to do is complete the entry form below and pop back for extra entries each day. 



Michelle
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It's A Long Night For Santa Book

2 December 2020

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Disclosure | This post contains a gifted item and affiliate links.

Last week I wrote all about our favourite Christmas stories but I have another to add after reading It's A Long Night For Santa with little J. It is Christmas Eve night and the Little Brown Moth finds himself lost in a blanket of fog. He spies a distant red light and realises that – yes! – it is Rudolph and the other reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh! The moth stops for a rest upon the sleigh, where he is found by Santa. Having a longer-than-normal “good children list”, Santa enlists the moth’s help to deliver the remaining presents, making one particular little boy’s Christmas dream come true.

It's A Long Night For Santa Book


It’s a Long Night for Santa is the second instalment from Chris, following on from It’s a Long Way to the Moon, where we first meet the determined little brown moth.


Our giveaway is now closed but you can if you would like your own copy of It's a long night for Santa then you can purchase on Amazon above. 

Good Luck

Michelle
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Horrible Histories - Horrible Christmas Book Giveaway

27 November 2020

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We have been reading Horrible Histories - Horrible Christmas Book and it's a Horrible Histories version of Christmas with all the nasty bits left in. This hugely entertaining festive edition is stuffed full of strangely interesting facts and gruesome tales from days of Christmas past. From pantos and Christmas characters to foul food and curious festive customs, Rattus guides you through with the usual one-liners - it's a cracker! Learn about silly Santa's, spooks and spirits, why making a Christmas pudding used to be a crime and even how to get rid of carol singers. Full of dreadful jokes, rotten recipes and even a Christmas quiz to cheer up the family Scrooge.

Horrible Histories- Horrible Christmas Book
I've teamed up with Wicked Uncle to give away a copy of Horrible Histories - Horrible Christmas book and to enter is simple. All you need to do is complete the entry form below and keep checking back for bonus chances to win.

Good Luck

Win a Horrible Histories Horrible Christmas Book

Michelle
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Make Your Own Christmas Book Advent Calendar

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You may have seen our post recently about Advent Calendar's for kids who don't like chocolate. We included lots of alternatives but there was one advent calendar that we didn't include and it's one we have each year - Our make your own Christmas Stories Advent Calendar.  I look forward to make this each year and it's very simple and little J loves it. He loves books whether it is trying to read them himself or a bedtime story and having a book advent calendar is a perfect treat to open just before bedtime. 

Wrapped Books
Christmas books
How To Make Your Own Book Advent Calendar

Making the advent calendar is very simple all you need is
24 Christmas or Winter Stories
Wrapping Paper
Scissors
Sellotape
Sticky Labels numbered 1-24

Once you have the 24 books all you need to do is wrap them up and number them with the sticky labels from 1-24. Pop them in a box or tub and place in your child's bedroom. 

Each night once their  bedtime routine is finished they can open up a story to read before bed.

Christmas Books
The best thing about making your own Christmas Book Advent Calendar is you do not need to buy 24 new books each year. Most of the books we use are from previous years but as we only get them out at Christmas time little J still gets excited as he can't remember most of them so it's like a new story. 

Christmas Books
As the years have gone by we have added a few new stories to his advent calendar as he may be too old for some of the books he previously had but the majority he's had for years. 

Christmas time is so special and this is a lovely way to read about Winter and Christmas before bedtime to add to the excitement.

Christmas Books
You can always add some little treats to the advent calendar too. Maybe a pack of cookies to enjoy with a glass of milk or a chocolate coin.

I like to start with a few Winter Stories for the first few nights and then build up to the Christmas stories and I always make sure 'The Night Before Christmas' is numbered '24' so we can read it together on Christmas Eve. 

Have you created your own book advent calendar? If you are looking for some inspiration I have added our favourites here. 

Do you have any Christmas books? What are your favourites?

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Leave us a comment below.

Visit our Advent Calendars post for more Advent Calendar ideas

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Michelle

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Updating Our Book Collection With Little Tiger Press

19 October 2020

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Disclosure - We were sent the books to enjoy however we were not asked to promote on our blog. This post includes affiliate links. 

Although little J stills enjoys a bedtime story as part of his bedtime routine over the past few months he has really started to enjoy reading alone and it's nice to browse books perfect for 7-9 year olds. This month we were sent a selection of books from Little Tiger Press which he is currently working his way through. He started reading alone during lockdown and I'm happy to say he has continued even now he is back at school and his reading has paid off as he has been moved to the highest reading group in school.

A selection of Little Tiger Press Books
      

Yeti Collective
Henry is the new boy at Halbrook Hall – a crumbling boarding school in the Scottish Highlands. He thinks the rumours of yeti lurking in the misty hills are nothing more than stories. Until one day he gets lost in the forest…

As a young yeti, Tadpole loves living in Shadowspring. But now the precious spring water is disappearing and no one knows why. The situation is serious – surely there’s something she can do to help…

When Tadpole accidentally reveals the top-secret location of Shadowspring to Henry, the lost boy she saves, she knows she’s in deep trouble. But what if this human actually has the power to help the yeti not harm them?

The Egyptians
How did the Egyptians remove a mummy's brain? How much solid gold was used to make Tutankhamun's sarcophagus? Was the world's first pop star an Egyptian choral singer? Readers can discover the truth behind some of the most incredible ancient Egyptian stories and superstitions and unearth the most fascinating aspects of an ancient culture in this immersive book. With flaps to lift on every page, there's plenty of history to uncover!

Dragon Detective Sky High
When a visitor turns up unannounced at Dirk’s office with a new case for him and Holly to solve, all is not as it seems. A Sea Dragon has disappeared and the only clue left at the scene of the crime is the ashy outline of an elusive Sky Dragon.

As their investigations take them from a dodgy billionaire’s HQ to the top of the city’s tallest skyscraper, trouble is set to soar sky high for this dragon detective and his partner-in-solving-crime. Will they be able to hunt down the suspect and find the missing dragon before they both disappear into thin air?

Midnight Maker
In the middle of winter, three kittens are born in a barn. Two are ordinary, but the third, jet black and born on the stroke of midnight, is brimming with magic from whiskers to tail – even sparking life into a dusty old broomstick! While her siblings pounce at rats, Midnight perfects her flying skills on the broom, not noticing how her mother disapproves of her magical ways…

When Midnight finds herself abandoned, the little black kitten sets out to find a new home with only her loyal broom Twiggy at her side. The pair soon befriend a kind-hearted girl called Trixie. But how will Trixie’s family react to Midnight’s extraordinary powers and taste for mischief?

 
The hat full of secrets

Henry’s got a secret … a big one! And he doesn’t know what to do with it.

Grandpa suggests he should keep it under his hat ­– and he’s got just the hat for the job. But when Henry puts it on he discovers that Grandpa has some secrets of his own!

A lyrical and heart-warming story celebrating the magical bond between a child and a grandparent, with full colour illustrations on every page.

 
Skeleton keys
Greetings! My name is Skeleton Keys and these fantabulant fingers of mine can open doors to hidden worlds… Join me for the curious tale of Gap-tooth Jack – thief, adventurer and champion of imagining!

When Skeleton Keys banishes Wordy Gerdy from the present using his Key to Time, he thinks he’s seen the last of the troublesome unimaginary. But Gerdy uses her ghostly pen to wreak her revenge, and before Skeleton Keys knows it she’s written his precious keys out of existence.

Skeleton Keys and his partner Daisy must follow Gerdy into the past to retrieve her pen and make her restore his keys. But Skeleton Keys has unknowingly sent Gerdy back to his own past and her pen is now in the hands of notorious thief Gap-tooth Jack. As they set off to find Jack, Skeleton Keys can’t help noticing that everything looks strangely familiar. Then he comes face to face with the thief – could it be that the two have met before?


I'm sure these will keep little J busy for the next few weeks. I love that he enjoys reading and cant wait to see what books he wants to enjoy next. 

Michelle
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Children's Stories Perfect For Autumn

5 October 2020

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Disclosure - Some of the books in this post have been previously gifted. This post contains affiliate links. 

Last week we updated little J's book shelf with lots of stories perfect for Autumn. Each night he picks one for us to read before bed. Little J has a huge collection of books and I love that we are able to keep updating and rotating his books for all seasons and collections.  

Autumn Books on a book shelf

Alfie Outdoors Book
Alfie gets out and about in the garden with Dad, in this glorious book about growing, playing and sharing.

Seeds are planted; the carrots are going to be a gift for a special friend of Alfie's. But there are suprises in store...

Shirley Hughes is the creator of the bestselling, best-loved, Dogger.

You're Too Small Book
Tad is a little mouse living on a farm. He wants to help other animals with their chores, but they all told him that he's too small. But when he returns to the barn to sleep, he finds his friends are all locked out. Being small is not so bad after all.

A little bit worried book
When Weasel is caught in a big, angry storm, he builds a fortress to hide in. But then he meets Mole, who loves to play in the wind and splash in the rain. Can Weasel learn to overcome his fears and find joy, whatever the weather?

A perfect story for worriers big and small.

Kiss Good Night Sam
It was a dark and stormy night on Plum Street. In the little white house, Mrs. Bear was putting Sam to bed.

Outside, the wind blows and the rain comes down. Inside, it is Sam's bedtime. Mrs. Bear reads him a story, tucks him in, and brings him warm milk. "Are you ready now, Sam?" she asks. "I'm waiting," he says. What else does Sam need before he'll go to sleep? Could Mrs. Bear have forgotten a kiss?
 
The Nutty Nut Chase
When a shiny brown nut pops out of the ground, it looks so delicious that everybody wants to eat it. Badger decided that there will be a race ans the winner will get the nut. But the race soon turns into a nutty nut chase!
Moon Book
Have you ever wondered why the moon shines in the night-time sky? As the moon waxes and wanes above, the world below is full of busy night-time creatures; from turtles laying their eggs on white sandy beaches, to migrating birds using the moon to navigate their way to sunnier climes. Turn the peek-through pages to see the moon change shape as it goes through the lunar cycle. 

Animal Homes
Welcome to the wonderful world of animal homes, incredible habitats where creatures rest high above our heads, and where burrowing beasts dig deep into the earth below our feet. Lift the flaps in this beautifully illustrated book to uncover some astonishing homes and the animals that live within.

You and Me Little Bear
While Big Bear works, Little Bear patiently plays his bear games all by himself. What he really wants, though, is for Big Bear to play with him. Will his wish ever come true?

Tom Rabbit
Tom Rabbit is Sammy's soft-toy rabbit. He is happy with Sammy. But one evening Sammy takes Tom Rabbit out to the back field to see the real rabbits - and leaves him on the wall. The sun sets and the moon rises, and dozens of wild rabbits appear. But just as Tom Rabbit thinks he's been abandoned for the night, Sammy appears and carries Tom Rabbit back home to bed.

Harris Finds His Feet
Harris was a very small hare with very big feet. 'Why do I have such enormous feet, Grandad?' Harris sighed. So Grandad shows Harris how to hop high into the sky, to climb to the tops of the mountains, and to run very fast. Harris not only learns about the world around him but also the importance of finding his own feet.

We're Going On A Bear Hunt
Follow and join in the family's excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!

Tales of the Forest
The forest is full of life. As the seasons change, climb trees with Bear Cub, explore the night skies with Firefly, stay cozy underground with Mole and discover snowflakes with Fox!

 
Guess how much I love you in Autumn
“I’m a box monster!” shouted the box. Little Nutbrown Hare loves chasing the leaves in the autumn wind – especially when a big surprise blows his way. Seasonally themed and beautifully illustrated throughout, little ones will enjoy the light-hearted ruse that Little Nutbrown Hare plays on Big Nutbrown Hare, and seeing that two can play that game! This is one of a four-part series featuring the seasons – collect them all!


I love seeing all the Autumn stories and colours on his bookshelf. It won't be long before I need to update it to Halloween but for now we are going to enjoy this seasons stories.

Michelle
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Easy Read Books Suitable For 7-9 Year Olds

16 July 2020

7 comments
Disclosure - This post contains gifted items. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

boy reading a book
Little J is at the age now were he can sit alone and read a book. Reading a book is not something that we make him do as we want him to enjoy reading as much as we do. At first he read a chapter of a book that was given to us from his school as part of his reading homework and he really enjoyed it so we gathered a selection of books that are easy read books suitable for 7-9 year olds.

a collection of books

Horrid Henry early reader book
We have a large selection of Early Reader Horrid Henry books that we bought so we started with these. They are adapted versions of the books with smaller chapters and illustrations. They were a great starter for learning to read alone.

Horrid Henry hates car journeys - especially when it means going to visit Prissy Polly and Pimply Paul, and missing Rude Ralph's birthday party. Watch out, Mum and Dad, because Henry is prepared to do whatever it takes to get out of this trip.

dirty bertie totally epic
Dirty Bertie Totally Epic has 3 books in 1 Burp, Monster and Disco. Dirty Bertie is gross, grubby and a trouble magnet but lots of fun and has little J laughing to himself. He is currently 99 pages in and just about to start Monster. He hasn't asked for help at all with the words used in the book yet and seems to be really enjoying it.

dragon detective schools out
Dragon Detective : Schools Out is a book we have been reading together before bedtime. Little J is able to read most of the words however there are a few that he doesn't understand or cannot pronounce so it's nice to have us there to help him with it.

Holly is desperate to be sleuthing with her partner-in-solving-crime, dragon Dirk Dilly, but instead she’s stuck at her exclusive boarding school for children of the rich and famous. She’s determined to escape, until she meets Callum, the son of the Prime Minister, who claims he was kidnapped by dragons a year ago and hasn’t been the same since. And when Dirk’s own investigation into dragon activity brings him to the school, the two cases collide. What if Callum isn't as crazy as he seems?
Diary of the wimpy kid book
Next on the 'to read' list is Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. We have just started watching the movies and he is really enjoying them so I know he will like the books. I like the idea of him watching the movies first so that he can imagine the characters and the settings whilst reading.

Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into a new year and a new school where undersize weaklings share the corridors with kids who are taller, meaner and already shaving. Desperate to prove his new found maturity, which only going up a grade can bring, Greg is happy to have his not-quite-so-cool sidekick, Rowley, along for the ride. But when Rowley's star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend's popularity to his own advantage. Recorded in his diary with comic pictures and his very own words, this test of Greg and Rowley's friendship unfolds with hilarious results.


Mug the Wumph and the dancing wizard
Mug The Wumph The Dancing Wizard is a new addition to our collection for 7-9 year olds and little J is very excited to read this one. We have had a flick through and it looks perfect for his reading ability and I cannot wait to hear all about it.

Minty Taylor dreams of a life less ordinary. Then, one day, she discovers a coin that transports her on an epic magical adventure. Little does she realise the owner of the coin is none other than Mug the Wumph the Dancing Wizard. At every twist and turn you will root for Minty as she uses her intuition and bravery to help thwart the evil plans of the dark and grisly Grimacant…This is the first novel for children from Nicola J Rowley, the bestselling author of James and the Amazing Gift and the multi-award-winning James and the Birthday Balloon. 


I think these book will keep little J busy throughout the Summer. I love that he enjoys reading and I am looking forward to watching his book collection grow.


Michelle
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Personalised Books From Wonderbly | Review

14 June 2020

3 comments
Disclosure - We were gifted the books below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links - purchasing an item through an affiliate link adds no extra cost to you but might earn me a few pennies.

boy reading a book
I love creating personalised gifts from friends and family. Personalised gifts add that something extra and I always think its shows that you have taken the time and effort to create a unique gift just for them. We also love to receive personalised gifts and have received many over the years and one gift that is still a favourite of ours is a personalised book little J received for Christmas from a company called Wonderbly.

Wonderbly offer a wide range of personalised books suitable for all ages from 0-3 years to 3-6 years and then those 6+.

the boy who found his friends book
I had a look online at some choices for little J and decided to choose the sequel to one of his favourite books, The Boy Who Lost His Name.  The Boy Who Lost His Name is a worldwide best seller so I knew the sequel would be just as special, The Little Boy Who Found His Friends.

One night a little boy awoke, 
sat up and looked around. 
His bedroom was pitch dark... 
and he had heard a funny sound!

What had stirred him from his sleep?
A creak? A bump? A groan?
He huddled in his blankets, 
feeling small and all alone.

But look! The letters of his name, 
which should be on his door,
now led him underneath his bed...
what wonders lie in store?

The Little Boy / Girl Who Found Their Friends takes us on an adventure into an incredible land where he follows the letters of his name to where fantastic friends are waiting to be made.

The book is personalised and includes your child's name and you can choose a character to match their skin tone and hair colour.

You can also include a personalised message on the inside cover to add that extra special touch.

boy lying on grass reading a book
Once you have personalised you can then choose from three different covers, hardback, softcover or softcover keepsake which includes a gift box.

Best dad ever book
As well as children books they also have a grown up section offering personalised books for your Mum, Dad, Grandma or Grandad.

You Are The Best Dad Ever gives you the chance to dedicate a whole book just for dad.

All you need to do is add your dads name and his special qualities.

Best dad ever book
Is he...

Hardworking?
Knowledgeable?
Practical?
Loving?
Great At Cooking?
Supportive?
Great With The Kids?
Dependable?
Funny?
or Kind?

Best dad ever book

Choose 8 of the qualities which best describe your dad. Add your names and even his partner or wife name too if required. Then all that's left to do is choose a cover and Wonderbly will work their magic to create a book for dad that is the perfect gift.

Wonderbly Books

Wonderbly have kindly offered me £10 off your next Wonderbly book. All you need to do is click here or visit Wonderbly and enter Playdays and Runways at checkout to receive £10 off. Please note should you take advantage of this offer Wonderbly will kindly give me £10 off my next book purchase too if this is your first purchase with them.

Have you purchased a personalised book from Wonderbly before? Which one did you choose?

Michelle
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What I Am Reading | June 2020

10 June 2020

23 comments
Disclosure - We were gifted The Switch Up and Here Lies The Secrets. Any thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post also contains affiliate links. 

pile of books and mug of tea
I thought having more time on my hands I would be able to actually sit down and start reading a book but I haven't read one single page of my new books. I know we have been in lockdown now for 12 weeks but I have been giving most of my time and energy to the boys, making sure they are safe and happy and also thinking of home schooling ideas for little J. Having said that I've decided I will make time in June to read and here is what's first on the list.
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We're Going On A Treasure Hunt | Review and Giveaway

9 June 2020

17 comments
Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our unless stated. This post contains affiliate links - purchasing an item through an affiliate link adds no extra cost to you but might earn me a few pennies. 

a bundle of children's books
We're Going On A Treasure Hunt is the fourth book in the 'We're Going On A ...' collection and we absolutely love these books. The stories follow the adventures of bunnies as they go on an Elf Chase, go on an egg hunt, sing along to Hop Little Bunnies and now we are off on a Treasure Hunt.
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This Months Favourite Bedtime Stories

23 March 2020

6 comments
Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own unless stated. This post contains affiliate links - purchasing an item through an affiliate link adds no extra cost to you but might earn me a few pennies. 

Selection of bedtime stories

This month we were sent a lovely selection of books from Bloomsbury. Little J loves a story at bedtime but he also enjoys reading a story to himself and these books were perfect for both.

Hop Little Bunnies Book
A brand new board book edition of the bestselling Hop Little Bunnies - from the much-loved illustrator of We're Going on an Egg Hunt. Based on the popular nursery rhyme 'Sleeping Bunnies', this lift-the-flap delight is full of the joys of spring.

Little Owl's Bedtime book
Little Owl doesn't want to go to bed. His pillow is too lumpy, his quilt is too hot and what is that strange snorting noise he can hear? Another irresistible story that is perfect for wakeful little night owls, from the creators of Little Owl's Egg and Little Owl's First Day.

meet the planets book
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . . Blast off! Come on an exciting space adventure and say hello to the planets of the solar system in this rhyming picture book that is perfect for sharing with all little astronauts.

We catch the bus book
Choose your favourite vehicle and LET'S GO! Join all the busy animals as they zoom around in every kind of vehicle you can imagine, vibrantly illustrated by the talented Katie Abey.


Selection of bedtime stories
Although the giveaway may be closed you can still enjoy the Bloomsbury bedtime stories and more by purchasing over on Amazon


Michelle
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