Win 2 x Latitude weekend tickets (adult) and up to 3 x Latitude weekend tickets (child) in our amazing competition in conjunction with Latitude Festival– the most family friendly and eclectic of all, held in the beautiful surroundings of Henham Park close the the famous Suffolk Heritage Coastline. 


Named Best Family Festival of 2012, Latitude has a huge array of family-friendly activities available for children and parents alike from Thursday 17th  to Sunday 20th of July 2014. 

Arranged around the banks of the central Latitude lake is the incredible Kids Area, where children are entertained all day and into the night with everything from pond dipping and star gazing to crafting funky headdresses, French knitting and pizza making workshops, to sticker art, sculpting willow branches and giant model making.

 There’s also theatre to watch and take part in, including a performance of The National Theatre’s The Cat in the Hat! Books play a key part for Latitude Kids with Suffolk Libraries and Macmillan’s Children’s Books bringing along The Gruffalo! A real hive of activity, it’s the place where children never want to leave and parents wish they could stay!

 The Inbetweeners’ Teen Area is for kids who may be too old for the Kids Area, but still want to get involved. Teenagers can enjoy taking part in music, media, fashion and technology workshops, or tackle wildlife survival skills and assault courses suspended in the trees.

 In terms of accommodation, families can choose to stay in the Family Campsite where like-minded people, early morning activities such as Family Yoga and face painting and easy access to the Kids Area are guaranteed.

 Family, teen and child tickets are on sale now!

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Mumsnet Suffolk + Latitude Festival Competition


Terms and Conditions

The editor’s decision is final.

NB child tickets are for ages 5 – 12 (parents can of course bring small children under 5 free), so teens won’t qualify for the free child tickets but could go under one of the adult tickets.

The editor retains the right to redraw the prize should the winners fail to respond to our email within 36 hours of the competitions end date.

The competition will run from 25th June to midnight on July 7th 2014.


REVIEW: Wax Witch

Lying in the bathtub with a vast amount of bubbles for indulgence; my personal favourite time of the day. This occasion was different, in such way the entire atmosphere was altered by three little things. Who knew something so small could take such a dramatic effect.

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A unique package made its way right to my front door. Instantly excited, I eagerly opened it to find three delicately individually wrapped candles from Wax Witch. They are a family run business which was born out of a desire to create something special. The scented candles use only 100% pure natural soy wax which burns cleaner without all the toxins and soot. Each candle has a specific fragrance which are product tested by themselves as a company and they enjoy trialling new fragrances for customers old and new.

image (1)The candles have a unique look, simple yet elegant. Presented with a lightweight glass holder with a professional business sticker on each; the sticker displays the company name, the fragrance of the candle and the Wax Witch website.

The candles would be appealing for everyone, regardless of age or gender as there is such a large selection of fragrances that there is really something for all and would definitely make a great gift.

Wax Witch specialise in different types of candles; they offer a bespoke candle service for every occasion. The can make a range of table centre pieces all the way to individual wedding favours with a personalised message, whether it be a poem or a small paragraph. With a dedicated Christmas candle collection they would make an appreciated gift or a special Christmas fragrance to uplift and enhance the Christmas spirit. From soy melts to pillar candles you really are spoilt for choice.

When lighting the candles, I expected a strong overpowering scent to fill the entire room, but to my pleasant surprise the burn of the natural soy wax was delightful and the strength of the aroma was just right. The candles had a slow burn, which is a great benefit to the product which enables the delightful aroma to be enjoyed time and time again. Within moments of lighting the first candle I was immediately relaxed and the atmosphere was outstanding. Each individual scent reminded me of different thimage (12)ings, the Chocolate Orange reminded me of Christmas time with a log fire burning. Rhubarb and Lime reminded me of our local Rhubarb festival where we have a celebration of Rhubarb (our town is famous for Rhubarb) and the Lime Basil and Mandarin reminded me of a being in a spa, relaxation and being pampered. After blowing the candles out, the aroma lingered in the room and passed through to neighbouring rooms which was a pleasant delight when re-entering the room and finding the air refreshing.

Wax Witch are a fantastic company and every conversation I had with Jill was extremely pleasant and I really felt like a valued customer. The communication between customer and company was five star; great service was delivered when delivery was fast and my package arrived just within 2 working days of shipment. I was informed when my items were sent and Jill went the extra mile for me to send out information separately that was missed and she ensured that the information was received at the same time as the product.

The fragranced soy candles are definately good value for money. A standard soy wax fragranced candle would only set you back £12 and they are many to chose from. I personally would purchase more of this product (I especially have my eye on the Blackcurrant and Liquorice one!) We had been provided with a selection for our review; Chocolate Orange, Rhubarb and Lime and Lime Basil and Mandarin.  All three were unique and offered something different. As Wax Witch are famous for their natural soy wax, people should use this business over any other candle distributor as their product burns cleaner and without the toxins and soot of the normal paraffin based candles.

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Click here to find out more about Wax Witch
Click here to browse their candle shop

Acknowledgements: Mumsnet Wakefield would like to thank Wax Witch for providing a free selection of candles in return for a review.


What’s On – Wakefield and Leeds (20/21/22 June)

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? Then look no further! Between the two districts we have a large range of activities, shows and more to chose from!


World Sup Beer Festival 2014
20-Jun-14 to 22-Jun-14 world sup

West Riding Refreshment Rooms, Dewsbury Railway Station, Wellington Road, Dewsbury, Wakefield, WF13 1HF.

It’s back, our third World Sup Beer Festival. To support England we will be selecting a beer for each player in Roy Hodgson’s squad from either their own town/city or from the club they are currently playing for. We will be looking to promote new breweries to the West where possible and give you a chance to drink a pint or two in support of your country.

Also we will be looking to source some bottled beers from other countries competing in the World cup to provide a bit of competition for our great English cask beers. We look forward to seeing you get behind England!

For more information:


The Blues Band at Theatre Royal Wakefield
Friday 20th June 2014

Theatre Royal Wakefield, Drury Lane, Wakefield, WF1 2TE

The Blues Band - Wakefield Theatre

If music matures like fine wine, 1979 was a vintage year. That’s when Paul Jones and Tom McGuinness, from the hugely successful Manfred Mann, returned to their first love, the Blues. They imagined their back to the roots project, The Blues Band, would simply earn some beer money. How wrong they were – the public were ready and waiting.

Talent goes to talent. Into the ranks came slide guitar ace and superb vocalist Dave Kelly, legendary ex-John Mayall drummer Hughie Flint, (replaced in 1982 by the renowned Rob Townsend of Family), with solid bass provided by Gary Fletcher.

The Blues Band’s 2012 studio album, Few Short Lines amply demonstrates the veneration of their peers. Bob Dylan’s keyboard accomplice Al Kooper plays on six tracks, Bruce Springsteen’s comrade Southside Johnny provides harmonica and vocals, all lavishly topped off by Paul Jones raunchily duetting with Linda Lewis.

  • £22, £20, £17 (plus concessions)

For more information:
To book tickets:


The Move at Warehouse23
Friday 20th June 2014

23 Smyth Street, Wakefield, WF1 1ED


Supported by The 45’s
Bev Bevan (The Move, ex ELO, Black Sabbath), Trevor Burton (The Move, Steve Gibbons, Trevor Burton Band), Tony Kelsey (Robert Plant, Steve Winwood), Phil Tree (Wizzard, Raymond Froggatt).

The first band played on Radio 1.
Sued by the Prime Minister.
Toured with Hendrix, The Who and Pink Floyd.
The band who gave birth to ELO.

This is a great opportunity to get to see one of England’s truly legendary bands performing all their hits and more!!

Tickets are £15 and can be purchased on the door.

For more information:


Charity Fashion Show at Stereo Bar
Friday 20th June 2014

Stereo Bar, The Latino Quarter, Wakefield, WF1 1DH

Charity Fashion ShowFREE EVENT
Hosted by Identity Boutique – Winners of the Wakefield Retail Awards

Charity Fashion Show – Raising money for Cancer Research


For more information:

Baby & Tots Nearly New Sale at Leeds Futsal Arena
Saturday 21st June 2014
13:00pm – 15:00pm

Leeds Futsal Arena (Near The White Rose Shopping Centre), Millshaw, Park Way, Leeds, LS11 0LU

Baby & Tots Nearly New Sale

Baby & Tots nearly new sale
Saturday 21st June
1pm til 3pm at Leeds Futsal Arena

Clear out & book a table for some holiday spends


For more information:

See the TableTots website:


The Illegal Eagles at Theatre Royal Wakefield
Saturday 21st June 2014
19:30pm onwards

Theatre Royal Wakefield, Drury Lane, Wakefield, WF1 2TE

The Illegal Eagles - Wakefield TheatreFollowing a number of critically acclaimed UK & European Tours, The Illegal Eagles have established themselves as, not only the ultimate tribute to The Eagles, but as one of the foremost authentic and talented theatrical experiences in the world!

Vocalist Greg Webb now joins the classic line-up of members Phil Aldridge, Keith Atack, Al Vosper and Darin Murphy and Garreth Hicklin. Together Garreth & Greg’s abilities to capture the emotion of Don Henley’s vocal deliveries, has ensured that critical and audience acclaim has been unanimous.

This latest production brings you all the classics – Hotel California, Take It Easy, Lyin’ Eyes, Life in the Fast Lane, Take it to the Limit, Tequila Sunrise, Desperado, New Kid In Town…and a whole lot more!

  • £21, £19, £17, (plus concessions)

For more information:
To book tickets:


Overload 2k14 at Nostell Priory
Saturday 21st June 2014
15:00pm – 22:00pm

Nostell Priory, Doncaster Road, Nostell, Wakefield, WF4 1QE

O V E R L O A D 2 K 1 4Overload 1
A festival of arts and culture for young people by young people

Main Stage:
-Jack Walton + Acoustic Band
-Third Knight + More acts to be confirmed..

Arena 2 – UV Dance tent
With DJs:
-Danny Roebuck
-Morgan Thomas
-Matty Kirkbrigt
-Kelvin Wood
-Lewis Southward

  • Free Entry

For more information:

Bunting Making & Embroidery Workshop at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery
Saturday 21st June 2014
14:00pm – 16:00pm

The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery, Parkinson Building, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT

Bunting Making & Embroidery Workshop

After a hugely popular embroidery workshop earlier this year, artist and craft-person- extraordinaire, Becki Harper, will be back in the Gallery to teach you the many ways to make your own bunting!

Add colour and fun to any room in this new Burton Saturday workshop…

Think any colours, any size, any fabric; this will be an informative and relaxing workshop suitable for all abilities. Grab the opportunity to use those embroidery skills again too and decorate your bunting once you’ve grasped the basics.

All materials will be provided, but feel free to bring anything special that you may want to use.

Becki Harper is an illustrator and creative practitioner based in York. . Her work has been highly commended in the Macmillan Children’s Book Prize, and she also received a Best New Blood Award from D&AD.

  • £5 refundable booking fee

For more information:


1st Farsley Guides’ Summer Fayre at St John’s Church Hall, Farsley
Saturday 21st June 2014
10:00am – 12:00pm noon

St John’s Church Hall, Farsley, New Street, Farsley, Pudsey, LS28 5DJ1st Farsley Guides' Summer Fayre

Summer Fayre with Homemade Cakes, Tombola, Craft, Book, Games stalls and Guess the Weight of the Cake.

Refreshments available.

  • Free Entry.

For more information:


RSPB Big Wild Sleepout at Lotherton Hall
Saturday 21st June 2014
11:00am Saturday – 11:00am Sunday

Lotherton Hall, Off Collier Lane, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3EB

RSPB Big Wild SleepoutJoin the RSPB for the Big Wild Sleepout at Lotherton Hall!

Bring your family along and spend the night under the stars to experience the real outdoors and the wonders of nature.

The price includes entry and free parking in the Lotherton Hall grounds, a shelter building competition, an introduction to nature habitats walk, an evening woodland nature walk, campfire quizzes, games and lots of self-led wild family activities like face painting and bug hunting. Bring your own food along for an evening meal for your family and something to cook it on, eg a camping stove.

For more information on the event and what to bring with you, please visit:

Booking is essential:

Parents / carers must supervise children in their care at all times.

  • RSPB £20 (adult) £10 (child)
  • Non RSPB member£25 (adult) £12 (child)

For more information:


Saturday Art Club 6yrs – 11yrs at ArtBug Studio
Saturday 21st June 2014
9:30am – 11:15am

Artbug Studio, ABS Business Park, Unit 4, Viaduct Street, Stanningley, Pudsey, Leeds, LS28 6AU

Saturday Art Club 6yrs - 11yrs

Art Club gives children aged over two years a unique opportunity to express themselves freely through art in a safe & friendly environment. They are encouraged to use their initiative & imagination and are provided with all the materials & resources to experiment & explore as much as they wish!

We explore different materials and new techniques in fine art and craft based activities. Projects include clay hand building and glazing, painting, wire sculptures, junk modelling, sculptures, drawing techniques . Each individual matters and can dictate what they want to do. The child’s personal creative journey is key and each child works at their own level. Classes are split 2- 5 yrs & 6yrs – 11 years. Children aged 5 plus will be given the opportunity to participate in Arts Award Discover and Explore.

  • £8.50/£12.00

For more information:

Saturday Family Activities at Thackray Medical Museum
Saturday 21st June 2014
10:00am – 15:00pm

Thackray Medical Museum, 141 Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7LN

Saturday Family ActivitiesJune is Survival month – the antidote to sport

Had enough of tennis? All cycled out? Join us to learn some simple survival skills and then test your knowledge with fun quizzes and challenges.

  • £7(adults); £5(children 5 – 16); £22 (family)

For more information:

Wicked at Opera North Grand Theatre
Saturday 21st June 2014
14:30pm and 19:30pm

Opera North Grand Theatre, 4 New Briggate, Leeds, LS1 6NZ


WickedWinner of 90 international awards, Wicked has been casting its magical spell over audiences across the world for a decade and continues to break records at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is already the 15th longest-running West End musical of all time.

In a brilliantly witty re-imagining of the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Wicked tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two sorcery students. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Packed with thrilling technical wizardry, stunning costumes and show-stopping songs (by Academy Award® winner Stephen Schwartz), Wicked is an unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages.

  • Tickets £18.50 – £55.00, premium seats available

To book tickets:
For more information:


Springboard Saturdays at The Tetley
Saturday 21st June 2014
All Day

The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds, LS10 1JQ

Springboard SaturdaysSpringboard Saturdays take place each week and are led by volunteers and artists. Inspired by our exhibitions, Springboard activities can include anything from making simple prints, to designing robots, book-making or creating recycled crafts.

These drop-in activities are suitable for children and families of all ages. Visitors can stay for as long or as little as they like. Activities are free and no booking is required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

  • Free

For more information:


Saturday Art Stars at Otley Courthouse
Saturday 21st June 2014
10:00am – 12:00pm noon

Otley Courthouse, Courthouse Street, Otley, Leeds, LS21 3AN

Saturday Art Stars

Monsters, modelling and mosaics are just a few of the exciting workshops we have been running for children.
All children aged 5-12 are welcome to come to the Saturday term-time sessions and also to the holiday workshops.

  • £5 per child – payable on the day

For more information:


Wakefield Armed Forces Day 2014 at Nostell Priory and Parkland
Sunday 22nd June 2014
10:00am – 16:00pm

Nostell Priory, Doncaster Road, Nostell, Wakefield, WF4 1QE

Wakefield Armed Forces Day 2014Armed Forces Day is an opportunity to show your support for Britain’s Armed Forces, past, present and future.

We’ll be marking the event in Wakefield on 22 June with an event at Nostell Priory and Parkland.

The day is packed with a wide range of free activities for all the family including:

The Royal Signals White Helmets motorcycle display team, Parachute display team, Spitfire flyby and static display, Falconry display, Farmers market, Craft fair, Inflatable assault course and Military bands.

The full list of events can be found on the website.

A flag raising ceremony will take place at 10am with main events running from 10am – 4pm.
We’re also running a children’s competition. For details please visit the website.

  • Free Entry – £3 Parking

For more information:


Miners’ Gala at National Coal Mining Museum for England
Sunday 22nd June 2014
10:00am – 15:15pm

National Coal Mining Museum for England, Caphouse Colliery, New Road, Overton, Wakefield, WF4 4RH

Activities throughout the day include;

Live performances from Grange Moor Band
SNUG play areaMiners' Gala
Bonkers bikes from Get Cycling
Animal Tent
Children’s Sports Day Races
Design a plate – children’s competition
Horse shoe demonstrations
Performances from Wakefield Stage Coach
Rescue birds of prey demonstrations
Retired Greyhound Trust
Name the Miner competition – open to adults and children
Performance from Hobsons Chorus
Train rides
Outdoor art and craft tent – free activities
Ridings FM
Under 5s allotment-themed indoor soft play area
Nature Trail, playground and picnic area
Visit the ponies, Eric and Ernie plus Finn our gentle giant Clydesdale horse
Free Underground Tours

  • Free

For more information:

Discharge at Warehouse23
Sunday 22nd June 2014
16:00pm onwards

23 Smyth Street, Wakefield, WF1 1ED


Discharge are a British hardcore punk band formed in 1977 by Terence “Tezz” Roberts and Royston “Rainy” Wainwright. They are often considered among one of the very first bands to play hardcore punk

The band is characterized by a minimalistic approach of music and lyrics, a heavy, distorted, and grinding guitar-driven sound and raw, shouted vocals similar to a political speech, with lyrics on anarchist and pacifist themes. AllMusic calls the band’s sound a “high-speed noise overload” characterized by “ferocious noise blasts” The band’s 1982 debut album, Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing, went to number two on the UK Indie Charts and number 40 in the UK Album Chart. In the early 1980s, numerous singles and EPs placed in the top 10 of the UK Indie Charts, including the 1981 EP Why? (#1)

  • £10 Tickets

For more information:


Car and Bike Show Gala at Flushdyke Junior and Infants School
Sunday 22nd June 2014
10:00am – 15:30pm

Flushdyke Junior and Infants School, Ossett, WF5 9AN

Flushdyke School and Morris RegisterCar and Bike Show Gala
Car and Bike Show Gala
Sunday 22nd June 2014
10am – 3.30pm

Everyone welcome and FREE admission.

Craft Stalls, Bouncy Castles, Majorettes, Martial Arts Display, Raffle, Tattoos, Facepainting, Tombola and much much more…

Come along for a great family day out.

  • Free entry

For more information:



Independent Book Sellers Week – 28th June – 5th July 2014

This year’s Independent Booksellers Week (IBW) takes place from 28th June-5th July – a true celebration of independent bookshops nationwide and the important part they play in their communities, plus their excellent personal service and in-depth knowledge on a whole range of genres.   Independent Book Week gives parents the perfect chance to help their children discover more about their local bookshop – there are some fantastic offers from publishers exclusively available for IBW in independent bookshops around the UK, as well as a whole range of events for children during the week – check out your local independent bookshop to see what they are planning.

Mumsnet Local’s guide to Wakefield Booksellers

Mumsnet Local’s guide to Leeds Booksellers

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HarperCollins are producing a collectible edition of The Classic Adventures of Paddington by Michael Bond, exclusively available for independent booksellers

Piccadilly press are producing a limited edition, signed copy of New York Times bestseller Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan, exclusively for IBW – the story of 12 year old genius Willow Chance
In addition, there will be lots of support in independent bookshops around the UK for the shortlisted entries and the winners of the IBW Book Award, which features both a Children’s Fiction and Children’s Picture Book categories.

To celebrate IBW, we’ve asked some expert children’s independent booksellers to provide short reviews of their favourite books to keep children of all ages occupied this summer.  Please see their recommended reads.
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PICTURE BOOK – TOO SMALL FOR MY BIG BED, Amber Stewart & Layn Marlow, OU Press, £6.99
Piper, the tiger cub, can do lots of things all by himself during the day but at bedtime he wants his mummy by his side. This lovely book reinforces the message that a parent’s love is always there, even when you can’t see them. With charming illustrations, this is a comforting bedtime story for toddlers everywhere.

3-5 YEAR OLDS – UP FOR THE CUP, Simon Bartram, Templar Publishing, £6.99

This is a wonderfully wacky book containing a highly amusing football tale, footie facts and characters to spot. Its real appeal, however, lies in the amazingly detailed illustrations with extraordinarily expressive characters and a double page goal celebration spread. A real treat for young football fans, my favourite of the current crop.

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5-8 YEAR OLDS – DIXIE O’DAY-IN THE FAST LANE, Shirley Hughes & Clara Vulliamy, £5.99
An eye-catching new series for young readers. Dixie the dog and his best friend Percy enter the Didsworth to Dodsworth all day race but will they be pipped to the post by arch enemy Lou Ella? This is a beautifully designed book with bold red, black and white illustrations and a chapter for each night of the week.


8-11 YEAR OLDS – THE BLOOD GUARD, Carter Roy, Scholastic, £7.99
Thirteen year old Ronan Truelove discovers, to his dismay, that he’s a member of The Blood Guard, protectors of the world’s thirty six truly good souls known as the “Pure”. He’s subsequently swept up in a rollercoaster adventure with engaging characters, witty dialogue and intense action. This is a real page–turner.

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TEEN and YA – WE WERE LIARS, E Lockhart, Hot Key Books, £7.99

An extraordinary story that will draw you in and astound you. When beautiful and privileged Cadence bangs her head in an accident she is unable to remember anything about how it happened. Nobody, including her cousins and fellow “liars” will enlighten her. A truly gripping story with haunting and sinister undertones that build to an unexpectedly shocking conclusion.

PICTURE BOOK – THE PICNIC, John Burningham, Red Fox, £6.99              Boy and Girl set off in glorious sunshine in search of a perfect picnic spot. En route they meet some curious animals and get chased by a lively bull.  This delightful picture book, complete with misplaced objects for the reader to find and culminating in a peaceful bedtime, is perfect for sharing with a small child ahead of a summer nap.

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AGE 3-5 – THE DARK, Lemony Snicket and Jon Klassen, Orchard Books, £6.99
The long summer days are the perfect time to dispel fears of the distant dark and this thoughtful picture book offers children a gentle opportunity to explore – and allay – their own anxieties. Lyrically written and beautifully produced, it is a delight for adults as well as young listeners.
                                                                                                                                             5-8 YEAR OLDS – THE TWIN GIANTS, Dick King-Smith, illustrated by Mini Grey, Walker Books, £4.99

This very welcome reissue brings together a much-loved author and a favourite illustrator in a tale of marauding (but nevertheless loveable) giants in search of understanding wives.  Great to pack for a family holiday as all the family will enjoy listening to it read aloud, while newly fluent readers will relish managing it on their own.

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 8-11 YEAR OLDS – FLORA AND ULYSSES, Kate Di Camillo, Walker Books, £6.99
Flora is passionate about comics, but cynical about life. This doesn’t lead to a great relationship with her romance-writing mother, and things can only get worse when Flora takes up with a super hero squirrel.  Joyful, quirky and full of vibrant characters and laugh-out loud moments it’s a wonderful book to curl up with and enjoy.

TEEN and YA – WAR GIRLS, Anthology, Andersen Press, £6.99
With the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I this summer, our teenage readers are eager to read about wartime life.  These absorbing and powerful stories, written by some of Britain’s greatest contemporary YA writers, present a vivid and moving picture of life for young woman growing up in the Great War.

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PICTURE BOOK – YIG AND YOG THE HAPPY CATS, Lindsay Camp and Lucy Chesher, Walker Books, £6.99
Yig and Yogg are delightfully entertaining and (despite their questionable fashion sense) they gently introduce early learning concepts, throughout this hilarious and quirky tale.  A great choice for the summer months to encourage role play and outdoor activities. A big thumbs-up for ‘Flower Power’.


AGE 3-5 – SOMETHING DIFFERENT, Jill Lewis & Ali Pye, Egmont, £6.99
Introducing the ‘Little Somethings’, a gang of friendly creatures who amble about their moomin-like landscape discovering and playing. It’s Nonty the 9th and Bob is not playing stargazing bingo, he is doing something different…a sweet story about concentrating on what we have in common rather than fearing our differences.


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5-8 YEAR OLDS – SECRETS OF THE SEASHORE, Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner, Ivy Press, £10.99
An enchanting and child-friendly introduction to the ‘Secrets’ of the Seashore.  A perfect choice to read before, during or after a day sprotting about by the sea. The ‘Shine –A-Light’ pages add excitement and an interactive element which will delight readers of all ages.  If you enjoy this, look out for ‘Secrets of the Apple Tree’ too.

8-11 YEAR OLDS – WILD BOY, Rob Lloyd Jones, Walker Books, £6.99
A rollicking journey through Victorian London’s grimy underbelly; Wild Boy will delight confident readers who enjoy a suspenseful mystery and vivid historical setting. With a great cast of characters Wildboy is a terrific summer read for boys and girls alike. Our junior book club loved it!

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is written in such a captivating style, with a heavy dose of magical realism at the centre of it. Strange and beautiful are the perfect words to describe this story.

PICTURE BOOK – ZEKI LOVES BABY CLUB, Anna McQuinn and Ruth Hearson, Alanna Books, £7.99

Bright and bold illustrations and simple text celebrate a baby’s day as he goes in his buggy to meet with his friends and their carers to have fun together playing a variety of games before finishing with a cuddle and a story. A lovely celebration of our vibrantly multi-cultural society.

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AGE 3-5 – THE HANS AND MATILDA SHOW, yokococo, Templar, £6.99
Second appearance for the little girl who disguises herself as the naughtier Hans, here creating chaos in the guise of her alter-ego at the school talent show. It all comes right in the end when Matilda herself makes a magical reappearance and saves the day.  A fun and subversive page turner!


5-8 YEAR OLDS – MY HEART IS LAUGHING, Rose Lagercrantz and Eva Eriksson, Gecko Press, 7.99
After her best friend Eva suddenly moves away Dani is determined not to give up her friend’s seat in class in case she should return. This is a delightful tale of enduring friendship and a child overcoming adversity with charming illustrations which perfectly compliment the text and enhance the storytelling.
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8-11 YEAR OLDS – THE LION OF SOLE BAY, Julia Jones, Golden Duck, £7.99
Julia Jones takes her inspiration from the stories of Arthur Ransome and gives them a thoroughly modern twist. With an atmospheric Suffolk setting this is a tale that recalls a major sea battle of the Seventeenth century and brings together three very different children in a gripping tale of adventure.


TEEN and YA – VANGO BOOK ONE: BETWEEN SKY AND EARTH, Timothee De Fombelle, Walker Books, 7.99 The first book in a new series from France begins with one of my favourite opening chapters as Vango Romano makes an exhilarating escape from his pursuers through Notre Dame Cathedral. The pace never slackens as our hero seeks truth and justice in an adventure which takes him around the world.

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PICTURE BOOK – ORION AND THE DARKEmma Yartlett, Templar Books, £11.99
Incredible illustration and seriously stylish design come together in this gentle story of overcoming fear of the dark. Little Orion tries everything not to be scared, so when Dark offers to come down and play, Orion is brave and instead of being afraid he ends up finding a special friend.


AGE 3-5 – CHICKEN CLICKING, Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross, Andersen Press, £11.99
Willis writes the best picture book texts in the business and here she’s paired up again with illustration heavyweight and long-time collaborator Tony Ross. This clever cautionary tale highlights the potential dangers of internet friendships but it is the witty rhyme and wickedly funny story that make Chicken Clicking sing.
 download (19)5-8 YEAR OLDS – GO WELL, ANNA HIBISCUS!, Atinuke, Walker Books, £4.99 A fabulous little series for developing readers, Atinuke’s stories are full of life, colour and character. This time Anna is visiting the African village her grandparents grew up in where she makes new friends and learns more about her culture.  Anna Hibiscus is a charming creation who deserves a bigger audience.


8-11 YEAR OLDS – THE DRAGONFLY POOL, Eva Ibbotson, Macmillan,

The late Eva Ibbotson wrote children’s fiction of the very highest quality. Re-jacketed for a new audience, The Dragonfly Pool is a school story with a difference -Tally is a spirited young girl who befriends a lonely Prince as his kingdom is threatened by the rise of Hitler. Immersive and glorious, an altogether joyful reading experience.


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TEEN and YA – MURDER MOST UNLADYLIKE, Robin Stevens, Random House, £6.99

This gleeful murder mystery uses all the tropes of its boarding school setting to create a deliciously traditional romp introducing a series that is sure to garner many fans. A corpse has been found in the gym and the Wells & Wong Detective Agency are on the case.  Splendid stuff.


PICTURE BOOK – THE ODD ONE OUT, Britta Teckentrup, Big Picture Press, £10.99 This is a modern, unusual and wholly absorbing spot-the-difference book, with classy illustrations, which demands you seek out the hidden surprises lurking in the pictures.  A sophisticated rhyming text provides the clues. This fantastic title is best for parents and children to share and see who can spot the differences first.


download (25)AGE 3-5 – HOW TOM BEAT CAPTAIN NAJORK AND HIS HIRED SPORTSMAN, Russell Hoban and Quentin Blake, Walker Books, £12.00
I have been selling books for over 40 years and in that time I have seen many gems fall out of print, so I was delighted to see this book has been re-issued as a hardback.  Our here Tom loves to fool around; much to the consternation of Aunt who sends for Captain Najork to teach him a lesson. Various zany challenges ensue, from which Tom emerges triumphant and decides to change his lifestyle. It is nonsense which makes a lot of sense to fidgety five year olds.


8-11 YEAR OLDS – THE LITTLE WHITE HORSE, Elizabeth Goudge, Lion Children’s Books, £10.99
This Modern classic is perfect for children from 9 onwards with an interest in people. Goudge’s characters embody all aspects of human nature and give an insightful look at the impact of human actions on future generations.  This imaginative title offers pure escapism into a beautifully described world.  The current edition has the original illustrations from C. Walter Hodge (1946) and stunning endpapers decorated with plans and maps.

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TEEN and YA – NEVERENDING, Martyn Bedford, Walker Books, £7.99
Shiv has reluctantly agreed to become a voluntary inmate of a controversial clinic that forces teenagers to recognize the consequences of their actions and help them to come to terms with the resulting guilt.  Like any enclosed community frictions abound but the plot races along, skilfully unfolding into a dramatic ending.  Martin Bedford’s previous book, Flip was greatly enjoyed and he has pulled off the difficult second novel with great success.

7 Shocking Facts From The Mumsnet Miscarriage Campaign

Our survey of over a thousand Mumsnet users showed that the treatment and support women receive following a miscarriage fails to meet the official national guidelines. Here are seven of the most shocking facts revealed by the survey…



We’re asking politicians to pledge to improve miscarriage care, based on the principles in our Code, by 2020 – the end of the next parliament.

Please ask the three politicians who can make this happen – Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt), Andy Burnham (@andyburnhammp) and Norman Lamb (@normanlamb) – for their support.

Don’t use Twitter? You can send this email

Support the Mumsnet Campaign for Better Miscarriage Care

Mumsnet have today published the results of a survey into patients’ care and experiences following miscarriage. Around a quarter of a million women miscarry in the UK each year – about one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage – but the statistics published today show that the treatment and support women receive fails to meet their needs or measure up to official national guidelines.

In a survey of over 1000 women, it was found that:

1. Half (46%) had to wait over 24 hours for a scan to determine if their baby was still alive, with one in five (18%) waiting longer than three days. “When I was asked how much longer it would be, I was told I was taking up their time.” A Mumsnet User

2. Half (47%) were treated alongside women with ongoing pregnancies. “I sat with other ladies who were still pregnant and waiting for scans… seeing their happy faces tore me apart.” A Mumsnet user

3. A third (31%) of those who miscarried at home following a scan were not offered any pain relief, or adequate pain relief. “I was under the impression that miscarrying at home was the easy option. It certainly is not easy. I have been in agony.” A Mumsnet user.

4. 58% of respondents wanted counselling, but only 12% were offered it. “I had to wait six months to get counselling and lost six months of my life as I was not coping with the loss.” A Mumsnet user.

5. 56% of respondents wanted further medical care but only 26% were offered it. “The hospital said they’d ask a health visitor to contact me. That was two months ago; nobody has been in touch.” A Mumsnet user

6. Only a quarter (23%) spoke of their experience to friends, and only 13% told wider family. “When I felt ready to talk, I didn’t have anyone ready to listen.” A Mumsnet user

In 2012, NICE guidance on the management of miscarriage stated that miscarrying at home (known as ‘expectant management’) would be the default clinical response for women undergoing miscarriage before the 13th week of pregnancy, but today’s results show this policy is leaving women without the support they need.

  • Only 15% of women who miscarried at home following a scan felt they had the right support, information and pain relief to manage. “I was told, over the phone, to ‘just sit on the toilet and hopefully it will all come out’.
  • 11 people were asked to store their foetus at home prior to further tests on the embryo. “[I don’t want to] catch my miscarried embryo in a urine sample pot at home, keep it in the fridge overnight if necessary, then take it on the train (two hours) for genetic testing.”

Mumsnet users have developed a five-point Miscarriage Code of Care, which calls for straightforward improvements in the treatment parents receive:

1. Supportive Staff

GPs, Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU) and A&E staff should be trained in communication techniques (including things NOT to say to women who are miscarrying), basic counselling skills and the psychological effects of miscarriage. Follow up appointments and/or counselling for those who feel they need it should be routinely offered after miscarriage.

2. Access to Scanning

Access to scanning facilities in the case of suspected miscarriage should be easier. This could mean Early Pregnancy Assessment Units (EPAUs) opening seven days a week, and/or portable ultrasound and trained medical staff being available in A&E and gynaecological units at all times as standard. Those who are miscarrying naturally at home should have the option of a scan to check that there are no on-going complications.

3. Safe and appropriate places for treatment

Women undergoing miscarriage or suspected miscarriage should be separated from women having routine antenatal and postnatal care, or women terminating an unwanted pregnancy. EPAUs should be sited in hospitals gynaecology, rather than antenatal, departments or next to A&E departments, to ease women’s referral route. Waiting times in confirmed as well as threatened pregnancy loss, but, in particular, for women who need surgery, should be kept to a minimum and not be spent in an antenatal or labour ward.

4. Good information and Effective Treatment

All women experiencing miscarriage should receive clear and honest information, sympathetically delivered. Women should be given information about all the available management options – expectant, medical and surgical – and should be able, clinical considerations allowing, to choose the method of management that best suits their circumstances. Women miscarrying at home should be offered appropriate prescription pain relief. In the case of miscarriage continuing in hospital, doctors should discuss with the parents what they wish to happen to the foetus, (i.e. it should not be disposed of routinely without prior consultation).

5. Joined up care

Community midwife teams and GPs should be informed immediately when miscarriage has occurred, and subsequent bookings and scans cancelled, to avoid women who have miscarried being chased by HCPs for ‘missing’ pregnancy appointments.

Many of the Code’s points are included in best practice guidance fro the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Department of Health, but the research shows that, too often, this guidance is not being implemented.

Mumsnet is now asking the Secretary of State for Health, the shadow Health Minister and the junior Health Minister to commit to improving miscarriage care during the lifetime of the next parliament.

Justine Roberts, Mumsnet founder, said:

There’s no escaping the pain of a miscarriage, but for this to be compounded by lack of treatment, pain relief, good care or just plain human kindness is completely unacceptable. We are calling on the three main parties to include a pledge in their manifestos to improve miscarriage care, based on the principles in our code.

Jane Brewin, Chief Executive of Tommy’s said:

Losing a baby is a devastating experience and our helpline hears from people every day who are struggling to make sense of what has happened to them and why. More research is needed to help us understand the causes of miscarriage so we can develop treatments that help save babies’ lives. We want families to know that they are not alone and that Tommy’s helpline is here to support anyone who has been through this heartbreak.

Susan Seenan, Chief Executive of the national charity Infertility Network UK, said:

Miscarriage is an extremely distressing, and often frightening experience and sadly even health professionals can underestimate the impact which a miscarriage can have. Good support and access to counselling from sensitive trained staff who understand the emotional as well as the physical effect of miscarriage on both women and their partners can make an enormous difference to those dealing with the grief of losing a baby. We hope that this campaign will lead to better care and support for everyone affected by what can be a hugely traumatic experience.

More information on the Campaign

You can find more information on the Mumsnet site.

How to get involved

Please ask the three politicians who can make this happen – Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt, Andy Burnham (@andyburnhammp) and Norman Lamb (@normanlamb) – for their support.

If you don’t use twitter, please send an email to the politicians who can make this happen:

  • Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt –
  • Labour Shadow Health Spokesman Andy Burnham  –
  • LibDem Health Minister Norman Lamb –

We need to ask them to include a promise in their next manifesto to make miscarriage care better. Accounts of personal experiences are particularly effective for explaining why we need their support.

Share this on your Facebook page, and tweet about the campaign with hashtag #miscarriagecare

†Source, Miscarriage Association

‡ 1065 women who had miscarried since September 2011 completed the survey between 24 April – 15 May 2014