Author Archive > frangliz

Lonely Planet Devon, Cornwall and Southwest England

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Lonely Planet Devon Cornwall & Southwest England,  Oliver Berry , book reviewI bought this guide just before visiting Dartmoor and Cornwall for the first time in 2012. I would usually be content with borrowing a guidebook from the library, but as one of my sons lives in Bristol and I occasionally meet up with him in Bath, it seemed like a book worth buying since I would continue to use it in the future.

Right at the beginning, the guide has a double-page map in colour; the area it covers extends to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in the north and the New Forest in the east. To avoid confusion, the area actually covered by the guide is shaded in grey. Major cities, towns and attractions are shown, and these include Torquay, Bristol, the Isles of Scilly, Corfe Castle and the Eden Project.

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French Club Book 1

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French Club Book 1: Book 1 (French / English), book reviewA couple of months ago I was asked to tutor a five-and-a-half-year-old girl in French, as one set of her grandparents lived in France but her parents spoke very little French. Having taught French to pre-school children for more thirteen years, I had a picture book, flash cards and various other materials, but I decided it would be a good idea to have a workbook to go through. I found French Club Book 1 on Amazon and was pleased to see that it had an accompanying CD.

The book is recommended for children aged seven to eight but I haven’t found it beyond the capabilities of my pupil, who hasn’t quite reached her sixth birthday.


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Berlitz: Lille Pocket Guide

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Berlitz: Lille Pocket Guide, book reviewThe Berlitz Lille Pocket Guide is such a tiny format that it really could fit in some pockets, measuring 4 inches by 5.75 inches. Despite that it does contain plenty of information; the font is of course small, but not to the extent that you would strain your eyes when reading.

The guide begins with a double page that has colour photos of Lille’s top ten attractions, which include the Porte de Paris, the Modern Art Museum, the Vieille Bourse and Wazemmes covered market. Each picture has a caption that tells you the page number where you can find out more about the attraction.


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Harden’s UK Restaurant Survey 2013

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Harden's UK Restaurant Survey 2013, Richard Harden, Peter Harden, book reviewI’m not honestly sure how I first came across Harden’s Restaurant Survey a few years ago, although I expect it was through an email from them. Harden’s invites members of the public to complete a survey giving ratings and comments on restaurants they have visited; they then publish a book that features the restaurants for which they received a sufficient number of responses from survey participants. Up until recent years, Harden’s published a reporters’ edition of the guide book which they sent out to all participants as a token of appreciation; for the past couple of years, however, participants have received the full version of the book.

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Manfred the Baddie

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 Manfred the Baddie by John Fardell, book reviewManfred is a horrible man who, along with his henchmen, kidnaps the most skilful inventors. He threatens to feed them to his piranha fish if they don’t follow his orders. He forces them to build machines that allow him to rob aeroplanes, raid art galleries and carry out acts of piracy. When his henchman make mistakes, however trivial, he enjoys humiliating them.

One night, however, Manfred goes down with a dreadful cold. He feels awful and goes to bed, expecting someone to bring him some soup or come and read him a story, but nobody does come.


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The Lost Thing

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Lost Thing, Shaun Tan, book reviewA boy is busy working on his bottle-top collection at the beach when he notices the lost thing. Nobody else is taking any notice of it, but the boy feels he can’t ignore it. He plays with it for some time and then tries to find out if anyone knows anything about it. Nobody does, so he takes it to his friend Pete who simply feels that the thing is lost. The boy thinks he must take it home with him. His parents, when they finally notice the thing, tell the boy to take it back as it looks dirty and might be diseased.

The boy hides the lost thing in the shed but knows he can’t keep it forever.


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The Dirty Great Dinosaur

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The Dirty Great Dinosaur,  Martin Waddell, Illustrated by Leonie Lord, book reviewHal, a very small boy, is playing with his dog in the garden when a roaring dinosaur suddenly confronts him. When the dinosaur announces that he is going to eat Hal, the little boy answers politely that it’s not fair to eat small children. The dinosaur threatens to eat Hal’s parents and then his dog, but each time Hal stands up to him and protests. A chase round the garden ensues, and it ends with Billy the dog and Hal tying the dinosaur up with the washing line.

The dinosaur eventually has to give in, and Hal demands an apology from him. The creature also has to clear up the dreadful mess that he has caused in the garden.

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Charlie and Lola: We Honestly Can Look After Your Dog

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We Honestly Can Look After Your Dog (Charlie and Lola), Lauren Child, book reviewCharlie and Lola go to the park one day with their friends Marv and Lotta. Marv brings his dog, Sizzles. Lola is dying to have a dog so she asks Marv if she and Lotta can look after Sizzles. Both girls try to impress Marv by telling him that they know everything about dogs. Marv shows them that Sizzles knows how to sit when told to. Charlie sees some friends playing football and tells Marv that Sizzles will be safe with the girls while they go and join in the game. Marv gives Lola and Lotta some rules to follow, the most important of which is not to let Sizzles off the lead.


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The Incredible Book Eating Boy

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The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers, book reviewHenry is a little boy who loves books. He doesn’t read them, however; he eats them. He eats all kinds of books, but red ones are his favourite. The more books he eats, the cleverer he becomes. He wants to become the cleverest person in the world, so he eats three or four books at a time. Eventually, of course, Henry starts to feel ill. What’s more, he has been eating books so quickly that the things he has been learning get mixed up.

All sorts of experts tell Henry that he must give up eating books.


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The Stinky Cheese Man and other Fairly Stupid Tales

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The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, Jon Scieszka, Lane Smith, book reviewIt is probably obvious from the title that The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is a collection of alternative versions of traditional fairy tales. Author Jon Scieszka offers “Cinderumpelstiltskin”, “The Tortoise and the Hair”, “The Princess and the Bowling Ball” and “Jack’s Bean Problem” to name but a few. “The Stinky Cheese Man” of the title is an alternative to “The Gingerbread Man”, but the cheese man smells so dreadful that nobody wants to chase him.

The title page has the words “Title Page” set in huge letters, and on the next page the dedication is printed upside-down. The reader is clearly in for an off-beat ride.

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Harquin

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Harquin by John Burningham, book reviewHarquin is a young fox who lives with his family at the top of the hill. Nobody knows they are there, and Harquin’s parents want to keep it that way. They tell their children never to go down to the valley for fear that someone will see them and follow them back.

Unfortunately, Harquin is bored and makes trips down to the valley at night when his family are asleep. He discovers a way across the dangerous marshes and is able to catch chickens and rabbits. Harquin’s father senses that one of the children has disobeyed him, and he reminds them that their uncle was caught by the huntsmen.


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Two by Two and a half

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Two by Two and a half by David Melling, book reviewMiss Moo Hoo asks all the animals in her nursery class to find a partner and follow her to the woods for a walk. There is a problem, however, because there is an odd number of animals, which means Little Bat Jack doesn’t have a partner. Although he is the smallest animal, he is extremely brave and says he doesn’t mind. They sing as they head towards the woods.

Every so often, one of the animals thinks they can smell, hear, or see something. Miss Moo Hoo is afraid it might be a scary dragon or a tree-climbing lion, but each time it just turns out to be Little Bat Jack.


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