Friday 6 December 2013

Usborne Christmas Books Review & *Giveaway*

Decorations, stories and more...

So, it is now officially Christmas in the Bishop household.

We put all of our decorations up on Sunday (Dec 1st) - it was so much fun! We have a 'non-traditional'  winter tree, and a lovely mix of decorations to hang on it; each decoration is special and has a story behind it. 

Each year we add a few new decorations to the tree - this year it was a gorgeous red bird (birds are my favourite) and bird house which were a gift from my lovely Mother-in-Law. Also, a 'Baby's First Christmas' rocking horse, which was a gift from Bert's Great Auntie. 

Bert has started to wear his many Christmas outfits, including the gorgeous Santa jumper (above) with pompom nose & hat (too cute!). 

Mummy is still looking for her Christmas jumper this year...

Another huge bonus to December is that I get to eat some Cadbury's chocolate every day from my advent calendar, this is extra-cool as I'm about 10 weeks into a calorie-controlled diet, so a little chocolate is a very nice treat. 

If it's possible I feel even more excited about Christmas now that the decorations are up - the house feels all festive, and I love the twinkly lights everywhere.

As well as our tree I love to fill the house with lots of homemade decorations, and this year I used an awesome book from Usborne "Usborne Big Book of Christmas Decorations to Cut, Fold and Stick" which is full of paper and instructions to make loads of your own decorations - paperchains, folded stars, woven hearts, snowflakes, angels and 3D snowflakes. 

Here's the book which is priced at £14.99, an utter bargain, as you will be able to use the paper for years and years (there's 200 sheets!) 

Here is a paper chain page to give you an idea of what the book provides. 

The decorations are easy and really fun to make - great for adults and kids alike. All you need is scissors and a glue stick to make all of the decorations in the book - trust me, it'll keep the kids quiet for hours, and will produce decorations you'll happily put up ;-)

Here are some of our made paper decorations around our home! Very festive!

Christmas Books...

I am book-mad. 

Always have been. 

From a professional point of view (I have a First Class degree in English Literature/Theatre, and have taught drama, and communication/intensive interaction for 6 years) I know how important books and stories are for the development of imagination, empathy and good reading/writing skills in our children and so I of course hope that Bert will be a bookworm just like his Dad and I. 

Although Bert is still to little to understand reading a story I still like to look at books with him, and get him used to concentrating on pages - I think he likes the colours and pictures, and I especially like books made for babies that have textures to feel, and sounds to listen to. 

Usborne sent us some lovely baby books which I would highly recommend - they are perfect to read your littl'uns on the lead up to Christmas, and on Christmas eve. 

The first is a small board book with lots of textures called 'That's Not My Reindeer..." priced at £5.99. There are a whole range of these 'That's Not My..." books, and I have used many of them in my teaching work, as well as at home with Bert. The text is simple, the pictures clear and bold - with lots of interesting textures for your babies to feel and explore. The books are very chunky and robust which makes the pages easy for little hands to turn. 

the lovely furry front cover...

a sneaky peek inside...

The second book I was truly over-excited about - its a push button musical book which plays little tunes as you press the buttons throughout the story - and it contains the poem 'Twas The Night Before Christmas (my absolute favourite as a child!). I had a book copy of this poem when I was small and I knew it off by heart - I'm hoping Bert will know and love it just as much as I did in years to come. 

This book is the perfect way to introduce him to the poem at such a young age, as I know that if nothing else he will enjoy listening to the music the book plays!

the book is priced at £12.99 and would be a lovely gift for any child this Christmas. 


The lovely people at Usborne have also given me a gorgeous Christmas Cooking activity book worth £4.99 which I've decided to give away to one of my lovely readers! 

This lovely book contains loads of festive recipes and ideas for gift wrapping them for family/friends. It's in full colour, with easy to follow step by step guides perfect to share with your children this festive season!

Here's a sneak peek inside the book to whet your apetite...

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning this great book is enter the rafflecopter below...

GOOD LUCK, get entering, and spread the word!

Ho, ho, ho!

Mrs B


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I was sent one copy of each of the books mentioned above for the purpose of this review. All pictures, words and opinions are my own.