hiplittleone

Nov 042019
 

Thanks to the recent closing of Uluru there is a shiny new spotlight on the traditional owners of Australia, their rights to protect their sacred sites and the many ways others can treat Australia’s indigenous people with the respect they deserve. The indigenous community has the most amazing stories to tell and Magabala Books makes them available to all. Today we’re learning about the beauty of Darug Country:

Cooee Mittigar (RRP $24.99), come here friend, welcome to Darug Country (the Sydney area). Darug author Jasmine Seymour invites young readers on a special trip to Darug Country to meet the exciting wildlife, explore the different seasons and discover what they mean to Darug people. Along the way you’ll even get a crash course in Darug language so you can understand the locals even better!

Accompanied by stunning illustrations by the hand of Darug artist Leanne Mulgo Watson Cooee Mittigar is wonderfully warm and inviting, just like the beautiful Darug people. As the traditional owners of the Darug region they know where to find the goannas and the echidnas, they read the stars and watch the rains and they wait for the yams to bloom and the bottlebrush to flower. Each Australian season has it signs, you’ll soon learn to spot them too!

Two lucky Hip Little One readers will soon own their very own piece of true Australian art, as we have two gorgeous Jasmine Seymour prize packs to give away. Each winner will take home a copy of Jasmine’s newest title Cooee Mittigar, a copy of her sweet book Baby Business and a very special bracelet designed by a member of the Darug Custodian Aboriginal Corporation. Made with gum nut and Tuckeroo seeds found on Darug Country together with wooden beads these limited edition bracelets are a real treasure.

To find out more about Magabala Books, to browse the range and to order your favourite Magabala titles online visit www.magabala.com.

For your chance to win 1 of 2 ‘Magabala Books’ prize packs (RRP $49.98, contains a copy of Cooee Mittigar, Baby Business and an exclusive handmade Darug bracelet) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter. Good luck!

Oct 312019
 

It’s a tricky transition, from beautiful picture books to big novels. When you’ve finally mastered reading and are starting to enjoy longer stories, you immediately have to give up gorgeous illustrations… or so it seems. I was so excited to discover a wonderful children’s book by Roald Dahl’s granddaughter Sophie Dahl that combines the best of both worlds and it’s definitely worth a read:


With its large A3 size and eye-catching, colourful hardcover it’s easy to think Madame Badobedah (RRP $26.99) is ‘just’ a pretty picture book. But between these lovely blue covers hides a true treasure of a story that is sure to delight readers of all ages.

When your parents own a seaside hotel you can expect to welcome all kinds of interesting guests, but Mabel has never seen anyone as quirky as this before… Initially she is not too sure about the new arrival, whom she has named Madame Badobedah. Madame Badobedah moves into Room 32, together will all her suitcases and parcels, boxes and furniture and even a selection of pets!

As time goes on Mabel discovers that Madame Badobedah is more a friend than a fugitive and a survivor instead of a super villain. She may not be a lost princess or a criminal in hiding (what a relief!) but this special guest sure knows all about exciting adventures and the unlikely pair bond over their love for adventures.

Mermaids in secret cupboards, pirates, ballerinas and precious jewels from far-away destinations… Room 32 is a place every child would love to visit! Lauren O’Hara has created the sweetest illustrations for this dreamy children’s book and with 56 pages there is plenty of reading and spotting and admiring and imagining to do. Walker Books‘ Madame Badobedah is the perfect magical Christmas gift for little bookworms.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at Madame Badobedah visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘Madame Badobedah’ (RRP $26.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!

Oct 192019
 

As fun as it is to have all six children at home on holidays, it is also nice to get back into the school routine and have a slightly quieter house during the day. During the holidays all the kids usually play together, but term 4 has begun so it’s back to preschool play for the two little ones. Ted and Hattie got very spoilt for their birthday a few weeks ago and they are now really enjoying all their fabulous new toys like this great set by ZoomiZooz:

What are Zoomizooz, you ask? These colourful collectable characters have just zoomed their way into Australian toy stores and are quickly bowling over curious pre-schoolers with their fun antics and adventures. On their own they roll, tumble and wobble but the real magic happens when you combine them with one of the ZoomiZooz play sets…

The big ZoomiZooz Tree House (RRP $79.95, ages 1-5) is the perfect home for a busy ZoomiZooz family. The little ZoomiZooz can go up and down in the lift, swirl down the spiral slide or even travel down the cool rope bridge on a magnetic ZoomiZooz seat. With levers to lift, buttons to press, doors to open and much more there is plenty to discover and try for small hands.

All over the Tree House you’ll find clever interactive spots that trigger more than 80 sounds, songs and sentences. There’s even a Magic ZoomiZone that recognises every single ZoomiZooz character eg. ‘Hi, I’m Koala’, ‘Can you put Tiger on the Magic ZoomiZone?’ ‘Hooray! I’m Tiger, roar!’, ‘I’m a cute cat, meow. My eyes are big and shiny’ and many more. Seeing/hearing that their actions (of putting an animal on the ZoomiZone) bring on a response is very rewarding to young children making this is a very popular feature.

As you can tell it gets pretty noisy in this animal kingdom! Parents will be pleased to know there are two volume levels so you can adjust the sound as needed. Whether it’s training those fine motor skills, encouraging pretend play, practising cause and effect or introducing animal names and sounds, ZoomiZooz are full of learning fun. Ted likes a bit of fast-paced action so he loves watching the ZoomiZoos tumble down the rope bridge and sending them on the spiral slide as speedy as they can go.

The ZoomiZooz Tree House comes with four different animal friends (a cow, tiger, cat and monkey) but of course the more is always the merrier. There are currently 4 ZoomiZooz Play Sets and 24 different animal friends to collect (available in single, three or six pack) so you can build your ZoomiZooz world at your own pace. Hip Tip: The cute animal packs make a fantastic budget-friendly stocking filler for a young ZoomiZooz fan!

The ZoomiZooz range is now available at Target, Big W, good toy stores across Australia and selected online retailers.

To find out more about ZoomiZooz, to take a closer look at the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

Oct 172019
 

Like most parents we always try to fulfil our children’s birthday wishes for as much as that is possible. It is obvious that snakes are out of the question (Juliet), iPads/iPhones not necessary (Tommie) and unicorns impossible to get your hands on (Harriet), however we never thought walkie talkies would be such a tricky request! Our little super spy Sybil has been asking for walkie talkies for well over a year, and 8 months after her birthday her wish has finally come true:

For months and months we researched and compared different walkie talkies, trying to find the right balance between quality, durability, price and most of all safety but (to Sybil’s great disappointment) there was absolutely nothing out there that ticked all the boxes. When we recently came across the new KidiGear Walkie Talkies (RRP $49.95, ages 5+) we immediately knew our search was over and we’ve most definitely found our match.

Whether your child is a secret spy, police officer, detective, adventure seeker or treasure hunter, these kid-safe walkie talkies are a must-have for any special mission. Designed by the toy-experts at VTech the KidiGear Walkie Talkies are designed with real kids in mind, they are simple to use and comfortable to hold with rounded corners for safe play. On the front they even have a large easy-to-read LCD display, after all modern kids need trendy gear.

Sybil mostly dreamed of chatting to her sisters from her bedroom or while on a bush walk or scavenger hunt in our neighbourhood, but to her big delight the KidiGear Walkie Talkies are much more than a two-way radio. Aside from communicating in walkie talkie mode, the two units can compete in four different 2-player games and send each other fun messages.

Kids can choose from a selection pre-loaded pictures/messages on the screen and respond with simple yes/no answers, even young children can do it. Because the messages are pre-loaded there is no risk of inappropriate content, just another way VTech keeps your children safe. These little secret texts are perfect for situations where audible radio-chats are not an option, no one will know you’re quietly communicating!

Safety has always been our main concern for any walkie talkie purchase. Most of the walkie talkies with a decent range and nice clear sound use UHF channels. This comes with a big risk of kids accidentally overhearing conversations of others using the same public channels (eg. truck drivers), people listening to your children’s chatter or even worse: strangers making contact with your precious children. KidiGear Walkie Talkies completely take away that fear by using a clear and secure digital connection, keeping your children and their adventures safe and sound within a huge 200m range.

KidiGear Walkie Talkies are available at Big W, JB Hi-Fi, good toy stores across Australia and selected online retailers.

To find out more about VTech, to take a closer look at the KidiGear Walkie Talkies and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

Oct 112019
 

And that’s a wrap, two weeks of school holidays gone in a flash! Aside from a week with sick kids we had a lovely time soaking up the sunshine and enjoyed lots of playdates, the fuller the house the better. Thanks to a long overdue playroom-makeover the kids had plenty of room and new (or rediscovered) toys to keep them busy. The extra floor space has come in real handy for Tommie’s newest set of wheels:

Turbo Force Racers (RRP $29.95, ages 4-10) are the ultimate combination of portable power, cool cars and R/C rides. Simply use the adjustable strap to secure your Turbo Force Racer around your wrist and you’ll always have your dream ride within hand’s reach!

The Turbo Force Racer vehicles may be compact in size, but they are big in performance and super portable. The key to this motor magic is in the special wristband: Not only does it provide safe car storage/transport AND charges the vehicle, it is also the remote control that will make your car perform the coolest tricks and cross the finish line. We love that you can take your car everywhere and charge it ‘on the go’ too, it’s perfect for holiday trips!

On the wristband you’ll find your six direction arrows as well as three other buttons: Talk, Sound and Turbo. The music and sound buttons will play controller-car chats and background music to which the vehicle will respond. Before you can activate the Turbo button you will need to shake your wrist band repeatedly to build up your boost, the controller will tell you when your Turbo Boost is ready to use.

To recharge your Turbo Force Racer for the next speed session simply pop the car back on the Turbo Station wristband, as soon as the lights stop flashing you’re fully charged and good to go. Did you know you can even race two Turbo Force Racers against each other? Just make sure each of the vehicles is tuned to its own channel using the channel switch to avoid channel confusion. May the fastest sibling driver/friend driver win!

Hip Tip: If you think you’ve got what it takes, put your racing skills to the test on the loops, ramps and jumps of the Turbo Force Racers Race Track (RRP $89.95, sold separately).

Turbo Force Racers are available in blue, red, green and yellow and you can find them at Big W, select online stores and good independent toy retailers across Australia.

To find out more about Turbo Force Racers, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.vtech.com.au.

Oct 102019
 

In the latest heart-stopping Alex Rider release Secret Weapon, teen-turned-agent Alex Rider travels across the globe to stop evil enemies in their tracks. From kidnappers to terrorist gangs and from sneaky ex-army personnel to smooth criminals and more, Alex will encounter all kinds of troublemakers as he tries to complete a range of new MI6 missions. Alex Rider: Secret Weapon made the perfect holiday-read for our 11-year adrenaline-junkie, you can read his thoughts below:

Talented teenage super-spy Alex Rider, who works for the British Intelligence Service MI6, is a magnet for trouble. Alex will be pushed to the limit in seven action-packed adventures, each story is full of surprises and will keep you guessing what will happen next. Alex Rider stories are perfect for bored, adventure-seeking kids, they sure kept me entertained and I couldn’t put the book down!

There is nothing ordinary about Alex Rider’s life and nothing is as it seems: A free chocolate on the way to the dentist lands Alex in a secret hide-out in the midst of a food poisoning epidemic and a para-sailing trip in France takes a scary turn when the boat driver has a seizure and Alex has to take the wheel. Then there is a kidnap attempt and a laptop full of valuable information, a hunt for a hidden invention and a daring escape from jail by a dangerous drug-dealer who is out for revenge. And let’s not forget the mysterious car crash that Alex can’t remember at all…

I really enjoyed this story collection by author Anthony Horowitz. I hadn’t read the rest of the Alex Rider series before I read ‘Secret Weapon’, but now I definitely want to! I’ll be checking the school library once school goes back.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at the Alex Rider series visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘Alex Rider: Secret Weapon’ (RRP $16.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!

Sep 262019
 

In many ways our little miss 9 is a lot like her mama, but when it comes to her favourite animals Juliet is most definitely not mine! Where I love the furry, soft, cuddly kind she goes crazy for scaly and scary, slimy and slippery ones that give me the shivers just thinking about them. She loves learning all about these creepy creatures so this gorgeous Flying Eye Books title has her name all over it:

Fanatical about Frogs (RRP $27.99) is a delightful combination of art and amphibians. Across 40 beautifully decorated pages well-known British illustrator Owen Davey introduces young readers to all kinds of interesting facts about frogs, before you know it your budding biologist will be quite the frog expert!

From a desert rain frog to the American bullfrog, from the Vietnamese mossy frog to a starry night reed frog and many more, you have never seen a bigger collection of frogs before. How small/big are different types of frogs and what makes them special? Where do they live and how do they grow? What sounds do frogs make and which frogs should you stay far away from? If you have a froggy question this book is bound to have the answer! Even the frog that turns into a handsome prince gets a little mention.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at ‘Fanatical about Frogs’ visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of Fanatical about Frogs (RRP $27.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!