LeapStart 3D: Simba’s Surprise

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Dec 242020
 

When you have a big family like ours, storage space is always hard to find especially when it comes to toys. Ahead of the festive season I always give our playroom a thorough clean-out, sorting all the toys in the right boxes, donating older toys they’ve grown out of to our local op-shop or church and throwing away any broken bits and pieces. The kids love rediscovering everything they already own and I like the fresh start before new gifts arrive.

Another space-saving trick is to build on collections/brands you already have, it is often cheaper to buy new additions than to start a whole new collection and it is much easier for kids to put away their toys when there are less boxes/tubs. With this theory in mind we recently expanded our LeapStart 3D library with a fun new title for Ted and Hattie to explore, being compatible with the LeapStart 3D Learning System we already own there is no expensive outlay so it’s a super affordable gift AND takes up next to no space. Everyone’s happy!

If you are a longtime reader you will probably remember all about LeapStart 3D, but just in case you missed it you can check this clever learning system out here. The LeapStart 3D Library consists of many different titles that focus on specific learning skills and interests and new books are always in the making. One of the latest releases is Simba’s Surprise (RRP $19.95, ages 2-5), a cute storybook for preschoolers filled with interactive fun. Let’s go on a journey in the jungle with Simba the Lion King, Timon and of course the oh-so-funny Pumbaa.

To transform your LeapStart 3D book from an ordinary book into an interactive 3D adventure, simply open the LeapStart unit, click your book into place and turn the device on. The device will automatically recognise your book when you touch it with the smart stylus and guide you through downloading the audio for you new book (PC with internet connection required). While the main part of Simba’s Surprise is (of course) the story of Simba who wants to treat his friends to special gift, there is actually a lot more hiding on each page than ‘just’ words…

The stylus can be used to hear the story read out loud (allowing learning readers to read along with the words) but also to activate games, puzzles. challenges, hints and eye-catching animations that show up on the unique LeapStart 3D flip screen. Just touch anywhere on the page and see what happens! What do Ted and Hattie love most about Simba’s Surprise? They enjoyed playing the Animal Matching game (spotting body parts and connecting them them to the right animal owner), they liked watching Timon tickle Pumbaa with a feather and they thought Timon and Pumbaa stuffing their faces with scrumptious bugs and creepy crawlies was very funny. As a bonus the book also includes a page of free The Lion King stickers, nice treat!

Hip Tip: If you happen to own the original LeapStart System instead you can still enjoy all the fun the new titles have to offer (except for the 3D experience). Just another way LeapFrog cares for families and their budgets.

You can find the LeapStart 3D Library at your local Big W and other good toy stores across Australia or online at selected retailers.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to browse the range and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.

Alex Rider ‘Secret Weapon’ giveaway

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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!

‘Fanatical about Frogs’ giveaway

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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!

‘Going to the Footy’ giveaway

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Sep 042019
 

My little students can never get enough of art and craft. Thankfully the school provides plenty of creative opportunities and the kids especially enjoyed learning about (and even trying their hand at) indigenous art at school some time ago. There are many talented artists among the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities and how they depict their amazing country in their own unique style is truly eye-catching.

Thanks to Magabala Books people all over the Australia and even the world are able to experience the talent and diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, what a fabulous way to share the rich Australian culture! Tiwi artist Debbie Coombes inherited her love of painting from her grandfather and has used his teaching and her heritage as inspiration for this sweet picture book.

We all know Australians love their footy, people come from far and wide to see their favourite teams face off against each other on the footy field. But how do all these footy fans get there? From a bus to a barge, from a tinny to a trail bike and everything in between, in Going to the Footy (RRP $19.99) we take a closer look at different modes of transport. The book features simple words for easy reading and delightful Tiwi art in traditional colours. How will you get to your next game?

As a special treat for our Hip Little One readers Magala Books has put together three fabulous ‘Going to the Footy’ prize packs valued at $60 each. Each pack contains a copy of the ‘Going to the Footy’ book, a beautiful printed tea towel and a gorgeous set of two coasters. Whether your little ones love footy, or is just crazy about transport vehicles of any kind, this real Aussie read would make a great gift (and a fantastic souvenir for family and friends overseas as well).

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 3 ‘Going to the Footy’ prize packs (RRP $60 each) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter. Good luck!

Grandpa’s Noises giveaway

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Aug 222019
 

EK Books

This month marks 13 years since I left my home country, my family and my loved ones behind to move to Australia. Time really does fly and the saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’ is totally true as well. My old Opa is now 96 years old and I would give a small fortune to be able to visit him today. Whether you have a grandpa, a poppy, an opa or a pa, this gorgeous EK Books release celebrates the funny side of them all:

Go on, put on your best listening ears and come along for a visit to Grandpa. Giggles are guaranteed as you learn to recognise Grandpa’s Noises (RRP $24.99)!

He may not be a man of many words, but that definitely doesn’t mean Grandpa is quiet… A day with Grandpa is filled with lots of interesting noises, you could call them his signature sounds. From his crunching knees and creaking back to his slurping lips and his peaceful purring when he sleeps, the more time you spend with Grandpa, the better you get to know his repertoire of noises.

Reading ‘Grandpa’s Noises’ quietly in your head is obviously not an option, this book simply demands to be read out loud with each sound turning into a real performance. Our youngest readers thoroughly enjoy the show and love predicting and joining in the different noises. What a lovely family book!

You can find ‘Grandpa’s Noises’ in leading book stores across Australia.

To find out more about EK Books, to browse the range and to order your favourite titles online visit www.ekbooks.org.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of Grandpa’s Noises head over to the Hip Little One Facebook page, good luck!

‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ giveaway

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Mar 192019
 

If you were to take a peek in family homes across Australia you will be hard pressed to find a book shelf without a copy of Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt on it. For years this lovely picture book has been read, sung and played out in living rooms and libraries, bedrooms and cubby houses and many of us have our own special Bear Hunt memories. This year marks the 30th anniversary of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and that’s a special milestone that should not go unnoticed:

To celebrate the big 30 in style Walker Books has organised the ultimate ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ competition for book loving families. Grab your phone/camera and share an image or video of you and your family sharing We’re Going on a Bear Hunt on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #happybirthdaybearhunt and share what you think makes We’re Going on a Bear Hunt special.

The winning family, as chosen by Walker Books Australia, will score an entire year of story times, that is 52 books handpicked for your family! Entries close March 31, 2019, check out the competition details here.

To find out more about Walker Book and to take a closer look at We’re Going on a Bear Hunt visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

Thanks to our lovely friends at Walker Books two lucky Hip Little One readers will win a gorgeous ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ prize pack containing a copy of the book, a tote bag, an adorable ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ plush bear (not dangerous!) and a cute bear ear headband. For your chance to take home this beary cool stash hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter.

‘Saying Goodbye to Barkley’ giveaway

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Feb 282019
 

EK Books

Death and grief is hard enough for adults to accept and understand, let alone for young children. Saying goodbye is really difficult and often the first heartbreak a child will endure is the death of a much loved family pet. If you’re looking for a helpful tool that will start this conversation look no further, EK Books is here to help with this lovely new book:

Barkley is soft, small and very smart. He is furry, friendly and fabulous. Barkley is Olivia’s best friend and together they make the most amazing team, until the time comes for Barkley to hang up his superhero cape and retire… Saying Goodbye to Barkley (RRP $24.99) has put an end to exciting adventures and Olivia is feeling lost, her heart is heavy and she misses Barkley terribly…

After a while Olivia’s feelings slowly start to change, and she realises that Barkley would never want her to stop having fun or miss out on secret missions. Inspired by her buddy Barkley Olivia visits the local animal shelter and falls in love with a big white fluffy dog called Spud.

It turns out that Spud doesn’t actually like fighting crime or catching bad guys like dear old Barkley did. Olivia comes to accept that Spud is not Barkley, but that doesn’t make her any less loveable… just different and that’s perfectly OK too.

You can find ‘Saying Goodbye to Barkley’ in leading book stores across Australia.

To find out more about EK Books, to browse the range and to order your favourite titles online visit www.ekbooks.org.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘Saying Goodbye to Barkley’ (RRP $24.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter. Good luck!