Ever since we made our Build a Bear Smurfs, The Offspring have been slavering at the prospect of The Smurf Movie.
I have not. The smell of this one had started wafting our way, and it wasn't good. I tried to dump it on to JH, but he pointed that he had already visited his own seventh circle of cinema hell in the shape of Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.
So yesterday we did the deed and went to see The Smurf Movie. And yes, the children did enjoy the film. Personally, I felt it was a horrible waste of everyone involved's time.
Parents, if like me you get sucked into the vortex of hype that is The Smurfs, here are a few tips to help you endure the experience:
I used to wonder if Lego were trying to do slightly too much with the Ninjago range – it's a construction toy, a trading cards game, a toy spinner, a collectible – and now with the release of Ninjago Brickmaster, it's a book as well.
But what do I know – the range has become enormously popular. Last term it was the toy of choice to smuggle in to school for every small boy I know.
The Brickmaster range from DK is a sort of hybrid – half story book, half Lego building project. The left hand side of the book is a cardboard sleeve containing around 130 Lego bricks, designed to make at least five different models. The right hand side is a combination of the sort of Lego instructions you'll know, but with extra text giving facts about the models and a story involving the escapades of Frakjaw, Skeleton of Fire.
I've been using my Amazon Kindle for about 10 days now. Here's what I've discovered:
- Set up and book buying couldn't be easier
You will be good to go in under a minute. Don't be scared of this device if you're a technophobe because it really is extremely easy to use. You do need an Amazon account to operate, but if you're buying a Kindle then you're probably no stranger to The Big A anyway.
- You could spend a frickin fortune if you're not careful
I had assumed that ebooks would be a lot cheaper than the print versions, since the production and delivery costs are so much less, but that's not the case. Many best sellers are a fairly similar price whatever version you choose. Somebody's making a lot of money out of Kindle books, and I suspect it's not the writers.
- But you'll still be seduced
It's the instant delivery to Kindle that's so seductive – you can think of a book, buy it with one click and be reading it in under a minute. So if you're in a field and you fancy reading some Rilke – away you go. You can see why it's caught on.