Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Roll Up, Roll Up! The Circus Is Coming To North Leeds!

DISCLAIMER: I have been gifted tickets to this production in return for writing about it, and attended a free preview event, but all words and opinions are my own.

The summer holidays are slowly drawing to a close now, and having been away last week I'm definitely feeling a bit deflated. We're running out of ideas for things to do, but Girl Child is so fed up with the lack of school that she still needs a lot of stimulation. So I'm really glad we have one last treat up our sleeves for next week ...

Leeds-based arts organisation Codswallop CIC are bringing the circus to Yeadon Town Hall for the final week of the school holidays with their show Mr Montgomery's Circus Spectacular. With multiple daily performances from Tuesday 27th August to Sunday 1st September, I think this looks like it'll be a fantastic way to keep the kids entertained. There'll be dancers, aerial performers, jugglers and, knowing Codswallop's work, a whole lot of fun!

The show itself lasts an hour - long enough for a lot of fun but not so long that younger ones are going to get fidgety - and there will be activities before and after the show too. Children will even get an activity book to take home - so you might get to have a cup of tea in peace!

Image courtesy of Yeadon Town Hall

Codswallop are a fantastic organisation with a real passion for community arts. I have been to several of their events and they are always great fun - lots of activities pitched at different levels so all ages and abilities are catered for, and enthusiastic facilitators who really get the kids involved. I've yet to make it to one of their shows so I'm really excited to see this new production!

Earlier this summer we were invited to a preview event for local bloggers and the children had a great time. They tried out different circus skills, made craft projects, had their faces painted and ate a slightly alarming amount of lollies and popcorn! The event was very relaxed and fun, just the atmosphere I've come to expect from a Codswallop event, and got us really excited for the show.

A few highlights from the preview event

If you're interested in coming along to the circus, tickets are still available from Yeadon Town Hall. You can find more information on the show from their website or Facebook page, or from Codswallop's Facebook page.

Monday, 19 August 2019

Review: 'The Pirate Who Lost His Name' by Lou Treleaven and Genie Espinosa

DISCLAIMER: I was provided with a copy of this book for the purposes of this review, however all words and opinions are my own

I must confess, I'm rather late writing this review as this picture book came out last month. But it's for a good reason - the children liked it so much they pinched my copy before I could get photos!!



The Pirate Who Lost His Name does exactly what it says on the tin. It features a pirate who has everything you would expect a (child-friendly) pirate to have - sword, peg leg, parrot - but after a bump on the head he was missing one thing: his own name. He can remember all his friends' names (and what wonderful names they have) but his own is a total mystery.



So off he goes to try and find out his name without letting on that he forgot it in the first place, but despite his craftiest of efforts, he just can't find it out - but is someone trying to tell him the answer all along?



Pirate stories are always a winner with young children, and the eponymous but anonymous pirate in this book is a really likable character - his embarrassment at forgetting his own name is endearing, and you can tell that he is a very friendly pirate too as he goes to visit his friends on his quest. I won't give the ending away but it's a brilliant twist, and one that had my seven year old in stitches!

The writing is very witty, with lots of funny pirate names to get the little ones giggling, and the illustrations are a great match - colourful, over the top and full of quirky details to spot. Each pirate is drawn with great care to match their name and to make you laugh. My daughter particularly liked that there were female pirates too! I think the parrot was my three year old's favourite character though, and a very expressive parrot it is! He loved finding him in the different illustrations.

If you have a pirate-lover in your family, or just a lover of witty words and funny pictures, then this book would be a big hit!

Linking up with #ReadWithMe hosted by Mama Mummy Mum and Kids Love To Read #KLTR hosted by Laura's Lovely Blog, BookBairn and Acorn Books.

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