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Jo Watkinson

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  • A Happy Ending for Maurice the Mole: Children's Stories Brought to Life by Playtime Books

  • Grumpy Grandad, Book 6
  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Grumpy Grandad’s loves his garden and he is finally rid of the pesky mole that has been destroying his lovely garden by digging. But things don’t go quite to plan for Grumpy Grandad when he finally gets rid of Maurice the Mole from his garden because he actually misses the naughty mole. Will he be able to find him before it’s too late? The author Ann Twigg wrote these brilliantly funny stories to entertain her grandchildren and the children in her class at school. Her inspiration for these stories came after a naughty mole decided to dig in her garden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A lovely happy deserved ending for a cute but pesky, mischievous mole.

  • By Jo Watkinson on 10-06-19

A lovely happy deserved ending for a cute but pesky, mischievous mole.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-19

We enjoyed reading all the Maurice the Mole data’s but particularly this one due to the happy ending.

My kids and I love nature so felt quite sorry for Maurice at times throughout these short stories as we knew he was only doing what moles do! However we could understand why his behaviour could have been upsetting for Grumpy Grandad. We could empathise with both perspectives so couldn’t imagine an agreed happy ending or compromise.

We really liked this story though because Grumpy Grandad must have felt guilty for taking the pesky mile so far away, so he went in search of him. Unfortunately the poor mole has been poisoned but luckily Grumpy Grandad finds him and does the right thing by taking him to the vets.

Without spoiling the ending, it’s nice to hear that Grumpy Grandad continues to grumble as normality resumes in his garden.

A lovely, gentle read, suitable for any primary aged child or younger.

  • Lea's Secret Powers: Story Books for Young Children

  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 6

Lea’s Secret Powers is the second book in a series written and narrated by Ann Twigg. Ann has an amazing way with words that draws a child into her stories and has them wanting to hear more. Lea is excited to see what will happen this year when she plants her magic sunflower seeds. This time she is lead in to an enchanting world of pixies, tooth fairies, and magical powers. This book emphasizes the importance of looking after and caring for all living things. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A superb sequel to Lea’s Secret Sunflower

  • By Jo Watkinson on 10-06-19

A superb sequel to Lea’s Secret Sunflower

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-19

Thus story can be enjoyed anywhere at anytime and develops an appreciation for the great outdoors.

After hearing the 1st book: Lea’s Secret Sunflower, and all about Lea’s competition to grow the tallest sunflower at school, showing that the best things come to those who wait. The sunflower brings her fame and happiness.

In this sequel, we were pleased to hear Lea’s excitement of planting her sunflower seeds and then gaining great happiness as they grow quickly and yet again have magic powers. The sunflowers bring happiness and this time as it talks and laughs, it drops it’s petals which make Lea’s natural surroundings come to life!

Lea meets a pixie who takes her on a Tooth Fairy adventure. My daughter particularly liked this story and could totally visualise the story without a single written word or illustration.

This could be used to develop children’s writing as they creatively decide which flowers have which powers.

It’s read well with Ann Twigg’s soothing, gentle voice. It’s perfectly paced and the plot develops well and is quite realistic and down to earth for a children’s book.

  • Lea's Magic Sunflower: Bedtime Stories for Kids by Playtime Books

  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 6

After Lea is given a sunflower seed by her teacher, she becomes disappointed when all the other seeds planted by her classmates begin to grow, but not hers. Then, suddenly, the sunflower starts to grow, but this is no ordinary sunflower. This sunflower is not just any sunflower. This is a magical sunflower.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A great short story to be enjoyed anytime

  • By Jo Watkinson on 10-06-19

A great short story to be enjoyed anytime

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-19

Thus story can be enjoyed anywhere at anytime and develops an appreciation for the great outdoors.

Lea grows more and more impatient and disappointed when her sunflower doesn’t appear to be growing but this is no ordinary sunflower! It’s delay is deserved as it’s worth the wait and bring her fame and happiness.

My kids liked the fact that the sunflower smiled at her and loved its magical powers. This could be used to develop children’s writing as they creatively decide which flowers have which powers.

It’s read well with Ann Twigg’s soothing, gentle voice. It’s perfectly pace and the plot develops well and is quite realistic and down to earth for a children’s book.

  • Playtime Children's Stories 8 Story Bundle: Eight Wonderful Audiobook Stories for Kids in One Bundle

  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 3 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

These eight lovely children’s audiobooks will have young imaginations working overtime! With this children’s storybook bundle you get more value, more listening pleasure, more enjoyment, and more of everything you and your child is likely to want. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An enjoyable easy listen to be enjoyed anytime

  • By Jo Watkinson on 10-06-19

An enjoyable easy listen to be enjoyed anytime

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-19

These short stories can be enjoyed by any primary aged children at any time of day. They are narrated well, with a soothing tone and great detail for children to be able to visualise the story.

I was slightly confused by the order of stories 3,5and 7 as the characters are the same but I think possibly story 7 would be better read before story 5 which is the final story written about Maurice the Mole’s adventures.

Stories 1&8 are linked and tell us of Leah’s disappointment as her sunflower doesn’t grow enough to win her School’s competition but yet develops quickly to bring her fame and happiness... and special powers! Then in the sequel, story 8, ch16&17, Leah’s magic sunflower takes her on adventures such as meeting the Tooth Fairy and bringing nature to life for Leah! We loved these stories, they were particularly my daughter’s favourites.

Ch4&5 (the 2nd story) remind readers to be careful what they wish for as 2 school children create a Brain swapping machine which causes chaos in the classroom. It encourages personal differences, uniqueness and creativity. This was my son’s favourite story!

He also really enjoyed the 3rd story about Grumpy Grandad and his constant grumbling whilst on holiday! It did not sound like a great holiday but made us laugh at times.

The 4th story links to others by Ann Twigg about Fred the Red caravan relocating after needing repairs and finding his new home in an allotment.

The 5th tells us how Grumpy Grandad guiltily goes in search of Maurice the Mole, saves his life with help from a vet then finally accepts his company and lets him share his garden! Happy to be able to grumble about him again!

The 6th story tells of red and green men from traffic lights who like to escape at night to find adventures of their own. This time Mick the Mailman comes to their rescue as a green man gets stuck in a mail box.

Story 7 continues Grumpy Grandad’s grumblings as his ‘Pesky’ Mole friend returns to eat his beloved tomatoes... which he happily shared with him in the 5th story (so you could swap the order when listening!?!)

The final story, no 8 shows Leah’s sunflower bringing her magic powers.

We loved these descriptive stories and will read more from Ann Twigg.

  • The Brain Swapping Machine

  • Thrilling Kids Books and Stories by Playtime Books
  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

Children have such vivid and vibrant imaginations, in early childhood creativity is often linked to drawing, making, messy-play, and art. It is important to encourage our child’s creativity and The Brain Swapping Machine is a perfect audiobook for this! Ellis and Archie are two little boys who are given a task of inventing something fantastic for a scientist that is coming into their school.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-06-19

This embraces individuality and creativity.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-19

As a primary school teacher myself I particularly enjoyed this imaginative story and felt that it could be shared with any primary aged class to discuss individuality and uniqueness.

It emphasises that each child has their own strengths and difficulties. Imagine the chaos in a classroom when two imaginative boys, Archie and Ellis, invent a brain swapping machine!?! But surely this couldn’t possibly work!? In the narrative world it can!

Possible conversations could be had about other possible inventions and scenarios which could follow.

A fantastic story. Well read, with a soothing tone and perfect length, pace and description.

  • Santa’s Magic Button: Lovely Christmas Story for Young Children

  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2

Christmas is a magical time for children and visits to Santa are a big part of the buildup to the Christmas vacation. Santa’s Magic Button is all about the magic of Christmas. David, who is 10 years old, no longer believes in Santa, and not even his brother can convince him that Santa is real. But then David finds a strange button in the snow that leads to a magical Christmas adventure that he will never forget. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • To help to restore any child’s faith in Father Christmas

  • By Jo Watkinson on 10-06-19

To help to restore any child’s faith in Father Christmas

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-19

A cute easy listen about two brothers, Adam and David who differ in their views of Father Christmas.

As the excitement and builds up of Christmas develops, the elder brother who is 10 decides he’s too old to visit Father Christmas in his grotto. His family understandably worry that he will be left without any gifts on Christmas Day.

This could help restore young children’s faith in Father Christmas.

Despite listening to this in June, my children still got excited at the descriptions of the snow and building a snowmen. Discussions arose about the magic of Father Christmas and the challenges that he has to face. Also the controversial problems caused by snow in our busy hectic lives, whilst the kids just love all that the snow offers.

My children are 7 & 9 and this felt suitable for them and younger children too.

  • Alex’s Marvellous Midnight Ship: Books for Children

  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

Imagination is something that every parent wants their child to use and foster. Imagination helps us to learn and grow. Kids growing up today in a world of technology often forget how to use their imagination and play. This story is about a little boy called Alex who has an inquisitive imagination and finds himself discovering something magical whilst out playing one day over the summer.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A fun sequel to Alex’s Amazing Secret

  • By Jo Watkinson on 10-06-19

A fun sequel to Alex’s Amazing Secret

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-06-19

You don’t necessarily have to read Alex’s Amazing Secret before reading this but it would be more enjoyable to read both in order.

In this narrative Alex excitedly returns to his Grandma’s hoping to see the little people again, however is horrified to hear that their home could be destroyed. He obviously must do something to help and warn them. This leads to another adventure which as readers we are swept along on.

We loved the detail and easy listening of this gentle but exciting short tale.

  • I’m Not a Robot! I’m Tom!

  • Books for Kids by Playtime Books
  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 4
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 4

What is that strange green mark on Tom’s leg? Why is he beginning to feel different and why are his legs starting to tingle? Could it really be that Tom is a robot? Facing challenges is a natural part of growing up and going to school. Just like all children, Tom in this story must learn to be brave and strong. After returning from Robot Island, the green mark on Tom’s leg is growing, and so, too, is his strength. His clothes are becoming tighter and he’s acquired amazing talents that he never had before. What is happening to him?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Daughter loves this

  • By N Wood on 11-06-19

Sequel to Tom on Robot Island

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-06-19

This was our favourite narrative of Ann Twigg’s yet. We enjoyed reading the previous story, so it was nice to continue hearing about Tom’s return from holiday. Tom experiences both benefits and disadvantages to having super human powers. He is able to defend his friend but it also upsets his friend too, unintentionally. Then his power becomes too much in an ordinary school setting, especially when he begins to transforming in to a Robot.
Without spoiling the ending, it ends appropriately and my children were surprised but pleased. They loved the idea of having super strength and continued to chat about it even after the narrative had finished.

A great realistic read!

  • Bully Redman's Big Day Out

  • Exciting Adventure Book for Young Kids by Playtime Books
  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1

Bullying is an age-old problem and every parent’s worst fear. This audiobook was created by Ann with the intention of helping children with this problem. In this audiobook, the broken Red Man traffic signal is replaced by Bully Red Man. Green Man in the signal beneath him just wants to make friends with the new Red Man. But Bully Red Man soon makes it clear that he is far more important and doesn’t want to be friends with a lowly Green Man.   

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A nice easy listen series

  • By Jo Watkinson on 09-06-19

A nice easy listen series

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-06-19

This is a great series and ideally could be read in order, however it’s very descriptive and therefore we understand what has happened to Red Man prior to the story causing his legs to stop working and making him feel poorly. Because of this, Red Man’s replacement brings distress to the other Red man and green men as he is rude and behaves like a bully towards the others.
This story could lead to conversations about bullying and how readers could deal with unkindness. It could encourage children to think about the way they treat others and the language that they use. Red man’s replacement is extremely competitive and harsh to the others calling them stupid and silly and belittling them. This leads to some easy predictions as negative behaviour usually leads to negative consequences.

My daughter enjoyed this story and said that the voice was very ‘relaxing’.

  • Fred the Friendly Caravan

  • Fred's Exciting Adventure for Young Kids and Children
  • By: Ann Twigg
  • Narrated by: Ann Twigg
  • Length: 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 2

 

Fred the friendly caravan is very upset and filled with longing when his caravan friend Lulu is taken away and replaced by a bigger and newer caravan with all mod cons. When the new caravan arrives next to him in place of Lulu, Fred worries they won’t be friends and that he, too, will be replaced. But things are never as bad as they seem, and there will be a happy ending for Fred.  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fred’s adventures

  • By Jo Watkinson on 08-06-19

Fred’s adventures

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-19

If like us, you enjoyed reading about Lulu’s best day ever’ then you will also like this sequel. We liked learning about Fred the Red caravan and the tales he shares with his neighbours Dottie the Spotty and Dean the Green Caravan.

Fred felt sad that he could never be a touring caravan like Lulu, but things soon change when an accident means he needs to be taken away to be repaired. After more drama the tale ends happily with Fred in his new relocation.

We find this series easy, familiar and enjoyable. It’s nice to think that caravans might have personalities and tales to tell also.