The perfectly preserved plaything.


Yet again I put finger to keyboard to re-post one of my original blog postings, please leave a comment and let me know what you think, that way I wont feel like I’m talking to myself! 🙂

As one of my children’s birthdays approaches the talk has turned to gifts and in particular toys.

My children quite rightly, are toy obsessed and I for one advocate that. My children may require a good 60 minutes of Disney channel a day but that does not stop the rest of their  time being filled with games of hospitals, babysitting, or the current favourite, arranging and re-arranging the almost palatial dolls house. I ask you, how many pieces of furniture and clothes does one doll need?

They love toys so much in fact, that the youngest one has asked, as her birthday treat, that we pay a visit to one of her” happiest places on earth” Toys R Us.

As children, growing up, my brother and I were always told to look after everything we were given, particularly when it came to toys. Our Dad was always eager to tell us that one of his biggest regrets in life was when his Mum had given away a selection of toys he had lovingly kept as a child, to a close family relative, who systematically destroyed every one of them.

I think this must have had a rather detrimental effect on my father who virtually obsessively, insisted that every new toy we had, we would have to retain the box  and place it back in after playing with it.

At the time, I saw no point in this at all. But now as a Dad myself I can see his point.  It made me realise that every box in my cupboard contained a new delight and every time I played with my toys it was like a birthday or Christmas all over again. It made all of my toys magical and in some way I think more special.

I think toys are a rite of passage for children; I had a very happy childhood filled with Action man, Subbuteo, Scalextric and my own personal favourite Star Wars toys. One of my lifelong favourite memories will be a Christmas in which my parents had bought us a child’s entire collection of Action Man figures and equipment (Notice I don’t call them dolls, because dolls were for girls!)  second-hand, out of the local newspaper.

I could not care less that they had belonged to someone else before me because to me and my brother it provided us with a collection that our frugal pocket money would have ever had afforded in our lifetime. Plus we had no boxes to put any of it in to, so a huge plastic basket was bought and the collection dumped in at the end of every glorious day. However as time went on, piece by piece of that collection was lost in the garden or eaten by the dog. Now we have very little to show that it even existed.

All that aside, something has clearly been learnt from my Dad as my attic is now full to bursting with empty store fresh boxes of Slyvanian Families and Barbie toys.

There is good reason for this, my Dad was not obsessive or even a little retentive, he was a genius. If it was not for him, my brother and I would not have a loft full of pristine boxed vintage Star Wars toys which at some point in the distant future we will sell them online and hopefully retire a few months earlier on the profits.

The person who buys them can do whatever they like with the boxes.

Thank you for joining me yet again, I truly value you reading my ramblings. Take care and be safe. Russ

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A great start


Thought I would start my new blog with a wonderful set of reviews I received from a reader in Australia.
It is emails like these that make my job/hobby worth doing. Thank you Louise!

Poppy’s Planet is a delightful book that will engage readers of all ages. Written in beautiful prose, Poppy’s tale is a simple but inspiring plea to protect our world. Supported by fabulous illustrations by the amazing Jamie Cosley, Poppy tells her story in language that is easy to understand but powerful in its message. It is easy to see this book being shared in classrooms as a springboard to explore how we treat our environment and make positive steps both locally and globally to make changes to benefit our world. This cute little penguin will win the hearts of her readers and put a smile on everyone’s face. It is a book that is meant to be shared and discussed and as a teacher librarian I recommend its inclusion in any library collection.

Daisy the Donkey

Russ Brown has told a familiar story from a very unique viewpoint. It is Daisy’s time to shine and she does so in a very quiet and peaceful way – reflective of her gentle nature. How can one repay kindness? Children will fall in love with Daisy as they learn the story of the Nativity from a different perspective. I highly recommend this book either as that special book to share with a little one or as a book that will open a door for a class to explore the question ‘What is greatness?’ Let Daisy take you on a journey of love that comes straight from the heart.

Louise Brooks.

So what can I say! These are genuine independent reviews and have really made my weekend. Both books are available via my website and amazon and are available on kindle and nook.

Thanks for joining me
Russ