Sunday, 22 December 2013

Letters from Father Christmas

Letters from Father Christmas

J.R.R. Tolkien

Recommended age: as from 3 years old

This book is the collection of the letters that Father Christmas wrote to Tolkien´s children for over twenty years. They are indeed the letters any of us would have dreamt of receiving each Christmas, with all the details of his life and adventures in the North Pole, with his friends, the Polar Bear, the Elves, Gnomes...and also his enemies the goblins.

This gem of a book not only contains the texts of the letters, but also the beautiful pictures drawn by Father Christmas himself! It is a delight to read the funny and heart warming stories and to enjoy the wonderful colours and pictures that illustrate them.

Pablo L.C.: "The letters From Father Christmas is a loving, sweet book for all the family, filled with colourful and beautiful illustrations and wonderful stories. This will help your little ones to discover the spirit of Christmas, along with a world they will adore, and that will help them to never stop believing! All courtesy of Tolkien himself. With wonderful characters which you will love straight away."

"I am more shaky than usual this year. The North Polar Bear´s fault! It was the biggest bang in the world, and the most monstruous firework there ever has been. It turned the North Pole BLACK and shook all the stars out of place, broke the moon into four - and the Man in it fell into my garden."

Jaime L.C.: "I think that this is a great book, it´s made up of stories that form a bigger story when put together. It has incredible illustrations and stylish handwriting so I think that children will like this book."

Here is another splendid drawing, this time to illustrate Polar Bear getting into an accident and making Father Christmas' job, the packing of presents, rather difficult.

Although Polar Bear is always getting into mischief, there are times when he really saves the day. He proves to be a strong and brave fighter when the goblins attack Father Christmas.

"Polar Bear was squeezing, squashing, trampling, boxing and kicking goblins skyhigh, and roaring like a zoo, and the goblins were yelling like engine whistles. He was splendid"


"We are quite happy and settled again now, and feel much safer. It really will be centuries before we get another goblin-trouble. Thanks to Polar Bear and the gnomes, there can´t be very many left at all."

Daniel L.C.: "l think that these stories can be amazingly entertaining as they are creative and imaginative. You also get a bit happier every time you read them as you can easily imagine the excitement of a little child (like one of the ones in the story) receiving such beautiful letters from Santa."

I was personally impressed with Polar Bear´s very good handwriting, taking he has rather big paws...and with the language skills of Ilbereth, an Elf and personal secretary of Father Christmas, who can write several alphabets: Arctic, Latin, Greek, Russian, Runes and Elvish, (luckly he didn´t have a blog to write...I can only imagine how long it would take him to translate to all those languages, it takes us long enough with two!!)

Related Activities:

Design your own Christmas Cards! These are the ones our bloggers have made to wish you all a VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND A WONDERFUL 2014!!

Happy Christmas to all those who read!

From Daniel

Happy Christmas and Happy New Year to our friends!

From Jaime

Happy Christmas and keep on reading!

Best wishes Pablo

Did you know...?

It will be no news to you that Father Chrismas lives in the North Pole, but where exactly? well, the exact location is unknown but it is certain that his headquaters are somewhere in Lapland, which is the region at the north of the Scandinavian countries.

It is a wonderful land, but very cold and hush for the people to live in. The Sámi however have adapted very well. This is a Sámi boy with his raindeer, dressed with the typical clothes, aren´t they beautiful!

Their main way of living is the raindeer herds. They make very good use of them, also to make their shoes and clothing. 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

The Hobbit

The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien

Recommended age: as from 9 years old

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." 

The above is the sentence that Mr Tolkien wrote on a blank page while the was engaged in the "soul-destroying task" of marking examination papers. It was only after he had jotted this line that he felt the urge of finding out what story laid behind it, what was a hobbit? where did he live? what kind of life would he live?

We also find that the opening of this great novel is engaging and gives the sense of adventure and the thrill of what is to come:

"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort."

In fact we dare you to read the first chapter and not to continue until the end, even if you have seen the movies and know the story!

Pablo L.C.: "The Hobbit. What can I say about that book? A stupendous masterpiece, crafted by the imaginative mind of Tolkien. Join Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and some thirteen dwarves on an epic quest for treasure and gold guarded by the fierce Smaug the Magnificent! Journey through a world of dragons, giant eagles, wizards, dwarves, elves, goblins, orcs, wargs, werebears and rock giants; giant spiders, trolls, hobbits and lots of battles (not to mention a giant dragon) and a creeping creature with a magic ring... All I  say is, welcome to Middle-Earth!"

The book is being brought to the cinema in three parts, the first one was out December 2012, The Hobbit, the Unexpected Journey. We watched it and it was just unbelievably awesome! If you would like to see the trailer, click here.

Jaime L.C.: "The movie and the book were both really good, the story is mysterious and you can´t take your eyes off both the movie and the book ,also they are planning to add a character from the Lord of the Rings... It´s Legolas everyones favourite immortal warrior, but that´s not all, they are going to reveal what happens when Gandalf finds the necromanser and much, much, more ."

Pablo L.C.: "My dear Frodo..., the minute I heard this phrase I was glued to my seat. The Hobbit starts off in the wonderful, picturesque, springtime wonderland of The Shire, a place where we all wish we could go. Soon Gandalf arrives, has a quick chat with Bilbo, (wich makes the hobbit run into the safety of his hole) and  begins to graffiti Bilbo´s door. Five minutes later, 13 rowdy dwarves with olympic style dishwashing skills, have dinner in and convince Bilbo to become a pickpocket, or as they call it, a thief. With wizards whose hair dye is bird poo, trolls with the secret ingredient of snot in their cooking and a goblin king with a flab beard and body issues, this is a funny, action packed film wich you will love".

The second movie is called The Desolation of Smaug and it is out December 13th 2013. Click here to watch the trailer, if you would like to see a funny version of the trailer made with Lego figures click here

Daniel L.C.: "The movie is completely amazing with all the action and fantasy. Even though you do not need to actually read the book (there is so much detail it extends on every little detail) it is still fun to know how the original story goes!"

As you know, The Hobbit is the prelude to The Lord of the Rings, you can have a sneak peek of this trilogy in Lego with this entertaining video made to a crazy song click here for funny lego video. And if you would like to see the Lego Lord of the Rings video game movie, click here

Related activities:

Pablo L.C.: If any of you would like to try writing a book, go ahead, I am writing a changed version of The Hobbit called The Midget:

It starts off in The Countryside, where a 3 foot tall coffe addicted midget, Balbo, is visited by famous explosionist Zap the wizard. He then has 13 rowdy, action loving, extremely rude dwarves visit him, who procceed to destroy his house. Balbo wakes up, reads a letter which ends with "we know where you live" and departs with the famous words "I´ve been blackmailed into going on an adventure!" He meets: snobby trolls, neat freak elves, action freak elves, snow giants, a were-elephant, boozy lake people, a weedy goblin king, alsatian riding orcs, hypochondriac spiders, a stupid dragon and a rock-paper-scissors loving craeature with a magic necklace.
 Guaranteed to be funny!!

Did you know...?

How old was the person who wrote the approving report on The Hobbit, leading to its publication? Have a guess...40?...30?...20?...Need a hint? look at yourself! Yes indeed, Rayner Unwin was a 10 year old boy who was given the manuscript of this fabulous novel by his father, a very wise publisher who believed, like Miss McHaggis certainly does, that children were the best judges of what make good children´s books.

This is the original report, for which he was paid a shilling:

"Bilbo Baggins was a Hobbit who lived in his Hobbit hole and never went for adventures, at last Gandalf the wizard and his Dwarves persuaded him to go. He had a very exciting time fighting goblins and wargs. At last they get to the lonely mountain: Smaug, the dragon who guards it is killed and after a terrific battle with the goblins he returned home - rich!
This book, with the help of maps, does not need any illustrations it is good and should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9".

Special thanks to:

Our blogger Pablo, our own fantasy expert, who has worked very hard to write this post whilst he was at home with a cold. We would also like to thank him for sharing with us the highlights of the book he is writing at school during lunch breaks.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013



Philip Reeve

Recommended age: as from 9 years old

You have probably seen the movie The Hobbit, an Unexpected Journey. It came out last December and I'm sure you enjoyed it because it is an amazing story. It is based on a book by the same name which is the prequel to a trilogy called The Lord of the Rings. When you read the trilogy you'll love it too, but you might find these books a bit difficult just now. Therefore, if you are into fantasy, and as a warm up for the Tolkien lot, why not start with Goblins.

Jaime L.C: ''This book is very imaginative and funny, and I have enjoyed very much. I would recommend it to those who like creative and fantastic stories. The main character is special because he does not like to fight, he prefers to read, but the others do not like that ...''

Goblins of Clovenstone Keep are a silly and disgusting lot of creatures devoted to steal, kill each other and little else. All but Skarper, a goblin who has the misfortune of being smart and clever, and who discovers that books are there to be read, instead of using them for what his fellow goblins do...wipe their bottoms! His new hobby will lead him inevitably to be catapulted out of town, and this is where the adventure begins.

A story of fantasy with great sense of humor, where the bad guys are not all as bad as they are meant to be. Maidens of the clouds, trolls, wizards, and "softlings" (humans) are just some of the characters that you'll encounter.

Daniel L.C.: "This book is unique because this time the main character is a goblin and this goblin is also a good guy. However, Henwyn is my favorite character because he wants to be a hero but he is not very good at it." 

Well... think no more, catapult yourself with Skarper, meet Henwyn and enjoy this exciting and hilarious adventure, princess included.

Pablo L.C.: "This is one of the best books I've read in my life. Packed with action, laughs and a bit of tragedy. And there are two of them! On the second, dwarves want to empty Slowsilver, the lake where goblins are born, and Skarper, Henywn and all other goblins, trolls and giants have to fight to save Clovenstone. It is like The Lord of the Rings but some goblins are good guys and it's fun and simple. "

Related activities.

There is no movie of these books, but if you like fantasy and computer games have a look at World of Warcraft (for over 12 years old), you can even choose which creature you want to be. Click here to watch the video of one of the games with goblins.

If you have liked this story and you would like to find out more about its author and illustrator, check out his website

Did you know ...?

Goblins are evil creatures born from the bowels of the Earth. Most of their lives take place in caves, their home, which provide great protection for themselves and their stolen treasures.

There are immense and wonderful caves to visit around the world, like the Nerja Cave in Malaga. If you are lucky to go to this part of Spain on holidays it would be worth a visit (guided tours are available). Navegate their website with the virtual view option at, it will give you an idea of how impressive these caves are. Truly amazing!

Monday, 11 November 2013



Steve Cole

Recommended age: as from 6 years old

You have probably studied dinosaurs at school, and your teacher has probably told you they were extinct about 65 million years ago (which is such a big number it makes my head hurt!). There are different theories explaining the extinction of these fabulous animals, but the most likely one is that a meteor crashed against our planet. It so happens that Steve Cole, author of this series has some insight about this event:

" By the time the meteor hit, the last dinosaurs had already left Earth for ever. Some breeds had discovered how to travel through space as early as the Triassic period, and were already enjoying a new life among the stars."

Jaime L.C.: "These books are great for kids about 6 years old, the pictures are epic :) The books are the only ones that I have ever seen that can mix space and dinosaurs and still be epic."

So, let us introduce you to Captain Teggs Stegosaur and his brave crew Arx Orano, Gipsy Saurine and Iggy Tooth, always ready to fight evil through out the galaxy.

This a very funny series of books that are ideal for younger readers. Each book is about 120 pages, written with big prints to help the reading and with plenty of illustrations. They also have some collectible cards on the main characters.

Daniel L.C.: "When I was younger I absolutely loved Astrosaurs, as it was action packed (then I discovered action movies like GI-Joe and Gladiator!) and I really liked science fiction, so it was the perfect book for me."

There are many movies about dinosaurs, maybe the best known of all of them is Jurassic Park by Steven Spielberg, it is a great film but a bit scary for the younger children. So, today we recommend this other movie which is good for all ages: Dinosaur from Walt Disney, click here to watch a trailer.

However, our personal favorite dinosaur is Dino, the pet of The Flinstones´ cartoons. He is just so adorable!

Click here to watch a very funny episode of this classic cartoon, (watch out for the TV remote!!)

Pablo L.C.: "Good books for 6 year-olds and a great start to reading science fiction and dinosaurs (terrible lizard in Latin). Childish humor, lots of imagination and some action (though it does not hold a candle to J.K. Rowling´s Fantastic Beasts and... whoops spoke too much...). Astrosaurs is a great series for little ones!"

Related activities:

If you have a chance to visit the National History Museum in London you will be blown away by its Dinosaur section, it is really worth the visit. You can also browse through its web page and learn a lot about these amazing animals. There is one section that we like very much, it is a test to find out which dinosaur you would have been. Click here to take the test, we took it and this is how the boys came out:

Pablo an Allosaurus
Dani a Cryolophosaurus
Jaime an Archaeopteryx

Which one are you? 

Did you know...?

To celebrate San Francisco de Asís, patrón de los animales, we would like to make a loving tribute to one of the best known animals in history, the dog who has helped scientists make it possible to send humans to space.

This is Laika, the astronaut dog and first animal to orbit Earth. Our heroine. She even has a monument in Russia.

She has a quiet and charming little stray dog from the streets of Moscow. She was trained and sent to space on a very important mission. The official story says she died. However, Miss McHaggis has a much happier theory. According to her, and believe me she is always right!, Laika was successfully rescued by Captain Teggs Stegosaur and his crew and taken to the DSS Sauropod, where she enjoyed a happy life full of adventures.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Bad Beginning
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Lemony Snicket

Recommended age: as from 9 years

Dear friends,

Whilst we prepare to celebrate Halloween we would like to recommend this series of books to you, they seem gloomy enough for this celebration! Seriously, we have read them all - 13 altogether- and we just loved them!

It is quite a special story, a good reason for choosing it: special stories for special children like you. We figured you have had your share of fairy tales with very brave boys fighting dragons and girls in beautiful pink dresses being rescued...your grandma´s delight but not so much yours...not any more.

So here you have a collection for you to enjoy, the story of three orphan children, the Baudelaire siblings. Be prepared to dive in their lives of misfortune, suspense and sense of humor. As the author himself warns us, do think about it before you start reading, you are free to pick a more cheerful book.

"Dear reader,
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.

Jaime L.C.: "These books are incredible, they contain a bit of action and lots of mystery and a bit of tragedy, I´d recommend it to readers who like mysterious fires, Italian food, assassinations and snakes. The best ones are from 1 to 7."
Daniel L.C."This book is an extremely good one which really attracted me because it is filled with a lot of mystery and suspicion, which makes you hang on to the book until the very last page. My favorite character is Klaus as he reminds me of my brother the book-worm who convinced me to read it!"

So, be brave and follow our advice, do read the books! you will love them.

We also recommend the DVD, starring Jim Carrey and many more super famous actors. This is the trailer of the movie.

Pablo L.C.: "The film is incredible, if you like a story with: Jim Carrey, an incredibly deadly viper and three unfortunate orphans. It has action, laughs and a very cute infant. A very good film.''

Related activities:

Check out the this link if you like to play games

Did you know...?

The author´s real name is Daniel Handler, an American writer who prefers to use a made up name to be part of the book, as Lemony Snicket is a character in this series. This is the reason why all the books are dedicated to Beatrice, Snicket´s true love and the mother of the Baudelaire children.

We hope you all have a blast celebrating Halloween, it is not really part of our culture neither here in England nor in Spain where we come from, but it is good fun and an excuse to meet up with friends and eat lots of sweets, even to get to know the neighbors! So we embrace it!

This is Jaime´s picture of Halloween, if you would like to share yours with us, send them over, we would love to see them! (, we can publish them in our facebook page.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

House of Secrets

House of Secrets

Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini

Recommended age: as from 9 years old

Get ready for a Hollywood style adventure!

Daniel L.C."This book blew my brain out with joy as it was the book I had been waiting for all my life! It had every thing I had ever dreamed of and liked, it had guns, grenades, castles, action, magic and America. "

This is the first book in a fantasy series that will surely become a bestseller, written by acclaimed movie director Chis Columbus (Harry Potter and the Philosopher´s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief...) and best selling author Ned Vizzini.

If you would like to see an interview with the authors and a video clip of the book click here, it is very interesting.

Jaime L.C."House of secrets is a great book. It contains lots of action, so start putting glue on your hands and sticking them to the book because you won´t want to put it down. "

The Walker family needs to move houses when the dad loses his job. They find a very peculiar one, built  by a writer of the occult, Denver Kristoff, with a view to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. So far so good, if only the house would not give you the creeps and weird things would not happen in it from the very first day.

You will not be surprised to learn that this frantic adventure starts in a very special place of the mysterious house...the library. As Brendan, Cordelia and Nell will find themselves trapped in some of the books written by Kristoff.

Pablo L.C.: "This is one of the greatest books I have ever read! Packed with action, adventure and laughs. Meet the grisly Captain Sangray, the vicious Slane, the 1960´s fighter Will and a giant called Fat Jagger along with the evil Wind Witch and her father The Storm King. You will not be able to put the book down!"

This is the cover of the second book of this series, House of Secrets: Battle of the Beasts, which will be out next 25th March 2014. By looking at it, Pablo thinks this time the siblings will be trapped in the book called Gladius Rex. Of course this is only our guess, but check out what is says in the first House of Secrets:

"Eleanor and Brendan went to the library....He started reading a Kristoff book called Gladius Rex. He got twenty pages in before he decided it wasn´t one of the ones they were trapped in. (He was glad, too, because it was full of people getting eaten by lions.)"

We cannot wait to read it! We´ll keep you updated on this release and on a possible movie based on this series

Did you know...?

This is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, surely you are familiar with it. It is the best known bridge in the world, constructed between 1933 and 1937 to span the opening of San Francisco bay to the Pacific Ocean.

It is such an emblematic landmark that it has been used in many movies. And of course, knowing Hollywood´s liking for explosions and amazing special effects, the most famous scenes are those where the bridge is destroyed. The nature of these attacks may vary (gigantic sharks, cute monsters, monsters that are not so cute...) but the result is always the bridge in pieces. Click here and you will see a selection of movies that have destroyed the Golden Gate Bridge, browse thought it and read the comments, they are hilarious!

Which is your favorite? Ours is X-Men 3. No one does it like Magneto! Click here too see the trailer of the film. WOW!!

Thank you

To our friend Gloria Almagro, who loves ice-creams, photography and fantasy and mystery books, and has helped us find the website with the movies and also helps us whenever we delete something by mistake or things of the sort whist writing the blog.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013



Roald Dahl

Recommended age: as from 6 years old

This is a book you NEED to read. Why? because you will love it! It is very funny, it is witty, it is surprising and magical, heart-warming and more... If you are too young to read it by yourself, get a grown-up to read it for you, do whatever it takes to meet Matilda!

Pablo L.C.: "Since I was 7 years old I have always liked Roald Dahl, but one of the books that really got my attention was Matilda. What got me was the story, full of laughs, cruelty and a little bit of magic. With characters in all shapes and sizes and an amazing plot, it is the perfect book for all the family. Go on and gasp at Miss Trunchbull´s cruelty, marvel at Mr and Mrs Wormwoods´ stupidity and giggle at Matilda´s fabulous pranks in another Dahl fantasy that will sweep you away."

Matilda, The Reader of Books, as the first chapter is called, is an extra-ordinary girl, sensitive and brilliant who lives in a family of brutes who despise her. But her life begins to change when she makes her first visit to the public library:

"The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village."

But Matilda is not only a book lover, she is also a girl who will not accept the unfair things of life without putting up a fight, and she will use her best weapon, her brain! Find out how she uses her powers to make her world and the life of others more bearable and fair.

This wonderful illustration by Quentin Blake can give you an idea of what school felt like for Matilda and her friends under the ruthless Miss Trunchbull.

Jaime L.C.: "The book is a great one where a little girl finds she is extremely talented but no one seems to appreciate it except for one teacher, Miss Honey. With her, Matilda finds she is capable of much, much more. I loved the book when I was young because of the pranks she plays, the horrible school and the mystery behind Miss Trunchbull."

There is a very well known film made of the book, directed by Danny DeVito, click here to watch a trailer.

Matilda the Musical, is currently played in London. If you have a chance to go to the theatre to see it, we highly recommend it, click here to go into their website. And click here to watch a selection of songs as performed at the Tony Awards 2013.

Daniel L.C.: "The musical is amazing, we went to see it with some friends and we had a great time. I most enjoyed the part that takes place at school because the children in the play are super actors and singers."

Did you know...?

Roald Dahl was inspired by Mozart the child, the genius, to create Matilda. However, Mozart´s parents did realize that their son was exceptional. In fact, they took him in endless trips all over Europe as a prodigy child, and the poor boy had a very hard time. 

In this beautiful city called Salzburg, Austria, is where Mozart was born, and it is the home of a unique theatre, the Marionette Theater. In it, all operas and ballets are performed by puppets. Have a look at this video of The Magic Flute, one of Mozart´s best known operas. Click here and you´ll be introduced to Papageno and his friends...and the evil Queen of the Night.


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