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From aeroplanes to fire engines, the internationally bestselling Amazing Machines series is the perfect way for children to learn about all sorts of vehicles! Flashing Fire Engines follows the animal crew as they become fire fighters. Climb on board the fire engine, ride along and learn how to put out fires to save the day! Every page of this chunky board book is full of the kind of detail that machine-mad toddlers love: the fireman's pole, the siren, the long ladder and much more! Amazing Airplanes Sound Book is a fantastic, novelty addition to the bestselling Amazing Machines range.

The perennially popular Amazing Airplanes picture book is now available for the first time in this exciting new format. Young children will love hearing the roar of the plane's engines, all the sounds of the airport, the pilot in his cockpit, and much more as they work through the book, discovering new sounds on every spread.

The Amazing Machines picture books feature zippy wordplay and zappy art, perfect for entertaining mini motorheads. The much-loved animal characters that feature throughout the series return in this book as they arrive at the airport ready to board their plane. Buckle up and start the engine to learn all about trucks!

Tough Trucks follows the animal gang as they become truckers, rubbish collectors and construction workers. Each page is filled with details that machine-mad kids will love: the truck cabs, semitrailers, concrete mixers, tankers and more! From aeroplanes to fire engines, the internationally bestselling Amazing Machines series is the perfect way for preschoolers to learn about all sorts of vehicles!

There is also a page at the back of each book that features an amazing, annotated machine to teach kids all of the different vehicle parts. The Amazing Machines series is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in - the perfect opportunity to introduce a whole new generation of mini machine-lovers to these fantastic books! Zoom down the street with some cool animal bikers in this cheerful picture book all about motorbikes. Lively wordplay, vibrant art, plus a visual dictionary, make this title a must have for bookshelves everywhere.

This book is filled with lively rhyming text by the award-winning poet Tony Mitton that perfectly complements Ant Parker's bold, bright illustrations. A picture dictionary identifying motorbike parts builds vocabulary and makes learning about motorbikes exciting and fun. Put your wellies on and get ready to learn all about diggers!

Dazzling Diggers follows the animal team as they dig, scoop, shovel and shift. Each page is filled with details that machine-mad kids will love: bulldozers, caterpillar tracks, cement and lots of mud! Hover in the air with some wacky animal pilots in this cheerful picture book all about helicopters. A picture dictionary identifying helicopter parts builds vocabulary and makes learning about helicopters exciting and fun.

All aboard! Get ready to learn all about trains! Terrific Trains follows the animal crew as they become train drivers, conductors and passengers as they journey on the rails. Each page is filled with details that machine-mad kids will love: steam engines, tunnels, signalling systems and much more. Amazing Aeroplanes follows the animal crew as they become pilots, baggage handlers and air stewards.

Jack and the Beanstalk Story - Moral Stories For Kids - Bedtime Story For Children - Fairy Tales

This book is perfect for budding pilots or happy holidaymakers! This interactive early learning activity book is packed full of cars! Cars that are big and shiny and whizz and zoom. Cars that can zip and chase and race. Cars with pedals and wheels and seat belts to buckle up. Preschool children will love the activity pages-- there are counting, matching, drawing, writing, colouring and lots of other activities, as well as two pages of stickers to use. Inside the front and back covers are press-out play pieces that little fingers can use to build their very own cool car!

This interactive early learning activity book is packed full of trains! Trains that huff and puff and rattle and rush. Trains that can rumble over bridges and through tunnels. Trains with rails and wheels and coaches to carry people across the world. Inside the front and back covers are press-out play pieces that little fingers can use to build their very own terrific train! In the icy-cold heart of winter, a little snow bear wanders through the snow. As the wind whips past him, ruffling his fur, he searches for a home. But where can he go? Each warm place has been claimed, and there is no room for a bear, no matter how little.

Suddenly he sees a flickering of light, orange and bright against the snowy ground. A house! As Snow Bear pushes open the creaking door, he feels warmth spread over him.

Magic Beans: A Handful of Fairy Tales from the Storybag

There's a girl by the window, and, somehow, deep down, Snow Bear knows that he is home. This interactive early learning activity book is packed full of trucks! Trucks that are are tough, strong and big. Trucks that can carry and push and tip. Trucks with radios, cabs, and beds, pistons that hoist, tilt and shift. Preschool children will love the activity pages - there are counting, matching, drawing, writing, colouring and lots of other activities, as well as two pages of stickers to use.


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  • The Swiss Alps: Geneva, Zermatt, Zurich, Lucerne, St. Moritz & Beyond (Travel Adventures).

Inside the front and back covers are press-out play pieces that little fingers can use to build their very own tough truck! This interactive early learning activity book is packed full of rockets! Rockets that are are noisy, strong and big. Rockets that can blast off, roar and soar. Rockets with astronauts inside, heading to the Moon. From the creators of the bestselling Amazing Machines picture books, Tony Mitton and Ant Parker, preschool children will love Amazing Machines Roaring Rockets Activity Book - there are counting, matching, drawing, writing, colouring and lots of other activities, as well as two pages of stickers to use.

Red diggers, blue cars, yellow trucks, and more! For fans of the bestselling Amazing Machines series, this is a perfect way for young children to learn all about colours in a bright and engaging way, with their favourite zippy machines! What's the opposite of big rockets? Small rockets, of course! For fans of the bestselling Amazing Machines series, this is a perfect way for young children to learn all about opposites in a colourful, engaging way with their favourite machines!

For fans of the bestselling Amazing Machines series, this is a perfect way for young children to learn all about sounds in a colourful, engaging way, with their favourite machines! For fans of the bestselling Amazing Machines series, this is a perfect way for young children to learn all about numbers in a colourful and engaging way with their favourite machines! An adorable little creature hatches from an egg and goes searching for his mother among the dinosaurs in this energetic, fun-filled picture book by award-winning picture book creators Tony Mitton and Russell Ayto.


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  6. A unique take on the 'Where's My Mummy' scenario in which an egg crackles open and out steps a little creature - the Somethingosaur. He searches for his mum among the dinosaurs but she's nowhere to be found. But is the Somethingosaur really a dinosaur And will he ever find his family and home? A warm, funny and jaunty rhyming text ,full of adventure, that's great to read aloud. Tec the detective turns up again for another mystery. This time, Tec sets out to discover that he is the culprit as the litter came out of a hole in his pocket!

    Who ate the cake? Tec the detective follows the crumbs to find out. Children follow Tec as he trails his suspects, until he finds the vital clue that leads him to the guilty party! Martin Chatterton's colourful illustrations bring the characters of Tec and his faithful hound vividly to life, and provide lots of talking points throughout the story. A simple pictoral summary at the end of the book provides an opportunity for the children to recap and check understanding.

    Schools across the UK are catching the Bug, and now so can kids at home! Bug Club is one of the best-loved reading programmes in primary schools and kids just love reaching for the bookshelves to find their favourite Bug Club book. But hey, I scored high on perseverance. The clear, fresh water spills over rocks on its way downstream. A knarled old tree trunk seems to fuse with one of the boulders.

    Featured books by Tony Mitton

    After scrambling up a particularly hefty rock, we found a large, calm pool of water into which the Rathna Falls poured. Thankfully, from this point onwards there was a bit of riverbank to walk on; the pool was much too deep for inept swimmers like myself. My feet sank a little in the spongey-soft soil as I waded in, all ready to sit inert and neck-deep in water for the next hour or so.

    But no, my trigger-happy photographer friend wanted to climb up the vertical cliff down which the falls tumbled, to get the best pictures possible. The Rathna Falls: this was the view I was treated to when I could finally sit still in the water. So for the next 20 minutes or so I did a bit of unskilled, although very cautious, rock climbing. We found ourselves right next to a gushing torrent of water that fell over the rocks below and ended up in the round pool. It was exhilarating to be so close to the surging water. We climbed back down so my friend could find another way up. I decided to wallow in the shallow water until he came back.

    Little rivulets of water surge out to create the wide Rathna Falls. What my friend saw when he went climbing up the hill. I found the perfect spot, where I could rest my head on a conveniently placed rock and gaze up at the falls. It seemed the water had the same relaxing effect on the fish. Tiny schools of them appeared to sit almost perfectly still next to me; they looked as lazy as I felt. I sat with my newfound friends and we all watched the incessantly falling water in front of us.

    A little while later I started to feel cold so I hopped up onto the rock next to the dragonfly. As I folded my legs under me, I was afraid I would scare the dainty creature, now so close to me. Occasionally, I would see the miniature figure of my human friend on the hill before me, sometimes making his way up the rock and disappearing behind trees, sometimes waving down at me.

    Rathna Falls was one of those special places; a little bit of a challenge to reach, but once there we felt entirely enveloped by the magic of being alone with nature. So when it was time to leave I went with the happy anticipation of more rare experiences ahead of me. I woke up with a jolt. The surface of my little tent was thrashing against me, entirely at the mercy of the bellowing wind. Outside, I could hear the trees being buffeted and the saucepans from our campsite dinner being hurled around and lashed against the rocky ground.

    The tent was fluttering around me so violently that there were moments I felt certain it would be blown away. When I first learned it was possible to spend a night in a tent hitched up on a raft gently bobbing by the shore of the Sorabora Weva Lake , about 2 kilometres from Mahiyanganaya, the last thing I had imagined was a sleepless night inside a delicate tent that the wind had set its mind on hurling this way and that.

    Instead, I pictured gentle breezes across the moonlit surface of the water and the raft softly rocking us to sleep in the tent. The sun was still warm on my skin, the sky a fine blue and the clouds were billowy white puffs. Passing by the hefty stone sluice gate of the Weva, it was plain to see that an awesome effort had been put into the creation of this reservoir. Great chunks of solid rock had been hewn asunder to create both sluice-gates. I could understand why it is believed that a giant had crafted the lake; it seemed beyond the capabilities of ordinary human beings.

    I was familiar with the story of how Bulatha, the giant, had constructed the lake during the reign of King Dutugemunu in BC. Bulatha made frequent walks past a river that he saw was not being made any use of. That was when he decided to harness the water to create a lake. The deed was done in secrecy, the Sinhala word for which is hora ; and the blood of Bulatha was believed to have turned the water murky, or bora.

    So the lake came to be known as Horabora and over time it changed to Sorabora, said Pokutu Aiya. As grim and full of intrigue as this variation of the tale was, we were a rapt audience as he related the story. Evening was closing in by the time we stepped aboard the raft that would take us to the other side of the Weva, where our campsite had been set up by Pokutu Aiya.

    It was a lovely time to be on the water. Twilight cast a mellow glow over the fishing boats, the glassy water and the hills surrounding the lake. We dipped our feet in the cool water as the boat glided over to the far bank. The sights that surrounded us as we rowed over the lake. Our campsite was basic but wonderfully cosy. Mats had been spread out on an elevated rock floor. On one side a campfire was set up, on the other the jungle loomed and before us was the Weva, darkening under a colour-changing sky.

    We stepped into the lake for a bath at precisely this time and were treated to a rapidly shifting series of works of art on the canvas of the sky. Soon it grew dark and the display was over. Hurriedly finishing our bathing, we went back to the campsite where a raging fire was going and a few fiery torches surrounded the space. After we had stuffed ourselves close to bursting with fish, Pokutu Aiya let us know that this was just a snack; our proper dinner was on the way. Then he continued to barbecue more fish!

    Needless to say, after a delicious dinner of rice, chicken curry, boiled manioc and dhal on top of all the fish — oh, and vela ripe jackfruit for dessert — we were happy as clams and were content to do more lying around and staring at the sky. As soon as the tents were painstakingly set up by Pokutu Aiya and his son, we were more than happy to turn in.

    All that eating had tired us out. Besides, to catch the sunrise, which is supposed to be a magnificent spectacle over the lake, we would have to be up by 5. Stepping on the raft and crawling into our tents, we found the inside was a happy surprise. It was soft and snug with mattresses, pillows and blankets.

    Vitabu Pepe

    But as the night was warm, we decided to leave the flaps open to let in the cool, gentle breeze. I lay down, perfectly comfortable, and stayed awake for a little while, enjoying the gentle rocking of the boat and the silvery light of a starry sky streaming into the tent through the little net-covered square in the roof. Lower in the sky, through the flimsy material of the tent, I could make out a grey-blue splodge of light. I knew this was the half-moon, slowly rising in the sky.

    I may have fallen asleep then, because the next thing I remember was being jolted awake by the fiercely swaying tent and the roaring of the wind. From that point onwards I remember hoping we would get through the night safely. I remember spending most of the night trying to sleep. I remember being startled awake several times over until, close to morning, I gave up trying to sleep.

    Oh well, at least the mini hurricane had kept the mosquitoes away. It was difficult not to admire its soft, lustrous beauty, despite the raging wind outside. Then I noticed a point of light low in the east, again through the thin fabric of the tent. What, other than the moon, could emit a glow brilliant enough to pierce through the tent? Was it Venus? The half moon in its mellow, understated beauty.

    When I finally decided to get out of bed and off the boat, it was around 4. I was tired of trying to sleep and getting none. Besides, my bladder desperately needed relieving by this time. So off to the bush I went. The wind was hurtling wisps of cloud across a steel-grey sky; the heavens were crowded with stars; the extensive face of the lake was only a few shades of grey darker than the sky; and the little peaks and valleys bordering the other side of the lake were so dark, they were almost pitch black.

    Business done, I grabbed a blanket from the tent, wrapped it around myself and made my way to the front of the raft, where I sat with an unobstructed view of the expanse of the lake and the eastern sky. Everything appeared metallic silver in the light of the moon, most of all the water. It glistened and lit up wherever the moon touched it. Dark knots of vegetation atop hills on the far bank took on a feathery texture as light and shadow played. As it had done all night, the gale kept picking up and dying down.

    Winged silhouettes occasionally soared in the sky or dove close to shore, accompanied by the unmistakeable call of the Red-wattled Lapwing. It was a pale shade of blue. Still, it was dark enough for Orion, just above the sphere of the world, to twinkle distinctly. And yes, a little way up the sky, only second to the moon in brilliance, was Venus. High above me, I could see the Pleiades.

    Sitting there, seemingly all alone in the midst of such splendour, absolute contentment with undertones of pure wonder was what I felt. Our shelter for the night; and in the background the approaching dawn on a star-sprinkled horizon. Nishantha and Pokutu Aiya had come to row us out to the middle of the lake, where there was a better view of the sunrise. We all piled into one raft, and discussed the happenings of the night as we silently floated across the dark waters. This was the first time that he had experienced such extreme weather in all the years he had been bringing people camping by the Sorabora Lake, said Pokutu Aiya.

    As dawn began to seep across the sky, the stars slowly faded. By now, warm orange and red shades had appeared in the east. As we waited, we chatted about the birds and the other animals that frequent the lake. On some mornings herds of wild elephants would swim across the Sorabora Lake, said Nishantha. But a spectacular sunrise more than made up for it.

    We kept a close watch for the sun to burst forth. Exclamations ensued as eyes and cameras focussed on the dazzling sunrise that had begun to unfold. All it took was a chink of the fiery disk to reveal itself from behind the cloud, for all the colours in the sky to change again. The lake rippled golden as if to match the loveliness above it. The sun continued to hold the sky in an enchantment and transformed it completely every time it moved so much as an inch. And we in turn were spellbound.

    Magic Beans: A Handful of Fairy Tales from the Storybag by Jacqueline Wilson

    Distant hills are transformed into silhouettes of varying shades of grey. In the west the mountains of the central hills were clear against a blue sky. The Knuckles rose and fell and invisible windscreens reflected flashes of light from the faraway Daha-ata Wanguwa snaking down the mountain. It was only the day before that we had zigzagged our way through that road.

    Brilliant blue sky and puffy white clouds were mirrored in the lake. How perfectly surreal! The western skyline resembling an Alpine landscape. The Knuckles mountain range looms large on the west. As the sun broke free of the horizon and the fiery shades it had projected into the sky mellowed into yellow daylight, a satisfied glow settled around us.

    Pokutu Aiya and Nishantha row us around the lake as Sylvia, our friend, looks through her photos. We would have sat there in the raft for much longer had it not been for the blazing heat of the sun. When we got back to shore, we were surprised to find it was only around 7. So after a refreshing bath in the lake and a hearty breakfast of kiribath milk rice and katta sambola a fiery onion salad , we were on our way to yet another watery adventure! Thanks to Pokutu Aiya who did all the hard work so that we could relax and enjoy ourselves.

    Although his real name is Harry Dias, his nickname — stemming from the dreadlocks he had as a child — has stuck. It was amusing to listen to Pokutu Aiya at the campsite shouting out instructions and continuing loud conversations with his family at home. Will you bring me some from the house? He is a persistent entrepreneur in his own right. In addition to the camp, he also grows spices, vegetables and rice and on occasion sets up orange juice stands in collaboration with his kids. All his efforts are for the benefit of his children, he said.

    What I have for myself is enough. His contentment with his own life is a refreshing trait to come by. Uru warige Wanniya was surrounded by some of his tribesmen when we arrived at his wattle and daub hut in Dambana. As the chief of the Wannila-aththo or Veddhas, the indigenous people of Sri Lanka, his wisdom and counsel are constantly sought after. His serious eyes held a welcoming glow as I offered him a sheaf of betel leaves and then placed both my hands in his in the way of the traditional greeting of the Wannila-aththo. But like many of the phrases and words in the Veddha language, the connotation of the expression changes along with the situation at hand.

    I stood by and watched as my friend, took her turn to greet the Nayaka Aththo Chief of the Wannila-aththo and presented him with our gift of dried tobacco leaves, areca nut and limestone. As he sat cross-legged on a reed mat strewn on a ledge and spoke about the ways of his people, I noticed that only his snowy beard and salt-and-pepper hair pulled into a casual knot gave us an inkling of his age.

    His body looked strong and remarkably wrinkle-free, although his oldest son, next in line to lead the Wannila-aththo, is about 42 years old. Throughout most of our conversation and even during our greetings I found that the ready smile of the average Sri Lankan person was missing in the faces of the Wannila-aththo gathered in the little hut.

    This was apparently the way of these people, we later learned from Nishantha, our guide; they hardly displayed their emotions. There was scarcely any crying at the funeral ceremonies of the Wannila-aththo, said Nishantha. Perhaps, living as one with nature for centuries had familiarized them with the cycle of life to such an extent, that life as a whole had become something to accept calmly. Our discussion with the Nayaka Aththo was in part quite sobering. With laws banning hunting, their children beginning to attend mainstream schools, increasing numbers of Veddhas venturing out into cities in search of jobs and modernisation inching its way towards their settlements, their traditional way of life has long since begun to erode.

    Still, he does everything in his power to ensure that the ways of his people are preserved. Evidence of this was by his side: an assortment of bottles containing various hued liquids. This was different to Ayurvedic medicine practised in the rest of the country, he said. It was his manner to speak only the language of his tribe although he understood us when we spoke to him in Sinhala. It was a bit difficult to imagine that the white honey-comb he pulled out of the tree was something natural; the hexagonal wax cells were formed so perfectly that it seemed more likely that humans had made it and put it there.

    Before sharing the honeycomb, an offering was made to the Yakshas, the ancestors of the Wannila-aththo, so that they would ensure that each time a visit was made into the jungle there would be an abundance of honey. And it was sweet, but not cloyingly so. It dribbled out of the waxy cells and down my hand. It was the most delicious, glutinous mess. Dancing and singing is the most preferred way for the Wannila-aththo to celebrate — this time it is caused by the discovery of honey.

    A display of archery followed, which unexpectedly gave up the hiding place of a Star Tortoise. The bows and arrows are all hand-made by the Wannila-aththo themselves, and after one of us unwittingly detached the point of an arrow while pulling it out of a tree it had wedged itself in, we watched as it was carefully mended. The traditional hunting method of the Wannila-aththo.

    Not only do the Wannila-aththo feel most at-home in the jungle, but the jungle too seems to embrace them as its own. I took the opportunity to ask a question that I had forgotten earlier: are the Wannila-aththo really the descendants of the children of Kuveni and King Vijaya, an Indian prince believed to be the father of the Sinhala race?

    We are descendants of the Yaksha tribe too. Our history dates back centuries before Kuveni and Vijaya. Our people have been living in this country for more than , years. The Nayaka Aththo is a mine of folklore and wisdom. We were silent as we digested this information. A flurry of new questions flooded my mind, making it impossible for me to voice any of them.

    Nishantha, ever the dependable one, must have had his eye on the time, because he said that if we had finished with our questions we should probably leave soon. He smiled; I think he may have even laughed quietly. Maybe at sometime we will come back, just so we can talk for days. But as we found on the road from Kandy to Mahiyanganaya, the journey can be just as thrilling, if not more so, than the destination. The winding road leading through mountains and valleys, afforded some spectacular views and interesting stops along the way.

    The highway, cut into the sides of steep mountains, had that sparkling-new look and the drive was smooth and comfortable. We rolled down the windows to let in the fresh, cold air, as we passed by panoramic valleys and mountainsides covered in pine forests. The refreshing wind in my face reminded me of the road-trips I used to take with my family as a child. Each story has been brilliantly crafted by one of the best-loved writers for children. The complete anthology is available in hardback and in ebook format.

    Our Lists. Hi-Res Cover. A short story from the Magic Beans series. When a fisherman comes face-to-face with the King of the Seals, his life changes for ever. Tony Mitton.