Tag Archives: competition

Fed Up With the Same Old Books for Your Kids? Try Something Different From Quirk Books.

monkey fartsI had never heard of Quirk books before but when I was approached to review a couple of their titles, the concepts grabbed me. As the name would suggest, Quirk books publish titles that are a little different. They are most well-known for the Worst-Case Scenario series and have a large catalogue of slightly off the wall books.

The first book I was asked to review is ‘Monkeyfarts – Wacky Jokes every kid should know’. My kids love jokes and joke books and we are always on the look out for new jokes so I knew this would be popular. The book begins with typical boyish toilet humour jokes that young boys will love and my girls did too. With a mixture of well-known one liners, longer story type jokes and old favourites that make you groan, there is something for everyone The book itself is a lovely little hardback edition, light durable and easy to hold. With a rrp. of £5.99 ($8.99 USD) it is very good value and ideal for a party present or stocking filler.

The second book would be attractive to children and adults alike. Fill in the Blank – An Inspirational Sketchbook contains a wealth of ideas to inspire creativity and design. Each page begins with the slogan ‘You are a….’ and then a design prompt. Some of my favourites include



  • You are a street artist – and won’t be arrested
  • You are at grandma’s – who’s in the family?
  • You are a genius – these ideas will make you rich
  • You are a tattoo artist – make your mark
  • You are an autobiographer – start telling the story of your life
  • You are in detention – confess your crimes

Most of the designs are for drawing but some involve writing or a combination of written and illustrated thought.

gingerbread menWe picked out some of the simplest pages for my 4-year-old, she loved designing ice-creams and she shared the gingerbread man page with her 8-year-old sister.

My 8-year-old loves this book, it is an inspired transition from colouring books for older children. There are some lovely projects that we could work on together and it is a wonderful way to encourage children to draw for pleasure. With such a huge variety of blanks, boys and girls of all ages will find plenty to hold their interest, from designing a hat to creating a city at the end of the road.

This would also make a great coffee table book, a resource for teachers or an interesting addition to a waiting room. Additional blanks can be downloaded from the Quirk website where you can also create a profile and share designs.

Fill in the blank is currently retailing on Amazon.co.uk for £11.70


I have one copy of each book to give away to my readers in the UK

Simply leave a comment stating which book you would like and one winner for each book will be drawn at random on 3rd November

Terms and conditions

This competition is only open to entries from residents of the UK

One entry per person

one additional entry can be made by commenting on rightfromthestart’s facebook page under the link to this post

winners will be notified by email and first names published on the site.

Kids Jokes and a Chance to Win one of 5 Copies of My First Justin’s Jokes

justins my first jokes

I  think it is a great landmark in children’s language development when they begin to understand jokes.  At first they are not remotely funny but they begin to understand the formula behind jokes and to remember ones that they find funny.  My 8 year old and 3 year old love jokes and we are often subjected to hours of awful jokes in the car or at the dinner table. Their favourite is

Why didn’t the worm go into the Ark in an apple?

Because they had to go in pairs.

They have even invented a game for us to play in the car.  My 8 year old gives the punchline and we have to guess what the joke is.  This is very hard especially as she leaves little room for creative licence, it ends up as an annoying variation to cryptic crosswords. I do think however this would be a great school task, understanding and creating jokes would be an entertaining way to improve children’s language comprehension and creative writing.

The jokes from the joke book in the car have been wearing a bit thin so when we were offered the chance to review ‘My First Justin’s Jokes’ I thought we might finally get some new ones.  This is a perfect joke book for young children as it is full of pictures, with 2 or 3 jokes to each page and can be read in one sitting. My personal favourite

Knock knock

Who’s there ?


Dunnup who?


A perfect joke for little boys.

I have 5 copies of My First Justin’s Jokes to giveaway.  To enter make me smile by telling a joke, funny story or posting a link to a humourous blog post or picture. My 5 favourites will win a copy of the book.

Terms and conditions

Winners will be chosen at midnight on 3rd June and notified by email.

Multiple entries are permitted

Open to residents in the UK and Ireland only.
Loquax Competitions

Justin Fletcher Hands Up the Album – Review and Competition

justin fletcher hands upCall me sad but I’m a little bit of a Justin Fletcher fan.  I’m a little bit in awe of how he understands what kids find entertaining and has them eating out of the palm of his hand.  So when I was asked to review his latest CD I jumped at the chance.

My 1 year old is just becoming old enough to play with her 3 year old sister. What fun they had when I put this CD on for them, I haven’t seen them laugh so much in ages.

Hands Up is full of children’s favourites like ‘Heads,Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ and ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ but the vibrant dance beats behind give the songs added energy.  The opening Song ‘Hands Up’ had me dancing around the room with them, much to the amusement of my youngest.

The children’s favourite is ‘The Hokey Cokey’, we all joined in with the actions before collapsing in a heap of giggles at the end. I’m not usually a fan of children’s CD’s with twee tinkly music and the same songs dragged out time and time again.  Justin’s enthusiasm and well produced, energetic backing tracks makes Hands Up a refreshing change.

If you have a children’s party coming up Justin Fletcher’s CD would be perfect (there is even a calming lullaby at the end to bring the children back down to earth).

Justin Fletcher Hands Up … The Album is available for a retail price of £8.97 From Amazon.

Right from the Start readers have a chance to win a copy of the CD. Simply enter a comment asking a question relating to musical activities with children.

You might like to  request  a song idea, tune or lyric, an idea for introducing children to music, ideas for games or movement, ideas for a particular age group, how to encourage listening skills or perhaps you would like to know about the benefits of musical activities for the very young. All questions will inform future posts about music with young children.

Terms and Conditions

  • This competition is only open to residents of the UK and Ireland
  • Only one entry per person
  • Post a question on my Facebook Page for an additional entry.
  • Winners will be drawn at random at 11.59 on 16th March
  • Winners will be notified by email and names posted on this site.

Congratulations to Maya Russell who won this competition.  Maya’s question and other selected questions will be answered in posts over the next few weeks.  If you weren’t lucky enough to win there is a competition on my other site Practically Perfect Mums which runs till the end of the month.

Loquax Competitions

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Win one of 2 Bedtime Story Collections for World Book Day

I am sure many of us have been involved in World Book Day activities, desperately trying to find an interesting costume for our children to dress up as.  Luckily mine have always come up with fairly simple ideas including Pippi Longstocking and Clarice Bean but when they decide they want to be the Gruffalo it becomes more of a challenge.

To take some of the stress away I am giving away 2 hardbacked bedtime story collections.  Each contains 4 picture book stories to read with young children (approx aged 6 and under).

To enter simply post a comment about the costumes you have created for world book day or if you haven’t had to do this yet your child’s favourite book character.  2 winners will be drawn at random at 11.59 on 1st March.

Terms and Conditions

  • Only available to UK resisdents
  • Only one entry per person
  • Winners will be notified by email and names published on this post on 2nd March.

Congratulations to the winners Emma Howard and Emma Kinsey

Loquax Competitions

The Land of Sometimes – Review and Competition

The first thing that struck me when this cd arrived was the beautiful packaging.   The Land of Sometimes moves away from  standard cd casing, instead presenting it as a book  with captivating illustrations. Each song has an illustrated page in the storybook encouraging the children to follow the story. I had high hopes that the songs would also reflect the magical quality of the artwork.

The Land of Sometimes is an audio storybook and the characters are brought to life by original music. The story follows Alfie and Elise in their journey through the seasons.  They meet a number of colourful characters, and each one is brought to life with a song. The narration is simple and clear and the quality of singing and musical production superb.  I’d love to sing on the follow up if there is one. My 3 year old is a big musical theatre fan and she loved the songs dancing around her bedroom and attempting to sing along.

I generally find children’s song cd’s a bit irritating.  I have been playing The Land of Sometimes in the background while I write this post and it is surprisingly relaxing. The songs are well written and very catchy and move away from the simplicity of some children’s songs by introducing them to a number of musical genre including reggae, folk and jazz.

Put this one in your car and I’m sure you will be singing along in no time.

The Land of Sometimes website is also worth a visit. Children can find out more about the characters and places in the story, colour in some of the beautiful illustrations and download lyrics for the songs.

A beautiful gift for any child with a fondness for stories or music and something that can be treasured for a long time.

The Land of Sometimes is released on February 6th at a retail price of  £9.90 from Amazon.

One lucky reader can win a copy of The Land of Sometimes.

Simply post a comment telling me why you would like to win.

A Bonus entry is available if you follow my Facebook page using the link on the right hand side.

Winners will be drawn at random on 6th February.

Congratulations to the winner Sue Willshee

Terms and Conditions

This competition is only open to residents of the UK and Republic of Ireland

Only one entry per person

Winners will be notified by email and  will be posted on this site.

Loquax Competitions

Win a My Way Spinbrush – Fun Toothbrush Design Competiton on Cartoon Network


A little while ago I reviewed the Arm & Hammer  ‘My Way Spinbrush’, a kids electric toothbrush that the children can customise with their own stickers.  My kids loved them and they really encouraged them to brush their teeth. They would make a brilliant stocking filler for the kids.

During December there is a fun competition  offering kids a chance to win one.  Play the Cartoon Network  interactive game where boys and girls compete against each other to design the best toothbrush by dragging the virtual stickers onto the brush.  The 5 best entries each week will be showcased in the gallery and will win a My Way Spinbrush.

If you would like one for a stocking filler I have one boys and one girls My Way Spinbrush to give away.

Simply add a comment telling me which toothbrush you would like before 11th December.   Bonus entries are available by liking my Facebook Page and/or a follow on Twitter (links to both are on the right hand sidebar).

Win a Weekend in Cornwall

Have you ever thought of visiting Cornwall outside of traditional holiday periods?  Today I am giving one lucky reader the chance to win a weekend in a luxury 3 bedroom apartment so you can try it for yourselves.

There are a number of benefits to travelling at this time of the year.  Avoiding the summer traffic jams will shave hours off your journey and when travelling to the coast you won’t have to sit in queues of traffic or search for parking. In fact the accommodation is only a stones throw from the beach and a beautiful coastal path with views of St. Michael’s Mount.

There are many attractions available only in the winter such as winter festivals and ice skating at the Eden Project and the beautiful Mousehole lights.

The property is a stunning three bedroom flat above the village shop – Long Rock Stores. It is beautifully decorated and furnished and has ample accommodation, sleeping 6 in 3 bedrooms. Along with the three bedrooms (two double, one with two single beds) there is a family bathroom and large kitchen/diner/living room. The kitchen is fantastic and includes a double cooker. The flat also benefits from being no more than a hundred yards from the beach. The village store is right below you and the village also has a Post Office and two great pubs within a few hundred yards.

To win an off Peak weekend break for up to 6 people  (subject to availability) visit the apartment’s website then add a comment here outlining what you would most look forward to in your visit to Longrock. The winner will be chosen on 5th December.

As an added bonus Rightfromthestart subscribers are entitled to 10% off any booking.

Terms and Conditions

  1. This prize is for accommodation only and does not include travel.
  2. Peak holiday times are excluded
  3. Off Peak bookings are subject to availability .
  4. Only one entry per person

Loquax Competitions

Congratuations to Helen Jones on winning this competition.