Visiting family in the past, and reading kids' books

I visited family in England recently and brought back an English VCR. Our old "multi-region" VCR died in our flood and isn't made any more. Second hand versions are "available," but with reviews that say the machine overheats and only runs for about a year, so buying that way did not seem good. So... an English VCR, that reads English tapes (PAL as opposed to NTSC), but would they play on an American TV?

First, of course, I had to connect the player to the TV. No SCART plug of course. I could do the red-white-yellow thing, except I'd need to find an old TV to accept them. Or... wonder of wonders... an HDMI cable? A US-UK voltage transformer (bought when we first moved here) powers the UK VCR, which connects via HDMI to the US TV, and everything works - even menus, recording to DVD, the lot! Except for the line across the bottom that says it's failed to connect to BBC1, which is not surprising. Hurray!

So now, not only have I visited family, but I can watch those old family videos from when the kids were small. I can "visit" family in he past!

Somewhere hidden in those tapes there's probably something of us reading with the kids. We read with them all the time - in my case, even in my sleep, when they would wake me with complaints of "Mum, that's not what it says," and I would look around in bewilderment... So here are some children's books I've read recently, without kids, but with plenty of memories. Find some coffee and enjoy!

First there's Pixie And The Green Book Mystery (Pixie Book Mystery #1) by Coraline Grace, a fun chapter-book that blends childcentric issues and concerns with fairytale fun and a fascinating library book. A great way to encourage kids to read real books instead of e-books, so why was I reading an e-book? Enjoy with some lively easy-drinking 2-star coffee.

The Flying Frog goes to a Wedding by David Yair has the same sense of blending whimsy with reality. Lots dialog, a pleasing sense of goodness, and a mystery with crime and resolution add to the fun. Another easy-reader to enjoy with easy-drinking 2-star coffee

The Underground Toy Society Helps Ellie Elephant by Jessica D. Adams has a fairytale feel as well, as it offers the lost toy's point of view on needing to be rescued (by moles, toys and more). It's a sweet short story with child-centric illustrations. Best with some more 2-star coffee.

Rescuing Daddy by Doron Erez tells the tale of a father who works too hard. It's an enticing picture book that gives equal value to imagination and real-world problems - one to enjoy with small children and some well-balanced three-star coffee perhaps.

And finally, Tammy’s Secrets by Miriam Ratzker is a slightly longer picture book aimed at students who really want to learn, and girls who want to know the rules govern first-grad life's complexities.

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