Category Archives: Toys

How to have a clever Christmas online (and how to shop local both here and overseas)

It’s that time of year with just over two weeks left to frantically wrap parcels and pop them under the tree. This year has been somewhat bonkers and so we thought we would show you how to have a Clever Christmas shopping from your sofa and let the postie wrestle with your gift delivery instead…no matter where in the world you’re shipping to.

Here’s a little table we whipped up for you to remind you when the postie will be making his final rounds.

Handy Hint: If you are sending parcels overseas and have missed the dreaded cut off dates, fear not! You can simply change the location setting at the top right hand corner on the Booko website and shop like a local in that country. 

We have made you a clever guide stepping you through the process which you can read here

Stuck for gift ideas? Not to worry, the Booko team has been keeping an eye on which books have been popular this festive season for all ages. Sit back, have a read and then get clicking. 

Mary Berry’s Simple Comforts by Mary Berry

Mary is always a crowd pleaser and her baked creations never fail to delight. While you may want to keep this for yourself, if you do gift it, then there is always a chance that the recipient will invite you back for dinner! Win win.

Mary Berry shares over 120 of her ultimate food recipes, all made simply and guaranteed to get smiles around your kitchen table in her new cookbook. Mary’s utterly reliable recipes are perfect for days when you want tasty and dependable food. Come home to the delicious simplicity of a Whole Roasted Squash with Garlic and Chilli Butter, or a warming Spicy Sausage and Red Pepper Hot Pot. Treat your family to Slow Roast French Lamb with Ratatouille, and spoil everyone with a decadent Frangipane Apple and Brioche Pudding. Featuring all the recipes from Mary’s new series, plus many more fresh from Mary’s kitchen, every single dish is accompanied by a photography of the finished food, so you know exactly what you’re making. Each recipe includes Mary’s trademark no-nonsense tips and techniques for getting ahead, and has been rigorously tested to make your cooking stress-free.

Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain

Here’s another gift that may offer you a dinner (or possibly dessert) invitation. Nadiya Bakes is one series on Netflix that our family binged during our first lockdown and inspired the children to hop into the kitchen and whip up a storm.

At last, Nadiya returns to baking. This is her long-awaited reunion with her true love incredible cakes and bakes that we can all achieve at home. It’s a fact that baking makes us happier and this book is bursting with recipes that will bring a little sunshine into your world and the lives of your friends, family and neighbours. Nadiya explores all areas of baking, conquering cakes and tray-bakes, no-bake bakes, tarts and pies, desserts, celebration bakes, biscuits and buns as well as breads and savouries. Recipes include Money-Can’t-Buy-You-Happiness Brownies, Baked Chilli Churros, a beautiful Baked Rhubarb, Rosemary and Olive Oil Polenta Cake and a wow-factor Layered Honey and Soured Cream Cake. Yummo!

Guinness World Records 2021 by Guinness World Records

All aboard Guinness World Records 2021 for a life-changing journey of discovery! This year, there is a chapter devoted to the history of exploration, starting with the story of the very first circumnavigation, along with a “History of Adventure” timeline, featuring a host of remarkable achievements. The fully revised and updated best-seller is packed with thousands of incredible new feats across the widest spectrum of topics, providing a whistle-stop tour of our superlative universe. Travel through the Solar System and see the planets come to life with a free augmented-reality feature. Encounter the cutest, weirdest, most dangerous and exotic creatures on our home planet. Meet the world’s tallest, shortest, hairiest and heaviest humans. Marvel at the latest high scores, speed runs and players at the top of their game in eSports and beyond. Get the lowdown on the world’s most successful and prolific actors, musicians, TV stars and influencers. Review the greatest sports achievements from the past year and celebrate today’s top athletes.

Code Name Bananas by David Walliams

David Walliams’ stories are a delight to read, and always make us giggle. Code Name Bananas is his newest book and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Eleven-year-old Eric spends his days at the place that makes him most happy: London Zoo. And there’s one animal in particular he loves: Gertrude the gorilla. With bombs falling all over London, Eric must rescue Gertrude. Together with his Uncle Sid, a keeper at the zoo, the three go on the run. But while hiding out at the seaside they uncover a top-secret Nazi plot… Join David Walliams on this action-packed, laugh-out-loud adventure for all the family!

Brickman’s Family Challenge Book by Ryan McNaught

We’re slightly biased with this book (ahem…Booko has a new website in the family www.bricko.info in case you need to buy for a LEGO fanatic). 

Challenge each member of your household to a building competition that is the brainchild of Brickman himself, star judge of smash hit TV show LEGO® Masters and a LEGO Certified Professional. Each of the 30 challenges can be attempted at beginner, intermediate or advanced levels. So whether you’re 5 or 105, an infrequent brick builder or a huge LEGO fan, these challenges will get you off your screens and get your creative juices flowing with even the most basic of LEGO collections. Including: Maze runner: build a maze with obstacles and design themes, Get crazy: roll a die to determine which hybrid model you need to build in under 2 hours – a Supersonic Banana Plane, anyone? Self-portrait: one of the hardest things to build with LEGO is curves, but Brickman helps you crack the techniques for building a recognisable 3D portrait of yourself. Packed with pro tips and suggestions on how to take your builds to the next level, as well as a ‘know your bricks’ glossary, this book will turn you into a Master LEGO Builder in no time. Do you know someone up to the challenge?

Stuff You Should Know: An Incomplete Compendium of Mostly Interesting Things by Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant

From the duo behind the massively successful and award-winning podcast Stuff You Should Know comes an unexpected look at things you thought you knew. Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant started the podcast Stuff You Should Know back in 2008 because they were curious. Curious about the world around them, curious about what they might have missed in their formal educations, and curious to dig deeper on stuff they thought they understood. As it turns out, they aren’t the only curious ones. They’ve since amassed a rabid fan base, making Stuff You Should Know one of the most popular podcasts in the world. Armed with their inquisitive natures and a passion for sharing, they uncover the weird, fascinating, delightful, or unexpected elements of a wide variety of topics. The pair have now taken their near-boundless “whys” and “hows” from your earbuds to the pages of a book for the first time. Featuring a completely new array of subjects that they’ve long wondered about and wanted to explore. Each chapter is further embellished with snappy visual material to allow for rabbit-hole tangents and digressions, including charts, illustrations, sidebars, and footnotes. Follow along as the two dig into the underlying stories of everything from the origin of Murphy beds, to the history of facial hair, to the psychology of being lost.

Enjoy!

The best card games to play with the family

We’ve all been staying home safely for a while now and have been playing, reading, exercising, crafting and watching many things and we thought some of you may be running out of fresh ideas. So, we have scoured the internet and had a look at what’s popular and we have rounded up six fun and fabulous card games that you can play at home with the people you are staying safe with. 

Did you know you can source LEGO, card and board games with Booko? If not, have a look at our ‘how to’ guide here.

Let us know what you are playing in the comments below. 

Unstable Unicorns

This is a strategic card game that will destroy your friendships…but in a good way. It’s one of Kickstarter’s Top 50 Most Backed Projects of all time! You start with a Baby Unicorn in your stable (super cute). But don’t get too attached, because even Baby Unicorns aren’t safe in this game! There are over 20 Magical Unicorns to collect and each has a special power. Everyone is aiming to build a Unicorn Army as fast as you can, or be destroyed by one of your so-called friends! You can seek revenge or protect your stable using your magic. But someone could have a Neigh Card and send the game into madness. The first person to complete their Unicorn Army shall hereafter be known as The Righteous Ruler of All Things Magical..at least until the next game.

Ramen Fury

The use-your-noodle card game! Rush to prepare and slurp up delicious bowls of ramen filled with tasty ingredients. Collect combos of cards to score for different recipes while adding garnishes to boost your points. At the same time, watch out as other players throw spicy chilli peppers your way or swipe foods right from your bowls! It’s “take that” fun that will have you calling for takeout!

Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza

This is the social card game that is going to change your game days forever. This addictive game is as unique as its name. It’s a power packed quick and simple party game. Race against each other to SLAP a match between a card and spoken word. But – watch out! – your mind will play tricks on you.

As in Snap, each player places a card from their hand face up into a community pile while saying taco/cat/goat/cheese/pizza in player sequence. When the card matches the mantra everyone slaps their hand on the deck, with the last one to slap picking up the cards. Whoever rids themselves of cards first wins!

Gonuts for Donuts

Strategy…Choices…Tension…the three essential ingredients to any great game. All of them play a vital role in this easy-to-learn and instantly engaging card game from first-time inventor Zachary Eagle. This game has a unique twist on set collection card games. In addition to the whimsical variety of donuts inside, part of what makes this game stand apart from the crowd is the secret bidding. This adds a delicious layer of tension that will surely tempt you to come back for another round! A tray of tempting treats awaits your bid, will you go for a stellar cruller or grab a glorious glazed? A double chocolate is sure to score, but in the long run Boston cream may be worth more. Choose carefully because if two or more players go for the same donut, nobody gets it! End with the highest score and victory will taste sweet. 

I’m Not Saying You’re Stupid

How long can a dolphin hold its breath? At what temperature does popcorn pop? I’m Not Saying You’re Stupid is a fun and fresh game featuring over 400 questions that are random, hilarious, and almost impossible to answer just right. The answers are always numbers in this game, which sounds simple enough. But watch out! If your opponents think your answer sounds hopelessly wrong, they can stick you with an I’m Not Saying You’re Stupid…card. Correctly guess who will be furthest from the right answer and watch the points pile up!

The perfect game for anyone who loves new trivia, wild guesses, and uproarious laughter! A dynamic and entertaining game for an evening at home!

Trash Pandas – The Raucous Raccoon Card Game

In this super fun card game players are raucous raccoons, tipping over trash cans for food. Trash is treasure. In this raucous card game, paw through the deck to find sets of day-old pizza, half-eaten candy, and other luscious leftovers. Roll the dice to tip over the garbage or raid a rival’s rubbish, if there’s no Doggos standing guard. The more you roll, the more actions you can take, but get too greedy and your turn is scrapped. Stash the most trash and you’re pick of the litter.

Enjoy!