hopeless heros

Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules by Stella Tarakson

I was lucky enough to receive two books from the Hopeless Heros series by Stella Tarakson to review and now it’s my turn on the blog tour to let you know what I thought of them!

Hopeless Heroes: Here Comes Hercules– By Stella Tarakson, Publication date 22nd February 2018

‘When Tim Baker breaks his Mum’s favourite vase it’s the least of his problems. The Greek hero he frees from inside is in danger of doing far worse. To the flowers, the rug-Oh no! Not the kitchen! Hercules is only trying to be helpful but he is just hopeless! It’s time to send this dim demigod home before Tim becomes ancient history.’

The vase was the last thing that Tim’s Dad had given his Mum before he died, even though they needed the money and it was worth a lot she still didn’t want to sell it because it was so important to her so when Tim accidently breaks it he is desperate to get it fixed before she gets home from work. Tim is quickly distracted though when he hears the words FREE AT LAST and finds a tall man towering over him. Tim soon realises that Heroes might be cool and Hercules certainly is strong but a genie  might have been more useful!

Hercules manages to destroy the garden and eat the roast chicken that was meant for dinner even before Tim’s Mum gets home but surely she will understand that heroes get hungry. Except…it turns out Tim is the only one who can see him

Allsorts of strange things happen and no one believes in Tim’s hero so he gets the blame as well as having to deal with worrying about being bullied by a boy from school. Hercules is struggling too- he misses his wife and daughter and wishes there was a way to get back to them. Can they work together to help Tim’s Mum and get Hercules home? What about Leo the bully and Queen Hera, Zeus’ evil wife who cursed Hercules?

Hera’s Terrible Trap, by Stella Tarakson- Publication date 22nd February 2018

Tim Baker thinks his adventures are over until he hitches a ride to Ancient Greece on a stolen vase. Soon Tim finds himself trapped with an Army of Peacocks and a hero who can’t stop admiring himself. PUT THAT MIRROR DOWN, THESEUS! Thank the God’s his new friend Zoe is there to help. Just don’t tell her Dad…

In the second book in the series we see Tim being transported to Ancient Greece on the vase that Hera has stolen back. The evil Hera wants to trap Hercules and Tim is expected to help, Tim ends up on the run and bumps into Hercules. Tim ends up meeting his daughter Zoe and they get to work together hatching a plan to stop Hera.


I really like these books from the Hopeless Heroes series, they are funny and they cover issues like bullying really well. I enjoyed how they link to actual Greek Myths and learning a bit more about the people you hear about in mythology.  I like the way the names are brought to life but it is still a story so you feel you are enjoying a book while you are learning rather than reading something for school.

The character of Hercules was great, he is a bit of a disaster but very kind to Tim and he makes me laugh. I really liked it when Zoe arrived in the second book as she was brilliant.

If someone told me to read a story about Greek Mythology I probably wouldn’t have wanted to but I really enjoyed both these books- it was very easy to loose yourself in the story and I read them both very quickly. I loved the way the books were set up- there was lots of Greek style writing which caught your eye and broke it up a bit. The illustrations by Nick Roberts were brilliant, I thought they really made you think of Ancient Greece and they looked like something that should have been on a vase like Tim’s Mums one.

I really enjoyed these books and am looking forward to the rest of the series coming out- there is 10 in total, so plenty to learn and enjoy!

I would say children as young as 6 would enjoy the Hopeless Heroes series but perhaps with a bit of adult help and that children older than me would also like the stories. I think they are perfect for my age (10) and my Mum thinks they would be good for people who aren’t too keen on reading as they are broken up into manageable chapters with plenty of illustrations to keep your attention as well as being funny enough to appeal to most children.

Thanks to Sweet Cherry Publishing for introducing us to this series and allowing us to be involved with the Hopeless Heros Blog Tour. Don’t forget to see what other bloggers thought of them on the tour!

Disclaimer: We were kindly sent the proofs for these books by Sweet Cherry Publishing but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

This post contains affiliate links which means we earn a small amount of commission if you choose to buy via them at no cost to yourself






hopeless heros

What’s in the Box? – Cheatwell Games Review

We love this game. We have reviewed some great games recently including the brilliant new memory game, Baffled, from Cheatwell but their game What’s in the Box? is our current favourite. We like it because you don’t need to spend ages setting it up and you can play it with just two people or the whole family – it’s a brilliant idea for a quick game on a school night when you don’t have a lot of time.

What’s in the Box? doesn’t take up much room in the games cupboard- it’s a nice wooden box with a slide off lid and then inside it is a marble and counter and some cards.

One way to play is to send one player off to get something interesting to put in the box and then the other players count down 21 questions using the marble and counter to try and guess what’s in the box. You are allowed to have a shake if the box keeper says you can but you have to be careful with your questions though- the person hiding the item can only answer yes, no or maybe! We ask lots of questions like ‘do you find it in the bathroom’ to narrow it down before starting to guess. You can only have a couple of guesses and get it wrong before you are out though so guess carefully! You have two ‘take a guess cards’ to hand in and when these are up you can’t guess any more- unless you win back a take a guess card by asking three questions in a row that are answered with a yes. If the counter gets down to 0 then the box keeper who hid the item is automatically the winner of that round.

I bet if Lottie knew there was a chocolate bar in here she would guess quicker!


The other way to play is to use one of the picture cards to put in the box- these are brilliant because it means you can put things in the box that would never fit otherwise like a bench or skies and it makes the questions much more interesting.

We like the fact that you can either play a quick round or a full game. What’s in the Box? is good for getting your mind working and you thinking in a different way. It works well with children from around age 5 upwards and both Lottie and I have been really enjoying it.

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We were sent What’s in the Box for review purposes  thanks to Cheatwell Games and Playtime PR but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Please note this post contains affiliate links


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Baffled Game Review

If you have been reading our blog for a while you will know that we all enjoy our family game nights so we were pretty excited when Cheatwell Games sent us a couple of new games to try.

Baffled is a new memory game but it’s great for all the family because it is designed so adults and children both have an equal chance of winning. It is for children age 8 plus and can be played with two to four players

Baffled is quite tricky but also really good fun. You get 60 seconds to remember the order of  the 12 tiles which have pictures on but they can be moved around and change position which makes it more of a challenge.

You get 28 life cards, 12 picture tiles, 12 covering pieces and four counters  and a dice to play with. Before you start playing Baffled you have to decide how many lives each person gets, you can have up to seven, you can decide if you want to give the younger players extra lives but it’s up to the people playing the game to decide.

To start playing you put the tiles onto the letter sections, let everyone looks at them for 60 seconds before covering them up with the covering pieces. You then take turns to roll the dice and move your counter around the board. You are still trying to remember the tile positions but this becomes more difficult as the tiles move around. When you land on a square you might have find a specific symbol, name what is on a certain letter space or find three things from a group. You have to say what you are revealing before you do it and if you get it wrong you loose a life.

Sometimes you land on a square that tells you to move the tile from one place to another and you have to swap things about which makes it even harder to remember where things are. The winner is the person at the end of the game who still has the most lives left when the others have run out. There is a chance to win back lives you have lost so you can keep playing right up until you have completely run out.

We took a few minutes to get going with Baffled as we weren’t quite sure that we knew what we were doing until we had had a few turns but actually once it got going it was very straightforward to play even though it was tricky at times. It’s a fun game for everyone and quite a challenge, I think it will help make your brain and memory work while having fun! The second time we played we gave everyone the same number of lives as even though she was younger it looks like Lottie had the best memory out of all of us!


Thanks to Cheatwell Games and Playtime PR for sending us Baffled for review purposes, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Please note this post contains affiliate links


hopeless heros

What I am Reading and your chance to win!

One of the things I am always asked is what I am reading at the moment, everybody knows I normally have several books on the go at once! I enjoy reading all sorts of different authors and like both fiction and non-fiction.

Lottie is starting to work her way through our Roald Dahl collection at the moment and I am thinking about re-reading them myself soon as they are so good. She likes The BFG but her favourite is the Rhymes- she likes the Little Red Riding Hood one and the The Three Little Pigs one.

I still have a nice big pile of other books from Christmas to read that I haven’t got around to yet. I got a mix of fiction and non-fiction which is good because I like both and prefer to switch and change depending on what I feel like. Lottie and I got the new Tim Peake book which is really interesting and I have also picked up Sky Song by Abi Elphinstone with my birthday money so have plenty of books to keep me busy.

At the moment I am reading Bad Dad by David Walliams, which is quite funny and Hamish and the Never People which is now getting really good and hard to put down! I am also looking forward to a few book reviews that we have coming up on the blog- our next one is for  ‘Hopeless Heroes- Here comes Hercules’ which was funny- look out for the review if you have children around my age looking for something good to read.

We would love to know what books other people have found popular with their children and we have a reading prize bundle for one of our followers to enjoy with the new David Walliams book; Bad Dad, two Roald Dahl books; James and The Giant Peach and The BFG and Ratburger Audiobook. I hope you will share your ideas of great books for children so I can add them to my wish list in plenty of time for the Easter holidays.

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hopeless heros

If I were Headteacher for the day!

If I were Head Teacher for the day I would give each child £50 to buy something fun for the playground or to use in the classroom during wet play. Lunchtimes this week have been really boring at school in the snow storm because all my class can do during wet play is draw on scrap paper so I think we need some games and stuff.

I would let children wear whatever they liked for uniform as long as it was easy to run around in.

School wouldn’t start until 10am so we didn’t have to rush around in the morning and before the lessons started we would have a basketball match- children v’s teachers.

For lessons the children could vote on whatever they wanted to learn about, we would have interesting books like Tim Peake’s ones and be able to watch YouTube videos about different topics.

I would have the lunch menu as burger and chips or sausage, chips and beans and for pudding there would be a choice of donuts, éclairs, pasties, cake, pancakes, ice cream, chocolate mousse and apple crumble.

In the afternoon the children would start their project. It would be making a film and George Lucas would come to help us.

After school it would be a cinema evening watching Star Wars.

I think my friends would like it if I was Head Teacher for the day!


hopeless heros

Lottie’s trip into town with the New Sylvanian Families Town Series

Written by Lottie (age 6) with some help from Mummy!

I was really excited to be going to the Sylvanian Families Fan Club event. I started collecting Sylvanian’s last year after I reviewed the Cosy Cottage and I really like them and I now have quite a good collection.

We got to the hotel (Mercure Leicester The Grand Hotel) and it was very nice, we went upstairs and were given our passes, a catalogue and a competition sheet and we got to go in and see the new range.

The new Sylvanian Families Town Series is brilliant, it  is where the Sylvanian’s go for a fun day out. The Town has some fantastic buildings, like the Grand Department Store, the Delicious Restaurant, the Creamy Geleto Shop and the Designer Studio which can all join together or you can use on their own. My favourite was the Grand Department Store which has a revolving door and an actual working lift.


I really liked the new furniture and clothes that go with the Town Series but my favourite was the light up street lamps which can actually light up and even flicker. I would really like to get some of those.

My absolute favourite, favourite thing though was the tram- it is red and gold and really beautiful and you can play with it properly because the wheels move and the doors open and close. I would love this but I know my little brother would like it too so if I get it I might have to hide it from him!

I liked the new characters too, my favourites were Stella who is a fashion designer in the Town and Mr Maple who drives the Tram.

Once we had had a good look at the new range it was time for to watch some shows and meet the characters. We saw Freya, Ralph,  Stella and Theodore Maple who did a dance and then we could get our photo taken with them.  There was chance to go and hunt for Freya in the Town and to be a fashion designer with lots of different fabrics and sparkles and then we got to watch two new film premieres, The Town Movie and the Village Movie which were both really good. My favourite was the Town Movie where Freya and her friends got to visit the Town and see her sister Stella’s fashion show- Freya saved the day!

Soon it was nearly time to go but there was another mascot show before we went home. We were given lovely goody bags with a new Sylvanian outfit and some stickers and things in which was exciting.

I loved the new Sylvanian Town sets, I can’t wait to start saving up for them and I am really pleased I got to see the launch and watch the films, it was a big treat to finish the school holidays!


Family Fever
hopeless heros

An Out of This World Birthday Party!

Lottie and her friends have been learning about Space at school and so when one of her friends invited her to a Space Party at The National Space Centre in Leicester she was beyond excited, she went last week and had an amazing time. She decided to write about it herself.

Lottie, age 6, reviews her visit to The Space Centre in Leicester

I went to my friend’s party at the National Space Centre and it was brilliant. There was about 10 children for his party altogether and we got to look round in a big group.

We saw lots of astronaut things and a space toilet. We had fun making weather. We followed where the buses and planes were in Leicester using satellites. We tried making sound waves which was funny.

Shouting to make sound waves


My little brother came with us and he really liked driving the Rover that is used to collect samples. We both thought the replica space station was brilliant, but that the astronauts shower was very tiny!


We had lots of fun looking round with our friends and then we went to the party room where there was space table cloths and lots of balloons to play with and a sign up to wish my friend Happy Birthday. We had really yummy chocolate milkshakes and hot dogs with chips. My friend’s Mum had got him a rocket cake which was brilliant.

We then went to the planetarium and watched a film about how the world started. This was one of my favourite bits. I really liked it, it felt just like you were flying through space.

My really very favourite part though was when we went up the tower and saw a real rocket.

I want to go back to the Space Centre soon, I know Luke would really like it too.

A Note from my Mum.

I hadn’t realised you could have parties at the Space Centre and this was one children’s party I was actually keen to go to!

The party itself was brilliant, so interesting and so much to see and do but the centre was incredibly busy and this made it quite stressful for the parents at times. I struggled with a toddler who wanted to be running off and looking at everything and keeping track of older children so I would recommend the Space Centre as being best suited to children over 5 if you are outnumbered!

We were lucky that we could eat our lunch in the party room as people were queuing for a long time to get access to the restaurant so this would be a consideration if you were visiting as a family.

Parking was fine, with an overflow car park that we got into easily at a cost of £3 for the whole day and the gift shop had a good selection of reasonably priced souvenirs as well as some more expensive educational toy options.

Other than being so very busy the Space Centre is really interesting for both adults and kids and well worth a visit and this certainly was one of the best children’s parties I have been too!



hopeless heros

Decorating my Bedroom – Photowall Canvas Review and a Reader Discount Code

I was asked if I would like to review a canvas or wallpaper from Photowall and was really excited about choosing something nice for my bedroom. They had loads of different ideas you could choose from and you could even have your own one made from your own photograph.

I really liked the Fast Car ones and Football ones but I decided to continue with the Star Wars theme in my bedroom as just about everything else is! This was a really good choice as they had pages of ideas I could choose from. It took me days and days to decide which one I wanted as they were all brilliant and I finally narrowed it down to my four favourites so we could see which would fit best into the space.

My bedroom is quite small (that’s ok though because I don’t have to share with my brother or sister!) but we still managed to fit a really big canvas in- Photowall can do them absolutely huge and you could cover a whole wall with one if you wanted!

The canvas I eventually picked


When we ordered the canvas we entered the sizes into the site and adjusted them up and down to make sure the picture worked properly without cutting anything off,  then the site gave us a preview to check, showing us exactly what it would look like with the DIY frame and we were then able to place our order

It arrived really quickly, just a few days later, in a long thin box and one evening when I was in bed my Dad clipped it together, it was a good surprise in the morning as it looked amazing!

I absolutely love my Star Wars canvas, it is a really good picture and it looks fantastic in my bedroom. Everyone who has seen it has said how much they like it and my brother and sister are now looking at one for their bedroom- my little brother wants the BB8 one but my sister would like to go for another theme like the Space and liked the Full Moon one- although she does like the Princess one too. They do so many different ideas, both for adults and children, it’s really tempting to get more than one!

My canvas looks brilliant with some of my LEGO


A Note from My Mum:

Luke loves his new canvas and we were impressed with how much choice there was- Photowall had something suitable for every room of our house and the prices are very reasonable.

We were a little bit wary of the idea of the DIY frame as I was concerned about damaging the canvas but after initially being a little apprehensive it was actually very straightforward and quick to do. We found the instructions in the package helpful but actually it was the video demonstration on Photowall’s YouTube channel that showed us how easy it was and gave us the confidence to just get on an do it! It was actually very quick to put together and hangs beautifully on the wall- it looks really good.

Easy to follow instructions


I am planning on getting a couple more for other rooms and would very much recommend Photowall to anyone looking for something special for their house- I am quite keen to try uploading my image for printing as well.

We are so pleased that Photowall have offered us an exclusive discount code for our readers to use across their fantastic range- just enter code WLDNCampaign2018 when you checkout and enjoy 20% off Voucher is valid for the next 30 days only!

Next on our shopping list!

Disclaimer- We were given a Star Wars canvas of our choice for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions remain our own

hopeless heros

My Favourite Things- Lottie age 6

Luke wrote out all his favourite things the other day and now he has asked me all the same questions. Here are my answers:

My favourite film-


My Favourite Food-

Sausage and Chips

My Favourite Television Programme-

Barbie and Miraculous

My Favourite Board Game-

Monopoly Junior and Scrabble Junior

Favourite Author-

Roald Dahl

My Favourite book-

Charlotte’s Web and anything by Roald Dahl especially the poems

My Favourite computer game-

Disney Infinity

My Favourite Chocolate-

Creme Egg

My Favourite Sport-


Favourite collectible

Shopkins and Zomlings

I wonder what I will chose for the answers next year?

By Lottie age 6, help from Luke


hopeless heros

Family Game Night- Quick thinking with Think Words

We have been enjoying our family games nights again the last few weekends and last week tried out Think Words by John Adams.

This game is aimed at age 8 plus but we all had lots of fun playing it together and whilst Lottie needed a few more seconds she didn’t find it too difficult most of the time.

In the Think Words box is 80 cards and a spinner with all the instructions you need. You get  a choice of 7 different versions to play so this can keep you busy for ages! Each card has a large letter on one side and four different coloured categories on the other. We started off with the straightforward game of putting 8 letter cards around the spinner and taking turns to spin it, the first person got the colour and everyone had to try and think of a word for that letter from the colour category that it matched- if you were the first one to shout it out then you got to win that letter, at the end of the game the person who had the most letters was the winner.

We liked the fact there were so many different ways to play and that you could also make your own rules as well. Lottie did find a few of the categories a bit hard but I think the age rating of 8 is about right.

Think Words is a good game to take away with you too as it packs up small, we took it to our friends at Christmas which was fun- we liked that you could play it just as well with 2 players as you could 8- although it turns out it is perhaps best not to make up your own rules with 8 people as it can lead to arguments! Even with a bit of bickering this the game was really funny especially when you were trying desperately to think of an answer really quickly.

The only little slightly bad thing we found with this game is that it doesn’t store very well in the box (it’s got a cut out bit to display the cards) and we had to find a different little box to store it in nothing too bad but worth being aware of so you don’t loose your cards!

I am looking forward to playing with some other friends after school next week- although I will steer clear of making up my own rules so we are all still friends at the end of it!

Family Fever

Disclaimer: We were sent the Think Words Game to review but all thoughts are our own, you can keep up with the latest from John Adams Ideal Games by following their Facebook page here