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WATERSTONE'S GUIDE TO KIDS' BOOKS. Drawing on the expertise and passion of their children's booksellers, Waterstone's have produced this Guide to Kids' Books to help you discover the best books for the child in your life. Snap it up for £3 - or FREE if you're a Waterstone's cardholder (instore only).

Hello from MNHQ...

Where we're assuming from the deafening silence that you're too busy noting down all the great ideas in our new Travel content to mention it. But do feel free to send us your constructive criticism if you have any (or Gerry will get a complex).

Your Book Club pick for May is Home by Marilynne Robinson, a poignant story about a wayward son's return home to make peace. Stand by for a cathartic chat about it all at the end of the month.

If you can spare two minutes (that's all it takes), please complete our survey about children's computer games. You could win £150 of vouchers for the store of your choice, plus £100 of games credit at Metaboli.

And finally, from behind a Mumsnet Towers cushion, we feel obliged to mention some edited clips from a TV series we did a while back featuring two very amateur laydees dispensing Mumsnet's best parenting advice. No feedback required thanks - we know hairstyles have moved on since then!

Now for this week's parenting news ...

Science SATs to end: Formal science tests at the age of 11 are to be scrapped from next year. Also, every child leaving primary school is to receive a detailed graduation certificate, listing their achievements, to help ease the transition to secondary school. But the review body which came up with the changes, commissioned by schools secretary Ed Balls, stopped short of recommending that all national tests should be abolished – and the government now faces a showdown with teaching unions, who are threatening to boycott next year's tests if they aren't fully reformed. (Guardian 07.05.09)

'Junk' baby food: Food made for babies and young children may be worse for their health than junk food, according to food-and-farming pressure group Sustain. Its audit of more than 100 products has raised concerns about products including Farley's Rusks and Heinz cheese biscuits for toddlers. One product, Cow & Gate Baby Balance biscuits, contained trans fats (which have been linked to coronary heart disease) but there was no mention of this on the label. (Times 04.05.09)

Other stories in brief

WIN A COPY OF ELIZA GRAHAM'S NEW NOVEL! A number of Mumsnetters read and loved Playing With The Moon, Eliza Graham's acclaimed debut novel. Her second novel, Restitution, is now out in paperback. Set in Germany in 1945, it tells the story of two young refugees who should be enemies but fall in love. We have ten copies to give away, courtesy of publishers Pan Macmillan. To be in with a chance, simply send them an email naming your favourite book of all time and including your postal address.

Hot threads 


This week's prizes are:

It's easy to enter (and keep an eye on winners' corner to see if your name has come out of the hat). 

WIN A DAY OF SPECIAL TREATS! Nectar is celebrating the launch of its Savvy Shopper Search by offering Mumsnetters the chance to win a fun-filled or luxurious treat with an eXhilaration Choice Voucher for Her – plus 20,000 Nectar points! Click here to enter and find out more.

Quote of the week

MrsWobble on parents who take the fad for matching sibling names a touch too far: "I once worked with a girl whose boyfriend had two sisters who were both called Margaret. When she queried it, she was told that it wasn't a problem because they were each named after different aunts."

Looking for somewhere to take the kids? Mumsnetters say try:

Find more Mumsnetter recommendations for great days out near you in Mumsnet Local

Aitch's TV round-up: Madeleine Was Here, Thurs 7 May, Channel 4, 9pm
Should I be wary of posting this, in light of recent events on MN? It's not the Oprah interview, I do realise, but Cutting Edge can usually be relied upon to provide a rigorous examination of the facts even when facts are in short supply. What is not in dispute (even on MN) is that it has been two years since Kate and Gerry McCann saw their child alive and that, had things been different, she would have been celebrating her sixth birthday with her family on 12 May...

Blog of the week: Are Posh and Becks This Boring?
terrifieddad on how having a child has turned him startlingly dull: "There was a time, not so long ago, when I was knee-deep in models and M&Ms* (*This is a complete lie made up to make myself look more windswept and interesting.) And now I am reduced to discussing the square-metre merits of one branch of Tesco over another... We drove to the slightly larger supermarket, where we mainly bought peppered mackerel and toilet rolls. However, I would like to vehemently stress that there is far more to me and my life than just eating fish and pooing..."
Why not join the MN bloghood yourself?

Recipe of the week: Pablop's Spring salmon with seasonal veg
It being that time of year when lambs are a-gambolling and chicks are a-hatching, we thought you might like the idea of some salmon a-leaping into this simple but healthy supper. And, as it's all cooked in the one dish, you'll have plenty of time afterwards for some washing-up-free gambolling of your own.
Review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all, we're off to have our hair done.
Mumsnet Towers

CABBAGES AND FROCKS CHILDREN'S DAY IN CENTRAL LONDON: Sat 9 May, 11am to 5pm, St Marylebone Parish Church Grounds, Marylebone High St, London W1 5LT. Activities include pottery painting, craft workshop and chocolate-making, plus lots of stalls with stylish children's clothing and accessories, and food and fashion for all. A fun day out for the whole family.

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