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Mumsnet Logo MammaMia

With feel-good songs like SUPER TROUPER and DANCING QUEEN, MAMMA MIA! is the perfect show to see with your family this summer. Seen by over 42 million people worldwide, and celebrating more than 11 years in London's West End, MAMMA MIA! continues to enthral audiences every night.

Hello from Mumsnet Towers...

Where we're up to our eyeballs with pre-hols packing. In the fervent hope that we actually get time to do some reading, we're perusing your top summer holiday reading recommendations. If you're (also) prone to packing panic, have a dekko at our helpful holiday packing checklists.

And we're rather chuffed that children's laureate Anthony Browne is currently answering questions from his junior (and more, er, mature) fans. Post a question before Sunday 1 Aug and you'll be entered into a draw to win a signed copy of his new book, Play The Shape Game, in aid of children's charity Rainbow Trust.

Now for this week's parenting news...

NICE issues weight warning for mothers-to-be: The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence says almost half of women of childbearing age are overweight or obese and that women who are overweight when they conceive put themselves and their unborn babies at risk of significant health complications. The health watchdog advises women to achieve a healthy weight before pregnancy, to avoid 'eating for two' during pregnancy and to lose baby weight before getting pregnant again. But it also warns against trying to lose weight too quickly after pregnancy. (Independent, 28.07.10; join the Talk discussion)

Thousands of pupils given wrong Sats grade: The exams watchdog says as many as one in five primary school children in England are given the wrong mark in some Sats papers. Ofqual's analysis of the 2008 English key stage two exam revealed that up to 17 per cent of pupils could have been "misclassified" when their papers were marked. Two teaching unions are calling for Sats to be scrapped and replaced with a system where teachers assess pupils' progress, but education secretary Michael Gove says key stage two exams in English and Maths will go ahead in 2011. (Telegraph, 26.07.10)

DOES YOUR CHILD WET THE BED? Or do you know anyone who is struggling with bedwetting problems? DryNites is holding a special 'meet the expert' event on 30 Sept, where you can put your questions to DryNites expert Dr Penny Dobson - founder and former director of ERIC, the UK charity for bedwetting. Click here for more details.

Other stories in brief

Hot threads

Quote of the week: LadyBiscuit on power-play at the parenting frontline: "If I ever attempt to join in I am driving the train the wrong way round the track, using the wrong truck on the back of it or committing some other heinous crime. What they should say is 'Mummy, I want to boss you around for a bit. Please come and sit on the floor where I am in charge of the world'."

Competitions
This month'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).

SAVE ON FAMILY FAVOURITES THIS SUMMER Keep the kids happy for less. Just one £30 spend at a TOTAL service station and save on everything from a week away to a meal out, go-karting to bowling, theme parks to museums, dance lessons to... MORE.

Aitch's TV round-up: Who Knows Best: Can't Sleep Kids, Tues 3 Aug, C4, 9pm
First of a new series, pitting so-called experts (wot I 'ave never 'eard of) against each other and subjecting them to an arbitrary test at the end of the show to introduce some bogus sense of jeopardy to the proceedings. This one, however, might be of interest to the more baggy-eyed amongst us, because it sets up two babycare gurus to compete to help two families to get their children to go to bed. What's the twist? Well, one of them is cast as an Evil Guru (she isn't) who takes away all form of reassurance and makes the nippers sort it out cold turkey, and the other one is a Good Guru (actually a bit competitive and loud but at least she allows cuddles). Two words for you, ladies... Claire Verity.
Discuss this show (and others) in our Telly Addicts Talk forum.

Recipe of the week: smithy's roasted beetroot
Low-fat, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and generally nutritious and virtuous. More to the point, it's delicious and uses up some seasonal beets. Plus it's a one-dish wonder, so minimal washing-up. What's not to like?
You can review this week's recipe here - or why not post one yourself?

That's all, folks. We're off to check our fake tans against the Pantone chart.
Love, MNHQ

SEE TOY STORY 3 - AND RAISE MONEY FOR GOSH The Walt Disney Company Ltd will donate £1 to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity for every ticket purchased to see Toy Story 3 in the Empire Leicester Square. To book a ticket, go here.

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