I don't know how much longer we will be able to do this, but bear had quite an inexpensive birthday. He had a massively huge pile of presents, all stacked and tempting. He was thrilled with all of them. However while there were a lot of presents they included a separately wrapped fancy eraser, a wavy ruler, a small puzzle book and lots of little bits like that. Bear is set up until next year. He also got a box of 'action soldier dolls' which definitely are nowhere near the action man copyright, honest, with a zillion little bits (I shall be using at least one of the sweet boxes for those) and has been playing solidly with them all this morning.
One of the biggest stacks was books. They were all new which seemed a little odd to me, because most of my childhood books were second hand. However it is a lot easier to get hold of books these days. Back in the early seventies, when I was bear's age, it was hard to get hold of books. We lived in a small town and getting hold of affordable books was tough. Now it is a lot easier. Apart from Amazon there is ebay, a lot more charity shops and even supermarkets. Most of bear's books came from The Book People who do very inexpensive books and are on TopCashBack. It is less expensive than Amazon for some stuff and certainly cheaper than a charity shop.
Bear opened one package of books and was delighted. "Beast Quest! They're contraband in school!" I immediately started to panic - had I bought illegal or inappropriate books? "Why are they contraband?"
"They are only for Year 5&6," bear said happily, "And I can read all these."
I breathed a sigh of relief. They are not as advanced as that. They are designed for 'reluctant readers' and bear isn't. They are fine for him. Apparently there are 82 of the things, and they follow the formula of hero + villain + monster + treasure. It sounds perfect for a young lad. Bear has already read one. The 114 pages have the text quite thinly spread, so it isn't quite as impressive as bear would like to think. However it keeps bear happy and that is good enough for me.