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Under a tenner

Catchy maths jingles

Astronomer Fred Hoyle said that once he had learned his multiplication tables, "everything else was easy". A double CD sweetens the task by setting it to music. The first disc in Times Table Challenge provides recitations of all the tables from 2 to 10, and then backs them all with quite catchy, though necessarily repetitive jingles. The second disc replays them as a series of questions; listeners have to provide the right number before the music stops and a chorus shouts the answer. This isn't something to take on a long car journey but it will provide helpful reinforcement to children whose teachers are wisely absent. Times Table Challenge (code EL101932) costs pound;10 from shops. Contact CYP Limited for further details.

Tel: 01279 444707

Safari counting adventure

How many hippos are "tano"? How many elephants are "kumi"? We All Went on Safari is a beautifully illustrated counting book about four children going on an adventure through the Tanzanian grasslands. With their Maasai friends they spot all kinds of wildlife in their natural setting, and enumerate them in English and Swahili. Lordly lions yawn under a tree and wiry warthogs rush past. The story adds repetitive rhyme and alliteration to its mathematical content. Facts about the animals, a map, and a guide to pronunciation and children's names make it a fine addition to a class library. We All Went on Safari is published by Barefoot Books and costs pound;9.99.

German made easy

Whether you want to order sauerkraut or read Faust, there's help at hand in Harrap's three compact and well-designed German study aids. Grammar offers a helpful glossary of terms and a general guide to the problems of translation as well as many necessary pages on genders, idioms and inflexions. These last get more detailed treatment in Verbs, which provides 200 full conjugations together with an index of 2,000 other brief examples.

Vocabulary introduces more than 6,000 words in over 60 categories. Look here if you want to describe your thumb-sucking younger brother or to change trains at Duesseldorf. German study aids cost pound;4.99 each or pound;3.74 from the Harrap website. Three parallel volumes are available for Spanish.

Non-stop disco dance tunes

If your thoughts are stretching beyond SATs to the Year 6 leavers' disco, then check out Let's Dance 7 from the Children's Audio Company. The 45-minute tape is the latest in a series of non-stop dance covers, which include the anthology Kidz S Club. Adults will want to keep a safe distance, but 11-year-olds will enjoy some well-earned rapture. Let's Dance 7 (cassette code EL101748) and Kidz S Club (cassette code EL 101642) cost pound;3 each from shops. Kidz S Club (code EL 101750) is also available on CD for pound;5. Contact CYP Limited for details.

Tel: 01279 444707

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