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Monday, 29 July 2013

Editor's week: Reviews are rolling in ...

We’re coming now to the exciting part of the book's production cycle – well, I suppose actually getting it to the printers is the most exciting part, technically, if you thrive on mind-numbing stress … Well then, perhaps we’re coming to the most enjoyable part. In April we started assigned a bunch of venues to our intrepid researchers – a set of wonderful parents and carers, currently numbering 63, who have kindly volunteered to visit venues and try activities for us and write about their experiences. Now the reviews are starting to come in at a steady pace. At first it was a trickle of about two a week, but now we’re getting around four a day.

We now have 50 reviews (out of around 600 we’re hoping to get), and I’m starting to read them, which is the best fun. The tone of the reviews varies from a business-like few sentences, through a chatty couple of paragraphs, to a complete story-telling narrative of all the details of what went on during a day out. Although we provide editorial guidelines, we want the parents’ and carers’ voices to come through in their reviews so that each is like a personal recommendation from a friend or from someone you’ve just got chatting to at a toddler group. This edition we’ve added a ‘Top Tips’ section on the review forms so that researchers can record little quirky details or things to consider for other parents and carers following in their footsteps – from ‘Wellies are useful!!’ (Craigie's Farm) to ‘Interactive rock pool displays are worth a look’ (Deep Sea World, North Queensferry), you heard it here first!

These reviews will now be edited, put in an order that makes some sort of sense, laid out in designed pages, proofread and sent off to the printer, to be launched as the new book next May. It’s a busy time, but it’s brilliant to know that we’re capturing the really interesting and useful information that parents and carers need − to decide what to do on a particular day, to check details of places they’ve heard about, or (and this is where Edinburgh for Under Fives always does the most good I think) to act as an incentive to just get out of the house and go exploring.  

We're still looking for researchers (we never really stop!), so do get in touch if you're interested, at


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