Very Royal Congratulations

Souvenir Press would like to join the many thousands of people worldwide who have been offering their congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge following the birth of their first child.

Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, born on Monday, will be the seventh king to bear that name.

Naming and Blessing by Andrew Tawn is a unique baby name book, containing personalised prayers for over 500 names, which can be used as an introduction to the Christian faith and personalise baptisms, confirmations and weddings, as a child moves through the personal landmarks in their life.

“A collection of prayers which can be used so very easily and readily by a much wider range of people than simply the committed Christian.” – Bishop David Hope, former Archbishop of York

“Our name is one of the first and most precious gifts we receive… The author uses the ancient device of the acrostic to create unique and thoughtful meditations on the names.” – Anthony Russell, former Bishop of Ely

“This is not your typical “baby name” book. It’s a book of five hundred names and each one is illustrated by a prayer of blessing for the person, with the first letters of each line making up the name… A lovely book, well illustrated, to use for personal prayer, for naming and blessing ceremonies and for families to share.” – Amazon review

The below prayer for HRH Prince George of Cambridge is taken from Naming and Blessing by Andrew Tawn, published by Souvenir Press.

God of life, sow your blessings in the
Earth of George’s spirit,
Over time may they send down
Roots deep and sustaining,
Growing an abundant harvest of all things
Excellent, true, pure and gracious.

Congratulations once more to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as well as to all other parents celebrating a new addition to the family.

Naming And Blessing cover

Author Corner: Daniel Sieberg and the Digital Diet

The latest post in our Author Corner comes from Daniel Sieberg, author of The Digital Diet. The book provides a four-step plan to help you re-think your tech usage and to regain balance in your life.

 Daniel Sieberg’s guest blog post tackles that modern problem we all struggle with: how to switch off on holiday. Whether you’re going screen-free altogether, or simply cutting down (because no-one wants to get between a teenage girl and her mobile phone), Daniel Sieberg offers some useful tips for your summer holiday, to help you step away from the screen and into the sun.

Planning for any holiday these days often brings up a digital-era dilemma: how to enjoy being out of the office without being totally out of touch? And is it better to completely disconnect or keep one finger plugged into the online world? Just like “The Digital Diet,” there’s really no one-size-fits-all approach to solving this question but there are ways you can at least minimize any high-tech interference while soaking up some rays.

 First, create a customized away message for your work email with specific guidance on what people should expect from you. In other words, if you tell people you will not be online and won’t be responding to emails then stick to it– anything less than complete adherence creates a slippery slope of expectations from other people and erodes separation from your inbox. Should you prefer to check email on occasion then say you’ll do just that with the understanding that your response times may be delayed.

Next, think about which devices you really need to bring. Lugging around every phone and tablet and “phablet” you own will only mean increased diversions. Try to consolidate your content (books, movies, games) so you can minimise the distractions but still have some entertainment for when the weather turns sour or you just want to kick back for a bit. There’s no shame in using your devices for an occasional distraction provided you aren’t going on safari or ignoring someone around you who expects your attention (this is key to enhanced marital relations).

It’s also worth considering a strategy for the family unit as a whole. For example, the kids (and parents) can each bring one (or two) devices but no one is allowed to have them out during meals or sightseeing unless it’s to take photos. Think of creative ways to incentivise it, too, like offering an ice-cream or more spending cash if they stick to the rules. Cutting out technology entirely with most kids means there’ll be pushback and depriving them of all connectedness might result in more family conflict than closeness. As such, it’s worth exploring the idea of moderation with the caveat that as a parent you’ll need to be more available to interact with them rather than letting the screens do all the work.

With any travel or vacation I’d also suggest a few standard “Digital Diet” rules to live by:

  •  don’t charge any devices you bring in the bedroom– it’s too much of a temptation and only means you’ll be endlessly interrupted
  • try to enjoy an exhilarating moment fully in person first before feeling the need to post it on social media
  • take some time to improve your own sense of well-being whether it’s yoga or reading or simply observing what’s around you; a little zen-like focus can be a powerful way to get grounded before going back to the daily grind

Remember, too, that we often falsely amplify any demands on our time and the urgency with which we communicate. If you don’t check email every 15 minutes then your co-workers will still survive. The world will carry on. And they’ll probably just be jealous that you’re likely having an amazing time. We all need to decompress once in a while and I often talk to employees about having renewed perspective by getting some temporary distance.

Finally, if you really need help to detach from all the cords then you might want to consider a vacation somewhere that affords no access to the internet or a tech-free retreat. The charity Anxiety UK released a study that found 60 per cent of us need to fully disconnect to begin to really relax and get a true break. Just be prepared to dig through more emails upon your return since of course we know that hitting the pause button won’t make it all go away.

But you can go back feeling more invigorated than ever to surf the digital waves away from the beach.

Digital Diet

The Digital Diet by Daniel Sieberg is published by Souvenir Press. It is available now in paperback and as an e-book.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our Author Corner blog posts!

Telling Tales in Latin: A Review

Stephen Addis, a retired Classics teacher with 36 years’ experience of teaching Classics in state and independent schools, has recently reviewed Telling Tales in Latin by Lorna Robinson, and has kindly allowed us to reproduce his review in full here on our blog. Stephen taught Classics for 32 years as Head of Department, and since retiring teaches as part of the University of the Third Age. He has a  BA Honours Degree in Classics from Bristol University and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education from the School of Education, University of Bristol.

Read his review in full below, or on Amazon, where he rated it five stars out of five.

‘Telling Tales in Latin’ by Lorna Robinson is a new and exciting Latin course published by Souvenir Press. The Roman poet Ovid serves as the storyteller and his chatty, lively style will appeal to students of all ages from the outset.

A selection of mythological stories from Ovid’s Metamorphoses forms the basis of the Latin text. The grammatical material and vocabulary cover the requirements of the OCR Entry Level qualification in Latin, making this course the only one which currently caters for this prescription.

From Chapter 1, students are encouraged to see and also to work out for themselves the connections between Latin and English derivatives, some of which will prove to be rather thought provoking, but will help to extend pupils’ knowledge and understanding of English vocabulary.

Each chapter follows a similar format, namely a brief introduction, the myth itself with helpful vocabulary, a clear explanation of the new grammatical point being studied and excellent suggestions for further activities.

Pupils are introduced to the most important areas of Latin grammar so that they can see how the structure of the language works. Verb tenses which are covered include the Present, Imperfect and Perfect with clear definitions of each. The four conjugations, termed ‘groups’, with their infinitives, are outlined. If any form of a Perfect tense verb is different, it appears each time in the vocabulary. Two very common irregular verbs (sum and possum) in the Present tense only are given, which Ovid calls ‘wild verbs’. Nouns (Masculine, Feminine and Neuter) in the first three declensions are given which are again referred to as ‘groups’ with explanations of subject and object rather than the use of Nominative and Accusative, although the term the ‘Dative’ is actually used and explained and reference is also made to it being the indirect object in the clause. The agreement of adjectives is covered as are question words including – ne. Imperatives, prepositional uses, phrases of time and superlatives are all glossed in the vocabulary. Every grammatical structure is explained in a concise and lucid way in Ovid’s inimitable style.

The book contains superb colourful illustrations either on every page or double page by Soham De which will help to enhance the students’ appreciation and enjoyment of each mythological tale.

The ‘Activities’ section at the end of all the chapters will provide students and teachers alike with a wealth of opportunities to explore the appeal of mythology in many different ways. Suggestions cover such areas as thinking about how myths might contain morals, personal responses, creative writing, drama activities, artwork and illustrations and reasons why the theme of metamorphosis has captured the imaginations of artists, sculptors and writers. Readers are encouraged to consider the enduring appeal of these tales and how they can relate to important modern ideas including relationships with other people and looking after the planet. Teachers will easily be able to develop cross-curricular links with many other subjects.

There are some errors which need to be corrected before the next print, the most serious being ‘currus’ termed a group 2 noun on page 63, but these can easily be remedied and will not detract from the reader’s enjoyment of the text.

‘Telling Tales in Latin’ will delight all who read it both visually and from its rich selection of tales. This little book focuses excellently on the importance of literacy and language and makes it a superb and stimulating introduction to learning Latin. Students will be inspired to explore more of Ovid’s stories and their enjoyment of Latin will be increased greatly. It is one of the best Latin course books currently available and will undoubtedly prove to be a great success, particularly with younger children. Congratulations to Lorna Robinson who has produced a real masterpiece, which brings the subject to life.

Thank you to Stephen Addis for allowing us to reproduce his review here in full.

Telling Tales in Latin

Baby name trends hark back to Edwardian era

According to a recent article in The Times, the current craze in baby names harks back to the Edwardian era, with names inspired by nature such as Daisy and Ruby popular for girls, and names with historical military significance such as Harold (Harry) and Alfred (Alfie) making a comeback. In the current top 10 most popular baby names for each gender, seven out of the twenty names listed are from this era, showing that while there is a desire for the unique and unusual (like North West) the appeal for the traditional remains.

Naming and Blessing by Andrew Tawn is a baby name book like no other: as well as providing the origins and meaning of over 500 baby names, it also includes for each one a personal and individual name prayer in the acrostic format. It is the ideal book for prospective parents as they choose a name for their son or daughter; these name prayers can be used at christenings as a gentle affirmation of the connection between your new baby and God. These prayers can also be used at confirmations, weddings, and as your child moves through the important stages of their life.

Take a look at the prayers for a few of the Edwardian-inspired current top 10 baby names:


All the days of your life,
May God bless you,
Encourage and equip you,
Lead and enlighten you,
Instruct and inspire you,
And accompany you always.


Lord, grant Lily your love, peace and purity,
In all she thinks and says and does.
Let her remain always in your protection,
Your guidance and your care.


Heavenly Father,
As you raised your son from death,
Raise Harry from every fall,
Renew in him each day and year
Your Easter life and peace and joy.


As high as the highest star you can see,
Longer than the days of your life,
Further than the furthest place you will go,
In depth deeper than the deepest sea,
Even so may God’s love for you be.

Naming And Blessing coverName prayers taken from Naming and Blessing, © Andrew Tawn 2010. Naming and Blessing by Andrew Tawn is published by Souvenir Press.

Author Corner: Jena Pincott on the Surprising Science of Pregnancy

The latest post in our Author Corner comes from Jena Pincott, author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? The book explores the weird and wonderful science of pregnancy – the why rather than the how-to, and is a fascinating must-read for curious mums- and dads-to-be.

 Her guest blog post tackles 12 old wives’ tales about pregnancy, including morning sickness, baby brain and labour pain. All these and more can be found in her new book Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? which is available now from Souvenir Press in hardcover, paperback and as an e-book.

 Science vs. Pregnancy Myths

Science tackles 12 old wives’ tales about pregnancy.  Guess which ones endure?

Myth #1: Girls steal their mothers’ beauty:  False. You might even argue that being pregnant with a girl enhances your beauty! Statistically speaking, women carrying girls have more sex during pregnancy than those carrying boys.  Our breasts also grow larger when carrying a girl than a boy.

Myth #2:  You’re eating for two. Not really. You’re actually eating for 1.1.  Even in third trimester, this means eating only, say, three bananas more daily than you would pre-pregnancy.

Myth #3:  You’ll crave dirt and clay.  Possibly true. The scientific explanation: Clay seals the stomach — and, in the past, may have helped to protect mother and foetus from toxins, bacteria, and viruses.

Myth #4: Basketballs are boys, watermelons are girls:  False.  Truth is, your belly can be both a basketball and a watermelon during different phases of the pregnancy.  If you’re pregnant with your first child, you’ll carry higher for longer into the pregnancy because the ligaments holding up the baby are tighter.

Myth #5: Girls make us sicker than boys:  Somewhat true.  A hormone called hCG contributes to pregnancy sickness. Generally speaking, female foetuses put out higher levels of hCG than do male foetuses.

Myth #6: More babies come out on a full moon.  False. The full moon doesn’t trigger labour, according to multiple studies that track births and the lunar calendar. (Note:  Nor are more loony people admitted to psych wards at this time.)

Myth #7:  You can induce your own labour.  Mostly false. In studies, most home-induction remedies such as walking, sex, spicy foods, castor oil haven’t had any significant effect on triggering labour.  BUT there is limited evidence that nipple stimulation (breast pumping) helps the process along if you’re already close to going into labour naturally.

Myth #8: The Chinese birth calendar accurately predicts gender.  False. Multiple studies have shown that when it comes to predicting gender, the Chinese birth calendar is no more accurate than flipping a coin.

Myth #9: Babies look like their fathers.  Not necessarily.  Of course some do, but this doesn’t happen as a rule. The strange thing is that we really think babies often look like their dads— possibly because fathers favour look-alikes. From an evolutionary perspective, this may have reduced the risk of infanticide.

Myth #10: Pregnancy is a turn-off for men. Nope. To the contrary, some studies find that men are generally as attracted or more attracted to their wives during pregnancy than beforehand. While couples may not have sex as often as before (expectant fathers may have a lower sex drive), pregnancy is not the turn-off they fear. From an evolutionary perspective, the pregnant woman benefits from her mate’s support, and sex helps couples bond.

Myth #11:  You’ll forget all about the pain.  Maybe. There’s a 50/50 chance that, five years from now, you’ll think labour pains were less painful than they felt at the time.  Only a small percentage of women look back at their labour pain and remember it as worse than they felt at the time.

Myth #12:  You’ll get pregnesia.  Probably. Many (but not all) studies find that pregnant women experience difficulty storing and retrieving memories. This may be due to hormones or the foetus diverting resources to grow her own brain. While your visual memory is intact (in fact, your ability to recognize and remember faces is better than ever), your ability to remember to do what you  say you’re going to do, or recall a name or street address, may be impaired.   Women carrying girls may be especially afflicted.



Literacy Through Latin wins the EU Language Label 2013

We were delighted to learn last week that the Literacy Through Latin project, run by The Iris Project (founded by Lorna Robinson, author of Telling Tales in Latin) has been awarded the EU Language Label 2013 for innovative language teaching projects.

The European Label is an award that encourages new initiatives in the field of teaching and learning languages, rewarding new techniques in language teaching. By supporting innovative projects at a local and national level, the Label seeks to raise the standards of language teaching across Europe. Each year, the Label is awarded to the most innovative language learning projects in each country participating in the scheme.

A judge visited St Saviour’s school in Brixton where the Literacy Through Latin project – and Telling Tales in Latin – was in use in the classroom, to see it in action, and reported:

“This project provides an opportunity for young children to be introduced to Latin, many of whom come from disadvantaged backgrounds and who may not have the opportunity to find out about Latin at any other time of their school career.  The teaching I saw was excellent, based on an exciting programme designed by the Iris project.  In my long career (primary) I have not seen children identifying, analysing and discussing grammar at such a high level as I saw at St. Saviours.”

Lorna Robinson, author of Telling Tales in Latin and founder of the Iris Project was delighted with the news:

“I’m completely over the moon at the news that the Literacy through Latin project has won this prestigious award. The judge who visited St Saviours school in Brixton was delighted at the pupils’ enjoyment of Latin. We have been teaching using our Telling Tales in Latin book at St Saviours and the pupils’ reactions to it have been very positive indeed.”

Congratulations to Lorna and the whole team at The Iris Project on being awarded the EU Language Label 2013 for their Literacy Through Latin programme. To find out more, visit the Iris Project website, or order a copy of Telling Tales in Latin today.

Telling Tales in Latin

Address Unknown at the Soho Theatre: What the Papers Say

If you are a regular reader of our Take Home a Souvenir blog, no doubt you will have seen last month’s blog post about Address Unknown, the book by Katherine Kressmann Taylor, now taken to the stage at the Soho Theatre. With performances in French and English (though the French performances have now finished their run), this fascinating play is garnering rave reviews from all sections of the press.

Take a look at the round up of reviews for Address Unknown at the Soho Theatre:

“Address Unknown is a poignant story of broken friendship that deals in high tragedy while refusing to slip into melodrama. … Steve Marmion’s production effectively emphasises the frustrating sense of helplessness that comes from the distance between the characters, with snippets of broadcasts and radio static adding to the mounting tension.” – Evening Standard, 4 stars.

“A shockingly potent story that is well worth hearing, and one that reminds how easily politics, prejudice and circumstance destroy lives.” – The Guardian, 3 stars.

“An absorbing hour that offers a vivid depiction of how a sense of betrayal can lead to desperate measures.” – The Times, 3 stars.

“A must see.” – One Stop Arts, 4 stars.

“A stunning play … It’s a powerful piece, well staged and well acted … Essential viewing for our modern times.” – The Gay UK, 4 stars.

“Normally a home primarily to new writing, the theatre has taken a gamble on staging a 75-year-old play. And that gamble has paid off. … a provocative and devastating hour of friendship and betrayal.” – A Younger Theatre.

Address Unknown is showing at the Soho Theatre until 27th July. You can book tickets now, and be sure to pick up a copy of the book before you see the play!

address unknown