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Children’s notebook: Clear conscience

Children’s clothes that ease the conscience plus three of the best boys casual shoes.

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CLEAR CONSCIENCE That bag of bargain children’s clothes you hastily bought in your lunch hour no longer needs to leave you with an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach. Continuing its initiative with Unicef, H&M will donate 25 per cent of sales from its All for Children collection to projects that promote children’s education and protection overseas. The autumn/winter collection, which goes on sale on September 29, has a mix of contemporary classic and fashion–forward clothes, all at pocket–friendly prices. Highlights shown right include the leather jacket with shearling, £34.99, riding boots, £19.99, pink faux fur gilet, £14.99, and red dress, £17.99 (0844–736 9000; hm.com).

EASY AS ABC Small people on the verge of learning their letters may like Operation Alphabet (Thames and Hudson, £9.95) as a bedtime story this term. The first in a series of Ministry of Letters books by the London–based advertising creative Al MacCuish, the story tells of a little boy with a serious case of Alphabet–a–heebie–jeebies, cured by the Special Alphabet Service, a more stylised, less irritating letter version of the Numberjacks. Beautiful, muted colours and retro illustrations make this book a real pleasure for grown–ups too.

BABYCCINO TO GO I sometimes wonder how much of my life has been spent waiting for children’s pizzas in restaurants while mopping up apple juice and picking up crayons from the floor. I have never made it to the babyccino stage – to me that little cup of frothy milk means prolonging purgatory – but the dinky new KeepCup XS means you can now grab the drink and run for it. Originally developed as an alternative to disposable takeaway coffee cups, the cups come in four sizes. Best of all, they are leakproof, so no more dripping handbags when you make your hasty exit (£6.20, keepcup.com).

ANIMAL MAGIC The American ethical label Rogues Gallery has teamed up with Green Baby this month for an exclusive range of six unisex T–shirts featuring wild animals. Produced using a water–based printing method, they cost £18 (ages two to eight, greenbaby.com).

SWEETER SOUNDS I have always banned synthetically remastered baby music in our house. So while I was ready to steer well clear of Music for Baby, I have to admit that when the director Karen Eaves thrust a pair of earphones on me and persuaded me to listen at a recent trade fair, I really liked it. Unlike much music marketed at parents of young children, this is played on real instruments and the material is not oversimplified. Try Singalong Songs for classic nursery rhymes that will not send you mad, Bounce Around for samba, and if you can handle it, Jazz Nursery Rhymes for scatting to the Muffin Man (£10 each, musicforbaby.co.uk).

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