Category Archives: books

In August We Love…..

Lil Sis L.O.L Dolls


The girls were over the moon to receive once of these to open. We did a Instagram live and I totally forgot you couldn’t download it afterwards *face palm*

They had a great time opening the doll and had even more fun plunging her in iced water to make her pants change colour!



It has 5 layers which includes a secret message sticker. It also comes with a large accessory  and a small accessory. The ball it comes with also turns into a keyring which is rather fun.

There are 45 to collect and cost £5.99


Yoga Babies by Fearne Cotton and Sheena Dempsey


Little Miss was sent a copy of the new books from Fearne Cotton and it is gorgeous. The illustrations by Sheena Dempsey are stunning and the book reads well.

Little Miss made me read it 12 times in a roll and is now obsessed with trying the yoga poses the children do in the book.

Yoga Babies is available from the 7th September.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cloudy Apple juice


Cawston Press has joined forces with Penguin Books and The Very Hungry Caterpillar for their new apple juice water. The juice comprises 50% Cawston Press apple juice and 50% water.

The girls loved them as i knew they would and they do love apple juice. They have been great for picnics and day trips and they would be great for lunch boxes if you send juice cartoons in with your children’s lunches.

It doesn’t contain sweeteners and is not made form concentrate.

They are available from Ocado, Waitrose and Tesco and cost £1.89 for a pack of three.

Bellini Popsicles


Grown up ice lollies!! I picked these up in Aldi for £2.99 and they are divine and very alcoholic.

They are also available in Gin & Tonic.


What have you been loving this month?



Book Review: Miffy at the Seaside

We do love a Miffy book in this house, so we were over the moon when we were sent Miffy at the Seaside. Little Miss had me read 10 times in a row!!



The thing I love best about Miffy books are the illustrations, you can look at any page and even if Miffy isn’t in the scene you know its a Miffy book. The books are always high quality with lovely thick paper and brightly printed illustrations. The girls instinctively handle it  care so not to rip the pages or damage it in anyway.

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The story as always is charming and both girls enjoyed it. All Miffy books make great gifts, this one in particular would make the perfect book for travelling on holiday.

You can find all Miffy’s books on

2 Copies of Kids Don’t Come with a Manual by Carole and Nadim Saad

Kids don’t come with a manual but I wish they would! I can wing it most of the time but the girls are hitting some key tantrum ages. Little Miss has just turned two and so quick minded and stubborn and BG is 6 going on 16!

Kids Don't Come With Manuals

Kids Don’t Come with a Manual by Carole and Nadim Saad is released tomorrow and its a really good book. Its based on real experiences. I am really enjoying this book and I am learning how to cope and react better to situations.  Its not condescending or preachy, just full of great advice and techniques.  Of course I just have to put them into practice now!

It gets the thumbs up from the Parent Panel.

Carole and Nadim also have a few parenting app called Best of Parenting that is worth checking out.

They have kindly given me two copies of the book to giveaway to celebrate release day tomorrow.

To enter follow the instructions below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Parragon Book Buddies: Hold That Thought Milton

Hold That Thought Milton by Linda Ravin Lodding and Ross Collins is a very funny book indeed. Poor Milton his frog is missing and no one will take the time to listen to him. It’s the day before his Aunt’s wedding and they are all too busy to take any notice.

Hold that Thought, Milton!

We read this on a train to London and the people in the seats around us were listening intently and laughed with us at the end.

The story is great and reminded just a little bit of an old favourite of my Not Now Bernard. The illustrations are brilliant.

BG really enjoyed this book and it was read several times on our journey. She couldn’t pin point one particular bit she liked she said ‘it’s all good mummy’

Hold That Thought Milton gets big thumbs up from us.

Thumbs Ups

The Great Carrot Cake Catastrophe which we love is now available as an ebook  on ibooks, Kobo and nook. We downloaded a copy onto our ipad and it’s just as brilliant and you can listen to the story or read along.

Owly Images

Paragon Book Buddies Review February

Technically this January and February sorry Parragon Books!

BG took the first book to school to be read in class and it was in a queue.

The first book we were sent was Muddypaws: New Friends

Muddypaws’ New Friends

When Muddypaw’s best friend Ben goes to school he has to stay at home. One day Ben takes him to puppy school where he makes new friends.

It a really sweet story.

BG took this to school and they all loved it. They laughed when the puppies go splashing in the puddles.

This book gets the big thumbs up from BG and her class!

We were then sent some of the new DINO SUPERSAURUS activity books.

There are three in the set Stickersaurus, doodlesaurus and superpower colouring £3.99.

We were sent Stickersaurus and superpower colouring to try out.


The Stickersaurus was BG’s favourite. It opens up and has 7 large stories in it and you add the stickers to the pages. There are 50 stickers and they are reusable. It also comes with a stretchy dino on the the front.

The Superpower Colouring book is brilliant its not just a colouring book . You follow the story in comic book form colouring in and finishing the parts of the story as you go. It also comes with a flipbook on the front.

These would be perfect to help beat the boredom in the Easter Holidays.

Big thumbs up from us!

Thumbs Ups

Psst the Superpower Colouring book is only £1.99 at The Works at the moment!

5 Copies of Project Space to be Won

As our Project Ancient Egypt giveaway was so successful and tomorrow is World Book Day Miles Kelly Publishing has given us 5 copies of Project Space to giveaway.

This book is packed with super cool facts, hands-on activities and flaps to lift. Covering a wide range of topics, including the Big Bang, stars and galaxies, and the Solar System, each spread features vibrant photos, stunning artwork and fun cartoons. The step-by-step illustrated projects encourage practical learning, and the spectacular fold-out pages allow children to delve deeper into space than ever before.

Learn how to:

  • Make a model to watch an eclipse
  • Launch a balloon rocket
  • Go on a hunt for space rocks

To enter just follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget below.

Closing Date: 26th March 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

World Book Day Author’s Writing Tips & A Chance to Win A Set of Books

World Book Day is on Thursday and BG is very excited about dressing up at School and spending her £1 Boom Token.


Building on the success of last year’s The Biggest Book Show On Earth, World Book Day 2014 sees the launch of an exciting and brand new pre-recorded TV show format. Available online for the whole of March it includes all the wonderful World Book Day authors and illustrators.

Schools, parents and children across the nation can register to register, log on and enjoy watching it together at a time that suit.

Compared by CBBC’s Dick and Dom, the show features World Book Day authors and illustrators.

Biggest Book Show

Some of the World Book Day authors have kindly shared some top tips for budding writers and illustrators:

David Melling

People always ask me what the best writing tip I’ve ever been given is. my knee-jerk response to that question is: do a little each day. It’s very important. Kids often ask me ‘how do you do that?’ when I draw, and it all comes down to a little each day. It’s like learning to play a musical instrument or a sport. You don’t pick up your tennis racquet one day and be volleying, hitting winning shots the next. The more you practice the better you get, and that’s the same with writing and drawing.

I also always keep note and sketchbooks, an idea might come from one simple illustration. I’m constantly drawing and redrawing these characters as they evolve. With Jack Frost, I was very conscious that I wanted to do a proper ‘Once upon a time…’ picture book so there’s no set rule or pattern but I always use the note or sketchbook as a starting point.

Alex T Smith

Some tips for drawing and writing:

Don’t assume that professional illustrators always know how to draw – I had to learn to draw bicycle a couple of years ago. Even pros have to learn and practice!

Always remember that when drawing you aren’t imitating life – your drawings don’t have to be realistic! Claude’s eyebrows are above his head, you wouldn’t see that in real life!

When I’m writing I might do some tiny doodles about how it would work as a book spread to help me keep track of my ideas. I really get going with the pictures when the text is complete. I’m always very keen on the idea that if you can say something with pictures then go for it.

Did you always know you wanted to be a writer and an artist?

Yes, always. I’ve always loved books and luckily came from a very bookish family. I’ve also always loved drawing. I can remember the very first picture I drew – I was very very young and I was sitting at the dining table on my mum’s lap and I drew a teddy bear. It was really just a couple of very wobbly circles and a bit of scribble but I knew it was a teddy bear and told my mum exactly what was going on in my picture. From then on I was hooked and have had a pencil in my hand pretty much all the time since then!

Emily Gravett’s Top Five Writing Tips

1) Often I find that just getting to know my character will give me ideas for a story. I begin by writing down and drawing everything I know about them on a sheet of paper.

2) To get a really good resolution for a story I like to brainstorm. To do this write down your challenge or obstacle in the middle of a sheet of paper then as quickly as you can write down as many ways as you can think of to solve your problem.

3) Ending your story – Sometimes it’s worth writing down a few different endings for your story. Some happy, some sad, some funny. Try them all out. Most of the time one of them will leap out at you as the ‘right’ ending.

4) It’s good to write down ideas as you get them (or they tend to vanish). I use my sketchbook, but I also have a box to put more chunky ideas in. Even things that might spark ideas like packaging, buttons etc.

5) Finally, I think it’ important to keep re-reading aloud what you have written. Reading aloud helps you hear the rhythm of your story, and highlights any snaggy areas that need work.


The books your child can buy with their book tokens this year are:

Hello, Hugless Douglas!, David Melling (Hodder)

Emily Gravett’s Little Book Day Parade, Emily Gravett (Macmillan)

Barry Loser: I am not nit a Loser, Jim Smith (Egmont)

Fun With the Worst Witch, Jill Murphy (Puffin Books)

A Laura Marlin Mystery: The Midnight Picnic, Lauren St John (Orion)

Horrible Histories: Terrible Trenches, Terry Deary, illustrated by Martin Brown (Scholastic)

Middle School: How I Got Lost in London, James Patterson (Young Arrow)

Jack Pepper, Sarah Lean (HarperCollins)

Rock War: The Audition, Robert Muchamore (Hodder)

The Boy in the Smoke, Maureen Johnson (Hot Key Books)

World Book Day Books

I have a set of these books to give away to one lucky winner.

To enter just follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget below:

Closing Date: 18th March 2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway