Category Archives: books

3 Copies of The Middle School by James Patterson to be Won

The third instalment from the Middle School series from world best-selling author James Patterson, as the hilarious MIDDLE SCHOOL: MY BROTHER IS A BIG FAT LIAR was released yesterday and we have three copies to giveaway.

middle school

Georgia Khatchadorian plans to excel at Hills Village Middle School in all the places her troublemaking brother failed. She’s even bet him that she’ll quickly become one of the most popular girls in school. But Rafe left a big mark at HVMS, and no one will give Georgia a chance! Even worse, Rafe has sneakily signed up her band to play at the school dance, and she’s terrified to embarrass herself in front of the snooty ‘Princesses’ who run the school and the boy who’s caught her eye.

To win a copy of MIDDLE SCHOOL: MY BROTHER IS A BIG FAT LIAR just follow the instructions in the rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Little Miss Gets a Library Card

In the last few weeks Little Miss’s love for books has grown. She has gone from walking around with them in her mouth to throwing a book and herself onto my lap so I can read for her. It is very cute though after reading the same book 30’s times it does get a little repetitive. I thought this was probably then perfect time to get her a library card.

LM Library card

I think the local library is a really important thing to have in community, its a place were everyone can go. I am really aware that a lot of our local libraries are being closed down and I really scared if we don’t use them we will lose them.

Since BG has started school we haven’t visited as often I would like so I am making an effort to go at least once a fortnight with Little Miss, ideally once a week but life gets busy. The plan is to get Little Miss some new books each time and I am going to get out a book once a month to read. I am doing #theyearinbooks on my blog and want to read more this year.

BG gets reading books from school and has a pile of books for bedtime stories we are working through so we have said that will we save her library trips for the school breaks and she can choose her own reading books. Its tough to fit in trips around school and other commitments in term time.

Our local library is really good. The staff are really helpful, there is a nice children’s area and they have story time on a Tuesday afternoon which I will take Little Miss as she gets older.

Do you use your library?


Parragon Book Buddies: The Carrot Cake Catastrophe

Our latest book from Parragon is The Carrot Cake Catastrophe by Elizabeth Dale.

Jenny’s grandad has come to babysit her on her mummy’s birthday. Jenny really wants to make her mummy a really special surprise present and together she and Grandad make a Carrot Cake. But Grandad’s glasses get messed up and Jenny’s not that good at reading, and somehow all the wrong ingredients are added… 

BG found this book hilarious she couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. She read this with her daddy and I could hear them giggling the whole time.

The pictures are lovely and the story is nice. There is also a recipe for carrot cake at the back of the book and I have promised we will make them soon.

I asked BG what she thought of the book:

What did you think of the book?

It’s really funny.

What was your favourite part?

When they kept putting the wrong ingredients in.

Its double thumbs up from BG again.

The Carrot Cake Catastrophe

Parragon Book Buddies: Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear

Our latest book from Parragon Books is Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear by Tracey Corderoy.

Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear

Poor Big Brown Bear doesn’t want to hibernate as he will miss all the fun in Autumn and Winter so his friends promise to wake him.  When things don’t go to plan they have to find an alternative way to share the fun with their friend.

It’s a really sweet story and as always with books from Parragon Books the illustrations are beautiful.  BG and I snuggled down to read this book and this is what she thought:

What did you think of the book?

It was really good

What was your favourite part?

When they were in the snow

Was there anything bit you didn’t like?

No I liked it all

Parragon Book Buddies

BG gives it the thumbs up.

You can buy Wakey Wakey Big Brown Bear by Tracey Corderoy at Amazon for £5.64.

We are really looking forward to our next book as it’s going to be a Christmas one. BG really loves the books we are being sent, last week she took The Adventures of the Owl and The Pussy Cat to school for story time and they all loved it.


Parragon Book Buddies: The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat

Our latest book from Parragon Books is the stunningly illustrated book The Adventures of the Owl and the Pussycat written by Coral Rumble and illustrated by Charlotte Cooke.

The story based on the poem The Owl and The Pussycat is about the adventures you can have just using your imagination.

It is the sweetest story and the illustrations are wonderful we really enjoy reading through the book.

I asked BG what she thought of the book:

‘It’s really good mummy’

What is your favourite part?

‘The bit with the octopus’

What do you think of the drawings?

‘They are lovely mummy’

BG gives it a big thumbs up.

BG Thumbs Up Book

You can purchase The Adventure of the Owl and the Pussycat RRP £5.99 from Amazon

Other Book Buddies Reviews:

Three Little Dinosaurs 

Book By Bloggers: The Journey Through Assessment and Food and Your Special Needs Child by Antonia Chitty


I haven’t had a Book by Bloggers for a while and I am so happy to introduce Antonia Chitty to you. Who has a new book out this month. I worked with Antonia for just over two years and she has written some brilliants books.

I’ve been writing books for around five years now. I started by writing some factsheets for PR clients, and a couple of people in quick succession said that I could turn them into a book. I’d always wanted to write a book, and this seemed like a great way to use some of the spare time I had while I was on maternity leave with my second child. I self published A guide to Promoting Your Business which worked brilliantly: I could use my PR skills to promote it, and it generated plenty of speaking and training engagements too.

I mainly worked with mums running businesses, which was the basis of the idea for my next book. The success of  A guide to Promoting Your Business gave me the confidence to pitch to a publisher and I was really excited when I got a book deal to write Family Friendly Working, a book all about helping mums and dads find flexible ways to work or start their own business.  Once the book was completed, though, I continued to gather bits of news and research on the same topics, so it made sense to add a blog to the website I’d created for the book. I added little snippets to the site on a regular basis, often daily, and soon it made sense that the blog should be the first page people would see on the site, rather than just an add-on.

I had a difficult pregnancy with my third child, during which I spent a lot of time just sitting. Blogging was the perfect way to fill the time, and so the blog grew. I had worked on Which? magazine so it was easy to take some of the things I’d learnt about how magazines run and apply them to the blog. I decided to run regular profiles of parents with businesses:  we all like reading about how other people do it. Now the site covers business opportunities, book reviews, profiles of parents with businesses as well as fun, food and family posts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, with a mix of fashion, cooking, competitions and news of events. Interspersed between these regular slots we include business advice and are always open for guest posts on topics related to parenting, work and enterprise.

So far, so good … but I had ambitions to keep on writing. When a friend, Victoria Dawson, said that she’d always wanted to write a book about special needs, it seemed like a great idea to collaborate. Vicki is a special needs teacher who has lots of other skills and qualifications too, and we teamed up to write Special Needs The Essential Guide, the first of seven books I’ve written for Need2Know books. Vicki and I have since written books on topics from sight loss (I used to be an optometrist) to insomnia (Vicki is a sleep practitioner)!

The Journey through assessment

A year or more ago another publisher for whom I’d already written two business books approached me with the idea of a new series of books on topics relating to special needs. The publisher was particularly interested in an in-depth book on food and special needs, and Vicki and I put our heads together and also suggested a book on being assessed for special needs and one on sleep. In all these area we knew parents needed more information, and few publishers were prepared to focus on the special needs area.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the first two books in the series came out. The Journey Through Assessment tackles the difficult issues parents face when they suspect something may be wrong with their child, but are unsure where to turn. It also helps parents who are navigating health and social care as they try to get their child assessed. We’ve tried to ensure that the books are full of clear explanations and practical advice and they are compiled after extensive research and interviews with parents.

We want to create a resource to support parents at a difficult time. The assessment process can be confusing for parents. They often meet a range of professionals which may be stressful and confusing. Considering that your child may have an additional need can be extremely distressing. So many parents have said how helpful it would be to read other parents accounts, and this has inspired the book.

The second book in the series, Food and Your Special Needs Child is a practical guide for parents living with the additional issues involving food often found in children with special needs. In typically developing children, eating problems are relatively common, affecting 20-40% of children. In children with special educational needs and disabilities, eating problems can be even more common; often severe and taking many different forms. Aimed at tackling issues in children aged between two and nineteen, use this book to discover the origins of how we eat, get practical tips from experts, and read what has worked for other parents in similar situations.

Foods and your special needs children

A third book, Sleep and Your Special Needs Child, will be published in 2014, and we’re hoping that the series sells well enough that we can write a fourth book about transition to adult services.

The books are available from Amazon and via book shops. To see all Antonia’s books as well as those on special needs, check out her Amazon page. 


Parragon Book Buddies: Three Little Dinosaurs by Charles Fuge

We are Parragon Book Buddies and every month they send us a new book to read and review. Our latest book is Three Little Dinosaurs by Charles Fuge (£5.99).

It’s a really lovely little book about three dinosaur friends that want to fly. The illustrations are beautiful and really make this book.

Three Little Dinosaurs

I asked BG what she thought of the book and this is what she said:

Did you like this book? Yes (Girl of little words)

What was your best part of the story? All of it

What do you think of the pictures? They are very pretty

I think that’s a thumbs up from BG.

We have read this book several times and BG is not bored yet which is always a good sign.

We look forward to our next book!

Three Little Dinosaurs by Charles Fuge can be purchased from