Tuesday, 27 May 2014

A Day WIth Barbapapa by Annette Tison & Talus Taylor

My Review

A big hip hip hooray for a chunky Barbapapa tabbed board book! Just perfect for sharing with rough little fingers and making brand new Barbapapa fans!

My 17 month old LOVES this book and he just adores nothing more than to flip back and forth pointing to his favourite Barbababy - he's a big Barbabeau fan!

The storyline takes us through a day in the life of the Barbapapa family. We get to see what each Barbababy is good at, they all have their own unique talent. The day even winds down with a family bed-time story.

There is a lovely little message in any Barbapapa book - that everyone is different and also that everybody is good a doing different things.

A Day With Barbapapa is a really wonderful story. It's bright, colourful and it's unique illustrations make it stand out from the crowd. Just perfect for any toddler!

5 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Orchard for the review copy*

Monday, 26 May 2014

Goodnight Pirate by Michelle Robinson & Mick East

My Review

We love, love, LOVE Goodnight Pirate! My 17 month old simply adores it, he picks it up at lots of different times throughout the day and brings it over to be read. He sits quietly (shocking!) and his eyes light up. It's fair to say it's his favourite book.

This Goodnight book is about a little boy, who is tidying up his pirate toys to get ready for bed. While tidying he veers off on a last minute swash buckling adventure before winding down nicely for a sleepy ending.

The text is really gorgeous and rhymes in a really fantastic sing-songy way. We loved the little build-up bit in the middle - it causes some great excitement.

The illustrations are quite simply fabulous! The Little boy is ever soooo cute and we adored seeing his pirating adventure unfolding so vibrantly before our eyes.

Goodnight Pirate is a BIG winner! We wonder if there will be more Goodnight books....

5 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Puffin for the review copy*

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Scooter Bee & Scooter Bug by Marion Billet

My Review

Okay, not going to lie, it wouldn't matter what was inside these books because....they have whizzy wheels!! Hooray! You can zoom and broom them all over the place and it really is such fun!

Scooter Bug is a lovely little lady bug that goes on a big scooting mission. She goes through the town, past the postman...then arrives at her friends house in time for a birthday tea.

Scooter Bee is in the park playing ball when disaster strikes. A naughty dog
steals the ball and he has to go on a big scooting adventure around the park to get it back. We loved trying to find where the naughty dog was hiding on each page.

Each book rhymes and flows so beautifully. The text is also short, sweet and perfect for twitchy little folks...who just want to whizz on those wheels. Each page is also super duper vibrant and there is so much to discover and explore.

Scooter Bee and Scooter Bug are fantastic little whizzy board books that boys and girls everywhere will love!

5 /5 stars

*Special thanks to Campbell for the review copy*

Thursday, 15 May 2014

I Love Cats & I Love Dogs by Emma Dodd

 My Review

Aww, I Love Cats and I Love Dogs are ever such cute reads! There is something for everyone nestled among these pages and everyone will have the best of fun finding their favourites.

Each book takes the reader on a big bouncy rhyming ride filled with either cats or dogs. There are big, small, spotty, snappy, snuffly, loud, soft and cuddly cats and dogs to be found - and many many more.

Our favourite cat just had to be those puffy, ball-of-fluffy cats! We also loved the greedy...weedy, needy dogs.

Emma Dodd's illustrations are bold, bright and stand out from the crowd. We oohed and ahhed at all those super cute cats, dogs and of course the lovely little lady in the story.

I Love Cats and I Love Dogs are both super happy reads that are the best for reading out loud and with great enthusiasm. They are perfect for all those animal loving families out there.

We always hooray at the arrival of a new Emma Dodd book...can't wait fore the next!

5 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Orchard for the review copy*

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Red Early Readers!

Horrid Henry's Wedding by Francesca Simon & illustrated by Tony Ross

Horrid Henry's Wedding is a red early reader book and if I'm honest it has taken us quite a while to master. My 5 year old daughter wasn't quite ready to make the move from blue to red early readers yet - but she was very determined to do it herself!

As you can imagine with anything Horrid Henry related - it's hilarious! This storyline sees Henry become a page boy for his older cousin Prissy Polly's wedding and he's anything but thrilled. There are a lot of tantrums, funny outfits, mishaps and brilliant Horrid Henry antics!

The ending is rather funny indeed!

Horrid Henry's Wedding is a great book for children to read or for sharing together. It full of laughs and fantastic illustrations. A must read for Horrid Henry fans everywhere.

4 / 5 Stars

Monstar Finds a Home by Steve Cole & illustrated by Pete Williamson

Monstar Finds a Home is another fab red early reader and like Horrid Henry's Wedding, my 5 year old found it a little on the difficult side. What child doesn't like a challenge though and slowly but surely she got there - yay!

Jon and Jen's parents are scientists. Their experiments are a little on the wild side and never seem to go quite as planned. The siblings really want a pet but when their parents suggest inventing them one....they don't know what to think....anything could happen.

When their parents emerge form their secret lab, they are introduced to....Monstar!

Monstar is a pet with a difference. He gets up to all sorts of mischief, which makes mum and dad angry. But when disaster strikes she barrels in to save the day!

Monstar Finds a Home is a great story for sharing with the early reader in your life. It's fun, charming, full of surprise...even peril. We enjoyed going on an adventure with Monstar - who gets into all sorts of trouble.

4 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Orion for the review copy*

Monday, 5 May 2014

Kipper's Birthday by Mick Inkpen

My Review

Wow! I actually can't believe Kipper's 25! He's as old as me and still as fresh and exciting as ever! I love being able to share my much loved stories with my own children.

Kipper's Birthday is a truly glorious story that is not only charming, but packs a big punch emotionally. I felt so dearly for Kipper, who's silly birthday invitation mistake had him feeling like none of his friends wanted to come. We loved seeing his friends rally together and try to work out the confusion.

Our favourite part was the baking of the cake....which Kipper truly done to the best of his ability....well, for his very first attempt anyway. Also the birthday present surprise.

Kipper's Birthday is a book I could wholeheartedly recommend. It's full of warmth, humour, silliness and the very best of illustrations. So go pick it up today - you'll be in for a treat.

5 / 5 Stars

*Special thanks to Hodder for the review copy*

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Hour of the Doomed Dog by Sam Hay - Blog Tour!


Hour of the Doomed Dog is the eighth and last in the hugely popular spooky but sweet series by Sam Hay, Undead Pets. From budgies to guinea pigs, Joe has helped lots of pets pass to the other side...

This book tells the story of Frankfurter, a sausage dog who needs Joe's help before he can pass over. Moments before his encounter with a revolving door, Frankie overheard two men plotting to burgle the hotel that is run by his owner. Frankie needs Joe's help to stop the robbery and bring the criminals to justice.

About the Author

Sam Hay is the author of the Undead Pets series, published by Stripes. The latest book in the series - Hour of the Doomed Dog is out now.

Sam grew up in Scotland and worked as a journalist before becoming a children’s author. She has written more than 20 books and lives in Wales with her family in a not-very-spooky-looking house. 

Guest Post


There aren’t any creepy old houses or ivy-clad graveyards in the Undead Pets series. There are no jangling skeletons or ghastly ghouls. And the zombie critters who come back to haunt ten year-old Joe Edmunds are more silly than scary. But sometimes, as Joe discovers, it’s the stuff you don’t think will be frightening that turns out to be the creepiest of all!

I live in a 1970’s house. There are no flagstone floors or low-beamed ceilings. No dark cellars or secret tunnels. It looks absolutely nothing like a haunted house. And yet, we’ve got a ghost. One that snores!

Okay I know snoring is not as good as chain-rattling. But it’s still a bit spooky.

We know it’s not us doing the snoring. Or the kids. Or the pets. And it can’t be our neighbours as we haven’t got any. Our loft is titchy - there’s no space for a snoring squatter. And it’s not mating hedgehogs. We had them last year and it’s a completely different noise.

I lie there in the dark sometimes, wondering whether it’s the ghost of some old man-of-the-road, who used to winter on the land where they built our house. Maybe he’s grumpy that his sleeping-spot’s been gazumped - and he’s come back to haunt us.

You see, sometimes it’s the small stuff; the things you can’t see, only hear, or perhaps just sense, that can make you the most sweaty...

Stuff like:

Your own back garden, at night!

I’ve always found it odd that the back gardens look different in the dark. Shadows. Strange shapes. The ghastly creak of a swing moving in the wind.... Utterly terrifying!


Maybe I watched too many teenage slasher movies in the 80s, but campsites have always given me the willies. Try taking a torch and venturing off into the woods at dusk. Rustling leaves. Creature noises. The sound of breaking twigs. It’s like someone’s stalking you!


If you survive the forest go somewhere busy. Places with lots of people can be super scary too. If you lose sight of your friends in a packed theme park or at a festival it’s un-nerving. Strangers look...well, strange. If you panic you’ll probably lose your bearings... Did I turn left at the port-a-loos or right at the falafel stand? Until eventually you start wondering whether you’ll ever find your way home again? I reckon there’s an army of people who’ve spent years trying to find the exit at Alton Towers.

Your siblings’ bedroom!

When I was a kid there was nothing creepier than nosing around in my big brother’s bedroom, uninvited. NOTHING! At any moment I expected to feel a hand on my shoulder. A scream of ‘What are you doing in here!’ followed by a dead-leg, a wrist burn and a skull crunch. Imagining this still makes me shudder. I’m 41.


I think museums should come with a health warning.


All museums scare me. I feel I’m being watched. And not by the gift-shop CCTV. The two scariest museums I’ve been to are The House of Detention - a 300 year old prison in Clerkenwell, which is closed now. Thank goodness. It was WAY too scary to stay open. And Usk Rural Life Museum, in Wales, which is quite an unlikely haunt-fest as it’s mostly full of old milk churns and farm tools. But when I stepped inside, there was a sudden blast of cold air, and a deadly hush, like I’d just interrupted a ghostly meeting. All eyes were on

me! Actually there really were some eyes on me because the museum had quite a few dressed-up dummies. Which brings me on to the ultimate scariest thing in the world....


I can’t stand them. If we go to a museum I have to send my kids in first to check out how scary the mannequins look. I think it’s the eyes; that glassy dead-eyed stare. It’s bad enough when the dummies are just dressed up and not doing anything. But if they move... Noooo! Moving Waxworks SHOULD NOT be allowed.

And it’s not just me. Lots of people don’t like waxworks. There’s even a name for this fear. Automatonophobia. Apparently it’s the lack of facial expressions that gives us the sweats. And chances are, if you don’t like waxworks, you won’t like dolls or masks much either.

Adults often tell children they’ll grow out of their fears. But I didn’t. The older I get the more stuff scares me. I reckon your imagination grows up, with you. I’m secretly quite glad because it makes the world a more exciting place. If there was a rational explanation for everything - how dull! That’s why I’m happy to lie in bed at night and listen to our ghostly man-of-the-road snoring. I think I’ll maybe even miss him this summer, if he takes off to go a-wandering again.


Some common fears, as well as some unusual ones!

The Dark








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