Zoe & Beans Board Books

June 22, 2013 in Book Reviews, Kids, Young Children

zoe and beans


We have a few books in the ‘Zoe and Beans’ collection and they are a real hit with both Sophie (two) and especially Jonny (four). Chloe and Mick Inkpen really do know how to appeal to a younger audience as, even though I have to admit that sometimes I don’t really get the stories, Jonny finds them absolutely hilarious and wants to read them again and again. He loves the style of illustration and how they and the text are creatively used on the page.

Two new chunky board books have just been released that are perfect for little destructive hands and may survive that bit longer than the paper books. They are aimed at a slightly younger age than the picture books but both the kids love them.

‘Look at Me!’ is all about Zoe and Oscar dressing up (eventually with a bit of cross dressing). Jonny follows the words and the way the ‘Beep beep’ of the robot is written, with the funny picture makes him hysterical. Even Sophie finds them funny, especially the pirate with a duck on his shoulder. As for Beans… Poor Beans who ends up wearing necklaces.

I think ‘How many pets?’ is probably my favourite out of the books we have. Sophie is pretty good on her numbers and this book is more creative than others. The numbers are dotted around the page and, although it is clear enough for Sophie to spot, it introduces another element, rather than most counting books which are set out the same way every page. Another thing I like is how the rhymes don’t necessarily follow the numbers in the same way, so you don’t get rhyming words for every number. Our favourite is definitely the tortoise…

Maybe, just maybe, I have become a convert to Zoe and Beans… One thing’s for sure, the kids adore them!

Copies of the books were received free of charge for our consideration. All opinions are entirely our own and, as always, completely honest.

Lucy Ladybird by Sharon King-Chai

June 20, 2013 in Book Reviews, Kids, Young Children



This book has been a huge hit with Sophie who has recently turned two. The size of the book allows for big, colourful illustrations that are perfect for young children. The pages are full of interest without being too cluttered. Even the leaves on the front cover are all different and we’ve spent ages pointing out different colours and patterns.

Little Lucy Ladybird has no spots and she wants to be like everyone else. No one wants to be her friend. She leaves home and passes through the different seasons meeting different creatures before returning home.

The book is so beautifully illustrated with each season and Jonny (four) has loved talking about what changes through the year. There is lots to look at on each page and the creatures Lucy meets encourage Sophie to practise her speech and counting. There is a perfect amount of text on each page for her to remain focused.

The end page is, in particular, lovely and we notice different things all the time.

This is a book with a moral to it that you can relate to everyday life. Anything that helps instil morals in children has to be good!

There’s even a website to get Lucy Ladybird activities on. Brilliant!

A copy of Lucy Ladybird was received free of charge for our consideration. All opinions expressed are entirely our own and, as always, completely honest.

Lunchtime Blog Tour *GIVEAWAY*

February 6, 2013 in Blog Tours, Closed Giveaways, Young Children

Back in May of last year Liz and Jonny reviewed a fantastic book Lunchtime, by Rebecca Cobb.

Today we are HUGELY excited to be part of the Lunchtime Blog Tour. Every day this week different blogs are hosting the Lunchtime Blog Tour and today it’s our turn.

Rebecca Cobb is most definitely a rising star in children’s picture books. She has collaborated with Helen Dunmore, Richard Curtis and the Childrens’ Laureate Julia Donaldson, as well as partaking in successful solo adventures such as the brilliant Lunchtime.

It is therefore with great excitement that today, to celebrate the launch of Lunchtime in paperback, we are giving away a *SIGNED* copy of Rebecca’s book! Yeup, you could get your hands on a signed paperback copy of Lunchtime!

To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize simply complete the rafflecopter entry form below.  EASY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Be sure to pop over and visit all the other Lunchtime Blog Tour blogs this week…..who knows what you might find? 😀

Thank you to Macmillan for asking us to take part in the blog tour and for providing the prize for this giveaway. As always all opinions expressed are entirely our own and, of course, completely honest.

Zoe and Beans: Hello Oscar!

November 15, 2012 in Young Children

We have a couple of ‘Zoe and Beans’ stories in our house and so were delighted to receive this new book Hello Oscar.
The text is so clever and its slightly strange story appeals not only to young readers but to adults as well; ‘ “Woof!” said Beans. “Squeak”, said the guinea pig. And off they went to find a carrot.’  Saying that, this narrative is slightly stranger than past books and I have to admit to liking Pants on the Moon more. That said Jonny thinks this book is hilarious, it obviously appeals to his sense of humour!
The story is full of lots of interesting animals that certainly teach children about the world they live in, and the illustrations, as always, are gorgeous and interestingly laid out on the page. Jonny loves the ‘randomness’ of the book and it appeals to his strange way of thinking.
Jonny (three) and Sophie (seventeen months) both love the book and we have read it many times.  Plus, Jonny is starting to learn his phonics so the repeated words between Zoe and the parrot have proved very useful indeed.
This is another lovely book in the Zoe and Beans collection, not my favourite but definitely one of Jonny’s!
A copy of this book was received for our consideration. This has in no way affected our opinion of the book and this post is, as always, completely honest.

Poppy Cat – Blast Off Review

November 12, 2012 in Young Children

Liz’s book reviews continue – this time with Poppy Cat TV: Blast Off! by Lara Jones
This is a great story book for seventeen-month-old Sophie. It is 17.5cm x 17.5cm which makes it a great size for little hands, and the pages are made from card so they are easy to turn and not-so-easy to rip.
The characters are little animals so Sophie can spot different ones and make the right noises for them, plus point to countless noses, eyes etc. The numbers 5 4 3 2 1 are also written so she is beginning to recognise them also. The illustrations are clear and colourful, although not garish (thank goodness – sometimes kids books give me a headache with their bright, crazy illustrations).
The story, as you would expect, is pretty simple – an adventure on a rocket – but it has enough funny bits like Zuzu opening the rocket door and Owl being sucked out into space, that you can make the story silly and Sophie laugh.
This is a lovely book that would make a great addition to any young child’s library.
A copy of this book was received free of charge for our consideration. This has in no way affected our opinion of this book and as always our review is completely honest.