4-7 books, 7-11 books, Brilliant Books

WEEKLY ‘WHAT’S ON THE SHELF?’ The Hodgeheg by Dick King Smith


‘The story of Max, the hedgehog who becomes a HODGEHEG and becomes a hero!’

So, this week I’ve pulled another favourite from my daughter’s shelf. I remember reading this as a child and was then re-introduced to it whilst teaching Year 2 – encouraging the sustained reading of a chapter book.

This is an endearing tale of a hedgehog called Max and his family, who dream of one day reaching their local park. However, nobody has found a safe way of crossing the very busy road. Little Max is determined to find a way! The story follows his problem-solving journey with elements of humour and tragedy along the way. The hedgehog characters are simply lovely. As always in his classic animal stories, Dick King-Smith truly brings the animal characters alive so as readers, we are clearly invested in their trials and tribulations.

This book lends itself to some great discussion points – ‘road safety’ and the protection of hedgehogs to name just a few. I also love that the book was first published in 1987 and therefore provides a little insight into ‘the past’! with references to milk floats and ‘telephone booths’. These created some very interesting discussions with my daughter!

This is a great introduction to chapter books for young children and is a great length to be read aloud without either person getting bored! My daughter was of pre-school age when we first read this together and she couldn’t wait to move onto the next chapter after each reading session. It also made her curious about other books by Dick King-Smith and as a result, we have since added other of his books to our collection. Older, more confident readers, would enjoy this for themselves and it is definitely a book for both boys and girls.

‘A charming classic from an all-time favourite author’.


4-7 books, Brilliant Books, Preschoolers

WEEKLY ‘WHAT’S ON THE SHELF?’ I NEED A WEE! By Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

“No! You can’t wee in there!” whispered Robot. “It’s a teapot – not a wee-pot!”

Welcome to the first of my weekly “What’s on the shelf?” posts. When I asked my daughter which book I should pick, I knew what her answer would be. She loves anything by Sue Hendra (we all do!) and loves adding to her collection. However, this is her absolute favourite book of all time!

The story is about a gorgeous knitted bear who goes by the name of Alan. He is having sooooo much fun playing with his friends until…. you’ve guessed it – he needs a wee! His adventures continue whilst he gets more and more desperate! Hilarity ensues as obstacles and distractions present themselves and finding a suitable place for having a wee becomes more and more unlikely until finally… well, I’ll leave it up to you to find out!

The bright and vivid illustrations help the story along, the expressions on the characters’ faces are adorable and comical at the same time! I have definitely developed a soft spot for Alan!

This book is laugh out loud funny. My daughter has read this time and time again and never fails to giggle at Alan and his antics. A fabulous, fabulous story that will appeal to children and adults alikeĀ of all ages. ‘Perfect for anyone who’s ever been desperate….’

Brilliant Books, Preschoolers

REVIEW: TEN LITTLE PIRATES By Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty


Our first adventure takes takes us sailing the seas, confronting sea birds, being zapped by lightening and of course searching for hidden treasure!

My son recently turned 2 and was bought this beautiful hardback version of the story by a good friend. We love receiving books as birthday presents especially when it’s not a book I have come across before – a new adventure to open and discover!

My daughter announced that she had been read this book at school so was already familiar with the story. Within minutes of reading, my 2 year old was ‘arrrrrring’ away with the pirates and joining in as much as he could with the counting. “Oh no!” he exclaimed as the pirates were picked off along the way. My personal favourite page has to be when pirate number seven gets seduced by a singing mermaid and off he sails…!

A great little book for pre-schoolers and beyond. The story encourages number recognition, counting forwards and backwards, is repetitive enough to enable little ones to interact but also sparks the imagination with bright and colourful illustrations, big sound effects for reading aloud and inventive situations for the dispatching of the pirates along the way. This story will be sitting on our bookshelf for a good while.

ABOUT, Brilliant Books


Hello! I am Emma, Mummy of two. I am also a qualified Primary School Teacher with over 13 years teaching experience. But, at the moment I am super busy being a stay-at home Mum to my children aged 6 and 2. If anyone asked me what I miss most about my pre-Mum life it would be reading. For me, nothing beats a good book and an (ideally hot) cup of tea or a glass of wine (or two), either snuggled up on the sofa on a day when the rain is pouring down outside or in the garden on a sunny one!

I simply love to read and always have done from a very early age, anywhere, anytime, anything – a magazine in a waiting room, a new novel, a children’s picture book, a Sunday newspaper and all it’s supplements – heaven! So… one of the reasons for me starting Bitsy Bookworms is to encourage me to take time out to read a little bit more. Perhaps easier said than done…!

I’ve tried to instil a love for reading in both my children, starting with reading and telling them stories when they were tiny babies. Now my daughter is of school age, reading has become even more of a ‘thing’. I often get asked for recommendations for good books for children to read themselves, be read to or to be bought as gifts. By no means will Bitsy Bookworms be a definitive guide but perhaps can provide a helping hand!

As a newbie to blogging (please bear with me! ), I aim to document our reading adventures at home in Essex, London and further afield, provide honest reviews, some inspiration for reading and all things reading related. I hope you will enjoy the journey too, wherever it may take us….!

Emma x