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

WEEKLY ‘WHAT’S ON THE SHELF?’ Snowball the Baby Bigfoot by Ruth Symes Illustrated by Tina Macnaughton

Happy New Year! So…. it’s been a little while since the last post. We have had a busy but brilliant Christmas¬† holiday. However, I can assure you that even more reading than ever has been going on and I have lots of fantabulous books to share with you, as well as lots of other book related posts brewing in the pipeline! The first is ‘Snowball the Baby Bigfoot’ – the third book in ‘The Secret Animal Society’ by Ruth Symes.

The series so far consists of:

Cornflake the Baby Dragon

Spike the Sea Serpent

Snowball the Baby Bigfoot

The premise of the series revolves around a brother and sister who bring home one of the school’s forgotten pets to look after for the holidays…. and before they know it their lives change forever!

Without giving too much away, the third book in the series continues with their encounters with mythical creatures and fans of the original will be delighted to know that ‘Cornflake’ makes an appearance too!

There is a magical Christmas/Winter theme to this book too and it would make a great alternative to the traditional Christmas story.

We found this series in our local library and my daughter, who adores all things dragon was intrigued by the title of the first book. We were not disappointed – surely it would be any animal lovers dream to discover and raise a baby dragon?!

This is a chapter book aimed at young readers, I would suggest from Reception age up to lower KS2 and depending on reading capabilities, could be read aloud or read independently. The chapters are a ‘good’ length so don’t allow younger readers to get bored but they absolutely still create that important element of suspense to keep them wanting more.

We loved the note from the author at the start and couldn’t resist having a go at the suggested recipe – yum! A great baking experience, even for very little hands and they tasted delicious too! At my daughter’s request we even saved a cake and left it on the window sill because “Cornflake must love Cornflake cakes’. She left a note and of course he visited and left a note back!


You can find out more about Ruth Symes and her books at www.ruthsymes.com

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 alike¬†of all ages. ‘Perfect for anyone who’s ever been desperate….’