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I was driving to work on Monday morning, merrily listening to the XFM Break fast Show, when suddenly I turned from a mild-mannered teacher/ bookseller into a ranting crazy lady.

Why? I’ll tell you why. Because the latest radio ad for Talk Talk came on. ‘That’s not much of a catalyst,’ I hear you proclaim and you are quite right. Although adverts can be an irritant, they do not usually cause such an emotional reaction. However, this particular one did.

It’s all about their Christmas promotion for some shiny product or another, which is fine. What is not fine is that a disgruntled teen says ‘thanks’ for book tokens in a clearly derisory tone. What I’d like to know is what is wrong with the giving or receiving of a book token? I used to love them and my children still do. And I mean an actual book token, not an Amazon (boo hiss) voucher.

Ooh, it made me so cross. It’s this kind of negative, false depiction that continues to compound the myth that children no longer read. Absolute nonsense. Year on year the sales figures for the children’s book market buck the ‘trend’. Children do read.

Rant over, apart from to say that we sell and accept National Book Tokens, as well as our very own Chicken and Frog branded gift certificates.


The independent children's bookshop and tuition centre in the heart of Brentwood, Essex. Owned and run by Mr Frog & Mrs Chicken (happily married book-nerds), with the sole aim of bringing high quality books and tuition to our community.