Posted in blog, events

What a difference a year makes

This time last year myself and Mr Frog were seriously considering opening a children’s bookshop. Crazy I know, but that’s us. We scurried off to the marvellous London Book Fair for the first time ever and let me tell you, we were completely overwhelmed by the experience.


We met with publishers, authors and wholesalers. It was a complete whirlwind, but it didn’t put us off. Within six months we had taken the daunting and very exciting step to open our very own bookshop. Chicken and Frog went from a ridiculous daydream (and an accountant’s nightmare) to reality.

sophie reading
We opened our doors to the public six months ago this Saturday. I can’t believe where the time has gone or how well (touches wood, thumbs a lucky rabbit foot etc) it is all going. We’re paying our bills, feeding all three of our children every day and even selling books. Hurrah!

To celebrate our first six months we will be taking 20% off of everything (books, not clothing, don’t be scared), reading lots of stories and generally enjoying owning the coolest bookshop in town. Yeah, I can say that. It’s good to be proud of your achievements. Working with Mr Frog has been super duper. We feel like we are a part of the community and have got to make some good friends. Our customers are the best customers ever.

I’m going to get slightly mushy now – sorry. This would not be possible without the support of our beautiful children, who have had to change their lifestyle considerably. Also, my long suffering parents for manning the shop, tutoring (daddy) and being brilliant grandparents. Same goes for Mr Frog Senior when it comes to Grandad duties and general support. And, last but not least, our lovely friend Claire Mackaness who started the journey with us and now has her own beautiful nest in Ingrave.

In the past six months we have held a writing competition with the fabby Julie D Irwin, been visited by Julie (she must be sick of us), Tamsyn Murray, Lucy Coats, Michelle Robinson and J.N.Paquet. We’ve hosted parties, set up a very busy tuition centre, told stories, run a FairTrade event, secured funding for the Family Learning Project, hosted a huge range of school holiday events, hired our room out to baby massage therapists, an OT, a home-school group…and lots more. Many apologies if I have left you off of the list. It’s all been rather exhausting and jolly good fun.

Here’s to the next part of the journey. Keep on reading!


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.