Here’s the thing. We love WBD and what it stands for, we really do. At its heart, the day is about getting a book into the hands of as many as children as possible. It raises awareness of the importance of books. Wonderful.
However, it comes at a price. Not to you, the consumer, but to us, the booksellers. And that’s fine too, to a degree. We choose to buy in to the scheme. The bugbear is that every year, many people come in with several tokens per child, asking us to redeem them. We do not get that £1 back. So, if it’s exchanged for a WBD title, all well and good. But, if it’s used to offset the price of another book, not so great. To put it into perspective for you, the average £6.99 paperback costs us £4.05 to buy in. The mark up is poor! Once you factor in rent, rates, blah, blah, blah…you can start to understand why there aren’t many millionaire bookshop owners!
To that end, we simply can not sustain the £1 off model. Especially when the tokens are now available via MacDonald’s, various children’s magazines and schools too.
So, I hope that you understand why we’re being tough this year. Please do come and exchange your token with us – we love seeing you. Even it’s just on the doorstep! But, we will no longer be discounting books with the WBD token.
I know, I know, it’s only September. I’m sorry…not really!
I wanted to let you know about two things that are happening in the coming months, both linked to Christmas.
The first is that we are teaming up with Children first Fostering Agency again, to gift books to children in care. We gift wrap, label, and deliver your kind donations, plus our own donations. Your generosity has been amazing, so let’s keep it going for 2020.
The second is, that after negotiation with the elves, Mrs Claus has cleared space in her diary so that she can visit Brentwood in November. She will be here for two days. Saturday is a drop-in grotto for everyone. However, we will need to be COVID safe, so you may need to wait outside – wrap up warm, please.
Sunday is for children with sensory needs only and must be booked in advance. Mrs Claus will be visiting Chicken and Frog on Sunday 29th November. This grotto is for families who have a child/children with sensory needs only. Siblings are welcome and will also receive a gift. Please do not book a space unless you have a child with sensory needs. When you book, do let me know the names and ages of the child/ren, plus anything I should avoid re lighting and/or sound.
Have we got a fabulous competition for you!
Thanks to Hornby and Pan Macmillan, the train set that is currently travelling around our window, could be yours!
Why? Well, it’s to celebrate the awesome new book, Kidnap on the California Comet, from authors M.G.Leonard and Sam Sedgman, and illustrator Elisa Paganelli.
All you need to do is come to the shop, solve the riddles in the window and hand in your form. Good luck!
Hello dear reader. I hope that you are well. As it’s been a little while, I thought I’d pop up to say hello and let you know what our plans are for the near future.
As of 1st September, our classes will revert back to face to face. We are doing everything that we can to keep your children safe – hand sanitiser, social distancing and regular cleaning down of surfaces. However, if you would prefer Zoom lessons, they are also available from Year 5 to 11, for English, maths and the 11+. More information re tuition at Chicken and Frog can be found here.
We have two book clubs running. One is for age 8+ and the other is for adults who love children’s books. Both of these are available face to face and via Zoom. In fact, we have gone international with our children’s book club, which is very exciting.
Storytime will continue via Facebook Live and Instagram, as we feel that it would be almost impossible to create a socially distanced group for pre-schoolers. The sessions run every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30am but can be viewed via Facebook at any time. In fact, there must be around 40 videos up by now, so feel free to dip in if you need a 20-minute break!
There are so many events coming up for you, including the following:
Take a look at our events page for more!
Lastly, if you are a teacher, or involved in schools, do get in touch, as we have an incredible schedule of online events for the new academic year.
Take care of yourselves and keep on reading,
p.s. We have two events taking place this week:
You will need a code for the Microsoft session!
Hello out there. A couple of weeks ago we asked if there’s anything that we aren’t doing, that you would like us to try – within reason!
One of our lovely customers, book blogger Alice’s Magical Podcast, asked for a children’s book club. We have run one before, but it fizzled out. However, your wish is our command, so we are relaunching on Wednesday 12th August at 5:00pm*. We will be meeting over Zoom, for half an hour a month, to chat about each month’s book.
Our tuition centre is a little different from the norm. Obviously, now it’s really different, even for us. Classes are online, apart from Handwriting & Fine Motor Skills. Hopefully, we will be able to divert back to in-person soon. Who knows!
Aside from the current situation, we pride ourselves on doing things a little differently anyway. Worksheets and computer screens do not feature as a general rule. Zoom has impacted our ‘no screens’ policy, but the ethos remains the same. Our teachers plan lessons with the specific needs of the students in mind. We cover the curriculum, of course, but we also fill gaps in knowledge and build on confidence.
How do we do that? We talk to the students! We get to know what makes them tick – what inspires them? It may be football, or art, or a Netflix show. Whatever it is, if we can, we incorporate it into our lessons. During the lockdown, we have planned lessons around Animal Crossing, Lego and butterflies, to name a few. If we can make it work, we will.
And that is why we are proudly launching a new podcast this week. Natasha is working with one of her students, to create a podcast all about Dungeons and Dragons. Archie is researching and scriptwriting; Natasha is in charge of the tech. Do give this lovely young man a follow. The first podcast will go live on Wednesday evening.