Posted in blog

Looking Forward

As the New Year peeps its head around the corner, I thought I’d reflect on some of the highlights. We have worked with so many wonderful authors and illustrators this year, as part of the Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival, as well as Macmillan’s Authors Assemble, school and shop events, that it’s impossible to pick out just a few. Having said that, an indoor snowball fight with Clara Vulliamy and Polly Faber, was particularly joyous!

I was honoured to present the wonderful Emma Carroll with the BAMB award for best MG title of the year. The BA have been working tirelessly this year, championing the work that booksellers do. Chicken and Frog, and more importantly, some of our fantastic customers, took part in a film, which was shared at a very special meeting at the Houses of Parliament. And lastly, in terms of the BA, we were regional finalists in the Independent Bookshop of the Year category.

Our customers are, of course, daily highlights. They are the reason that we continue to do what we do. And lastly, the #giveabook campaign, which ran for the second year. We were truly overwhelmed by people’s generosity, with gifts from as far flung as Singapore! We delivered 215 wrapped parcels – some of which contained two books. Fantastic!

So, looking forward, what’s to come? Well, we will be continuing to work with the CFFA, supporting children in care. Plans are already well underway for a #FosteringFebruary event, with Sibeal Pounder (eek!).

After working with the glorious Really Big Pants Theatre Company in the summer, we are delighted to say that we will be holding a multi-school event, to launch their brand new book. Oh, it’s going to be so much fun.

Lisa Thompson’s brilliant second novel, The Light Jar, has arrived. To celebrate, we have school events ready to go in January, so we’re starting on a high.

And…the Chicken and Frog writing competition is making a welcome comeback. Harriet Muncaster has very kindly offered a signed piece of artwork as a prize, as well as being a guest judge.

It’s been a great year, and we are so grateful for everyone who supports us in what we do: our customers, authors, illustrators, publishers, publicists, the BA, schools, fellow booksellers, reps, family and friends.

Happy reading and a peaceful 2018.

Posted in blog

Coming Up!

Can you believe that we are fast approaching the last quarter of the year? I have no idea where the time has gone, but I do know that we have lots of great events planned, just for you.

First up is #Bookshop Day . We will be celebrating with the gorgeous Franklin’s Flying Bookshop. There will be a free crafty activity, between 11:00am and 3:00pm, for children of all ages! Just drop in to create something dragony. And, if you follow the footprints successfully, we have lovely goodie bags to give away. Not enough? Well, there are also these beauties up for grabs:

Also, in October:

We run two book clubs, so that you can choose the title that interests you the most. Escape from Planet Bogey is an hilarious, illustrated novel for readers who like a good giggle, whereas Dragon’s Green is a twisty turny magic-fueled adventure.

Before you know it, the next half term break will be here. To keep you entertained, we have a Lego Challenge event booked in for the middle of the week. Numbers are limited, so you need to book and pay in advance. If you haven’t been before, it’s a chance to mess about with Lego, whilst parents have a little time off – however, under 6s must be accompanied!

At the end of the half term break, we will be joined by Sibeal Pounder. We can’t begin to explain how extremely excited we are that Sibeal is coming to Brentwood. Sibeal will be leading Creative Writing Club, so come along for some witch-themed inspiration. Just in time for Halloween!

Watch out for what else we’ve got planned – or pop over to our events page.

Posted in blog, events

The #BookshopDay of the Dinosaur

Yesterday was #BookshopDay, a national campaign from the Booksellers Association, celebrating the world of bookshops. We, as booksellers, are greatly supported by the BA and lots of superb publishing houses, who champion the bricks and mortar bookshop. As a result of this energetic campaign, we have wonderful Winnie the Pooh bags to give away to our customers*, from Egmont, as we celebrate 90 years of that silly old bear.


We were approached by Book Machine, to contribute to their amazing website this week, with our top tips for bookselling, from the shop floor. I am not sure that we are experts, but we gave it our best shot. The article can be found here. If you haven’t visited the site before, it’s certainly worth a read, although I warn you now, you may well lose hours in there. We’re most grateful for the opportunity to share our love of bookselling with others and also to Book Machine for linking their social media this week to the #BookshopDay campaign.

bookmachine-logo-navAnd on to the day itself. In the afternoon, we were joined by Nicky Dee, author of a fantastic series of dinosaur books. Each book focuses on one particular dinosaur; packed full of fascinating facts, with accurately drawn illustrations. Not only did Nicky share dino facts with the children, she also brought with her, the teeth from a T-Rex! The children got to handle the artefacts, as well as plenty of opportunities to ask Nicky questions. It really was a brilliant afternoon – I know that I learnt a lot!

collageIf you didn’t get a chance to meet Nicky yesterday, we are delighted to be able to tell you that she has agreed to take part in next year’s Brentwood Children’s Literary Festival.

* Whilst stocks last