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Nearly there!

It feels like a very long time since I last wrote a blog post. Sorry about
that, but it’s been rather hectic here. Good hectic though.

This post is a quick one to say a very heartfelt thank-you to customers old
and new, for their amazing support. The year has been tough for many, and small
businesses have had to be creative to survive. Thanks to your wonderful
support, we have not only survived, but thrived and grown.

Our new room for teens and adults has been a hit. Maybe it’s the comfy chairs…hopefully, it’s the books!

We will be open until 5pm on Christmas Eve, for last-minute panic buying and then we are closing for the holidays. If we don’t see you before, have a wondeful Christmas and peaceful, healthy and happy New Year.


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Christmas Catalogue

I know it’s only October, but some people (not me!) are super organised, so here’s a link to our Christmas catalogue.

If we don’t have a specific title in store, you can order via, over the phone 01277 230068 or via

Click on the image to be taken to the digital version
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Books are precious. They can open your eyes to endless possibilities, or take you away from the everyday, to somewhere extraordinary. Sadly, many children do not have books of their own and we want to do something about that!

Last year we launched the #giveabook campaign, in partnership with Children First Fostering Agency. The Children First Fostering Agency head office is in Basildon, but they provide local support in the form of ‘carer hubs’ in Bedford, Hitchin, Manningtree and Brixton. The campaign is simple,

We were overwhelmed by people’s generosity last year, and we would love to be able to hand over even more books this Christmas. The campaign launches tomorrow, and runs up until the 15th December, so that we have time to wrap, tag and deliver the books to the team at the CFFA.

If you’d like to get invloved, you can pop into the shop, call or email.

01277 230068/

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The Life and Times of a Bookseller

Hello all! In the past I have blogged about the various things that happen to us in any given week or two, but it’s been a while since I’ve done so, and the last week has been bonkers (as ‘all the best people are’).

Ready? Here we go. In the past week, we have hosted a grotto for the Brentwood Lighting Up; been interviewed on BBC Essex with Tony Fisher; had two lovely reps visiting us; launched #giveabook; welcomed the Children’s First Fostering Agency in; been the location for a book trailer with Rebecca Elliott and Curious Fox; launched the annual Santa Hunt; sold a fair few books; taught approximately 70 children; taken Ian Whybrow to a primary school; organised school visits for 2016 and 2017; arranged a very exciting Book Club visitor for 2017 and read a brilliant proof copy of Who Let the Gods Out?

All of that, and the week isn’t over yet! Today we have Handwriting Club, Book Club and Creative Writing Club, plus more book-selling. I need a cup of tea and a slice of cake…again.

The CFFA do a wonderful job and are  promoting Cooks and Kids


We have been overwhelmed by your generosity, let’s keep going and #giveabook this Christmas.


Rebecca Elliott and the Curious Fox team took over Rhythm and Rhyme, to film the book trailer for Dalmatian in a Digger.

Posted in blog, events

Bits and Bobs

Hello all. At this time of year, with preparations in full swing for Christmas and New Year parties, the shop is looking very festive. A ridiculously over sized Christmas cracker adorns our window,

This is what happens when you don't measure things first...
This is what happens when you don’t measure things first…

and the shop is jam-packed full of glorious books waiting to be bought, wrapped, unwrapped and cherished. If you can’t see what you want, there’s still time for us to order in especially for you. Remember, we can order in books for grown ups too. If it’s in print, we can get it!

As well as the lovely books, the Santa hunt is still on. There are 16 Santas hidden around Brentwood Town Centre, waiting to be found. Forms are available here, French Quarter and The Brentwood Kitchen. Solve the riddle and enter the free prize draw by close of play on Christmas Eve. Here’s our cheeky chappie:

santaOnce the holidays are done and dusted, we’ll be kicking off 2016 with the Lego Challenge and Book Club, followed by Creative Writing Club on Saturday 2nd January. The author of January’s Book Club book will be popping in on Saturday 23rd January – check out the events page for details. And of course, tuition will start up again from Monday 4th January.

Posted in blog, events

Lighting Up

I am typing wearily this morning, as yesterday’s Lighting Up was the busiest we have ever had and am very tired. Not that I’m complaining, the atmosphere was fantastic. If only every Saturday was the same!

Thanks to the support of the Brentwood Renaissance, we were able to provide a free Elves’ Grotto again this year. Every child that visited received a free gift and sweets, plus mince pies for parents. At one point Mr Frog was sent out for emergency supplies of chocolate coins as we had run out of gifts! With well over 100 children visiting, this year’s grotto was the busiest yet.

Here are a few pics of the festivities,

This little man was our youngest visitor!
This little man was our youngest visitor!


Our grotto - lots of twinkly lights!
Our grotto – lots of twinkly lights!


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Ho ho how do you choose?

Obviously at this time of the year the shop is looking, well, Christmasy! We have a roaring fireplace in the window, sparkly snowflakes and one or two books.

Picking our Christmas-related books was tricky because there are so many to choose from. What do you look for in a Christmas book? Not everyone wants a traditional tale, but you need to include them in your collection, so what to go for?

Well, this is my top 5:

 I have a very well-loved copy of my own, which I will never part with. The illustrations are stunning, classic Ahlberg and each little pocket contains a treasure to delight readers young and old.

A lovely re-telling of the nativity, with glorious illustrations.

 Blooming marvelous! A humourous look at the life of Father Christmas.

 It’s just funny ok? Pants are always amusing.

A classic tale, perfectly narrated, with delicately drawn illustrations.

We have all of these books in-store plus a whole lot more, including books perfect for gifts or just snuggling up on the sofa with. Happy reading.

Posted in blog, events

The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming…

…as if you hadn’t guessed it, Christmas is almost upon us and I have finally succumbed. The shop is decorated and I have listened to ‘Fairytale of New York‘ enough to make me come to terms with the fact that even though it is not quite December, Santa Claus is most certainly in town. As I have said before, I do love Christmas, I just don’t love the fact that it has turned into a two month extravaganza.

1914 Santa Claus in japan

Enough of my bah-humbugging, I shall now sprinkle good cheer wherever I may be. People are starting to ask us what we’re up to at Chicken and Frog during the hols, so I have updated our events page with the various activities that we are putting on. Please also check out Claire’s website for all of the wonderful crafty activities that she will be running.

There will be plenty to do to keep your angels occupied , as well as a huge range of gorgeous books and crafts just waiting to be given to a loved one as a present!