Posted in blog, events

Malkin Moonlight

It’s almost Halloween, which means that there’s definitely a hint of magic in the air. And what better way to celebrate than with a wonderful author visit.

Luckily for us, award-winning author, Emma Cox made the very long journey from Exeter to visit us today. The bus replacement service didn’t deter her, which we are most grateful for.

Emma’s book journey is far more interesting than her slightly disconnected experience travelling to us this afternoon. She entered Malkin Moonlight in the New Children’s Author Prize, organised by the National Literacy Trust and Bloomsbury and only went and won it! You could say ‘lucky Emma’, but you could also say ‘lucky Bloomsbury’ and most certainly ‘lucky readers’.

After a lot of hard work, editing and re-editing this beautifully poetic tale, Bloomsbury published Malkin Moonlight in the summer of this year. We only hope that there will be a sequel…

If you didn’t get the chance to drop in today, never fear, as Emma has kindly signed some copies for us. There are also beautifully illustrated bookmarks up for grabs, for those of you who purchase the book.


Emma left great cat character sheets behind, which our creative writing club have put to good use. You’d be surprised at the array of different cats that can be created in such a short space of time!

Watch the bookshelves for Emma’s name, as we are certain that this is just the beginning of her long and exciting career as a magical author.





Posted in blog, events

Authors, authors, everywhere!

If you know us well, then you will know that we are committed to get children (and their grown ups) partnered up with the perfect book. Part of the process is, of course, having a conversation with someone about what they like, and then pointing them in the right direction. However, another way (the best way) to inspire the act of reading, is to share a book and who better to do that, than the author or illustrator that created it? It’s exciting to meet a person who loves books so much, that they have been creative and brave enough to share theirs with the world.

That’s why we love to bring authors and illustrators to Chicken and Frog, as often as possible. In the coming months, we have quite a few visiting us here in sunny Brentwood.

So, here’s the run down of author visits (so far), between now and the end of the year:

Meet Hollie HughesHollies’ books are, quite frankly, laugh out loud funny! (Age 3+)

Meet authorNicky DeeNicky will be bringing along dinosaur artefacts, as well as her beautiful books. (Age 4+)

monday-10th-october8_00pmworld-mental-health-day-1This event is slightly different, as it is to raise awareness and funds for the Young People’s Counselling Services, here in Brentwood. Louis and Kathryn will be joining us from Spain, via Skype!

meet award winning author emma coxPerfect timing, just before Halloween. Magic and charm are the order of the day. (Age 7+)

meet-molly-loobyLocal author, Molly Looby, will be giving a talk, before mingling amongst the audience to sign books and answer your questions. (Age 13+)

meet-paula-harrisonPaula’s book is our Book Club pick for October, so we’re delighted that you’ll have the chance to meet her in December.

We will also be joined by Chitra Soundar in October, but need to finalise the details before we share them with you.

So there you have it, a run down of the author events taking place over the coming months. All events (apart from Molly’s) are free, so just turn up!


Posted in events

Half term madness

Witch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For me, the October half term is a double-edged sword. I’m delighted to welcome it, as I am shattered after the first half term back at school; but at the same time, the weather is invariably rubbish and finding things to do is a nightmare!

To rectify this problem for families in Brentwood (and, selfishly, my own too), we are hosting a whole load of FREE events at Chicken and Frog. All of the details are on the ‘What’s On’ page.

Very excitingly, we have booked J.N.Paquet to come in on Tuesday 30th October at 11a.m. for a storytelling session. Jerome’s books are written in English and French and are beautifully illustrated with hand-drawn pictures, which capture children’s imaginations.

The only event which we are charging for is the Halloween Party, because we plan to ply your children with copious amounts of sugary treats and a little something to take home. To this end, we are asking parents to book a place for the party, in order for us to plan a successful night. Again, details can be found on the ‘What’s On’ page. Fancy dress is optional, but I will be very sad if we don’t get some of you joining in the ghoulish fun!

Posted in blog, events

Let terror, then, be turned into a treat…


The timing of the shop opening couldn’t be better as far as I’m concerned. Not because it’s near half term or because we’ll open before the Christmas rush; I have a far better reason than any of these. It’s almost Halloween, which means that I have an excuse to dress up. Any excuse is good enough for me, so this is perfect!

Throughout the day on the 31st we will be offering spooky stories and crafts (with Claire Mackaness) for the family to enjoy. In the middle of the day, I will be running a Halloween poetry workshop for all those budding Edgar Allan Poes out there. The session is free, but it would be handy if people could book in, just so that I can get organised for the event.

Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia)
Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As if this wasn’t enough, there will then be a Halloween Party in the evening, for older children. It will be themed on Alfred Noyes‘ chilling narrative poemThe Highwayman‘, so the children can expect some spooky stories and lots of cake of course!

Fancy dress is optional throughout the day, but it is good fun, so come on, dust off your zombie costumes and join in the ghoulish fun!

English: A participant of a Zombie walk, Asbur...

*Credit for title: Nicholas Gordon,