Posted in blog

Choo Choo

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!

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, events

The Box of Demons


This year is the 10th year of Independent Bookshop Week, fondly referred to as IBW. As I am sure I have quipped before, every week is IBW for us, but it is great to have a national campaign behind us, supporting the work that we do.

To celebrate this year, we have organised two author events. The first was with Daniel Whelan on Saturday 18th June. If you missed Daniel, you missed a joyous afternoon, but never fear, for Daniel kindly signed editions of The Box of Demons before leaving us. In fact, we have the last two copies of the limited edition hard back that could be tracked down!


Daniel talked to a very enthusiastic crowd about his creative process, before setting the children the 90 second challenge of drawing their own demons and then naming them. The children’s imaginations were fantastic, with lots of wonderful ideas appearing on the page.

We would like to publicly thank Daniel and his lovely wife, Sylwia, for taking the time to travel to Brentwood for the afternoon, especially as Daniel actually flew in from Sweden just for us. Somehow the box of chocolates we had rustled up didn’t quite seem to match Daniel’s generosity!

Here are a few pics of the afternoon,

Demonic behaviour?
Demonic behaviour?
Natasha, Daniel and Jim: Superhero Poses!
Natasha, Daniel and Jim: Superhero Poses!
Reading to the crowd
Reading to the crowd

We will continue to celebrate this week with Elmer as our book of choice for Rhythm, Rhyme and Story Time on Thursday at 10:00am. Children who come along for English tuition this week with Natasha will be taking part in the Phoenix Comic Creation Workshops and the week will round off with local author, Josie Dom on Saturday 25th at 3:30pm.