Category: Product Reviews

It may seem a little strange for a blogger who says that she writes parenting/ child minding tips and advice to write a review of dog treats, my reasoning is that a family isn’t complete without a dog, in my opinion.

Recently we learned that a certain brand of dental chews that we had been giving our dog, Jake a jack Russell cross  who we rescued from the dog’s trust 3 years ago were not as healthy as we believed. Our vet said that they were full of carbohydrates so when Jake who was already a mill wall supporter had them you can imagine the consequences – he now has an A.S.B.0!

I came across bug bakes on Facebook and when they agreed to send some samples to review I jumped at the chance.

The goodies arrived along with a jute ( hard wearing natural material ) toy

in a delightful drawstring bag

the contents were 2 packs of organic bug bakes

and 2 packets of wild flower seeds, which my husband was thrilled about as he was planning to plant some flowers to attract the butterflies and bees into our small garden.


The bug bakes treats are organic and their purpose is to be kind to the planet and good for our dogs.

The wild flower seeds are intended to attract insects which are essential to pollination.

Jake wasn’t really bothered by the treats, if I’m being honest,  but he is the fussiest dog on the planet, I have been informed that bug bakes  will be bringing out new flavours so who knows if they will interest him?

Individual bags containing approximately 55 treats can be purchased for £3 each alternatively if bought in bulk (known as feeding the pack) which is a 14 bag box they retail at  £2.50 per bag free shipping applies to the later option available from

Jake loved the dog toy and because it is made from hard wearing material it should last a lot longer than most of his other toys that he has managed to destroy by literally tearing them into pieces.

I would recommend products from bug bakes because as they are good for our pets and the planet, what is not to like?


At the present time the toy is not yet available and the seeds are not for sale but may soon be depending on demand. These are however included with large or regular orders.

Bug bakes can be contacted through their website

As always comments/questions are welcome.








This book is just as it is described in the title – magnificent.

It will appeal to both adults and children who have an interest in exotic birds. The illustrations by Narisa Togo are truly breath taking, plus she gives some information about each beautiful bird.


Older children will find this book an asset for helping with school projects, although we all have access to the internet nowadays for looking things up, there is still something satisfying about using a book to find the information that we need.


As this book is quite large and comes as a hardback it would make a wonderful present for any nature lover.

The publisher recommends that this book is suitable for  over 10 years old, but as  I have already mentioned I feel that it would equally be appealing to adults.

Magnificent birds is published by Walker studio and retails for £15 which I think is good value.

Disclosure: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome.





Pipity have kindly sent me 3 of their new activity books to review.



This, as the title suggests consists of activities that are animal related, from making an elephant using your finger as a trunk

to tiny bugs, there are also pictures to colour and a birthday card to make.

The  thing that makes pipity stand out from other activity books is that there are you tube videos available demonstrating how to make or play each activity, which I think is worth it’s weight in gold because I have often struggled with disappointed children watching on, to figure how  a new idea is suppose to go together. These videos can be accessed through the pipity website or by a you tube scan-able code printed in the books.


This is exactly what is says full of various games and puzzles from spot-the-difference, a version of who’s who?

and even a child friendly Sudoku puzzle .For older children there is a code breaker game and a word search.


This has colouring, puzzles and things to make  all of which could be taken on holiday for help keeping children amused while they are away from home.

The above books retail at £4.99 each  which make them ideal stocking fillers, they would suit a wide variety of ages making them value for money even better pipity are offering readers of my blog a 15% discount until 20 December use the discount code xmas002 to access this from alternatively they can be purchased from Amazon.

I would have found these books an invaluable asset when I was working as a registered child minder plus the you tube videos would have meant that the older children could have tried to make the items for themselves giving a sense of achievement and allowing me to focus on the younger children.

Disclosure:I was sent the books for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome.






This paperback is written by Katy Segrove and illustrated by K aterina Vykhodtseva,

it basically tells the tale of animal friends who want to put up a Christmas tree together, at first they can’t agree on what to have but it has a moral that if they stay positive and work together they will find a solution.

The first page has a space for the child’s name, which he could write himself or an adult do it for him, this can then be used as name recognition useful for when the child starts nursery and school.

Throughout there are bright, colourful pictures which children will find appealing, plus the language used and some of the illustrations could be useful for early years practitioners to demonstrate size and shape covering some of the mathematical early learning goal.

The book has a feel good factor so I would recommend it as a before sleep story as part of a child’s bedtime routine.


Hopscotch and the Christmas tree is published by Tiny tree children’s books and retails for £6.99.

Disclosure: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome




Boolino sent me this remarkable book.

The first thing that struck me when I looked at this book was the paper torch at the back


The book is hard back and spiral bound which makes it easy to read while using the torch because the pages stay open. The front cover is quite striking giving a clue to what is inside.

This is an extremely interesting and educational book which explains the food chain of animals in a simple way which children will understand. There are dark transparent pages throughout which I wasn’t sure why they were there at first glance, once I pushed out the paper torch I soon discovered the meaning, when the torch is placed behind the page, as if by magic images light up making the book even more enticing for the reader.

Towards the end of the book  it explains briefly how much food some animals eat, this, I think, will appeal to boys especially as in my experience boys can sometimes be a little reluctant to read so this with the addition of the torch feature may just persuade them . The back inside cover has a place to store the paper torch  keeping it safe  ensuring that it can be used every time the book is read.

What animals eat is published by moonlight publishing and retails at £8.54, making it great value for money in my opinion. It would suit children aged 5-8 years.

Boolino are offering a 20% discount  off this book  for my readers, use the discount code friends20 to qualify,  Click Here to buy the book

Disclosure: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome.





Another book sent by Walker books.

This delightful picture book  is educational as it explains what the natural world gives us in a simple way which will appeal to young children.

The front cover is bright and kept quite simple.

Inside are wonderful illustrations by Toni Yuly who has also written the book, the pictures will draw in the attention of young children because there is not too much going on, but just the correct amount of colour to keep children interested.

If I were sharing this book with a child I would ask him to point out things in the pictures and ask open ended questions such as, “Can you see a bird and what is the bird doing?”

Thank you bees comes in hard back and retails at £11.99. It is published by Walker books and would make a great contribution to a child’s bookshelf.

Disclosure: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome.







This wonderful book was sent to me by Walker books.

Pick a pine tree is written by Patricia Toht and Jarvis has illustrated it for her.

The book is just perfect for this time of year, as it describes the excitement we all feel when putting up our Christmas decorations, it begins with choosing a pine tree and ends with a fully decorated tree and house.

The front cover is delightful with a Christmas theme,

inside the cover there are pictures of snowflakes, which add to the magic.

The text is written in rhyme which subscribers will know  I am passionate about as it helps early readers to be able to predict the next word giving confidence whether they are reading for themselves or being read to by someone else.

Throughout the book there are colourful illustrations showing a variety of everyday items which younger children could be prompted to find and point out.



Pick a pine tree comes as a hard back  ensuring that it will stand up to becoming a family keepsake  which will be brought out and enjoyed year after year. It is published by and retails at £11.99.

I would defiantly recommend this book as it made me feel the joy that comes with the thought of Christmas ( my favourite time of year)

Disclosure: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome.








lThis is the first installment of the pasta kidz and petz adventure stories, which are written by Byrony Supper and illustrated by Julien Bray. The front cover is glossy and has vibrant colours.

The story tells of an inventor and his assistant. The text contains some nonsence words which will appeal to children ( at the end of the book is a glossery explaining the meaning of these words). There are also some ryming short songs which again will please children of various ages. The moral of the tale is to have patience, take your time and not to rush into things that you are not sure about, throughout there are bright colourful illustrations.

At the end of the book is an introduction to all the pasta kidz who will appear in the follow on books.

I enjoyed reading this book as it is a little different. in a good way, from the average children’s book and I would recommend it as a feel good story to share with your children.

The Iventing tubes is suitable for children aged 4-7 years. It is published by Juvenile fiction and retails at £4.99

Disclore: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome





This is the latest book sent by Tiny tree children’s books.

Ilias’mountain is written by Lilian  Kars and illustrated by Steffie Padmos. It is quite a large book which is impressive to look at with a striking front cover picture.

The inside cover has a picture of rocks, giving a  clue as to what is coming up.

It tells the tale of Ilias who at first seems to be just an average boy but events happen that make him quite special as he changes his way of thinking about things that have happened in his life.

This book is fairly long so would be suitable for children around 7 years upwards. There are colourful illustrations throughout the book

, the story is exciting encouraging the reader to want to carry on reading to find out what is going to happen.

I would recommend this book for  parents to read  to their children.

Ilias’ mountain is published by Tiny tree children’s books and retails at£7.99

Disclosure: I was gifted this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome







These cute little books are the latest that Tiny tree children’s books have sent me.

The books in this series are written by Kaley Owen and illustrated by Graeme Holding.



ells the moral of treating others in the way that you would like to be treated, it is written in rhyme and tells the reader a little about this spesies of animal providing some educational material as well as having fantastic colourful pictures throughout the book. On each page there is a bee which children could be asked to find, which may be a good incentive for a child who is a little reluctant to sit still and share a book with an adult.


explains why sharing with others is important, again the text includes some information about the animal.


this book explains why being greedy and wanting everything is not such a good thing and suggests that saving money might be a better option. It includes a brief explanation of how camels cope in the hot desert.

All 3 of these books are written in rhyme making them fun to read or to be read to by an adult. They will be enjoyed by pre-school age children at any time of day but would be especially good as bedtime stories.

Each book is published by Tiny tree children’s books and retail a t£4.99 each, good value for money, I would say because they teach important morals and provide some educational material about the animals in each book.

Disclosure: I was sent these books for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome.







This delightful book is written by Russ Brown and illustrated by Jamie Cosley.


The story is basically about a child who is struggling to concentrate in school, he says because there are monsters stopping him from doing his work. The other children don’t want to socialise with him as they think he is strange. Everyone tells him that the monsters are not real, until one day a new boy starts at the school who also has monsters pestering him and so the two boys become firm friends and things start looking up.

The text in this book is written in rhyme making it a fantastic story for early readers to attempt to read for themselves, as the rhyme makes it easier to predict the next word giving the reader confidence.

This book would really help any child who is finding school a challenge due to dyslexia  or other learning difficulties. Throughout there are colourful pictures making the book even more enticing to children.




Monsters in my maths book is published by Tiny tree children’s books and can be purchased from for£6.99.

Disclosure: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome.






This is another book from Tiny Tree children’s books.

Portia the pear is written by Nicola Hulme and illustrated by Elena Mascolo.

The story is a new take on the ugly duckling fairy tale, Portia starts life feeling that she is not as good as the other fruit in the orchard, but her confidence slowly grows.

This book may help a child  who is struggling with a low self-esteem  or mild bullying. Throughout the book there are beautiful colourful illustrations.

The text is printed clearly making it easy for an early reader to have a try at reading for themselves.

This is a book that will be enjoyed over and over again and would make a valuable contribution to a child’s bedtime routine as a before going to sleep story.

Portia the pear is published by Tiny Trees children’s books  and retails at£7.99

Disclosure: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome






I was sent this book from Tiny trees children’s books.

It is written and illustrated by Michelle Hird.

The story is about moving house and settling into a new place, which may help children going through similar.

Regular readers of my children’s book reviews will know that I love a book that is written in rhyme . This is no exception and because the text is rhyming it can help early readers to predict the next word, giving them the confidence to read some more. Equally the book would be enjoyed if it were read to a child by an adult.

Throughout the story there are wonderful, colourful illustrations

which will appeal to children of a wide age range, there are animals to look out for which young children should enjoy aiding early learning. The text is printed clearly  and is just the right size  for early readers to manage.

I recommend this book to be added to book shelves as it will be enjoyed time and time again.

Binx the jinx is published by Tiny trees children’s books and retails at£6.99

Disclosure: I was gifted this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own,

As always questions/comments are welcome







I was sent this book by ichild.

It is just the sort of activity book that I would have found really helpful when I was working as a registered child minder as many of the activities relate to the early years foundation stage (E.Y.F.S.) which are personal, social and emotional development, literacy, maths and understanding of the world.

There are attractive pages to colour, which would be suitable for young children as the pictures are not too intricate.

There are also- spot-the-difference, counting and dot-to-dot puzzles which aid hand to eye co-ordination, these would be suitable for pre- school age children, plus writing

and drawing activities. Meeting the E.Y.F.S. there are puzzles relating to different sizes

and some simple maths exercises.

On the last page are some tips for staying safe in the sun.


Disclosure: I was gifted this item but all opinions are my own.

As I have already mentioned this book would be an asset to early years practitioners and parents of young children . The activities in this book and many others can be downloaded from or can be purchased from Amazon for£2.99.

As always questions/comments are welcome.








When Suziew asked me if I would like to review a second of her children’s books I immediately said  that I would, as I was impressed  by the previous one she sent me, Things Evie eats.

This time the book she sent is titled Better buckle up. It is a brightly coloured paperback suitable for toddlers and preschool aged children.

The book tells the story of Ollie, who doesn’t want to sit in his car seat or wear his seat belt, the tale is told in a way which young children can relate to. The illustrations  by plainsightVFX are brightly coloured which will enable parents and carers to assist their children in learning the names of different colours.


After a little persuasion Ollie’s mum convinces him that sitting in his car seat and wearing a seat belt is the right thing to do.

I wish that this book had been around when my youngest son was small, as when he was around a year or so, he learned how to undo the straps on his car seat and would climb out of it. This alarmed me and I remember going into a baby shop and asking if they stocked a device which would prevent him from doing this, the assistant implied that it was down to parent supervision and made me feel that I was a failure as a mother. I think that reading this together would really have helped.

Better buckle up is written by Suziew, it is published by Beresford Publishing House and retails at £6.50.

I would defiantly recommend this book to parents, grandparents and carers, as it can be read and enjoyed time after time. The text is also printed in a way which will encourage early readers to have a try at reading it themselves.

Disclosure: I was gifted this book for the purpose of the review, but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome.







I was sent this book by Boolino

childrens book reviews. It is written by Jackie Marchant and is illustrated by Loretta Schauer, this paperback will appeal to children around the ages of 7-11 years and has an inviting front cover, which is mainly in red.


The book has 194 pages but the way the story reads, it would make a good book for a reluctant reader, as it entices the reader to keep reading in order to discover what is going to happen. It is humorous in parts and contains black and white sketches throughout.

Dougal Daley is published by Wacky Bee books and retails at £6.99.

I would recommend this book to parents, who wish to encourage their children to read more.

Disclosure: I was gifted this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always comments/questions are welcome







I was sent a complimentary bundle of activity booklets from ichild.

They consist of

Twirl woos


based on the cbeebies weekday television show this booklet has a variety of educational activities for a younger child to do with an adult plus a colouring page  that your child could  can do without too much supervision.

Disney junior

This booklet is based on 7 Disney junior television programmes, the fun activities are about healthy eating, there are things to make with your child and some simple writing exercises, a collage to work on together, also dot-to-dot and even a finger puppet to make.

Pip ahoy is on every weekday at 7am on channel 5’s milkshake,

again the booklet  contains colouring, dot-to-dot and puzzles, plus a spot the difference and a simple counting activity, writing exercise and much more.

Ben and Holly’s little kingdom

. has colouring and counting, plus some art and craft ideas, spot the difference and a fun puzzle.

To sum up

I would have defiantly  found all of the above useful when I was working as a busy registered child minder as the activities could be adapted to suit a variety of different ages. Parents will also find them invaluable as a way of preventing boredom during the long school holidays, especially if we have another typical wet British summer!

There are many fun, education activities  to download and print for yourself at and by becoming a gold member  there are even more special resources to access.

Disclosure: I was gifted the activity bundle, bot all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome






I was sent a set of 4 books named The dinosaur detectives to review from Boolino

. Each book is a paperback written by Stephanie Baudet and tells an exciting adventure had by Matt  the son of a palaeontologist, who gets transported back  to prehistoric times.


The books describe the dinosaurs and will defiantly appeal to any children who have a fascination  for these extinct creatures. I can think of a half dozen I used to child mind who would have really enjoyed these books. There are black and white illustrations  throughout the books by illary Casasanta


Each book is roughly 70-80 pages long so just long enough to hold the attention of a child aged 7-11 years which this set should suit. The stories also explain a little of how the dinosaurs survived providing some education as well as  entertainment for the children reading them.

I would recommend these books  to parents to buy for their children, boys especially will  get an enormous amount of enjoyment from reading them I know they would have appealed to my boys when they were growing up. having said that girls will also love them. The books retail at £5.99 each  or the set of 4 can be purchased from sweet cherry publishing for £23.96, good value if they get children away from sitting in front of a screen!

Disclosure: I was sent the books for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always comments/questions are welcome







Boolino books sent a set of 4 Toddlyworld books for a review, these brightly coloured board books are suitable for ages 2-5 years and come with an accompanying audio compact disc.

These books feature Toddly and his teddy bear, Toddlybear, the books I received are titled Summer, Spring, Numbers and Stars and each tell  a story that most children will be able to relate to, such as a visit to the garden centre or going on a holiday

IMG_20170519_123916 the stars and numbers books are educational meaning that early years settings could use them to help with the curriculum set by Ofsted


,Each compact disc starts with a song related to the story that is catchy and children will soon be singing along to after listening a few times, then the basics of the story is told in the voices of the story characters. The narration doesn’t follow the words exactly  but close enough that children will be able to follow the stories by looking at the illustrations as they listen, equally the stories will be enjoyed if read to by an adult.

All four of these books are substantially made and can be wiped clean, they will be enjoyed by both boys and girls .

I partially like the inside covers were there is a space for the child’s name

encouraging  name recognition, giving a head start at nursery, preschool and school for the child. Toddlyworld books are written by Stanka Wixted and tillustrated by Tony Campbell.

The books retail at £7.99 and can be purchased from

I would recommend these books to parents and carers of pre school age children as they will be enjoyed  time and time again.

Disclosure: I was sent these books for the purpose of the review, but all opinions are my own.

As always comments/questions are welcome




When Suziw got in touch to ask if I would be interested in reviewing one of her books I jumped at the chance as I have been a fan of children’s literature since falling ‘in love’ with the Gruffalo  while I was a registered child minder.The things Evie eats is written by Suziew and has amazing illustrations by Lillian Dawson.

The book tells the story of Evie, who is a very fussy eater, preferring to play with rather than eat her food. When Evie says that she wants to eat flowers her family cleverly make her food into flower shapes making it attractive and more appealing she then eats everything


This is a delightful book with fantastic illustrations of familiar items that children will recognise  and so can be encouraged to look for and point out to an adult reader, therefore aiding communication skills


I would recommend this book this book to any parents, but it could be especially useful to parents and carers who have a fussy eater as it may encourage the child to try new foods and give the adults inspiration to make food fun.

I have written a blog post on fussy eating titled, how to avoid do I have to eat all this?

Disclosure: I was sent this book for the purpose of the review, but all opinions are my own.

Things Evie eats can be purchased for £6.50 from Beresford Publishing house or visit where an accompanying free activity pack can be obtained also.

As always questions/comments are welcome





This picture book is written by Caroline Baxter and illustrated. by Izabela Ciesinska

childrens book reviewsWhen Boolino books got in touch and asked if I would be interested in reviewing this book I knew by reading the title that I defiantly wanted to write the review.

This book will appeal to early years settings, especially child minders as it challenges the gender stereotype that boys and girls can only do certain things.

The book is aimed at 2-5 year olds and was published on 8 March 2017 to coincide with International Woman’s day


On opening the book the inside cover has wonderful pictures of multi-coloured planes flying among clouds


the text is written in rhyme which will encourage children to predict the words at the end of each line which in time helps  promote early reading. I have written more on this in my post titled helping and encouraging your child to read.

The story is about a clever, brave female pilot named Jane who flies in her plane to many different  countries and cities which also introduces young children to the names of places they may not otherwise be familiar with.

Throughout the book there are fantastic illustrations that are sure to be attractive to young readers.

I absolutely love this book and would recommend it to parents and professional child carers to add to their book shelves, it will make great bedtime reading but could equally be enjoyed at any time of day. On finishing the book the back inside cover shows the places where Pilot Jane has travelled reminding children once again of the names of the countries, which early years settings could use to demonstrate  how they are covering the understanding the world early learning goal.


Pilot Jane and the runaway plane is published by Big Sunshine books and retails at £6.99

Disclosure: I was gifted this book for the purpose of the review but all opinions are my own.

As always questions/comments are welcome






When oxo tots got in touch and asked if I would review some of their products, I immediately enlisted the help of family friend called Ann and her 14 month old daughter; Arya.

Sippy Cup

Oxo tots sent me their tall sippy cup; suitable for 9 months plus It is priced at £7.60. This has non-slip grips on both sides and even has a ridge along the top to prevent tiny noses from being squashed while drinking. Ayra took to the cup straight away; although Ann did initially wonder if it may be a little too big however it wasn’t. It didn’t leak at all and Ayra had no trouble at all using it. It has become, her favourite drinking vessel, by far.

Divider Plate

The divider plate; priced at £8.50 is great as it has sections for different food types which means that the food doesn’t touch each other therefore Ayra could taste each different flavour (this, may work well for picky eaters, who are fussy, about certain food types) Ann reports that the dip section in the centre of the plate made it even more special for them as Ayra loves gravy; so extra gravy was placed in the centre of the Divider Plate.

The curved green sides, of the plate meant that the food didn’t slide around, while she was learning to use the cutlery. The fact that this can be removed when the child is ready is an asset too. There is also a removable rubber ring on the bottom; to prevent the plate from sliding around the table.

Fork & Spoon Set

The fork and spoon set; suitable from around 12 months costs £7. These were easy for Ayra to use as they are light weight and the perfect size for her hands. The anti-grip sections meant she didn’t struggle to keep hold of them.


Ann; Ayra’s mother gives all of the above products ten out of ten! She would recommend them and says that they are well worth the money. The products can be purchased online via their website which you can visit by clicking here

Disclosure: We were gifted these products for the purpose of the review; but all opinions are that of myself, Ann and Ayra.

Acropats come in packs of 16 pieces. They are made of stiff foam, and come in four different colours: red, green, yellow and blue.

I asked three children; 2 girls and a boy who were aged between 4 and 11 years to help with this review. The product manufacturer recommend that they are not suitable for under 3 years of age.

Initially the shapes where placed on the floor; the children used them in a variety of ways. The girls joined them together to make a fence; complete with a gate and sat a stuffed animal in their ‘field.’ The boy made a cube; which he said was full of dynamite!

As well as a construction toy; acropats are suitable for use in water as they float. They make an alternative bath toy and could also be used in a paddling pool on a warm day.

The eldest girl used one acropat as a template to draw around. The children seemed to enjoy playing with this toy, the possibilities are only prohibited by a lack of imagination. Acropats can be purchased from their wesite: