Posted in parenting, reading

Books 2 Door – Harry Potter Collection -Review

As a child I couldn’t get in to the Harry Potter books, I didn’t like the movies and I really didn’t understand the hype. As an adult I absolute love the movies (Me and Luke finally watched them all 3 years ago) and completely understood why HP was such a loved franchise. Since then we’ve both felt the need to read the books – especially as I think they are something Ellie will enjoy as she gets older too.

We recently got in touch with Books2Door who sent us a boxed set with all seven of the multi-award winning Harry Potter books in paperback. This release of Harry Potter Complete Collection contains all the Harry Potter books by J.K Rowling featuring beautifully illustrated cover art by Johnny Duddle (the author behind the amazing Gigantosaurus books) and comes in a sturdy box to keep the books in.

The book titles included are:
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter are the Deathly Hallows

The Harry Potter series is recommended for children aged 9 and over. They were originally aimed at primary aged children but due to the success of the first few they were made darker and more adult orientated as the series went on. The first few books would be great to read aloud together but we will wait for Ellie to be a little bit older before introducing her to them – I want to read them myself first anyway!

I’m very excited to dive into the magical world of Hogwarts and get deeper into the characters and all the bits the movies miss out.

Books2Door has over 7000 reviews on Trustpilot and have amazing offers and deals! You won’t be disappointed in the range of books they offer – the bargain section is pretty stocked up too!

Disclosure – We were gifted the Harry Potter Complete Collection 7 Book Set to review by Books2Door however as always all thoughts, opinions and photographs are my own.

Posted in Gifted, product review, reading

Granny Franny’s Big Red Bus Review

Granny Franny’s Big Red Bus is the first children’s story written by TV producer Sonia Beldom – who in 2018 fulfilled her life long dream of qualifying as a bus driver! Sonia decided to write this book to raise funds for bus-related charities during COVID-19 and we’ve been given a copy to read and share our thoughts on.

Synopsis:

Granny Franny is always surprising her grandchildren with sensational stories and surprise days out. One day she decides to do something super special for their birthday. She buys a big red bus to take them on a magical tour of London; what she’s forgotten is that she can’t actually drive a bus. Then she meets Thinkerbell, the talking bus bell and everything changes.


First of all, as always, Ellie got very excited when she realised she had a new book to read. She looked at the front cover and read the words “big red bus” which was made her even more excited to read it together. We talked about what she thought Granny Franny might be doing and decided she was going on holiday.

Ellie is very intrigued by rhyming words at the minute and is always trying to rhyme words when she is mumbling to herself (her favourite being “wee wee, pee pee, tee pee”) so we talked a lot about the different rhyming words in the book and she tried to spot them herself.

While reading I noticed the illustrations are big and colourful – perfect for young children. Granny Franny is aimed at children aged 3-7 but could be shared to younger children and primary aged children too.

I thought the book was great, there was a clear message of love between Granny Franny and her grandchildren, a sense of family and compassion. There were so many talking points throughout too such as the other vehicles helping Thinkerbell.

Ellie’s Thoughts:

I asked Ellie what she liked the most about Granny Franny’s Big Red Bus and her reply was:

Thinkerbell is funny and has a silly voice and does lots of rhyming words. I liked the bus getting stuck in the sticky mud and the fire man coming to save the day.

Disclosure: I was gifted a copy of Granny Franny’s Big Red Bus in exchange for an honest review. All views, opinions and images are my own

Posted in Gifted, product review

In The Book – Review

In The Book is an online book company specialising in personalised books for children and adults of all ages. They have a wide range of books and there really is something for everyone; Disney, Peter Rabbit, Marvel, The Hungry Caterpillar, Beano and so many more. This isn’t including their own range of personalised stories. We have been very fortunate to have been gifted two of their books to review.

These stories are built around you (or your child); giving them the fun and excitement of seeing their own name built in to the story. I loved this idea as not only is the name written in the illustrations but it is also the main character in the story too.

The website is extremely easy to use and navigate, the hardest part is choosing which book to personalise. There is the option of A4 softback, A4 hardback (both available in the standard cover) and the classic hardback which is bound in a premium hardcover with gold embossing.

Once chosen there are three steps to personalising the book:

When our books arrived I was absolutely amazed at the quality and size. I obviously hadn’t read the A4 sizing and was expecting a smaller book which I was worried would be too small to keep Ellie’s attention. These are the perfect size for all readers, big and small. Each page is beautifully illustrated and the story is just magical.




Ellie’s Unicorn Adventure” is a wonderful story about a Unicorn (with your child’s name) who gets bored in the meadow and goes off on an adventure to find new places. From a pink candyland to the snowy mountain tops this story takes the reader to so many wonderful places.

Ellie’s Thoughts:

I asked Ellie what she liked the most about the Unicorn’s adventure and her reply was:

I like the Unicorn because she has the same name as me. She is cheeky. My name is in the sky. See E, L, L, I, E it says Ellie! The Unicorn likes the snow, it has footprints to go back home so she doesn’t get lost.

We also received a beautifully illustrated “Book of Nursery Rhymes” Ellie loves to sing and she has always loved nursery rhymes so I knew she would love this one so much. The book of nursery rhymes is packed full of songs little ones will already know and love such as Humpty Dumpty, The Wheels On The Bus and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, there’s even a few Mummy doesn’t remember!




Similar to the Unicorn book, Ellie’s name is on the front cover and appears throughout the pages in the illustrations. We’ve had lots of fun getting Ellie to find her name hidden on drain pipes, buses and even on pies. She gets so excited when she’s found it. It’s a great way to get them to recognise their name in written form!

For me, the best part is that you can include a picture of your child on the back page. I love this as it’s a way of remembering how old they were when they received the book. Ellie couldn’t believe her picture was in there too, she told me it must have been magic. I know that even when she is too old to be singing nursery rhymes and believing in unicorns I will always remember the smile on her face when we would read them together.

Disclosure: I was gifted these two books in exchange for an honest review by In The Book. All views, opinions and images are my own.

Posted in Gifted, parenting, product review, reading

Wonderbly Personalised Childrens Books – Review

I often wondered whether Ellie would lose the passion she has for stories as she grows up or whether it will continue to bloom. It seems quite clear to me that as she’s getting older she still loves to listen to stories, she particularly loves ones with unicorns, cheeky characters and most of all books with her name in.

We have recently been given the opportunity to review two books which have been gifted to us by Wonderbly; “I Love Daddy This Much” and “The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name”

For those who don’t know; Wonderbly is a publishing company specialising in personalised children’s books for all ages. These books make your child the star of their own story. You can even personalise the illustration to look similar to your child too!

The process of making your Wonderbly book couldn’t be simpler. The website is well designed and easy to navigate. You can search for books by age, bestsellers or you can browse through them all! There are so many wonderful titles to choose from.
First of all you need to decide on the name, the gender and the features of the main character.

You can then personalise some of the books even further:

Once you’ve chosen the format (paperback, hardback etc), the recipient and the cover colour (available on specific books) you can then dedicate your book. This appears on the inside of the book.

I Love Daddy This Much” is THE perfect Father’s Day gift for both Dad and baby/child! It’s a beautiful story all about how much Daddy is loved, who wouldn’t love this as a gift? They also do I Love You/Mummy/Grandma/Grandad This Much too!
Ellie has loved reading this with her Dad and giving him lots of cuddles when she does. She has even started repeating some of the phrases to him when she tells him she loves him. For Ellie, she was so excited to see a girl with ginger hair the same as her and her Daddy and then to see her name written across the pages was great too.

The Little Girl Who Lost Her Name” is another wonderful story using Ellie’s name throughout the book. Ellie has just started recognising her name and is now able to write her first name without any visual support which is amazing as she is now able to recognise her name in stories too. She gets very excited when she sees it written on the page. This story helps the character follow a trail to find the letters of her name and links them to different animals. Each story is completely individual, Ellie’s story won’t be the same as Jason’s story as they would meet completely different animals.

You can find all the Wonderbly titles at their website: http://www.wonderbly.com/uk
You can also follow them for news, shares and the odd competition too!
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Disclosure: I was gifted these two books in exchange for an honest review by Wonderbly. All views, opinions and images are my own.

Posted in Gifted, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting, product review

The Golden Key (gifted)

It is no secret that I LOVE books, specifically children’s books. I haven’t sat down and read an adult book in years, which bothers me terribly at times but I just find reading with Ellie brings me more joy than if I was reading on my own.

Her love of stories is far bigger than mine, she is always asking to read, sits and demands 10 books at bedtime some nights and usually finds some to read during the day too. I love that she loves to read, I never say no because I work with plenty of children who don’t enjoy reading and choose not to. I don’t want that for Ellie. I want her to develop a storytellers imagination, to divulge herself in to a story that she just can’t put down. I want her to enjoy reading as much as I used to (Jacqueline Wilson being one of my favourite authors growing up!) and I can’t wait to share all the classics with her as she grows.

I literally jumped for joy when I received an email from Bang On Books asking if I would consider collaborating with them and reviewing one of their personalised books. It has been a dream of mine to develop my blog and social media enough to be able to share items that I love and this is DEFINITELY a book we both love!

The process of making the personalised book was so easy. Bang On Books has a bright, colourful and user-friendly website that guides you through the process of creating your own personalised book. You can add a photo, choose what the character looks like and write a personalised message for the inside.

3 simple steps to creating the a book your little one will love!

I chose The Golden Key as Ellie loves sea creatures and adventurous stories, I could have chosen Unicorn Oo which seemed a bit more girly however I was drawn to The Golden Key because the picture on the website showed a girl character rather than a boy (very well done!!) and I quickly remembered it didn’t matter which seemed more girly but what mattered is which Ellie would enjoy more.

I was surprised at how quickly the book was processed and posted out, it seemed to take only a few days from ordering (late night shopping is THE best!) to it being delivered and I got a little giddy when I realised what was waiting for us on the doorstep.

The Golden Key (written and illustrated by Hannah Walton) is beautifully illustrated and colourful. Each page gives you something to look out for (Ellie’s favourite is finding the “naughty ocapus” hiding. She asks to read “Ellie’s book” at least once a day since it arrived. She loves seeing her own face turn in to the character of Ellie and I love that we have a book that captures her at 2 years old and we have already made memories of her imagining herself on a swashbuckling adventure with Sailor and his crew!

The Golden Key is a lovely story based on a protagonist character being kind and brave enough to help Sailor find his lost golden key. It has pesky pirates, adventures on a turtle and a GIANT octopus who in Ellie’s view is very naughty. I find that Ellie’s attention span is small (she is only 2 and a bit) and long stories can be a bit tedious to read at times and at 44 pages long I assumed this would be the case for The Golden Key but the story and the fact that she is the main character keeps her attention right to the very last page, she loves it!

You can follow them on social media and order via the website linked below.
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Disclosure: I was gifted The Golden Key in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.

Posted in Gifted, motherhood, mothering a rainbow, Mum Blogger, mummy blog, parenting, Pregnancy, product review, Self Care

First Rhyme Mom Review (GIFTED)

I was recently approached by an author (Leanne) to review her debut book. Leanne has written what can only be described as a poetic view on the realities of being a mother. She has taken the good and the bad and written about it in a way that I could definitely relate to.

First Rhyme Mom shares the journey Leanne took during the first 6 months of her daughters life, from pregnancy to “the outside” and does so with humour and realism. It is obvious that each poem has come straight from the heart.

I was intrigued by Leanne’s offer to review her book as she is currently living not too far from me in the West Midlands and I love being able to support people especially those who are local. However I was unsure how I was going to feel reading it as my journey to motherhood has been a tough one to say the least.

Admitting I haven’t read a book that doesn’t include talking animals for a fair few years; I needed an excuse to read something and have a bit of time for self-care and I am so glad I did. I’ve always wondered whether I was alone with some of my thoughts and feelings, especially in those early days and months when Ellie was born. Unsure of whether I was suffering more because I was still grieving Jason or just not being a good Mum. Reading First Rhyme Mom has shown me that everything I felt was completely normal (and still is at 28 months!) being a parent is difficult, no doubt about it but being able to find the funny side is what gets you through.

I would HIGHLY recommend this for any mum but especially for those mums who feel like they haven’t quite found their mojo in this journey as Leanne has a way with words that will make it clear you are doing just fine ❤️

Overall First Rhyme Mom, made me laugh and cry (To My Mummy really hit me!) but also gave me a strong sense of knowing we are all doing the best we can and to these little darlings (😅) our best is more than enough ❤️

First Rhyme Mom can be purchased here

First Rhyme Mom

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Disclosure: I was given the Fierce Femme t-shirt by Surviving Society in exchange for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.