Saturday, 30 August 2014

Holiday Adventure Story Writing Competition

A love of reading, writing and a passion for adventure are the themes of a new competition, with children aged ten and under being asked to put their imagination and creativity into action by writing a story about Lottie and her holiday adventures.

The competition is a chance for one lucky child to win a selection of ten books from the Lottie Pinterest folder ‘Great Books for Girls’ (that boys can read too!), in addition to winning exclusive new Lottie products before they hit the shops. 

Entering the competition is very straightforward;

Parents and guardians are asked to download a printable template from the storywriting app on the Lottie dolls Facebook page at so that kids can use this as a starting point for their story. Parents are then required to take a photo of their child’s story and upload it onto the storywriting contest Facebook app and fill in a form to grant parental permission for their child’s entry to be considered for the competition. Full terms and conditions of the competition are to be found at: 

Disclaimer; I received no financial compensation for writing this post and have no material connection to the brand or products mentioned. 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

No Words Required - More Beautiful Book Covers

These are just some of the beautiful books I've catalogued in the last couple of weeks. I love my work! The oldest – Wee Bits O’ Things by Ernest Aris was published in 1914 and the newest – The Church Mice and the Ring by Grahame Oakley in 1992.  The Chalet School & the island, Adventurous Four, My first and second story books and the Tiny Tots annual were all published in the 1950s. Doodles the performing pup is a cardboard puppet ready to cut out and build. Beautiful books - vintage or new they need no words!  I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed cataloguing them.

These and many others are available to view or purchase (unless sold) at March House Books

Doodles, The Church Mice and the Ring and The Chalet School and the Island are now sold, thank you for your interest.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Hay-on-Wye - Book Heaven!

It’s always a delight to visit the Hay-on-Wye book town. Its position on the border between England and Wales makes it the perfect place to set out on an exploration of the beautiful border country

A mug of tea and a quick study of the map is always first on the agenda. I know where the shops are, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared!

The main attraction for me is, of course, the numerous bookshops. We were only in the town for half a day, but I've been before so made straight for my favourites, one of which is Backfold Books & Bygones, an interesting mix of general & children's books, plus postcards & ephemera. 

Backfold Books & Bygones (Oxford Road)

Someone at The Addyman Annexe (27 Castle Street) has a fine sense of humour!
Kindles are banned from The Kingdom of Hay – Amen!

I noticed the ‘No Parking Sign’ on the side of the building when I took the previous ‘photo but what I didn't notice until later was the message chalked above it.
Buy a Book - At any time.  

If you like your bookshops big, be sure to visit The Hay Cinema Bookshop 
From the Guardian Independent Bookshop Directory... A cathedral of books, an enormous building, stuffed to the rafters with second-hand books on old library shelving.  

I could happily spend a week browsing the shelves but my husband doesn't enjoy book shopping, so I made a beeline for the children's section and avoid the rest. 
A tiny corner of the Hay Cinema Bookshop. 

We picked a perfect July day for our visit.

If books are not your thing, you will find plenty of other distractions.

Quirky vintage shops, 

delightful flowers

and charming streets to explore. 

I didn't get much time in this interesting shop and am kicking myself because I can’t remember the name. I do remember the owner saying it was named after one of his dogs. Looking at the map, I think it might be Belle Books on Broad Street?

From Hay-On-Wye it was on to Stella Books at Tintern in the beautiful Wye Valley.

With around 30,000 out-of-print books this is one shop you can’t afford to miss. 

The river with Stella Books in the distance.

After a good sleep and a delicious breakfast at this fantastic b&b, we were ready for more adventures.

We weren't intending to visit Hay this year hence the shortness of our trip. We were en route to Buckinghamshire, but it was raining there so we went to Hay first. If you are thinking of going, you really need to allow more time to visit all the shops. A week should just about do it!


Just before I close I want to share this beautiful gift received in the post last week.

Thank you very, very much Nicole I was so excited when the postman called, and I love every single thing.

For those of you who haven’t met Nicole, she is a very talented author and illustrator living and working in Holland; See more here 

Nicole and I have not met, but we have corresponded over a number of years, and I count myself very lucky to have her as a friend.

I am also grateful for all my blogging friends, thank you for visiting.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Book of the week; The Cheery Chicks Book with illustrations by Harold Earnshaw

The Cheery Chicks Book published by Blackie & Son c1920.

 A beautiful picture book telling the story of three small children, a dog and a cat about to go on holiday..

Travelling by steam train…

and taxi!

On arrival at their destination, they chat to a flower seller...

and a hurdy-gurdy boy. 

They spend a long time gazing at the toys in the toyshop window 

before going to play in the park.

Then it's off to the cake shop for tea with grandpapa. 
I know some people might think the animals have no business being in the cake shop never mind sitting at the table, but it’s my favourite picture. Grandpapa looks like a kindly old gentleman. The children are incredibly wholesome and the animals well behaved. Even the waitress is smiling.   

The story follows the children as they enjoy a holiday on the farm...

and ends when they put their toys to bed.
The Cheery Chicks Book illustrated by Harold Earnshaw

Thanks for looking...
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