Friday, 12 September 2014

The Sun and stars Align to Improve Child Literacy & A Visit from a Hummingbird hawk-moth


The Sun newspaper has teamed up with some of the most popular children’s authors and entertainers to introduce a new weekly feature encouraging parents to read with their children.

Specially written ten-minute stories from authors including David Walliams (Mr. Stink), former children's laureate Michael Morpurgo (War Horse) and Derek Landy (Skulduggery Pleasant) will be published in Saturday editions of The Sun.

The Get Kids Reading campaign is part of a wider Read On, Get On campaign with Save the Children that calls on the government, local organisations and parents to tackle illiteracy and get children reading. 

David Walliams

David Dinsmore, Editor of The Sun, said: Illiteracy in Britain should be something our schoolchildren know only from the pages of their history books. Getting kids to read about things they're interested in is half the battle. With exclusive stories by top children¹s authors and free e-book offers, we will be helping parents find ways to make reading an easy everyday part of life.

Justin Forsyth from Save The Children said: We want every child to be given a fair and equal chance to learn to read well. We applaud The Sun for getting behind this campaign, and look forward to working with its readers to restore literacy to its rightful levels in the UK.

Other contributors who have supplied ten-minute reads are Susanna Reid, Rizzle Kicks and David Baddiel. The newspaper is also running a national competition to find the next budding children’s author with the winning story published as the final instalment of the series.

The Sun bus is visiting schools giving away books throughout October and free children’s e-books will be available to download for Sun members.



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

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Autumn has definitely arrived in Somerset. The dahlias are at their best, and the apple trees are laden with fruit. Yesterday, we received a visit from a hummingbird hawk moth and could hardly believe our eyes! What on earth is it, we asked? A baby hummingbird? A bug? Terry rushed for his camera, and I rushed for the Internet! The moth was too quick for the camera, but the Internet revealed all.


According to the BBC Nature Website Hummingbird hawk-moths are found in Britain all summer long, especially in Southern parts and in Ireland (odd that this is the first one we’ve seen?) They beat their wings at such speed they emit an audible hum. Their name is further derived from their similar feeding patterns to hummingbirds. Hummingbird hawk-moths are strongly attracted to flowers with a plentiful supply of nectar such as honeysuckle and buddleia. The one we saw was flitting between our honeysuckle and a neighbour's buddleia…


The photographs that follow were all taken in our garden…


In the Other gardens
 And all up the vale,


From the autumn bonfires
  See the smoke trail!


Pleasant summer over
  And all the summer flowers,


The red fire blazes,
 The gray smoke towers.


Sing a song of seasons!
  Something bright in all!


Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Autumn Fires by
Robert Louis Stevenson (from A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1885)


 Thanks for your visit...

Friday, 5 September 2014

Are we there yet?

Who doesn't remember packing a picnic hamper into the boot of the family car only to have the car break down?   It happened all the time when I was a little girl. Dad would attack the engine with a spanner and a greasy rag, and sometimes that would be enough to get us on our way.  If not, it was a call to the AA (Automobile Association) and a wait for the patrolman to turn up on his motorbike, just as he does in one of these sweet little books. 

Birn Books



Birn Bros




Published by Birn Brothers




Birn brothers




Thank you for accompanying me on my travels!  If you would like to know more about any of the books, please click on the links above each one. 

When I started this post, I assumed the four books above made up a complete set but by a strange coincidence, I was offered another set of five books. There can’t be very many of these around so it seems like the best kind of luck to have two sets plus an extra! Now two lucky customers can own a little piece of travel history.


A journey is best measured in friends, not in miles... Tim Cahill

Thanks for being my friend and for breaking your journey here...

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 https://www.facebook.com/lottiedolls 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, The Adventurous Four, Penelope and The Chalet School and the Island are now sold, thank you for your interest.
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