Miles Kelly Children’s Books – Review

Miles Kelly is an independent children’s book publisher that covers everytime of book from fiction, non fiction, activity books and sticker books.  They really have a wide umbrella of titles, something for everyone.

We received a selection of books suitable to my children’s ages to try out and I have to say we were impressed by them all.  They are are of an excellent quality and my children were eager to get reading when they saw them.

miles kelly 4Miss M starting looking through the 100 Facts Solar System and recalled some things she recognised from learning at school last year.  Each page of this book is full colour and packed full of annotated pictures and fact files whilst going through 100 interesting facts about the solar system.  Going through the book with her, we found some facts that turned into quite fascinating talking points which even my young son enjoyed listening to and making sounds/actions to, demonstrating the points we were discussing, such as meteorites being blasted out of the surface by other rocks smashing into them!

miles kellyI think it’s great when children can take in snippets of information from books like this as you know it’s something that they will remember.  The book is fun to look through and you can read as much or as little as you like at a time.  There are short quizzes dotted throughout the book to test your knowledge of the pages you’ve just read which is always fun when you are going through the book together, encouraging children to want to learn so they get the answers right.

The book that really grabbed Miss M’s attention is the mini Encyclopedia of British History, although surprising, I knew she would be interested as she is currently learning British History at school and really does have an interest in seeing things outside of school that are relevant to what she is learning.  She immediately sat flicking through this book and seemed quite engrossed, but she had come across the era that all her homework is based on this term, Stone Age, Iron Age and Bronze Age.  She found a great labelled picture of a round house from which she used the information for her own drawing of a round house which she had to label. And she was really inspired about the Iron Age hill forts and got lots of ideas for the model she had to make for one of her school assignments.

miles kelly 6This book gives a fascinating journey through time in Britain from the era where woolly mammoths existed right up to the 2012 London Olympics.  With just short of 400 pages this mini encyclopedia is packed full of infomation in short bursts of paragraphs and facts with lots of colour illustrations to engage the reader.

miles kelly 5


Reading Together Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a brilliant story and activity book for those just starting to read.  Mister B started school this year but his reading is already progressing well and this book has been great for him.  Not to mention Goldilocks has been a topic at school this term!

miles kelly 2The book follows the story of Goldilocks along illustrated pages but at the bottom of each page are some words for your child to read related to words or sounds in the story.  There are 70 stickers to use within the book encouraging children to learn their phonics and find the right ones for each pages activity.  This really engaged Mister B and made the learning fun and is different to other phonics based activity books I’ve come across.

miles kelly 3Our final book is The Three Little Pigs, a picture book for young children.  A lovely size with full colour pages that are beautifully illustrated, this is an excellent rendition of the traditional tale.  The pictures are fun and engaging, with plenty for young children to look at, point at and tell you what they think is going on in the story.  I know Mister B loves giving his version of the a story’s events before I read a page, showing that he’s engaging to what he’s listened to previously.

Overall I think the Miles Kelly books are of excellent quality and full of engaging content for children.  They are beautifully put together and there is such a wide variety of books available to cover each child’s tastes that there really is something for everyone.  My children have thoroughly enjoyed these books, and this is definitely a publisher that I’d recommend.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the books in order to write an honest review.


Barefoot Books for Children – Review

When Barefoot Books sent me some books to review, I have to admit that is wasn’t a book publisher I was aware of before but after having a glance over their website, the books all appeared to be vibrant, brightly coloured and enticing so I was intrigued to see what the stories were like and how well received they would be by my two children.  The Barefoot Books company was set up in 1992 by two mums, with four children between them who were looking for meaningful, creative careers hence the Barefoot Books brand was born.

The first book Clare Beaton’s Nursery Rhymes was perfectly aged for Mister B.  It is a board book with really smooth, high quality finished pages containing seven well illustrated nursery rhymes.

Having read the book several times throughout the last couple of days to Mister B, he really enjoyed looking at the illustrations as we sang the rhymes to him.  To try to encourage his speech and vocabulary, after each rhyme we look at the pictures and point out the various objects.  He has enjoyed listening to the nursery rhymes, making the relevant animal noises as we come across them in the pictures and is happy to sit looking through the pages on his own.  All in all a good little first nursery rhyme book.



The next book Ruby’s School Walk was perfect for Miss M who is due to start school in September, although let’s hope her imagination isn’t quite as vivid as Ruby’s who sees witches and various beasts on her walk to school. This book had lovely rhyming verse throughout as well as the repeated phrase “I must be brave, I must be strong” appearing at the end of each section.


The final book we reviewed is The Real Princess – A Mathemagical Tale.  This was a very interesting and different style of book to the usual princess tales out there.  The story included many number references, e.g. The king and queen had 1 butler, 2 footmen, 3 maids, 4 horses, 5 grooms, 6 dogs, 7 gardeners, 8 chimney sweeps etc.  The story is about the king and queen’s 3 sons who are on the look out for a genuine princess to marry.  They go about this by the queen getting them to sleep on a huge pile of mattresses with a number of peas underneath – in a similar fashion to the classic Princess and the Pea fairytale but written in a modern & quirky style.

DSCF4513This book was a good grown up book for Miss M, which she needs to move forward from the simple Peppa Pig style short stories she has loved over the last couple of years.  She enjoyed the brightly coloured illustrations and loved counting and pointing out the references to numbered items that appeared through the book.  I love the educational aspect to the book as Miss M is totally oblivious to the learning side of the book, and if she is too tired then we can just concentrate on the story.

DSCF4515There is an unusual little twist at the end of the book with a double ending which Miss M was fascinated by and a Test Your Counting Skills page of questions at the end where you have to go back and find number related answers to questions throughout the book – a great little extra.

But the best surprise which I hadn’t noticed on first picking up the book was that there is a story CD included with the book.  This was perfect as Miss M loves listening to her story CD’s when mummy and daddy have finished the bedtime reading.  The story can either be listened to alone or you can follow the words on the pages in the book.


The Barefoot Books website is not only an online shop to purchase books but contains some excellent digital content to entertain your children. These include storytime podcasts and animated videos featuring some of the best of Barefoot Books.  There are also activity pages to print out containing puzzles, colouring sheets, children’s recipes and even themed party ideas!

I hope you get to read a Barefoot Book soon and enjoy them as much as my family have.  Their bright, colourful illustrations are a winner with children and keep them entertained why you read the stories.  There are a huge variety of titles on offer at Barefoot Books covering all ages and subjects as well as puzzles, finger puppets and more…  Be sure to check them out soon.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions. We are not paid for reviews although we do receive the product to try out and enable us to write the review.

Quotes from Miss M

I’ve observed a number of funny/cute totally unexpected comments coming from Miss M recently so decided to write them down as she said them and pick the best ones to share with you. So here goes:

When putting Miss M to bed one night:
“Mummy, I’m really proud of you and I love you lots”
I thought this one was lovely and totally unexpected.

After spending all afternoon preparing the dinner and dishing it up I got:
“I don’t like cottage pie but I like nursery’s cottage pie, just not the one at home”
Hmm – what can I say??

On a walk to the park Miss M feels tired so we stop for a rest on a park bench:
“I’m all hot and bothered now mummy”
Where did she get this phrase from?

About her little brother Mister B:
“I love my baby brother – he’s my bestest friend in the world”
How cute – I thought this was so sweet.

And then one day after nursery she burst into song:
Five little elephants went out to play,
Upon a spider’s web one day,
They had such tremendous fun,
That they called for another elephant to come.
Six little elephants went out to play…..

And so you get the drift of the song – it was so lovely to hear as I’d never heard this song before but what made it particularly fascinating was the tone Miss M used throughout the song with the highs and lows of each word.  It was one of those moments you wish you could capture on video as it was so cute to listen to and just pure innocent charm from Miss M!!


There was an old woman who swallowed a fly… museum crafty fun!

We go to a wonderful under 5’s group at our local museum every week.  There is a different theme each week where we look at a display or some objects around the museum and then make a crafty item that links in with the theme.  It is a really interesting group that allows the children to experience something new along with some fun in making something (usually with glue/tissue paper/sequins/glitter etc) and then stories and songs at the end to calm them down and bring the session to an end.

Miss M loves attending and we have made some wonderful things over the last couple of years.

Last weeks theme was “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly…”

We were given basic printouts of the lady and all the animals she swallowed which we had to cut out and decorate.  We then added an extra layer to the front of the skirt to make a pocket to keep all the animals in.

So here we have our finished lady!!

DSCF3516Poor Mister B spent most of the hour stuck in his push chair or when I did let him out, he was caged in my arms!!  If I dared to let him go he sped across the floor on his knees grabbing a multitude of coloured tissue paper that he had his beady eye on and chewed it up.  Hopefully in a couple of months he will understand what he can and can’t eat and it will make things much easier.

And here’s the song for those that want to join in with us:

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – perhaps she’ll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wriggled and wiggled and tiggled inside her;
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
How absurd to swallow a bird.
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a cat;
Fancy that  to swallow a cat!
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why  she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
There was an old lady that swallowed a dog;
What a hog, to swallow a dog;
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a cow,
I don’t know how she swallowed a cow;
She swallowed the cow to catch the dog,
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
There was an old lady who swallowed a horse…
She’s dead, of course!

I wonder what we make next week – let’s wait and see. xx