Category Archives: Brilliant Books

The Whole Story

– Story Times in East and South London


It was a dark and stormy night …


No matter what your opening line (or your first word for that matter), it all ends happily ever after with’s comprehensive listing of rhyme times, baby bounce and story hour at every library and bookshop across the Capital (Greater London, that is). We’ve just added South and East London.


To cut a long story short, search by day of the week or postcode to find your local session. It’s so easy it could be a fairy tale.


The End


What Moi says:

Cue the knight on a white horse …

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Filed under Brilliant Books, Fun with Mini, Out & About

A Matter of Perspective

– Clever new books tell same tale for boys and girls

metmx_17_1decThe battle of the sexes, it seems, starts early. Leaving aside the chromosome argument (xx, xy – it’s all too complicated), if there’s any truth in the tale, it starts with a make-up of very different ingredients. And now you can choose a tale to match your tot’s constitution, be it puppy dogs tails or sugar and spice.

Not that we’re getting all Mars and Venus on you. Or Harry and Sally. We’re talking Oscar meets Maggie.

The imaginative and multi-talented creators of our favourite family club, Maggie & Rose, have turned their hand to publishing a single book, but with a choice of your hero’s gender. How post-modern!

Both are beautifully illustrated and tell the same tale.

Boys will love the action-packed adventure in which our hero Oscar and his faithful canine companion Bentley save the day in a charmingly boy-sterous tale.

metmx_17_2decAnd little girls will love the (Maggie &) Rose-tinted version with sugar, spice and all things nice.  Think afternoon teas and girly fun.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from mixing things up a little and buying both books. Now that’s an interesting perspective!

What Mini says:

Perspective? You should try seeing the world from down here.

Maggie & Rose’s new books (SSP £10 each) are available from their website. Aimed at a slightly older child, the books make the perfect present for an older friend – or put one on your tot’s bookshelf for the future.

Enter our Christmas Bootie competition and you could win one of each version!

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Filed under Brilliant Books, Christmas is Coming, Win Big!

‘Twas the night before Christmas

– Frolicking fun from our favourite mouse


metmx_1decIt’s the stuff of fairy tales (and your recurring dreams): All through the house not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.


That’s not a house with a small tot! These days, it’s a struggle to keep your little mouse quiet, even for a minute, let alone a night of no stirring …


Lull your littl’un into a good night’s sleep with a lovely tale of Christmas Eve fun. The well-loved characters and distinctive imagery of Maisy’s Christmas Eve make for a happy read as Maisy and her friends celebrate the season and frolic in the snow.


metm112This brightly coloured gem is sure to brighten up any Christmas stocking. Or break the rules and let your little elf enjoy the tale in the build up to the Festive fun.


What Mini says:

And a Happy Christmas to all (and, of course, a good-night!).


Maisy’s Christmas Eve by Lucy Cousins (SSP £5.99) is available online and at all good local bookshops.


Win a Christmas Bootie Hamper!

We’ve got two fabulous Christmas Bootie Hampers to give away!

We’ve filled our Christmas stocking with all the gorgeous goodies that we’ll review in December  – that’s nine amazing gifts for you to win.

To win, send an e-mail to with a list of friends who need to know about, together with your full postal address. Go on, send us an e-mail now!

We’ll enter your name in the drawer for each friend referred. The winners will be selected at random on Friday 19th December at 9am and will be notified on the same day. The hamper will be sent via Royal Mail to reach you in time for Christmas.

Increase your chances of winning! Your name will be entered for each friend you refer. Go on, send it to your NBF, your NCT class and all mums who need to know about Hit send now!



See the fine print here.

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Baby Bakes, Baby Cakes

metm17– Book for Baking Babes


The icing on the cake to any meal or snack for your tot is when it has been lovingly made by their own tiny hands. 


Linda Collister’s Baking with Kids is jam packed with delicious recipes.  Our favourites include banana loaf – the ideal mid afternoon treat – and vegetable frittata for a healthy snack.  For a special occasion, indulge in the mouth watering puddings. 


With easy step by step instructions and photographs that are good enough to eat, conjuring up these gourmet delights really is a piece of cake.


Impress friends with a lavish spread and your little chef is guaranteed to be the talk of the dining table.


An afternoon in the kitchen really will be the best thing since sliced bread.


What Mini says:

Is this what they mean about baking your cake and eating it?


Linda Collister’s Baking with Kids is available in all good books shops and online, and is priced £14.99. 

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On Truth and Truths

  Beautiful book for babies and pre-schoolers

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a loving mum in possession of a small baby must be in want of a good book*.

If you’re such a mum – or know of one – then your quest for a good read, whether on the home front or more globally, ends with Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.

The latest offering from Helen Oxenbury, this beautifully illustrated book contains a couple of home truths: at heart, it is a celebration of babies and the love their parents feel for them. While simple, the message certainly rings true.

Through its lovely rhymes and rhythmic repetitions, it also teaches tolerance and understanding –no matter where a baby is born, those ten little fingers and ten little toes connect every one as part of the human race.

Now that’s a truth, and one that needs to be universally acknowledged.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury (SSP £10.99) is available in hardcover and makes a perfect gift for a new baby. Toddlers and small children will also love it. If you buy it on the Walker Website this month, they’ll donate a new book to Book Aid International.

* With apologies to Jane Austen.

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Feeling Peckish?

For the Library

Every self respecting Moi is forever on the look out for the Next New Thing but sometimes Retro Cool is where it’s at.  And what better entrée into the fashionable world of vintage than the brilliant The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.


This timeless story, with stunning illustrations, is a feast for Mini’s eyes and ears.  And for those who like to mix their vintage with something new, check out the colourful cuddly caterpillar toy – who will delight in ‘munching’ his way through endless pumpkin purées and is guaranteed to become a future classic – and the Very Special Baby Book, a beautiful keepsake baby book to record Mini’s personal details and milestones. And for those into something a little theatrical, try the velvety caterpillar hand puppet which is sure to bring the tale of this greedy green gourmand to life.


This book is perfect for every age, so go on – join the Hungry Caterpillar on his gourmet trip!


What Mini says:

I can’t wait to get my teeth, well gums, stuck into this!


The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and his other books and associated merchandise, are available at all good bookshops and online


– Classic tale for every library is the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers. Click here to read more about our reviews of classes, activities and great things for Mum and baby or toddler.

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Filed under Brilliant Books, Toys for Tots

That’s Entertainment …

– Great guide for parents


For the Library

The days can be long. And your imagination short. (Well, a lack of sleep will do that to anyone.) And that’s before adding the pressure of educating the next Oxbridge genius.

So, how do you pass the hours and ensure Junior passes those exams –the ones he’ll write at that private school where he’s on the waiting list. *Gasp* You have put his name down, haven’t you?

Entertaining & Educating Babies & Toddlers is a fabulous, fun and informative guide that will help even the most sleep deprived and pressured parent with quick, easy to achieve ideas for having fun with your tot (or occupying them solo for a short while). It’s packed with activities and games to keep you both busy. Imaginative and fun, most of these do not require that you spend a small fortune on

toys and equipment. (Click here for Mini-et-Moi’s favourite games and ideas from the book.)


And, with notes on age appropriate toys and games, the book is easy to pick up and enjoy in byte-sized portions, perhaps while Junior’s biting into something of his own … like his toes.


That, as they say, is entertainment (and a little bit of education too) …


What Mini says:

I don’t eat my toes for entertainment purposes, it’s a bit of nourishment that I’m after.


Entertaining & Educating Babies & Toddlers by Caroline Young is part of the Parents’ Guide Range from Usborne (ISBN-10: 0746077998). The SSP £12.99 but it’s currently £9.99 on Amazon. Plus, it’s part of the Parents Guide range, so you won’t be left in the lurch when your tot reaches his sell by date. Just buy the next book in the range and you’ll be covered!


Click here to see a selection of games and ideas included in the book. is the ultimate review site for London mums, babies and toddlers. Click here to read more about our reviews of classes, activities and great things for Mum and baby or toddler.

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