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Rainy day stories and a big bag of children’s books to win

Me and the boy are starting to settle into a new winter routine. Busy mornings at pre-school for him, and study for me, and then home early afternoon to crash. Afternoons spent kicking leaves are becoming slightly less fun, more soggy than crunchy, aside from the odd bright day, with temperatures dropping and more rain and dark  coming quicker and gloomier.

But the truth is, although I’m missing more time outside, I’m loving our afternoons. Curtains get closed early and our sofa is now a permanent nest with cushions and blankets. Kai is usually content to play on whatever adventure he’s dreamed up that day, and I knit, or clean, or work a little and we chat our lovely secret, in-joke chat and make each other laugh and fend off the grumps with snacks and painting and other indoory things. There’s definitely a touch of hibernation-mode kicking in – even I’m going to bed earlier. There’s something about winter, inbuilt in us, that breeds sitting, and hunkering down, and, oh and stories. Yes. It is definitely a time for books, too.

The people from the new Tesco Magazine Kids’ Book Club got in touch lately to tell me about their new site and share news, specifically, of the Kids’ Book Club videos that they’re starting to preview. On them, a  host of famous celebs such as Alison Steadman, Caroline Quentin, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Meera Syal, read aloud some of the best new kids’ books, accompanied by the books’ gorgeous illustrations. The first videos are up now, with lots more planned, and cover the whole spectrum of toddler, pre-school and primary-aged children, from picture books, right up to chapter books for older kids. As well as videos and reviews, the site shares news of new books, exclusive author content and parents’ resources. Honestly, it’s brilliant. And I’m not usually quick to endorse things.

Me and Kai spent a lovely hour yesterday afternoon tucked up watching the videos for his age group, his favourite being More, More, More! by Nick Price and read by Meera Syal, featuring a greedy whale who’s not satisfied with what’s on offer for his tea. With Kai’s speech difficulties, stories with lots of sounds and repetition are the ones that benefit him most, allowing him to join as best he can and help him practice making word sounds, and he loved this one. Plus, it has burping in. Always going to be a hit. My favourite was Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson, full of illustrations I wish I’d drawn and the sense of adventure and exploration that reading can bring.

To celebrate the launch of the site, and help you pass some of these dark afternoons with your small people, me and Tesco Magazine have teemed up to give away a whole load of books featured on the site.

To win all ten of these books, all you have to do is leave a comment below, or if for any reason you’re struggling to make the comment form work, send me an email using the contact form at the top of the page and tell me you’d like to enter. The giveaway is only open to UK residents over the age of 16, and I’ll be accepting entries till midnight on Friday 11th November, at which point I’ll randomly draw a winner.

Best of luck! Oh, and don’t forget to follow @tescomagazine on Twitter for more exclusive book giveaways, author chats and news.



  1. Please enter me, can never have enough books. x

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