Sunday, 27 January 2013

"I laughed so much I farted"

Written by Sue Hendra and Illustrated by Liz Pichon  Published by Hodder Children's Books

Introducing Dave, he's a feline with a VERY healthy appetite, think Man Vs Food but with Kibbles, Dave had gorged himself at breakfast time to such an extent that tragically he has become well and truly utterly and un-expectedly STUCK in the cat flap. 

Said butt-wedging disaster hasn't gone un-noticed by the creatures living in and around the garden and it must be said they are all finding the situation more than a little hilarious. 

Some good Samaritans take pity on the fatty feline and try to come up with a plan to un-wedge Dave. They try making him laugh, tickling him, scaring him and feeding him all manner of disgusting foods but sadly nothing works, Until that is a clever old bug comes up with a cunning plan. BEANS! I'll not take you for fools Sniffers we all know the consequences of eating too many beans and you guessed it that's exactly what happens. As the story culminates in one of the most triumphant trumps the suburbs have ever heard/seen/smelt!

Will Dave learn his lesson and not be so greedy in future? What do you think? 

A bright cheery funny story - Dave is just the kind of cat you'd like to go to Weight Watcherz with. 

This reader review on the front cover really made me chuckle, what great praise. (Note to self, eat more beans!) 


Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Belle and Boo..

In the midst of the snow flurries two charming little characters have arrived at Book Sniffer Towers, and they brought cake! 
It's none other than Mandy Sutcliffe's utterly enchanting duo 
Belle & Boo.

Belle and Boo best friends on sunny days , rainy days and dreamy-let's-be-lazy-days,

Yummy Scrummy Day  (Out now in Hardback and available in all good book shops) tells the familiar tale of a fussy eater, in this case Boo. Boo is quite positively 100% certainly ONLY going to eat cake and most definitely NOT anything else, *especially things which are eggy, sharp, hot OR soupy!
Belle has other ideas and comes up with a cunning plan to take Boo's mind off cake. Together they organise a feast for Snuffly Elephant and set about gathering interesting ingredients from the garden. 

After much foraging of vegetables and fruit they set about cooking a delicious soup to be followed by some juicy steamy hot sweet baked apples. Stubborn old Boo still wants cake but as mouth watering smells emerge from the kitchen Boo thinks of a plan to join in with the feast.

Cobbling together an elaborate fancy dress disguise out of the toy box Boo (disguised and a lion) triumphantly gets to taste the delicious soup and sweet juicy baked apples with all of his friends and do you know what? he actually likes them. 

Opening a Belle& Boo book is almost like stepping through a wonderful wooden door into a friendly, innocent, sugared almond scented world. 
The stories though very sweet aren't schmaltzy in any way, in fact they are positively enchanting.
With delicious echos of A.A Milne the Belle & Boo books maintain a lovable identity all of their own oozing quality and class from every single page. 

The Belle & Boo books are published by Orchard Books - visit the Belle & Boo website here you can also follow them on Twitter

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Need a Hug?


Get your diaries out Sniffers because Monday 21st January 2013 is National Hug Day, lets face it who doesn't love a good squeeze! 
To add to your excitement the REAL Hugless Douglas, will be out and about in London looking for a big bear hug. 
*hastily grabs barber jacket*
According to top sciency boffins It’s been scientifically proven that hugging decreases blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol; and it increases the happy hormone, oxytocin. So for your health's sake you must take to the streets and track Hugless Douglas down.
Want to know where you can grab a real giant sized Hugless Douglas bear hug?

His schedule takes him to Kings Cross Station in London to hug early morning commuters (lets face it, they need it), to Buckingham Palace looking for a royal hug (let's hope Phillip leaves his hunting riffle on the wall), to a London primary school to give away FREE books as well as bonus hugs to heaps of lucky tiddly peeps, then Douglas will be hot footing it to Waterstone's Piccadilly where you will have the chance to meet his creator, sublime author and illustrator David Melling.

See our review of We Love You Hugless Douglas here...

The wonderful peeplepods at Hodder Towers have kindly donated a fabulous prize just for you Sniffers so here's your chance to WIN a limited edition pair of snuggly Hugless Douglas slippers AND a signed set of Hugless Douglas books! What larks!
How to enter: Simply email your name and address to the  following email 
Tell us about the best hug you've ever had OR send us a picture/photo/drawing of your favorite bear.
Closing Date : 25th January 2013
A winner will be picked at random, some entries may be featured on the Book Sniffer blog / Facebook gallery / Twitter
 Douglas's SCHEDULE:
If you fancy a real life hug OR getting your mitts on a signed copy of Hugless Douglas then here's where you can catch Huggy D and his creator David Melling  on MONDAY, 21st JANUARY 2013

08:00 - Kings Cross Station
10:00 - Buckingham Palace 11:00 - Waterstones Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly W1J 9LE (David Melling book signing)
14:00 - Netley Primary School

16:00 – Watermark Books, Kings Cross Station - Book Signing 
WHAT A DAY! I expect he'll need to put his feet up after all that!

You simply MUST follow David on Twitter - check him out 

@DavidMelling 1  



* In 2012, One Poll, on behalf of the National Literacy Trust, surveyed 1,000 parents of 0 to 16-year-olds in the C2DE social bracket, which refers to the three lowest social and economic groups. The survey revealed that, “nearly 1 in 7 parents do not spend any time at all on a daily basis helping their children develop literacy and communication skills, for example by telling nursery rhymes to their baby, reading with their children or discussing school work.” Further information on the work of the Nation Literacy Trust can be found by visiting their website

Thursday, 10 January 2013

It must be love love LOVE....

Toot Toot Sniffers and Snifferlings. It's a brand new year and we already have a teetering tower of books of gigantonormous proportions to sniff. What larks!

SO at the top of said teetering pile is the latest adventure featuring big snugly burly bear about town Hugless Douglas, in his new book WE LOVE YOU DOUGLAS by the one and only 
David 'brush master' Melling - published by Hodder Children's Books 

This story begins with dear old Douglas helping his little tiny sheepy chum Flossie find her long lost best friend. If you ask me these adorabubble little sheep don't get enough of the limelight so I was thrilled to see velcro-like Flossie taking centre stage!

Douglas and Flossie set off on their bumbling quest in typical Douglas fashion, encountering all manner of mishaps and mayhem as they go, including a pair of milkshake making cows and an abundance of helmet wearing trampolining rabbits (WHY do I never stumble upon such things !) After much dillying and dallying they eventually find Little Sheep, who is without doubt utter cuteness on a stick and one of my all time favorite spectacle wearing characters.

Douglas is left with a gaping hole of friendless sheep shaped proportions as the two little creatures are happily reunited. Douglas's sadness at his lack of a best-friend is short lived and the story naturally has a very happy ending with a multitude of foresty creatures showing Douglas just how much they all love him, and so do I. Three cheers for Douglas.

We Love You Douglas is a welcome addition to any home library, a happy charming story masterfully spun and illustrated with great skill and joy. A huge friendly hug in book form.

Also look out for the particularly peachy LOVE spread at the very end. A wonderful extra to prevent you feeling bereft at the end of a lovely book. Available at all good book shops.  

I have admired Melling's work for well over a decade now and it seems to just keep getting better and better,The juicy colours on every turn of the page make you feel like you are looking at David's real watercolour masterpieces and the character work I would say is second to none. I salute anyone who can capture a look of relaxed concentration on the face of a cocktail shaking cow!

Moooove over Tom Cruise!
YOU LUCKY SNIFFERS I have procured an exclusive sneak peek for you! yes JUST FOR YOU, no one else has seen these delightful snippity peeps at the magical development work for this beautiful book.

Hugless Douglas 4 ...Behind the scenes...Introduced by David Melling

 "The initial early ideas are VERY scribbly and random. I just start to fill pages with thoughts. They're done quickly and without much care - brainstorming with a pencil. My Dad was a sculptor and I remember watching him doodle. He always called his pencil his "thinking stick."

These pages from my sketchbook are from HUGLESS DOUGLAS AND THE BIG SLEEP but it illustrates my working method quite well. For me doodles and note-taking go hand in hand. It's all about getting the idea down, not how good a drawing looks...not yet anyway..."


With multitudinous fondest thanks to dearest David Melling and Hodder Children's Books 

Visit David's blog here and check him out on Twitter @DavidMelling1

All artwork (c) David Melling