Our Summer Reading Challenge blogpost

Our daughter, Elodee, has just turned 5 years old. Over the summer holidays we have embarked on the Summer Reading Challenge and if that wasn’t enough, we’re blogging about it… Well, I’m asking Elodee some questions about the stories after we’ve read them and including her views here along with mine! Exciting stuff. Here goes.

To kick off, E chose ‘The Fairytale Hairdresser and Cinderella’ this week because it’s her ‘favourite story’. Trying to suppress a sigh because it is SO girlie, so totally pink and sparkly and not wanting to jump to any conclusions about gender specific reads I reminded myself that we are doing this for the love of reading after all.

61FlNq8bEML._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_‘The Fairytale Hairdresser and Cinderella’ is, like the other books in the series, a modern adaptation of a traditional fairytale. Whilst it sticks with the traditional storyline of girl meets her prince, falls in love, marries and lives happily ever after, it is cleverly intertwined with the tale of an entrepreneurial, hard working individual: Kittie Lacey, fabulous fairytale hairdresser with customers from all corners of fairytale land (including the Queen). Uncomplaining, over worked – no time even for a cup of tea – she is portrayed as kind, generous and cheerful. Overall she seems to be rather a nice person and certainly a positive protagonist for our children to grow attached to.

The story is brought to life with colourful, detailed illustrations – each illustration provides the reader with a new window into the world of fairytales. It’s fascinating to see Mother Hubbard in hair rollers, a dragon having a snooze in the woods, the Seven Dwarfs patiently waiting to have their beards combed, and the wolf visiting the opticians (‘All the better to see you with’ is the shop strap line…) The ball and the wedding are packed full of our favourite characters; It’s great fun spotting them all and chatting about what they’re up to.

I’m pretty sure that any 5 year old boy would run a mile if presented with this story at bedtime although there are certainly some positive messages for boys too – the Prince helping out at the hairdressing salon for example. Without doubt it’s a hit with the girls – especially ours. Here are her thoughts on it:

I had 2 bits that I liked. There was one bit that I liked: the Queen’s hair and I liked the bit that there was the ball and I saw the Princess and the Frog and Rapunzel. I liked the Queen’s hair had hearts in it and I liked her dress and the bits that covered her elbows. It all had hearts on.

There were lots of different characters. Kitty Lacey was the hairdresser. Cinderella was a good person to help at the hairdresser because she is nice and friendly.

I liked her dress at the end at the marriage. I liked all the pictures. They are lots of different characters in the story. It’s my favourite story. It’s a nice story.

Thank you for reading!

Polly x

You can find out more about the Summer Reading Challenge at:


My own children’s story book is available to pre-order at:





The Day the Crayons Quit….

We’re working our way through the Mythical Maze Summer Reading Challenge… BUT a family holiday to Greece seems to have gotten in the way of us committing to blogging about it so far!

Not one who likes to keep quiet for too long I’m posting a book review which I recently wrote for the fab Story Snug (storysnug.com) and hopefully next week my ‘book-blogger-buddy’ and I will have our act together in order to share our first joint review with you!

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

71c8lpPnJdL._SL1500_Poor Duncan is presented with quite a challenge when one day he opens his colouring box: his crayons have quit!

In their place he discovers a number of handwritten letters, one from each crayon, each providing the reason for their resignation.

Red is worn out! With so many fire engines, apples, Santas and Valentine hearts to colour he is feeling overworked! Beige is fed up with being second fiddle to brown whilst yellow and orange have fallen out over who should be picked to colour the sun. Pink doesn’t just want to be a girlie colour and white is feeling empty.

But what should Duncan do?!

The Day the Crayons Quit was given to us by a dear friend, and I’m so glad that she did! It is an original, humorous and highly imaginative children’s story. I feel it would appeal to the elder of the picture book audience although our 5 year old found it hilarious. The illustrations are quirky and fun and perfectly capture the mood of each crayon and are produced by Oliver Jeffers, the creator of Lost & Found.

IMG_4438As well as a super book to share with your child, The Day the Crayons Quit would serve as a valuable resource in the classroom to pave the way for numerous activities: writing letters to and from inanimate objects, activities about using colour imaginatively; drama work; problem solving and conflict resolution between friends as well as a starting point for many meaningful discussions both at home or at school.

Polly is the author of ‘Worm, Slug, Maggot & Leech and their Troublesome Transformation!’ due for release on 12th September, available to pre order now. Drawing on previous experiences of mainstream primary school teaching and working within Special Educational Needs, her book has a theme around self-esteem, identity and diversity. Polly currently works in the field of conflict resolution and is hoping to produce a sequel to her book. It can be pre-ordered at: