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Cards that have real meaning!

I’m a total sucker for a good card! I’m one of those people who stands in the shop reading each verse, making sure it says what I want it to say, and when I receive a card, yes the words mean the world to me!

chrimbo 3So when I found out that Usborne had created cards to colour and decorate I was in my element. I know they don’t have versus, but imagine receiving a card from a child who has taken the time to colour it in just for you! Their little hearts really putting the effort into making you something special. We’ll definitely be sending these out this year!

The other option is to let your little one send a blank card to their friends. It will be such a novelty for children receiving the card to colour-in themselves!

Usborne have a fab range of colour-in cards; birthday cards, thank you cards, notecards and much more!

See page 120 of the catalogue to view their fab range

Please get in touch if you have any questions xx

chrimbo 5 chrismbo 1 chrimbo 4

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Creative Writing – Help your child write their own story!

kids writing
Credit: Get Cheap English Essay

The Story Explorers Club is passionate about children writing their own story!

Whether they want to write a story or write to help them deal with their feelings, we’re hoping as The Story Explorers Club develops we can help children achieve this.

Usborne Books already have four books that help children write their own story, which you can see below.


Write your own story book – £7.99

  • A fantastic write-in book that helps children learn to write their own stories.
  • Includes lots of different writing activities including a fictional school journal, writing a comic strip, and forming a story around a picture.
  • Packed with writing tips and a ‘storywriting toolkit’ to inspire budding authors.
  • Concealed spiral binding that allows the book to open flat but doesn’t get in the way as you write.




Write and draw your own comics – £9.99

  • Kapow! Boom! An awesome activity book for budding comic artists to imagine and draw their own comic strips.
  • Simple step-by-step instructions, with lots of handy tips and hints, show children how to create graphic stories using all the devices employed in ‘real’ comics.
  • Includes ideas for characters and storylines, sample comic strips and drawing tips.
  • With stickers to add to comic strips for extra colour and detail.




Write your own adventure stories – £8.99

  • A write-in activity book to help children plan, plot and write their own adventure stories.
  • Each colourful page is full of inspiring ideas for writing thrilling adventure stories about explorers, spies, daring rescues, ghosts, aliens, heroes and villains and lots more.
  • Fun activities such as creating a character and “what happens next?” help children to create characters, develop plot and stage all important action scenes, until they are racing through their own short stories.




My first story writing book – £7.99

  • A colourful write-in book for young children, full of curious characters, unusual places and exciting ideas to help them write imaginative stories.
  • This book takes children on a story-writing journey, showing them how to develop characters, plot the beginning, middle and end of a story and create dramatic twists.
  • With fun activities for inspiration, including word games, ‘story mazes’ with ideas for plot twists and writing diary entries for characters, as well as tips on writing descriptively and using similes and metaphors.
  • A fun and creative book that will spark inspiration and let children’s imaginations run wild.

If you would like to keep updated as The Story Explorers Club develops you can follow our facebook page  or sign-up to our newsletter through, but to get your child started on writing their own story, these books are amazing!

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Why you should choose Usborne Books!


side image

Usborne is well regarded as a market leader within the children’s publishing industry and each year they are looking for innovative new ideas that will excite children and adults alike.

These are just a few of the amazing points about Usborne Books:

Age Elastic/Multi-Level

Books that can be used in a variety of different ways at different ages.

Book Bands

Books which are bookbanded. Many schools band books by colour to help children choose the right books for their reading ability. A selection of Usborne titles have been assessed for banding.

Confidence/Self Esteem Building

Books that are reusable so practice can take place to improve. Also books with step-by-step instructions for inspiring and achievable results.

Curriculum Links

Books with links to the national curriculum. The national curriculum is a set of subjects and standards used by primary and secondary schools in the UK, so children learn the same things.

Double Page Spread

Books that can be opened anywhere onto a double page spread, allowing the reader to delve straight in. “Dip in & out” is good for developing confidence and reluctant readers.

ESL Suitability

Books which could be suitable for the “English as a Second Language” customers.

Fine Motor Skills Development

Books that encourage the coordination of small muscle movements – usually involving the synchronization of hands and fingers – with the eyes. Fine motor skills aid in the growth of intelligence.

High Interest/Low Ability

Books with high picture to word ratio. Short, accessible sections of text on appealing and relevant subjects.

Learning by Stealth

Books where children are learning through and fun and engaging ways.

Mixed Font/Text

Books with a mix of font/text (e.g. a comic strip). Invaluable for readers uninterested in conventional fiction.

side imageMulti-Sensory Approach

Books that enable children to use more than one sense to learn (sight/hearing/ touch/movement).

Non-Verbal Reasoning

Books with problem solving concepts not framed in words e.g. spot the difference.

Pre-Reading Skill Development

Books with pre-reading skills development. These are the skills children need in order to help them to become a reader, such as vocabulary development, matching, rhyming and letter skills.

Reluctant Readers

Books which could be suitable for children who may feel less confident or are “turned” off by books.

SEN Suitability

Books which could be suitable for children with Special Educational Needs.

Verbal Reasoning

Books which support problem solving using concepts framed in words.

So hopefully you can see from this information why I’m so excited about Usborne Books!

Remember, if there’s something you’re looking for and not quite sure which book to choose …


Please don’t hesitate to get in touch through facebook or send me an email: and I will do my very best to help you find what you are looking for 🙂


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Do babies only see black and white?

At birth, your baby sees only in black and white and shades of gray.

taken from:

Click on the link above to find out more about how a baby’s sight develops.

Usborne publishing have developed a range of baby books that will help to stimulate their tiny minds.

Here’s two of my favourite box sets for babies:

babys-very-first-black-whiteBaby’s very first black and white gift tray – £19.99

  • A stylishly designed gift set of four books from the popular Baby’s Very First Black and White series: Animals, Going Out, Babies and Faces.
  • Each book features high-contrast black and white illustrations, specially designed for babies to focus on.
  • With thick board pages, these books are perfect for sharing or can be propped up for babies to look at.
  • An attractive and longlasting gift for a new baby that will help in their development.




Baby’s very first black and white little library – £4.99

  • A delightful mini boxed set containing four titles from the popular Baby’s Very First Black & White series: Animals, Going Out, Babies and Faces.
  • Each book features high-contrast black and white illustrations specially designed for babies to focus on.
  • With thick board pages, the books are perfect for sharing or can be propped up for babies to see by themselves.
  • A lovely little library of first books which makes an ideal gift.




If you look on pages 9-11 of the catalogue you’ll find a range of books for babies; a collection of black & white books, touchy-feeling books, noisy books and so much more …

Usborne have definitely got it right when it comes to designing books for birth +

Get in touch if you’re interested in any of the baby books 🙂

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Did you get a lie-in this morning?

Family of four on bed, children (6-8) jumping, side view
Credit: House and Home Tidbits

So it’s Saturday morning and if you’re still in bed by 8am, you’re lucky 🙂

Parents across the country have had their kids poking their eyes, picking their noses or twisting their lips. Kids have pleaded, begged, shouted, bounced on beds to shoehorn their parents out of bed! Mine this morning was, ‘I’m hhhhuuunnnngggggrrryyyy’. If my 6 year-old didn’t get fed at 6.32am, she would starve to death!!!

Gone are the days when our Saturday mornings were about chilling until the sunrise had reached its peak!

No … if your weekends are like mine, they usually consist of my girls attempting to make breakfast which ends with the kitchen looking like it’s been ramsacked. Then there are the sounds of what could be the start of a World War as they tackle whose turn it is to hold the remote & whose turn it is to watch their favourite programme … and if that’s not enough to start your day, it’s usually a rushed job to get everyone out of the house for activites, clubs or parties!!

Sound familiar?

Well, I’m not saying the below could stop the above … but where there’s a will, there’s a way! (Although after this morning, it’s pity the activity books are not edible 🙂 )

Usborne has a wide range of activity books for kids of all ages …

From page 104 of the catalogue, you’ll find a range of activity, puzzle & sticker books.

My girls absolutely love the Sticker Dolly Books, there’s a special offer on one of their mini packs …

activity pack picture

Four Mini Sticker Dolly Dressing books, including Best Friends, Dream Jobs, Ice Skaters and Shopping, all in a stylish, colourful carry case only £7.99 (usually £12.99). Perfect for birthday presents, stocking fillers or as a reward for good behaviour!

There’s full size books available on page 128. But if you want to make learning interesting you can also find sticker books on ‘build your own …’ (pg 22), ‘Information Sticker Books’ (pg 23) and ‘Historical Sticker Books’ (pg 127).

If your children are younger, explore pages 30-35, plenty of fab stickers for the little ones!


Here’s a few more activity sets that are on offer:


get ready for school

starting school activity

phonics activity

pirate activity picture

space activity

Get in touch if you have any questions 🙂

Happy Browsing 🙂

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Gorgeous Bedtime Stories

Credit: Our Pact

Did you realise that a third of parents never read to their kids before bed?

The article I found this information from also states that child psychologist, Dr. Richard Woolfson stresses that storytime before bed can benefit everyone.

(This was taken from


You can read more from Dr. Richard Woolfson and his 5 Top Tips for a successful bedtime story here!

So fancy following some Dr. Richard Woolfson’s tips?

Well, there’s some fab special offers on some awesome bedtime books, see below! (Only until stock lasts)

picture 2

picture 1

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re interested in these collections!

You can also view some other bedtime stories in the online catalogue:

Page 9 – Baby’s very first bedtime book

Page 14 – Baby’s Bedtime Books (Age 1 years+)

Page 28 – Read-aloud Bedtime Collections

Page 71, 74 & 75 – Have some beautiful bedtime story giftsets

If you can’t access the online catalogue, get in touch and I’ll be happy to send it to you.

Email or send a message through ‘The Story Explorers Club’ facebook page 🙂

Hope you find the perfect bedtime read


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Usborne’s New Titles for October!

Usborne Publishing are always searching for innovative and exciting projects and every month they bring out some new titles!

Look at what is going on this month!

If you’d like to know more about any of the books in the pictures below, just send me a message and I’ll send you the details.

There’s too much choice … I love them all!





Interested in any of the above? Simply send me a message I’ll send you a description of the book 🙂

Thanks lots for reading






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Why I’ve set-up ‘The Story Explorers Club’!

more books you read
Credit: What’s Rahni’s Reading

The Story Explorers Club’s mission:

To help build awareness of the importance of reading and writing, not just for educational purposes, but for children’s personal development; by encouraging them to express their feelings through creative writing and reading which in turn allows them to build on their self-esteem and self-confidence.

Combining my MA in Creative Writing and being an Independent Usborne Organiser, ‘The Story Explorers Club’ was born.

(A huge thank you to my girlie friends for helping to choose a good name! A huge thank you to Kelly Fairhurst, from Page2Stage Performing Arts/Parties, it has to be said she is a creative genius!)


Credit: Minette Riordan

The books that have been created by Usborne work perfectly with The Story Explorers Club, not only were they awarded the IPG Children’s Publisher and Independent Publisher of the Year awards, the mission of the company is the reason I’m proud to be part of the Usborne Books at Home and School Team:

The future of our world depends on the education of our children. Usborne Books & More delivers educational excellence one book at a time. We provide economic opportunity while fostering strong family values. We touch the lives of children for a lifetime.[1]

As I’ve stated in my Primary Times editorial (which will be coming out soon): One of the things I love about Usborne is their ability to follow the curriculum but still have a range of books that hold the attention of the reader. However, although it’s important to follow the curriculum, there has been plenty of research on reading and it was found that, ‘Reading enjoyment has been reported as more important for children’s educational success than their family’s socio-economic status (OECD, 2002)’[2]

Jonathan Douglas, the director of the NLT (National Literacy Trust), also states, ‘The reading for pleasure habit, I firmly believe, can only be built by giving youngsters the sort of books that interest them. So school libraries, for instance, should not only stock books that support the curriculum, but also books that match pupils’ own interests, sparking their enthusiasm for reading and books. If that means car manuals or books about football, then so be it.’[3]

explorers quote
Credit: Pintrest

It is important that the books from school, that do follow the curriculum, are read and discussed, but there is an added advantage of reading other books with your child that will not only widen their knowledge but stimulate their passion for learning.

I’m really hoping ‘The Story Explorers Club’ will bring passion to young people for reading and enable them to find their own inner strength to be as creative as they would like to be. Thank you for reading.










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How to get your hands on some FREE Usborne Children’s Books?


Credit: Usborne Books at Home

So I’ve decided to make the plunge into a new and exciting venture!

I’m not leaving my own writing behind, but this opportunity still allows me to work with my passion … stories, stories and more stories!

Using my MA in Creative Writing, I’m hoping to bring you a world full of fun. I can’t wait to develop things further, from storytelling to writing courses, I’m hoping to bring it all to you! I’ll keep you posted on future developments.

So, you’re probably asking yourself,

‘But … how do I get my hands on some FREE books?’

Well, here’s a few options below, but if you’d like to talk to me further about ordering any Usborne books,

please feel free to email me on 🙂

(You can view the catalogue here)

Credit: Usborne at Home


The good thing about these parties is they can include children! So there’s no worrying about childcare! Whether you’d like to have a coffee morning or afternoon get together, I’m happy to come along. The party would include going through a few books, talking about the different books and their benefits, plus I love to interact with the little ones. I’m happy to read along with them, look at the pictures and discuss (chat about) the books with them or do some story-telling.

However, if you’d prefer an evening without the children … that’s fine too.

I can work to your preferences and deliver the book party you’d prefer!

(If you’re based outside of Teesside, UK, and you’re interested, please let me know and we’ll do our best to find an Usborne Organiser in your area (or part of the world 🙂 )



You would love to see the collection but you just don’t have the time to think about a party, let alone hold one? But you know you and your friends love the books! Well, just send me an email, I’ll be happy to send you details online/in the post and you and your friends can look through the collection in your own time.

So what’s the benefit if I do one of the above?


If you place a party (or group) order with me on or before the 26th September 2015, that is £100 or more, you will receive 20% of your sales price. Therefore, if your party (group order) sales comes to £100, you would have £20 to spend on books … you would also receive a choice of 1 in 3 books (and a little thank-you gift from me 🙂 ).

Being a new organiser I have limited time to offer the 20%, as it is usually 10%, so it’s a great time to host a party or ask around your friends and see if you can get some orders together. £100 is not hard to achieve when it comes to educational and fun books 🙂

I know it’s September, but there are only 106 sleeps until Christmas!!! Scary thought, but it’s a great time to do some Christmas shopping!

How else can I get FREE books?

Become an Usborne Organiser like me!

It was a no-brainer for me. I love reading, writing and telling stories.

Plus, me and my girls absolutely love the Usborne collection, not just reading the books, but the interactive sticker books too (the dolls sticker books are one of their favs!!!)

But they offer so much more!!!

The FREE ‘stuff’ as an organiser, is an absolute bonus!

If you want to know more about becoming an organiser, just send me an email on

Send me an email with any questions or to book a party, I’ll be happy to help!

Happy Reading Guys

Love Vicky


View catalogue here