Monthly Archives: March 2012

It’s Easter holiday time again and we’ve stocked up on plenty of great Children’s books to keep your little ones happy this Easter. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites to share with you and if you have any other children’s books that you think should have been included, be sure to let us know in the comments!

Lego

We’ve got all sorts of Lego books both in store and online at the moment. From sticker books to activity books to books that come with actual Lego sets, these are a great way to keep your little ones busy. Two of our favourites are Lego City: All Aboard and Lego City: Space Mission. Click the covers below to find out more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little Learners

We also have the wonderful Little Learners range from Parragon, available for purchase both online and in store. Parragon really have pulled out all of the stops when it comes to design and production with this range, for a full list of the books’ innovative and original features, just visit our competition to win a bundle of Parragon Little Learners books from earlier in the week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Classics

And finally, we have an in store Activity Bay with a cracking range of children’s activity books for just 3 for £5, and you can pick up even more great deals with our selection of classic Easter-themed Children’s books for just £3.46 each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you and your kids have a great Easter holiday and if you would like any more information on our children’s books, leave us a comment or alternatively contact us on Twitter at @TescoBooks.

When we kicked off our competition to celebrate the release of The House of Dust and Dreams by Brenda Reid – giving you guys the chance to win a holiday in Crete! – we had no idea that the competition would become by far the most successful we have ever run on the blog, with 3,556 entries! We were totally blown away by how many of you got involved and the answers were just fantastic – some of them were bordering on full-blown memoirs! But, there can only be one winner and so we’re thrilled to announce that the winner of the holiday was Peter Holton! Congratulations Peter! His entry was:

My all time memorable holidays are in a beach hut at Mudeford in Dorset, I’m sure it used to be Hampshire years ago but there! My parents, brother and sister used to enjoy two weeks every year in a hut no larger than a small caravan but it was dreamland. Out helping the fishermen catch salmon, flounder and sea trout early in the morning then later out in their rowing boat later on with a rod and line. We would walk over Henglesbury head and ride on the ‘noddy train’, get sweets and drinks from the old cafe on the beach or the lobster pot cafe on the quay, sadly no longer there, but is now a lifeboat station. Oh, the memories, such a nice time. 

If you didn’t get lucky this time, why not take a look at some of our other ongoing competitions:

The team over at Parragon Books have no shortage of ideas, particularly when it comes to children’s books. But they found themselves with a challenge when they started to think about babies and toddlers aged 0-3: what could they do to support wee minds and make life easier for parents? Also, was there a way that they could help reach parents and babies that might help combat the sad statistic that only 1 in 3 children in the UK owns a book?

From these questions, Little Learners was born, bringing to life a series of colourful and contemporary characters for kids and parents to play along with. Click here to visit the Parragon Books site and take a look at the full range!

Every book in the Little Learners collection has been made especially to aid babies’ and toddlers development in every part of their day. Here are just a few of the details that they’ve put into the range to make sure both you and your child will love them:

  • Finger Puppet Books are designed to help hand-eye coordination and language development, with a built-in puppet toy to help engage children in well-loved nursery rhymes
  • Soft foam books, ideal for babies to play with on their own, introduce first words and concepts
  • Unique slide-and-see books feature pull-out pictures ideal for little fingers, helping your child learn about feelings and manners through a vibrant, interactive format
  • Colourful and textured touch and feel books will help your baby learn about the world around them with plenty of generously sized feelies
  • The bath book has tabbed edges meaning that little ones can turn the pages even when slippery in the bath and have fun squirting the duck toy too!
  • Snuggle Cloth Book is made for the littlest baby – perfect for bedtime cuddles. Why can’t your child’s favourite stuffed animal also be a book?
  • And finally, the Buggy Books come in sets of two with soft, fleece buggy straps on each mini book and simple text to learn about animals, words, colours, and numbers

The reading process begins with the very first book you share with your baby and it is reassuring and comforting to choose a book that’s been especially designed for these special moments. Little Learners is the start of a reading journey with your baby or toddler, and it’s official – the books are loved by kids, mums and dads!

We’ve been lucky enough to lay our hands on 4 sets of Little Learners baby and toddler books to give away. To be in with a chance of winning, just answer the following question in the comments:

“What one thing do you value most in a children’s book?”

 

 

Well the wonderful moment has finally arrived, Dead Rich hit the shelves in Tesco this week and I have to say I am very excited because it is selling like mad! So huge thanks to those of you who bought it  – really hope you enjoy it. When I sat down to write this novel, I never could have imagined such an outcome – so it all goes to show that dreams do come true!

Which brings me to the results of competition…

Firstly can I thank you all for your fabulous entries – funny, moving, plucky and imaginative – it was so, so hard to choose the winners. So hard that I had to bring in a panel and we all cast votes and still it was impossible!

I must say if I had won the lottery myself I would charter a plane for all the people who wanted to go to Australia! Writers; all I can do is pass on the advice of one of my writer pals who says ‘just put black on white.’ It really is that simple – it costs nothing and you have nothing to lose. Hot air balloonists, cowgirls, mermaids, vigilantes etc., what infinite and fabulous variety! Lollypop lady – just do it!

On a serious note, for those suffering illnesses themselves or their family members – I send my best wishes and hopes for their recovery and relief from their anxiety and pain.

For those of you who want to win the lottery please read Dead Rich – you might just change your mind! Don’t they say ‘it’s wanting what you’ve got not getting what you want that makes you happy’ – annoying but true!

Ok, I am getting to the point.

The winners are:

The Pendant goes to: Liz Denial for her dream:

My lifelong dream has been to visit a wildlife nature reserve in South Africa & cuddle/feed a lion or cheetah cub. Sadly I’m disabled & unable to work so can’t afford holidays but I never give up trying to win one.

Well you have won a competition now Liz – sorry I can’t get you to Africa – but I hope the necklace is some consolation.

And the person who will have a character in my next novel named after them is Vicky Newman for her hilarious entry:

My dream come true would be to have long, perfectly toned legs without a hint of cellulite or bagginess around the knees. They would be lightly tanned at all times, smooth and soft to the touch and they would end in dainty, slim and perfectly pedicured feet. Unfortunately I inherited my father’s legs – lumpy, dumpy, saggy and pale – while my feet are so wide it has been suggested that the boxes the shoes came in would provide a better fit for me. So by all means name a character after me, just don’t expect her to get up to much naughtiness. I can’t tell you how hard it is to be a femme fatale with tree-trunk legs.”

Okay Vicky, prepare to be a femme fatale…

Thanks again everyone, you are wonderful, and I wish you all a very happy and hopeful 2012.

X x x Louise

With his 2002 album, Original Pirate Material, Mike Skinner established himself as an artist with that rare blend of popular appeal and critical acclaim. Heralded in the Guardian as “half  Dostoevksy… half Samuel Pepys”, Skinner shot to fame seemingly overnight and went on to release four more albums as The Streets, before calling it a day in 2011.

Now that he has a little more time on his hands, Skinner has diversified his output and committed the history of The Streets to paper, in the form of his new memoir, The Story of the Streets. In Skinner’s own words:

‘This book is going to try and get as close as possible to the full story of what informed the noise of The Streets. Obviously that’s something I should be fairly well-qualified to know about, and I’m going to be as honest as the publisher’s lawyers will allow.’

To mark the release of Mike’s new book, we’re going to be hosting a Q&A with him on our blog. If you’ve got a question and would like to be in with a chance of winning a copy of the The Story of the Streets – we have a few to give away, one of which is signed! - just leave your question in the comments and Mike will answer his favourites!

We look forward to reading your questions!

We caught up with best-selling author Jane Green, the ‘Queen of Chick Lit’, to talk about her new book, ‘The Patchwork Family’, blended families and her love of cooking and decorating.

Q: How personal is The Patchwork Marriage?

A: I’ve always drawn from the themes of my life, and with a blended family myself, I started to look at other blended families—particularly the ones that came with real challenges. I remember reading that once you marry someone with children, you are destroying the myth carried by all children of divorce: that their parents will reconcile.  Of course we have had our own challenges—life is complicated enough without the additions of steps, halves, exes, etc.—and it isn’t always easy, but when problems arise, we work through them, which Andi and Ethan, sadly, aren’t able to. 

Q: How do you feel about blended families?

A: Clearly they are becoming more and more the norm, yet they are so much more challenging than people think. So often it seems women enter into blended families with huge naiveté. I heard countless women talk about how bemused they were that they had such a difficult relationship with their stepkids. They all walked in thinking they were good people, all they needed was to be loving and kind, and all would be well. And of course life is never that simple. Then there were the women who felt their husbands, or fathers, had to make a choice, with resentment setting in each time they felt he had chosen the other. I have discovered that it is essential that couples work together to form and present a solid bond and a united front to their children.

Q: How do you decide on a subject or theme for your books?

A: Usually by looking at what’s going on around me—in my life and the lives of my friends. Often there is something that fascinates me, which drives the story of the novel. A recurring theme seems to be that people show you who they want you to believe they are, yet how do you know who to trust? I’m working on a book now that has a husband who seems to be the all-around great guy, but who is harboring a secret that is about to destroy everything.

Q: Was this book easy or hard to write?

A: It was easier than some of the others, but these days it is never as easy as it was in the beginning, before children, husbands, and life got in the way. The book took off for me once I took my editor’s suggestion and started writing in Emily’s voice—it gave me such understanding and empathy for her character. If anything, I think I ended up preferring Emily to Andi, which I hadn’t expected at all.

Q: You have a passion for cooking and decorating—and you have a love of making a house a home.  Can you share with us your easiest, best ideas for making a family room a wonderful space, and can you share with us some of your best recipes for feeding a crowd?

A: I do love everything about the home, it’s true, and I built my house around the fact that because it is always filled with kids and friends, it needed to be a place that everyone would walk into and feel instantly comfortable. My easiest tricks are lots of soft pillows —they make even a hard sofa look inviting—with throws over the back of the sofa so kids can curl up, stacked books on the coffee table, and in between groupings of things you love—shells from the beach, candles, cute boxes—anything looks great when it is a collection; trays that can turn stools and benches into tables—then be easily removed for extra seating; different textures with natural elements: sisal rugs/stone pots/wood candle holders, baskets for storage. And my favorite is to cover sofas you hate with white canvas slipcovers.

To mark the release of ‘The Patchwork Family’, we’re giving one of our readers the chance to win a very special prize for their reading group! Follow the link and enter our competition to be in with a chance: http://penguin.campaignserver.co.uk/thepatchworkmarriage/ 

You can buy ‘The Patchwork Family’ from Tesco for £7.86!

We’ve got some great titles hitting our shelves this week, including new books from Jeffery Archer, Jo Nesbo, Mark Billingham and a name that regular readers of the blog will be familiar with, Louise Fennell.

Louise has been guest blogging for us for the past couple of months and her new book, Dead Rich, is now available for just £2.99 in store. To mark the release of Louise’s debut, we’re giving our readers the chance to win a beautiful Theo Fennell pendant worth £495. If you haven’t entered yet, be sure to get involved!

We also have the latest instalment in Jo Nesbo’s Harry Hole series, The Phantom. Nesbo’s latest novel sees Harry Hole return to Norway after three years abroad to track down a killer that is stalking the streets of Oslo. Fans of Stieg Larsson are sure to enjoy Nesbo’s brand of hard-boiled Scandinavian noir.

The second novel in Jeffery Archer’s Clifton Chronicles series, Sins of the Father, also comes out today. A transatlantic epic that explores the lengths we will go to protect the ones we love, those of you that enjoyed Only Time Will Tell, the first in Archer’s Clifton Chronicles series, will not be disappointed.

In our 2 for £7 paperback chart this week we have three great thrillers. From the undisputed king of the legal thriller, John Grisham, comes The Abduction, which sees the return of Theodore Boone, the star of Grisham’s 2010 novel, Kid Lawyer, as he tracks down the man that kidnapped his best friend April. In Mark Billingham’s new novel, Good as Dead, DI Thom Thorne takes on a tense hostage situation and in the process blows open a cover up in the Metropolitan Police Force that goes right the way to the top brass. And finally, The Templar Throne, from Paul Christopher, a historical thriller that is bound to go down a storm with fans of Dan Brown.

And there you have it, our top picks from this week’s new releases. Thanks for reading!

 

Hello lovely Tesco blog readers,

Spring has sprung and, I have to say, I am feeling pretty chirpy! The wonderful moment has arrived at last – my novel Dead Rich, hits the shelves in Tesco this week and I am very excited! When I first sat down to write this book, I never could have imagined such an outcome – so it all goes to show that dreams really do come true…

Which brings me to the competition. Two weeks ago we launched a competition on the blog giving you guys the chance to win an absolutely gorgeous £495 Theo Fennell pendant! Also, as a runners up prize, another (brave!) person will get to have a character named after them in my next novel. I promise not to make them too naughty!

I want to thank you all for your fabulous entries so far – funny, moving, plucky and imaginative, I have loved reading them all so much so that we have decided to extend the final entry date to 28th March!

To enter, simply visit the original competition post by clicking on this link!

Leave your answer as a comment and good luck to everyone that enters! I look forward to reading more of your answers and picking the winners shortly.

People who have read Dead Rich say they just can’t put it down – so if you do pick up a copy when you are next in Tesco, and you find you have whizzed through it, then I would love to know what you think about the infamous Spender family and all their wicked shenanigans!

Wishing you all a very happy springy March,

X x x Louise

You can buy Louise Fennell’s cracking debut, Dead Rich, our paperback book of the week, in Tesco stores for just £2.99!

 

A couple of weeks ago we invited you guys to put your questions to the Hairy Bikers and now they’ve been kind enough to find the time out of their busy schedule to answer them. Thanks to everyone that got involved and, of course, a big thanks to Si and Dave as well. We’ll kick things off with the winner of the signed copy of their new book which was Rebecca Ring. Congratulations Rebecca!

Rebecca Ring - I love your programmes, the recipes you make are very easy to follow. I love the relationship between the two of you as well. Whats the most unusual recipe you’ve had to cook?

The most unusual thing we ever had to eat was (and I’m not joking) goat penis hot pot. It was a broth with this massive member just floating in it. Horrible.

Becky - What is your favourite kind of pie?

We like loads of different pies – so much so that we obviously ended up having to do a whole book about them. We change our minds all the time but you can’t go wrong with a nice beef and ale pie.

Danielle Mansell - What dish(es) do you find yourself cooking a lot?

Both of us love cooking curries.

Lisa@FacelessFood - I’ve taught my kids to cook from an early age, as I was taught by my mum. Most of their friends don’t cook or bake at home though…what recipes or tips do you think would encourage youngsters to get cooking/baking?

If you are going to teach kids to cook, make sure it’s something that they are going to want to eat. Pizza is always a good place to start, as is anything with chocolate in it. And try and keep it simple… You don’t want to put them off.

Frances Hopkins - Are they some things you make that you think is absolutely disgusting?

Everybody makes mistakes when they cook, and we are just the same. If you don;t make mistakes, then your cooking doesn’t get better.

Josephine Hayes - Who is quickest at hand-whisking egg whites?

DAVE – I am!

SI – No you’re not!

Beverly H - Do you think that the problems with our diet today is through fast food and ready meals, too much snacking or watching TV food programmes but not actually cooking regularly as our mums and grans did?

So many of our problems are to do with fast food. I would never cook chicken nuggets for my kids. I know that is short of time and money, but it is possible to cook good food cheaply and it doesn’t need to take loads of time. Often, the cheaper cuts of meat taste better than expensive cuts – they just need a bit of time to cook.

Laura Thomas - Is there any dish or ingredient that either of you absolutely wouldn’t eat, just for sheer dislike? For instance, as a strict veggie, I love almost everything (except meat, of course) with the complete exception of limes or okra – both EVIL……!

It has to be tripe. I remember my mum soaking it in vinegar when I was a kid. I hated the smell and I hated the taste… It’s like rubber!

Jane Willis - You must find all the travelling when you are recording a series pretty stressful yet it never shows. Are you both really so cheerful or are you great actors?

Most of the time we are pretty cheerful. All the travelling does mean being away from home a lot, but we are really lucky to be doing something we love..

Claire Davies - I love your Perfect Pies book and currently have in the oven some of your meat and veg pasties – they look splendid! Which is your favourite veg and why? Thanks again to you both for a fab book!

All veg is delicious.. I love carrots thought because they often come in funny shapes!

Celebrate mummies everywhere with the brand new Peppa Pig book, My Mummy, which is available now. This adorable story shows all the reasons why Peppa and George love their mummy, from her comforting cuddles to her fierce fire fighting. Out just in time for Mother’s Day this is the perfect present for Mummy Pigs everywhere and is the perfect for sharing with little Peppa Pig fans.

To celebrate the release, we are giving away one family ticket for two adults and two children under twelve to visit Peppa Pig world in Paultons Family Theme Park in Hampshire!

To win the prize, all you need to do is tell us what your plans are for Mother’s Day!

Leave your answers in the comments and we look forward to reading your answers!

This competition is now closed. The winner will be contacted will be contacted by email, so so keep an eye on your inbox! Thanks to everyone that entered!
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