Tag Archives: Exclusive Downloads

Belle & Boo and Mandy Sutcliffe

As part of the Blog Tour to promote the first two Belle and Boo Activity Books (reviewed here), we were given the chance to interview Mandy Sutcliffe. I asked our lovely local school if they’d ask the children for any questions and the KS1 class (5, 6 & 7 year olds) came up with the following:

Belle & Boo Stories

Children: How many books are there about Belle and Boo?
Mandy: There are 3 books currently in print ‘Belle & Boo and the Birthday Surprise’ ‘Goodnight Kiss’ and ‘Yummy Scrummy Day’ and a Christmas book out this September

Belle & BooChildren: Is there a reason that both names begin with B?
Mandy: As soon as I first drew the pair I knew their names were Belle & Boo, it was just a lovely coincidence that they began with the same letter.

Children: Are they based on a real child and a real toy?
Mandy: Belle is based a little bit on me as a child, I had the same hair style, mind you my mum based my hair on my favourite story book character Milly-Molly-Mandy, so there is that influence also. I had a pet rabbit when I was a child although he was pure white and called chalky. 

Children: What makes them best friends?
Mandy: Because they do everything together, because Belle looks after Boo and Boo makes Belle laugh a lot.

Children: Why isn’t there any other characters in the story? [They were read “The Goodnight Kiss” only]
Mandy: The only other characters that feature so far are the other toys, Snuffly Elephant, Raggedy Doll, & Yellow Duck. 

Belle & BooChildren: What else do they like doing together?
Mandy: They love to climb trees, kick leaves, bake cakes (especially carrot cake), draw, paint and sing.

Children: Who else lives in the house?
Mandy: The other toys & a few mice.

Children: How long does it take to illustrate a Belle and Boo book?
Mandy: Approximately 3 months, some spreads are super quick to draw and others can take a little bit too long, when that happens I try to leave the one I am struggling with and work on another and then come back to the troublesome one, that usually works.

Children: Does Belle have any other favourite toys?
Mandy: Yes she loves all her toys but Boo is definitely her absolute favourite.

Mandy Sutcliffe

Thank-you so much Mandy for answering our questions; lovely Sarah from Hachette for organising everything; and of course the staff and children at our local school for the questions.

We also have part four of the exclusive blog tour downloads, click on the image below to collect the hangers for your wardrobe.

Belle and Boo exclusive downloads

Collect the rest of the exclusive downloads by visiting the blogs below:
Colouring-in Dress-up Belle from Read It, Daddy
Belle’s Summer Outfits from StorySeekers
Belle’s Wardrobe from Book Sniffer
Belle’s Winter Outfits from Library Mice

Belle & Boo Sticker and Activity Books

I’m not the best person to review sticker and activity books because I’m not a huge fan. Despite my feelings on the activity book concept, the Belle & Boo books are beautiful examples of their type.

Belle & Boo Play DayBelle & Boo Play Day has four pages of dress-ups; a kite to design and colour; cupcakes to decorate; spot the difference; a maze; matching game; colouring page; story and more pages to add stickers to. There is very little freedom with the dress up clothes, most are one outfit to stick in the ‘correct’ place but I’m not one for teaching my children to follow rules so DG stuck her stickers wherever she wanted to anyway, and had a great time ignoring all the instructions! This is my favourite of the two books because the designing and colouring are more open-ended, and therefore I think it’s suitable for any age.

Belle & Boo My Favourite ThingsBelle & Boo My Favourite Things is, to me, more suitable from an older age (e.g. 4/5+) due to the activities included. There is a grid picture copy activity; wordsearch; spot-the-difference; sticker pictures; finding objects; weather words; shadow matching; writing and numbers. MG loves wordsearches at the moment, so she chose this book straight away, and I think she chose the right one of the two for her and her sister’s ages. There are more smaller stickers in this book, good for designing patterns after the bigger ‘special use’ stickers have been used.

Both books are A4 size with gorgeous matt pages and are filled with beautiful artwork. There are two double pages of stickers stapled in the centre, and 24 pages of activities. At £4.99 RRP they won’t break the bank, and would be lovely start-of-summer-holidays gifts. Easy to transport and beautiful to look at, these Belle & Boo books almost change my overall opinion on activity books.

For a taster, you can download the wordsearch here (although the one in the book is in colour) and a similar grid picture copy activity here.

Please read our interview with Mandy Sutcliffe, and collect your exclusive blog tour download (part four of five) after the interview.