McCain Smiles launches massive FREE book giveaway - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

McCain Smiles launches massive FREE book giveaway

| June 18, 2012 | 139 Comments

As you know, we are keen readers here at Red Ted Art. It is one of the things I was really looking forward to doing with my children when I was pregnant. I get great joy of discovering new and quirky books, as well as reading classics from my childhood.

So I am VERY excited about the McCain Smiles giveaway Рpartnering with Ladybird Books and offering ALL sorts of classics to their customers. To me, books are part of my childhood, my culture, traditions and simply growing up. I do hope, my kids will be reading their favourite childhood stories with their kids one day!

Check out this wonderful video by McCain Smile’s Book Club Moms and let it inspire you to get reading:


I love how they talk about the differences in their children’s book reading pleasures and choices and how they approach reading more with their kids. They have some great tips to share of how to read to kids with different age groups and interests – to make 1 on 1 time more special and valuable.

In our house, we encourage reading:

* Having 100s (!) of books easily accessible to our children – in the living room, their bedrooms, the loo and our bedroom.

* By incorporate reading into our bedtime routine.

* By reading a lot ourselves – be it novels, newspapers or magazines.

Currently our children get the same stories, but already we are finding that they have different interests and soon we may read one book together and then each child will get their own.

Now… you can win a set of the McCain Ladybird Books… all you have to do is: Leave a comment below, telling me what YOUR TOP TIP for reading with kids is! Don’t forget, if you don’t win them.. you can still collect them!


1) Open to the UK only.

2) Competition closes on 2 July 2012.

3) The winner will be selected by Mc Cain Smiles and the decision is final.

This is a sponsored post.

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Category: Giveaway

Comments (139)

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  1. Hannah Harris says:

    We’ve found that it helps to rotate the books, when they were all on the shelves they didn’t get touched too much unless I suggested it, I took away about 80% of the books and put the rest in a box the boys think looks like a treasure chest. Then I rotate them, it keeps their interest up when there’s regularly something different to find, but I do keep some old favourites in all the time.

  2. Charlotte Mountford says:

    My top tip for reading with my children is to offer them a reward for doing a certain number of pages!

  3. Sarah flanagan says:

    I always talk about the illustrations with my niece i.e ask her to name colours, objects etc. I also relate the pictures to whatever text is on the page. It makes her more involved and more interested!

  4. kerry Locke says:

    Make sure your a reader yourself – If they see You reading instead of watching television they tend to copy – also let them read what they want to read – just as much learning is done from a weekly comic as is from the school set book … You need to get them to fall in love with reading in their own time – each child is different so what might work for one might not work for the other –

  5. Sarah Mathieson says:

    Letting them choose which book they would like at bedtime and getting them to join in the story either by reading a particular characters parts or finishing sentences. Funny voices always go down well too!

  6. Tracy K Nixon says:

    Change your voice and the pace that you read to fit the story. This makes the story more interesting for your child or children.
    Also, after reading a book, talk about the story. Discussing the pictures and the main ideas in a book helps develop understanding!

  7. Nicola Biven says:

    My little girl is two so as we read to her we get her to point out objects, colours and get her to count as we go through the books, she now has favourite books that she loves to read with us, and she always has at least three books a night (her rule not ours!).

  8. Shelley Anne York says:

    Try and make reading an exciting time. Let children choose the book, read it in an interesting way (loudly and quietly when required and change your voice for the different characters.
    It’s also a goood idea to talk about the background as well as just reading the story – kids love to get involved!!

  9. Lynne OConnor says:

    Make reading seem like a treat not a chore, with new books as a reward or treat. Rather than getting a child to read big chunks, my son and I take it in turns reading sentence by sentence or page by page.

  10. Alice Matthews says:

    Involve the children in the process of choosing books. Most books have inviting and intriguing covers and there really is something for everyone. Make shared reading an enjoyable and fun time. Keep a special ring fenced time so that it is recognised as special.

  11. leann Cooke says:

    My 4 year old loves all books and especially those where I use different voices for the characters.

  12. Marina Bland says:

    Read books that they can interact with, and, when they are very young, ensure you have a favourite that they become familiar with.

  13. Linda says:

    make it interesting and enjoyable

  14. cheryl lovell says:

    When my son is losing motivation to read I always say “but I need to know what happens on the next page, it looks really interesting!” – this seems to work!

  15. Gig says:

    make it fun by useing funny voices and getting the kids to do the same

  16. Sabita says:

    My nephew loves to read at age 4 and has started reading on his own. Read with inflection, kids pick up on the enthusiasm. When I read to him, I always ask him, if he undestands the big words and if he doesn’t I explain it to him. I started reading at the age of 3 and my mom used to read book out to me aloud with great inflection.

  17. Emma Hicks says:

    I’m teaching my 4 year old to read at the moment, so when we’re reading a book together I run my finger along under the words and stop reading when I get to a word I know she can read. This encourages her confidence with reading and we’re gradually building up more and more words she can read by herself! :-)

  18. Rachael Simmons says:

    If you find your children are losing their initial enthusiasm for reading, buy a couple of stories where the child can choose the outcome of the story based on their personal choices. I distinctly remember being enthralled by a Goosebumps novel of this kind, as well as several adventure series. This way the story can be different every time and it really invites the child into the adventure!

  19. Joanne says:

    let them choose the books, even if you don’t think they look that interesting, they have no excuse for not reading them then

  20. S Ball says:

    We read with our 2 children every day. My top tip is to make the time special by cuddling up and reading with no distractions. Different voices for each character is always a winner!!

  21. Karen Simpson says:

    I started reading books to my son as soon as he came home from hospital, now he just loves his stories and knows lots of books off by heart. My advice is that they are never too young!

  22. Ashleigh says:

    do it often and start early on in their life x

  23. Leanne N says:

    Start early, make sure the room is quiet and read what the child wants you to read

  24. Trish says:

    My top tip, for older children, is to finish each night on an exciting part of the story – this will make them keen to settle down the following night to find out what happens next!

  25. Bernie says:

    Start reading as soon as you can and get the kids into the book at bedtime habit. Kids can read everywhere so if they dont like ‘books’ they can follow the recipe when you are cooking, help you get the shopping in the supermarket if you give them a list etc. We also go to the library and the kids chose there own books. Once they read by themselves let them read ‘babyish’ books if that is what they chose – you need them to develop a love of reading, if everthing they read is a challenge they might lose the love and they are going to be learning and reading for a long time to come.

  26. Mick Chilton says:

    Read the story but as it unfolds ask the children what they think will happen next. unlock their imagination and you have the key to them enjoying reading for life.

  27. Ellie Field says:

    Read topical books linked to what they’re doing at school. Find funny books and use silly voices and expressions. Allow your children to see you reading anything from newspapers to Mills & Boon and model dedicated reading :)

  28. Rachael G says:

    Make reading exciting, by doing character voices and pointing out items of interest in the pictures that they may have missed.

    Also make sure that books are accessible and that the kids can get themselves – this allows them to choose which book/s you read, but also enables them to sit down with a book and look at the pictures or make up the story themselves if they are too young to read properly.

  29. Victoria Boland says:

    Don’t make it a chore. Read to them if they want you to, don’t force them if they don’t feel like it.

  30. lesley says:

    start reading to children from an early age then encourage them to read to you as they learn to read. make it a fun experience and make sure they have a variety of books ,choosing their own at the library often encourages reading

  31. Valerie McCarthy says:

    My husband and I read stories every night to our daughter. We have been doing this since she was a baby. I also enjoy reading a book before I go to bed.

  32. Zoe G says:

    My 2 children are both book worms and love sitting down with me and having some quiet time while I read to them, its winds them down and me as well, a tip is to take them to the library, they love been able to choose books and sometimes pick their favourite over and over again.

  33. Sarah Morris says:

    I like to do the voices and act out the characters actions as I read to my son, I also try and make sure he has books that are topical to things going on at his stage of development, i.e. potty training, school first days, learning to swim, so that he can identify with the characters and find it more relevant and interesting.

  34. BARBARA SHAW says:

    I always made a point of reading books with my children – from young age – best (I think) is to have plenty of books around. Children see the grown ups reading and learn to love picking out the stories/books they want you to read and later they want to read themselves. Children follow by example!

  35. angela sandhu says:

    Let your child choose their own book at bedtime and encourage them to follow the words as you read them.

  36. We have books everywhere in our house as well – the children have book shelves in their rooms, each has their own book box that I made, in the car they have a joint book bag. We take books outside and I have been spending time making a reading tent to use over the summer (if it ever comes). We also have fun with our reading – crafts, play and baking based around some of our favourite books.

  37. Jennifer says:

    Introduce books from as young as possible into your everyday routine, as they get older let them choose the book and try and change the tone of your voice, if it’s exciting be excited, if it’s sad be sad, if you stray from the actual story, don’t worry. Also if they have a favourite book hide it from time to time so you don’t get bored reading the same story – if you’re bored they will sense it.

  38. Dean Beaufoy says:





  39. Clare Martin says:

    Read to your child when they are a baby and then it soon becomes a part of their bedtime routine and something that they will do everyday. It worked for my daughter!

  40. renae says:

    my top tip is to get them involved at all stages, my daughter loves choosing the books we read and sometimes we buy books slightly older for her which we read a little each night which she enjoys

  41. Louise Smith says:

    Do different voices for all the characters to bring the book to life.

  42. elsie says:

    Try to make the stories some to life. Our daughter’s current favourtie story is about a boy and his ted who imagine they are involved in a pirate adventure. Today we read the story and acted it our – walking the plank, finding treasure, cutlasses clashing.

  43. Jo Jones says:

    Introduce books from the baby stage when they are thick bright card, & go through them with baby making the noises & pointing the animals out. As they progress have some quality time daily for cuddles and reading, & they grow to love books.

  44. Gill B says:

    Make book reading a delight from an early age, if it appears to be a chore they will soon lose interest and may never return to books!

  45. Susie M says:

    Make going to the bookshop and buying a book seem like a big treat and, if possible, pick up a book midweek with the promise that you can begin to read it at the weekend, to build up the excitement and anticipation.

  46. kirstine meredith says:

    Always make reading fun! Have an assortment of books be it with pictures only or words and pictures. Let your child tell you the story in their own way.

  47. Emma says:

    Encourage them to have a go. From single letters, syllables and the to whole words.. Always a game…flash cards, matching games help too.

  48. Emma Andersson says:

    Start as early as you can, and let children choose books themselves. Charity shops are great for this, my local charity shop does all childrens books for 20p, we now have a massive library and due to ds choosing his own we have read some great books I probably wouldn’t have found!

  49. Angela L says:

    Make reading books a lovely, warm experience. We cuddle up on the sofa under a blanket or get cosy under the duvet and make our book reading sessions a special time. We don’t limit this to bedtime – we have spent many a rainy afternoon snuggled on the sofa with a pile of books.

  50. Svetlana L says:

    use puppets

  51. Melanie freemantle says:

    Making the characters come alive with funny voices and movements

  52. I go along with what Shelley Anne York wrote. When reading to kids changing voice for different characters makes it more fun for the kids and the reader. Kids respond nicely when you really get in to the story and have fun yourself.

  53. Kim Coote says:

    Introduce children to books at a very young age. I’ve been reading Nursery Rhyme books to my Grandson since He was 8 weeks old. Children enjoy having fun, so the more fun you make it, the more they’ll enjoy it!!

  54. let them choose make it exciting for them

  55. Sean Moore says:

    Just remember to make it fun and enjoy it….

  56. Stephanie Tsang says:

    I take my daughter to the library and let her choose the books she is interested in.

  57. R Turner says:

    Try and use different voices for the characters (and once you made a voice for a character try and stick to it, not easy) – it helps bring them to life.

  58. claire says:

    let them choose the books they are interested in

  59. k dunn says:

    set a good example by reading books yourself!!and take them to the library every week to get new books!

  60. SARAH LAMBERT says:

    Ive always been lucky as both my children love reading,I think it helped as i read them a book from a few months old as im a bookworm and wanted my kids to get the enjoyment out of reading.My 2 children both choose their own books at bedtime to read to themselves out of the book cupboard :) xx

  61. Kelly Koya says:

    We do exactly the same as you!

    Costco is great for picking up cheap book bundles, and we go to the library frequently too. The children read for at least half an hour a day.

  62. Joanne Goodridge says:

    Start as early as possible, make it fun and interesting, make it a regular routine so the children know and look forward to reading books eg: at bedtime. it’s great bonding time

  63. diane findlay says:

    let your child choose the book , use phonetics and point the words out ( i use a drumstick so my hands dont get in the way , colourfull discriptive illustrations are very helpfull as they help fire the imagination

  64. Theresa Williams says:

    Doing different voices for all the characters helps keep them engaged and makes them want to do the reading so that they can do the voices.

  65. Laura says:

    It’s always good to talk about the story as well as just read it to increase interest, eg, what was your favourite part? Who was your favourite character? It’s also good if you discuss what you liked too.

  66. Michelle says:

    Make reading fun, I have alwyas encorporated reading books with the bed time routine, from a very early age – as young as 6 months old. I always read with expression, creating differnt voices for different characters, and reading it as it is meant to be read. I involve my children by asking questions, such as where is the …? or how is … feeling?. My children also choose their own story.

  67. Val Hartley says:

    I am a grandma now, to 8 month old twins & a 2 year old grandaughter. My top tip is you cannot start too early, as the twins love to look & listen to books already. I have a good selection of books for when they visit, from cloth books to “proper” books. They also all have a wide selection of books at home & at my house.
    I started early with my 2 year old grandaughter & she is now addicted to books & would sit & be read to all day long. She knows all the books off by heart & is just starting to recognose some words & if we make a mistake, she corrects my husband & I.
    This method is also followed by my daughters (their parents).
    One of her favourites just before she goes to bed is a large book of nursery rhymes, which is always extremely enjoyable for both of us.

  68. Laura jones says:

    We always make a point of reading a story every night (even if it’s a really short one when they are very tired) and never use the loss of a bedtime story as a punishment

  69. Rachel M says:

    I always ask them to describe what is going on in the illustrations and the reasons why,this gives them a good understanding of the story.

  70. charlotte says:

    Read to your little ones when they’re struggling to finish their meals. You get less stressed, they .et quality time & eat their dinner without realising & tantrums!

  71. N McFarland says:

    Routine is the key. Have a regular time of the day that suits you and your child when you can sit and read together, preferably when your child is at their most relaxed. My Husband makes any book exciting by putting great expression into his voice and also by talking about what the characters are doing in the related pictures.

  72. emily nelson says:

    Always try touchy feely books! My little boy loves touching all of the different textures on different pages. I always read to him just before bed too, so he knows its ‘winding down time’x

  73. claire fawkner says:

    Let them choose the story! Pick a good time when they are not too tired and do not rush it!

  74. Lynsey Buchanan says:

    Bed Time stories is a great time to get some one on one with your child and is one of the best parts of our day. I Read a couple of stories to my daughter every night (Without fail). these are books that she has chosen herself from the library she loves me making the character voices and gets drawn into an imagenery world.

  75. Gillian Holmes says:

    Gold stars on the pages completed helped a lot when very young.

  76. Solange says:

    Do different voices for diffeent characters

  77. amy says:

    My daughter has access to her bookshelf so she can pick whichever book she wants us to read herself.

  78. Linsey Wilby says:

    My children loved it and now my granddaughter does to, I make up funny voices as we read about the pictures and they join in as well taking a part in the book telling me in the funny voice what the character can see, hear, feel, etc. This got them interested in reading.

  79. Vic says:

    Lots of voices and emotion! We have 3 stories before bed, one is a favourite which eventually my son knows by heart and another is a new one and one has numbers or leters in it.

  80. Rachel Ray says:

    Use your local library. Read books there and then let your child choose which ones she wants to take home and let her hand over her own library card etc. My daughter adores books of all sorts and absolutely loves library day every couple of weeks.

  81. rebecca boyle says:

    Having lots of different reading material about the house, and for our child to see his father and I reading, and reading out loud to each other.

  82. jamesmum says:

    My kids love reading. x

  83. Joanne Nelson says:

    Just keep it fun. No bribery, no cajoling, just always be reading around them and have lots of nice things to read in the house.

  84. Jane Paddey says:

    We are big believers in reading as it helps childrens imaginations and also their spelling and the range of vocabulary, all this without the child even realising its educational

  85. joanne pollak says:

    I learnt to read with Ladybird – roll one next generation


    allocate certain times each day to read together and keep to it but not too long

  87. Harpal Kaur says:

    make reading fun and interactive

  88. Suzie Bell says:

    Make sure they are not too tired, do it every day, pick books that interest them.

  89. lyn burgess says:

    we have books all over the place. They see us reading for pleasure (when we get the chance!) and they have a bedtime story every night, which they get to choose, though it might well be the same story every night for a week!

  90. Rhydian says:

    Make it come alive by using different voices

  91. Robert W says:

    Read with them just before bedtime. Rotate the books around so it is different every night!

  92. Heather Shaw says:

    my top tip is to let them choose the book – it makes them feel in control and therefore they want to read more

  93. Susan Diemer says:

    Start at an early age – we did a nighttime book with my daughter from birth. Seemed ridiculous but she loves her books and always has. Think part of it is having special 1 on 1 time but she will also take herself away and flick through the books herself.

  94. Hazel Wright says:

    Involve them; they get to pick a book and you get to pick the other. That way they can have an old favourite every night if they love it but you get to add a new one. I’m all in favour of silly voices and drama when reading too!

  95. Paul Feltham says:

    Run your finger under the text as you read so young kids learn the way text flows; use voices or inflexion to add identities to characters. Most of all, enjoy reading with them, and they will enjoy reading with you.

  96. HAYLEY WYNN says:

    makesure you are sat cuddled up together that there is nothing going on around you no tv on and involve your child in the reading by showing them pictures and explaining whats going on if they are older you can try and help them spelll some words out

  97. Carmel says:

    keep it short and sweet, so no one gets bored or over tired. do it often

  98. Helen says:

    Keep to a routine at bedtime; bath, hot milk and bed and always always let your child choose the story; even if it means you read the same story every night in a row for two weeks (that has happened to me and I’ve nearly fell asleep before my daughter ha ha).

  99. Sarah says:

    I have always found that my kids enjoy books more if they are funny, i put on silly voices and choose books that are funny. They particularly enjoy enid blyton books.

  100. Clare White says:

    Let them pick the book so straight away they have an interest

  101. Suzanne sendell says:

    Read to them while they are In the bath

  102. Gilla says:

    Make sure it’s a book they enjoy. Don’t worry if they want to repeat a favourite book – most children enjoy the repetition. Remember, if you don’t enjoy reading to them they won’t enjoy it either.

  103. san says:

    we pick appropriate books and have lots of fun making sound effects to go with the story

  104. gwen thomas says:

    My top tip is don’t force it! Reading should be a pleasure, not a chore and if you push them to much, it could put your kids off reading for life

  105. Karen Barrett says:

    Reading should be an enjoyable experience both for the child and the adult. Take time to choose books together, talk about the book before and after the story, sit in a comfy chair together, talk about the pictures, change pace and tone of voice and surround children with books, newspapers, magazines and visit the library regularly.

  106. Kelly Hooper says:

    My daughter likes to ‘read’ to me at the minute, as she cant actually read she makes up the story from the pictures so I make sure we have lots of illustrated books to choose from

  107. Maria Jane Knight says:

    Our son is two and adores books at the moment. I find the best way to keep him entertained whilst reading is to ask him to look for certain things on the picture pages. I try to make the thing to looks for less obvious so he has to have a good look.

  108. Ali Thorpe says:

    Point to the images as you read to smaller children so they learn to associate words and sounds with the object, and for children who are less keen to read, seek out books (factual as well as fiction) which will appeal to their interests.

  109. Christine Bray says:

    Start em young! My grandchildren love me reading to them when they come to stay and I give all the characters different voices and have them reeling with laughter!

  110. ANITA H says:

    Be interested in the book yourself and imagine reading the book for the first time.

  111. Katie Skeoch says:

    Your kids love spending time with you, funny books are always the best & when you laugh so do they

  112. Julie says:

    We always look at the covers first and discuse what we think the story is about. That way they don’t get throw into a book that they have no clue what its about.

  113. Rachel says:

    Make reading be not only about books, but reading signs, words on cupcake ingredients, whatever they are interested in around them.

  114. Wendy Shippam says:

    We read every day before bed and we make it the award for whichever boy has brushed their teeth the best, or got ready for bed the quickest, to select which book they would like us to read. This way it means that reading is always a positive thing as it is seen as a prize.

  115. hannah howie says:

    Interactive books are the best. Letting them touch, play, pet, or even turn the pages keeps their attention. And now with the ipad it’s even easier!

  116. Clare F Wood says:

    having books easily accessable so the girls can pick them up whenever they want and enjoy stories together

  117. CLAIR says:

    Make reading fun!
    I ask my son who is four what the title means, I do a quick check to ensure he understands the words used. My son blends the words which enables him to read.
    Reading at a young age is such a wonderful experience because it is shared and once the child reaches a milestone it’s fantastic!

  118. John Gunn says:

    My top tip is to let them select the book. I go as far as to take my children to the library and let them select books each week for bedtime reading. This gives them ownership of their stories and they love the library, it is like a magical place for them!

  119. Andrea McGlashan says:

    start early from babyhood!

  120. Joanne Harrison says:

    Don’t get stressed – enjoy every minute of listening to them. Children are only little for such a short amount of time. Soon they will be going off to read on their own so treasure every minute of reading together.

  121. Hayley Turner says:

    Help the children make puppets, even if they are paper made stuck onto lolly sticks so that they can help act the story with the characters.

  122. LEAH SULLIVAN says:


  123. Charlotte Jones says:

    My 2 year old loves her books, we have a childrens bookcase with the covers facing forwards (rather than the spines) which makes it easier for her to pick books.

  124. Julie Harris says:

    Make or find simple props to put in a story bag with the book:laminating traced pictures is fairly easy. Children love to use them as you read the book.

  125. Dawn Totton says:

    My top tip would be to read with them everyday so that they get into a routine.

  126. Carolina J. says:

    My top tip is – Start Early! There are books for every age now, almost from the newborn stage.

  127. Lynda says:

    Love reading yourself but its an ideal time to cuddle up and get comfy, have cushions and books which have been picked from the library.
    That way its their choice of book, get plenty of rotation and you don’t feel forcing them to read if you’ve paid for the book.
    Also help them choose books for thir interests, programmes off tv etc

  128. Sarah D says:

    Lead by example, read and enjoy. My boy is only 3 months old but already picks up that mummy is happy reading books and is curious about what they are, I’m hoping it’s the start of a lifelong hobby for him.

  129. Danielle Vedmore says:

    Make it fun – do funny voices, act it out etc. Thats what started my love affair with books! xoxo

  130. Lara Mason says:

    Read with actions.. Like you’re role playing!

  131. Paul Witney says:

    Make sure you have lots of choice, and subject matter which interests them.

  132. Ann-Marie Chandler says:

    Give your child 100% of your attention when you are reading to them. Don’t try and watch the TV or anything else. Use different voices for different characters and ask them questions about the pictures in the book to encourage their imagination.

  133. sandra smith says:

    We have joined the library, go there weekly and let the child pick their own books. This gives them loads of choice and they will pick something they are interested in and want to read.

  134. Steve Thompson says:

    Put on different accents, funny voices, etc. It makes it more interesting for them (and you!)

  135. Elaine says:

    Don’t push it when they aren’t interested – if you make it a chore then they will never want to do it

  136. Bea says:

    Take it in turns to read a page to make it more fun and encourage them to build up their reading skills.

  137. Chris K says:

    Make sure reading time is fun. Children fight against anything they feel is a chore so ensuring that both parent and child are enjoying time spent reading will go a long way to encouraging the child to continue.

  138. Lucy robinson says:

    We get a variety of books from the library. I also try to use different voices and make the books sound exciting.

  139. Claire Higgins says:

    Make your voice animated and respond to what is happening in the story, so thats it exciting and fun, xxx

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