Book Reviews

From Roger and Rose Lees (Canada)

Hi Suzanne
Just to let you know that the book arrived yesterday in perfect condition, it was very well packaged and a nice touch with the tissue paper, Rose and I both read the book the story was very real I am sure that their are many dogs around the world would agree if they could talk that they felt left out when a new member of the family arrives, the illustrations are excellent.

Dawn Giles (Bishops Waltham)

Loving your book Suzanne! 

It’s so beautifully written and the illustrations are gorgeous. Loved finding Uff Uff on every page 😍 and Bentley is so adorable.

Friends – highly recommend this if you have young children. Copies available from her website http://suzannelees.co.uk

From Zaida Moss (Canada)

Recently ordered your Bella & Bentley book for our daughter Sierra. We absolutely loved the story and the artwork was beautiful! My daughter has shown all of her little friends the book and told them about the story and that it has her mommy’s favourite dog in it (French bulldog!). The personalized signature you included was so thoughtful and it is a keepsake we will treasure for years to come! Thank you again!

Purbrooke, Waterlooville

Joe age 10 (Isle of Wight)

Thank you for the book, I enjoyed reading it and I think that it is very good. It was nicely packaged and was a surprise when I opened it. The illustrations were very fitting to the story and the book overall is great, so it is a good book for young children.

Slick Mummy Magazine

SM REVIEWS…’BELLA AND BENTLEY’ BY SUZANNE LEES

‘Bentley wanted to sit on Mummy’s lap and kiss the baby, but was told ‘No’. Bentley felt lonely and sad…he just wanted Mummy…’
Does any of this sound familiar?
Yes – except that in this case, Bentley isn’t a hipster older sibling, but an adorable French bulldog, hereby exemplifying that a) a new arrival can be explained to a toddler via the medium of lapdogs and b) the family pooch needs love too.

This is a lovely story and a wonderful alternative to many of those ‘new baby’ titles (which my sons, for example, found a little ‘sappy’) and the ending is delightful.

In our own case, the family dogs preceded the children, so this book served as an apt reminder to my husband and I that once upon a time our world was theirs alone… Which was enough of an incentive for us to get our hiking boots on and take the dogs out to the woods whilst the kids were at school…

Bella and Bentley is published by Suzanne Lees and is the first of a series.

Wafflemama – www.wafflemama.uk

“We were kindly sent a brand new book to try out called ‘Bella & Bentley’, the first in a series of gorgeous books all about a little girl named Bella and her little dog Bentley. The characters are a real part of the author Suzanne Lees family which I adore. We always make up ‘Peggy dog stories’ about our own dog at bed time so these books are a great match for us!

My first thought was how soft and pretty the illustrations are right from the front cover. They instantly pull you in, they are really sweet and perfectly capture the feeling of the story. The story itself is all about Bentley and how his beloved Mummy and her slowly growing tummy, finally introduced a new little friend, a baby called Bella.

The story shares the story of bringing a new baby into the home but from the dogs perspective, what a great twist! As we have cats and a dog, I can really relate to the story and how Bentley cosies up to the bump feeling the baby move, knowing his little world is going to change, sensing that change but having no clue what is happening.

Bentley’s world changed one night when his Mummy went to the hospital and Nanny came to stay. The story tells us how he is worried, can’t sleep, but finally gets to meet a wriggly new baby and isn’t quite sure what to do. Bentley just wants his Mummy but she is too busy now and he feels a little left out. There are lots of new noises and smells around and it’s a bit of a sad time for Bentley.

Soon though, everything settles and of course his Mummy is soon ready to give him more time, get back to walks and best of all – introduce him properly to his new best buddy Bella, his new partner in crime for lots of adventures to come!

We really enjoy reading this book. There are lots of adventures to come for these two and we can’t wait to read more!”

Richard Mingay

Truly wonderful book, lots of interaction for the children. Lovely content and ethos. Even for a child to prepare for a sibling and see how the family changes are a part of life and how important feelings and are understood. It will definitely be a great way to start a chat with children about a new arrival. I am looking forward to the rest of the collection which, i’ve been informed, include life lessons for little people and the way we, as adults, can approach those subjects. Thank goodness for authors like Suzanne Lees who make that a little easier.

Lisa Wiltshire, Librarian, Purbrook Junior School (Waterlooville)

Bella and Bentley had my year 3 children (age 7) hooked from the start! The thought of hearing a story about a dog had them eager to listen. They all loved the story lots of ooh’s and ahh’s plus they loved finding Bella’s friend Uff Uff !
I asked questions as we read through to make sure they were all understanding and got great answers to why Bentley was feeling the way he was. Of course I don’t want to say too much and spoil the story!

A great story for pre-school children & infants alike, they will love the pictures and the story, plus so many children can relate to Bentley’s experience.

Mummy Constant – www.mummyconstant.com

The book is written by Suzanne Lees, a self-confessed dog lover, felt compelled to bring to life ‘baby’s arrival’ from Bentley’s perspective, shortly after her own daughter brought new arrival Bella home from hospital. The first in a series of five short stories, “Bella and Bentley” is designed to educate and warm the heart, and is intended for parents to read to very young children and for older children to read unaided. The children love reading this book together, they think its funny reading the story from the doggies perspective

Gifts4You – www.gifts-4-you.com

Bella and Bentley, a Heart-Warming Book to Treasure

Whether you are looking for last-minute Christmas gifts or need a birthday, ‘new arrival’ or christening present just after the festive season, ‘Bella and Bentley’ by Suzanne Lees is a wonderfully heart-warming, yet educational book that will make a wonderful gift.

Designed to be read to very young children by their parents, ‘Bella and Bentley’ is the story of 2-year-old Bentley, a French bulldog, faced with the arrival of baby Bella. Pets can find new additions to ‘their’ family’ upsetting, and Bentley is no exception. As he watches ‘his Mummy’ welcome Bella into their lives, he is filled with anxiety (let’s face it, dogs have feelings, too) and apprehension. All that excitement surrounding Bella’s arrival is quite unexpected and he is not sure what to make of it all. Until he meet’s Bella, that is…

Bella and Bentley is the first of five short stories written by self-confessed dog-lover Suzanne Lees, who decided to write the series after the birth of her granddaughter Bella.

Bella and Bentley is beautifully written and will be enjoyed by young and old alike. I for one can’t wait to read the next story in the series. Highly recommended as a beautiful gift for any occasion.

Online Mummy – www.onlinemummy.co.uk

Today is the start of a new series here on Online Mummy. We are going to be sharing some of our  children’s favourite reads. Starting off with a fairly new book on the scene: Bella and Bentley by Suzanne Lees.

The book immediately immerses us inside its pages as we follow the story of Bentley (dog) meeting his new baby Bella (human baby) and how he feels things have changed. He just wants his mummy and starts to feel a bit left out and lonely until he realises that there is time for him too, he can still get all the cuddles and walkies plus he can play with his new baby.

We love how the book is written in the dogs perspective. It’s ingenious and makes the story such page turner. It’s very easy to read for littles ones and the illustrations are just gorgeous.

We can’t wait to see what other books Suzanne has in store for us.

It’s All About Stories

I’ve been sent Bella and Bentley by Suzanne Lees and illustrated by Sarah-Leigh Wills. This is the first in
a series by animal-lover and author Suzanne Lees. It tells the story of a new baby arriving in the family from the perspective of the much-loved pet dog Bentley. A lovely picture book to share with children who have just had a new baby sister or brother. The series goes on to tell more stories of Bella (the baby) growing up with Bentley.

Anne Elgar (Verwood, Dorset)

Received my book recently, really pleased, packaging gorgeous. Lovely illustrations and soft colours. Read together with my grandson last night, he loved it and it was just long enough to hold his attention. We enjoyed finding Uff Uff in the pages.  Thank you, Suzanne, and we look forward to seeing your next book!

Isle of Wight NHS Trust (Isle of Wight)

MUMMYMODE

Isle of Wight County Press

Theuerkauf’s Tails, LLC

Mummy and Daddy are about to have a baby! Everyone is excited…except for Bentley, the family pup. In Bella and Bentley by Suzanne Lees, Bentley soon learns how having a baby can bring large changes to the family dynamic.

Bentley is used to spending all of his time with his Mummy. He knows that he will soon have to share her with the forthcoming bundle of joy. Taking his role of protector very seriously, Bentley does his best to guard his Mummy and soon-to-be-sibling.

One night, Bentley’s Mummy and Daddy leave suddenly. They return several days later with his new sister, Bella. Bentley is so excited! He wants to sit on his Mummy’s lap like old times, but his spot has been taken by baby Bella. Bentley then attempts to give his new sis a kiss, but his Mummy begins to yell at him.

Poor Bentley is feeling unloved. Will his Mummy ignore him forever? Will he ever be able to adjust to life with Bella?

I greatly enjoyed reading this story. I loved how the book is written from Bentley’s perspective. Too often, the animals in our lives become an afterthought when we are faced with major life changes.

I feel that this story sheds light on the importance of including all family members in such situations.

I also feel that this would be a great book for parents who are expanding their family to read to their children. I believe that children will easily relate to Bentley and the emotions that he felt in his first few days with Bella and his Mummy. This story also serves as a gentle reminder to parents to not neglect the family that they already have when a new addition is on the way.

I loved trying to find Bella’s friend, Uff Uff, on every page! This immediately made me think of the famous Where’s Waldo series. I feel that this is a fun addition to the story that will really engage young readers.

The illustrations by Sarah-Leigh Wills are charming and delightful. Children will fall in love with Bentley and his adorable face. I also love the pastel color palate that Wills uses in each illustration.

Overall, this is a wonderful story for children ages 3 to 9. I look forward to reading about Bella and Bentley’s next adventure!

30th June 2017