Inspired by Richard Unwin’s love for nature and his dogs, the new ‘Bootsy’ series kicks off with ‘Bootsy’s Picnic Adventure: The Only Flying Cockapoo’. It’s an enchanting story for young readers that wraps its narrative up in a series of lessons about the importance of wildlife, particularly birds. Unwin hopes his series empowers children to take an interest in the world around them and the amazing birds that fill it.

It’s all about dogs in our house right now. Miss 8’s school friend has recently got a new puppy and named it after her. She loves seeing her on the walk to school. Therefore this book couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Bootsy’s Picnic Adventure: The only flying cockapoo, written by Richard Unwin and published by @funnaturebooks, is a gorgeous story that also educates children about nature. Bootsy the cockapoo is out for a picnic by a river, with her family and best doggie friend, when they spot various types of birds. The book introduces lots of bird based vocabulary, including cygnet, mallard, heron etc. There is then a glossary of these terms at the back of the book too, which is fab way to reinforce this language for children. Bootsy of course goes for a fly with her bird friends before returning to her family. We love books that also educate children, especially about nature and this book does that so well, whilst also being a lovely story with a loveable character. The illustrations are fab too (scroll for some more photos). What a great addition to our book collection.

Bootsy has become a firm favourite in our house! Our five-year-old daughter loves the stories, she engages with Bootsy and enjoys the illustrations. Her favourite is Bootsy Flies at the Robert Eric Big Top Circus, with so much going on and lovely bright colours she spends time talking about each performer and what they might do next. I find the length of the story is perfect and the content is also informative. These stories are really great for building on comprehension skills. We can’t wait for Bootsy’s next adventure.

Victoria and daughter (5)

Bootsy’s Picnic Adventure

A lovely easy read accompanied by gentle and colourful illustrations.  The facts intertwined in the story and are interesting to both adults and children.  Overall informative and child friendly.

Bootsy Flies at the Robert Eric Big Top Circus

Another lovely book by Richard, Theo now loves Bootsy and looks forward to hearing more of her adventures.

Thank you for letting us review this, we wish Richard all the best with his stories and hope he writes many more.

Review by Abigail Rideout (read to) Theodore aged 18 months

Lovely stories about Bootsy, the flying dog! I’ve read them today with my 3 year old daughter.  The illustrations are great and we’ve enjoyed looking at them whilst reading and then making up our own little stories.  I like how the books educate, such as different birds, as well as tell a story – she was able to relate to her own experience of being at our local lake and seeing baby signets turn into swans over our visits during lockdown.Good books that can be enjoyed by the whole family!

 Jade and Amelie (3)

Freddie (2) really loved listening to his Daddy read the stories about Bootsy.  Freddie loved the different birds, he often goes to the park to feed the ducks so was so pleased to see them in the book.

Freddie (2)

Ernie would love a friend like Bootsy!

Dexter (8) is a competent reader and enjoyed reading the books about Bootsy, he lives close to a lake so was particularly interested about the different birds Bootsy met.

Dexter (8)

Here is a two and a half year old girl with her mother totally absorbed by Bootsy & her flying adventures…..

Robyn (4) really enjoyed listening to mummy read ‘Bootsy’s Picnic Adventure’ Robyn has only just started learning to read and enjoyed trying to work out some of the easier text.

Robyn (4)

They both loved the books, Eloise especially loved the bits at the end of the books with additional information and learning about the different birds in the story.

She also enjoyed the circus and the fun Bootsy had….needless to say they would both now like a dog like Bootsy!

Eloise (6) and Lottie (3)

Thank you for sending me the two books to review. I have read the first one with our Grandaughter aged 4. She was fascinated by the flying dog and wanted to know if dogs could really fly? Well what can you say when apparently reindeers do !

The pictures went down really well and the descriptions of the animals brought them all to life. A really lovely book with beautiful illustrations.

(Louise and Granddaughter)

I really enjoyed the story, ‘Bootsy Flies at the Robert Eric Big Top Circus’ and would love to hear some more of Bootsy’s adventures. Bootsy reminds me of our new puppy!

Maisie aged 9.

I liked the story, Bootsy’s Picnic Adventure’ , which mummy read to me at bedtime.  I particularly enjoyed the fun facts at the end!

Connie aged 8.

“Alfie really enjoyed having these books being read to him, he thought a dog that could do flips in a circus was hilarious! 

I thought was a really good idea to interpret the Royal family into the book as it encouraged Alfie to ask questions and further his general knowledge, especially as he is currently learning about castles at school. 

Alfie is a big lover of dogs, so to read about the different adventures of Bootsy really got his imagination going. 

As a parent I thought the illustrations were fantastic, and the way the book flowed was brilliant. 

I have asked Alfie if he would like some more books about Bootsy and he said he would like to read one about Bootsy going on a plane with his sunglasses on.”

Alfie and Chloe

“As an adult reading these books to children, I can highly recommend them especially as they are educational.

Bootsy – Flies at the Robert Eric Big Top Circus

Lovely and fun story with beautiful illustrations.  I particularly loved that Robert Eric is very serious about animal welfare and does not use animals in the circus.  It shows that the circus can be huge fun with the clowns, acrobats and jugglers etc.  It was great that Bootsy made a special appearance at the circus showing her “flying” ability and made the audience laugh.   The “Spot the Difference” at the end was a lovely bonus.

Bootsy’s Picnic Adventures

Again the illustrations are fabulous.  This book is great as it focuses on nature explaining the different birds on the river i.e. swans, mallards, heron etc.  It is very educational and the Fun Facts at the end great.”

Sarah-Jane

“Bootsy’s Picnic Adventure” is a heart-warming picture book, full of beautiful illustrations which celebrate the natural world.  The extra information in the back of the book adds to the interest level – especially for budding bird watchers!”

Natasha, Chicken & Frog Bookshop, Brentwood.

“Aw thank you for letting us have the joy of reviewing your first book. Luke is a huge bookworm (he has 2 library cards) and he is literally obsessed with dogs and nature…cockapoos being his absolute favourite. It made his year finding a book that has everything he loves and it’s being read every night at bedtime. Please let Richard know that Luke thinks he’s the best author – high praise!! Luke actually came up with an idea…he asked me to make a bandanna for Bootsy. If that’s OK, we would love to send her a personalised Bootsy bandanna as a thank you from Luke.”

Catherine, Luke and Puffin