Once I Was Loved by Belinda Landsberry FICTIONAL BOOK OF THE WEEK

Once I Was Loved by Belinda Landsberry FICTIONAL BOOK OF THE WEEK

jeanniejeanniejeannie.co.uk BLOG 2nd October 2019


Once I Was Loved by Belinda Landsberry  (Author)


Hardcover:            32 pages

Age Range:           4 – 11 years

Publisher:              EK Books


Book Blurb:

An old toy rabbit finds himself in a box of toys being donated to charity. “But it wasn’t always this way,” Tock sadly reflects, “Once I was loved.”

We rewind the clock to 1939 when a girl named Sam receives a toy rabbit for her 5th birthday. From that moment, Sam and Tock are inseparable. They’re together when Sam hugs her father goodbye as he marches off to war. They’re together when they visit polio patients at the hospital, but sadly part when Sam gives Tock to Flynn, a gravely ill boy in an iron lung. Flynn slowly recovers, but Tock is dropped from his hospital window as he watches the celebrations marking the end of the war. Tock is found by Max, and together they are swept up in the newest music craze of the 1950s: rock ’n’ roll. Max grows up and hands his beloved toy rabbit on to his son, Toby, and in 1969, Toby and Tock watch the first Moon landing. In 1974, Tock is found in a park by Pip, a ‘flower child’ from the Hippie movement. And so Tock’s adventures continue through to the present day, when an old lady is sorting toys donated to charity. Her name badge reads ‘Sam’ — after nearly 90 years, Sam is finally reunited with her beloved Tock.

A celebration of the timeless nature of love and set against the backdrop of iconic moments in 20th-century history, the heart-warming picture book Once I Was Loved will resonate with anyone who has ever cherished a childhood toy.



I love this book, really, really love it. For me it has and does everything an excellent book should do. It made me laugh, it made me cry, I filled with emotion, as it made me happy, it made me sad. The book is a work of art too with the pictures making you feel warm and cosy. They make the words come alive and jump off the page.

The book has a timeline which takes us from early 1940s until today and our guide is the star of the book, Tock a beautiful old toy rabbit. He takes us on a journey of finding love and losing it. As he does so we go through many major historical events that for us oldies have touched all our lives.

But primarily this book is not meant for us, it is a picture book for children. The age range of 4 – 11 years is greater than the normal age range for picture books and rightfully so as I defy any one not to find the book appealing. I would extend the range to 100+ years. Children will not only enjoy Tock’s journey through life and meeting his friends, but it will introduce them to key events in recent history.

I love how Belinda Landsberry has dealt with the transition for Tock as he moves on from friend to friend through time. The story flows with such a logical easy flow so much so that you could even believe the story to be factual.

The conclusion of the book is excellent too as it fully ties up any loose ends.

The pastel pictures are beautifully soft and gentle enhancing the words, even emphasizing them whilst adding lots of humour too.

As far as pictures go the front cover is wonderful, summing up the whole book and story.

This book primarily entertains but it triggers all emotions and educates. What more can you want or expect of a good book.

Once I was Loved will always be loved as a book in anyone’s collection of books.

Obviously, the book is meant for children. But as adults buy the books for children and have to read them and chat to the children about it the book has to have adult appeal and Once I Was Loved passes this test with full colours. I would even go on to say the book could even be bought as a gift from a grandchild to his/her grandparent/s. For example the book covers just a few years longer than my own life. It covers many major world events and emotions that make it feel like a potted biography of the world through my life. I would so treasure the book if it was given to me by my grandchildren.

Belinda Landsberry, the author and illustrator won awards for her first book and with this standard it is easy to understand why. I can see Once I Was Loved being an award winner too. It certainly deserves to be.


ONCE I WAS LOVED by BELINDA LANDSBERRY is Published by EK Books on 16th October 2019

You can pre-order from wherever you usually purchase your books from.

Biography of the author

Belinda Landsberry is an award-winning author-illustrator. Belinda wrote and illustrated children’s picture books for a number of years before her debut picture book, Anzac Ted, was published with EK Books in 2014. Belinda’s obsession with writing and illustrating was obvious when she was seven years old and created her first book: How To Become A Nurse. While never published, this hilarious little book paved the way for Belinda to find her true north — children’s picture books. Happily, Belinda did, in fact, follow her own advice and became a student nurse. She then became a primary school teacher, a graphic designer and a professional artist. But her love for children’s picture books continued to bring her back to where she feels she truly belongs. In 2013, Belinda won the prestigious Australian Kids’ Book Review Unpublished Picture Book Manuscript Award. In 2016, Anzac Ted was short-listed for the Western Australian Young Reader’s Book Awards and featured in the Anzac Stories: Behind the Pages Exhibition 2017-2018 hosted by schools and libraries across Australia and New Zealand. Belinda holds a Diploma of Teaching (K-6) with a Major in Fine Arts and a Diploma of Graphic Design. She spends most of her time in her studio with her dog, Faramir, and her two cats: Scout and Boo Radley (the latter of whom take great delight in rolling all over her notes and walking freely upon her keyboard). Belinda also writes YA fantasy, adult narrative non-fiction and chapter books. She lives in Sydney’s leafy north with her noisy, creative and ever-expanding family.

She brings an ideal combination of talents to her work, having formerly trained as a primary school teacher and graphic designer. Mother to four children – two grown-up and two teenagers – Belinda holds the impressive record of having made school lunches for 30 years straight when her youngest daughter finished school in 2018!



Let us endeavour so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry. -Mark Twain


Happiness is…losing yourself in the book “Once I Was Loved


Q: What time do ducks get up? A: At the quack of dawn


Love is…a cuddly toy rabbit named ‘Tock’


About You Now – Sugarbabes

Highest Chart Position: No.1 6th October 2007 (for 4 Weeks)


Wednesday 2nd October 2019

World Farm Animal Day

Name Your Car Day

Random Acts of Poetry Day


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