A Spoonful of Sugar by Liz Fraser

A Spoonful of Sugar by Liz Fraser is, as the cover suggests, about families, traditions and old fashioned values. But it is far more than just a collection of advice from our older realtives. This is a really well considered, thought out and researched book about why some of the more old fashioned values are actually more relevant and more useful to keeping our kids happy and  healthy today. 

A spoonful of sugar

Liz’s book is based around converstaions with her grandmother who she clearly respects and adores. What a strong, smart wise woman grandmother turns out to be. She’s rather fabulous actually and has real nuggets of wisdom. The conversations range from food to discipline to play and sometimes Grandmothers advice is surprising and sometimes you find yourself nodding that yes of course it was better that way! (less activities, everyone eating the same food…oh yes!)

Liz does add in her own view and a modern slant on many of her Grandmothers views and all of this gives real food for thought. I left off reading this book having considered many aspects of my own parenting and feeling I had had a really good think thorugh of how I was bringing up my kids…that can never be a bad thing!  They free play more and longer now and I don’t take my daughter to pick her own clothes anymore or make my son fold the laundry with me. Why?  you’ll understand if you listen to granny!  It’s about letting your kids simply be kids.

What is lovely about this book is that it makes you reflect and it makes you think. It is warm and funny and well written and totally engaging. A great read .


To win a signed copy of Liz Fraser’s fab book please just tell me what your grandparents taught you. (Mine taught me to be polite and play rummy- v useful stuff!!!)


1 entry per person UK and Ireland entries only please. Winner drawn at random Feb 11th.



  1. Alice Hindley
    February 4, 2011 / 6:52 am

    My parents taught me manners and helped me to learn read before I went to school

    February 4, 2011 / 7:14 am

    how to knit and cook and to be polite

  3. Ashleigh
    February 4, 2011 / 7:46 am

    to always be on time!

  4. Michelle Rogers
    February 4, 2011 / 7:59 am

    ‘A Spoonful Of Sugar’ looks like a lovely book. My Taid tought me how to play tiddly winks, shuffle dominoes and roll cigarettes for him. I only ever saw him at the pub, surrounded by a haze of cigar smoke: not the best role model in the world, but I loved him!

  5. Rebecca Brown
    February 4, 2011 / 8:06 am

    This sounds like a v good book!

    My grandma taught me about the fairies at the bottom of the garden. I hold her personally responsible for my imagination!

  6. February 4, 2011 / 8:09 am

    I owe so much to my grand parents. Especially my grandfather who taught me cribbage, rummy and numerous other card games. But more importantly he taught me patience and he taught me good manners things that seem to be sadly lacking in current times 🙁

  7. Shane Mace
    February 4, 2011 / 8:33 am

    My nan taught me to always when walking with a female to walk nearest the road, so that the gent gets wet if a car goes through a puddle!

    My grandad taught me to always pronounce my “h’s”

  8. Sara Sudbury
    February 4, 2011 / 8:38 am

    I loved to cook with my Gran, she also taught me to knit

  9. Gemma
    February 4, 2011 / 8:40 am

    I never knew my grandad, but my Gran taught me to knit, to cook and that anything I want is possible.

  10. Cat G.
    February 4, 2011 / 8:49 am

    Mine taught me to be respectful to my elders and to value what you have instead of wishing for what you havent got

  11. Emma Barron
    February 4, 2011 / 9:16 am

    my grandparents taught me to respect my mother!!!

  12. Alison E
    February 4, 2011 / 10:06 am

    My grnadparents taught me how to make coconut haystacks and viennese swirls

  13. Becky
    February 4, 2011 / 10:14 am

    I love this !

  14. harline parkin
    February 4, 2011 / 10:34 am

    my mother taught me how to clean

  15. Piparoo
    February 4, 2011 / 10:42 am

    My Nan taught me to knit, she brought me a knitting set that comprised of a plastic basket with 8 small balls of coloured wool and plastic knitting kneedles (does anyone else remember those lol) I dont think I have seen anything like that in a long time.

    She also taught me to respect your elders 🙂

  16. Nicola
    February 4, 2011 / 10:48 am

    My nan taught me how to make a lovely cuppa!

  17. Pamela Gossage
    February 4, 2011 / 10:58 am

    T knit and that good manners cost noyhing

  18. james
    February 4, 2011 / 10:59 am

    To play cards and to be kind and think of others

  19. carole
    February 4, 2011 / 12:14 pm

    have good manners

  20. Isabelle Smith
    February 4, 2011 / 12:30 pm


  21. Isabelle Smith
    February 4, 2011 / 12:31 pm

    theey taught me to respect myself

  22. Julie Johnson
    February 4, 2011 / 1:00 pm

    My nan taught to me to love life, she was riding her bicycle at the age of 88, and she still went dancing every saturday night at the Social club, with her silver dancing shoes, aah happy memories

  23. Alan
    February 4, 2011 / 1:24 pm

    My grandparents taught me the true value of family love

  24. February 4, 2011 / 1:35 pm

    My grandmother always made me sit up nicely at the table. She’d be shaking her head in disapproval if she saw my hunched-over-keyboard posture now.
    She also taught me not to ask for things, but I’ll disobey her again and beg for your book. Please, please, please can I have a signed copy?

  25. Emma Howard
    February 4, 2011 / 1:36 pm

    I was never really that close to my grandparents but I’m determined it will be different for my son and his grandparents.

  26. Linda Osborne
    February 4, 2011 / 1:57 pm

    I only ever new one nan, and i was about 7 when she passed, but i remember her telling me to always be careful crssing the road.

  27. sweir1
    February 4, 2011 / 2:52 pm

    mine taught me that in order to have the rainbow you have to put up with the rain

  28. Bernadette Blundell
    February 4, 2011 / 2:55 pm

    mine taught me how to make cakes

  29. Anna
    February 4, 2011 / 3:53 pm

    I loved to read stories with my Gran she also taught me to make cookies 🙂

  30. Maisie Young
    February 4, 2011 / 5:20 pm

    My Nan taught me that Christmas is a time when the whole family should be together, and that smoking stinks! xx

  31. jill
    February 4, 2011 / 5:55 pm

    To make cupcakes, sausage rolls and shortbread!

  32. Gemma
    February 4, 2011 / 6:12 pm

    How to make chocolate truffles and scones. Mmmm 🙂

  33. Karen
    February 4, 2011 / 6:35 pm

    My grandma taught me how to knit

  34. Laura Pritchard
    February 4, 2011 / 7:54 pm

    How to peel a cooking apple in one long slice!

  35. claire woods
    February 4, 2011 / 8:37 pm

    My grandma taught me how to save money. She used to save all her pennies up for us. Now I do the same with my son.

  36. Megan Adams
    February 4, 2011 / 8:57 pm

    My grandparents taught me to play lots of games like ‘Haunted House’ & ‘Dominos’. All the old classics!

  37. JO JONES
    February 4, 2011 / 10:09 pm

    My grandparents taught me to enjoy reading books and we always spent quality ‘cuddle’ time together in one chair reading together. They also taught me to use a knife and fork correctly – not like a pencil.

  38. Jenifer-Mary Pettitt
    February 4, 2011 / 11:21 pm

    My grandparents taught me how to smile & be content with what I had.

  39. Kieran Walsh
    February 5, 2011 / 10:25 am

    we are now the “granparents”, actualy great grand parent, my nan who lived to 100 years old, ,told me never be affraid of telling the truth, as a good fibber needs a book to remember what lies you had told, she also taught me how to cook, and back horses

  40. Sarah Laycock
    February 5, 2011 / 11:55 am

    They taught me to love nature – how to identify various trees, birds and other wildlife. Still love the outdoors to this day!

  41. Belinda Matthews
    February 5, 2011 / 1:16 pm

    My granny taught me how to make a victoria sponge cake and bread and butter pudding

  42. helena haddock
    February 5, 2011 / 1:32 pm

    My Gran taught me how to sew and bake cakes

  43. Rebecca Murphy
    February 5, 2011 / 1:56 pm

    To play cards.

    Did all grandparents do this?

  44. Solange
    February 5, 2011 / 2:38 pm

    Manners and to be grateful

  45. Heather Shaw
    February 5, 2011 / 4:53 pm

    Mine taught me how to cook. She once said i made the best mashed swede she had ever had…. 🙂

  46. Daphne
    February 5, 2011 / 4:56 pm

    None of my grandparents were around to teach me anything, but my great nanna was amazing. She tought me to treat people as you would want to be treated yourself

  47. Jackie Brown
    February 5, 2011 / 5:49 pm

    My grandmother taught me how to swim, stop hiccups, make real custard from scratch and how to tell when men are lying

  48. Jane Willis
    February 5, 2011 / 5:49 pm

    My grandma taught me how to crochet and how to make pickled onions! (She also taught me how to scrub a stone doorstep but that’s a skill I don’t have much use for these days)

  49. Lisa Williamson
    February 5, 2011 / 5:54 pm

    My grandad showed me how to steal someone’s nose, show them it (your thumb) and put it back – painfree. Lol x

  50. katherine grieve
    February 5, 2011 / 7:10 pm

    How to cook. My Gran was like another mum to me, i loved her cheese and onion pie

  51. Emma Clarke
    February 5, 2011 / 7:12 pm

    My grandparents taught me to love and to respect animals as they owned a farm in North Wales. They had horses and I helped one mare to foal when I was about eleven.

  52. Martina
    February 5, 2011 / 7:44 pm

    My granny taught me to knit and crochet but I stopped doing it when I was a teenager.

  53. Victoria Boland
    February 5, 2011 / 8:44 pm

    My grandma taught me to knit.

  54. Jo Hewlett
    February 5, 2011 / 10:42 pm

    They taught me to pray and to laugh at myself as well as others, oh and how to make the perfect victoria sponge and catch a tennis ball with one hand.

  55. Julie
    February 6, 2011 / 5:40 pm

    To play blackjack (grampy) and to make pompoms (Nana)…a little random!!!

  56. February 6, 2011 / 10:41 pm

    my grandad showed me how to play dominos and my gran showed me how to cook sausages and bacon lol.

  57. vicky haddock
    February 7, 2011 / 7:54 am

    My grandma taught me how to knit and my grandad taught me how to enjoy reading

  58. Suzanne sendell
    February 7, 2011 / 9:32 am

    My nan taught me to crochet,she tried knitting but I could only master squares

  59. Rach
    February 7, 2011 / 9:52 am

    My grandparents taught me how to use a stairlift.

  60. February 7, 2011 / 5:15 pm

    To play pontoon (21) and to bet with buttons!

  61. Rob Belbin
    February 7, 2011 / 6:39 pm

    My grandparents taught me how not to drive!!

  62. linda wiles
    February 8, 2011 / 9:23 am

    my nan taught me to knit and crochet

  63. paula Tarling
    February 8, 2011 / 9:34 am

    My grandad taught me how to play the organ (although I preferred singing along) and to draw and paint!

  64. Hayley
    February 8, 2011 / 10:30 am

    My gran taught me how to knit, make Welsh Cakes and how to play solitaire!

  65. lorna anderson
    February 8, 2011 / 12:56 pm


  66. Justine Powell
    February 8, 2011 / 2:48 pm

    My gran taught me to cook

  67. greig spencer
    February 8, 2011 / 5:17 pm

    ghost stories lol

  68. Anna
    February 8, 2011 / 5:56 pm

    My grandma taught me to how to cook delicious soup.

  69. Zoe
    February 8, 2011 / 7:17 pm

    My Great Grandmother taught me to always eat with table manners (which she also taught me) otherwise no nice man would take me for dinner at a posh hotel

  70. Laura
    February 8, 2011 / 9:30 pm

    My Granny taught me how to crochet and passed on to me her love of classical music

  71. katrina walsh
    February 9, 2011 / 12:19 am

    Not to chase their chickens!

  72. mark kane
    February 9, 2011 / 9:44 am

    my gran taught me to always put the toilet seat down …..and sleep with one eye open which i never understood untill my two boys came along :0

  73. Maya
    February 9, 2011 / 10:09 am

    Granny taught me how to make dolls clothes!

  74. danuta myszor
    February 9, 2011 / 10:33 am

    My grandma taught me how to cook traditional dishes.

  75. Karen hargreaves
    February 9, 2011 / 11:03 am

    My gran taught me to make clothes on a sewing machine, and to this day I still make my own clothes and have now taught my 13 year old daughter the same and she loves it, she’s even got her own sewing machine.

  76. Steven Montgomery
    February 9, 2011 / 11:09 am

    How to light an open fire 🙂

  77. Emily H
    February 9, 2011 / 12:59 pm

    My Grandma was the first person I knew with a Sinclair Spectrum and she got me into computers and computer games – I now work as a programmer.

  78. jimmy paton
    February 9, 2011 / 1:19 pm

    to tie my shoe laces and be polite

  79. michele
    February 9, 2011 / 3:57 pm

    My nan and grandad tought me to be polite and be happy y grandad also tought me if you borrow a penny and pay it back you can always borrow again but better to try and cope without borrowing if you can, I’m 44 now and never had a credit card or loans because of my grandads wise words

  80. V Elms
    February 9, 2011 / 4:43 pm

    My nana taught me to knit – though im afraid i can no longer remember Such a bad grand daughter 🙁 I also got my great cooking skills from her too, from which she benefits from at least once a month although i could never do a roast quite as well as her
    While my Grandad taught me how to do Marble Solitaire – which i still use as my party trick every now and then!!! He taught himself, i do have vague memories of him and his patience R.I.P grandad xx

  81. Sarah Davies
    February 9, 2011 / 7:34 pm

    My nan always told me not to go out without wearing makeup and to always suck my tummy in!

  82. Lorna Peppiatt
    February 9, 2011 / 8:47 pm

    Children should be seen and not heard, was what my grandparents said when my sisters and I were being naughty! On a good note, they were lovely people and taught me to be well mannered, to always finish my food on my plate and my grandmother taught me how to crochet and grandfather taught me how to play draughts on his draught table. How I miss them!
    Lovely book, thanks for giveaway!

  83. Richard
    February 9, 2011 / 9:29 pm

    My nana tried, unsuccessfully, to teach me to knit. She did teach me to flip pancakes, to play dominoes and to laugh even when life seems to be at its hardest.

  84. natalie
    February 9, 2011 / 10:39 pm

    My nana taught me to respect my parents – she would always tell me off if I ever “spoke out of turn.” My grandad taught me to really love wimpy…he took me often…but best of all he taught me that he loved me more than “all the money in the world”.. 🙂

  85. Clare White
    February 10, 2011 / 7:31 am

    My Nan taught me how to be a homemaker, to bake and take care of my family. My late Grandad tauight me how to be fair, never to judge and look for the good in everyone. My late Grandad really was one in a million and I miss him daily.

  86. Kim Grayson
    February 10, 2011 / 7:41 am

    My nan always taught me that you didn’t need all the toys in the world to have a happy childhood, household “rubbish” works just as well, Old food boxes… we used to spend hours playing shoppers and modelling with boxes too, happy childhood memories that i will never forget!

  87. Adrian Clarke
    February 10, 2011 / 8:23 am

    To balance on metal railings knocking down conkers with your umbrella when your over 80 years old!

  88. Sharon Witney
    February 10, 2011 / 1:42 pm

    My grandparents taught me how to gamble! We used to play card games every Saturday night for a penny a go.

  89. miss emma louise hogan
    February 10, 2011 / 2:20 pm

    My grandparents died before I was born so I have no knowledge from them just the hope that I could be as good a parent as they were.

  90. karine
    February 10, 2011 / 3:18 pm

    My grandmother taught good manners.

  91. Tracy
    February 10, 2011 / 6:07 pm

    My Nan taught me how to cook proper rice pudding with skin on!

  92. Val Pownall
    February 10, 2011 / 6:33 pm

    I only knew one grandma, and none of my grandfathers unfortunately. She was tiny with a humped back, a dewdrop permanently on the end of her nose, and she always had peanuts in her pinny pocket that we used to reach up for with our tiny hands when we were very small. She could make shirts from scratch but I haven’t inherited that skill. She died a long time ago when I was 13, and because of her I’ve always wanted to be a grandma, and now i’m very lucky to be one. One of her pearls of wisdom was that if you’ve nothing good to say about somebody, keep your mouth shut! 🙂

  93. Nicola Tuxford
    February 10, 2011 / 7:40 pm

    The most amazing thing my grandma told me was that it was ok to date a divorced man. We are now married with two children. Sadly she didn’t live to see this but I like to hope she’s looking down on me knowing she’s responsible for my life being so amazing 🙂

  94. Greg
    February 10, 2011 / 9:21 pm

    My nan to me to share

  95. Susan Norminton
    February 10, 2011 / 10:08 pm

    My grandparents taught me gardening

  96. Claire Butler
    February 11, 2011 / 7:05 pm

    M grandparents taught me manners,to be loving and giving. to think of others less fortunate. Be respectful of my elders and to be helpful

  97. Sarah Anguish
    February 11, 2011 / 10:20 pm

    Always say ‘please may I leave the table’… which I refused when I was 4yrs old and fell asleep at the dinner table and had to be carried to bed (I’ve grown out of my stubborness)

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