Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Playgroup” as Want to Read:
The Playgroup
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Playgroup

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  157 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Maria has been running the nursery of St. Mark's Primary school for the past three years with warm efficiency. The children love her, and the parents trust her, and she has every right to feel proud of her achievements. But when a brand new head is appointed, Maria's carefully ordered world is sent into turmoil. Guy has his own very set ideas about how a nursery should be ...more
Paperback, 488 pages
Published February 8th 2012 by Random House UK (first published February 2nd 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Playgroup, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Playgroup

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 324)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Paula Sealey
Gemma has just taken charge of The Puddleducks Playgroup, who have close ties with the local school. There, Joe has just become the new head of Reception years and has firm ideas on how the playgroup should be run. Clashes occur, but everyone comes together when two children at the group suffer tragedy.

After the initial, rather confusing chapter, I had to read a few more before I really gained any interest in the characters. Even then, I wasn't gripped by the story lines and some of the charact
M.D. Bowden
Jul 03, 2014 M.D. Bowden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've given this four stars as I found it quite a compulsive read, and I thought the characters were interesting/likeable once you got to know them. I found some things about this read annoying though - the way it suddenly left off at a suspenseful moment and shifted to another persons story, I didn't find it created suspense, instead I found it annoying, and sometimes distasteful considering the nature of the story (childhood illness). I thought it was over dramatic and level of education the ki ...more
Feb 14, 2016 Jess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun story,ideal for readers that like young children as it centres around a playgroup and the lives of the children and families who attend there.
Puddleducks is the feeder playgroup to the nearby infant school.
Gemma Merryweather has taken over as the supervisor of the playgroup whilst its previous leader is on maternity leave.
Over in the infant school Joe Balls takes over as the new head of foundation after the previous head suffers a serious heart attack.
Gemma and Joe set off on the wrong
Fiona Wilson
Dec 31, 2015 Fiona Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
I was looking for some lighthearted books to read and came upon this author. I immediately bought all of her books and this is the first one I read. I was expecting a nice simple read, but it was so much more than that.

Working in childcare I love stories set in childcare establishments. This story made my job look totally mundane in comparison. This isn't a simple story about a playgroup. There are complex characters, some mystery, and a whole load of hilarious happenings thrown in.

This was a go
Claire Hill
Jun 26, 2014 Claire Hill rated it really liked it
Well I have missed being chick lit world after reading some different gene and this book brought me back to what I love best.
This is the first book I have read by this author and so glad I did and will looking out for further books.
So so related to this as being a mother of two girls and my youngest will starting in this year into pre school and I will be the mother with the child that screams don't leave me !!!!! But I also have worked in a school to so I reacted to the main characters Gemma an
Jyoti Babel

Meet Gemma Merryfield, the in-charge of the "Puddleducks Playgroup". The book starts with a typical day at the playgroup. There are anxious parents who worries whether their kids would be fine at the play school, there are late parents- who are never in time to drop their children at the play school and then there is a celebrity Mum who isn't quite what she seems. And then there are these kids, some excited, some cranky and some shy and their 101 questions about everything they can think of, whi
Nov 08, 2012 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Janey Fraser also writes under the name Sophie King, even though i have read a couple of her books under the name of Sophie King. This is the first book i have read by Janey Fraser.

I really enjoyed the book and couldn't put it down. The book Starts of with Gemma Merryfield taking over the running of the local playgroup as the current leader is on maternity leave.

Gemma quickly becomes attached to some of the children who attend the playgroup, and some of them in return become very attached to he
Jun 21, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents and Child Care workers.
The book follows three main characters:
Gemma - The new puddleducks playgroup leader.
Joe - The new head of the reception class.
Nancy - The parent of a child attending puddleducks.

I originally bought this book because I work in childcare, so thought that I would be able to relate to it, and I was right! The happenings of the story remind me of working and accurately depicted what it is like to work in a nursery, and I imagine that it would also bring back 'nursery moments' for many parents.

Rachel Ponder
Jun 07, 2015 Rachel Ponder rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I work in childcare I saw the title of this book and I had to read it. Did make me laugh out loud in some places, lovely book
Apr 07, 2012 Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have you been a nursery nurse/teacher or been a parent who's had a child at playgroup? Then this book will bring back memories of what happens at Puddleducks Playgroup with Mrs Merryfield and Bella and Jean and the new Reception Teacher Mr Balls. It goes through the first terms back after the holidays and the different children as well as the staff lives and how some are entwined. Started at 11am, It was finished by 9pm. I just couldn't put the book down and had me laughing in parts of memories ...more
May 26, 2013 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a granny to a 4 year old. I could identify with the children and playgroup setting. Nearly 500 pages so a good read but had a bit of a slow start. The initial chapters did rather drag with too much emphasis on the children and their activities at the playgroup and I kept wondering when we were going to get to the main storyline involving the adults. Intelligent chick lit with well drawn, attractive characters, and entertaining story lines which kept me guessing as to how it would turn out. An ...more
Meryl Diab
Apr 01, 2015 Meryl Diab rated it really liked it
A great holiday read!
May 16, 2012 Kat rated it liked it
Janey Fraser is better known as the popular author Sophie King. I have enjoyed her books under this name so when I found out she was doing another book but under a different name I was pleased. It was a good book with lovely characters, but I wasn't keen on some of the writing as there was quite a bit of bad grammar and this was off putting and the writer sometimes used words which I didn't think fitted the context. I would certainly read another from this author.
Mar 31, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable light read with good characterisation, although I could predict the ending good journey to get there. Intelligent chick lit! Loved the depiction of the children and the playgroup - recognisable characters. Also thought the way some parenting issues were raised was subtle and as a parent to three could recognise some of the feelings; embarrassment by our children's behaviour being just one! If only all/more preschool teachers were like Gemma.
Rebecca Sigsworth
I was really hoping this book would be a great read, unfortunately it wasn't as good as i'd hoped. Although, having worked in nurseries that part of the story is accurate. The ending was very predictable which is always disappointing. I found the plot sort of went from moving on and sticking with the same thing for ages so each part of the chapters either made me stick reading or want to move on. So overall an average read.
Dec 14, 2012 Adele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Janey Fraser book that I've read and I don't think it will be the last. I wasn't expecting much of a plot but it's very well written and keeps you guessing for quite a while what each of the three main characters secret is. The interactions of the children at playgroup really brightened the story and I highly recommend especially to those with experience of young children!
Sandra Parker
Feb 17, 2016 Sandra Parker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolute beautiful book.
Aug 21, 2013 Theresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book couldn't put it down i loved the story line. The only thing i could find wrong they was few spelling mistakes. With been a parent myself i could understand what parents were going though in the book and in some ways could relate to them an excellent book for people with children. It had funny parts and serious parts and all came together perfectly.
Feb 20, 2012 Aileen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, I found it easy to read and follow, I couldn't put it down, it was funny and sad. I would definetely recommend. I noticed this Author has another book coming out later this year and she also writes under the name of Sophie King, I will be looking out for other books by this Author.
Jul 09, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2012
I loved this book. Gemma is running the playgroup attached to the school. Joe has just become head of the reception. You meet lots of the children and their parents and follow various friendships.

She has a new book called The AuPair that will go straight onto my wishlist.
Yvonne Morgan
Oct 28, 2013 Yvonne Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just fab

Enjoyed every page of this book.The characters were well thought out as was the plot...

Totally recommend this book and will be reading more from this author in the future.
Jennifer Roberts
Sep 05, 2014 Jennifer Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chick-lit
I really enjoyed this book. It has a good plot and a whole host of interesting characters. The only criticism I have is that 'Joe Balls' is a terrible name to saddle a character with.
Aimee Ash
Was a good plot, but as I know the rules and regulations of pre-schools I didn't find it all completely true to life and it just bugged me a bit. The Author's writing style was good though.
Nov 03, 2012 Jo rated it really liked it
It took a little while to warm up and I was a bit confused by the number of character. But a warm and fuzz read with a few twists along the way. I will read more by this author.
Jun 10, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This. Was. Adorable. The children were so cute and the romance was lovely...somewhat more dramatic than what I anticipated but it definitely maintained interest! <3
Kim Holgate
May 10, 2012 Kim Holgate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is great, easy reading, great characters, loved the story my only fault is im left wanting more.
Jul 09, 2012 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

check it out on my blog :)
Oct 11, 2012 Geetha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow in the beginning. But as the story caught up, the book turned out to be a nice read :)
May 02, 2012 Jo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012

Enjoyed this light hearted read :)
Lucy Smith
Loved it! couldn't out it down
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Angels in the Snow
  • Better Together
  • The Boot Camp
  • It Happened in Venice
  • Honeycote (Honeycote, #1)
  • The Desperate Bride's Diet Club
  • It's a Vet's Life (Talyton St George, #4)
  • Summer With My Sister
  • A Daughter's Journey
  • Warnings Of Gales
  • The Saturday Supper Club
  • Never Can Say Goodbye
  • My Sweet Valentine (Article Row, #3)
  • The Difference a Day Makes
  • What If God Were the Sun?
  • Letter From Chicago
  • Happy Ever After
  • From Here to Maternity
Janey Fraser always dreamed of writing novels in a country cottage with lots of children, a dog and a pony. Unbelievably, most of her dreams were answered although not without some rather large hiccups along the way!

After a career in women's magazines interviewing celebrities like Julie Walters and Nigel Havers, Janey wrote several non-fiction books about childcare including 'Tidy Your Room; How t
More about Janey Fraser...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »