Thursday, 15 December 2011
I'm not religious at all, but I adore this book. It's the nativity story, but told from the point of view of the innkeeper who just wants a good night's sleep and is constantly woken by knocking at the door.
The story is simple and sweet, the illustrations are adorable and we never get tired of reading it, even though it's always the first Christmas book we pull out.
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
I love Nick Butterworth's illustrations and the Percy the Park Keeper stories are so charming and sweet. 2-year-old Joe chose this one the other night and was absolutely transfixed. On the snowy night of the title, the animals come to Percy's hut to keep warm. He doesn't have enough room for all of them, until they're frightened by the arrival of the mole (via the floorboards) and find cosy hiding places for themselves. Joe was particularly charmed by the mice in Percy's slippers.
These are such lovely books for reading aloud, with a variety of animal voices to get your teeth into, plus there's a Percy book for every season. I love switching to the next as the weather changes. (There was a Percy the Park Keeper TV series and the DVDs of that are well worth watching as well.) Lovely.
Thursday, 8 December 2011
There are baubles and Christmas trees to decorate, the aforementioned penguins to draw and lots lots more. (And some of the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous - seems a shame to doodle on them.) (Maybe I am a control freak...)
It's suitable for different ability levels too, so even 2-year-old Joe could do a bit of colouring while Harry (and, um, me) are more likely to focus on the bits that require a bit more imagination.
The back cover warns 'this book could become very, very addictive' and I can totally imagine that could be true. A great one for Christmas stockings.
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
It's a board book with a very slight story - Daddy Pig buys a tree that's too big for the car, Father Christmas can't get down the chimney and so Peppa and George run downstairs and meet him at the front door - but that's actually turned out to be a good thing, since Joe has almost memorised it and now, once I've read it, he can read it to me too.
We've amassed quite a few Christmas books over the past few years and I love hauling them out at the beginning of December and reading a different one each night. I'll be sharing a few of them here over the next few weeks.
What's your favourite Christmas picture book?
Friday, 2 December 2011
Thursday, 1 December 2011
We've actually got a couple of advent calendars we trot out every year and the children's grandma usually buys them a chocolate one (I suspect she's keeping it at her house this year - worried I'll eat the chocolate, no doubt), but when I saw this Usborne Advent Calendar I had to buy it.
It's not a book, it's a cardboard gatefold picture of a busy street scene. Behind each window there's a little picture to colour and the main street can be coloured too (it's black and white with some colour here and there).
It's so pretty that I'm not actually going to let my kids colour it, at least not this year.
Friday, 25 November 2011
I bought Hide-and-Seek Penguins by Fiona Watt and Lesley Danson for my 2-year-old a few weeks ago and it's really cute. It's a lift-the-flap and counting book with really sweet illustrations and textures too. Joe loves it.
The illustrations are fab - the expressions (or lack of) on the face of the penguins are hilarious and the book even has a global warming message (but it's not too heavy-handed...).
Of course there's also Me... by Emma Dodd, which we've reviewed already and is just gorgeous.
If you are interested in the book - also called, perhaps unsurprisingly, Mr Popper's Penguins and written by Richard & Florence Atwater - I'd say it's definitely worth a read, but it's very old-fashioned and my 7-year-old lost interest pretty quickly.
What's your favourite penguin book?
Tuesday, 22 November 2011
The really fun thing about them is that on the left page you have the story told in relative detail, which is great for reading aloud or for a more confident reader to read by themselves, and then on the facing page there's a short summary for a newer reader to read alone (or for me to read to my 2-year-old when I can't be bothered reading the full story).
Obviously once the less confident reader progresses, they'll be able to read the full story and I think the fact that they will be able to see their own progress - from the 'beginner' page to the 'advanced' - will probably do wonders for their confidence.
We've got the Postman Pat story pictured above and a couple of the Fireman Sam books, so the stories aren't anything very exciting - they stick pretty closely to the TV stories - but my boys enjoyed that too, since they're already familiar with the stories.
We'll definitely be buying more, but I hope the publishers branch out into original stories at some point too.
Thursday, 3 November 2011
It's the story of Claude, a little beret-wearing dog, and his friend Sir Bobblysock (a sock). In the first book, Claude and Sir Bobblysock go into the city and foil a robbery in an art gallery. In the second part of the book, Claude takes Sir Bobblysock to hospital because he's not feeling well.
Both Harry and I were captivated by this book. We both laughed a lot and I particularly loved that no one questions the fact that Sir Bobblysock is indeed a sock. Then again, Claude is an upright dog wearing a beret, so I'm not sure I should have been surprised...
The illustrations are fabulous and very funny. Harry particularly liked that both books heavily feature underpants and bras. There's not much funnier for a 7-year-old than underwear.
When Harry saw the advert for Claude at the Circus at the back of the second book, he actually squeaked with enthusiasm. We're both really looking forward to it and I know we'll be rereading these two for a while.
Tuesday, 1 November 2011
It's a lovely book, but not quite as detailed as I was expecting it to be, so it worked as an introduction for the 2-year-old as well as for Harry. The book begins by explaining that 'Once upon a time most families in books looked like this..." with an illustration of a family with "one daddy, one mummy, one little boy, one little girl, one dog and one cat" and then goes on to explain that "in real life, families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes."
Included in the book are children who live with just their daddy or just their mummy, some who have two mummies or daddies, some who are adopted or fostered, some who live with grandparents. We then go on to look at extended families and how families can be big or small, different homes, hobbies, types of schooling and employment, different kinds of food, holidays, clothes and pets, different celebrations and feelings. All are accompanied by Roz Asquith's joyful illustrations, but each only has two pages so it is a very basic overview.
It's interesting and sweet and there's enough detail in the drawings to merit rereading with the 2-year-old, but probably not with Harry. I need to find more books featuring "alternative" families and perhaps aimed at the 6-9 age range. Anyone know of any?
Monday, 31 October 2011
Some of the biggest names in children’s fiction are joined by exciting new authors and illustrators on the shortlist for this year’s Red House Children’s Book Award, the only national award for children’s books that is voted for entirely by children themselves. What could be a better indicator of the books that will tempt children away from computer games and DVDs than a list drawn up by young people across the country, which pits literary heavyweights like Morris Gleitzman and Patrick Ness against outstanding debut authors such as Annabel Pitcher?
Who will win? It’s up to children everywhere to decide. Voting is now open and the Red House Children’s Book Award would like to encourage every child in Britain to check out the shortlisted titles and vote for their favourite!
The Red House Children’s Book Award is highly respected by teachers, parents and librarians and has brought acclaim and strong sales to past winners such as J.K. Rowling, Andy Stanton, Malorie Blackman and Anthony Horowitz. The award has often been the first to recognise the future stars of children’s fiction and has the ability to turn popular authors into bestsellers.
Children nationwide are now invited to vote for their favourite of the ten shortlisted books. The category winners and the author of the best children’s book published in the 2011 nomination period will be announced – for the first time ever – at a glittering awards ceremony which takes place in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre in London on Saturday 18th February 2012.
A dedicated website www.redhousechildrensbookaward.co.uk showcases all the shortlisted titles and featured authors. Any child can vote here for their favourite book until 20th January 2012.
The full shortlist for the Red House Children’s Book Award 2012 is as follows:
Books for Younger Children
Rollo and Ruff and the Little Fluffy Bird by Mick Inkpen, published by Hodder
Don't Worry Douglas! by David Melling, published by Hodder
Peely Wally by Kali Stileman, published by Red Fox
Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice by Chris Wormell, published by Jonathan Cape
Books for Younger Readers
One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson, published by Marion Lloyd Books
Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis, published by Oxford University Press
The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon, published by Scholastic
Books for Older Readers
Grace by Morris Gleitzman, published by Puffin
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, published by Walker
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher, published by Orion
Thursday, 27 October 2011
The book begins with Mother Frog laying 999 eggs in a little pond. Once they've hatched, the parents realise the pond is much too small and they'll have to move. They head out into the world to find a new home, but come across obstacles like snakes, hawks... and the tiny frogs' moaning:
'Are we there yet?'
'Sick of hopping.'
When the hawk carries them all off - he takes Father Frog, but the rest aren't willing to let him go and all hold onto each other - the froglets are excited and then, inevitably, bored and fed up, but when the hawk drops them, they find themselves in a perfect pond.
It's a simple story, simply told and with very simple, cute, illustrations (by Yasunari Murakami), but it manages to pack a punch about family and the idea of home. It would make a perfect gift for children moving house for the first time. Lovely.
Tuesday, 25 October 2011
And if you've never read any Mo Willems books, you really should. Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny Too are classics (we haven't yet got the third Knuffle Bunny book but we're hoping Father Christmas might bring it).
The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog (but they're all great), and Time To Pee not only helped Harry learn when to, you know, pee, it also made him laugh so hard he almost fell off the bed.
The Elephant & Piggie books are hilarious. They're so quick and easy to read (Harry loves deciding if he's going to "be" Elephant or Piggie) and the books all have brilliantly simple and subtle messages about sharing, self-esteem, etc.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
The world is big... and I am small.
It's a very simple and sweet story of a little penguin finding his or her way in the world...
The sky is high... and I am small.
The illustrations are of course beautiful. Clear and simple, using just a few colours, but conveying the penguin's personality and the starkness of its habitat.
The starts stretch far... and I am small.
But the thing I love the most about this book is how it's about the penguin realising how much he or she is loved. It's a gorgeous message for a book and it's a gorgeous book.
I may be small, but I can see the biggest thing to you... is me.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
It's a small board book with each page featuring cut-out shapes through which you shine a torch to project the shapes onto the walls and ceiling.
We rushed home and grabbed the only torch we could find - a dinosaur torch that roars when its mouth opens to reveal the torch itself. It didn't work brilliantly with the book - the dinosaur's mouth kept getting in the way - but 2-year-old Joe was transfixed as was 7-year-old Harry when he got home from school.
Such a simple, but brilliant, idea. I'll be buying copies as gifts for all the children I know.
Thursday, 13 October 2011
The pirates of the title are "rough, tough, little girl pirates" who turn up at Tom's house and take him on an adventure. It turns out they want to use the front of his house to disguise their pirate ship while they go and steal treasure from some grown-up pirates.
The illustrations by Deborah Allwright are lovely and the gentle rhymes make it easy for children to read themselves.
The gentle humour makes my boys laugh (particularly the grown-up pirate threatening to tell his mummy) and I particularly enjoy the feisty girl pirates - my oldest son loves reading about girls and I like that these girls aren't doing stereotypically girly things. A really sweet book.
Tuesday, 11 October 2011
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
Thursday, 29 September 2011
A couple of weeks ago, my 7-year-old, Harry, asked me "How did you make Joe?" "Same way as I made you," I replied, dodging the question since we were in the queue at M&S at the time. "But how?" he said. "Well it's a bit of Daddy and a bit of Mummy and that makes a baby." "Yes, but HOW?"
Eep. I told him it was complicated and we'd look it up when we got home. I use the wonderful BrainPOP for the many and varied questions I can't answer, but BrainPOP didn't have the answer for me this time either. There's a video supporting the 'bit of mummy and daddy' concept, but - perhaps unsurprisingly - not the HOW.
Probably as a result of my panic at having been asked the question, I completely failed to consider a book on the subject, but thankfully my friends are a lot smarter than me and instantly recommended Mummy Laid an Egg. After reading the reviews I could hardly wait to read it myself, never mind Harry.
And I wasn't disappointed. It's WONDERFUL. The premise is that the parents decide it's time to tell the children how babies are made. They tell them that babies can be grown from seeds, hatched out of eggs, squeezed out of tubes and a few other entertaining suggestions. The children think this is hilarious and say, "You were nearly right about the SEEDS, the TUBE and the EGG." And then they do some drawings to show their parents how babies are really made.
* At least I'm pretty sure doing it on a Spacehopper or skateboard is unrealistic. Unless I've been missing out all these years.
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Henry loves books, but he loves to eat them rather than read them. But he soon finds that he's literally ingesting knowledge and getting smarter and smarter the more books he reads. But then he eats so many books it makes him sick. And he realises that he's not been digesting the books properly and all the knowledge is getting mixed up in his head. So he stops eating books and, eventually, decides to try reading them instead.
I love everything about this book. I wasn't sure at first if my 7-year-old would like the fairly dark illustrations, but he loved them - particularly the one of Henry throwing up (typical). I love the message of the book, which manages to be both blindingly obvious and oddly subtle at the same time. This is a book all book lovers should own (but not eat).
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
With overtones of Shirley Hughes's classic Dogger, this is a hilarious comic caper from Joe Berger, World Book Day Illustrator 2010.
With lovely bright artwork and larger than life drawings, Joe Berger's Bridget Fidget is a great little picture book full of humour and a quest. Quests are 100% my favourite thing.
When Bridget Fidget dashes through the Absolutely Best Shop in the World for Spending Shiny Coins (can someone please make a shop called this for real!?) clutching her backpack and shiny coin from the tooth fairy, she pays far less attention to Captain Cat and he bounces straight out of her backpack into the basket of another little girl strolling past.
When her friend Billy points out that Captain Cat is gone, poor Bridget Fidget goes into serious panic mode. She starts hunting for him everywhere but there is no sign of her special one and only. Fortunately Billy comes to the rescue but in the end it is Bridget Fidget who ends up saving the day overall in a great turn of generosity and kindness.
I enjoyed this - it's a very subtle way to teach younger folk (3 - 5 y/o) the value of sharing with those who may not have as much. Also, the language use was a bit reminiscent of Charlie and Lola, so for readers who are starting out, this is a great primer. And, as I said, wonderfully illustrated with Bridget Fidget being a very cute character whom I really liked. I too want to have a Captain Cat and fully expect that mine would be arriving from Dingle Bang's Universe of Toys at any moment.
Bridget Fidget Hold on Tight has been out since 2010 from Puffin. Find Joe Berger's website here.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
This is a thoughtful retelling of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story.
It left me with a sense of peculiar sadness and I'm not sure why. Actually, I think I know. I think it's because of the artwork - it has a peculiar quality to it. Unlike most picture books where the artwork truly invites you in with vibrant colours and over the top drawings, Me and You has made use of subtler tones.
On the one hand we have the pages illustrating the young girl leaving her home with her mum. The artwork is quiet, grey, dull. She's dressed in a hoodie and the area does not look very nice.
Contrasted wildly with the greyness of the young girl's world, we have the home of the bears. A wonderfully large home, far brighter and more interesting. There is also a cohesion in the family in that it has a mum, dad and boy bear - a family unit. They go out and do things together.
The girl spots a balloon whilst she's standing in front of a shop window with her mum and she runs off to catch it. She doesn't pay attention where it's going and before she knows it, she's lost and the balloon is entirely out of her reach.
She wanders around and finds the wonderfully large and beautiful home of the bears. She does exactly what Goldilocks is meant to do - basically invades their home and privacy and eventually falls asleep in the bear junior's bed. The bears return home after a lovely stroll out and discover their house broken in to. They sneak around and find the girl asleep. They confront her and she runs away.
Soon the artwork changes again to reflect the greyness of the girl's surroundings and as she flees the bears and their neighbourhood, she runs deeper into the darkness. But it ends well, with a great blast of colour.
I think that this one is by far the most subtle picture book I've read in ages. I think young folk would like it for the obvious Goldilocks story but I think slightly older, more advanced readers, would notice the contrast between the girl's drab life and that of the bears and it will make them wonder.
It's a beautiful book but it's definitely one that makes me feel melancholy.
Friday, 16 September 2011
The book opens with this great image of Dexter and the Beastie standing on the roofs of a town, hooting and tooting on their horns. It is night time and the stars and half moon is out. They are kicking up a racket and an angry speech bubble from a garret tells them to Be Quiet!
By refusing to Be Quiet and To Behave, Dexter and the Beastie get thrown out of town. Straight out, into the deep dark scary forest. They don't stay frightened for very long. They walk along, tooting and hooting on their horns and trumpets when they unexpectedly come across the tremendously charing Sir Percy Pecket who loves their hooting and asks them to assist in waking up his Beloved, the Princess Philippina. The Princess awakes and like Sir Percy she adores the hooting and joins in with her flute. But then the Princess asks Sir Percy if he's taken care of that pesky dragon problem. Sadly, he did not and so Dexter, the Princess and Beastie all set off to give the Frightful Dragon what for. Only, it turns out the Dragon is actually quite cool and he learns to tapdance to their tunes.
Well, the story continues apace, with the Princess, Dexter and Beastie and the Dragon giving performance here there and everywhere. Until they realise they just cannot stop!
Needless to say, this is a great picture book. The language is wonderful and the illustrations are quirky and fun and I quite would love a Big Blue Beastie of my own. Now, please? Their adventures are over the top, loud and funny and they meet unexpected characters who act in charming and eccentric ways. It's a book about friendship and music, packed with comedy and giggles. I loved it and can highly recommend it to readers both very small and very old.
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
For our sixth Picture Book Saturday we received FArTHER and I am very grateful to Templar for sending me a copy to review and to hold and love.
Not only are the illustrations whimsical and creative and beautiful, the story is wonderfully touching.
It is completely from our main character's point of view. In a few words he explains his father's obsession with flying. He is always thinking about it, puttering around in his workroom making fantastical flying contraptions that somehow just just lack the ability to fly. The boy says how he then crawls into his father's lap until his father remembers that he's there. Then his father would grab him, and run with him and they would spend time on the beach, laughing and playing and flying kites. But that is until his father gets that look in his eye. And once again the boy is left to his own devices as his father starts tinkering with his creations yet again.
The story moves on from there, but to tell it here would be unfair. FArTher is meant to be read by parents to their children. It is meant to be read by adults so that they can remember where they come from. It is meant to be read by teens to remember that once upon a time, not so long ago, they were that small and that confused by their parents lives and that following your dreams may not be a bad thing.
I adored FArTher (a lovely play on the words further and father that you will understand once you've read the book) and it made me really miss my own dad with his own crazy ideas and whimsical dreams. But even more important is the core central message of "never stop dreaming" and I heartily approve.
I think that FArTHER has become my picture book of the year thus far and I will definitely want some of the whimsical pieces of art by Mr. Baker-Smith for my walls here at home. Do visit here, for a look at some of his illustrations.
Monday, 12 September 2011
Simon & Schuster Children’s Books today announced that animation rights have been optioned for their bestselling preschool brand Barry the Fish with Fingers, written and illustrated by Sue Hendra.
Wish Films have secured the option for television animation rights on two titles: Barry the Fish with Fingers and Barry the Fish with Fingers and the Hairy Scary Monster.
Sue Hendra is a rising star on the S&S picture book list with four further titles already signed up for 2012 and beyond.
Her first title for S&S, Barry the Fish with Fingers, was published in 2010, and became an instant hit, selling more than 105k copies to date, with several foreign rights deals secured.
Norman the Slug with the Silly Shell (January 2011) was the bestselling new picture book for the first four months of this year and continues to be one of the top selling picture books of 2011.
Little Monster loves Amy, but he hates the new baby. Soon he starts doing some very naughty things and Amy gets the blame...
Little Monster Did It by Helen Cooper is a wonderfully illustrated picture book for younger readers. I would say under six's would get most enjoyment out of it, and of course, us older folk too. Especially in the fine detail of the artwork which is not intensely coloured, but instead, by using muted hues, their impact is quite striking and...thoughtful. It's difficult to explain. The colours used throughout made me want to pause in my consideration of them, they drew me in, which I really liked.
Amy loves her mum and dad and loves the time they spend together. She likes that it's only the 3 of them. But when her mum goes to hospital, after giving Amy a large Little Monster as a present, and she comes back with a new baby, needless to say, Amy is not best pleased. And Little Monster is deeply upset. He throws tantrums and makes a noise when the baby wants to sleep. When they all cuddle in with mum and dad and the new baby, Little Monster spitefully opens the hot water bottle in the bed and empties it all out. Of course, all his naughty actions are blamed on Amy.
It is a very fast read, mostly because the pictures themselves tell most of the story - the prose is light and clever, but not as clever as seeing Amy's naughty face peer out from behind the tv watching Little Monster push donuts into the VCR. The expression is surprisingly sly and naughty and works so well.
I know exactly what Amy was going through and although I didn't have Little Monster, I acted very badly towards my nieces and nephews until I realised that they would become my best friends forever. All I had to do was give them a chance.
Little Monster Did It is a clever book for young readers struggling to cope with a new addition to the family or an upcoming new addition to the family. It makes them stop and think and it made me, as a reader, feel very nostalgic for my own overly busy childhood with hordes of nieces, nephews and cousins underfoot.
Find Helen Cooper's website here. A bit thanks goes to Random House who have listened so kindly to my pleas for more picture books to be sent. They give me immense enjoyment and I find my wishlist of picture books growing and growing!
Friday, 9 September 2011
It's the story Trixie Twinkle Toes Trot-a-lot Delight - a poodle who doesn't want to be primped and pampered, but instead yearns to splash in puddles and be a Dazzlingly Dangerous Daring Dog!
I loved this book and so did my 7-year-old (and his toy dog Buster who wagged his tail throughout - with a little help from Harry, obviously). It's written in Child's usual quirky style and has some laugh out loud moments for both children and adults. (Harry loved that Trixie gave the pet psychic fleas, I loved the pet psychiatrist.)
It's illustrated in Child's usual collage style with fabulous attention to detail.
I also loved the message of this story - that you don't have to be who or what people expect you to be. Or, as the back cover says, "Don't you ever yearn just to be YOU?"
One extra detail I enjoyed - despite the fact she hates being pampered and wants to be daring, Trixie is a girl dog. When the vet comes to check on her, the vet is a woman. I appreciate the non-traditional gender representations - I'm always on the look out for that in picture books.
Tuesday, 2 August 2011
It's a pretty simple story, Edward is trying to convince his older sister Hattie that little people live at the bottom of the garden by bringing her teeny-weeny items such as a walking stick, hat, wings and slippers. But Hattie dismisses each and every one, it's a twig, an acorn lid, sycamore seeds and catkins. But Edward is firm in his belief, what can he do to prove it to Hattie?
This book fully captures a child's imagination, they'll adore Edward and his belief in the little people, be outraged by his sisters cynicism and delighted by the ending which see's Hattie accept that Edward could be right after all. As an adult reading this to my child I appreciated the beautiful illustrations which reminded me of books from my own childhood books and the whimsical tale of innocence.
The story is simple enough to be enjoyed by very young children, and also has enough text to charm older children who can read alone. My daughter has read this book several times to herself over the last few days, as well as enjoying having it read by me. A lovely, magical book ideal for bedtime reading.
Friday, 22 July 2011
The Grunt and The Grouch kind of reminded me of Roald Dahl's The Twits, they are really that disgusting, maybe even more so. My daughter laughed her way hysterically through this one then wanted it read over and over again. It's a pretty simple story, and alongside the grossness and hilarity there's a nice message about telling people how you really feel and being brave enough to reach out to them. I really liked this element to the story, so did my daughter who thought it was ever so sweet the trolls now have each other.
The writing in this book is simple and fun and will appeal to boys and girls from age 2-7 years. With clear, bold text it's a great book for being read to or practising reading skills for older children and is engaging throughout. The illustrations are bright and detailed and utterly gross, which will delight young children, especially when they see your (exaggerated disgust). My daughter wanted to go back to the `snot' page time and time again just to see me hide behind my eyes screaming `eeeuuuuw'
I definitely recommend The Grunt and The Grouch, it's the type of book children will love, the author clearly knows what it is that gets a young child hooked on books. It's five star fun from beginning to end.
Thursday, 21 July 2011
The theme is similar to Munsch's book: Someday begins with the baby being born ("One day I counted your fingers and kissed each one") and ends with the child as an old woman ("Someday, a long time from now, your own hair will glow silver in the sun. And when that day comes, love, you will remember me.") but the illustrations are beautiful and the story much simpler.
Of course, I still can't read it without crying, despite the fact that the baby is a girl and I have two sons. It's a gorgeous book and would make a lovely gift for the new mother of a daughter.
This is a beautiful hardback book, although the thick paper outer cover maybe isn't such a great idea for very young children, I imagine it will get tatty very soon and would easily tear...sadly the hardback underneath doesn't have the same cover and is a bit plain. The paper back edition is released this month and may be worth considering!
The story is lovely and unique. It's fun to read but also has a great message about being different...that it's ok and quite cool. It also reminds us that we shouldn't judge people on appearances, as they can be deceptive. I love how David Mackintosh gets the anxious voice of a young child facing someone different and new perfectly, and how he eventually overcomes this without being too complex. The language is suitable for children ages 3 up who will enjoy having the story read to them and is perfect for older readers who are just learning. My 6 year old managed this quite easily with only a few words to challenge her. The illustrations (also by David Mackintosh) are also quirky and entertaining with plenty to look at and amuse.
Apart from the delicate cover, this is a lovely book which comes recommended by myself and daughter.
Wednesday, 20 July 2011
I love my mummy very much
She's great to cuddle, soft to touch.
Clearly - and unsurprisingly - the words are just as entertaining as the pictures with a simple rhyme and a few parenting realities that rarely make it into children's books (I like to watch her brush her hair and dance round in her underwear).
Two-year-old Joe requested this book every day for weeks and he now likes to do the actions - cuddling me when I read 'great to cuddle' and pretending to cry when the baby in the book cries.
The thing I love the most about this book is the joy the mother and baby show in each other. On every page they look like they're having fun and their love shines through. A perfect book to read with a little one.
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
I absolutely love it. I love the idea behind it, I love the illustrations, it still makes me laugh even though I've read it a few times now and it makes my boys laugh too. There's just one thing... The characters are a mouse, an ape and a donkey who's described as a "jackass". The last line of the book - spoiler alert! - is "It's a book, jackass."
Funny, yes. But not something I particularly wanted my 7-year-old to start saying. Just imagine it: Harry, at school, reading. His teacher asks, "What have you got there?" and Harry answers, "It's a book, jackass." *shudder* So I told Harry that as well as being a word for a donkey, "jackass" was a naughty word and one he really shouldn't repeat outside of reading this particular book. Since then, he's refused to read it and calls it "the book with the naughty word."
Fortunately, the 2-year-old is less sensitive...
So. Watch the trailer. If you love it, you'll love the book. Naughty words aside, I highly recommend it.
Monday, 18 July 2011
"You do," says Daisy.
Whenever Daisy's mum tells her off for doing something naughty - picking her nose, lolloping on the sofa, dropping her clothes on the floor - Daisy points out that her mum does it too.
Daisy's mum always has an excuse for her bad behaviour, but Daisy doesn't seem convinced and neither was I. I must admit this book appealed to me because I do find this type of thing comes up in parenting quite often: telling my boys off for things I do myself (not that I EVER pick my nose, honest).
My 7-year-old son, Harry, is a big fan of the Daisy chapter books and so I bought You Do! thinking he'd enjoy it and I could also read it to my 2-year-old.
Harry definitely liked the idea that Daisy's mum is as naughty as Daisy is, but it wasn't exactly a concept he was unfamiliar with since he's got me as a mum. And though I enjoyed it too, I didn't find this book to be as engagingly written as some of the others in the series. There's a bit too much repetition and, while Harry the ending made Harry giggle, I found it a bit unsatisfying - I would have liked Daisy's mum to admit she sometimes does naughty things too.
This book comes with a CD containing the story read by Jenny Eclair and a read-along version, which we probably won't use since we usually read in bed and we don't have a CD player in there.