Trips to Town with Ellie and Owl


What Happens Next?
Tull Suwannakit
Walker Books
Little Ellie and her Granny, are on their way into town together; Little Ellie demands a story. “Deep in the woods, not far from here, lives Grandma Bear. Whenever Little Bear visits her, they go on an exciting trip together,” begins Granny… But these are not ordinary bears that eat berries and spend their days sleeping. Oh no. These bears wear red wellies and hats and go on adventures together…


So what happens next?” Little Ellie demands to know… Have you looked behind you Ellie?
Children delight in watching the double storyline unfold as Ellie and her gran take the bus, visit the funfair, go to a shop filled with treats


and play hide-and-seek, while joining in with the repeat refrain, “So what happens next?” at almost every turn of the page. Storyteller Granny becomes listener, as Ellie who has clearly been stimulated by many stories before, takes up this particular tale and lets her imagination run wild.


Indeed she only runs out of steam at bedtime when Granny tucks her into bed.
Suwannakit uses muted colours on cream paper for the illustrations of his cleverly constructed story with its wonderfully whimsical cast of characters. I particularly like the contrast between the enormously chunky, oh so endearing, Grandma bear and Ellie’s own fragile-looking, almost spindly Granny.
Just the thing to promote children’s own storying and imaginative play either at home or in early years settings. And of course, it’s a superb bedtime story.
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Owl Goes to Town
Valerie Valennza (illustrator)
Templar Publishing
Owl lives in Peek Street. On this particular day she has risen early because she has a plan – a secret one so she says. Her first stop is the bakery where she orders a cake from Bear, then stops off at various other establishments to make purchases. At each one however, Owl cannot help but divulge something of her plan to the vendor. Having organized balloons, invitations, food and entertainment she hurries home to arrange everything in her treetop home. At midnight, she is finally ready to receive her guests. “Owl, you really have gone to town!” they tell her as the not-so-secret party swings into action.
There are all manner of flaps to manipulate, some revealing surprises or pictorial jokes.


These and the questions in the text, the multitude of labelled items and the on-going joke readers/listeners share with the author could well keep a young child absorbed for a long time. With lots of opportunities for language development, this interactive book is a good one to share one to one with a very young child. Slightly older children might be inspired to create their own surprise flap books.
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