Mole’s Spectacles / My Garden / Feeling Hungry

Mole’s Spectacles
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Macmillan Children’s Books

We’re back in Acorn Wood and Mole’s spectacles have gone missing. Wherever can they be? He hunts high and low in his house but they’re not in the cupboard, nor in his writing desk. 

They’re definitely not under the floor though there are some visitors down there. Off he goes to check the garden but they aren’t in the pond; nor did he leave them in Weasel’s sweet shop. After a day spent searching Mole’s in need of a comforting hot cuppa. I wonder what he’ll discover in his teapot …

Axel Scheffler adds lots of fun details to Julia Donaldson’s simple rhyming text in their latest lift-the-flap story. Little ones will enjoy helping Mole in his search and talking with an adult about the various parts of his underground home and what they can see in each.

My Garden
illustrated by Marijke Buurlage
Happy Yak

This addition to the My World in 100 words series presents small children and adults exploring the garden through the seasons. In spring lots of things are bursting into flower, it’s a good time for some planting; there’s plenty of things to discover beside the pond too and lots of tools will be needed for doing the gardening. Come summer, the sunflowers have grown tall and it’s so warm that it’s good to cool down under the hose or with a long drink. Up high, everything is in bloom and the bees and butterflies are busy as well as the humans who are planting. Which of the minibeasts will the latter come upon as they work and play? It’s decidedly chillier in the autumn and the wind brings the leaves tumbling down. Time for reaping the bounty of all that planting – there’s a wealth of veggies waiting to be picked or pulled. Winter has just one spread – a snowy one – so everybody is wrapped up warmly.

In addition to the items named in each scene, some of the spreads also have ‘an action word’ and a ‘feeling word’, for instance in autumn a child is ‘kicking’ leaves and an adult and dog are wrapped up because they feel ‘chilly’. 

There’s certainly plenty to explore and talk about with toddlers in Marijke Buurlage’s bright seasonal scenes.

Feeling Hungry
Andrea Pinnington and Caz Buckingham
Fine Feather Press

With a rhyming text and appealing photographic images of a series of animals in natural surroundings, this board book explores choices of food, getting ready for a meal – washing hands, helping lay the table, good table manners, being prepared to try new foods and enjoying a family meal, each presented alluringly for little humans.

The narrative reads aloud well and has a gentle humour: ‘try not to guzzle / or eat with a slurp, / or finish your meals / with a really big burp!’ is one bit of advice.

Adding to the fun for young children is the touch-and-feel element on each spread. Adults whose small child finds mealtimes challenging might well find this a helpful book to share; however there’s plenty of language development potential even if this isn’t the case.

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