Showing and Sharing Love

DSCN5563 (800x600)

Say It!
Charlotte Zolotow and Charlotte Voake
Walker Books
A small girl and her mother walk together enjoying ’a golden windy autumn day.’ “Say it,” urges the child as she clutches a leaf.
It’s a wild, wondrous, dazzling day,” comes the response and they move on encountering a little black cat

DSCN5564 (800x600)

and then pausing beside a pond: ‘and the trees in the pond shivered into a million zigzagging streaks of colour.’ – What wonderful images Zolotow conjures. The mother describes it as …”a golden, shining, splendiferous day!” But that’s not what the little girl wants to hear either.
Neither the amber-eyed, leaping dog nor the fluffy floating seeds …

DSCN5565 (800x600)

can illicit the longed-for words – what a tease that mother is – and eventually after an affecting walk they approach home once more and the little girl is finally rewarded for her persistence …

DSCN5566 (800x600)

Zolotow’s uplifting poetic text (originally written well over thirty years ago) has the perfect complement in Charlotte Voake’s warm pen-and-ink and watercolour illustrations. The scenes are alive with autumn colours and the tenderness that so evidently exists between mother and daughter.
An appealing and engaging autumnal book for sure, but equally one that might be shared around Mother’s Day or to illicit discussion about showing rather than telling (in this instance in relation to parental love).

The special love shared between grandparents and grandchildren is simply and beautifully explored in:

 

DSCN5567 (800x600)

I Love My Granny
Giles Andrea and Emma Dodd
Orchard Books
The toddler narrator shares the delights of a day spent with granny – ‘She’s like a mum, but unlike mine, she seems to have just loads of time.’ It’s a day that can be spent close to home or going out for special treats …

DSCN5569 (800x600)

It might hold exciting adventures or baking yummy things …

DSCN5570 (800x600)

but no matter what, a day spent in the company of a granny is sure to be full of fun and warmth. Both of which are captured delightfully in Giles Andrea’s rhyming text and Emma Dodd’s affectionate scenes.

Use your local bookshop         localbookshops_NameImage-2

New Pet Arrivals

DSCN5126 (800x702)
Rosie’s Special Present
Myfanwy Millward and Gwen Millward
Jonathan Cape
It’s Rosie’s birthday and she’s eagerly anticipating a very special present. Said present meanwhile is having a crisis of confidence from within its wrapping. Suppose all the other gifts look more exciting, will it be overshadowed? What if its owner is a princess or a trapeze artist, a pirate with a squawking parrot even?
As Rosie and her pals party in one room,

DSCN5128 (800x353)

the present has managed, after considerable effort, to get out of its box to investigate the opposition.

DSCN5127 (800x355)

Satisfied that its own wrapping out-sparkles the others, another troubling thought arrives – suppose, despite its superior exterior, Rosie feels disappointed at its contents. So, to counter this, the present climbs up the bookcase and, as the birthday tea is reaching its conclusion in the room next door, the over-anxious gift has wrapped itself in bunting, ribbons and more and crash-landed onto the carpet.

DSCN5130 (800x712)

Thereupon in dashes Rosie and a new friendship is immediately forged…
Winsome characters and an unusual perspective angle on the birthday theme make this a delight to share with young listeners whether or not they are celebrating a birthday: friendship is worth celebrating at any time. Illustrator Gwen’s portrayal of the ‘special present’ – that picture of it clinging desperately to the bunting – is a hoot.

DSCN5129 (800x358)

A delightful joint enterprise from the Millward sisters.

DSCN5220 (800x600)

Lara of Newtown
Chris McKimmie
Allen & Unwin
I’m a real fan of Chris McKimmie’s wonderfully quirky illustrative style and this book wherein Misty/Nigella/Lara seeks a permanent home charmed even cat phobic me.
When we join our feline narrator, she has just been let go by her first owner who has become too old to continue caring for her moggy, and Misty is wandering the streets looking for a new home. Eventually she becomes a Christmas present for one Noni Nice of Pymble where she gets her second name and little else before being shown the door.
There follows a night under the stars for Nigella and then along come the Kafoopses,

DSCN5222 (800x600)

an eccentric couple who are more than happy to add ‘Lara’ to their household residents. From then on life becomes more than satisfactory in every way.
Lara can even do her own entertaining from time to time …

DSCN5223 (800x600)

though on occasions when the Kafoopses have visitors, she finds an alternative place for a retreat. But now she is in her own words “a lucky boots”, loved at last.
Cat owners may well be horrified at the treatment of the long-suffering feline protagonist but despite the two abandonments, this is a story where hope and kindness win through. Chris McKimmie’s collage style is like no other and combined with the array of fonts make for a unique visual narrative whole.

DSCN5185 (800x600)

I Love My Puppy
Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd
Orchard Books
The small boy narrator of the latest Andreae/Dodd offering is the recipient of a new pet – a cute pup. Everything has been made ready for his arrival …

DSCN5186 (800x600)

but even so the little chap is a bit shy initially. It doesn’t take long for the pup to settle in though: he’s playful and affectionate but rather too eager to nibble at things that he really shouldn’t

DSCN5187 (800x600)

and of course, has still to be housetrained. A walk in the park is lots of fun and just the place to try out his bark

DSCN5188 (800x600)

before heading home for a snuggle with his diminutive owner.
As with previous books in this series, the combination of Giles Andreae’s gentle rhyming text and Emma Dodd’s super-sweet scenes bring delight at every turn of the page.

Use your local bookshop    localbookshops_NameImage-2

Whiffs, Pongs and A Foiled Robbery

DSCF3002 (800x600)

Poo in the Zoo
Steve Smallman and Ada Grey
Little Tiger Press pbk
Young children simply revel in all things slightly whiffy; I know one two year old girl who became fascinated by the various poos she saw in the countryside even saying ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ to the sheep droppings in a particular spot.
This poo-centred picture book is an absolute hoot – or rather, toot, if you like that kind of thing and I’ve yet to find a four or five year old who doesn’t. (So long as it isn’t their own of course). Herein we meet Zookeeper Bob who is finding his muck-shovelling duties rather too much as he goes around collecting all the dollops, drippy droppings, plummeting splats, steamy pongy pats and ducking from Monkey’s speedily tossed poops.
When he goes to clear Iguana’s mess, the creature gives him the slip, escaping to create havoc around the café as it gobbles everything in sight including some sparkly fireflies (‘he fancied something light’ you see.)

DSCN4805 (800x600)

Imagine the surprise when next the creature plops a poop: a glowing extra-terrestrial poo, thinks Bob. News quickly spreads, and the zookeeper receives a visit from a fellow poo collector who simply has to have the Iguana’s illuminated wonder. Will Bob part with it though? Well, let’s just say that he no longer has to do that poo-picking up for himself thanks to …

DSCN4804 (800x600)

This rhyming super-stinker just cries out to be read aloud; indeed it only really works if you do. Ada Grey’s scatological scenes induced howls of delighted laughter from my audience of 5s to 10s, several of whom wanted to paw over the pages for themselves

DSCF3004 (800x600)

after the immediate re-read they all demanded.

DSCN4811 (800x600)

Rex and the Crown Jewels Robbery
Kate Sheppard (illustrator)
Walker Books pbk
This amusing canine caper is loosely based on a real historical event that happened in 1671, during the reign of King Charles ll. It tells how scruffy mongrel, Rex, excavates a litter bin chock full of deliciously stinky rubbish and finds himself somewhere totally unexpected…

DSCN4813 (800x600)
… where his nose detects a wonderfully meaty aroma, which of course, he must follow. It takes him to an old tower wherein he spies some shiny objects closely guarded by …

DSCN4815 (800x600)

But there’s a dastardly plan afoot to steal those shiny objects aka The Crown Jewels. Can the two dogs foil the plotters and save that priceless crown, orb and sceptre?
There follows a frantic dash and much more until eventually Rex finds himself back more or less where he’d started on Tower Green.
Funny, fast and full of comical scenes that are sure to appeal to young time travelling enthusiasts especially.

DSCN4837 (800x600)

Sir Scallywag and the Battle of Stinky Bottom
Giles Andreae and Korky Paul
Puffin Books
King Colin has another mission for six-year old Sir Scallywag – to locate the giant Golden Sausage – an object that could confer immortality on the king so he’s heard. The probability is that said sausage is located in the centre of Lake Stinkybottom, a truly malodorous place. Off rides bold Sir Scallywag on his trusty steed, deep into the woods and beyond, to the troll-infested swamp where, in the gloaming he locates the sought article. Outnumbered one hundred to one though, can the young knight outwit the troll king and his army? Yes; and he does duly deliver the glowing object to the royal kitchen but that’s not quite the end of this madcap rhyming romp of derring-do …

DSCN4836 (800x600)

It’s great fun to read aloud;Korky Paul’s hilarious action-packed scenes are an absolute riot and brim over with witty details.

Use your local bookshop  localbookshops_NameImage-2