Boo Who?

Boo Who?
Ben Clanton
Walker Books

The pals from Ben Clanton’s Rex Wrecks It! – dinosaur Rex, robot, Gizmo, Sprinkles the unicorn-rabbit, and furry monster, Wild return; but there’s a new kid on the block and he wants to play.

The others are accommodating and try their level best to include him in their games; but for a ghostly apparition, bounce-ball is a non starter (the ball bounces right through him); ditto ‘pick-up twigs’ (Boo has no hands); and his would-be friends can’t feel a thing when Boo tags them.

Enough is enough: the four run off to play another game leaving Boo all alone and sad – ‘Boo-hoo’. Would anyone even care if he just disappeared, Boo wonders.
Meanwhile a game of hide-and-seek has started. Now that’s surely THE perfect game for a little ghost.

Three cheers for the established group and their patience and perseverance. It pays off in the end: and what a great example to young audiences, especially those just starting nursery or school.
Clanton’s artfully drawn characters portray the sensitive and empathetic way the friends treat the newcomer. Their changes of expression speak volumes about their feelings, as do those of Boo and his uncertainty about being accepted by the others, about fitting in and discovering his own strength.
Share and discuss with early years listeners.

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Floss the Playground Boss

Floss the Playground Boss
Corrinne Averiss and Sam Usher
Egmont
Meet Floss, the playground boss; she claims this supremacy on account of residing right next to the playground, but also she remains unchallenged because nobody has the nerve to challenge her.

Thus, she rules the roost issuing orders to all and sundry until a new kid arrives on the block – on the other side of the playground actually. His name’s Peter and he knows nothing of Floss and her bossiness and so he does this …

Guess where it lands: right at Floss’s feet and she’s far from happy about it.

Pete is unmoved by her tirade: all he does after she’s finished her rant, is to laugh. Good on you Peter. Seems he knows just how to deal with tyrannical behaviour “PP2 has been cleared for take-off,” he responds, thus leaving the plane on her runway, so to speak.
What ensues is a simply wonderful little drama with an avid audience chipping in, as, after due consideration, a paper plane is whizzed skywards by a certain female; it loops and swoops, and Floss laughs and whoops; and in the time you can say ‘paper planes’, the sky is full of same …

and the whole tenor of the playground has changed for the better – once and for all. And Floss has dropped her ‘Boss’ handle with a resounding silence …
What a wonderful way of handling tyrannical behaviour and so brilliantly presented through Corrine’s cracking story and Sam’s superb visuals. The child dialogue is so well observed and I love the occasional forays into rhyme Floss employs. Sam’s illustrations too are beautifully observed and full of energy. A real winner of a book that should be read and discussed widely in early years settings and primary classes, as well as shared with individuals at home.

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