Don’t Be Silly!

Don’t Be Silly!
Scallywag Press

Bouncy Bo and Little Smudge live in a castle with their very serious-minded father, Mr Judge. All the adults they encounter are serious too and whenever the siblings try to enjoy themselves, all they hear is “Don’t be silly!”

After a consultation the two little ones decide that perhaps if they try to be grown up, their father will be impressed. They don what they consider appropriate clothing but their endeavours fail to impress.

One day their father instructs them to put on winter gear and implores them not to be silly as they’re off to visit their grandparents, who have just returned from a very long tour. A big surprise awaits Bo and Smudge when their Grandma and Grandpa greet them thus …

and proceed to carry out all kinds of unexpected and very energetic antics. This pair really do know how to enjoy life but what will be the reaction of their grandchildren?

Padmacandra’s tale, told through a jaunty rhyming text containing that oft repeated titular catchphrase and comical illustrations is a delight. There’s a wealth of detail in every picture, large or small, that provides additional stories for the observant. The message is a vital one: fun is a key ingredient if you are to live your life to the full.

The Tale of the Whale

The Tale of the Whale
Karen Swann and Padmacandra
Scallywag Press

Karen Swann’s lyrical story begins with a child on a lighthouse spying a whale out at sea, a whale whose sweet-sounding song calls the child to climb aboard its back and join it on an amazing marine adventure.

An adventure through marine waters that turns from the utter heartfelt joy at seeing the incredible life under the ocean – the stunning colours, the octopus,

turtles, rays, dolphins and more to shock horror and understanding when the whale opens wide its mouth to eat.

This is followed by sadness and, once back on land, a determination to tell others and an earnest plea from the young storyteller to be part of the change. It’s a plea that will surely galvanise youngsters and adults alike to work together on this crucial environmental problem caused by plastic pollution.

Padmacandra’s illustrations are truly gorgeous capturing both the friendship between child and majestic animal, and the richness and vibrancy of the oceans’ fauna. This is the debut picture book for both author and illustrator and it’s one where words and pictures work in perfect harmony. The observant among readers and listeners will spot the point in the story when plastic starts to be included in the subaquatic scenes.