Daniel reading the story to his mum
Beetle and Bug and the Grissel Hunt
Hiawyn Oram and Satoshi Kitamura
Andersen Press pbk
Some people go hunting for rarely seen animals: Beetle and Bug decide to hunt for the never before seen, Green-Spotted Grissel but then they do have a magic rug that can carry them through the air and sea. First stop is the ocean depths where they spy something red and promising looking. Up close however, despite bright green dots and ‘terribly Grisselly wiggles and loops’, the forked tail is a giveway – “IT’S A MAWK!” cries Bug.
Off they go again, into space this time (having first donned suitable gear and taken on some air). Suddenly Beetle spies something on an asteroid, something prickly and spiny, something with peculiar curves and lines just like a Grissel. A close encounter reveals a distinct lack of green spots and the thing doesn’t seem at all friendly – time to beat a hasty retreat guys. Back home they go, more than ready for a bite to eat. But what should they find lurking in their fridge – oh no! the dreaded G-NUZZLER and what’s worse, the creature has demolished every single morsel therein.
Hungry and Grisselless the pair go off to bed. Tomorrow is another day and tomorrow’s hunt? ‘SOMETHING TO EAT’
Completely crazy, this wildly offbeat story is such fun to read aloud, provided you can keep up the breath-taking pace of Hiawyn Oram’s somewhat Lear-like rhyming saga. Don’t go too fast though; children will want plenty of time to explore Kitamura’s wacky, surreal collage illustrations.
Melissa’s Octopus and other Unsuitable Pets
Pets of all shapes and sizes inhabit Charlotte Voake’s latest offering. There is Betty’s disappearing chameleon, Arthur’s willful warthog,
Simon’s well-behaved worm and Caroline’s gentle giraffe to name just a few;
but watch out for Kevin and Bertrand’s new pet with its long tail, huge jaws and ‘glittering teeth’. Despite his smile, he might just be the most unsuitable of all …
A lovely playful book. Owners and pets alike are portrayed in lively, humorous pen and watercolour illustrations; and how refreshing to have the text printed in red on a grey background almost throughout.
The Moon Dragons
Dyan Sheldon and Gary Blythe
‘Long ago, when even trees had dreams, moon dragons flew through the night sky. Their scales shone silver as stars and they filled the dark with songs as old as time.’ This is the tale a traveller tells to a king, but he also tells him that a few such dragons still hide high up atop a distant mountain. The king offers a room full of gold to anyone who brings him one. From far and wide come all manner of men but none succeeds in the dragon quest. Then comes young Alina, a peasant girl from the foot of the mountain who had heard of said dragons from her grandmother and had them visit her dreams too. Despite the king’s scorn, she is determined to seek out the dragons and off she sets with her head full of long ago songs. Finally she discovers what she seeks
but does she take the king his dragon? Read the ending yourself to discover the answer to this magical story.
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