When Jelly Had a Wobble / Ceri & Deri: Get Your Skates On

When Jelly Had a Wobble
Michelle Robinson and Tom Knight

Should you or should you not let others know how you are feeling? That dilemma lies at the heart of this story.

Jelly, the main protagonist definitely has some feelings of self-doubt he’s not eager to share when he’s expected to tag along with all the other dinners heading to the Kitchen Hall of Fame keen to discover which of their number will receive the golden crown for “Best in Show’. He’s the only one showing any reluctance to participate in this culinary extravaganza.

In fact he’s all of a wobble, unable to ‘take the tension’ despite the enthusiasm and determination of fellow foodies that he be there for the big announcement.

So determined are they that some are even ready to offer some calming techniques to help with his wibble-wobble nerves …

Imagine Jelly’s surprise then, when the announcement is made.

With its repeat ‘jelly on a plate’ refrain to join in with, and plenty of speech bubbles along the way, Michelle Robinson’s jolly rhyming narrative reads aloud well. Tom Knight’s foodie characters are a whacky lot with their googly eyes that clearly express how they’re feeling in his bright, funny scenes. The combination of words and pictures provides a taste bud tickling tale about being yourself to share with foundation stage children and little ones at home.

Ceri & Deri: Get Your Skates On
Max Low

In the latest of Max Low’s gently educational series featuring striped moggy Ceri and her spotty pooch pal, Deri, the two help Dai Duck learn some important life lessons.

Dai is absolutely determined to be the best at anything and everything he tries and wants it to happen straightaway. So when he tries his hand (s), feet and brain at skateboarding, spelling, music making, DIY and rugby

and a host of other activities, the result is disaster. The trouble is Dai just isn’t prepared to put in all the hard work, perseverance and positive thinking that’s required when you want to be successful at something.

Until that is, Ceri and Deri step in and introduce him to Barbara Bear, ace skateboarder. She explains how her success is down to all the tumbles she’d taken as a learner acting not as a deterrent, but a motivation and an opportunity to spend time having fun with her friends. Can a similar attitude work for Dai? You bet …

The inherent humour and Max Low’s distinctive, bold illustrative style make for another enjoyable Ceri and Deri experience.

Of Men and Mice (and the odd elephant)

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Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)
Keith Negley
Flying Eye Books
The dozen tough guys boldly depicted in bold blocks of colour in this book represent a wide range of roles from wrestler to racing driver and each one is shown in a moment of strong emotion be it sadness, frustration, loneliness, disappointment or fear. …
‘… tough guys have feeling too.’ says the text and Negley’s powerful illustrations speak volumes and certainly show the guys in all their vulnerability. There’s a huge tattooed biker weeping over a tiny squirrel lying dead in the road …

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a pirate digging on a beach already covered with holes as he tries in vain to locate the treasure marked on his map,

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an astronaut floating around in space clutching a photo of his wife and child.

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In fact an adult and child together are the raison ‘d’être for the whole thing as we see them on the final spread – a father and son – snuggled together sharing a book and surrounded by scattered action figures and other relevant items pertaining to the already shown tough guys.

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And the endpapers are about the same pair: the front ones showing just the boy in all the roles and those at the back including Dad participating in the role-playing.
A wonderful and important demonstration that it’s fine, indeed cool, to show your feelings no matter who you happen to be: this book is a great starting point for discussion both in educational settings and families.

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As Quiet as a Mouse
Karen Owen and Evgenia Golubeva
Maverick Arts Publishing
Edgar has fond feelings for his new baby sister but he does find it extremely challenging not to keep waking her up – no matter how much he tries.

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You need to be as quiet as a mouse!” his Mum tells him so off goes Edgar to consult his friend Ruby. She takes him along to Mouse School and hands him over to Head Mouse, Mr Cheddar who insists he should pass the “Quiet Mouse Test” and lessons commence forthwith.

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Eventually Edgar manages to pass the test, becoming the first ever elephant to do so and then it’s time for a celebratory party …

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Well, it wasn’t Edgar this time! …
An extended joke of a story, winningly illustrated, that will resonate with youngsters in a similar, new sibling situation to Edgar.

Use your local bookshop     localbookshops_NameImage-2
Don’t miss the Children’s Book Illustration Autumn Exhibition at Waterstones, Piccadilly 23rd-29th October