Another combined review of the picture books we focussed on this weekend. I try to think back to when Big and Small were this kind of age, and I doubt very much I read this number of books to them then. I think Small listened to longer stories that we were reading to Big, I think with Big we just didn’t quite do as much reading. Granted we weren’t at home with her anywhere near as much – by this age she was spending 4 full days in nursery. I know that they did a lot of reading at nursery as well though, so I daresay she was getting some books read to her then.
Anyway, I’m getting off the topic. This weekend we worked our way through some more library books, including:
I rather like this one. I approved of it having a pronunciation guide at the beginning – Ngai (the god of Everything and Everywhere) is pronounced N-guy apparently. This reminds me in style of the Ted Hughes stories like How the Whale Became – this is a story of how the hippo, a land animal who had been told to eat grass by his god, came to live in the water and behave the way he does today. The pictures are incredibly evocative of a hot african landscape, and quite inspirational – we’ve started doing more artwork at home, and I’m quite looking forward to having a go at doing things in this style. I’ll be having a look to see if there are any more in this series at the libary, and I think they’ve make a fabulous addition to story shelves at a nursery making sure it had multi cultural influences to hand.
Next we have
This book rather annoyed me. The pictures are lovely – particularly the cover and first few pages, but the story just doesn’t work for me. You start out with the single parent/ only child frog family and then suddenly there are frog babies. Lots of frog babies. A whole host of baby brothers and sisters for Little Frog. Now I know that this is a lovely story about getting used to having a baby sibling (or more) but what annoys me is the idea that Little Frog was an only child first time around, but there are loads in the next batch. What happened to the rest of the tadpoles first time around?
If you can set aside that kind of query, you should enjoy this. The artwork is lovely, the pictures full of colour and energy and movement. And the moral is the kind of thing that you want first children to be getting to grips with. But you’d better not read it to a child who spots the kind of dissonance that I do 😉
This story I liked a lot. What are those poems called where the shape and layout of the words or letters matters? I can’t remember. This book is kind of like them though. The font size and style changes as you go through a sentence, and it helps you read it aloud in an interesting way. I also rather like the fact that the Night Pirates are girl pirates, but they still let a boy, Tom, join in. Good to see the stereotypes being challenged a little from time to time, and you’ll need to read the story for yourself to see what happens to the grown up pirates.
Our final book of the weekend (or at least of the pile that I’ve managed to locate to write about!) says proudly on the cover As seen on TV. We haven’t seen it on tv. Smallest doesn’t watch TV – the children don’t, particularly, during the day, and as of yet she’s shown no real interest in it. I think if she were to start watching the flickering images I would be reasonably happy for her to be watching stories like this though. Mum and Ebb and Flo (and Bird) get stranded on an island on their way home to their houseboat, and could there just be a sea monster, Morgawr, somewhere about?
I hope I would be as quietly resourceful as the mum in this book. But I doubt very much that I could quietly whip up a shelter from a tarpaulin and two oars, sort out reed beds and create fire. So perhaps I’d better go on living in a house, and stay well away from houseboats! It’s a calm and unsensational treatment of an adventure that seems only just slightly out of the ordinary for this little family, and once again, the artwork is lovely and not completely beyond reach. Think I’ll pop it on the pile of things for us to look at as we paint, too.
So those are books 65, 66, 67 and 68.I’m given to understand that the children have a batch of reviews to do over the next couple of days too, so keep your eyes peeled for more updates.
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