One of my 2013 reading resolutions was to read more picture books. I’m going to share my thoughts on these books in mini reviews throughout the year.
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems. Walker Books.
I’ve been aware of Mo Willems and the Pigeon for a long time, but it’s usually impossible to find any of Willems’ books in my local library so I hadn’t read any of them. When I saw this one I grabbed it before anyone else could spot it, and immediately sat down to read it.
This book really deserves all of the love and praise it gets. It’s so funny, I know I got completely drawn into the book and found myself answering the pigeon’s repeated requests – I’m sure reading this with a young child is absolutely wonderful. I loved the illustrations, they’re eye catching in their simplicity and work perfectly to support the text. I’m a definite Mo Willems convert and shall be adding his books to my own collection.
Dear Vampa by Ross Collins. Hodder Children’s Books.
This picture book is about a family of vampires living in a normal neighbourhood and struggling to cope with the new neighbours who are normal and live their lives in a completely opposite manner to the vampires. The story is told through letters Bram the young vampire is sending to his grandfather. I adored this book, it made me laugh lots and has a fab twist at the end, I didn’t see it coming and was thrilled by it.
The book has lovely illustrations, they help to reinforce the contrast between the two families – Bram’s family are drawn in black and white line drawings whilst the Wolfson family are in full, sunny colour. This is definitely going on my favourite picture book shelf.
The Queen’s Knickers by Nicholas Allan. Red Fox.
I admit it, I picked this book up purely based on the title! I couldn’t resist at all. The book explains how the Queen has special knickers for all sorts of occasions, and describes the emergency that occurs when her special knicker chest goes missing.
This is a very inventive book, there are lots of different sorts of knickers with plenty of humour attached to the designs. I particularly loved the way the paintings in the Queen’s chambers reflected what was going on – their looks of shock when the knicker chest disappeared made me laugh out loud. This is such a fun book, I know kids will love it (and more than likely the adults reading it too). I know Nicholas Allan has recently published The Royal Nappy: A Royal Baby Book, I’m looking forward to reading that one too.