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.
Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam by Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton. Nosy Crow.
This is the story of two not very good thieves, who try to pull off a robbery but end up learning a lesson. It’s written in rhyme and is most enjoyable to read aloud. The story does have a moral but it’s nicely subtle, this is a fun book about two rubbish robbers first and foremost. The illustrations are colourful and detailed, I liked them very much – the double spread where Shifty and Sam are drawing their plans up was a particular favourite.
Small Knight and George and the Royal Chocolate Cake by Ronda Armitage and Arthur Robins. Orchard Books.
This is one of a series of picture books featuring Small Knight and George. When King Wilfred the Wonderful announces that he and the Queen are coming to visit everyone gets busy preparing for the big party. Small Knight and George have to go and rescue the very special chocolate cake from a band of brigands who have stolen it. The story is quite simple, and for me felt like it was lacking something. I’m sure however that young readers will enjoy it regardless. I loved the illustrations, there are very few straight lines, they’re all at least a little wobbly which seems to add a warmth to them. I enjoyed lots of the little details in them, and think children would appreciate these too.
Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere. Puffin.
I absolutely loved this! It’s fun and clever, and has a nice sense of peril that young readers will love. We follow the monster as he gets closer and closer to the reader, and hungrier and hungrier. The peril grows and is then resolved in a surprisingly delightful manner. The descriptions are playful and inventive with lots of wonderful phrases – I grinned all the way through. The illustrations are similarly playful and have a childish charm to them. This is the first of Ed Vere’s books that I’ve read, I shall definitely be hunting out the rest now.