Book Review

Picture Book Mini Reviews [6].

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.

Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure by Thomas and Helen Docherty. Templar.
I thought this was a nice story but it does need the reader to really suspend their disbelief. I’m sure children won’t find this an issue, but I struggled a little with it. This combined with the fact that the driving factor for the story was the featured child taking an ice lolly from a stranger meant I didn’t really enjoy reading it, and would be reluctant to have it in my own collection (it would be just my luck that I’d end up having to read it time and time again). The illustrations in the book are very colourful and engaging though at times they’re incredibly busy – I found there was too much on them to take in.

Duck, Duck, Goose by Tad Hills. Boxer Books.
I was drawn to this book by the name, Duck, Duck, Goose is a very popular game with my Beaver Scout colony. The book is a lovely story about friendship – Duck and Goose are best friends and do everything together but then Duck meets Thistle Duck and is wowed by her so brings her along to play too. I thought this was a really nice exploration of friendship, it would provide lots of talking opportunities. The illustrations are lovely and I liked the variation of font size and style to show volume and thoughts etc. Since reading this book I’ve discovered that there is a whole series of books featuring Duck and Goose so I’m going to be on the lookout for others next time I visit the library.

Shoe Baby by Joyce Dunbar and Polly Dunbar. Walker Books.
This is a really fun rhyming story, with a little bit of magic sprinkled through it. We follow the baby on his adventures, meeting new people and greeting them all “how do you do?”. There’s a warmth and predictability to the book that will make it a firm favourite with many children, and I think its charm will mean adults won’t mind the repeated readings I’m sure it’d get. The art is, like all of Polly Dunbar’s work, truly beautiful – bright and colourful with wonderful use of patterns and textures.

Book Review

Picture Book Mini Reviews [2].

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.

Babbit by Lydia Monks. Egmont UK.
This is a fantasy story, Babbit (a soft toy) gets kidnapped by some scary creatures and is rescued by the two girls who own him – the Big One and the Little One. If I’m honest I didn’t think the story actually made all that much sense – I think it’s a book to enjoy and not think about too deeply! I think this book would be excellent for reading aloud, the text throughout the book is in variable sizes giving the reader all the necessary cues for how loud to read each bit.

Walter & the No-Need-To-Worry suit by Rachel Bright. Harper Collins Childrens’ Books.
This book is part of the “The Wonderful World of Walter & Winnie” series. The story is all about Walter being a worrywart, and focuses on how his friends helped him to overcome his worries. I loved the way the book begins by describing Woolybottom, where the characters live, it shows their houses and who lives in all the others – this reminded me a little of the map in the Milly-Molly-Mandy books I adored as a child. I thought this book was really funny, there are lots of little things to notice in the pictures – it would be fun read again and again.

The Scariest Monster in the World by Lee Weatherly & Algy Craig Hall. Boxer Books.
This is a really sweet story, a horrible scary monster gets hiccups and gets upset when everything he tries doesn’t work. The animals he usually scare help – eventually finding a way to stop his hiccups. It’s a funny book with a really nice message about friendship, I really enjoyed reading it and think it would be a lovely book to share with a group – it could be a great starting point for discussions.