Tag Archives: Nosy Crow

The Prince and the Pee by Greg Gormley and Chris Mould

Everyone can relate to needing to pee in the middle of an important quest, whether you were out doing some shopping that took longer than expected or you were on a long journey.  Greg Gormley and Chris Mould tell the story of a brave prince, who really should have gone before he set off on his quest, in their new book, The Prince and the Pee.

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Prince Freddie is relaxing on his holiday when his horse, Sir Rushington, turns up to take him to save the people in a burning castle from the dragon. Being on holiday, Freddie has been drinking lots of lemonade, but he knows that his quest is urgent and so he jumps on Sir Rushington and gallops off.  It’s not long before he realises he needs to pee.  The waterfall they gallop past and the rain that falls on his armour just makes Freddie need to go even more.  He jumps off his horse and goes to pee behind a rock, only to be startled by an ogre.  Freddie continues to try and find somewhere to pee but keeps getting interrupted, until he finally gets his chance and saves the day at the same time.

Make sure you pee before reading The Prince and the Pee otherwise you might find yourself peeing your pants with laughter.  Everyone can relate to Freddie and his dire situation so you really feel for him.  You understand the look of anguish on his face because you know the need to pee just gets worse and worse the longer you have to hold on.  You can feel his pain when he sees and hears running water and you know it would be horrible to be bouncing up and down, up and down on a horse.  Just when you think poor Freddie might finally get some release he is interrupted by ogres, wolves and even Puss in Boots.

Greg Gormley’s text will have you laughing out loud.  As you read you can hear Freddie getting increasingly desperate and Sir Rushington trying to find suitable places to pee while still keeping Freddie on track to get to the castle.  I’ve always loved Chris Mould’s illustrations and his illustrations for this story are wonderful.  He really shows the desperation on Freddie’s face.  I also love his illustrations of the other fairy tale creatures throughout the story.

The Prince and the Pee is a great story to read aloud (especially for Year 3 and 4 children) and children could even act it out.  It’s another great picture book from one of my favourite publishers, Nosy Crow.

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The Last Book Before Bedtime by Nicola O’Byrne

I’m a huge fan of Nicola O’Byrne’s books.  Both Open Very Carefully and Use Your Imagination are absolute winners, especially for reading aloud to big groups of kids.  Her illustrations are colourful and full of character and I just love the style of them.  Nicola’s books get better and better, and her latest book from Nosy Crow, The Last Book Before Bedtime just goes to prove this.

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Everyone knows that the very last story before bed is the best story of all. But the problem is, everyone wants to be in that very last story! A familiar fairy tale is turned topsy-turvy when Cinderella hijacks the story of The Three Little Pigs, then Little Red Riding Hood jumps in, adamant that her story is better because it’s full of danger. And then the Big Bad Wolf turns up too! But disaster strikes! Uh-oh! What will they do? The reader is still awake and needs a story! The characters make up their own story, of course, and one with enough funniness, romance, danger AND cake (obviously) to keep everyone happy.

The Last Book Before Bedtime should be called The Perfect Book Before Bedtime because this is the perfect bedtime story.  It’s got characters from lots of different stories that children will know, from The Three Little Pigs to Cinderella. The person reading gets to do all sorts of voices, from pigs to little girls and a wolf.  You can really make the book come alive with all these voices.

As well as the story that is being narrated each of the characters has little speech bubbles that add to the story.  Number 2 Pig is always hungry and looking for food (‘Who cares?! There’s a banquet in this story’), Cinderella is bossy (‘If I can’t be the star of the story, then NOBODY can!), and of course the wolf is always doing bad stuff (‘Ooooh, this is fun! I love a chance to be bad.).  One of the things I love most about Nicola’s books is the interaction between the book, the characters and the reader.  There is plenty of interaction in this book, especially towards the end.

Nicola’s illustrations are wonderful as always.  They are full of fun and silliness, and each of the characters jump off the page.  I love the way that Nicola has given each of the pigs a different personality and how Little Red and Cinderella have some real personality.  I really love the design of the book too, from the cut-out cover to the way that the characters stand out on the page.

If you are looking for the perfect book before bedtime (or to really perform for a group) you can’t go past The Last Book Before Bedtime.  It’s sure to lead you on to many, many more bedtime stories.

 

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Perfect Picture Books from Nosy Crow

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – Nosy Crow books are spectacular!  They always publish the best picture books and their books for older children are getting better and better.  I reviewed some of my favourite Nosy Crow books back in August, including There’s a Bear in my Chair, Superhero Dad, and Use Your Imagination (you can read my review here).  One of my favourite authors, Barry Hutchison, has published a hilarious series with Nosy Crow, starting with The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing.  It’s one of my favourite books of 2015 and you can read my review here.

Nosy Crow publish so many great books that I’ve always got a book of theirs that I want to shout out about.  Here are four of my recent favourite Nosy Crow books.

Flip Flap Jungle by Axel Scheffler

Axel Scheffler is one of my favourite illustrators so it’s great that he’s so prolific. This is the third title in Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap series (there’s also Flip Flap Safari and Flip Flap Farm).  It’s a zany flip book where you’ll meet animals you know and some you don’t know.  What do you get if you cross a leopard and an armadillo? Well that would be a leopadillo!  And what about a porcupine and a chameleon? Why a porceleon, obviously!  There is a wonderful rhyme accompanying each animal which are great by themselves but are even funnier when you mix the animals up.  These books are perfect for sharing one-on-one but they also work well with a big group (I’ve used them at Story Time in the library and the kids were laughing at my crazy creature creations). With 121 different combinations this book will keep kids entertained for ages!  See what weird and wonderful creatures you can come up with.  All of the Flip Flap books are also available as apps which are heaps of fun to play with.  You swipe the screen to create new animals and hear the poems read aloud, plus there are sound effects and jungle music.  Check out the Nosy Crow website for more details about the apps.

The Mystery of the Haunted Farm by Elys Dolan

I love Elys Dolan’s books!  Her previous books, Nuts in Space and Weasels, are hilarious and her illustrations are chock full of lots of quirky details (including references to spy and sci-fi movies).  Elys’ latest book, The Mystery of the Haunted Farm, is even better.  Strange and spooky things are happening down on the farm and Farmer Greg knows just who to call – Ghost Hunters.  The three little pigs are the best guys for the job, with the latest ghost-hunting gadgets, including the Scare-o-Meter and the Phantom Finder 5000.  The farm has a serious zombie duck problem and there are ghosts, vampires and mummies wandering around.  Strangely though, the Phantom Finder 5000 isn’t picking up any unusual activity.  Something fishy is going on and it’s up to the Three Little Pigs to find out what.  This is a brilliant book that kids will want to come back to again and again.  Elys has put so much detail into her illustrations and kids will have heaps of fun reading all the speech bubbles.  The text is hilarious and the humour works on several levels.  Adults will enjoy reading it just as much as the kids.  It’s a picture book that’s perfect for older readers to as they’ll get some of the references that younger children will miss.  I really like the size of this book too (it’s larger than usual, making it great for sharing).  Grab a copy of The Mystery of the Haunted Farm and check out Elys Dolan’s previous books too.

Box by Min Flyte and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw

Box is a perfect picture book for pre-schoolers (and anyone who loves making stuff from old boxes).  Four toddlers find some boxes with toys inside them.  After playing with their toys for a while their attention turns to the boxes.  But what will they do with all those boxes?  They use their imaginations and turn their boxes into all sorts of exciting things.  This is a delightful story about all the fun that you can have with boxes.  There are lots of flaps (or boxes) to open and pull-out pages, giving children the sense of anticipation, wondering what might be inside the box.  There are boxes of all sizes, from little boxes to big boxes, and even boxes inside boxes.  The book even looks like a box, with a slot to look through.  Min Flyte’s text encourages children to participate in the story and Rosalind Beardshaw’s illustrations are adorable.

Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Jarvis

Jeanne Willis is a prolific author and whenever I see her name on the cover of a picture book I know it will be a winner.  The combination of Jeanne’s story and Jarvis’ illustrations make Poles Apart a winner to me.  The story follows the Pilchard-Browns, a family of penguins who set out on a picnic and get incredibly lost and find themselves at the North Pole.  Everybody knows that penguins belong at the South Pole and when Mr White, the friendly polar bear finds them he decides to help them get home again.  We follow Mr White and the Pilchard-Browns as they pass through America, England, Italy, India and Australia before they finally make it home.  Then Mr White has to make the 12,430 mile journey all the way back home to the North Pole.  I loved following this funny penguin family and their helpful polar bear friend on their journey.  Jeanne Willis certainly makes the journey entertaining by adding little details, like saying hello in different languages as they pass through the countries.  The penguin children, Peeky, Poots and Pog keep you entertained with their silly antics too.  Jarvis’ illustrations take you on a colourful journey around the world and children will be able to spot the landmarks from the different countries.  Poles Apart is sure to be a book that will be read again and again.

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Picture Book Nook: Wonderful new picture books from Nosy Crow

Nosy Crow are one of my favourite publishers of picture books.  Their picture books are quirky, funny, and they look stunning! They’re the sort of picture books that you’re happy to read to your kids again and again, because you love them as much as they do.  Here are three of my recent favourites from Nosy Crow.  You have to go and get these from your library or bookshop and read them right now.

Weasels by Elys Dolan

Weasels – what do they do all day? Eat nuts and berries? Frolic in leaves? Lurk in the dark? Argue with squirrels? Hide in their weasel holes? Well, all these are wrong. What they really do is . . . plot world domination. Find out how their dastardly plans are foiled in this hilarious, off-the-wall debut picture book from a shiny new star in the children’s book firmament, Elys Dolan.

It’s almost impossible to put into words how original and witty this book is: imagine spoof James Bond meets Scaredy Squirrel if you can. It’s packed with cross-over humour to amuse kids and big kids too. The art is stylish yet accessible and full of details for poring over time and time again – there’s always a new joke to find! And there are machines and maps and even a laboratory . . . oh, and lots of lots of weasels.

Troll Swap by Leigh Hodgkinson

Timothy Limpet feels out of place in the troll family – he likes things to be just so, and most trolls, frankly, don’t. Tabitha Lumpit likes things to be loud, loopy and messy and she feels a fish out of water in her very neat family. Sometimes they wonder if their families really see them for who they are, so when Timothy and Tabitha meet on the bridge they decide each other’s family is a better fit and they swap places . . . with hilarious and touching results.

Based around the time-honoured theme of home is where the heart is, this warm and witty story is a celebration of the individual and offers a valuable lesson on not judging others.

Check out Leigh Hodgkinson’s other hilarious picture book from Nosy Crow, Goldilocks and Just the One Bear.

Books Always Everywhere by Jane Blatt, illustrated by Sarah Massini

A joyful celebration of the physical book in all its glory! For the very young, books can be anything – from a chair, to a tower, to a hat – but the best thing they can be . . . is a book… and it’s never too soon to share a good book with your little ones.

The simple text, written by debut author Jane Blatt is brought to life by Sarah Massini’s delightful and nostalgic illustrations of babies and toddlers discovering the new, magical world of books.

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