A book that makes you laugh every time you read it is a sure sign of a great book. The first time I read My Pictures After the Storm, the latest ‘curiously good’ book from Gecko Press, I was laughing the whole way through because I didn’t know what to expect. Now, every time I read it I know what is coming and it is just as funny.
My Pictures After the Storm is a stand-out book and my favourite book at the moment. I want to show it to everyone I see and I am desperate to show it to all the kids at school after the holidays. It features a series of before and after illustrations that are incredibly clever and absolutely hilarious. Eric Veille shows us the changes to his pictures after the storm, after a cannonball, after the hairdresser and much more.
The text is sparse but the language that Eric uses is rich. On the My Pictures after the hairdresser page for example the lion-tamer goes from being ‘a lion-tamer unconcerned’ to ‘a lion-tamer nicely permed.’ A cake after the elephant turns into a splitch and an octopus becomes a splatch. One of my favourite pages is ‘My pictures after a cold,’ because you have to say the names of the fruit and vegetables like you have a cold.
Eric’s illustrations are what makes this book so brilliant. They are full of humour and expression. It is so much fun to compare the before and after pictures to see what has happened to everything on the page. Each of the scenes is something that kids and adult will be able to relate to, from having lunch and going swimming to having a battle and eating too many potato chips.
My Pictures After the Storm is a book that kids will beg to read again and again and adults will be happy to do so. It’s a book that will have you laughing together and noticing new things on the page each time you read. It is sure to engage even older children who will appreciate the clever illustrations and humour.
Beck and Matt Stanton are creators of books that drive kids crazy. Their previous picture books, This is a Ball and Did You Take the B from my _ook? have been hits with kids, even if they do make them go a little crazy. Their latest picture book is The Red Book and it is absolutely hilarious! It is my favourite book to read aloud at the moment.
Even before you open the book you know that it is going to be funny just by reading the instructions for grown-ups on the back:
For the Grown-Ups:
Okay, Big Wig.
We have a challenge for you.
It’s your job to convince the nearest kid that everything in this book is actually red.
And we mean everything.
It will not be easy! They will try to persuade you that things are not as red as you say, but you will stay strong!
And the kids will love it!
The Red Book is fantastic, interactive picture book that will both infuriate kids and have them rolling on the floor laughing. I’ve been reading this book to the Year 1 and 2 kids at my school over the last couple of days and they absolutely love it! As soon as you show them the cover and read the title they start arguing with you and yelling ‘No!’ because the cover of the book is purple (or so they keep telling you).
The first page gets the kids on board with you, making sure that they agree about the colours on the page. When you turn the page though you tell them that they are all wrong and that everything is red. It’s your job to try and convince the kids that everything in the book is red, but they won’t have a bar of it, because they can see that Fergus the Frog and Rose the Penguin aren’t red. The kids get more and more frustrated and you (as the reader) eventually snap and tell them that you’re the grown-up and what you say goes. By the end of the book though you will convince them that this book is red.
The text is perfect for this interactive book and really gets everyone involved in the story. The kids can’t help but join in and argue with you because what you are saying is so silly. If you’ve got kids who loved The Book with No Pictures (who doesn’t love that book!) or Do Not Open This Book then they’ll love this one. The illustrations are simple but bold and really stand out on the plain white background.
Get The Red Book for your home or school library now and drive your kids crazy!
Dave, the lovable caveman from Frann Preston-Gannon’s brilliant picture book, Dave’s Cave, is back again. This time there is a bit of competition between Dave and his friend Jon.
Dave’s Rock is about two cavemen and their love for rocks. Dave loves his rock and so does Jon. They both think that their rock is bigger, taller and faster. They realise though that they can make both of their rocks better. The competition between Dave and Jon makes this a thoroughly entertaining read.
I absolutely loved Dave’s Cave and Dave’s Rock is just as good. The simple text and illustrations work so well which makes it such a great book to share one-on-one or with a group. You can’t help but read the story just like a caveman. The bright green cover, with Dave hugging his rock, jumps off the shelf and makes kids want to pick it up and see what’s inside.
The thing that I love the most about Frann’s books about Dave is that they have such a wide appeal. Younger children will love Dave for his silly antics and the mistakes that he makes and older children will appreciate the way that Frann tells the story in caveman talk. They are books that adults will enjoy just as much as the kids and won’t mind reading over and over again.
Add Dave’s Cave and Dave’s Rock to your collection now for guaranteed laughs.
My 15-month-old loves books with sounds in them. She loves hearing different animal sounds and pointing at the animals so that daddy will make the sounds. Noisy books aren’t best for bedtime though, unless they’re all about going to sleep, like Fleur McDonald’s new book, Noisy Nights.
Noisy Nights follows Farmer Hayden as he tries to get to sleep. It is very noisy on his farm, between the crickets, dogs, cows, sheep, horses, foxes and trains. Farmer Hayden just wants to sleep but the animals just won’t be quiet. When he goes outside to look at his farm and his animals it is the sheep who help him to get to sleep.
Noisy Nights is a delightful picture book that young readers, especially preschoolers, will love. It’s the perfect picture book to curl up with and share together at bedtime as it leaves you feeling relaxed and sleepy. It reminds me of one of my favourite books from childhood, Jill Murphy’s Peace at Last. The noises of the farm are keeping Farmer Hayden awake, much like the noises of the night that keep Mr Bear awake in Peace at Last. I certainly have fun making lots of animal noises while I read Noisy Nights. It would be a great book to act out, with different children making all the noises.
Annie White’s illustrations are the perfect match for the story as the tones of the colours are soft and the animals look cuddly. I really like the way that Annie has portrayed Farmer Hayden and his frustrations. You can see him getting increasingly tired and agitated throughout the book.
Grab a copy of Noisy Nights and cuddle up with this delightful story.
Win a copy of Noisy Nights!
Thanks to everyone who entered. The winner is Vicki.
What present do you get for a girl who has everything? What could she possibly want that she doesn’t already have? Why, a parrot of course!
Petunia Paris really does have everything – a swimming pool, a city of toys, and her own personal library. When her parents ask her what she wants for her fifth birthday she can’t think of a single thing she wants, so she says the first thing that comes into her head – a parrot. It is a beautiful parrot all the way from Peru, but no matter how hard she tries she just can’t get it to talk. One day she loses patience and shouts at her parrot but her butler suggests that she ask it nicely why it won’t talk. Petunia learns exactly why her parrot won’t talk and she sets out to maker it happy.
Petunia Paris’s Parrot is a perfectly pleasant and pleasing picture book. It is so much fun to read and it gives your mouth a work-out in several places with all the alliteration. Kids will wish that they were Petunia, with all of her extravagant gifts and a parrot of their very own.
Katie’s delightful text and Jo’s elegant illustrations are the perfect match. Like Petunia and her family Katie’s text has an air of sophistication. I almost feel like I should read the book in a posh accent. Katie uses some lovely language and introduces young readers to words that they’ve probably never heard before, like ‘pertinent’ and ‘perturbed.’ She sprinkles alliteration throughout the text, whether it is Petunia ‘presenting pertinent topics of conversation,’ or ‘planning preposterous new outfits.’ These little touches make the story a joy to read. My favourite part of the story is when ‘persistent Petunia finally lost her composure.’ I absolutely love Jo Williamson’s illustrations too. Jo has used mostly pinks and blues in the illustrations, which give them an old-fashioned but elegant look. Jo includes lots of lavish details that highlight the privileged life that Petunia leads, from her shelf full of toys to the chandeliers in her house and the butler who is holding an umbrella while she swims in her pool. When Petunia’s parrot shows up he really stands out on the page because of the splash of colour that he brings to Petunia’s life. Jo has given the parrot lots of expression too, from his determination not to try the exotic food, to his embarrassment over having to wear a silly outfit.
Petunia Paris’s Parrot is delightful from beginning to end and it is sure to be a picture book that will be shared again and again. I’m certainly looking forward to sharing it with children.
For a sneak peak at Petunia Paris’s Parrot check out the Five Mile Press website.
As a father of a 15 month old I’m always on the look out for some great board books to share with my girl. She will certainly let me know if she doesn’t like a book (either by pointing to a different book or just getting off my lap and walking away). We love going to the library and she’ll usually choose books that she likes the look of. Every night we have 2 or 3 stories just before she gets into bed and I love having a bedtime book, one that signals it’s time for bed. Our favourite bedtime book at the moment is the brilliant board book from Gecko Press, Tickle My Ears by Jörg Muhle.
Tickle My Ears is the perfect book for bedtime. It is very interactive, with lots of signs imbedded in this simple story that tell the child that it’s time for bed. It is short and sweet but fun at the same time. You have to help Little Rabbit get ready for bed by doing things like fluffing up his pillow (by shaking the book), tickling his ears, stroking his back and tucking him in (by turning the page). We read this book almost every night so my girl has got the hang of it and will stroke Little Rabbit’s ears and rub his back. There are some things I have to do myself, like saying ‘Hoppity Hop’ to help him get ready. The great thing about this book is that it will work for different age groups, whether your baby is talking or just sitting quietly listening to you read. I love the interactivity of the book and it is simply adorable watching my daughter stroke the rabbit’s back. I never get tired of reading it and neither does she.
Get your hands on a copy of Tickle My Ears and make this brilliant book part of your child’s bedtime routine.
I love books about books and the experience of reading so when I saw Are You Sitting Comfortably? by Leigh Hodgkinson I fell in love. This wonderful picture book is all about the search to find the perfect place to read.
The story starts like this, ‘The thing is…when I want to read what I really really need is a place to sit…just for a bit.’ The boy in the story tries to describe the perfect place to read, somewhere that’s not ‘buzz-buzzy,’ or ‘slippy, slimy,’ but also somewhere that is not too hot or too cold. He realises that it doesn’t really matter where you sit, but that a book is best when you share.
Kids and adults alike understand the struggle to find the perfect place to sit and read. In winter I want somewhere warm and in summer I often want somewhere cool. Leigh perfectly captures this struggle, both in the text and the illustrations. I love the way that the font changes to match the things that the character is describing. When the boy is talking about a place being too itchy and fuzzy the text looks fuzzy. I also love the way that the chairs change size, shape and pattern to match what the character is describing. The ‘buzz-buzzy’ chair has flowers all over it and ‘stinky grimy’ chair has a pattern of wafting stink lines.
Are You Sitting Comfortably? is the perfect picture book to curl up with and share with your little book worms.