Libraries & Librarians in picture books
We love the series of Albie books and in this one he enters the world of dragons, trolls and knight by simply visiting the library
Bryn, Freya & I wrote this for the Guardian Family Reviews
The book invites you to “take a stroll to the four corners of the globe” and explore different cultures. Each double page spread depicts a city with lots of flaps providing funny & quirky glimpses into people’s flats, shops & vehicles.
I had fun reading this with the children, they were fascinated at opening a flap to a picture of a child in the bath or a crocodile on a leash. With so many things for us to spot and talk about, including a cat eating spaghetti, we were easily engrossed. With Freya (2) it was fun the spotting animals in the different cities and she enjoyed lifting all the flaps. With Bryn (6) I was able to talk about the differences between the cities and which ones he’d like to visit.
The stylish illustrations make this book really stand out – this isn’t your typical children’s book.
This is a review Bryn, Freya & I wrote for the Guardian Family Reviews
This book helps answer the important question of “what would you do if you found a shark in the bath?”. Quick thinking Dulcie has some great ideas for dealing with a whole family of sharks which had us in giggles.
Bryn declared “this is a brilliant book because it’s so funny”. With all those sharks’ teeth on display, Freya found the story both scary and exciting, but her eagerness to find out what happened to Dulcie eventually outweighed any fears. Balancing Dulcie’s perilous situation with a lot of humour, this is a perfect book to entertain them both.
It’s a great book to read aloud with fabulously fun turns of phrase and plenty of drama at each turn of the page. With lines from Papa, Mama & baby shark on nearly every page it reminded me of reading Goldilocks, but I’ll need to work hard on my ‘shark’ voices before they reach the standard of my well practiced Daddy, Mummy and baby Bear voices!
The mix of absurdity with the familiar in this story makes for a fantastic read. Bath times, however, might become a little more tricky, now we never know what we might find in the bathtub.
After reading this we checked out Sarah’s website as she always has fun activities to go with her books. We made our own books while Freya tackled one of the colouring in sheets
We are having another phase of Julia Donaldson books for bedtime at the moment, the current 3 regular requests are Stick Man, Jack & the Flumflum Tree and The Princess and the Wizard.
The rhyming nature of Stick Man means we rattle through it although as usual there’s is lots of detail in Axel Schefflers illustration to make us pause & study the pages. When the girl uses Stick Man as a Pooh stick Freya is keen to know where Winnie the Pooh is.
My favourite however is Jack & the Flumflum Tree, owing to the exquisite illustrations & the fun adventurous tale. Its great that the characters are a mix of gender & race making this a more accessible tale. Jack & his friend set off a mission to get a Flumflum luckily equipped with “granny’s bag” for the adventures they encounter, which include meeting sharks & a cheeky monkey.
The Princess & the Wizard is different to the other two in not following the familiar rhyming pattern & is also being a longer story. The princess, captured by the wizard is given the chance to escape by “changing her colour & changing her shape”. Her determination & quick thinking lead to her getting back to her party for a slice of cake. The two highlights of the book are the feisty heroine & the focus on colour, which Freya is currently enjoying learning about.
The book even inspired to make our own puppets, letting Freya take centre stage as Princess & casting her brother as the wicked wizard.
Highlights of this year include:
Rhyme time & story events where the children show us how well behaved they can be, chat nicely to the library staff & get the chance to sing, listen to stories, dance, do sticking, colouring, making and generally have fun.
Reading the fantastic Fever Crumb & Mortal Engines series by Phillip Reeve. These were published a while ago so was nice the charge through the series over a couple of months.
Reading the dark but beautifully illustrated Tinder by Sally Gardner illustrated by David Roberts. This is a must have for my shelves.
Downloading emagazines & ebooks onto my iPad. I discovered this service at the start of our summer holiday which was perfect timing, it felt a real treat getting to browse through lots of glossy magazines that I normally feel guilty spending lots of money on.
The summer reading challenge was a great success for Bryn again. This time he was reading the books himself. He really enjoyed browsing the early reader shelves & fishing out new books to try, the Twisted Fairytale series was a huge hit.
Owen appreciated the Dr Who display of books & has rediscovered his fondness for Dr Who stories. We also borrowed ‘Dr Who: The Vault’ a book full of photos & information from the BBC archive which provided hours of entertainment for Bryn, Freya & Owen discussing ‘goodies & baddies’.
Drawing more inspiration from craft & art books leading to some actually finished projects including my first holiday comic.
We continue to use the libraries weekly & love the opportunities they provide.