I love Shoe Baby, we’ve read this to Bryn since he was a baby & at 3.5 continues to enjoy it as I hope Freya will. Her initial reaction has been plenty of smiles (something she excels at) Personally I think some of the enjoyment is from the lyrical text & the mouth shape as you read the repeated line ‘How do you do’. The illustration of the baby is also a delight to look at with his rosy red cheeks, big smile & big head.
The story is of a baby’s adventure flying in a shoe meeting birds, animals from the zoo and even a king & queen. The baby & the shoe are eventually found by the parents, I love the last page of the family of three beaming surrounded by the toys the baby met on his adventures (I am also taken with the mother’s skirt)
I adore the illustrations in the book with contrasting patterns & textures, mix of styles, beautiful colour palette & humour, it’s a real visual delight. The theme of shoes runs throughout the pictures as you can spot some the characters wearing very stylish boots, including a pink cockatoo.
It’s a great read aloud story with sing song text, the opportunity to do some dramatic sobbing as well as beautiful illustrations to look at.
How do you do?
All illustrations © Polly Dunbar
Over the last few weeks Bryn has been playing on 3 ebook apps for the iPad all have been very succesful in keeping him entertained & enthralled.
Goodnight by Sandra Boynton – this has the same text as the print book but with lots of interactive elements. The book & subsequently the app I think are probably too young for Bryn in terms of content, simple text & story. It does however include lovely features such as turning the tap on a page so the screen looks like it’s steamed up. I think this is a great use of the tablet & helps make the book more immersive.
Three Little Pigs by Nosy Crow – this app is a complete delight with its quirky & engaging illustrations & characters. The pigs & wolf are developed enough to provide some real personality to the story. So far out of the three apps this has been the most successful in terms keeping Bryn entertained for a time. One if his favourite interactive elements is blowing in the mic to make the wolf blow the house down – the downside is that he often doesn’t have enough puff or is not positioning himself over the microphone effectively enough. As it’s such a well established story for Bryn he is really comfortable navigating through it which allows him to engage with the interactive elements without it detracting from the story. I also think he likes the control over the characters, in terms of choosing when they speak. One day while playing with this app he declared he would like to pick up the wolf & throw him out of the story – what a different tale that would be.
Three Little Pigs
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore – this app is where film meets book. It has stunningly beautiful animation and some very intelligent charming interactive features. One of Bryn’s favourite pages is touching the grey sky to turns blue – while playing this in the car during a long drive through the rain we both would have loved the chance to paint the real sky blue. One of my favourite pages is when 3 of the characters in the story change to reflect the book they are given, I just wish there were more titles. I really enjoy this app as I love the animation and that it is centered around books, stories and characters. It is however a little buggy and a some of the interaction is currently a little too subtle for Bryn, but something I think he will grow into to.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore
In general using these book apps with Bryn reminds me of reading ‘lift the flap’ type books, as often Bryn is keen to pull, lift etc on the page and this distracts from the story however it does not detract from his love of books. While he enjoys this level of distraction he also equally enjoys having print books and stories read to him. I think there is a real value in having so many routes to exploring stories, characters, themes etc. I also think there is much more to come with feature rich ebooks and we definately have room for both print and online books in our home.
Been singing/reading Down in the Jungle, this is also one of Bryns favourites so Freya has been lucky enough to hear a number of renditions. An added bonus is the book has different lyrics to those which we’ve been singing for the last few years.
I enjoy action rhymes & this is a great one for dancing around. While Freya is currently happy to watch me rather than join in I know this won’t last for long especially as I’ve managed to incorporate ‘the twist’ & ‘the crawl’ in my dance.
On the first page you can try & spot where the animals are hiding, they then are revealed one by one through the die cut holes. The illustrations are sweet with very friendly looking animals. My main criticism of the book is the size, it’s a bit too small to really appreciate all the detail in the drawing.
Down in the Jungle, Where nobody goes, there's a little baby Freya tickling her toes, with a tickle tickle there, and a tickle tickle here, thats the way she tickles her toes
Otto the Book Bear is a tale of a bear from a book who gets left behind in a house move, after wondering around the city he finds confort & friends at the public library.
I was excited to buy this after having read a great review (Library Mice) & a little about it’s creation on the authors site, after such investment I had high hopes and I wasn’t disappointed. The simple illustration with muted colours provide a gentle background to the heartwarming tale. I have to confess after reading the Box of Tricks I was expecting a similar style of illustration & my favourite page is the bear looking out of the window in the rain. Bryn liked the page when the bear sees the light in the library, the point where the bear senses some hope is a welcome contrast to the busy city.
Otto the Book Bear
Seeing the characters out of the book playing is such a lovely idea, reminding me of a fun activity over on blog ‘Playing by the Book’. I think we invest a lot in the characters within the stories so the idea of them popping out is charming, much like the idea of toys coming to life when not being played with. I also loved the idea of the characters from the books reading other stories, I wonder if they were ever tempted to swap places.
The love of books & stories shines throughout this book. I imagine it will become a firm favourite in this house.
Bryn's bear on an outing while Bryn slept
All illustrations © Katie Cleminson
Just a quick post about how much Bryn enjoys this Moshi book, it’s been a great source of entertainment. He really enjoys spotting the different characters and this book is the perfect level of difficulty for him. We did try Where’s Wally first but found pictures too densely packed where as I think this book is less intimidating, with enough white space & super cute characters (am sure once this gets to easy we will be rediscovering Where’s Wally?)
I think Bryn would enjoy more books like this but perhaps with other characters, such as the Barabapapas
We were pleased to hear that Julia Donaldson is the new Children’s Laureate, we really enjoy her stories & have a number of her books. They have been read to Bryn many many times. Some of his favourite include Tiddler, Smartest Giant in Town, Charlie Cooks Favourite Books & of course the Gruffalo.
I read Cave Baby to Freya which has Donaldson’s trademark lyrical rhyming text. The illustrations were done by Emily Gravett (see previous post) and are beautiful. The tale is of a little baby who having discovered a paintbrush adds to the painting on the cave only to be told off by his mother. At night he is taken by a mammoth & paints his cave walls. The baby covers the walls in brightly coloured fantastical pictures a contrast to his mothers realistic monochrome pictures.
I especially liked the night time illustrations as the colours were rich & help depict the fear & wonder of the baby. For me the story was a good reminder of painting without any rules & just enjoying the colours & shapes, something I hope both son & daughter will do.
While it is a lovely read this however is not one of my favourites. I think I had high expectations from this collaboration and for me it lacked some of the wit & musicality of the other books.
I am looking forward to the work of the new laureate & was pleased to see her back the campaign for libraries. Her latest book ‘The Highway Rat’ is already on our wish list.
We have been reading this delightful rhyming story & I like to imagine Freya is enjoying the beautifully illustrated little babies in the book as much as I do.
We have a number of favourite books illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, such as Going on a Bear Hunt (Michael Rosen) & So Much (Trish Cooke). As with those, what I really appreciate is the charm & character to the drawings. In this book I was tickled by the baby with ‘sneezes & chills’ clutching a water bottle & I love the expressive faces of the babies. It’s also good to see a range of multicultural faces.
Personally for me the main charm of the book lies in remembering the joy of seeing tiny baby fingers & toes for the first time, as my many many photos prove. It has also been fun to read it at a time when Freya is just discovering her fingers & toes.
Ten little fingers & ten little toes