The first round of school holidays is upon us. Kid induced dilemmas are rife. How do you deal with them? Whip out one of these chuckle-creating reads and indulge in ten minutes or more of togetherness time, is how. These picture books are guaranteed to make molehills out of mountains.
Lou’s dilemma matches my own on an almost hourly basis. But what is Lou to do when the queue to the loo is so long. Anyone with a weak bladder like me or toddlers with the inexplicable ability to ignore the call of nature until the last absolute possible minute will adore this ode to toilet queues. Busting! is all those desperate dashes through the supermarket, late night dreams of locked toilet stalls and screaming brakes on the motorway for verge-side emergencies rolled into rollicking rhyme and goofy pictures. Just brilliant. Potty humour has never read so well.
Suitable for potty training youngsters from three years and up.
Scholastic Press March 2017
Curly Haired girl absolutely, unequivocally hates her gigantic mop of unruly red CURLY hair. Unable to do a thing with it, she fights night and day to tame her tresses yearning all the while for smooth straight locks until one day she meets Straight Haired girl. From that moment on, curls and swirls become hours of ‘fabulous great hairy fun’. This picture book features more colour and accessories than a hairdresser’s trolley. Bursting with spirit and laughs, I Don’t Want Curly Hair is a great tale of learning to love what we have and exhilarating in it with others. Top marks for cultivating self-esteem in 4 – 7-year-olds, especially girlie girls.
Bloomsbury Children’s Books March 2017
Whimsical and unique monochromatic illustrations accompany an odd tale about a duck wanting to strike out and make it in the big city, in short find a job. However, in spite of his best efforts, he soon learns that following the crowd does not deliver true happiness; it is his heart he must listen to more closely. He does and he eventually lands a job in his perfect vocation. This an obvious tale, leaving the reader perfectly aware of the author’s intention; to be an individual and be the instigator of your own destiny, ‘be brave and follow your dreams’. An interesting story with a sweet and useful message that applies to many playground situations long before youngsters begin writing resumes.
This picture book has the feel and look of a sleek classy shorthair. Fanciful and bold yet delightfully appealing, Bailey’s illustrations feed a story about a cheeky new feline addition to the family who needs just one thing, a name. Alas, our little girl is unable to settle on the perfect name for her new pet. When he flees one day, she happens upon another homeless creature, Steve who happily is easy to name but unhappily is unable to stay. How this cat insinuates himself into the little girl’s life will make cat lovers nod their heads knowingly and young readers chuckle aloud. As T S Elliot once wrote, ‘The naming of cats is a difficult matter. It isn’t just one of your holiday games’ however, I Don’t Know What to Call My Cat, will certainly help you and your wee scamps make it into one thanks to the clever collection of cat names woven into the story. Purrrfect and utterly satisfying for 4 – 8-year-olds.
Henry and the Yeti by Russell Ayto
Henry has an inexplicable love for Yetis. Yet no one is sure if Yetis really exist, so Henry’s love evolves into a dream, to go on an expedition to find a real live Yeti. And he does so with stunning success. However, Henry’s most difficult challenge is yet to be realised. He must bring home evidence of his find for his disbelieving head teacher and classmates. Their cynical ridicule is, after a few setbacks, well and truly stifled as the Yeti proves friendship is the greatest find of all. I loved Ayto’s economical use of colour and prose to deliver just the right amounts of verve and discord for Henry and his Yeti. This is a positive tale about sticking to your guns, living out your dreams, and benefitting from the true bonds of friendship. Henry loves Yetis and yes, so do I. Awesome adventure for believers aged between 4 and 8 years.