Day 48 (Week 7, Day 6) - Friday 17th February 2017Do you know what often delays me getting these blog posts published? It's not the actual writing up - I usually get that done in the same evening, and just leave the post as a draft until it's ready to publish.
Nope, it's actually taking the photos of the kids with the books to go along with them! If they're really tired (and they usually are) following the stories that evening, it's almost impossible to get a decent photo, so that bit gets delayed and then I don't want to publish the post without them so we end up with huge backlog like this where Day 48 from Friday 17th February is only getting published in the wee hours of Friday 10th March!
I love having the photos to go along with the post to show that the kids have been enjoying the books, but sometimes I think I should focus more on just getting the posts up and including the photos at a later date! Or even reading in the morning before school - though that's not to suggest anyone is more awake then than they are in the evenings!
Here are today's reviews, anyway...
1) Nursery Time - Mij Kelly (Author) & Mary McQuillan (Illustrator)
There's so much going on in these illustrations! I love to see books where you can spend time pointing out the various things the characters are up to, and the fun they're having, in this instance at the nursery where Suzy Sue has gone to. It's a good example of how a book can take the fears a child might have about starting nursery, or even a younger sibling worrying about an older one starting, and showing that there's nothing to worry about - they're going somewhere to have fun, and they'll always come home.
There's some cracking rhyming text here too, to go along with the busy pictures, and I always think that rhyming texts in general are fun to read because of the rhythm which children enjoy.
Lovely, colourful fun!
Chris says: Both Josh and Xander were a little nervous about starting pre-school, though not as bad as some children can be (I imagine), but it's great to know that there are books like this out there that might help alleviate some of those fears.
Josh says: I liked the farm nursery at the end.
Xander says: I liked the swing.
2) Don't Wake Up Tiger! - Britta Teckentrup (Author & Illustrator)
Oh, we did like this funny tale! Everyone is being so careful not to wake the sleeping tiger, but will the little band of animal friends make it past him without doing so? And is there a more innocent reason why they don't want to wake him up?
You'll probably guess that the answer is obviously yes, and it's a great way of throwing a little twist in for kids (though you'll have to read it to find out what it is...). What was really great was how interactive the book is, encouraging kids to help each character as they try to avoid waking the tiger while sneaking past. I like the way too that the illustrations seem to have been made with brushes of different textures; it makes them stand out just a bit more, and the characters themselves are so all wonderfully expressive that it draws you right in.
Chris says: The interactive nature of this book makes it such a fun read for a family. Anything that breaks the fourth wall and gets kids joining in directly with the characters is excellent in my eyes!
Josh says: I liked singing happy birthday!
Xander says: Happy birthday!
3) Boa's Bad Birthday - Jeanne Willis (Author) & Tony Ross (Illustrator)
Oh, now this IS a good message, and not just for kids! I'm sure we've all had presents that haven't been exactly the most useful things for us personally (like gloves for Boa in this story, who doesn't have, you know...hands), and for children especially, who are excited about what a present could have been, it can be incredibly difficult to control their fragile emotions. This story (from the legendary pair of Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross) is an excellent reminder never to dismiss a present or the thoughtfulness behind it, because you never know when it might turn out to be the perfect present for you after all.
I like how the story doesn't shy away from showing that the presents genuinely aren't useful for Boa, so it's not just a case of him being ungrateful, and that it's alright for him to feel disappointed that people haven't thought logically enough for what might be suitable for him, but that it also shows how things can work out unexpectedly well if you give them a chance.
Valuable messages wrapped up in a good read!
Chris says: I like to think that Josh and Xander are considerate when it comes to thank yous for presents, and that even if they weren't overjoyed with what they'd received they'd still be appreciative, but it's a welcome chance just to re-iterate that it's alright to sometimes be disappointed, but not to dismiss something outright. Gentle moral messages are always a nice feature in a picture book story!
Josh says: I like how the present turned out to be good in the end.
Xander says: I liked that!
So, to summarise Day 48...
We've alleviated fears of going to nursery, interacted with characters trying to sneak past a sleeping tiger, and reminded ourselves not to judge whether a present is useful or not too quickly...an eclectic mix indeed! All the stories share a key thing in common though - they're all brilliant to read as a family!
A lovely evening's reading, with three titles that deserve to be read far and wide in the near future!