Day 55 (Week 8, Day 6) - Friday 24th February 2017
I finished the working week tonight with a real craving for reading some books, and reading some books is what we did! There's nothing better than finishing a long week at work (in a job that I love, I might add!) and coming home to grab a quick bite to eat and reading some stories before putting Josh & Xander to bed.
I had slight reservations about starting tonight's reading with a ghost story, but there didn't seem to be any complaints about nightmares so I think I got away with it!
1) Ghost in the House - Ammi-Joan Paquette (Author) & Adam Record (Illustrator)
Casper might be a friendly ghost, but he isn't as friendly looking as the ghost in this story! It's a great tale of ghosts, mummies, & monsters, all finding each other in an old house, before the scariest thing of all appears...a young boy! It's a rhyming story, and one of the most fun parts for us was getting the kids to guess what the next spooky creature would be, based on the key rhyming word.
I really did like the illustrations, which make it clear to the kids that this is a fun story really, not a scary one, and the expressions that most of them wear are so outlandishly cartoony that I smiled with every new page.
One you can enjoy even when it's not Halloween!
Chris says: I really liked how Josh enjoyed guessing what the next monster would be - great to see his imagination fired!
Josh says: I liked the ghost best.
Xander: No, thank you! (N.B. This was him refusing to tell me his favourite part - he was enthralled during the story itself!)
2) Small Elephant's Bathtime - Tatyana Feeney (Author & Illustrator)
I'm sure I'm not the only parent who feels this way, but the story of a child who doesn't want a bath until someone else has one rings remarkably true! That's definitely a favourite type of story before bedtime - one where you can all laugh together about the times you've had the same experiences, and see the children laugh as they know it's true and are highly likely to do it again in the future!
The illustrations are done in quite a minimalist style with the focus on what the characters are doing, rather than the detail of their surroundings, and it works really well as we're able to focus on enjoying the familiar scenario. Plus Small Elephant must surely be one of the cutest animals I've seen drawn in a picture book!
Chris says: Josh & Xander are pretty good when it comes to bathtimes, but there have definitely been arguments from one about getting in that have only been solved when the other decides they're ready! Always fun to see real life played out in a book!
Josh says: This reminds me of Donald Trump because he never wants to get in the bath at nighttime (N.B. I swear this is what he said. I have no words.)
Xander says: I want a smoothie! (N.B. About as useful as Josh's comment but he laughed when Small Elephant wouldn't get in so I know he enjoyed it!)
3) Grrrrr! - Rob Biddulph (Author & llustrator)
We read Blown Away by Rob Biddulph very recently, and instead of spreading his work out over the next year we decided that we had to get more of his work as soon as possible! We're very glad we did, too, because Grrrrr! is another fun tale that the children thoroughly enjoyed (as did I), as Fred Bear's friends help him search for his missing 'grrrrr' before the animals' annual competition begins.
What's great about it is that the thief, Boris, gives a reason that, whilst wrong, is understandable and a good way of showing children that sometimes people do the wrong things when they're nervous or scared, but that a second chance can lead to a friendship (and it's friendship here that helps Fred Bear win). The illustrations are just as good as Blown Away, in a style that I look forward to seeing more of, and the kids loved shouting 'grrrrr!' along with the story.
Chris says: Great illustrations, great message for kids, great resolution...everything great!
Josh says: I like how Fred's friends came to help him win.
Xander had disappeared to go to sleep at this point...though his comments tonight hadn't exactly been related to any of the stories we'd just read!
So, to summarise Day 55...
I think Josh's comment about Donald Trump's bathtime probably wins the award for Strangest Comment already with only two months of the year gone, but book-wise we giggled our way through the whole evening of reading! Particularly delightful illustrations abound in each story tonight I thought, as well as every book leaving us with a smile on our faces as we finished them.
Sometimes it takes a short bit of persuading to get our evening of reading started, but it's always well worth it when we do!