Day 59 (Week 9, Day 3) - Tuesday 28th February 2017
My migraine still hasn't gone completely (couple it with eye strain and it's not in the slightest bit fun), but it's gone enough to feel like reading a few more stories for the Picture Book Challenge tonight!
1) Call Me Gorgeous! - Giles Milton (Author) & Alexandra Milton (Illustrator)
You might never have tried to make a hybrid of a shedload of animals before, but judging by this you'd have quite a fun time doing it! Josh & Xander though tit was great to see what was created when the wings of a bat, a cockerel's feet, a crocodile's teeth, and many more animal body parts were put together, though as they like the Star Wars Mashup toys where you combine characters I suppose this is second nature to them!
The animals (or parts) are definitely gorgeous in their illustrations thanks to Alexandra Milton, and if you like hybrid animals then you're bound to think that the creation that she's made with Giles Milton is gorgeous too!
A great book that shows the fun you can have experimenting at combining things that don't normally go together, to make something wonderful and unique.
Chris says: This sort of creativity is great for inspiring children to use their own imaginations, so I love for Josh & Xander to read as many books like this as possible!
Josh says: I like that it was made up of loads of different animals.
Xander says: I like crocodiles!
2) Swap! - Steve Light (Author & Illustrator)
A map on the inside cover! Oh, how I love the inclusion of a good map in a book! They enhance any story, though this is delightfully fun in its own right. A young sailor helps a sad friend without a ship to become captain of his own by swapping items throughout the story until he has what he needs. It's a great tale of a friend helping another friend to be happy once more, wrapped up in that classic childrens favourite: pirates!
The illustrations are excellent, but have a superb touch that took me a minute to figure out, but I couldn't not notice when I had - everything except the two friends and the sea is in black and white, until they begin swapping items, where we see these items are the only other things to have a dash of colour, even after they've been swapped for other things. I can't discern any hidden meaning from it - it just seems to an interesting storytelling technique of an interesting nature that helps the book to stand out!
Makes a great game for kids too to see what they can get from swapping!
Chris says: I love the individual touch of having only the main characters and items in colour - makes it memorable!
Josh says: I like the map.
Xander says: Ships!
3) Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice - Chris Wormell (Author & Illustrator)
This is a lovely tale about Scruffy Bear helping six white mice make their way across the forest, hiding them whenever danger is near in a series of imaginative ways as a true friend would. There's a charming old-school feel about it in that it reminded me of animal stories I read as a small child myself, with a strong message of friendship and looking out for those smaller and more vulnerable than yourself as it's heart. I love bits like Scruffy telling the mice to curl up so they look like snowballs, which he justifies in non-winter time by saying he's saving them for the colder months.
I love having stories that I can read like this to the kids, to talk to them about how they do nice things for each other like Scruffy Bear did, and how they can be heroes in their own stories as they grow up. Picture books can definitely be a big source of inspiration in how children want to behave, and the more positive stories we can read the better!
Chris says: There's nothing not to love from a story about a bear helping protect much smaller mice from the predators of the forest! Always a fantastic message to share with the children.
Josh says: I liked how bear rescued the mice.
Xander says: We get a bear?
So, to summarise Day 59,,,
I might still have had a banging headache and eye strain today, but books like tonight's selection help to put things that like to the back of my mind! There was some brilliant creativity and imagination in Call Me Gorgeous! and Swap!, and then a wonderful tale of friendship in Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice. Every book is a tale to smile about, and everyone gave us something more to discuss afterwards.
The Picture Book Challenge is continuing to be so much fun to take part in, and I hope that anyone seeing these reviews is able to check out these books for themselves and join us on our journey!