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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Alphabet, Wow!

November 12 2014

Linus has been alphabet crazy lately. He loves playing with his alphabet puzzle and reading letters wherever he sees them. Alphablocks on Cbeebies is another favourite show, for those not in the know the Alphablocks are individual characters representing each letter, they make up words and have fun and frolics around that. It's a simple premise but works really well in helping remember the letters. Linus can name all the Mr. Men and Little Misses quite easily so 26 letters are a doddle (and he's beautiful!). This is the first episode of Alphablocks which should play in the US too.

So it was with great anticipation that I came to Oliver Jeffers' Once Upon an Alphabet. We love several other Jeffers' books and this has individual stories and verse for each letter. Before I go on, I should add that I hate negative reviewing and am not about to start, either in this post or any other. Once Upon An Alphabet is wonderfully illustrated and has some hilarious stories, I loved it and chuckled all the way through. I'm not sure Linus got that much out of it, it's probably for a little older age group. He did like announcing each letter along the way. Jeffers has said that he doesn't write children's books, he just writes books. As a parent I probably should have read it a bit more before I used it at story time. That's not to say I wouldn't have bought it anyway, I just would have left it to be read at other times, maybe pick bits out here and there. There are some lovely jokes in it and even a couple of call backs, so for an erstwhile comedian like myself it was a joy, I can't wait to read it again. Perhaps I'll get Meg to read it me at bedtime.

We usually read three books at bedtime, Once Upon An Alphabet was long and fractured so I thought it would work as two. I've tried reading longer books before, we have some Paddington and Winnie The Pooh books that are longer but I tend to think they are just a bit too long for now. I may try again soon. Watch this space, well don't, go get a drink and get on with your life and pop back another time.

Our "Ning, Nang, Nong" has been getting quite boisterous lately, Linus keeps asking me to go louder. Tonight I was about as loud as I could get but he still wanted more. I went for faster which he thought was hilarious. I knew those elocution lessons would come in handy one day, I've never come across a bitter butter eating woman called Betty, as far as I know.

Tim Hopgood's WOW! Said the Owl is a beautiful book. I love Hopgood's illustrations. He has just released a gorgeous recreation of the Louis Armstrong song "What A Wonderful World". I picked the book up in Waterstones and was enthralled. We started Wow! Said The Owl by reading the letters "W, O, W, what's that dadda", he asked pointing to the exclamation mark (or point as his mother calls it). So I explained an exclamation mark and we moved on. This is an ideal bedtime book, it calls itself "a book about colours" and there are plenty in it. It's another book I can see lasting a long time, both as a bedtime book and one that he reads alone. Also, Linus likes owls, owls are cool.

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