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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Blue, Grumble, Kisses

November 8 2014

We had an afternoon at the "yibrary" (Linus' description) today so a few new books came home.

Former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen is not over familiar to us. We've read his most famous book, We're Going On A Bear Hunt, but haven't ever got round to adding to the millions of households that own a copy. A newer book of his, Blue, illustrated by Michael Foreman was one of those. Surprisingly, at time of writing this appears to have had no Amazon reviews. I found that surprising as Bear Hunt is so popular, but also that this is a lovely, different picture book. Linus usually sits quietly whilst we read the bedtime books, I've rarely seen him so engrossed in something new to us. I am very modest but must admit my reading added to the story (!) but credit too to the author and illustrator. It really does flow along and it isn't a typical children's book so the story has more to it and I'm sure will be one to read over and over.

Another new one for us today was quite a new release, from early in October 2014.  Jungle Grumble is by Julia Jarman and illustrated by Lynne Chapman. I do wish it was called Jungle Grumble Jumble but I'm just being a bit picky. If you spend any amount of time in the library every other picture book seems to be set in the jungle, this one is a little set apart and much the better for it. It's nice to see a writer and illustrator working so well together. Jungle creatures seem to be as vain as us humans and the lion, fed up with their complaining helps them see that the status quo can often be better than the alternatives. There are some hilarious pictures in here and coming from me that is quite complimentary. My comedy scale rarely touches hilarious, mildly amusing is usually my limit!

We ended with another American import, family and friends in the US have sent us quite a few books and some have become regular reads.  How Many Kisses Do You Want Tonight? is by Varsha Bajaj and illustrated by Ivan Bates. It's ten years old and seems like it could have been written any time. It has the Margaret Wise Brown charm and simplicity to it. Ten animal parents and two humans ask their babies how many kisses they want. They answer from one to a million, there's counting from one to ten and it introduces the concept of a hundred and a million. It has a simple rhyme to it, so an easy flowing read. The book ends with (I think I'll be forgiven this spoiler) "How many kisses do YOU want tonight?". I'm sure everyone reading will want to know Linus' answer, today it was three, I was happy to oblige.

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