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Thursday, 11 December 2014

but where are the children?

December 11 2014

I picked up a book at the library that I thought looked quite funny. When we started reading it, I realised it was more aimed at me than Linus. The Boss Baby is a simple picture book but Marla Frazee's story is a bit of fun for new parents, rather than a lot of fun for toddlers. The illustrations are funny and entertaining. Perhaps it is aimed at new parents to read to a new born and for them to engage in the pictures. All the Amazon reviews seem to say it is ideal for new parents, no one actually mentions their child enjoying it. It is a clever story of how the baby becomes the one in charge. Linus was engaged but I don't think there was much in it for him to get.

Colin McNaughton is quite a prolific British children's writer with numerous .  Have You Ever Ever Ever? is reminiscent of Allan Ahlberg books and it's no surprise to see they have worked together on several occasions. Ahlberg's more popular books take on stories from common characters and nursery rhymes, Have You Ever Ever Ever? does the same. From Incey Wincey Spider, through Peter Piper, Bobby Shaftoe and others to Mother Goose. There's a fun and tongue twistery read, testing even the most sophisticated and eloquent reader, like my modest self. Emma Chichester Clark's illustrations are full of invention and familiarity. The story leads a bored little boy to the place where he can discover all the characters he may have heard of but never seen, where else but the library?

I do like most things Margaret Wise Brown. She seems to have had an instinct of being able to wind a book down for bed time. They are often simple rhymes with a pleasant flowing rhythm.  Big Red Barn is a great example of that, it starts off bright and cheerful with lovely alliteration and animal noises and winds down to a quiet peaceful night time. I think this was published before the current version in 1989, which is illustrated by Felicia Bond. Bond's illustrations have a feel of the 1950s when it was written, they follow the text well and add to it. Linus likes this one, we sometimes look for other things on the pages, count the eggs and join in with some animal noises. It is one of my favourite books especially now I've managed to stop wondering what fate befell the children who usually play on the farm.

"And that is where the children play,
But  in this story the children are away.
Only the animals are here today"

If anyone does know where the children are, let me know. Why are the animals all left to fend for themselves?

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