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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

In need of a pumpkin

December 17 2014

Unusually I went with three new library books for story time. Emma Dodd's Cinderelephant is as it says in the title, it's an elephant version of Cinderella. Apart from the lack of pumpkin, this is quite a faithful retelling of the Cinderella story, with a few humorous tweaks along the way. The Fairy Godmother becomes Furry Godmouse and the ugly sisters are warthogs. I'm not sure this version would play out as well as a pantomime. It probably works better with a kid who is more familiar with Cinderella than Linus is. The pictures are friendly and amusing. If I was being picky, I'd say that there could have been a bit more risk taken with the story to heighten the humour. I'm sure a 6/7 year old kid familiar with the story would find it hilarious.

Simon Puttock is author of Love From Louisa, which we read recently.  The Baby that Roared is another of his and is quite different. I felt a little uneasy reading this to Linus, although I don't think he was that bothered. The 'baby' is discovered as a bundle on Mr and Mrs Deer's doorstep. Whilst seeking advice on looking after the baby, Mr and Mrs Deer's friends and family start to disappear, only reappearing when baby is burped. This is definitely the antidote to all those stories and TV programmes reassuring us that monsters are nice and friendly and misunderstood. Linus is probably a bit young for this one too but I'd rather read it now than when he can have nightmares because of it. The book would benefit from having more unsaid, like in I Want My Hat Back. Nadia Shireen's illustrations are bright, fun and colourful and give an element of unrealism that softens the story.

Quentin Blake's Angelica Sprocket's Pockets is a whole  heap of fun. A lovely pleasant rhyme that ticks along nicely and the illustrations are by Quentin Blake, so expected to be wonderful and they are. There's nothing much to it really, Angela Sprocket has a coat with a lot of pockets. Each pocket has varying degrees of surreal content. It's a good age range book, the pictures would occupy a small baby and the story/reading can spark the imagination of an older child. I could see a school/playgroup using this to have kids draw their own picture and imagine other things coming out of the pockets.

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