BfK quiet billy goats” that

Under 5s Pre - School/Nursery/Infant contd. straightway

start trip trapping trampling around the place. Three little pigs come next accompanied by an outsized “puppy” which huffs and puffs and completely demolishes Bob’s residence. Totally exasperated, Bob decides

enough is enough: he quits pet-sitting leaving himself jobless and homeless. All he has left (apart from Rex) is

that handful of beans. Now what use could they be? Enter Bob the gardener … Children will delight in the multitude

of fairy tale characters that invade Bob’s peaceful abode in this fast and furious

read aloud Lulu Gets a Cat entertainment,

which is made all the more hilarious by Martin’s rumbustious scenes of pet-induced pandemonium. JB


Anna McQuinn, ill. Rosalind Beardshaw, Alanna Books, 32pp, 978-1-907825-163 £11.99,hbk

Lulu really likes cats, she has several toy cats but would love a real one of her own. Mummy is not so sure,

because cats are hard work. They go to the library to find out how to look after cats and then Lulu practices at home. Finally Mummy agrees and they visit a cat shelter to choose a cat, although in the end, the cat chooses them. Following advice from Jeremy at the cat shelter Lulu and her family prepare so that their new pet isn’t too worried. Lulu names her Makeda after an African Queen. Lulu finds that after

Makeda has had a chance to settle in they both enjoy playing, cuddling and sharing stories together. This is a simple, warm story with appealing illustrations about adopting a new pet, the pleasure it can bring and the responsibilities it presents. The advice it contains is endorsed by the National Cats Adoption Centre. The trip to the library is a nice touch, linking this book to a previous Lulu story Lulu loves the Library. A great addition for fans and collectors of the popular Lulu series and perfect for young cat lovers and would be cat owners everywhere. SMcG

Fergal is Fuming HHHHH

Robert Starling, Andersen Press, 32pp, 9781783445332, £11.99 hbk

Fergal is a little dragon who just can’t

keep his temper in check.

As a little dragon this has serious consequences because he breathes fire as his temper is let loose which makes Fergal somewhat destructive! This is a perfect picture book for individual readers and classes alike because the reasons for Fergal losing his temper are all ones children will recognise and therefore have some

affinity with. All schools need a copy of this book particularly ones with Nurseries

be used right up into Year 6 as it is a really simple illustration

in them but this could of how

losing one’s temper can impact on everybody around you. There are several instances of Fergal losing his temper at first and I think it would be fair to say his animal family and friends cut him some slack. It is the next bit, when his friends finally have enough, that would be useful for schools. His mum explains why they’ve had enough and she gives Fergal a different strategy to try. We then relive the instances but this time with Fergal’s new approach. He also goes on to explore his animal friend’s ways of controlling their


which, again, would be a really useful tool for discussion. The illustrations are fab as they have a simple quality about them with sketchy backgrounds to highlight the animal characters. Fergal’s shape is perfect to make lots of different Fergal expressions in class-his little eyes say it all and make this book a delightful,

thought provoking read.

I will be using this one in my first assembly of the year. SG

The Cranky Caterpillar HHHHH

Richard Graham, Thames & Hudson, 978-0-5006-5108-7, 32pp, £10.99 hbk


is that noise coming from the piano? Ezra explores to find a very cranky caterpillar who complains that he has been stuck in the piano for a long time. How can Ezra cheer him up when nothing seems to work? Ezra has an idea... There

the surreal and perhaps a nod to Lewis Carroll, creator of the original grumpy caterpillar, in this enjoyable, quirky story about friendship and the transformative power of both music and working together. The narrative is concise and effective carrying the reader through the book, while a clever use of the font adds to the experience without detracting clarity. Through

Graham creates the perfect visual compliment to the text. His pen and ink outlines allow him to move between the impressionistic and the precise,

setting and providing it with a perfect logic. Only Ezra brings colour to every spread; this is her story. Originally published in the US, this is a welcome addition to our bookshelves whether in the classroom (plenty to discuss) or at home. Recommended. FH

capturing the imaginative his illustrations, from is a strong element of is at a loose end. Wait – what

Picture This!

5 – 8 Infant/Junior Perfectly Norman


Paul Thurlby, ill. Hodder Children’s Books, 48pp, 978 1 444 93369 7, £5.00 hbk

In this book, created in collaboration with the gallery itself, readers are taken on a tour of the National Gallery. It introduces children to one of the

finest collections of paintings in the world, and the stories behind them, including works by Renoir, Velazquez, Rembrandt, Degas, Seurat, Monet, Van Gogh and many others, as well as masterpieces by lesser known artists. The book is divided into sections

such as Amazing Nature, Children Like Me and Fashion Fabulous, each of which is allocated a double spread; and every section includes information about the artists whose paintings are featured, something to consider, an activity or two – yes you are encouraged to draw and write in the book. The whole thing is written in a carefully considered, engaging text, with small funky bold, bright illustrations by Paul Thurlby throughout, as well as on the front cover. The reproductions of the paintings

are on the small side, but essentially I see this as a kind of guidebook book to use prior to, or perhaps during, a visit to the gallery itself, so one hopes children will see the real works of art too. Spirally bound and costing a mere fiver, it’s is a real bargain. JB

22 Books for Keeps No.226 September 2017 HHHHH

Tom Percival, Bloomsbury, 32pp, 978 1 4088 8097 5, £6.99 pbk

Norman has always been ‘perfectly normal’. He loves playing with his friends, eating ice cream, and doing all the other things kids do.


then one day, a surprised Norman discovers he has grown a pair of wings. This seems great at first. He can zoom through the air and have all the delicious feelings that birds share. But soon, he is ‘down to earth’ – literally. What will his parents think? And his friends? The only option seems to be to wear a big coat so no one can see the wings. This proves very difficult, and his bemused parents look on as he bathes in the coat, goes to bed in the coat, and finds that it is terribly hot and uncomfortable. He can’t go swimming or play with his friends properly, and he is miserable. He realizes that it isn’t the wings that are the problem, but the coat. When his loving parents finally say to him, why not take it off, he throws it off with joy, exposing his wonderful technicolour wings. Soon he is flying again, and furthermore, he is joined by other children who have

been wearing

coats too. As a book about diversity in all its many forms, this could not be better. The illustrations picture a boy standing out from other children from the beginning; he is in colour and they

and the background are in grey, black and white. This is not a grim, dim background but a simple presentation of the fact that Norman has always been different, even if unknowingly. When he sprouts wings and flies with the birds, we see more colour in his life, but on the ground whilst wearing his yellow coat, everything around him is again colourless. It is only at the end when he comes to understand his potential

and accept his

difference that we see him becoming his colourful self. The colours (when they come) are explosive and quite, quite beautiful.

With sophistication

and a wistful truth, it explores every child’s need to be ‘normal’ and the fact that everyone has his or her own normality. Outstanding. ES

Rapunzel HHHHH

Bethan Woollvin, Two Hoots, 28pp, 978 1 5098 4267 4, £11.99, hbk

Bethan Woollvin continues her re- appraisal of fairy tale heroines that she began with Little Red. As you might expect, this Rapunzel doesn’t sit wanly in her

tower waiting for a

passing prince. A pair of scissors is all she needs, luckily, the witch doesn’t miss them. Rapunzel swiftly cuts a hair ladder (rungs and all) from her glowing locks, down she goes, finds a horse in the forest to call her own and sets about revenging herself on the witch who has imprisoned her. This

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