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

more and more irritated with each other. Unable to bear it any longer Bear runs away. But it is not long before he finds he is missing home and more than anything missing Lucy who, predictably, is missing him too. A happy reunion follows. A nicely


and caring. Page design, minimal illustrations, varied font and clever use of white space create a fresh and appealing feel. Children will enjoy spotting the bear as he follows Lucy in the early spreads. There is humour in the story with fox wanting to be a pet on a ‘part time’ basis, reference to well-known fictional bears with Lucy’s frustration about the endless bowls of porridge and Bear’s confusion at his owner’s strange obsession with throwing her ball away and expecting him to retrieve it.

SMc You Must Bring a Hat HHHHH

Simon Philip, ill. Kate Hindley, Simon and Schuster, 32pp, 978 1 4711 1732 9, £6.99 pbk

When the boy narrator of this story receives an invitation to the ‘Biggest, Bestest Hattiest Party of All Time’ he’s in a bit of a panic: he doesn’t own a single hat – the very item upon which the party depends. He begins a search at the obvious place – Peddler’s hat shop, but they’ve completely sold out. The only ‘titfa’ he can lay his hands just happens to be on a sausage- selling monkey’s head. Negotiations don’t go well, so the boy is left with a single choice: he seizes hat – still attached to said monkey - and off they go to the venue. The zealous doorman insists on seeing his invitation, which is duly produced; but it seems there are other entry restrictions, notably no hat-wearing monkeys … unless they’re monocle wearers. Geoff badger obliges with the monocle so long as he too can attend the party, but can you believe, that doorman has more restrictions and stipulations and so it continues with the

outrageous demands, each of which is duly complied with, until there’s a whole throng of would-be party goers awaiting admittance. It’s only then that they notice a sign above the

ridiculous rule. That too is dealt with, thanks to a kindly penguin who pre- empts the next rule; but once gain the ‘guests’ are thwarted. By this time

doorman – with yet another doorman making ever more cooperation, structured simple compromise story

our narrator is on the point of self- destructing. Instead, he yells at the top of his voice, ‘… Nigel clearly stated that I could bring anyone I wanted so long as I brought a hat, and I brought a monkey in a hat so technically I brought a hat and …’ What happens next is a jaw

droppingly brilliant: a sudden turn of events brings everyone up short: nothing less than a show-stopper. In fact every single word of

telling is cogent; and Kate Hindley’s illustrations are priceless, each one being crammed with wonderfully funny details. Her visual rendition of Simon Philip’s wonderful tale is the ‘Hattiest Bestest’ possible.


15 Things NOT to do with a Granny


Margaret McAllister, ill. Holly Sterling, Frances Lincoln, 978 1 84780 852 3, ££11-99, hbk

‘A GRANNY is a wonderful person to have in your life. If you are really lucky, you might have two grannies. Follow these simple rules to make sure every granny is a happy granny!’

which is full of fun and laughter. As a follow-up to 15 Things not to do with a Baby, it explores the relationship between children and their grannies, again using the same mixed-race family. For example, DON’T hide an elephant in your granny’s bed, or put leftover spaghetti in her handbag. DON’T give her a crocodile for her birthday, or interrupt her doing karate. DON’T race her on a skateboard. (She might win.) But DO ‘go for walks, listen to her; sing and hug your granny, and most of all, love her. Lots. She loves you!’ The pictures marry so well with the two grannies, each with their own identity, each enjoying their relationship with their grandchildren. A book dedicated to all grannies everywhere, to enjoy with all the family.

GB So begins this intriguing book the

central interest in the book is the fact that there are lots and lots of little flaps to open, each with its picture and often with text as well. Children will love the process of making sure they open each one in turn, and I can foresee parents reading this over and over again with their little one. Probably best for a family with only one child, it should prove an excellent way to prepare him or her, and while there is lots about the baby being on the way – seeing a photo of the baby inside mummy, granny’s arrival to look after Lulu, making things for the new baby, etc. – there is plenty after

too. The one question I had was that Freddy ‘smiles’ at Lulu when she first meets him, and as a baby doesn’t smile for some weeks, this may be misleading.

and highly colourful, and in one of the many flaps, we can interchange Freddy’s outfit in different ways. Lulu helps with the baby, and while she admits that as they get older they sometimes ‘quarrel’, she knows she will always be Freddy’s big sister, and they will ‘always love each other’. A new baby in a loving and happy family, this story will provide lots of practical information as well as fun.

ES The Great Aaa-Ooo HHHHH

Jonny Lambert, Little Tiger Press, 32pp, 978-1-84869-275-6, £10.99, hbk

It is night time in the dark wood, and as the animals try to settle a horrible noise is heard, a piercing and alarming screech disturbing the peace. What can it be? Perhaps a monster? The animals gather together for safety in Owl’s tree until the branches snap under their combined weight and amongst

Wolf is then revealed. Scared of the dark, he has been howling in the night. Reassured by Bear, the little wolf settles down and all falls quiet once more; until that is Cock crows, breaking the silence and the animals are disturbed yet again. This is a delightful picture book, beautifully written with a pleasingly patterned story structure, rhyme and also repetition in the conversations between the animals ‘Not I… Nor I… then who?’ There is humour in the animals falling from the tree and in the cleverly ironic ending with the cockerel crowing. The art work across double page

spreads throughout is simply stunning with bold

Lulu and the Noisy Baby HHHH

Camilla Reid, ill. Ailie Busby, Bloomsbury, 20pp, 978-1-4088-2818-2, £6.99 hbk

This is a brilliant wheeze! As a book to prepare a child for the advent of a baby, it couldn’t be better. The pages are laminated, as is the cover, and so both are sturdy and will withstand lots of use – which they will get. The real

striking white font and beautifully coloured and textured animals. Emotion is cleverly conveyed in the drawing of the animals’ expressions and their body language. We feel sympathy for poor Wolf cub alone and scared at night, and relief when the other animals reassure him and care for him. A picture book which adults and

to return to.

Simply SMc

black backgrounds, a them, the noisy culprit, The pictures are bright young Freddy’s arrival home

Little Faces Don’t Wake the Tiger


Little Faces Meet Happy Bear 978-1-78493-625-9


Carles Ballesteros, words & pictures, 18pp, £6.99 each, novelty board book

Ingenious described

venetian movements, by the

faces and expressions of a group of friendly-looking animals in these sturdy and attractive books for the very young. Little

hard to keep Bear smiling, capering about so that instead of being sad, anxious, angry he becomes happy again. Every other page turn changes the expression on Bear’s face via the venetian movement, and it is endlessly

lots of opportunities illustrations. entertaining. There

feelings, and lots to look at too in Carles

Tiger, a cheeky monkey accompanies readers, warning them when they’ve woken

Ballesteros’s bright, clean In Don’t Wake the

encouraging them to quickly turn the page. Again, the act of turning the page cleverly change the animal’s face, opening their eyes. The stories are satisfyingly circular, so that it’s almost

reached the end not to start all over again. Clever, stylish and offering lovely learning experiences, these two books have all the hallmarks of new list words & pictures. MMa

impossible when you’ve a sleeping animal and Mouse works

paper-engineering, publisher change

the as

to talk about


children will enjoy sharing together and want gorgeous.

Books for Keeps No.220 September 2016 21

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