11 March 2009

Birthdays and Books

I was at a birthday party this weekend, a 1st birthday party, a big milestone, for both the small boy and his parents. It led to me looking through my book collection (the one where I keep buying picture books in readiness for giving them away as gifts but the collection seems to grow quicker than I can give them away) to choose a book and I thought I would share some of my current favourites with you. Favourites, for the illustrations, the writing and the stories.



Take Tyrannosaurus Drip by Julia Donaldson (of Room on the Broom and The Gruffalo fame)...the story of the veg loving duckbill dinosaurs and the dangerous tyrannosaurus rex! Beautiful illustrations, with muted colours and great expression and the usual rhyming story- telling style which lends itself perfectly to being read aloud, with a slightly gruesome twist to delight all the boys made of puppy dogs tails and snails.....

"Now across the risky river, on a hill the other side,
lived a mean tyrannosaurus with his grim and gruesome bride,
And the shouted 'up with hunting' and they shouted 'up with war',
And they shouted 'up with bellyfulls of duckbill dinosaur'."



Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend by Melanie Watt - the second book about the squirrel with obsessive compulsive disorder which always makes me smile.  Outlining all the things that he's scared of, what would make the perfect friend i.e. the least dangerous, least scary friend, one without teeth, without germs ....answer...... a goldfish....the illustrations are bright and modern, the pages broken into different sections throughout the book adding interest and full of talking points.



And my current favourite, "That Rabbit belongs to Emily Brown" written by Cressida Cowell (have you seen the Hiccup Horrendus Haddock III books?) and illustrated by Neal Layton (have you seen the Oscar and Arabella books about a family of woollie mammoths and his books for slightly older children, Mammoth Academy? I find these books are perfect to give to my friend's kids - particularly because dad is a glaciology specialist!)

The illustrations are a collage of drawings, photos and a riot of colour. Emily Brown, the books protagonist has wonderful adventures with her toy rabbit Stanley, so much fun that the queen is jealous and wants the rabbit to herself.......

Winner of the Smarties Book Awards gold medal for books for children aged 0-5 in 2006 and it is easy to see why.


14 comments:

Kellie H said...

I love picture books too...must so for I am a early elem. teacher =) I have't heard of Cressida Cowell! ....mUst check out her books, thanks!

Manoute said...

They all look fantastic :oD

Thimbleanna said...

I've loved collecting picture books in the past, but it's been several years since I've bought any new ones. Thanks for the update -- I've been out of touch with the good new stuff. That first book especially looks like great fun!

HappySquirrel said...

Thanks for sharing....I love children's books. I find them relaxing and uplifting. Aren't the drawings sweet?
By the way, thanks for your comment on my blog : )

jojo-caramel said...

I love children's books so so much ! My daugther (8) is a bit to old for those now, but i buy them for myself :) They seem to be very very nice ! Have a nice weekend :)

trashalou said...

Oh how I love the Gruffalo people as they are forever known in our house. Anything of theirs has to be worth reading.


Those Mammoth books? What age are they aimed at? Looking for recommendations for destructoBoy, age 7 and a getting better by the day reader.

Windsting said...

The squirrel with OCD sounds fun, and the mammoth books look to be right up my Eoghan's alley. Thank you for the recommendations.

kiko said...

I love good children's books! Thank you for sharing. Have fun in Japan! i can't wait to see some pics. Do you have friends you are visiting there??? both my parents come from Kyoto, so I have lots of good memories visiting many old temples etc. Wonder if you will go where I've been?? "Ryoanji-temple"(the famous one for the rock garden) is right behind my grandma's house which is also close to Kinkakuji (the golden temple? or house?) My brother has gone back to Japan recently and is now a sushi chef in Kyoto too. I wish I could jump in your suitcase! Von Voyage!

kiko said...

oh and yes, it is Ramona the pest. It is in Portland Oregon, USA where the story is based and the author is from. She is very celebrated there. We go there to visit good friends. The ocean pics are from Oregon coast--unfortunately, we live far away from the ocean :(

Claudia said...

Dan and I are in love with Scaredy Squirrel! Whenever we go to a book store we look at the book and smile. And we also have a code: the day that I get pregnant I have to buy to book and give it to Dan...it will be my way of telling him the good news!

Ravenhill said...

thanks for the intro to some wonderful looking books!
~Emily

Ali said...

Oh, I adore scaredy squirrel. He's such a card!

Bethany Hissong said...

These are great! I see no need to hide the fact that I adore children's books and I buy them for myself!!!!! Okay stop laughing. I miss having little ones around so that's why I needed to start teaching again so I can read to them again!!

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