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.