Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Mr Big by Ed Vere

Everyone was afraid of Mr Big. He was just so - well -

BIG!

When Mr Big went to a cafe...everyone had other things to do

When Mr Big got on a bus, everybody else got off.

Poor Mr Big.  If only people would stop around long enough, they might find out what he was like on the inside.

One day, Mr Big found an old piano.  He took it home and started to play.  And as tears of loneliness rolled down Mr Big's cheeks, his beatuiful music drifted through the night air. 

Soon everybody wanted to know where the music was coming from. Who was the mystery pianist? So they posted a letter through Mr Big's door, inviting him to join their band.  

And then everyone got to know the real Mr Big. And they LOVED him!

This is a heartwarming story about misconceptions and acceptance, of compassion and friendship.  It illustrates beautifully the pain many people feel at being left out, or mis-understood, or judged unfairly, and the joy at discovering just how amazing people can be, once we get to know them.

Ed has created a wonderful character that children will instantantly identify with. He is like everyone's favourite uncle.  A bit on the large side, a bit old-fashioned, with a funny hat and a bow tie, but underneath he's a real treasure.  Someone you would want to spend a lot of time with.  I love the expressions that Ed has given him, and the other funny characters help lift the story and stop it being too sad.  

 

Activities and Discussion
How many different sorts of people are there?
What would it be like if we all looked the same?
Which is most important, how we look, or how we behave?
Do you know anybody who always gets left out? 
Write down or draw one thing about them that people don't like.
Now think of three good things about them.  How does this make you feel?


Have a go at drawing Mr Big!



Other Fab books by Ed Vere
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Other books about difference
   


Vist Ed Vere's Website

Follow Ed Vere on Twitter: @ed_vere


Mr Big is published by Puffin.

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Monday, 19 November 2012

The Famous Adventures of Jack by Berlie Doherty

I was lucky enough to win a signed copy of this book in a Twitter competition run by Berlie Doherty herself.  In fact, I also went to her house for lunch with Caroline Pitcher and Pauline Chandler, but that's another story...

So I won this book and I read this book and I LOVED this book!

The story is based around a little girl called Jill, who is sent to an old woman's house meet a boy called Jack.  She brings with her a bag of things which will help the old woman to find him. 

"They're all called Jack around here," says the Old Woman. "There's Cousin Jack and Grandfather Jack, Uncle Jack and Son Jack, and some is daft and some is dead and some is disappeared. And some is lazy and good-for-nothing and waste-of-a-wishbone like my very own son.  But they're all called Jack."

But Jill doesn't know which Jack she is supposed to meet, so the Old Woman settles her down and tells her each Jack's story in turn, prompted by objects taken from Jill's bag.

This is a delightful book, in which the author weaves together a mix of legendary Jack stories to make a new tale. It is a captivating and magical read that whisks the reader into a world of giants and talking cats, kings and princesses, impossible tasks and an enchanted snuff box, a giant beanstalk and a magic belt.  The words flow beautifully, without a stumble or a trip and the narrative is wonderfully traditional without being old-fashioned or stuffy. 

Definitetely one for a cold winter evening by the fire, with a snuggling child or two and a nice glass of something warming.  I fact, that is a VERY good idea.

The Famous Adventures of Jack is written by Berlie Doherty and published by Catnip Publishing

Other Lovley Books by Berlie Doherty
    

Links
Visit Berlie Doherty's Website
Follow Berlie Doherty on Twitter: @BerlieDoherty

Buy this book

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

New York in Pyjamarama by Michael Leblond and Frederique Bertrand

I was introduced to this book during a recent visit to Tales on Moon Lane children's bookshop in Herne Hill.  As soon as I opened it, I was captivated.

At first sight, some of the illustrations look a bit weird, but take out a neatly housed acetate insert and move it slowly over the illustrations and...

POW!!

The images come to life as if by magic! 

They depict people and vehicles hurrying around the city, leaves waving on the Central Park trees and the shimmering lights which my daughter and I think look like fireworks.


For me, the text was almost incidental.  In fact, I didn't read it at all until the third of fourth time I opened the book, so fascinated was I with the movement of the images.  

New York in Pyjamarama is a wonderfully interactive story book toy that young children will love to play with.






See this Book in Action

 



Other Cool Books with Moving Images
       

Buy This Book


New York in Pyjamarama is published by Phoenix Yard Books 





Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Stanley's Stick by John Hegley and Neal Layton



John Hegley is one of my all time favourite performance poets who has a beautifully funny and extremely clever way of using words.   In fact, the picture of Roo wearing glasses was inspired by a John Hegley poem called My Doggy Don't Wear Glasses.  It goes like this:

My doggy don't wear glasses
So they're lying when they say a dog looks like its owner
Aren't they

(John Hegley does wear glasses)

Anyway, let's get to the book! Here is the opening line, and what a fabulous line it is.  Say it out loud, it sssounds sssensational and exssstremely sssatisfying.
Stanley stands on Stockport station with his stick
Lovely!

So, Stanley has a stick.  And Stanley's stick can do LOADS of things.  It can be a stickosaurus dinosaur, and a fishing rod and can save slugs from a fate worse than feet.  It can write secret messages in the sand and pretend to be a very straight banana.  But what happens when stanley takes his stick to the seaside?

 Stanley goes down to the side of the tide.  His folks take stock of Stanley standing in the sand, stick in hand.

Stanley does the strangest thing.  He throws his stick into the sea! 

And the next day... well, you'll have to read the book to find out what happens, but I promise you'll like it!


Activities and Discussion
Why does Stanley throw his stick away?  Doesn't he like it any more?
Where does Stanley's stick go  after Stanley throws it in the sea? Who does it meet? Could  you tell a story about the stick's adventures?
Why do children love sticks so much? Take your child on a country walk, or to the park and chances are they will pick up a stick.  If they do, ask them why the like it.  What can they do with it.  What does it feel like?  You could also ask yourself the same question.
Write a sticky poem about your favourite type of stick.  Is it strong? Does it snap? Is it bendy? Can you peel off all the bark to make it smooth? Does it have magic powers? 

Other Fab Books by John Hegley

Other Fab Books by Neal Layton

Links

Follow John Hegley on twitter: @JohnHegley
Follow Neal Layton on twitter: @LaytonNeal

Stanley's Stick is written by John Hegley and published by Hodder