Learning & Development: Book choice

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GRUMPY CAT by Britta Teckentrup; Boxer Books, hardback, 11.99

Grumpy Cat is actually a lonely cat, living alone and unsure how to join in the other cats' games. After a kitten seeks shelter with him in the midst of a thunderstorm, he tries to shake him off, but finally they become friends and Grumpy Cat is never grumpy again. An endearing story with big and bold illustrations.

BOW-WOW BUGS A BUG by Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash; Walker Books, hardback, £8.99

A wordless book in which a dog spends his day following a bug round the neighbourhood, meeting other dogs and giant insects on the way. This surreal tale will challenge practitioner and children in telling.

GRIZZLY DAD by Joanna Harrison; David Fickling Books, hardback, £10.99

Dad is in bed in a grizzly mood, but when his son pulls back the blankets, he uncovers a bear - with a familiar face. The boy combs the bear's hair, scolds him for his messiness, then plays with him in the park. A bear hug restores Dad to his real self, but when Mum complains about the mess, father and son grunt and trot off to clear up. An original story with an unexpected twist in the tail/tale!

MRS MUFFLY'S MONSTER by Sarah Dyer; Frances Lincoln's Children's Books, hardback, £11.99

Why is strange Mrs Muffly buying 58 packets of butter, 41 sacks of flour, 464 jars of jam ...? Well, clearly there's a monster in her house and, for a start, it likes to bathe in jam. Or maybe Mrs Muffly is just preparing her entry for the Giant Cake Competition. An amusing story about jumping to conclusions and one that provides a good starting point for exploring big numbers and baking. A recipe is included.

WE ARE WEARING OUT THE NAUGHTY STEP by Mick Inkpen; Hodder Children's Books, hardback, £10.99

The narrator and her brother Josh are rarely off the naughty step or, in her brother's case, naughty cushion. They are planted there after painting the family dog (to resemble a panda), giving an elephant chocolate and letting the hamster escape. The children's 'naughtiness' continues until their fraught mother snaps and she ends up on the naughty step herself. Young children - and inexperienced staff - may miss the irony, but it's essential reading for adults who view the naughty step as anything other than a complete waste of time!

THE MONKEY WITH A BRIGHT BLUE BOTTOM by Steve Smallman and Nick Schon; Little Tiger Press, paperback, £5.99

Monkey looks at the birds with their rainbow of coloured feathers, then down to the dull animals below. He snatches a paintbox and paints some of them as they sleep - squares on the giraffe, stripes on the lemur's tale and spots on the leopard. They are furious when they awake and take their revenge!

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