Learning & Development: Book choice

Ruth Thomson
Tuesday, January 12, 2010

New children's books

MORRIS THE MANKIEST MONSTER by Giles Andreae and Sarah McInytre; David Fickling Books, hardback, £10.99

The title provides a clue but it's hardly enough warning to unsuspecting adults of what lurks inside. Prepare to meet Morris and be disgusted at his hygiene and habits. He has bogies and scabs and pustules that 'dribble'. Dead bugs lurk in his armpits and his shoes are all 'slurpy' and 'squelchy' inside. What's more, the story gets worse and worse with each new page. Adults will be revolted and struggle to read to the end; children, I'm afraid, will just love it.

THE SCARIEST MONSTER IN THE WORLD; by Lee Weatherley and Algy Craig Hall; Boxer Books, hardback, £11.99

One day a scary monster starts to hiccup, can't stop, and is forced to turn to the forest creatures for help. Usually terrified of this wild and weird monster, the little animals come to his rescue with an ingenious plan to scare him into stopping. A lovely tale with real humour.

BEAR FLIES HIGH; by Michael Rosen and Adrian Reynolds; Bloomsbury, hardback, £10.99

Following on from the success of The Bear in the Cave comes Bear Flies High. This time Bear decides that he wants to learn to fly after looking at the seagulls swirling above him, and so he and his four little friends head for the funfair in search of the experience of flight.

The format of the story is identical to the first Bear adventure, both in the way the narrative unfolds and in the structure of the rhythmic text. At least one Bear story is a must for any nursery, but I'm not sure that a second is a necessary addition to the book corner.

SHARK IN THE DARK; by Nick Sharratt; David Fickling Books, hardback, £10.99

It's just before bedtime and Timothy Pope is taking a look through his telescope. Can it really be a shark that he is spying out of the window?

MUM AND DAD GLUE; by Kes Gray and Lee Wildish; Hodder Children's Books, hardback, £10.99

A little boy starts his desperate search for a pot of glue to stick his divorcing parents back together again. But after some kindly adult advice, he comes to realise that even though his parents' marriage may be broken, their love for him is not.

This is an excellent book aimed squarely at young children struggling with their parents' separation. It covers the child's turmoil with sympathy, and while offering reassurance about a parent's love, it gives no false hope of reconciliation and instead slowly moves the child towards realising that 'there's no glue for hearts'.

A SONG FOR JAMELA: by Niki Daly; Frances Lincoln, hardback, £11.99

Jamela's day of boredom at home turns to one of great excitement when she is asked to help out at Aunt Beauty's hairdressing salon. She can't believe her eyes when the Afro-Idols contestant Miss Bambi Chaka Chaka makes a glamorous entrance. Potential disaster ensues when Miss Chaka Chaka's hairdo is ruined. Can Jamela save the day? This, the fifth book about Jamela's life in an African township, displays all the humour and charm of the previous stories.

HELLO BABY; by Jenni Overend and Julie Vivas; Frances Lincoln, paperback, £5.99

First the midwife, then Auntie Meg arrive at a distant cottage on a wintry night as mum's baby is due to arrive. This is an honest but moving celebration of a home birth.

MUMMY, MUMMY, WHAT'S IN YOUR TUMMY?; by Sarah Simpson-Enock and Linzi West; Frances Lincoln, paperback £6.99

Mummy's tummy gets bigger and bigger, but what could be inside? A fairy with wings? A boat painted blue? This lift-the-flap book is ideal for soon-to-be siblings.

LOVE YOUR WORLD; Dorling Kindersley, hardback, £6.99

Part of the 'Made with Care' series, Love Your World is full of pleasing images and simple text relaying 'green' messages to young children about issues such as recycling and turning down the heating.

PARK AND WOOD; by Katie Dicker; Evans Brothers, hardback, £10.99 each

Park and Wood are the latest additions to the 'Sparklers - Out and About' series, providing ideas and encouragement for children to explore the world around them through appealing sets of photographs.

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