Friday, October 11, 2013

lucking out at the library

Our most recent trip to the library was a very fruitful one, with five out of six books proving a hit with both Dulcie and I.  I thought I might share them here for any picture-book fans amongst you. 
 Hickory Dickory Dog by Alison Murray is a reworking of the classic nursery rhyme, this time about a dog who follows his owner to nursery for the day and has a whale of a time but does get a little messy.  Dulcie loves nursery rhymes, clocks and dogs, so this rhyming number was a sure-fire winner with her and was a great way to introduce the topic of nursery, showing her how fun it would be.  The modern illustrations are lovely for all to behold too.
 Stanley's Stick is written by John Hegley and illustrated by Neal Layton.  John Hegley's a poet and it shows!  Dulcie and I both loved this book, but I know a lot of the other adults in our lives were not so keen.  I will admit it can be quite tricky to read if you are prone to lisping, with many sentences rather S-heavy.  The story is very simple - Stanley has a stick that he uses for all sorts of imaginative play, he throws the stick in the sea one day ("Gosh, what a tiny splosh for something that has been so big in Stanley's days..." Love!) and then finds a different stick to play with.  Dulcie does have quite a thing for sticks, but I like to think she would have enjoyed this book regardless.  It just has a lovely gentleness to it and is so nice to read together, all snuggled up.  Beautiful.
Julia Donaldson.  Julia Donaldson, Julia Donaldson, Julia Donaldson...  She's everywhere.  How many books has this woman written?!  I think she must knock one out every time she visits the toilet, but so far we haven't come across one that Dulcie didn't love and The Singing Mermaid is no exception.  Illustrated by the awesome Lydia Monks there really is, as the cover claims, GLITTER ON EVERY PAGE.  Yes, this is one sparkly, sparkly book, but all that glitter doesn't out-shine the rhyming text in the least, or the story, which is about a mermaid who is hoodwinked into joining money-mad Sam Sly's circus.  She misses her home terribly, until a seagull and an acrobat devise a cunning escape plan...  Dulcie loves this book so much (I'm going to have to buy her a copy, I think) and even asks me to recite passages from it when the book is nowhere to be seen.  She rubs her hands together and says, "Meppa!  Hands!"  ("Meppa" is how she says "mermaid" for some reason...)  I then have to recite the passage where Sam Sly rubs his hands in glee and gives the mermaid the smooth-talking hard sell to get her to join the circus.  This may be as much down to my incredible cockney accent as much as Julia Donaldson's writing, though, I must admit!

All these books had to go back to the library (overdue as usual, naughty me) this week and I was very sad to see them go.  Have you read any great picture books lately?


  1. I LOVE Stick Man by Julia Donaldson and will read it time and time again. Our picture books (we still have loads) are for slightly older children - The Great Dog Bottom Swap is brilliant and so is Walter The Farting Dog (can you tell the girls love bottom humour!) You Choose (just google it) is brilliant as you can choose who you would be, which bed, house, furniture, food etc etc you would get. We've had it since Anya was little and Tara was actually re-reading it last night before bed!

    1. I don't know Stick Man, but I think someone else recommended it on a previous blog post of mine way back when. I really should check it out! I love You Choose too, have read that with my nieces and nephew and had great fun doing it! Thanks for all the recommendations - Dulcie is already developing a taste for bum humour, so I'm sure many of them will come in useful :)

    2. I will have to look out for Stanley's Stick...
      John Hegley is hilarious, he has recently come to perform in 2 of our local libraries and i went along to both shows which were great! Jimmy is a stick fan, we come back with sticks every day he goes for a walk- we have a pile outside and it must look like we are building a bonfire!!
      Tabby McTat and Tiddler are other Julia Donaldson faves at the mo...

    3. You DEFINITELY need to look out for Stanley's Stick then! And how many books has Julia Donaldson written?! Mind you, at least one of her books is a rip-off of another fairly obscure book I had as a child. Maybe she's stealing all her ideas from books purchased in library sales etc...? Either that or she's prolific and incredibly talented. Yeah, the latter seems more likely as a scenario actually... :)

    4. I know it mad how many books she's done! I think you mean 'A Squash and a Squeeze'?? I think it's from all old folk tale and we have another version of it too 'the little, little house' by jessica souhami.. which funnily enough came from the library booksale!!

    5. Yes, that's the one I mean. Our version was called Too Much Noise and was by Ann McGovern. My mum made us donate it to our Brownie jumble sale when we were clearing out pre house move, but my sister and I bought it back from the book stall and I still have it now. I really didn't want to like A Squash And A Squeeze but I have to admit it's pretty good and it's one of Dulcie's favourites.


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