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?