Another week, another trip to the library. This week our selection was more miss than hit – despite the promising titles – but still there are a few worth sharing.
Firstly is a Charlie and Lola. There are many, many in this series by Lauren Child, but this one, Slightly Invisible, was a particular hit with the girls. It deals with Charlie wanting some space from Lola – I’m surprised he puts up with his younger sister as much as he does! – but also features a slightly invisible Lola and a completely invisible Soren Lorenson (if you look very carefully you can find him on each page). The hunt for Soren Lorenson was the draw card for the girls and they have had a fabulous time racing each other, and me, to find him.
Second was by one of my favourite authors of both picture books and young reader books, Jackie French (I’ve read several with Year 7 English classes and would highly recommend them for late primary-early high school readers). Queen Victoria’s Christmas follows the original, Queen Victoria’s Underpants (another worthy of checking out). It’s told from the perspective of the Queen’s pets, two dogs and a parrot, and is an interesting take on the customary Christmas traditions. The illustrations by Bruce Whately are very funny.
Third is something of an abstract story, as children’s books go. It’s called Never Ever Before, by Stephen Michael King. It starts in the land of small, when Big is born, followed by Talls. Each being, small, big and tall, bring their own unique qualities that when put altogether make a world that is safe yet adventurous. Quite a good message for our world today.
The fourth selection was Emily and the Dragon, by Lyn Lee and David Cornish. Emily is a girl, who despite the laughs and teasing of Jock, wants to be a dragon hunter. Together with her chicken friend Egg, she sets off to find a dragon and on her journey finds a witch who wants some friends, a knight who wants to knit and eventually a dragon who wants…… I love the message of breaking through stereotypes – one my girls need constantly emphasized – and this is a particularly fun way to get that message across.
FInally, is a book we own that I’ve been meaning to recommend for months. It’s called The Runaway Hug by Nick Bland and Freya Blackwood. Lucy, a loving and affectionate young girl, shares her mother’s last hug with everyone in her family, including the dog who runs away with it. Lucy is worried she has lost her mother’s very last hug. This book is gorgeous as much for the wonderful illustrations – as a mother I LOVE the fact that Lucy’s house is messy, disorganised and chaotic because that is exactly the way family life is – as for the simple, meaningful storyline!
So until next week’s list, grab your kids or grandkids, head to the library, curl up on the couch or sit in the reading circle/tent/bed (we have many designated reading spots!) and enjoy the amazing array of children’s books. Oh and don’t forget to send some recommendations my way.