Ivy and I both love books that are a little bit crazy, so when NERP! landed in our laps we instantly fell in love. Every single word of the story is quite literally utter nonsense, but somehow the whole thing makes perfect sense!
The premise will be very familiar to any parents out there with picky eaters. We see an enthusiastic mum and dad present their child with a series of lovingly prepared dishes in the hope that they might actually eat something, but nothing is quite right.
The frizzle frazzle hotchy potch? NERP! Mushy gushy bloobarsh? NERP! Even the garble snarfy barflecrunch and the yuckaroni smackintosh are rejected with a massive NERP! Will anything make this pesky child say YERP or SLURP?
Ivy is an extremely picky eater so I like to keep an eye out for books which might encourage her to expand her tastes a little. Results are generally a bit hit and miss but we have had some success with this one so I wanted to share it with you.
The child in the story loves dinosaurs but absolutely does not like broccoli! She refuses to try it or even touch it because she thinks it looks yucky. But mum steps in with a thought which makes her think twice. She cleverly points out that broccoli looks like tiny trees and dinosaurs like to eat trees…
The girl (who is dressed in a dinosaur costume) asks if her toy dinosaur can try it first – and together they take baby steps towards a first mouthful of broccoli.
Piper Crow is a little bird with a very special brother called Otto. Otto is on the autism spectrum which means that he sees the world a little differently, and sometimes other people don’t understand him.
This beautifully illustrated story follows a day in the life of the two siblings as they face new challenges together.
We learn that Otto loves the colour yellow. In fact, he loves yellow so much that he needs everything to be yellow – from his clothes and his toys right through to his drinks and his food. When things aren’t yellow, Otto is very unhappy. Otto likes to spin in circles, go extra high on the swings and hold his hands over his ears when things get too loud. Piper also tells us that Otto is non-verbal, so he uses a tablet to communicate.
Daddy Fartypants has a problem – he farts ALL THE TIME! And what’s worse is that he never owns up. Every time he does a bottom burp he blames someone else, whether that’s a tiny baby, a snail or a bear on the telly. It’s all a bit too much for his poor son who is embarrassed by both the smell and the white lies.
But then one day Daddy Fartypants gets a taste of his own medicine when his son’s new teacher, Miss Lovelybear lets out a massive paaaaaaarp and blames it on him! Daddy Fartypants is mortified, but is it enough to make him to change his ways?
Most parents will be familiar with the sense of trepidation you feel when starting a busy day with a small child in tow. You know it’s *possible* that everything could go to plan, but realistically you’re going to be late for everything (if you even manage to get out of the door at all).
Such is the plight of Mama Bear who has a very long list of things she needs to achieve before the end of the day, starting with dance class and a trip to the supermarket.
Little Bella Bear has other ideas though. She wants to bounce on her bed. She wants to wear the red outfit and not the blue outfit. She wants to count the stairs slowly on her way down. She wants an elaborate breakfast (which she inevitably wouldn’t eat!). She doesn’t want to brush her teeth. She might want to use the potty though – but not until it’s time to leave, and not without reading at least 3 books whilst she ‘tries’. Sound familiar?
There’s no getting around it, Sid Gibbons is a little bit naughty. Just this week he’s smashed a bird bath, thrown his dinner on the floor, trashed his bedroom and left his colouring pens on the floor for so long that they’ve all dried out. His poor mum doesn’t know what to do, because when she asks him about these misdemeanours he just lies and says that his imaginary friend Kevin did it all. Kevin is invisible and no one can see him except Sid, so he’s the perfect fall guy.
Then one day, when Sid has once again been sent to bed for being naughty, a hatch in the ceiling opens and a bright light appears. Sid climbs up to take a peek and finds himself faced with none other Kevin himself – he is real! Sid is super excited to see his (incredibly cute and fluffy!) friend and they have lots of fun playing together. However it soon becomes apparent that in Kevin’s world, it is Sid who is the invisible friend.
Sally is the smallest girl in the school, which means that most of time people don’t notice her. She passes unseen in the school corridors but she is very special because she notices absolutely everything.
She sees the tiny details all around her, but most importantly she sees the people and how they behave with one another. She watches as the children are unkind to each other in the playground, and she notices how this makes the bullied and excluded kids feel. She watches as mean words are exchanged and tears fall.
And then one day Sally decides she’s had enough.
The tiny little girl steps out of the lunch line in the cafeteria, raises her hand in the air to quieten the room and then she opens her mouth and tells everyone what she has observed and how it should change. She expects to be laughed at but one by one she sees hands slowly rise in to the air in solidarity.
Since discovering the joy that is Tracey Corderoy, Ivy and I have been on a mission to read all of her books. We have devoured all of the Shifty McGifty picture books and now we are loving this Hubble Bubble series about a very unusual grandparent.
The little girl in the story wants to tel us all about her Granny, who happens to be a little bit different. She dresses all in black, has a pointy hat, keeps frogs and bats as pets and the food she serves is extremely unconventional! She loves her granny but sometimes she wishes she could be a little bit more like the kind of grannies her friends have.
She suggests to her Granny that it might be fun to have a makeover day together and she sets about making little changes which she thinks will make her more ‘normal’. They knit some hats together, travel in to town by bus (rather than broomstick!), buy some new clothes and get their hair done. By the time they are finished, her Granny looks just like all the other grannies in the street.
The animals in this story are about to sit down for dinner, but nothing about this particular meal is going to be straightforward.
Chimp’s food is too hot, Duck won’t eat his carrots, Goose has forgotten his manners, Hyena is licking the bowl and Moth is busy nibbling on the wash cloth. It’s mayhem!
Finally the plates are empty – but will the naughty animals help clean up after themselves or do they have other ideas?
This brightly-coloured board book is perfect for younger toddlers, especially if they are picky eaters (like Ivy!) or are still learning the rules of the dinner table. They rhyme is bouncy and fun and we love the detail in the pictures. Ivy likes to point out the fact that the kangaroo has popped some carrots in her pouch for later!
When Mummy Cow announces that it’s time for bed she’s not surprised when her little calves say no. After all, resisting bedtime is just what kids do. However these siblings have a very unusual reason for not wanting to catch some Zzzzs – they’re Supercows!
They excitedly explain to their mum that they can’t possibly go to bed because they simply have too much to do. Their Supercow duties include catching pirates, rescuing dragons from angry princesses, fixing broken tractors and fighting foes. If they go to sleep then who will be there to save the world? Fortunately Mummy Cow has a cunning plan…