This is a very clever book which features two stories – the first one you read traditionally from the front cover, then you flip the book over to read the second story from the back cover. The two stories meet in the middle which makes for a very smart twist.
The Spots are little red dots who live at the bottom of a very steep hill. They live in little tent-like pods and they love to bounce around and have fun. However the Spots live in fear of the terrible Dots who are rumoured to live on the other side of the hill. From when they are babies, the Spots are taught by their parents that they must never go up to the top of the hill because the terrible Dots will take them away. The story is passed down through generations of Spots and the children play games of Spot vs Dot where they always come out on top.
Flip the book over and we see another little community, telling a story which is somewhat familiar…
It’s time for another chapter book review and this one is the first in a fab series which will have your kids laughing out loud!
Bear wakes up early from hibernation to discover that someone has sneaked in to her cave and stolen all of her food. How rude! But Bear is a ‘glass half full’ kind of girl so she decides to make the most of her early start by building a snowman.
Whilst rolling the snow into a suitable shape she encounters a rabbit who doesn’t quite share her joyful view of the world. Rabbit is grumpy and he wants everyone to know about it. Rabbit has never built a snowman but he knows that if he did it would definitely be better than Bear’s!
As the two busy themselves on their creations they start to talk and Rabbit gives Bear a rundown on how awful it is to be a bunny. He even lets slip that he has to eat his own poo!
Bob is an artist and he’s very proud of his work. He revels in the fact he’s the best artist in town, so he’s not very happy when Roy suddenly makes an appearance.
Roy is a sculptor and his creations are so wacky that everyone is talking about him. Naturally Bob is less than impressed. He seeks out this new ‘artist’ and discovers that he makes giant versions of everyday objects – like a giant hamburger (the HAMMYbammyCHEESYbunny) and a giant paintbrush (the GREENblobPAINTBRUSHsplob).
Bob refuses to believe that these sculptures can be classed as art and he tells Roy so. Roy counters that anyone can make boring old paintings. An argument ensues and the pair become locked in a bitter feud, trying to prove who is the best artist in town.
This adorable board book follows best friends Bear and Mouse as they start their day. We follow along as they wake up, make plans, cook breakfast, get dressed and head out for some fun at the park.
Every page features a slider or flaps for little hands to play with. Your child will be able to help Mouse do his morning stretch, make toast pop out of a toaster, do up Bear’s coat and help the friends go up and down on a little red see-saw.
There are also lots of questions to encourage children to think about the structure of their own morning. What do they like for breakfast? Can they dress themselves? What are their favourite activities?
Wanda’s words have a sneaky habit of getting stuck. Whenever she tries to speak, the words just won’t come out and this makes her feel nervous and small in front of her teacher and the other children. Everyone else just seems so confident so why can’t she be the same?
Wanda struggles along until one day a new girl joins her class. Flo looks nervously at her new classmates before dropping her eyes to the ground and blushing. In the playground Wanda gives her a little wave and a smile and soon the two are playing quietly alongside each other. They slip into an easy and comfortable friendship where few words are needed. The two girls just seem to ‘get’ each other.
Later that week their teacher announces something which terrifies them both – a school magic contest in which they will have perform a spell in front of the class! Flo and Wanda decide to work together but when the big day arrives they are both dizzy with nerves.
I am a tiny bit fascinated by the animal fables which have been passed down through many generations and cultures. I love trying to piece together the moral at the core of the story and the fact they’re often accompanied by traditional illustrations in bright and bold colours.
This particular book is a modern reworking of ‘the monkey and the crocodile’ which comes from the Panchatantra, an ancient indian collection of fables which dates back to 200-300 AD.
Miss Bandari is a monkey with a heart of gold who befriends an old crocodile called Mr Magarmach. He is hungry and tired so she lets him rest beneath her tree and she throws down juicy red plums for him to eat. The pair become best pals and they spend many hours together, sharing tales of adventure and enjoying each others company.
Oscar has lost a tooth and he’s worried that this will stop him from making friends. It’s tough being a skeleton at the best of times, but surely no one will want to play with him now when he looks so dreadful? Sad and lonely, Oscar resigns himself to the fact that his dog will probably be the only friend he ever has.
But then one day he spots a little girl burying a tooth in the ground. She has heard that doing so will make her dreams come true and what she wants more than anything is to find a friend. She agrees to give the tooth to Oscar if he will help her on her quest, so they join hands and set off together on an adventure.
Oscar and the girl spend the most wonderful day together, discussing what they would do if they each found a friend. The girl shows him a rainbow and her favourite meadow. They smell the cut grass and talk of family and the seaside. Then Oscar leads her in to his own world which is dark and mysterious. They watch skeletons skate on the ice and listen to a strange creature with pointy teeth play the harp.
This contemporary fairy tale about an unlikely friendship is breathtakingly beautiful and wonderfully atmospheric. If your child is a fan of intrigue and suspense then I would highly recommend The Wolf’s Secret.
In a forest far away lives an enormous wolf with deep, dark fur and big, golden eyes. All of the other animals fear him, but the wolf harbours a secret. He is in love with a young woman who lives in a wooden cabin hidden deep within the trees. Every day he secretly listens to her sing as she collects water from the well and tends to her sick father.
But then one morning the young woman fails to appear so the Wolf edges closer to the cabin. He sees his love sobbing on her father’s empty bed and her sadness consumes him.
In the middle of the forest stands a tiny little Mouse, daydreaming of her very first home. Her thoughts are disturbed by a Frog who explains that his pond has dried up so he has no place to go. Mouse takes this to be a sign and she suggests that they build a house together.
As construction begins, more animals appear and each has a sad tale to tell. There are rabbits who have been chased from their home by an eagle, birds who have had their tree chopped down and a big brown bear who feels isolated because his size scares people.
Mouse comforts each displaced creature in turn and invites them to be a part of her project. Soon they are all working together to build the perfect home, where they can all reside safely together.
Have you read ‘There’s A Bear On My Chair‘ by Ross Collins? It’s been a firm favourite in our house for years and was one of the books I reviewed way back in the early days of Ivy’s Library.
Now the cheeky duo are back and the tables have been turned. In the first book, Mouse was extremely annoyed at Bear for sitting in his chair and refusing to move. This time it’s Bear’s turn to feel the frustration because Mouse has taken up residence in his house and is driving him crazy!
Poor Bear. All he wants to do is relax in his own home but Mouse just won’t go away and his hobbies are a little extreme. From practising Taekwondo and pretending to be a pirate through to blasting out soft rock and eating the contents of the fridge, Mouse is not a good house guest at all.