Monday, 26 March 2012

What the Ladybird Heard: Review

What did the ladybird hear?!
Title: What the Ladybird Heard
Author: Julia Donaldson
Illustrator: Lydia Monks
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Year: First published 2009/ This edition 2010
Found: Borrowed from library

What's It All About?!
The farm is a very noisy place, each animal has their own sound but the ladybird says nothing at all. One night, the ladybird hears something. Something very important indeed. She overhears two robbers plotting to steal the farmers prize cow and it's down to ladybird to whisper a plan into each animal's ear...
I don't know how this has happened, but this is the first time that I have read this story. Even as a nursery nurse, and with a copy probably within reach, I haven't picked it up! But I would definitely recommend this to fellow parents/child care professionals. Reading it to OJ was a pleasure.

This is a delightfully funny story; told through rhyme that we have come to expect and love of Julia Donaldson (Gruffalo, Gruffalo's child, Monkey Puzzle, etc).

The illustrations are bold and colourful and we enjoyed finding the glittery ladybird on each page. OJ especially liked the texture.
The rhyme and pictures really assisted in helping to maintain OJ's attention; and there was plenty for us to look at and discuss.

I thought it was clever how the story was put together and how the robbers (Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len) were tricked by the animals and how the would-be thieves ended up in the pond... and police car!

I really like how the story shows that being quiet and listening is as important as being loud and heard.

Loved joining in with all the animal noises and especially liked the appearance of the police car... "NEENAH-NEENAAAAAAH!"

Book worm rating:
out of 5! (It's a winner!)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Ping Pong Pig - Review

Pigs might fly?
Title: Ping Pong Pig
Author: Caroline Jayne Church
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Year: 2008
Found: Borrowed from library

What's It All About?!
All the animals on the farm are very busy with their chores, all but Ping Pong. He is busy with his own thing -trying to fly and unfortunately, being a bit of a nuisance. It's the last straw when Ping Pong undoes all of their hard work with all his leaping about. The animals come up with a solution. A trampoline and instructions to use it in the quiet corner of the field whilst the animals continue with their chores! Ping Pong is so touched by his friends kindness that he decides to put things right...

The illustrations are bold with a cartoon-rounded look, which really make the characters attractive and stand out. This coupled with the simplicity of the story's language, meant OJ 's attention was maintained and he could retell the story with the help of the pictures.
Ping Pong can't resist one last attempt at trying to fly and ends up sending the fish in the pond flying instead - much to the delight of OJ. The story really taps into the humour of a young child (and the adult partaking in the story time!) which I really admire of the author.
I feel this is a story that demonstrates friendship and teamwork. It encourages children to think about helping others.
This book was a real pleasure to share.

"Pigs can't fly mummy!"

Book worm rating:
out of 5!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Ernest : Review

"Simply Gorgeous"... Daily Mail

Title: Ernest
Author: Catherine Rayner
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Year: 2009
Found: Borrowed from library

What's It All About?!
This is Ernest. He is a moose. A very BIG moose and he can't seem to quite fit into the book. He is very disappointed. Then his small friend has a big idea..
When I first picked up this book, I was a little uncertain to start with. The image on the front cover didn't draw me in; but then again, we were in a rush at the library and OJ was having trouble choosing. I'm glad we did though, as OJ has asked for this story each night out of all the stories we choose together.
The story is simple, a quick read before bedtime. The character Ernest, is faced with a dilemma; he can't fit inside the book. His small friend (we don't learn their name, but it's a little chipmunk character) comes up with an idea, and together, they manage to fit Ernest inside.
The language is simple yet provides a child with lots of opportunity to extend their vocabulary. Lots of lovely descriptive words such as, squidge, shimmy and scrumple. The text is not set, it is in varied font (size/style) and this makes for very eye catching and interesting pages for the reader.
It's a lovely story that looks at friendship and the concepts big and small.
At the end of the story, the reader has to unfold a page at the back, which works brilliantly with the story.

"What shall we read tonight OJ?"
"Ernesd!" (He still working on the 'T' sound on the end of words... bless him.)

Book worm rating:
 out of 5!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Bookstart Celebrates Being 20!

Bookstart was the first national bookgifting programme in the world.

Booktrust initiated Bookstart in Birmingham in 1992 and are now celebrating 20 years of supporting and encouraging families to share books with their children.

Bookstart provides:
  • Free books to share

  • Support and guidance about reading to children

  • An opportunity to engage with other families at vibrant and fun community events

  • A place to find everything you need to share books, stories and rhymes online.

In celebration of this incredible achievement, Bookstart are asking for people to take the pledge of sharing 20 books in 2012.

Please visit to make the pledge and to discover more about Bookstart.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Cock-A-Doodle Quack-Quack! : Review

Title: Cock-A-Doodle-Quack!Quack!
Author: Ivor Baddiel and Sophie Jubb; illustrated by Ailie Busby
Publisher: Picture Corgi
Year: 2006
Found: Borrowed from library

What's It All About?!
Baby cockerel is having a tough time. It's his job to wake everyone up but he doesn't know how.
He asks all the animals what they say in hopes to find the sound he should be making, but none of his attempts work until cat points him in the direction of wise old owl.

I very much like the idea of this story; it is simple and a lot of fun. Repetition and animal noises keep children engaged and encouraged to join in.
In the story, the wise old owl tells the young cockerel to listen. The following morning, he follows the advice but the story does not state that the baby cockerel heard another cockerel on another farm, just that he tries to copy a noise. I found it difficult to explain this to OJ but I feel that older children will grasp the idea.
This book would be great in a farm yard/animal noises topic in early years settings.

The first time I read this; OJ was in hysterics that baby cockerel wasn't making the right noise. He was delighted that he could tell me all the various noises that each animal makes and what noise baby cockerel should have been making! OJ loves farm yard stories and the story, a little longer than our usual choosing, still held his attention.

Book worm rating:
 out of 5!

Rhino's Great Big Itch: Reveiw

Title: Rhino's Great Big Itch!
Author: Natalie Chivers
Publisher: Little Tiger Press
Year: 2010
Found: Borrowed from library

What's It All About?!
Poor rhino has an itch that he just can't reach... it's right in his ear.Bird offers to help but rhino can't believe that someone so small can do the job and rushes off to find someone to help...

What stands out immediately are the beautiful and clear illustrations. the story is wonderfully simple and to the point.

The simplicity of the story will easily maintain a child's attention and I would suggest that children of around two and up will enjoy this story.

It encourages a child to understand that even the most of unlikely of helpers may be the most successful - Little things can do big things perhaps?!

I would recommend this as a story for bed time/carpet time in a young child care setting.

Because it was so simple, OJ wanted this story again and again. It wasn't long before he was joining in and could tell me what was going to happen next.

Book worm rating:
 out of 5!