Last Hallowe’en, my daughter decided she wanted to dress as a burglar. She chose the idea because “burglars are bad but not really scary like monsters or devils.” At school they are not allowed to dress in gruesome costumes but my kids believe that Hallowe’en costumes should be scary, to capture the true essence of the holiday.
One of our favourite books is Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg. We laugh at the antics of Bill and the baby, every time we read it. When another burglar book came their way, the girls were very eager to read it.
Izzy the very bad burglar tells the story of Izzy, a young burglar, who comes from a family of excellent burglars. Every time Izzy steals something, she gets a bad feeling in her stomach. Izzy tries to tell her parents but they tell her she must be a good burglar. Izzy tries different ways to make the feeling go away but it always returns, until eventually she finds a solution that might just work.
My 7-year-old shared her thoughts about the title,
I thought it was going to be about a burglar who is really bad, you know, like she does bad things but really the title means that she isn’t very good at being a burglar.
The underlying message of the book is to do what is right and not bow to peer pressure.This resonates perfectly with the 3-6 age group, who have a clear sense of right and wrong. It would be a perfect book for teachers to introduce a moral discussion. Teachers could talk about good and bad by introducing the following questions. Are burglars bad? Was Izzy bad?What does it mean to be bad? What made Izzy different to the other burglars? Do you ever get a feeling like Izzy did when you do something unkind?
Izzy the Very Bad Burglar is written and illustrated by Amy Proud is available in hardcover from May 3rd in the US and May 19th in the UK.
Disclaimer: We received a complimentary copy of this book.
To mark World book day, I thought I would list my top 5 books for under 5’s . I have chosen the books that the children enjoy, but also that I do not get tired of reading. There were lots on the shortlist but I think these are my favourites.
Any of the original Mr Men books by Roger Hargreaves. I loved these as a child and my children love them too. The stories are witty and clever without being too long and my eldest learned some really sophisticated vocabulary from them when she was 3 . When I was a child (much older than 5) my aunt worked in a bookshop and we would visit her and sit by the Mr Men shelf reading all the ones we didn’t have. Timeless.
Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne – not strictly for under 5’s but my eldest had a real thing about Winnie the Pooh when she was 3, to the point that Piglet was her imaginary friend and went everywhere with us. We used to have to listen to the audio books (with Stephen Fry and Judy Dench) in the car, but I never tired of them. This is a book that I first read as a university student and found it endearing and hilarious. Thankfully the children love it too. Some of the best quotes come from Winnie the Pooh.
Something Else by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell This is a heart warming story about a creature who is teased because he is different and then strikes up a friendship with another creature. It has beautiful illustrations and a quirky twist at the end.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Lauren Child – I love this one, a traditional story retold in an intelligent and witty way, in the way that only Lauren Child can. On my first reading it made me say ‘Wow!’ If you love Charlie and Lola you will love this too.
Burglar Bill by Janet and Alan Ahlberg –The comical story of a burglar who steals a box and later finds a baby inside. I really enjoy reading this one and acting out the voices of Burglar Bill and Burglar Betty. There are lots of funny bits in it that make the children laugh out loud.