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.
As I was browsing books for the younger ones for Christmas, I discovered a brand new Charlie and Lola book called ‘One Thing’. With great excitement, I quickly contacted friends from the UK who were coming to visit and asked them to bring a copy. I didn’t know what it was about but as the Charlie and Lola books are amongst our favourites, I was looking forward to finding out.
As an additional surprise, a new Ruby Redfort book popped into my recommended items. It may seem a little sad, but I react in the same way to a new Lauren Child book as I would to news of a concert from my favourite artist. My eldest daughter loves Ruby Redfort and I usually pre-order them but somehow I had missed this one. Her face was a picture when she unwrapped it on Christmas day. She says this is her 2nd favourite in the series, beaten marginally by the first book. On finishing the book, she immediately wrote a letter to Lauren Child, explaining how much she enjoyed it, asking her questions and telling her about her own life. Through Lauren Child’s writing, children sense a genuine interest in what they think, feel and do which I believe, compelled my daughter to correspond.
One Thing is Lauren Child’s 5th Charlie and Lola book. Most Charlie and Lola books are adapted from the television scripts. The television series is based on Lauren Child’s characters and she collaborates closely with the script writers but there are only 5 Charlie and Lola books written by Lauren Child:-
We love the television series but the Charlie and Lola books from the series don’t have the same sparkle for me, so I am always brimming with excitement when a new one from Lauren Child is released.
‘One Thing’ did not disappoint my giant expectations. In usual Lauren Child fashion, ‘One Thing’ captures perfectly the workings of a young child’s mind. The story begins when ‘mum’ promises Charlie and Lola ‘one thing’ when they go shopping. The book takes you on a number journey, tapping into the minds of children like my own, who count everything and work out number problems in their head.
Lola talks about numbers and Charlie gets frustrated, adding up the time it takes Lola to get anywhere. All of the number references are displayed as sums, puzzles or hidden numbers in the illustrations. It is a wonderful introduction to maths for young children but ‘One Thing’ is more than an educational number book. The book recognises the natural way that children see numbers everywhere and is full of discoveries for an inquisitive mind.
One Thing is a delight for adults to read. I particularly identified with Lola’s constant distractions and Charlie and mum’s negotiations with her,
“What are you doing?” I say.
Lola says “I am just trying to count the dots on my dress but I am not sure what comes after twelve.”
I say “Missing going to the shops comes after twelve.”
It is a perfect example of a picture book where text and illustrations are dependent on one another, each enriching the other. I asked the girls what they liked about the book,
“I like finding all the numbers” said my 5-year-old “and I like Charlie and Lola”.
Each time we read it we find something new, from the title page with handwritten numbers,
…to discovering the number of minutes it takes Charlie to get ready hidden in the pictures,
“Oh look the toothpaste is a number 3”.
This was their favourite page.
They returned to it multiple times, trying to find the numbers hidden on the birds. We couldn’t find a number 3, perhaps you will have better luck.
Thank you Lauren Child for another book to treasure.
One Thing is available in hardback in the UK and for pre-order in the US.
Disclaimer: This is a personal recommendation. I completely, absolutely did not get paid or get free stuff for writing this post.
I think it is a great landmark in children’s language development when they begin to understand jokes. At first they are not remotely funny but they begin to understand the formula behind jokes and to remember ones that they find funny. My 8 year old and 3 year old love jokes and we are often subjected to hours of awful jokes in the car or at the dinner table. Their favourite is
Why didn’t the worm go into the Ark in an apple?
Because they had to go in pairs.
They have even invented a game for us to play in the car. My 8 year old gives the punchline and we have to guess what the joke is. This is very hard especially as she leaves little room for creative licence, it ends up as an annoying variation to cryptic crosswords. I do think however this would be a great school task, understanding and creating jokes would be an entertaining way to improve children’s language comprehension and creative writing.
The jokes from the joke book in the car have been wearing a bit thin so when we were offered the chance to review ‘My First Justin’s Jokes’ I thought we might finally get some new ones. This is a perfect joke book for young children as it is full of pictures, with 2 or 3 jokes to each page and can be read in one sitting. My personal favourite
Who’s there ?
A perfect joke for little boys.
I have 5 copies of My First Justin’s Jokes to giveaway. To enter make me smile by telling a joke, funny story or posting a link to a humourous blog post or picture. My 5 favourites will win a copy of the book.
Terms and conditions
Winners will be chosen at midnight on 3rd June and notified by email.