Day 8 (Week 2, Day 1)We're into the second week! Only 979 books to go...but no worries at all about finding that many because there are thousands in Derbyshire's libraries and I've not really got past the ones we currently have in our house yet!
It's been a busy weekend for the children and Xander was asleep before we could start reading tonight, so unfortunately for him he missed out! I'm sure he'll catch up with some extras over the next few days :)
1) Ten Little Pirates - Mike Brownlow (Author) & Simon Rickerty (Illustrator)
The kids love pirates, they love bright colourful pictures, they love when they can join in with counting...we're onto a winner with this one! Everyone loves a good counting book, especially when your children are getting to grips with numbers (like Xander currently is), and the series that this is taken from has loads of fun titles on a similar theme.
I really love Simon Rickerty's drawing style in particular - they make me think of actual toy figures and so make the story all the more fun. I know that the children enjoy seeing the various inventive ways that the pirates disappear, and I particularly love the way they've managed to get a man-o-war into the story, rather than just a generic pirate ship!
Children always enjoy seeing a big series of books in a style that they enjoy, and there's no shortage of different themes to use with this (pirates, princesses, elves etc.) - it helps to get them excited about reading the next book, and anything that encourages them to read more is great in my book (pun totally intended)!
Chris says: We must've read this a hundred times by now - both Josh and Xander love counting down as the pirates disappear, and seeing the different ways in which they do so. I love getting them to do the counting down with me, and knowing that we've got other books in the series to draw upon is fantastic as it means we get to look forward to a different theme from time to time!
Josh says: I love all of it! Especially when all the pirate's friends come back to him at the end.
2) The Velveteen Rabbit - Adapted from the original by Margery Williams, Illustrated by Gareth Llewhellin
Firstly, apologies to whoever did the adaptation if it wasn't the illustrator, Gareth Llewhellin! I couldn't find any more detail anywhere in the book so for the time being I'm presuming he did it all!
Secondly, this is a much less traumatic version of the original story, so if you found that a bit too heart-wrenching then this is a much softer adaptation to share with your children! Less burning of stuffed animals afflicted by Scarlet Fever for one thing...
It still made me feel a tad emotional inside with such a lovely ending, and it's got some really lovely illustrations, particularly the scenes with the boy and the rabbit snuggled up together, where the former is clearly so happy to have his favourite toy with him.
Chris says: I've never dared read the original after my wife told me I'd spend the whole of it emotionally traumatised, so I'm very pleased to have read this adaptation where I can retain my innocence of the true story! All joking aside, it's a lovely tale and beautifully illustrated. A great way to introduce the story to younger readers without having to talk about some of the more emotionally intense moments!
Josh says: I loved it when the rabbit became real at the end because the boy loved him so much.
3) Love You Hoo - Rachel Bright (Author & Illustrator)
I'm a sucker for Rachel Bright's illustrations; they're fun, bright, and instantly recognisable as hers. Her stories are lovely too (we'll be reading Love Monster at some point this year for definite!), and I always get excited when I see a new book of hers. They're warm and funny, and they never fail to raise a smile!
I love reading all sorts of different books with the children, but I do admit that sometimes there's nothing better than reading a book about how much a parent and child love each other, so you can tell your child(ren) just how much you love them too.
Chris says: Call me soppy, but showing your kids how much you love them is one of the best parts of being a parent! That's why books like this can be great to read together, whether it's at the end of a stressful day when there have been a few tantrums and fallings out, or at the end of a wonderful day where you've had fun without any arguments at all.
Josh says: I liked when the little owl's mummy said she would always be there for him (N.B. I don't think it necessarily says that it's a mummy owl and her little boy, but I quite like that so you can the parents and children as either male or female, so it's a story for everyone!)
So, to summarise Day 8...
A lovely start to Week 2, with three feel-good stories to make us smile! I met the creators of the Ten Little... series at a picture book party (these things exist!) which was great, as I always like to tell authors and illustrators of the difference they've made to us with their stories. I was sad not to meet Rachel Bright as I think she was there too, which is where I picked up our copy of Love You Hoo.
Josh turned and smiled to me at the end of each story, and I can't think of a better way of acknowledging the joy of reading with your kids - if they can turn to you at the end of a book and smile because the book itself and the time they've spent with you reading it has made them smile, then it's the perfect way to spend an evening together!