Day 2 (Week 1, Day 2)Day 2 of the Picture Book Challenge. Tricky old Day number 2...
Except it's not really all that tricky, because it involves the fun of reading to one's children, which is awesome!
So, without further ado, on with the mini-reviews of today's books!
1) Mr Gumpy's Motor Car - John Burningham
A delightful little tale of an outing in Mr Gumpy's motor car for the eponymous hero and some human and animal friends, through sun and rain and back again. A lovely example of how stories can be simple in plot yet still entertaining for children, particularly with lovely warm illustrations like they are here. It might just be short trip that they take, but it's nice to be along with them for the journey!
Chris says: A lovely tale about a car trip out, with the added bonus of a random group of talking animals joining them. You can't go wrong with talking animals - children always love them!
Josh says: I love the name Mr 'Gumpy' - very funny!
Xander says: N.B. Xander was off doing something else during this story - he joined us for the next one!
2) Goodnight Digger - Michelle Robinson (Author) & Nick East (Illustrator)
The front cover promises it to be 'the perfect bedtime book!', and this story about saying goodnight to your favourite toys is definitely an excellent one to read before your children go to sleep! There's rhyming and repetitive phrases for your kids to get their teeth into, and it's also extremely bright and colourful, with the added joy of the word placement on the page adding to the fun.
Chris says: This book means a lot to us for a couple of reasons. When Josh was coming up to his 2nd birthday, we had to read it every single night for about three months before bed, and by that time he was pretty much re-telling it all himself, which was wonderful. For the first time tonight, Xander did exactly the same so that was absolutely fantastic!
Josh: I love saying the 'Goodnight digger' bit again and again, and also how the boy gets to sleep with his digger in bed.
Xander: I read it again? (N.B. As mentioned above, Xander then read this out loud to Josh and myself, telling most of the story before finishing with a triumphant 'Goodnight digger!'. What could be better than seeing your child, who can't actually read, love a story so much that he has to go and re-tell it himself just from the pictures? Fantastic imagination!)
3) Harry and the Dinosaurs United - Ian Whybrow (Author) & Adrian Reynolds (Illustrator)
Most parents who've read lots of picture books with their children will likely be familiar with the Harry and the Dinosaurs series, telling the adventures of Harry and his bucketful of plastic dinosaurs. Adrian Reynolds illustrations are very recognisable, and the stories contain the mischief that children love combined with a good message that parents will be happy to tell. This particular tale is about Harry and his football team learning about teamwork in time for a match against a rival team.
Chris: We've read lots of this series (haven't most parents?!), and this is a very enjoyable tale. It's a gentle message about how working together as a team can be more important than individual brilliance, which is of course a message I'm keen for my kids to learn, and I do enjoy the lovely bright illustrations that Adrian Reynolds draws.
Josh: I like that Nan made them special t-shirts to wear together in their team.
So, to summarise Day 2
Three more fun books to continue our challenge, all with topics to make children and adults alike smile. I do have give particular note to Goodnight Digger however - it's been a firm favourite for a couple of years in our household, but what makes it such a strong book for children is that its bright illustrations, along with memorable toys and repetitive phrasing, make it easy for children to begin re-telling the story themselves by following it from page to page. It was brilliant when Josh started doing it a couple of years ago, but to hear Xander go through it all this evening was even better, as it brought back memories of the former and also gave us another example of how well Xander's imagination is developing.
One for every parent of a toddler to try!