Tuesday, 26 March 2013

"It's very Maurice Sendak if you will"

I have already posted about this review of my book, I wish there were dinosaurs, which I first came across on Goodreads. However I recently came across the full version on a blog with the lovely whimsical name of 'Giraffe days'. The description of this blog is "When you feel like sticking your neck out and reading something new". Shannon, the creator of this blog, writes about all sorts of different book genres, including the picture books that she shares with her young son.

As a new author, I am always thrilled to read complimentary views about my book. And even more thrilled to be compared to Maurice Sendak, creator of possibly the best picture book of all time, Where the wild things are:

I can imagine a child would really enjoy that blurring of reality and fantasy. It’s very Maurice Sendak, if you will.

Thank you, Shannon for your high praise. As author of the text of the book, however, I certainly can't take all the credit. Illustrator Christina Booth brought my words to life. A picture book is a very special fusion of language and images.

You can read the whole post by following the link below.


The blogging world is an amazing magical maze to explore, following links which connect like an infinite spider's web (hence the term world-wide web I guess). I spend many a fascinating evening following the threads through the children's literature blogging maze, never knowing what new treasures I might find. Giraffe Days is one of those treasures. And the exciting thing is, I know there are so many more treasures still to be discovered.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

An 'over and over' picturebook moment

You never know when or where you're going to have a wonderful picturebook-inspired moment. Recently in the most unlikely place (while visiting the bathroom at Ikea!) I overheard a mum and her 2 year old daughter chatting about "The very cranky bear" by Nick Bland. The little girl was pretending to be a bear. Her  mum joined in with the game and began reciting the text of the book. Her daughter joined in with growls and giggles and snippets of the text. Mum's memory of the text was word perfect, so I guessed they had shared the book many, many times. Clearly the book was special for both of them. A lovely book-inspired moment.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Toddler favourites

Around age two many children love to hear the same books over and over. Some particular favourite authors/illustrators for this age group are Eric Hill and Lynley Dodds.

The Spot books are winners, I think, because of the very uncluttered illustrations, the simple, playful narratives and the flaps.

Lynley Dodds' Hairy Maclary series have musical rhyming texts that are fun to recite. The rhyme and word play are really appealing for children discovering the joys of language.

It is lovely to have a series of picture books about the same characters. Very young children can get to know them and follow the lives and adventures of their favourite characters. They will often bring these roles into their pretend play, and in this way be exploring books even further.

Which authors/illustrators/series are your toddlers' favourites?

Have you discovered Oliver Jeffers?

Hopefully you're already familiar with the wonderfully imaginative and original picturebooks by Oliver Jeffers, but just in case you're not, go hunting in a bookshop or library and discover some wonderful new books to enjoy. Jeffers' ideas and his artistic style seem deceptively simple, but amazingly effective. Although his books can be read to preschoolers, they also appeal to much older children (and adults too!).

I recently read 'Stuck' for the first time. I laughed as much as the 8 year old I was reading it with. Very silly but totally hilarious.

Check out Oliver Jeffers website. Like it's creator, it is full of unique and fascinating things.


The magic of picture books

The picture says it all. In this digital age there are many forms of 'portable magic', but nothing beats a book.