Did you know that this week is Children’s Book Week?
Well I may not be a reviewer of Children’s books but how can I let a celebration of books pass by without some note?
I wanted to talk about my favourite books as a child but then I realised that I had too many favourite books as a child to have just one post. So today I’m only going to look at picture books. As a nursery worker I also want to highlight books I’ve discovered as an adult, so at some point this week there will be a (probably smaller) post on those picture books too.
This series of books were probably my favourite picture books as a child. They may even be responsible for my collection of toy monkeys. I used to borrow these from the library when I was younger. My memories of the library are so strongly connected with these books. I can still see the red book box in my mind and the colourful letters which make up the Pippo logo. Pippo is a pretty simple story. It’s a story of a boy (Tom) and his toy monkey (Pippo). Pippo does everything Tom does. Sometimes Tom talks through Pippo (e.g. Pippo wanted some cheese. But I ate it). The stories are all told through Tom’s voice. Unfortunately these books are now out of print, but it’s not too difficult to find a copy on Amazon marketplace (or similar), and I bought a collection of Pippo stories for my niece this way.
I think me and both my sisters read this one when we were young. The story is pretty basic. Titch is little. His brother and sister are big. His brother and sister always get the best things well Titch gets the little things. It is a bit of a thing in our family (or maybe just for Dad) to say “Titch held the nails” when someone has a little job to do! I’ve read this one to the kids at work too (I work in the toddler room of a nursery) and they still seem to like it. Apparently there is also a Titch TV show (or was), I do not like this idea one bit!
I still think what I like most about this book is the pictures, especially the beautiful butterfly at the end. I also love the idea of the caterpillar just eating anything and everything. I’m a little unsure about how commercialised The Very Hungry Caterpillar has become but it wouldn’t stop me reading the book when I have kids of my own.
David McKee is probably better known for Elmer but as a child (and now actually) I always preferred Two Monsters. Two Monsters live on either side of a mountain and talk to each other through a hole, one night they have a big argument and start throwing boulders at each other over the mountain, and shouting very funny insults. I love the pictures in all David McKee books and maybe that’s why I remember them all so vividly. I also loved Not Now Bernard where Bernard gets eaten by a monster and nobody realises. As an adult the details in the pictures in I Hate my Teddy Bear make it to most interesting to look at though.
I loved some of the little ideas in this book. The idea of the Tiger drinking all the water in the tap, and Sophie and her mother going out to buy tiger food. It’s probably a little outdated now, with Daddy being at work, and then coming to save the day when the tiger has eaten all the food in the cupboard, but it is still a beautiful story.
I still remember a lot of these stories now. Alfie gets in first where Alfie manages to lock himself in the house. The party where Alfie has to take his blanket. I remember lots of little details too like Alfie having L written on his left welly, and R on his right welly. Alfie feeding all the bears on his bowl breakfast.