Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Storytime is now on Monday mornings at 10.30am.

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion

Harry comes from a 1950's perfect household, which is probably why he's even more endearingly naughty. Harry runs away from home, just to avoid a bath, but when he returns he's too dirty for his family to recognise. He'll have to think fast. This book has been a favourite of mine ever since I was a child and I still love it now.

Dogfish by Gillian Shields

Sometimes, you find a book that reads like a child thinks. Where "we'll see" really means "no" and there's a chance that maybe, just maybe your hypnotising eyes will work on a grown up and you'll get what you want. What this little boy wants is a puppy, but it's the goldfish who has mastered the hypnosis, and more besides.

Angus and the Ducks by Marjorie Flack

This book was written in America in the 1930s and tells the cautionary tale of a curious little dog who upsets a couple of ducks. It hasn't dated badly, although I'm not sure any "gentlemen" would wear "suspenders" any more.

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell

"I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet, they sent me a..." so begins this classic board book with little flaps to open the packages from the zoo. None of the animals that come from the zoo are good pets, except for the last one. A puppy!

Hondo and Fabian by Peter McCarty

The illustrations in this book are subtle and beautiful. The story compares the day had by hondo the dog and Fabian the cat, as Hondo goes to the beach and Fabian tries to avoid playing with the baby.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Storytime at Cover to Cover bookstore is about to change from Friday to Monday mornings.

This week we will still be there on Friday at 10.30am, then we will have a week off and return on Monday September 28th at 10.30am. I hope we'll see you there.

This week, instead of a theme, I'll just be reading some favourites.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
This is a classic, with a caterpillar so hungry he eats through pages of fruits and then moves on to cake and sausage, which gives him a tummy ache. There are many different editions of this book, including a beautiful pop up version, which I'll be reading from.

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham
Yes it's very old and contains a coal chute. But it's also the story of a naughty dog and it's crammed with opposites (black and white, clean and dirty, fast and slow, sad and happy, awake and asleep) and contains the words "flip-flopped and flop-flipped" which many preschoolers find simply hilarious.

Ben and Gran and the Whole Wide Wonderful World by Gillian Shields and Katharine McEwen
Ben lives on one side of the world and Gran lives on the other, but there is no stopping this Gran as she uses every possible method of transport (yes, including a camel) to get to Ben, who is her favourite person in all the world.

My Truck is Stuck by Kevin Lewis and Daniel Kirk
This is a strange book, the meter is complicated and the rhymes are seemingly random. But the subject matter and bright illustrations, make it a really popular choice. It also has some sneaky counting in it.

Melvin Might by Jon Scieszka, David Shannon, David Gordon, and Loren Long
Jon Scieszka has just finished his term as the Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Melvin Might was one of his projects, designed to interest young boys in reading, the whole Truck Town series is about trucks who get into trouble and do daring and dangerous things, which they shouldn't be doing. In this particular Truck Town book, Melvin the cement mixer finds he has to be brave to save his friend.

Friday, September 11, 2009

An Extra Cat!

I've just received this cat/monkey book as a gift and it was so good I read it this morning at storytime:

Little Beauty by Anthony Browne

Anthony Browne is the UK Children's Laureate and this is one of many of his books. Little Beauty is a tiny kitten who is a companion to a gorilla who can use sign language. The illustrations are incredibly beautiful and emotive. This is definitely a new favourite.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Slinky Malinki
by Lynley Dodd
A cat of dubious character spends his nights collecting interesting things from around the neighbourhood. It ends in disgrace. This book reads like a real action adventure story, lots of building tension and intrigue.

Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup
I love this author/illustrator, she also gave us Smelly Bear and because I'm a bit of an art snob I love the fact that she studied at St Martin's in London. All this aside this is a lovely book about making friends and how sometimes lonely and grumpy look the same. I've got the large format hardback for storytime and I've been practicing my plaintive mewing.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
A strange English 1960s classic in which a tiger pops round for a snack and eats everything in the house. The little girl in the story loves the tiger, although he seems somewhat aloof throughout. I've often wondered if it's a metaphor for class conflict. In any case it's very exciting to see a tiger eating all the food and drinking all Daddy's beer.

Hondo and Fabian by Peter McCarty
Hondo is a dog and Fabian is a cat, they live together in the same house, but they have very different lives. This is a beautifully illustrated book, the pictures seem so soft and calm, yes even the one where the little girl is playing with Fabian against his will.

Sugar Would Not Eat It by Emily Jenkins and Giselle Potter
One of the dafter books I've read, this is a story about a little boy who finds a kitten and attempts to make it eat chocolate cake. There are a number of grown ups who weigh in with some of the arguments used against children who are fussy eaters, they all sound very stupid in this context. You'll be pleased to hear that the kitten gets milk and chicken in the end.