Thursday, October 22, 2009


Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara
This is a beautifully illustrated book. The pictures are all made from cut outs of orange, black and white paper and they look great. But this is also a great story, with just the no-nonsense approach to the spooky scary that I really appreciate. I mean if you had ghosts in your house you'd catch them and put them in the washing machine, right?

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler do it again with a cumulative tale about a helpful witch who gets into trouble after giving too many stray animals a ride on her broom. There is also a swamp monster and a dragon. Very Halloween-y.

The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle
This spider is not very scary, in fact she's much more industrious than your average Halloween arachnid. All the animals on the farm ask if she wants to come and play, but she's busy spinning her web, so that when night time comes all the animals can admire her handywork (picked out in florescent ink in the book).

Bats in the Library by Brian Lies
The bats find an open window into the library and an open window into their imaginations too. I am not massively convinced by this book. It's beautifully illustrated, but I often feel myself stumbling over the text, which is not a good sign. Nevertheless the atmospheric nature of the book is perfect for a Halloween read aloud.

Where the Wild Things Are by by Maurice Sendak
At the moment, it seems this book needs no introduction. But when it comes to not-too-scary monsters, the Wild Things will always win hands down. Remember when you read this one aloud to roar your terrible roar, roll your terrible eyes, gnash your terrible teeth and show your terrible claws.

We'll be singing In the Dark, Dark Street, Row Row Row Your Boat (If you see the Wild Things, don't forget to scream) and Incy Wincy Spider

Friday, October 2, 2009

In Flight

Sadie the Airmail Pilot by Kellie Strom. I love this book. It has so much detail, both in the illustrations and the story telling. Sadie the pilot has a huge adventure when her plane goes down after a delivery to Knuckle Peak weather station. Will she make it back? Is that a monster? Will her stomach ever stop growling? "Things look grim, but don't get nervous, nothing scares the airmail service".

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell. A modern classic about young owls with abandonment issues, don't worry it has a very happy ending.

Blue Balloon by Mick Inkpen. This was one of the first proper storybooks that my son really enjoyed and he still likes it now. It has some very clever folded pages and flaps which never distract from the story, which is simply that of a boy's imagination running wild with the help of a blue balloon. Kipper the cartoon dog makes his first literary appearance in this book too.

Lisa's Airplane Trip by Anne Gutman. Lisa has never been on an airplane before, which is not surprising as she is a cuddly rabbit. This translated French travelogue is really charming and has lots of jokes for the grown ups. I would highly recommend this as a storybook to introduce toddlers to the concept of air travel, if you're about to take a trip yourself.

The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle. He didn't just write The Very Hungry Catterpillar you know, in fact Carle has quite an opus of colourful children's books. This one has a good selection of flying bugs, mosquitoes, a cicada, a bee, a dragonfly and a lunar moth. Oh and there's a surprise noise at the end, which is always popular.

I'll be singing I'm a little Airplane, The Up and Down song and Yellow Bird (although not all of it) And the poem is I Am Flying by Jack Prelutsky.