Monday, November 12, 2012

Books We Recommend

Thanks so much for the lovely feedback you've given me on the recommendations we've made so far.

Today I wanted to talk about 3 books that I think are great for different reasons.

Bear Hunt by Anthony Browne
For me so much of a picture book is in the illustrations and the ways in which they interact with the text. Anthony Browne is such a master of this kind of story telling. His illustrations often speak louder than the text. Many of his books are for older readers but Bear Hunt is one I have bought for a 2-year-old, given to Bounce for his 4th birthday and one Flip (6) loves as well.
The message of the story is certainly that the pen is mightier than the sword or perhaps the pencil is mightier than the gun. Bear is being hunted but in each encounter he draws a solution to the problem. Flip can read this book alone - such is the simplicity of the text and they both really love the bear's ability to thwart the hunters at every turn. As well as this the background illustrations give all sorts of fabulous moments of entertainment as well - can you spot the flower made out of lips?? For children who love art and illustrations this book would be a winner every time and simple enough to enjoy with the very small.

Julia Donaldson is the author of The Gruffalo and many others but this one appeals to me a lot more than  those. This was a chance buy with a voucher we received and the boys adore it. The illustrator is different from her other books and has a lighter touch and uses colour in a way that really appeals to me. Jack sets off on a quest to find the fruit of a the flum, flum tree to save his granny from the moozles (purple spots). Before he leaves granny gives him a patchwork sack (see why I picked it up??) filled with all sorts of odd objects. As the adventure unfolds it is granny's sack that saves the day over and over. Both my boys love it and Bounce can do a really good job of recalling the items in the sack and what they were used for - which to me demonstrates the level of engagement with the story.

Belle, The Last Mule at Gee's Bend by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud
I picked this book up in Melbourne at a book sale. Gee's Bend is an area in America famous for it's quilting and so I picked it up more for me than the boys. (I haven't read it to them yet). The story details a small boy asking an older woman why she is allowing the Donkey to eat all the collared greens it likes without shooing it away. The old woman responds that the donkey is a hero to her. As the story unfolds it transpires that at the urging of Martin Luther King Jnr the residents of Gee's Bend had taken the ferry to register to vote but then the ferry is 'cancelled' on voting day and the donkey takes them the long journey to make their voices heard. This same donkey (and not a mighty war-horse/ stallion) and those same 'ordinary quilts of the people' in the end were given the honor of transporting the assassinated King to his final resting place. I can't even talk about this book without getting really emotional - the story of hope and triumph and the use of the ordinary and undervalued (as donkeys and quilts were then) elevated and recognised as important and valued.... a beautiful book for an older child, giving a beautiful and gentle glimpse into a sad and terrible and hopeful part of history.

I hope that these might introduce you to some new favourites or remind you of some old ones. Do let me know if you would like any other kind of recommendations (for older chn, boys, girls...)

*** these posts are not sponsored*** links are only provided for your convenience I make no commission from them (not that I would mind if I did :o) ** the first 2 titles should be easy to locate at your local bookseller also.

If you love books you might also like my November giveaway here.


Leonie said...

We have and LOVE the flumflum tree! We adore Julia Donaldson. The other two sound great too - onto the list they go! Xx

Simoney said...

You know what I'm going to say dontcha???
LINK UP to the bookclub linky my dear... share these fab books with my readers and bookclubbers (please??)
Especially with Christmas coming... great gift ideas, right?

Miriam said...

I know what you mean the list is ever-growing!!!

Miriam said...

done! Anything for you my lovely! :o)

Max said...

ooh i haven't seen any of those before-thank for the tip x

Miriam said...

hope you enjoy them