Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Review: British Books reviewed in January

Mister MagnoliaMister Magnolia by Quentin Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life is a little perplexing, and fun is curtailed when you only have ONE boot!
Re-reading this book after a break of at least 10 years has left me wondering why I left it so long.  It would be a great book to read aloud at a rhymetime or storytime, and would be a perfect fit for a clothing or footwear theme (there are some wonderful shoe and boot picture books, unlikely as it sounds).
The illustrations are delightful (hence why
Quentin Blake
received a Kate Greenaway Medal in 1980), and the repetition is perfect for little ones. I'll be including this in a rhymetime really soon!

Mr. Gumpy's OutingMr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1970.
In this simple and humorous story, some children and a number of different animals ask if thy can join Mr Gumpy on his boat. Mr Gumpy tells each animal that they can, on condition that they behave. The animals all misbehave with predictable results. The illustrations are light and gentle. This book won the Kate Greenaway Medal (1970), and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Picture Book (1972).

One Year with KipperOne Year with Kipper by Mick Inkpen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A useful book for storytimes as it covers New Year's resolutions, the seasons as well as friendship. Kipper, the adorable dog is joined by a fellow canine, Tiger. Mick Inkpen's drawings are clear and simple, but with lots of extra things to talk about. My only criticisms would be that the book was slightly long as a read around for 3s and 4s, and I did omit some of the text and the circular nature aspect of the story wasn't as obvious as it might have been.

I Love My MommyI Love My Mommy by Giles Andreae
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book won the UK's Booktrust Early Years Award 2010 for Best Book for babies under one year old. The lovely rhyming text describes the ways in which a baby loves their mummy. The illustrations show mother and baby having fun filled times together. A nice book for baby rhyme times, especially around Valentine's Day.

Jack and the Flumflum TreeJack and the Flumflum Tree by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This is a great book - it has it all!
Jack's granny is ill with the moosles and the only cure is to eat the fruit from the flumflum tree. Jack and his multicultural crew set sail to the Isle of Blowyernose to bring back a cure for granny. The engaging story is told in rhyme, with just the right amount of naughtiness and repetition with the phrase "Don't get your knickers in a twist said Jack, let's have a look in the patchwork sack". The illustrations are fun too, very colourful with lots of intriguing little details and facial expressions. This will be a heap of fun at a family storytime and a read at home favourite.

View all my reviews on Goodreads


  1. I haven't read this one- It sound really fun.It's also great to find another blog reviewing kids and picture books!

  2. I'm trying to move on to older children's books, but I still love the picture books best!

  3. Hi, while I do vow to read more 'adult' and YA books this year, I simply can not let go of picture books too. I just borrowed around ten from our library today (in preparation for Black History Month) :) I was wondering whether you'd want to include this review of yours to our database of awardwinning books. The link for January posts is now up here: http://main.gatheringbooks.org/?page_id=230
    I see that two of the books here actually received some kind of recognition. :)

    I'm also excited to get started on the recently-announced award-winning titles by ALA. Yikes, too many books, so little time.

  4. Myra, Thanks for the reminder. I've added links now to the three award winning books posted here. You're right, there are so, so many books, and I have the good fortune to work with them everyday!

  5. I know exactly what you mean - I look at my four huge-ass bookcases here at home and I get goosebumps - all the more when I enter the library. I recalled my ten year old daughter coming home excitedly the other day because she just discovered Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese. She read it in one sitting and claimed during dinner time that she just 'drowned' in the book. That was ... priceless.

  6. It's great to hear that young readers can still lose themselves in good books. It's a skill I treasure!


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