Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Reviews: British books read in February

I love a cheeky book, and this first book is definitely one of those!

en, england, english, great britain icon Sing a Song of Bottoms! by Jeanne Willis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The rhyming text has a different adjective for the bottoms of a host of animals, a few humans and some mythological beings too.
It also has what appears to be a repeating chorus, but it's a shame there is no tune for it (I expected it to fit Sing-a-song of Sixpence from the first line, but the rest doesn't fit).

"Sing a song of bottoms, cos everybody's got 'em
They come in every shape and size.
Everyone's behind is perfectly designed
But which of them deserves to win the prize?"

A more musical person than I would write their own.

Animals mentioned are: dogs, bears, monkeys, whales, rabbits, squirrels, camels, kangaroos, elephants, peacocks, skunks, squid, rhinos, tortoises, pigs, pythons, and bats.
Others are: clowns, princess, snowman, pirates, trolls, Martians, and babies.
So, it could fit just about any storytime theme.
If it wasn't for the lack of a tune I'd give it 5 stars!

Wee Granny's Magic Bagscotland icon Wee Granny's Magic Bag by Elizabeth McKay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here is a fun story about all the amazing things Wee Granny brings out of her special tartan bag. Her grandchildren, Emily and Harry, enjoy going places with Granny as whatever Granny has in her bag is sure to surprise. I won't list the items here as that would spoil the reading, I'll just say that there is everthing to bake cupcakes, except the kitchen sink!
The publisher is Picture Kelpies who have some activities to go along with the book.

Apple Pie ABCscotland icon Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An ABC book with a tail/tale to tell. Georgie the dog is tantalised by a freshly baked apple pie. The illustrations tell the story with minimal text, and they capture the thoughts and actions of the dog beautifully. The end papers give more to talk about with what goes into an apple pie! I aim to read this with all my groups, I think they'll all love it (at different levels).

Here are some activities to go along with the book provided by the Scottish Book Trust. They have also provided a video of the author reading the book.

This book has been shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards, Scotland's largest children's book awards, in the 0-7 years age category. The winners will be announced on 23rd February 2012, so we'll see then if this book becomes an award winner.

Playtime Rhymes Hb With Cden, england, english, great britain icon Playtime Rhymes: for little people by Clare Beaton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Clare Beaton is an amazing artist whose colours and skill with appliqué produce simply lovely pictures. No wonder it has been rereleased with a CD (good for me as there are a few unfamiliar rhymes included). There is a good selection of rhymes, and some very useful action instructions.
Clare Beaton is British. You can read about her and her work

Angelica Sprocket's Pockets. Quentin Blakeen, england, english, great britain icon Angelica Sprocket's Pockets by Quentin Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun exploration of the eclectic contents of Angelia Sprocket's pockets in rhyme. Contents include: alligators, boats, cheese, cooking utensils, ducks, elephants, goats, hankies, hats, ice cream, mice, motor horns, skateboards, swimming costumes, umbrellas, even the kitchen sink, so will fit in with a variety of storytime themes. The beautiful coat has a host of pockets of all shapes and sizes and would make a spectacular looking (if enormous) flannel board story. The illustrations are amusing and stylish, so it would be a shame to miss out on them though. Maybe a flannel could be used to discuss what would or wouldn't fit in a pocket! However, I found the rhyming text a little difficult to scan in places, and I felt the urge to leave out some of the words. E.g. "There's a pocket for mice, and a pocket for cheese, and a pocket for hankies in case [anyone feels that] they're going to sneeze." If you try it, let me know if you agree or disagree.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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