Sunday, 30 September 2012

British Books Challenge (September's picture books)

I've read some cracking British picture books this month. The ones I've mentioned here would make great read alouds at storytime.

I love stories with strong female characters, but I find there just aren't enough of them. This first book is certainly one that demonstrates that young princesses don't have to conform to their traditional stereotype.

The worst princessThe Worst Princess by Anna Kemp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A excellent updated fairy tale. Decked out in canvas high-tops, this strong-willed young princess wants excitement and adventure and is disappointed by the role her 'Prince Charming' expects her to play. To combat the boredom she experiences at his court, she hatches a plot with the winsome dragon and proves once and for all that she is the worst princess (and so what)! The rhyming text is amusing and full of little asides designed to make the adults and older children in your audience snigger!
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012.

In the UK we celebrate Older Person's Week in the first week of October. This book is the perfect choice for my Multi-Generational Storytime to be held next week. Unfortunately there is no cover picture on Goodreads, but I think this charming video of the author, Judith Kerr (of Mog fame), will more than make up for it. These grannies certainly don't conform to their stereotypes either!

The Great Granny Gang by Judith Kerr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun story about capable and courageous grannies who thwart the thieving 'hoodies'. I'm not totally happy with the demonising of hoodie wearers (thinking of those extra shy children who like to hide within their clothing). However, the grandmas are amazing; they have unexpected skills, talents and strengths, not least their ability to work together, and their capacity for eating cake!

Finally a book about our more typical younger visitors.

What Shall We Do With The Boo Hoo Baby?What Shall We Do With The Boo Hoo Baby? by Cressida Cowell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Various animals try to calm the baby in nice repetitive text. There is lots of opportunity for a young audience to join in with their animal noises. The animals try a number of activities; feeding, bathing and playing to quieten the baby. All work for a time, but then the "Boo-hoo-hoo" starts again. Thankfully they eventually they find the solution.
This would have been a 5 out of 5 if I hadn't found the layout of the text a little confusing at times, and would prefer a version in one language just so the text is easier to read.

View all my Goodreads reviews

Read more British book reviews on the British Books Challenge blog.

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