We like all sorts of picture books in the Chaos household, but as a parent I do like it when a good book also happens to cover a subject that worries children (school, doctors etc) or something you’re trying to teach them (sharing, eating nicely…)
The two books below are new out this year (both were published in hardback on 5 Jul 2012) and have been thoroughly enjoyed by MG and DG. I’m not sure they’ve necessarily learnt any more manners, but subconsciously it all goes in 😉
Elephantantrum: Gillian Shields and Cally Johnson-Isaacs (Hodder Children’s Books, 2012)
Ellie has lots of things but she sulks at her dad until he gets her an elephant. She’s expecting to boss the elephant around, but he has his own mind and by treating Ellie how she was treating others, Ellie learns about sharing and saying please and thank-you.
She had a terrible tantrum.
“I don’t want that elephant,” she shouted, “Get me a different one!”
It’s too easy to spoil children. We want the best for them, and the market is flooded with toys, books, clothes, furniture, gadgets and adverts all aimed at younger and younger children. So many things are now easily and instantly available ‘on demand’ that building patience is made an even harder job. So it’s no wonder that children tantrum, even if it wasn’t just a normal development phase (which it is!)
Wanting an elephant is a surreal but also fairly normal wish for a small child, and this special elephant soon works his way into your affections. The book is gorgeously illustrated by Cally Johnson-Isaacs and heaving with personality. The story is silly, funny but also has a good moral. A lovely book to share 🙂
Yucky Mucky Manners: Sam Lloyd (Orchard Books, 2012)
In contrast, this book’s unseen narrator tells us all the disgusting, smelly, impolite and rude things that various animals are doing in a (failed) attempt to find someone in the jungle who is polite. This is all told in rhyme with brightly coloured pictures and will probably be a hoot for toddlers and up.
Swinging through the trees with the warm wind in his hair,
This ape shows his botty … a botty that is BARE!
Although it’s very pretty – pink, and squidgy too –
It’s really not the nicest way to say, ‘How do you do?’
Yucky Mucky Manners is a very fun, and very funny read. Rhyming, bouncy text will appeal to the very young and the descriptions of all the impolite things that the animals do gets lots of giggles from older children who know what they should do, but don’t necessarily want to all the time…
I think it’s good to be able to laugh at ourselves, and this book gives an excuse to giggle along with the ‘yucky mucky’ animals. But we’d never act like that, would we? 😉
Disclaimer: We were sent copies of Elephantantrum and Yucky Mucky Manners by Hachette Children’s Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.