Tag Archives: Emma Dodd

Father’s Day Books

Is it really Father’s Day this Sunday? I know it’s always the third Sunday in June, but I had in my head that it was 23rd June, not 16th! Then again, I think today is the 2nd of June, not the 11th. Or perhaps April. 2010. So my date-keeping isn’t that impressive…

There are lots of lovely books involving Fathers but I hope you don’t mind if I only cover two recent releases that I’ve been sent!

I Love My Daddy: Giles Andreae & Emma Daddy (Orchard Books, 2011)Firstly, there’s the board book version of I Love My Daddy from the team of Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd. A lovely celebration of dad-ness that quite fits our family (the dad is shown cooking pancakes; this is the only thing Mr Chaos volunteers to cook – apart from BBQs of course!) I like how the toddler child pictured could be male or female, making this accessible to any gender of blonde, white child. It is a nice book. It’s not a stand-out or particularly showcasing the talents of Giles Andreae or Emma Dodd, who between them have an amazing body of work, but it’s a nice book. I was going to offer our copy as a giveaway (my two being a bit on the old side for board books apart from their extra-special ones) but someone’s used this book to lean on when drawing so there are small dents in the cover and it’s not good enough (in my opinion) to give away. However, if you’d like it, the first person to contact me will get it in the post – not in time for Father’s Day alas!

There, There: Sam McBratney & Ivan Bates (Templar Publishing, 2013)Secondly, is a book I am far more excited about. There, There by Sam McBratney and Ivan Bates is stunningly beautiful. Sam McBratney is the writer of Guess How Much I Love You?, a book that is a classic but only a so-so book for me. What really makes There, There are Ivan Bates delicious illustrations. I’ve just realised I’ve managed to miss a whole series of books illustrated by Ivan Bates and will be tracking them down forthwith! This story follows Hansie Bear (what a gorgeous name!) as he plays and, as small children do, he gets minor hurts along the way. His dad is there, watching him from a suitable distance, allowing Hansie freedom to play and learn but always being there for a hug and the comforting words of “There, there…” This is a lovely book to share with small toddlers who may be afraid of trying new things, reassuring them that we’ll always be there for them (but not wrapping them up in cotton wool so they can’t appreciate the world or have fun!) but also lovely to share with older children who already know this and who will fall in love with cute little Hansie and his Dad. MG and DG do think he’s cute, and can relate to how Hansie gives his dad a hug at the end to cheer him up because we’re a family who supports each other and our girls have hugged Mummy and Daddy when we’ve been down too. A gorgeously beautiful book with a lovely message, and a fantastic Father’s Day gift too – you’ve still time to order this in to your local independent book store or buy online in time to get it for Sunday. We won’t be giving our copy away I’m afraid!

Last year I reviewed My Daddy by Curtis Jobling. The first Father’s Day book I bought Mr Chaos was Just Like My Dad by David Melling, which six years on is still a firm favourite.

Disclaimer: We were sent copies of I Love My Daddy by Hachette Children’s Books and There, There by Templar Publishing for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

Cinderelephant by Emma Dodd WITH GIVEAWAY!

Cinderelephant: Emma Dodd (Templar Publishing, 2012)

Cinderelephant: Emma Dodd (Templar Publishing, 2012)

Cinderelephant is a Cinderella tale with the main parts taken by Elephants. The Warty Sisters are the step-sisters (or warthog cousins in this version); there’s a Furry Godmouse (a male one at that); and lots of elephantine puns!

As well as being full of anthropomorphic animals, this is a modernised Cinders with a glossy white limo and sparking pink high heels. Prince Charming Trunky reminds me of Babar (although I was remembering incorrectly because Babar doesn’t wear green pinstriped trousers other than in my head apparently!)

...and it's a big but...

The enormous shoe is obviously, ridiculously, too big for all the ‘girls’ who try it on, which adds another lovely comic touch to the imagery. I would have prefered something other than “[they] were married the very next day” at the end, but it’s a minor quibble. The art is gorgeous, and it’s a lovely alternate-Cinderella addition to fairy tale loving children.

I am thrilled to be able to offer a SIGNED copy of Cinderelephant to one lucky reader. All you need to do to enter is click the widget below and add a comment. The prize will be sent directly by Templar, and you need a UK address to enter. As with all good things, the giveaway ends at midnight… on 29th January. I’ll press the button to get the random winner in the morning of Tues 29th January.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: We were sent an e-copy of Cinderelephant by Templar Publishing for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to review the book, just to offer a copy to give away!

I Love You by Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd

I Love You: Giles Andreae & Emma Dodd (Orchard Books, 2013)

I Love You: Giles Andreae & Emma Dodd (Orchard Books, 2013)

We’ve not read ‘I Love My Mummy’ or ‘I Love My Daddy’ from the same collaboration of Giles Andreae and Emma Dodd, but based on this third book in the series I expect they are excellent Mother’s and Father’s Day presents. ‘I Love You’ is a great book to read snuggled up together, with gently rhyming text and delicious pictures.

I love you, doggies, with your funny waggy tails.
I love you, beetles and bugs and snails.

The book follows a toddler child as they happily get through the day declaring their love for their favourite things. The child is fairly androgynous making this a book easy to share with either boys or girls identifying with the main character. For babies and toddlers, this book would be perfect. Especially toddlers who can identify with the child in the pictures. But it’s still been enjoyed very much by MG and DG, with MG able to read many of the clear words too.

The hardback book is a good size to appreciate the pictures, which aren’t too cluttered for small children. I love it as a snuggle-together book but it would be a wonderful read-aloud book in a toddler session or pre-school, with the children getting to interject with what they love too.

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of I Love You by Hachette Childrens Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

Picture books about school

Playing by the Book’s monthly carnival of children’s books has the theme (Starting) School this month, perfect for this time of year! I have submitted Lucky Wish Mouse Starting School as my main entry for this month, but here are a few more…

Come to School Too, Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester-Clark (Harper Collins Children's Books, 2012)Come to School Too, Blue Kangaroo by Emma Chichester-Clark. Lily and Blue Kangaroo are well loved characters and in this latest adventure, Lily is about to go to a new school. It’s not said whether this is her first school or if she is changing school but the book works for either so would also be good for families that have moved and had to change schools. Lily is scared but her fears are shown via Blue Kangaroo – she asks his questions and is reassured by all the friendly adults in her life. Wonderfully reassuring and of course beautifully illustrated, this is a lovely book to share with small children.

Foxy by Emma Dodd (Harper Collins Children's Books, 2012)Foxy by Emma Dodd. Rather than showing the first day at school, Foxy is a funny book to take away worries from the silly things that Foxy does. Emily is worried about her first day but Foxy’s magic tail produces all the things she’ll need for her first day – eventually. Foxy’s mistakes – a penguin instead of a pencil; an elephant instead of an eraser; and so forth – bring smiles and fun. Most importantly, no magic at all is needed for Emily to make friends. Hugely fun illustrations and humour make this a lovely addition to any bookshelf.

Martha and the Bunny Brothers: I Heart School by Clara Vulliamy (Harper Collins Children's Books, 2012)Martha and the Bunny Brothers: I Heart School by Clara Vulliamy – reviewed previously here.




The Bear with Sticky Paws Goes to School by Clara VulliamyThe Bear with Sticky Paws Goes to School by Clara Vulliamy. A third school book from Clara, and I wholeheartedly recommend any of them (and all of them!) The Bear with Sticky Paws is one of DG’s favourites, and in this story Pearl is dragging her feet because she doesn’t want to go to school. It’s not just starting school books that are useful, after a few weeks when the novelty has worn off those feet begin to drag and the complaints get more imaginative… The Bear takes Pearl to his school where you can do anything but messy, noisy and not sharing isn’t really fun and soon Pearl wants to go to the comfort of her own school and friends.

Lucy and Tom go to School by Shirley HughesLucy and Tom go to School by Shirley Hughes. Keeping it in the family, here is a lovely little book I found in a charity shop. Lucy is almost five and about to start school but her little brother Tom is too young. This tale full of nostalgia takes us through Lucy’s first day and how sometimes she loves school and sometimes she doesn’t. Tom really wants to go to, and he gets to go to playgroup. This is so like my two – MG likes school but some days she’s not keen but DG has wanted to go as soon as MG started, she tried on her (not compulsory) uniform as soon as I bought some second hand and on the first day she was allowed to start at three she ran in ahead of her sister! A little piece of nostalgia for the era I grew up in (first published two years before I was born) and more beautiful observations of family life.

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen and Mark TeagueHow Do Dinosaurs Go to School? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. I love the How Do Dinosaurs… series. How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? was MG’s bedtime book from a few months old for over a year and I don’t think I’ll ever bore of it. DG was always too fidgetty to do a bedtime story with at that age (we read several stories every night of course, this was just the final one every night for a very long time!) The series is lovely, brilliant rhyming text with huge pictures of dinosaur toddlers with human parents. It starts with things we shouldn’t do: Does he drag his long tail? Is he late for the bus? Does he stomp all four feet? Does he make a big fuss? and after a list of these there’s a No followed by what we should do: A dinosaur carefully raises his hand. He helps out his classmates with projects they’ve planned. A wonderfully subtle introduction to manners, the whole series is a must-have in my opinion!

Harry and the Dinosaurs go to School by Ian Whybrow and Adrian ReynoldsHarry and the Dinosaurs go to School by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds. I have a huge soft spot for Harry and the Dinosaurs too, maybe I just love dinosaurs. Did I say I? I meant my daughters of course… Seriously though, they do love Harry, he is a very loveable character. I love that proper dinosaur names are used, because I hate talking down to small people, and again the series covers ‘issues’ like the dentist (one I will definitely be using again this week as we’re all due a check-up) and of course school. In this story, Harry is starting a new school and notices a very quiet boy who he helps gain confidence playing with the dinosaurs. Lovely stuff, gorgeous pictures. If you haven’t any Harry books, go and grab one now. Preferably an armful…

Splat the Cat by Rob ScottonSplat the Cat by Rob Scotton. Splat comes out with lots of different reasons why he shouldn’t go to school: “Maybe I should go to school tomorrow instead?” At school, he questions everything the teacher says (I love this, independent thinking!) and then we find out why: he has a pet mouse! Seymour the mouse shows the cats that mice are friends after all and Splat can’t wait to go to school again. There are lots of very funny imagery for small children to giggle at, this is a book for any time of year.

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Come to School Too, Blue Kangaroo and Foxy by HarperCollins 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.