Tag Archives: Giles Andreae

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 Childrenโ€™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.

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.

Captain Flinn and The Pirate Dinosaurs Missing Treasure: Giles Andreae & Russell Ayto

Captain Flinn and The Pirate Dinosaurs Missing Treasure: Giles Andreae & Russell Ayto (Puffin Books, 2007)

Captain Flinn and The Pirate Dinosaurs Missing Treasure: Giles Andreae & Russell Ayto
(Puffin Books, 2007)

This is one of a series of books following Captain Flinn (a boy), his friends (boys and girls – yay!) and their encounters with the ferocious Pirate Dinosaurs. Pirates and Dinosaurs? Genius!

In this story, Flinn and his classmates are visiting a museum (museums – yay!) when they hear that some real pirate treasure has been stolen from an exhibit. The intrepid crew follow clues and are thrust onto a pirate ship and into the clutches of the scary pirate dinosaurs…

Actually, these dinosaurs really are pretty scary with their spiky teeth and pirate paraphernalia (fantastic!) but they’re no match for Flinn and friends so all ends happily after a few shocks and scares…

And don’t think we’ve forgotten
That this pirate’s rather rotten
So let’s barbecue his bottom
With some spicy chicken wings!

The book is written in prose but Andreae’s wonderful rhyming does get a look-in too – being a child at heart I love the barbecued bottom line. Coupled with Russell Ayto’s crazy illustrations this is a fabulously silly and fun book to read.

MG and DG aren’t so into pirates and dinosaurs (DG had a big pirate phase, but not really dinosaurs) so this book doesn’t go into their hit list otherwise I’d have bought the whole set. I think it’s great fun and most dinosaur and pirate loving kids are bound to love it too.

Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants: Giles Andreae & Korky Paul

Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants: Giles Andreae & Korky Paul (Puffin Books, 2012)

Sir Scallywag and the Golden Underpants: Giles Andreae & Korky Paul
(Puffin Books, 2012)

Giles Andreae. Korky Paul. Do I even need to write more?! A delightful rhyming romp with bare bottoms, trademark Korky-creatures, a giant, knight, castle and golden underpants. Has “give to reluctant readers” stamped all over it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Long ago there lived a king
Of majesty and fame,
The mighty king of England…
And King Colin was his name.

Alas and alack, King Colin’s pride and joy, his golden underpants, have been half-inched by a naughty giant. There’s only one thing for it, intrepid six-year old knight, Sir Scallywag and his trusty horse Doofus are on the case to return the pants in time for breakfast!

This is a slightly oversized picture book, so lots of room for the gorgeously detailed illustrations. Korky Paul is one of my favourite illustrators, packing the pages full of tiny details and humour. As to be expected, Giles Andreae’s rhyming scans well and ends on a great note for small children: you may be small, but you are still capable of great things.

Monster-ous and Beast-ly Picture Books

It’s a week until Hallowe’en, All Hallow’s Eve, when the supernatural roam openly and the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest… Or it’s a commercialised festival where we carve pumpkins and eat too many sweeties! In either case it’s a perfect time for reading monster-ous and beast-ly books. Here are a few from our collection.

Tamara Small and the Monsters Ball: Giles Paley-Philips & Gabriele Antonini (Maverick Arts Publishing)Tamara Small and the Monsters Ball: Giles Paley-Philips & Gabriele Antonini (Maverick Arts Publishing)
From the same team that created The Fearsome Beastie, another beast-ly book but with friendly monsters (and more) this time. Perfect for Halloween this book is filled with witches, skeletons, ghouls, ghosts, goblins and pretty much anything else you can think of! Although the beasies aren’t so fearsome here, the book starts with the rather terrifying act of a child being snatched from her bed. Being a parent, this is the part of the book I’m not keen on, but I was oversensitive when I first read it as April Jones had only just gone missing at the time. It didn’t scare my daughters in the slightest. With fun rhyming, scary moments and lots of cute and safe monsters, this is a book that should appeal to most children. My two monster-mad-munchkins love it, especially the break-dancing werewolf. A recommended Halloween read – and good fun the rest of the year too ๐Ÿ™‚

Morris the Mankiest Monster: Giles Andreae & Sarah McIntyre (Random House Children's Books)Morris the Mankiest Monster: Giles Andreae & Sarah McIntyre (Random House Children’s Books)
I think the highest praise I can give this book is that I feel quite ill on reading it! Morris really is a very manky monster. Giles Andreae’s repulsive rhyme coupled with Sarah McIntyre’s disgusting(ly cute) illustrations make a great pair and most small children (and adult males who follow a certain stereotype for that matter!) will love Morris and his gross ways. Highlights include “pustules which dribble like hot melted cheese” and “breath [reeking] of rotten fish paste”. What a delight! Bleurgh! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Bedtime for Monsters: Ed Vere (Puffin Books)Bedtime for Monsters: Ed Vere (Puffin Books)
This is very much a bedtime book, it doesn’t work nearly as well in the middle of the day for instance… Is there a monster out there? And does he, maybe, want to eat you up? Bedtime for Monsters is very much a read aloud book to share with small children with lots of word sounds (e.g. bumpity bump, scritch scratch, creak…) to wrap your tongue around. It’s a book to read when snuggled up tight with small children, teasing them with tickles and scariness until the delightful twist at the end giving you an excuse to kiss and tuck them in for the night. DG is a huge fan of this one, and we have some one-to-one time going through it with her. Wonderfully illustrated with a monster that is far too cute to want to eat you up really, great for any time of year but especially on dark nights…

The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo's Child: Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (Macmillan Children's Books)The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child: Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler (Macmillan Children’s Books)
On the one hand, these books need no introduction; on the other, they need an entire post to themselves. Is there anyone who isn’t aware of The Gruffalo? We all think that The Gruffalo deserves it’s reputation and the brilliant repetition in the rhyme makes it all too easy to memorise too – I used to quote this to MG when she was a toddler and I’d forgotten to bring a book out and about with us. For this time of year, where the nights are getting darker and the trees are losing their leaves The Gruffalo’s Child is perfect. I don’t think the rhyme works as well but the story is fun and, well, it’s The Gruffalo ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins Children's Books)Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
A classic of course, and all the more poignant since Sendak’s recent death, but not one of my favourites to read out loud. It’s a book with so many pictures to be savoured which I find difficult to ‘read’ to small children, they need to read it themselves! The story is of pushing boundaries; of limitations and freedoms; of imagination and of parental love. Perfect subjects for small children.

The Octonauts & the Only Lonely Monster: Meomi (HarperCollins Children's Books)The Octonauts & the Only Lonely Monster: Meomi (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
We all love the Octonauts cartoon series in the house. It’s packed with real information about underwater creatures making it educational as well as fun. The original books are more fantastical but we appreciate both on their own merits, and this book is a fine example. The octoalert is blaring, the octopod is under attack! Except, really, it’s a lonely monster who thought that the octopod was like him. Off the octonauts go to find the monster’s family – they search north, east, south and west. The search pages are wonderful, packed with creatures and each at a different orientation so you have to turn the book 90 degrees to view each double page. The monster may turn out to be the only one of his kind, but that doesn’t mean he has to be lonely. A lovely tale of accepting our differences, and sure to be appreciated by all octonauts series fans too!

I have a soft spot for monsters, which has rubbed off on my daughters so we have plenty of monster and beast books. Others we’ve already written about: The Monster Machine; The Ravenous Beast; The Pirate-Cruncher; Love Monster; plus a special mention for the perfect Halloween book Haunted House.

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Tamara Small and the Monster’s Ball by Maverick Arts Publishing for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.