Thursday, 25 September 2014

There's a Dinosaur in My Bathtub by Catalina Echeverri

Now that E has started school, and we're honing in on teaching him to read, it's nice to pick up a book and enjoy it with him just because it looks like fun. There's a Dinosaur in My Bathtub is just that sort of book.

Amelia is privileged to be in on a very special secret.  A special secret about a dinosaur hiding in her bathtub.  A dinosaur that no one else can see, a dinosaur who comes from France and a dinosaur who just happens to be fabulous in my opinion. Pierre and Amelia are very good at hiding him from her family and in return he takes her on one glorious adventure after another. Every Tuesday they go to the moon and on a Thursday they eat giant ice cream.  Sometimes they go sailing to distant lands and sometimes they just dance around inside and have a magical time in each others company.

Pierre reminds me of a boss I had each summer while at university who made every little job a mini adventure. We followed him around like he was handing out gold dust.  And like Pierre, we had to say goodbye to him at the end of each summer when the leaves started to fall off the trees.

This is a fun read and the illustrations are as charming as Pierre. Read more about Catalina Echeverri here.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem (words by Mac Barnett & pictures by Adam Rex)

It's all about Big School at our house and E marks the milestone from toddler to boy when he starts next week. I'm trying, for everyone's sake, not to make too much of a fuss and instead we've been drowning ourselves in books ... and superheroes.

image from Adam Rex Books

Our favourite book at the moment is Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem by Mac Barnett (illustrations by Adam Rex). With a title like this you need to deliver big and this one surely does.  From the endpapers designed like old medicine man ads, to the cinematic illustrations, it goes big and beyond. I have my sister in Prague to thank for telling me about this title and now I'm now very happy to pass it on to all of you!

image from Mac
Billy Twitters is a regular kid who doesn't always like to do what he's told. A regular kid that is until his parents buy him a blue whale as a consequence for not listening. Billy soon learns just how difficult life can be when you're responsible for a blue whale. With fantastical scenes like the midnight whale delivery truck to the whale at the playground, it keeps E mesmorised from page to page as we wait to see the absurd situations awaiting Billy and his companion.

This book is great fun and reads like a more mature narrative while still being suitable for my four year old.  I think it's the humour that lifts it from the crowded picture book pile. As a bonus E and I've learned a few new facts about blue whales and had chats about what might happen if he got a blue whale (mainly that our cat probably wouldn't like it). Enjoy Billy Twitters' escapades and let's hope he gets himself into a pickle again in future so we can hear more of his adventures!