Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Watcher: Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter

I've had this book for a few years and I plucked it off the shelf today in honour of International Women's Day. I expected E to protest (as he's inclined to do with many of my suggestions lately), but today there were no gripes and together we enjoyed reading about the life of Jane Goodall.

Created by the much revered author/illustrator Jeanette Winter, this book works as a biography on a child's level and it works as a story plain and simple. The illustrations are wondrous and together with the text they lure you into Jane's world. Immediately you care about Jane, her work, the chimpanzees and the environment.  Time passes quite peacefully at first which is why the arrival of the hunters towards the end, and the dose of reality they bring with them, is that much more startling.

I think this is a hugely important book and it's prompted numerous conversations between E and me.  Many at fist were understandably about the hunters but today it was also about watching, how we define home and what it's like for a little girl to work hard and make a dream come true. 

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The pursuit of friendship in picture books

My post this week is inspired by E's homework assignment to make a poster describing what friendship means to him. As we got to talking and I tried to turn the abstract into something tangible, our faithful picture books saved the day once again.  We started talking about all of our favourite book friends and I quickly realised how many stories are indeed about the pursuit of friendship.  Here's a list of some of our favourite 'friends' starting with a new book called The Adventures of Beekle an Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat.

Beekle is one of the first books in a while that E picked up as soon as he saw it.  It's that sweet little face and the uncertain smile from Beekle - the little white unimaginary friend wearing a crown.  Beekle just wants to find a friend, his special friend and we follow him on an adventure from the imaginary world to the real world where his dream and his destiny finally come together. 

More of our favourite picture book friends in no particular order:

Willy and Hugh by Anthony Browne
Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson
Corduroy by Don Freeman
The Lonely Beast by Chris Judge
On Sudden Hill by Linda Sarah and Benji Davies
Bubble and Squeak by James Mayhew and Clara Vulliamy

Do you have favourite book friends? Let us know - we'd love to hear from you!