Fast becoming a staple of our weekly reading time are books from Frances Lincoln. They publish such a wonderful range of books and I love seeing their latest titles.
I was sent a range of their August publications recently to review and we have had such good fun looking through them. Each one is quite different.
First up, and my personal favourite, is How the Library (Not the Prince) Saved Rapunzel. This book, by Wendy Meddour and Rebecca Ashdown is a brilliant modern take on an old classic fairytale. Rapunzel, in this story, sits on the 16th floor of an inner city tower block. She is bored and listless, and no one can spark her attention… that is until she receives a letter telling her about a new job at the library… and on she moves to a sparkling new fun-filled phase in her life.
The book is wonderfully written with a lovely rhyming story which is easy and fun to read and engaged the children. the illustrations are also great and show a wonderful array of characters, representative of the diversity found in our country. Each page is jam-packed with detail and I look forward to diving into this more and more in the coming weeks and months.
Next up, Rama and the Demon King by the wonderful Jessica Souhami. Souhami’s illustrations are inspired by her work using shadow puppets so they are really unique and interesting. This story is a retelling of a 3000 year old tale. Rama is banished by his stepmother and lives in the forest with his wife and brother for 14 years…. that is until the King of the Demons takes revenge.
This is a nice easy book to read aloud, and although it’s a little old for D and E at the moment we through the pictures – the puppet style of the images made it easy for D to interpret what was happening in the story and I could then read the page to him. This will perfect when we look to explore other cultures and traditions in due course. The children’s favourite page was the one with the monkey army so I think we might be making some monkey puppets to go along side this soon.
No! by David McPhail is a virtually wordless book, and I struggled with this one at first. It follows a small boy who sets out to post a letter. It covers the topic of conflict in a very visual way. I haven’t shared this with the children yet… in part because I want to shield them from the reality of conflict for as long as I can. I don’t want to have to expose them to that reality at the moment (I am the mum who doesn’t have the radio news on in the car in case they hear it!). That said the book ends with a sense of hope; that perhaps a protest, no matter how small isn’t futile. A hope that the world, will, one day at least, be happier, friendlier and safer for all.
I think when the time comes to have those conversations with the children we will look at this book. It is beautifully illustrated and the lack of words enables its own interpretation. For now though I hope that dealing with bullying and conflict are some time away for us.
Finally, the wonderful Anholt’s Artists series latest book, Matisse, King of Colour, is another winner. I love this series (having reviewed one of Anholt’s other books here) as they have opened my eyes to art, which is something I’m not really a fan of. I find these a really accessible introduction and the reproduction of the paintings are so cleverly worked into the story. It really is a wonderful book that gives you a real flavour for the work of Matisse. It’s made me want to learn more about him, and I am going to seek out the other four books from this series to look at with the children too. This books ends with a stained glass window that Matisse produced, so I am planning to make some similar stained glass decorations with the children – to mirror the effects.
I’m thrilled that Frances Lincoln are offering one of my readers the chance to win a copy of Matisse, King of Colour. To be in with a chance of winning please complete the rafflecopter entry form below.
- This competition is open to residents of the UK only.
- There is no cash alternative offered.
- Prizes will be sent directly from Frances Lincoln Children’s Book or their representatives.
- To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above. Please ensure you leave contact details. Without these I will not be able to contact you should you win.
- The winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries.
- The competition will close on 27 August 2015