Last week, you may have noticed a lack of activity on this blog. It wasn’t that we forgot to share our usual Friday post- we were primed and ready to do so!- but we COULDN’T! There was a mass power outage which meant that we were without phones, emails and most importantly- the internet! Normal order has since restored and we’ve been getting back to business; isn’t it funny how reliant we are on computers and technology?
BookTrust launched their new Bath, Book, Bed initiative last week which looks to raise awareness of the importance of a good bedtime routine for young and old alike, in particular how regular structure can see an improvement in sleeping for young children. There’s lots of useful information on the BookTrust website (linked above) and it’s also worth keeping an eye on Twitter too; we really enjoyed the call for illustrators to share their drawings in celebration of the launch- follow the tag here: #illoBathBookBed
Our librarian, Harriet, has her own recommendations:
My mother read to me every evening until I was about 8, and my favourite story was definitely Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. A chapter a night took us into yet another weird and wonderful scenario, and Lewis Carroll’s vivid storytelling brought pleasure to us both.
I so wish I’d had Julie Sykes’ bright picture book ‘I Don’t Want to Have a Bath’ when my daughter was about two and absolutely refusing to get in a bath or have a shower. These days there is a story to help with practically any situation, so never despair! Websites like www.littleparachutes.com have useful suggestions.
If my daughter woke in the night, she liked to hear a short self-contained chapter from My Naughty Little Sister by Nicola Edwards. We didn’t read these at any other time, but their cosiness and gentle plots perfectly suited the uncertainties and worries of night-time – and we enjoyed the familiar warm illustrations by Shirley Hughes.
For older readers who wish to go to sleep happy, we would recommend trying Jo Nesbo’s fun second novel about Doctor Proctor, and his invention ‘Time Travel Bath Bomb’. I don’t think even my daughter would have been too scared to go into the bath on reading that! (A very mini swimming pool on holiday eventually solved our little problem, incidentally!)
Below are our team’s Friday Reads and if you’d like to read more, you can find our archive here.
Apryl: There’s a Shark in the Bath by Sarah McIntyre
Given the launch of BookTrust’s latest campaign, I picked this from our shelves having realised it had passed me by entirely (it was published in 2014!) and I was pleased to find it’s both theme appropriate and a perfect picture book to read before bedtime.
Dulcie is dismayed to find that a family of sharks have appeared in her bathroom, taking up space in her dirty bathwater. Her parents- not entirely believing her story- advise that she’d better fish them out and that’s what she does…only the sharks want to eat her! Thinking on her feet, she diverts their attention elsewhere using toothpaste, bubble-bath and whatever toiletries she can find and inevitably, chaos ensues.
Sarah McIntyre’s illustrations are always wonderfully fun to look at and this book is a testament to how amazing her work is; if you’ve not encountered her before, do so immediately!
(Scholastic, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781407121918, find it at a Norfolk Library)
Harriet: A Perfect Day by Lane Smith
A large brown bear arrives to spoil what was a perfect day for a garden full of creatures…
What turns this attractive simple story into something special is, for me, the tiny photograph on the back end-paper of the hardback: there is a real bear really pulling apart a bird feeder to get at the seed inside! Poor bear; he must have been really hungry, and I don’t think he is as fortunate as the lovely, naughty bear in the story, who also gets a corncob, a splash in a pond and a nap in a beautiful flower bed.
(Two Hoots, £11.99 hardback, ISBN 9781509840557)
Zoë: The Great Heffalump Hunt by Giles Andreae
This enchanting picture book features A. A. Milne’s famous bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, along with his best friend, Piglet. It is a lovely rhyming story in which Pooh Bear and Piglet decide to try and capture a notorious Heffalump; that well-known lover of honey (after Pooh himself, of course!).
A team of illustrators have captured the essence of Pooh and Piglet in Hundred Acre Wood, which will delight readers young and young at heart. This is an ideal book to be shared at story-time; to a single child as well as a group or class, with the possibility of using it in PSHE to discuss the importance of friendship.
(Egmont Books, £6.99 paperback, ISBN 9781405278300, find it at a Norfolk Library)