Choosing picture books: a guest post by Stacy Redmond - Nosy Crow Skip to content
Posted by Tom, August 5, 2015

Choosing picture books: a guest post by Stacy Redmond

Today’s guest post is by Stacy Redmond, a mother who recently got in touch to tell us how much her daughter had enjoyed some of our pictures books.

For Katharine, booklover, precocious four year old, choosing a book is all about the cover. And more often than not that cover has glitter, a dog wearing a hat, or a fairy tale Princess doing something ‘super fantastic’. Whenever we enter a bookshop we are looking for stories, books with enough words to read but not enough to get tiresome.

When we entered the bookshop on our latest trip we made a bee line for a table set up with books that Katharine declared were ‘just the right size’ and by this she means big enough that the illustrations inside are large, colourful and enticing enough to keep her reading them over and over.

We pondered over several with Pirates but no. We saw others with more childish pictures but still no. There were underwater themes… all no. Then one of us said the title Cinderella’s Sister and the Big Bad Wolf and that got an ‘ooh’ in response. ‘Ooh’ from Katharine always means ‘that one!’. The cover had a girl in a pink dress with the danger of a lurking wolf, sold! We flicked through a couple of pages to spot a wolf in a frock, sold!

As the book shop was doing a promotional offer we decided to pick another book and beside Cinderella’s Sister was The Princess and The Giant. It was the wonderful illustration of the beanstalk that won Katharine over, she loves the tale of Jack and was interested to read a new variation of it. There is no Jack, but a Princess!? Peeping inside this book we spotted a tiny mouse in a tux, sold!

Ready for bed we decided to read The Princess and the Giant first. The flow of the words kept the story fun and easy for the adults to read out loud. Every tiny corner of each page had something to look at. For Katharine, her favourite thing was the Giant in his cloud pyjamas and the story time that put even the soldiers to sleep. Some fun repetition meant that she could laugh and join in reciting the book out loud.

Cinderella’s Sister and the Big Bad Wolf had her chuckling for hours. The very idea of a wolf in a dress was enough to set her off. The pages were beautifully presented and she loved being able to recognise the classic characters as they appeared. Pink dresses, a ball and a wolfish grin sucking on a bone were the things her smiling face declared to be her favourite parts.

When Katharine has enjoyed a book she asks for it over and over; within twelve hours we had already read these two several times. And when she memorises the words and repeats them we know we have a winner. We have been asked ‘So, you wanna be ugly, huh? You wanna be bad?” constantly before she roars in a big bad wolfish laugh.

An addition to the books is a free Stories Aloud smartphone audio book. Once Katharine is rolling her eyes at the adults attempts at the ‘FEE FI FO – oh, it’s you again’ voice we will give it a try.

Two beautifully illustrated and entertainingly written books; “Definitely keepers.” says Katharine.

Thank you so much, Stacy and Katharine, for sharing your review of Cinderella’s Sister and The Princess and the Giant! You can take a look inside both books below.

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