While my baby’s still sick (although out of hospital) I don’t feel like discussing novels of death and destruction, so for the first time I’m going to skip around in the 2011 reading list and go straight to a fun and friendly children’s book.
I’ve been looking out for some of Hughes’ beautiful books for very young children, but came across this novel of hers first, and thought I’d see what it’s like. I’d expected illustrations, and in fact every single page of this chapter book has a unique and appropriate picture at the top, but the story isn’t bad either.
Charlie Moon lives with his Mum in a big city, and to save him being bored underfoot over the summer, she sends him to stay with his Auntie Jean, who runs a joke shop in a Welsh seaside resort, Penwyn Bay. His older cousin Ariadne (12 years old to his 10) is similarly staying with their aunt, and while the two wind each other up a bit they’re really very good companions and then friends. Neither Auntie Jean nor her neighbour and ex-colleague Carlo Cornetto are doing all that well at their tourism-based businesses, since the other end of the bay is where the modern attractions are, but Charlie and Ariadne still manage to make themselves some friends, foil the local bullies, and help to revive their Auntie’s and Mr Cornetto’s businesses through a series of quite plausible adventures.
At a guess, this’d be a good one for 8-12 year olds to read themselves (boys or girls), and good for reading aloud so long as everyone’s close enough to see the line drawings, which aren’t all that large.
- Picture books for young children – reviews (guardian.co.uk)
- Can a woman ever have it all? (telegraph.co.uk)
- Storyless board books (kaet.wordpress.com)
- When should a child outgrow picture books? (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Teaching the Letter “A” to Preschoolers (brighthub.com)
- A sleigh-load of great holiday books for kids (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- (Adult) Lessons From Children’s Books (parenting.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Curiously late (kaet.wordpress.com)
- Favorite books for children and teens (seattletimes.nwsource.com)