The simple things...

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At this time of year when the demands of Christmas are nearly upon us, it is a real joy to find a story focusing on the simple pleasures in life. In 'Stick', a little boy explores all the play possibilities that a stick offers as he walks along with his dog. There is not an adult in sight as the child explores free, imaginative play with his stick which helps him make a friend in the end. 

The minimal text is beautifully supported by the bold, colourful illustrations which bring to life the joys of being outdoors. The story is perfect for sharing with little ones and for encouraging emergent readers to read. 

Stick!     Irene Dickson

Nosy Crow     ISBN: 978-0857638588

Spy Dad!

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All Olivia wants (apart from a hamster) is for her parents to be at home more. Dad is always on some mission or another unlike her friend Sophia's mummy who is at home every day. When Olivia confronts her parents, her dad decides to give up work. From that moment, adventure and danger seem to follow them everywhere...

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On the first page we meet Spy Dad who is tied to a chair and using his toes to open his Swiss Army knife whilst the bomb under his seat is ticking away ( 0:07 on the clock!). Like any good action movie, he escapes from the umbrella factory just in the nick of time, dangling from a helicopter as the bomb explodes beneath him. At this point, his phone rings- and it's his daughter! 

It can be hard for working parents to balance the demands of a busy job with family life and 'Spy Dad' takes a humorous look at one parent's attempt to reconcile this. 

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The fabulous  illustrations which are packed with clues to Spy Dad's exciting secret existence as he and his daughter try to go about their new 'normal' life. There is a somewhat 'retro' feel to the artwork which is very appealing. Everyone will enjoy this story!

Spy Dad   by Jukka Laajarinne, illustrated by Timo Manttari

Pikku Publishing      ISBN: 978-9003488450

 

The Cat in the Hat is 60!

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Today, we celebrated The Cat in the Hat's 60th birthday with our Year 5 children! It was a lovely session. 

Having enjoyed the story, we played 'Put the Hat on the Cat' and 'Put the Fish in the Dish'- basically, 'Pin the Tail on the Donkey', but Cat in the Hat style! The children (and staff) had great fun playing these games and developed some sneaky strategies for winning!

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Next- decorating popcorn boxes to put our snack in and creating Thing 1 or Thing 2 from clothes pegs and feathers!

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What a talented and created bunch they proved to be- stripes, cats, all manner of designs decorated their boxes! They really enjoyed themselves and created some mini works of art.

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The session finished with lots of popcorn- and our traditional hot chocolate with marshmallows! A lovely session with lovely children. Happy birthday, Cat!

The Cat in the Hat   Dr Seuss

Harper Collins       ISBN:  9780008219611