Thank You, Mr Antony!

Today, I got the new Mr Panda book by Steve Antony. Having dressed up as Mr Panda myself for World Book Day, he is a character I am very fond of and I was delighted to find this new lesson in manners!

'Thank You, Mr Panda' is the latest book about the loveable, if grumpy, Mr Panda who insists on good manners at all times! As Mr Panda distributes presents at all his friends, Lemur is quick to remind everyone that it is the thought behind the gift that counts...even when he has to apply this thinking himself!

Beautifully illustrated and full of gentle humour, this new Mr Panda book continues his mission to teach the world some common courtesy. The simplicity of the text encourages children to join in with Lemur's words and allows for discussions about what Lemur means by this. What should you do if you receive a present that isn't quite what you're expecting? Why should we say 'thank you' at this point? Why is it important to say 'thank you' anyway?

Big, bright and bold, the pictures are wonderful, allowing plenty to discuss and laugh over. Mr Panda manages to convey a whole range of emotions and yet his features barely change! Lemur, on the other hand, is so expressive- I think he deserves a book all of his own!

Another lovely book from the very talented Steve Antony. I'm hoping there will be more adventures from Mr Panda before too long; I'd like to see him tackling taking turns or good table manners!

Thank You, Mr Panda    by Steve Antony

Hodder Children's   ISBN: 978-1444927856


Your Dreams are Enough...

Etabo dreams of racing camels like his big brother, Lopeyok. However, their father has to sell the camels to buy water and the children have to look after the goats. Etabo is upset and prays to the Sky God, Akuj, for help. The reply he receives is, 'Your dreams are enough.' But will Etabo manage to keep his dreams alive?

The beautiful illustrations and gentle story of 'The Wooden Camel' show the reader scenes from life in another culture. On the back of the book, we are told that Etabo belongs to the Turkana people of north-west Kenya. Ashamed to admit that I know nothing about these people, the book led me to finding out about them, their homeland and their customs.

But although the cultural setting is different to my own, the themes of the story are universal. Siblings teasing each other, difficult family circumstances, hopes and dreams, family love and loyalty- all of these are experienced by people the world over.

When he feels all hope is lost, Etabo keeps his dreams alive through faith and family love. Watching over him and recognising his sadness, Akiru, Etabo's sister, offers her brother the perfect gift to help him keep his dreams alive.

This lovely book is perfect for sharing in school and at home and would inspire plenty of quality work no matter what age group it was used with. Beautiful and inspiring!

The Wooden Camel by Wanuri Kahiu, illustrated by Manuela Adreani

Lantana Publishing    ISBN: 978-1911373131


I am an Artist

Whilst I was searching my book collection for something else, I came across my copy of 'I am an Artist'. Immediately, I forgot what I was looking for and started re-reading it!

This is the story of a boy who is inspired by EVERYTHING! He sees artistic possibilities everywhere and creates works of art from anything. A broken mirror becomes his 'multiple self portrait'; the fridge, 'Spring in Winter'. His mother is not quite so keen on his creations and seems not to understand his artistic flair.

To make her feel better, he comes up with a plan- to create his biggest and best masterpiece yet- just for his mum!

This is one of those books that you just have to smile at- laugh at - and love! The little boy encapsulates the innocent enthusiasm children have when they are absorbed in doing something they enjoy- without realising how they might be affecting others! As his poor mother struggles to clean up and sort out his artistic adventures, he continues to create his masterpieces.

There is so much humour in the illustrations which are bright and bold. Not only does the story allow for discussions about whether the boy is really being naughty and whether or not the mum is really cross with her son (or perhaps proud of his talent!), it also introduces various artisitic concepts- texture, for example, and styles- Picasso's 'Blue Period'.

I am an Artist   by Marta Altes

Macmillan     ISBN: 978-0230760400