Pavilion

The Story of the Little Mole

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A detective story in which the Little Mole tracks down the culprit of the crime, namely pooing on the Little Mole’s head, this was one of my son’s favourite books when he was little. Although the ‘p-word’ is never mentioned, one morning as Mole comes out of his hole, someone does their business and it lands on Mole’s head. He then goes from animal to animal with each one showing him how their deposit is different from the one on his head! Finally, Mole identifies who is responsible and gets his revenge.

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The illustrations are all at Mole’s level with taller creatures leaning into the picture and Mole’s expressions are just wonderful- from indignant to impressed to curious to determined. It is great fun to read aloud with different voices for each character!

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I can’t believe that it is 30 years since this book was published! These days books about bodily functions are quite common, but I’m sure this was one of a kind when I was sharing it with my boy about 18 years ago!

The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it was None of his Business

Werner Holzwarth, illustrated by Wolf Erlbruch

Pavilion ISBN: 978-1856021012

Big Cat

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Whilst searching the back garden for Grandma’s missing glasses, a little girl finds a new cat. Not one of Grandma’s - she has five- but a new, very big cat. Although the neighbours are not very happy about this addition to the family, Big Cat moves in. He’s great fun, but eats an awful lot and takes up a lot of space. When Big Cat’s parents arrive looking for their missing son, they have Grandma’s glasses with them and she get a really BIG surprise when she puts them on!

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The illustrations are bright, bold, full of fun and little jokes. Grandma’s much loved felines have their portraits hanging on the walls- one like the Mona Lisa, one with a Mondrian style background, one like Warhol’s Marylin- whilst the little girl and the tiger cub read ‘The Tiger Who Came to Dinner’ and ‘The Human Who Came for Tea.’ There are partially hidden clues to the visitor’s identity on the newspaper that holds their fish and chips or the one that Grandma ‘reads’ upside-down without her glasses.

The story bounces along at a pleasing pace, allowing the reader to enjoy the visual jokes and waiting for Grandma to cotton on to the true identity of her new rescue. That the story acknowledges ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ means it is perfect for comparing the two tales and enjoying both the similarities and the differences. And there’s always the possibility of telling the next story- all about what Grandma hasn’t noticed next…

Big Cat Emma Lazell

Pavilion Books ISBN: 978-1843654018

The Green Giant

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Bea is leaving the city to visit her grandfather who lives in the country. He loves to work in his garden whereas she love to do nothing. When Iris, her sausage dog, chases a cat over the fence into next door’s garden, she follows and finds an overgrown wilderness. There she discovers an old greenhouse…and a giant made entirely from plants! The Green Giant explains how he had to leave the city, opening Bea’s eyes to the magic and wonder of nature. When she leaves to return home to the city, the giant gives her a present which helps transform the grey city in which she lives.

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A lovely story offering an important message about the wonder of green spaces and the magic of planting seeds and watching them grow, ‘The Green Giant’ is a fabulous book for sharing and promoting discussion. The Green Giant is reminiscent of the Green Man, often a symbol associated with rebirth on churches and that is what he longs for- a magical place where everything can grow.

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The illustrations are lovely, showing Bea come to love nature and awakening her love of the outdoors and all it offers. ‘Guerrilla gardening’ is on the increase as people come to understand the importance greenery has on people’s well being as well as the environment. The colours are bright and vivid, grabbing attention and emphasising the contrast between the grey of the city and the beauty of nature.

The Green Giant Katie Cottle

Pavilion ISBN: 978-1843654001