Thursday, 28 April 2016

Albert's Tree by Jenni Desmond

Writer and illustrator Jenni Desmond is the creator of a treasure trove of books and her latest title, Albert's Tree, introduces us to a sweet young bear and an unlikely friendship. 

Albert's just woken up from a long winter and cannot wait to reacquaint himself with his favourite tree. He climbs up, assumes his springtime position on the familiar branch, but to his surprise the tree suddenly begins to cry.  It looks alright to Albert, in fact it looks the same as always but clearly something is making it very upset.

Rabbit and Caribou both offer to help and share what makes them feel better (digging holes and eating grass respectively), but Albert has no luck comforting his tree. Finally, in a last ditch attempt to soothe his special tree he climbs further up, gives it a hug and speaks to it in a gentle voice. And boy is he surprised to hear the tree answer back. A case of mistaken identities is later discovered as Albert meets tiny Owl who's been living in the tree over the winter.  The two quickly become friends and the tree becomes twice as special. 

A story about friendship and a a story about feeling sad and feeling better that's lovingly illustrated with adorable forest animals ... and a particularly beautiful tree.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

For the love of reading...

Well, I do declare, a certain someone in my house has discovered that he loves to read by himself and Roald Dahl is suddenly sharing a pedestal with Luke Skywalker. It's a joy to behold and a crash course in mixed metaphors as much of the Star Wars Lego has been dismantled to form a large chocolate factory. Even Yoda's legs have been transformed and are now part of an oompa loompa - this is getting serious folks.

E can't get enough of Roald Dahl at the moment and it's been an absolute pleasure to watch him devour the stories and grab hold of the magic. And while Roald Dahl's genius is not news to any of us, it's been such fun to discover it anew with my primary school aged partner in crime.

And because we live in London we are spoiled for choice when it comes to add-on book related activities. If you've not yet been then make sure to experience The Wondercrump World of Roald Dahl at the Southbank Centre; on until 3 July 2016. It's a mighty exhibition and I'm holding out until we finish the BFG before we go.

The Wondercrump

 And don't miss the Imagination Seekers and their interactive theatrical experience that explores Dahl's stories. You can catch them this spring at the the marvelous Barnes Children's Literature Festival on 14-15 May.

Imagination Seekers

Happy reading all!