Summer – Time! Holidays have started here where we live in The Netherlands and I am busy keeping the girls busy.
So time to update my blog with some good summer kids books. Oh by the way, if can’t find me for while on my blog, check http://www.amsterdam-mamas.nl. I write a review for this website every month, without fail, so you can catch me there.
Today’s books are on sport … it is summer after all. Last year we were getting ready for the summer Olympics so here we go, some great books on sporting competitions and being active.
The Champion Hare is a fun book with rhyming text written by Gwen Christie and illustrated by Paul Wrangles (Makalini Publishing).
The story is about a hare that joins a sporting contest in which, every few years, the fittest, fastest and strongest animals compete. Hare tries his best, he runs, jumps, pole vaults, throws a javelin and when exhausted, he takes a rest and eats a carrot.
His competitors are much bigger and stronger than he is. There is a zebra, an ostrich, a cheetah and a giraffe that beats him at the high jump by merely stepping over the bar. But Hare never gives up! When he comes second in the final event, he admits that although he didn’t win once, he tried it all and enjoyed every event. What a sport! To Hare’s surprise, he is nevertheless presented with a medal. All along, unknowingly, he had been competing in a decathlon and was declared the winner: The Champion Hare! “Hop Hop Hurrah”! Brilliant message about never giving up and that taking part is what matters.
The book has a good length, the rhyming text flows nicely and the illustrations of ‘sporting animals’ are fun and expressive! 4 years +
Another book based on a competition but for slightly younger readers (2yrs +) is Elmer and the Stranger written and illustrated by David McKee (Andersen). Elmer the patchwork elephant is out and about when his friends come to tell him that they have just spotted a very unhappy looking kangaroo that is jumping and falling over.
The kangaroo tells Elmer & friends that he is secretly preparing for a kangaroo jumping competition. He is convinced that he can only bounce but not jump. As soon as he tries to jump he falls over. He is terribly worried that he will embarrass himself in front of all the other competing kangaroos.
Elmer and his friends decide to help him and when it comes to his turn in the competition, they trick him into forgetting that he is in fact ‘jumping’. Of course, the kangaroo wins and realises that he can bounce and jump and just needs to believe in himself.
As with all Elmer books, the text is easy for young readers to follow and the colours & patterns are stunning.
Finally, Hop, Skip, and Jump Maisy! by Lucy Cousins (Candlewick Press) is a very clever book for energetic and sporty toddlers.
The story is based on Maisy’s day. We follow her from the time she gets up until she goes to bed. On the left page there is the text about what Maisy is up to and on the right page there is Maisy with a tab. If you pull the tab, Maisy will jump, touch her toes and even do a summersault. Children are encouraged to participate, to get moving by imitating Maisy’s movements. In the middle of her active day, Maisy takes a break and has a healthy lunch with juice and fruit.
It’s a large, colourful board book full of fun. It keeps children moving for quite a while on both rainy & sunny days. And it’s such a good laugh when there are a few toddlers participating. Although Maisy snuggles into bed on the last page, don’t give in and read this as a bed time story. Take my word, it won’t get them off to sleep!
If you want to have a peek inside, the publisher put a ‘virtual book video’ onto you tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxHDBc09Q4M
Next review coming soon – we are going on a picnic!