Monday, 13 May 2013

Dad's Nursery’s first book review!

The lovely folk at My Little Big Town Publishing contacted me a while back to ask if I would review some books for them and I was very happy to assist, although I must apologise for the length of time it’s taken me to finally get this post finished!

Miss D (aged 5) and Little Dude (aged 3) both love books. Mrs D and I have been reading to them both since they were bumps. At first it was a slightly strange experience to be reading a Mr Men book to a little person you hadn’t met yet, but very rewarding to see Mrs D’s tummy moving around as ‘bump’ enjoyed the story!

Anyway, back to the matter in hand. We were kind enough to receive four books for review: Anisha’s Adventures in Bangladesh written by Moinul Islam and Illustrated by Calvin Innes, and three titles written and illustrated by Calvin Innes – Pale Henry, Jenny, and Stuart the Bug Eating Man.

Anisha’s Adventures in Bangladesh:

Ideally suited to my daughter’s age group, the book tells the story of Anisha’s birthday party and her magical adventures around Bangladesh with her pet pony, Chloe. The book is colourfully illustrated throughout and quite Dora the Explorer-esque in terms of the look so would certainly appeal to those fans. In terms of content, I won’t spoil the story but in our case it certainly had all the necessary elements to keep a 5 year old girl interested  – ponies, puppies, parties, pretty dresses, magic and adventure!

As well as entertaining, the book is educational. Within the main story it cleverly gives a snapshot of Bangladesh on subjects as diverse as wildlife, architecture and sport. My daughter found this element very interesting and at those points it was nice to feel like I was discussing the book with her rather than just reading it.

It was refreshing to read a book that introduces children to another country’s culture in such an entertaining way and I hope this is the start of many more adventures. My daughter keeps asking me where Anisha will go next!

Pale Henry:

A short story about Henry, a boy who spends all of his time in his family’s loft, too scared to go out and mix with other children and preferring the company of spiders and moths! When, after much deliberation he eventually summons up the courage to venture outside he finally realises just how much he has been missing out on!
Featuring some nice illustrations by the author, the book is written in verse and this aspect certainly helped keep my son’s interest (being a huge Dr Seuss fan). An enjoyable story with a definite message for shy kids, namely get out there and enjoy yourselves! Of the three books from Calvin Innes, this was my daughter’s favourite.


The tale of Jenny, an 8-year old werewolf hunter! As with Pale Henry, very entertaining cartoon style illustrations from the author and a book that Miss D and Little Dude enjoyed very much. For me, it was nice to meet a character that isn’t obsessed with ponies and princesses, and certainly one that I think could be developed further for more adventures!

Stuart the Bug Eating Man:

The title pretty much gives this one away! Stuart is middle-aged, unemployed, a burden on his family and a disgusting one at that – he loves eating bugs. While the rest of the family are sitting around the breakfast table with toast, he’s tucking into a bowl of dragonflies and washing it down with a glass of slug juice!

Hassled by his wife to get a job, Stuart finally realises his true calling in life – a pest control man! Fame and fortune follow but despite his new found wealth, Stuart can’t kick the habit and still enjoys his bug diet.
A fun read with a few ‘yuk’ moments and a few laugh-out-loud ones too!

Many thanks to My Little Big Town, they advertise themselves as “a company who specialise in creating books and comics that children WANT to read. Exciting, gross, silly and entertaining books”. They have certainly delivered on that promise with the selection that Family D have been reading!

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