Posts Tagged ‘Preschool’


David McKee
elmerElmer the elephant is bright-colored patchwork all over. No wonder the other elephants laugh at him! If he were ordinary elephant color, the others might stop laughing. That would make Elmer feel better, wouldn’t it? The surprising conclusion of David McKee’s comical fable is a celebration of individuality and the power of laughter.
Elmer the elephant, a colorful character because of his patchwork hide and sense of humor, tries to blend in with the herd, but soon realizes that he’s happiest just being himself.

I love Elmer, it is such a fun story and a real classic. My youngest daughter, nearly 3 years old, has just discovered it and it’s her current favourite bedtime read. To begin with I don’t think she really got the story but she did love the pictures of the elephants. She liked finding the big ones, small ones, ones with different ears and so on. She loves looking at all the colours on Elmer and pointing out which ones she knows and finding the animals Elmer walks past on his journey and naming them too. Her favourite page is when all the elephants dress up in different patterns at the end and choosing her ‘best one’. The pictures are great, lots of colour, lots of elephants and in this case a real aid to helping understand the story.

After a few readings we began to talk more about the story. Elmer is a patchwork elephant, so different to all his friends. He is also the life and soul of the party but one day he tires of being different and disguises himself as an ordinary elephant. When he comes back is friends don’t recognise him and Elmer finds things a little dull. He makes all the other elephants jump and surprises them, then they realise he is actually Elmer. This is a lot of fun and it was great to see Sienna on the day she realised that the grey elephant was Elmer dressed up. As I said the pictures really helped with this. As Elmer stood in the rain and you can see half of him patchwork and half grey the penny finally dropped. “that’s Elmer”!

With a slightly older child there is so much to get out of this too, about being yourself, being different and it’s not what you look like but what you are like that counts. But this isn’t told in any kind of moralistic way.

Verdict: It is a lively funny story that you can read over and over and get loads out of. Brilliant!

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Andersen
Publication Date: September 2007
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book, Preschool
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: British Book
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Willy and Hugh

Anthony Browne

It’s not easy being a chimp in a world of oversized gorillas, and in WILLY AND HUGH, our scrawny hero is lonely for a pal. Hulking Hugh seems an unlikely candidate, but as Willy discovers, the oddest couples can make the best of friends.

This is such a lovely story. Willy is a lonely chimp, picked on by others when he literally bumps into Hugh Jape (great name!) in the park one day and his whole life is changed. He has a friend.

Friendship is always a good theme for children’s books and this works on many levels. Willy is no longer lonely, and when Buster arrives on the scene Willy finds he has a friend who will stand up for him and look after him. They enjoy sharing time and experiences together and best of all Willy even gets to reciprocate and help Hugh when he finds a ‘terrifying creature’! As an adult reader you can spot a whole host of subtleties in the writing that you could talk about with your child if you so wished.

There are great touches of humour in the story and in the illustrations. The pictures are really well done, adding much to the text in the way only good illustrations can.

Verdict:This is a brilliant read and a fun book to share.

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Candlewick
Publication Date:April 2003
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Preschool, Friendship
Age: Picture Book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: None
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On The Shelf

ON THE SHELF: This is Big Book Little Book’s version of the meme ‘In My Mailbox’ created by The Story Siren.  Each month we post about all of the books we have added to our book shelves in the preceding month, whether they be bought, borrowed, swapped or received for review.


Aliens Love Underpants! by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort. Paperback. Bought (Jane)

Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Paperback. Bought (Jane)

Dora the Explorer mini boxed set of 4 by Various. Hardback. Bought (Lesley)

Ella Bella Ballerina and Cinderella by James Mayhew. Paperback. Borrowed Library(Karen)

Hide and Seek by Jez Alborough. Paperback. Borrowed from preschool library (Lesley)

Mr. Bump by Roger Hargreaves. Paperback. Bought (Jane)

Mrs Muffly’s Monster by Sarah Dyer. Paperback. Borrowed by library(Karen)

Paddington  by Michael Bond and  R.W. Alley. Paperback. Bought (Jane)
Room on The Broom by Julia Donaldson and  Axel Scheffler. Bought (Jane)
The Little Lost Robin by Elizabeth Baguley. Paperback. Borrowed from Library(Karen)

The Princess Who Had No Kingdom byUraula Jones and Sarah Gibb. Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

The Tiger who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr and Geraldine McEwan. Bought (Jane)

Yo Ho Ho! A-Pirating We’ll Go by Kaye Umansky and Nick Sharratt. Bought (Jane)


Sara Crew,Or What Happened at Miss Minchin’s Boarding School by Frances Hodgeson Burnett. Kindle. Bought (Helen)

Young Adult

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Kindle. Bought (Caroline)

Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles. Hardback. Bought (Caroline)

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting. Kindle. Bought (Caroline)

Die for Me by Amy Plumb. Kindle. Bought (Caroline)

Far from the War by Jeffrey David Payne. Review Copy. Received from author (Caroline)

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens. Kindle. Bought (Caroline)

Passion by Lauren Kate. Paperback(Signed). Bought (Caroline)

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles.Paperback. Bought (Caroline)

Silver and Bone by J.D. Thompson. Review Copy. Received from author(Caroline)

A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis by Irene Woodbury. Review Copy. Received from author (Lesley)

A Weekend with Mr Darcy by Victoria Connelly. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)
Fourteen Days Later by Sibel Hodge. Kindle. Bought(Helen)
Just For The Summer by Judy Astley. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris. Kindle. Bought(Helen)

Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy. Paperback. Borrowed (Jane)

One Day by David Nicholls. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

Other People’s Husbands by Judy Astley. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

Pleasant Vices by Judy Astley. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

Spying in Heels Series books 1-7 by Gemma Halliday.Kindle. Bought (Helen)
Sweet Temptation by Lucy Diamond. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)
The Case of the Missing Boyfriend by Nick Alexander. Kindle. Bought (Helen)
Three Weeks To Say Goodbye by C.J. Box. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)
Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahearn. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)
While I’m Still Myself by Jeremy Lane. Review Copy. Received from author

White Lies and Custard Creams by Susan Alison. Kindle. Bought (Lesley)

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On The Shelf:

ON THE SHELF: Our version of the meme ‘In My Mailbox’ created by The Story Siren.  Each month we post about all of the books we have added to our book shelves in the preceding month, whether they be bought, borrowed, swapped or received for review.


Fireman Sam Touch and Feel by Various. Board book. Bought.(Caroline)

Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees’. Picture book. Brought.(Caroline)

If I Were a Cow by Anne Wilkinson.Board book. Bought.(Lesley)

Noddy(x10) by Enid Blyton. Paperback. Bought.(Helen)

That’s not my Tractor by Fiona Watt. Board book. Bought.(Lesley)

The Princess and the Wizard by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. Picture book. Brought(Caroline)

The Very Lazy Ladybird by Isobel Finn and Jack Tickle.Picture book. Bought(Lesley)


Clover by Susan M Coolidge. Kindle. Bought.(Helen)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. Paperback. Bought.(Jack)

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K.Rowling. Paperback(Jack)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K.Rowling.Paperback(Jack)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K.Rowling. Paperback. Bought.(Jack)

The Marvelous book of Magical Horses by Klutz. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

The Tales of Beedle The Bard by J.K Rowling. Hardback. Bought (Karen)

What Katy did at school by Susan M Coolidge.Kindle. Bought.(Helen)

What Katy did next by  Susan M Coolidge. Kindle. Bought.(Helen)

Young Adult

Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Paperback. Bought.(Caroline)

Henderson Boys: Grey Wolves by Richard Muchmore. Paperback. Bought. (Dan)

Jessie Hears NYC by Keris Stainton. Paperback. Won from Publisher Hachette Children’s Books . (Caroline)

Magus of Stonewylde by Kit Berry. Paperback. Bought .(Caroline and Dan)

Meant to Be by Tiffany King. eBook. Won from blog: Word Spelunking .(Caroline)

Moondance of Stonewylde by Kit Berry.Paperback. Bought. (Dan)

Shadows at Stonewylde by Kit Berry. Hardback. Bought. (Caroline)

Solstice at Stonewylde by Kit Berry.Paperback. Bought.(Dan)

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. Signed Paperback. Won from AuthorJosephine Angelini (Caroline)

You against me by Jenny Downham. Paperback. Bought.(Caroline)


Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter 1st edtion, 1st print. Hardback.Signed. Bought. (Karen)

Chicken’s Mules and two old fools by Victoria Twead. Kindle. Bought.(Lesley)

Deadly Intent by Lynda La Plante. Hardback. Bought. (Karen)

Fever of the Bone by Val McDermid. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

Northern Lights by Nora Roberts. Paperback.Bought.(Helen)

One Day by David Nicholls.Paperback.Bought.(Helen)

Organised Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider.Hardcover. Bought. (Lesley)

Pearl of China by Anchee Min. Paperback. Won from publisher Bloomsbury via Twitter.(Caroline)

Remember me? by Sophie Kinsella. Paperback. Bought. (Karen)

Silent Scream by Lynda La Plante. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

Sowing Secrets by Trish Ashley. Kindle. Bought.(Lesley)

The Case of the Missing Boyfriend by Nick Alexander.Kindle. Bought. (Lesley)
The Distant Hours by Kate Morton. Paperback. Bought.(Helen)
The Right Attitude to Rain  by Alexander McCall Smith. Paperback.Bought.(Helen)
The Sound of Laughter by Peter Kay. Hardback. Bought.(Karen)
Witness the Night by Kishwar Desai. Paperback. Bought.(Karen)

61 Hours by Lee Child. Paperback. Bought. (Karen)

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On The Shelf

This is Big Book Little Book’s version of the meme ‘In My Mailbox’ created by The Story Siren.  Each month we post about all of the books we have added to our book shelves in the preceding month, whether they be bought, borrowed, swapped or received for review.

Wow this month we have really been splashing the cash! Let us know what you think of our shelf.  Have you read any of the books listed? Which books would you like to see reviewed?

Bloodstream by Tess Gerittsen Paperback.(Karen)
But Can Drink Water?  Jan Hurst-Nicholson . Kindle.(Lesley)
Fallen  by Karin Slaughter. Hardback.(Karen)
Good at Games by Jill Mansell. Paperback. (Lesley)
Jo Frost’s Confident Toddler Care  by Jo Frost. Hardback. (Jane)
Love, Sex and Tesco’s Finest Cava by S. Carter. Kindle. (Lesley)
Minding Frankie by Maeve Binchy. Paperback.(Helen)
Play To Kill  by P.J Tracy.  Paperback. (Karen)
The Life Of Polycrates Other Stories For Antiquated Children by Brendan Connell. PDF. Sent by Author for review.

The Queens Fool by Phillippa Gregory.  Paperback. (Helen)

The Silent Girl  by Tess Gerritson.  Hardback.(Karen)
The Surgeon  by Tess Gerritson.  Paperback.  (Caroline)
 The Wire In The Blood  by  Val McDermid. Hardback. (Karen)
Wedding Cake To Turin  by Lynda Renham. Kindle.(Lesley)
Where Rainbows End  by Cecilia Ahern.  Hardback. (Karen)

Wuthering Heights  By Emily Bronte .Paperback.(Karen)

Young Adult
Blue Moon by Alyson Noel. Paperback. (Karen)
Corsets and Clockwork : 13 Steampunk Romances edited by Trisha Telep. Kindle. (Caroline)
Everlasting  by Alyson Noel. Paperback. (Caroline)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan. Kindle. (Caroline)
FirelightForever by Maggie Stiefvater US Hardback. (Caroline) Paperback. (Lesley)
Forgotten by Cat Patrick.  Paperback. (Caroline)
Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey. Kindle. (Caroline)
Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Paperback. (Karen)
Shadows On The Moon by Zoe Marriott.  Kindle. (Caroline)
Hush, HushStarcrossed by Josephine Angelini. Kindle.(Caroline)
The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening AND The Struggle by L J Smith. Paperback.(Karen)
The Vampire Diaries:The Captive Part 2 AND The Power by L J Smith. Paperback.(Karen)
The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl, Book 2)Children’s
Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident by Eoin Colfer. Hardback.(Karen)
Disney Pixar Cars 2 by Lisa Marsoli.  Hardback.(Jane)
Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake. Paperback.(Helen)
The Chronicles Of Narnia Box Set by  C.S. Lewis .Paperback.(Caroline)

Horse Tales by June Crebbin.  Hardback.(Karen)

Tabby MctatPre School
Again! by John Prater. Paperback.(Helen)
Its The Bear by Jez Alborough and Niamh Sharkey.(Helen)
Roary’s First Day Roary The Racing Car by Rachel Dawson. Paperback.(Jane)
Tabby McTat by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Paperback.(Helen)
The Octonauts And The Frown FishThe Octonauts and the Frown Fish by Meomi. Paperback.(Jane)
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