Posts Tagged ‘Steve Smallman’

Don’t Wake The Bear Hare

Steve Smallman and Caroline Pedler

Don’t Wake The Bear HareIt was Spring Party Day, the best day of the year,
So why were all the animals trembling with fear?

Bear has gone to sleep in a tree very near where the animals are planning to have their Spring party. The animals think that bears are scary and are terrified of waking him up so they set about their party preparations as quietly as they can. As they totter back and forth with noisy crockery and a slippery jelly they have the odd mishap, but when hare starts to blow up a balloon and then gets carried away and it pops what will happen when bear wakes up? Of course bear turns out to be quite different from what the animals expected and is very excited at being able to join in with the party.

This is a sweet, rhyming story that my girls like to join in with, they enjoy wondering what bear will do, the anticipation of the balloon bursting and then the party at the end. The pictures are charming, light hearted and weave in beautifully with the text. There is plenty to look at and enjoy. I also liked the uses of different sizes of text in the book, it definitely makes it easy to read aloud with lots of emphasis and drama.

Verdict: This is a lovely story and fun for younger children.

Publisher: Little Tiger Press
Publication Date: January 2011
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture book
Age: Picture book
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy (Booktrust)
Challenge: British book
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Dragon Stew

Steve Smallman and Lee Wildish (Illustrator)

Five bored Vikings went out hiking, looking for adventure, something daring, bold and new. So they thought they’d hunt a dragon, and tie it to their wagon, take it home and chop it up and make a dragon stew! But when the Vikings set off to find their dragon, they get a BIG surprise

We have just acquired this book and we love it! It has been read most nights since we got it, and we still giggle every time. As you can see from the above it is written in rhyme and is really easy to read aloud. The pictures are brightly coloured, with lots of detail and humour and they back up the story fantastically well.

The Vikings load up their boat and go to hunt down a dragon when they are bored one day. None of them actually even know what a dragon is! They take sardine sandwiches (the picture shows us that the sardines may still be alive!) and set off in their Viking boat with things to catch a dragon. Among the things they take is a poking stick, this is seen to be a long pole with a silly hand tied on to literally poke the dragon. On the way they scare off a squid by holding up smelly socks and tie themselves to a killer whale to hitch a lift. Eventually they find their dragon, not that they realise it as they climb up his scales, and then they get more than they bargained for.

You may guess from all this that the humour is quite silly, the mention of stinky socks and dragon poo is all it takes to make many a pre-schooler laugh and the writer has used this to best advantage. The escapades of the Vikings are all a bit nutty, and what happens to their bottoms in the end is ingenious. If you like to be very proper with your children this may not be for you, but it is not obtuse, and as the dragon really has the upper hand you may even find a good moral in this story.

Verdict: A brilliantly silly, funny read, it will be loved by children and read repeatedly

Reviewed by Helen

Publisher: Little Tiger Press
Publication Date: August 2010
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
Genre: Picture Book
Age: Picture Books, Early Readers
Reviewer: Helen
Source: Own Copy
Challenge: N/A
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