Jack, Zac and Caspar were making a den,
a mighty great fort for King Jack and his men.
A big cardboard box, an old sheet and some sticks,
a couple of bin bags, a few broken bricks.
My friend A. (who also introduced our family to Dogger) is a wonderful present buyer. Which, now that I’ve written it, sounds like faint praise. But as anyone who’s as frequently stumped by gift-giving as I am knows, it is (if you’ll excuse the pun) a true gift.
Anyway, for the Pip-Pop’s first birthday back in November she sent him the perfect book: King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bently. Not only is it a fantastic story, it’s irresistibly illustrated by the wonderful Helen Oxenbury, and one of the characters (the one who looks most like him!) has the same name as the Pip-Pop. See – magical gift-giving powers.
The story is magical too. Jack and his friends Zak and baby Caspar spend the day in the garden building a den and fighting dragons and monsters. Cue the Pip-Pop’s terrifying roar at the pages of scaly dragons and slightly baffled looking beasts. But when darkness falls, giants come and take Zak and Caspar inside, leaving King Jack to fight dragons alone. Wrapped up in his blanket, sitting on his throne, the animal noises in the garden don’t scare King Jack – or do they? And what is the THING with four feet coming to get him?
It’s another one that works equally well for both boys (1 & 4), and that their big sister is more than happy to read for them too. Whimsical, simple and wonderfully satisfying, it’s destined to be a classic round here.