All posts filed under: picture books

We love: King Jack and the Dragon

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 …

We love: This Little Cat

The Pip-Pop is fourteen months. His favourite word is ‘cat’. He’s also very fond of ‘hat’. ‘Hat’ involves a long-running joke in which he places a book, a sock, or a buttery piece of toast on his head, smiles his devastating smile and says ‘hat’, then waits for our appreciation. We, of course, laugh every time. Or at least – in the case of the toast – smile and sigh, ‘Oh, Pops!’ while rubbing at his head with a baby wipe. Someone must have taught him this. I fear it was me. Anyway, back to ‘cat’. His Christmas stocking contained the perfect book for a cat-loving baby: Petr Horáček‘s This Little Cat. Its differently sized pages are perfect for chubby little hands to turn and it builds to the most delicious joke: the last cat is ready and waiting to eat you up. The Pip-Pop roars with delight as the final page is turned. He’s even added ‘tiger’ to his repertoire. Quite something for someone who refuses to recognise the existence of dogs – far …

Dogger

We didn’t find out the sex of our children before they were born. I have a feeling that we said we wanted a surprise. But honestly? Honestly, there were two reasons. It felt like it would make it too terrifyingly real, and like it would be risking too much to know, tempting fate to find out. As it turned out, the first time I forgot to look. The Biscuit must have been at least ten minutes old when a midwife asked me whether the perfect bundle at my breast was a girl or a boy. I think she’d given up waiting for me to find out. (A baby! I’d had a baby! Particularly confusing because just an hour or so earlier I’d been told that I wasn’t in labour and been handed a couple of paracetamol. But that’s a whole other story). We were wiser second time round. Or at least I knew that when you have contractions at nearly 42 weeks, a baby is likely to ensue. I looked down seconds after the Moose …