mini Book Review

Time to get out of the bath, Shirley by John Burningham


A delightful little picture book that I picked up at the library today. It is the story of Shirley, lost in a colourful daydream while her mum tries to get her out of the bath. So while her mum chats away in a banal way on the left hand page, Shirley is off on an adventure with her toy duck on the right.

It reminds me of Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, published 15 years earlier, which is a similar story of children shutting out the real world in favour of the adventures that take place in their imaginations. It also makes me wonder where my own little duck disappears to when she’s in the bath, squealing with delight and splashing her hands. Is she off to a magical land of knights on white chargers and fairytale castles? More likely she is squealing to drown out her annoying mum’s version of ‘If you are happy and you know it, splash your hands’ and other watery tunes.


mini Book Review

The Stinky Cheese Man (and other fairly stupid tales) by Jon Scieszka


It was with an air of nostalgia that I picked up this book at East Sheen library today. The last time I read it was during a children’s literature class at college. It was great being able to reread it for the sheer joy of it (and particularly enjoy the award-winning illustrations by Lane Smith) without thinking about its ‘intertextuality’, ‘unreliable narration’, ‘post-modernism’ and other metafictive devices. Saying that, it’s not as clever as I remembered. And it’s not anywhere near as funny as Roald Dahl’s ‘Revolting Rhymes’.