Sunday, 30 August 2009

Time for School!

Getting ready to go back to school after a long summer holiday is hard for children, teachers, parents and even librarians!  After all we have all just been enjoying a few long luxurious weeks of not having to do very much, jetting off on holidays if we are lucky and generally having a very nice time.  Many children will be very keen to tell their friends and teachers all about their summer holiday experiences but there is one who really doesn’t want to go back to the first day of term.  This child’s name is Michael and in a hilarious collection of letters to his teacher ‘Dear Miss’ written by Any Husband and published by Meadowside, Michael tries to use his imagination to save him from school.  Will it work or will he be lured in by Misses responses – I will leave the reader will have to discover.  In the meantime here is a taster of Michael’s summer excuses!

Open up the envelope styled book to see a letter from Michael’s headmaster informing him who his new teacher is and how hard he is going to have to work, move on then to Michael’s own letters and telegrams explaining how he has been on a secret mission taking him to the Himalayas, into the Amazon jungle and even onto the ocean.  Unfortunately pirates, alligators and other problems befall Michael making him potentially late for the start of term, can his teacher’s letter of welcome lure him back sooner?

For pre-school children not yet having to experience the first day of term there is pleasure in ‘Dig the Dog’.  Dig’s problems come in the form of Doug the Dog who steals his lovely juicy bone!  Maddy McClellan’s hilarious illustrations and Alison Maloney’s intelligent story writing combine to provide pre-school children with a delightful medley of madness and mayhem in the garden.  The story is a simple one, but very funny and it is the wonderful illustration, as riotous as the story, really bringing the book to life.  The scruffy Doug, smart Dig, scared cats, flying mud and general madcap mayhem jump off the page into the imagination and provide a wonderfully entertaining story to share and enjoy whilst older children head back to school.