Peapod’s Picks is a weekly round up of some of the books that Peapod* has read (often, but not always, for his bedtime stories) each week plus a review of at least one of them.
*His social media alter ego, not his real name!
Peapod went on his first holiday last week. It got mixed reviews – the pool/paddling pool were fine if attempted at exactly the right time, the beach was a flat out no, the mealtimes and people watching firm favourites and staying somewhere that wasn’t home was quite frankly an outrage.
Luckily, his holiday reads were better received. I’ve split this into two posts (we took a fair few books!) Today’s is all about the picture books we took for bedtime and we’ll follow it with a board book post next week.
Julia Donaldson ended up with quite a monopoly on our holiday reads – we took What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday and Sharing a Shell (both illustrated by Lydia Monks) as well as one of my favourite JD books The Snail and the Whale (illustrated, of course, by Axel Scheffler).
Peapod had a right giggle at Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len!
What The Ladybird Heard on Holiday was Peapod’s Dad’s book of the holiday, though I confess that while I don’t mind it, it’s not a favourite of mine. Peapod seemed to like the bad guys too, giving them a good chuckle here and there. They’re out to steal the Queen’s crown, with the help of a kidnapped monkey, but the ladybird hears their plan and puts a plan of her own in place to try sbd thwart them…
I much prefer Sharing a Shell – 3 friends, one shell. All bring their unique talents to the mix to live harmoniously…until the shell gets too small! It’s a lovely tale of friendships and fall outs, as well as a nice way to start finding out more about sea creatures.
In related news – we saw two tiny hermit crabs while trying to tempt Peapod (unsuccessfully) into the sea for a paddle!
I love The Snail and the Whale, it was always a favourite while teaching. A snail hitches a ride around the world on the tale of a whale. I always enjoy seeing and reading about their journey and Snail is an inspiring character – small but brave and determined, she uses her strengths and follows her dreams.
We found out recently that The Gruffalo appears in all the other Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler collaborations too so I (I mean Peapod, obviously…) had fun finding him in this!
We also took some library books. We looked last week for any with a holiday theme, but didn’t come up with much.
We did find one though – Harry and the Dinosaurs on Holiday by Ian Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds. This was my favourite library book that we took away with us. Harry and the dinosaurs are off to Australia. This is a brilliant book for young children going on holiday, especially their first – it looks at all the things Harry and the Dinosaurs are excited about seeing and doing, as well as their nerves; we see them at the airport and missing Nan who stayed at home; there’s snaps of all the things they do and then we see them home again, Nan there to meet them at the airport. We’ll be buying this one and reading before/on future holidays!
Having to broaden our search to sea, sun, sand rather than strictly holiday, we took two pirate themed ones – Peapod’s Dad loves having a chance to do a pirate voice!
Pi-rat by Maxine Lee was a short but enjoyable read about an imaginative and playful bathtime. Ideal for encoursging more reluctant bathers, it’s one I’d happily read again but I wouldn’t go out of my way to.
Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party by Lucy Coats and Chris Mould gets much the same reaction personally, but I know kids would really enjoy it. Captain Beastlie is stinky, yukky and downright dirty, but his crew are the complete opposite. We follow him and his filthy ways in the lead up to his birthday and the surprise the crew have in store. I can see it being a popular one with slightly older kids as the descriptions of Captain Beastlie’s disgusting ways are sure to thrill and disgust in equal measure.
Three By the Sea by Mini Grey is a tale along the lines of Helen Cooper’s Pumpkin Soup. Three friends live together in a hut by the sea, splitting the chores between them happily until a stranger blows in and stirs up bad feelings. The illustrations are lovely and I liked mouse, dog and cat, but the way they all fell out felt a bit contrived and the stranger just seemed, well, strange. It’s nice enough, but no one does this better than Helen Cooper, buy Pumpkin Soup instead!
The other book I wanted to get but was too disorganised to buy in time was Winnie and Wilbur at the Seaside – next time!
Do you have any favourite holiday themed picture books?