We are still reading A Pipkin of Pepper, and The Tiger Who Came to Tea has made a reappearance in our bedroom reads, but two new books in the post have also edged their way into Peapod’s oh-so-slow-to-change bedtime book basket!
The first of these is ‘Too Much Stuff’ by Emily Gravett, who I’m such a big fan of.
We’ve written before about Tidy which we love and Too Much Stuff returns to the woods with some familiar faces (I love Badger’s cameo in this!) but this time our main characters are Meg and Ash, a pair of magpies building a nest and preparing for their eggs to hatch.
In a move that will have parents everywhere smiling (they don’t call it nesting for nothing!), our pair start to fret about what their hatchling will need, each finding more and more ‘stuff’ their chicks just can’t do without, until their nest is lost under it all and one final addition might just be a step too far…
Just as Badger’s battle to balance his love of order and cleanliness with his natural wild surroundings saw us reminded – subtly and gently – about our impact and reliance the world around us, Too Much Stuff just as gently reminds us of quite literally that – the amount if stuff we buy, use and importantly throw away.
It’s a call to consider before we consume, and to reuse, recycle or pass on what we’re done with.
Of course, it’s also just a very funny story with a wonderful cast of characters! Reminiscent (but essentially very different from) Oliver Jeffers’ Stuck, it’s a hilariously daft scenario filled with warmth and such a pleasing resolution.
The addition of the vintage style magazine adverts in the end papers is glorious – funny and astute and perfectly delivering the message of the book.
They’ll raise a smile with adult readers and would be absolutely brilliant to focus on and use alongside the book in schools too, especially as a way of bringing picture books to slightly older readers.
It has everything you want in a story – drama, excitement, humour, warmth, friendship, a message that’s carefully woven into it and the gorgeous illustrations you’d expect from Emily Gravett.