Over the Christmas holidays, what could be nicer than cuddling up with a small grandchild and sharing a new picture book? Here are three that are sure to amuse.
One day Beast catches a little boy and calls him Dinner. Dinner looks very tasty, so he invites all his beastly friends to a Beast feast.
He soon gets beastly replies. Hairy Fairy has listed all his dietary requirements.
- Dinner must be chilled before cooking
- No socks or shoes or toenails.
- No gluten or dairy.
- No bones.
All the other beasts send their preferences as well. One wants an extra muddy and slimy feast, one like very salty dishes, and another is particularly fond of chewing on chubby fingers and slurping on cockroach cola.
But Dinner has other ideas and plans to escape his horrible fate by turning Beast from an enemy into a friend. He makes him the best ever chocolate cake and they stay up all night eating and snacking (although Beast is secretly thinking it will help to make Dinner even plumper).
Dinner organises wonderful outings for the two of them swimming in the salty sea, chilling out in the snow, building snow monsters and wallowing in a muddy swamp.
They have so much fun together that Beast really doesn’t want to eat Dinner anymore. But what can he do when all his friends have already been invited?
Dinner helps him to find a very satisfying solution which not only caters for all the Beasts’ food preferences but takes Dinner off the menu.
At the front of the book are the recipes for a magnificent Beast Feast. Fortunately, the instructions lack detail so grandparents will have a cast iron excuse should a grandchild beg them to make eyeball sushi or slime soup.
A very witty and clever tale!
Beast Feast was written by Emma Yarlett. Publisher Walker books. RRP $27.99
I’ve Broken my Bum
When I Need a New Bum was read by a giggling Scottish granny to her grandchild on the internet. It instantly became an international smash hit.
Now New Zealand author, Dawn McMillan from Thames, has come up with a zany sequel in which the same little character falls of his bike. As he hits the ground his bum falls to bits. It takes him a lot of time and effort to glue it back together again.
Unfortunately, some of the glue dribbled onto the tray on which the bum was resting and now the tray is stuck to it and won’t come off. So, what can he do but stick his bum on to his body with the tray still attached.
It could have been disaster but as it turns out the tray is very useful as a built-in sledge, for sliding on sand dunes, winning at paintball, surfing big waves, and hill sliding. In fact, it is so great that all his friends want a tray stuck to their bums as well. So, they do it and have loads of fun together.
No need to say more about this book than that like the Scottish granny you might find yourself giggling uncontrollably as you read this story out loud (especially if you have had a glass or two of bubbly with your Christmas dinner).
I’ve Broken my Bum by Dawn McMillan is illustrated by Ross Kinnaird. Publisher: Oratia. RRP $19.99
Two for Me, One for You
When Bear finds three mushrooms on the way home Weasel is very excited. He wipes them, sears them, seasons them with plenty of salt and lets them simmer in the frying pan with a little parsley.
Then they sit down to eat but instead of just enjoying their little feast they start to argue. Bear thinks he should have two mushrooms because he is the biggest and needs to eat a lot. But weasel thinks it only fair that he should have two and bear should have one because he is still small and has to grow. It escalates into a full-scale war of words with each of them thinking of more and more reasons why they should have the most. Their friendship is about to come to an end when a greedy fox comes along.
But then Weasel serves up three strawberries for dessert and guess what? The arguments start all over again.
A lovely little fable about how not to share!
Author: Jorg Muhle. Gecko Press. RRP $19.99
Reviews by Lyn Potter
Parent and grandparent, Avid traveler, writer & passionate home cook