Three Billy Goats Gruff - Picture Book
Three Billy Goats Gruff - Colouring Book
Age range: 5 - 6 years
As a writer of picture books I spend a lot of time reading picture books and analysing why they work and how I can use this in my own work. So when I discovered this retelling of my favourite story, I knew I had to read it.
The illustrations are big and bold with sharp, angular lines
that support this 'edgy' story. I like the way some of the text are in speech bubbles and some of the actions words have become part of the page design.
Repetition and rhyme is used to good effect, something a lot of picture books include as it allows the child to anticipate the story and join in with certain words and phrases. This allows aids with the reading, making it an easy to read-aloud book.
The plus with this picture book is that there is a colouring book that compliments it. Some of the words are also missing, so the child can fill in for themselves. Something as a teacher I'm all for as it adds another dimension to the reading experience and supports a child's small motor and word recognition skills.
Reviewer - Lynne Garner
Saturday, 6 January 2018
Wednesday, 27 December 2017
From the Heart of a Copy Editor - (the 10 most common mistakes and how to fix them) by Sheila Glasbey
Genre: educating and reference, Writing, editing
Available as an ebook only - UK edition only, at time of writing this review.
As a writer, I’m always looking for something to help me improve my writing. As a teacher, who has to ensure I can support my students with their SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) I’m always on the lookout for a book I can recommend to my students.
This book’s written in a light-hearted and chatty manner making it a far more enjoyable way of learning than ploughing through some of the more conventional grammar books.
It’s written by professional copy editor and is based on her experiences working for other writers. It covers ten common mistakes made by all levels of writers. It includes simple to follow explanations and includes easy to follow samples that provided me with that ‘lightbulb moment’ - when something clicks and you suddenly understand.
It’s a book I’ll be keeping near to hand as I write, just so I can double check my SPAG and one I can recommend to my students.
Reviewer: Lynne Garner
Wednesday, 20 December 2017
I once inherited a marmot-fur coat. By one of those weird coincidences, my friend Di inherited a mink one at more or less the same time. Both coats were short and boxy; very 1920s-30s, so the poor little beasts had gone to meet their makers (ho ho) long before either of us was born. What to do with them, though? They were potentially saleable (especially Di’s mink) but that didn’t seem right. In the end, we discovered that Oxfam would take them to send to folk in very cold climates, so we decided to donate them, but we would first wear them once and once only. I can’t remember why we thought this was a good idea, but it was probably a nod to the elderly relatives who had bequeathed them to us. The one-and-only occasion we chose was Midnight Mass in Romsey Abbey, which would be perishing cold. So we went in our outdated finery, a touch of Mammon in the holy place, and shortly after the service began, a couple of noisy drunks staggered in. There was much tutting, some moves to evict them, but the priest said they were welcome, as everyone was in God’s house.
Cue to Kipling’s poem Eddi’s Sevice:
Eddi, priest of St Wilfrid
In the chapel at Manhood End,
Ordered a midnight service
For such as cared to attend.
But the Saxons were keeping Christmas,
And the night was stormy as well.
Nobody came to the service,
Though Eddi rang the bell.
‘Wicked weather for walking,’
Said Eddi of Manhood End.
‘’But I must go on with the service
For such as care to attend.’
The altar-lamps were lighted, -
An old marsh-donkey came,
Bold as a guest invited,
And stared at the guttering flame.
The storm beat on at the windows,
The water splashed on the floor,
And a wet, yoke-weary bullock
Pushed in through the open door.
‘How do I know what is greatest,
How do I know what is least?
That is my Father’s business,’
Said Eddi, Wilfrid’s priest.
‘But – three are gathered together –
Listen to me and attend.
I bring good news, my brethren,’
Said Eddi of Manhood End.
And he told the Ox of a manger,
And a stall in Bethlehem,
And he spoke to the Ass of a Rider
That rode to Jerusalem.
They steamed and dripped in the chancel,
They listened and never stirred,
While, just as though they were Bishops,
Eddi preached them The Word.
Till the gale blew off on the marshes
And the windows showed the day,
And the Ox and the Ass together
Wheeled and clattered away.
And when the Saxons mocked him,
Said Eddi of Manhhod End,
‘I dare not shut his chapel
On such who care to attend.’
So, there you have some of the inevitable aspects of Christmas: holiness, sentimentality, and a reckless midwinter lash-up. And now it is upon us once again, with its extraordinary confusion of the Christian message and the Pagan middle-of-the-dark-and-maybe-the-sun-will-never-shine-again Whoop-de-do. I’m as confused as anyone else. I love singing carols, I put up a crib in the hall, have frequented Midnight Mass (and longed for all the bells to ring out at 12 but they don’t here). I re-wrote the story of Babushka because I didn’t think the ending was about the redemptive power of love - and it should be. Not bad for an at-best Agnostic.
We once went to Tromso, up in the Arctic Circle, in early January. The little town was covered in snow and every window had an arch of candles in it. It was dark almost all of the time, except for about four hours of enchanting twilight between about ten a.m. and four p.m. The moon was full and every night, the Aurora Borealis appeared in the sky. I hadn’t taken on board that they dance, change shape, move silently across the sky and are like transparent veils of green, gold and lilac. Numinous? Oh yes. There is, of course, a scientific explanation but it doesn’t detract from the wondrousness. Perhaps that’s where stories arise: somewhere between the everyday realities and the unearthly mysteries.
I haven’t even been at the sherry yet.
Monday, 18 December 2017
Murder in the Manager by Debbie Young
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Humour, Romance
This is the first in this series of books that I've read (I know you're supposed to read them in order), but it was a gift. However, I didn’t feel this was an issue as I was able to follow the story and grow to know the characters.
Thankfully it was the type of mystery book I like to read. As in true Midsummer Murder tradition, there’s someone shouting murder in the first chapter.
The book follows the life of Sophie Sayer as she navigates writing a script for the village play, dealing with the arrival of an ex-boyfriend, nurturing a new romance and working out who shouts from the back pew of the church, “My baby! You’ve murder my baby!”
The story includes all the festive feel you'd expect from the title. The author includes humour and shows a keen understanding of human nature, all at a relaxed pace, making it an ideal festive read.