The Enormous Turnip; The Elves and the Shoemaker; The Gingerbread Man; The Little Red Hen; The Sly Fox and the Little Red Hen; TheThree Billy Goats Gruff
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This issue’s cover is from a stunning new picture book, Mary’s Secret by David McKee (Andersen Press, 0 86264 909 9, £9.99). An ecological fable about doing without cars, McKee’s story with its bright pictures full of well observed detail is set within Mary’s cheerful family and at her school. His bold, painterly illustrations use the page so confidently and dextrously that their quirky, decorative perspectives seem entirely natural. Thanks to Andersen Press for their help in producing this September cover.
The Enormous Turnip
Retold by Irene Yates
The Elves and the Shoemaker
Retold by Lorna Read
The Gingerbread Man
Retold by Alan MacDonald
The Little Red Hen
Retold by Ronne Randall
The Sly Fox and the Little Red Hen
Retold by Mandy Ross
TheThree Billy Goats Gruff
Retold by Irene Yates
This new series of almost square hardback books is bright and colourful, with text and illustrations working together on every page. The various illustrators tell the tales well, showing action and emotions and disasters yet to come, and the speech bubbles help move the stories along, offering a change of pace. All of these books use ellipses at the end of some pages to encourage a pause and a prediction, and the texts are rhythmic, with opportunities for building confidence and reading independence. Lines of text on each page vary from one to five, three lines only being a good average. The stories read aloud well, and have original additions which hold the reader’s or listener’s attention. ‘Come back here, little ginger feet/face/head/paws’ for example, as well as all the familiar expected lines. Whilst the language used may not be poetic, the vocabulary choices tend to be lively and varied.
Whilst Ladybird suggest the series is ideal for reading aloud and sharing with two to four year olds, several of these stories would be suitable for guided reading in the Literacy Hour, and at £2.99 each have to represent value for money.
There are also a further six titles available: Chicken Licken, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, The Magic Porridge Pot , and The Three Little Pigs .