I’ve been sent a VERY nice childrens book to review from Mumsnet (eeek, responsibility…me!! Can you tell they don’t know me?!). It’s called The Book of Bedtime Stories (as you may have guessed from my title!) and it’s extra special as it contains 10 prize winning stories from members of Mumsnet and Gransnet (how clever are they?!).
Mumsnet and Gransnet are excellent websites giving advice by parent/grandparent to parents/grandparents. The emphasis is on sharing ideas, stories, hints and tips as well as helping out with each others problems in a safe and comfortable environment. Both sites are fascinating and contain endless brilliant information – taking a look is highly recommended!
Back to the book; former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen was given the exceptionally hard task of chosing 10 stories from 20, which had been shortlisted from over FOUR HUNDRED entries! The challenge was to find bedtime stories by undiscovered writers and, following that process 10 new, young artists were commissioned to illustrate a story each.
The results of this long process was published last month and is absolutely beautiful! The stories are delightfully different from each other; there are stories of varying lengths to keep children with longer or shorter attention spans happy and using different artists for each story has made the book completely captivating. BUT, don’t take my word for it!! I was actually the second person in our house to read the book. My teenage daughter had the package opened and the book spirited away before I could even look in the front cover! Here’s a picture of her sat reading (it was so peaceful!). She said that her favourite story was “When Polly Jumped Over The Moon” because, as well as being an enjoyable story, from the point of view of someone a bit older, it made her feel like anything was possible. I was quite surprised – pleasantly so – by her observation!!
Next I popped down to see my mum with the book. Fortunately she was looking after my nephew on that morning (I didn’t pick that morning on purpose honestly….ahem!) and the pair of them had a good look through the book. Sharing books was a very important part of our childhood. Mum used to read to my sister and I at bedtime and encouraged us both to read for ourselves by tantilisingly leaving the story in THE most exciting place so we wanted to continue reading by ourselves! Both mum and my nephew really enjoyed the book. He doesn’t usually sit still for long at all, but on this occasion he sat through two stories one after another – formerly unheard of! He enjoyed the pictures too – there are plenty of animals featured in the stories too meaning you can encourage little-ies to make the appropriate noises, which always ensures captured attention (and encouraged even Grandpa to join in!!).
So, our whole family would recommend The Book of Bedtime Stories as a wonderful addition to your reading collection. We hope you would like a copy too or, if your children are too old (not that we think you’re ever too old!!) it would make a brilliant present, especially with Christmas coming up (sorry!). It’s available from Walker Books….here
Thank you very much to Mumsnet and Gransnet for letting me review the book for them and a HUGE well done to everyone who contributed!