Books My Toddler Loves

Books My Toddler Loves

Happy Harry's Cafe

Cooking and eatingPosted by Max 27 Jun, 2015 08:34PM
Happy Harry's Cafe, Words by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Richard Holland, published by Candlewick Press

It's a great moment when your toddler starts saying the lines to books she loves before you've even started to read it. This is what happens when we begin the excellent Happy Harry's Cafe (our toddler announces: "The Soup is Good, Daddy!"), a brilliant combination of Michael Rosen's surrealist narrative and Richard Holland's fine, distinctive illustrations.

It's the tale of a lunchtime rush for 'great soup' in a 1950s-esque diner, where all the customer's can't wait to get their spoons into Happy Harry's renowned tomato-based creation. Only there's a problem with one of the regulars - Matt the Cat is missing his spoon!

[Maybe I've read it too frequently in the last few weeks, but to me the book has something of the atmosphere of an episode of the Twilight Zone, particularly given that Matt the Cat is reading a copy of the Daily Miaow, a cat newspaper featuring mug-shots of two feline felons, alongside a headline "Wanted!"]

Fortunately, a potential crisis is quickly resolved, laughter fills the cafe and, before long, Matt joins Harry in a musical tribute to their favourite dish.

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Hooray for Bread

Cooking and eatingPosted by Max 23 Jun, 2015 09:29AM

Hooray for Bread
, Words by Alan Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman, published by Walker Books

"The first slice was a crust of course". This excellent first line sets the tone of this marvelous and beautiful picture book celebrating everything that is so very good about bread.

In the story we follow the baker, his wife, the baker's son and "the baker's son's dog, Sam" as they munch their way through a fresh loaf during the course of a sunny day from sunrise to sunset. After dark, we even see how the creatures of the night enjoy the final crumbs.

Our daughter loves this book, and especially the intermittent double pages where birds, dogs and ducks cheer "Hooray for Bread" as they delight in consuming a freshly baked loaf.

The final page, a parade of dinner items (from sausages to beans to tomatoes and cheese), is our favourite.

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