Monday, 19 May 2008

Peace at last

This is a post for mums with very young children really... or for grandmas keen to encourage their grandchildren to love books, which is the category I come under these days. My eldest grandchild is Ruth aged almost eight, she's my eldest daughter's daughter, and then there's Scott, who's my youngest daughter's son. It seems to me that boys and girls are different. (Big surprise!) Ruth loved to sit on your lap from about 9 months and would sit patiently through the whole book. Scott has been different. He's 19 months old now and we've had to persevere with him because he got bored and wriggled off your lap pretty quickly. But all that has stopped now and I thought I'd show the book responsible for the change.



This is Peace at Last by Jill Murphy. I wish I could properly explain the attraction of this board book. It *is* delightful I realise that, utterly charming in fact. But I can't explain why it was, and is, the favourite book of both my grandchildren despite the fact they have plenty of others to choose from and despite the fact that they are different sexes. Ruth adored it from about twelve months, up to around four or five and Scott is now suddenly potty about it too and will sit quietly throughout the whole thing, clearly loving it.

Admittedly, it has noises. Poor Mr Bear can't sleep because Mrs. Bear is snoring loudly. So he tries to sleep in all manner of places from Baby Bear's room, where airplane noises are being practised, to the kitchen where the fridge is noisy, to the garden where there are owls, cats and hedgehogs all doing their best to keep him awake. And then poor Mr. Bear keeps saying, 'Oh NO. I can't stand this!' and the children love that and join in when they can speak well enough. It's terrific fun I suppose and maybe even very young children just love a good yarn? And then there's the hairnet. Mrs. Bear is sporting one in bed and young Scott is rivetted by this thing. He keeps pointing to it and one day I shall have to try and explain exactly what a hairnet is and I'm sure he'll think it's ancient history, which of course it is. My gran wore one, as did most of her generation, but who uses them these days? LOL. All good fun though.

So anyway, that's my book recommendation for today. If you have young kiddies or a new or toddling grandchild, you could do a lot worse than invest in Peace at Last by Jill Murphy, for I can promise you hours of fun and giggles and a subsequent love of books in the child you're reading it to.

9 comments:

DesLily said...

Awww, how cute is that?! lol Anything we can find to make young children actually sit quietly for a brief time is considered GOLD! lol..

I'm lucky.. or unlucky.. I have one grandson but he lives in florida so I rarely see him. He will be 12 this friday. Last year when I visited, would you believe after I took him to a book store (surprised huh? lol) he read a whole book out loud to me! (It's nice when they get old enough to change places as to who is the reader and who is the listener! lol lol)

Juliet said...

Jill Murphy is brilliant. And very 'parent friendly'. I can heartily recommend her Large Family stories, about a family of elephants which characters we can all identify with. They're as funny for grown-ups as they are for children. http://www.walkerbooks.co.uk/Jill-Murphy

Cath said...

Oh yes, Pat, 'sitting quietly' time is absolute 'gold'. Especially with Ruth as she's on the go all the time and it's nice to have that half an hour's rest.

How lovely that your grandson read to *you* for a change. I bet that was really nice.

Juliet: We have one of the Large family books too. The one where 'Mum' is trying to have a bath. I think it might be called 'Five Minutes Peace' but I'm not sure. Much loved by my grandaughter but I haven't tried the grandson with it yet. He seems to have his favourites at the moment and isn't that keen on 'new' books. We have to introduce them to him slowly. Another children's author the family like is Helen Oxenbury. I *think* she wrote 'We're Going on a Bear Hunt' and a lovely one about aliens which I must try to find for Scott. I could yak on for ages about children's books. :-)

Juliet said...

in We're Going on a Bear Hunt, Helen Oxenbury illustrated (brilliantly and definitively) Michael Rosen's poem. It's one of those top-favourite desert island books in my family. We have at least four copies! You can see Michael Rosen performing it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytc0U2WAz4s
Yes, as you can see, I too will yacker on at g-r-e-a-t length about children's books, given half a chance (or even less!)

monix said...

I'm building a collection of books for baby Amelia, Cath - grandma's privilege! I've got The Elephant and the Bad Baby; Each, Peach Pear Plum; Dogger; complete Beatrix Potter collection and The Tiger Who Came to Tea. Keep coming up with new titles and reminding me of old favourites, please! (You and Juliet are my sources for children's books)

Cath said...

Juliet: there you go, it's a while since I've seen a copy of Bear Hunt so I thought HO actually wrote it. I should have known because last Christmas I bought Alice in Wonderland for my grandaughter, illustrated by HO again and it's beautiful, really stunning. I'll look at the YouTube performance later.

Monix: The trouble is there's so much choice these days in children's books, far more than when our children were little. Not that that's a problem except that you could easily spend a fortune, especially when they get slightly older. Another rec. is the wonderful 'Kipper' the dog books, but I forget the author I'm afraid. Those come in board format and soft-back for older children. And don't forget charity shops. Those are absolutely fantastic for picking up bargains in books for toddlers and babies.

Nan - said...

And I have All in One Piece!! It's about a mom, Mrs Large going out for an evening. I loved it as much as my kids. "Can't I have just one night in the whole year to myself? One night when I am not covered in jam and poster paint?" (I just read the comments after writing this, and see it has already been talked about!)

I actually have tears in my eyes with longing for those days, poster paint and all. :<)

Cath said...

Nan, we had that Large family book from the library - it's different to Peace at Last, I'm thinking there must be several different ones. But all are delightful and as much fun for grown-up as they are for children.

I know what you mean about longing for those days. It occurred to me the other day that I really must make the most of my grandchildren's childhoods because when they've grown up it's doubtful I shall have any more contact with very young children. At least not in that very special 'family' way. I suspect I will find that hard.

Cath said...

Nan, of course what I meant to say when talking about the 'Large' family books was 'Five Minutes Peace' not 'Peace at Last'. I need to engage my brain a bit more often...