Review: Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson

The 25th anniversary edition of Owl Babies features a text in the front of the book that describes how its authors ‘touched on a timeless truth – capturing the attachment and deep affection between a mother and child with humour and tenderness.’ The back features two quotes from the authors themselves – Martin Waddell comments how the book was inspired by seeing a young child lost in a supermarket, repeating the phrase “I want my mummy” over and over again, which of course became key to the story. He adds also that he hopes he has reassured each child who reads it that their fears are reasonable, and that their loved ones will always be there for them. Illustrator Patrick Benson, meanwhile, talks about the challenge of creating a world that was ‘realistically dark, but ultimately unthreatening’, and about helping to abate a child’s fear of the night and reassure them that their mum will always be there. Judging by the fact that the book has shifted four and a half million copies since its initial publication in 1992, and was subsequently adapted as a short animation for the Channel 4 Schools show ‘Rat-a-tat-tat’, they have clearly succeeded in their aims. 

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Review: Treasure Hunt by Alice Melvin

Award-winning Edinburgh-based illustrator Alice Melvin has chosen to mark ten years of her relationship with the Tate Gallery by releasing Treasure Hunt, a keepsake activity book aimed squarely at the over fives. It’s a charming little collection of activities that your child is sure to love, particularly during the autumn and winter months.

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Review: Let’s Join In by Shirley Hughes

Described as ‘a first book of bedtime stories’, Let’s Join In by Shirley Hughes is an anthology of the four books that make up the ‘Olly and Me’ series – the ‘me’ being infant Olly’s toddler sister, Katie. While perhaps not as well-known as some of Hughes’ other titles, including Dogger and the Alfie series, they are still quite charming in their own way and great fun to read aloud at bedtime. 

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