Review: Ellie and Lump’s Very Busy Day by Dorothy Clark and Becky Palmer

In Ellie and Lump’s Very Busy Day – the latest title from Smarties Prize nominee Dorothy Clark – the title characters, two young elephants, wake up in the morning full of energy. As they help their mother plan a birthday surprise for their father, their day is told through onomatopoeia and childhood exuberance, from boing-bouncing on beds to whizz-whooshing around the supermarket with the trolley. 

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Review: Frog and Beaver by Simon James

Simon James has a prolific track record when it comes to children’s stories with messages about taking care of the environment, some more subtle than others. Two notables are 1991’s Sally and the Limpet, in which the titular character pulls a limpet from a rock and gets it hopelessly stuck on her finger, and Dear Greenpeace from the following year about a whale that ends up in the garden pond of a little girl called Emily, and her subsequent correspondence with Greenpeace about her efforts to take care of it – even though they clearly don’t believe her. His latest offering, Frog and Beaver, refers to more domestic environments, and also teaches important lessons about being considerate of one’s neighbours – but, as with the two aforementioned titles, the story is told in a fun and engaging way. 

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