We had a delivery from the Red House today. After all, it was a day with a "y" in it. I have been buying tons of books for Christmas, and was going to stash this order away too, but then I realised that actually if they get 40,000 books they are not really going to look at them very much! So I decided that this delivery could be opened today, given that we were having a lazy Sunday at home.
Two of the books were for me: Michael Morpurgo's Farm Boy and Gangsta Granny by David Walliams. We are reading War Horse at school, and Farm Boy is the sequel - so I am thinking about moving on to it after we have finished reading War Horse, since it seems to have captured their imaginations. David Walliams is a genius, imo, but the kids are both still a little young to really get his books, so I have bought Gangsta Granny to read myself until they are ready.
We read two of the others at bedtime. The first was Hubble, Bubble, Granny Trouble by Tracey Corderoy. I really liked this book, mainly because it felt really nice. I know that sounds somewhat bizarre, but the pages were really thick, and it smelt really book-ish. The pictures were gorgeous too, and the kids seemed quite amused by the story. The rhyming text made it easy for them to guess what was coming next. I am glad I didn't pay over ten pounds for it, but for the knock-down Red House price, it represents great value.
We were all really excited about Monstersaurus since it comes from the same stable as the Aliens and Dinosaurs love Underpants series, of which we are big fans. In some ways we were not disappointed. The illustrations were fantastic; the expressions on the faces of the characters were hilarious. The text was amusing, and, again, the rhyme scheme enabled the kids to guess what was coming. Both enjoyed the bit where monstersaurus threatened the others with a kiss. However, and it's a big however, it was a book which was very clearly set up for a sequel. The last two pages talk about Monty and Monstersaurus going off and having lots of fun adventures. C was really excited about what these adventures might be; and then the book ended! He was most put out when I said there would probably be another book, but I didn't know when. He felt quite cheated out of the story I think. I really don't mind books which are part of a series, but this felt like an incomplete book - not only to me, but more importantly to the five-year old who surely forms a part of their target audience! I will probably buy the sequel, because it did capture his imagination, but I will probably begrudge it a little. And hope that it's in The Red House, so that I don't have to pay too much for it!