Today I’ve got a couple of corkers of picture books that have just been published about a couple of boys with interesting dilemmas.
The Boy Who Knew Nothing, by James Thorp and Angus Mackinnon, published by Templar
There is a boy who knows nothing and, not knowing what a strange creature he’s discovered in his parents’ shoes is, he goes off to enlighten himself. On the way, he asks various people for their help but they’re useless – and rude – telling him not to be stupid and yet unable to give him a clear answer. It turns out perhaps that people often think they know when they don’t really have a clue.
I always get excited when I receive new book post from James and Angus because their stories have a genuine, inimitable quirkiness about them that I find hilarious. This story follows that trait well, matching peculiar nonsense rhyme with a kind of psychedelic illustration that is immediately identifiable. Lovers of Edward Lear and Spike Milligan will enjoy this wacky tale of a quest for knowledge that ends up showing the poor Boy that people know less than they really think. I should have included this in my Back to School Books post as the ending, without wanting to give anything away, sums up the saying ‘There’s no such thing as a stupid question’ very well.
Dave and the Tooth Fairy, written by Verna Wilkins and illustrated by Carl Pearce, published by Studio Press
Dave’s pleased that he has a wobbly tooth; this means that, once it’s out, he can claim some money from the Tooth Fairy and put it towards the kite he’s been saving for. However, when the tooth escapes after a violent sneeze, Dave’s happiness turns to panic – the tooth has disappeared! A plan hatches in Dave’s mind that could solve the problem…
First published in 1993, this is a funny story about how far a child a child will go to get their recompense for a lost tooth. My daughter once had to have a stubborn tooth extracted at the dentist and then she forgot to bring it home which caused no end of worry. How would the Tooth Fairy know where it was? If she knew it was at the dentist’s, then would she know where to leave the money? Dave’s antics are very clever for a young boy and he deserves financial reward for inventiveness alone. Carl Pearce’s illustrations are richly coloured, and almost 3D in some scenes, with the feel of stills from an animated film. I can see the children at school chuckling along to this, and sharing their tales of naughty teeth.
Thank you to Templar and Studio Press for sending me review copies of these books.