January 23, 2015

Dirty Beasts - Roald Dahl

Presently,it's all about Roald Dahl in Junior's world. It started with The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me and The Fantastic Fox. The collection is steadily building up.

The lastest entry is Dirty Beasts.

  The description on the back cover says

" Roald Dahl has created a ghastly assortment of wicked beasts getting up to some extra ordinary and unmentionable things in this comic collection of verse. Meet the clever pig with a plan to save his bacon, the scorpion who likes to sting, the giant toad who can jump from England to France, and lots more."

My personal experience:
We had not read any of Roald Dahl's poems before. We were very excited. At bedtime, Junior and I took turns to read them aloud. We were rolling with laughter. The excellent illustration by Quentin Blake made the situations more comical.

 Suggestions : 
I would recommend it for children( 7 years +) who have read Roald Dahl books earlier and are familiar with his style and  humor.
Excellent  for parent-child bonding actvity. Please read it aloud along with your children. The stories though dark, are clever, fast paced and full of action. You might find your little ones giggling and squirming with disgust at the same time.( Some kids may not like the idea of an ant eater eating humans or crocodiles having boys and girls for lunch. But most 7 year olds I guess enjoy the yucky stuff :) ).

The poems are lengthy, vary from 2 to 4 pages ( except The Lion). There  are some sentences, which require careful handling and parental guidance. For instance, in The Cow,the reference to the man from Afganistan as horrid and cow dropping cow pat on his head. Also,The Scorpion, maynot be a good choice for bed time reading. It could be nightmare inducing.

All said and done, inspite of people being eaten and stinging scorpions, it's a must read. Funny,  nonsenscical, engaging....

Oh yes, it might encourage your kid to try writing some funny verse too. Junior got creative and wrote his nonsensical piece :
The lion came out of his lair
To eat a pear.
Is it fair ?
Are you sure, it is not a hare ?
A vegetarian tiger ! it's a night mare.
Such rumours are flying in the air.

 Next the lion wanted to cut his hair.
He went and sat on the barber's chair.
The other customers in the shop got a scare.
They ran as fast as a hare.
The barber shouted " Get up from the chair !"
The sad lion went back to his lair.

Image courtesy : http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/91zVXZSIurL._SL1500_.jpg


January 06, 2015

Born to Run - Michael Morpurgo

Born to Run - The many lives of one incredible dog......I could not resist the look in the eyes of the dog featured on the cover page of the the book. Those deep pleading eyes melted my heart. I picked up the book silently and put it in the cart. Reading the backcover was unnecessary. I was already convinced.

I was right. It is a heart warming story of a grey hound,right from the time he is rescued from drowning in a canal by a school boy. He is dognapped by a greyhound dog racer who does not care for his dogs. For sometime he is homeless and spents nights in streets but finally finds himself as the mascot of an oldage home. His incredible journey has its share of joyful and sad moments. He comes across wonderful and caring people. With each new owner he gets a new name.

It is a fast paced gripping story with a wonderfully gorgeous ending. Perfect for adults and young readers( 8 years and above). I enjoyed reading it along with my seven year old.There were times he would get upset and emotional but happy times weren't too far. It was a completely different and mature experience for him.

Try it out...you'll definitely get hooked to it.

Know more about Born to Run and Michael Morpurgo.