Friday, January 23, 2015

The British Are Coming!

I have to admit that I do love a good story from across the pond!  My trip to London last summer just left me wanting more, and thankfully many of the delightful books that have been a success over there are now available stateside.  How lucky are we?

I ran into a friend the other day who also enjoys scouting out good book finds for kids in the UK.  She reminded me of another series I profiled for early readers several years ago which her kids have just discovered and adore. You're a Bad Man Mr. Gum.  Scroll down to the end of the blog where I have reprinted it for those of you who can't get enough of anything British.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the books filled with raucous British humor.  When your kids are laughing at these you can feel quite haughty knowing that they have an educated sense of humor or at least they might one day enjoy a good Monty Python movie!  Cheerio!

Title: Digby O’Day In the Fast Lane

Author: Shirley Hughes 

Target: Kindergarten - Grade 2

Series:This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about: 
This is a charming story in the vein of tortoise and the hare. Digby takes good care of his car, keeping it well oiled and shiny.  His neighbor Lou Ella buys a new fancy car every year.  When Digby’s car breaks down, Lou Ella is too busy to help.  However, during the big car race, friends of Digby help him discover a clever short cut which leaves Lou Ella in the dust, with no one to blame but herself.

Why I love this book: 
First off the illustrations by the author’s daughter are absolutely charming.  They have included a map of the race route so kids can follow along, interviews with all the main characters, and bonus activities.  These all add to the fun.

The story itself has cars hanging off of cliffs and a race to the finish, which means lots of action.  Lou Ella was the unexpected villain as her entitled attitude is put to the test and fails to get her the desired results.

Who this book is for:
Great for kids starting chapter books.  Cartoon like illustrations on every page with only a few sentences will make success feel attainable.

Final thoughts: 
Just love this import from the UK.  I can’t wait until Digby rides again

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Digby O'Day in the Fast Lane  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Title:Claude at the Beach

Author:Alex T. Smith

Target:Kindergarten - Grade 2

Series: Yes

What this book is about: 
Claude is a dapper dog whose busy owners rush off every morning.  Claude decides that he and his best friend Sir Bobblysock, who is literally a sock, will have an adventure and go on vacation to the beach that day.  With bags packed they set out to find that things are not quite as they expected.  Claude saves a man from a shark, enters a sandcastle contest and helps pirates find buried treasure.  All in a days work.

Why I love this book: 
The Claude books are fun adventures with cartoon drawings that are extremely appealing.  While no big life lessons are covered, there are giggles, extravagant escapades and humor throughout.  It is a fun romp with a book that most children will enjoy.

Who this book is for: 
Good early chapter book, but some of the words are for more advanced readers.  There are illustrations and only a sentence of two on every page so the story is not intimidating, but read it aloud or with your child if you have a new reader.

Final thoughts: 
Another import from the UK.  How lucky are we?

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Claude at the Beach  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Title:You’re a Bad Man Mr. Gum

Author:Andy Stanton

Target:Grades 2-5


What this book is about:
Mr. Gum is a dirty, filthy, mean hearted man who keeps his home a mess.  However, his garden is immaculate because a little fairy comes and whacks him with a frying pan if the garden is ever out of order.  When the local dog decides that Mr. Gum’s garden is an ideal place to romp, Mr. Gum is bruised and battered from the fairy whackings he receives.  He decides to poison the dog (because he is a very bad man after all) but when a little girl Polly get wind of the situation, she tries to come to the dog’s rescue.

Why I love this book:
Well this book is silly done oh so well, and as many of you know, doing silly in a clever way is not always that easy or successful.  The descriptions are marvelous, the characters are absurd without loosing the point of the story and of course who can resist a book with a super bonus story at the end!

This book was originally published in the UK and it still has many the British expressions (and all of the British humor), but the author has added a glossary for the Americans which “tells you what words mean by explaining them using other words.”

Who this book is for:
Kids just moving into more advanced chapter books will enjoy this.  However, I actually think reading this book aloud may be the best way to experience it.  It reads so well to an audience, and allows the kids to get some of the more advanced humor without skimming by it.

Final thoughts:

This book is a whopper of a good time, with the occasional oddity thrown in.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum! Special Edition  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

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