We were lucky enough to be sent the new Shirley Hughes children’s book to review by Penguin Random House.
The book contains three previously published stories – Looking for Winnie, A Journey to the North Pole and Lost Sheep – which have been brought together in a new collection focusing on Alfie’s adventures at Grandma’s House.
We haven’t read any of the ‘Alfie’ series of books before, so I was pleased to try out a new book with my 4 year old daughter, Izzy. I read all three tales to her and she was interacting with the story, asking questions and pointing out things she could see in the pictures. When we finished she decided to play ‘teacher’ and pretended to read the book back to me, which showed she had listened and understood the stories.
The detailed illustrations really brought the story to life. Izzy especially liked the map at the back of the book which showed all the places Alfie and his Grandma went on their adventures – to find Winnie, the lost tortoise, and help a sheep find its way home. Izzy’s favourite of the 3 was A Journey to the North Pole: “I like the pictures of the boy and girl jumping in puddles and playing in a tent… I want to make a tent!”
Most of the stories we usually read to Izzy are simplified and repetitive, whereas the Alfie series have more detail to them. I find a lot of books aimed at pre-schoolers focus more on images rather than words, so this was a good next step to introduce Izzy to slightly longer stories. The stories are long enough to have some substance and encourage interaction but short enough to hold the attention of a young child.
According to the press release sent by the publishers “Shirley Hughes is one of the nation’s most-loved and highly respected illustrators and story-tellers. She was honoured with an OBE in 1999 for her outstanding contribution to children’s literature.”
‘Alfie and Grandma’ is published on 26th February in paperback by Red Fox, RRP £6.99, available on Amazon.
Check out this video on YouTube of the author Shirley Hughes introducing Alfie.
We received a copy of this book from Penguin Random House in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own.