I’ve just read Slinky Malinki to Elma for the 3,427,968th time. Approximately.
And while I might be over egging the pudding slightly, it is true that it is still very much one of her favourites, and frequently requested at bedtime, and in the morning, and after lunch, and… well she hasn’t asked for it in church yet but it’s probably only a matter of time.
She’s quite fond of Sniff Snuff Snap (and I’ll always love it for memories of a tiny Kitty bouncing around shouting “sniff snuff snap! all came back!”) and the Hairy Maclary books are well read too – but they just don’t have quite the same edge.
So what on earth could rival Slinky Malinki? It’s obvious really: more Slinky Malinki.
We were browsing Blackwells children’s department while waiting to meet a certain spaceman, trying to find something to entertain two small people in the queue and as a present for Elma to match the book that Kitty was about to get, and there on a shelf, next to the Slinky Malinki that we know and love and the Slinky Malinki that we have borrowed from the library more times than is probably reasonable, sat a new (to us) story of our favourite cat.
Well that was easy.
Elma carried it all the way down the queue, had her godmother read it to her several times, and I think she may even have asked Chris Hadfield to sign it – happily, as toddler-speak is largely only intelligible by mummies, I don’t think he noticed!
And as Kitty clasped her signed copy of You Are Here in the car on the way home, Elma sat with her bag on her lap patting her new book every now and then.
So often sequels can be a bit of a let down, the characters are as lovely as ever but they ran such a beautiful plot arc in the first book that there’s very little left to do with them in any follow up. But this is not one of those. This is a sequel that is just as good as the original, of the sort that you love just as much as the original, to the extent that if you were ever asked to choose between them you would feel as if you had been asked to pick your favourite child. But then again perhaps I’m allowing myself to become unduly influenced by the fact that the plot rather resonates with daily life in our house at the moment.
You see Slinky Malinki has found a friend in the form of Stickybeak Syd. And I don’t know who is egging on who but it seems that the sum of two champion mischiefmakers is more than the total of their parts. Together they realise that our Slinky can open doors.
And he does. In fact those two harum-scarums open just about every door in the house leaving a trail of havoc a mile wide. Sound familiar to anyone?
But at last they open just one more door and find a surprise they don’t like waiting behind it!
As always Lynley Dodd’s rhymes and illustrations are just gorgeous, with such a lovely patter and a chorus that repeats throughout the book – and it’s lovely to see a Hairy MacLary cameo too.
So I suspect that it will be no great hardship to find myself alternating Slinky Malinkis whenever there’s a request for a story.
What We’re Reading is a weekly link up of posts about children’s books. That’s about as far as the ‘rules’ go; it can be picture books, baby books, books for older children or even young adult if you like; just come and join us to tell us what you’ve been reading recently. The linky is always open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in, or if you’d rather join in on Instagram or Twitter that would be wonderful too, just use the hashtag #whatweread and tag me (@cariemay on Instagram and @cariemaymakes on Twitter) and then we can all come and say hi.
And if you missed out last week, Jess’ Rosalie has been planning all of her adventures with the help of Out and About which has the most gorgeous illustrations and words that lead you across each page, around the duck pond and on to the next!