When I was a little girl there was one constant feature of our birthdays and Christmasses: book tokens. Or sometimes WHSmiths vouchers, but mostly book tokens. My extended family were spread far and wide and I guess it was an easy thing for Granny to pop in the post. And I loved them. No surprises there.
But there’s something about going into a bookshop, the smell of all that lovely warm paper and the smooth spines of a gazillion stories waiting to be discovered, knowing that you can choose anything – well anything that fits the book token. It turns out the excitement hasn’t faded at all, and when the girls were given a book card for their Christmas present thanks to a very lovely friend of mine, it took vast amounts of willpower to sit on my fingers, to let them enjoy their Christmas books, and to wait until we all really needed a little pick me up on a rainy day.
It was worth it though, and what a pick me up. How to Hide a Lion is Elma’s share of the haul, and a book that it is apparently impossible to photograph while little miss is in the vicinity. She just loves sitting and turning the pages, first slowly, and then really really fast, before handing it over so that we can at least try to read the story.
And any story that starts:
“One hot day, a lion strolled into a market square to buy a hat.”
Isn’t going to fail to catch your attention.
It turns out the residents of the town aren’t that keen on lions, and they scare him and chase him away until he seeks refuge in the wendyhouse belonging to a little girl named Iris. Iris knows he is a lovely lion, and she does her best to hide him and look after him (and there’s a wonderful illustration of her reading The Tiger Who Came to Tea to him).
But Mummy finds out, as Mummies are wont to do, and away scampers our furry friend.
As it turns out his new hiding place, pretending to be a stone lion on top of a statute, is really great for spotting burglars running off with the Lord Mayor’s candlesticks, and in the end he gets a hero’s welcome – and that new hat!
H and I both fell for it at first glance, and the girls have followed suit. And somehow that makes family story time all the more fun, knowing that we’re all enjoying it together.
Thank you again to Anne-Marie at Mummy Hearts You and Claire at Great British Family for joining in last week. We’ve read the Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas, and from Anne-Marie’s review of the Dinosaur that Pooped a Planet, I suspect it’s filled with just as many wonderfully silly jokes, and Claire and her family have been discovering an absolute classic in We’re Going on a Bear Hunt!
And if you have a favourite why not share it here; each linky will stay open for a week so there’s plenty of time to join in. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you. I’ve told you what we are reading, now tell me what we should be reading!