When you spot a board book in the library that’s only been there a year, and yet looks as though it’s been loved for a decade at least, you know there’s a good chance that it’ll be good. When you see that the author has also won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, you know there’s a very good chance that it’ll be good. And when you see that it’s got a funny hole cut through the middle and both Kitty and Elma like tracing it with their fingers, you know that that means it’s coming home with us whether it’s good or not.
Fortunately for all of us, Grumpy Gertie is awesome. She’s the epitome of a small girl who has not had enough sleep and has definitely woken up on the wrong side of the bed. She’s in a huge grump and everyone is going to know about it; and be made rather sad and grumpy to match.
Not that this has ever happened to any member of this household you understand – Monkey’s worried expression is purely coincidental!
But Gertie didn’t want to make everyone sad, and she doest really want to be grumpy herself, so she sits down under a tree to have a little weep, and it’s then that she meets a monkey who refuses to get on board the grumpy train. He doesn’t want to be grumpy, and he doesn’t want her to be either, and he decides to show her how to turn things around,
Because in the moment of genius that made me love this book, you spin the book around, and what was that frown becomes the broadest grin imaginable.
Well why not! If you can’t throw convention out of the window for a child’s board book when can you! It’s quite literally “turn that frown upside down”!
And from then on you read the rest of the book upside down and back to front (turning the pages left to right), while a very happy Gertie goes back to all her friends to cheer them up and take away the glooms.
It’s such a simple book really, but I think it’s been really cleverly done, and as I said the girls loved it for the cut out; and then Elma noticed the monkey and as she’s just about as keen on monkeys as she is about ducks that was her sold, and Kitty likes to take it literally – running off to hang upside down from the side of her swing to try out life from a new perspective and a gymnastic ability that can only come from H.
It’s the first of Sam Lloyd’s books that I’ve come across, but there is one mentioned on the back called “What’s in your Tummy Mummy?” which might be rather appropriate right now – has anyone else read it?
If you didn’t spot it last week, Vickie has relaunched her blog as the gorgeously titled A Pocketful of Dandelions and came to join in What We’re Reading with Paper Dolls, a Julia Donaldson story that looks like it would take me straight back to Christmas holidays and cutting out paper doll strings at the dinner table while trying to work out how to get sensible sized dollies without having a half dolly hanging off one end! And if you have a favourite, or just something fun your little ones have enjoyed reading lately please do join us. The linky is always open for the whole week so there’s plenty of time. And so, without further ado, it’s over to you to tell me what we should be reading!