S and I were very lucky to be sent a copy of The Mumsnet Book of Animal Stories to review. The books I normally review are either adult ones, or kids’ ones where they can sit and read them themselves. This is a proper, old-fashioned story book that you sit and read to your child, and brought back some wonderful memories of bed time story time when I was little.
The stories in this book are written by members of Mumsnet and Gransnet who entered a competition; a panel of judges, chaired by former Children’s Laureate Anthony Brown, chose ten winners whose stories feature in the book. It was also illustrated by upcoming artists. I really love this idea as a great way of using the Mumsnet/Gransnet name to give aspiring authors and artists a much-needed boost.
The design of the book is gorgeous and the illustrations are beautiful and well pitched towards a young audience:
I’ve enjoyed reading this book to S in our quiet times; she loves animals and although she’s still a little young to really follow along to the end of the stories, she enjoys seeing the pictures. Sometimes she sits still for longer than others, but I think it’s a good routine to get into, to sit down together to read a story – even if you never quite reach the end! It’s an exercise in going with the flow for me too, to allow her to go off on a tangent about elephants or lions or whatever else, rather than insist she sit still and listen til the end of the story – which is what I instinctively want to do!
I can remember being a child, having bed time stories read to me by my mum, my dad or my nan. It was something I really looked forward to. We had a couple of great big books of children’s stories and part of the fun was choosing a favourite story you’d already heard a million times before. This book falls into that category for me – a treasured tome that sits on the shelf and gets battered and worn over time, as it’s taken out for bed times and quiet times to re-read favourite stories over and over.
The stories each feature animals (hence the name!) so there’s one about a wolf, one about a hamster, a hedgehog, a meerkat, a lion, elephants, pandas, a goat, a monkey who’s scared of heights (the current favourite) and a bat. The stories are all easy for little people to understand but still interesting enough for adults to enjoy reading – a winning combination in my book.
I’m looking forward to enjoying this book with S for many years to come, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is (or has) a book lover!
Disclosure: I was provided with this book for the purposes of review, but all words and opinions are my own.