I’m reviewing this book because I think it’s awesome – and frankly I am shocked that more parents aren’t aware of it.
I bought a copy of Don’t Put Your Finger In The Jelly, Nelly by Nick Sharratt for S for Christmas, and she absolutely loves it – as I knew she would. We read it at bed time most evenings, and she knows all the words. She also often picks it up to read it to herself.
I don’t really know how much to tell you about the book, without giving away the entire thing. It’s not a story, just a series of warnings not to put your fingers into the holes in the pages. Here’s an example:
Don’t put your finger in the jelly, Nelly!
obviously, you put your finger in the jelly, Nelly
(or the hole in the page)
(you turn the page)
You might upset a jellyphant!
and there is a grumpy looking elephant made of jelly,
with his trunk wrapped around your finger!
I’m willing to bet it’s not just my daughter who loves the idea of an elephant (jellyphant) grabbing her finger. There’s also a choctopus, a crab made from clawberry flavour jam, and a spag-yetti.
This is a wonderfully ridiculous book; complete nonsense, with bright colours and silly, made-up words. The best kind of book then, for little people.
S already had a copy of Elephant Wellyphant, another gloriously nonsensical Nick Sharratt book involving elephants and words that have been made up to rhyme with “elephant” – for example, chocolate caramelephant. She loves that book, but she’s possibly a little young for it as it has all sorts of wonderful things like aeroplane propeller(phant)s, and gypsy fortuneteller(phants) bits that can be pulled off in excitement. That book has a lot of selotape holding it together these days!
What I love about Jelly Nelly (as we call it now) is that it has the fun, joining in element that children love so much in books – but it’s just a hole to poke your finger through, so there’s nothing to get too excited about and rip off. Yes, I suppose you could end up ripping the hole a little – but it would take a lot of doing! In that respect, it’s perfect for a younger audience. And the funny rhymes and plays on words make it great for older children too.
I’ve been trying desperately to get a video or recording of S reading this book. The sheer glee in her face and her voice never fail to brighten my day; she loves to shout out the words, to make animal noises, and to comment on the facial expression of the animals.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone with a child from a very young age right up to about 7; I think it has something to offer a wide range of ages because there’s no story involved that could be too complicated for a young audience, or not sophisticated enough for an older child. It will appeal to any child who likes silly made up words, and poking their fingers into things… and really, that’s most children, isn’t it?
N.B. there is a warning on the back of the book: “not suitable for children under 36 months due to small parts. Choking hazard.” S is under 36 months though, and I’ve yet to find anything she could choke on. I suppose it’s one of those warnings they are legally obliged to put on the back of a book that has holes in the pages or something. But if you’re bothered by that sort of guideline, don’t buy the book for your little pickle if they are under 36 months.