Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Red Boat by Hannah Cumming (Child's Play International PLC)














There's a mood that Hannah Cumming's books puts us in. It's the sort of mood that also comes from wrapping up in a freshly made bed with a big fat fluffed up duvet, or the mood that stems from knowing that it snowed heavily the night before and the world is muted by a soft white covering, eradicating all the bumps and blemishes. Or perhaps the mood you drift lazily into when you've just made the most awesome cup of hot chocolate and floated a ton of marshmallows in it.

I think what we're trying to get across here is that we love Hannah's books very much, and we're very glad that we spotted "The Red Boat" in the library as we'd somehow previously missed it.

Posy, a fairly ordinary little girl - and her rather superb dog George, have moved to a new house. The house is so big, the garden is huge, the next door neighbours are strangers and there's also the prospect of starting a new school.

Naturally, Posy is a bit anxious - and despite George's "WOOFs" of reassurance, there's a lot to think about for a young mind.

Then Posy discovers something tucked away in the corner of the garden. A red boat - the gateway to daydreamed adventures, to pirate escapades or a voyage through the inky darkness of a perfectly clear night sky.

Posy's anxieties about the change in her world and her life are soon dissolved as her adventures in the fabulous red boat neatly segue with what's going on in the 'real world'. Staking a claim on her own bit of the house, meeting a ton of new friends at school and finding out that the next-door neighbours are actually lovely (and have a few bouncing yappy dogs of their own too) makes Posy feel much much better.

It's a touching little story, particularly pertinent if your children have perhaps moved schools or moved house - or are adapting to change. As ever with Hannah's books, this is utterly perfect to snuggle up at bedtime with - and also a great book to inspire you to build your own little red boat (mummy really won't mind you using the sofa cushions for this, I'm sure!) and sailing off on your own voyage of imagination. Utterly, utterly lovely.

Charlotte's best bit: Being a pirate girl - because if there's one thing Charlotte likes, it's dressing up as a pirate girl!

Daddy's favourite bit: Such a warm, snuggly and cosy book. We're so glad we finally tracked it down!

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