Thursday 31 May 2012

What's the time, Grandma Wolf? by Ken Brown (Andersen Press)

Mashing together classic stories can go one of two ways. You can end up with something that's alright, but doesn't quite match up to the original stories it derives from, or you can end up with something like Ken Brown's "What's the time, Grandma Wolf?" which feels fresh, funny and original despite borrowing from classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

A gaggle of cheeky noisy animals take turns to 'tease' Grandma Wolf as she wakes up in the morning and prepares for her day. Again, like "CREAK! Said the Bed" this book builds slowly but surely towards a satisfying conclusion - but ah! Right at the last minute it snatches the picnic blanket out from under you and you end up with a tale that is delightful and and amusing in equal measure.

I also loved Ken Brown's illustrations. Anyone who collected the Ladybird Books containing classic fairy tales like Red Riding Hood or Rumplestilskin as a kid will instantly bond with Ken's beautiful painted panels.

And so, despite a lot of fuss and argument, this is our book of the week.

Charlotte's best bit: Grandma Wolf cleaning her (very big) teeth. Like a good wolf should!

Daddy's favourite bit: The double switch end. How I loved that!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Book of the Week