Monday, 19 November 2012

Happy Harry's Cafe by Michael Rosen and Richard Holland (Candlewick Press)

Michael Rosen is something of a legend in Children's books, so it's a bit odd to feel a bit 'meh' about his latest book. Don't get me wrong, it's got a smooth jazzy vibe running through it, with tons of energy and fun but it also felt a bit like watching an improv play. So what's going on at Harry's Cafe?

Harry is a big smiley bear, a soup-meister of some repute and his animal customers just can't wait to rush to his cafe to sample his delicious legendary soup.

Harry cooks up a batch and as usual he is heaped with praise. But one customer is not happy. "The soup is no good" says a rather disgruntled Matt the Cat.

What on earth could be wrong with the soup?

It's a higgledy piggledy story backed up by Richard Holland's brilliant cafe poster style artwork, and children will absolutely love joining in with the crazy song and the pace of the book. It left me feeling a bit like I'd heard a bum note in a Dizzy Gillespie number but Charlotte utterly loved Harry and his effervescent style.

Charlotte's best bit: Jo the Crow, she's not slow, she's on the go!

Daddy's favourite bit: Love Richard Holland's art style, faaaab cafe, man!